There are many paths to become an intuitive eater. In this episode, Ali looks at the pros and cons of intuitive eating, including:
- What the 10-step self-care Intuitive Eating framework offers
- The gaps in Intuitive Eating because it doesn’t address the root cause of food and body image issues
- How the goal of feeling in tune and satisfied from your food is often more triggering than restriction or bingeing!
Mentioned in This Episode
- Coaching Exercise to See Food Police Isn’t About Food
- Anatomy of a Downward Eating Spiral
- Weight Loss Ranked #1, But Should It Be?
- Why Am I Eating This Now program
- Truce with Food program
- Private Consultation
- Insatiable Community
[0:00:47.2] AS: Welcome to Season 7 of Insatiable. This season, our theme is hunger and taking a fresh look at different approaches to satisfying our hungers. To be physically and emotionally hungry is to be vulnerable. As Dr. Brené Brown says, “Vulnerability is uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure. To have physical hunger or to acknowledge our emotional and soul hungers is to choose to be open to the daring risk of being fully satisfied.”
We will be exploring various diets and approaches to satisfying our holistic hungers. Before we get to our episode today, the pros and cons of intuitive eating, during our transition episodes to season 7, I had hinted at something about if you love the conversations we have here and are all about exploring and experimenting, defining the radical truth for every body you have; your physical, emotional and soul, I had something exciting to share with you. Introducing the Insatiable membership community.
This community is designed to help you take action around the topics we discuss here and support you to find your answers from rather than asking yourself how do I resist food, to ask we want to change the question to how do I become the person that no longer needs to turn to food? A radical departure from 99% of other approaches.
I wrote it out privately last year to clients new and old and the results have shown me there is a real need for a community, where we can trust ourselves, learn from each other and as we get healthier, want to take more daring risks to make our life choices potent healing medicine. I have to tell you, we’ve had so many people from the Insatiable community start to join here and we’re having so much fun. It’s on an amazing platform, so we’re really having great conversations in our hoz.
I’m now opening it up to Insatiable listeners. It has been since the beginning of this season. In a nutshell, it’s a community where there are no gurus and we learn from each other. Once a month, we have a mastermind topic that helps you gain clarity and have a group to support and learn from wherever you are on your path. Once a month, there is also a Q&A call with me where I coach attendees to get inspired, unstuck and clear on your next step. You can find more details at alishapiro.com/ic2019.
I’m really excited for today’s show, which is a solo episode with me. I’m doing it solo, because I’ve been asked several times over the years how my work is different than intuitive eating. I knew that answer would require a thoughtful answer. You know me, I can’t really be brief. I think wanting you eat intuitively is a hunger on so many layers. First, it’s a hunger to no longer be hungry, right? To learn what’s great for your body, instead of deprivation and dieting. It’s a hunger for simplicity, not a thousand rules other people are telling you. It’s about getting back in touch with your own hunger and bodily needs. It’s also a hunger for freedom, to no longer be controlled by food and weight.
As I’ll share today, as with my process, I see it as a soul hunger to make the pain we’ve experienced in life count and contribute to a better world. I’m also someone who loves options and choices, and so I love planting the seed that there are many paths to becoming an intuitive eater. I agree with the entire intuitive eating premise and I always say there aren’t nutritionists in nature. My goal is to get clients back to focusing on their needs, wants and instincts, with food just being one part of that, where intuitive eating is all – is exclusively focused on the food.
The way I approach, or the how my angle of intuitive eating for clients is radically different than how the intuitive eating principles do them and how to me is everything, because it determines how much you change and what you change in the process, who you become, not just the end goal. For example, becoming a parent, the end goal is to become a parent, right? How do you get there? Do you adopt? Do you do IVF? Does it happen by accident? Does it happen on its own? How do you approach pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, delivery, the fourth trimester, how do you choose to parent? All these things are going to change you in different ways and have you experience different things.
It’s not a right or wrong, it’s about finding the right fit. My point being and using that example is the how might be more important than the what. I agree with being able to eat intuitively and how I get there with my clients is very different than the traditional intuitive eating approach and I’ll explain the reasons I approach becoming an intuitive eater differently. I also want to be clear, I am not trained in intuitive eating. This was never the path I took personally or professionally, so I don’t have the perspective expertise of the program of someone who works with clients on this day in and day out. I know enough to explain the key differences and some of the limitations of traditional intuitive eating.
Before we get started, what is intuitive eating? This is directly from the original creators who used research-based evidence to help develop this framework. Intuitive eating is a self-care eating framework with 10 principles. In today’s episode, I’m going to go over the 10 principles and add where – I think there’s a different way to think about these principles based on how I work with clients.
Intuitive eating is truly an empowerment model, because it’s filled with experimentation and curiosity; empowering because it’s guiding you to your own conclusions. Lots of plans out there now claim empowerment only to tell you exactly what to do, or what’s off-limits and legal and good or bad, or what steps to take, rather than foster your own need for autonomy.
Someone tells us not to do something, or that we can’t just – then we just want to do it right. If a diet tells you you can’t eat potatoes, all of a sudden you want fries. I love that the intuitive eating framework trust the body in ourselves to arrive at our own answers. I just really, really love that. That’s really the same premise and design of my process, because we are also trying to rebuild self-trust that dieting robs us of, right? Dieting tells us you don’t know, you have to follow a plan.
However, my process goes a little bit further. In the case of my work, we rebuild the self-trust in a world that asserts a hierarchy of control and worth based on gender race and how much money you have. I’m really working on de-socialization process with clients, not just around dieting has robbed us, but what our culture tells us is appropriate for us based on not just our looks, but who we are as women, as men and wherever we find ourselves in the social hierarchy.
Also, this is one thing that I think is really important for – because intuitive eating is gaining so much popularity, there’s a lot of room for misinterpretation. It is not an eat anything diet, which it often gets portrayed as. Well, it gives you permission to eat anything and connect how you feel. When you look at the long-term results of allowing ourselves to eat something, it does lose its charge, right? That’s the assumption in intuitive eating that long-term, you won’t want these foods if you truly allow them and connect to how you feel on them.
However, when you look at food issues from a different root cause, which is what my work does, I see that that’s not always the case. I’ll get more to that and why I take a different approach than intuitive eating in terms of arriving at a neutral, or truce with food as I call it.
Today, I want to explain some things to think about if you are considering intuitive eating, or if you are doing it and not getting the results you want, some things to consider and explore further on your journey. By results, I don’t mean weight loss. I’m totally on the same page with intuitive eating experts who say anyone who tells you how to lose weight and what will happen with your body when you do an intuitive eating, or in my case truce with food, or the Whole30 or Weight Watchers, they don’t understand the research that is out there, right? Actually, no one can really predict what’s going to happen with your body in the long-term, right?
