Stop Dieting! Start Intuitive Eating!
me&my health up podcast episode #77 – Transcript
Anthony Hartcher 0:01
Are you someone who worries about what to eat or stress about the calories in food, or simply so confused about what to eat because you are so concerned whether it is healthy or not. If you are this person, this episode of Me&My health up is for you. To help you cut through the stress and enjoy food more. I’m your host Anthony Hartcher, a clinical nutritionist and lifestyle medicine specialist. Our guest Nina Kingsford-Smith is also a clinical nutritionist.
She specializes in disordered eating Nina is back due to popular demand and she’s been on the show three times already, episode one which we discussed disordered eating in more detail, episode number 23, where we talked about body image, and Episode 61, where we’ve just been answering lots of questions because of the previous episode has brought up so many curiosity essentially on the topic. So it’s a hot topic and hence I’m very excited to have Nina back. In this episode, Nina will continue to address the questions you asked. So without much further ado, here we have Nina Kingsford-Smith, how are you then?
Nina Kingsford-Smith 1:16
I am good, how are you?
Anthony Hartcher 1:18
Fantastic. So great to have you back. I always enjoy these discussions.
Nina Kingsford-Smith 1:24
I always love it. It’s great to be back again.
Anthony Hartcher 1:27
And I think what I learned it’s really what I learned. It’s you know what I come away with in terms of understanding because this certainly wasn’t taught in our degree, right? We didn’t really do a lot.
Nina Kingsford-Smith 1:40
No, not at all.
Anthony Hartcher 1:41
It wasn’t a subject but it’s something that your tune means to which I think is just such a great approach to food given all the misconceptions out there and all the stress around food, you know, foods such a source of nourishment.
Nina Kingsford-Smith 2:00
Yeah, yeah, it really isn’t. It’s sad it gets so surrounded by so much confusion, anxiety, fear, stress, all the stuff we get very, very narrow-minded when it comes to, to health I think and we get way too caught up and fixated on things. Yeah.
Anthony Hartcher 2:18
Yeah, it’s true and it’s really stressful to see someone like, you know, if you’re out, not that we can go out at the moment, but when you’re out, you know, with friends to dinner and you’re about to order and you know, people really just picking apart the menu, you know, like it’s,
Nina Kingsford-Smith 2:35
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Anthony Hartcher 2:38
I don’t know whether that distresses you but it you know, it certainly thinks I think poor person, you know, like, why is it so difficult?
Nina Kingsford-Smith 2:46
It’s sad. It really is to see people struggling that much. Yeah, it’s really sad and it happens all too often. Really, it’s just happening more and more.
Anthony Hartcher 2:55
Yeah, like, even when I go out, go out to get some lunch, she might be queuing up and then watching the people in the order in front of me just saw the fussiness and just, you know, I’m thinking, maybe it’s because they’re hung up on this because someone you know, wrote the glutens bad or, you know, grain shouldn’t be eating grains, because they’re non-paleo or whatever. Like, I’ve just seen do this, I often wonder what’s going on in their mind.
Nina Kingsford-Smith 3:25
And there’s honestly a reason to not eat absolutely every single ingredient there is and every single food there’s gonna be some, someone somewhere has said something about it that makes it bad for you, or like unhealthy for you and you just you can’t win if you buy into it, or you just can’t win. Like there’s literally nothing you can eat, it’s just ridiculous. Yeah.
Anthony Hartcher 3:47
Yeah, and it’s just so sad, given that it’s so beautiful. When you enjoy a meal, you know that you really like it.
Nina Kingsford-Smith 3:54
Yeah and I feel like food is such a tricky one as well, because everybody eats. So everybody sort of considers themselves an expert on it and where it cycles, one person’s personal experience does not extrapolate to the rest of the population and then as well, it’s not something that we can, you know, we we have to eat to survive. It’s not something that you can just abstain from like you need to be able to find a way to be able to re relate to it and have it in your life that’s going to be enjoyable and sustainable for you because you can’t just avoid it. Like, yeah, it’s a tricky one.
