Ep 136: Becoming a Confident Eater Takes Time

Aug 25, 2020


Stephanie: Welcome to the Eat with Confidence podcast, where we talk all about how to become a Confident Eater. I'm Stephanie Webb, holistic nutritionist, eating psychology coach, and intuitive eating counselor. [00:00:10]

Emily: And I'm Emily Fonnesbeck, registered dietitian, nutrition therapist, and eating disorder provider. Together, we're co-founders of Eat Confident Co., where our mission is to support you through your process of becoming a Confident Eater.

Stephanie: [00:00:21] So today we're going to talk about the timeline or the time commitment of becoming a confident eater. Oftentimes when we leave diet culture and the message of intuitive eating and health at every size really resonates. We almost kind of feel like, well, this sounds so true that maybe it should be easy.

And so what we want to do today is kind of give you some truth about. The facts of this process and, and the fact that it is hard. And we want to let you know that if, if it is hard for you, you're doing it right, and you're not alone in that. And we're going to give you some essential ingredients in making peace with food, and talk about what you really need in order to be successful at becoming a confident eater.

Emily: [00:01:10] But first we want to read a review from "momof3tired." I love it. It's like nothing...nothing resonates more than that. Momof3tired.

She says, "Absolute gold. This podcast has completely changed the game for me after a lifelong struggle with the dieting rat race restrict binge guilt cycle. My amazing therapist suggested the idea of intuitive eating. I did this simple search on Instagram for resources and stumbled upon Stephanie. Not only is the concept of intuitive eating life-changing, but Stephanie and Emily approach it in a way that is realistic and matter of fact. I appreciate how knowledgeable yet relatable they are, and most of all their guests as well. Thank you so much for really caring about the people you are trying to reach. Other people I've come across in the IE community seem to be trying to get a following, but you are authentic and passionate and it really translates. Thanks again."

This is a really thorough review and so nice of "momof3tired" to take the time to leave that for us, it really is such positive feedback. And we are glad to know that this has been life-changing for even one person.

Stephanie: [00:02:21] So if you are feeling that way, if you're feeling stuck in that cycle that "momof3tired" mentioned - the restrict binge guilt cycle and the dieting rat race - if you're struggling with how or what to eat, or you're just sick of worrying about your weight, or you're just looking for a different approach - a unique, compassionate, comprehensive solution to your food and body struggles - we want you to know that you are in the right place here on the Eat with Confidence podcast. You're here with thousands of other women turning to Confident Eating to find a lasting solution for health and well-being.

We are all about lasting solutions for health and well-being, both here on the podcast and in our group coaching program, Eat Confident Collective, where we're able to go a little bit deeper with the women who are committed and ready to change their life. There's no more obsessing over weight loss or counting calories, no more guilt and stress over healthy living.

Our group coaching program is all about feeling your best every day, physically and emotionally, so that you can create a life you truly love. We'd invite you to learn more about our group coaching program, Eat Confident Collective, on our website. That link is at eatconfident.co/collective or as always, the link will be in the show notes. We would love to continue to support you in your process of becoming a Confident Eater.

Emily: [00:03:35] Like Stephanie said earlier, what we want to do today is to lay out what we would consider realistic expectations for becoming a confident eater. We think this is really, really important as you approach this process.

Do you have realistic expectations for what to expect so that you don't feel like you're failing? You don't feel like you're doing it wrong. You don't feel like it's taking too long. It's going to be really important for you to know what to expect and to make sure that you're not putting unrealistic expectations upon yourself or creating pressure to do it a certain way or in a certain time frame.

So I think most importantly, what we want you to know is that making peace with food and your body is hard. And if you're struggling with overwhelm or even feeling hopeless about it, we want to let you know that we see you. We've both been there. We have coached hundreds of women through this process and please know that every one of them would absolutely say that that has been true for them as well.

You aren't alone. And what you are experiencing is incredibly common. What we do want to let you know is that there are three ingredients, if you will, in this process of making peace with food that you will find incredibly helpful. They will make it less overwhelming, help you feel more hopeful, and release you from the pressure that you are probably feeling.

Those three things are: 1) patience; 2) self-compassion, and 3) time.

We're going to spend a lot of time today talking about this idea of time and how essential time is to healing. But first, let's talk a little bit about patience and self-compassion.

