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Your Body’s Changed During the Pandemic…Now What? w/ Evelyn Tribole

We are now over one year into the global pandemic. While there is a sense of excitement and hope around seeing friends and loved ones who we have been absent from this past year, there is also a lot of anxiety around seeing people after your body has changed. Today the living legend Evelyn Tribole is here to share some of her best advice on these topics and help you navigate the world and your body in a post-pandemic situation. 

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Key Takeaways

If You Are Anxious About How Your Body Has Changed Throughout The Pandemic, You Should:

  1. Set boundaries within your bandwidth to focus on things other than bodies with relationships that may have been built on diet culture
  2. Embrace the opportunity to change the narrative and establish new social norms
  3. Normalize that it is okay to not be productive and just to survive 

You Are More Than a Body

Nobody in the world has more experience in intuitive eating and the anti-diet space than Evelyn Tribole. Co-creator of the Intuitive Eating Framework, which was introduced into the world 25+ years ago, Evelyn is a wealth of wisdom when it comes to connecting and honoring our bodies.

Surviving Is Something To Be Proud Of

The first thing Evelyn wants you to remember is that regardless of your body changing over the last year, your body also survived a pandemic, which is an amazing accomplishment. As we start to navigate the new social norms, it is an opportunity for us to change the narrative and move past the body objectification that has been a toxic part of our culture.

You are so much more than a body. When it comes time to reconnect with those we have not seen in a while, it is essential to set boundaries within your bandwidth and focus on the connection we have been missing from others, not the judgment of other people’s bodies. By being consistent and reinforcing your boundaries around conversation, you can normalize the accomplishment of simply surviving the global pandemic.

Being Kind To Your Body Going Forward

When was the last time you asked yourself if you have been kind to your body on a biological level? While it is instinctual to use food restriction as a means of control when so much of our world is out of our control, dishonoring your hunger through restriction disrupts your cells on a biological level and ruins their trust in you. Being consistently kind to your body in acts of predictable nourishment can help you cultivate trust between you and your cells.

Diet culture tells us that we need to outsource our nutrition decisions. Evelyn wants you to challenge yourself instead to tune in to how your body responds, which can be a beautiful adventure. You can stop the legacy of diet culture at your own kitchen table and take back some of the agency and hope we have been missing to bring your family and community into a healthier and more supportive post-pandemic world.

How do you feel about the potential to see people again and reestablish connections once it is safe to do so? Which of Evelyn’s tips are you going to integrate to ease your anxiety and nourish your body with consistency? Share your thoughts on how your body has changed throughout the pandemic with me in the comments below.

In This Episode

  • Addressing the anxiety of seeing people after your body has changed throughout the pandemic (7:20)
  • How to move out of the backswing of ‘fuck it all eating’ when struggling with control issues (17:29)
  • Why the diet culture industry co-opting the word ‘intuitive eating’ is intensely problematic (24:50)
  • The importance of looking at the legacy of body lineage in your family of origin (30:55)
  • What you can expect to see in Evelyn’s new book and which book you should dive into first (34:41)

Quotes

“Looking at yourself and that there might need to be some grieving that needs to take place. For this relationship and how it used to be, grieving for the time spent in pursuit of things that are no longer serving you, that you have found actually hurt and harm you. There might be anger with that, there might be sadness with that. And it is giving yourself the space and time for that.” (14:04)

“Our biology has a mind of its own, and it disrupts trust every time you mess with hunger.” (20:05)

“They can say all these sweet words of compassion and self-love, but at the end of the day, if you are still cutting your calories, your cells at a biological level are going to have a reaction to that.” (27:52)

“Intuitive eating is not a pass or fail, it is a journey of learning and discovery.” (38:15)

“You need to go through the wobble to discover the connection with your body. I can guide you to some practices to help you figure it out, but it is going to take you connecting and checking in.” (45:16)

Featured on the Show

Enroll in the Free Food Freedom Mini-Course Here

Intuitive Eating for Every Day by Evelyn Tribole

Intuitive Eating 4th Edition by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch

The Intuitive Eating Workbook by Evelyn Tribole, Elyse Resch, and Tracy Tylka

Join the Intuitive Eating Online Community Here

Follow Evelyn on Instagram

Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fat Phobia by Sabrina Strings

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Your Body’s Changed During the Pandemic…Now What? w/ Evelyn Tribole FULL TRANSCRIPT

Steph Gaudreau
We are now a year plus into this global pandemic. And as situations change throughout the country, and potentially the world, one of the concerns on so many minds is, hey, my body has changed. And if I see people I haven’t seen in a while, what are they going to think? what might they say to me? Given that my body has changed, and in the collective consciousness and in the community, this worry, this concern is coming up more and more. On today’s podcast, I’m sitting down with a living legend, the wonderful Evelyn Tribole, co-creator of the intuitive eating framework, and author of several books about intuitive eating. She is here on the show today, to walk through some of her best advice for topics. Like what do you do if your body has changed in a pandemic? And how as a consumer, do you stay savvy to the fact that the word intuitive is being co-opted at an alarming rate by diet culture? How do we work through these things as we try to find a better relationship with food and our bodies while paying attention to our health? Today on the show, she’s sharing all that wisdom, and a lot more. The listen to your body podcast has one bold mission, to help change-making women like you give themselves radical permission to listen to their bodies get free with food and fitness, and channel their energy, and be a force for good in the world. I’m a certified intuitive eating counselor, nutritional therapy practitioner, and strength coach Steph Gaudreau. This weekly show brings you discussions around dropping diet and exercise extremes, letting your inner wisdom lead and taking up space from inclusive body neutrality, health at every size, nondiet nutrition perspective, we’ll examine how diet culture and the patriarchy keep women busy and distracted by the quest for body perfection, and how we can break free to live life on our own terms.

