What if you could experience food joy instead of food guilt this holiday? You can! Before Melissa and the podcast go on break – she’ll teach you how to plan ahead for food joy at upcoming celebrations using Satisfaction skills from the Intuitive Eating framework. To get you to this point where you’re no longer in food guilt and extremes, Melissa will cover how to:

  • heal from the idea “you love food too much” to be trusted with Intuitive Eating 
  • ask yourself simple, impactful questions to easily guide your food choices at your next holiday party
  • use mindful eating tools without getting restrictive, “diety”, and obsessed 
  • actually listen to your body!

While Melissa is on break – stay in touch and get support by joining her weekly newsletter for inspiration: https://mailchi.mp/melissalandrynutrition/newsletter

And – don’t miss out, because you’re invited! Join Melissa’s free “Non-Diet New Year” workshop this January 10th 2023. Register here to grab your spot: https://mailchi.mp/2af209fde260/nondietnewyear

Episode Resources:

Join the Break the Diet Cycle Podcast Community in Instagram: @break.the.diet.pod

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

Follow Break the Diet Cycle on Apple Podcasts

Follow Break the Diet Cycle on 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.

how to find joy this holiday 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. You ever feel like you just need to collect your thoughts. I've been feeling like a need to collect my thoughts lately. It's been three years of me creating content on Instagram as podcasts newsletters, I genuinely love teaching you but I also need space to feel inspired. So this will be my last episode for a little while. 
While I'm on my Rumspringa there are three ways I would suggest to me keep in touch because you matter and your work matters to me. So one thing you can do is just follow the this podcast, even though New Episodes won't be releasing every Monday as they have been if I make an episode or come back again, on a weekly basis to be determined, you'll see that pop up in your feed, and you can get that content. If you don't follow go ahead and do that we can stay in touch that way. The second way we can stay in touch is for you to get on my newsletter. And the third way is to sign up for my free workshop in January. The workshop is called setting up for a non diet New Year, and especially if you're thinking Oh man, I'm gonna miss these weekly episodes, I'd love for you to join us for this free workshop, I'm going to teach you some skills to stage a non diet 2023. And I'm gonna leave some time for you to pick my brain. So you can tell me a little bit about your wins to get some support for them. Or get some feedback on your challenges totally okay to pick my brain. And truthfully, I'd love to meet some of you IRL in real life, as the kids say the invitation for this is in shownotes. 
I know that we are entering that time we call the holidays. And if you're anything like me and my clients, you are balancing quite a bit right now. Maybe you're trying to wind down work, finish shopping, prep for parties, maybe there's some emotions present around your expectations and how things could have should have would have been for you. And all of that is normal. I don't want to leave you hanging the thick of this time without closing this season with some practical tips. And I was thinking about it. You know, on social media, I see a lot of support with boundary setting. I see a lot of support with like, Oh, don't be don't be worried about cookies and sweets and things like that. Here's how to get navigate that. And while those two individual topics are totally important, totally in my wheelhouse and things that I like to talk about, I actually end this season with a little bit more perspective. Because I think those topics come from a place of fear. What if someone says something that hurts my feelings and triggers me? What will I do? Or what if I binge on foods that I'm not usually around with a really palatability? What will I do? Are questions around intuitive eating this time of year seem really, really fear based. And so long as you come at this work from a place of reaction, fear, you can only get so far. So it just for 20-30 minutes in this episode, you have a moment to step back and think about what you want instead, what is the joy or the satisfaction that you want to work toward? Maybe not fully get to this time of year. But what is it that you want to work toward? I think that would be awesome. That would be different from some of the things maybe you're thinking about or seeing. If you follow along on social media. 
