Last week, Melissa interviewed Dalina to talk about her personal story with Intuitive Eating. This week, the tables are turning as Dalina interviews co-host Melissa to learn HER experiences with Intuitive Eating!

After sharing our 10-part Intuitive Eating series, we hope our personal stories help you connect with your WHY as an Intuitive Eater so you can take your next step to becoming one yourself.

In this episode, Melissa shares:What got her so passionate about Intuitive Eating in the first place How her mother’s attempts to protect her from weight stigma fueled a mindset of perfectionism within herself How Melissa copes with discomforts of perfectionist thinking and uncertainty from derailing her IE process How Melissa was able to connect the dots about the negative impact weight stigma through her experience with her mother

What parts of Melissa’s story connect with yours? We hope this episode helps you to connect with the process and understand your motivation for Intuitive Eating even better!

Episode Resources:

Join the Break the Diet Cycle Podcast Community on Instagram:

Connect with Melissa on Instagram: @no.more.guilt

Connect with Dalina on Instagram: @your.latina.nutritionist

Subscribe to Break the Diet Cycle on Apple Podcasts or Spotify

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.

handling uncertainty and imperfection as an intuitive eater with melissa landry transcript

Melissa Landry  0:04  
Hi there, we are experts in intuitive eating for on again off again chronic dieters and we are here to help you take the guilt and stress out of eating so you can become the first in your family to break the diet cycle, just like we are in our families. We want you to be who you are without food guilt. Be sure to follow us on Instagram. No more guilt for Melissa and your Latina nutritionist for Dalina Are you ready? Let's break the diet cycle. 
Melissa 0:34 Hey, it's me Melissa. Before we start, I want to let you know that this episode is brought to you by no more guilt with Melissa Landry. What you're about to listen to is not a professional coaching or counseling session. Each episode is a one time conversation meant for educational purposes. Look, we're dietitians, but we're not your dietitians. Remember that 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, me. I'm currently enrolling clients into one to one programs group programs and I recently added a do it yourself format the ex dieters guide to no more guilt apply for a program at Melissa Landry I hope to meet you soon. 
Dalina Soto  1:27  
So guess what today is 
Melissa Landry  1:30  
what's today? 
Dalina Soto  1:31  
It's my turn to interview you. Oh, you know? Me? Yeah. 
Melissa Landry  1:40  
But you know, this gives me the heebie jeebies because we'll talk about it because being vulnerable is hard sometimes. Oh, yeah. Oh,
Dalina Soto  1:47  
Melissa has a problem, y'all. It's perfectionism. Or the capital. I didn't wanna I didn't want to call it that.
Melissa Landry  1:53  
It I mean, I'm not. I'm aware. I'm self aware. If anything, I am a perfectionist. I'm working on it. I will always work on it. 
Dalina Soto  2:03  
We're trying to break her from that mold. With my crazy sassiness sometimes she has to deal with it I'm sure it's not her favorite thing to do.
Melissa Landry  2:12  
You know what though? I also love being helpful so in a weird way it like works for me babe. It works when I fall apart and she picks me back out but doesn't like jump off sir. Do you hear that quote? Like it's like find people with the same kind of crazy as you like, or like that can work with your crazy like we have we have similar. We're like puzzle pieces that just happened to fit together. 
Dalina Soto  2:35  
We opposites do attract. But we're not totally out. No, we have a lot. A lot in common, but that we have a lot that's like polar opposites. Which is good. Because it's like being in the Yang, I think Yeah, you need it. Literally. I think we're Yang and Yang. Yeah. 
Melissa Landry  2:48  
Well, I am excited to share though because one of the things I have to say is like in creating a business, you have to tell your story. People have to know who you are in order to trust and I have found so much connection in actually being vulnerable. So it's making it easier and easier. And so I'm excited to do this today.
Dalina Soto  3:08  
Let's see if I can make you cry today cuz I don't know. I'm always the one crying. hope that's okay. We'll see. Alright, alright. Alright. Alright. Okay, let's get started. Alright, so the first question that you asked me and now I'm going to ask you is been around. Yeah, yeah. When did you realize that intuitive eating was something that you truly, truly cared about? 
Melissa Landry  3:33  
