So you deleted your MFP (myfitnesspal) or other food tracking apps but still sometimes find your thumb hovering over the “download” button on your negative body image days? You’re not the only one and it’s time we talk. Even when you want to stop tracking, you mind may gravitate toward it without your permission! In this episode, Melissa and fellow Anti-Diet Dietitian Jessi Haggerty MS RDN talk it all out to help you use tracking and journaling in ways that are consistent with Intuitive Eating work. We answer:
– Is there room for tracking on an Intuitive Eating journey?
– What’s the difference between “tracking” and “journaling”?
– What are the pros and cons of these methods when you are trying to find food freedom?
– Is it “bad” to want to track?
– What are examples of things you could journal as an Intuitive Eater?
Jessi is the author of The Daily Check-In Journal (available on Amazon) and gives her perspective on how to meaningfully grow the “intuitive” side of “intuitive eating” with realistic journaling practices. We also talk about how to approach non-diet journaling of your emotions, thoughts, periods, and poops (!!) – all of which can relate to your gentle nutrition and food freedom work.
Follow Jessi on Instagram: @jessihaggertyrd
Get Jessi’s The Daily Check-In Journal on Amazon
Join the Break the Diet Cycle Podcast Community in Instagram: @break.the.diet.pod
Connect with Melissa on Instagram: @no.more.guilt
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.
is it ok to track as an intuitive eater? with Jessi Haggerty, MS, RD 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. Fellow Massachusetts in Massachusetts-tonian in what do we call us? Jessi 0:39 Massholes. So maybe not allowed to say that. Melissa Landry 0:46 You are I'm not offended by that. I think that people from Massachusetts really like to they take pride in the masculine daddy, the way that we drive, the accent. All of that is a source of pride. But you're less you're allowed to say it. Today. We were we were talking to you right now. This is Jessi Haggerty, who is a fellow registered dietician, nutrition therapist, body image coach, you are a personal trainer as well. Amazing, She is like triple threat. She does all the things. And I've had the pleasure of becoming friends with Jessie once we realized we were both local, we take blocks. Occasionally we do coffee shop moments. And I'm so thrilled to spend some podcast time with you today. Thanks for being here. Jessi 1:31 Yay. I'm so excited. Melissa Landry 1:33 Did I botch your intro. What would you add about yourself? Jessi 1:35 there no nothing, I think you covered it. And you I'm really glad you did it because I actually hate Melissa Landry 1:41 to do this. It is it's so awkward to introduce yourself. I have that feeling. Sometimes when I know it's coming like I don't like to go first my heart, I can feel my heart pounding out of my chest, like like, it's like the most Do or Die thing I have to introduce myself perfectly. I get very perfectionist about that. So happy to take that off your plate. I appreciate it. But it's not fun. Okay, so we're here to talk about tracking and journaling. You and I have had conversations on the side about what this is like for clients, especially when they're coming from diet culture, where it tracking is almost like the Holy Grail to weight loss. And a lot of programs have to do it. There's a lot of pressure to do it. Sometimes that's the whole program, the whole plan is just to track. So we want to help you guys today reframe that more toward Intuitive Eating work. And maybe talk about ways that you could even tailor that depending on what you're doing. So we'll kind of cover all of that today. I'm going to ask you first what your personal experience with like journaling tracking has been? Is it something that you like to do what has been the vibe so far between you and journaling? Jessi 2:50 Well, okay, I think of journaling and tracking of different things. But tracking for me has always been like a rooted in shame type experience. So like, back when I was like really entrenched in diet culture, if I use like a tracking app, I know you post a lot about this, like going to Weight Watchers, high school and stuff like all of the tracking that was involved in that or it was like so restrictive. I never got any positive reinforcement out of it, because it was like, I just felt like I was so constricted in what I was allowed to do. And that definitely bleeds over even into like budgeting I just don't look up like an aversion to any like numerical or quantitative tracking. Melissa Landry 3:38 So true about budgeting mindset person one time on because I really feel like sometimes the relationship to money and food is like somehow strangely. Jessi 3:49 Connected. Yeah. Melissa Landry 3:50 So tracking you did not love. What about journaling? Jessi 3:53 I think of tracking as like quantitative tracking. And like journaling is like maybe some form of like qualitative tracking, although it doesn't have to be tracking. I think that I also resisted journaling for a long time. Because it felt like it was just like one other thing I had to do like