The Anti-Diet Approach To Eating w/ Evelyn Tribole

Evelyn Tribole is a legend in the intuitive eating world, having co-authored and co-created Intuitive Eating with Elyse Resch in 1995. The book is now in its 4th edition and is the perfect guidebook when looking to embrace an anti-diet approach and heal your relationship with food.

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How To Embrace Intuitive Eating

A registered dietitian and expert in unraveling intuitive eating, body acceptance and body neutrality, Evelyn is here today to answer some of your most burning listener questions and provide insight into the important world of nutrition and intuitive eating.

Today we are breaking down everything from the real implications of diet culture and body lineage, how to embrace intuitive eating when on a specific healing protocol or healing from food addiction, ways to accept your body even if you don’t feel great at your current size, and so much more.

Evelyn literally wrote the book on intuitive eating and Is determined to put an end to unnecessary suffering by creating a global village tasked with dismantling diet culture and cultivating respect for all bodies, including your own.

With the right mindset and tools, intuitive eating is easy to incorporate into whatever you are doing right now, and can foster a sense of intuition, emotional and rational thinking so that you can make the best decision for your body.

Are you ready to apply Evelyns practical tips so that you can start to support, accept and love your body? Share the role intuitive eating plays in your journey with us in the comments below.

On Today’s Episode

  • Ways to implement intuitive eating when following a specific healing protocol (10:15)
  • Tips for listening to your body and trusting yourself when surrounded by hyper-palatable food (14:14)
  • The real implications and risks of diet culture and how to embrace self-compassion (26:30)
  • First steps that you can take to start deconstructing body lineage for your family (35:20)
  • How to reconnect and remind yourself to tune into your body as a form of self-care (38:00)

Resources Mentioned In This Show

Intuitive Eating, 4th Edition: A Revolutionary Anti-Diet Approach

The Intuitive Eating Workbook: Ten Principles for Nourishing a Healthy Relationship with Food

Follow Evelyn on Instagram 

Intuitive Eating Website

Evelyn Tribole Website

Join the Listen To Your Body Newsletter

HTK 188: What is Nutritional Therapy?

Nutritional Therapy Association Website

Quotes

“When you think about intuitive eating, there are 10 principles as you know, and the 10th is ‘own your health with gentle nutrition’. So medical nutrition therapy actually works really beautifully in there, but in order for that to work impactfully, it really needs to be facilitated by someone who has been trained in both the intuitive eating model and also in the medical nutrition therapy.” (11:14)

“The good thing about intuitive eating, its an inner dynamic model with 10 principles, and it’s not just being connected with how things sound and feel in your body, we can use our wise mind.” (18:59)

“Every time you honor hunger, you are rebuilding trust, you are rebuilding your relationship with food and it happens over and over and over again.” (24:48)

“This is about accepting your humanity, that just being a human being, your body is your home for the rest of your life, and no matter the size, shape, gender or race of your body, your abilities and so on, your sexuality, we all are worthy of dignity and respect.” (31:55)

“Were all human, and this is not about intellect, it is about connecting.” (38:13)

The Core 4 is now available! Click here to get a free gift when you purchase.

Listen To Your Body Podcast is sponsored by the Nutritional Therapy Association. Registration is now open for the NTA’s Nutritional Therapy Practitioner Online Program. Learn more and save your seat (and don’t forget to mention my name on your application!)

man and woman cooking in the kitchen with veggies and chopping board

The Anti-Diet Approach To Eating w/ Evelyn Tribole FULL TRANSCRIPT

Steph:
This is episode 275 of the listen to your body podcast on the show. Today I am welcoming co-creator of intuitive eating, Evelyn Tribole to the show. She is answering some of my most common listener questions.

Let’s do it. The next evolution of harder to kill radio is here. Welcome to the Listen To Your Body Podcast. On this show, we’ll explore the intersection of body, mind and soul health and help you reclaim your abilities to eat and move more intuitively. Hear your body’s signals and trust yourself more deeply. I’m Steph Gaudreau, a certified intuitive eating counselor, nutritional therapy practitioner, and strength coach. On this podcast, you can expect to hear expert guest interviews and solo chats that will help you deepen your trust with the food movement and your body. Remember to hit the subscribe button and share this podcast with your friends and loved ones now onto the show.

Hello. Hello. Welcome back to the podcast. Thanks so much for tuning into the show today. Oh, have I got an amazing show and guest for you today? I’m welcoming to the show, Evelyn Tribole. She is the co-author of intuitive eating along with Elyse Resch and she is joining me today on the show to answer some of your most burning intuitive eating questions. When I asked Evelyn to be on the podcast, I thought, you know what? I just want to go out into the community and to social media, my email list and just ask people, Hey, what do you want to hear? What do you, what questions would you like answered? And I correlated those into some main questions and topics and Evelyn was game and I just pitched those her way. Evelyn is a registered dietician and as I mentioned, the co-author and co-creator of intuitive eating, a book that she wrote along with at least fresh 25 plus years ago at this point.

