So many people love the idea of Intuitive Eating but struggle with putting it into practice because it feels WAY too scary to start on your own!
In this episode, former No More Guilt client Aston Moody shares her main fears about Intuitive Eating before coming into the No More Guilt program over a year and a half ago, how she overcame her fears of weight gain, redefined “doing the right thing” around food, and what’s been happening since she graduated. She talks about her love of Enneagram and how she used it as a tool alongside Intuitive Eating skills to heal her lifelong struggle with dieting.
We talk about the impacts of growing up in the 80s and 90s on food and body image. Aston talks about what life is like now that she is no longer measuring time in terms of whether or not she is on a diet, cheating on a diet, or gearing up for the next one. Aston will share some key insights for your Intuitive Eating work, especially for anyone who considers themselves a “black and white thinker” who is too often hard on themselves in this inspiring episode.
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This episode was sponsored by No More Guilt with Melissa Landry. Reminder that though we are dietitians, we’re not *YOUR* dietitian. Podcasts don’t constitute treatment. If you have concerns about your dieting behaviors, seek out guidance from a medical or mental health professional. And if you’re looking for the process, support, and focus you need to live life without food guilt apply for a coaching program from today’s sponsor. No More Guilt with Melissa Landry is currently enrolling clients into 1:1 programs, group programs, and, recently added a do-it-yourself learning format: the Ex-Dieter’s Guide to No More Guilt.
getting over intuitive eating fears with Aston M transcript
Melissa Landry 0:02 Hi there, I'm Melissa, a registered dietitian specialize in intuitive eating for on again off again, chronic dieters, and I'm here to help you take the guilt and stress out of eating so you can be the first in your family to break the diet cycle. I'm interested in helping you unlearn generational diet trauma, so you can be who you are without food guilt. Be sure to follow on Instagram at no more guilt for more support between these episodes. Are you ready? Let's jump in. Do you know the interior designer Paloma Contreras? I don't know if I'm saying her name correctly. Aston M 0:39 I don't think so. But it may be that I follow her and I don't know. Melissa Landry 0:43 I mean, I found her book once and I'm looking at your bedroom in the background and you're giving me her vibes and I love her style. So I just need to tell you. Aston M 0:52 Well, thank you. I need to look her up. Melissa Landry 0:54 Your good at what you do. You need to go look her up. I love it. Ask me introduce yourself to the people. Aston M 0:59 Hi my name is Aston moody, and I am from South Carolina. I am an interior decorator. I have two kids 11 and 11 year old boy. And she'll be eight in a week. So an eight year old little girl have a wonderful husband. And yeah, I found Melissa about a year and a half ago. So I'm excited to like share some of my journey with you guys. Melissa Landry 1:27 When we first met, we did a discovery call. That's what I do with most clients. And you had shared a little bit about your history with dieting, you had shared some of your concerns about moving to intuitive eating. Let's go back to that time a year and a half ago. Aston M 1:46 Before I give you my dieting history, I wanted to give a quick little disclaimer because I am going to be sharing a little bit about my childhood to start that off. And I hope I'm going to be brave enough to share this on my podcast. So people will probably not on my podcast sorry, on my social media page. Because I would like to help others like you have helped me I really think there are a lot of people who could benefit from the conversation. And people will be hearing it I guess who know me or my family that I'm going to be really honest about myself and probably have some TMI for anyone who knows my family, I have done a lot of reflection in therapy and just in different things, trying to figure out where my disordered eating started. And I have parents who were like beyond loving and supportive and who were never hard on my sister me. In fact, they were like the opposite of that. They didn't want us to be too hard on ourselves. And they would say things to us in school, like you know, just take the B and like don't stress too much so and then I also have a husband who he started dating me at my highest weight. You know, I've thought back over like what has given me this complex what what has made me this way. And it wasn't I would like to say for sure that it was not any of those people. My earliest memory of dieting was in high school, I was probably aware of my size in middle school. I do remember being aware of my size in middle school, but I don't think I dieted I was always what I considered to be the biggest person in my peer group as far back as I can remember. And whether that was like true or not, it was really true in my in my head, right? So my parents never made me feel negative about my size on I'm just naturally a joy. And I'm hard on myself like extremely hard on myself. For any Enneagram dorks out there that are like myself. I am in Enneagram one you and I've talked about a little bit, but that means that I have an inner critic in my head that never shuts up. So I'm just really, really hard on myself. And this trait the trait that trait is great for someone who's a decorator because I walk into any room and I immediately see what could be better or fixed or improved. But the flip side of that is that I always have looked at myself through a lens of what could improve. Melissa Landry 4:03 That makes sense. Yeah. And that's a good distinction. Like I talk a lot about generational dieting trauma from my lens. My perspective, I think a lot of people have that story. But not all people who struggle with food and body image are going to have that nurturing experience that sort of cultivates disordered eating, there is sometimes a temperament or a personality trait and then we layer that in on a society that fear. You know, just by the