Today I’m beyond thrilled to welcome Elisa Liu onto the podcast today to talk about body image, diet culture, and ways to begin to trust our own hunger again. Elisa Liu is a Registered Dietitian (fun fact, I am as well) who specializes in helping tech gurus eat intuitively out in Silicon Valley. She’s especially interested in how trauma influences our relationship with food, and she works on helping her patients heal their relationships with food via her private practice as well as on her podcast, Craving Food Freedom.
Intuitive eating is all over social media as some newfound miracle cure for all our obsessions and hang-ups around food; really, this “way” of eating is just “the” way of eating, and we were experts at it as infants and toddlers. Remember those days? The days before you realized you had a body, and that the world would judge you based on said body? Ah, the dream.
For most of us, indulging in what our bodies may be asking for often comes with a hefty dose of guilt. Really intense restriction can mean that your overall control is absolutely shot. Diet culture is everywhere and it tells us that no matter what we do, it’s never enough. It’s no wonder that we feel the need to deny ourselves at every opportunity; we’re taught to equate self-discipline with goodness and eating anything less than the perfect diet as bad or failure.
If we can unlearn these preconceptions and obsessions we have with food, if we can accept ourselves and the fact that there is no perfection, only striving to love the life and body we’re given, then we stand a chance at embracing everything this life has to offer.
Like I mentioned above, if you’ve been very restrictive in the past, or maybe even are recovering from an eating disorder, it can feel very overwhelming walking the other side of that journey. You might not trust yourself or your own body/ hunger cues, or understand that food is not inherently good or bad, it just is; and you’re allowed to eat it just because you want to eat it.
You don’t have to earn your food, no matter if it’s a cheeseburger or a celery stick- now this can seem like intuitive eating is permission to eat whatever you want when you want it, and to a point that’s true.
But the real point of intuitive eating is that when you trust your own body to tell you what it needs, after 3 days of pizze (no shame, eat that Papa Johns) your body might just tell you “hey, this has been really fun, but I’d love some fruit and a salad for lunch today.”
In that instance you crave- dare I say- want fruit and salad. And that balancing act will refine itself more and more over time; once your body understands that restriction is permanently gone, it won’t feel the need to constantly eat every cupcake within a 2 mile radius.
It’s also important to note that the expectations you encounter via social media aren’t real; the models and influencers don’t even look like that. Filters and angles and lighting all go into manufacturing the “perfect” aesthetic, and even if you were to reach that “perfection”, you wouldn’t even be happy. Not really.
Your worth is who you are and how you connect to yourself and others- it’s how you show up in your life. You are so much bigger and brighter than any number on a scale, or a size stitched in some pants. One day you’ll believe that.
Be sure to connect with me more over on Instagram @theselflovefix, I’d love to hear what you thought of this post and what your major takeaways were.
Head over to my website to learn more about how we can work together to shift your energy & transform your life.
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See you back here for the next one!