I’m talking about long-term weight loss. Lots of people can tell you how to lose weight in the short term and that can work for many people, especially when you first start trying to lose weight, but the research shows the biggest indicator of weight gain is dieting, and over time, it gets harder and harder to even lose weight in the short-term.
I’m not talking about weight loss as a result here. I’m talking about the relief that comes from food freedom. We are going to go a bit deeper today, because in my 12 years of being at the intersection of food, change and psychology, I discovered we are after something even more exciting than just food freedom. Don’t stop there. There’s so much more. I’ll explain what I mean by this in the podcast episode.
Onto the 10 intuitive eating diet principles; the first I guess framework, guiding philosophy they would say is reject the diet mentality. They say and I’m getting a lot of this work from, it’s called Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program that Works by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, I hope I’m pronouncing their names right. This is their original intuitive eating book that has sparked a lot of other trainings and other people taking this and making it their own, but this is the original source.
In the book, they say throughout the diet books and magazine articles that are for you, the false hope of losing weight quickly, easily and permanently. Get angry at the lies that have led you to feel as if you were a failure, every time a new diet stopped working and you gain back all the weight. In this book, again they give excellent research on how dieting actually causes weight gain and makes weight loss harder with each diet attempt and that binging is in response to restricting. Why it can feel so scary to give up dieting even binging?
I’m running Truce with Food right now and we’re really working with a couple of my clients on not restricting, right? Their binging is going down, but it’s not gone altogether, right? Because it takes time, because you also have to get to the emotional reasons you’re binging. It can be really scary to give up that yo-yo.
Then one of the things that I just love that I agreed with so much in their book, they mentioned this woman whose name is Michelle Lelwica, I hope I’m pronouncing that right. She has a book called The Religion of Thinness. She’s a Harvard-trained theology and scholar. She makes this compelling argument about how the endless pursuit of thinness through dieting that feels a spiritual hunger. The purpose of dieting serves as the ultimate purpose by providing a set of myths to believe regarding the rewards of thinness. Offering rituals to organize the daily lives of women. Creating a moral code of which to live and eat by and creating a common bond and a community for women, right?
I’ve often joked on this show and when I give keynotes, those of us who don’t have religion find nutrition. There is a reason, right? What it does is it helps us organize our lives around are we productive? Does our life matter, right? If fitness is the ultimate guiding meaning, we can say I know my life counts, because I ate well today, I exercised, I was disciplined, I’m being productive. It just orients us, right? To what gives us meaning in our lives, versus us having to figure it out for ourselves.
I’ve shared a lot of times that especially in my 20s, dieting was my hobby. There were no longer organized sports that I played. I had no one else to shape what I did in my after-school activities. My life became my work. I was in a really intense position, traveling all the time, moving every six months. Then my fallback was food. Even though I struggled so much with food and wanted to stop dieting and lose weight, this was such a big piece of my identity, right?
We can hear this and know that we need to reorient ourselves, but that can be really hard after food and weight loss has been front and center for our lives. This is where I agree with what they’re saying in this first step, but with my clients, I start somewhere else. I actually start in a place that will get clients to know what they are for, because we can reject diet mentality, but what do we replace it with? What do we want to be for, right?
With my private clients and this is – Oh, by the way, I had a podcast listener asked me if I still work with clients privately. Yes. I actually after a couple of years have three spots open. I haven’t let my list know yet, but you’ll know if you’re listening to this that I do have space for private clients and I still work with clients privately. With my private clients or in Truce with Food, we start by setting a process-oriented goal; someone you would have to be to accomplish your bigger health and wellness goals.
For example, some client’s goal is find non-food ways to reward myself. One client, I just was working with her the other day, she wanted to feel more grounded in my choices rather than letting self-doubt get in the way, right? Because food was just one area that she was viewing this in. Some other clients say, “I would love if I could use exercise to nurture and not punish myself.”
I start here because again, intuitive eating looks at research and food. My background is in change and psychology, and so we really need personal, compelling reasons to change. We have to be for something, not just against something. I also start here, because this allows us to get to the real root cause of falling off track with our eating, or why we are so stressed, which has nothing to do with food.
The process I take clients through after we know what they’re for, leads us to diagnose the story patterns and behaviors that make us want to diet, or fight food in the first place. If you check out Season 2 Episode 2 of Insatiable, I have all the details of these components of why we fall off track. In the show notes, I’ll also link to that episode if you’re interested more in the root cause of why we fall off track. Or in why am I eating this now, we start identifying the emotions that trigger us to think about food, or be overly stressed.
Why am I eating this now could also be called why am I so stressed? Why am I so overwhelmed? Because what clients discover here is that their mental food gymnastics, “Should I eat this? I really shouldn’t eat that, but I want to be good. Oh, I don’t want that,” is the same as their analysis paralysis when they’re stressed. It’s not about food, it’s about the emotions that we feel powerless over. Food is just a way to procrastinate, it’s a way to numb. In these programs, I’m not really focusing on the food.
I start here so we can have a massive paradigm shift that actually takes the problem outside of diet culture. When you can connect that you fight food or your body as a metaphor for fighting or gearing up for life, there’s a new destination you want to go to. Plus, diet culture is part of a larger nesting doll of capitalism that says we are only worthy if we are productive and getting ahead a patriarchy that tells us that we as women are inferior and that’s never enough and always have to prove ourselves, or that men who are sensitive are pussies, right?
By the way, vaginas the proper terms are really powerful, balls are the most sensitive things, so let’s just get our metaphors accurate here. The diet culture mindset is a symptom, it’s not the root problem, which is why I start with our story that not only keeps us out of control around food, but it also gets us to see this isn’t not only about food, which paradoxically takes pressure off the food.
A lot of my clients refer to this kickoff session in Truce with Food, or the first session, the initial consult to work with me privately is through serum, or non-psychedelic ayahuasca, because you really – Everyone’s just looking at the surface of things here. We go really deep to say what’s really going on? Clients have a range of reactions when they first see their story, or in why I am eating this now, the emotions when they can be like, “Oh, my God. I’m not logging food, I’m logging how stressed I am,” right?
There’s a relief that we are going to be focusing only on food and that’s actually maybe 10% of this work. They share they’re gobsmacked, because their story is everywhere and it’s also overwhelming, because our story controls a lot more of our life. However, above all there’s a curiosity that’s kindled and it gives them something to before.
Yes, I want to own my story. Yes, I want to co-create my life, right? Yes, we need to reject that diet mentality, but what do we replace that with? There’s not a direct opposite. What do we want to be for? I’ve often shared on a couple episodes here, but also in talks that the biggest game-changer for me in my own health was when I realized that I had to find healthy is not having cancer. Again, that’s an amazing place to be, but if we think of that on a continuum, it’s like being at zero.