Anthony Hartcher 4:28
Yeah, I’m really keen to address this intuitive eating, that you talk a lot about, and you share a lot on social media about. Yeah, so please tell us more about intuitive eating.
Nina Kingsford-Smith 4:41
Yeah, so I guess it’s a good, good to go back to where it sort of started from it’s like a philosophy or a framework that was started by two dieticians, Evelyn Tripoli and Elise Reisch back in, I think it was like around the mid-90s and they sort of develop this framework, and it’s based on 10 different principles. But basically, it’s all about tuning into your own body and yourself and your instincts and your intuition about what decisions you make around food.
So rather than relying on those external factors, like we were just sort of saying, you know, reading somewhere that gluten is bad for you, or looking at the calorie content of food, or eating at certain times of the day, or any of that external knowledge, it’s more so focusing on what’s happening in your body. So that’s going to be things like, you know, what, what does hunger feel like to what just fullness feel like to? What foods do you enjoy? What foods don’t you enjoy? What cravings you’re experiencing? And why are they going on, all of that stuff, but then it sort of also extends beyond that to rejecting so like, the first principle is rejecting the diet mentality. So stepping away from that really dieting mindset.
It’s about finding things that yeah, that satisfy you and that you enjoy, noticing, and bringing awareness to the food rules that you might have. So you know, that I should eat this, I shouldn’t need that, cutting certain food groups out of your diet for, like, you know, health reasons. So you know, whether that’s because you’ve heard somewhere that gluten is bad for you, or something like that and challenging those rules, and, you know, questioning, are they true? Are they not true? Do they apply to me? All that sort of stuff. And just generally, one of the other principles is this unconditional permission to eat all foods? So just allowing yourself more freedom and more space to experiment with food and enjoy food as well?
And then, you know, I mean, as I said, there’s, there are 10 principles. So there’s a lot to it but the last one as well is about gentle nutrition. So that’s when we bring in more of the nutrition aspect, but in a gentle way. So again, in a way that’s I always said, it’s going to be enjoyable and realistic for you, but starting to consider like, how can I make sure I’m, I’m fueling my body and supporting myself properly and, you know, we can be doing that in relation to certain health goals as well. So you know, when I say that it might be making sure that your digestion is properly supported, so that you’ve got less bloating or constipation or, you know, supporting hormonal health, if you’ve got painful periods, or you know, whatever the case might be supporting yourself through gentle nutrition in that aspect as well.
Anthony Hartcher 7:29
Yeah, I really love every principle you shared there and I know you didn’t share the entire 10 principles. Are there principles that you find, you know, that you talk more to with your clients that, you know, there really are troubling people out there.
Nina Kingsford-Smith 7:48
I think they’re all really important. There are ones that definitely pop up more often I suppose, I think challenging the food police, which is that one around food rules is a really big one because whether we realize it or not so many, I think pretty much all of us actually have these sorts of rules that we have around food. Really good indicators of that I find is, should or shouldn’t, or can or can’t, then you’re using that sort of language around food, but also definitely excluding any sorts of foods or food groups.
Even if you notice yourself saying, okay, lunch has to be at one and if you ate lunch at one, and then you’re hungry again, at two, saying I know I shouldn’t be eating at two, I shouldn’t be hungry and so you’re ignoring that, that hunger, because you’ve got going by some sort of rule. So working through those rules, I think is a very common one we do a lot with like we work through a lot with my with clients. But also, the hunger and fullness, I think is a really big one as well and that’s because I think we can become so disconnected from our bodies, again, because they’re relying on all these external cues around food, that we are just even busy in our day to day lives that we completely ignore our hunger cues and so helping people rediscover what does hunger actually feel like to me?
And then as well, how hungry do I get so the different levels of hunger and the patterns we might notice with those. So you might notice that after a long day of work, you’re much more hungry, or after a crappy sleep or for women at certain times of their menstrual cycle and stuff like that. But I also think it’s important to note this, a lot of the time intuitive eating can just become another diet in and of itself, because people sort of interpreted it as the hunger fullness diet, I should only eat when I’m hungry and I should stop eating when I’m full and so that that becomes one that we need to be aware of that we don’t go down that road because it’s not about that.