my therapists would always suggested to me like, why don't you do some journaling about that? I was like, I hate journaling vegan, like, please stop suggesting this like self care. Like, give me something else to do. But I realized that one of the reasons I didn't like it was because I started to I would always get like really perfectionistic about about like wanting to like write something creative or like, hash out my thoughts perfectly. And so I tend to be better at journaling when I'm prompted when I have like something I'm like, actually like a question I'm trying to work out in my head, or maybe like some external prompt. I always really like I enjoy writing. So I enjoy being prompted with questions like I know, I think you're like this too, like when a client asks me a question or how the topic like I like writing about thoughts around something like that, or if I'm like working through a personal question that feels helpful and useful to me versus like, I'm tracking open ended or I'm like, tracking something super, super specific. I like meat something in the middle. Melissa Landry 5:20 like a sweet spot, right? Like there's rigidity, I'm gonna say calories, because that's often or points like, that's often what diet culture really likes to track. So it's like the rigidity of like, just track this thing. It's the be all end all. Then there's the other end of the spectrum, which is like the blank page where you're profoundness that I can capture from within some that never comes. So we got to find this sweet spot for it to do what like, what's the purpose of it for you? What do you think that journaling can offer people? Jessi 5:49 For me, I think it just like provides me with clarity. For my anxiety in particular, it will ruminate on like a particular thought or feeling. And I kind of feel like I get stuck in this like loop. Whereas if I can get some of those thoughts just out of my brain and onto paper, it's a little bit easier for me to process them and then like, leave them be instead of feeling like I'm just obsessing over. Yeah, whatever's on my mind. Melissa Landry 6:18 Yeah, mental experiences can feel very foggy. Sometimes when you're, like, ruminating on things. A lot of clients describe this in session where like, they're like, I'm word vomiting. I'm sitting here like No, no keyboard vomiting, yes. For us as your coach or nutrition nutrition therapist or mental health therapists. We're trying, we're looking for the relevant information. That's how we're listening. And so yeah, sometimes sessions, it's not journaling, you know, on paper, but it's kind of like the effect or the mechanism of journaling, because journaling, because you're letting things out and you're letting the important stuff, get focus and clarity, so you can do something different with it. So that's a great point that sometimes we gotta just let that energy out. So we can know what's important to even work on or not. Yeah, absolutely. You're so wise, you said, Jessi 7:02 I feel like it doesn't mimic like what we're saying how most people relate to intuitive eating to have like, I'm either being really rigid about it. Or it's like, there are no rules. There's no structure. Yeah, I don't know what to do. I'm like totally like untethered. And it's like, no, there's like a nice, Melissa Landry 7:21 it's a black and white. Jessi 7:25 I hate using the word middle ground, because I actually don't believe that I think that there's like a third option, like a third way to do some of this stuff, Melissa Landry 7:35 tracking, journaling, we've kind of covered that. By the way, these are not, you know, academicians definitions of just like spiritually what I like to see. But I agree, and I hope that resonates with you guys listening, like, there's definitely a style of writing things down or recording information that feels more closed, ended and rigid and a style that maybe feels more open ended and unstructured. So we've kind of defined tracking versus journaling. So my software that I use with clients has an app that clients can use. So it asks them their thoughts, their feelings, they can record the food that they ate to try to make connections between that. I think there's like a poop log as well as good day love Jessi 8:19 a poop log. Honestly, that's like one thing I do recommend a lot of my clients track just get to know a little bit, just get to know what's happening. Get out that Bristol stool chart and track away quality, Melissa Landry 8:31 texture color, figure it out. We digress. The other piece in there, oh, there's a hunger fullness scale. And it's really funny because sometimes clients when they start, they'll see them like they immediately start tracking. What do you want me to track? Will you review it? Did I do good or bad today dietitian helped me Tell me. And the first thing I tell you is like if we use that, because we might not need it. Let's talk about what we're even trying to learn. You know, some people really benefit from hunger and fullness scale. Some people it's the exact wrong place to start when it comes to their intuitive eating skills. When we think about like journaling for intuitive eating. What have you seen in your practice help clients? Jessi 9:13 A good question. I found a lot of things to be helpful. But the one thing that I'm always looking for is like what you just said is like, is there this sense of urgency around? I need to start tracking, fill in the blank, even if it is something that can be seemingly helpful, like hunger and fullness? If there's this sense, like I have to start tracking this, because like this is going to solve all my problems. Yeah, let's put the brakes on that. Maybe we don't have to actually track anything right now. Because it seems like this is like pretty charged. But I do think that for some folks like tracking hunger and fullness for a period of time, not like for the rest of your life is helpful in terms of just being able to like check in with what's going on in your body a lot. Sometimes I'll have clients, track their thoughts around food. And then do some AC T or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy exercises around that of like, saying, I love a best model, I love it. Like I'm noticing I'm having the thought, and then fill in the blank. So they're doing more like observational tracking of like, I'm observing my hunger and fullness, I'm observing my thoughts that are coming up around food or my body image. I'm observing my feelings that are coming up around this versus that more quantitative calories protein. Again, I really, I'm gonna say it again, like I love a poop chart. I think that like a lot of clients who have digestive issues, it's helpful when you go to your doctor to have some concrete data on like, what your poop looks like. Melissa Landry 10:49 Yeah, because there is a normal variance within all of our GI health. That's the normal variants, but patterns, patterns are helpful. It's helpful information, you're describing it more like a tool to practice that way. Like this isn't something you're doing to force yourself to hear you're listening to hunger. So you stay within the right ranges. It's not something you're doing to please your dietitian or to please yourself, like look how hard I'm trying I'm doing it, it's it's truly a prompt and a tool to help you practice something that probably historically has not been practiced, because you've been self silencing hunger cues, mentally, or because your schedule is demanding that maybe fullness is something that is difficult to really honor because you've been restricted in the past. So in that example, the tool helps you to just slow down connect, maybe give you a bit of a feedback loop. That's how we learn we have to have some kind of feedback, or else we're just going floating around or just doing stuff. So that's a great way to frame it. It's a tool to help you get that skill and then you can back out once it's more automated for you. Jessi 11:56 Yeah, and I think it helps clients, or anybody feel like more like their their sensations around these things can be more nuanced. And like, Oh, I'm just hungry. I'm full. It's like I can look at this. Yeah. Yeah, or like, Oh, I'm always thinking XYZ around foods. It's like, oh, no, wait, like, there's way more thoughts that are coming up around this. And I even realized it kind of just, I think, like helps us like turn up the volume on our sensations or thoughts. So it's, for better or for worse. Melissa Landry 12:29 And that's why having a guide can be helpful because sometimes if you're, you don't know what you don't know. Like, if you don't know how to step into the intuitive eating, thinking, it's going to be hard to spontaneously wind up there. What I mean by Intuitive Eating thinking I'm thinking more like, like the nurturer voice or giving yourself encouragement through nuanced experiences. I'm thinking you know, using past experiences to inform new ones like this sandwich felt good yesterday maybe it would feel good today. That kind of talk doesn't spontaneously appear if your whole life you've been practicing that a coulda woulda judgments good bad it. Yeah, I'd love for that to happen for you guys. Like seriously, I'd love to be able to just like give you the USB, but download into your brain. It's it doesn't happen like that. Yeah. Sometimes with clients or even catching them doing the new thinking and like, yes, like that's, that's exactly the example that we're hoping you'll step into. Now you know how to repeat it, where you might not have before. Thoughts, poops, hunger and fullness. Emotions is another one. Do you work with a lot of folks who identify as like emotional eaters? Hmm. Yes. That's an interesting one. Because emotional eating does get addressed in weight loss models. You know what I mean? Like, there's usually like some skill set that my clients come, they come knowing? Oh, well, I know, I should jirtle, like Megan therapist told you to do. When you feel the field, journal, and don't eat. Whereas Intuitive Eating says like eat and remember there are other coping skills, pick the one that's right for you. So sometimes logging emotions can help you decide if food is a match when food is a match, what types and how much food is a match. If it's about there's all this discovery, you can do around emotional