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  • Paige Smathers

53: How One Woman Made Huge Strides Toward a Healthier Relationship with Food & Her Body


I just launched my online course!! It's been years in the making and I'm so excited to share this episode. This conversation is with one of the beta testers of the course and she talks all about her experiences of how she's made huge progress in healing her relationship with food and her body. She has some incredible important insight, so listen in—you're going to learn so much! I know I did.

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Full transcript:

Paige: Hey everyone! Welcome to Nutrition Matters Podcast, I’m Paige, your host. I’m so glad you’re here today to be apart of this awesome conversation I had and I want to explain a little bit about what it is. I have recently released my online course called, “Educate, Embrace, Empower” and it’s an intuitive eating course helping you make peace with food in your body and troubleshoot and really bridge the gap from chronic dieting to intuitive eating and I just barely finished a 10 week long beta test with a group of 10 people. One of the beta testers agreed to come on and talk about her experience as sort of a case story. And I’m going to publish this podcast within the course because I think this will help course members learn from her experience. I also want to publish it on podcast because I want each of you to learn more about the course and see if it might be the right fit for you and also to learn from this wonderful beta tester’s experience. She asked to remain anonymous just because she wanted to feel like she wanted to talk freely about her experience and her history and some of it’s really sensitive. We didn’t use names in this particular podcast episode and to me, honestly, I don’t really think it’s all that important. I think her message is amazing and her insights are incredibly important. I hope you enjoy listening to this episodes with one of my beta testers.

A few things that are important to know before starting this conversation with one of my beta testers. One is this course is a weight neutral non dieting approach. This particular guest I had on the show, though, talked a lot about her weight and how that was sort of her impetus for wanting to join the course. And so, as she talks about her weight just know that’s not the focus of the course, but it definitely was on her mind and if we’re being realistic I’m sure it’s on many of your minds because it’s so culturally normal to think about our weights. I hope each of you enjoy this and even you’re not really thinking you’d ever want to do the course I think you should still listen because she has some incredible insight to share. Because she has really made some huge progress with healing her relationship with food and her body.

*(In the interest of the transcription of this. I will refer to the beta tester as “BT”)

Paige: Well, hello! Thanks so much for joining me to talk about the course a little bit.

BT: Yeah, you’re welcome!

Paige: So, let me just ask, first of all, I want to just hear about your relationship with food before you started the course and I was interested in finding out what made you interested in learning about the things I talked about in the course. What made you take the course?

BT: Um.. Well, kind of broad spectrum, I come from a family of severely overweight [people]. Both of my parents are overweight, both of them have Type II Diabetes. My older sister is overweight and has struggled with her weight her whole life. And I had a stepmother who was kind of cruel to me growing up and would pick at me and say mean things about my body to me and made me feel fat even though I wasn’t at the time. So, all of that kind of bundled together to teach me really bad habits and especially the experience with my stepmother I kind of turned to food and used that as an emotional crutch because that was one thing I could control as a child was treats and sweets and things like that. As I went to college it got worse and gained more weight and used food as a stress mechanism, coping mechanism through classes and being stressed out. And then I had two babies and that just put on more and more weight and I just kept struggling losing any of the weight. I had tried Weight Watchers and different diets and different things and things would, maybe, work for a few pounds. I’d lose like 20 lbs and then I’d slip back into my old ways and gain it all back and continued to have problems and I just felt really unhappy with food. It was always… You talked about this in your class how food isn’t a moral issue and for me, it was. Family members would say things if I’d have a cookie or things like that. It became this problem for me, instead of just being food.

Paige: You felt judged and watched too, it sounds like.

BT: Exactly, for sure. It was just kind of a culmination of everything made this perfect storm of gaining a significant amount of weight since high school and just feeling very negative about my body. Now, I have a daughter who’s now four and I’m noticing that she picks up a lot of my traits, luckily none of these traits, yet. I kind of noticed that and I want to kick this really bad habit so that she doesn’t pick this up. I don’t want her to nit pick her own body and I don’t want her to learn bad habits with food through me. She still is a very intuitive eater and I want to facilitate that. I don’t want to stop that and have her learn my bad habits. And so for a while I have been trying to figure out how to kill my relationship with food put it back to where I want it to be and to where I felt good with it. I think the first thing that I noticed that sparked my interest with intuitive eating was your posts that you would post for KSL. I would read them and I don’t know if you actually talked about intuitive eating on them or not, but…

Paige: I do, pretty regularly.