It’s just about having the self-awareness of being able to recognize when am I hungry, when am I not? And then making a decision because sometimes you get fooled, but you want to keep eating because you’re enjoying it right? You’re in a social situation and that’s totally fine as well. But you’ve just got that level of self-awareness so to be able to understand your adient maximizing power decisions. So yeah, I think those two are big ones for helping clients around. But really all of them, so they’re all important.
Anthony Hartcher 10:08
Yeah, I liked how you put it in the context of the bigger picture. You know this when you said, you know, only eat when you’re hungry, and then the, you’re here because you can imagine like, someone that’s extremely stressed, well, they’re probably not hungry at all. Like it’s, yeah, so it needs to be put in the context of the bigger picture and so just on that, the thing that came to mind around that hunger and fullness is the time restricted feeding this intermittent fasting, that’s, you know, real fad at the moment, it’s really taken off but you know, there are so many people that are doing this intermittent fasting or a variation of it, and what are your thoughts on it?
Nina Kingsford-Smith 10:52
I’m not a fan. I think it’s another sort of diet, sneaking its way in? Because I think, yes, there might be some research that shows that it is beneficial for certain health aspects, which is great and all, but again, it’s having that very narrow-minded view of health. We are humans, we’re nice and complex, we’re emotional beings, we’re not robots that are nice little numbers on studies and stuff like that’s, you know, just blood pressure in and of itself, or just a certain health marker or, or blood test in and of itself, we’ve got lots of other stuff going on.
So yeah, if we do intermittent fasting, it might help with X, Y, and Zed on a physiological level but what does it do to our stress levels, if we’ve come to the time of day where we’re saying, No, I’m done eating for the day, because we’re fasting and that means that you miss out on a family dinner, or just sitting down to have a piece of chocolate with your partner at the end of a long day and that’s when you guys really connect.
Or any number of things and that social aspect being so important to health as well. So I think it sort of bypasses all of that really important stuff and then as well, again, it’s getting to completely disconnect from your hunger and fullness cues because you might really hyper-focus on getting all your nutrients and energy intake within that eating period that you’ve given yourself, you might not necessarily be that hungry, then or that level of hunger, then be like, oh, crap, like they got a few miles left ate, I better have a big meal now and then again, on the flip side, you might be super hungry in the morning or in the evening, but it’s in your fasting window, so you’re not allowing yourself to eat.
So I think it can become tricky there. I also think these sorts of diets and stuff, it’s and this is very much stereotyping but oftentimes it will be younger women, or women in general, who will be trying out these sorts of diets and we really need to consider as well, the differences physiologically between men and women in terms of hormones. So the impact that fasting has on our hormones as well, I think is really, really important to consider and how that can be really quite problematic for women, now, in the female, female hormones.
Anthony Hartcher 13:06
Yeah. So you see, you’re having a much bigger effect or, you know, women that are doing this time restrictive feeding. Yeah.
Nina Kingsford-Smith 13:16
And that’s very, very stereotyping, but it tends to be what happens that I noticed in my practice, anyway,
Anthony Hartcher 13:24
yeah, it’s certainly a fad at the moment to see all these people that and, and I totally hear you, like, you know, in that social situation where, you know, we can go out and have brunch back in back in those days. But, you know, like, if you’re, if you’ve been invited out with a group of friends to have brunch on a Sunday morning, well, what are you going to do? You just sit there, look at everyone eating food, like just thinking wow? It really is, as you said, just another one of these fad diets, yeah, so um, in terms of the nondiet approach, you know, talking about diets, we’re now going to get away from them, and go dig deeper into the nondiet approach. So please share how that works.
Nina Kingsford-Smith 14:13
Yeah. I mean, if I was to describe it, I’d use a lot of the same descriptions as I had for intuitive eating, because it’s really about putting all of those principles into, like a practical sense for clients. So for example, if you were to come and see me or see a practitioner who practices from a nondiet approach, and you’re wanting support with this specific health issue, it would be about like, I’m not going to put you on a diet. I’m not going to create any meal plans for you or do any calories anything around calories at all.
