Book alert! I think I just found a great one. It's by non-diet dietitian and eating disorder recovery specialist, Heidi Schauster, who I may have heard on the Food Psych podcast. It's a blur now. Her book came out in April of this year. It's called Nourish: How to Heal Your Relationship with Food, Body, and Self.
Here is what I have highlighted just from the intro and first chapter:
I tell prospective nutrition-therapy clients that I don’t do weight-loss counseling in my practice because I feel that it’s unethical.
Eating disorders don’t exist in third-world countries, where food is scarce and the aesthetic ideal is not thin.
If you fear and detest weight gain, you may not feed yourself well all day, only to find yourself binge-eating at night. If you wish to be thinner, you may make food choices that are about calories and not about your own body’s wisdom about what it wants at that moment. Then you feel unsatisfied and find yourself looking for the cookies later. By focusing on weight loss—instead of balance, health, and nourishment—you may promote the very weight gain that you want to abolish.
If we don’t get enough calories to meet our needs, we don’t just drop dead (at least not right away); the body just does what it does slower. That’s why many chronic restrictive dieters have irritable bowel and constipation on their problem list—slow-digestion problems. Those with severe anorexia nervosa have dangerously slow heart rates. Restrictive dieters’ hair might get thinner, and their menstrual periods might stop. When we’re not eating enough, our hearts keep beating, and our brains keep functioning. The calories go to the vital body functions, but they don’t go to the not-so-vital ones, like hair or fertility or keeping us warm.
Dieters often feel colder than everyone around them, or foggy in the head, or exhausted and fatigued all of the time. The diet industry wants you to believe that’s all about sugar or gluten or something else that you should eliminate. Food sensitivities (which we’ll visit in Step 9) are real for some people, but I can’t tell you how many times symptoms of sluggishness, fatigue, lack of focus, and slow digestion go away when clients simply start eating more food—any food, and especially carbohydrates, which diet culture vilifies.
What is a non-diet way of maintaining your own healthy body weight, no matter what body type you were born with?
Non-diet eating involves:
Listening to what the body needs
Responding to internal cues of hunger instead of external cues (sight, smell, the power of suggestion) most of the time
Not turning to food to deal with stress
Being personally in charge of food choices instead of being controlled by a diet prescription
Realizing that feeling healthy and taking good care of your body will make you more attractive than a diet will
Abandoning short-term weight loss for long-term and lasting self-confidence, health, and wellness
Having space for more nourishing pursuits and for what matters in life
This woman is speaking my language!!! There were times in my journey when I'd have agreed with everything she says, but been SO threatened by it. She must be wrong. She must have an agenda. She must be fat and not care. She doesn't understand me. I'm different. I need to restrict. There are times when it's necessary, people it works for...blah, blah, blah.
If anyone else checks it out, I would LOVE to hear your thoughts and have a discussion. I'll post more insights and highlights as I go.