We are all born as intuitive eaters, but through socialization and diet culture, we often drift away from the intuition that we hold from the beginning. I want to persuade you to get back to your true nature and increase your health-promoting behaviors through intuitive eating.
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Prime Yourself To Pay Attention To Your Signals
Diet culture will have you believe that you should stay miserable even when you are not seeing the results you desire, just because it is familiar. Today is the day for you to challenge yourself, break out of that mold, and start building the capacity to listen to your body.
Instead of glorifying weight loss, it is time to prime yourself to pay attention to your signals of hunger and fullness and start to become more connected and aware of what your body is trying to tell you. How do you work to harness your intuition and embrace intuitive eating? Share your strategies with us in the comments below.
On Today’s Episode
- How to listen to your body even if you aren’t currently on speaking terms (6:40)
- Why sometimes not all weight loss is good or a sign of improved health (9:35)
- The importance of healing your relationship with food and movement (12:00)
- Learn the difference between intuition, intuitive eating and interoceptive awareness (14:40)
- Explore the connection between your physical sensations and your emotions (19:50)
Resources Mentioned In This Show
“I guess you could say that intuitive eating or intuitive nutrition and movement is kind of my jam.” (2:40)
“Oftentimes you get to a point in your life where you realize that dieting as we know it, dieting for the pursuit of rapid weight loss and so on and so forth, is not working for you anymore.” (8:08)
“Diet culture wants to present that it is harmless, in fact, it is what you should be doing, so lets address health-promoting behaviors instead.” (10:25)
“Not only are physical sensations something that you can sense, but your feelings also create a sensation in your body.” (20:14)
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Harder to Kill Radio 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!)
You can also try out their free 7-day course, Nutritional Therapy 101 by clicking here.
How To Listen To Your Body FULL TRANSCRIPT
This is episode 266 of Harder To Kill Radio. On today’s show, I’ll be answering the question, how the hell can I listen to my body? Let’s do it. I’m Steph Gaudreau. I help women get stronger, know their worth, and take up space without restrictive dieting or exercise as punishment. I’m here to share that you can approach nutrition, fitness, and mindset from a place of nourishment so you begin to trust yourself more deeply. Let’s talk about how to embrace your body and own your power. Now with over two and a half million downloads, this is harder to kill radio.
Hello. Hi, how are you? Let’s do what’s good. Thanks for being here on the show and listening to this episode of the podcast. I would love to welcome you if you’re new if you’re a returning listener. Thanks so much for being here and hanging out with me today. It’s going to be a solo episode today, last week. That was the first episode of 2020 and now we are officially in the calendar year where this podcast will be five years old. What the hell? That’s crazy. I can’t even fathom. The time has gone so fast. So we’re in 2020 last week on the show. Dr. Jen Hostler. I loved talking with her. She’s wonderful. Partly I think it’s because it’s a bit of just, we’re like-minded in so many ways and it was great to have her share her perspective with you on the show about fitness very specifically.
She also does some really great work around nutrition, so hopefully, you enjoyed that episode with her. And today I’m going to be kind of continuing this. I won’t even, I won’t call it a series cause you’ll get confused and think I have to look back and find like it’s not a serialized number of podcasts, but I’ve been talking more about intuitive eating as you may or may not know. I’m a certified intuitive eating counselor. I’m just wrapping up a group coaching program with some incredible people and helping them really get in touch more with their bodies and learn how to trust themselves more deeply. Inhale their relationship with food. And I’m really, really interested in helping facilitate that for people, particularly around nutrition but also with movement. So I guess you could say that intuitive eating or intuitive nutrition and movement is kind of my jam if you aren’t sure who I am, but my story is not always been like that.
And you can go back and dive into other podcast episodes and learn about my back story. But suffice to say, intuitive eating has been gaining a lot of traction and it’s been around for a long time. It’s been around for 25 years in terms of like the actual principles of intuitive eating and I’ve been getting more and more requests for people to learn more about it, to hear it talked about because it is a nuanced, multifaceted process that’s different for everybody. And yet innately we were all born as intuitive eaters. So we have the machinery and that’s maybe not the best term, but we have this legacy in us. This is how we are made and yet through socialization and learning and so many other things that we experience, we oftentimes do not stay intuitive eaters. And so I would love to just propose this as a returning home, a returning back to your true nature instead of making it seem like this like really scary thing and it does seem scary and weird and strange compared to the diet culture that we are all socialized in.