And it is really now coming into a lot of people’s consciousness as an important part of the conversation regarding food and repairing relationships with food in terms of challenging diet culture and looking at the ways in which dieting has really harmed people. And then of course, what can we do about it? And intuitive eating has been a really important part of my own personal journey, my own personal work to just shake off the chains of diet, culture and live in a way that’s much more peaceful with food and with my body. So when I asked her to come on the show after being somebody who’s her for a while and then did her certification last year, I was just so incredibly thrilled and honored that she said she said yes and she’s joining us today. Before we go any further, hit subscribe on your podcast app and tell someone you love about this show.

Secondly, get on my Listen To Your Body Podcast.newsletter. Look, I don’t have any free enticing thing for you at the moment. I just want to send you really great teaching, really great coaching and thoughts about unraveling intuitive eating and body acceptance and body neutrality and all of the things that this podcast explores and more so if you want to get on that newsletter and dive in deeper, then go to Steph gaudreau.com/LTYB or Listen To Your Body Podcast. and get on the newsletter. Like I said, I don’t have anything to trick you into getting on my email list with other than just to say I would love to expand upon this with you and have another place to reach you, so if that sounds cool to you, sign up. If not, no props. You know, one of the best things I ever did for myself professionally was to put myself through the nutritional therapy associations NTP program.

I did that in 2018 and I really looking back can see how incredibly important it was in my ability to be able to approach and address people’s nutrition from a really bio-individual approach, from a range of nutritional strategies, everything from how to properly prepare foods, how to restore balance in the body, how to include things like emotional wellbeing, the role of the environment, sleep, movement, stress. All of that was so incredibly powerful, so important in my ability to listen to my body, to my ability to coach people through what that’s like. The NTA is the sponsor of today’s show and I want to encourage you if you’ve been wondering what their programs are like, what you’ll learn in terms of motivational interviewing, your clinical and practical skills, everything that you need to know to be able to work with people from a bio-individual approach to nutrition, head over to their website, nutritional therapy.com there’s a link also in my show notes that you can check it out. And if you want to hear my episode that I did on nutritional therapy, then go ahead and tune into episode one 88. Their registration is now open and seats are going to fill up pretty quickly. So go over to nutritional therapy.com learn more and of course, if you join, don’t forget to mention my name on your application.

Oh my goodness, you are in for such an incredible treat today. I am being joined by somebody that I really look up to personally and professionally, someone who’s made such an important impact in the world of nutrition and obviously intuitive eating. And, uh, I just am so incredibly thrilled that she said yes to, to spending some time with us today. So welcome to the show, Evelyn. Thank you. I’m thrilled to be here. I always want to help spread the word of intuitive eating properly, you know, so yeah, absolutely. I know intuitive eating has been getting a lot of press coverage lately.

Evelyn:
It’s actually rather phenomenal because this has not been initiated by any of us. This has been the, uh, media reaching out to us and it’s been global, which has just been wonderful actually.

Steph:
It’s been really cool to see so many different uh, news outlets picking it up. It’s just been really cool. It’s for me to watch how it’s creating conversation and I’m just a, I’m so excited for you all for your new edition of the books that come out. You know, one of the things that really struck me when I went through the training with you last year and I just thought, dang, I respect that you are talking about the fact that you know, you had to comb through the book and you were looking for opportunities to do better with the way you words you used and the way you refer to things and just thought, wow. I mean I, I freaking respect that so much!

Evelyn:
Oh, I so happy to hear you say that cause I got to tell you, being on the other end of it, it’s really, um, it’s humbling, you know, because when we wrote, well the latest edition was in 2012 and the next one will be, you know, June 2020 and we wrote according to where we were at and where the research was. But to go back and look at some stuff we haven’t looked at, that was actually in the earlier additions. Elise and I were actually wincing. We thought we’d find, you know, a couple of statements here and there. And there were some things that were like, Oh my gosh, but you know, one of the reasons stuff I like, I like telling this story is I think a lot of health professionals really go through a place, a phase of cognitive dissonance. You know, they’re taught in a very weight centric model in university and the internships and in whatever field of which they’re studying.

And then they come across this new information, not just the information on intuitive eating, but the information on the harm of dieting, the efficacy of dieting, the connection with eating disorders, all this stuff. And it’s not like you suddenly get these new facts and it’s like, okay, yeah, I’m in. It’s like you wrestle with it. It’s like the dark night of the soul. And so by us showing that you know what, this is where we were at 10 years ago, we all evolve and it’s, it’s okay. You know, it’s, it’s a little, it hurts a little bit sometimes cause we don’t want to be hurting people either, you know? But it’s, it’s part of the process. And if you even look at research as part of the process is as we, uh, know better, we do better. And so that’s what we’re aiming to do. So thank you for bringing that up.

Steph:
Yeah, and I, I know there are a lot of other practitioners, a lot of other, uh, intuitive eating counselors and, and lay facilitators and just people who are really interested in weaving this into what they’re doing. Who, I mean, it’s like collective permission to say, Hey, you know, it’s all right to change when you know things that you can’t know then on. No. And, and this is part of the process of doing better for people. Um, so we had a, I asked my, my community all over the place, everywhere I am, you know, email and social media and stuff, Hey, you know, uh, Evelyn’s coming on the podcast and people were like, yay. Um, what would you want to ask her? And so I pilled some of the questions out and, um, I would love to toss some of them your way and see what, see what comes out.