Steph Gaudreau
It’s bound to be fiery, and ultimately, to make you think so hit subscribe on your favorite podcast app. And let’s dive in. Hello, my friend. Welcome back to the podcast. I’m really excited because today we have our first guest of this new season. And I’m sitting down with the incredible Evelyn Tribole. Now if you’re not aware, Evelyn is the co-author of the intuitive eating framework and the intuitive eating books along with Elyse Resch. They published the first version of the intuitive eating way back in 1995. So there is truly nobody else in the world who has more experience than Evelyn and Elyse. And today Evelyn is on the podcast, she’s going to be walking through some of these really common questions that come up in my community. You know, my body has changed in this pandemic, and I’m not feeling so good about it. I’m afraid people are gonna judge me, how do I handle this? Or I see things like the word intuitive being used widely. Throughout the food space in the nutrition space. How do I sort through what is really restriction and what is really an intuitive way of approaching food, right, a self-care framework where we’re using food to nourish ourselves in so many ways. And yes, we can pay attention to our health at the same time. She’s also sharing with us how her brand new book is different from the intuitive eating workbook and the intuitive eating book, and how it’s really a great companion, and who it’s really for. So I hope that you’ll take a listen to this episode. Evelyn was on the podcast last year, and I just find she’s so energetic, and she is such an inspiration. Not only to me as somebody who is an intuitive eater, but really as a practitioner as somebody else working in this space. She has a beautiful way of explaining things. She’s full of helpful analogies, and I know you’re going to find her energy is contagious in the best possible way. Alright, let’s go ahead and dig into this episode with Evelyn Tribole.

Steph Gaudreau
Hello Evelyn. Welcome back to the show.

Evelyn Tribole
I’m thrilled to be here. Thanks for inviting me.

Steph Gaudreau
I am so excited to talk with you. I mean, you are such a legend. That’s the only word I can think of.

Evelyn Tribole
I don’t know what to say to that but thank you. Oh, the expectation.

Steph Gaudreau
An absolute legend in the anti-diet and intuitive eating space. And I’m so happy to have you back. You were…I looked this up, so you were on the podcast about a year ago as to when we’re recording this and it was, I mean, that show came out the 17th of March 2020 so we were just, I mean, you’re in California, I’m in California, we are just officially kind of going into lockdown. And I just, I mean, it’s been a blink and here we are a year later.

Evelyn Tribole
Here we are. Yeah, wild, isn’t it wild?

Steph Gaudreau
It’s absolutely wild. Every time I feel like, you know, whenever I hear about, you know, time is very fluid and time isn’t real, I think, yeah, I mean, look at the last year, it’s expanded and contracted all at the same time. We’re going to talk today about your book that’s coming out or will have come out by the time this episode is out. And I’m really excited to dig into that with you because I know this is going to help really make intuitive eating practical for people and get them to, kind of, a really approachable way of entering into this and or continuing their intuitive eating journey.

Steph Gaudreau
But yeah, regarding lockdown and the pandemic, I have some questions that I think come up a lot, and just helping people navigate this space. So a lot of people are telling me, you know, now that there’s more vaccines going on, people are, are having better access, restrictions are starting to ease a little bit, there’s there some, you know, perhaps people can get back to seeing family a little bit. There’s this sense of excitement and sort of hope. And then there’s also what I’m hearing from people in my community a sense of anxiety about, oh, I might have to, you know, see my family and I haven’t seen them maybe in a year, or I haven’t seen friends in a really long time and my body changed during the last year during the pandemic, maybe my weight went up, maybe my body got bigger. And there’s a lot of anxiety happening around that right now. Do you have any advice for people as they sort of walk through this next phase of like, my body changed? It’s really a certain sort of way about it, how do I get get get past it?

Evelyn Tribole
And it’s like, we’re waking up from this forest hibernation, you know. And so one of the ways I would look at it is twofold is one, your body survived the pandemic. Damn, that’s awesome Do you know, and I’m so sincere when I say that because so many people’s lives have been touched with loss with the pandemic. And it’s a good time to reflect and remember, are you excited about getting back with friends and family so you can check out their parties? Or is it you’re excited because you want to connect with them on a heart level, to give them a hug a high five skin touch level. And so this might be a really good practice, as difficult as it might feel right now I don’t want to minimize that feeling but you are more than a body. And we’re connecting with our humanity. And what I find might be helpful is to remind yourself, why is it that you want to see this person, you want to be present with this person, you want to connect with them? Of course, you do. But if you are stuck in your anxiety, worrying about your body, it’s moot and removes you from the present moment, you are living in your mind and in the worry and the anxiety, and not fully connecting and that can be felt, you know. And it’s important to go into this with some grace and compassion. If you’ve had a habit of judging yourself by your body, it’s going to be a practice, it’s gonna be like a ping pong game, back and forth, back and forth and you just remind yourself with these qualities. And that’s why I often will start by asking, is that why you’re looking forward to seeing somebody because you want to check out their body, and it’s moving past this objectification. It’s moving past this in our culture. It’s been a toxic part of our culture for way too long. And maybe, oh, my gosh, what if this is the great disrupter of that, that we can connect with our connections and our humanity. But that’d be beautiful. You know?

Steph Gaudreau
Yeah, it absolutely would be. And I think that you do a wonderful job of talking about this with regard to this idea that we have this shared bonding in the diet world or we have a shared bonding whenever there’s some kind of a cleanse or a reset and there are other people in our house that are doing that, or in our social circles. And I just wrote an email today, sharing a story with my community about how I used to do Weight Watchers and it was like the thing that amongst my ex-in-laws, that was like one of the things that we bonded over because they did it, I did it, right. And so it can really become kind of woven into the fabric of how we greet each other or what we talk about. And I think you do a wonderful job of saying, hey, there’s a chance here to change that narrative quite literally or to establish new, almost like social norms with our friends, or the people that we really care about when we’re like, hey, what else can we talk about now? Other than bodies, right?

