The Problem Solver
I talk a lot about how meals are a miracle cure for disordered eating and eating disorders. Meals are kind of a magic pill, but they're not a secret. Meals are hiding in plain sight, right where they've been for the past 12,000 years or so.
But among a lot of the people I talk to, eating meals is not the done thing. Here's what's really happening:
- fasting, or deliberate starving
- dieting (which could involved discrete plates of food at certain times, but diets by our definition always mean inadequate nutrition, so I'm not counting this type of "meal") and very often,
- all-day grazing (sometimes called "Intuitive Eating")
- some combo of the above
We've been told that weight is our problem. Lack of discipline, lack of willpower, lack of information, lack of belief in ourselves: those are some other "problems" underlying the main problem of not looking like the Photoshopped cover of a "fitness" magazine.
And we've been told, many times many ways, that a diet is the solution.
Sometimes we hear that the solution is not a diet, but one its fancier, sciencey cousins, like Intermittent Fasting or Paleo or eating "right" for your blood type, or avoiding gluten or sugar, or other restrictive regimes that are said to "not be diets." Or my least favorite, the non-sciency "sensible" eating. ("Just eat sensibly!" Ugh!)
Mostly, these are lies. Dieting, or deliberately getting inadequate nourishment for a sustained period causes problems (often, bingeing). Trying to starve your body into a shape it was never meant to be causes problems. Not eating enough causes numerous problems for every body that experiences too much hunger.
Here's the so-basic-it's-invisible bottom line: Meals are a structural solution to a universal problem. Excessive hunger is bad for all humans, not just "overweight" ones. Meals are THE big Problem Solver.
For thousands of years, meals have kept bodies running reliably so that we don't fall over mid-yak-hunt or mid-act-of-procreation or midway to the nuts-and-berries bar.
So if you'd like to relax about weight and eating and food, and stop regarding them as problems that you suffer from because you got an unlucky draw at the gene table, this is an important fact to understand: There is nothing wrong with YOU. There is something wrong with our food culture, and something wrong with our food supply, and something wrong with the pressure to be very thin at any cost.
If you want to lose weight, it can be done at any age. If you have eating habits you want to change, you can break them. These things are not that hard.
(Unless you try to lose weight or break those habits by dieting. That will take FOREVER. And it will be hard. Also it will not work.)
You don't need to white-knuckle anything. You don't need to eliminate "triggers." You don't need a bunch of fancy new tools. You already know the necessary nutrition science.
All you really need is
1. a simple way to eat that balances structure and freedom, which are basic, universal human needs, and not problems peculiar to overeaters and
2. a simple way to dismantle the habit of solving non-food problems with food
That's what we'll do together in Become a Normal Eater by Bedtime. We will answer all your questions about
- triggers, root causes, mindfulness, intuitive eating, emotional eating, hunger and why you don't have to - and shouldn't - spend one more minute on ANY OF THOSE THINGS in order to get comfortable control of your eating TODAY
- exercise and weight and what to eat and how those thing actually fit together so that you CAN start losing weight
- helpful principles (as opposed to arbitrary rules) for sustainable weight loss
- and the one and only thing you ever have to do in order to vaporize a habit
As I never tire of saying, it's about 1,000,000x easier than they tell ya. It's not expensive, either.
So if you want to join me in saying adiós to eating problems forever and becoming a normal eater before the day is out, class starts on February 1.
Registration is open now, and all the details are here.
Image: Still Life with Lemon and Cut Glass, Maria Margaretha van Os, 1823 - 1826, Rijksmuseum. Used with permission.
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