Yeah, absolutely. Okay, perfect. So one of them that comes up a lot in this community. I came from a very paleo way of eating. I mean that whole shebang. And there are a lot of people who are concerned with this. Uh, and the question comes from Keisha. She says, how do we as nutrition professionals approach intuitive eating with clients who are following a specific healing protocol like the wall’s protocol, which is ms, uh, for MS or that or medical-based Quito or low FODMAP or gluten-free. Like how do we, how do you even start going forward with that knowing that these clients might be keeping things out of their diet?

Evelyn:
You know, I want to answer those two different ways cause there’s a lot of assumptions built into that question and I’m glad she’s asking the question. So I’m going to go really general and I’m going to get very specific. So when you think about intuitive eating, you know, there’s 10 principles as you know, and the 10th is on your health with gentle nutrition. So medical nutrition therapy actually works, really do the flea in there. But in order for that to work impactfully, it really needs to be facilitated by somebody who’s been trained in both, both the intuitive eating model and also in the medical nutrition therapy for which that person is being treated. And yeah, there’s a, there’s a reality, like if you have celiac disease, you really can’t eat gluten. You can’t even, you know, the amounts that can hurt you are real. And I, I lived this, I know this because my adult son was diagnosed with celiac disease when he was a toddler, but we can still connect to hunger, fullness, satisfaction, and feeling good when you’re eating.

And now, unfortunately, fortunately, there’s a wide variety of foods that are available today. They didn’t use to be. But where there’s this really fuzzy line and it’s more than a fuzzy line, is to assume that there’s a healing protocol for a condition in which there’s been very little research, you know? And so I’ve been in that situation where someone comes in and they’ve got this big old list of foods they can’t eat their healthcare provider. And I’ll say in why, why, why is this so? How was this evaluated? What’s the diagnosis? And they’ll say, well, I had a blood test. And we know from standard medical care, there’s been a lot of policy of papers written on this that you cannot diagnose and treat. An allergy. Food allergy was just a blood test alone. The gold standard is a double-elimination diet, which includes a blind test that the great majority of people don’t do.

And so sometimes they’re clues, but they’re not bonafide absolute facts unless of course, you’ve had Anna Filactic shock, you know, and I’ve had people coming in, a couple, one was one, I had someone come in who was doing some kind of paleo anti-inflammatory for some condition and there was an acronym, the name escapes me. I said, you know, I’m not familiar with the research on that. I don’t want to discount them, but I wanted to deep dive into the research. And there was one study, there was not a control group in it, and it’s all based on that. And so what I look at, we step back and say, what is the, what are we trying to do here? And with intuitive reading, we’re trying to heal the relationship with food and that needs to come first and a lot of people who have GI disorders, it’s been a consequence of disordered eating, you know, that caused it.

The inadequate eating is really problematic and I will tell you unless someone has epilepsy, I’m really concerned with anyone on a keto diet because of the lack of research we have longterm and all this stuff we know about the microbiome and all these things in terms of benefits of, of fruits, which are much higher in carbs than what most Quito plans would, would allow. So then the question is, becomes the art as a practitioner since it was asked by a nutritionist, is how do we join our clients together in, in figuring this out and when you are on some eating plan that is causing you a lot of stress in which there’s a lot of hoopla but very little data, I think we have to really question that, you know.

Steph:
yeah, absolutely. Great. Thank you. The other question that came up so that that question came up probably the most, okay. The second question that came up most frequently, and I’m paraphrasing because it came up a lot and so I just amalgamated them all together. Okay. For multiple different people. The question is how can we listen to our bodies slash trusts ourselves when a hyper-palatable food is all around us and this is my audition out to get us.

Evelyn:
Okay, you heard me, you heard me react there, did you hear me go? We have to look at where is this, where are these ideas coming from? And I just recently did a deep dive actually I’ve been doing a deep dive for quite some time on the, on the areas of so-called food addiction and then, and then you know, bouncing into the, into the description of high propel edible foods. This is coming from the lens of so-called obesity research. The reason I say so-called is the whole thing. Basing someone’s health on their, on their BMI is so fraught with problems. The history of that, the BMI was never intended to be a diagnostic tool to indicate the house. There’s a lot of studies showing it’s not a good indicator and yet people are basing things on that. And so when I look at where is the research coming from?

Well, the food addiction research is coming from the lens of SoCo, the so-called obesity epidemic and the hyper palpable foods coming from the same thing. They’re saying we want to have a, a solution. And so what ends up happening? And I, by the way, it’s a fair question to ask because I get this question asked a lot. And people are very genuine and sincere when they say that. And they’re afraid that the food companies basically are out to get them. And it’s, it’s a lot of fearmongering and I’m, I’m frustrated by that and I want to be really clear. I’m not here to be the mouthpiece for the food industry. You know, there’s certainly ways to do things better. But to me, it’s no different than when a chef wants to prepare an amazing meal that tastes good. Well, food companies want to prepare foods that, that taste really good also.