Nothing like that. It’s definitely about like we were saying with helping you become the expert of your own body. So helping you understand what gonna work for you, in that might be, again recognizing the hunger and fullness cues, it might be understanding what sort of cravings you get and why they happen and figuring out patterns around that. It might be even just in a practical sense, what are your personal likes and dislikes when it comes to food? And how can we incorporate those or you know, as dislikes, you know, factor that aspect in as well, when it comes to food choices and practicality and all that kind of stuff and so oftentimes, that is working around somebody’s relationship with food, because that’s why they would have come in and really honoring that aspect of it.
So those pull pulling a lot of those intuitive eating principles, pulling a lot of like mindful eating philosophies, as well, and incorporating all of that, but then it could also be like we were saying around a specific health issue. So someone might come in and want support for, say, painful periods, and rather than me saying, okay, I’m going to put you on a raw vegan diet, or just a vegan diet, or gluten-free, or whatever it might be, doesn’t really matter sugar-free, we’re going to like, we’re going to do it from a nondiet approach. So we’re going to make sure that there’s still room for all foods to fit there’s still room for joy around food, there’s still room for social occasions around food and we’re just going to see.
Rather than focusing on like a scarcity mentality of what are we going to take out because it’s bad for you, and that really sort of fear-mongering thing of all your body’s really fragile, or we’ve got to make sure that we eliminate all these things and stay away from them? Because they’re big and bad and scary. It’s more about what can we include that’s going to really support and nourish your body? What are some fun ways we can incorporate them? What are some practical ways that we can incorporate them like maybe in terms of someone’s diet, or sorry, someone’s budget or time factors, or if they’ve got to cook for other people and factoring in all that kind of stuff? So it’s much more of that yeah, abundance mentality of what’s going to support you and help you in a realistic and enjoyable way.
Anthony Hartcher 16:58
You’re really changing the paradigm of how people sit, you perceive a nutritionist or dietitian because you think, yah, yah, yah hoo, hear people saying, I don’t want to go and see a nutritionist or dietician because they’re going to take away all my loves, you know, everything, I love it, you know, life’s gonna be so boring without you know and I really love how you’re shifting that paradigm from, you know, that’s that historical scarcity mentality around pulling, pulling things out of the diet and removing things and really helping people to reconnect and build their relationship with food, and enjoy it more. That’s, I think it’s fantastic so here’s to a new era.
Nina Kingsford-Smith 17:45
And it’s something I’m so passionate about, like, it’s really sad the number of clients that I’ve had who, you know, because I’ll often ask, have you seen a dietitian or nutritionist or even a naturopath before, and the ones that have said yes, the amount of ones that have had negative experiences within, in those aspects, because they have had that sort of thing of, they’ve been made to feel very at blame or guilty about the things that they eat, or like their health issues or their fault because of their eating habits.
Or, you know, just being told just eat carrot sticks and hummus, with like, no consideration of what the person actually enjoys, like green smoothies, or, you know, putting them on a detox or a diet plan. Like it’s a lot of experiences like that, that have just made the person roll their eyes and walk away and say, I’m never going to do that and not actually getting any actual help. So it is sad. So yeah, I’m very passionate about reframing and redoing all that kind of stuff for the nutrition world, I think it’s really important.
Anthony Hartcher 18:45
I actually think you should have an influence on all these colleges that are providing this nutritional education and make sure they include a subject. Yeah,
Nina Kingsford-Smith 18:55
That would be so good actually, that would be amazing. Yeah, yeah, I think that’d be awesome.
Anthony Hartcher 19:00
Really important that, you know, qualified dietitians and nutritionists actually come out with this new mindset. Yeah, because it’s actually attractive like I’ve been thinking you know, someone that is considering making some changes they’re actually drawn to your approach how you get away then naturally wants a drawn away from that, you know, you’re gonna take everything from me and I won’t be able to have my you know, a little bit of ice cream at nighttime and.
Nina Kingsford-Smith 19:29
Exactly, well, it’s much more appealing, right? Like, we want to you want to enjoy life and food such a big part of that so, like, having enjoyment around food is so important. So important. Yeah, yeah.