eating with journaling as well. Yeah, Jessi 14:26 and I think that with, I mean, emotional eating is so tricky, because I feel like we're always experiencing emotions. And we also like have to eat regularly. And so sometimes those two things just happen have to coincide. Like you have to eat and have an emotion at the same time. What I like journaling for, again, that new one. I could say that, in this moment in time, I'm feeling content or happy, but there's always like a scale to that like to write, like, I'm not experiencing. Like, I'm very happy to be here. But it's not like intense. One some motion. Melissa Landry 15:10 If you're not having the best time of your life should Jessi 15:12 have used a different example like anxiety. Like I'm a little bit nervous when I'm recording podcasts, but I'm not like I don't have crippling anxiety, right? Melissa Landry 15:23 And I'm gonna cut you off because like this is often our conversations go like we start giggling. And we can't finish the words that we're saying. So hopefully, we can keep it together here. Jessi 15:33 I don't even remember what I was trying to say. But my point being that spectrum of Melissa Landry 15:37 emotions exist. Jessi 15:39 Yeah. I think with emotional with emotional eating, it's like, being able to recognize is the emotion that I'm experiencing right now. Just like so intense that like, I need to use food or comfort? Is that even comforting for you? I don't know, I just I feel like emotional eating is like one of those things that is so nuanced. But I feel like we're getting off track. Melissa Landry 16:06 Or not, though, because I think journaling isn't the isn't the method. That's I think an important takeaway from what you're saying is like general isn't the method or the program or the way that and that might be hard to see, as you're starting out as an intuitive eater, because it was with Weight Watchers, it was with the calorie restricted, you know, MFP, that's kind of shorthand MyFitness. That that was the weight. Now we're trying to use this just to observe, sometimes there's going to be relevant associations, I felt anxious, and I ate a lot of food. And that triggered a binge for me, versus I felt anxious, and I was eating simultaneously, not really related. Like, I can extract those emotional states at the same time and not have it be something that is problematic or harmful to my well being. So you're, you're reminding us not to pathologize, or make problems of our emotions, like they're always going to be there to some extent, they'll have different volumes and temperatures. And they may relate to food, but sometimes they're just happening at the same time as food, we don't have to always write a story about feelings and food, because that's what diet culture says, you know, we should avoid at all cost. I really think that the hunger thing gets like messed up too, for people. Because they're there, their implicit rule is like you can only eat when you're hungry, which means like, never eat when you have emotion. But we always have emotion. So sometimes that can make journaling, which could otherwise be helpful, feel confusing for people. So this can't just happened by itself, it has to happen with the rest of the intuitive eating skills that you're working on. Jessi 17:47 I would say nine times out of 10. When I'm working with folks who struggle with emotional eating, they're also not feeding them. And so I'm like, maybe you're just really anxious because you're not eating enough. Yeah. And then you're also like super hungry, super anxious, reaching for food, which totally makes sense. Melissa Landry 18:08 When I first started my career, you know that I worked on weight loss research studies, and because I'm such like a good doobie, who just say I was like, I will never put my clients on a diet I myself have not followed. That's how, like, we salute you, Melissa, thank you for your service. So I would follow a calorie restricted diet with my clients and I would calorie track and I would do that with them. And you know, but I cannot uncouple the fact that I was doing that, which meant that I was spending time, like scuze me gonna put this in my frickin log or doing it in my head. I was then planning ahead for weekends, like, oh, well, this is the weekends. I remember feeling hungry every single evening and running to get huge bowls of cereal too. And at that time, there was a most anxious I've ever been in my life. So I can't. I've been through therapy, and I've done my things to work through that younger person that was going on to but I can't uncouple that I'm like you were probably starving, Marvin. And that was not the undercurrent that made it easier for you to work through that anxiety at the time. Can you imagine like if I had been feeding myself enough, when you're not fed? You're anxious when you're adding extra work internally, your mind is constantly working. That's Stokes anxiety. It doesn't calm it. So right. Really good point. And again, why we don't just randomly track all the things we track the right things at the right time. To give us the insights we need. Yeah, good times. Jessi 19:41 I'm sure I probably