And we’re going, I saw this really get started was a book by um, David Kessler, the former US surgeon general, and Oh my God, I think, I’m trying to remember the name of his book. I think it was called over the end of overeating or something like that. And I heard so much brouhaha about it that I’ve got to read this book and I was so disappointed because what it was was a lot of his opinion based on animal studies or interviewing people and we all entitled to have an opinion, but it’s not absolute facts. So I think it’s problematic. I think the bigger problem is the culture that we’re living in, in which we’re beginning more and more isolated from our people in terms of having meaningful relationships. And we’re also being disconnected from ourselves. And then when we’re adding the fear-mongering to the eating, it’s hard to enjoy our food, you know?

And he also could distract us from some of the other issues on, on the research agenda, like adverse childhood experiences that when you start looking at that also known as ACEs, that cuts years off of people’s lives. In terms of looking at some of the studies there. It’s, it’s huge, you know, but it’s, it’s not the problem that people make it out to be. So here, here’s the way I like to flip it when I’m talking to like a patient, as I say, you know, when I talk to people who have this fear of concern about hyper-palatable foods, these are often people who’ve been dieting and anyone who’s been dieting or on some kind of food plan holds 30, whatever it happens to be, they are setting up a neurobiological cascade in which they are more aware of food, more effected by food and more food-seeking. On the other hand, people who aren’t dieting, people who have, you know, are intuitive eaters. They’re, they’re not, they’re not affected by that. So I would say someone who’s in the, uh, place of falling rigid food plans, they’re vulnerable to this, uh, to the phenomenon or this fear that once I start eating something, I can’t stop. Cause that’s what’s kind of the implied messaging behind that theory. That’s all it is, is just, it’s just a theory.

Steph:
[inaudible], you know, follow up question. And kind of related to that and somebody posed to me the other day is if you have somebody who has, for example, dysregulation with their leptin and ghrelin, you know, they’re these neurotransmitters and um, molecules in our body that have to do with the hunger and satiety and, and sick sensing, hunger is a tidy and whatnot. Like how the question was something like, well, if this is real or if the person is actually experiencing this, how can we even start to approach intuitive eating when they can’t turn off? You know, they’re, for example, they don’t feel satiated.

Evelyn:
Okay. This was the, with that, with basics, this someone is not connected to hunger and fullness for a variety of reasons, not even those types of mechanisms that can be stressful. So the biggest thing about intuitive eating, you know, it’s an inner ear. It’s an inner dynamic model, you know, with 10 principles and it’s not just, uh, being connected with how things sound and feel in your body. We can use our wise mind to, so sometimes what needs to happen, like when people were also undergoing a trauma therapy, uh, they need to feel safe in order to feel hunger and fullness. And that might be a while before they feel that or feel anything, uh, at all. And so what we do is we use nourishment as self-care, you know, and so based on your history, what foods, what meals feel good in your body and sustain you.

It’s no different than when you have a car in which the gas tank is not working, let’s say it registers full of yeah. Full all the time. And if you were to just rely on that, eventually you’re going to run out of gas and not get to your destination. So it’s using the same, same aspect with that. And it’s working together on an individual basis. And sometimes we have to use scaffolding or baby steps to help someone get, um, connected with their intuitive eating. But it doesn’t mean it’s not possible. It just might mean it’s going to take a little longer. And that’s okay.

Steph:
Yeah. I love the quote that you have, which is intuitive eating is the self-care eating framework that uses, I haven’t memorized, right. Instinct, emotion and rational thinking. And I think a lot of, I get the sense that, and I don’t know if you can comment on this, but I get the sense that there are a lot of people who are under the false assumption that intuitive eating is where you’re like, Hey, body, uh, it’s Steph, you know, what did we, what are we thinking about having today? And sometimes I do that, right, but it’s not just that, I mean, how are you, how are you trying to expand that definition with people in, in your work? Because it seems like it always defaults to, but I can’t, I can’t listen to my body. I can’t trust it.

Evelyn:
Yeah. So many, many ways. So I’m, I’m, I’m glad you really brought that up. And so one way I look at this is that we can’t define intuitive eating based on one principle. You know? And that’s why, this inner play is so important. When you look on Instagram and you might get the perception that intuitive eating is all about pink doughnuts and people want to celebrate that. Oh my gosh, can leave, I can, I can eat this. And it’s, and it’s kind of boring for them to write about gentle nutrition even though it’s one of the 10 principles just as important. But in the healing aspect, it’s not as exciting. And so part of it is, is it is this dynamic interplay. And so some people feel that it’s all instinct and like, no, that’s not what it is. It’s all of these things in combination.

And I think what happens is when someone’s venturing out of diet culture, cause that’s the reason we created this as a, as a source of healing to help heal your relationship with the mind and body. That sometimes what they want is a clear definition. And sometimes I’ve had patients unintentionally turn into a meeting into a diet. You know, I have to eat exactly when I’m hungry and I have to stop precisely when I’m full or I blew it. It’s like, no, our body is a living organism. Let’s see what happens. Okay, so let’s say you ate beyond fullness and you were even uncomfortable at lunch. Let’s see what happens the rest of the day, the afternoon in which you normally get hungry. I’d be curious to see if that still happens or what happens when you come into dinner as opposed to assuming as to what it is.

