Blog Posts

5 strategies to deal with emotional eating in the moment (Guest Post on IQS)

This is a direct copy of a guest post I wrote for I Quit Sugar on 5 strategies to deal with emotional eating in the moment. The original post can be found here. You can also check out the I Quit Sugar 8 Week Program here.


There is a reason chick flicks show break-up scenes with a girl on the couch with a whole tub of ice cream and chocolate wrappers as a blanket.

And while I think it’s great that we can laugh at these scenes and at ourselves, it’s also a serious battle that many women face on a regular basis. One that can become a significant source of anxiety, guilt or shame.

There are physiological reasons why we crave sugar when we’re emotionally stressed. Which means there are some great strategies we can implement to help manage such situations and avoid emotional eating.

1. Don’t keep tempting foods or “trigger foods” in the house.

If Tim Tams or a block of Cadbury are an all or nothing free-for-all for you, it’s best to save them for special occasions or when dining out.

2. Buy smaller.

Ever opened a big block of chocolate with the intention of having a couple of squares, only to hear said chocolate block calling your name from the cupboard?

Yep. I know. It can be hard. One way to help is to buy smaller packets of indulgent foods. It creates another “barrier” or “stopping point” as I like to call it. It was actually one of the first steps I took to heal myself from emotional eating.

3. Practise the 20-minute rule.

Once you experience an emotional eating trigger, or craving and are about to act on it, set a timer for 20 minutes.

In that 20 minutes you need to drink a big glass of water or herbal tea, take 10 deep belly breathes, do ONE chore (e.g. put the clothes away), and ask yourself “Will having X food solve X feeling? How will I feel after consuming X food?”.

Then once the 20 minutes is up, reassess the cost versus benefit of giving into the emotional food craving.

4. Keep a journal.

Every time you manage to successfully implement the above strategy and avoid entering an emotional eating food coma, write down how you feel.

Likewise, when you DO give into the emotional food cravings and have a “binge” episode, write it down.

Use this journal to reference back to during your 20-minute rule above to remind yourself of how you felt when you both avoided and gave into the emotional food cravings. It will help, trust me.

5. Change your reward system.

This is more of a long-term, root cause strategy that I’d encourage you to actively work on in the background.

Instead of routinely rewarding your achievements or behaviour with food (even healthy food), I want you to reward yourself with some other form of self-care.

Some great ideas include getting a massage, a facial, a date night without the kids, a new pair of yoga pants or an afternoon hike in the woods.

This will help create a healthier relationship with food. Remember, you do NOT have to earn your food!

 

Pop any questions you have in the comments below or on social media!

IQS 8-Week Program


Want To Know More?

If you haven’t already received your FREE eBook, “The Perfect Digestion” solution, then lookout for the pop-up or banner.

I’ve also produced an amazing self-help guide on “Healing Digestive Discomfort”– this is the best resource on the market for beginning to diagnose and treat your own gut issues.

Browse through our previous episodes of “The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast” (also available on iTunes) and get the lowdown on issues of relevance for you!

You can also use the search bar below to find great previous articles, like my previous IQS guest post on Thyroid Function.

And if you’re still totally stuck, then book in to see me! I offer personalised Skype consults for anybody, anywhere.

Nat x

Get MAXIMUM Benefit From Your Liver Detox Smoothie

Liver Detox Smoothie
Discover the OPTIMAL combination for a Liver Detox Smoothie, and boost your vegetable intake for great gut health and a FASTER liver detox!

Does a Liver Detox Smoothie Even Work?

Green smoothies can be really helpful in increasing your vegetable intake…but far too often a green smoothie can turn into a sugary beverage.

I’m sorry to say but this is going to do more harm to your liver detox efforts, gut health and overall inflammation levels than the benefits of ½ a cucumber you chucked in to call it a green smoothie.

If you’re serious about gut health or taking care of your liver, then increasing your intake of high-quality vegetables should be a high priority. A (proper) green smoothie is a great way to about it, and those vital nutrients will soon be working wonders on your insides!

The OPTIMAL Liver Detox Smoothie

A green smoothie should (in my opinion) contain low sugar fruit only, or use ½ serve of a higher sugar fruit. It should also contain as many veggies as you can.

My go-to’s are cucumber, frozen zucchini (trust me), spinach, and avocado. Of course you can branch out more than that.

