Learn to Eat

Why learn to eat from an admittedly fat lady? If I’m fat, I clearly don’t know how to eat, right?

Not exactly.

Before I started teaching people how to eat normally, I was a dietetic technician, doing nutrition stuff in hospitals and going to nutrition school. And what I learned is that eating is only one of many, many factors that determine your weight. Once you know that, you’re on your way.

So, let’s start with this: you already know how to eat.

You were, in fact, born knowing how to eat. So why, for the love of all that’s holy, would you need to learn to eat?

Because, on the long and winding road between then and now, maybe you took a wrong turn or two.

Or seven.

There are so many wrong turns to take, it’s hard to avoid taking them.

Maybe you dieted for years. Or the intuitive eating thing just … didn’t … happen.

Maybe your parents were funny about food, or pressured you about your weight, and you’re terrified you’ll screw up your own kids.

Maybe you’ve heard so much about acai berries and antioxidants and high-fructose corn syrup that you no longer know what to eat without fearing it’s somehow going to kill you. (Or make you fat.)

Maybe you find yourself eating more than you want, or less than you want. Maybe you feel guilty for eating, for actually liking food.

Maybe eating has become a chore.

When eating stops being fun, it means you’ve taken a wrong turn.

Some signs that you need a refresher:

  • You haven’t felt hunger or fullness for a long, long time – or you don’t notice it until you’re too hungry or uncomfortably full.
  • You’re simultaneously worried that you won’t get enough to eat … and that you’ll eat too much.
  • You’re scared that, if you let yourself go, you’ll eat and eat and never stop. And you’re afraid of what will happen to your weight if you do.
  • You just want to, you know … eat. Without the drama.

Sound familiar?

It’s happened to all of us. It happened to me. Given the crazy, mixed-up world we live in, how could it not?

People are constantly telling you what to eat. Or what not to eat, and how not to eat it.

Put down your fork. Cut your meal in half. Stop before you’re full. Portion control. Use smaller plates. Weigh your food. Weigh yourself. Chew fifty times. Don’t drink at meals. Eat only protein. Eat good carbs. Use healthy fats. Drink 8 glasses of water. Eat an apple. Don’t eat while upset. Have a bath. Rate your hunger. Don’t eat empty calories. Eat whole foods. Eat raw foods. Don’t eat starch with protein. Dairy is bad. Meat is bad. Soy is bad. Don’t eat white foods. Bread is bad. Juice is bad. Eggs are bad. Butter is bad. Margarine is bad. Give up caffeine. Swear off sugar. Take this pill. Have this surgery. Have an enema.

And that’s just not what I do — not even remotely.

I don’t do finger-wagging or weight nagging. I don’t weigh you and I don’t take food away from you. I don’t make you eat food you don’t like, and I don’t make you feel bad for eating the food you do like.

And I certainly don’t give you the same boring-ass, four-food-groups, fruits-and-veggies lecture you got back in fourth grade.

What do I do? Excellent question.

What I Do

I take you from anxious and messed-up around food to chill and pretty happy.

From not knowing what hungry or full feels like, to hearing the familiar knock-knock-knock of appetite right on time, every time, and then stopping on a dime when you’re just … done.

From feeling confused and vaguely guilty about all that nutrition you should be getting, to trusting that, hey, you know what you’re doing — and you’re doing just fine.

From needing to eat the entire bag of Cheetos just because it’s there and you’re held in thrall to its horrible, guilt-ridden temptingness … to eating Cheetos when (and if) you want them — maybe a little, maybe a lot, but completely drama-free.

I teach you to like food, and to respect your body. And to be okay with that.

How I Do It

Through a delicious blend of structure, permission, and trust.

By not telling you what to eat.

By not judging you on your weight.

By not making you keep a food diary.

By soothing your fears around food and weight.

By figuring out what kind of eating is just right for you.

By letting your body do what it needs to do to find its happy size.

By clearing away all the crap to discover what you already know: how to eat.

(And, possibly, by eating Cheetos with you.)

What Happens

If this is ohmygod exactly what you need, here’s how it works:

  • The program is 12 sessions of learning-to-eat goodness — one session every week or two, or even once a month. Your choice.
  • You’ll tell me the story of your eating, dieting and weight history, how you feel about your body, and what foods you love.
  • I’ll help you learn to take care of yourself with eating, how to get back to the basics of what you already know, and how to hear what your body is telling you.
  • And we’ll do some eating experiments together.

To make sure the program is working for you, I track your progress with validated assessment tools. That way we know where you started, and how far you’ve come.

But I Don’t Live Near You!

This is the genius part of seeing an online nutritionist — it doesn’t matter where you live. If you have an internet connection, a computer, and a webcam it’s practically a housecall.

(There’s what you’ll see, occasionally featuring a cat.)

Yep, I said housecall. You can do it in your jammies if that’s your thing.

It’s all very easy to get going — easier than driving to someone’s office.

My Qualifications or, Why You Can Trust Me

Obviously you’ll want to know if I know what the hell I’m doing. So here are my details:

  • Since I have an accredited degree in nutrition, I can offer solid information on any nutrition-related question you throw at me, plus I have tons of evidence-based resources at my fingertips.
  • I worked for five years as a nutrition supervisor and diet tech in clinical nutrition at three different hospitals, covering everything from diabetes to cancer to eating disorders. (This is why I can legitimately call myself a nutritionist, if not yet a Registered Dietitian.)
  • I’m an old-school Health at Every Size-er who started blogging about nutrition and fat in 2002, joining the Fatosphere in 2007.
  • I struggled with my own eating and body stuff after a spectacularly bad dieting experience — then I got help from a dietitian trained in “How to Eat,” and have felt good about food and my body ever since. (Yep. That’s why I was so utterly thrilled to get trained myself.)

The Schedule

I usually do sessions in the afternoons and evenings, Eastern time, but it’s somewhat flexible.

How Much?

$96 per session

Each session costs ninety-six bucks Canadian. (If you’re in the States, it works out to somewhere between $93-$99 US, depending on the exchange rate that day.)

When you consider how much money one can burn on diet books and commercial weight loss programs and fat-melting supplements that don’t actually work, and don’t make you feel especially great about yourself for the long haul, well…

Doing this program is like the difference between reading a self-help book, and actually going to therapy. Which do you think is more likely to work?

Learning to eat is something that will stay with you for life. It’ll put an end to the cycle of getting on and then falling off the old wagon. It’ll help you navigate this crazy mixed-up world of ours, damn near impervious to the siren song of dieting and self-hatred, happily enjoying your food and yourself — even when the people around you are engaged in a Sisyphean struggle against their bodies.

Dieting will no longer seem tempting, because you’ll have found something so much better.

And it doesn’t end with you — if you have kids, you’ll pass it on.

If you have concerns of the budgetary variety, remember — you can opt to have one session per month. Your choice.

If I think you’d benefit from working with a therapist while you go through the program with me, I’ll tell you right away, since I screen for eating disorders.

And if it turns out that you need something completely different from what I do, I’ll give your $96 back immediately and point you in the right direction.

If you’re just not sure this is for you? That’s perfectly legit — it’s not for everyone.

We’re still friends. I still like you. You can still internet with me :)

Sound good?

You can get started right now if you want.

  1. Click the button at the bottom of the page.
  2. Pay $96, by credit card, banking, or PayPal to cover the first session.
  3. You’ll get an application and some (easy!) tests to fill out.
  4. We’ll schedule your first session, and you’ll tell me your story.

So, wanna learn to eat?