Being able to feel confident around food is not a lack of ability. It's only a lack of practice. You were born to be an intuitive eater. It's already part of you. It's already inherent in who you are and how you have been programmed to operate around food. But after ignoring your body cues, by giving your power over to a diet or a set of food rules, it's definitely going to take some time to remember how to eat without them.

Without those food rules, without the diet, you've got to...it's a complete one 80. And so what we're really encouraging you to do is to be gentle with yourself as you practice, be patient and self-compassionate and gentle as you practice relearning what you already know.

But we do think that it's incredibly empowering to know that this is already a part of you. You just have to uncover it again. So be patient, be self-compassionate. If you think that a critical mindset is going to make this better, we definitely want to set the record straight. That the only way out of disordered eating is with self-compassion. That is the antidote to what you're struggling with. If you can get curious and understand your situation and be patient with yourself as you practice, this will get better for you.

Stephanie: [00:06:37] I love these first two ingredients of patience and self-compassion. We talk about this in the Collective all the time. I think all of us need these reminders, that patience and self-compassion are essential.

And I also think it's noteworthy that nowhere on this list of essential ingredients do you see willpower or self-control or any of the ingredients that diet culture would have you feel are successful to you becoming confident with food. Diet culture teaches you that you need to follow rules. Diet culture would have you think that willpower and self-control and following rules and all those things are what is going to get you where you want to go, but we want to help you shift your mindset and see that patience and self-compassion are essential.

Emily: [00:07:17] I think this is really important for everyone to understand. So we might really beat this like a dead horse, but we feel like it's really important for you to understand exactly what's going on with your food issues because shame is what produces disordered eating and body dissatisfaction.

Feeling shame about your body, leading to a lot of disordered eating, and then feeling shame about those behaviors. And so shame is exactly what leads you into disordered eating. It is the way that you get trapped in that really negative cycle of extreme behaviors around food.

The antidote to shame is self-compassion, and self-compassion can be misunderstood to be self-indulgent or complacent. But research actually does indicate that adopting a self-compassionate attitude toward difficult experiences actually encourages growth and learning. It's associated with improved well-being, increased feelings of happiness, and greater personal initiative to make changes, which is huge. Right? So self-compassion is honest but kind. It's neutral but considerate. Self-compassion really does promote change.

So oftentimes people feel like this critical mindset of, "I just need to stop doing this" as the thing that's going to help them stop doing what they don't like - the behaviors that they don't like that are happening. But in reality, being patient and curious and compassionate is absolutely the thing that's going to get you out of this. These are not just nice words. It's absolutely the antidote to what you are experiencing. So if you're finding that you're still struggling, you're still stuck, we would encourage you to think about how you're talking to yourself, how you're showing up for yourself in the middle of your struggles.

Stephanie: [00:09:04] Self-compassion is a research-based solution. It's not just some woo-woo idea of like, just being nice. It really is, like Emily said, the only way through. To be patient with yourself, to be compassionate with yourself is what will make the difference.

It's also essential to remember that time is a necessary ingredient in making peace with food in your body. And that is why we put it as number three. And I think this is the one that no one wants to hear. We all want to be like, okay, I'll be patient and I'll be self-compassionate. And within one week I'll be done, like check, I I'm a confident eater I've moved on.

And that is just unfortunately not how it works. Like anything in life. Anything worth doing - any relationship worth improving. Your relationship with food, your relationship with your body, it's going to take time. It's going to take effort and work and we have to give ourselves time to do that. No matter what you do, or how fast do you try to do it, you cannot negate the fact that you have to give yourself time to heal.

You cannot rush healing. You can't make it go faster just because you want to. So the real thing that we want you to remember is that you cannot hurry up and heal.

And we wish we could just like give you a hug when we say that, because we want you to feel like the, like maybe a deep breath around like, okay, I don't have to rush this.

We often feel like, well, okay. I know what I should do. And so I should just do it right the first time and get it right. And do it fast and be done. And that's not how this works. So we want you to recognize you cannot rush this process. Rushing it is only going to make you feel more anxious and stressed about getting it right when there's no such thing.

And we want you to give yourself the gift of time. And I love the word "gift" here. Cause I think it really is a gift. We're the only ones who can give ourselves that. And that goes along so well with compassion and patience, right? Giving ourselves that gift of, of spaciousness of a sense of " I have all the time I need to learn how to do this."

