Like any self-respecting Jewish girl, I gained weight on my Birthright trip the summer after my freshman year of college. Buuut, I carried the habits I developed in Israel for far too long after the trip was over. When I say habits, I mean overeating. And when I say overeating, I mean eating approximately one thousand snacks before dinner and then not being hungry once dinner finally came. But then after dinner, I’d feel sad that I didn’t get to eat so then I’d binge on one thousand more snacks, and probably eat those standing up because if I sat down that would make it too legit and I wouldn’t be able to convince myself that I wasn’t eating an actual meal. You know, those little habits.
I knew that my problems with food were beginning to hold me back from “reaching my full potential” or just like, not being a total bitch because I was so miz. That’s what I found when my sister (who I may or may not have been taking my anger out on) threatened me into seeing a dietician. Ugh.
A dietician? This felt like a total failure. Plus, I know what to do—I’m a vegetarian after all. I just didn’t have the self-control to follow through with any of it, and I was embarrassed by that.
However, after Googling “dieticians near me” and scheduling my first visit with Ashley Cronin, Registered Dietician at From The Heart Nutrition (and formerly MetroWest Nutrition in Massachusetts, where I saw her), I learned that seeing a dietician (like her, at least) was actually the polar opposite of all of the shameful horror stories I’d dreamt up, like getting kale thrown at me after stepping on the scale to check my BMI (still don’t even know what a BMI is, btw).
She told me that she wanted me to be able to eat whatever I want. This was honestly scary to hear—I wanted her to give me a solid plan and structure to follow. WTF was this crunchy granola BS of not hating myself and the food I put in my body?? I needed to be punished!!!
But my dietician helped me realize this way of thinking and shaming oneself is not uncommon, and in order to be healthy and happy, I needed to totally change my mindset. “People think, ‘I should know better,’” Ashley Cronin RD, who focuses on intuitive eating, says. “But the truth is, once we start creating rules or following a diet, we swing way too far to one side, which is too restrictive. A normal response to that for any human or animal is to swing all the way to the other side of it .” She calls this “The Diet Pendulum.” And yikes, was I on it.
Ashley went on to explain, “We feel like we need a diet because we don’t trust ourselves. So we keep buying into the diet, but every time we buy into it, we fall off since it’s too restrictive.” This was totally me. Not that I was on any kind of specific diet, but I’d literally limit myself to like, one piece of avocado toast for lunch, two veggie burgers for dinner—which is not enough food, especially for someone who works out a good amount (#humblebrag). No wonder I turned into Regina George on those Kalteen bars anytime I was around food. I felt like I had to eat everything right then and there, because, in my mind, I was like, “never again for the rest of my entire life will I allow myself to eat chips because of how ‘bad’ I was last night!!!” Hahahah.
Learning Like, A Lot
Hearing all of this from a professional really, really helped. It made me feel like all of my eating behaviors and thoughts weren’t so crazy after all. “We know that diets don’t work,” asserts Cronin. “It’s not the fault of the person—the research supports that it won’t be successful. But people love the idea of a plan.”
There is RESEARCH that supports my (many) failed yo-yo dieting attempts??? WOW. (Sidenote: maybe the next time I’m uninterested in like, cleaning or cooking I should just say “the research supports that it won’t be successful.” Just a thought).
“It’s about healing your relationship with food and your body and starting to find self-care practices that work for a lifetime versus fad diets,” Cronin explains. “If eating healthy doesn’t feel like self-care, there’s no reason to do it and it’s not attainable.” Freaking. Duh.
I’m definitely not, like, the Mrs. Intuitive Eating Kween that wants to make it seem like, “oh em gee, if you just listen to your body and intuitively eat you can be perfect like me!!”. It still takes patience and thoughtfulness to mentally get to where you want to be. However, I will say that since seeing Ashley, my relationship with food has totally changed. By allowing myself to eat more, I no longer turn into a psychotic monster at the end of the night who’s basically ready to crawl inside my own refrigerator just to see if there’s anything left for dessert.
I eat dessert guilt-free, I eat more food, more often, and I’m not scared of eating out. I definitely still fall off track sometimes—mostly if I’m hungover or traveling or just if it’s Sunday (or all of the above…)—but it simply does not get me down like it used to because I no longer feel like I need to punish myself for it the next day. I’m a free betch!
Finding A Dietician
If you live in Massachusetts or Rhode Island, you can work with Ashley yourself! Contact her here or at [email protected]. If you live outside of those two states, you can find a dietician who shares her philosophy through the Intuitive Eating Counselor Directory here. You can also check out the Health At Every Size website for more resources that follow a weight-neutral approach.
Images: Ali Inay / Unsplash; Giphy
The evil monsters behind Flat Tummy Co that we love to hate are at it again, but this time they’re targeting the group that is perhaps the most vulnerable and least deserving of being targeted by this sort of sh*t: pregnant women. That’s right, Flat Tummy Co’s greed couldn’t be satiated by exploiting non-pregnant women’s insecurities and passing their crap off as health products. They had to go so far as to make women carrying actual human life feel insecure about not having a flat stomach. They’ve definitely faced continuous backlash for their sh*t, though, including from our favorite dietician Tracy Lockwood Beckerman (an actual professional who knows how horrible this stuff based on her actual scientific expertise), who spoke about it on the latest episode of the Diet Starts Tomorrow podcast. Here’s everything she says we need to know about why Flat Tummy Co’s “Organic Pregnancy Tea” isn’t actually safe for pregnant women, or really anyone for that matter, and how the internet is freaking out about it.