I can track back a similar experience to like, most anxiety with the least amount of food. Melissa Landry 19:51 It you'll your mind's racing. And then you're fighting your hunger. Like there's just so much that just Stokes that whole thing. All right, we've talked about different types of things you could track, I hope we've given you all some benchmarks to think about things, or if you were to track them how to interpret them. Jessi 20:10 I personally always found helpful with journaling. And I will often talk to my clients about this, both with journaling. But also just as like a practice, even if you're not writing things down, pen to paper, getting the thing out of my brain feels like a nice closed loop for me, but I know not everyone likes doing stuff like that, when you have any history of dieting, or just like living into a culture where we get a lot of like the shoulds of like, we should be doing this. And this is the right way to do it. And this is the right way to track things, what we should be eating, what we should be exercising, we like weaken our ability to actually be like, what are we like doing? What we want to be doing? How do we want to be spending our time, like what is important? It's like, we kind of forget that we actually have a say in those things. And so one of the practices I always like to work on with clients is like just being it wasn't check in with that. So like a lot of times specifically around exercise of like, can you carve out time just to check in with yourself to be like, what would it feel supportive to me right now. Instead of it feeling like, oh, I have to do this workout that I planned. Or like if I do something really gentle then it doesn't count. Quote, I'm putting air quotes around almost everything that I'm saying. But I think that's such a powerful skill, because it brings us back to like what I always say that I like focusing on like the intuitive part of intuitive eating, and like the eating. Yeah, eating. I think it like helps us hone our own like intuition, and what our wants and needs are. Melissa Landry 21:56 Well, that's the hope is that ultimately, you get so strong at check in checking in, you know, and I say that not in a way that you're like, hyper vigilant, checking in, like intuition doesn't mean that you're, you know, white knuckling to try to hear the wisdom within it means you maybe have a more sensitive meter for what's going on within you. And maybe that meter gets turned on gently and sooner than it has in the past. We're not waiting until everything's like three alarm fire to address our needs, we're actually hearing ourselves in meeting it more in the moment. So that is something that this like, written down practice can cultivate. For what from what you've seen is that people can actually start to ask those questions a little bit more naturally, and then the food falls into place. If you can do that, there's very little tweaking that is required from a cognitive or thinking place for most people, unless you have some sort of fringe medical nutrition diagnosis. For the most part, you're not going to need a lot of thinking work to wind up at the nutrition that's right for you, not in today's age, with the food availability that we have, for the most part, and you have access to food. And with the general nutrition information that exists in the world, like most people get it. The basics are out there. The intuition is what's missing. Jessi 23:13 Yeah, and to think about, like, how many things are disrupting I mean, I feel like for so many of my clients, when they're like, Oh, I just can't do this around food. I just can't get it together to like, have that snack and or have breakfast. I'm always like, can you quit your job? Like, I know that that's not a realistic solution for people. But it's not for me, not for my clients. But I'm like, we need to figure out something else here too. So you can like have more space to do these check ins because I also don't want to pathologize it to be like, Oh, you're just not checking in enough with yourself, right? Like, we're all living these like incredibly kind of like stacked lives, which so it totally makes sense that we're just kind of one we're like running on fumes. And then two, we're just doing everything based on like what we've heard, or what we've seen, tick tock, instead of like being able to do that kind of that honing work of like what do I actually need right now? Melissa Landry 24:11 Oh, glad you said that. Because it's true. Like, half of my clients have problems of that aren't theirs like it's, it's running to childcare, it's work that maybe there's too much on their plate, and they're not able to shift that, you know, commutes have changed for a lot of people but in a lot of ways. Work has now bled into real life. So a lot of my clients describe like, oh, yeah, I'm trying to get everything done by Tuesday, I can go pick up my kids and I'm simultaneously doing laundry and there's all this pressure. How can you hear yourself when you're under under all that pressure? So that's an important thing to remember. Like it's not your fault if you're having a hard time with this. It's