You asked: I have an eating disorder. Can yoga and a Holistic Nutritionist help?
We asked OG’s Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Kate Leinweber.
Kate: The topic of disordered eating is vast and affects many men and women. Eating disorders include anorexia, bulimia, compulsive overeating, and orthorexia. Although eating disorders do not only affect females it is estimated that 95% of diagnosed eating disorders are female. It doesn’t end there, disordered eating falls on the continuum between wellness and eating disorder and is something that few women escape in our society. It includes patterns such as frequent dieting, calorie counting, and excessive exercise and cleansing. In our society these characteristics have become a part of being a woman.
In discussing disordered eating it is necessary to question the experience of being female in our society today. Now more women than ever struggle with ideas of weight loss and obsess with body image.
The torture of disordered eating patterns has in fact become socially acceptable with the most extreme being Orthorexia which is an obsession with ingesting the most healthy foods. This is the one eating disorder that escapes social judgment and one that I suffered from. On the surface I appeared to be an extremely healthy vegan raw foodist. Underneath was a constant struggle to create perfection through my food.
Behind the labels and definitions, disordered eating is known as a process addiction and the root is that it provides a distraction from buried emotions. The path of healing involves being present with uncomfortable feelings.
Although society creates and the media perpetuates a disconnection of our body, community, and Mother Nature, there are many things we can do to regain a healthy sense of self and balanced eating habits. Yoga is a way to create and deepen the connection to your true self and to create a safe place in your body to experience emotion.
A Holistic Nutritionist will help develop the necessary tools of intuitive feeling and eating. The ability to differentiate physical hunger from the need for emotional nourishment will be addressed to transform negative emotions surrounding food and eating into a process of loving and accepting oneself.
Recommended Reading: Eating in the Light of the Moon: how women can transform their relationships with food through myths, metaphors & storytelling by Anita Johnston, Ph.D
Kate’s holistic model empowers each client with knowledge of how whole foods can sustain a healthy and whole body.