Tag Archives: Intuitive Eating

“Guilt-Free Holiday Partying”

ProducersGuildParty

Hubby and I get started on some guilt-free holiday revelry at the Producer’s Guild Holiday Party.

Over the past few weeks, the media has been requesting experts to comment on recipes and plans for “guilt-free” holiday dining.  I have a lot of suggestions, but somehow, they haven’t been picked up.  They tell me that the items I am pitching are not what the media outlets are looking for.  The media is looking for recipes for low fat appetizers and low-calorie cookies.  They are looking for plans about how to get through the party without eating “too much”.  And they are looking for advice about what should eat to look hot in the LBD (Little Black Dress) you bought for the New Year’s Eve party.

Well here on my very own blog, let me offer you some thoughts.

Here’s how to make any holiday recipe, guilt free:

1.  Stir up, cook, bake or make your favorite recipe.

2.  Eat some of it.

3.  Enjoy it.

4.  Decide not to feel guilty about it.

I know it seems overly simplistic.  In a world where we are taught to binge on Saturday and Sunday and restrict and regret on Monday, this is some heavy-duty out of the box thinking.  But seriously folks,  can we just decide to give ourselves the holiday gift of not feeling guilty every time we put a morsel of food in our mouths?  Just because the media tells us that we have to feel awful every time we eat, doesn’t mean we have to actually do it.

And here’s a strategy for eating any holiday party:

1.  Tell yourself you are there to have fun.

2.  Tell yourself that you are taking a holiday from restriction and regrets.

3.  Tell yourself that any treat you see is allowed at any time, not just at a party and not just during the holidays.

4.  Eat what you want.

5.  Enjoy what you eat.

6.  Stop when you want.

7.  Eat whatever it is that you want!

Let’s simply take the time to enjoy holiday treats while they are here.  And since we know we can enjoy those treats on Monday (or any day of the week) if we want to, maybe we can put aside the need for the crazy weekend binge.

And finally,

How to Look Great in Your New Year’s Eve Little Black Dress

1.  Find an awesome dress.

2.  Put it on.

3.  Strut your stuff.

See?  That was easy!  No need for diets or foundation garments that squeeze you until your hair is taller or strategies for slimming.  Just put on a dress and ROCK. THAT. THING.

I hope my holiday strategies are helpful to you.  Even though you won’t be seeing them in your favorite newsstand magazine.

Love,

Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)

P.S. Want me to talk to YOUR group about guilt-free living?  Click HERE.

P.S.S.  Want to get on my mailing list and get free stuff?  Click HERE.

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Red Carpet Walk–No Diet, No Girdle, No Regrets

PGA_AwardsYou know what I did last night?  I went to a the Producers Guild Awards in Beverly Hills.  You know what I didn’t do?  Give even one hoot about whether or not I was thin enough to be there.  I wore something I had saved up in my closet.  I didn’t have on sky-high heels or even a foundation garment.  No Spanx.  No control-top pantyhose.  (Hell this is LA, who wears pantyhose?)  I sat at my table in the Beverly Hilton–right where, just one week ago the Golden Globes were held.  I was in the same room (separated by literally miles of tables of course and more handlers than you could shake a stick at) with Ron Howard and Brad Pitt and ate as much as my stomach could comfortably hold, because it looked good and I was hungry.  I went to an awards show and had fun and felt good and was comfortable as can be.  And it was awesome.

Today, for Healthy Weight Week, the question was asked, “How might life be different for someone who decided to stop hating their body.”  And I’d humbly like to suggest, that this, THIS is how life is different.  I didn’t even think about going on a diet to get ready for this event.  I pulled something beautiful out of the closet that I knew would fit, because I’m no longer weight cycling.  I had very fancy clothing in my closet that didn’t require me to put on a girdle or a corset or even stomach-punishing pantyhose to fit.  When I was standing in line to have my picture taken at the step and repeat, my friends talked about their January juice fasts and cleanses and body programs.  I then outlined my program: I find exercise that I really love and do it as much as I can because it’s fun.  Then I eat whatever the F*$! I want as long as it tastes good and feels good in my body.  I think they are more than a little bit jealous.

And when my beautiful salad arrived and the waiter asked if I wanted dressing, I said yes please, and a little bit more please because, hell yes I wanted dressing.  When he asked if I wanted bread, I took without apology, the big, yummy parmesan triangle thing right on the top, large enough to sail a small boat, and I enjoyed the heck out of it too.  When the inevitable chicken composed with 4 grilled baby vegetables arrived, I devoured most of it.  When dessert showed up, I devoured that too–ice cream and all.  Not because I might not get to eat naughty food tomorrow.  Or because I knew I wasn’t planning on allowing myself ice cream ever again.  Just because it tasted good and I was hungry.