BT: Some of the things stood out to me and I looked up the intuitive eating book and read about a chapter; I don’t have time to read a lot of books right now, unfortunately.

Paige: I don’t blame you.

BT: With two little ones. That really kind of sparked my interest, but it was such a huge jump from where I was with my food. In my mind the only way to lose weight and eat healthy was to measure and weigh all my food and track all my calories and all of this kind of stuff. But that wasn’t working for me either. So, I knew that I needed to change something, but I didn’t really know how to get there.

Paige: It’s kind of like you realize that diets don’t really work, but you don’t really know what the alternative is. But a lot of people associate healthy eating with dieting and so when someone says, “Don’t diet!” To some people that sounds like, “Well, just don't eat healthy.” Don't’ you think?

BT: Oh yeah, for sure. Well, and programs always say that this isn’t a diet, this is a lifestyle change. Well, it’s still a diet. You’re still tracking points or calories or what you’re putting on your plate.

Paige: They say that because it’s sells. That’s the current trend is to not call something a diet. That’s totally true and that’s actually what the very last podcast episode that I published was about is that exact thing where it’s getting really tricky to figure out how to tell what is and isn’t a diet because everybody claims that their plan isn’t a diet.

BT: Exactly. So, it’s like, “Sell what do I do if I don’t want to diet anymore?” But that’s [also] the only way I can lose weight, apparently.

Paige: Exactly.

BT: So, that’s where I was stuck and you posted your thing about needing people to participate in your class and it just like, (sigh) “This is what I’ve been waiting for.” I had known for awhile that I wanted some professional help with somebody who knew more than me and who had been trained, but financial ability wasn’t there to really do one on one. I mean, one on one work is so expensive with anybody, it’s just crazy. And so, that was something that wasn’t going to be able to happen, and so when you posted about your class it was just like, “Yay!!”

Paige: Awesome! Well, cool! And you know what? For everybody listening I haven’t really heard your story so all this is kind of new to me too, so I’m really excited to hear more about your experience with the actual course. So, that’s sort of sets the stage. You were definitely cycling in and out of diets and feeling, and correct me if I’m wrong in any of this, but I’m just going to summarize. So, cycling in and out of diets, feeling like [you’re] starting to get the hang of the fact that maybe diets don’t work, but not really sure what the alternative could be and, I’m guessing, sort of feeling pretty frustrated along the way with continuing to cycle through things. Would you add anything else?

BT: With a healthy dose of self hatred towards my body, which is not healthy, at all.

Paige: With an unhealthy dose of self hatred. (laughing). Okay, well awesome. Not about the self hatred part, but about your story, thanks for sharing that. What I’m really curious about is just learning more about some of your “ah ha!” moments that you had during the course and for anyone listening, just so that you know, I had the beta testers fill out a weekly survey and your particular responses were always very detailed. I have a record of all of your “ah ha!” moments. It was always fun to read every week where you were progressing and what was going on with you and what changes you were able to make. How would you summarize that process and what stands out to you the most, as far as realizations and purpose?

BT: Oh gosh… I had a lot of “ah ha!” moments, but I think the ones that I kind of have stuck in my brain now, it’s been ten weeks, with this whole course. The things that stand out to me, still ten weeks later or however many weeks later; I think one HUGE one was your lesson about body image and how…like you read that story of how your body is not a masterpiece and that just stuck to me so hard. It’s okay that I’m overweight. Healthwise, I want to change that, but I’m not a bad person because I’m overweight. I’m not a bad mom because I’m overweight. I already have a full, happy life. While I want to change my weight for my health, so I don’t develop type II Diabetes, like my parents and all these things; I don’t need to do that to have a happy life, because I already have a happy life. I have a husband and I have two beautiful children who love me and adore me. That really really stuck out to me. Another one that stuck out to me was, and I already kind of mentioned this, but how food is not a moral issue. I’m not a bad person if I eat a cookie, I’m not a good person if I eat a salad. It’s just food. And food is just there to fuel my body. That was a huge one for me.