We can start with the source, the intuitive eating book, if you haven't gotten it yet, it's hard to sometimes apply it into your life on your own. But there are a lot of good foundational images and ideas in there. And here's how the book describes the principle or the idea of satisfaction that drives the entire Intuitive Eating process. Inside the book, there's this image and it's a wheel looks like a wheel with all these different spokes. And in the center of the wheel. It says satisfaction and all around that. It puts the other principles of intuitive eating. As you get stronger as an intuitive eater and you learn the skills, you are more likely to experience that satisfaction more often, but it's not a fixed destination. I get this question all the time with clients. So like am I there yet? Am I an intuitive eater yet? It is not a place that you arrive. It is a practice. It would be unrealistic for us to say oh, you're never going to feel guilty about food or you're never going to feel overly full or you're never going to worry about your body image ever again. That would not be a realistic thing. Instead, we say when you identify you're not feeling satisfied. You have permission to make a change. 
A client of mine asked an amazing question earlier this week I'm just remembering this i geeked out when she asked it she goes most of what is satisfaction? She was What is it really? Like? I don't I think I get I don't know if I get it what is what is the satisfaction thing all about? And her question was so smart, because we can think about satisfaction in this two fold way. The first way is the way that I'm describing right now. It's the broad balance how you feel in your life, intuitive eating thinks about it, and more closely linked to food, but it also makes space for things like coping with emotions, respecting your body. The other way we might think about satisfaction is your experience with the food itself. And that's what I want to chat about today. Because much of our podcast episodes, have introduced you to some thinking my free guide does this as well, to introduce you to some thinking to get to know what would satisfaction look like in your life. I don't think any of you are having a hard time imagining what a guilt free life would look like. I think a lot of you are able once you're prompted to say it you know exactly what you want your life to look like or what you could imagine it to look like. The problem is how do you get there, it's a real I want to give you some practical skills, especially since we might not be hanging out for a little while. So we are going to think about your pleasure feeling pleasant in your body, and what that looks like for you. And we have to start by removing the shame around the pleasure you get from food, it's time to let go the fear of enjoying food. 
You guys know, my mom is a longtime Dieter, a lot of my inspiration for my work is rooted in what I saw her go through, and now and in the past. And when I really started forming these insights around Health at Every Size and linking it to her story and how that impacted me and all this sort of stuff. As I'm putting that all together. I asked her I said Why Why do you think diets never really worked for you personally, you know, I wanted to hear her takeaways from her lived experience having dieted since she was a little girl trying to change her body. And she said to me, Melissa, you know, I just love food too much. And can I tell you that that broke my heart this is this is a woman who we come from an Italian American family, we love food. We it's the center of our celebrations is you know, showing up at someone's house with with food, it means so much there's so much symbolism and connection that comes from food. She raised me in a family that gave me value for food, I frickin love food, I like to make it I like to talk about it, I like to shop for it. It really hurt my heart, that she felt that that was something of a flaw in her. And if only she didn't love food, then maybe she would have achieved that than ideal. I don't think she's alone in that feeling. 
When I talk to clients who live in larger bodies, that's a common refrain. You know, social media, when the whole Intuitive Eating thing came out there was like post after post after post of thin women eating cheeseburgers and doughnuts and cackling laughing like I'm so free. And if a woman in a larger body put those same pictures up, they would not be getting likes and praise and all the rest. So it's not lost on me that there are massive differences around our society's acceptance of loving food when you were a smaller versus a regular body 1,000%. So here's a question like, can you think about yourself? Can you be honest about your lived experience? What was your body size relatively growing up? What is it now were you raised to believe that your love of food was a good thing? A positive an asset, a joy, a pleasure? Or were you raised to perceive it as an equally bad thing? A deficit, a block, immoral a sin, something more of that point of view. If you are more the latter, it would make sense. If satisfaction skills felt scary, because you might be someone who learned an untrue lesson but a lesson to you all the same, which is that meeting your needs and feeling pleasure around food equals guilt, shame, rejection, it might be a little bit harder for you. So as you lean into intuitive eating, and you're you're you're trying to satisfy those needs that maybe you've ignored for a superduper long time, guess what's going to happen, that food police voice is going to come in to try to protect you it's going to get louder. We talk about the food police voice on my newsletter on the podcast quite a bit. So we're not going to go into all that today. But I want you to start to open your mind and maybe even practice the affirmation. It's okay to love my food. It's okay to enjoy my food. 
