You’ve been navigating your weight and working toward your health goals on your own for long enough!
It can feel isolating to be on the journey on your own and it’s overwhelming, especially when you’ve lost and gained the same weight over and over again.
Truce with Food is a research-based process created by Ali Shapiro, MSOD, CHHC that combines adult development and narrative coaching to resolve the root cause issues, which lead people to not take as great of care of themselves as they would like.
This process is for you if:
- You have a ton of information and know what you “should” be doing but for some reason you’re not able to stick with it consistently.
- You’re tired of obsessing about food and having it take up most of your spare brain space.
- You’re ready to get to the bottom of why you self-sabotage and “fall off track” with your eating so you can take back control of your eating.
- You’re sick of thinking of food, exercise, and life in terms of all-or-nothing.
This process is NOT for you if you're:
- Craving a meal plan and someone to tell you what you should and shouldn't eat.
- Looking for a quick-fix or formula with more tactics to resist food.
- Not able or willing to do deep emotional work (if that’s where you are right now, that’s OK!)
- In a crisis mode and feel the need to lose weight yesterday.
What's actually happening when you eat and you aren't hungry:
We often think when we’re eating out of alignment with our goals, we need more discipline or willpower. However, why is it that you’re disciplined and successful in many other areas of life, but for some reason you can’t find the same self-control when it comes to food? It’s likely because you’re in this cycle of self-protection.
- Trigger: You experience emotional discomfort from a trigger such as tired, anxious, inadequate, or lonely. This may happen after receiving an email from your boss you perceive as negative feedback about a project you messed up on. Your stomach drops and your shoulders tense up. What’s happening isn’t actually stressful or depressing, we have an internal emotional trigger, so we focus on food or our bodies.
- Story: Your triggered emotion can feel “unsafe” because it was unsafe in the past. So, you fall back on this powerful (and often unconscious) story that creates stress and tension. Thinking back to the email from your boss, your story might be that you felt misunderstood, you’ve failed and are at risk of losing your job.
- Stress Reaction: You protect yourself with the emotional versions of fight, flight, or freeze mode, which are to compete, avoid, or accommodate. Once you feel like you’ve failed from the email, you immediately think about finding a new job. This is part of the avoid stress response where you want to get out of the uncomfortable situation ASAP.
- Behavior: The stress reactions lead to behaviors that create a self-fulfilling prophecy. As a result, you feel stuck, unfulfilled, or isolated. With the sudden desire to start looking for a new job, you search job sites, or draft a defensive email back to your boss. You get up from your desk and beeline it to the candy stash at your co-worker’s desk.
- Eat Out of Alignment with Your Goals: You mindlessly eat, stress eat, or emotionally eat, hoping the food will help “save the day.”
- Lose Self-Trust: You start to question your ability with food and your body. Once you inhale the candy, you feel like you failed again and didn’t stick with the healthy eating plan you started out with in the morning.
- Loops Back to the Trigger: You become triggered again because you’re less resilient and creative about other choices you have. As a result, you become more stressed and start to lose hope.
Now you might be wondering, ‘so now that I know this cycle exists, how do I change it?’
During this program, you will gain clarity around the external factors causing your cravings because once you’re aware of them, the pull of food can decrease. Through our sessions, you’ll also strengthen your self-trust, which will lead to being more in tune with what works best for you, your body and your lifestyle. (Hint: It likely won’t be a one-size-fits-all approach.)
Specifically, here is what we cover in each session:
If you are ready to radically transform your relationship with food and your life, this comprehensive, 6-month program is right for you. We will dig deep and find out what is at the root of your self-sabotaging behaviors.
Curious if this is the right program for you? Schedule a Curiosity Call free of shame, guilt and judgment.
"When I first reached out to Laura for support, I was emotionally and physically unhealthy. I was stuck and could not move forward with my exercise and eating goals. I now feel so much more comfortable in my own skin and am a lot less anxious.
I really enjoyed the opportunity to dig deeply into issues that I only touched on in a surface level way during traditional cognitive behavioral therapy. Laura helped me question my own thoughts/feelings in a way that I had not done in the past (despite all that therapy!).
