If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I attended the Cravings and Connections support group this past month. Or you might have seen my video introducing the group and my involvement here. While my Instagram stories and YouTube video gave you snippets and highlights, I have been waiting for this encompassing recap to delve into the things I learned and share the benefits of understanding my relationship to food.
For those that might feel weary – support group? Isn’t that a therapy thing? – what I wanted to most reiterate about Cravings and Connections is that it is for the everyday woman. Far too often, we think self-care is designated for those with an illness or disorder. Cravings and Connections peels away that stigma. We were all there to learn and support one another. The normalcy of it all felt comforting.
Ok, let’s get to the key things I learned:
1. I overeat because I link food to love.
This was my first breakthrough. I can overeat. I will go for the dessert even though I can barely breathe from my entrée. I will eat until my stomach is so full it hurts. I have to finish the food on my plate. If there is food in front of me, it is nearly impossible to just “not eat it.”
I found that this is because when I was a little girl, my dad cooked me breakfast, lunch, and dinner – and snacks in between. He never missed a meal and always had dinner on the table for us to enjoy. I recognized that I associate food with all the love I received from my dad through his meals. That is why when I need comfort, I eat.
I want to note that I do not overeat to an unhealthy point and I am overall happy with the weight that I am at – but I came into Cravings and Connections wanting to understand why I feel the need to overeat. Turns out, it is because I needed some love in those moments. Now I can give myself self-love without reaching for the bag of Sour Patch Kids.
2. Eating slowly will change your digestive system.
But seriously. Think about this: your stomach is awaiting the food you are chewing up. If you do not chew correctly, you are ALREADY starting your digestive track off to a bad start. It starts in your mouth.
This was the biggest eye-opener for me. I now remind myself to chew around 20 times a bite. I have digestive problems – bloating and pain – but by slowing down and chewing each bite, these symptoms have significantly reduced.
Try it: chew each small bite 20 times. See how your stomach feels – and watch how you get fuller off smaller amounts of food. Win win!
3. Stop eating mindlessly and eat mindfully.
I cannot count the number of times I have craved something only to realize that I have already eaten the entire bag of candy. That is because I am conditioned to eating mindlessly. Eating mindfully includes being present, chewing your food slowly, and savoring each bite. You will find that your food lasts longer, tastes better, and your cravings get satisfied off a fraction of your portion.
Since participating in the support group, I cut my portions, don’t feel out of control when I want to eat the entire world, understand my cravings, and know what is best for my body and my mind. Being in tune with my body eases the emotional aspect of food and amplifies a healthier digestive system.
And, GOOD NEWS…back by popular demand, Cravings & Connections is gearing up for their second session in San Diego.
This four-week group for women focuses on the emotional components of eating and breaks down complicated nutrition topics. It is led by SFC’s nutritionist Rachel Freeman and Kristy Malone, who are both mental health therapists and certified nutritionists.
Here is all the info you need:
The first group will be held on Thursday mornings, beginning June 29th from 10-11:30 am and will continue every week at that time for 4 weeks, ending July 20th (excluding the week of July 4th, no class will be held).
The second group will begin Tuesday evenings, starting July 18th from 6-7:30 pm and will continue every Tuesday at that time for 4 weeks, ending August 8th.
Week 1 | Explore your relationship with food and your body. Examine your self-talk and understand the origin of your inner narrative as it relates to food and emotions.
Week 2 | Connect with your body’s cues, discover how blood sugar impacts cravings, and learn how to tap into your body’s innate wisdom.
Week 3 | Learn the physiology of digestion and psychology of eating. Understand the mind-body connection and how stress impacts gut health.
Week 4 | Create your new narrative and gain actionable steps for a healthier relationship with food and your body. Learn strategies to detoxify all aspects of your life.
The cost will be $149 for all 4 weeks, but if you sign up before June 18th you will receive $10 off. Space is limited and we sold out the last groups. If you want to attend you will need to secure your spot ASAP by emailing SheaNutrition@gmail.
com, and indicate which group you’d like to attend.
AND if you are joining, you get a REVUE reader discount! Just mention Scout sent you and get $20 off! Trust me when I say this prematurely: You’re welcome.
If you do join, please let me know! I would love to hear about your experience.
Start your food journey and sign up for Cravings and Connections here.
Thank you so much to Rachel Freeman and Kristy Malone. Your knowledge and your group leadership has led to lasting impact – both emotional and physical.
P.S. To watch my Cravings and Connections video, click here.