Are You Providing Your Body With the Fuel it Needs to Function Properly?
Katy Harvey, RD, CEDRD
Our bodies are like flowers that need fertile soil, water and sunlight to grow and thrive. By consuming a wide variety of foods, we consume a wide variety of nutrients.
We must provide ourselves with consistent, predictable, and reliable opportunities to eat until satisfaction. In doing so, we are tending to our needs like a parent does for a small child. We would never think of making a child skip lunch or go all day without food. Why would we do that to ourselves?
A recovery mindset is about PROVIDING your body, rather than depriving your body.
The eating disorder wants you to deprive your body in order to achieve the alleged utopia of thinness.
The eating disorder tells you that thinness will make you feel more confident, less anxious, and better able to handle the ups and downs of life.
The eating disorder tells you that by getting thin you will become more lovable and worthy of acceptance and belonging.
The eating disorder tells you that thinness equals happiness.
But how happy can you possibly be when you are starving yourself?
When our bodies are depleted and deprived we are edgy, irritable, anxious and upset easily. Not exactly the type of person I want to hang out with.
When we are satisfied with food we are much more pleasant to be around. Your life will be more satisfying when you are satisfying your appetite with food.
So how do we move from fear-based eating and deprivation to a style of eating that is about satisfaction nourishment and provision of all that the body needs?
It starts with eating regular meals and snacks at predictable increments throughout the day. Try not to let your body go longer than three or four hours without some type of fuel. This will prevent you from getting overly hungry and feeling famished.
And at each of these feedings give yourself some choices. Think about what would sound good. Are you in the mood for something sweet or savory? Crunchy or chewy? Rough or smooth? Once you can nail down what you’re hungry for you can determine if you have food available that meet that criteria.
Try to keep food with you at all times so that you always have fuel available when you need it. Try to anticipate your body‘s needs. And when food isn’t available seek it out. Don’t delay it longer than necessary.
Another thing that’s important is to make sure that you are getting some of the different food groups on a consistent basis. This doesn’t necessarily have to happen at every meal or even every single day, but just overall in the grand scheme of things try to make sure that you’re eating from the different areas of the food groups.
There is no food or food group that needs to be off-limits. That kind of thinking only sets you up for deprivation backlash over eating later on. It doesn’t allow you to stay connected with your body and it’s true desires.
When you’re operating from the psychology of deprivation, you are going to be hungry for the things that you tell yourself you shouldn’t have. “I shouldn’t have dessert” translates into cravings for sweets and infinitely increases the likelihood that you’ll overeat on dessert next time you have it.
By shifting to the mentality of PROVISION we are able to have a positive regard for the food we feed ourselves. How can you provide satisfying nourishment for yourself today?
Katy Harvey, RD is a Certified Eating Disorder Registered Dietitian (CEDRD) from Kansas City. She has an outpatient private practice where she helps individuals heal their relationship with food, exercise and their body. She also blogs at Katy’s Blog.