Paige: Can I follow up on the first one you said?

BT: Oh yeah, for sure.

Paige: So, when you said that the lesson on body image stood out to you and you were talking about how you do have the desire to lose weight, but you still were able to make peace with where you were and with who you are and wit your life and find joy in your life today, as it is. The course is very non weight focused .I tried to encourage people to not make this about a number on a scale but to make this about learning how to take the very best care of themselves. I’m just curious how that worked for you since that was so forefront on your mind. Did you do all of that? Did you struggle? Was that helpful? What do you think?

BT: With not having weight be an issue with the course?

Paige: Well, just having weight be, sort of, on the back burner and not something I talked about every second.

BT: Oh, absolutely! I think a huge thing for me that I came out of this course with was, beforehand food and my weight has always been hugely tied together. And I mean, rightly so. I’m the way that I am because I overeat and I binge eat on sweets when I’m stressed and all of that kind of stuff. I think I came out of it understanding a couple of things. First of all, understanding that loving my body is way more powerful than hating my body.

Paige: (Sigh) I love it! That’s so great!

BT: Sorry, if I get emotional, I’m sorry.

Paige: Don’t be! Don’t be sorry! I have tissues in my office for a reason, this is super emotional thing. I’m so glad you’re sharing it though.

BT: I’ve hated my body since I was in Jr. High. That has nothing but make me gain more weight. Loving my body, my body has done amazing things. I think you touched on this, and it touched on this in that article that you read about how your body is not your masterpiece. My body created two beautiful human beings. My body put me through college. My body has done so many hard and amazing wonderful things. I need to show respect for my body and love my body, instead of hate and beating down on my body. And how, I just need to treat food for what it is. Food is fuel. Food is what I need to survive. Food is enjoyable, but it’s not something I should use as a comfort. I’m still working on that, but that’s where I want to be. Not using it as a comfort. I think it was so nice, like I know and I’ve known this for awhile that food is the first building block of helping myself lose weight in a healthy way. But I didn’t want to do it in a diet way. I just wanted to eat the way I should be eating and then have the weight be a natural consequence to to eating the way I should be eating instead of a forced consequence. I’m not starving my body, I’m not depriving myself of things that I want. I’m just now learning how to do that in a healthy way, as far as learning when to eat sweet things. It’s okay! It’s okay if I want a piece of chocolate every now and then. That’s not a bad thing. I think just focusing on my relationship with food instead of being tied to my weight was a huge thing. First of all, for me it’s less emotional. My weight is a huge emotional thing for me and probably always will be. And so, focusing on just the food potion helped it be less emotional. It helped it be less of a big challenge for me.

Paige: So, do you feel like you were make more rational, clear choices and decisions about food when those choices weren't’ so tied to your weight? Because I tried to, sort of, disentangle that in the course. Did you get a sense for the power of not having weight be such a focus, but instead taking care of yourself as a main focus of what we’re trying to do? How did that work for you? Or did you feel like that was something you adopted?

BT: I think that’s something I’m still working on. But, I do see big changes and I think one of the things that really ties into another “ah ha!” moment that you mentioned is treat yourself like you would treat a child. And I notice right now, with it Christmas that there is candy around and things like that and my daughters constantly ask me for it. And I say, “No, you’ve already had a piece, you don’t need another piece til tomorrow.” And that’s such a helpful thing for me for when I’m wanting something. It’s not, “No, that’s bad, you shouldn’t have that bad piece of candy.” It’s like, “No, you’ve already had a piece, but you’re good. That's enough for today.” And I think it just makes it so much more rational to think through things more easily. Also, the concept of giving myself permission to indulge in those cravings within portion controlling, in a healthy way. I think it makes it so that when I have a craving I can think through it rationally. I can think, “Okay, do I really want that or do I need something else? Am I just needing a break and time to myself? Or time to unwind?” And it gives me an opportunity to ask myself those questions. I’m still not by any means perfect at this.

Paige: Nobody is! Nobody is. So, what I’m hearing is permission, giving yourself unconditional permission to eat, give yourself room to ask yourself the right questions and then in the end, usually, I’m sure making far more nutritious choices. But it’s not from the motivation of, “I’m a terrible person, I hate my body. That’s why I’m making this more nutritious choice.” It’s, “What do I really want and need in this moment. Do I want it today? Do I want it tomorrow?” That’s been really powerful for me in my own life. I think that’s a huge one.

BT: Oh yeah, for sure.Well and also noticing when I eat something that’s really nutritious how I feel. I feel great when I eat something that's well balanced and nutritious. If I overindulge in something sweet, I don’t feel good. I feel sick to my stomach, I feel just icky. I think learning to not beat myself up about that, but learning to just look at that and say, “This is really great information for the next time.”

Paige: Like, “This is my body teaching me.”

BT: Right, exactly.

Paige: Exactly. Just like when you spend too much time out in the sun and your skin gets burned that’s your body teaching you, “Hey, if you’re going to be out in the sun this long you need to have sunscreen on or you need to take a break in the shade.” There are so many other aspects of life where it’s like, “Well, duh! Of course I got sunburned or duh! Of course I passed out because I didn’t sleep all night, [I] Passed out in the morning and slept for a day and a half” or something like that. But with food we tend to take on so much shame when our body is just teaching us, “Hey, next time try to do something a little different.”

BT: Well and I think we’re taught to ignore our body’s signals. Well, you’re hungry but you shouldn’t eat right now, or you're hungry, but you should eat less than what you're hungry for.

Paige: For sure! That’s the whole dieting thing is opposite of listening to your body. It’s follow this plan, do this at this time, eat this amount, pre prescribed, don’t think about what your body’s saying, ignore the hunger..

Well, thanks for sharing those “ah ha!” moments. That's really fun to hear from your perspective kind of what stuck and what helped you and what was good for you. Thanks. So, here’s another question for you. I’m interested to hear about any times during the course where you felt frustrated with your progress, if at all. And if you did run into that, how did you work through it?

BT: One thing that I would get kind of frustrated with is I would feel so empowered and excited after doing lesson for the week, like, “Yeah! I’m going to conquer the world!” And then [I would mess up]. I think one of the big ones for me was the exercise lesson, which was really early on. And it sounds so simple: get this much exercise every week. It’s really not that hard, but I have a six month old who doesn’t like to be put down and I have a four year old who likes to have a lot of my attention. And I still am struggling to learn how to balance that and to get enough exercise and spend time with my husband and all of these things. So, I would kind of get really frustrated and I still get frustrated about it. “Ugh. I didn’t get those minutes in. I didn’t work out today, at all. I didn’t…” I think i’m just learning with all of the different things I get frustrated with. Any time I still emotionally eat, any time I still don’t listen to my body the way I’m suppose to, I get frustrated. But I think one of the biggest things I’ve learned from your class is to not beat yourself up about it. I don’t have to be perfect today. That’s one huge difference for me between your course and a dieting program is diets, you’re suppose to be perfect from day one. You are suppose to follow them perfectly and do them perfectly and be perfect and then you’ll have this perfect body at the end of it. But this is more just learning and it’s okay. Any time you’re learning a new skill, you don’t master it right away. I think that’s one thing I’ve just really had to focus on so that I wouldn’t get discouraged or wouldn’t get frustrated. It’s okay if I make a mistake, it’s okay if I mess up. I’ve had these goals and these things for so long, but I’ve also had these habits and these issues for so long and it takes a long time to break bad habits. There’s so many things, over these ten lesson, there’s so many things to work on that I can’t do it all perfectly. And that’s okay. I think that’s one of the biggest things that I came out of this with is that it’s okay if I’m not perfect. It’s progression, not perfection.

