Tag Archives: eating well

Radical Self Care

RASCAL

I am so excited to announce our new challenge on the Fit Fatties Forum called the RASCAL challenge.  This stands for Radical Activist for Self Care and Love.  In this challenge, we encourage you to think outside the box about what self-care means and we challenge you to prioritize self care in your life.  Given my current focus on healing, this challenge just could not have come at a better time.

One of the reasons I’m so excited about this challenge is that it helps us broaden our definition of what is included in the definition for “health”.  Some of us believe that being healthy means being thin.  If we are thin, we are healthy.  If we are not thin, we can’t be healthy.  I’ve talked quite a bit about this in the past.  There are lots of studies that indicate that simply isn’t true.  In particular, this study shows that healthy behavior is a better predictor of future health than BMI.  But this begs the question, what is healthy behavior?

Of course joyfully moving your body is a wonderful healthy behavior.  Of course eating in a way that is in tune with your body’s needs as well as your spiritual and emotional needs is a healthy behavior.  But is that all there is to wellness?  Eat an apple and go for a walk and you’ve got it covered?  I don’t think so.  To me health is nuanced and multidimensional.  And health involves self-care.  (Insert deep sigh here…) Why is it that so many of us are so good at taking care of other people and so lousy at taking care of ourselves?  Are we conditioned that way from birth?  I don’t know.  But I DO know that self care gives us the strength to help others.  Think about what the flight attendant says before you take off.  “First secure your own oxygen mask, then you can help small children and those around you.”  In other words, breathe.  Take a moment to care for yourself.

And that moment may involve eating something wonderful or going for a walk.  Or it may involve simply breathing.  Maybe your self-care moment is spending just a few seconds of your day simply being.  Maybe it means getting a little extra sleep.  Maybe it involves asking for help.  Maybe it involves doing a booty-shaking victory dance.  Maybe it means calling a friend and reconnecting.  Maybe it means writing a letter to someone who wronged you.  Maybe it just requires 5 minutes of quiet and a cup of tea.

Self-care is different for each of us.  But it is absolutely critical to our well being.  That’s why I’m so excited about the RASCAL challenge.  We’ve come up with over 100 official Radical Acts of Self Care and Love, and we’re challenging folks to do one of those acts every single day.  Aside from the intrinsic rewards that come from self love, we are ACTUALLY rewarding you with badges and encouragement and prizes for taking care of yourself.  Seriously.  How cool is that?

I hope you’ll join me in spending some time to take care of yourself this month, either by taking the challenge or simply choosing to do it on your own.  Because the world needs you to take care of you.

Love, Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)

Want to book me to speak to your group about radical self care?  Click here!

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Right Now Show Episode 010: Craving the 2K Cookie

Many of us have been taught that cravings are something to be thwarted, ignored or denied.  But our bodies have a way of insisting on getting what they want.  In this video you will learn about why it’s so important to pay attention to cravings, what happens when you ignore cravings and the very simplest and most effective way to deal with cravings.  You’ll also learn about the 2,000 calorie cookie, so check it out!

Intuitive eating can be extremely challenging.  But there is help out there.  Here are a few important resources:

The Fat Nutritionist

Ellyn Satter (especially in the area of family nutrition)

HAES(R) research about eating

And the amazing Golda Portetsky

Hope you get a chance to be good to yourself and treat your body well, right now!

Love,

The Fat Chick

Mindful Eating

mindfuleatingA friend of mine had the above picture in her facebook feed this morning and it got me thinking about mindful eating.  I gave it some thought, and I guess I’m of two minds when it comes to mindful eating.  There are many different definitions of eating mindfully.  From making sure that what you put on your plate is exactly what you crave, to setting the table with candles and linens and enjoying every bite, to eating alone and in silence to tune in to every morsel to putting your fork down between every bite to slow down the eating process.

On the one hand, I think there are some good ideas here.  I think it’s important to eat food that tastes delicious to you.  I think it’s a great idea to focus on enjoyment when you are eating and allow your body to extract pleasure from your food as well as nutrients.  I think I enjoy my food more when I am not eating in front of the television.  And I think I deserve wonderful meals with candlelight and tablecloths and even fresh flowers. In general, I think food tastes better when I am hungry and less wonderful when I am already full.

But I think mindful eating can taste a little bit like dieting when the rules become too rigid.  I think food tastes better when every bite is savored, but putting the fork down between each bite or chewing a prescribed number of times feels like restriction to me.  And sometimes I want to get together with my husband or my extended family or a group of friends and enjoy a meal together.  I think it’s important to enjoy not only the food I’m eating, but also the company I’m with.  And sometimes, I just want to eat a hotdog at a ball game or eat pizza in front of the TV.  And I think in a healthy food life, all of these things should be allowed and savored.

I think I am most in tune with those mindful eating experts who recommend spending some time learning to get in touch with your body if your relationship with food and eating has gotten really out of whack.  If you’ve never really learned to distinguish between when you are starving and stuffed, it makes sense to take some quiet time eating alone to sort that stuff out.  And there’s been a fair amount of work done that points out that distracted eating can often mean that you don’t get as much enjoyment out of food and feel less satisfied.  I believe this is true.  But I also believe that hot dogs taste better at the ball park and chips and salsa taste best at a restaurant with a few great friends and a lot of laughter.

In other words, I think mindful eating is wonderful, helpful and beautiful–in moderation.

I’d love to hear what you think!  Just drop me a note in the comments box.

Love,

The Fat Chick

Fine Dining Doesn’t Come Through the Window

In the name of true confessions, I eat in my car more than I would like.  I am really struggling to schedule my life a little less tightly so that I am not so tempted to just grab something to eat on the way to somewhere.  Because from the standpoint of being way overscheduled and experiencing multitasking run amok, the drive-thru is awesome.  From the standpoint of health, happiness, joy, wellness and having the remotest chance of actually enjoying my food, not so much really.

Now, I don’t want to dis drive thru dining if that floats your boat.  If you’re a consenting a-dult, you get to make your own choices.  I just know that eating drive thru while negotiating 80 MPH LA traffic which is randomly punctuated with 2 MPH LA traffic (encompassing both fast food and slow food in the same journey) is not conducive to good digestion.  And since eating can be a super-awesome pleasurable thing, it’s sad to see it reduced to a situation where I can’t enjoy it or focus on it.  Drive thru dining does not always offer the healthiest food options.  And the recent McDonalds apple slice recall is making me reluctant to order anything that hasn’t been cooked until it is well and truly dead.

So my little chickadees.  If drive through dining rocks your world, by all means, go to it.  But if it’s simply a matter of needing to prioritize joyful eating in your life, then I’d like to invite you to get up a few minutes earlier, drive a few minutes further and take a few minutes longer so you can sit down at a table, tuck your napkin under your chin, and really savor the tastes that life has to offer.
Love,

The Fat Chick