When I wanted to be for health and wellness, when I wanted to feel alive, when I wanted to feel alive holistically, that’s when I accelerated exponentially to the other side of the continuum. When clients start to see that they want to be free and own their story, which means crafting a life on their term rather than wait to be rescued, which weight loss and patriarchy tell us is the best we can hope for, right? It doesn’t mean their desire for weight loss, or fighting food goes away right away, but it plants the seed that there is much more to this, and gives them a real plan to move – a process to move forward with.
How we set their goal for our private or Truce with Food work is a meaningful, personalized goal. They’d be thrilled to achieve versus just rejecting diet mentality. I want to just put an asterisk here, because my clients on the surface are not passive people. They are business owners and leaders in their corporate, nonprofit, medical and academic lives. You can be totally type A and high-functioning and that doesn’t mean there aren’t areas in our lives that we feel powerless, food being only one area.
I agree with this step, but I start in a place of discovering and deconstructing the story or triggers, patterns and behaviors that make us fight food in our body. The fight itself as a symptom, not the root problem. I do this because it’s more efficient. By getting to the root cause, you solve that and then the food often takes care of itself. All this work is ultimately about self-trust and the story or trigger diagnosis process starts to rebuild self-trust, because you really see you aren’t a failure, or you don’t need to be fixed. You realize you were working on an incorrect problem.
This process offers a bigger vision for our life, which you hear me talk a lot about on this podcast. If we want to be consistent with eating well, eating intuitively and healthily aren’t enough of an endgame. We need a life we want to be healthy for, which again, I define as more once chooses and gets to, versus should, have-to’s and musts, right? There’s never going to be the fantasy. I mean, unless you have a trust fund, but we’re learning even those kids have problems. No, you know, I wrote no one gets to ride for free in life so. It’s not that your life is perfect, it’s just that you’re going more with your own flow than what society has told you you have to do.
All right, number two of the intuitive eating framework; honor your hunger. They say keep your body biologically fed, signs with adequate energy and carbohydrates. I love that they mentioned physical hunger can include fullness, but it can also include irritability, spaciness, thinking about food because you need it and not letting yourself get too hungry, which is all signs of blood sugar control, right?
When I’m working with clients privately in Truce with Food or why am I eating this now, we get to the food piece after we are better sorted emotionally. It’s a very nuanced stance between how you eat determines how you feel and how you feel determines how you eat. Believe it or not, the emotional side of this is much more complicated. I found if you start to sort out the emotional peace first, the food piece happens naturally, as clients are better able to sort out when they are truly hunger and listen to their physical body, versus what I call phantom hunger.
We did a survey in the Insatiable membership community this past week about how often we are able to discern between physical and emotional hunger. The current group average was about 64% of the time, our community knew the difference between physical and emotional hunger. I share this, because I found about 80% of the struggle with food is emotional, right? If you can clear most of that up, it’s much easier to tune into our physical hunger, versus trying to tease out what 40% of the time is emotional versus physical.
When we do get to this piece about knowing the right foods for your body, I give a series of time-tested experiments and explain blood sugar, so people can work quickly on their body. The experiments help people arrive at their own conclusions, which is consistent with intuitive eating premises. I use blood sugar and digestive help as a discernment tool, because I think it shortens the learning curve. One thing I really realized, at least for my clients is we crave some structure, we want flexible structure, right? We want enough structure that we can measure results, like decreased hunger, decreased headaches, decreased cravings, all that stuff.
I created this, because I am someone who’s extremely sensitive to sugar. The more I ate when I didn’t know what foods worked best for me, the more depressed I became. I couldn’t get myself out of that depression hole. That’s because there were deeper emotional issues at work. I tried with therapy and meds, but all I could do was connect to how much sugar I was eating and how actually all that sugar made my depression – made me feel even worse and I could tell it was making me feel worse, but I couldn’t stop, which made me feel even more broken, because yes, this is awful and I’m still doing this, right?
Most of my clients are coming to me with some medical condition, like anxiety, depression, or autoimmune stuff, like Hashimoto’s, or arthritis. I created these experiments, so they would arrive at their own conclusions and build self-trust, but wouldn’t be discouraged by the time it can take to tune in to your hunger without any structure, especially with how foods are hyper-palatable today and it can be really hard to just stick with that timeline of just learning when you’re full and whatnot. I agree with all this and I focus on the physical hunger later after we’ve cleared up some of our emotional stuff, because I think saves time and sets us up better for success.
Okay, intuitive eating principle number three; make peace with food. In the book, it literally says a call, a truce. I never knew this, because I only read it a month ago. It’s focusing on not restricting; giving yourself permission to eat what feels like forbidden foods, right? The foods that make us feel guilty, the ones that make us feel like we’re bad and they bring up that a lot of binging or overeating is reaction to restriction, which I totally agree.
Their process is here’s what they tell you to do, pay attention with foods that are appealing to you and make a list of them. Put a check by the foods you actually do eat, then circle remaining foods that you’ve been restricting. Give yourself permission to eat one forbidden food from your list, then go to the store and buy this food or order at a restaurant. Check in with yourself to see if the food tastes as good as you imagined. If you find that you really like it, continue to give yourself permission to buy or order it. Make sure that you keep enough of the food in your kitchen, so that you know that it will be there if you want it.
Or if that seems too scary, go to a restaurant and order the particular food as often as you like. Once you make peace with food, continue on with your list until all the foods are tried, evaluated and free. Okay, so here’s where I differ in this approach; I’m all about making peace with food. In my personal and professional and academic work, I’ve come to the conclusion that food issues have little to do with food. There are layers with food being at the surface of what you think the problem is, but food issues are often about unresolved trauma. We’ve talked about this on the podcast a lot; big Ts and little Ts, right? For a lot of my clients, it’s the little Ts. Nichole Keebler who was our guest in season 6, yeah, episode 2, she says big Ts explode, little Ts erode.
I love that, because what clients start to realize when we do more of their story work is that they realize it wasn’t one instance in life that set them off on food, or that they had one big trauma. It was this constant barrage, right? Maybe they were bullied, or a lot of clients who have divorce in a home, right? They grow up normalizing chaos, which is a big deal because we’ll get to there later. Of course, there are things like narcissistic parents neglect some of my clients the financial poverty that they grew up in and how that distanced them from the world around them, or when their parents got divorced and they were the only person in that neighborhood, right?
My older clients, when their parents got divorced, that was like, nobody did that, right? Then of course, there are the bigger things like sexual abuse and other things. It’s really important to realize that food issues are about and maybe you don’t want to say unresolved trauma that feels too heavy for you, but it’s unresolved pain from your past. This is why this matters. Particularly, the way that they suggest that you have this peace with food is you’re supposed to be paying attention in your real life.
Well, our story about how we have to be in real life is what triggers us to eat out of alignment with our goals. You’re supposed to be doing this orderly process, right? Of testing these foods, when all of a sudden your job gets nuts, when you have to move, when your mom gets sick, right? For most people who have unresolved pain or trauma, these transitions send you down a spiral and you aren’t going to stick with this process, because you will be overwhelmed. Plus, being on the surface we are talking about binging and deprivation and feeling full on an intuitive eating level here, right? If you have unresolved trauma, you might be more comfortable in the discomfort of being deprived, or binging, or dieting, because it’s not about the binging, or deprivation, or permission, it’s about what those feelings bring up in us.
What is the emotional experience that binging restriction or satiation creates with us, right? This is what self-awareness is about. So many of us think we’re self-aware, but we’re self-critical. What’s happening when we’re binging? How does that in a weird way, maybe it doesn’t make us feel super safe, but there’s some safety in that, right? If you have unresolved trauma or pain, feeling and trusting satisfaction and cessation is more uncomfortable than the drama of restriction, or the chaos of binging.
Eating intuitively is very uneventful and it doesn’t get at the deeper emotional work we must do to feel comfortable feeling great in our lives. To make peace with food, you actually to make peace with feeling peaceful and satisfied in your life. With my clients, the bulk of our work is to reboot their emotional immune system, so we aren’t comfortable in a constant state of emotional inflammation, or chaos, right? The striving, the overworking, the over performing, the perfectionism, that’s our comfort zone because it’s familiar, but it also keeps us really up and then we crash, right?
If we think about our physical immune system, we want it to react and protect us, but not so much, right? That we’re reacting at things that we shouldn’t be, like our food supply. With unresolved trauma or pain, we have an overreacting emotional immune system. We are always gearing up, which is preparing for psychological conflict. We are competing, avoiding, or accommodating when we don’t need to be.
Here rather than doing the food testing, intuitive eating recommends and observing how food makes you feel, when my clients eat out of alignment with their goals, they learn the tools to X-ray what happened emotionally. How was my emotional immune system overreacting and thus, me not getting my emotional needs and once met?
Here’s an example of this, I had a client I was working with and she realized that when it came to presenting at work, she was always over-preparing, right? Whether it was a meeting, a presentation. Her pattern was to avoid. She never asked like, “What are my expectations? What do you want to get out of these presentations, or these meetings, right?” It was just like, “I’m going to do it all.” She would end up procrastinating, sometimes just with social media, sometimes with food. It would leave her to stress and then she would eat to fuel the work when it was due the day before and then she would numb the discomfort of how much she was building up the presentation.
She was on the defense, because she didn’t want to fail, right? Rather than wanting to get her ideas out there, she was so worried about failing, right? This came up in Truce with Food this week. I was giving them what I called the zoom out tool. In the zoom out tool, one of my clients was sharing that she was nervous about a different work situation. I said, “Well, what do you want to get out of this?” She was like, “Well, that’s an interesting question.” She’s like, “I’m always so concerned with not failing and trying to prove myself that I never think about what I want to get out of this.”
All of this is to say that we are more comfortable in this constant state of being super up and stressed, or super down and just uncomfortable, right? Rather than the smooth, calm, steadiness. This is why we will eat things that make us feel like shit and yet still do it, because the food is serving us in other ways that aren’t about the food. This is the start of a radically different departure of how I approach this differently than intuitive eating and I’ll explain why the more we go.
Having said that, making peace with food the way intuitive eating recommends will help you increase that sense of safety within yourself without a doubt, which leads to less of a reactive emotional immune system, right? It is important that we learn to feed ourselves and give ourselves what we want and mean from a physical standpoint. I have no way of knowing this, but again, based on the quantum results I see my clients get, if you go a few layers deeper, the food will clear up on its own as a side effect of creating a life you want to be healthy for and feeling calm and safe feeling good, right?
A lot of what I’m doing with my clients is helping them feel safe, feeling really good and powerful. Not on that roller coaster of doubt and crashing, doubt, crashing, over-performing, crashing. Again, I want to say that maybe a con of even Truce with Food, or a downside is – because I always have my clients come on here and tell you the truth, that changing your story and owning it is really challenging work. In a way, it might be harder than intuitive eating in some ways, because the process is right direct; it forces you to look at yourself in a way that intuitive eating does not. It’s definitely more intense.
I put that there, because sometimes it could be healthy to do these intuitive eating steps and then come and do some story ownership process if you don’t feel completely comfortable in your body, or with your food. There’s no right or wrong, but it’s definitely more intense to go straight for the story. As one of my favorite peloton instructors, Robin says you deserve better than easy. Shout out to my current Truce with Food clients, who are making the turn right now to – who spent these last two months really digging in and doing the hard work. Yeah.
All right, principle number four; challenge the food police, okay? This is what intuitive eating tells us to do for step four. It says, scream aloud, know to the thoughts in your head would declare you’re good for eating minimal calories, or bad because you ate a piece of chocolate cake. The food police monitor the unreasonable rules that dieting has created. The police station is housed deep in your psyche and it’s louder speak shouts negative barbs, hopeless phrases and guilt-provoking indictments. Chasing the food police away is a critical step in returning to intuitive eating.
Okay, so the food police or as we call it in why am I eating this now, truce with food with my clients, is mental food gymnastics about we should or shouldn’t eat and then judging ourselves afterwards. These actually come out when we feel unsafe emotionally. When we feel we need to gear up for our day, we get a project, we assume requires so much of us. When someone questions us at work, right? We present and then they ask a question. We make it mean we don’t deserve to be there, rather than we were unclear or someone wants to know more, right?
That’s when our thoughts start turning to food after meetings like that. It’s actually – or with your kids, right? A lot of my clients who are parents it’s like, parenting there’s no right or wrong, and so they start – when that doubt comes and they start thinking about food, right? Or when we’re tired, we feel we need to push through to be productive. We want to see what I mean. If you want a sample of this for yourself, you can check out the coaching exercise I will include in the show notes, but it’s basically a free mini-lesson of why am I eating this now, that will help you see your food police aren’t about food.
It’s seeing people are poor, because they’re lazy or less intelligent. No, they’re systemic oppression. You women make less because they aren’t working as harder or smart? No, systemic oppression, right? Food police is a symptom, not the problem. Only understand that once you understand fighting food is not really about food. Again, that good and bad binary thinking around food is also a way you’re going to make meaning about most of your choices, not just food, or at least the ones you don’t feel a 100% confident in.
That’s because that creates little room for error, which is a protective mechanism if you have unresolved pain or trauma. You want to anticipate food in life and the life areas that we aren’t 100% confident in from all angles to protect ourselves. Part of what my clients learn is how to transform good and bad, or all or nothing, or either/or and black and white, whatever it is, right? Whatever puts us in that binary of good and bad, into more creative thinking.
Intuitive eating does mention this and they call it dissolving dichotomous thinking and to go for the gray. I agree and they give some concepts to get out of that. They mentioned getting to process thinking, which I think of as growth mindset. Again, I don’t think what they suggested goes far enough. We have to know it’s safe to go for the gray and you have to know how to get to the gray, because gray requires context and imperfect experiences. If we’re always in good and bad, black-and-white thinking then we don’t know what we don’t know. We’re not getting that context. We’re not getting the research, right?
Body and growth mindset is great in theory and really challenging in real life in the beginning, because you have to feel safe to be uncertain, which unresolved trauma and pain doesn’t often allow a lot of tolerance for uncertainty. I have my own tools in the process, our truce with food and a few of them are in why am I eating this now, but it’s very different than what intuitive eating offers. I do this, because I’m focusing on creating a bigger tolerance for calm and self-trust and that’s not a skill set that’s addressed in intuitive eating, because it’s the domain of narrative coaching, emotional intelligence and adult development.
Yet I find an interdisciplinary approach critical, because when we feel safe, we stop self-monitoring, which is what the food police are actually about. You just don’t have food police. You probably have analysis paralysis in other areas of your life. I’ve never met a client who didn’t. Because again, the way to be black and white about food was just about one way to be – one way that they were very analysis paralysis, or black and white and trying to think of all these different things and other areas of their life.
Okay, intuitive eating, premise number five. Feel your fullness. Respecting your fullness. To respect your fullness means to listen for the signs your body sends you when it’s satisfied. Approaching fullness and full and to make decisions about whether to stop eating, taking this information into account. I love this. It’s all about tuning in, right? Getting cues from your body, not from schooling on social media, not from feeling you’re missing out and then eating more, or matching your tempo to a podcast right, or social expectations.
I love that they point out that you’re going to under eat and overeat, that they acknowledge this. There’s no perfect like – even once I get to intuitive eating, I’m going to know exactly what to eat at all times, right? Again, I don’t explicitly address this as a step I guess, because again, I think once you aren’t eating in reaction to your stories or your feeling is controlling you, you want to make healthy choices and your body is always trying to be well, even if it has some wacky ways of getting your attention.
Again, if you look at binging and overeating as patterns, you can see the body trying to surface this symptom, so you will address it. Unfortunately, our culture doesn’t have a strong grasp on what’s going on, so it’s hard to find the support to help you first acknowledge this is a symptom and then a proper transformation, or healing process. I agree that this is an important piece to address. This is actually our March focus on the Insatiable membership community, to get back to not just fullness, but other signs we are actually physically hungry.
Agree totally with this. It’s just not even something that we really even go over in Truce with Food. We definitely focus on how to know if your other signs and symptom is beyond fullness, like fatigue, focus, lack of anxiety, those things, but we don’t focus on the actual physical forms, because it becomes really intuitive once you cleared up the emotional stuff.
All right, number six of the intuitive eating framework; discover the satisfaction factor, pleasure, flavors, textures, right? That’s what they want you to enjoy and I totally agree. Again, I think blood sugar principles can help with this learning curve and I also think it’s tricky, because of how food is made today, which is why I give people experiments, because food today is so sugary, so salty. There’s so much chemistry going on, I mean guys, they’re seriously in northern New Jersey, because when I lived in Philly and when I worked in the suburbs in the corporate world, I would come home at night and it would smell delicious.
Then I’ve met a friend who actually she quit, but she used to do the sensory tasting work for food companies. They’re spending billions of dollars with scientists in New Jersey, okay, there are other places, but I’m thinking of the Hamilton line. Isn’t everything legal in New Jersey? They are trying to locate the exact traces of your brain that will light up the reward center and make you eat more and more and more, right? That’s how they get you buy more product.
I’ve gone off on a tangent, but I’m saying the satisfaction factor can be a little challenging, right? Again, feeling satisfied has to feel comfortable, not just around food. How many times do you feel guilty for getting your way, or just eating what you want, right? Or doing pleasurable things without earning them, right? This goes beyond food. I remember back when I would try to lose weight, I’d set up these plans and I’d reward myself for pounds loss, which of course involved so much sacrifice. I would get a manicure. I mean, I worked at a bagel shop, so I didn’t have a ton of money in high school, but it was like, “Oh, I’ll buy myself a topic Gades, which is the equivalent of Marshalls today,” right? It was this complete puritanical sacrifice rewards.
This satisfaction of just buying something because I wanted it to, or not feeling like I had to earn, even downtime from studying, right? I guess what I want to say is I still distress ease and pleasure to this day, not to the degree that I used to. Part of it is the trauma of cancer and part of it is the parents I grew up with who were always on guard. My dad grew up very poor and in the projects of Pittsburgh and very violent neighborhoods, so he grew up always preparing us and my mom’s a little paranoid. I love her, but she’s a worrier.
It’s not all the trauma, but it’s also my parents, right? Then also life today, right? We’re constantly being encouraged to be stimulated and never have downtime. Also, because the most meaningful things in our life are going to take work. They’re not just going to be all pleasurable and easy, but the point is this is a pattern that extends far beyond food and you can get more comfortable with satisfaction calm and pleasure. Life doesn’t have to be all hard work and no play. We definitely don’t need to earn our food, the ability to feel satisfied from our food, or satisfied from our lives.
I mean, we have to earn it and now this is going to sound like I’m contradicting myself. We have to put in the work, but it doesn’t have to be as grueling and full of deprivation as we’ve been led to believe. To me, really if you focus on story ownership and in rewriting your story, when you do that, you build self-trust which enables us to trust calm, fulfillment and pleasure, as well as tolerate the uncertainty that’s going to be required to work through get to that place.
I agree with discover the satisfaction factor and pleasure with food. I also know that can be really disorienting and make people fall off track, because of the feat with the feeling of calm for an extended period of time. I’m not just talking about one meal, but for a while it can do.
Okay, intuitive eating principle number seven, honor your feelings without using food. Here is what they say about that, I’m reading directly from the book. Find ways to comfort, nurture, distract and resolve your issues without using food. Anxiety, loneliness, boredom and anger are emotions we all experience throughout life. Each has its own trigger and each has its own appeasement. Food won’t fix any of these feelings. It may comfort for the short-term, distract from the pain or even numb you into a food hangover, but food won’t solve the problem. If anything, eating for an emotional hunger will only make you feel worse in the long run. You’ll ultimately have to deal with the source and the emotion, as well as discomfort of overeating.