Evelyn Tribole
Exactly. It’s a great time. And one of the things you can also do, you can be a little proactive about it, if there’s someone that you’re reconnecting with it, that’s how you originally bonded, and to let them know, Hey, I am so happy to see you, I would be thrilled if we can catch up on what’s going on in your life on a deep level, that other stuff that we used to talk about is no longer something that drives me, I’m more connected to my heart, and I want to be connected to yours. Whenever in your own words, whatever.

Steph Gaudreau
Okay, I love it. I love it.

Evelyn Tribole
You know, I have to tell you something, if I may, what happened just right now often happens in sessions with my patients, and they write it down. And I forget that I say it, then they come back in the following week and they’ll read it. Oh, my God, that is good. Yeah, and that was part of the genesis of this new book that I’ve got coming out is having these little reminders, these little passages, because they would say, I wish I could just put you in my back pocket. And this is actually one of the themes. And it has to do with letting go of diet culture, and what do you do when some of your friendships and relationships were born of that? And so part of what I like to look at is okay, so that’s part of the relationship, what else you got? You know, are you both moms? Do you have other hobbies? Are you both dads, whatever it might be, and looking at what that can be? And then looking at, I call it setting loving boundaries, you know, and that is, you’re in a different place that we’re talking about body and food and these kinds of ways in a good, bad morality kind of thing, is something you’re moving away from, and you’re working on increasing the quality of your life. Can you support me in this? What I find when we have those conversations, often if this is a good friend or family member, the answer is yes. But that’s only the first step.

Evelyn Tribole
The second step is in that same conversation when they say yes, and you say thank you, it means so much to me. And, here’s the and, how can I politely remind you, if you forget, and it could be something as simple as holding your hand up like a stop sign, like remember, we’re not going to go there. And then it has become a deal. You know, what we used to happen with a lot of my patients, they’d have this beautiful conversation, but not talk about how they’re going to remind themselves to maintain the boundary. And then they get really pissed off. Oh, my God, she said, yeah, and then no. And then I said, well, did you say anything? No, well, how do they know? And so in a way, it’s like puppy training, you know, we know that that puppies, they want to please you. They’re gonna wag their tails, and they’re gonna mess up sometimes. And we still are kind about it. If we know ahead of time that it’s not a thing. It’s not dramatic, everyone’s “oh, yeah” because out of the habit of human nature, if that’s what you’ve been used to doing. Actually, I’m gonna give you an example, so I would usually go well, back when I was running, I’d always run the morning or hiker walk, so I was always in the habit of saying good morning, good morning, good morning. and with the pandemic, and everything else got to be like the afternoon, or all different types of days, like the outside, I’d be saying good morning, and it’s three o’clock in the afternoon. And that was just out of habit, I had no intention. So those are the kinds of things that can end up happening, and also looking at yourself, and that there might be some grieving that needs to take place for this relationship on how it used to be. Grieving for the time spent in pursuit of things that are no longer serving you that you have found actually hurts and harms you. There might be anger with that there might be sadness with that. It’s giving yourself the space and time for that, you know?

Steph Gaudreau
Yeah, that’s beautifully said, I’m so glad that you brought up the piece about the boundaries because it’s one thing to just kind of have the expectation of like, well, I don’t want to talk about this anymore, and then have the expectation that the other person is just going to know. So I quite often talk with people about the difference between expectations and agreements. And I love what you said about like, you know, how are we going to know that we’ve crossed that line or cross that boundary? And I think that’s really useful for people as they navigate this sort of phase.

Evelyn Tribole
And so actually, one of my suggestions with this is if you don’t have the bandwidth to maintain the boundary, you might want to think about holding off on that conversation because I want you to be consistent and reinforcing it. Otherwise, it’s exhausting and becomes a thing. You know, there’s no shame in that that you want to postpone it for a little bit. You get to decide the timing. And what do you do in the meantime as well, maybe you find ways to navigate yourself out of those conversations, whether you pretend to get a sudden text message or phone call, you have to take, you know answer. That’s socially acceptable. It’s not a boundary but it’s a way to honor your energetic bandwidth because right now, so many people are adjusted. In fact, no, can I tell you, I am exhausted. I’m exhausted. I get excited when I talk about intuitive eating and do interviews and things, but often between them, it’s like, oh, my God, I’m taking a nap or catching up. And I like to own that, acknowledge so that we can normalize the fatigue and the exhaustion with this stress. It’s stressful on our nervous system, our nervous system is constantly asking, am I safe? Am I safe? What’s going on? And with all this uncertainty, there is a drain, you know, there’s a drain with that. And I think we need to normalize it that. It’s okay that we’re not productive. It’s okay that today you survived. Good job. You know?

Steph Gaudreau
I think that’s beautifully said. One of the other questions that oftentimes comes up in my community is this sort of, this kind of a scenario, there’s this idea that controlling food is something we can control, and in a world that feels very out of control, and very disrupted, that going back to controlling food and restricting can feel comfortable. It can feel like something is safe in life. And one of the things that my community struggles with a little bit is not just sort of the feeling that tempted to go back for control but when they decide to stop, they’re gonna stop, you know, the 30 day resets, or the cleanses or the detoxes, or whatever it is, right. There’s this backlash that happens and you talk about this so well in you know, the book and the workbook and everything, right so do there’s this, like a backlash to the restriction. And so a lot of people end up feeling like, well, I was restricting and then I, the way I call it is, fuck it all eating. They’re like, fuck it all, I don’t care, right? I don’t care. I’m tired of this. Like, I’m just…like you said, drained. This is exhausting. And they kind of stay in that place for a while. And that place starts to feel really uncomfortable as well. Do you have advice for helping people kind of move out of that backswing? I know you do, would you love to share that with us, because I think this would be helpful to so many people.

