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Body Image & Emotional Eating_Final

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>> Hello there. Great to be with you again today as we round out this module by connecting body image with emotional eating. Now yes, this is a huge topic with many intertwining factors. We are here to provide you with some jumping off points that can help inform your work with clients, and we want to give you plenty of opportunities to practice applying this material so that you feel better prepared to coach. As an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, you can support clients in exploring bio-individual connections between body image and emotional eating habits. Many people struggle with body image and develop harmful relationships with food in their attempts to conform to a perceived ideal. However, as we discussed earlier, ideal is subjective. As a coach, you can help your clients view the ideal through a bio-individual lens and encourage them to focus on the continual journey of moving toward greater health and happiness rather than focusing on a rigid end point. Okay, let's get started with today's focus, the connection between body image and emotional eating. Here's a quick example to start us off. Imagine you're working with a man named Greg. Greg is in his late 30s and he hates his "fat belly." He expresses a lot of anger about his body, he shares that he feels so self-conscious that he stopped exercising because he doesn't feel comfortable wearing workout clothes. He also stopped coaching his daughter's softball team because he feels like he doesn't fit in with the other "fit" dads who he feels he should look better than because he is younger than most of them. He is less motivated to be intimate with his wife because he is ashamed of her seeing him like this. Greg says that losing weight is his new project and believes that getting his food under control is the key to happiness. He is willing to do whatever it takes. However, he's had zero luck with diets consisting of things like egg whites and protein shakes because he hates that food. He gets bored and frustrated and ends up eating burgers and fries to feel better. Does Greg remind you of anyone you know? Someone who seems to always be in a battle against his or her body? Or someone whose body image moves them away from health and happiness? In the handouts for this module, you will be able to use Greg's story to practice applying this lecture's material, so we'll revisit him there later on. Regardless of gender or age, we can fall into a trap of trying to keep up with the Joneses. We might use food as a way of fitting into a non-existent ideal, and when that doesn't work, we can become our own worst enemies. Self-confidence and body image plummet and take our sense of empowerment with them. So what do we do? We turn to food to help us cope and end up in an emotional eating cycle. In this lecture, we're going to explore how an unhelpful body image can drive emotional eating and how emotional eating in turn can fuel an unhelpful body image via mechanisms of disconnection. We'll start with self-connection. Here are five ways an unhelpful body image can disconnect us from ourselves viewed through the lens of emotional eating. Again, these are brief introductions to a multi-layered problem. We'll provide opportunities for you to reflect on them more in the handouts and skill building activities. An unhelpful body image can disconnect us from our bodies. When we constantly judge our bodies, we end up in a constant battle against them. In this battle, forget about actually listening to them, we adhere to external norms or rules in our attempts to reach an unattainable ideal. We are so focused on what we perceive as negative about our bodies that we try to disconnect from them as much as possible. Disconnecting from them allows us to think about them objectively as something that we can change or conquer. Viewing the body through this lens, the body isn't wise, it's the enemy or at the very least, it's imperfect and in need of improvement. Does that make sense? Recall that emotional eating is automatic and unthinking. We engage in it when we want to numb or leave ourselves. As such, it disconnects us from the body's true hunger signals, often leading to overeating or under-eating or eating foods that just don't satisfy the body. We become disconnected from the body's needs. An unhelpful body image can disconnect us from intuition. As we discussed, messages we receive from culture and media can impact body image, often for the worse. Constant exposure to these external messages of how we should be or how we could be better can disconnect us from internal messages like our own intuition and gut feelings. As a result, it leads us away from self-trust. As Joshua puts it, we live in an expert-knows-best world that leaves little room for bio-individuality. We're not the best experts on ourselves, otherwise, we would be our ideal selves already, right? We need help because we can't be trusted. It's a one-size-fits-all world and we just can't manage to fit in. These are some of the ways in which your clients might struggle that no one else may be taking the time to acknowledge or validate for them. Eating based on rules or what and how we should eat disconnects us from our gut instinct and the ability to develop self-nourishing eating habits. If we eat based on our mind's logic, we aren't tuning in and trusting our natural instincts. Relating this to body image, eating emotionally