And yes, I definitely went to the after party in the penthouse and shook hands with Morgan Freeman (who by the way, is just as nice as you’ve heard).  And I didn’t worry even a little bit about if he thought I was fat.

Despite what you may think, not everybody in LA goes to these celebrity shindigs.  I am very, very grateful to be on the national board of the Producers Guild of America and get to go to this type of event from time to time.  But I’m even more grateful to my sisters and brothers in  acceptance for teaching me to go and feel completely at home in my body and completely unconcerned about looking very, very different from the vast majority of those treading the red carpet.

I am so grateful.

And that is why I post my glittery picture.  Partly because I’m excited to show you a picture of me all dressed up.  But also to let you know that this fat girl is here and she is representin’!  In sparkly, but comfortable shoes.  With a full tummy and an even fuller heart.

Love, Jeanette (AKA The Fat Chick)

Just What the #$%&! am I Supposed to Eat!?!

eatmyshorts

So have you seen the article in the New York Times that says it might be okay to eat salt again?  It seems some recent research is calling into question the American Heart Association’s recommendation of 1,500 milligrams a salt per day.  Now on the one hand, this question is almost moot, because it’s nearly impossible to achieve 1,500 milligrams of salt a day and do things like occasionally eat food that has had any processing, eat out once in a while, or you know, live in the modern world.   On the other hand, there are some indications that consuming sodium levels as low as 1,500 milligrams per day might actually be harmful.  So it probably does merit a second look.

So according to the article, several recent studies have indicated that a sodium level goal of 2,300 might be better than 1,500 milligrams per day.  Some of these studies have even indicated that the 1,500 level might actually be dangerous for some people–potentially increasing risk for heart attack and death.  The American Heart Association has fired back suggesting that the more recent research has flaws and that they don’t want to confuse people by giving them the message that a little more salt is okay, because you know, people might then go hog wild and eat lots of salt.

And then, near the end of the article is this little gem:

Although the advice to restrict sodium to 1,500 milligrams a day has been enshrined in dietary guidelines, it never came from research on health outcomes, Dr. Strom said. Instead, it is the lowest sodium consumption can go if a person eats enough food to get sufficient calories and nutrients to live on. As for the 2,300-milligram level, that was the highest sodium levels could go before blood pressure began inching up.

Okay.  So the advice that has been cemented in stone, that is inevitably printed on that bad, multi-generation photocopied piece of paper handed to every fat person in the universe by their doctor when they go in for a check up or to get that funny looking mole checked out is based on what now?  It’s no wonder that we are confused about what to eat.  The competing nutritional studies along with the sensationalist, usually premature reporting is enough to give any potential diner whiplash.  Eat margarine!  No, eat butter!  Eat olive oil.  Eat nuts.  Eat red meat.  Don’t eat red meat.  Eat fish.  But watch out, most of the fish is full of toxins.  Eat dairy.  Don’t eat dairy.  Eat low fat.  Eat low carb.  Eat only plant-based foods.  Plant-based foods are genetically modified and full of pesticides.  OMG.  Eat my shorts!  It’s no wonder that we are going crazy trying to figure out what on earth to have for lunch every day!  Add to that the woeful lack of education among GPs and pediatricians about nutrition and you get the typical photocopied sheet of “black coffee, one piece of wheat toast, and one glass of orange juice” advice.

Now all this is not to say that we shouldn’t be concerned about what we eat.  But it is to say that nutrition is a very complicated science.  And that while we let the scientists duke it out about exactly how many milligrams of this and percentages of that we should consume, maybe we should simply focus on what foods feel good in our bodies and what tastes delicious.  I believe our bodies have wisdom, and that we benefit when we learn to listen to what our bodies have to tell us.  It may be hard to hear our “smarty-pants inner-selves” amongst all the screaming about “vitamin this” and “mineral that”.  But I for one, plan to make the effort.  Oh, and would you please pass the salt?

Love,

The Fat Chick

International No Longer Dedicating my Life to Dieting Day

INDD

Hello out there boys and girls, and happy International No Diet Day or INDD.  Today is a day when I celebrate and honor the decision I made many years ago to stop letting a number on a scale dictate the confines of my life.  It’s a day to celebrate the decision I made to celebrate my body, every bump and curve of it, as is.  It’s a day to celebrate the decision I made to stop putting my life on hold until after I reached an arbitrary body size number–be in the number on the scale or the number on the tag in my dress.