Paige: I LOVE the word you used there of “I’m learning a new skill.” Because that’s exactly right and we don’t always think about it that way. We kind of think, this is something I should just be able to do perfectly, immediately. We would NEVER say the same thing about learning to play the piano. Of course you start with “Chopsticks” and “Mary Had a Little Lamb” You don’t start with “Rachmaninoff” or whatever, right? That’s a really good word to use and a really good thing to have in your mind is you are learning a new skill that if you put your mind to it, you’ll continue to move forward day by day and week by week. I’m hoping and I’m sure you’d say by the end of the ten weeks that you’re in a very different place than where you were in the beginning, but are you where you need to be? Or want to be forever? No! But guess what? Neither am I, neither is anybody. We’re all continuing to progress forward. I’m hoping you felt like there was this pattern established on how to make behavior change and how to feel really confident that you have what it takes to know what you need to do and to be able to move forward. Tell me about that.

BT: Oh, absolutely. I think one of the things that kind of struck me at the beginning is you discussed food addiction and for awhile I was thinking, well I’m just a sugar addict, I’ve had problems with this, my family has problems with addictions and so this is probably just something I’m struggling with. You said, “Whether or not food addiction is real, is that an empowering thing?” And I thought about it and for me, it wasn’t. For me, it’s not an empowering thing. For me, it took away my power and gave me an excuse to continue the way I was, instead of really trying to make a change. One thing you said to me in the Facebook group was, just take one or two things that you feel like you need to change the most that are the biggest things you struggle with and focus on those and then once you conquered those, move onto the next ones. I think that helped me so much because it just let go of that pressure to be perfect and allowed me to zoom in on the lessons that I felt like I needed to address the most; that would make the biggest impact. And then I could go from there. And I could continue building upon that instead of having to do it all at once.

Paige: And maybe revisit the ones that you originally looked at and listened to, but maybe you decided this is something [you’re] going to conquer in a little while once I’ve really worked on this really most important thing, I can come back to this. I’m hoping that you feel like you can go back and get that support both in the group as well as just in the lessons in the future if you need to.

BT: Yeah.

Paige: This is so fun for me to hear your story, verbally rather than in written word. This is how I, obviously I’m a podcaster so this is like how I do things and I LOVE talking to people. This is great! So any other thoughts about feeling frustrated? Basically, what I’m hearing is you were still battling that perfectionism that was so instilled and ingrained probably from dieting attempts and then also just cultural things and then as well as, maybe, how you were raised and things a long those lines. There was this pressure to be perfect and so this process was sort of, not only learning about nutrition, but also letting go of that as an expectation. Hopefully, it sounds like you can really connect aiming for perfection doesn’t really get you there it just makes you super frustrated and makes you want to quit.

BT: Mmhmm, absolutely. It has done nothing for me for fifteen years. I think that really when I learned to just let go of the idea that I had to be perfect it was seriously such a weight off my shoulders. Huge, huge thing. It’s okay that I’m not perfect today. It’s okay, and I’ll progress and I’ll get better.

Paige: I’m interested in hearing more about that because I feel like it’s a cliche`like, “It’s okay, you don’t have to be perfect” and it’s like, “Duh! We know that, but what made that stick beyond the cliche`? What made that really resonate and sink in for you? I’m just curious, cause I’m sure you’ve heard that before. I’m sure people have said that to you before casually, like, “You don’t need to be perfect.” What made you take that on as part of who you were or are?

BT: Really for me, yeah people have said that, but no one has really said that to me about my weight.

Paige: Oh, I see.

BT: Nobody’s ever been like, “It’s okay.” Nobody’s ever said, “It’s okay that you’re struggling with this thing.” it’s always been, “Oh, why are you struggling with this thing? You keep gaining weight. Why aren’t you losing weight? Why didn’t you lose all this weight on that diet you went on?” I think it was just so much pressure. Not only have I been trying with this, but it’s also been a really big struggle. I think not only the weight, but the inability to lose the weight really was affecting my self esteem. Like, “Am I really this weak? This thing is going to rule my life. I can’t conquer this huge thing” and in reality not that huge of a thing. It’s such a first world problem to not be the weight I want to be.