Adding “thickness” by using ice, frozen fruit/veg, avocado or coconut milk also makes it more like a meal. The smoothie becomes something you have to “eat” rather than drink. This helps with satiety and promotes a healthier response in your body.

Finally, I’d encourage you to limit the green smoothies to once per day. Don’t displace other nutrient-dense solid foods in your diet simply for the sake of convenience.


Want To Know More?

I have some amazing resources to get you fired up and on the way to a successful Liver Detox!

STEP 1: Get your free copy of “The Perfect Digestion Solution” (sign-up via the side bar above)

STEP 2: Read the first article in this series “Don’t Try To Liver Cleanse Without Reading This First

STEP 3: Read the second article in this series “Want To Know Which Foods Really Help Your Liver Detox?

STEP 4: Get the ULTIMATE Liver Detox Smoothie Recipe here!


Like what you see??? Use the SHARE buttons below to spread the message with friends and family who could benefit!

Nat x

Don’t Try To Liver Cleanse Without Reading This First

Is it time for a liver cleanse?
Is it time for a liver cleanse?

Most people have been lead to believe that a liver cleanse is a simple matter. Just combine a lemon detox diet with a “Feb Fast” or “Dry July”, right?  Well allow me to set the record straight!

Time To Liver Cleanse

So you’re feeling like crap, hey? Was it 1 too many drinks over the weekend or just a slow decline into a sloth-like toxic state of being?

Either way you’ve decided that enough is enough. It’s time to clean out the old bod! Well a liver cleanse or detox is a great place to start, and you’re about to find out what it takes to make sure you succeed!

Beneath The Surface

Despite the dumbed-down approach to liver detox diets by trendy celebrity magazines, it’s actually a delicate 3(ish)-phase process.

You should also be aware that liver cleanse is a misleading term! You cannot manually force toxins from your body, so the idea of consuming weird and wacky potions is simply a ploy to make you buy unneeded products.

The BEST approach you can take for a liver cleanse is to consistently make positive diet and lifestyle choices that allow your body to naturally purge toxins.


For those looking for a technical explanation on what actually happens during the liver detox process I’ve covered the main “science-y” elements beneath (face it, I’m a foodie nerd).

If science is not your thing then skip to the next article and get the simple summary of what to do!


Phase 1 Liver Detox/Cleanse – Toxin “Conversion”

There are three phases of liver detoxification and all involve slightly different enzymes, nutrients and processes.

The first phase of liver detoxification mainly involves the family of P450 enzymes. These little critters are responsible for converting toxins that enter your system into “intermediate metabolites”. This is like round 1 of a boxing match where you soften up your opponent before looking for the knockout!

An important side note: these metabolites are actually MORE toxic than the original toxins! Which is why it’s REALLY important that the whole system is working well and we transition into Phase 2 pronto.

How did those toxins get there? Through your food, alcohol, the air you breathe, your own endogenous (internal) hormone production, chemical products that you put on your body and various other compounds that you come into contact with. (MAJOR CLUE 1)

Are you already beginning to see that there’s more to a liver detox than simply cutting back on your weekend binges?

Phase 2 Liver Detox/Cleanse – Toxin “Breakdown”

In Phase 2 our little toxic metabolites are changed yet again. They’re turned into water-soluble molecules, allowing them to be excreted safely through bile, stool and urine.

The main processes that ensure this happens include glucuronidation, sulfation, glycination, glutathionation and amino acid conjugation. Holy cow Batgirl!

The only thing you need to know about these tongue-twisting terms is that they need nutrients  to work properly. (MAJOR CLUE 2)

Phase 1 and 2 Liver Detox Process
Phase 1 and 2 Liver Detox Process (Image Credit: thepaleomom.com)

Phase 3 Liver Cleanse – Toxin “Purge”

If you thought Phase 2 sounded complex then Phase 3 makes it look like finger painting.

An “antiporter activity” system is triggered in your small intestine, hence why gut health is so important to detoxification. (MAJOR CLUE 3)

Once Phase 2 has converted our metabolites into water-soluble compounds, these antiporter proteins get to work. They act as pumps, pushing the hydrophilic (water loving) metabolites out of hepatocytes (liver cells).

This is where things commonly go wrong. If there’s underlying inflammation in the liver, then Phase 3 detox occurs very sluggishly.

