week 2: set point and the word FAT

This week we are exploring set-point theory and why we feel so bad about the word (and the tissues called) FAT. We also begin to look at Intuitive Eating as an alternative to the diet rules and plans we’re leaving behind….


Your set point weight is the weight that your body naturally tends towards in the absence of interference (e.g. diet-binge cycling, or intentional meddling with your size)...... The size your body settles into when you are living a healthy lifestyle that feels relaxed, enjoyable, and sustainable.

“the only way to find out what your personal set point weight is, is to work towards developing a healthful relationship with food (both physically and mentally) and see what happens.”

SURRENDER (not about giving up or giving in....surrender is about moving on and doing something new. Accepting the limits of how much we actually can and should control when it comes to food and our bodies).


A few things here: 1. Fat and Health are two totally separate issues and pursuing weight loss and pursuing health are two totally different psychological processes. We'll dig into this more next week but I just wanted to start that conversation

2. We need to decide that fat is not the worst thing that could ever possibly happen to us (even if you don't believe it just yet) we need to decide to use the word appropriately (as a descriptor) and to refrain from describing ourselves as "fat" in a super negative, world-is-ending kind of way.

3. Lastly, FAT is not a feeling - it's a tissue. Let's get clear on what fat represents for us and what we're really feeling when we “feel fat”.

Intuitive Eating (these are directly from Evelyn Tribole and Elise Resch)

The 10 Principles:

  1. Reject Diet Mentality

  2. Honour Y our Hunger

  3. Make Peace with Food

  4. Challenge the Food Police

  5. Feel Y our Fullness

  6. Discover Satisfaction

  7. Cope with Your Emotions without Using Food

  8. Respect Y our Body

  9. Exercise - Feel the Difference

  10. Gentle Nutrition

Here’s where we are going to start:

Honour Your Hunger

You can't feel your full until you honour hunger! Get in touch with hunger. Learn to recognize it and nourish yourself consistently! Hunger is a biological drive and the more we ignore it, the more it GROWS.....until we find ourselves "gasping" for food.
The first step to getting our hunger/appetite back on track is to get in touch with the subtleties of our hunger and then, when we are MODERATELY hungry - EAT!!!

Repeat this step over and over again until you re-build trust with your body, and allow your over-reactive appetite to settle down. Give yourself TIME!



Re-build trust:
1. Scale Hunger regularly on a scale of 0-10 (0 being not hungry at all and 10 bring SUPER hungry -i.e. low blood sugar, dizzy, hangry). Try to feed yourself consistently when you are in the 5-6-7-8 range.

If you NEVER feel hungry, try eating every few hours until you ebgin to tune in to biological information.
If you are ALWAYS eating and never have the chance to get hungry....try to let yourself get to a 6-7 in hunger on the scale. See what feelings pop up. Work very hard to notice diet mentality thoughts....we need to get rid of those so you can begin to get back in touch with hunger! *Note: this can trigger anxiety. If that happens, eat in whatever way makes you feel less anxious. Continue to tune in to signals of hunger/full (even if you can’t do anything about those feelings just yet) and become more and more aware of your physical body.

2. Write down what FAT means to you. What does it represent? What words would you consider when describing a fat person? Be brutally honest!!!

Bonus prompts: 
What does "having a fat body" mean to you? What does that phrase conjure up for you - images? Memories? Words? Descriptors? Free write a bit here and see what comes up!

If you had to live the rest of your life in the body you are in, how would you feel??

If you were to gain 30lbs....how would your body stand in your way? How do you feel you'd be judged? What would people say behind your back? What COULDN'T you do that you can right now?

If you were to LOSE 30 lbs.....how would your body pave your way. How do you feel you'd be judged? What would people say behind your back? What COULD you do that you can't right now?

3. Last thing: if you "feel fat" take a moment to jot down the emotion you are really feeling....are you sad, mad, embarrassed, vulnerable, ashamed, scared, feeling less than. Dig into the real feeling.

Week 2 Q&A: