jared headshot transparent background business

Hi, I'm Jared and I help people to reconnect to their body's intuition to stop binge and emotional eating.

Down below you can read about:

- Intuitive Eating science and philosophy

- My counseling experience, including various degrees & certifications

- Types of people who are drawn to and benefit from Intuitive Eating

- A little about the eating healing journey I have been through myself

About Intuitive Eating

There are 10 principles to Intuitive Eating, and over 125 scientific studies from major universities that have focused on this revolutionary way of eating.

Here is a brief overview of the 10 Principles Of Intuitive Eating, and you can read this article here for more information on the 10 principles.

1. Reject the Diet Mentality:

It's time to give up on quick, easy and permanent weight loss. You need to see how "following" an external plan whether that be a diet, detox, meal plan or any other restrictive eating set of eating rules only causes you to lose connection to your body, self-sabotage and regain back all the weight you lost. Become familiar with the terrifying long-term science of weight loss and dieting so that you can gain the confidence you need to commit to your body.

2. Honor Your Hunger:

Oftentimes people blame themselves for losing control around food. But Intuitive Eating teaches you that if you do not keep your body well-fed with enough energy then your body can think that it's starving and trigger a survival response. A survival response then causes you to overeat far beyond what is normal. Think of a baby - a baby needs nourishing meals a few times per day, and needs to feel secure and content when feeding. 

3. Make Peace with Food:

Oftentimes people hear about "eating whatever they want, whenever they want." This is not what Make Peace With Food means. While part of this third principle does involve giving yourself permission to eat any food, you also need to go slow and feel safe while you learn that all foods are permissible.

The key thing about this principle is understand that deprivation is the real cause of binge eating. Binge eating is a symptom of deprivation. If you tell yourself that you can't have a food, you'll feel deprived. Then this feeling of deprivation will build and build until the pressure becomes too much. Eventually you make one little mistake and then say "what-the-hell" I already screwed up so why not eat and eat and eat? This is a pattern you can learn to spot and overcome with proper training and support.

4. Challenge the Food Police:

Since when did having a pizza of piece mean that you were a terrible person? The Food Police are a symptom of how our Western culture moralizes food. You need to learn to pay attention to how you feel physically around food, instead of getting caught by the guilt and shame patterns that prevent learning and only keep you stuck in misery. 

5. Discover the Satisfaction Factor:

One of the most important steps of Intuitive Eating is connecting to the pleasure found in eating. Mindful eating is a component of satisfaction, but this principle also includes paying attention to what you really want and what types of foods make you feel well after eating. If you can separate guilt and shame from your eating, and learn to connect to how you body feels, your body's compass and taste preferences will gradually and naturally adjust to where you crave 'healthier' foods which make your body feel physically better.  

6. Feel Your Fullness:

As you learn to reconnect to your body, you'll start coming in touch with the feeling of fullness. This fullness is now able to be respected because you have given yourself permission to eat. Previously you didn't have permission to eat so you didn't have permission to stop eating either. But now with permission you can also have permission to stop. And your body will give you signals to stop, and since you aren't deprived and are mindful and satisfied, you'll be able to listen to these signals and stop eating as you get full. 

7. Cope with Your Emotions

Your emotional needs are at the heart of Intuitive Eating. You'll need to learn to reconnect with what triggers you to lose control and what emotional needs food is temporarily helping you to meet. You'll need to practice different forms of mindfulness to reconnect with what you really need, and practice skills to soothe, distract, and heal your emotions. A core principle in this step if 'open awareness' where you let yourself lean into the discomfort of the cravings in order to learn the deeper message that these cravings are trying to communicate. Of course, this comes after you regain a sense of stability with eating and aren't so overwhelmed by your cravings so you actually have the presence of mind to do this successfully. 

8. Respect Your Body

If you only find value and self-esteem in how you look, you're in for a long ride my friend. You can become healthier, more active, and yes, lose weight. But these are all byproducts that come on their own accord and they can't be seen as measures of success. Success is where you learn what your body needs and are able to give your body what it needs. Here's the bottom line: your body is a vehicle for your soul. As such, it deserves respect. And trying to squeeze your body into a smaller shape only backfires with yo yo dieting and self sabotage which cause you to gain more weight anyways.

9. Movement—Feel the Difference:

Screw exercising to burn calories. Exercise is not meant to be homework! Movement is mood boosting. It's great for mental health and can enhance happiness. Focus on how you feel from moving your body whether that's lifting weights or gardening or walking. As you pay attention to what makes you feel satisfied in terms of eating, you'll also be able to notice what feels good in terms of food too. 

10. Honor Your Health—Gentle Nutrition:

Nutrition is important, but it's important to notice how nutrition makes you feel. If you are no longer dieting and see food through moral perspectives, you can listen honestly to how food makes you feel. In general the more wholesome foods will give you more stamina and energy and you'll start to crave these 'healthier foods' more over time. 

Certifications, Experience & Degrees:

  • Master's In Counseling From Santa Clara University
  • 8+ Years of Yoga Teaching, Certified Yoga Alliance 200 Hour
  • Top Thumbtack Personal Trainer Award in 2018  
  • Certified Wellness Coach from Wellcoaches
  • Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor
  • Recovery Counselor at Cielo House Eating Disorder Residential Treatment Program

Characteristics Drawn To Eating Enlightenment 

After working at an Eating Disorder treatment center and hundreds of individual clients, I notice certain trends of the types of people that I attract: 

  • Hard-working, logical, organized
  • Extremely empathetic towards others but struggles to understand what they themselves feel
  • Treat others with compassion and kindness, but treat themselves with unending criticism
  • Struggle immensely with feeling their body, can’t sense hunger
  • Tough childhood ranging from abuse and trauma to having good parents who were not attuned neglected their emotional needs as children
  • History of dieting. A truly long and painful history of dieting, restricting and self-sabotaging
  • Oftentimes a parent who abused food too and influenced their child to diet, trying to get their child to not fall into a similar pattern but nonetheless causing the pattern to repeat itself
  • Food abuse starts sometime in high school usually, but middle school too. Definitely before college age.
  • Food abuse is a secret that is kept from others at all costs, including lying and hiding behaviors and often gets worse during stressful life transitions.
  • People pleasing behaviors

My Eating Recovery Journey

My story began when I was 18. That's when I began meditating. 

I started meditating because had an emotional hole in my heart. I was numb. I couldn't feel anything. I couldn't connect, and I knew something was wrong with me. 

I couldn't connect to myself, or other people no matter how hard I tried to belong.

Like when I wrestled in high school, I tried to find belonging and acceptance with my wrestling friends by cutting weight. 

I thought that if I could lose the most weight, and win my wrestling matches, my teammates would love me. 

But no matter how hard I tried, how much weight I lost, how many A+'s I got in school ...

The hole in my heart followed me wherever I went. I tried everything. I tried to numb the pain in my heart through weed and food. 

Food and weed brought temporary relief, but at a heavy price. I could barely function. This continued for years through college, and I felt all alone. 

I began to fantasize about a literal Enlightenment where all my problems would be solved.

As my eating and emotional disconnection problems deepened, the more I fantasized about Enlightenment, with a capital E.

I began to literally seek Enlightenment. Deep down I hoped that meditation would bring me the inner peace I so deeply desired.

So I skipped college graduation and lived for 13 months without internet at a Zen Monastery in the mountains. 

Everyday I meditated. And I had my 'Enlightenment' moments where I felt connected.

But these moments would fade away, and I would be left feeling insecure, lonely, depressed, and anxious.

At the end of 13 months of grueling meditation, I was no closer to enlightenment. 

The hole in my heart was still there. The hole in my heart was like a constant companion, ever reminding me of what felt like my alien weirdness. 

Fortunately, the introverted side to my personality really liked mindfulness, so I decided to pursue mindfulness in school.

But, boy oh boy, would my life change within my Master's program for Counseling at Santa Clara University. 

I got introduced to therapy. And for the first time in my life, I got exposed to my basic emotional needs. 

During my year in meditation, I had learned about feelings, but never before had I learned about emotional needs. 

This was what I was missing my entire life!!!!! This was why I turned to food and weed all the time. I was trying to meet these emotional needs through substances, but I wasn't able to see the true motivation behind my actions until now. 

And so finally, I began the true work of healing. I'm happy to say that once I had the right mindset, where I recognized my emotional needs and eating enough food, I started seeing pretty rapid progress.

Binge eating went wayyy down, and most importantly, I learned how to reconnect to my authentic self, my values and my life purpose.

Previously, I was doing all this self-care like meditation, but I didn't have the right mindset or understanding about my fundamental emotional needs. And I learned the hard way that self-care won't work unless you have the right mindset to support your self care.

And honestly, the rest is history. 

After I had the right mindset, that's when I first started seeing life entirely differently.

It was like I experienced Enlightenment in the dramatic way my perception of reality changed!

My transformation was so profound, I pretty much knew what direction and purpose of my life would look like.

I would help people to reconnect to themselves so that they could be free of binge and emotional eating and live lives of purpose and creativity.

To help me gain the skillsets necessary to help people in such an intimate and profound way, I went to school for my Master's Degree in Counseling Psychology from Santa Clara University. 

I also studied and obtained numerous certifications in Intuitive Eating, Yoga, and Wellness Coaching. 

I even worked as a Personal Trainer for sometime, but quickly found out that the health industry is very dangerous! It's probably a conversation for a different time, but long story short, I found out firsthand that the diet & wellness industry will outright lie to you to promote weight loss and "wellness".

Anyways, I also am a writer. I like writing. I think my voice comes through my written words. So ...

Here I am today. Writing. Sharing. Connecting. 

Do join the email list so you can hear my personal thoughts about things. I'm not big into social media, but you can find me there too. 

I also have an Eating Enlightenment podcast where I interview people. That's a lot of fun and it's a major part of my own self-education!

Ok, let's wrap up this 'about' section ... 

My Eating Transformation Recovery Journey In A Snap Shot

my journey from binge eating wrestler to zen monk and eating disorder therapist jared levenson

And this brings me to you ... 

I may have taken 10+ years to heal and overcome my core sense of shame and mend my eating habits ...

But there is definitely an easier path and I've simplified this path for you in a step-by-step system. 

You are not meant to struggle with food! We evolved as a human species by integrating our biology with food!

You are actually spiritually and biologically meant to feel normal around food. 

It means you are able to trust your body, listen to your body and get your needs met which fuel your growth towards living your best life.

It means you respect your body at and size or weight because your body is the vehicle for your soul. When start seeing your body as the vehicle for your soul, your body naturally goes to it's natural weight set point without having to fix it.

If you are overweight and binge eating, you will lose weight. If you are underweight and binge eating you will gain weight. The set point is your natural place that's best for you and your genetics. 

You can eat ice cream, and stop eating ice cream after one bowl instead of finishing off the entire container because you have one spoonful.

You can be bored around ice cream and other ice calories foods because you are listening to your body and healthy food choices simply make you feel better emotionally. 

You are no longer ruled by the scale and your mood is not dependent on your weight of the scale. 

You can free your mental and emotional headspace and finally have the processing power to exceed in career, the courage to date, and the emotional connection to develop stronger relationships. 

It means you are enlightened in your own unique and personal way.

Are you ready for Eating Enlightenment?®