24 Mar 6 Signs You Are a Master Eater
6 Signs You Are a Master Eater
By Rebecca Jaspan, MPH, CDCES, RD and Graduate of Integrated Eating’s Somatic Feeding and Eating Course
The challenging road to recovery involves turning inward and finding your healthy body, mind, and spirit. Through this process, you gain the confidence in when, what, and how much you eat that you can call yourself a Mastered Eater. Maria Sorbara Mora, MS, CEDRD, C-IAYT, CDN of Integrated Eating, describes Mastered Eating as an integration of three skills: a solid foundation of structured eating, honing mindfulness as a tool, and enlisting intuitive body processes into eating. A Mastered Eater has learned to trust her body to guide food and movement choices, moving closer to values of health and wellbeing.
Depending on the stage in your recovery journey, Mastered Eating may feel tangible or it may feel totally inaccessible. At Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition and Yoga, we support our clients through every step on the way to Mastered Eating. How do you know when you have become one? Keep reading for six signs to know you are well on your way to Mastered Eating.
- You honor your hunger and fullness
While eating disorder recovery is so much more than eat when you are hungry and stop when are full, learning to trust your body’s hunger and fullness cues is a strong sign you are becoming a Mastered Eater. Previously, you may have suppressed these cues or even had no idea what those cues felt like in your body. A Mastered Eater eats three meals a day with snacks in between, nourishing herself/himslef throughout the day with the goal of preventing extreme hunger or fullness.
- Food and thoughts of food consume a small part of your day
Do you ever notice yourself thinking about lunch while you’re eating breakfast? Or having trouble focusing on work or school because food is consuming your thoughts? For Mastered Eaters, food is just one part of their life, rather than their whole life. As you are working toward nourishing yourself adequately throughout the day and changing your thoughts about food, you may notice the intensity of those food thoughts become quieter.
- Movement is a source of joy, rather than punishment
A Mastered Eater recognizes food as nourishment and fuel that doesn’t need to be earned or burned off through exercise. Therefore, movement is also treated a form of self-care rather than a punishment or a method of changing one’s body.
- You are present in food experiences, both with food and conversation
Your eating disorder may have take away your ability to be fully present at meals and enjoy the food, atmosphere, and conversation all at the same time. As you begin to practice the skills of Mastered Eating, you may notice that food takes over less of your mind and you are better able to engage in conversation. You have the ability to eat mindfully while participating in conversation at the table.
- Your attitude toward food and exercise are flexible
In your recovery journey, you have probably worked on giving up a significant amount of control over your food and exercise. Flexibility is key to being a Mastered Eater. You no longer miss out on a spontaneous social meal or feel anxious if someone orders an extra dessert. You trust your body to know what and how much it wants to eat.
- You are engaged in the parts of life that your eating disorder previously took away
Becoming a Mastered Eater means that food is only one part of your life. You have the mental space to fill your days with work, hobbies, friends, and family. Health and wellbeing are defined by so much more than food and exercise, but also about the other parts of life that bring you meaning. For more information on mastered eating, please join Laura Cipullo’s webinar Merging Consistent Carbohydrate Counting with Mindful and Intuitive Eating Philosophies through Dietitian Central and read Maria Sorbrara Mora and Joe Kelly’s Incorporating Science, Body and Yoga in Nutrition-Based Eating Disorder Treatment and Recovery.