So today I’m going to be addressing a very narrow sort of subset of intuitive eating with the aim that over, you know, as time goes on, I’ll continue to add other topics about this and other things that I see as sticking points when I’m talking to people about intuitive eating when I’m coaching about intuitive eating. And so we’re going to do that on the podcast today. Sound good? All right. Before we jump in, a couple of sponsors. The first is the core four, embrace your body, own your power. This is my four-pillar framework for yes, transitioning out of diet culture, a way of being and always trying to shrink ourselves and becoming more intuitive. So this is like the light version of that and you can get that book anywhere you find books online in stores on my website. I will put my John Hancock on it and send it to you and I will sign it and personally put it in an envelope and send it with my love actual my put my actual energy and love into it so you can grab that.
And then also little Easter egg here. There’s going to be something new related to the core four coming out. Maybe by the time this episode drops, don’t know at all, it depends on how long it takes for it to get here, so I’ll just leave that as a teaser for you. All right. If you want more details, go to [inaudible] dot com to find out more about the book and before we jump into today’s content, today’s show is brought to you by the nutritional therapy association, the NTA trains and certifies nutritional therapy practitioners like myself. I did the program in 2018 and it was one of the best things that I have ever done for myself professionally. In the realm of nutrition, the NTA emphasizes whole food, properly prepared nutrient dense frameworks as the key to restoring balance in the body. They’ve just launched a brand new online program for NTPs where students take an in-depth look at things like function and dysfunction of body systems, food quality, health and wellness barriers, emotional wellbeing, environment, the importance of sleep and movement and stress.
And you know, we love all those topics here and how they affect the body. As a student, you’ll be empowered with motivational interviewing techniques, clinical and practical skills, and all the most up to date knowledge to become a highly recognized and respected nutrition and wellness professionals in your community. Registration is now open and seats are filling up quickly. You can learn more and save your seat by going to nutritional therapy.com and of course, remember to mention my name on your application. Okie Dokie. It’s time to get down to brass tacks. So the question is, how can I listen to my body? And I’ve said this a couple of times before and it makes me chuckle. So I say it a lot, which is, you know, the kind of common refrain is when I talk about, you know, listen to your body. A lot of people are like, yeah, but I, it’s cool that my body and I haven’t been on speaking terms since I was in fourth grade.
So, or whenever you, you, um, you realize you stop trusting yourself and I make light of it and it is definitely not a light topic for a lot of people. This comes along with our lived experiences, shame, guilt, feeling ostracized, feeling like we don’t belong, experiencing things like weight, stigma, discrimination, systematic fatphobia, poor health outcomes because of all of those things and so on and so forth. So it, you know, I may joke about it, but it is, it is a serious subject for a lot of people and it becomes one of those things where oftentimes you get to a point in your life where you realize dieting as we know it, dieting for the pursuit of rapid weight loss and so on and so forth is not working for you anymore because you might be losing weight and then putting weight back on oftentimes as much as he lost or more.
So. And many of us, myself included, have gone through this though, caveat and recognition of my own privilege of being in a much smaller body. Um, I just wanted to mention that, but suffice to say, I have experienced this as well. And so you get to a point where you think, fuck, this isn’t working anymore. I was going to drop a fuck by the way in the front and the first in the intro to the show, like the first five seconds. But I, you know, fair warning, if you hadn’t had your headphones in and there were sensitive ears, nevertheless you realize it’s not working anymore and you’re like, well what the fuck am I going to do? It’s not working, but what’s familiar? So what’s least painful and the path of least resistance is to go back to what you know and what feels exciting and the hope and the promise is there.
And you can, you can pick up any book about intuitive eating health at every size. Just starting to learn the other side to the coin with all of this, which is yes, like there is definitely a dark side to the pursuit of weight loss. Now we have to be clear about something and I get, you know, a lot of people get really like twisted up about this and their butts pucker up and they’re like, ah, um, Oh, but you know, we’re just teaching people to be unhealthy. No, no health-promoting behaviors. Yes. Um, weight loss is not a behavior. It’s an outcome. Sometimes not all weight loss is good in terms of health and not all weight loss is healthy. Promoting not all weight loss is a result of improved health. So it gets muddy and it gets super sticky and confusing and multi-layered and faceted and nuanced.
