How Self-Care Might Look At The Moment

It’s safe to say we are experiencing surreal feelings at the moment as we continue to work together to find a new normal.

During this time you might be noticing changes to your thoughts and emotions which is expected and completely valid.

Our instincts might be to look out for those around us, especially those most vulnerable. Which while that is so important, in the long-term it will become difficult to do so without taking time to support yourself as well.

This is why I feel the need to bring up self-care.  Below is a list of ideas for self-care and what it could look like during these times:

 

 

  • Allow yourself to be human and acknowledge your changing capacity to handle situations day by day.
  • Allow yourself to acknowledge your needs and boundaries for how much you can tolerate. This may continue to change.
  • Remind yourself that it is OK to not want to engage in social media. One way to get a feel for that is when using social media, invite yourself to increase awareness about what it is providing for you.
  • Encourage self-compassion and kindness towards yourself as we go through a time of change. It is OK not to be OK.
  • Keep a note of support networks you have access to in such a time. If you are concerned about reaching out to others, one helpful tip can be the ask permission to speak to them first. “I am struggling at the moment, do you have capacity for me to talk to you about what’s going on at the moment?”
  • Allow time for yourself to stay nourished. It is expected that the food we have access to is likely to change and that is OK. It is still important to keep your body and brain fuelled to continue your day.
  • Allow time to honour your body with movement however you can.
  • If you feel you can, think about taking time to slow your thoughts and re-connect with yourself. This can be done with mindfulness, meditation, going for a walk and even yoga if that’s your thing.
  • If appropriate, taking opportunities to find humour in situations can help take the edge off. After all we are all in this together.

 

 

There is no right or wrong way. These are thoughts that I’ve had shared with me by my clients and colleagues and I’d like to share them with you as options for self-care.

I invite you to think how they might resonate with you and also how you would like to make some additions to this list to suit your needs.

Body Positive Bubbles: How to build safe spaces while healing your relationship with food and body.

Glow Group Health and Well Being

I am so excited to share this with you, as it is one of my favourite tools to use with clients as they work their way through their intuitive eating journeys.

As we begin to explore food through a different lens, it starts to become about taste, social connection, listening to our bodies, and that oh so important satisfaction factor. This is exciting!

However, as with all new adventures, this journey can also be a little challenging – like all activities that push us out of our comfort zones.

So, what do we do when we’re a little nervous but determined to proceed all the same?

We add a little safety net, or perhaps more appropriately, some bubble wrap… as we work our way through this new way of thinking.

 

 

What is a body positive bubble?

 

 

A body positive bubble is a safe space that we create to develop and hone our intuitive eating skills. Whether this is your first time looking at your relationship with food and body, or you have been working away at it for a while, a body positive bubble can support you through the process.

 

 

Inside our bubble

 

 

On the inside of our bubbles we keep the supports and resources that serve us best during this time.

 

 

Which may or may not include for you:

 

 

Supportive Partners, Friends or Family

Body Positive or Body Neutral Media or Books

Mindfulness Tools such as meditation, yoga, or journalling

Supportive Health Care Practitioners: Such as a trusted GP/Psychologist/Dietitian/Other Health Care Professional

Your Goals and Aspirations (Outside of Food, Body and Shape).

 

 

Outside our bubble

 

 

On the outside of our bubbles we place anything that is unhelpful, unsupportive or triggering.

 

 

Again, which may or may not include for you:

 

 

Unhelpful or triggering media or books… such as certain instagram pages, facebook groups or magazines.

Unhelpful or triggering conversations… such as diet talk in the lunch room.

Unsupportive or triggering exercise environments… such as gyms that encourage 12 week “detox” challenges, or trainers who focus solely on weight or shape.

Unhelpful or triggering electronic devices… such as apple watches, and fitbits.

Unsupportive or triggering health professionals… there is NO place for shame or blame.

 

 

Although simple, the body positive bubble allows us to assess our environment, and build a gentle and protective barrier as we explore new and exciting experiences.

 

As always, if you are wondering where to start, reaching out to a Non-Diet Practitioner is a great place to begin or re-kindle your food-body journey.

Working With a Non-Diet Dietitian in Practice: What to Expect

Glow Group Health and Well Being

This piece has been co-written by New Graduate Dietitian Pascale Flematti

 

What to expect when working with a non-diet dietitian in practice.

We appreciate that the idea of a non-diet Dietitian may be quite new to you. To help you understand how we work at Glow Group, we have put together some examples of how we support our clients.