Highly toxic metabolites start to accumulate, like a quickly growing traffic jam of angry motorists stuck behind a poor L-plater (we’ve all been there).

I picture Augustus Gloop stuck in Willy Wonkers chocolate pipe, moments before the pressure becomes too great and he’s rapidly ejected! See what happens when you eat too much chocolate…

A Note On Intermittent Fasting

The same toxic build up occurs if you practise intermittent fasting but have inadequate gut health.

In this instance, fasting is a form of detoxification because it causes your cells to break down fat. And fat is largely where the body stores excess toxins.

This then becomes a big problem if the liver doesn’t have enough nutrients available to convert and purge toxins. And it’s compounded by inadequate movement of waste out of your system.

So if your gut and liver health is poor already then you have no way to eliminate these free-floating toxins and the vicious cycle repeats itself!

Nutrients and Bacteria For A Successful Liver Cleanse

As you can see, liver detox is quite a complex process! It’s important to note that Phases 2 and 3 especially require more nutrients than you would get purely from a green juice fast alone.

Bacteria also play a significant role in these processes. Beneficial bacteria strains help support the detox process to run as smoothly as possible.

However, the reverse is also true of dysbiotic or pathogenic bacteria. Dysbiosis (a.k.a. an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in the gut) can actually increase the recirculation of toxins which is definitely not what we want!

So we started this conversation around a Liver Cleanse, but the biggest take away should be to LOOK AFTER YOUR GUT HEALTH!

Where To Start With Optimising Your Gut Health

STEP 1: Get your free copy of “The Perfect Digestion Solution” (see sign-up bar above right)

STEP 2: Get your copy of my A-Z guide for “Healing Digestive Discomfort

STEP 3: Search for “gut health” in the search bar and browse my previous posts, podcasts and recipes

STEP 4: Still in trouble? Stop suffering and start healing ASAP by booking in to see me! I offer personalised Skype consults for anybody, anywhere.


Liver Cleanse Wrap-Up

So that wraps up today’s lesson. I trust that you now know a lot more about how to go about a liver cleanse!

For the follow-up to this article, I’ve outlined 10 things you MUST INCLUDE with any liver cleanse, and 10 things you MUST AVOID.

Oh, and if you like what you’re reading then SHARE IT with someone who needs to know!!!

Nat x

4-Ingredient Easy “Peppermint Chocolate” Recipe (Paleo, GF, DF, V, AIP)

Peppermint Chocolate Recipe

Looking for a delicious chocolate alternative this Easter? Try out this Peppermint Chocolate recipe with just 4 essential ingredients. It’s also Paleo-friendly, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan and autoimmune paleo-friendly!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cacao powder or carob powder
    *For AIP friendly version, choose carob powder
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 4-5 drops of doTerra peppermint essential oil
  • 3-4 tbsp. sweetener of choice (e.g. honey, maple syrup, rice malt syrup)
    *For a Vegan option choose rice malt syrup or maple syrup
  • Dash of salt (optional, though it tastes great!)
 

Instructions

  1. Melt the coconut oil in a saucepan over very low heat
  2. Add in your sweetener of choice and stir to combine
  3. Add in the cacao powder or carob powder (for a smoother texture it is best to sift in first). Whisk the cacao powder until everything looks shiny
  4. Remove from heat, continue to whisk until it is completely smooth
  5. Add in peppermint essential oil. Give it a quick stir and taste (someone has to do it, right?). Adjust sweetness if needed
  6. Pour into chocolate moulds, or just into a flat baking tray and place in the freezer to set
  7.  Remove once set, break into pieces and serve!

Looking For More Delicious Chocolate Recipes?

Check out my previous recipes for:

Gut Healing Creamy Berry Smoothie

IQS Clean n Green Smoothies

Berry Smoothie Goodness

This lean, mean gut-healing concoction is one of my personal favourites! I love having a berry smoothie almost daily; as you can see from the ingredients list this is packed full of veggies and is a great way to heal your gut. Those berries definitely add a little natural sweetness and tartness!

Ingredients (Serves 1)

200-300mL of filtered water

1/2 avocado

1 handful organic baby spinach

1 small organic cucumber

100g of frozen organic berries of choice (about a cup). I love the “Oob” brand from Coles

2 tsp. pure stevia leaf powder (you can switch this out for another sweetener of choice, or none at all, whatever floats your boat really!)