Evelyn Tribole
So one of the things I like to do is, is to normalize this to a degree that it’s understandable that you’re seeking to go back into some kind of routine. If we can look at this as a coping mechanism, that it gives you a temporary sense of purpose, a temporary sense of control. It also gives you fantasy, who doesn’t want fantasy, you know, but it’s not sustainable. And what happens is, is no matter how great your intentions are, I just want to be healthy. I’m doing this, you know, your body on a biological level is sensing oh my god, she’s trying to kill me, we got to survive and there’s all these powerful mechanisms. So I want to give an example I use a lot, I get a lot of…it tends to land with a lot of people. So you know, we’re both in California, we were talking before we started recording, you know, playing in the waves and surfing or whatnot. And you know, when when the set comes, you got usually go underneath and you hold your breath. And sometimes when you come back up for air, oh, another wave go back down. So by the time you come back out, you take this big inhale for dear life. And no one ever says, oh my god, you’ve got loss of control, breathing. You are addicted to air. You are having a problem. No, no one says that because it’s accepted. Oh, it’s air insufficiency, of course, that’s what you’re doing, everyone’s gonna inhale. But what I want to suggest is we need to have the same perspective when it comes to eating when there’s been restriction going on, we are also going to inhale the food as a compensatory mechanism. The brain has a biological and psychological system to get you to want to eat, you start thinking about food more, it’s constantly on your mind and something happens or boom, it is on and you are in it. And sometimes what happens in that process, rather than saying, oh, this is a natural compensatory consequence of not eating enough for my body. My body is working. My body’s trying to live that is true. But what ends up happening, people take that as false evidence that oh, see, I can’t be controlled with my eating, I need more rules, I better get back into whatever it happens to be. And that actually makes the problem more profound. And every time you go on a diet of some kind, whether it’s a cleanse whatever the name is because there’s all these co-opting terms now that are being used by diet culture drives me wild. It’s still a restriction on the body and it wants to live and it has a mind of its own. Our biology has a mind of its own, and it disrupts trust every time you mess with hunger. You know, when you call it fucking eating, I’ll say, I’ll do another one. When you say fuck it to your own hunger when you dishonor, oh my God, when you dishonor your hunger, like refusing to feed your puppy, refuse to feed your kids, on a biological level, that doesn’t feel good. And when you have the opportunity to eat, your cells are going to say go, we don’t know when she’s going to eat again, let’s do it now. And I will say that that kind of eating doesn’t feel good. There’s an urgency and intensity but it violates trust. Every time you disrupt hunger, every time you try to fake out hunger, fake out fullness, you’re disrupting trust. So a common thing I hear from people when they’re getting started on this path is, you know, intuitive eating sounds wonderful Evelyn, but I don’t think it’ll work for me because I don’t trust my body. And sometimes I will say, well, maybe your body doesn’t trust you on a biological level. Have you been kind to it? Like, what are you talking about? Well, have you been nourishing on a consistent basis? Do you rest when you need rest? Or do you train through injury and so forth and so forth. And so once we start being consistently kind through acts of respect toward our body in terms of nourishment consistently, then there’s some predictability. And with predictability, there’s the ease with predictability, there’s peace, and there is the rebuilding of trust, you can cultivate trust in your body, but you need to be nice for that in order to happen to your body. Right?

Steph Gaudreau
Yeah, absolutely. Wow, that was incredibly sad. This is why I love hearing you speak because you’ve been doing this work for literally over 25 years. You know, as I said, the living legend in this in this industry, and really a leader and the way that you’re able to articulate these concepts and nuance the concepts and draw stories and draw analogies that really hit home with people is just so it’s so wonderful and impactful. Thank you. So I always appreciate learning from you as well.

Evelyn Tribole
You know, I have to tell you, I also learned from my patients and my clients. And when you’re witness to this kind of suffering, you know, you want to find a way to the degree that it’s possible to find another way and to find a way that is connecting and I find when I can illustrate here’s the cause and effect. Of course, you have loss of control eating. Do you know that most studies don’t measure for that and the ones that do fine, that’s a consequence of not getting enough to eat, but it’s not talked about they don’t brag about it on Instagram? Oh my God, wanna see my loss of control eating! We don’t see that we see all the opposite we see all of this ra-ra, there’s nothing wrong with you and you’re not broken. It’s healing to come back home to your body, home to your cells, your little cells that have worked so hard. Regardless of what you’ve been doing to your body, your heart still beats your lungs still breathe, even if you’ve withheld food to your beating heart, you know?

Steph Gaudreau
Wow, yeah. Wow, I know dropping some deep stuff on this podcast today. I love it. I love it.

Evelyn Tribole
Thank you.

Steph Gaudreau
Are you craving food freedom? If so, I want to invite you to get my Food Freedom Mini-Course. It’s a free resource that I’ve created just for you. If you are really looking for eating healthy in a way that works for you, without the heaping side dish of guilt, and shame and constantly falling off the wagon. Food freedom is eating in a way that gives you energy, supports your active lifestyle, helps you feel strong, and leaves you in a good mood without crawling into a shame cave, or feeling bad about what you eat. If you are ready to take three powerful steps to kickstart your journey to food freedom to get your brain space back and to enjoy what you eat again, then get this free mini-course you have nothing to lose, you can go ahead and enroll for free at StephGaudreau.com/food freedom.

Steph Gaudreau
So you mentioned this, and you mentioned the co-opting different terms. You know, we’ll call it everything, so I’m going to call it dance instead of a diet. And then there’s been the co-opting of the word you know, intuitive eating. Really, that’s been happening in and throughout the diet industry and only intensifying without riling you up too much, because I don’t want to make your blood pressure go up. You know, how do you stay focused? And you are very vocal but how do you really? How do you navigate this space without just kind of losing your shit? Sometimes?

