Insatiable and Personal Update
Ali pops in to share exciting news on Insatiable Season 12 and Truce with Food certification for those healing professionals who value coaching mastery, depth and deep client impact starting in September 2021. She also shares a personal update on her transition into Motherhood and post-partum weight loss journey, including her radically different approach to her postpartum body now that she’s not indoctrinated by diet culture.
Mentioned in This Episode
[0:00:00] AS: Hello Insatiable listeners.
Wow. I feel like I need to take a giant exhale. If you are in the same boat, let’s take one together right now. Inhale. Exhale.
I hope you are well.
What a year. What a couple of years. If you feel like you’re in a giant soup of transition, I am right there with you. For me, becoming a parent has landed me in this soupy, mushy place. More on that in a bit.
I know culturally here in the US, we are in a huge moment of transition. And then COVID comes along. It is intense in our personal lives. With our friends and family. And the greater community of humanity.
Many of us eat during transitions because we lose our center. Transition examples are the daily ones like getting the kids off in the morning, meetings to actually doing work, work to home, or from week to weekend. From “real life” to vacation. And when we are in a super stressful period.
Transitions can also be much larger in scope like an identity change like becoming a Mom, finishing school or career milestone or when our routines are disrupted because of COVID.
So if you are feeling ungrounded right now, it’s important to recognize that you aren’t alone. Part of what ungrounds us in these more macro transitions is our values go through a re-evaluation. What’s really important to me? What really matters? What new values are emerging that I deeply care about? What do I no longer want to have on my plate?
For example, the one thing Motherhood has taught me that I didn’t understand in a deep way is the need for community. This value emerged in a way that I understood intellectually before and now I feel it in my body. And everything is different when you feel it living in your body.
Clarity, values and truths that live in our body radically alter the trajectory of our relationship to food, body and ripple out into how we relate to life and each other. And this is why Insatiable is returning in the Fall! I feel it’s urgent we understand how important it is to tend to our relationship to food and our bodies because what we learn there will provide the insight and courage to turn this COVID transition into more meaningful choices, lives and hopefully, cultural systems.
COVID, pandemic parenting and insomnia have kept me from the podcast mic. And during a time there is so much to say, ask and discuss! The teacher and health rebel in me is chomping at the bit to start creating season 12. I surveyed my email list and let them choose which of the three themes they want to see. The choices were Centering Safety For Body Comfort, How to Self-Author Your Body Story and Trusting Satiation: A Truce with Food Secret.
I was surprised what topic won and I’m so excited to create it because it will help with this soupy transition we are all in. The new season will start the week of the Fall equinox. We will stick with Wednesday releases. Mark your calendar for Wednesday, September 22.
Another really important update: Truce with Food Certification is happening this Fall as well. I’m hosting an open house on Thursday, August 12 at 12:30 pm EST if you’re interested in getting in on this round. This round will be small and so you’ll get lots of individual attention and a special price. It’s already 40% filled.
The open house will address who is eligible for certification, the value and all the details, like I’m working on it having ICF certification and it will be trauma informed (really important for anyone who works with food and body issues to have this knowledge).
Laura, who was my first certifier and tester, will be there to describe her experience being certified and the value, which boils down to coaching mastery and confidence, deep, deep client impact, more fun in her practice and making more money, which is in part driven by the value you can offer clients from this process.
She’ll share some of the amazing results she’s had from being certified. I actually didn’t know a lot of them because we hadn’t talked about it, I just see the amazing client testimonials she’s posting. But she’ll share the incredible business growth and impact she’s had since becoming certified. It’s really exciting to me to see her succeeding so much and more people resolving their food battle and experiencing so much life-changing freedom and results.
Here’s what she had to say about only half-way through being certified last year:
“Getting certified in Truce with Food is the best investment I’ve made in my business. The structure of the first session is a game-changer with my clients getting further in one session than five months previously. And overall, clients are making faster progress with more breakthroughs.
In a short 3 months of going through the process, my confidence level as a coach has improved and I’m having more fun because it’s amazing to help facilitate the type of results my clients are getting. Overall, I’m really enjoying learning the theory behind Truce with Food so I can better guide my clients.
My coaching has strengthened as I learn more about myself and how to separate my story/feelings from my clients. The mentoring sessions with Ali are invaluable as I know when I’m on the right track and it’s powerful when a client is feeling stuck knowing that I’m not alone in this process.
