Food, Body, Self

| September 18, 2019 | 0 Comments | Email This Post Email This Post

By Andy Asher

Living With Or Without

We cannot live without it and the problem is many of us cannot live with it. It’s about the struggle with our relationship to food, body, and self.

It can be a lifetime mystery for many of us. We sought out some answers with Heidi Schauster, a nutrition therapist with over 20 years of experience in the field of eating disorders and emotional eating issues and author of Nourish: How to Heal Your Relationship with Food, Body, and Self.

At least 30 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder in the U.S. It can be such a challenge as we get older and ironically Heidi explains, “it started when we were growing up at home. If we missed the lessons about diet it becomes more of a struggle as we get older. What messages did we learn about food and also about our bodies? We develop that relationship with food quite early on.”

Age Makes A Difference

At different ages, we experience unique issues. Heidi says a teenager for example who is developing an eating disorder has a different set of problems in some ways than an adult who’s developing an eating disorder but the sense of challenge around the self-realization may be somewhat similar. It’s just that time of life is different and the issues surrounding it are going to be different.

Then there are the media. What it tells us about food and body type in so many ways defines who we are. “We tend to value one particular body type at least in our media,” Heidi explains.

Health Expert May Be Part Of The Problem

She even partly blames her expertise. “The nutrition field is part of the problem because we  put out so much information and research about how someone should eat or take care of themselves, often it’s conflicting and it can be confusing.”

Over Thinking It

And then there is the mind versus body conflict. Heidi believes we use our minds too much when it comes to food and we need to listen to our bodies. “So for example you know you go to a restaurant and you’re looking at the menu and you’re saying OK. Will I choose the healthiest option which is a totally a mind driven decision or just taking a moment to breath-in and listen to our body and say what would really feel nourishing right now.” She adds, “We often have a disconnect between our bodies and our decisions about food.”

She says a lot of her work is about helping people reconnect with the body and make food decisions from a place of being connected to our values and our needs.

Managing Our Food and Body

If there is a takeaway concerning how we can manage our food and our body, Heidi has a simple way of looking at it. “When we nourish our body and soul it is just being in the present moment and appreciating our food and appreciating not only where it came from but the flavors and the taste sensations. When we do that,  and when we take time to enjoy the food that’s in front of us and prepare food that we enjoy goes a long way to meeting our needs and the sensory nourishment that food provides for all of us.

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