So like a lot of people I found out about intuitive eating through social media. And I remember I was following jameela Jamil and she has her I weigh campaign started following her because I love the show the good place as I know you do too. And we talked about an extraordinary amount on this podcast. The good play plays all day. Yeah, we just any chance we want to talk about the complaints. Alright. jameela Jamil was doing some work with her community called iweigh. And people are putting up pictures with words of what they really are beyond their body size. And slowly little by little I started finding dieticians unlike any I had met in my practice working in I worked in Harvard teaching hospitals in Boston so I was very much stuck in the status quo in my training my work and so little by little I'm like watching this stuff and I felt the same way a lot of people feel it was like hell yeah. Wait, what? Oh, like, I could feel that almost anger and confusion and I have always been someone who really loves seeing people like reach their dreams Did I ever tell you about this was like a really weird thing like yeah, that's the first I'm learning Okay, so I have this you want to see me cry. If I perceive someone like doing something that they're meant to do. I like immediately well up, like it could be like a commercial where like some things happening like, like an old man's trying to fix a door handle. And he succeeds. Like I tear up like, what he was trying to. Like. It's bizarre. My husband knows like, he'll see something happen. Like, we'll watch like, there's this little community of like baseball field, and we'll kind of sometimes watch like the pickup games that happen. And like, the guy that kept missing will hit the ball, and he'll look at me and they'll see me like tear up. He's like, oh, you're doing it again. So anyways, there's just definitely this part of me that that believes in like fairness and like wanting to, like help people get to where they're going to be. And it made so much sense to me that, like, all this stuff I saw in the clinic room with weight loss, and how sometimes I'd be like, yeah, don't worry about those stupid rules don't like I never, I was always trying to break the stuff I was supposed to teach. And I was always watching my clients come back and be like, I did what you said it's not working. And before I thought I was just supposed to, like, be better at weight loss, just like they did like, I'm not doing a good job as a client as a counselor, that's it's me it's the methods or, or they're not compliant. Yeah, except I never honestly had that feeling good. Often people would say that because I'm like, nobody wants to lose weight more than the person going through this. This is true. I had a hard time believing. And I think this was me watching my mom grow up with this issue. It was like nobody wanted to lose weight more than her. Nobody was trying to do what they said more than hurt because the stigma was real. Yeah, he's treated was real. And so I never had that feeling of like, it's their fault. I used to be a real pissed off when people would say that in the clinic or make those judgments. So kind of like, when you shared your story, like there was that little feeling of like, coming in. But like I'm 24 and I want to be the best and oh my god, yeah, it'd be the a like, yeah, so anyway, I kind of stumbled upon it that way and like you I started saying if it can I go meet some of these dietitians and I did some trainings and whatever and I took the leap fully into my private practice, you were there for that two years. On Golightly started like two years ago, but I fully went in this past year, through the pandemic transition for my full time job, I was doing both and finally got to a point where I could make this happen. So it kind of happened slowly and all at the same time. If that makes any sense. 
Dalina Soto  7:20  
It does make a lot of sense because I feel like that's how a lot of us kind of like stumble across this and then we just like even if you're like a client like it's just you're so immersed in this and you believe in it so much and you're like yes, this is how it should be this is how it has to be and you just like go when you full force run. Yeah, you don't look back. Yeah. So this so it's it's such a wonderful space to be in honestly, and and to see how like, I've seen this quote too. And I think Bonnie said this, it's like you see a lot of dieticians go to intuitive eating, or people go into intuitive eating, but you never see people go back, right? You'd never see dietitians go back to the old ways. Like once we learned this, once we know that what we were taught was not okay. You can go to conscious go back Yeah, to be that way. Yeah, you can't
Melissa Landry  8:15  
I say that to my husband all the time. I'm like, my dream. My hope is that like this really isn't I we work ourselves out of a job and like, I'll go do something else. Yeah, I know, I can learn I can figure it out. Like Yeah, I think a lot of us share this, this mission. And because of that, we've been through similar experiences, either personally or professionally in this space, we are much more open and vulnerable. So yeah, perfectionism doesn't really fly. Okay, and that has had such an impact on me and my personality. Like I always thought like, why don't I get along with the other dieticians I work with? Fundamentally, you know, like I would make that about me like am I not cool I don't likeable. And now like you're freaking likable, you're funny people like and I think this is such a thing like being around people who share your values and who you don't need to explain yourself to does something for you and your confidence and any you know, the problem with perfectionism is bring shame I'm supposed to be this way and I'm not and so I feel shame. How does that live? How does that thrive? And so the no more guilt thing is totally from that part of me where like, I lived with a lot of guilt and shame and I just don't i don't want to see anyone live with that. I think there's more to it. There's more to there is
Dalina Soto  9:32  
there is now let's talk about this perfectionism because you call yourself a perfectionist.Yeah. So how have you been able to deal with your perfectionistic is that the word perfectionistic tendencies, right? Like, because you still call yourself a perfectionist, but we know that intuitive eating is all about not being sure that it's so any let's let's let's dive in, break it down. We'll break it down. Break it. 