So sometimes they want this nice tiny package. And so at the base of all of this is, is really, it is trust and trust gets violated. You know, when you’ve been hungry. I think it’s so sad. I actually act this out with my patients. Like, well, your poor little body, your poor little cells in there have been crying and they’re like, everyone, you don’t even know the story. I’ve been so hungry. I’ve been so hungry because he’s making me work out and lift weights and I’m starving. And, um, and so what happens is it’s a basic trust that’s being broken. We have a basic need to break, we have a basic need to eat. And you’re not honoring that because of some well-meaning idea of having some food plan, some diet plan, whatever it happens to be. And then the more you do it and the more you stay on it originally, you get to the point where you just can’t stand it.

And all of a sudden you have this loss of control eating. And there’s nothing wrong with you. It’s your body actually works. And the way that I like to describe this, it’s no, I know I, I work in, I live near the beach, I love the waves and it’s filled with people play in the waves. And it’s really common when you go in and there’s a big, it’s a set, it’s coming. You going to, you know, dive in under the water. So go, you don’t get pummeled and you’re holding your breath, you’re holding your breath. And when you finally come up for that gasp of air, sometimes feeling panicky, you know, it’s going to be a big old gas. And no one calls that loss. The controlled breathing. No one calls that binge breathing. No one calls it. Oh my God, you’re addicted to air.

Oh my God, that’s hyper-palatable air they’re going on. It’s an understanding that it’s a natural consequence to air deprivation. So what ends up happening is when someone has this perception of losing control with eating and thinking, Oh my God, I am messed up. I can’t even stop eating these, these donuts. There is something wrong with me. And so that’s the trust keeps getting broken. Uh, and that’s what we need to understand. It’s not you. Your body is so smart. It is trying to live. Those little cells are thinking, Oh my gosh, she tried to kill me. She tried to kill me. And so we have an opportunity to eat and we’re going to seize it. And it becomes the last set for eating. And so sometimes what I do, and this might sound silly, but it’s not, I, I when I talk about self-compassion because that’s an important and important frame in which to work with this.

You know, I’ll ask someone, can you have self-compassion for yourself, for self-compassion, for your body? And sometimes that’s a really hard conversation. I said, well what about yourselves? What about those muscles sales have been doing all that work. What about your liver cells? Cause I’d never been objectified yet by the media or social media for that matter. And so just looking at it in this way and then building this idea that you know what, every time you honor hunger, you are rebuilding trust. You are rebuilding your relationship with food and it happens over and over and over again. And eventually, it does happen. And it feels for some people like, like a miracle. And all it is is when you have continuity and safety. Safety meaning I will be fed, I will be fed, this can actually happen. But what happens with the patients that are clients that I see, they come in feeling so chaotic, so dysregulated that they think there’s really something wrong with them.

It’s like, no, your body is actually doing exactly what it needs to be doing. But it’s been so villainized in our culture, they don’t know that this is actually normal because diet culture is so loud. People are bragging about this plan, that plan and whatever. And then when it stops working, you don’t hear them bragging on Instagram like, Oh my God, I can’t stop eating. You know? And so instead what happens is a lot of shame around this and people don’t talk about it and they think that there’s something afferent around them. And so every study that I have looked at in which they take a look and measure for the unintended impact, the unintended harm of dieting and restrictive food plans, they will find this loss of control eating or binge eating and these kinds of consequences. The poem is, is most studies don’t look at this.

They don’t look at this. And so it doesn’t get measured and it gets minimized. Uh, as, as a problem. And here we are at a point where we have eating disorders that have doubled in the past decade, which I think is really awful, you know?

Steph:
Absolutely. Yeah. And it, we’re recording this, uh, it’s national eating disorder awareness week. Um, you know, I think one of the interesting things, and I bring this up sometimes that people, I always say, have you ever heard really in the mainstream media of people talking about the downsides of dieting? Yeah. We talk about the downsides of so many things and if you see it at a prescription mirror, drug, commercial, there’s always the fine print, right? There’s always the, the, the downsides, the side effects. And I feel like when you look out into the glorification of dieting, you don’t ever see a discussion other than in our communities in the spaces that we’re in but at large, you don’t see those, Hey, let’s talk about the real implications and potential risks of this.

Evelyn:
And you’re absolutely right. And that’s why there are some health professionals that are right now, they’re just saying, you know what, we, we would just be happy if there was informed consent. There’s someone who goes along this pathway that these things can, can happen. You know, and it’s, it’s, it’s sad. It breaks my heart. I, I cannot tell you the amount of people I’ve had in my office crying saying I wished to God someone would’ve told me this when I started dieting years ago. You know, it might’ve changed the trajectory of where I was at. So it’s all this unnecessary suffering interferes not only with your relationship with yourself but with your relationship with other people, because your mind is constantly preoccupied about, can I eat it?

Can I not eat it? Counting this, counting that. Um, and now you’ve missed out on the conversation. Your body was there, your ears were working, but you weren’t there. And so the connection is, is missed out. You know, such a great point. Thank you. So this other question came up. Um, this question is from Jen. And, and yet this has also been echoed many, many times. [inaudible] intuitive eating, putting weight loss on the back burners, you know, one of the important pieces. And so Jen asks, and I think this is kind of where she’s going with this, cause I know her personally. How do you, how do you accept your body when you don’t feel good at your current size? You don’t like your current size, you don’t like how you actually look. Well, that’s a big question and it’s a common question and I, we have to step back.

I don’t want to minimize how someone is feeling, but we have to really start understanding how did it get to be that I feel so strongly about this and when we start looking at the roots of weight stigma and fatphobia is really profound. There was a book that came out last year, I highly recommend written by an academic called, her name is Sabrina strings. And the book is called fearing the fat, I’m sorry, fearing the black body, uh, the racial roots of fatphobia. And it’s profound. You know, it’s documented starting in the 16 hundreds that these kinds of things and they especially affect women but it’s affecting men as well. A is is a means of oppression. You know, that started with, with racism and patriarchy and, and religion. And it’s really something when you start looking at this that we’ve been taught, we weren’t born hating our bodies.

And yet as, as this stuff happens to cause it’s everywhere. Diet culture is everywhere. And it’s one of the reasons why we wanted to update and we did update intuitive eating is to include this diet culture phenomenon, but it’s even in the safe spaces. I had an um, a mom posted on one of my Instagram things about her child in kindergarten whose teacher removed the cookie, the homemade cookie and said this is bad. It has sugar. And now this kid is afraid of eating anything sweet in front of his teacher because he’s going to get judged. You know? So that’s important to understand. But the, maybe the, the practical aspect of this answer that the PR person is asking Jen is asking is may all be well and good Evelyn. But it’s not 1600 and this is how I’m feeling today. How do I work with this?

So part of it is understanding that most people that I work with anyway, uh, and is when we take a look at the histories, that by the time they’ve gotten to this part where they say, how do I accept my body? They had been working at not accepting their bodies, they’d been working at a changing, trying to change their body. And it’s, it’s having the realization and it’s kind of being in a rock and a hard place. And I’ve had a lot of patients in this position where they’ll say, there is no way in hell I’m going back to dieting. I’m so clear about that based my, based on my own experience, based on all the stuff I’ve learned with intuitive eating. And yet I feel miserable right now because I am uncomfortable in my body. So part of it is, is a mindset. Part of it is a value system.

And I, I like taking a look at something that I call body lineage. And what does the body lineage in your family, what we’re bodies, um, how our, how our bodies discussed and looked at in, in your family of origin, in terms of mom and dad, aunts and uncles and grandparents? And I’ll tell you it’s an interesting conversation. And if bodies were something that were criticized or, or overvalued or demonized the net, something that’s been happening for a long time and you can’t just simply think happy thoughts and then boom, you have acceptance. We have to start deconstructing, this belief system. And one of the things I find that’s really effective, um, is for anybody who has young children or maybe you plan to have kids someday, is this idea that you can stop the legacy in your family and that you don’t have to feel 100% about your body.

And this goes much, much deeper. This is about accepting your humanity, that just being a human being, uh, your body is your home for the rest of your life. And no matter the size, the shape, the gender, the race of your body, your abilities and so on, your sexuality. Uh, we all are worthy of dignity and respect, but that is not cultivated in our culture. But that’s something that we can do and we can change the conversation and we can start changing how we feel about ourselves. And so part of it is not identifying in your body. I have a body, but I’m not my body. And one of the things I do with this commonly, it’s not in any of the books. I don’t even know if I use it in the, in the training stuff, but it’s this idea, I’m not my thoughts, I’m not my feelings.

I am not my body. I have thoughts, I have feelings, I have a body. And just starting with that simple languaging is you start to disconnect Rather I made up a new word, with having that identity. And then, so those are the deeper level things. Then on a practical level saying something I run into all the time, uh, as I’ll ask somebody, well, how do you, how do your clothes feel in your, on your body? And they might say that they fit but they’re not comfortable. And so looking at some practical aspects of, of having comfortable clothing. And I’ve had a lot of patients resist those. They don’t want to spend money even when they have the money. They don’t want to spend the money on a larger size. And what ends up happening is they stay miserable. And one of the, I might have somebody start cleaning out their closets of clothes that don’t feel comfortable on their body and putting them in a bag somewhere.

And then, so at least that no matter what’s it left in their closet, in their drawers, there’s just stuff that they know that feels comfortable and then when they feel ready to start buying some key, uh, clothing according to whatever their budgets happen to be, you know, whether that’s saving up, whether that’s through shopping or boring clothes or whatever that is. Because that gives you a mixed message. If your clothes are binding and not and not feeling good, you know? Absolutely. That’s really helpful. I appreciate the different levels of looking at that and I think that’ll be helpful. It’s deep and I hit his deep you and I’m thinking it’s almost once someone’s at that point, it’s almost like a dual practice and that is the connections that you have with intuitive eating with all the principles, but then simultaneously cultivating this deep respect for not just your body, but all bodies that were all part of humanity.

You know, we’re more than a body. I, I, when I think about this, if it breaks my heart and sometimes what I’ll do, because I’ve never met a person yet who doesn’t love a puppy, you know, I’ll say, you know, imagine like a little Chihuahua versus a big old Mastin. I’ve as a puppy, I’ve never had anyone say, Oh my God, that massive needs to be a Chihuahua in order for it to be lovable and worthy. You have patients that laughed at that, you know, so it’s looking at it just from different types of perspectives.

Steph:
Absolutely. A line that no, you didn’t mention parents and lineage and things like that. I’ve had a lot of people, and again, not a specific person here, but I’ve had a lot of people who’ve said things like, Oh shit, I realized I had that wake-up moment where I realized I was starting to have an impact on my kids. You know, you can’t necessarily control what they’re doing outside the home. And I used to be a teacher and be in the schools and I mean it was everywhere. But they realize, okay, I want to do something about this. What are some of the first steps that parents or caregivers can take to, you know, essentially to start deconstructing that lineage of the like the intense judging of the body or judging food is good and bad.

Evelyn:
Yeah. So you know, I just, let’s, let’s start, let’s start within the home. Let’s start within our own areas of influence. And that is with ourselves and that is, how are you speaking about anybody and your body? Cause I’ve also had parents have it. They’re mortified and they’re often in tears because they do not want their kids to this kind of pain. And even if they’ve never given a derogatory Mark towards their kids, if their kids have watched them criticize their bodies, that’s a powerful message in modeling.

So it’s starting to work with that. What is, what is my behavior showing and what is, what am I all outward words showing and then creating this idea of in our home, all bodies are worthy of, of dignity. Bodies come in diverse shapes and size all bodies, um, besides deserving or we need dignity and respect, but to be nourished and uh, and treated in ways that they feel good respectfully and, and so on. So we can start with that and where this is then it’s amazing since, with your teaching background, all the gentle reframes that can happen at the kitchen table when the kid comes home from school and said, Oh, my teacher said this, or someone to sewing about their body, we can talk about this, you know, in terms of that’s not how, that’s not how we view bodies and people in our family.

And so it’s this constant gentle teaching. There was a, um, I follow Leslie Schilling. She’s a, she’s a dietician who also specializes in kids and she was, she’s been posting lately about her daughter coming home with these doozies. And then the languaging, she used reframing. And so you can just constantly reframe. We can have our own, we talk about family values. This can be part of your shared family values. And I’ll tell you where it gets tricky, but so, so necessary. So now we’re talking just about you, the parents, and then bring it into your district core families that are living at home. But then when friends are coming in, family members are coming in and having setting boundaries and conversations around that, that you don’t want someone talking about their diet in front of your kids. And if people are the people that are afraid to do whatever it is they want to do, but you have the right to raise your family according to your values.

So it’s not about shaming other people, but it’s living according to your values. So that’s the way I would frame it is what are your family values? And I would suggest that these are one of them that can affect somebody for the rest of their lives, you know, in a beautiful way, you know, so powerful. Yeah. Tina had a great question. She says, how do you Evelyn Evelyn and exit specifically, not how does a person, but how does, how do you Evelyn reconnect to or remind yourself to tune into your body? Oh, that’s such a good question. I have so many funny stories on that and I love that question because we’re all human and this is not about intellect. It is about connecting. So, um, I’m in a way it is, is once you kind of have a practice of doing this regularly, it kind of starts to happen automatically, but it’s not always that way.

So I’m going to give you a couple of examples that show you when I’m not connected because it can still happen. So when I’m on a project, when I’m writing a book or chasing down a research study and I find something else, I really get into the zone. So this was happening to me where I was really in the zone and all of a sudden, I’m, gosh, it’s kinda dark in here and I am so cold, I’ve got to go turn on the heater. And what happened, I think five or six hours must have passed by and I was absolutely starving. And I just thought it was so funny. So here’s my point in this, that we can get all of us as humans and get distracted where we get disconnected. The issue is what do you do when you notice that happens, you know?

And so I do whatever was called for, what’s the kind thing to do for my body? Well, I’m gonna stop what I’m doing right now, dead in my tracks. I’m going to honor it. And the reason I think it’s funny is I’m kind of sensitive to low blood sugar. So I will feel it. But in this case, the excitement of whatever I was chasing down kind of overpowered. Anything else I was feeling, but it’s was that I stepped away from the computer that it happened. But you know what I mean? I do some things like you know, on I on one day a week, I batch cook my breakfast. I, I’m, I’m on a phase right now. I happen to love steel cut oats I make and I love it really, really thick. So I make it for the week and it’s so thick.

It’s like eating cake in terms of it, you can stick a finger in it and they just top it up with a bunch of walnuts so that in the morning I just slice it and heat it in the microwave. So I do things like that that make it easy for me to connect with my body and I do all kinds of things. It’s um, it, gosh, it, you know, no one’s ever asked me that question and I love it because even in my work, I connect with my body. When I’m in session with somebody and I’ve suddenly noticed I’m feeling tense or my body is feeling a hot or my, or there’s clenching in my gut, it’s like, Oh, this is informing me of something I was feeling just fine. I think I’m about to head into a power struggle. I might need to ask a question to see what’s going on with this person I’m talking to.

So it’s something I’m curious about all the time. So it’s ongoing and it’s not perfect, but it doesn’t need to be. That’s the thing I like to stress. Our bodies naturally self-correct if we just get out of the way. And you meditate as well. I know that’s important to you. I do. I a, I’m a very serious, uh, meditation student. I have a, a regular practice. And what happens with a minute meditation, the more you practice, you just, you have more awareness and more space to notice things, but at the same time, you’re still human as well. But that also helps me to connect.