to help us cope with the stress caused by an unhelpful body image keeps us stuck in that unhelpful body image. When we do this, we're attempting to distract ourselves from this unacceptable person we think we are instead of practicing self-acceptance. An unhelpful body image can disconnect us from personal values and primary food. The distress caused by body image can take over our lives. When we are so focused on changing ourselves, when we spend so much energy on fighting the fight against our bodies, we might have little energy left for anything else in life like values and primary food, relationships, career, spirituality, and even physical activity. We disconnect from things that add meaning and create a sense of belonging, which is often what we're ultimately trying to achieve in the first place. Recall that emotional eating is often a way to cope with difficult emotions by not letting ourselves feel them. Also recall that emotions provide us with important information, including what matters to us, you know, our values. We get so stuck in the urgent need to satisfy our cravings and eliminate distress that it becomes impossible to look beyond the moment. When we eat based on emotions, we ignore other areas of life that fulfill us in ways that food can't. It can disconnect us from other areas of life that have the potential to increase our feelings of self-worth. Eating based on self-worth can also disconnect us from what we actually enjoy when it comes to eating. A body image that distresses us and in turn motivates emotional eating in order to cope with that distress disconnects us from those things in our lives that can relieve suffering. It's ironic, don't you think? An unhelpful body image can disconnect us from our power. Radical acceptance is an important part of emotional healing because it helps us reclaim our personal power. It helps end the fight against emotions. Only through acceptance can we begin to heal and work with those emotions. The same goes for body image. Lack of self-acceptance can disempower and keep us stuck. We don't trust our bodies, we don't trust our intuition, and sometimes we don't even trust what's in the mirror. All we know is that we aren't good enough because we don't fit into some kind of ideal. We then turn against ourselves by judging and sometimes by using food to help us cope with the distress we cause ourselves. As a result, we can stay stuck in negative stress and emotional eating cycles. Eating how we should eat in order to fit into a norm or ideal disconnects us from the power of choice, it also often creates more stress which can lead to more maladaptive coping strategies, including emotional eating. Feelings of powerlessness, body image struggles, and eating disturbances can all intersect. Viewing our bodies through an external lens, as we discussed before, can create feelings of powerlessness. We become our own worst critics and we turn to food for comfort, for distraction, or as a means of asserting control. Focusing on self-should leads us away from self-care. And finally, the last point in today's lecture is an unhelpful body image can disconnect us from others. More irony. We try to fit in because we don't feel like we're good enough but we end up disconnecting from others. Think about the last time you didn't feel good about yourself physically. Did being around other people sound great or did you feel like isolating? Struggling with body image often correlates with feelings of sadness, anxiety, guilt, shame, worry, self-criticism, and powerlessness. It can make us feel insecure, unattractive, and not as good as others, which leads to isolation. Emotional eating can also isolate. It might include eating alone, eating in secret, or hiding packaging because you feel ashamed of what you're eating. We often eat emotionally in order to cope with distress, but as we've already discussed, emotional eating can create more distress. To review, an unhelpful body image can drive emotional eating and emotional eating can fuel an unhelpful body image. Both can contribute to disconnection from the body, intuition, personal values and primary food, personal power, and other people. Struggling with body image is part of the human condition. We constantly compare ourselves to others. It's normal. Unfortunately, the media takes advantage of this by constantly trying to sell us ways of bettering ourselves. To practice this material this week, imagine that Greg, who we introduced earlier, is your client. Brainstorm in your journal some possible paths you could take as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach using these five disconnections as a guide. We've included more details to guide you in the Skill Building Activities section of your Learning Center. Then choose one of your answers to send out to the Facebook group and challenge yourself to keep the conversation active with your course mates. How can you help each other view the material in different ways? Be creative. Maybe you can add more information to Greg's story. This is great practice for working with real clients. Take a look at the handouts, share this information with someone in your life, and I'll see you again soon.

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Duration: 11 minutes and 2 seconds
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
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Views: 5
Posted by: integrativenutrition on Aug 30, 2018

Body Image & Emotional Eating_Final

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