Anne Poirier, CSCS and expert in eating disorders, shares her own struggles with body image and eating disorders with DeliveyRank and explains how she helps people free themselves from negative beliefs about their body and weight.
Shaping Perspectives perfectly reflects our company’s concept because the
individuals we serve tend to suffer from skewed beliefs and behaviors related to food, eating and exercise. Simply put, they have internalized a negative and distorted self-image..
When we coach them to start recognizing these issues and changing their focus, the latter lose the power and grip that have kept them prisoners inside their own bodies.
The way we see our bodies has been influenced by societal standards that determine how we are ‘supposed’ to look, as well as what we should think about food and how much we should weigh. From a different perspective, we begin to see and treat ourselves differently.
I think about Wayne Dyer’s old saying: “When you change the way you look at things,
the things you look at change”. And that is our motto at Shaping Perspectives.
I was motivated to launch this company based on my own journey. I had an eating disorder as
a pre-teen, which really altered the way I related to food and how I saw my body for much of my life.
My own journey through decades of disordered eating, compulsive exercise and
negative body image and self-talk constituted the fuel to find a better, different and
more enjoyable way to eat, move and live.
With the support of my husband (and business partner), I went to graduate school to study
eating disorders, hired the support of a therapist and coach, wrote a book called The Body
Joyful: My journey from Self-loathing to Self-acceptance, and started the company Shaping
Perspectives- A Woman’s Way to Joy.
Our diet-free program has specific tools, strategies and steps, based upon proven ‘best
practices’ yet it is also personalized for each client’s wants, needs, experience and history.
Our steps include: Intuitive Eating, Body Image Work, Self-Talk and Self -Compassion, Stress
Management, Joyful Exercise and prioritizing Self-Care.
I always start from the place where the client is having the most difficulty. How
the client sees and thinks about their body? Is he/she binging? Is he/she completely feeling
overwhelmed and running on empty? Then we create an individualized action plan to take them
from where they are to where they want to go.
The only nutritional program I work with is Intuitive Eating, which includes
hunger, fullness, satisfaction, peace with food, mindful eating and emotional eating,
among other things.
Intuitive Eating gets a person in touch with why, when and how they eat. It includes 10
principles, including hunger, fullness, satisfaction, peace with food, mindful eating, emotional
eating and how the body responds to food (Like noticing what foods bring you down, while
others make you feel energized) It was created by my mentors Evelyn Tribole and Elise Resch.
(Supported by over 100 research articles)
One of my clients sent me a text about how practicing Intuitive Eating has changed her
relationship with food. She said this: “In the past, I spent all this time, money, and energy
(mostly emotional energy) planning, eating and then feeling BAD about myself! Because of
Intuitive Eating, I no longer spend all this time obsession about sweets and beating myself up.
No wonder I have so much energy now!” Eliza
Most of my customers have been dieting for years, or decades and are ready to get off the
dieting roller coaster for good. Because they lack trust with themselves and their bodies, we
first help them shift their perspectives, self talk and beliefs about dieting, food and body.
We next address the emotional connections to food. Why do they turn to food when not
hungry? What are the emotional needs that are not being met, and what are their expectations
about how food will fix everything, at least temporarily. What is the need they are trying to fill?
Finally, I support them as they implement and master the 10 intuitive eating principles.
For those individuals who stress eat or binge eat do a deep diver to uncover the reasons they are choosing to utilize food to solve the problem, issue, anxiety, worry etc.
Yes, my method which is called the Body Joyful Solution does address trauma and childhood
issues leading to eating disorders or a flawed body image, by exploring the origins of people’s
body image, relationship with food and the types of beliefs they have about themselves.
As a certified eating disorder specialist, eating disorder survivor and member of the National
Eating Disorder Lived Experience task force I have both personal experience and specialized
training to help my customers connect past traumas or childhood issues, such as being weight
teased, bullied, starting a diet at an early age, having poor body image etc…
In addition, I internalized society’s thin ideal and dieting cultures messages that surrounded me,
both of which are the leading precursors to eating disorders.
Yes, we do explore the origins of our body image and the types of beliefs we have about ourselves, that stem from childhood experiences,people and environments.
I personally internalized many common everyday conversations about ‘right size’ and ‘wrong size' bodies, about good foods and bad foods and terrible foods..
So in the work that I do, we address all of these issues to help the client better understand why they have been stuck on particular behaviors for years. I use the term “No Wonder” a lot:
“ It is no wonder that you responded that way, nor that you thought that would fix everything, or that you turned to food for comfort because that is what you learned”.
The Body Joyful Solution is effective because it meets a person where they are and provides
support via simple tools and strategies to help them develop habits that guide them towards food freedom, body peace, and self-acceptance.
I believe in my method because it goes beyond food, weight and body image. We take the totality of a person into consideration. We examine their levels of stress, relationships, emotions, old beliefs, old patterns, sleep patterns, food, movement, self talk, self-care and self- worth. It is a fully comprehensive system. It is not just about food.
I have shared the Shaping Perspectives philosophy with a few organizations, such as Church
groups, Health and Physical Education teachers, lawyers and nurses, as well as the New London Hospital, Martins Point, Colby Sawyer College, NHAHPERD, Women Standing Together,Plymouth State Women’s Leadership Summit, To Be A Champion, Nelson-
Reade Law Office to name a few.
In addition to ongoing personal and professional development: Delegate. We hired a virtual assistant without whom we would be lost! I am delighted to have hired Jam and would hire her over again and again!
One of my clients confessed she didn’t suspect that taking care of herself and eating intuitively and joyfully (knocking down worry, criticism or judgment), would improve her relationship with her kids. But it did. Now that her cup is full and that she is no longer stressed and worried, she has become much closer with both of her kids.
This is invaluable!
One other client said to me just the other day: “I finally realized I couldn’t hate myself thin”
Those words have changed her life.