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#ad You guys all know I looove @flattummyco shakes. I’ve just restarted them (it’s Day 2 today) and I’m already feeling so good. We had a huuuuge Christmas this year and between that, New Years and everything inbetween… I felt like it was impossible to fit in my regular work outs and eat healthy. But this program is giving me a kick in the right direction that I need. These meal replacement shakes are so good and they’re helping me get my tummy back to flat. I’m already feeling amazing and I’m so excited for the next few weeks. Because they’re all about getting women back on track… they’ve got a 20% off sale going on right now, so if you want to start 2019 off right… trust me, you’re going to want to check them out. PS. I’m doing the chocolate program?
don’t follow any of the Kardashians aren’t familiar with Flat Tummy’s regular antics, they are known for marketing their fake healthy products via sponsored Instagram posts by celebrities with large female followings, such as Real Housewives and the Kardashians. What a clever marketing strategy!!! Make women think celebrities’ impossibly flat stomachs are thanks to a tea they can buy themselves, and not the personal chefs and trainers and doctors that only the wealthy can afford! Social media has already made beauty standards for women unrealistically high, so why not just perpetuate lies and make them even unhealthily higher?! Hahahaha everything is so great over here in womanhood. What’s even crazier is the fact that they used Amber Rose, who actually is pregnant right now, to promote their pregnancy tea and try to convince people that it actually is healthy to use while pregnant.
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#ad Okay listen up @flattummyco just launched an Organic Pregnancy Tea to help us moms with those bloated, nauseous, blah feeling days! It’s safe to take while pregnant and breastfeeding. This is not a detox tea – it’s specially designed to help reduce occasional nausea and support digestion during pregnancy – haters stop riding the bandwagon and think for yourselves.
Luckily Jameela Jamil, who’s been the one to call the Kardashians out for taking advantage of their audience just to get that Flat Tummy money, stepped in here as well. “FLAT TUMMY PRODUCTS FOR… PREGNANT WOMEN? Is this FDA approved? Are we… fucking… KIDDING? @US_FDA,” she tweeted with a screenshot of Amber Rose’s Instagram post.
I’m sorry, but isn’t the idea of a Flat Tummy pregnancy tea a little bit of an oxymoron? If there is one time in your life you probably aren’t going to have a flat tummy, it’s when you are pregnant. Are we really now trying to force the necessity of a flat stomach on literal pregnant women?! I can’t. I’ve truly seen it all.
But not only are these bullsh*t teas harmful to body image and don’t do what they say they do, they can actually make you physically sick. Beckerman says the “detox teas” are literally just LAXATIVES. Even worse, once you start drinking them, you physically will not be able to go to the bathroom without them. Which makes perfect sense from a money-hungry marketing standpoint, because then you just have to keep buying more! The truth is, these companies don’t give a sh*t about your wellbeing, but you certainly will be giving a lot of it when you’re running to the bathroom every five minutes after using their products.
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#ad If you’ve been wondering what I’ve been doing… I’ve been out here working my a** off. I’ve been working out and using @flattummyco meal replacement shakes to help me get my tummy back to where it was. I know it’s not going to be an easy journey, but I’m feeling SO ready to do this and after using the shakes, I’m feeling really good and definitely feeling the difference. Baby weight is no joke! If you’re wanting to try them you should get on it because there’s a 20% off sale going on right now!
Knowing what the ingredients in Flat Tummy products actually do, Beckerman explains, “What you’re doing to your body in taking this tea is a laxative-like effect on you. It’s making you feel dizzy, it’s making you feel lethargic, you’re dehydrated, your electrolytes are imbalanced. You feel sh*tty, you’re gonna lay down, you may even get the sweats and you don’t feel good,” which is what happens to a healthy person who doesn’t have a bun in the oven when they drink the tea. Imagine how it would affect someone who’s pregnant: “Now you’re immunocompromised, you’re carrying a child, and your system doesn’t work to take care of mom ‘cause it’s taking care of baby, so mom could pass out.” The cherry on top is that THEY AREN’T EVEN FDA APPROVED. To be fair, no supplements are FDA approved, because they are not evaluated by the FDA. But still, Beckerman states, “They did a recall of over 400 supplements in the last 10 years because… They had other things like weight loss stimulants that have been taken off the market for years because they cause heart attacks.”
When Tracy called Flat Tummy out for their unethical sh*t on her Instagram, they replied to a comment on her post! Someone pointed out that their website literally said that the Organic Pregnancy Tea isn’t actually safe for pregnant women, to which they responded in a comment (that they later deleted) that said their website was in the process of being updated.
I’m sorry, but what kind of credible website selling “health products” doesn’t have accurate information ready about whether or not it’s healthy to take their products? Everyone, I beg of you, save yourself from the ridiculousness these greed machines are trying to force on us and realize that you and your baby will be better off without this bullsh*t. We all will be.
To hear more about the Flat Tummy hoax, listen to Diet Starts Tomorrow below.
Images: freestocks.org / Unsplash; kimkardashian / Instagram; amberrose / Instagram; khloekardashian / Instagram