Steph:
Yeah, for sure. I love that. And I’m glad that you brought up the, that you, you prep your breakfast. That was another kind of concern that came up. People asked, you know, how do I, how did I, do I have to just wait until I realize I’m hungry and then I’m in the kitchen frantically trying to prepare a meal? Exactly when I’m getting the sensation that I’m hungry, you know, is this compatible with meal prepping?

Evelyn:
And let’s unpack that a little bit. Good question. So I get this question a lot around meal prep. And so what I like to ask is what is the intention behind the behavior? And so the meal prep is a form of self-care because you know, in the morning I am, I’m doing a million things. I’m trying to meditate, I’m trying to get my workout in the mornings. I like to move my body in the mornings, uh, and there’s less time involved. And so by me doing breakfast ahead of time, it gives me time to eat in a way that feels good for my body. So that’s number one. So what’s the intention behind the behavior? If you’re meal prepping on the other hand, so you can limit what you’re eating to change the shape of your body.

That’s, that’s problematic. The only thing is you don’t have to be a 10 you know, not every meal is going to be a 10 in satisfaction. Sometimes it’s a sensible pair of shoes, you know, it’s like got the job done and that’s okay. I’ve had a lot of meals like that. The thing that I noticed is kind of a phenomenon. When someone’s been dieting for a long period of their life and they suddenly have the becoming an intuitive eater and now they have a meal that’s inferior, it can feel devastating sometimes. And sometimes it’s a reflection of the perfectionism of the person. But I find more often it’s a reflection of all the deprivation they’ve been on, that they finally get to have what they want. And now this wasn’t a 10. It’s like, Oh my God. And what will happen in time is that it will level out because the food’s just not so exciting anymore.

It’s certainly enjoyable. And then there’s other times, this is where we use our wise mind. You know, if you’ve got a really big day coming up, uh, sometimes you’re not gonna even be eating exactly when you’re hungry. If you have lunch scheduled at 12 but you’re not even hungry right now and your next opportunity to eat, it’s not going to be til six o’clock I’m not going to say don’t eat, you know, so there’s, there’s nothing wrong with that as well. It’s, it’s basing it on how you know, how your body feels and functions when you nourish it. So, yeah.

Steph:
That, that’s so helpful. Well, you’ve answered so many amazing questions. It’s been such a pleasure to have you. Will you tell people where can they get connected to your work then? I mean, if they don’t know the name of your book by now, I don’t know. We’ll have to give them a free pass on that one. But you know, what city of your book, where can they find all that stuff and get connected with you?

Evelyn:
Sure. I said looking for connection, connection, probably the best way is on Instagram and I’m at Evelyn Tribley. Uh, intuitive eating is, is the book, it’s going into its fourth edition. It’ll be out in June, June 23rd, 2020. We have the intuitive eating.org website and I also have my personal website as well, so I’m out to here to spread the word to put an end to this unnecessary suffering cause it’s going to take a global village to dismantle diet culture on so many levels.

Steph:
Absolutely. We’re going to link all of that stuff in the show notes. Evelyn, this has been truly a pleasure. I so appreciate your time sharing this space for my community, for all of the things that you’ve taught me and for the work that you’re doing and really showing up in the trenches every day. It is such an inspiration and you’re just an incredible human and I really appreciate you. Thank you so much. I really appreciate that. Thank you. All right, there we go. What an incredible episode. I know there are so many more questions that come up about this topic and more so we couldn’t get to them all today, but I hope that in the future maybe Evelyn will come back on the show and we can tackle some of the other questions that we did not get to today. If you want these show notes for this episode that includes links to all of Evelyn and Elisa’s books, their intuitive eating book, the intuitive eating workbook. If you want to get a full transcript of this episode, go to my website, Steph gaudreau.com and there you’ll find all of the podcasts and all of the show notes and you can listen to your heart’s content. Make sure you hit subscribe on your podcast app. If you can head over to iTunes, leave us a rating and review and let us know what you think about the show. I would love to hear your thoughts on that and to have you hit the subscribe button. It really does help. All right. There you go. Thank you so much. Stay tuned for next week. We’ll be back with a really incredible guest talking about anxiety and highly sensitive people and so much more. All right. Stay tuned and until then, be well.

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2 Responses

  1. Hi Stephanie, thank you for this episode with Evelyn Tribole. I was particularly interested to hear it because I was heavily invested in a Paleo and W30 way of eating for 5 years and it really messed me up mentally. In the last year, I discovered Intuitive Eating and have been working hard to recover from my disordered habits and thoughts. I haven’t been on social media in a while (part of my recovery strategy) so I don’t know what your journey has been, but how did you move from a Paleo lifestyle to intuitive eating? I think it would give me strength to know. Thanks for any insights 🙂

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Hi, I'm Steph!

Lord of the Rings nerd, cold brew drinker, and depending on who you ask, crazy cat lady. My mission is to help you fuel for more, not less: bigger muscles, strength, energy, and possibilities. We’ll do it with my signature blend of science, strategy…and a little bit of sass.

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