Anthony Hartcher 19:42
Totally just on this thing of, you know, you’ve been touching on where people you know, a struggling essentially and you know, where they may have some of these behaviors that aren’t serving them. What what is it the, how do you approach and help them to get them to change that way of thinking, you know, whether it be a rule or you know, like I’m so I’m thinking about these people that are struggling, and they really want to take some action to help shift the paradigm around that rule or, yeah, so please share how you work with clients in terms of our getting.
Nina Kingsford-Smith 20:21
I think three sorts of key things that come to mind, are self-awareness, self-compassion, and self-care. So self-awareness, is the first most important thing because we just need to have that increased level of awareness, right of what’s going on so that we can understand ourselves better understand our situation better, understand what isn’t, isn’t working for us, and where we want to get to. So I think that’s the first thing that I will work on with clients and help them increase that level of self-awareness and really build skills around that.
The second is self-compassion, because, you know, when you start to realize, have that increased level of self-awareness, it’s very easy for that critical part of us to come in and say things like, why am I doing that I’m such an idiot for doing that. Why am I so hard on myself, like, and then you’re hard on yourself or beating yourself, or why am I such a failure, because I can’t stick to this, you know, certain diet or way of eating or whatever and there’s that real harshness to it and oftentimes, when we’ve got that increased level of self-awareness it, we sit with that for quite a while before having the ability or being ready to actually make the changes and that can be a really tricky space to be in because you know, that whatever you’re doing is not necessarily working for you anymore.
But you don’t have an alternate mechanism, or you’re not ready to introduce something yet and so you’re in that real sticky point of, you’re very aware of what you’re doing currently is not helping you be, you’re just not doing anything else yet and so really having a level of self-compassion around that, being gentle with yourself, being patient with yourself, knowing that it’s hard and being okay with that, and just knowing that it’s not going to last forever. I think that is, is really, really important as well and so we’ll work a lot around sort of self-compassion, exercises and approaches and little things you can do around that and then the last one is self-care.
So, again, I think with health, we can get so, so hyper-focused on it. Especially as nutritionists, you know, it’s all around food. It’s all around nutrition, whereas we forget about all this other stuff that’s going on in our lives, stress, sleep, all that kind of stuff, and something that sort of ties it all together is self-care. So basically, what can you do in your life? What what do you enjoy doing in your life that brings you yet enjoy, like joy, helps make you feel relaxed, will help you release anger, if you’re feeling anger, or sadness, if you’re feeling sadness, or help you feel more nourished, and whatever those things are really consciously building up that sort of self-care toolkit.
And I’m sure we would have talked about this in some of our previous podcasts together. But building this like metaphorical toolkit you’ve got of all the things that can help you feel nourished and grounded and happy and cared for, and really work on that as well. Because throughout the whole process of what I do with my clients, as well as just life in general, that self-care stuff is really, really handy.
Anthony Hartcher 23:29
Yeah, I think we discussed it in the last episode, actually episode 61. So yeah, it certainly. Yeah. Just on the, I’m curious about some self-compassion exercises. Yeah. Can you share some with us?
Nina Kingsford-Smith 23:43
Yeah yeah, I think is a really key one, I’ll often just say to, to clients, how would you talk to a loved one or a little one in your life in this situation, and then apply that sort of language to yourself. So if you ate a large amount of food and you have a bit of a stomachache afterward, instead of berating yourself being like, I’m such an idiot, why did I eat so much? Like, why couldn’t I just stick to one serving size, yadda, yadda, yadda? If it was a little kid, or like, you know, a child or a niece or nephew or something like that, you’d probably say, oh, like, I’m sorry, honey, like, sorry, you’ve got an upset tummy. It’s okay.
Like, you’ll feel better soon, like, rub your tummy, maybe get a hot water bottle, maybe get a nice tea or something and just sit and relax and rest and do that for yourself and sort of use that language for yourself. For some people, like a gentle touch can be really nice. So just a soft, like, rubbing your arm or something for other people that could be a little bit too much and a little bit intense and actually uncomfortable. So it doesn’t work for everyone, but that can be nice.
