This post was written by our own Kathryn Dickens, Sampling Coordinator at Good Foods Co-op and also a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. Starting in January, she’ll be co-teaching a three-part class series about diets and healthful eating with Annie Koempel, a Registered and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor.
Ahhh, a brand new year… the perfect opportunity to start fresh, kick that bad habit, get healthy, and become the best you possible! Motivation and determination are at an all-year high and you have a solid plan in place. So why is it always such a struggle to stick by these noble intentions?
No surprise, the top #newyearsresolutions according to Twitter in January 2017 were focused around achieving better health. We set goals to increase our exercise, consume a healthier diet, and lose X pounds by summer! And we were gold until… the next hectic week at work or school, that first insane blizzard of the year, or… Valentine’s Day. We “fell off the wagon” and stayed there on the ground, relinquishing our noble quest to the next New Year. Hey, resolutions are made to be broken, amirite?
I am a registered dietitian by training, and my interest in nutrition began with a desire to help folks lose weight and stay healthy for years to come. But what I came to learn was that I was mistakenly conflating weight with health. And often, the focus on weight loss as the ultimate reason for making health changes can be our biggest stumbling block. Weight loss is a long-term goal that cannot always be guaranteed, especially in the expected time frame.
But the desire to live a healthy, happy, quality life is totally honorable AND achievable and you don’t necessarily need to shed pounds to get there.
Enter Intuitive Eating! Intuitive Eating (IE) is a health and nutrition framework developed by two registered dietitians and has been shown to improve overall health outcomes in those who practice it. The Intuitive Eating philosophy is actually a lot simpler than it sounds. We are born intuitive eaters. From the time we enter this world, we possess the self-regulatory mechanisms to inform our hunger and fullness, and these signals have yet to be tarnished by society’s rules around food and eating. It’s primal; a physical need. Once we begin exploring new foods beyond milk, we quickly learn what we like to eat. We begin to couple the necessity of eating with the enjoyment of it.
However, it doesn’t take long to lose touch with these instincts. Parental expectations or restrictions around eating, abbreviated school lunch periods, socioeconomic factors, childhood stress or trauma, and then eventually social pressures to conform to a particular body type or way of eating, can all contribute to long-term disordered behavior around food. Intuitive Eating helps us get back to eating “normally”, the way you, specifically, were meant to eat.
So this January, consider a new kind of resolution. Embrace that desire to enjoy better health and nutrition through Intuitive Eating. We at the Co-op are here to support you in whatever that looks like. Come explore the aisles and try something new. And if you’re interested in learning more about Intuitive Eating, we have a class for that! The first class (of three) is January 10th at 6:30pm in our Community Room. Here’s to food peace in the New Year!