What’s all this, then?

It’s my blog about normal eating. You’re reading it.

So, I’m working on this thing I like to call my Unified Theory of Kicking Ass. What that means is, I’m reading and learning stuff about normal eating and nutrition and how people change their behaviour.

I have a pretty decent understanding of this stuff already, since I’ve almost finished my nutrition degree, but I’m looking for something more.

Something that will really help people. Something that will totally kick ass.

The thing is, there are a lot of useful theories around. There’s intuitive eating, and eating competence, and demand feeding, and health at every size, and various non-diet approaches to good nutrition. And we’re going to discuss them all on this blog.

They’re based on solid evidence. They work. And a lot of people really, really like the idea of putting them to work in their own lives.

But that can be really, really hard to do.

I know because I went through it myself.

I had a serious Dieting Incident that really messed me up. It took me five years to relearn to eat, and move, and feel normal with my body again.

I’m not perfect by any means, but I’ve reached a place that is, apparently, enviable: I feel comfortable around food.

I don’t think of food as “good” or “bad.” I don’t see my weight as a reflection of my character. I combine what tastes good and what feels good without a lot of thought. I mostly get hungry at regular times, and I mostly eat until I feel just right. My weight is stable, finally.

I’m cool with food. And I’m pretty cool with my body, too.

Five years ago, I literally thought I would never get to this place. I cried just thinking about it. (Yeah, I’m emotional like that.)

But I’m here, and it’s every bit as awesome as I’d hoped. And the reason I’m writing about it is because, after being involved in the Fatosphere, and reading so many discussions about food and intuitive eating and whatnot, I know there are tons of people out there who feel like I did — that normal eating will never happen for them.

Well, I think it can. And I’m here to help.

Normal eating is what we’re born to do — and I truly believe we can relearn how to do it, if it’s necessary. (And it is.)

So, you’re here. I’m over the moon you’re here, because I really need your help with this.

I’ll tell you what I figure out along the way. I’ll bounce ideas off you. In return, I hope you’ll give me your suggestions, your thoughts, your stories and your support.

Help me develop this thing, this Unified Theory, and I’ll be your biggest fan. Seriously. How could I not?




9 responses to “What’s all this, then?”

  1. Myca Avatar

    Hiya. Michelle, this is Myca from Alas. I just wanted to let you know that I’m enjoying your writing very much, I’m pointing friends here, and as soon as we get our blogroll in order*, I’ll be sure to put you on it!


    * NOTE: That may well be never. Sigh.

    1. Michelle Avatar

      Myca — Thanks so much. I really appreciate it. I am a huge fan of Alas!

  2. Nicole Avatar

    I’m really enjoying your blog so far. Thanks for doing it! I consider myself to have reached a decent place with myself about food and body, but I have setbacks. The whole process of being examined minutely for life insurance more or less caused a relapse for me in my ED. It’s hard. I’ll look forward to reading more from you.

  3. wellroundedtype2 Avatar

    Your new blog is wonderful. The. Best.
    You are what the world needs.

  4. Pewter Avatar

    Hey there,

    Another of your posts triggered me to think more about my own approach to food. I have the same problems – learning to eat normally, to think normally about food so that it just becomes part of my life and not something to guilt over, so that I treat my body right. I look forward to more posts from you!

  5. CTJen Avatar

    I love this blog. I can’t wait to see more. The idea of “normal” eating occurred to me while breastfeeding my baby on demand–If I can feed him that way, why can’t I feed MYSELF on demand?

  6. Tracy Avatar

    I am so excited to read and maybe even participate in the development of your Unified Theory! Keep the ass-kickingness coming!

    -your new fan Tracy

  7. michaelmynatt Avatar

    You focus on women and that is very good because women really need to hear this. But guys need to hear this to.

    I am writing to ask you to mention Guys in your blog. Just mention them, no more than that. Just say that guys have this problem too.

    We have Superman with chiseled muscles and ripling pecs as the male ideal. Action figures twenty years ago were average and had an unexceptional physique.

    Now GI joe has the body of Mr.Olympus. This sets up expectations for men and boys.
    Not necessarily to be bodybuilders but definitely not to be fat or skinny.
    Unlike women, both fat and non-muscular skinny boys are considered less masculine than the alpha males that strut and preen in the locker rooms of the nations High Schools.

    No guy wants to be fat or skinny. We all want to be Arnold as he was in CONAN…even though 99.99% of us could not get there if we made a pact with the devil and killed ourselves with diet and exercise.

    I think guys are less crazy about it than women generally, or maybe its that they are less open about it.
    But it is still a big problem with us, not just in work and society but with our kids as well.
    My little son kids me about my weight and my fat tummy and I know he’s kidding. But I also know he sees the real men who look like men, in the movies and in the comic books, and he is not proud to be around his fat Dad.
    Thank you ,
    Michael Mynatt

    1. Michelle Avatar

      You know what, Michael — you’re absolutely right. Men and boys struggle with this issue too, and it’s totally right to include them in the discussion.

      I do believe that, for certain reasons, the burden of appearance-based expectations, and especially fatness, falls disproportionately more on women than men — but that that gap also seems to be closing somewhat, as body pressures extend to encompass people of all genders (and racialized identities, sexualities, etc.)

      The only reason I don’t write more from the male perspective is because, well, I ain’t male. I can’t presume to know what that’s like. But your point is very well taken, and I’m certainly interested in learning more about the experience of men with body image pressures. In fact, I’d love for more men (like yourself) to stick around and add your two cents to the discussions here. Because it’s important for all of us to hear about this.

      In fact, I was just looking at a site today that you might find interesting: Men Get Eating Disorders Too. I haven’t read through the whole thing as yet, but it looks interesting.