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I am chatting with Meredith Renshaw, or @meredithren.rd, to break down the most common form of disordered eating: dieting. Meredith shares her approach to overcoming diet mentality, why dieting is so detrimental to our health, and how to learn to trust your body again. If you are struggling with letting go of the diet, girlfriend, this is your episode!
Meredith is passionate about guiding women to realize they don’t have to diet or lose weight to love and respect their bodies.
She champions women to food freedom they never imagined by helping them redefine health, ditch the restrict-binge cycle and embrace intuitive eating. Meredith helps you break up with the scale for good and find peace with your natural body size. Her goal is to empower women to discover freedom from the cycle of dieting, remove shame and guilt and fully restore their body image!
She specializes in disordered eating, intuitive eating, food allergies, family nutrition, compulsive exercise, and nutrition-related diagnosis.
What Health at Every Size Means
Meredith explains that she takes a “health at every size approach.” Health at every size is the idea that health doesn't equal fitness or BMI. There are so many other things that contribute to our health, including mental health, emotional health, and spiritual health. And when somebody wants to improve health, it doesn't mean always changing body type or a number on a scale. Health at every size means looking at the whole picture of health.
Are you dieting?
Meredith shares that a diet is any way of eating dictated outside yourself. This is using external factors rather than internal cues when deciding on food choices (what to eat, when to eat, and how to eat). This includes but is not limited to the following:
yo-yo dieting (on and off dieting)
skipping meals (ignoring hunger cues you feel)
avoiding liquid calories (not feeling can drink calories)
using coffee as a meal
detoxes and cleanses
eating in a specific way for a certain amount of time (whole 30)
Problematic Outcomes of Dieting
Meredith shares that the biggest problem when dieting is that you completely disconnect your body from your mind. Along with this, dieting…
- creates an influx of anxiety and depression
- leads to feelings of discouragement or the constant feeling of failure
- causes you to miss out on social events
- leads to isolation
- effects relationship with exercise
Ultimately, dieting has major implications on not only your body but also your mental health.
How do you not get sucked into diet culture?
01. reject the diet mentality
02. respect your body
03. let go of your focus on an “ideal body”
04. Begin practicing intuitive eating
05. Get back in touch with hunger/fullness cues
How to start Intuitive Eating when you're not completely ready
Meredith Renshaw shares that you do not need to wait until you are 100% ready to reject all diet mentality to begin your intuitive eating journey. You can start with where you are at. She says a diet culture detox is one of the most helpful things you can do, even if you are not fully ready to ditch all dieting. This is going through all areas of your life where diet culture is prevalent (media and real-life) that are promoting diet culture and removing them.