2 tbsp. grass fed gelatin

1 tbsp. slippery elm powder

Contents of 1 probiotic capsule (I personally use the BioCeuticals Ultra Biotic 45 for general probiotic support, though there’s many similar high quality products on the market)

Instructions

Blend and enjoy! Yep, that simple.

PS. Can you do me a 10 second favour? If you like what you see then please SHARE IT via one of the social buttons and spread the love 🙂

Nat x


Want More Great Advice to Help Heal Your Gut?

If you haven’t already received your FREE eBook, “The Perfect Digestion” solution, then lookout for the pop-up or banner.

I’ve also produced an amazing self-help guide on “Healing Digestive Discomfort”– this is the best resource on the market for beginning to diagnose and treat your own gut issues

Healing your gut has been extensively covered in our discussions on “The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast”.

I’ve written some in-depth articles in the past; you can search for these using the bar below, or try out this post on gut health.

I also have some delicious recipes for gummies, including Creamy Raspberry Probiotic Gummies and Choc Banana & Mint Gelatin Gummies!

And if you’re still totally stuck, then book in to see me! I offer personalised Skype consults for anybody, anywhere.

IQS Clean n Green Smoothies

Is Sugar Stressing Out Your Adrenals (To The Point Of “Adrenal Fatigue”)? (Guest Post on I Quit Sugar)


This is a direct copy of a guest post I wrote for I Quit Sugar on how sugar affects your adrenals, sometimes contributing to “Adrenal Fatigue”! The original post can be found here. You can also check out the I Quit Sugar 8 Week Program here.


Exhausted? Stressed? Foggy? Dizzy? You could be suffering from “Adrenal Fatigue”.

Why the quotation marks? “Adrenal fatigue” is the laymans term for something more accurately known as Hypothalamic Pituitary Axis Dysregulation, or HPA Axis Dysregulation for short (kind of).

It means the way body responds to stress has gone bung. It can affect your cortisol levels, your ability to regulate blood sugar, your blood pressure and your energy levels. Not fun!


What causes adrenal fatigue in the first place?

Our modern lifestyle is a recipe for disaster when it comes to adrenal fatigue.

Common contributing factors include high stress levels, chronic over-exercise, calorie restriction or lack of sleep, as well as excessive amounts of caffeine and (you guessed it) a high-sugar, nutrient-poor diet.

It is never ONE factor alone that causes adrenal fatigue. It’s more an accumulation of things over time that drags you down this path.

So what’s sugar got to do with it?

The thing is this; when you consume foods high in sugar, it causes a rapid rise and then fall in your blood sugar levels.

Your body responds by asking the adrenal glands to release cortisol (your “stress hormone”). Which is an effort to get the body to find (or make) some more glucose to bring your blood sugar levels back up. It pretty much views this dramatic dip in blood sugar as an emergency.

Anytime this process happens, the HPA axis is slapped awake and told to get to work ASAP. As you can imagine, over time, the HPA axis gets a little tired of doing this job and stops working efficiently.

This sounds like me…

If you think you might be suffering from adrenal fatigue, it’s important to visit a dietitian, nutritionist or doctor to discuss a treatment plan that’s best suited for you.

But there are some things we all should be doing to stave off adrenal fatigue and heal the body from the inside out.

  1. Avoid a high sugar diet. The I Quit Sugar: 8-Week Program is an excellent place to start!
  2. Don’t skip meals if you have adrenal fatigue, are currently engaging in high intensity activity, or are going through a particularly stressful time.
  3. Eat a high-protein breakfast to stabilise your blood sugar throughout the day. Get more great ideas here.
  4. Don’t go too low carb. Focus on whole food, nutrient-dense carbohydrates (like the ones in starchy vegetables) and eat them alongside protein and fat to help with maintaining steady energy levels.
  5. Get 8 hours of quality sleep each night. Avoiding sources of blue-light such as computer screens, TVs and phones at least an hour before bed can be super helpful with this.

Pop any questions you have in the comments below or on social media!

IQS 8-Week Program


Want To Know More?

If you haven’t already received your FREE eBook, “The Perfect Digestion” solution, then lookout for the pop-up or banner.

I’ve also produced an amazing self-help guide on “Healing Digestive Discomfort”– this is the best resource on the market for beginning to diagnose and treat your own gut issues.

