The Rider, The Elephant, And The Path

It’s that time of year again, the time of “new year, new you!” The time when people make big plans to change their life…and invariably change very little. This lack of change is often blamed on willpower or some inherent character default, but neither of these are necessarily true. I want to share an analogy that’s useful for conceptualising how we make decisions and make lasting change. I become aware of it from the work of Dan and Chip Heath (it was in their book Switch), but the originator of the analogy is Jonathan Haidt. It is the rider, the elephant, and the path. The … [Read more...]

109: Favourite Books, Documentaries and Podcasts 2017

Episode 109: With this show, I go through my favourite books, documentaries and podcasts that I've consumed in 2017. It's an eclectic mix of stuff, some things that directly relate to health and nutrition but most have no relation whatsoever. Books I read this year: Robert Sapolsky Behave Evelyn Tirbole and Elyse Resch The Intuitive Eating Workbook Sam Harris Free Will Hollie McNish Nobody Told Me Sue Gerhardt Why Love Matters Milli Hill The Positive Birth Book Brene Brown Braving The Wilderness Sam Harris Lying Sam Harris Waking Up Mother Pukka … [Read more...]

The Stories We Tell Ourselves About Our Weight

A client recently sent me an email telling me about a show she’d watched called The Truth About Slim People. She wanted to know what I thought about it. I rarely watch shows of this nature, as I just find myself getting angry or saddened at the misinformation. But despite my usual abstaining, I decided to check it out. The Show The Truth About Slim People followed two individuals, a male and female, who were slim but didn’t diet. They had been slim all their lives despite “putting in no effort”. Friends, partners and colleagues all testified how unfair it was that they were slim despite … [Read more...]

108: Interview With Jennifer Rollin

Episode 108: Welcome back to Real Health Radio. We have another guest interview and this week I'm sitting down with Jennifer Rollin, MSW, LCSW-C. Jennifer is a therapist in private practice in Rockville, Maryland, eating disorder and body image specialist, and expert writer and speaker. She is passionate about helping people to find freedom from eating disorders and body-hatred, and to discover self-compassion. Jennifer has completed certificates in CBT-E for Eating Disorders, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and is a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor. She is a member of The Junior Board of … [Read more...]

The Health Halo

In the past I’ve written about a type of bias we have called the halo effect. If a person possess a single positive attribute, like they’re good looking, we’ll automatically believe that they possess other positive attributes, like they’re smart, funny, good with money, etc. The Health Halo This halo effect doesn’t just relate to people, it also relates to food. Our ability to evaluate a food can easily be derailed by some simple buzzwords. It alters your perception of calories. For example, if a food is labelled as “low-fat” or “fat-free”, people will typically underestimate the … [Read more...]

107: Interview with Dr. Kathryn Clancy

Episode 107: Welcome back to Real Health Radio. We have another guest interview and this week I'm sitting down with Dr. Kathryn Clancy. She is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Illinois, but a lot of the research that she does now looks at women’s experiences working in science and academia more broadly. Here’s what we talk about in this podcast episode: 4:30: Kate's training and background 9:40: The problem Kate has with the field of anthropology 12:00: Differences in reproductive health between the US and Poland 19:00: How periods and … [Read more...]

Expectations, Restrictions, and Binges

Regularly, when working with clients, they will tell me that they had a “binge”. Whenever I hear this phrase uttered, I always ask them to describe the events in detail: what happened beforehand, what did they consume, where were they, what happened afterwards, what emotions did they feel, how were they talking to themselves and what were they focusing on? The definition of a binge is “an episode of uncontrollable eating in which a person rapidly consumes an excessive quantity of food”. Undoubtedly there are other definitions that differ slightly, but let’s stick with this one for now. … [Read more...]