 

At Glow Group, our non-diet Dietitians may:

· Help you understand weight science and the risks of dieting

· Discuss how to build behaviours that will support your health and sense of wellbeing

· Ask you to keep a food journal where you record thoughts, feelings and emotions around mealtimes

· Create meal guides to help you find some structure around eating

· Help promote a sense of freedom to eat a variety of foods (within limitations of food allergies/intolerances/cultural or religious preferences)

· Help you to rebuild trust and awareness of your body’s internal cues such as hunger, fullness and satisfaction

· Support you to build self-compassion and self-care techniques related to food and your body

· Help you reflect on changes in behaviour, emotions, and your relationship with food

· Support you in learning to eat intuitively

· Encourage movement for enjoyment, fitness, strength and wellbeing

 

In line with our philosophies of focusing of health, not shape and creating safe spaces for all bodies, you will not find us:

· Setting weight loss goals

· Recommending calorie tracking

· Prescribing restrictive meal plans

· Encouraging body manipulation

· Discussing food as ‘good’ and ‘bad’

· Making assumptions about health based on weight

 

Bear in mind this list is neither definitive nor exhaustive, but simply provides a snapshot of what it may be like to work with us. For more information about the non-diet approach, we encourage you to head over to our earlier blog piece called ‘What is the non-diet approach?’

Why language is important: Exploring Health at Every Size vs “Healthy” at Every Size

Glow Group Health and Well Being

Written by a wonderful friend of the blog Eliza Khinsoe.

 

One of the most common misconceptions about Health at Every Size (HAES) is the mischaracterisation as “Healthy” at every size. It’s an easy enough mistake to make and might not seem like a big deal, but in my eyes it’s important to distinguish the difference between the implications of the two concepts.

 

Before we get into it, I will note that Health At Every Size is a registered trademarks of ASDAH. So by mis-naming the concept, it only goes to show ignorance of the framework in and of itself. HAES is a structured, evidence based framework with a number of principles that inform a clinician’s approach.

 

but to dig a little deeper, let’s look objectively at the words themselves.

 

Health by definition is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. (WHO)

It’s a noun and describes a broad concept of well-being, which is inclusive of physical, mental, and social state. It’s quite an abstract concept, but in my eyes, this is a good thing, as it leaves room for interpretation and allows for space and understanding of individualised and inclusive needs.

Healthy is an adjective and means “Indicating or promoting good health”. In the context of HAES, it would mean to describe an individual that has good health at every size. But what actually is “good health”? And if there is good health, then there must be bad health too, and how do we measure that?

 

For more head on over to https://lizakhins.com/blog/2019/11/2/why-its-important-we-leave-out-the-y

 

What is weight stigma – and why should we be worried about it?

Glow Group Health and Well Being

 

 

Have you ever taken a moment to question your personal beliefs around weight and body size?

How do these thoughts make you feel about yourself?

How do they make you think about other people?

 

September 23rd-27th marks the first Weight Stigma Awareness week where the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) are starting the conversation about weight stigma and the impact it can have on our health.

 

Weight stigma is discrimination or stereotyping based on a person’s weight. The effects of weight stigma have been published in the literature for a long time. However, this research is typically overlooked due to the powerful influence diet culture has over us. For those unfamiliar with the term diet culture, it represents a society that places value on being a certain size, weight, and shape over actual health, and promotes the false notion that health always equals thinness. We have been raised to believe that ”thin=good” and “fat=bad” and that the size of our body determines our self-worth. (If you are curious about your own weight bias you can take the Harvard Implicit Associations Test https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatest.html)

 

Diet culture has taught us that being in a larger body is the fault of the individual. That weight gain is shameful and is the result of being “lazy”, “unmotivated” and “lack willpower”. While weight loss is applauded and encouraged even when resembling eating disorder behaviours such as restriction or excessive exercise. This culture has made us believe that by shaming someone for being in a larger body it will motivate them to lose weight and be “healthy”. However, when we look into the research properly, it does anything but….

 

Such stigma poses numerous consequences on our psychological, social and physical health. Weight stigma can:

 

  • increase body dissatisfaction which is a leading risk factor in the development of eating disorders.
  • increase the risk for
    • depression,
    • low self-esteem,
    • poor body image
    • and binge eating.

 

Alarmingly, research has also shown an association between internalised weight stigma and increased biochemical stress in an individual, which has been correlated with

 

  • increased cortisol levels
  • inflammation
  • unhealthy blood pressure
  • poor blood glucose control
  • increased cholesterol levels

 

Through the fear of weight gain and idealisation of thinness, we have all been a victim of weight stigma. However for the most part, it is those people living in larger bodies that wear the brunt of it. When you look around hard enough you can see how this happens almost anywhere- at home, in schools, the work place, media, social media and even in medical appointments.

 

For this reason the conversation needs to change and needs to be made a priority. Not only for social justice and anti-discrimination, but for public health.

 

How can you make a difference to this conversation and help put a stop to weight stigma?

 

References

NEDA (2018), ‘Weight Stigma’ https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/weight-stigma

Tomiyama, A.J et al. (2018), ‘How and why weight stigma drives the obesity ‘epidemic’ and harms health’, BMC Medicine, https://bmcmedicine.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12916-018-1116-5

Puhl, R.M and Heuer, C.A. (2010), ‘Obesity Stigma: Important Considerations for Public Health’, American Journal of Public Health, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2866597/

Tomiyama, A.J et al. (2014), ‘Associations of Weight Stigma With Cortisol and Oxidative Stress Independent of Adiposity’, American Psychological Association, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25068456