a function of of life sometimes and how do we work with that? That's the big question. How do we mitigate that in some way? So you get that satisfaction you want an answer to that we're all working on it. It's probably helpful for people to hear like, listen, Jesse don't know either. You know, Jessi 25:15 I mean, these are all things I talk to people about. But I'm also very open with the fact that like, I struggle with all of these things to like, it's not like I'm suggesting you check in with yourself because I do it, do that, quote, unquote, perfectly. I know that it's useful. And as I'm telling other people to simultaneously reminding myself like, Oh, this is helpful. This is helping, it's a practice. Melissa Landry 25:39 It's not a destination, and a client. You say, like, when do I become an intuitive eater? And I'm like, oh, no, no, no, like, that's not a you know, there's not a secret ceremony that happens. It ducted like, it'd be cool. It would be cool. We have a party for aspiring people practice. But it is a practice. Like, the whole thing about it is that it's like anything in nature or in life, like balance is a is a verb, almost like things get knocked off. And then it restores, like there is this wave like energy around intuitive eating. And so when you are online on social media, you see people educating you, it's very easy to jump into, like, Oh, my God, they must be perfect. They must always do this. Heck, no. Like, I'll tell you sometimes I'm like, Oh, yes, I remembered the thing from I remembered like to check in or I remember that this is my pattern right now. And it feels like so amazing to me still, that I could ever pay attention and make a connection about gays for a long time. I've noticed that around my period, like I am 35 years old, and I'm just finally like, yeah, one of the weeks you're an absolute bear one weeks, you are fatigued and exhausted one of the weeks. I just I'm telling you to see I'd never it took me so long to understand these patterns, and stop beating myself up for being cranky and tired on certain weeks. Like that was remarkable to me, like, Oh, I'm not just like a mean person. I'm like, I'm going through something hormonal. How can I be kind to myself right now. Transformative. Thinking can generalize beyond your nutrition and your movement. There's other aspects of health. Oops, we love poops can be about poops. It can be about anything that you need it to be about that intuition you cultivate. Jessi 27:31 I feel like I had a similar experience around my period, too, because I would, you know, I think like most people who get periods, like, I would notice patterns in a sense of how I was feeling how I was feeling physically how it's been emotionally. And I think like, my initial reaction was like, how do I find a way to manage this? So I can always just feel the same? Yes. And then I was like, wait a minute, why do I have to do that? Why don't I just see what actually is happening? Like, throughout this, like, whatever? 20 I have a short period. And that's because I did the calculation. I'm gonna have like, an extra, like five years worth of piercings. That's just a weird side note. i Yeah, it's like, just you know, it was an extra period a year. It's not great. Yeah. Um, but anyway, like to kind of see what my cycle is, and then be able to, like, lean into, like, what's naturally happening, right for me to be like, Oh, if I'm feeling extra exhausted, like this week, like, maybe I just put less on my schedule. And again, like, I know, that's not always possible. But I think that feels like a helpful use of tracking. Melissa Landry 28:59 Like, even if you can't adjust your schedule, you can validate yourself. Yes, that's the real win for me is like, everything I feel is valid. Yeah. And that that that lens you put on is so helpful. Like, that's another thing I think diet culture maybe implicitly gives you and you accidentally carry which is like our point in life is to always feel good, pleasant, happy, the same. And if that's what you're trying to do, I don't know buddy has that that's not like that's a robot that is not a human. And it's it's nice to be able to break that up and say like, oh, actually, the outcome of me checking it with myself isn't going to be pleasant all the time. It's not even gonna maybe even feel good all the time. Yes. And that doesn't mean I messed up. It's a reality of life, and I can care for myself through those unpleasant feelings. So maybe they don't last as long maybe they're not as intense like, that's actually the work that's happening over here. It's not that Sexy I hate to break it to you. But it does feel better in a weird way than dieting and all that perfectionism ever did. Jessi 30:08 Yeah, because it's like, Well, look, I don't have to biohack my whole existence, emotions, feelings. Melissa Landry 30:16 Periods are beyond our control. Jessi 30:19 Yeah. Just to be like, No, I can. Yeah, like, I think that's so that's so true what you said, like validate. Like, what I'm feeling is fine no matter what it is, instead of it being like, okay, like, shouldn't feel this way. Yeah, that's a big thing. That's a big one. For