Evelyn Tribole
You know, I actually appreciate the question. Part of it is I have wise counsel. So, I’m gonna give you a little backstory, you know, I have a master science degree in nutrition science, and I’m a dietitian but nowhere in my training did I get training in social justice. So last year, I hired a social justice leadership coach, and I have committed for the rest of this year as well because I’m committed to that process. And one of the things I’ve learned from her, she’s got a mantra and it’s when you’re deciding to engage with anybody, whether it’s an industry, whether it’s the trolls, whether it’s the person next door, or a family member, are they reachable, teachable and ready, if they’re reachable and teachable, and ready, and this is the part that I modified, so this comes from Desiree Attaway., I want to give her credit. And if I have the bandwidth because see I am in this for the long haul, I have been doing this, like you said for a long time and part of it is I want to protect my energy. If I spent my time in the mud wrestling with the trolls or some of these influencers, it drains me. and I don’t go out into the world, creating new tools or books that might help elevate somebody. So I’m discerning in that. The other thing I also do is I don’t want to publicize somebody’s co-opting of my work but I also want to teach people hey, here’s how you can spot fake intuitive eating so that’s where you’ve seen me be really vocal. You remember the first principle of intuitive eating, I reject the diet mentality, honoring your hunger so if anything, has you restricting your food intake diet, you know, no matter what they call it, you know, so they’re co-opting intuitive eating, they’re co-opting mindfulness, co-opting psychology. And these are a bunch of different programs and influencers. They’re doing this and it’s absolutely bad. Maddening because it’s gaslighting. Because they’re saying, we’re not a diet. In fact, you know what, for anyone out there is really curious, I actually did this in researching my book, I thought, you know what, I think I understand the term gaslighting pretty well, but I never actually saw the movie. So I actually watched it on Netflix with Ingrid Bergman and I forget the guy that co-starred and watching him manipulate her. So she was losing her mind, basically. And so when a dieting company or dieting book says we’re not a diet, but it actually is, it’s gaslighting the consumer, they can say all these sweet words of compassion and self-love. But at the end of the day, if you’re still cutting your calories, your cells at a biological level, are going to have a reaction to that. And part of the reason I get so worked up isn’t just the co-opting of the model or model of intuitive eating, it’s the harm that I see.

Evelyn Tribole
You know, I can’t tell you how many patients I’ve seen whose binge eating disorders started because they started intermittent fasting. And, you know, if there’s science behind it, but science has been weaponized, you know, we’re cherry-picking data on a study on mice or short-term study on humans not looking at these consequences. And when you start looking at the fact that eating disorder rates, the incidence of eating disorders have doubled in the last time period that they’ve been looking at that is serious data. And we know that the research on eating disorders is really is under underrepresented and I think its diet culture has normalized, disordered eating behavior. That’s really problematic. You know, when you have grown-ass adults or grown-ass women, we have grown as adults, you know, restricting their eating, to the level of what a toddler would eat. Sometimes what I’ll do when I’m trying to make a point is like, you know, are you comparing it people often will compare their eating to someone else’s eating, it’s like, well, do you do that with when they’re peeing too? Do you go to the bathroom and compare how much you’re peeing to someone? Oh, no, that’s ridiculous. Yeah.

Evelyn Tribole
Thank you. Can you say that again? It’s the same idea. And the thing that also kills me is there such a body of research showing the harm that food restriction does for intentional weight loss, you know, including the fact that the most predictive thing you can do to gain weight is to start a diet. That has been shown over and over and over again, but then when you look at the harm in terms of perpetuating self-loathing, fat-phobia, weight stigma, weight, cycling, all of these kinds of things. If this was a medication, with this kind of track record, there’s no way any doctor would ever prescribe it at all. And so it’s like, we need to wake up. We need to wake up and that’s why I love this idea. It tends to resonate with a lot of my clients with young children or people who were thinking about having families is, what if we could stop the legacy of diet culture in your family, at your kitchen table? Because the idea of canceling diet culture in and of itself sounds so daunting. And then when you start looking at the roots, you know, the racist roots of fatphobia. It’s like, oh, my gosh, there’s so much work we have to do. But starting at our own homes with our own families, we can start this off, and that gives you agency and it’s very, very hopeful, you know. So those are the things. Yeah, because I get really sad when I’m working with new clients who are second or third-generation dieters, you know, and this is something that’s been passed down in the families, it’s causing harm. And let me also say, I have never met a parent that is intentionally harming their kids. But these are harmful things that can happen when you have something as a term that Sonalee Rashatwar, created called Nonconsensual Dieting and that’s when you put a kid on a weight loss diet. The kid is not old enough to consent to what they’re doing and they get confused when they’re hungry. And then mom and dad say, but you can’t have any more to eat, because the doctor said, and so this is the kid who ends up sneaking food. This is the kid who ends up bingeing on food, and then feeling guilt and shame because they’re disobeying their parents. And then as they become adults, there’s a lot of undoing to do, because you’re given this powerful message, you are not to be trusted, and there’s something wrong with your body. So it’s a message, I feel very strongly about that we can, as a culture, do something on our own kitchen tables in our own homes.

Steph Gaudreau
Yeah, I think that’s so empowering. And…

Evelyn Tribole
Isn’t it?

Steph Gaudreau
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, in my family, the same thing, you know, we have a couple of generations back of dieting, and I don’t have kids of my own, but I feel like my legacy is to my community. And that is a very powerful driver, right. Is making that change where you can in your life. And I will say to one of the things that a lot of my community members assume is like, it’s only their sort of like maternal, like mom, grandma, auntie’s, or whoever that has, you know, the sort of the legacy of dieting and that I find the reverse is also true, and quite a few circumstances where maybe their dad or a father figure or something like that does continue to perpetuate those messages.