Overall, I'm more effective in all areas of my life because I am in more control and able to pick and choose what I do and don't want to take on.
I always felt understood and never judged by Laura. I recommend this program to anyone who has struggled to understand his or her relationship with food. This is not another diet.
I feel 1,000% better than I did when I first started working with Laura. This process was life saving!"*
"6-months ago, my attention to my health had taken a backseat and I felt stuck. I didn’t want to resort to my old ways of following a strict exercise or food regiment, only to revert back to old habits when I was having a rough day. I wanted to understand the subconscious reasons for my unhealthy habits and patterns in all areas, including why I would eat things even though I knew they weren’t the healthiest choices.
After going through Truce with Food, I don’t eat impulsively anymore, my late-night snacking is totally under control, and I trust my body and my choices!
Laura was absolutely the right person for me at the right time. I never realized how my relationship with food was really a manifestation of my relationship with myself and others. She finally helped me realize that the ‘long lost twin’ I’ve been looking for my whole life is ME!
I recommend this program to anyone who is feeling stuck in their attempts to change their eating, exercise, or other life habits. It’s also for anyone who sees, or is open to the idea, that our physical, mental and emotional health are all connected.
Laura is a genuine human being who is truly compassionate and interested in helping others. There’s no phoney-baloney with her!”*
~ Anita K.
"When I first started Truce with Food, I was hoping to remove shame around eating out of alignment with what I understood to be appropriate healthy eating. While going through the program, I learned junk food was associated with reward, fun and love and I used food as a way to avoid my feelings. Whatever “bad” feeling I had, I would smother it with the foods that represent “love.”
My eating is now healthier and binge eating of non-nutritional food is mostly a thing of the past. I pick and stock better foods and food is less of an emotional crutch overall.
I recommend this program to anyone struggling with eating issues tied to unresolved or unexamined emotions. Laura creates a safe place for you to share your worst secrets in a non-judgmental environment, bringing the secret shames to the light of day, allowing for understanding and healing."*
“Going into the program working with Laura, I was clear that I didn’t want to be lectured about my weight or what I was eating. From the beginning I felt I could actually be real with my struggles because I was not being judged. It felt like I was really taking the time to not just focus on my weight, but on my overall health.
I am now setting boundaries by articulating what I need and want, which wasn’t something I did before. I have also learned that I can still have the foods I love and am able to recognize when I honestly want them instead of when I am emotionally leaning on the food.
From doing this work, I now feel the need to really think about what I want. In the past I worried about what I had to do for others to keep the peace but now I’m able to check in on my needs, making me feel so much more satisfied.
This is the perfect solution for anyone who has done various weight loss programs and plans without finding permanent success.”*
*Results may vary from person to person.
Have some questions?
The difference with Truce with Food® is it isn’t just another tool or tactic to try that’s built around willpower. Throughout the program, we will get you to see your “bad eating” as a protective behavior and will start to understand the real root cause of why you battle food and “fall off track.”
Ultimately, we will shift the focus off dieting and deprivation and onto you, your emotions and your triggers. We rarely actually focus on the food itself. Instead, we focus on physical and emotional safety, which are the key root issues to battling food for years.
Many programs guide you to get clear on your “why” and ground into why it’s important to you to reach a goal or make a change. In Truce with Food, we focus on the “why not.” Why do you know what to do but you’re not doing it? Why do you have meaningful health and weight goals, but you still fall off track?
Gaining clarity and being able to answer these questions is at the heart of what we do in this program. Other emotional eating approaches might tell you to feel your feelings and help you recognize that you eat when you’re lonely. They’ll help you come up with ideas of what you can do when you feel lonely (e.g., reach out to a friend for support). The thing is, you aren’t falling off track with your eating because you didn’t reach out to your friend.
In Truce with Food, we get to the bottom of why you feel lonely to begin with. We explore and identify what your story is, as well as the patterns and behaviors that lead you to isolate yourself. We then identify new choices, so you feel in control of your life (and in this example, deeply connected). The self-awareness and skills you develop prevent these feelings from arising in the first place, leading to no longer feeling out of control of food and needing to eat when you aren’t hungry.