I'm remembering a client right now who said that? She She was one of those people like she'd have a craving in the mid afternoon. She like no cookies, no cookies, no cookies, no cookies. She would just keep repeating it repeating repeating until she broke and then all the cookies and then it It kind of felt out of control. She felt full, she felt sick. It wasn't until we started working on her permission to eat. She, she started to enjoy that cookie in the afternoon when she wanted it, she felt calmer. She could use the skills I'm about to mention. And it meant eating the cookie and moving on without those unpleasant feelings afterwards. So if you're struggling with permission to eat, and you're like, Okay, I'm giving myself permission to eat, but then I keep binging and feeling sick, what the heck, know that might be related in part to maybe early conditioning around feeling pleasure or joy around food. And if that's there, it's okay. Makes total sense. Now's the time to step up and be just like we talked last week, we went with Zoey, that loving parent to yourself and say, You know what, I can be good to myself through this, I can be kind to myself. I'll repeat again, the affirmations you might want to play with, you can craft your own language. It's okay to love and enjoy food, satisfying myself now means I'll feel content later. What else? What are some other things that you need to hear to encourage yourself to really be satisfied and taste that food and experience it without guilt or fear? 
We could break this down into some steps if you'd like. And I'm going to do this around holiday stuff because it's upcoming. But I want you to imagine whatever events you have upcoming, it could be a potluck dinner, it could be it could be a sit down family style dinner, could be a cocktail party, whatever you are, have upcoming, I want you to just think about that for a moment. I want you to think about environment, what's likely to be there. And step one is going to be you're going to ask yourself, what do you really want to eat? Not what you should eat? Not what you can't eat, what do you really want to eat? And this question is going to help you understand what satisfaction might look like, a more shorthand version of this question is what sounds good, what sounds good right now. So that's a very simple question you can do to route yourself in your satisfaction, rather than putting your boxing gloves on getting ready to fight with that inner food police who comes in and says you know what, you can't have that you shouldn't need that. That's bad. If you have that you're walking tomorrow, we're kind of like wanting to drop the rope. We want to stop fighting with that inner food police. So if you hear it, that's okay, we hear you, we see you. But let me just check in with myself before we go through this rigmarole for the 1,000,000th time. What do I want, really? What sounds good? Then I want you to set your plate or make that choice if it's on a plate and you're just going to eat a piece of food or pieces of food, whatever. That's That's not important. Make the choice. Actually give yourself what you want. And this probably is giving you the heebie jeebies. Because I know already some of you are going like, well, that's fine at one party. But I've got six parties. And if I do this at six parties, then vote it out. We don't need that energy right now, which is doing a wee bit of an exercise, you're experimenting to see how this changes your work. 
So when you have it clocked what it is that you really want. Now you want a place where you can discover the qualities of the food, all of your senses, and how they truly feel in your body in that moment. Here's a great example. Every Christmas there is a plate of Italian cookies at our event every time. They're beautiful. They are such pretty colors, like pink and green. There's like tan ones. And there's all these colorful sprinkles. And then there's ones with jelly. And not only are they pretty, there's a ton of variety, and I am that kind of person like oh, what's that? She's like, Oh, what's that tastes like I just get super excited one days. Sometimes the cookie that I choose is like hubba hubba Oh, baby, that's cookie rad. Sometimes that cookie is like, excuse me instruction is sitting out for three weeks and stale and it's dry and and don't like it. It's different. Sometimes what you think is going to be delicious is not sometimes what you think is gonna be delicious, is you just don't know, it's until it's in your mouth. And what I'm talking about here is mindfulness, which means to experience the moment as it is without judgment and with curiosity. If you start from a place of openness, of intention to meet your needs, unconditionally, you are going to be in a place where you're more likely to be mindful. 