But people in the diet culture don’t want fucking nuance. Oh, I’m getting a little ramped up here. They don’t want nuance. They want it to be, and I don’t mean they like individual people who pursue weight loss. I mean they, the diet culture collective. Okay. The diet culture collective, the systems that we are socialized in on that systematic level, that diet culture, they, it doesn’t want it to be, it wants it to be like quick, easy, fun, fast, blah blah blah. And it’s not that way. There’s a whole other, you know, we glorify it, we’ve glorified weight loss. It’s like we’re all going to celebrate it. Like nobody can stop talking about it when you’ve lost weight. But the second it’s like it’s not, it doesn’t keep happening. It’s like no one wants to talk about, well you know it’s, there are consequences like Mo, a majority of the people, people who diet to lose weight will regain that weight and sometimes more. And that will, in fact, lead to poor health outcomes. But we don’t ever talk about that. We just want to make dieting seem like this magical unicorn. And again, we collective diet, culture,
diet, culture wants to present that it’s heartless. In fact, it’s what you should be doing. So let’s address health-promoting behaviors instead. And for some people that means putting body changes, I. E. weight loss on the back burner until they heal and repair the relationship with food and movement. Oftentimes, so I’ve talked about this in a previous episode. One of the things that people criticize about intuitive eating is like, Oh this is nutrition doesn’t numbly matter. And like health is not an issue. Like it’s Health’s not important and waving my arms like one of those gas station life, Flint like floppy air-filled things. That’s how I picture it. Like, Oh, it’s all like, yeah, promoting unhealthiness no, but if you’ve been dieting and you are trying to build your awareness of that and you’re trying to repair your relationship with food and movement, then going back to dire rules, even if we’re calling it a lifestyle, people are like, it’s not dieting if it’s macros and we can dissect that all day.
It suffices to say for a lot of people who are in that mentality, it loses it, it loses its effectiveness as an awareness tool and it becomes a way to override and stop listening to the signals your body is giving you. Does that mean that you, you know like vegetables don’t matter? No. Of course, not like let’s not, let’s not, uh, set up arguments that don’t really exist for the sake of knocking them down. Anyway, that’s a long preamble to the question. How do I listen to my body now I will tell you this, this gets really a misunderstood and I think we need to separate the concept of intuition from an, from the concept of listening to your body that is actually associated with intuitive eating. And that concept in intuitive eating is not just like a bunch of woo shit. And I say that with air quotes because I’m way into the woo.
So, and I also like science. Go figure. We can be more multifaceted and incorporate many things. Oh, anyway, so it’s not just like, Hmm, body, what do you want today? And for some people, it is that that’s totally fine. Yes. What I ate like at every meal yesterday bread, my body just wanted bread, sourdough bread at every meal. That’s not, it’s not something I would typically eat at every meal either. It’s just what my body was asking for. It’s what felt good was like more carbs, please. And make them really easy to digest. Please. Yeah, so sometimes for some people getting to that level of, Hey, body, like you know, picture it like a, you know, those 80s sitcoms or they’d put the little thought bubble up above their head, Hey body, what do you want today? I want sourdough bread staff.
Yeah, I think we need to separate that, which is not invalid. It’s just different. It’s, it’s a, it’s quite a bit different, from what we mean by listening to your body and developing that in intuitive eating, which is a term called interest’s septic awareness. Interoceptive awareness. If you’ve never heard of this, it’s also called interoception, not inception, don’t Google inception because all you’re going to find is Leo DiCaprio interoception inter-row, right? Ception interoception, interoceptive awareness and you can go and Google this, use your Google machine to find out what interoceptive awareness is. If you want like a solid definition and a scientific definition and you’re that kind of person that needs that validity. But suffice to say is that it is how we develop an awareness of the signs and signals that our body is giving us. Can we sense our own body now where it comes really into play with intuitive eating is in things like honoring your hunger, feeling how full you are and so on and so forth?
But how we get there because that’s oftentimes so fucked up with rules like the rules of all of the ways you should eat and how you should eat and how you shouldn’t eat and when you should eat and how much you shitty and when you should, what you should never eat after this other thing. And after what time of the day should you not eat anything? We’re full of rules. It’s like pig pen from peanuts, you know, he’s got like that. It’s I think dirt above his head, but I have always visual lasted as thoughts, you know like [inaudible] all the thoughts that feel like what we should do, what’s right, what’s wrong. We walk around with all of that and so to get to a place where we can start to sense our own hunger and sense our own fullness sometimes we got to, in the words of the education world, we got to scaffold that shit.
Scaffolding and edge. I used to be teacher scaffolding is like we slowly build you up. If you came into my AP bio class, I wouldn’t start teaching about Mel Mo, like all the details about like crazy detailed college level and molecular biology until we learned with DNA is now usually you learn that outside of AP bio, but that’s just how you learn. You learn in stages, you learn building and building and building and building, so we have to build oftentimes that capacity, that skill. We have to re-learn how to sense what our body is doing, not even telling us like it’s a voice now. I happen to be, we’re all intuitive. Y’all, you whoever’s listening to this, we’re all intuitive. Everybody. Some of us are a little bit more in tune with it than others attuned to it than others. Some of us have different ways.