Be patient with yourself, be gentle with yourself, trust the process, and give it the time that it needs. Making peace with food and your body is not a quick fix. It's not something you're just going to snap your fingers and figure out. It is a long-term commitment.

Remember that you did not develop disordered eating and negative body image overnight. You didn't develop the thoughts and feelings that you have about food and your body quickly. They've developed over years, maybe decades, of messages that you've internalized, thoughts that you've continued to think, grooves that you've worn in your, in your habit of mind.

And so it's going to take time to undo that it's going to take time to heal that, right. So no matter how much it resonates with you, when you find intuitive eating, no matter how much you're like, yes, this is true. It's still is going to take time to relearn how to relate with food and your body in a more peaceful way. [00:12:00]

Emily: [00:12:00] That's really interesting that view to bring up Stephanie. Cause I think that's exactly what happens is most of us that are drawn to intuitive eating or a non diet approach. When we hear it, it makes sense to us, right. It feels like truth in a lot of ways. And. Then what happens is we, we start like, okay, this is, I think it should be easy, right?

Like eat when I'm hungry, stop when I'm full, eat whatever I want. Like this should be easy. It makes sense. To me, it resonates. It feels very true. It in a lot of ways probably feels like the solution to the struggles you're having around food. You can see how logical and how much it makes sense as a solution.

And so oftentimes people go in with that idea of, "Oh, okay. This is going to be easy." And then you realize that there's so many layers to healing. There's so many other moving parts. There's so much to unlearn from your past, in terms of learned behaviors or learned beliefs around food that you kind of have to unravel. You have to definitely untangle your worth and value being tied to your appearance.

It just becomes very apparent as you start this process, that it's going to be much more than just eat when you're hungry and stop when you're full. And maybe I'd like to take the opportunity to challenge that myth, that intuitive eating is only about eating when you're hungry and stopping when you're full and eating whatever you want.

There's so much more to that anyone that has given any time to this process knows that to be true, that there's so much more to that to truly becoming a confident eater, to truly getting to a place of peace and confidence and trust that you are taking care of your body and nourishing your body well with flexibility and freedom.

It's a, it's a very long process. And so I love that you brought that up, that it does often make sense. And I think that just cause it makes sense doesn't necessarily mean that it will be easy either, but hopefully you feel heard and understood in that. I think there's not any of us that has started this process realizing just how much it will change us because of what it requires.

And that's a good thing. It's the process that changes you. All the discomfort and growing pains you experience will be completely worth it in the end. You will never regret the time and effort it takes.

Stephanie: [00:14:19] I love that so much. I think that is so, so true. Patience, self-compassion, and time; those are all essential ingredients.

What we also find to be true along with all of those three, is that it's hard to do on your own. It's hard to remember to be patient. It's hard to remember to be self-compassionate.

It's hard to remember that you don't have to rush this. And so on almost, I guess, kind of hidden fourth one, or maybe like a part two, all of this in, in the talk about ingredients and things that you really need is getting support to keep you firmly planted where you want to be. We often talk about in the Collective about staying firmly planted in your own story.

And we hear people say all the time, whether it's podcast listeners or people in the Collective, that they need our voices in their head. Not because we're amazing, but because it's hard to remember. It's hard to remember to stay committed to something that's so counter-cultural. So different from what everyone else is doing.

So we really feel like getting support in what you're trying to do, makes the process far more effective and far more efficient. We know as professionals, as people who have gone through this ourselves, and like Emily said, have coached hundreds of women through the same process. We know what you need in order to become a confident eater.

And I think oftentimes it, it helps to have a different set of eyes on your personal problems. I know for me, When I've had coaches or mentors in my life that can kind of take a different perspective, maybe have a higher view, a bigger picture of like, okay, zooming in on this thing. But here's the another perspective.

And that's what we're able to give women in Eat Confident Collective. Is just a fresh set of eyes, a bigger perspective. It's easy to get locked into our own stuff like I'm really stuck.

Recently, here's an example from the Collective. There was someone who said, "I'm really stuck because I just got these family pictures back and I can't pull myself out of this negative spiral around body image.”

We were able to coach her through that because we could see the bigger picture. It's really easy to get stuck in your own viewpoint. And that's part of the benefit of our group coaching program, is that we're able to offer a different perspective. We're able to continually remind you about being patient and being self-compassionate and giving yourself the time you need.