Browse through our previous episodes of “The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast” (also available on iTunes) and get the lowdown on issues of relevance for you!

You can also use the search bar below to find great previous articles, like my previous IQS guest post on Thyroid Function.

And if you’re still totally stuck, then book in to see me! I offer personalised Skype consults for anybody, anywhere.

Nat x

Heal Your Gut with this Easy Choc Banana & Mint Gelatin Recipe

Heal Your Gut with this Easy Choc Banana & Mint Gelatin Recipe
Heal Your Gut with this Easy Choc Banana & Mint Gelatin Recipe!

Y’all know that gut health is my passion! It plays some part in assisting with every health condition, large or small. So taking every measure to heal your gut and support its optimal function is my natural recommendation!

This easy-peasy “Choc Banana & Mint” gelatin recipe is a great way to help heal your gut…and enjoy a delicious, guilt-free treat too 🙂

Ingredients

2 tbsp. gelatin
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup chopped ripe banana
1/2 cup coconut cream
2 drops doTerra Peppermint Essential oil
1-2 tbsp. honey, maple syrup or rice malt syrup (OPTIONAL – only if you have a sweet tooth; I usually leave this out)
1 tbsp. cacao powder (or you can use carob powder if you prefer)

Instructions

1. ‘Bloom’ the gelatin by mixing 1/3 cup cold water with 2 tbsp. gelatin. Set aside to rest
2. In a small saucepan over medium heat combine coconut cream, banana, cacao, sweetener of choice (if using) and peppermint
3. Stir and mash the banana until it softens significantly and all ingredients are well combined
4. Add in ‘bloomed’ gelatin, turn heat off and whisk with a fork until the gelatin dissolves
5. Using a stick blender, blend all of the ingredients in the saucepan until no lumps of chunks of banana remain (I literally just do it in the saucepan, I don’t bother transfering it to another bowl)
6. Pour into ice cube moulds or into a flat baking tray or container of choice and set aside in the fridge for an hour to set

Enjoy!

PS. Can you do me a quick favour? If you like what you see then please use one of the social share buttons to spread the love to others who need to see this!

Nat x


Want More Great Advice to Help Heal Your Gut?

If you haven’t already received your FREE eBook, “The Perfect Digestion” solution, then lookout for the pop-up or banner.

I’ve also produced an amazing self-help guide on “Healing Digestive Discomfort”– this is the best resource on the market for beginning to diagnose and treat your own gut issues

Healing your gut has been extensively covered in our discussions on “The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast”.

I’ve written some in-depth articles in the past; you can search for these using the bar below, or try out this post on gut health.

I also have another great recipe for Creamy Raspberry Probiotic Gummies!

And if you’re still totally stuck, then book in to see me! I offer personalised Skype consults for anybody, anywhere.

Gut Lovin' Pack

5 Habits That Could Be Messing With Your Thyroid Function: A Dietitian Explains (Guest Post on I Quit Sugar)

This post is a direct copy of a guest post that I wrote for I Quit Sugar on Thyroid Function and habits that might be putting it out of wack! The original post can be found here. You can also check out the I Quit Sugar 8 Week Program here.

Your thyroid – a little butterfly shaped gland in your neck – is pretty important.

It’s responsible for your metabolism and the “energy” of every single cell in your body. So we need to make sure we’re taking care of it!

There are some eating habits that can muck with your thyroid function without you even realising it. Luckily, most of them are pretty easily taken care of.

1. You’re eating too much sugar

Sugar messes with your blood glucose regulation and causes inflammation in the body. Inflammation suppresses the production of T3 (the “active” thyroid hormone that your body can actually use).

It also messes with your gut bacteria. Did you know roughly 20% of your thyriod production (or activation) happens in your gut!? Yep. True story.

Struggling to quit sugar though? I am a huge fan of the I Quit Sugar 8 Week Program!

2. You’re not eating enough iodine

Iodine is essential for the conversion of “inactive” T4 thyroid hormone to “active” T3.

The mineral isn’t super abundant in whole foods (ironically, processed foods often contain higher levels). So if you’re JERFing, you might be missing out on your daily requirement (unless you’re eating sea vegetables or iodised salt).

My personal favourite way to get iodine in is to use nori sushi sheets as wraps!

3. You’re not eating enough carbs

While too much insulin (a hormone secreted in response to the intake of carbohydrates) can be damaging to your health, a bit of it is critical for the conversion of inactive T4 to active T3 hormone.

