Do You Enjoy or Live in Fear of Food?
I’ve been reading the new book Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat for Binge Eating, co-authored by Michelle May, MD and Kari Anderson, BH, LPC. One of the reasons I had heard about this book is that Dr. Anderson has joined our staff at Green Mountain at Fox Run just this week. We’re thrilled for her to bring her expertise in binge eating and binge eating disorder to add to our already powerful program in this area.
Fearless Eating: An Insightful Chapter
So hearing that Kari Anderson was coming to Vermont led me to her book. Eat What You Love… provides a very specific, step-by-step process for becoming a more mindful eater.
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Eat What You Want to Prevent Overeating
I’m reading along and impressed by the authors’ insights until I suddenly stop short at Chapter 6, “Fearless Eating“, which is about trusting yourself to “eat what you really want.” It’s something Marsha talks about quite a bit at Green Mountain but I have never quite trusted or been able to fully embrace this concept. Just hearing those words puts a knot in my stomach.
But when I saw it in print, it reinforced in a compelling way what I had already learned.
What is Competent Eating?
Fear-Based Eating: I can’t trust myself.
“And this belief of not trusting myself is a self-fulfilling prophecy… if I have even one bite of something, I will automatically binge. Depriving/restricting myself from certain foods gives them power over me. And this lack of self-trust often comes from a history of cycling between overeating and restrictive eating.”
Fearless Eating: I can trust myself to eat in a way that nourishes my body, mind and spirit.
“When I give myself unconditional permission to eat what I want, I’ll notice that food quickly loses the power and strong attraction it once had. I’ll begin to trust that I can choose from all the wonderful food choices available when I’m hungry.”
Learning To Trust Yourself Is The First Step In Fearless Eating
Hmmm. Trusting myself to give myself unconditional permission to eat what I want. How will I know if I am trustworthy unless I test this out?
So, on the second evening of the blazing heat wave smothering the Northeast, I found I had no appetite for a hot dinner. Or even cool salad (and I really do like salad). I did, however want ice cream.
I didn’t really feel I was craving it but that my upset stomach and over-heated system wanted a cool break with something sweet. So I made a Fearless Eating decision: I would eat what I want.
I skipped dinner and went out bought a cup of raspberry sorbet. It was perfect. It hit the spot. In my mouth and in my mind. I ate it slowly on the porch of the ice cream shop and enjoyed every drop. When I was finished, I was done. Calm. Satisfied. Happy.
If this is what Fearless Eating really feels like, my Fear-Based Eating days may be seriously numbered.
Learn About Our Program for Managing Binge Eating