Emily: [00:16:41] It is a complete honor and privilege that Stephanie and I have to see the transformations that happen with the members of Eat Confident Collective.

We recognize the trust that they place in us. And that's not something that we take lightly. And it is a complete honor to watch how they come to a place of peace and confidence with food and their body and how much that affects every other area of their life.

So we love what we do. We love the work we do inside Eat Confident Collective, and we would love you to be a part of it.

And we are never shy of talking about that, of talking about how impactful we know that your experience inside Eat Confident Collective will be for you. So if you are considering membership in Eat Confident Collective, or if you're listening to this and you're already one of our members, we strongly encourage you to take advantage of the year membership option, which actually does give you four months free.

And the reason we recommend that is exactly the reasons that we've outlined in this podcast because we know that if you can make that commitment, if you can give yourself time, it's going to be easier to be patient and self-compassionate with yourself. It's gonna be easier to trust the process.

It's going to be easier to give yourself the time you need. Release yourself of the pressure of doing it in one month or two months or a few weeks, and allow yourself to really adjust expectations for what you need in order to come to a place of peace and confidence with food.

We want to share a few thoughts from our long term members and what they have said about their experience in Eat Confident Collective. So to start, here's the first. She says,

"Welcome. [This is a welcome to a new member.] You are in the right place. I've tried every diet under the sun, including macro counting. And it made me so crazy. I'm a testimony that intuitive eating works. I've been in this group for about a year, and I can't tell you how far I've come. It's so liberating to remove all rules and stress around eating.

Stephanie: [00:18:45] Love that. And I just have to say, like Emily said, this was a welcome message inside our Facebook group, that this person who said it was giving to a brand new member.

I love the community in there. I love the support that they are able to give each other. And also like you're in the right place. Like I get you. I hear you. This was in response to the new member talking about her story and where she was at. I just love this. And I love also how she said how she used the word liberating. It is so liberating to do this.

Here's another comment from another long-term member of the Collective. She said, “The work I did through the Collective and the exercises you guide us through help my actual life outside of food and exercise. I've learned better coping skills. I found myself dealing with emotions or past experiences I had long smushed down." And then she said, “smushed is a scientific term,” which I love. She said, "I've learned to practice self-compassion, and that has been huge. I've learned that self-care is not bubble baths and massages. Although those are great too. It's more about knowing yourself and putting habits into place that will make life easier for you in the future. That was huge for me "

And then she says, "thank you so much for the work you do. I cannot say enough good things. And I would recommend you to anyone."

I love this. I love that she threw in self-compassion because again, we talk about that so much to the collective. Like people probably see those words in their sleep. Like when it goes to their eyes, they're probably seeing the word self-compassion tattooed on their eyeballs because we talk about it so much, but her shift and talking about how this process was not just about food and exercise for her exercise was a big thing and her body, but also other things and dealing with mental health in general and emotional well-being in general. I love that she learned that in the Collective. [00:20:31]

Emily: [00:20:31] Just one more. We could share so many and we'd love to, but we'll just share one more from another member. She said, "I'm coming up on a year and the Collective. And I just have to say that I have changed for the better. I still struggle with accepting my body size, but I love the way I feel freedom from constant diet thoughts, and obsessing over what I'm eating. I feel myself now coming around to being ready to create a flexible eating structure.

(This is something we talked about in the Collective as well, and we've talked about it here on the podcast before. The flexible eating structure is episode 87, if you want to take a listen.)

She continues, “I feel like this process is little by little. It's not a quick fix, but grateful for the long-term perspective it gives me.” And gosh, what a great way to sum that up. It's not a quick fix, but grateful for the long-term perspective, it gives me and you know, our work in the Collective.

Stephanie and I have talked about this quite a bit personally. What we really aim to do inside Eat Confident Collective is the exact opposite of what diets do in creating repeat customers. We are very hopeful that when our members leave us, that they feel truly able to fly on their own, that they will never need anything else. Again, including us no more time in the Collective, including the fact that because they have put in the time, this process that they're able to fly on their own.

Now, clearly we welcome back any member at any time, you're always welcome to come back and get a little boost of support and encouragement and education. Clearly the door's always open, but our ultimate goal is to absolutely have this be a long-term solution, a long-term freedom and peace that you will never need anything.

