Please ignore the last version of this post, the LiveBlogger hit Publish instead of Save Draft.
My sincerest apologies to the facilitators, attendees and interested parties!
Live Blogger Session Summary: Diet Is A 4 Letter Word – What Are Your Food Rules?
This session allowed attendees to discuss their definition of the word diet and how thoughts, feelings affect our food intake patterns.
Our session leaders gave us some insight about why this topic was important to them:
- Lyn grew up with a father who was overweight and had diabetes. She struggles with weight and while on the journey to “finding what works” for her Lyn teaches her children to about real, local food. Lyn and her family are enjoying the exploration of U-Pick farms and local foods in their new city of Seattle after moving from Ohio just 3 months ago.
- With a deep family history of heart disease, it was a wake up call for Nicole Truog when her father had a heart attack at age 46. Recognizing how important a role food and lifestyle are to preserving and promoting health after such an event and family history, Nicole lost 30 lbs and made reducing the risk of coronary heart disease a priority through not only diet but via exercise, education and blogging.
After the above attendees introduced themselves and their reasons to why they chose a session about diet and food rules, it was noted that the theme of restriction was associated with the word diet in nearly every background story. Restriction as a theme was acknowledged but instead the positive rules about how to many people work to overcome their restrictive tendencies were highlighted:
- Try Something New: Renee tried a modified Paleo diet after working with a Personal Trainer. She was resistant since her goal was not to lose weight but found that it helped her sleep better in the end. She also discovered it was easier than she imagined to cut/limit pasta from her diet.
- Forgive Yourself: Karen mentioned she uses this tactic and although it is difficult to put into practice. It resonated with many people.
- Going Beyond the Numbers: Not just counting, measuring or weighing foods (or yourself) but learning more about foods, portion sizes and how they fuel you and make you feel.
A topic that resonated with many attendees included stress eating. Depression or bad days leading to the subsequent need for a specific quality (salty, sweet or “bad/unhealthy”) or quantity (usually a lot!) of food to soothe was a need shared by most in the room.
Helpful tactics to deal with the negative feelings preceding, during and after the “unstoppable downward spiral” included:
- 80/20 Rule: Dacia said that eating 80% healthy and 20% flexible helped her to prevent feeling a sense of deprivation
- Utilize A Food Journal: Many found it beneficial to write down not only types and portion sizes of foods consumed but adding details about both the emotional and physical states prior to and after eating the meal would gave great insight for the future.
- Create An Action Plan: Karen suggested creating a list of 5 Physical Actions To Take when signs of a bad mood/day occur to prevent entering into the downward spiral.
- Indulge Cravings Mindfully: Eating a food that you really want but not being a “zombie” with food and taking distractions like electronic devices away from the table to more fully experience the taste and experience of eating the desired food.
The topic that received the most discussion was unsolicited feedback from friends, family, coworkers and even strangers about food intake.
- Nicole mentioned that a check-out person at Costco commented, “Do you have a gerbil at home or something” when she bought a large volume of kale.
- Danielle’s take-out cashier handed her a take-out order and said to her in a sing-song voice, “You’re going to be a fatty”.
- Many others described how friends, family members and co-workers had commented on how, what, where, when and how much food they ate any given time or place and ways it made them feel.
Words of support included:
- Sarah: “You have to learn to live with food your own way”
- Charissa: “People speak from their own insecurities”
- David: “Most people’s comments come from genuine concern but express themselves poorly.”
The dilemma of shunning oneself from social situations to avoid conflict or “being on your best (eating) behavior” with others was discussed. Some of the tactics suggested to deal with uncomfortable confrontations were:
- Telling a bold faced lie to prevent conflict such as, “I already had rice with my last meal so I don’t need any with this one.”
- Realizing that some people want to learn about the foods you’re eating and why but don’t know how to ask.
We wrapped the session with the thought that as bloggers we have the potential to educate others about our personal journeys with food, health and wellness. Sharing what we learn about ourselves and each other on our blogs may have a farther reach than just our readers.
This session was captured by Melissa Burton of thevalentineRD.com – Dietitian born to love food, fitness, family and Duran Duran.