When Lindy Cohen was 5 years old enjoying her ballet lessons, she realized she was bigger than other kids.
“When I looked at my body in the mirror in the pink leotard, I knew my body was different from other girls,” she said. AJNMore“They were straight top and bottom. And the thighs were touching and the tummy looked different. And I already knew at that point that thinner was better.”
By the age of 11, she had her first visit with a nutritionist and was put on a “healthy eating plan.” According to Cohen, it was essentially a diet. It was the beginning of what she now perceives as a chaotic relationship with food.
“Then the next decade was really turbulent in the relationship between food and my body. You could have a good day without eating or eating really well. If I ate more than I planned, I would lie in bed at night feeling guilty and blaming myself.My mood seemed to be determined by my weight,” she recalled.
What followed was a constant spiral to more extreme measures to try to control her weight.
Eventually, she decided to quit the diet all together and reframe her understanding of food.
Now, she’s made it her mission to help others do the same, and describes herself as a dietitian, television dietitian, and writer who fights diet nonsense.
her new book your weight doesn’t matterand more importantly, emphasizes a kinder approach to healthy habits.
“Diets are everywhere,” she noted. “There are a lot of socially accepted sayings like ‘I shouldn’t have eaten that’ and ‘I need to go to the gym this weekend to make up for what I ate.’ Even things like ‘I have to finish all of this. [This is] Food culture. ”
By studying nutrition, she realized that food is much more than the calories we eat, and that the psychology of eating and the relationship people have with food and body image is what we I began to focus deeply on what I eat and how it influences why I eat.
Through her books, website, and podcast, Cohen hopes to help others understand that being healthy doesn’t always mean sacrificing your own life.
“My favorite saying is that it’s not worth giving up 95% of your life to lose 5% of your weight,” she said.
When your weight doesn’t matter has already been embraced by several celebrities, Turia Pitt said: It’s a frank and liberating “f you” against the diet ethos and perfectionism. ”
For Cohen, and as she explains in her book, life should be intuitive eating — eating when you’re hungry, not when you think you should.
“It’s not a trend. That’s what we want to teach our kids,” she said. “My book has an entire chapter on this. The way we teach our children will also change, and we will teach them how to internally regulate what they eat so that we, as parents, see them. When we’re not there to tune in and adjust, they already have systems built in, so we taught them how to listen.”
Cohen hopes this will help parents and even young children understand how to have better relationships around food, energy, and life as a whole.
“It’s rare to come across someone who has a completely healthy relationship with food,” she admitted. It has become the norm to think of foods as good, bad, or forbidden, and to have a myriad of dietary rules that control what we eat. I’m here.
Especially when it comes to Jewish culture.
“There’s a certain relationship between Jews and food. We celebrate with food, but it’s a core part of our identity in our culture,” Cohen said. At the same time, there is also the pressure to have a certain perspective, and this creates a real tension between being told you have to eat and being told not to overeat, especially for women. It’s a tug of war.
It’s this attitude that Cohen seeks to change with her book and podcast, giving her another means of connecting with people.
“It’s very powerful,” she said. “If someone is downloading a podcast episode, it’s her 30 minutes. It’s a commitment to learning about topics and ideas.”
And through all media, Cohen explains that he eventually wants to create something for his younger self.
“I used to think there was something wrong with my willpower and self-control. If I could work harder or eat less, I would finally get over everything,” she recalled. “And what I’ve realized is that most of us struggle with what we eat and try to control our weight. And it’s not ‘us’ a problem.” This is much bigger than us. The way we’ve been taught to think about food is wrong, and eating healthy is becoming harder than it should be.
“Remembering me when I was 15, when I was 11, when I was 5, oh my god, how much pain I was able to save.”
your weight doesn’t matter It is published by Murdoch Books and has a list price of $32.99. Stay up to date with Cohen on her website. lyndicohen.com or on Instagram @nude_nutritionist