me. That's a hard one to Melissa Landry 30:40 this is refreshing. I hope other people feel refreshed by this conversation. As someone who like I love behavior change science and psychology and all these things. I just feel like whenever journaling and tracking is discussed, it's always the same advice. It's always the same. Make your goals and then reach your goals and then track your things. And there's, it's almost like there's a description of one way to do it. But there are a lot of different ways to experience this. And I think it's always portrayed, like, if you track and journal the right way, then you'll figure out your life, then everything will be good. No, it's just a tool that you get to decide if and how you want to use based on you. And what's important to you. So tell me about you wrote, like a journaling tool. You have Yeah, can what's it called? Again, Jessi 31:29 it's called the daily check in journal. Melissa Landry 31:32 I don't think I know the full story of what brought you to create it Jessi 31:36 It was like a combination of things. So one is that like, I just generally would offer this advice to clients about checking in, I never offered it as like a journaling exercise, but more so like how can you you know, pause to check in maybe before a meal or before a movement practice or first thing in the morning. And depending on who I was working with, I might give like different prompts on like what they could check in with. And so sometimes with clients who were really struggling with hunger and fullness, we would do like different types of body check ins before even doing that. So like, can you check in with just like your temperature? Like, Am I hot? Am I cool? Do I need a sweater? Do I need to like take away or off? Good one? Yeah, I will. I feel like we forget that we have like other body sensations that were like really good at responding to. So again, like that, it wasn't it wasn't to becoming become an expert at temperature tracking, it was just a tool to check in. Melissa Landry 32:36 And that's such a great analogy. Because like we necessarily control other than the layers, we were how our body feels like the temperature of our body. That's a self regulated thing. We don't control it. So that's a great example of how that works. Jessi 32:51 Yeah. And we often don't put any conscious thought into it, or judge it. Right? That was kind of one thing that was already happening in client session. And then during the pandemic, when I switched to telehealth, I was seeing clients in an office prior to the pandemic, and it always felt like clients would come in and be like, Oh, I was thinking on my walk over here. I was thinking on my commute, about what I wanted to talk to you about. They always had this like Buffer period. And then with telehealth, I felt like people were scheduling me between like two other meetings. Or like they like just caught back from like picking their kids up. And I felt like I was just like invading their space. I was like, Hey, I'm here like I'm going to your house. No, Melissa Landry 33:33 it's too late, man. bust through the wall. Jessi 33:38 Yeah, they're like, oh, I don't know what I want to check. I didn't prepare. I stole this idea from Lexi Penny, who's another dietitian in Boston, who was doing like, she always sent clients to check in form before sessions. And so I adapted one for myself, that was just asking clients about a wedding that they had for the week or a challenge that came up. I would say like maybe 30% of my clients actually use it. But the ones who do use it find it really helpful to have like a moment to check in with themselves before we meet and then I was like well wouldn't it be cool if we had like a little check in tool just for ourselves that we could use? It's a daily check in journal but I don't use it daily. I don't think anybody that has but it's like a has am prompts and pm prompts that are you I'm gonna read you some Melissa Landry 34:32 I would love that. Live author reading is happening. Jessi 34:38 They're just prompts I'm not loving Kenzie. At the beginning, I kind of do an in depth explanation of the prompts. But like in the morning, it's like what feedback and am I receiving for my body right now? And I like it because it's like semi open ended but like a little bit more focused than just Melissa Landry 34:56 how are you feeling free right Jessi 34:58 now Yeah, what am I craving today? What's on my mind? And like the subtext of that one is like, what can I start thinking about? I put that one in there personally for myself, because, like I said earlier, I tend to find things to ruminate on, it's nice to have a little brain down. And then how can I support myself for the day, so it's like, doing some check ins, and then being able to take that information and use it to create a little bit of action for your day. Melissa Landry 35:25 I love how broad like, like you said, they're broad, but focused. Yeah. So this is getting at the core skill of intuition, versus honing in on all these metrics, which, like we're saying, that might not be what you need. And if you can be more open ended, like maybe if you are ruminating on