During this program, we will meet every two weeks for six months. You will receive a homework exercise to complete between sessions and I will provide email support in between the meetings in case you’re feeling stuck along the way.
Meeting every other week provides the accountability you may crave while also providing the space to process and digest what comes up in sessions. Your life is the classroom so we use those experiences as data and information to guide our discussions.
Below is an overview of what we cover in each session:
- Session 1: (105-minutes): Get to the bottom of why you battle food and “fall off track” by diagnosing the story that’s been keeping you stuck
- Session 2 (60-minutes): Connect the dots between your story and eating, which will provide more clarity so you can be compassionate with yourself and the process
- Session 3 (60-minutes): Understand and identify what leads to unaligned eating choices in the moment and how they drain your energy
- Session 4 (60-minutes): Characterize how you’re being in your story that leads to the behaviors making you feel out of control around food and in life
- Session 5 (60-minutes): Characterize how you’re being “good” to get out of your story and to help see your story more so you can further begin to choose differently.
- Session 6 (60-minutes): Tools to soften and safely be with discomfort and challenge your story.
- Session 7-12 (60-minutes): Start to unlearn your socialized binary ideas of “good” and “bad” choices and begin to discover more nuanced choices. You’ll work on rewriting your story and experimenting with new behaviors, so you have more room to choose, instead of react. It will also help you see other options you may not currently see.
Results vary by client based on where they are in their journey, how open they are to the process and the work they put in. However, many clients tend to:
- Experience more ease around food by thinking about it less and naturally making the more nourishing and healthier choice.
- More naturally eat in alignment with their healthy eating goals without having to resist food.
- Feel relieved, hopeful and empowered by being able to identify the themes that are leading them to make unhealthy food choices. They tend to see a shift where they are more naturally able to eat in alignment with their healthy eating goals, without working so hard to resist food.
- Feel more comfortable and confident in their bodies.
- Take more risks in their lives and are no longer avoiding things they would have in the past. This can show up with new job/career opportunities, in their relationships, making a move to a new home, etc.
- Create more balance in various areas of their lives, including with food and exercise.
- Speak up more often for their needs in an authentic and genuine way that feels right for them. This leads to experiencing relief and more fulfillment.
So many programs promise to be different but underneath they’re all different ways to give you a formula (often not based on research) or cut calories that creates more restriction, which only leads to eventual rebellion.
This is a process you can’t fail if you devote yourself to trying and learning how to understand your out of alignment eating, which is what Truce with Food gives you the awareness and tools to do. It doesn’t require willpower in the traditional sense. In fact, imperfection is built into the material and is expected!
This process is challenging and is not for everyone. The challenge is the willingness to be a beginner and continue to show up when you’re new (e.g., not the best) at building a new skill set. This can be uncomfortable for perfectionists and those with an all-or-nothing mindset. It’s about being devoted to yourself.
If you can commit to showing up when you feel imperfect, this process will work for you. There’s not a formula for success or failure here. This process meets everyone exactly where they are in their self-awareness and lifestyle. It’s the opposite of having a bunch of rules to follow that only fuel the battle and a sense of failure.
Curiosity Calls are always free! Exploratory “Why You Self-Sabotage Deep Dive” sessions are $350 and will be applied toward the cost of a program. Program prices start at $1,898 and vary based on their length. Payment plans are also available to fit within your budget.
During the Curiosity Call we will determine which program is the best approach for you based on where you’re currently at and the type of support that would be most helpful for you.
Sessions can be done over the phone, via Zoom, or in-person. You don’t need to be local in Chicago but many people who are close by prefer meeting in person, when available. It’s really a personal preference and what works best for your lifestyle. Regardless of how we meet, clients tend to get similar results whether we meet in person or virtually.
Ready to get back on track for good?
Schedule a 40-minute Curiosity Call free from shame, guilt and judgment. You'll fill me in on your challenges with your relationship with food, gain some insight, and will have a safe space to talk about what's been swirling around in your mind. You'll walk away knowing the steps to create sustainable change (no willpower required)!
There's absolutely no charge for our first chat.
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