Another really good tip and this is from a psychologist who I know. Her name’s Liz Kirby. She’s fantastic. This is a tip that she has given in the past, but even having a photo of yourself when you were little. So like a maybe a five-year-old, you or a 10-year-old, or whatever it might be, but talking to that version of you, so a younger version of you, and how would you talk to, to them. So even if you keep that photo in your wallet, or like next to your mirror or something like that, or just even a photo of it on your phone these days, we’ve always got our phones with us.
So that can be handy but that can really help you tap into that more gentle language of how to talk to yourself. There’s a woman than the main person who does a whole bunch of stuff around self-compassion is Kristin Neff, and her website, I think it’s just selfcompassion.org, self-compassion.org, I’m pretty sure she has got a bunch of resources, including, like different practices and stuff you can do around self-compassion. So she’s got some really, really awesome stuff on her website and she’s even got a lot of research articles and stuff on self-compassion. It’s yeah, it’s a really good, good website for that too.
Anthony Hartcher 26:06
Fantastic. Now really, really appreciate that some excellent tips in terms of, you know, how would you talk to a loved one or you know, your child? Yeah, you’d certainly have a much different conversation than either that inner critic that you’re constantly, you know, I guess criticizing yourself and, yeah, being hard.
Nina Kingsford-Smith 26:27
Exactly, and I think like, a big part of it as well of self-compassion is just acknowledging that it’s a moment of suffering and like that it is hard, and you don’t have to try and convince yourself that it’s not or that you’re okay. Or that to try and make yourself feel better but just to sit with the fact that yeah, this is crap and that’s okay. Like, and just to be able to sit with that as well I think it’s important. Yeah.
Anthony Hartcher 26:50
Which is good, because that’s part of the healing process because if, on the other end of the spectrum, if you deny that they need another, you got to start with that acceptance and that’s what they that’s what you recommend is accepting. Yeah, that’s the way you are feeling and yes, it is crap. I feel that you know, like, it’s just what it is.
Nina Kingsford-Smith 27:12
It’s all part of the human experience.
Anthony Hartcher 27:14
Yeah, absolutely. You won’t know what feeling good is unless you know what feeling crappy is? Relative?
Nina Kingsford-Smith 27:22
Yeah. Very true. Yeah.
Anthony Hartcher 27:26
Yeah. I just want to, before we wrap up, just touch on our body image because that’s also, you know, causes lots of stress and so I just wanted, you know, to really hear you out as to your thoughts on this body image concern that young people have? And guess that continues into adulthood? Hmm. So it remains with us no matter how old we are? Because you know, we’ve picked up that conditioning from an early age. Yes so please share your thoughts around body image and what someone can do to help that journey in turn? Yeah.
Nina Kingsford-Smith 28:08
Yeah, I know, we’ve done our previous chat on body image, as well. So there’s probably a lot in that podcast that we did. But I think one of the first things that come to mind when we’re talking about it now is like, everybody’s got a body, everybody is going to relate to their body in some way and everybody is going to be influenced by the media, family, friends, the experiences they had in school, when they were growing up, so many different things around how they relate to their body now and I don’t think there would be any single person on this planet who doesn’t have some sort of aspect of body image that they have not struggled with in the past or currently struggling with and you know, it’s awesome now that there’s this increasing movement around.
It started as like body positivity and there’s much more increasing awareness around it and discourse around it and what I think is really positive about that now is that it’s actually shifting more into this body acceptance or body neutrality sort of framework. So instead of having to love your body all the time, and think it’s amazing all the time because I don’t think that’s really realistic and that puts a lot of pressure on people themselves. You sort of again, feel like a failure in another sense of I, what’s wrong with me, I can’t love my body all the time. I don’t always look at it and think it’s awesome and so that’s a whole nother set, like a lot of pressure in itself.
