Welcome to Part 2 of my intuitive eating journey! We started with my dieting story, and last week I gave you Part 1 of my intuitive eating journey! I’m 7 years in, and I want you to know that intuitive eating can truly work with you in any and every stage of life. (I’ve lived internationally, had major moves, given birth to two children, and started a business….all while eating intuitively!) I’m all about taking care of myself from a place of love, and that’s what I teach my clients to do as well!
If you want to get started, or could use a little refresher, go check out my free, on-demand training. You can ditch the food guilt and body shame and finally feel free around food! Ready? Grab your free training and get started today!
Real Food First
With my first program, I wanted women to know they can eat what they want and feel good. At the time, I was focused on whole foods that make you feel good. (Now, I no longer hold to the idea of “real” food. I’ve realized that sort of reframing isn’t really that helpful for women that have been dieters.)
I was cooking a lot, eating a variety of foods, and sharing with others that they can enjoy food! I didn’t sell very many….which was probably a good thing. It was a great learning experience, and also helped me further shape my own vision for what my business would be.
An opportunity to speak to a women’s group (where I shared my dieting story!) boosted my confidence in who I was and what I wanted to really do. That was a huge first step that really helped me grow as a person and leader. One of these days, I hope to be able to speak to in-person groups again…in the meantime, I love that the podcast gives me that opportunity every week!
Intuitive Eating Learning Experiences
6 months into my educational program I was able to start taking on my own clients. My 1:1 practice grew fairly quickly, mostly by word of mouth and via Zurich connections.
During this time, I continued taking good care of myself. (I used to think that dieting was a form of self-care!) Part of that was acupuncture treatments to help me alleviate stress and feel really good. My acupuncturist asked me to create meal plans for clients of hers that were dealing with hormonal imbalances. Something interesting that happened with those clients was that NONE of them finished the 3-week meal plan I crated for them. Why? It was too strict!
Even though it was meant to be healing, the rigidity made it impossible for them to really follow through. Since then, I’ve learned a lot more about using intuitive eating principles, even when dealing with specific dietary needs. (For example, check out Julie Duffy-Dillon’s episode on PCOS, and Susie Garden’s interview on dealing with food intolerances!)
My Intuitive Eating Journey & Pregnancy
While we were traveling in Greece, I took a pregnancy test pre-scuba diving….and it was positive! (Needless to say, I didn’t go diving.)
Intuitive eating was really helpful during pregnancy. I was really nauseous, so I was eating more bread than usual. I also had lots of other cravings, and even schedule changes (I HAD to eat within 5 minutes of getting up if I wanted to have a hope of avoiding throwing up).
Rather than feeling guilty about what and how I was eating, I had the freedom to adapt as needed and honor my body’s needs. I also got to practice being curious about my body! I had major heartburn, so I got to consider how I could help myself feel the absolute best. Dairy (which often makes me feel not-so-great) worked better for me when I was pregnant, and my doctor helped me realize that my iron supplement was connected to my severe bloating.
Our bodies are truly amazing, and pregnancy was a chance to really learn more about mine! Intuitive eating allowed me to let go of preconceived notions and pressure, and experience listening to my ever-changing needs.
Quit Dieting for Good
My Quit Dieting for Good program came into being in 2016. I worked with a business coach to build out the business side of things, and working with clients helped me see that THIS work is what I truly desired to do.
I gave Real Food First one more go around….but I knew quickly that it was time to retire it for good. My intuitive eating journey has been a pivotal part of both my personal life and by business, which has been such a fun journey!
Now, Quit Dieting for Good is almost at its 5 year anniversary! I’ve continued to grow and develop my programs and coaching, but the heart has stayed the same: a passion for body confidence and food freedom that is accessible to all women!
Intuitive Eating & Post-Partum Bodies
Being post-partum made me realize that I had more body image work to do!
I had gained weight during pregnancy, and when I didn’t lose it all quickly after giving birth I was upset. After all, I had taught yoga the whole time, AND I had given birth early (Cooper was pre-mature). It seemed like things should have “snapped back”…and my intuitive eating journey involved diving deeply into everything that came along with those assumptions.
I had to dive deep into body image, especially postpartum body image. I learned so much, and really appreciate that experience. It truly helped me grow as both a person and coach. (Jenn Green and I talk all about post-partum mindset on her amazing interview, and Brittany Woodard shares all about post-partum body confidence in her episode!)
During this time, I purchased new pants that actually, really fit my post-partum body. (Good quality pants!) I also had an incident where I broke down crying pre-event because I went to get dressed and my clothes didn’t fit right! There are so many ups and downs (and hormones!) post-partum, and the self-care portion of my intuitive eating journey played a large role in my experience.
Also, my second time around with the post-partum experience, I got a therapist in advance. I knew I was going to want the extra support, and I opted to arrange for that in advance (rather than waiting for things to get bad). My first time around was hard, and I wanted to give myself some extra love and support by taking care of my needs in advance.
Getting Support in Every Area
After realizing that motherhood had been a bit of a rough transition, I decided to invest in a life coach for new moms. She worked with women to help them shift their mindset around mothering, and it sounded like exactly what I needed. I missed my freedom, my hour and a half morning routine that was clearly not going to work with an infant, and the ability to sleep all night.
Working with her, I learned more about setting boundaries, self-care, and building feel-good routines (even with children in the house). Reaching out for and then investing in support for a need I had was a big step in my personal journey! At the same time, I brought on a business coach to help with my business growth.
Since my own program depends on women being willing to get professional help for needs in their lives, I think it’s important for me to do the same! Even though I could have tried to figure out motherhood while also growing my business on my own….getting support made the process so much better for me, my family, and my business!
Investing in support is also a means of taking care of my whole self, which I love helping my own clients do as well! Next week I’ll talk more about ways I’ve continued to do that throughout my intuitive eating journey.