media, I had a former client Nicole on a couple of weeks back who talked about this at length, you know, like that can sort of stoke that a little bit and give those did something to help on to and really obsess over. So it sounds like that was the that was the case for you. Aston M 4:50 It was definitely the case for me. I will be the first to say that rings really true for me. I grew up in a house that didn't really have any food rules. There wasn't an off limit. food or something my parents didn't buy, like out of principle, or there was nothing like that. I mean, but growing up with the TV shows that I watched in school, in my community, in my extended family, there were always people around me that were trying to shed weight. I feel like the 80s and the 90s were like DEXA trim. And like, you know, it was just diet culture, like Weight Watchers was new and huge. And I mean, I absorbed every bit of that diet culture. Melissa Landry 5:33 Well, you're, you're driven to, quote, do the right thing. And when that's presented as like, good people, diet, good people loose or are trying to lose weight. Yeah, you're gonna, that's you got marching orders, basically. And you hit the ground? Yeah. Aston M 5:48 Oh, yeah, definitely. I mean, it was always what other people were trying to do. And it was, I understood is just what you do. I had never met an overweight person who this is maybe a little bit extreme, but I think it's pretty accurate. I had never really gotten to know an overweight person who didn't talk about trying to lose weight. So I didn't know that there was really an option other than that, and when I say like, I'd never met an overweight someone who deemed themselves overweight, or that maybe society would have. Melissa Landry 6:20 And that's a whole other like distinction, right? He's like terms and labels. There's, you know, a lot of talk about like, well, there's what I label myself, and then my lived experience in the world. And that was something in the program, we tried to help separate for folks, you were in a group program where some people do have some of the lived experiences of plus size folks, and some people do not and right, both of those experiences are challenging. But one of them is driven internally, and one is driven, driven externally. So there are ways of navigating that depending. Yeah, you're right. Regardless of those distinctions, which are important when you're a little kid, the message is being overweight is is quote, bad. It's not preferred. If you you want to distance yourself as much as possible from that. And if you get there, you better be proving to everybody, you're trying not to be there anymore. Aston M 7:14 Right? That's exact 100%. Melissa Landry 7:16 We all absorb that. And it impacts us in a lot of different ways. Aston M 7:19 Yeah, yeah, I feel like trying to be a healthy weight was equivalent to trying to be a better person trying to be good, or even trying to be right, which we're in Enneagram. One Melissa Landry 7:29 is Ding, ding, ding. Aston M 7:31 I mean, that's what that's all we it's subconscious, but it's literally what drives us. And so on top of that, words of affirmation are my love language. And, you know, even from like watching myself on a video camera, you can tell from early on, I was a little bit even manipulative at performing or asking questions that would elicit, like, positive feedback, because I thrived off of it. I loved praise. And I got praise from the world when I lost weight. So I ate that up. And I mean, even though my parents didn't, I don't feel like I grew up in a in like a, any kind of house that was ever down on my weight. Right? They were, you know, they, they were impressed when I would lose weight to like, just like my extended family was and my friends were I mean, probably I had teachers like, I go out in the world today, if I if I, you know, and at a restaurant tonight with friends, someone will inevitably probably compliment someone else on losing weight. Like, it's just the way of the world. I love that feeling. And because I felt like I was in a bigger body, I convinced my parents repeatedly to let me be on a diet. And even if we hadn't been able to afford a specific kind of diet, I would have found a way to do some kind of diet. And you know, I don't know if it so much matters, but I mean, I did Weight Watchers, Atkins, South Beach, grapefruit diet, I did the metabolic those were all in high school. Like I was going to Weight Watchers meetings in high school all because I wanted to, and you know, my parents were like, if this will make you happy, then. Okay, you know, Melissa Landry 9:16 and like from your parents lens at that time, what's the harm? If it might have felt like, especially Aston M 9:24 if you're gonna eat fruits and vegetables, then great. Yeah. By the end of high school, there was something called the metabolic clinic that was nearby. And I feel like they're everywhere now. But they were very new at the time and I went and you know, did that and weighed in multiple times a month and did the protein shakes and their special like dry packaged food and what I mean it was just terrible. In college, I was doing la weight loss and eventually I developed a binge eating disorder in college. And that has been hard to say out loud But I, I think it's important in my late 20s. and up through my mid 30s, I was trying things like intermittent fasting faster way to fat loss, like trying to be on 1200 calorie diet plan. So I mean, you name it, I had done it, I felt like I was always trying to like there was always an event coming up anything, I would make anything into an event that I was trying to lose weight for it, be it big or small. For me, I think I realized this finally, when I was in counseling, I'm very big on mental health and getting counseling, I think everyone could use a dose of therapy. But it was extremely helpful for me, I have a lot of anxiety. And in counseling, I realized that dieting was definitely a way for me to be in control. If life was busy, or stressful or chaotic. It was something that gave me a sense of control, even if it was a false sense. can't control what's going on and in whatever the world even can stress you out. You can't control other things. But