Again, I totally agree. Going one level deeper on these cravings, I’m looking at the emotional and soul level of this hunger, right? They give examples about boredom, right? When you’re bored, what to do instead? Here’s the deal guys, there’s a root cause to boredom or procrastination. Often, our story is holding us back from taking the courageous leaps we want. That’s why we’re bored. The root cause isn’t just that we need to – reading a magazine or something isn’t going to help chronic boredom, right? Or even occasional boredom. Maybe occasional boredom.
They talk about procrastination, how people eat to procrastinate, but this procrastination is actually part of the avoid pattern we talked about a lot on this. Part of why people avoid is they build up tasks, they are perfectionist, which come from a safety mindset, which again, comes from unresolved trauma and pain.
Again, if you are looking layers deep at root causes here, it’s not just what’s on the surface. When you get these suggestions about how to deal with boredom, or procrastination, or they say lonely, call a friend and share your feelings. I created an e-mail blast to my list about this advice. You’re not lonely because you didn’t call your friend. You’re lonely often because you’re comparing yourself and isolating, or you’re not speaking up, right?
I had an example of a client I shared with my list that she was at this parent-teacher meeting, or group. It was for her child was struggling. She felt very isolated, so she tried to go to this group, right? She would come home after these groups and go into the fridge. She’s like, “I know I should call a friend and connect, but I don’t do it. What’s wrong with me?” When she was able to see her story and which she realized was the competitor in her, this competitor pattern was comparing herself to the other moms at the group. It was making her isolate herself and feel like she was uniquely different and uniquely people couldn’t understand her, right?
That’s why she was lonely, right? She had to own that competitor pattern. Eventually, she did once she could see what was happening and we talked about what was important for her. At first she was just like, “Well, I’m going to test the waters connecting with these other parents.” She started out by the next meeting explaining how she was struggling. To other people like, “I’ve had that same experience,” right? It was so eye-opening to her, because this competitor pattern really makes us feel we’re different and no one can understand us and we’re uniquely broken, or uniquely challenged.
By opening up and connecting, she didn’t even feel the need to eat when she came home that night, right? Because she got to the root cause. I share this because so many emotional eating articles, or stress management tips, they give us a really passive approach to our feelings and stress. Take a walk, breathe deeply, these are all really, really great. If you don’t want to keep walking on a treadmill and breathing deeply forever, we got to get to the root cause of your stress. It’s often our story that tells us how we have to be in real life that causes the stress, right? My client, she was in real life, her kids struggling, she doesn’t know what to, do there’s no easy answers, right?
It was more about becoming self-aware of how she was actually making life harder for herself than it needed to be, but that was the way that had really protected her and served her in the past. Now it wasn’t working anymore. My approach is a little bit more hardcore and that you have to own why you’re lonely, why you’re procrastinating, why you’re bored. I like to be more in choice, I guess than I don’t know, I don’t want to say compared to other people, but that’s why I included this in my process, because I like to have choices and options. I don’t want to just wait for things.
If you think back to the first time you turned to food in a destructive way or to a diet, right? Think back to that, right? What were the events – that is the issue that really often is where our story originated and how – what we have to work through is how to be invulnerable and discomfort emotions in an empowering way. For example, one of my clients she was like, “Oh, the first time I went to Weight Watchers was actually with my mother. I was 10-years-old and it was right when my mom got divorced from my dad. My dad left and it was chaos.” They went to Weight Watchers together, right?
That’s when this whole story and this meaning of well, we can’t control what’s happening, but we can control and get – not get revenge she didn’t say, but the divorce diet people say like, “This is how we’re going to get control of our lives,” right? The divorce wasn’t really talked about. It’s just like everything got focused into this Weight Watchers and this bonding, right? Rather than having those vulnerable, intimate conversations around like, “This is hard. Our family is going through a tradition,” right?
Now granted it wasn’t only that divorce and going to Weight Watchers together, but then it started to become when there was uncomfortable things, right? Related to how her family, or how they were going to divide up kid time and what happens when dad doesn’t show up and all these stuff? Or that mom does a shitty thing, right? It’s not always the dad. All this stuff starts to get a piece with food, right? That’s what we learn is when we’re with uncomfortable emotions, we learn that we eat, or that we use food rather than really learning to work through them.
Yeah. I think I’ve used an example here. I remember when I was being bullied in fifth grade, I avoided telling my parents. I was so ashamed, but they used to – they were teachers in the public schools of Pittsburgh and they would pass this bagel place, right? The suburbs never had good bagels, even though I worked at a bagel shop. It was not this – they would pass this Jewish deli that had amazing bagels, cinnamon raisin and egg and plain and sesame. I would come home and eat those.
My parents weren’t home yet. I mean, they would bring them home the day before. I would just eat those, because I was so – I felt I didn’t belong. I was so isolated. I had to learn to deal with those feelings without food and own my peace in that. The healing part was no longer avoiding and learning to use my voice to stick up myself, stick up for myself, right? That today, I can heal that moment and that past by not avoiding today and discovering my voice and what am I willing to stand for, even when it’s unpopular, but that I can feel safe within myself, right? That’s part of my healing journey and that we can all do is that we can’t go back to that moment, but we can start to do what we wish we would have done back then had we had the perspective and the resources and all that stuff, and it becomes really healing and really powerful. Because power isn’t about being in control, it’s about being in choice.
Yeah. We say in why am I eating this now and in truce with food and with the truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off, which Gloria Steinem and Erin Brokovich made that quote famous, but it’s challenging, right? It’s going to challenge how you see yourself, but this is where we also bring in compassion because these stress responses protected us and now, they’ve outlived their usefulness, right?
That’s the exciting part of why we need a life we want to be healthy for is so that we are creatively challenged living in that gray and need tools to do that and rewriting and owning our stories not only clears up the food piece, but also side by side helps you create a life more on your term with your needs and wants, versus haves, should and must. If you want an example of this, tune in to season 6 episode 6, where I had my clients Brienne and Linda on and they worked with me a couple of years ago. They have shared how this work of owning their story has really led for them to lead their lives – live and lead their lives in a way on their terms.
Brienne shared how she was managing nurses and she – her leadership style became one to lead with vulnerability and collectivism more than the traditional patriarchal view of leadership that we sometimes think about and how that was life-changing for her team. Or Linda when she had to cut millions away from the budget of the higher education place that she worked for. She was able to do it her way and in a way that she was really confident in the way that she wrote up a communication plan.