Our intuition shows up. I happen to be extremely good at using my intuition with other people and I’m still learning how to surrender to my own intuition or what is saying about my own life. That’s another topic for another day. Suffice to say, you might not consider yourself highly intuitive, but you can sense your body. And the example that I learned from the Evelyn Tripoli and at least rash, they wrote the book on intuitive eating and I was certified as a counselor under Evelyn. It was amazing by the way. There’s so much knowledge in her brain. It’s like a lived experience. It’s wonderful. She’s great. Um, but she, the example that we always talk about is, can you sense if you have to pee? Your bladder contains receptors, stretch receptors that send a signal to your brain that say, um, I’m full now. Please empty me. You can sense if you have to pee, you can sense if you have to take a poop, you can sense oftentimes your heart rate increasing. Not just feel it like a pulse point, but I mean even feel it going up or going down can feel your heart racing when you get embarrassed or nervous.
There are lots of other things you can sense and I talk way more about this in my an intuitive eating coaching program and we go through a lot of activities. And the first, the way we start all of our calls is talking about how we feel right now in our body continuing to build that muscle. So when you talk about listening to your body at the very most basic level, if you’re like, look, I don’t do will bullshit. I don’t believe in any of that. I’m not intuitive, whatever. I’m very analytical and I’m left-brained and I’m only rational and I want everything proven to me. That’s how you start. You start by noticing and being aware and building your skills as you go. And what you’ll also learn is that not only are physical sensations, something that you can sense, but your feelings also create a sensation in your body, how you feel your emotions.
It’s fascinating, fascinating stuff like so many interesting studies about this. So when you’re embarrassed, where do you feel it? That’s the last time you got embarrassed. Where do you feel like your cheeks probably got super red and flushed and maybe you felt kinda like, I don’t know, like queasy nauseous in your stomach? Or if you’re super excited and happy might feel it in your chest as kind of a fluttering or you feel it as lightness or if he feels sad, it might feel like the heaviness in your body. Or if you’re stressed, it might feel like you’re being your chest as being clamped in a vice or your throat might be getting really tight or you might feel a stabby pain in your knee. Who knows? Suffice to say, the more we can build that, the more we prime ourselves to be able to pay attention to our signals of hunger and fullness. And that’s really the kind of the crux of intuitive eating that people are really worried about. They’re like, I’m not, I can’t stop eating. Well, we need to S to back off a little bit or it takes a step back, I should say, and get connected. Slow down, be aware. Build that capacity.
Be quiet, quiet town, eliminate distraction, have a plan, check-in with the meal. And these are just pieces. These are just fragmented pieces, of the bigger picture. So when we say listen to our bodies, especially for new to intuitive eating or just even our own intuition, it’s less likely to be how you sense. Although it could be, I am a sensing intuitive person. My, I S I feel it in my body more than I know it. Just know it. And for me, when things feel intuitive, like, I don’t want to say good as a judgment, but I feel intuitively like good my, I feel a lightness in my body.
Or if it’s, you know, if it’s intuitively not the right thing, then I will feel a heaviness. So, so on and so forth. So yes, when we’re talking about intuition and intuitive eating, those things can overlap. Think of a Venn diagram, right? They can overlap, but they’re not necessarily the same thing. And for those of you that are analytical, you want the things that you can study. You want the proof, you want the, like just the scientific facts interoceptive awareness. Go read about it. Pick up a copy of the intuitive eating book, pick up the workbook, sign up for my a waitlist for my intuitive eating coaching where we actually work through this in real-time and you go through activities to learn how to build these skills because reading it on paper is certainly a foundation, but implementing it in your real life, in real-time is it takes practice. It takes a lot of practice. So interoceptive awareness is part of how you build the capacity to start listening to your body.
I would love to know what you think the best way to do that is. Join the core four club, which is my free Facebook community. Go to Facebook obviously and just type in Core 4 Club and request to join. After you answer the questions that we ask you when you request and start a conversation, I’d love to know your thoughts on this. Like I said, and also if your curiosity is really peaked about intuitive eating, you would love the, you would love just to know more. You would love to know how to get involved, what coaching looks like. You just want some dispatches once in a while from me about the topic of intuitive eating. Jump on the waitlist, Steph gaudreau.com/i E for intuitive eating, I E waitlist, and I’ll put you on the email list for that and send you all the good. Good. All right. Please hit subscribe on your podcast app, which super-duper appreciate it and I will talk to you very soon until then, be well!