Melissa Landry  10:00  
I hear this over and over again with clients and I know you're too It's like I would never think this about another person or I don't hold other people to this standard. But I do for me and I think where this came from it was a lot of like in my upbringing my mom growing up was so terrified we would experience the world the way that she did. She had a lot of expectations on how we looked how we performed at school were we being the nicest goodest whatever. And so a lot of my personality traits came and this is the other reason why I think white weight stigma is so harmful is that mothers who fear for their children are going to try to protect them that's what they're going to do. Hopefully that's our job as mom and I love her for that and I get I get now I get the intention behind all that protection. And at the same time if we continue playing the game this way that the way we protect ourselves is by shrinking our personalities as women being nice being small. The patriarchy stifling anything of us that is different. Yeah, or quote imperfect, then we're not doing anti diet work are we so for me, I think I call myself a perfectionist sometimes not because like I'm a perfectionist, like I'm saying it because that's my, that's my tendency. That's where my, my brain, my heart is gonna go when, when an when something's in front of me, my brain is so fast at making expectations before I even give cosign that on them. I'm like, wait, why do I even have an expectation? So for me, the work really is like noticing when I'm getting like that, and pausing and loosening up. And even when we work together, sometimes you'll hear me say, like, I'm always double checking with you is like, does this also makes sense? Because I really benefit from people being like, Yeah, no, we could probably do 10% less than that. And it would be good, like, so. That's my real then sometimes. Yeah, and there's other times when my perfectionism or my, my high expectations propelled me and pushed me Yes. with clients, I often talk about that were like, Look, you're allowed to have expectations on yourself, that's okay to have standards. How are you relating to them because that's really where your mental health can either thrive or crumble. So it's work it's work. 
Dalina Soto  12:25  
And again, I think that the word perfectionism has such a like bad connotation to it right now. I don't think there's there's anything wrong with striving to be good and wanting to be good it's how you said that mental health part of it is are you going to be derailed if you don't achieve this high expectation that you set for yourself and the same thing could be said for intuitive eating right everybody expects that once they're on this journey they're never going to have a food thought that's bad that they're never going to say good or bad like I like a world calls people was a bad word. Yeah. And I'm like, It's okay. It's okay. I sometimes will say like, I'm talking to my kids but Saturday that it's better oh my god dammit. 
Melissa Landry  13:12  
Yeah, yeah. Let me go into another layer of perfectionism. Like Yeah, you don't want to this is where intuitive eating can turn into quote a diet like yeah, you don't have to be perfect it intuitive eating. All of these are tools. Yep. And that's probably the most helpful thing about intuitive eating for me is it taught me to see discomfort, I feel like I'm frustrated. This didn't turn out the way I wanted it to. Or, oh, if I just did XYZ this would have been different or whatever, any discomfort I feel either a thought and emotion could be on the physical axis like hunger, fullness, that none of it means anything. It doesn't mean anything. It's not a judgment, it's a signal. And the minute intuitive eating helped me to frame that around food and or a movement or a body image. It started generalizing, like, oh, okay, you're not bad. And, yeah, it's it's hard. But it gets easier, the more you practice, it becomes more automatic over time. Yes. And I think that something that I'm always saying, when I log calls, or when I'm speaking to people in DMS, like I'm always saying, like the goal of intuitive eating isn't for you to be perfect. And to never ever think about diet culture, or think about, you know, something being bad or good. Like the goal is that you're going to have the tools that if you happen to slip and fall into diet culture, that you're going to pick yourself up with self compassion and be like it that was not what I wanted. And now I'm going to go back to the tools that I have, and pick myself up, dust myself off and create a new pathway for myself look like the outcome is good. Yeah, and you get more time and authentic. That's really what I want. I want in my life. Cuz I know it's not all going to be good time. I know that I'm gonna get lost in my shit. We all do. I just want more time. Yes, doing the things I'm meant to do with the people who make me feel alive the people that I love. That's what we're here for. We're here to experience and this has been such a cool way to help me experience life more positively and connected and help my clients do that to so much more than food and food. It's like a win.
Dalina Soto  15:31  
So it's okay, so what principle has been the most helpful for you? 
Melissa Landry  15:37  