that was one thing I could control. I'm a very all or nothing personality. I hate to go back to the Enneagram every time but Enneagram ones are like that you're we're very black and white. Melissa Landry 11:06 It doesn't it's your choice how you define and label your experience. Right. And that's maybe an output of therapy is like you having labels that feel true. Yeah, what went on in your life or what goes on in your life. And I liked the way that you use Enneagram to help me understand Yeah, it's like a framework for you to distance yourself from those policing thoughts, so that you have a little bit of freakin breathing room to do, do what you really want and what's true for you, which fits so neatly into intuitive eating. I think that's a great thing to share if people do like the Enneagram, or know that, yeah, well, the hook in these different frameworks, as many people find intuitive eating by itself to be like, not quite actionable for them for whatever. And so I'm a Aston M 11:51 And so I'm a very like black and white thinker, all in or all out 100% on the diet or living it I'm living my best life. I've thought about this a lot, too. I think the difference for me and a lot of my friends who also diet all the time, and even even watching my husband, some people like when they go to try to eat more healthy quote unquote, like it doesn't it doesn't affect their self worth. They don't they don't look at it as very as as much as all or nothing. And they don't look at it as like a success as a person or failure as a person. Right. But I definitely always had that mentality. Melissa Landry 12:24 What do you think? Was it these insights? About your your personality traits? What was it that eventually got you curious about? Intuitive Eating? Was there some lightbulb moment? Was it little by little? How did you come to even consider intuitive eating as someone who was so heavily hinging your praise in your? Aston M 12:48 Yeah, so it was like it was 20 years of this endless cycle of trying to self improve trying to diet, then I would fail. And then it was followed by, you know, shame and guilt. This is all within like a week cycle of seven days. And then frustration, and then it was like, double down and repeat on Monday. So what finally stopped working is that it never worked in the first place. It finally clicked with me I was I'm 39 now is 37. When I found you, it never actually worked. I had been yo yo dieting for 20 years. And it occurred to me all of a sudden, I think the day that I sort of really tried to seek out someone and I was looking on Instagram. But what occurred to me that day was that I had never looked at food in my memory, adult memory through a non diet lens. Every day, all day. Whatever I put in my mouth, my brain was thinking and I mean, this is like, so sad to me. But everyday all day for 20 plus years, my brain was thinking I'm on a diet. I'm cheating on a diet, or I'm about to I'm living it up. So because I'm about to start it is constantly Melissa Landry 14:03 scanning for where you are in that cycle Aston M 14:05 constantly. Yeah, I mean, I stumbled across you in I think it was in 2001. Melissa Landry 14:14 2021 Aston M 14:16 Yes, sorry. I would have been that would have been actually better if it had been husband and wife. Melissa Landry 14:23 I wouldn't I wouldn't have been in this place in my career. I would have been would have probably been young. I was in high school at that time. Young. That's right. Yeah, you wouldn't have known quite how it would have been not knowing either in the midst of diet culture. Aston M 14:37 I think um, I think it was hard for me to find a therapist in the first place to help me specifically with this because I would not have labeled myself as bulimic or anorexic and I stopped binge eating in college. So I didn't know Melissa Landry 14:52 it in the traditional labeling Aston M 14:54 100% And this is like huge in my story. I feel like because I wasn't labeling myself, nor do I think necessarily, most of society would have labeled me as someone with an eating disorder. I now know it's called disordered eating. But I wouldn't have labeled myself as that. So I didn't know how to think out seek out a therapist for like, I like to diet like, I don't know how to how do you find that in the yellow pages, like you can't google that? Melissa Landry 15:24 That language isn't there, and therapists are amazing. I am you. However, Health at Every Size, intuitive eating eating disorders is a very specialized type of care. And what I find is that many clients come to me having worked with therapists they love significantly helped them in relationships with anxiety, depression, bipolar, whatever they're working on. But the moment that food and body image came up, one of two things happen either the therapist shuts down, that's not my scope. I can't talk about this with you. Or they say, Oh, well, why don't we help you with some lifestyle behaviors? And why don't we help you with dieting is so diminishing for someone who finally opens up to someone they trust? And yet again, here, let's help you diet again. So there are a handful of therapists who are Hayes Health at Every Size familiar, who actually opened the door, have as many clients in that boat that say that person got me to talk to a dietitian. So Aston M 16:24 it was your godson, because and I don't say that sarcastically, like, I fell down a rabbit hole clicking hashtags, and Instagram handles one one day, like, I don't remember what words I ended up beginning to search. And finally, I somehow landed on your page. And I, no more guilt will I mean, that speaks to my experience. My whole experience is just one heaping load of guilt, you know, of messing up the diet. Every week, for two decades, I started watching your videos and things and kind of learning a little bit about what you were about. And I was like, Oh, my gosh, this exists, like, this is the thing. You know, it was, it was weighing on me at the time to do the right thing. And I thought a lot about what I was going to pass on to my daughter, that's where I was, when I found you, I was I was hyper aware of not saying anything in front of my kids about my body. In fact, I was trying to say positive things about