Compare that to the food police place where it's saying, Okay, you got to do this, you shouldn't do this. Now I'm like, Oh my gosh, protect me from this voice. How can I be mindful when I'm afraid? It's very challenging. When you have answered what sounds good, what do I really want? Got that food in front of you. Now we're going to activate your inner observer. And what we're going to be looking for are a few different things. So one of the things is how that food truly tastes to you. What do you notice? Is it mostly sweet? Is it salty? Is it sour? Is it better is it oh my gosh, is there almond in this what are the notes, see if you can slow down and access the taste now I'm going to give you a hot tip because I know for a fact that some of you all do weight loss programs have taught you this exact same skill. And that might make you feel activated right now, because what weight loss programs do with mindfulness is they co opted for an outcome, which immediately makes it not mindful because we're no longer coming from a place of curiosity and non judgement. I remember weight loss programs where you were taught to slow down and really taste the food. Because you're trying to make that one cookie, you're allowed last, because that's all you're getting. So you might as well slow down and enjoy it. That's not what we're doing here. And it's important. That's why coaching can be helpful. If sometimes, as you're implementing the intuitive eating skills, you don't know that your brain is shape shifting back into dieting around some of the skills, but I'll just give you that wonderful free, that's a hot tip, if you went through any type of training and weight loss, where they were like, use mindfulness skills so that you eat that one designated cookie that you're allowed. And that's not what we're doing. 
We're truly like, I want you to think like you're writing in a you're writing a cookbook or you're a food critic, and you're gonna describe the taste to someone else. For the sake of it. It does not dictate how many you eat. Isn't that amazing? Does that kind of feel like I just got like a little like, oh, that sounds fun. Please don't think I'm a dork. Actually do think I'm a dork. I am. It is what it is. Okay, so we're going to look at the taste. Another thing you can hone in on is texture. What's going on with that texture? Is it chewy? Is it puffy? Is it flaky? Is it gel with a gelatin kind of texture? Is it crunchy? Some places and soft others? Is it consistent all the way around? Are there different textures within get to know those textures? This is an interesting one. Because I know a lot of times I feel this way where it's like I just like crunchy, you know, I just want like my teeth just want to do something right now. And in that moment, something like knots or chips or crackers? That's gonna feel really appealing versus like yogurt. Getting to know how the texture is riffing with you is really, really important. 
What else can we be looking at? aroma? The smell of the food? What does it smell like? Does it have a smell? How does that smell? Cause you to react? So maybe prior to eating, if you're smelling food is your mouth starting to fill with with saliva. That's weird, right? Like just a smell of food can just create this, this, this reaction in our body that's really is your belly gurgling as you start to smell the food. That's data. If that's happening, it's very likely that you're hungry. Oh, to be honest with you, I haven't eaten dinner yet. Six o'clock right now, talking about eating a cookie. And thinking about smelling a cookie is making my mouth water, which tells me it's about dinnertime. And I gotta wrap this podcast up. So having this mindfulness, you're going to then notice your body cues in a totally different way, which is going to affirm you and saying you know what, yes, I am hungry, or yes, this is pleasing to me. I'm going to continue big picture satisfaction would tell you that that pleasure is a sign that you're doing right by your body. 
Appearance. You can look at the food does it look pretty? Or does it look not so pretty? Maybe aunt so and so. You know, made a dish. She's not that talented. It's not looking so good. It's looking a little funky. Maybe the appearance is not appealing, and you're gonna pass on that. Or maybe you're gonna say, you know, it looks ugly. But does it taste good? Let me try. Maybe you're gonna be curious. Temperature. This time of year in Boston. It's been like 20s and 30s. All I want is warm food, hot tea, everything grain bowls for lunch, because they're warm. I just want warm food very different than the summer. Don't come at me with it with a grain bowl. I don't want it I want ice cream. I want lemonade, I want a cold. So if you are especially someplace where like a hot cup, a signer would feel pleasing to you and warm you up. You can use that as a way to invite permission to eat. Focus on how that feels. Focus on that temperature goes down your esophagus into your stomach. What does that even like for you? Does it serve you the way you thought? Or do you need to go put a sweatshirt on? Maybe that's what you need to do instead. So sometimes, when we're using food to meet our needs beyond hunger, paying attention and asking does this actually meet my need or not is super powerful because sometimes it's not. And that is when you can start to engage in alternate coping from choice not from deprivation. 