But to just shift that towards body acceptance and body neutrality and to acknowledge yes, some days I’m going to have crappy body image days and that’s okay but what can I do in that moment, just to feel, just to accept the situation a little bit more. So, for example, a really helpful thing, shifting from what do I love about my body in terms of physically how it looks to what do I appreciate about my body in terms of what it does for me. I love my hands because it means I can pet my dog, I love my arms because it means I can hug my friends, I love my tummy, because it’s what digests all my food, and I get all my nutrients like I love my skin, because I can feel the sun on my skin, all these sorts of things that you know, shifts our sort of perceptions around how we relate to our body and what it can do for us.
So I think that’s really, really helpful. Other tips around body image, I would say definitely look at your, what media you’re exposed to, so a big one for us, obviously, social media, and doing a bit of like a social media detox, the only sort of detox I will recommend. But literally going through your list of who you follow, anybody who makes you where you find yourself comparing yourself to them, or you go off their page, and you feel a little bit crappy for whatever reason. Or you are saying, oh, I wish I had their legs, I wish I had her smile, I wish I ate what that person ate, any of that kind of stuff, unfollow them.
If it’s a friend or family member, and you feel like you can’t unfollow them, because it’s going to cause some sort of tension, I’m pretty sure you can mute don’t know the term, mute them maybe, or something like that. So they don’t pop up in your feed. So you can do that and really just stepping away from all of that and at the same time, encourage yourself to be exposed to a wide variety of body shapes, sizes, types, experiences, all that kind of stuff. So I’m not just talking about weight, and that sort of thing. I’m talking about people from different cultures, different, all sorts of different backgrounds, different abilities.
So you know, all sorts of experiences of everybody has a body so all sorts of lived experiences of that, whether that is like there are some really awesome accounts now of people with colostomy bags, or who’ve had arms or legs amputated, or who have certain skin or autoimmune conditions and so they physically look different to like a normal body. So having more exposure to all sorts of people I think is really, really awesome.
But then even also, in terms of social media, stepping away from just a focus on bodies, or food in general, to other things that you enjoy. So your whole foods not just filled with all that kind of stuff but random things like it could be anything cute dog accounts, travel accounts, whatever is going to, like float your boat, it could be as neat as like knitting accounts or jewelry making or surfing or gardening or bees or whatever it is, it doesn’t matter, but having sorts of different things that you’re exposed to so your focus isn’t always just around our body and body image or food and that kind of stuff. You’ve got all this other lovely stuff around you.
But yeah, I mean media can expose can extend to the sorts of books you read the sorts of podcasts, you listen to, TV shows, you watch music, all sorts of stuff, and again, it’s the same idea step away from the stuff that makes you feel a little bit crappy, and step towards the stuff that’s going to be really supportive. Yeah, I think I mean, there’s a lot around body image, but they’re the key ones.
Anthony Hartcher 33:25
Episode 23. That was the one we did. Absolutely. The last question from the listeners is around I guess binge eating really had sort of people that have stuck in this cycle of binge eating and want to get back to not binge eating or bingeing on a particular food and I think it’s probably stemmed a bit around the situation that we’re in terms of the pandemic and being stuck at home and so just in terms of do you have any tips to help people relearn this more healthy moderation or, you know, you mentioned earlier getting in touch of your satiety, you know, your feeling of satiety. So, what are your tips around this?
Nina Kingsford-Smith 34:15
The big thing for me when it comes to binge eating or overeating is wherever there is some sort of overcompensation around food somewhere before that there has been some sort of restriction. So whether that’s a restriction in the obvious sense of not eating enough food in terms of having like a really minimal calorie intake, or again, cutting out certain food groups, and sort of restricting in that way, or whether it’s a restriction in a much more subtle way and this is more of sort of more called like mental restriction.
Where you’ve got those food rules in your head of I shouldn’t eat this, I shouldn’t eat that even if you are eating something. So say like chocolate the whole time, your thought process, I shouldn’t be having this, I should stop, like, I’ll have one more square and then I’ll stop. That kind of thing. Wherever there’s going to be any restriction like that, somewhere along the line, there’s going to be overcompensation. Isabelle Fox and Duke who is an American woman who does a lot around binge eating, and emotional eating, she has this really fantastic analogy of a bow and an arrow. So we think of restriction like the bow and you’re pulling back on that, and there’s tension there, right? Like, the more you pull back, the more tension areas, the longer you hold on for, the more tired your arms gonna get, be can’t hold on forever, right?