myself, even when I didn't believe the things I was saying, just to counter any negativity that they might encounter in the world. And I'm still hyper aware of when my friends and family members put their bodies down in front of my children, for reference dieting in front of my children, which happens a lot. And even though I wasn't saying anything to my kids about their weight, I wasn't saying anything about mine either. What happened is they were starting to notice that we didn't keep fun foods in the house. And they started to ask why they were getting old enough to say like, Well, why can't we buy X X, X and X? And I said, it's because I knew whether I said it out loud. I knew it's because I couldn't have it in the house. I didn't trust myself not to binge and I knew it would just be extra anxiety for me. You know, I recognize that as kind of the moment where something's got to change. They're old enough now to even though I'm not verbally saying it, I'm protecting the verbal environment. They're old enough to pick up on other things Melissa Landry 18:24 so trippy when kids asked you a question that you're like, Oh, I've never been asked to articulate my thoughts and feelings on this. Right? We were. We went traveling with some friends of ours, and they have an eight year old son and we used to pull out couch. Yeah, he comes out of the bedroom. And he's like, What? Did you guys move a bed in here? We're like, No, we pulled out a couch, what's that, and I had the opportunity to teach a child what a pullout couch was. So like, what a good moment. Some of those are fun opportunities are like I get to be the person. So nothing. But then there's these big moments to where you You're responsible for teaching them something. And when you don't have the language or the philosophy built, that's a feeling of like, like, no, what do I do? Aston M 19:07 Yeah, yeah. And I knew, I mean, I knew if I didn't start dealing with my own body issues and my own disordered eating, then how, you know, I just kept thinking about my daughter specifically, only because she's a girl in this world, and so much more pressure is put on women and girls and how we look. And I was like, if I can't even get myself out of this trench, how am I going to get her out of one one day, you know, one that I hope to not land her in, but the world will if I don't, I I fear that every day. So anyway, I Melissa Landry 19:41 was you asked and like you're, you can identify, you know, your parents maybe didn't actively, like pushback on diet, culture and anti fat thinking. But they didn't promote it either. They were kind of more neutral and saw that neutrality, you know, maybe didn't benefit you. So I can see where you're like, I can't just be neutral. Like, I've got to figure out how to help her navigate Aston M 20:05 Yeah, because my internal experience, I cannot do this anymore. I'm tired of this, I don't want to do this anymore. And I also cannot do this to my daughter, the buck stops here. It's, I'm done. And so I called you and I had never heard of intuitive eating, I started reading up on your site and had a conversation with you on the phone. And we both decided that I would be better at group sessions rather than one on one. And for me, that was wonderful. Because I had always had a lot of people to discuss the effectiveness and effectiveness of dieting with those people are everywhere. I had never had anyone I don't, I don't think, to commiserate with me on how awful dieting made me feel as a person. And to truly just, I was in this group with people who were like, I was like, Are you in my head? Are you? Even you? I was like, Are you in my head? Like, I had no idea that there were I didn't, I had never heard the words intuitive eating. And I had no idea that there was this realm of people, this community that had been thinking and feeling the same way I had for 20 years. And it was like, I get teary thinking about it. Because I felt so much less lonely. Yeah, it was like I was, I felt like I was being seen, Melissa Landry 21:29 from my point of view watching you go through that I watched your anxiety about this method start to go down every single week, because each time you were like, Oh, I am not some broken freak of nature. Like, yes, these people are going through things. They started to inspire you. I remember you, which you always brought a little notebook asked, and you would always be like she's jotting away, you're definitely want to do it. Well. Let's do it. Well, let's do it. Right. You even started to let go of that side of you just a little bit. Like in the beginning, there was a lot of questions like Melissa, what are the steps? How do I do it? But little by little you started to get the process? And yes, you still definitely asked and you are who you are, you definitely still like steps and roadmaps. But you were a lot less rigid as time went on. And I do agree like seeing those other women and knowing you weren't the only one just like took that guilt and shame down. So you could actually learn like you're good at learning. You just were so nervous to learn. Aston M 22:25 And rigid is such a good way to describe me. Yeah, yeah, that all or nothing rigid like it is it is funny, because I definitely wanted you to just Just hand me the new plan, Melissa, and I will do it just to tell me what to do. Melissa Landry 22:38 When I wouldn't give you the answers right away. How was that for you? Aston M 22:41 Well it was very scary. It was, you know, I went into this thinking like, Okay, if I if I jump on this train, does this mean I'm going away? And I say this sarcastically But literally, it was do I am I gonna weigh 1000 pounds? Like I didn't know what this journey would look like. It was terrifying. It is terrifying to take what you have. When I say I don't mean I thought about a diet each week, I'm telling you. A very large percentage of my day was filtered through a lens of how are you doing on your diet today. And giving up that mentality is terrifying. For 20 plus years, I had this belief. And this was huge. I remember this was like week one or two when we were all on our video call. For 20 years, I had a belief that I was one step one diet like one double down away from mastering self discipline