So many coping with kindness? Oh, talk about it. I know I said that challenging the food, police the inner voices, that one's fun. But to me that one is like, that's a skill of coping with kindness, like that ability to label how I'm feeling. Because I tend to overthink my feelings. Like if I'm feeling something you'll hear me be like, mmm, me, like, I'm such an external process of Jesus Christ. So much external processing. And I know what I'm doing that like, oh, something's up, like, what are you feeling? And then go be with that feeling. still difficult. But that construct that framework helped me to, like, take much better care of myself. 
Dalina Soto  16:18  
And I love teaching that one says a good one. Just coping with kindness. Like that's it, just like, be kind to yourself. Yeah. Like, stop beating yourself up for a lot of things that are out of your control sometimes, right? 
Melissa Landry  16:31  
And the perfectionism says, You shouldn't even feel bad about that. Yeah. Oh, like, You're not supposed to what do you obtain? Like, that's how I get and so for me to have the coping with kindness to be like, Yes, it did hurt my feelings. it's valid, or Yes, I am frustrated about this thing that doesn't make me bad or uptight. Like it that was so freeing to be like, yeah, emotions are are helpful, they're normal. And let, we're human. And we're, we're all dealing with this. And although we're out here, teaching and talking and trying to walk the walk of intuitive eating, it doesn't mean that we aren't all still on this journey. Because it is a journey. It's not an end point. It's not like we're gonna just learn these 10 principles and like, again, be perfect. And like, never have to use them. ever again. 
Dalina Soto  17:18  
We're using them still. It's just part of living intuitively. It's it's being able to catch the show before it happens. And try to fix not fix it, but just try to deal with it. You with it. Yeah, and Definitely, yeah. And that's something that I that I feel like it's important to understand about diet culture teaches us that you can be in control at all time that you know, yeah. should never be a shit show. Because you're in control. You're doing everything. You're doing it right. everything right. Yeah. Yep, that shouldn't happen, because you should have been doing it right. As in like, we all know life isn't like that. So, so true. Yeah. I love that. Okay, so next question, what is your biggest hang up with intuitive eating?
Melissa Landry  18:07  
I'm reminded of something that came up my board this week. It's patience. Patience with the world. Like, oh, tell me more. I struggle, I think, you know, true sometimes, like, I just wish everyone was more on board with all of this, like, I have patients and I believe what we're doing matters. Like this is a grassroots movement. And eventually, this will be the norm, there's no doubt. There's no doubt in my mind, because, like you just shared like, people aren't going backwards to weight loss for the most part, people. Once you come over to this side of things, you see it differently. But in the meanwhile, sometimes I feel impatient, like, maybe other people don't understand what I do for work in my personal life, like they don't fully get what I'm doing. And I want to be like, don't you or when my clients tell me stories about like a family member or friend that like, didn't quite get it and even though or Dr. G's, like that's some of my hang up with IE is like, as important as the individual work is like there's this societal element so I think for me, like just balancing that reality with the hope and the refocusing with community is everything because otherwise it feels kind of like fatiguing. So like like patients with the the state of the world not just around this like in general 
Dalina Soto  19:33  
I feel like that some cynicism coming on for me because I'm just like, a part of me is like, diet culture is never gonna go away. It's gonna keep repurchasing itself in a different way. And that sometimes gets me really angry, because there's just such a mindfuck Yeah. And they always find a sneaky way. It's true. 
Melissa Landry  19:54  
I think one thing I play with in my mind, this isn't a fully fledged thought, but like, maybe a better expectation is to almost like reduce suffering rather than to date it like Yeah. And when I think about it that way, like, Okay, wait a minute, you know, like you and I, like we taught we teach one person and that person teaches their kid. They're more present at work, they're more known for their life like that stuff matters. Light begets light, you know, like it's, it's helpful to think of it that way. But patience patience for the bigger context is something that is hard.
Dalina Soto  20:31  
It is it is and and sometimes you could feel a little burnt out doing this work, because you might seem like we're not getting anywhere, but then, you know, on those days, someone will post something in the cloud, and I'll be like, damn it.
Melissa Landry  20:43  
Yeah, we are. Yeah, yeah. Sure. why we're here. But that's the hope. And for me, just like in my personal story, I always say like, if my mom had been exposed to these constant, like, there was an Instagram for her to scroll. Any media she bought was especially white, Eurocentric spin ideals around bodies, like, folks did not even have even a glimmer of a different role while they showed it. So it just makes me really excited to think that her story doesn't necessarily have to repeat itself. Yeah, how that impacted me doesn't necessarily have to repeat itself. Like, that's kind of cool to be able to do that in your job. 
Dalina Soto  21:23  