If all of that wasn’t enough, I made 90% of my investment back before we even started by signing up 2 clients who I’m taking through the process. I’m really excited about what the future has in store for my coaching business using the Truce with Food methodology!”
– Laura Folkes
I know many of you who listen to Insatiable are healers like nurses, health coaches, therapists and other healers. I love receiving your emails of how Insatiable has enabled you to support your clients in new, groundbreaking ways. We have a lot of cultural stories to change about how to approach disordered eating and our bodies. And if you’ve gotten value from the podcast, I know you will LOVE getting certified in Truce with Food and the impact it can deliver to your clients.
If you’re interested in the Certification, come to the open House on Thursday, August 19 at 12:30 pm EST. You can sign-up at alishapiro.com/certificationopenhouse. And it will be recorded if you can’t make it live.
Ok, so we have Insatiable coming back Wednesday September 22, the certification open house on Thursday, August 19 at 12:30 pm EST and now a personal update.
So, what can I share about what’s happening with me that might help you too?
Overall, things have been wild. Transitioning to motherhood was/is a lot harder for me than I expected. Like really hard. I know the pandemic and childcare shortages didn’t help. Being a new parent is so isolating and then not to have Mommy and me groups or whatever is usually available support was really hard. When you’re in something hard that you have to really just live through, some of the best medicine is to be with people who get it and are in it with you too.
It was also exasperated by my own insomnia. Not only is Eça not the greatest sleeper, but I’ve been struggling heavily with my sleep probably since he was born. It’s been rough.
And, I’m just sitting in how hard it is with the way our society is set-up. Carlos and I didn’t have any paid parental leave. We don’t have a lot of help outside of my Mom, although she’s been amazing. That’s still a lot for a Grandma who is older because I was 41 when I had Eça. And, I love my career. It feels more like a vocation than a career so I’m in an integration season of my life, which is really about the transition into parenthood, how everything from my relationship with Carlos to work to Eça to friend and sister, etc. now fits. How am I organizing my plate now? I feel like I’m coming out of this soupy search and I’m not out of it yet.
So I don’t have anything super clear to say here. Just that if you’re a new parent and struggling, you’re not alone. And it’s OK if you don’t love every minute of being with your kid. That’s some patriarchal bullshit and you can unburden yourself from trying to pretend you have to be some perfect Mother.
The other update that might be helpful for you is my focus on sleep, exercise and my weight. If you follow me on IG (@alimshapiro) I’ve been sharing about how I wasn’t one of those people whose baby weight just fell off. Oh contrare. So for the first time in almost 20 years, I’m trying to lose weight. I know you’re not supposed to admit that or say that these days AND, I’m a grown ass woman so will do what I want.
I also have a very different relationship with my weight than when I was brainwashed by diet culture. In a nutshell, I know deep in my bones, this truth lives in my body, that nothing in my life will change because of my weight loss. I know all the things I thought I needed to lose weight to experience back in the day, a romantic partnership, a meaningful career, the confidence to take the scariest risks of my life like leaving my corporate job, to get really healthy – I did by learning how to do those things. They are all skill sets, not some magical power weight loss will provide the answers too.
So, as a result, I feel really chill about my weight loss. This isn’t to say I didn’t have some feelings when I discovered my weight one year post partum. I didn’t think much of my weight during pregnancy or worry about losing my baby weight.
thanks to my own Truce with Food.
I was so overwhelmed the first year of Eça’s life, there was no room to think about myself, let alone my weight. I know lots of Moms who totally got back to working out and focused on staying strong super quick and that’s awesome for them. However, that wasn’t my story.
I was active and ate well but I was living hour to hour many days. I had foot pain and couldn’t put a lot of pressure on my foot. I wasn’t sleeping well at all. Eça didn’t sleep remotely well until 9 months. I think we’ve all been in those “I can only take one day at a time” period in our lives. That was my post-partum experience.
So when I finally got on the scale about one year postpartum because I was at the doctor’s for said foot pain, I discovered I was about 30 pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight. I’m only 5 4 so that is a lot for someone my height. And it’s mostly all in my stomach, which isn’t the best place to have excess weight.
And honestly, it was quite shocking to me to weigh as much as I did. And I did feel disappointed.
However, my Truce with Food work enabled me to not feel shame & land in my old “my body is a disappointment” story.
There’s a massive difference between being disappointed and feeling like our bodies are disappointments to ourselves or others. Feeling like our bodies are disappointments is a shame story that leads to battling our bodies. One of the best ways to befriend our bodies is understanding the context of our bodies.