Another thing you might think about is the volume of the food or the filling capacity. I don't know about you, but sometimes when I feel a certain hunger level or feel a certain way, and I look at my plate and I see how much foods on it, I'm like that's probably not going to be enough volume. Now sometimes I'm spot on because I've had a lot of lived experience eating food above. Say I'm an expert, but sometimes I'm I'm off in that it's not quite enough, or it's a little bit over what my needs are visualizing the volume of food first, it's okay to reference that and say, You know what, that's about what I typically eat when they eat this food. And typically that has left me feeling energized. And well, let's start here, you're allowed to do that. That's not restricting or portioning. But at some point, you've got to test what's going on in this moment. Because just because a bowl of this middle one bowl of chili will say, usually works for you. That doesn't mean you're always going to want just one bowl of chili. Sometimes you might want to or a half bowl or whatever these different aspects of you can bring to your forefront at any time. So you can bring it to your mind as you're going from what sounds good, what do I really want? You can use that as a language to say, You know what, what sounds good I want like, crunchy, warm, Taney gooey. You know, what came to mind, as I said, those words, nachos. So play that game with yourself, see if you can use these descriptive words like what sounds good. And if you're at the party, maybe you look around, you see, well, what matches that here? Are there any foods that match that? There will always be but what if there is right on? Maybe you want to do it the other way, where you look at what's available, you just set your plate a little bit more casually, a little bit less thinking and then as you eat focus more on that experience, and you pay attention does it feel pleasant, unpleasant or neutral at any point in that process, that's gonna help you to know what to keep going for and what to maybe dial back on from an intrinsic or an internal place. That's the police doesn't need to be involved does it because you can learn to trust yourself. 
These skills I'm describing might not happen easily for you, we just talked about why. That does not mean that you can't be trusted, it doesn't mean you'll never get it. It means that there may be some building blocks to the work that you need to hone in on for now for today. I just wanted to give you something to add joy to your end of year, whatever holiday you celebrate, if you celebrate. Whether you're feeling positive about the holidays, or like oh, just get get it over with all that's well and good. All of that is okay, wherever you are, you can always add satisfaction into your life some way. And the mindfulness skills that we reviewed, could be a way of getting at that stuff a little bit closer to it. I'm going to be using them too.
You know, have fun recording this podcast episode today. Now, I'm second guessing my hiatus but and I guess what that's telling me is that I do love this work. And I am beyond honored that I have a chance to sit here in my home office and teach so many people who have found this podcast so I truly cannot thank you enough for your time. It's precious. That you chose to spend it here on this podcast means a lot to me. I hope that I will see you somewhere along the way. Like I said, following the podcast for episodes that may come up down the line like newsletter, Instagram, all of those are great places to stay in touch. And before I go if I may, this is your reminder. How ever rough the holiday season goes for you food or body image wise and I hope it does not however rough it is anticipate that your food police is going to tell you you need to go on a diet and anticipate that your food police is going to get affirmed because everybody in their brother is probably going to try to go on a diet. This is your reminder you did not need a diet in the new year however sexy It may sound because you have been down that path before. I want you to remember me saying this to you now, future you is going to remember oh yeah, Melissa said this would happen that I would start thinking about diets and that that totally makes sense. It's totally normal. And not today, not in 2023 and 2023. I want you to affirm that you can do something different. You can you want support and help with that. You can apply for coaching. I'd be super honored and happy to take you every step of the way. Everything you're doing makes a difference to break the diet cycle. We are the first in our families to do it. It's real hard work taking care of yourself. Thank you for being here with me. Until next time, be good to your good body.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai