Introducing "Unlearning to Eat"
The most useful piece of learning for the uses of life is to unlearn what is untrue ~Antisthenes
If you are ready to unlearn the old rules and embrace an alternative that is fresh, empowering and solidly grounded in research, I offer a safe, affordable, supportive, pressure-free space to begin this journey.
Unlearning to Eat is a twelve month online experience, starting in January 2018, where each month a different component of IE is introduced and explored via emails, worksheets, resources, and monthly conference calls. You will receive weekly email prompts from me that will create opportunities for you to practice these new skills in your daily life as often as you like.
How it works:
On the first Monday of each month, you'll receive an email introducing the new monthly theme and providing some detailed explanation.
On the second, third and fourth Monday of each month, you will receive an email containing supplementary topics, exercises and action points that you can use to integrate these new skills into your daily life, challenge yourself, and start to build a foundation that will drastically change the way you feel about food, eating, weight and your body over the course of a year.
A private Facebook discussion group to post questions and chat about your experiences will be available, providing a safe and non-threatening environment to do so.
A monthly conference call will give you the opportunity to connect with me and get some one-on-one counseling, and to discuss your experiences with others who are practicing along with you.
January - IE Introduction and Overview
- assess where your starting point is, begin to notice patterns of thoughts, feelings, behaviour that aren't serving you and need to be unlearned or let go of, emphasis on enhancing self care in all areas of your life
February - Principle One: Reject the Diet Mentality
- explore what dieting is, how it is harmful, take first steps to challenging your beliefs about dieting and letting them go
March - Principle Two: Honouring Your Hunger
- what does hunger feel like, how do you recognize it, what it means and why you don't have to be afraid of it
April - Principle Three: Making Peace with Food
- learning unconditional and full permission to eat freely and with attunement
May - Principle Four: Challenging the Food Police
- getting familiar with and letting go of all your rules around eating
June - Principle Five: Respect your Fullness
- what does fullness feel like, how do you recognize it, what it means and why you don't have to be afraid of it
July - Principle Six: Discovering Satisfaction
- exploring the many ways of cultivating pleasure in eating and the health benefits of doing so
August - Principle Seven: Coping with Feelings Without Using Food
- exploring "stress eating" and why we do it, navigating unpleasant emotions and learning how they can guide us, alternative ways to cope beyond eating
September - Principle Eight: Respecting Your Body
- treating our bodies with dignity and care, and we don't have to "love" them to do so, exploring the social construct that tells us our bodies require constant and endless perfecting
October - Principle Nine: Finding Joy in Movement
- defining what this means to you, exploring health benefits and why pleasure is the key ingredient , challenging traditional definitions of what "working out" needs to look like
November - Principle Ten: Honouring your Health with Gentle Nutrition
- practicing removing rigidity and black & white thinking around nutrition, cultivating a kinder, more flexible and balanced mindset and exploring the mental and physical benefits of doing so
December - Putting it all Together
- incorporating all of the principles together and taking it to the next level, noticing the positive effects that have materialized with taking this journey and being supported in the areas where you still feel stuck
2 options available:
12 monthly payments of $25 CAD
Pay for the full year up front: $250 CAD (get two months free!)
The commitment is only a few minutes each week, but the rewards are amazing...
Signing up for a year long course may seem daunting, but in this case the minimal requirement to reap the benefits is to read the emails each week. There will be plenty of opportunities that come up in your everyday life to put the skills you are learning to practice.
The materials covered each month are integrative but also stand alone - meaning, you won't fall behind if you get busy for a few weeks. Even a small investment of time (a few minutes each week) will yield great rewards as the topics we cover will be extremely relevant to your daily life.
Discounted rate on one-to-one counselling packages
Another benefit of joining is, if at any time during the year, you wish to seek out some more intensive, one-on-one counseling to guide you along your journey, you can purchase my one or three month counseling packages at a discounted rate.
Is it for you?
Another way to look at intuitive eating is that it is a process of evaluating all that we have been taught about food, dieting and weight, and then letting go of or unlearning all the rules that no longer serve our best interests:
Dieting will allow me to lose weight
The most important thing I can do for my health and well-being is to lose weight
I need to follow an eating plan with rules to keep me in check
The reason I haven't lost weight or have gained it back is because I didn't follow the plan properly, or fell off the wagon
Food should be categorized as "good" and "bad" or "healthy" and "unhealthy"
I am what I eat (i.e. eating foods that are "unhealthy" will lead to poor health)
If I allow myself to eat the foods I love, I will never stop eating and will become obese
My body is a project that I need to continuously work on, striving for perfection
My health is measured by standards of cosmetic fitness
If I can't follow my plan, I am a weak, undisciplined person
I can be happy and my life will have purpose when I have the body of my dreams
We are bombarded with different versions of these messages every single day. The thing that they all have in common is that they are based on very black and white, rigid thinking. We want to believe that a plan with rules, instructions, and clear-cut formulas for reaching our goals is exactly what we need. And that might be okay if it actually worked. But in this case it doesn't! And more and more research is showing this to be overwhelmingly true. You have likely already become aware of this on some level.
Intuitive eating is a model that presents a different way to think about food, eating and weight that is more open, flexible, empowering, and linked to so many positive health outcomes. It's a journey of self exploration, learning to let go of the old, tired, unsubstantiated rules and embracing a new framework that includes:
- Reconnecting: to the body's wisdom - hunger, fullness, personal tastes, preferences and desires
- Somatic awareness: discovering the sensations in your body and what they mean, and how they are connected to your emotions
- Cultivating trust: creating experiences that allow you to start to trust your body
- Finding roadblocks: identifying and removing obstacles that may show up in the form of thoughts, feelings, myths, deeply rooted beliefs about food, eating and weight
- Creating new habits: discovering patterns of habitual thinking and re-wiring neural pathways
All of these are skills that are cultivated and strengthened by practicing. Like learning to ride a bike for the first time, reading about bike riding may set the stage, but the real learning doesn't happen until you get on the bike. Learning how to fall and get back up again are also valuable lessons that can only make you stronger.
This online (un)learning program and support group is for anyone who is:
tired of alternating dieting with overeating
going in circles with losing and re-gaining weight
nursing a love-hate relationship with food
scared of having a loss of control around eating
exhausted by their negative mental chatter about food, weight loss, body hatred
feels that their life is ruled by "should" and "shouldn't" guilt
worried that their own disordered eating habits are being observed and picked by their kids
craving a way to find some peace, enjoyment and satisfaction with the process of eating
open to exploring a new paradigm that may be radically different from their current thought process
wanting a fresh start that is different from the typical New Years Resolutions around weight and health
seeking permanent, positive change in their lives and is ready to dig deeper past the superficial and do the work that creates this
able to recognize the long term, life transforming benefits that could be created with this small investment