Evelyn Tribole
I’m seeing that all the time. And you know, I will tell you some things since we’re talking personal stuff, you know, I grew up with a dieting mom. And one of my saddest memories was she was 64 and diagnosed with ovarian cancer and we were in the room alone, which is really rare because I’ve got three siblings and my father, but it was just my mom and I on the day, the official diagnosis, and I’ll never forget this, you know, she stood up, she inventoried her body and she said, I can’t believe what a waste all these years I spent dieting. It was one of her biggest regrets. And she ended up…she wanted… I just want to grow to be an old lady and she died three years later, you know. And so these kinds of experiences continue to fuel my passion. I’m just very lucky. She didn’t voice that onto us, the expectation and I was also very lucky, I had a mom who was very active and didn’t think twice about being in a bathing suit even though she didn’t like her body. She was going to continue to be active. She waterskiing did all these kinds of fun things. So, you know, there’s the legacy of it is in a lot of our families. And so it’s kind of interesting, you know, I call it ‘what’s your body lineage?’ and looking at how our bodies treated in your family of origin? How did mom and dad talk about bodies? How about aunts, uncles, grandparents, in terms of gossiping, and picking apart and criticizing, you know, all of those messages are really profound. And then, you know, Sabrina Strings has a profound book out, she’s an academic who wrote a book called Fearing The Black Body, The Racial, The Racial Origins of Fat Phobia, and she makes a compelling case of how fatphobia predates health care, and it was a way of hierarchy and is rooted in racism and patriarchy. And it’s like, wow, this has been going on for a long, long time. But we can stop it on our generational level, at least in our family, we can’t control the outside. But this is, you know, in our little areas of influence, you don’t have to be, you know, hanging out with powerful people you can your most powerful relationships are the ones that you have.

Steph Gaudreau
Absolutely, I love that message. I think that that’s, it does provide that, that bit of hope and that sort of propulsion, I think that people need when they’re, you’re really considering the world around them and how have things changed, and where do they have that influence? And how can they make a difference? And I think that that’s, I think that’s so wonderful. And I’m glad that you that you brought that up. Yeah, I want to want to shift and ask you about your new book that’s coming out intuitive eating for every day, you just, you can’t see what Evelyn just said that she did like a squeeze. It was so awesome. This is like television. Surely I can tell that you’re very proud of this book and very excited. And you know, again, your first book, co-written with Elyse Resch came out in 1995. Right, so yes, it’s like, speaking of legacy, I mean, it’s like a really long legacy that you have of doing the work in the world, writing publications, you know, giving access to people to that information in over, you know, the course of almost now climbing to three decades. It’s, it’s quite amazing. You know, for folks that are familiar with perhaps the intuitive eating book, or the workbook, what is different about this new book? And what can they expect to see that might be new for them?

Evelyn Tribole
Yeah, I’m so glad you asked. You know, what’s different about this book, it’s they are short little bites, I think you use the word, it’s approachable. You know, it’s like one little passage for every day. So it’s something it’s like having, like your best friend, whisper in your ear, you know, and it’s me, it’s me whispering in your ear.

Steph Gaudreau
Evelyn’s in your back pocket.

Evelyn Tribole
I’m in your back pocket. And I’ll tell you, I think part of the reason I’m so excited about this book, it was truly a labor of love. I’m gonna get real personal when I recorded the audio for this book. And I was so excited love saying I’m going to the studio when I could meet with a friend or go into the studio. So we did all these hours and hours of recording. And then I read the acknowledgments. And in the first paragraph, I talk about how it was a really difficult time in my life with, you know, the pandemic, I lost my father. And one of the hardest things about that wasn’t the fact that he died, which, of course, is a hard loss, but it’s not being able to see him in the hospital because of COVID. I got to see him on his last day, take his last breath but there is some dark times, I didn’t think I could write, I couldn’t write, I don’t know how to finish the book. So that’s in the first paragraph, and I’m reading it, and I break down, I’m crying like a baby. Because it is like it felt like the end of the movie. It’s like I made it here, am I you know, the book is written, I’m finishing the last part of the audio and it caught me off guard. And I said, Okay, let’s do it. Let’s just read the rest of the stuff that I read the second paragraph.

Evelyn Tribole
The producer said, you know, hey, do you need some tissues, you need a hug. And so anyway, my point being, I didn’t want to write this book in any kind of fake kind of way. And there was just, it was the first time in my life and this is my 10th book, I wasn’t able to write and I had these difficult conversations with my agents and I don’t know, and my publisher was wonderful, they kept extending my deadline. And so anyway, it’s a book that comes from the heart, I kept thinking about my patients, the people I’ve encountered, the followers I have on different social media, with the kind of things that that they need to hear. So what’s different about it, you know, in the intuitive eating book book, it’s let’s just say it’s heavy, you know, there’s a lot of science in there, there are case studies, we, we deconstruct and say, This is why these principles are here, and this is why this works, and so on the workbook is a lot of a deep dive, it’s really processed work.

Evelyn Tribole
So this one’s these are like little aspirations and little practices, something you can do every day just to kind of, you know, help you and then what’s also different as I have these, this subcategory, themes, like they’re not subcategories, there are categories, setting, loving boundaries, letting go of diet, culture, embodied affirmations, things I do with my patients, these aren’t in, in the book, little intuitive eating mantras, things to remind yourself, you know, intuitive eating is not a pass or fail. It’s the journey of learning and discovering aspects like that. So there are, like, 13 categories. So anyway, I just feel very, I feel strangely attached to this book, I think, because of the time in my life in which I wrote it. And that it actually, that I, I think I Oh, my God, yeah, I feel kind of proud, you know, that I did it and it’s impactful. It feels like, as a love message on some level, you know. So to my, to everyone who’s out there suffering that there’s another way, there’s another path in which we can do this, you know, and even talking about, I have a lot of patients that get really annoyed when people are still in diet culture, and they wax and wane about the latest greatest and the fact that someday you will have compassion for these people because you remember what it’s like to be stuck? Yeah, they’re excited about this. But on the same hand, you know, the downside, people don’t brag about the downside. So looking at those things, and oh, I don’t want to have a mealtime meditation. So these little things just to kind of help you along the way, little body appreciations and those types of things.