For example, we can see celebrities back into shape post-baby because they have an entire staff of people to make them food, help with their babies…basically create time and energy to devote to their bodies.
Or I’ve had clients who see their friends losing weight but maybe it’s because their friend quit their job and had more time to cook and work-out. It’s so easy to compare when we are in our stories.
Yet when we look to context, we start to realize it’s not that our bodies are uniquely broken and thus we feel shame, but there are often other factors we need to remember and address if we choose/can.
For example, my a local new Mama friend I met in our birthing class I thought looked great anytime I saw her. She also went into pregnancy doing triathlons, is 29 years old, her daughter was sleeping through the night around 6 weeks and had about a year sabbatical, ie wasn’t working for much of the first year of her daughter’s life. She told me it took her an entire year to lose her baby weight.
For me to compare myself to her when I’m 42, in perimenopause, was working six weeks post-birth while also being Eça’s main care provider and neither Eça or I were sleeping consistently, just isn’t fair, helpful or teaches me anything about what I need to focus on for my body!
And, she had postpartum struggles like most of us so it’s not like weight loss was going to save either of us from what is a massively challenging life transition.
So for me, what I did was not focus on weight loss like diet-culture Ali would do. I center safety (physical, emotional and soul) and then know my body will be at the weight it is meant to be. For example, I’m guessing I lose 20 pounds (I’ve already lost 10 pounds of the weight) and then unsure how much of those last 10 will come off. Bodies change, especially after pregnancy and perimenopause/menopause. I’ll see! I just don’t know and the reality is no one else does either. You have to experiment and find out.
We can also think of safety as feeling really alive or great in our bodies. Again, it’s those truths that live in our bodies that we need to honor, not what we’ve been told is “good” by outside authorities.
To start to center safety, I knew I had to address the pain and inflammation in my foot, sleep and exercise. These were the areas sending lack of safety signals to my body and compromising how alive I felt in my body.
I finally got to a podiatrist to get the official plantar fasciitis diagnosis. She told me to wear shoes around the house, stretch and rub a ball on my arch. And to give it 6-9 months. That all started to reduce the pain. And now, I can walk around the house barefoot. I have lost 10 pounds since last October and I do think this has helped with being able to not wear the shoes anymore (I hated wearing these clogs around the house).
But I want to point out, because this is the nuance about weight and health, that what mostly got my foot better wasn’t losing weight…it was wearing shoes around the house and time. Sometimes weight loss will help our health and sometimes we assume that’s the only solution, especially when we are in our body stories.
I assumed my weight was the big issue with my foot. Yet I was fortunate to have a provider who gave me treatment ideas others than weight loss. Being white helped with that. My body size helped with that as it didn’t trigger an anti-fat bias in the provider. She didn’t even actually mention my weight. I did ask about it and she said losing weight won’t hurt but gave me other treatment ideas like the shoes and stretches.
Next, I had to address my sleep, which is a HUGE safety signal to the body, including all the work the body does to feel more safe while we are asleep.
First step was looking at my diet because blood sugar affects sleep. And When it comes to food, sleep affects two major hunger hormones: ghrelin and leptin.
Ghrelin influences hunger & leptin affects satiation.
When we don’t sleep enough, these hormones go in the opposite directions we want: ghrelin increases, leptin decreases. We feel hungrier and feel less satisfied from food with poor sleep.
I do better with a Paleo-ish diet. AT least pre-pregnancy I did. I assumed I was eating Paleo. Yet with my sleep being so bad, I tracked my food, which felt like a huge waste of the little time I did have.
Yet because I hadn’t tracked my food in 15 years, I discovered I wasn’t actually eating Paleo post-pregnancy! I was accidentally eating keto and it wasn’t working for me. My portions were also wild in certain places. Like we were buying these against the grain pesto pizzas. They are delicious. Made with almond flour crusts. And pesto has a lot of healthy fats in it. We would split one of those for dinner. When I looked at the calories, I was eating like 1000 calories at dinner! But because there was so much fat and very little protein, I had to eat that much to feel satisfied.
In a nutshell, I was eating keto because animal protein which I need, takes effort to prepare. And while we were eating in most of the time, we were eating gluten-free stuff that has a lot of fat in it. And a handful of nuts is so much easier to grab than having salmon or chicken ready.
Eating more protein, less fat and recalibrating portions was a simple fix for me, especially because at this point we had a Nanny who did our cooking (again, access to resources, not willpower or discipline often determines our health). Cutting back on portions was easy (ie. no deprivation) because food is so neutral for me. I don’t snack, emotionally eat or binge anymore so meal time was my only focus.