Now it’s easy for outsiders looking in, who may understand nothing about my struggle to suppose that I’m celebrating the day I decided to give up on myself–the day that I decided to give up on being healthy–the day I decided to be fat.  But this could not be further from the truth.  I did NOT give up on myself, I made the choice to save myself.  I decided to stop “weighting around” to achieve and maintain a body that fit into some arbitrary description of social acceptability and start LIVING my best life in the body I had right at that very moment.  And I decided that counting calories and calculating points was not an effective success strategy, but rather a recipe for frustration and stagnation.

So lest you are confused about what INDD means to me, I’d like to offer this quick reference guide.

When you wish me happy International No Diet Day, you are actually wishing me:

Happy eat spaghetti for breakfast if that is what your body is hungry for day.

Happy I’ll stop eating cookies because I am full right now and can have more tomorrow day.

Happy I’ll eat vegetables because my body craves them and they are delicious day.

Happy, I’m no longer obsessed with calculating the number of calories burned while dialing the phone day.

Happy, what’s on my plate or in my grocery cart is none of your darn business day.

Happy I don’t have to take of my earrings for my weekly public weigh-in day.

Happy, I am inspired by and enjoy beautiful, delicious and wonderful food day.

As you might have guessed, I am a BIG fan of INDD.  And I hope you are too!  Let’s start by taking just a single day to honor our bodies and enjoy every bite that life has to offer.  I did that about 15 years ago and it was one of the best decisions I ever made.

So my dear reader, happy your body is awesome just the way it is day.  I sincerely hope it brings you nothing but joy!

Love,

The Fat Chick

P.S. If you’re enjoying the blog, why not sign up for the Fat Chick Clique.  Get access to cool free stuff, like the new resistance workout I launched this week at the American Diabetes Association Active Living Booth.  Enjoy!  And don’t forget to live every moment to the fullest.

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

Cravings

Recently, a very dear friend sent me a link to this video.  I think it’s partly because she knows how I feel about cookies.  But it got me thinking about what length I would go to to get a chocolate chip cookie and all about the nature of cravings.

In a recent post I talked about the “Big Fat Cookie Cycle” and how deprivation and binging go together like peanut butter and jelly.  There is no question in my mind that systematically restricting our access to certain foods gives us cravings for those foods.  But it seems to me the whole issue of cravings is somewhat complicated.

Cravings can also be driven by nutritional needs.  And as we become more in tune with our bodies I think we can learn to listen when our body is asking for certain foods.  Sometimes I crave things based on what my body needs like vitamin C or protein or carbohydrates or all the happy stuff in green leafy vegetables.

But what about chocolate chip cookies?  Does vitamin C stand for “cookie”.  (Alas, no.) Cravings can sometimes be about nutrition, but cravings can be about other things too.  Am I craving sugar because I’m looking for a boost?  Am I craving cookies because they just taste delicious?  Am I craving a chocolate chip cookie because it is simply one of the best foods invented ever?  And so sometimes these cravings happen and I’m okay with that.

Sometimes I crave a cookie because I’m feeling sad, tired, overstressed, lonely, depressed, or just feel like I need a pick me up.  And you know what, I’m okay with that too.

Sometimes I grab a cookie because I have three minutes in which to stuff food into my body before my next appointment and a cookie will allow me to quickly get enough energy to get through the next two hours and still keep one hand on the steering wheel.  Unfortunately cookies consumed for expediency as opposed to genuine desire do not taste so good.  So I’m working on this whole aspect of things.

The truth is, I crave different things at different times for each or all of these reasons.  I am not an “intuitive eating” ninja who always understands why I’m eating what I’m eating.  I don’t always have 40 minutes over which to enjoy a leisurely meal complete with linen napkins and candlelight and savor each bite of deliciousness and ponder its purpose in my life and resultant effect on my well being.  And I don’t only crave foods that my doctor or the latest diet guru says I should.  Sometimes I crave kale and sometimes I crave chocolate.  I am a real person with a real life.  And so I can’t always tell you why I want a cookie.  I just know if I don’t get a cookie when I really, REALLY want a cookie, (see above video) there’s likely to be a backlash.  And when that backlash hits, one cookie simply will not do it.  Take away my cookies for too long and I don’t even know if that jar on top of the fridge would be enough.  So I will continue to eat cookies when I really, really want cookies and try to make time for the deep philosophical pondering later.

Then again, had he lived in our time, Freud might have said, “Sometimes a cookie is just a cookie.”

Love,

The Fat Chick