and mastering the the game whatever the game was, I was like so close. I'm like, you've been doing it for 20 years, like just this next time, this next week, this next Monday, when you really go after it, you're gonna you're gonna nail it. And I thought I was just one step away from being the skinniest version of myself. And it's crazy to look back and think that I told myself that same hopeful lie for 20 plus years. I'm talking week in and week out. Yeah, it's crazy to me. So the scariest part was giving up that hope. Melissa Landry 24:12 What do you think the game was? So now you have a little more perspective, you have a little more relief around your relationship with food. Looking back on that now. What do you think the game was? Aston M 24:25 Well the game was culture says that this is the right thing to do. I truly did not understand that there was any alternative. you're overweight. So you need to try to be losing weight at all times. It's, it's it is it's like it's it was my value in the world, essentially. I mean, it was my self confidence. Like at least if I'm not thin, I'm trying to be thin. I'm trying my hardest. I'm trying my best, you know, Melissa Landry 24:54 Undercurrent of this fear. We're like this. I think there's that movie new movie, The Whale, that's coming out that's problematic. Maybe we'll do another episode on that whole thing. But this idea of like, the fear of weight gain, and this visual of a one 600 pound person often comes up because of the 600 pound Life TV show or 1000 person, like the reality of someone who is in the, you know, the higher end, large size body. That's not a reality for most people. And that person is going through an experience where we don't need to judge or stigmatize them. Like, what if we looked at that extreme fatness, like yes, well, that person what's going on with them? Is there poverty? Is there a mental health issue? Is there an eating disorder? Approaching that with kindness and love versus I distance myself? I don't want to be anything like that person, right? That's not a shortcoming on your thinking. Yes. And I would say 95% of people who I talk with, either explicitly tell me that's a fear that they have, or they're thinking it but not saying it. Because of the way we treat badness. It's not a bad thing. It's not a disease, robbing. But society tells us that it is. And if you believe if you're a moral person, you're gonna try to move like mad away from that identity. But that's not a real identity. So I appreciate this idea of like, being able to frame it like that was safety for you. How did you come to find safety then, like through the work we did through your study of intuitive eating? Because we all need safety? That's not bad to want that? What would you say? Someone who feels those fears of weight gain? Who maybe looks at it every day, the way that you did? How do you create that safety again? Aston M 26:41 I remember you telling me that I had to grieve, I remember telling you like giving up this hope. For the smaller body. It feels sad to me, because that mean, that is a guaranteed almost I mean, unless when I give give up this way of eating, like for some reason I get smaller than I am. It's guaranteed giving up this way that I pictured my future, like the idea of what it would bring, yes, and I pictured my future. through a lens of will I'll be smaller one day, and giving up the hope for that was literally grief. Like I came to meetings mad, sad, resentful. It was like a friend. I mean, essentially a very large part of me, I was putting away and I had to pick up this new mindset. And I don't know, it's like I just kind of said earlier, like, I wanted you to just tell me the get the new mindset that I should have. And I will just do it. So well, you'll be so proud of me, I'll be a good student, like, just tell me what to think and do and I'll do the steps. And I think it's so much more nuanced than that. It looks different. It was interesting, too, because in our group, it looked different for everyone. Everyone brought a different story to the group. And I think everyone's process forward was really different. Melissa Landry 28:08 Well, they were all different Enneagrams to probably yes, I'm sure. Aston M 28:12 I'm sure. And we were all different ages. I thought that was really interesting. So there was a lot of worrying that because I'm so all or nothing like if I give this up. Can I never go back? I was thinking, if I give this up, I can never go back to dieting, because then I'll be a failure at this new thing that Melissa has taught me. So it was like I still had a very rigid mindset. And I mean, on top of that, I also thought does it mean that I have to give up vanity because I was like, does this if I adopt this new mindset like, Does this mean I can never get Botox and never wear Spanx? Like, what is she telling me? That I should never? Because I'm so all or nothing, which is ridiculous. And you did you did scramble that a little for me in a great way. And saying like, I didn't ever ask you those exact questions. But your whole point was like, No, you don't. You don't have to think of it as all or nothing like it's a process. It's a journey. You're probably going to and I would say what if I mess up and you're like, well, there's not really messing up. Because there's not it's not a new game. It's not a new set of rules. Melissa Landry 29:23 So there's not the most part and that's where like I think, again, when people try to do this on their own. The book gives you a set of principles. But if your brain is oriented, honestly like mine to I'm a two wing one asked and we've talked about this, I have that one inside me and which one there which makes you realize that's why I'm a little bit faster than my one client because I'm like, Oh, I smell it here and Aston M 29:47 we need all the help. So I'm glad you're anticipating. Yeah, Melissa Landry 29:49 and I've had a few people helped me through my stuff too. So you know it's a it's a given give and take experience. But yeah, when you are just reading the book because you haven't scrambled, I love that word that that one way of thinking or that critical way of thinking that black and white way of thinking, the book gets channeled through that