Self-esteem can be a major area of confusion and heartache for many (ok, probably most). In order for our clients at Wise Heart Nutrition to truly experience progress in healing their relationship with food, we typically have to spend some time addressing self-esteem. First of all let’s clarify what self-esteem really is and why it’s important to our everyday lives. Then we’ll get to the good stuff - 5 steps to improve your self-esteem.
Self-esteem is your subjective sense of overall personal worth or value. The key word here is subjective - self-esteem may not be based on reality, but rather our perception. Similar to self-respect, it describes your level of confidence in your abilities and personal attributes.
Some sources that contribute to low self-esteem include:
Daylight Saving Time has just ended (ugh), and the days are getting much shorter, much darker, and much colder. In the words of some famous show - winter is coming.
Have you ever noticed changes in your food cravings or shifts in your body weight with the seasons? Like, how a bowl of hot tomato soup and grilled cheese sounds way more appealing than watermelon and salad in the winter. Or how clothing might fit differently from summer to winter? Let’s explore why and how cravings and weight can fluctuate in the winter - and the big question, is that normal?
The general answer to that question is - yes, this is normal! We crave different foods, and our bodies may go through subtle (and even not so subtle) changes during the winter months. There are a few reasons for all of this, including (but not limited to) traditional seasonality, thermic response, and psychological shifts during this time of year.
Below, we break down these 3...
Spooky season is already upon us, which means the holidays are here! But, what we are told is the “most wonderful time of the year” can often feel like the most stressful time of the year. We are bombarded with events centered on food, more social commitments, being around family, and surrounded by expectations to be in a “festive mood”, spend money, and listen to non-stop holiday music. And with all of these variables (and more) contributing to stress, comes anxiety, which can manifest in our relationship with food.
I wish I could tell you that the spirit of the holiday season would magically make it easy to maintain the healthy relationship with food that you have been working towards. Wouldn’t that be nice?
Despite all this doom and gloom (it is halloween, after all), you CAN navigate the holidays, eat intuitively, AND maintain a healthy relationship with food. Here are 5 tips to thrive during the holidays and...
You may have heard (or even felt) criticism that intuitive eating is not possible for neurodivergent (i.e. ADHD, Austistic) people. At Wise Heart Nutrition, we reject that all-or-nothing thinking and invite you to explore our approach, and see how intuitive eating may need to be modified to be realistic for you. Here, we reframe each of the 10 principles of Intuitive Eating to be inclusive of neurodivergent folx. It might not feel ~magically intuitive~, but setting up systems that work for you in order to honor your body’s needs with compassion is 100% intuitive eating.
While this is obviously easier said than done, everyone can embrace this first principle. It helps to learn more about how diets don’t work. Like how in 90-97% of cases, those who lost weight will gain it back within 2-5 years; and about of people will gain back even more weight than they originally lost. The diet and weight...
Many individuals, (especially ADHDers and folx with a history of dieting) struggle with binge or compulsive eating, and more often than not, the binge eating is automatically seen as the "problem" to be fixed. This often results in deprivation and restriction to "make up for overeating", which then leads to more binge eating. In addition, beliefs about not having "enough willpower" or "discipline", as well as guilt and shame, often show up after or during a binge due to our society creating the myth that you should, or even can, have control over food. Binge eating, negative emotions, and restriction often spirals into a vicious cycle, which can feel impossible to break.
The cycle (see graphic below) has several stages: the binge, the sense of emotional relief or numbness, the thoughts and feelings that follow, the planning, the disruption to the plan, and then back to the binge. Diet culture has...
When you are first exploring what it would look like to not dislike your body, as media at large directs you to do, the body positivity movement can be met with rolled eyes and thoughts of “are you kidding me” and “that’s wayyy too hard”. And yeah, when starting from a place of hatred, disgust or dismissal of your body, it can seem an impossible task to ever reach a place of love, appreciation, and acceptance. Enter body neutrality.
While self love regarding our bodies is important, it’s not always attainable in our society where we are constantly flooded with messages about an “ideal body” that are rooted in white, colonial, and fatphobic systems. Here are some important reasons why body-positivity and body-love aren’t going to work for everyone:
Dietary variety (eating lots of different foods from all the different food groups) has long been considered a pillar of “good nutrition”. Blanket dietary recommendations like this are intended to support the greater population, but when these guidelines are solely focused on nutrients and physiological health, many groups of people get overlooked, left out, and placed in a disadvantaged position where health and wellness (when measured by whether or not a person is meeting a given recommendation) are essentially out of reach. And when these folx continue to chase after an impossible standard, other aspects of health (mental, emotional, relational, financial, etc.) suffer… and that isn’t really supportive of health at all.
When we talk about health, instead of trying to fit everyone into one box, we need to consider and understand what is REALISTIC, CONTEXTUAL, ACCESSIBLE, POSSIBLE,...
I was raised in the Southern Baptist church in North Carolina. I was a good Christian girl, of course.
As a good Christian girl, I followed the rules:
There are many pages I could write about the ideologies I was programmed with in my religious upbringing, and how they shaped my view of myself. However, I will keep this piece focused on the parallels I have noticed between religious messaging and disordered eating motivations/behavior. I also want to acknowledge that for many, religion is a safe and wonderful framework through which to live their life. Unfortunately, many aspects of my specific situation resulted in religion being harmful to...
There’s a buzz going around that womxn (specifically folx who are AFAB) actually go through a “second puberty” in their early to mid twenties. Now, it’s not technically titled puberty 2.0, but it’s been casually called this because of the further physical changes your body typically undergoes during this time. Just when you thought you had gotten used to your body, you might find it changing again. And then probably again. And again. And then probably again. *News flash: our bodies are constantly changing over the course of our lives.* But for now, let’s focus on that mid-20’s time of life.
Some of the changes that you may see in your early to mid twenties can include:
bone mass peak
By Rebecca Hambright MS, RDN - Wise Heart Nutrition Dietitian
Who decided that “emotional eating” is bad? I don’t know exactly where this rumor started (other than the obvious master-villains... anti-fatness and diet-culture), but I want to slap my flip phone closed (ultimate diss - duh) and be done with this shitty game of telephone.
Instead, let’s flip this narrative around. Intuitive eating principles guide us to “cope with our emotions with kindness”, which ultimately means developing a tool box of coping skills and choosing one to compassionately meet our emotional needs. Sometimes food is that coping skill. And that’s ok!!!
Food is something that can be readily accessible, so it is common for it to be used as a coping mechanism from an early age. If you weren’t given the tools or support to develop other coping skills, it makes sense that you would turn to what you had available in your...
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