Paige: I love it! And I love that you’re able to just say that and be like, my life is awesome and recognize that and live in the moment. Because how sad if you’re so wrapped up in this as the most important thing ever, but then you don’t get to love and appreciate the current moment as much as you possibly could. That’s amazing.

BT: I thnk the only way I had ever heard, “You don’t have to be perfect with your weight was in the whole context of the “big girls movement”, in the being happy with being a big girl. While I think that’s fabulous and that’s great, I don’t want to continue to be really overweight. I do want to lose the weight and I don’t know how to bridge those two gaps, I don't know how to bridge the feeling like crap about myself because I can’t lose the weight or just being like, “Oh that’s chill, I don’t even have to worry about it”. I want to have some worry, but I don’t want it to affect how I feel about myself.

Paige: So, where is the middle ground type of thing?

BT: Exactly!

Paige: That makes total sense. Do you feel like you can strike a middle ground?

BT: I think I’m definitely very far into the process of finding that middle ground. I don’t know if I’m 100% there, but I know that I really have consciously stopped making self talk negative about my body. Negative self talk has significantly decreased since I started the course. And I know that I get more excited about trying to be healthier and make healthy choices instead of beating myself up about the bad choices. I think that’s where I’m finding…

Paige: I think a really big part of that, just what I’m hearing, and you can correct me if I’m wrong, but what I would guess is a really big part of that is connecting that nutritious, balanced eating makes you feel awesome and I think that’s such a different motivator and reason than, I hate my body, I’m going to change it so I’m going to eat this food. It's on a completely different level.

BT: Right, for sure. It’s the difference between, being skinny feels really great so don't eat that pizza versus eating this really healthy nutritious meal makes you feel great, so eat that healthy nutritious meal. It’s like a huge shift in mindset for me and it really has helped a lot.

Paige: That’s awesome! Well, gosh you are talking so positively about it, I want to hear anything that you felt that wasn’t great. I don’t want people to feel like I’m paying you to say these things. (laughing) Throw things out there if you feel like you need to.

BT: (laughing) Honestly, I think I was really just ready for this course. So it’s not that I’m like trying to sound it was all perfect and it’s not and I’m still not perfect, but this was the step I’ve needed and so that’s why I’ve been so excited about it. Umm… things that I struggled with in the course that I didn't like, I’m trying to think. I don’t think this is even anything you have control over. I wish, and I think it will get better once more people start taking the course and more people are involved in the Facebook group, but it felt like there were only a couple of people participating and that really helped me when more people could have discussion with other people.

Paige: We could talk and help each other and comment and chime in. I totally agree!

BT: And I mean, that’s not your fault, you can’t control if people are participating. And like I said, once more people are involved I think that I’ll enjoy that more. That's been such a big thing for me instead of having negative body talk, like having people who are really uplifting and who are going through the course and can talk to me about it. So that was one thing that I’m hoping kind of grows as the course grows.

Paige: I agree, I totally agree. That’s a really big part of supporting each other long term, but it only works if people chime in and participate.

BT: Another thing, there were a few weeks where the course load was good, but I kind of was wanting more. Some of the weeks had extra readings and things you could do, and I loved that. I don’t know if more of that can be added to more of the things? But I felt myself by mid week that I really wanted more on this topic to think about and progress.

Paige: Just so you know, the way that it’s going to work with everybody beyond the beta testers is it’s all self directed. So they can do it at their own pace, but I do recommend that they do that that amount of time so that’s good feedback to see if I can add some more content as far as outside reading or listening or work to do. Because I do think it’s important to take that time to let things sink in, but yeah, you need to feel like you’re fully stimulated each week. That’s a really good idea and the reason I did that, just so you know, is I was creating the course as you guys were taking it. So, I had deadlines and so that was what helped me ensure that I would stay on track. So that’s why I kind of dropped the content each week.

BT: I don’t know that I was ready to move on to the next topic. I think the timelines that you set are great and I think I needed to stay in that idea and I just wanted more for that idea.

Paige: You were hungry for more! So, that's possibly something I can do. I write for KSL and then post it on my own blog every other week so I can generate more reading and content and podcast episodes about these things to support it and make sure that everybody feels like they can do a lot of work each week and really let this stuff sink in. Thanks for that. That’s good.

Okay, so, last question for you, since you just barely finished the content I’m really curious to hear about how you’re feeling at this point. Do you feel like you have a direction as far as where to go from here? And I also want to know if you have any specific questions that I can help answer.

BT: As far as where to go from here, I kind of feel like I just need to almost redo parts of the course. I think some of the lessons I’m good on and I don’t feel the need to go back and revisit, at least not right now. I think moving forward my plan is… there are still things that I’m struggling with like my big things that I’m focusing on, my one or two things, that I think I’m going to go back and redo those lessons. Other than that I’m a little like, “Okay, hopefully I’ll be able to continue to progress.” There’s such big ideas like eating when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re full is such a big thing and I'm’ going to just have to continue to work on that. It’s not like I can finish that and be done with that in a week. I think I just have to keep working on these big things, you know? As far as specific questions… I’m trying to think of anything..

Paige: I know, I’m putting you on the spot here.

BT: Oh no, you’re fine. I’m just trying to think of things I didn’t already ask because I feel like I did ask a lot of questions as I went along.

Paige: Well and just so everybody listening knows. I’m really aiming to have a weekly Q&A, so if you’re feeling like this burning question [you] have wasn’t answered in the lesson there’s support along the way and we try to do that in the beta test, again, the participation of not that many people involved. There weren’t that many people in the beta test so it wasn’t super flowing. I think you’re right as more and more people joining the course there’s going to be more discussion and questions coming up.

BT: I’m trying to think of specific questions. I know I struggle a little bit in terms of meals and nutrition. I eat vegetarian most of the time and I struggle with wanting to replace meat with dairy which isn’t good. I shouldn’t be eating a lot of cheese instead of chicken. And I loved that you kind of touched on different diets in the course, but that’s one thing I still kind of struggle with is what a balanced meal looks like for me. I eat mostly primarily plant based. And I feel the best when I do that, but I worry, sometimes, that I’m not getting a fully balanced meal and sometimes I get cravings because of that.

Paige: Yeah, you know, a lot of people who are vegetarian tend to reach for the carbs when they're hungry and not that carbs are bad, we all know that they're totally fine and an important part of our well balanced diet. When you’re eating a significant percentage of your calories coming from carbohydrates, that does tend to make you feel full and satisfied in the moment and then hungry soon after doesn’t necessarily last as long with you. So, I can see where’ you’re coming from that maybe you’re feeling like your meals aren’t as well balanced as they could be and feeling hungry on a regular basis. I think it comes down to a lot of planning and shopping and preparation and having good protein filled, whole food things available on hand. I’m sure you eat a lot of lentils

BT: Lentils and beans.

Paige: Lentils and beans and nuts and eggs and cheese and dairy are fine. You know what I can do is I’ll send you a few resources. There’s a few amazing plant based blogs that I think are awesome that provide really good resources for recipes and for balancing your plate and for making sure you’re getting a good balance of protein, fat, carbohydrate and macronutrients. That’s not an area that I feel like I have a whole lot of resources within my blog and podcast about just because I like to eat plant based foods, but I’m not necessarily vegan or vegetarian, although I do eat vegan and vegetarian meals, I don’t call myself that, you know what I mean? That might be something to add to the course, just a few extra resources for someone [who may be] vegetarian. Do you think that would be helpful?

BT: I think that would be great!

Paige: Okay, awesome! So, you’re able to go back and watch any of the lesson that you need and have any of those updates so keep your eye out for that.

BT: I actually really appreciated that in one of your lessons that you touched on this of how to do it if you’re vegetarian or vegan. Most people don’t even put that out there. So I appreciated that you touched on that.

Paige: Even though it was maybe 30 seconds, right?

BT: No, it was fine. And I think some additional outside resources would be super helpful because not everybody who takes your course is going to be vegetarian, so you don’t need to go on to it in a huge big thing on your lessons. But it’s great to have because it’s really hard to find things that are intuitive eating type things for this.

Paige: Right! That’s a niche for sure. And that’s one thing that we touched on in the course is just asking yourself, why. Why you’re on this special diet and we talked about reasons that you should feel great about and reason that maybe aren’t the best motivators and so if people determine that their feeling great about it and that’s what aligns with them, ethically and makes them feel the best then I’m completely supportive. But you’re right some of the resources out there are a little bit “gung ho” intense, you have to do this or else you’re a terrible human being. Or do this to lose weight so it’s a little gimmicky. And I can see where you’re coming from where you're trying this intuitive eating approach, but I’m also having this restriction or this situation and how do you make that work? I can see how that would be a little bit difficult to negotiate. Other things that come to mind is there are a lot of really great meat substitutes out there, have you looked into those?

BT: I have and it does seem to help. Things that are not a huge amount of food but that pack more protein is definitely helped. I worry about, and I don’t know how much I should worry about this, but they tend to be more processed, so I don’t know… And that’s probably the whole dieting mentality, “I have to eat whole food plant based.” And I don’t know how much I need to worry about it or not.

Paige: Well, I mean, I’m really glad you brought that up because eating a processed twinkie, not the greatest. Eat it if you really want it, whatever, once in awhile. As far as trying to be more conscious and aware of how I can get more protein in my daily routine and this frozen veggie patty, burger, thing is super easy because I can just pop it in the microwave have it ready to go. That’s okay, totally! Remember the conversation we had about how to make a decision about what to eat? Sometimes it’s convenience, sometimes it’s taste and preference and we went through all the different reasons. I think there’s totally room for you doing what you need to do and not being perfect as far as processed or whole foods. The focus and the majority of what you're eating; it would be great if you ate foods that were closest to how they come in nature and minimally processed and fruits and vegetables and whole grains and blah blah blah, but ain't no shame in doing something because it’s convenient because you have a six month old and a four year old and you're trying to balance a million different pulls on your time on a daily basis. I think you can feel great about doing what you need to do in your situation.

BT: I think it’s just process. I definitely know I’m not where I want to be. And so, I’ll probably have questions in the future, but I don’t know how your course will be designed to kind of help that. I don’t know if I’ll continue to be on Facebook, I know you said we could still be on Facebook.

Paige: Yes! Of course! My gosh, you are more than welcome to ask questions and be apart of the discussion and the weekly Q&A as long as you want and need. Before I was in private practice, I had a group course that I did and one of the biggest pieces of feedback we would constantly get is, what do we do afterward? How do we continue to have support? How do we continue to discuss these issues and continue to learn? And so that’s why I made it so that everybody can have lifetime access to the course and lifetime access to the Facebook group because I’m not just interested in helping you for ten weeks, I really want to be there for you and I want the rest of the group to be there for you and each other however long we’re willing to be together. So, don't be shy.

BT: I think that’s awesome.

Paige: Okay! Good, good! Well, I agree with you. I think you were absolutely perfect for this course. I think you were in an exact right space to learn about these things and to move forward and to progress and just really dive into this information. I’m so grateful for you and you are so encouraging to me so, thank you for that. It’s been a crazy few months for me. I’ve had a lot of things, personally, that have rocked my world a little bit, but yeah I appreciated that because it kept me moving forward.

BT: When you posted the thing about your course is now live I just wanted to share it with all my friends. I don’t know if it would be as awesome for everybody as it was for me because I was so ready, but thank you so much for just being positive and giving a really healthy positive space to learn these few things and get support and I’m just so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of it.

Paige: Well, I sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed this conversation. If you haven’t already please go ahead and leave a review on itunes. Thanks again so much for listening and we’ll see you soon for another episode

#positivenutrition #motherhood #nutrition #healthateverysize #selfcare #bodypositivity

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