There is a term that we often use in eating disorder recovery—normalized eating. It certainly sounds good, but what does it mean?
The first thing to understand is that, for those who struggle with an eating disorder, the experience of eating is attended by intense shame and anxiety. It is a normal, everyday thing for most of us, but for those who have an eating disorder, eating a meal can be imprisoning.
That is what makes it so important to provide a new relationship to food and to eating—what we call normalized. Normalized eating means you get to enjoy your food without those feelings of shame or anxiety. You get to eat without judging yourself, and without feeling afraid.
Normalized eating hinges on a couple of key principles—nourishment and pleasure. It means consuming food because you need its nutrients, but also because you simply enjoy it. Both are equally important; it has only by balancing them that you can experience normalized eating.
Implicit in this is a sense of variety. In a normalized attitude toward eating, all foods fit. Moderation is implicit, as well. With normalized eating, you can enjoy all different types of food; you can listen to your body about when you need to eat and when you need to stop.
There is a social impact, too: Normalized eating allows you to be flexible in joining other people for a meal, truly enjoying the experience without fretting about what you are eating. That goes right back to the point about balancing nourishment with pleasure—and ensuring that eating is something freeing, not something that imprisons you.
Please sign up for this fabulous webinar with Castlewood Treatment centre. These webinars are excellent, engaging, value to the audience and offer actionable- takeaways. We hope you’ll sign up for them.
“Building the Foundation for Balancing Nourishment and Pleasure in an Outpatient Setting”
Wednesday, May 24th at 11:00 am CS
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM BST
Presented by Webinar with Tammy Beasley, RDN, CEDRD, CSSD
Hunger and fullness are two of our body’s most important communication signals that tell us what fuel our body needs and when it needs it. But in the early stages of recovery, hearing and trusting those signals is very difficult. Science tells us that an eating disorder distorts and confuses the brain and stomach’s ability to communicate. Science also tells us that our brain and stomach heal, and the body can relearn how to hear and trust the hunger and fullness messages. How can we help our clients truly believe this?
The work of the eating disorder treatment team will have different priorities depending on the level of care; however, the goal of eating intuitively based on a trusting relationship with the body and food crosses all levels of care as the common goal for our clients’ recovery journey. Join Tammy as she shares a unique perspective on building a new foundation for hunger and fullness. Learn practical steps that you can use in an outpatient setting to guide your clients to embrace both physical and emotional hunger without fear and shame, trusting their ability to balance nourishment and pleasure to strengthen their recovery process.
1. Discuss three key points of reconnection to hunger and fullness that help heal, restore and strengthen recovery
2. Learn practical analogies that will support basic hunger and fullness principles
3. Explain four steps to clarify and embrace both emotional and physical hunger as part of the recovery journey