something, it could mean that you do need to give that some attention in some way, you know, that could inspire you to make a shift. Or maybe you doesn't need attention, it just needs to be seen and let go, you know, so there's so many opportunities for people to be more effective, I think in their self care if they could just surface this stuff at some point in their day. So the prompts exactly the same. So the Jessi 36:08 So the pm prompts are more like a reflection of like, what went well today, a moment I want to remember a win. And then there is a little free write section if you're someone who just likes that, but you don't have to use it. Melissa Landry 36:21 to remember you to be like Melissa's podcast. Yeah. Jessi 36:25 Yeah. I'm gonna be like, I was like a 10 out of 10 on the happiness scale. Oh, no, I Melissa Landry 36:32 feel patronized God. This is this is me in a nutshell. Love me Love Me. They don't love me. If anyone's wondering about Jessi 36:42 not you at all, it's just like, when you're an anxious person, it's like to get to that time. Really Melissa Landry 36:49 Hallmark to anxiety. Well, I love the journal, I think the presentation is really lovely. It gives people a little bit of structure and support. How can people find the journal if they want to if the sounds like them, and they might benefit from that reflection? Jessi 37:08 It's on Amazon. So you can just search the daily check in journal, you can search my name to that might make it easier to come up. Melissa Landry 37:16 I'm gonna put the link in show notes. So if people are like, Oh, that sounds cool. You can get yourself a copy. And I would love it if you tagged Jessie, when you used it, because then she got to see what you're working on. She can support you in that, that would be very cool. Jessi 37:31 Because that really does get me to like 10 At a time when people tag me using it. I'm like, wow, like I'm so happy right now that that it's not like sometimes I'm like, I just need this thing for me like I might be useful, but I'm like no other people like, Melissa Landry 37:49 that's the best kind of like the best kind of maker, right? Like when we make stuff that like yes, I would have used this and it would have been fine for my own personal use. But you'd like generally genuinely wanted to share this with people, which is why I'm excited about it. And it comes from a place of someone who understands what it feels like feels like to be hard on yourself and what it feels like to struggle to not be perfectionist, I think when writers understand that they write in ways that work with that type of brain. So I appreciate you sharing your story and how you kind of came to it. I think that's probably meaningful for people. Jessi 38:22 And I liked using this to specifically before I go to therapy, because I do have a similar experience to my clients where I go to therapy and I'm like, everything was like really good. Like review, like actually check in with myself and like, oh, I have like quite a few things that we should be digging into. Melissa Landry 38:43 In the time gets filled, don't it? Jessi 38:48 Always does. Melissa Landry 38:50 Very true. Very true. Jesse, I always love hanging out with you. I'm glad we got to kind of like profess chats today. I'm going to be seeing you this weekend. So look forward to that. Yes, I'm so excited. Otherwise, thank you. Thanks for being here. Jessi 39:05 Thanks for having me. This was so fun. Melissa Landry 39:07 So I go on to Amazon to share the journal with you all and there are so many lovely reviews on here. You know, I've been very preoccupied with everyone's seasonal affective disorder plans. Maybe it doesn't impact you quite as much as it impacts me. But the external is another great way for us to gear up for these winter months and make sure our mental health is 100. We got a few more interviews coming up on the podcast in the weeks ahead. I've been having fun connecting with colleagues to share different ways of thinking about this work with you. Of course if you are feeling like you are getting benefit from the podcast, I would love you to let me know what this podcast has been doing for you out there. How has it been helping you break the diet cycle? You could do that by leaving a five star review. Do me the highest honor possible. Share the podcast with someone you love someone who you think could really benefit from this message of letting go of years of guilt and shame around food and replacing it instead with learning and freedom and growth? That sounds good. And if you're really feeling like you need that extra support through my repeatable process, I would invite you to apply for coaching. When you do we connect, we meet for 30 minutes to make sure it's a fit and if it is, I talk you through exactly how we are going to take you from feeling bogged down from food, guilt and body shame to feeling free in just three months. You can find your application at WWW dot Melissa Landry nutrition.com as well as lots of other resources you may want to use in your intuitive eating journey. Alright my friends until next time, be good to your good body. Transcribed by https://otter.ai