This isn’t about just finding ways to not procrastinate or be bored, it’s about becoming the author and the co-creator in your life. All those other things are often just symptoms. Another thing that has always left out of the conversations of this feel your feelings is this concept called background feelings. I got this term from Dr. Antonio Damasio who wrote the book Descartes’ Error. The book is basically about how Descartes and that whole movement of separating mind and body set us back, I don’t know, 2 or 3,000 years. What happens is if you have unresolved pain or trauma and again, it’s not just the one incident, but then it’s all the incidents after that that confirm your powerlessness, right? It was like, it started with me of my bullying and then the cancer happened. Then I found weight loss even more and it was like that kept confirming it.
Then when I didn’t have the job that I liked and I couldn’t date, right? Until I lost weight. I’m just sharing all these things start to we make the same meaning out of the way that it was when we were younger and powerless. What happens is this story that we have about how we have to be when real life hit has created background feelings of chaos, not enoughness, the fear of being too much and we’ve normalized this. Damasio talks about these background feelings actually being more important than the stressful work event, or whatnot, right? It’s not the acute stress, it’s this chronic tension that we have normalized, right?
Unfortunately, because when we’re younger we don’t have a lot of resources or perspective, this background feeling often presents as a feeling of victimization, or powerlessness and it becomes part of the lens that we bring to the world, right? I just went off on a tangent, but my own example was I can’t date until I lose weight, right? I can’t find meaningful work until I figure my weight out. I was putting myself in this passive role, rather than doing the work to figure out who I liked, what were my interests, all this stuff right? I’m reading Becoming Right Now by Michelle Obama. Such a good book. Highly recommend. Oh, I loved her before and now I’m just like, “Oh, my God. What she was going through.”
Anyway, she was talking about how her goal was to check all the boxes in life, right? I feel that’s what I had, right? With weight loss always being on my to-do list. Then she met Barak and he challenged this viewpoint and she needed to figure out who she was. I felt this was me not only with food, but basically my life, right? Cancer had made me feel really unsafely singled out by life and it created fears of being seen in areas of life as a result, because in the areas that I wasn’t as confident, because that triggered uncertainty.
Cancer is one of the ultimate uncertainties. I had no resilience or agency around that feeling. What’s interesting is on paper, I was know from wallflower, right? I’ve never been considered a wallflower, but I was afraid of satisfying choices, like a meaningful career. I thought, “Oh, that’s for other people, right? I can’t do that.” Not only it was like, I can’t do that, but then it was overlaid with this – it’s easier for everyone else. It’s harder for me. This was protecting me from the risk of being seen and perfectly in keeping me isolated and victimized.
This background feeling of me normalizing powerlessness and also being in a state of chaos started at 13 and then normalized over a decade. In the background and then certain feelings like that, I would always have that in the background. Then when I’d have an awkward date, or my job would be hit a really unfulfilled streak, I’d spiral, right? I’d binge for however long, until my emotions died down and then amp up the pressure of weight loss, rather than trying to figure out my life. I was giving my power to weight loss to rescue me from my depression, life and myself.
Now, I talked about my process is hardcore and then it makes us own patterns and behaviors, but in this process we bring in a lot of compassion. In our culture, we see our pain as a reason to isolate, right? In a healthy society, we would learn to come together. We aren’t taught or encouraged to do this. In fact, our systems of oppression depend on us being isolated, instead of joining together. As AOC as she’s known on the social media forum, as she’s known said, “It’s not Democrat or Republican, it’s top to bottom about the oppression.” I felt I had been to church after she said that, right? It’s not left or right, it’s top to bottom. We need to come together. That’s how we have to be with our pain and with our imperfections.
I think most approaches on how to stress less or fill your feelings without food are missing out on a major opportunity for us to transform this pain, or you can call it not enoughness, or this powerlessness and use that empathy, creativity and humanity at birth than us to co-create something the world needs. The world needs more voices and offerings that are whole. Okay, that was a tangent. The last three are much quicker.
Intuitive eating premise, number eight. Respect your body. It says accept your genetic blueprint, appreciate what your body is able to do for you, realize you deserve to be fed, wear clothes that fit comfortably, rest when you need it, move in ways that feel good to you, about self-worth – so basically this is – it’s about self-worth and what my clients often say is feeling enough or not enough. This is about feeling enough in general. The problem again with unresolved trauma, or pain is we have a very narrow feeling of being enough. Usually only when we’re perfect, which really about this is what I need to do to feel safe.
In the intuitive eating book, they talk about stop body checking which is comparing your body to others, but this is actually a competitive response when you know how safe you are emotionally and psychologically. Are you ahead or behind? You have a different set of acceptable behaviors that you deem are safe based on your power position, right? It’s really not about our bodies, it’s about learning to feel safe from within based on your own metrics, not culturally conditioned ones. Who is the thinnest, most educated, etc., right?
Again, we’ve talked about this on the podcast, then privilege exists. Yet, we are talking about your power and your power is about choice. You can cultivate many of your own choices and independent on what the scale says. Another thing intuitive eating says under respect your body, stop body bashing. It says stop saying, “I hate my thighs. My arms are too fat.” I agree with this a 100%. Again, going a level deeper, body image flare-ups are when we feel vulnerable. Our story makes us feel more vulnerable than we actually are most of the time. Anytime clients are feeling bad about their body, especially after a really good streak of feeling good and all of a sudden something changes, I ask – I don’t give them look in the mirror.
That can be helpful, right? Or mantras and that can be helpful, but question I want to know so that we get to the root cause is what changed in your life? What feels unsettled? If they’ve done truce with food, we can start to look at where their stories is flaring up in another area of their lives. The arms and our butts are distractions and containers to place this vulnerability, because there appears a plan to fix those, right? That gives us some certainty, but we need to develop the schools and tools to manage what settles us emotionally, so that we can stop projecting this vulnerability onto our bodies and start feeling more confident, independent of our food choices, or our weight.
I’ll give you an example, I had a client who was working in a very competitive corporate environment; most of them are. She has a health background and an MBA. She’s super smart and talented, has a lot of experience, but she was comparing her the way she dressed in her body to these other women in her office who had Ivy League degrees, right? I’m recording this during the college admissions scam, so it’s I think we all knew that really, really wealthy people got in without merit. I don’t know. It’s becoming even more clear, right?
It doesn’t matter. That’s what she latched onto, which made her feel vulnerable, right? Whenever they would ask questions in meetings, she would feel really vulnerable, which led to a lot of over preparing, a lot of holding back her voice. Was she really that vulnerable right? she earned her right to be there. We started experimenting and challenging her story and she realized that when people ask questions, this was a great way for her to strengthen her point of view and actually made her more influential.
