Replacing myths with
Contemporary Research Findings:
What Determines Body Weight? What are the Dynamics of
own experience with dieting and weight cycling.
Chart adult weight fluctuations.
Identify attribution for dieting failures.
Identify self-talk and beliefs about blame/self-discipline/being in
in light of research.
Identify cues that stimulate the impulse to diet.
Develop non-dieting alternatives for addressing these feelings.
Challenge media myths and misinformation.
Challenge misinformation among friends/family.
Challenge misinformation from physicians.
Reject short-term, self-depriving strategies in favor of long-term, pleasurable
strategies for raising quality of life.
the Relationship with Food
awareness of current eating patterns.
Evaluate degree of congruence between physical hunger/satiety cues and
Become familiar with "Degrees of Hunger," "Humming and
Beckoning Foods" and "Conscious Eating" concepts.
Distinguish between physical hunger and other impulses to eat.
Describe current labelling of food as "healthy" vs.
Make eating decisions openly.
Eat food from
"forbidden" list in unrestrained manner.
Utilize physical hunger cues to
initiate and terminate eating.
Experiment with labeling and responding to impulses to eat which do not arise from
Develop sense of entitlement to pleasurable food, in satisfying amounts.
Eat with pleasurable awareness more often than not.
Tolerate the presence of formerly "forbidden" or "beckoning" foods
Physical Activity into Daily Life
history of efforts at exercise; identify attitudes and assumptions.
Examine concept of a physical "hunger to move."
Identify movement preferences, e.g., vigorous vs. languid, on land/in
water, with/without peers, etc.
Research potential opportunities for movement.
Educate oneself re the differing needs of large bodies exercising.
for coping with potential problems, e.g., how to set one's own pace; where to find
comfortable clothing/equipment; how to deal with self-defeating thoughts, how to deal with
Sample several activities at one's own pace; evaluate their appeal.
Experience exercise as pleasurable.
Notice increasing body competence, strength, stamina (functioning rather than
Improve congruence between movement hunger and the activity performed.
Replace a moralistic obligation to exercise with a sense of entitlement to pleasurable
Area of Intervention
Replacing Self-Abuse with Self-Care
aware of the predominant tone of self-talk, especially when thinking about
performance/trying something new/making mistakes/being social.
Identify various forms of self-deprivation.
Learn about the stages of change that are normal:
precontemplation, contemplation, determination, action, (re)lapse, maintenance.
self-denigrating thoughts with truthful but neutral/positive statements.
in" or expect to allow time/room for mistakes. Practice "claiming"
imperfections with as much good humor/tolerance as possible.
Analyze intrapersonal self-care as if it was interpersonal: Would this
feel like good care if it was one person caring for another?
Area of Intervention
Fostering Body Esteem:
Building Up the Pleasurable/
Mastery Functions of the Body
aware of the predominant tone of self-talk about body/attractiveness/functioning.
Identify frequency of the following: Buying clothes which are too
small; avoiding activities which use the body; hiding the body.
self-denigrating thoughts with truthful, but more neutral/ positive statements about body.
a previously-avoided activity.
Get a massage.
Note small improvements in strength & stamina.
Build on or nurture a new physical skill.
Seek out sensual and/or sexual pleasure.
Write down what this body needs/desires; what its rhythms are. Analyze how well
its cared for.
Defend the body's boundaries.
Exploring the Political/
Cultural/Economic Dynamics of the Fear of Female Fat
associations to fatness/thinness.
Educate self about discrimination based on body size; the agenda of the
diet industry; the political purpose of female starvation.
Develop contacts with
large people to discover the common experiences.
Allow anger to fuel action for social
Develop means of self-defense against bigotry/discrimination.
Area of Intervention
Choosing Health: Replacing
Compliance with Entitlement
the moralistic tone of "healthism."
Identify how compliance with (or rebellion against) the obligation to
lose weight "for health reasons" distracts from the development of one's own
Claim the rights to
good medical care, good nutrition, and a healthy body.
Rocking the Boat: Risking
Conflict in Relationships
the frequency of avoiding the expression of needs/feelings.
Explore the fears that lead to this avoidance.
Notice a time when one uses food rather than expressing oneself.
"no" to someone.
Express something difficult to a trusted person.
Express a feeling that is not clear yet and allow the other person to help you
Tolerate another person's anger without retreating.
Area of Intervention
Reframing Hunger: Valuing
Needs and Desires
the current associations to being "needy" or "hungry."
Assess whether these states are avoided.
Compare the sensuality of eating when hungry to eating when not hungry.
opportunity for being cared for that is afforded by hunger/need/desire.
opportunity for such intimacy.
Create a positive vision of robust, sensual interdependency in relationships.
Replacing Self-Blame with Self-Advocacy
"boundaries" as a concept.
Assess the responsibility one claims for others' distress vs. one's own
distress; e.g., Is there self-blame for others' feelings? Are others held to blame for
one's own feelings? Does the assessment of responsibility seem appropriate?
Identify an example
of unrealistic self-blame.
Identify an example of passivity in the face of caring for
Try the opposite behavior in these examples and explore how this feels.
Tolerate the expression of another person's feelings without taking excessive
Compare the attention available to others when one is feeling well-cared-for vs.
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