Again, we know that the combination of ongoing education, community support and regular coaching is powerful for creating lasting change with food and your body. We've created the Collective to be the exact thing, to be able to give you that long-lasting change and peace with food and your body.

Stephanie: [00:22:24] Like Emily mentioned, we do have those pillars that we feel are so important to the success of our members in the Collective: ongoing education, community support, and regular coaching.

Along with that education and coaching aspect, we teach master classes every month inside the Collective, where we do a deep dive into a certain topic.

And we have loved in recent months being able to talk about body image in July. We shared our unique body image system with our members, which made some big shifts for a lot of people. And then, in August, most recently we talked about emotional eating, which is huge.

We have topics coming up that we're equally excited about. We're talking about redefining healthy weight and healthy eating this month. Actually this week, when this episode goes live. And we're also, in future months, teaching the second half of our body image system, we're going to do a master class on how to find balance without a diet and so much more.

We really do take feedback from members of what they're struggling with, what we feel like would be most helpful in giving actionable steps and breaking it down into really bite-sized chunks where they can really go and take action. When I say bite-size chunks, I think about chocolate chip cookies. Do you? I just want a warm cookie whenever I say that.

Anyway, and we, in addition to the upcoming masterclasses, we have so much amazing bonus content already in the membership area that's waiting for you when you join. We have masterclasses on snacking, sugar, navigating food and body image during stressful times. We have some great stuff waiting in there for you.

Emily: [00:23:57] Let's outline what we have coming up specifically, because you might be interested to know exactly what topics will be, will be in the future. So, like Stephanie said, this month, particularly we're redefining healthy eating and healthy weight. Essentially we want to help you reclaim what diet culture has stolen from just health and nutrition. So we want to kind of reclaim a lot of things from diet culture. We're going to specifically focus on healthy eating and healthy weight and reclaiming those terms, but also things like meal planning and exercise, etc. We need to reclaim a lot of things from diet culture.

Like Stephanie said, we'll also be doing body image part two, where we're going to be talking about the benefits of exercise on body image, as well as talking through thin privilege and additional body image exercises that were not included in part one.

We're also going to talk about the 10 principles of joyful movement and exercise that we have created. We think these 10 principles can completely transform the relationship you have with exercise to be completely positive, empowering, and supportive.

We're going to talk about self-acceptance, self-compassion, and self-care. No surprise that we're talking about self-compassion, right. How to find balance without a diet. Stephanie mentioned, we're going to be talking about meal planning. Our specific strategies around meal planning with confidence and recognizing and respecting hunger and fullness cues.

So those are upcoming topics. Clearly we have many more, ahead of those as well. And we'd love to have you be a part of it.

Stephanie: [00:25:24] So we hope you're seeing the importance of time. We're talking about upcoming topics. So as Emily's talking, you can hear the three ingredients that we've given you today in this episode of self-compassion and patience and time kind of woven into all of that. And then also getting into more specifics, like meal planning and things that will come up in your life, that we would really love to support you through.

So we want to invite you to join us inside Eat Confident Collective, to give yourself the gift of time, to get support in doing this process. Don't try to do this overnight. Don't even try to do it in one month because it's going to be super hard. We would love to support you over the next year. Like Emily said, we do have a year option.

We would love to be there, to hold your hand and to be your cheerleader and your coach and your support system over the next 12 months as you navigate becoming a Confident Eater. If you're interested in learning more about Eat Confident Collective, we have all the information on our website at eatconfident.co/collective.

You can find the pricing options on there, and all the details. And we are here waiting for you. We cannot wait to help you become the Confident Eater we know you can be.

Emily: [00:26:30] We hope this episode was helped for you in creating realistic expectations for becoming a confident eater. We have no doubt that you can do it, and we hope this helps support you in that process. If it was helpful, the most helpful thing you can do in return is go leave a review on iTunes. Those reviews are what keep the podcast going. Make sure to subscribe so you don't miss an episode. And if you want to come hang out on social media, you can find us on Instagram @eatconfident.co. We will be back with a new episode next week, so we will see you then!

Want more of Eat with Confidence?

If you’d like more support + guidance in your process of becoming a Confident Eater, we’re here to help. Learn more about our group coaching program, Eat Confident Collective.

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