Pro-tip: Tie food changes to something that will immediately improve your daily life like sleep, energy or mood rather than weight loss or long-term health conditions. (Adults need to see meaningful short-term changes to stick with their goals.)
My sleep dramatically improved and so sticking with these changes was easy because my life was easier with better sleep. And I do need to add that it improved drastically. And like many things with our body, my insomnia has recently returned. I am eating the right things for my body which now I don’t need to address AND, now I’m looking at other root causes.
I hired a sleep coach who helped one of my clients when like me, she was doing all the things (I don’t drink, I don’t eat sugar, I get am sunlight, am off screens at night, etc) and I’ll keep you posted on what I learn. And I hired this person because they approach the mind and body, just like in Truce with Food.
So I’m having a bunch of lab work done and we are working on mindset and lifestyle stuff. The parallels to battling food and sleep are so similar. It’s like me battling sleep has root causes like diet, hormones, that aren’t related to sleep but then it does become about needing sleep! And so it is with food. We often start battling food for other reasons than it being about eating but then you do need to eat well to nourish your body like you need sleep to nourish your body and function well!
Because we’re talking the topic of safety, hiring our Nanny was huge in my emotional safety or what we think of as emotional satiation or needs of “taking things off my plate” and peace of mind. I had to work through some of my own resistance around hiring a Nanny.
The Truce with Food tools are really tools of discerning our needs and choices so I was able to work through my story around hiring a Nanny. I felt like “but we only have one kid. Why can’t I hack it?” and our Nanny was Brazillian so I was also like “ugh. This is what white women have been doing is hiring WOC to raise their children”. I realized the “but we only have one kid” was me admitting I needed help, which isn’t my favorite thing to do. And the other resistance had some merit, like how childcare work is undervalued and underappreciated, which is often because it’s women and WOC doing most of our childrearing.
So we made sure we paid her well, including paid federal holidays, paid vacation time, extra bonuses and we were really accommodating to her schedule change requests for travel she wanted to do, etc. she was a collaborator with us, not like she was “the help” (we really adored her) and made it into her making a comfortable living financially and emotionally. That enabled me to feel really great about our childcare choices and do my best in a really fucked up parenting culture.
So that was part of this health and weight loss journey that people don’t often talk about. That’s like 80% of what we work through in my programs – what emotionally weighs on us that in my case, didn’t leave time for cooking or working out and for others, it can be that and the emotional weight is the reason we turn to food. .
And lastly, in terms of safety, I focused on working out, specifically weight training. As we get older, and especially now that I’m over 40, weight lifting is essential for bone preservation, health, balance…all these things we need to think of as we age.
At first, I had to honor how much I could actually do with a foot in pain. I don’t believe in no pain no gain. I think overriding pain costs us most times. I also had a lot of stops and starts because I kept injuring myself. And we all got COVID.
So for me, I knew I needed to focus my work-outs on form and weight training. So that guided how I chose a workout and I hired a trainer at first because I was quite out of shape from pregnancy and the first year of motherhood and I was desperate to be socializing and felt so safe since at this point, I had had COVID.
I worked out all during my pregnancy and was active the first year yet my muscle and core, which we need to have strong to prevent injuries, was in need of some major care. And I was really worried about injuring myself. When I was trying to lift on my own, I hurt my back so badly that I couldn’t pick Eça up. So it’s been quite the journey of integrating and understanding this new body place.
And the great thing is even though my sleep has been particularly bad the past two months, the lifting has given me energy rather than take away energy. When I was in diet culture, I pushed myself no matter what and I thought I had to do tons of cardio, which actually drains me. A big part of my own Truce with Food journey was not only unlearning “Good” and “Bad” food ideas, but also exercise judgements too.
So I’ve lost about 10 pounds centering safety. And it’s been slow. From about mid-October until now, end of July. And, I can be chill about it because I know this is how sustainable weight loss works and nothing in my life will change because I lost weight. I FEEL that deeply. And I feel so much better in my body and ultimately, that’s the point. I’ll be sharing more on IG @alimshapiro.
I hope my personal update helped you in some way. And I can’t wait to return September 22 for a dynamite Insatiable season. I have some amazing guests lined up and will do some solo shows.
And if you value mastery, deep impact and want a path to successful business as an integrative health coach/therapist/leader, check out the truce with food certification open house at alishapiro.com/certificationopenhouse