When she was feeling safely self-expressed and that she belonged there more by, not competing but getting clear on how she wanted to show up in those meetings, her body image felt much better. Isn’t it amazing how you can’t start to question yourself when you feel that way, versus when you’re wondering if you’re wearing the right thing, or your arms look this way or whatever, it’s when you feel vulnerable. A lot of times, our story makes us feel more vulnerable than we.
Again, you have more agency or a choice over your emotional vulnerability than the size of your body, and so to me it feels a lot more powerful to get the skills of the real issue and build up our confidence that – an authentic confidence that is independent of our weight, which leaves our weight off the hook, because you can’t – I agree, you can’t control your weight. We all have a genetic blueprint.
Okay, intuitive eating principle number nine; exercise. They talk about feeling the difference, rather than being punishment. I love this. I don’t have much to say here. I just know that when some clients know if they have a lot of health challenges, especially hormonally, or from an autoimmune perspective, really intense exercise can hurt them. It can feel good in the moment. I’ll put more of my educator coaching hat on and help them find something that leaves them feeling better versus in more pain. More exercise is not always better. It can take some time to figure that out. If I know someone’s in acute distress I’ll say, “Hey, let’s focus on something a little bit more gentler,” rather than them taking that time to figure it out themselves.
Okay, and the last intuitive eating principle is honor your health. Work on the first nine – the nine first and then focus on your health. I love that they emphasize that you don’t have to be perfect to be healthy. I agree, you can still make a lot of progress without being a 100% “perfect,” because perfectionism is hard on the body and soul.
I get that point and I just don’t think you have to wait though, right? There’s a lot of fundamental differences here, but there’s a lot of timing differences that I believe in compared to the intuitive eating framework. I think this is where health privilege comes in, right? Not all of us are coming to intuitive eating without acute health issues. I think with how much chronic illness we had today, anxiety and depression are included in that, can be in tandem with rewriting our story.
You can see how if you aren’t aware of the emotional undercurrent or layer below the food, you would need to wait to get here. Again, I was in so much physical and emotional pain and a lot of my clients are too. I don’t think they would tell you they were in so much pain, but they have normalized a certain level of unfulfillment and exhaustion and cravings. Focusing on our health and my own health in tandem with the other stuffs was really helpful and woke me up to my power and responsibility. It set me off into this self-authoring development curve that just made me feel more and more powerful. It made me feel empowered and curious and confident enough to then study inconsistency as a symptom of not some willpower defect, which led me to create Truce with Food.
Looking back on it, I can see it was all a natural storyline, but let me tell you it was not. By focusing on my health first actually, that just awakened so much confidence and power in me. Now I can see how some people may need, or want to wait to focus on their health, which again just to be clear is separate from weight. Weight and health aren’t correlated. I can see how some people would want to wait, but in my work again, I come from a premise that there’s always an emotional component to inconsistency, depression, anxiety and autoimmune issues.
If you want to heal at the root, you can’t stop at the food. We are addressing health always when we’re addressing the emotional component of things. Also when you are depressed or anxious, there’s really additional motivation to figure out the foods that will alleviate anxiety and depression, because that piece is easy to figure out and less pressured when you understand the bulk of the work is in rewriting and owning our stories, not conjuring more willpower with a food plan.
I just don’t think you have to wait. I think it can often be a huge developmental piece if you’re in enough discomfort that you want to change, because as the authors and creators of intuitive eating say, each of these steps take as long as they’re going to take, right? This could take five years to work through these steps. I know looking back that if I wouldn’t have had gotten the physical piece to my depression figured out by healing my gut, I would have never had the emotional capacity to take on owning my story, because there was no process to do that. It took me 13 years to solidly own my story. Whereas, my clients can do it in about a year, because I give them that process, but I was just running into brick walls and it was such a shit show trying to figure this out.
The upside of being stubborn, the golden part of that is I’m very persistent. The shadow side of that is I’m freaking stubborn. I just share that in that focusing on the health first, or through a health lens, I don’t think it has to be compartmentalized and that was a big game-changer for me in my own development.
All right, so in conclusion, intuitive eating offers a lot and I love the philosophy and approach. However, I don’t think it gets to the root cause of our eating issues or body image issues, as I’ve discovered most eating and body issues have little to do with food. They have to do with feeling more safe, to feel vulnerable, calm and satisfied, including taking up space in the world with our needs, wants and ideas, whichever form that takes. I think intuitive eating can move you along that continuum. I think the Truce with Food process provides a quantum leap on that continuum as evidence of my clients results, because it helps you start to create more of your life on your terms as part of the process and gives you more complete tools for the emotional intelligence and adult development required to really get out of diet culture and the cultural forces and expectations that influence diet culture, i.e. what it means to be a good woman or a good man.
We were laughing in Truce with Food, a lot of my clients are like, “I have this rebel side of me and I would rebel more if I had more self-trust.” I’m like, “That’s my goal for you, to be a 100% rebellious.” Because they rebel where they’re confident, but not where they’re a 100% confident. That’s what we’re working on. This is just why I call my offerings option C. It’s not dieting. It’s not anything else out like there intuitive eating, mindful eating or body positivity. It’s this weird radical other option that goes deep.
I also understand that it’s not for everyone. Again, starting with just the food piece can build up a lot of self-trust, so then maybe you want to take on more. My work is like your own personal shamanic journey seriously. It’s going to go deep into your psyche, because the central question I’m interested in isn’t about how to resist food, right? Or no longer resist food. I want clients to change their question and live into the answers of how do I become the person that doesn’t think with food.
I think intuitive eating provides some answers to the question, but it stays on the physical hunger level, even though I know many people experience emotional and soul hunger satisfaction from intuitive eating. For those Insatiable, I think my process can give you life-changing answers and even more questions you want to explore for your health and life.
I hope this was helpful and it was a diplomatic approach through intuitive eating, because again, I agree with so much of what they’re saying. I’m just coming at it from a different root cause and angle. Again, if you’re interested in this question of how do I become the person that doesn’t turn to food? Check out our Insatiable membership community. I’ve got a special rate for March 2019. You can find information at alishapiro.com/ic2019.
Thanks again for spending this little over an hour with me. Hope it was helpful.
[END OF EPISODE]
[1:07:25.9] AS: Thank you, health rebels for tuning in today. Have a reaction, question, or want the transcript from today’s episode? Find me at alishapiro.com. I’d love if you leave a review on Apple Podcast and tell your friends and family about Insatiable. It helps us grow our community and share a new way of approaching health and our bodies.
Thanks for engaging in a different kind of conversation. Remember always, your body truths are unique, profound, real and liberating.