lens. And that is why you're doing all the steps, you're doing all the principles, but you're not getting the relief. That's usually the root of it for some. And so when we're working together, what we're doing is identifying, like, what does Astin care about? Botox is not good or bad. It's about your values in the world. If, let's say you're someone who safety is the most important value to you right now, and the idea of not having wrinkles, makes you feel safe. You're a consenting grown ass woman who can decide that that's how you want to create safety in your life. There's no judgment on that. And so what we would do is basically, as these worries come up, we talk through them, we put them through that lens, decide your values and get that feedback. So you feel comfortable with your version of intuitive eating, which doesn't need to be mine or anyone else's. That's okay. It's blowing up the rules. Yeah, motivating helps you do. Aston M 31:10 I mean, you helped me do that week after week. And I think it's interesting, because I already knew through therapy in the Enneagram, that I was a black and white thinker, I was very all or nothing. And I knew that I wanted to see the world in a more nuanced way in a gray area. So it's like I was a little prepped for that. But then also intuitive eating helped me with the the mindset that you gave me, also helped me with all the other things I was anxious about, and going, you know, trying to process in my daily life, because you were helping me see, life is not black and white. It's not good or bad. Like everything I would ask you, I'm like, Yeah, but doesn't that mean, I can't do this. And you're like, that's not good or bad. Like, it's not a game, you don't have to be good at it, you know. And so it was really, really helped. I mean, it was just a helpful way to view the world. To be honest, it has helped me view the world in a more nuanced way. Melissa Landry 32:04 That's cool to hear. I'm excited to hear that it's hard to do. It shows your openness to the model, though. And I think one of the assets you really brought in as sim was this clarity. One, you're super self aware, super, super self aware. Like, whenever you would get coached, all you would have to say is like, Oh, I think this is happening. Oh, yeah. Okay, I know that about myself. You are a natural learner. So that's one thing that you definitely brought to the table here. And the other thing was your clarity on your why, and what you wanted for yourself instead, like, even now, you said the buck stops here, like there is an assertiveness inside of you. And that's the part where you're like, Well, I really am into what's right and what's wrong. That part didn't actually go away asked it, you still want to you believe in justice, you believe in these things. But now it's hooked onto something real, is authentic, versus like, hooked on to whatever BS diet culture trickled down into our brain. So yeah, yeah, everyone knows, like, you don't have to fundamentally change who you are. You need to consider your strengths, and how to make them work better for you. That's all this is. It's not giving up on yourself. Right? It's a way of honing who you are to better work for yourself, and how does food and movement and body image come into that? That's what I specialize in. Aston M 33:22 Yeah, yeah. It was interesting, too. Because, I mean, one of my huge fears was that when I stopped limiting what I could eat, if you wanted to, like a direct fear was when I stopped limiting what I could eat that I was going to eat everything. I think that's what we all feared. And in the group, like, What do you mean, if we take away food rules, like all we'll do is sit on the couch and eat all day long. And it was so interesting, because that's the exact opposite of what happened. It was like, I mean, and I'm not kidding, it was almost instantaneous, that as soon as I gave myself permission, and I promised myself, we are never limiting this food again, for the sake of fitness. As soon as I promised myself that I did not want as much of it. I did it and I I've even talked to you since then, and said like sometimes I will go get a food that occurs to me that even if I'm not super craving it, I'll go get it and I will eat it just to prove to my body. This was in the beginning, like prove to my body like we're not avoiding foods. We're not avoiding any specific food. I'm not doing that to you anymore. And it was crazy to me that like I didn't just go out and binge eat every single thing in sight. And some things that I thought were really interesting is like, my eating didn't change. A crazy amount like I we used to eat salads for dinner. I still I figured out oh I actually like eating salads for dinner. I thought I was doing that because I I was limiting myself. But it turns out I just liked the way they taste. I make a lot better ones now because I'm not limiting everything that goes on them are poor, robust and ingredients. Yeah, yeah. But it's like, I really learned a lot about what I like and what fullness feels like, for me, I thought I loved process sweets. And as it turns out, when I give myself full permission to eat them, and like, and when I pay attention, how I feel afterwards, like, I don't love them that much. So it was very Melissa Landry 35:31 body awareness as a result. And that makes sense, right? Because when we can eliminate or gently move away these racing thoughts, we're more likely to connect with our bodies. And a natural outcome of that is knowing what pleases you what doesn't please you what works for you what doesn't. And that becomes an iterative process as it Aston M 35:50 Yeah, I think what was really interesting with the eating is like, I used to eat everything on my plate at dinner, because I was either gonna die at the next day and eating all of it, or I had been dieting all day. And this was the last meal of the day, and I was by God gonna get like those 1200 calories or whatever it was in. I remember sitting at dinner one night, and I finished my bowl, or whatever it was, and I was really, really full, like overly full. And I was like, Why did I just do that? And it occurred to me, I did it, because that's what I've always done. I was like, Oh, I don't have to do