This is NOT a license to go gung-ho on the white bread! The best approach is to make sure you’re getting a couple of serves of whole carbohydrates a day.

My favourites are pumpkin, potato, sweet potato, carrots and plantains (yep, veggies contain carbs!). The amount you need will vary from individual to individual, but use that as a starting point.

4. You’re eating too much raw kale

Holy smokes, did she just say I can eat too much kale!? Yep, I did.

Veggies known as goitrogenic vegetables – like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, sweet potato, cassava – can inhibit the uptake of iodine in your thyroid gland, which consequently inhibits the production of T3.

Does that mean give up the broc forever? Absolutely not! It’s worth noting that cooking these veggies significantly reduces their goitrogenic properties.

But I would caution against having multiple serves of them raw every day, especially if you are suffering from suppressed thyroid function already.

5. You’re not getting enough selenium

Selenium is a trace mineral that helps support healthy thyroid function.

The easiest way to get enough is through brazil nuts – just two contain your entire recommended daily intake! If you’re not particularly fond of brazil nuts, or have a nut allergy, other nutrient dense sources include seafood and grass fed meat.


Want to know more about Thyroid Function?

You can listen to The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast where we discuss Underactive Thyroid or my previous post on Underactive Thyroid Symptoms and how to determine the underlying cause.

As always, please get in touch via email or leave a comment with any questions you may have!

Nat x

IQS 8-Week Program

Creamy Raspberry Probiotic Gummies

Creamy Raspberry Probiotic Gummies
Creamy Raspberry Probiotic Gummies

Probiotic Gummies

These Creamy Raspberry Probiotic Gummies are SO easy to make and pack a punch of gut healing goodness. With the benefits of probiotics AND gelatin (a potent gut healer) your insides will be feeling rejuvenated in no time. Plus they are delicious!

Ingredients

¾ cup coconut milk kefir (you can also use goat milk kefir, regular kefir, or coconut cream. However the probiotic benefit comes from the ‘kefir’ part)
1 cup frozen raspberries
2 tablespoons of sweetener of choice (e.g. honey, maple syrup, or rice malt syrup…or 5-10 drops stevia…Omit the sweetener if you like…it will still work!)
¼ cup grass-fed gelatin

Instructions

1. Place kefir and raspberries in a blender and combine until smooth and creamy. Tip this mixture into a saucepan.
2. Add the sweetener of choice (optional) and gelatin, stirring to combine and allowing the gelatin to mix through. It should form a thick-ish paste.
3. Turn the temperature down to low and continue stirring until the mixture becomes thin. It will take about 5 minutes or so.
4. Pour the mixture into a shallow baking dish, or some silicone molds if you have them. Allow the mixture to set in the fridge. It will take about an hour or so.
5. Remove from the moulds or cut using a knife if you have used a baking dish.

Enjoy!

PS. Can you do me a quick favour? If you love what you see then please SHARE IT and  spread the probiotic gummies goodness around!

Nat x


Want More Great Advice to Help Heal Your Gut?

If you haven’t already received your FREE eBook, “The Perfect Digestion” solution, then lookout for the pop-up or banner.

I’ve also produced an amazing self-help guide on “Healing Digestive Discomfort”– this is the best resource on the market for beginning to diagnose and treat your own gut issues.

Healing your gut has been extensively covered in our discussions on “The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast”.

I’ve written some in-depth articles in the past; you can search for these using the bar below, or try out this post on gut health.

I also have another delicious Choc Banana & Mint Gelatin Recipe!

And if you’re still totally stuck, then book in to see me! I offer personalised Skype consults for anybody, anywhere.

Gut Lovin' Pack

Building Positive Body Image: Tips for Overcoming Disordered Eating

Positive Body Image

If you’re reading this chances are you’ve suffered from, or are suffering from having an unhealthy relationship with food and hoping the day will come when you do truly have a positive body image.

Many of you will be (hyper) aware of your own issues around food, but perhaps you’re stuck in a perpetual cycle of guilt, anxiety, frustration, and fear. It seems much easier to continue doing what you’re doing than to face the internal battle of truly learning to love yourself as you are.

It takes A LOT of strength to truly be body positive. 

Examples of many thoughts that plagued me for years are:

Who will I be if I am not the girl with the fit body, the rigid exercise routine and the perfect food diary?