Steph Gaudreau
That’s wonderful. Have you ever had the question? Which book should I get first?

Evelyn Tribole
Yes, all the time.

Steph Gaudreau
So if somebody is listening to this podcast, or they’re brand new, they’re coming across you for the first time or they’re intrigued by this. What do you recommend? Like what should they maybe dive into first? Or if there’s a particular style of learning that they prefer, like?

Evelyn Tribole
A good question, which I even wrote about this in the book that if you really want to understand the science and the reasoning behind intuitive eating, I definitely recommend reading the fourth edition first. If you want to really do a deep dive and unpacking all this stuff in a practice kind of way, the workbook is for you. I have a lot of people that do it side by side where they’ll read the book book and once the principles start lining up, they’ll start doing the practice principles from the workbook with the book book. Oh my god, that sounds so funny. Kind of new language. And then this new book that I have out Intuitive Eating For Every Day is just about, you know what I would also say, if you’re kind of brain dead, that’s where I’ve been. Right now my capacity for reading is, I’m a voracious reader usually, but now it’s mostly audio, and by the way, is available on audio, but because they’re little bites, it might be just, that’s all you need. You know, in fact, let me also say this on my Instagram feed in this year, January, beginning on January 4, I ran a 10-day series, including videos doing a deep dive into intuitive eating. So you could simply go follow that and get the little book because you don’t want to do too heavy, you don’t have the brain width, but you want to kind of dive in, but not too much because you’re just spent. So here’s what I say in all of this, as I’m describing this is whatever matches where you’re at, that’s what I would do. You know, we also have the intuitive eating online community, it’s free, that’s a free peer-to-peer support group. So I’d say whatever sounds right to you, that’s what I would do. Read the descriptions if you want to, or look at what form if you want to do audio versus written and those types of things. And then, of course, my publisher has been saying, get all the books, you know, but I look at what is matching the individual what’s going to serve you and that’s what I would do what’s going to serve your needs.

Steph Gaudreau
I love that spoken like a true intuitive eating advocate, you know, like, what’s gonna be best for you and taking yourself into account and how you like to learn and how you’re feeling right now. And yeah, and I think that’s one of the biggest things that people kind of worry about, in the back of their minds is like if they’re doing this wrong and I come across that a lot, you know, with people. Recently, there was a question that somebody brought up about alcohol and like, well, you know, if I, if I’m a non-drinker then does that mean that I’m, you know, I’m like, restricting alcohol. And Is that wrong? Because I’ll get to DMs about not restricting and I was like, I think we’re overthinking this a little bit. But like, also, this isn’t, you know, you’re not doing it wrong. It’s not the wrong kind of thing, right. It’s a practice.

Evelyn Tribole
Well, it is a practice but here’s another perspective as well, if you think about diet, culture, and what it promotes and cultivates, excuse me, it’s binary thinking, judging, pass or go, right or wrong and so people are constantly looking at the right or wrong. And I will tell you, there’s a lot of intuitive eating that’s fuzzy and gray, where I’m directing it that well, How’s that feel for you? It’s like, just tell me what to eat. And that’s what got you into trouble. When I say into trouble, you’re outsourcing the needs of your body to somebody who doesn’t know you, someone who doesn’t see you. Only you can be the expert on your thoughts, feelings, experiences. And so when you’ve continuously outsourced it to gurus, influencers, and whoever, it can be daunting. zit’s like, I’ve had people say, I can count the macros and anything, but I don’t know how to eat. And so I might ask, well, how often have you connected with your body? How often? Never?

Evelyn Tribole
Oh, doesn’t this make sense then that you feel wobbly? It’s like when you watch a toddler walking for the first time, they’re bumbling, they’re like, yeah, and no one is saying, Oh, my God, get up! Don’t fall! You idiot! Even as I’m cringing. And we have that natural expectation, of course, you’re gonna stumble and be and be wobbly when you’re learning how to walk. And so if you’re just learning to connect with your body for the first time that languaging might help if that resonates with you. Then I would say, okay, you know, one exercise I use a lot is having someone take a pen, or I say writing implement, cuz you even use your finger on a pad or something and write your name, write your signature with your dominant hand, that’s usually the right hand for most people see what that’s like, usually, it’s a piece of cake. And then it gets really interesting when I say let’s change that to your non-dominant hand using the left hand and maybe your, your listeners are following along, you know, do your signature with your left hand, take as much time as you need and then look at the signatures. And for most people, there’s a big difference. And what I ask is, well, you know how to spell your name. Yeah. You know how to write. Why is there a difference? You’ve got one brain, both your hands are connected? Why is there such a difference in the quality? And ultimately, in that processing, it’s like my non-dominant hand doesn’t have practice. Exactly. And that’s what it’s like with intuitive eating. That’s why it can feel so daunting, and it’s okay to go in small steps. And it’s not a race and depending on your history, if you’re someone who’s been dieting since you were young, it might there’s more to unpack, and that’s okay. You know, and sometimes what I find is there’s this urgency it’s like, I want to be an intuitive eater right now. I’m going to be your best intuitive eater ever, in part of what it is, is they’re tired of suffering and diet culture, and they just want to boom Be it now, but you need to go through the wobbliness. You need to go through the wobble. To discover the connection with your body, you know, and I can’t even give you that answer, I can’t give it to you. I can guide you. I’m like a tour guide, I can guide you to some practices to help you figure it out but it’s going to take you connecting and checking in. And it’s normal to feel frustrated sometimes it’s normal to not know, but what we also get to do is we get to watch and see how your body responds, whatever it is you decide to do. Let’s see what your body does. Let’s see how your body’s working. It’s beautiful, actually, you know?

Steph Gaudreau
Absolutely. Yeah, I was sharing on Instagram in my stories yesterday that, you know, I know that your son has celiac disease, right?