this anymore. I am not eating for the same reasons. I'm now eating because it's, you know, dinner. And I'm excited to eat. And this was a I like the meal that I fixed and I'm hungry, and it didn't have anything to do with. I'm eating because I'm starving. And I'm finishing my 1200 calories for the day and Melissa Landry 36:44 so much sense once you get there. But how do you get there is the question many people have. So yeah, the process got you there. Aston M 36:51 Yeah, it did. Melissa Landry 36:53 The reason I was so excited to have you on the podcast is we finished our work together over a year ago. Now, you came back because you had a specific medical nutrition question that you wanted to work on, there was sort of an update. So we have to go into that. But that's what brought us back together here. And I was so excited for you to talk about the experience of one year after you do an intuitive eating program, because one of the criticisms of diets is like we do it were successful for a little while. And then a year later, we don't actually feel better off at the hands of that diet program. Maybe the weight has regained. Maybe you're struggling with racing thoughts around food. I think it's a very unique perspective, you have to offer this community to say like, a year after the program, what's happening? What are some of the successes you've seen grow? What are some of the challenges of today? Can you talk a little bit about the real deal? Honestly, what happens a year after an intuitive eating program? Aston M 37:50 Oh, my gosh, I could talk about this for a long time. But I it is nothing short of seriously saying that you changed my life. I I'm like a different person. And I look back on that person that I was. And I think it makes me sad. I put so much mental energy into to trying to make myself smaller. And I'm just I don't know, I'm so different now. So to just say what it feels like now is just being a lot more loving towards myself. I don't know just little things like I am exercising, I'm doing a Pilates class and I always before would have said like, well, that's not enough cardio or whatever. I'm doing it now because I actually enjoy it. And I like it. And I'm not worried about what calories I'm burning. It feels good. And it's little things like when you're saying Are there are there trips in the road. Yes, there are like I used to get tripped up by the way my body felt perhaps in the leggings for Pilates. Like I have, you know a role where I don't want to have one. But before I would have been little myself and I would have made that whole workout about getting getting more trim. Now I'm like saying nice things to myself while I'm working out. I'm like, wow, that roll. Well, I did deliver to kids. And that is a sign of how strong I am as a mom, it's a sign of my new mental health and that I'm more healthy and that I can sit here and embrace the way I look and not I won't even say embrace my flaws. I don't even look at that as a flaw anymore. I am I look at it as like a sign of the fact that I'm not trying to get rid of it. I'm trying to live my life. You know that I'm not being so cruel to myself anymore because I really was for so long. Some of the other things that you encourage us to do that really helped me is I got rid of a lot of I gave away a lot of my clothing that I was trying to get back into and it was so hopeful for and I I got clothing that I for the first time didn't care about the size and I just felt like I felt good in it. It made me feel confident. And I do realize like, we that is a privilege, we don't all we aren't all able to go out and and, you know, change our wardrobe or whatever, as taking your class was also a privilege. But you know, I do I do encourage people, like if you can kind of get rid of that one to fit back into it one day pile, like stop torturing yourself, man just wear what you've looked good and right now. I mean, those were another big one was Instagram like we all spend a lot of time on social media I do because of my job, especially and I unfollowed a lot of the toxic like diet culture accounts that I had followed over the years, and I started following people like Ashley Graham, you know, she's a, I think she's a plus size model, but just stop, you know, stop worshipping, like, the twig size influencers and start Melissa Landry 40:47 putting your brain in that a little bit. Yeah, realizing that Aston M 40:51 a lot more of your type accounts, like anti dieting accounts and Health at Every Size, I do a lot of things, I guess, these days that are different. And one of the things I think I was worried about the most is like, what am I going to talk to my friends about now? Because I do feel like everywhere I go. Everyone's talking about diets. And I'm not gonna lie. I mean, I still, I still do feel that way sometimes. But I also think maybe I was bringing the diet conversation to the table, like when I stopped talking about it. If you don't talk about it, people oftentimes aren't going to talk about it, like find something new to talk about, you know, I got really hung up on that. I remember in our sessions like, Well, how am I going to address that if someone starts talking about their diet, I kind of just don't don't give much feedback, and then we just move on, you know, because that can be a little triggering for me. I mean, I think that's important for people to know, like a year out. It is, it is way easier than I thought it would be way easier. But I did put in 12 weeks of like, hardcore, grieving work. So it is now easier, but like we said, it is nuanced. Most of the time, I realize there's not really a right answer or a direct answer for most questions I have. Melissa Landry 42:07 That isn't a sign of your change, right. And like, you know that that's such a lovely thing to be able to share with people. This is a way of being these are called being skills, how you be, which is not grammatically correct. English you but it is up to you. And we'll change at different seasons of your life, in different contexts and with different values. And so to just let yourself off the hook that intuitive eating is going to be this thing, like the fantasy of dieting, that's going to get you to like your ultimate wisdom and joy 