Alright, I'm gonna ask you one question off off script here.
Melissa Landry  21:27  
Oh, God, vulnerability. Doesn't work off script. She She hands me a script. I can't I can't promise. Like, I like Oscar. Let's do this. I'm gonna I'm gonna I'm gonna catch her here off guard. Okay.
Dalina Soto  21:37  
Do you think that if your mom hadn't been in a bigger body than she hadn't raised you and the way that you were raised that you would be doing this work today? Like, do you think that you could have been able to see the world differently? If your mom didn't struggle the way that she did?
Melissa Landry  21:58  
It's impossible to answer that. And I think the answer is probably no, because I live in a privileged body. I am white, I'm straight sized. How could I know the worldview of anyone else but myself unless I knew someone else in some way. And so I'm trying to fit like, I think I've always been a learner. And I've always been, like, open to other people's perspectives. Like, even when I was a kid, like I really weirdly was, like, interested in like, social justice II thing. Yeah. They said like, yeah, so that I think you do have an interest in that. But that's why diversity, inclusion, equity, justice work is so important, because if people are siloed, and don't experience stuff, how could I like how I that's the honest answer. I don't know how I could know if I didn't know. 
Dalina Soto  22:50  
You know, I asked this, right, because I actually was in a podcast interview or an interview the other day, and someone was like, does Melissa make you feel safe? Like, they asked, like, do you feel like Melissa is doing the work? And my response was, Melissa actually makes me feel safe. As a woman of color in dietetics. I would never, ever, like it's really hard to feel safe and rooms full of dieticians and you've never not made me feel that way. Okay, so here comes the man. Oh, I really think I think that the one of the biggest issues with dietetics is that women like you aren't taught the lip are not taught but aren't shown the lived experiences that people like me or in bigger bodies, or in marginalized bodies deal with every day, the microaggressions the very, like when I said the noncompliant thing, right? Because that's how we are labeled a lot of the time when we don't want to give up our rice and beans or when you know, our body doesn't fit the BMI mold because genetically it is the way that it is and no matter what we do, we're never going to fit that. And so to me, it's like so important for people to realize that this is not something that even if you like fall upon it and see it on Instagram, sometimes it doesn't click for people, because they don't have the want to see the world in a different way. Right? It's, they just scroll through and they're like, Oh, yeah, that makes sense. But it doesn't affect me, so I don't care. Right. So I think that that happens a lot with dieticians where Yes, primarily a lot are white, thin, able bodied sis women. That because it doesn't affect them. Yeah, it doesn't really matter. 
Melissa Landry  24:48  
Yeah. And that's probably why it's been perpetuated for so long. Yeah. I just hope the door keeps opening to change it because as you have heard my patients this Running thin and I live underneath me trying to get a snack and I'm like petting her like a dog like wow it's so true I make you cry yes it got a little teary Oh misty well you're important to me. theme is important to me and you know this is our last episode of our fourth season Yeah, so yeah, I am so grateful that we get to do this just thanks for being my partner. So happy thanks for being here and being who you are. That's my line. He's summer break the diet cycle There we go. We just switched it up today. 
Dalina Soto  25:39  
Okay, wait before we get you you have to as your sponsored today is your sponsored podcast I interviewed you and how we asked everybody to share where you can go down we follow
Melissa Landry  25:57  
his time at no more guilt check me out there. Right now I am working on my small group coaching but for the time being I kind of rotate through my offers because just personally for me I feel like people learn in different ways. And so I offer one to one coaching, group coaching and a membership all of which are described on my website Melissa Landry nutrition calm, but the best thing to do is DM me on Instagram, I'll learn a little bit about you and what would be the best fit because everybody knows things so yeah, come say hi. Yes, say hi to us. Not too many dams. Not the long ones though cuz sometimes I can't read them a little high just don't don't type these long paragraphs please. Like I'm also
Dalina Soto  26:46  
a girl make sure that you subscribe Hello to the podcast and that you give us a rating especially because we've been still on there. last few episodes and because we're gonna have some bonus episodes coming your way soon. So if you don't subscribe, you might miss it because we're not going to be releasing though. 
Melissa Landry  27:12  
Like Yeah, just a little tiny break. So couple bonuses coming and then I think we'll be back in the top of the new year in 2022
Dalina Soto  27:20  
Isn't that crazy? Like 2021 doesn't feel like it happened like like a phone 2020
Melissa Landry  27:25  
as forward much So yeah, totally subscribe that way will pop up wherever you're getting your podcast whenever it's ready. And we will see you on Instagram in the meanwhile thanks for being here and for being who you are. That's my tagline and cycle. Bye everybody. Bye