Your Body with Victoria YatesJan 11, 2023
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This week on the podcast, I’m talking with certified intuitive eating and body image coach, Victoria Yates. We’re diving into diet, body, what we eat, how we take care of our bodies and how we think about our bodies.
As a coach for moms, my focus is on helping you become calm and care for your children the way that you want to. But I also see a lot of the other issues that affect women’s daily lives - and body image and diet are big ones!
Why moms struggle with body image
Body image is simply how you think about your body. It has nothing to do with the physical reflection in the mirror. It is all about your thoughts.
We live in a society where “skinnier is better” and those messages can be hard to ignore.
For moms who have experienced pregnancy and postpartum, you find yourself in a whole new body after your baby is born. There’s a feeling of unfamiliarity in your own body, on top of societal pressure to get your pre-baby body back.
We’ve also been conditioned to believe that we have to take care of our kids all day and prioritize their needs over our own, so many moms just aren’t taking good care of themselves.
But many of our body image and eating issues go back much farther than that - to the teenage years or even younger.
Your thoughts about your body
Experiencing changes in our bodies is totally normal, throughout many different stages of life. It may be uncomfortable at first, but accepting those changes and developing a respectful relationship with your body leads you to care for it well.
When you’re coming from a place of self-criticism and even hatred, you might believe that if you can just lose weight, you’ll feel better about yourself. But this is backwards.
Being at war with your body is a choice. Restrictive diets may feel like a way to regain control (especially if you feel out of control in other areas of your life), but these approaches are often unsustainable and even harmful to our bodies.
We can choose instead to work on our relationships with ourselves. To respect and love ourselves so that we take action to care for our bodies in a healthier way.
What is intuitive eating?
The intuitive eating framework was created in the 1990s by two dietitians. Victoria explains it as a “non-diet approach” that involves building trust with your own body’s cues to hunger or fullness.
Traditional dieting typically includes a set of external rules to follow about what, when or how much you eat. Someone else is telling you how to feed your body.
Intuitive eating is about relearning how to listen to what your body truly needs.
It’s based on a few simple concepts. Eat when you're hungry, stop when you're full, eat foods that are satisfying, and just pay attention to how food makes you feel.
It allows for more intention and connection with your physical body.
Intuitive eating also goes deeper into healing the root of the problem when it comes to unhealthy eating habits like overeating, emotional eating or mindless eating.
Victoria says, “It’s never actually about the food. It’s always about something more, like that need of control…or perfectionism or a lack of trust in yourself.”
Victoria encourages her clients to focus on how they want to feel more than the number on the scale. To focus on what will bring more joy into their lives and make them feel more confident and energized.
Here’s a quick exercise to try. Pick a word that describes how you want to feel. Then, think about the actions you can take that will help you to feel that way.
In the full episode, I share my own experiences with body image and intuitive eating, and Victoria answers common questions about intuitive eating and how it works and addresses common obstacles.
- Why traditional dieting may not have worked for you in the past
- Why we still feel drawn to restrictive diets anyway
- What intuitive eating is
- How your thoughts affect your body image
Connect with Victoria:
- Visit Victoria’s website
- Follow on Instagram @nondiet_rn
- Get the Free Intuitive Eating Journaling Guide
- Listen to the Redefining Health Podcast - available on all podcast platforms