24/7 No, life includes a little bit of pain sometimes. And I think personally, how do we get stronger at being with that pain, with joy, with love with kindness? That's the best you can be to me that is that is the best you can be. And so that is an honest answer to say, look, this isn't going to solve the the discrimination and anti fat bias and obsession with looks in our society, it will now what it will do is help you be with that differently, maybe make more space for new things. And my hope is that if we can do this, it but as individuals, what if your friend group starts talking about things more important to their community and the world around you? Maybe that's what's happening? Maybe display some of his bullshit with better stuff. Right? Possible. So Aston M 43:26 totally, totally, there's always more something way more interesting to talk about than diets Melissa Landry 43:31 so absolutely. And that's that's just living life. And so yes, it's not perfect, doesn't mean you're on uncomfortable or triggered. I love the example of like a roll bothering you sometimes like that's honest, you might not ever feel like oh, but Right. Right. neutrality and kindness where there wasn't and that's good. That's good. Aston M 43:51 It is good. It's so good. Actually, it's so good. Melissa Landry 43:56 So I could talk to you forever and ever and ever I really I always do miss my clients if any former clients are listening I do mean it when I say it's very bittersweet to not see you so Aston M 44:05 my gosh, I was so sad. I was so sad in our group ended like I was like well I mean how am i How am I supposed to do this work by myself like who am I going to talk to and it still does make me sad because you know a lot of people this is a different way of thinking I didn't even know it existed until I found you guys so I don't have some ready made group like in my community to go just talk about this kind of stuff with so I miss y'all so much. Melissa Landry 44:30 It's good to have this time again. I would love for you if you'd like to share any of your social platforms where can people find you and your interior design work just because I think it's so gifted and you clearly love it so if anyone else if you then that how can people find you ask them? Aston M 44:48 Yeah, so they can find me on Instagram on at Aston moody interiors and I'm also on my website is Aston Moody interiors.com. Melissa Landry 44:58 I am going to put that in the show notes, if anyone wants to check out Aston's work. Thank you so much for your time and sharing a little bit of your story. It was so good to see you today. Aston M 45:07 Thank you for your talent and for doing what you do because it literally changed my life. Literally. So, Melissa Landry 45:15 internet for bringing us together. Aston M 45:17 I don't think the algorithms for sure. Thank you algorithm for once. Melissa Landry 45:21 And as I said, I'll see you Okay, bye. We love a good Where are they now story that was very fun for me. I edited the episode re listen to that amazing conversation that I had with Aston I'm smiling big over here. You just never know. I imagine school teachers feel like this a little bit right? You like do the best you can you equip your students with the skills and then they graduate never to be seen again. You suspect they're doing okay. But it is a treat to hear the ways that the program has continued to benefit Astin in her life. By the way, if you hear any background noise, Dave is currently preparing our pizza Friday. This podcast editing you know, sometimes, sometimes I treat it like homework, I wait to the last minute, so don't mind any of that background noise. We're having marscapone on our pizza tonight. I don't I guess we just had it in the fridge. And that inspired this marscapone pizza and put in Parmesan cherry tomatoes. Very delicious. I think I'll post it on Instagram. So this will air much later. But maybe you will have seen it. Maybe we'll go oh yeah, I remember the marscapone pizza that looked good. This is your reminder to get those ingredients make it happen for yourself. And if about pizza Friday, I have to tell you something. We've shared a lot of stories of clients who have done my group programs. And I think I shared with you here my group programs are on pause, I have been loving one to one work and really focusing in on that. My clients love it. I'm loving it. And at the same time hearing these stories, I'm like, do I miss my groups? I put them on pause because honestly, it's difficult sometimes to recruit enough people who really want that group learning experience. It is not for everyone. Some of you listening might be like, Oh, that sounds cool. I love groups. That'd be neat. And some of you might be like, No, that's not for me. And that's okay. I'm a firm believer that we all learn in different ways in different styles. It's hard, my personality is very much the kind where I'm like, I want to be all the things to everybody. But I've learned that can be really exhausting and fatiguing. And so here's what I've come up with. This is what I think I want to do. I'm going to put a link in show notes that if you are someone who believes that they are a group learner, and you believe that the method I teach here would be a way to support you just the way I supported Aston, Cole, Stephanie, Megan, others you've met in previous episodes, I want to give us the opportunity to just make it easy on ourselves to find each other. So if you are feeling that you might like to do a group with me and others inside of our break the diet cycle community, this is a podcast only exclusive. Put your name on the list. And as soon as I can sort out the bandwidth the time and honestly see that there's an interest for a group again, I'll run one and you'll be in it. Go ahead and add your name and email address. We'll make sure to find each other that way. He's not worked so hard. It's such a relief to find a group of people understand what you're doing. Alright, I hear the cheese rustling in the other room, which I think means that the pizza is ready. So I guess that's my cue y'all. I gotta go. I hope you have a fabulous week. I'll see you next time. Until then be good to your good body. Transcribed by https://otter.ai