Why will people value me if it isn’t for my discipline, self control, determination, endurance and toned physique?

These are all thoughts I have had to overcome myself. They are also all thoughts that many of my clients have battled through to finally find freedom and establish a positive body image after years of self loathing.

Moral of the story? You’re not alone. And while that may provide some comfort to you, it’s not going to change your situation until you make that decision yourself.


If nothing changes, nothing changes

 

So in the hope of giving you some practical advice from people who have been there, I have gathered some tips from a few amazing women, just like you. These are all women who have been where you are and who are out the other side- comfortable in their skin and building a positive body image everyday. 

You have the power to change. You may think that’s an impossible task but I promise you this. If you use as much determination in applying self love as you do in sticking to your rigid rules, you WILL succeed.

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Let’s get started. Here is what they had to say…

Alexandra Barone from Happy Body Formula

  1. What was one thing that helped you overcome your eating disorder and/or negative body image?
  • Coming forward with the truth. While I had an eating disorder in some form for nearly ten years, it was now visible, and I grew frustrated with people’s concerns and compliments alike! It’s very difficult to receive praise when that praise is regarding the deepest, darkest pain that you possess.
  • I was dedicated to recovery initially for someone else’s sake, but I realised I had to accept my illness for what it was – an illness, not a choice I had made – and tell other people what my suffering was like.
  • I began a blog, I started talking openly to friends and family, and now I coach large groups of people who want to heal their relationship with food! In the end, the “one thing” was vulnerability which connected me to myself, to others and now to my career.
  1. What habits do you practise now to help keep those thoughts at bay & to build a positive body image?
  • letting go of guilt first and foremost. Guilt can’t add anything good to a bad situation, so learning to work through that when I feel it coming on – especially surrounding food – is vital. Otherwise, my emotions have potential to get the best of me!
  • Practising self-love. Once again, I know my negative thoughts surrounding food and/or my body are a downward spiral in the works. I have to see that those thoughts are a product of disordered thought and recognise them as false.
  • I’ve learned to use my body in ways that it will amaze me! The outdoors taught me this above all. While I did enjoy the gym post-recovery, being outside and hiking have become my solace in the world. It allows me to focus on what my body is good at, and the reward (the view!) is my confirmation.

Krissy from PrettyWeeThings

  1.  What was one thing that helped you overcome your eating disorder and/or negative body image?

I made a choice to talk to my then-boyfriend (now husband) about my struggles with disordered eating and it was the best choice I have ever made. Those feelings aren’t meant to be dealt with alone. Having someone I trusted and who was non-judgemental and supportive was life changing.

  1. What habits do you practise now to help keep those thoughts at bay & to build a positive body image?
  • I eat to fuel, to nourish, and to inspire my two children
  • I eat for pleasure. I still eat sugar and I don’t eat ‘perfectly’.  I don’t follow diets and I never deprive myself.  
  • I now eat it in a holistic way that is kind to my body and my mind. I also eat to inspire those around me. Because if I can change my health, you can too.

Lorna-Head of Content at I Quit Sugar

  1. What was one thing that helped you overcome your eating disorder and/or negative body image?

There was no one thing that led to me overcoming my eating disorder, but a few of the things that really contributed were to:

  • Stop counting calories, points, macros or any other measurements (once you stop counting you don’t have to think about food so much)
  • Start eating real whole satiating foods as nature intended them – fat and all – rather than low-fat processed stuff that I thought was healthy
  • Stop avoiding or doing anything on principle and listen to what my body wants. If I want to eat bread, I do. If I want to do gentle yoga instead of a run, I’ll do it!
  • Believe in myself inside and out – my body is strong and healthy (it can run marathons!), my mind is capable and creative (I’ve achieved a lot!), and I have an incredible partner and amazing friends who love me. I’m so much more than a number on the scale!
  1. What habits do you practise now to help keep those thoughts at bay & to build a positive body image?

To remind myself of all the above, to be kind and gentle always, and to surround myself with happy positive people who are healthy because they love to be, but who also love a good glass of Shiraz!

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I’d love to hear from you as well. What has helped you build a more positive body image? What do you still implement to this day to help you in your healing journey?

Likewise, please reach out if you are struggling. As Alex and Krissy pointed out. This is not a battle you need to fight alone and there is so much help out there. You just have to ask.

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