Evelyn Tribole
Yeah, yeah.

Steph Gaudreau
So like, there’s, there’s an element of like, when somebody has celiac in your family, or you have it, like, you have to be very vigilant about gluten and things like that but for me, I don’t have a gluten intolerance or celiac disease. And I was shopping, grocery shopping last night, and I would normally, because of my past, you know, history with dieting and avoiding gluten, I would get the whatever alternative grain pasta or whatever it was. And last night, for the first time, I kind of stood in the store and I was like, oh, that’s really interesting, where I would normally choose that, like, I’m going to get regular pasta. I like the taste. And so you know, even if you’ve been at this for a long time, you’ll still discover things, you know, thoughts or things that like you would normally get or it’s just is a really an interesting kind of continual unpacking process. And little things will come to you here and there. And you’re like, Oh, it’s like a super diet, culture, anything that I would do, and…

Evelyn Tribole
You get to admire your progress, or to notice, wow, I wasn’t even called to other kinds of things, or that you were honoring the tastes of something and how it feels in your body. And since you brought up celiac disease, I can also say, you know, even if you have a medical condition, we can integrate intuitive eating with it. And if you’re new to whatever the medical condition is, it usually takes working with someone who specializes in that plus in intuitive eating just know, it’s possible. It’s we can’t go written in today. But you know, it’s, you can still connect with your body. That’s the bottom line of that. It’s beautiful.

Steph Gaudreau
100% Yeah, I love that. Yeah. One last question. What do you think has surprised you the most in the last 25 years of doing this work?

Evelyn Tribole
Oh, my gosh, I guess I can tell you when I look at it like that when you say 25 years, is to kind of feel like all of a sudden to 25 years. It’s, you know that that saying your success overnight. That suddenly the popularity of intuitive eating to the point that diet culture is co-opting it to the point that there are almost 2 million hashtags on Instagram to the point that there’s almost 300 million hashtags on Tik-Tok. And now 140 studies, it’s like, Wow, look at this. Because, you know, I guess what, with, it’s a surprise, not a surprise to see the longevity and the research continue to support it. There’s more studies coming out as we speak, we have now over 1300 certified intuitive eating counselors in 37 countries. And I, when I look at that, from where we start…in fact, I’ll tell you a funny story related to this. It was in 2006, or 2007, I got a call from People Magazine, wanting to do an interview and because I’ve worked with a lot of celebrities in my past, I said, I won’t name names. I go, no, no, no, we know, there was a celebrity who’s swearing by your book, we’re gonna put her on the cover, we want to interview you about your book. And I said, Ok, I can interview. And then the next day, they emailed me saying they’re going to fact check the story and I called Elyse and I said, Oh, my God, this is serious, it’s going to be on the cover their fact check, we need a website. So that was in like, 2007. So do you know what I made? So we went from we need a website to now we’re in, you know, 37 countries, 140 studies, and people are embracing it. I think in part they’re embracing because they’re tired of suffering, they’re tired of being bullied and told what to do, and, and so on. So it gives me a lot of joy and satisfaction, looking at it from that perspective. And yet, we have a lot more work to do, you know, dismantling systems of oppression so that you can live the life you’re meant to live. Finding meaning wherever that is, whether it’s, you know, raising a family going to school, or discovering some, whatever that happens to be. So you’re not preoccupied with the worry, and the distraction of your body and of your eating because we’re so much more than that. That gives me great hope because that gives you energy so that you can go on and change the world if you’d like. It’s gonna take a lot of us, you know, to be working on dismantling this, you know, I’m so clear about that. I come from a place of humility on that aspect because there’s a lot of work to be done.

Steph Gaudreau
There is. Yeah, beautifully said, Thank you for sharing that insight with us. Where you tell us where we can get the book. I mean, I’m sure it’s it’s pretty much everywhere, but where can people find it to remind us of the title? And we’re gonna put links and everything in the show notes.

Evelyn Tribole
Awesome. Yeah. So the title is Intuitive Eating For Every Day: 365 Daily Practices and Inspirations to Rediscover the Pleasures of Eating. If the title couldn’t be long enough, and basically where you can buy it all over the world in the usual places, it’s going to take a small, small, little cheap thrill. It’s like, Oh my god, it’s in Target and Walmart. I’ve made it.

Steph Gaudreau
I love that. That’s so good.

Evelyn Tribole
Yeah, yeah. And you can access it also through my website and through Instagram as well. So yeah, yeah.

Steph Gaudreau
Well, this has just been such a pleasure as always.

Evelyn Tribole
Thank you.

Steph Gaudreau
You give me so much energy. Just a reminder, I feel like this is like the best sort of like a pep talk, pep rally of like, you’re doing good work. You’re doing important work for people out in the community. My listeners, like you’re in this process. Keep going. And you are just such a fountain of energy and inspiration for everybody.

Evelyn Tribole
Wow. Thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you for spreading the word.

Steph Gaudreau
Yeah, absolutely. Well, thank you for being on the podcast, again. I wish you all the most amazing success with this book, and I know you’re gonna continue to touch people’s lives.

Evelyn Tribole
Thank you so much.

Steph Gaudreau
Thank you.

Steph Gaudreau
All right. That does it for this episode with the wonderful Evelyn Tribole, please make sure you share this episode out on Instagram. Tag me @Steph_Gaudreau and at @EvelynTribole. We would love to see what you have to say about this episode. How did it help you? What did you learn? What are you excited about? Tag us up and we would love to know. Also, make sure you hit subscribe on your podcast app. That way new people can discover this podcast as they randomly search for the show. And it has the potential to really get in front of more people so that more people can learn about how to improve their health, but have it be in a way that doesn’t damage their relationship with food. Alright, that does it for this episode. Thanks so much for tuning in this week. And you know, we’ll be back again next week with another incredible episode. So until then, be strong and stay badass.

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