Eventually, you’re going to have to let that go and when you let that bow go, that arrow, which is that over restrict the overeating the overcompensation of bingeing is going to go flying in the other direction, and the more that like the further you’ve pulled back on that bow, the further the arrow is going to fly, the more tension in that bow, the further that error is going to fly and I think that’s a really, really helpful analogy for people because we blame ourselves so much for this sort of overeating, binge eating sort of thing. It’s not your fault. It’s how you’re hardwired.
It’s how your body is hardwired, it’s how your brain is hardwired to make sure that you survive, it’s essentially all our body wants for us, its sole purpose is to make sure that you stay alive for as long as you can and so if it senses in some sense that there is some sort of deprivation, it doesn’t know the difference between voluntary deprivation like dieting, or actual starvation and famine, it’s got no idea. It’s just going to sense that something weirds going on and so it’s going to enforce that sort of overeating, that overcompensation, that bingeing to make sure that that doesn’t happen.
Um, so I think, yeah, that can be really, really helpful so I guess when it comes to helping clients with that, it’s identifying where is that restriction, where are those restrictive tendencies and working on that, too, to bring that sort of. So you’re basically not experiencing either end of this spectrum of that restriction or of that bingeing, and you can come to a more nice middle ground and I think with that middle ground, it’s important to also know, it’s not some little thin line that we have to stay on, it’s still this lovely big area with lots of room to like, roam around in. But it’s just so that you don’t have that real sort of discomfort of one end of the spectrum or the other but you’ve got this big sort of area in the middle that you can play with. Yeah.
Anthony Hartcher 37:24
Yeah, I love that bow and arrow analogy. It’s fantastic.
Nina Kingsford-Smith 37:27
It’s so good yeah.
Anthony Hartcher 37:29
And I was just relating it to our previous discussion, on body image and around this, you know, going from one extreme, which is the, you know, the hating the body, and then all of a sudden, was body positivity. I love it, I love it, I love it and then you said that doesn’t work at the, you know, you need to find that, that that middle, middle ground, so to speak, and you mentioned those tips around the appreciation of the body, you know, appreciating various parts of your body for what it does for you and I thought that was fantastic. Those just that bow, bow and arrow metaphor for binge eating, and then how it also ties in with body image in terms of this love, hate and find the middle ground, you know, it’s just, yeah, just happy, content, you know?
Nina Kingsford-Smith 38:22
Yeah. Really true.
Anthony Hartcher 38:26
So, yeah, really appreciate, you know, all the wisdom, you’ve continued to share with the listeners, and I’m sure they’re very appreciative that you have addressed their questions about the previous episodes or wanting more information. So you’re certainly well and surely done that in this episode? How can the listeners best connect with you, if they want further support? Yeah,
Nina Kingsford-Smith 38:49
The best would be my Instagram. So that’s healthy happenings with Nina. I’m from there, you’ll see the blogs that I post and the recipes that I post, and you’ll be able to pop onto my website that’s got all of those blogs and recipes on there and you can also from there get in contact with me. So whether that’s via email, or just DMing me on Instagram, and you can book appointments with me as well through that. So yeah, that would be that’s where I mainly hang out.
Anthony Hartcher 39:20
Right, I’ll, I’ll incorporate those links in the show notes and so the listeners can go directly to your Instagram page or directly to your website or email you directly. Yeah, so yeah, thanks again. I really appreciate it. I’ve enjoyed it, I’ve learned a lot and I’m sure the listeners have and for the listeners, I’m sure you know you’ve loved the episode as much as me if you have then please share it with others so that they can also get or be, I guess, marveled in the wisdom of Nina the, you know, I guess continuing on their health journey you know, in a way that’s nondiet, it’s more intuitive and reconnect with their body so that it’s level round. You know, love for the food, love the body, and love for themselves. Yeah, so thanks again listeners and stay tuned for more insightful episodes of Me&My health up.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai