Fitness trainer and wellness coach Lauren Chante is here with me today and we’re talking about intuitive eating–specifically why it might not work for you and what you can do if it doesn’t. Lauren is a well of information and I know you’re going to take away so much from this episode. Let’s jump in!
In This Episode Allie and Lauren Discuss:
Becoming an expert on your body
Wellness over diet culture
Taking back control of your eating
Learning to eat
Learning what your body needs
Mentioned in this Episode:
Courses (Use the code PURPOSESHOW for 10% off!)
Cracking The Wellness Code – This is Lauren’s amazing wellness coaching program that will be open for enrollment April 25 – May 1.
Mom life. We’re surrounded by the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. We’re supposed to get through it. Survive. Cling on by the last little thread. And at the same time, Carpe Diem—enjoy every moment because it’s going to go by so fast. The typical mom culture that sends us all kinds of mixed, typically negative messages. We shouldn’t take care of ourselves; it’s selfish. The more ragged you run yourself, the bigger your badge of honor. But also, ditch your mom bod and work out. Don’t yell. Make more money. Show up. Be better, but not at the expense of time with your kids. I am putting a hard stop to all of this. While being a mom, running a business, and whatever else you might have going on is hard, it is a lot and there’s lots of giving of yourself, the idea that motherhood means living a joyless, nonstop-hustle-with-zero-balance kind of life, where you give and give and give and never take, needs to stop.
I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime (at least most days). Stop the mom guilt and shame game. Stop cleaning up after your kids’ childhood and start being present for it. I want to help you thrive in work, home and life. I believe in John 10:10 that we are called to living an abundant life and I know moms are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, some business and life hacks, spirituality and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.
Hello, my beautiful friend! Thank you so much for spending time with me and listening to this podcast today. I am so glad that you’re here. It’s a huge honor.
I am ready to let you listen to this incredible conversation, so I’m going to keep this intro brief and to the point. My friend, Lauren Chante lives in my town. We met last year. She’s a gem of a human being.
She’s so kind and generous with her time and her energy. She always brings a hundred percent to everything she does, and this episode is absolutely no exception.
Lauren is a fitness trainer and she’s become a wellness coach. She started an online business after over 11 years in the fitness industry. She really has a heart for women, their bodies, and their relationships with their bodies.
We were having lunch a few months ago and this episode was born at that table. We were talking about food, our bodies, our journeys and how we want women to feel after our own journeys to loving our bodies and connecting with ourselves.
I’m really, really, really grateful to her. She shares so much in this episode. Honestly, she could have charged for this, but it’s a free interview and I’m super grateful for her. When a guest shows up like that it makes me feel so good, so happy and grateful.
There are a couple of things I want you to know before you dive in. Number one: I had a hard time titling this episode because we really go all over the place. Our goal was to discuss what to do when intuitive eating just doesn’t work for you.
Intuitive eating is super trendy, but what if you don’t know how to intuitively eat? Or what if it just isn’t working for you because you feel like you intuitively want cookies all the time? What if you just struggle? What if you just want to be told what to do? What do you do?
We do talk about that quite a bit. We also talk about becoming the expert on your body, choosing wellness over diet culture, taking control back of your eating, learning how to eat all over again, and figuring out what your body needs. This episode is loaded with tips. It’s so practical and so empowering.
I also want to let you know that Lauren has generously given us a huge discount on the Daily Journal that she sells. The discount brings it down to under $32. There’s a coupon code that I will share with you in a second.
Everything she’s going to share in this conversation you can take action on with her journal. I would highly recommend you go and treat yourself to that. You can get it at my link. Alliecasazza.com/yourdailyjournal. The coupon code to use is PURPOSESHOW.
Print it out. It’s not a lot. It’s super easy. I have mine and I printed it out and I’ve been using it.
It’ll really help you take note of a lot of important things that are going on with your body so that you can better understand yourself. Then from there you will be able to be more intuitive, listen to your body, know what to eat, and know what’s going on. All the things that Lauren talks about in this episode.
Please enjoy this conversation. Don’t forget to take a screenshot and tag both Lauren and myself so we know that you loved it. And spread this positive conversation to other women.
ALLIE: Hi Lauren! Thank you for being here in person with me!
LAUREN: I know! This is the best!
ALLIE: Guys, I’m here with Lauren. She’s amazing. We have become friends in real life.
The last time you were on my show was for a military life episode. You were a military wife and we talked about that. Then we went out to lunch and I realized you’re amazing.
You have an amazing business about wellness, health, connecting with your body, and understanding your body on a really deep level, which I am all about. You’re back and we’re going to have an incredible conversation today.
What I really want to dive into today is intuitive eating. We’ve really talked a lot about intuitive eating and wellness in the past because it’s a piece of my personal journey. But I really want to talk about what happens when intuitive eating doesn’t work for you. I want to discuss all the different ways that it could not work so that women who are identifying with that can feel seen and understood.
LAUREN: This is a huge conversation to have because in order to understand this we have to go all the way back to the beginning, to understanding pieces about dieting as they relate to human culture. It’s such a huge idea.
So basically if we look at humans thousands of years ago, they would never ever have put themselves on a diet. That wasn’t something that happened. You gained weight or lost weight based on the food that was available in your environment.
The idea of going on a diet or manipulating your weight consciously is a modern construct. It’s really very, very modern. What I think is really important, and this fits so well with what you do Allie, is to recognize that when we bring ourselves into 2021 our bodies are still designed for thousands of years ago.
We don’t have the ability to create the conditions that existed thousands of years ago for us to let our weight be natural. I don’t think any of your listeners are going to be like, “Hmm, I think I’ll move to a place where my kids don’t have enough to eat so I don’t have any issues with my weight.” That’s just not what we’re going to do, right?
We’re in a really difficult situation because we’re expecting that weight loss or maintaining your weight is going to be easy, or it’s something that’s attainable for people, but really we were never designed to conscientiously manipulate our weight.
It sets us up for a massive amount of failure because we have this societal belief that we’re not enough, or we’re not doing it right, or we’re just not motivated enough if we can’t make the same health, wellness, and weight loss strides that other people do.
ALLIE: That you are inherently flawed when it comes to making your body well.
LAUREN: Yeah. And really what the issue is is that anytime we try to fix anything else in our lives when we have a problem, we go to the root of the problem. You never treat the symptom. You say, “Where’s the root?”
We can’t go to the root of the problem here. Like I said, nobody’s going to go and live in an environment where their kids don’t have enough to eat. That would be the root of the problem—having an undependable food environment, and that’s just not what we’re going to do.
So we are tasked with trying to fix a problem that’s really unfixable. And because of that, everybody in the entire fitness and nutrition industry is just grasping at straws. We’re trying to use science, psychology and practical life the best that we can to come up with the next best thing to fixing the root problem.
And somehow in all of that, marketing has gotten involved, influencers have gotten involved, and we have really started to believe that it’s normal to be able to manipulate your weight easily. And that’s just not the case. We have to let go of that if we’re going to find what really does work.
ALLIE: Basically, what I’m hearing you say is that we have really become disempowered, especially as women but really as a culture, from understanding our bodies. That you could understand, that you could find the root without going and finding an eating plan or being told exactly what to eat.
I think we’ve all been in a position where we have signed up for some kind of eating plan or diet and been told exactly what to eat and when to eat it. Don’t do this after 7:00 PM, make sure that you have this right when you wake up, and all of these things rather than trusting ourselves, testing ourselves, and playing with food in a positive way to figure it out.
LAUREN: A really important thing to remember is that we’re designed to survive. That is how our bodies are designed. That’s how our minds are designed. And because of that, the human body is incredibly adaptable. It’s incredibly diverse.
You can look all over the planet and find people being successful and living healthy in completely different ways. You can find some cultures where people eat mostly carbs. You can find some cultures where people eat mostly fat.
You can find somebody in your neighborhood who’s being successful with Keto. You can find somebody else in your neighborhood who’s being successful with Paleo. The body is so unique and diverse that we can thrive in so many different conditions.
And on top of that, I think we, as women especially, tend to make decisions about our dieting and wellness based off of two big things. The first one is: what seems cutting edge to us. Because we feel like if we haven’t been successful then we must need something cutting edge.
We must need that magic pill. So, we’re looking at magazines, Pinterest, the internet, and influencers at what’s cutting edge right now. What’s the missing piece that we haven’t figured out? We’re looking for that popularity of it.
Secondly, we’re looking at what our friends have been successful with because we need that social proof that it’s going to work for us.
ALLIE: Which all of those things are stemming from the disempowerment and lack of trust in yourself.
LAUREN: Yes. And definitely just not understanding that the root of the problem is unfixable. If you understood that you would stop looking for the perfect solution. You would understand that the human body is so diverse and your solution is not going to be the same as someone else’s solution.
You’re looking at those two areas of what’s cutting edge and what other people are doing and you’re missing so many facets of who you are. When you use that approach to choosing your diet, your lifestyle, your workout, whatever it is, you’re missing it.
When I evaluate what will or will not work for a client, I look at more than 14 different areas. I look at everything.
Has this person experienced childhood trauma or trauma around food? What’s their social support system like? Where are they on the readiness to change continuum?
How much money do they have? How are they with organization and time management? How are they with setting boundaries?
How well do they know themselves and the things that make them happy? How is their marriage? Do they have a spouse who’s supportive or are they battling this on the home front?
All of these little things add up to changing the approach that we take. Because so much of our success with caring for our bodies in this modern world really actually has very little to do with how we eat, but we are never taking the time to figure out how to bring it all together. That’s where the challenge comes.
ALLIE: And it’s so much easier to just hire someone to tell you, “Eat like this, and it will work,” meaning you will lose weight. Maybe you will. I’ve done that. But I was also miserable and felt disempowered. Again, that word seems to be our theme.
Let’s switch back to the other side of getting a diet plan that’s figured out for you and the other side that’s trendy right now, which I personally am happy that we’ve gone the other way, at least away from extreme dieting, but I think there’s also an extreme to intuitive eating.
I think sometimes intuitive eating gets misunderstood. My understanding of intuitive eating is learning, understanding, and connecting with your body. Connecting with yourself, understanding yourself and trusting your gut. Trusting, “I don’t think I’m doing very well with all this fat.”
But I think intuitive eating also gets taken way the other way too, where it’s like, “Oh, I’m just feeling like I want cookies.” And sometimes I do. And I have the cookies and it’s great.
But I think sometimes, and I say this gently as someone who has had disordered eating both ways with limiting myself and with bingeing and emotional overeating. I think sometimes when you have that experience, intuitive eating can be really difficult because you have shut off your body’s alert system and you don’t understand it or don’t know how to hear it anymore.
I feel like if you shove that down and suppress it enough, it becomes so mute to you that you can’t hear it. And I think that intuitive eating is really relying on you to understand that connection with your body, to listen to that, and know how to listen to that.
How can you know how to listen to your body if you have been have had disordered eating most of your life, which was my case. With intuitive eating I wasn’t releasing the weight that was harming my body.
To give you guys a visual in your head of where I was, I had about 65ish pounds of extra that was just holding onto me and I couldn’t seem to get it off. I was intuitively eating, but I didn’t know how to do that correctly because I had shut that off for so long. I feel like it can go wrong and I would love to hear your take on that.
LAUREN: Yeah, totally. Your story is so powerful, Allie, and I think that it’s going to resonate with a lot of women out there.
I’d say the first thing that we already talked about is recognizing that there is no perfect approach. I think that a lot of people come to intuitive eating thinking, “Finally, I Googled the thing that’s going to work for me.” And we just really have to get rid of that mindset and know that there’s no substitute for doing the long-term work and putting in the time to get to know what works for you.
I would agree that because we live in a modern world and our bodies and minds are designed for past times, our intuition oftentimes does experience a lot of convolution. It’s not necessarily always your intuition that is speaking to you very purely. There’s a lot of influences that come in.
A lot of our reasons for eating don’t always really have to do with our bodies’ needs. They can be environmental triggers. For example, one of the reasons restaurants use the same branding, the same colors, the same interior design is because it activates past memories of eating and it makes you more likely to want to eat.
So when you drive past a restaurant it can sometimes be enough to trigger a hunger reflex. There’s actually people that study this because they want the restaurants to be successful. That’s the same way that food packaging works.
We have this very complicated group of factors that we are living with that really can affect that intuition in a really deep place. And then when you have a long history of dieting, oftentimes your appetite is not always accurate.
For example, I did intermittent fasting for a really long time and it made me capable of tolerating not eating far more than I otherwise would have. So if I were to suddenly start eating intuitively after having trained myself essentially to not eat for 16 to 24 hour periods, my appetite is not going to function the same. It’s going to take time to restore that.
This is just two examples. I could go on for hours with the things that affect intuitive eating, but really what it comes down to is that it’s just another tool in the toolbox.
Sometimes with your journey, you may need more structure and that’s okay. And I think that it’s beautiful that intuitive eating has come to the forefront as a tool. It’s amazing that we’ve swung in the right direction with self love, body positivity, and all these things.
But it can sometimes almost feel like you’re a little worried to do something that’s not intuitive eating because it’s the popular thing and the cool thing right now. You may be feeling like you’re doing it wrong if that’s not where you feel you need to start.
Some people will need to start with structure. That doesn’t mean that you’re not respecting yourself. It doesn’t mean that you’re not loving yourself. It doesn’t mean that you’re doing it wrong or that you’re submitting to diet culture.
It means that you’re learning to look inward at what you really need. And you’re not letting anybody else sit in the driver’s seat of your wellness because ultimately the only expert on you is you. There is no coach, no influencer, no therapist, no doctor who is an expert on you. You are the expert.
You can gather information from respected professionals. You can listen to what they have to say and weigh their advice. But in the end, they’re not inside your head. They’re not in the hidden corners of your mind that nobody else gets to go into.
They don’t carry the wounds that you carry. They don’t carry the joys that you carry. They don’t see what happens in your house behind closed doors.
They cannot make the decisions for you. There’s an inner wisdom that you have to own and that you have to carry in this process so that you can figure out what the best first step is for you.
ALLIE: The journey that I’ve been on these past six months or so is what intuitive eating is to me. When I see that term what I think of is basically being my own guide and getting answers like, “Yes, you need support.”
I do believe that getting a coach for this process or investing in a program (I know you have an amazing program) is good. I think by doing that you’re getting answers and getting wisdom, but you’re coming at it from the view of: “I want to find out what works for me. I want to understand what works for my body. I will ultimately be the decider of how I feel.”
And it all goes back to that. How do you feel? For example, when you do intermittent fasting if you feel like complete shit, don’t do it. Don’t do it.
LAUREN: Don’t do it because somebody told you to do it.
ALLIE: And ladies, at what cost? We are disempowering ourselves and giving up our power to a plan that somebody thought was good in ancient times. We’re not in ancient times. You are in a modern world. It’s your life. And you’re not understanding that your body is communicating to you.
In my experience, and I’m sure yours too, Lauren, if you listen to those signals you will learn to listen to your body. You, first of all, have to learn to even hear it because most of us have muted it.
Taking painkillers for every little headache, suppressing cramps, suppressing everything to the point where our body is trying to talk to us and we will not listen. We have to learn to listen and learn to read those signals.
Like me taking my food sensitivity tests, allergy tests, thyroid tests, and diving in for answers. Testing, playing with fats, playing with carbs, playing with different things. I’d say, “Oh, that sounds really good. Let me eat it and see how I do.”
Writing down in a journal how I felt this week. Did I release the excess fat that is not serving me anymore? Yes or no? Did I hold onto things? Let’s see what happens next week. This is intuitive eating, I think.
LAUREN: Well, you know, I actually call it something else because I’m a bit of a science dork. I teach my students to use the scientific method to figure out what works for them and what doesn’t.
If you guys flashback to high school biology, the scientific method is, basically, you change something and you see what happens. But the mistake that most of us make is we change everything at once.
Because when you sign up for that network marketing exercise platform and the meal plan that comes with it, you’ve now changed everything that you’re eating, everything about how you’re exercising and probably something about your sleep too. And you don’t know what thing made the most impact for you.
What happens with diets is we’re blindly chasing after the change in the weight, but we’re not using it as an opportunity to empower ourselves with wisdom about how our bodies work.
If you take a slower approach and use the scientific method, you have your starting point. Then you change one thing every week or two and you see how your body changes. You’ll gain more wisdom about what impacts your body and what doesn’t impact your body this way than you will by buying a thousand diet programs.
And like you said, journaling is amazing for this. I created a journal specifically for this using the data points that I find to be the most effective for getting to know your body’s wisdom. Oftentimes because we are out of touch with that empowerment, we are out of touch with our bodies.
We do numb so much that we need that structure of somebody asking us to look at this. Look at how it feels when you do that? Through doing that we’re able to learn how to reconnect with our bodies.
ALLIE: I love that.
This is one example for you guys listening of how this shook out for me and my journey. I feel like really high fat is trendy right now. And fat was previously completely villainized to such an unhealthy degree. It was so messy, so unhealthy.
And now it’s all the rage. I actually played with eating super high fat. I was eating high fat, healthy, good whole foods, good fats.
I noticed when I started to play with my food and really kept a journal that all the days that I started to feel low energy and sluggish were the days that I was eating really high fat. So I played with that. I took it down and was like, “What if I just have some avocado with breakfast and let that be it?” And I started to feel better.
Then obviously you want to get your nutrients and we can go into all that. I was still having whole foods, still getting nutrients from good dense foods, but less fat. I started to play with that.
I wouldn’t have noticed that I was feeling that way if I hadn’t journaled. How many years had I gone on thinking that it was just normal to feel tired and sluggish?
You guys know how much I love coffee. I cut out coffee for five months last year in an experiment that I was doing with Dr. Rhodes (who’s also been on the show), and it was so hard. I’ve since brought it back.
Now, instead of doing things a certain way, I’m just noticing. This week I started to notice how caffeine makes me feel and started limiting it. I have one cup of coffee in the morning, and then I’m having my chai latte right now, which has a little bit of caffeine in it, and that’s it. I was having five cups of coffee.
LAUREN: I actually had to do the same challenge and quit coffee myself, and I had exactly the same journey. But if you cut the fats down and you cut coffee at the same time, you wouldn’t know the impact. And this is what we’re doing with every single diet.
I always say that my least favorite section in the bookstore is the diet and wellness section because books are meant to sell. And the people who write the books, they’re not obligated to give you a balanced perspective and show you both sides of the coin on their issue. Their goal is to convince you of their plan.
Because of that, we’re constantly getting bombarded by external information and we’re not tapping into that internal. It’s just yanking us around it. It’s preventing us from getting results. It’s making us feel crappy about ourselves. We’re feeling like we’re the problem.
And ultimately that’s how eating disorders develop because we feel so deeply that we are the problem. I’ve talked to you, Allie, about how I think we need to rename “dieting” to “controlled starvation,” because that’s really what it is. When you look at when you would lose weight in non-modern times, it would be when you didn’t have enough food in your environment.
Dieting is a soft word. We have to call it what it is—controlled starvation so that we understand the respect that it deserves and how careful we need to be with dieting in our lives. And also, so that we can cut ourselves a little bit of slack and stop acting like this is like going to the grocery store.
ALLIE: “Oh you’ve gained too much weight and this is what people do to lose it.”
LAUREN: That’s not the way it works. That’s not the way we’re built and pretending that it is the way it works, pretending that it is the way that we’re built, is damaging us emotionally.
My big phrase on my Instagram is “Your happiness is more important than your dress size.” I really mean that. There’s a point of caring for yourself and feeling confident in yourself that is really super important for your happiness. But you have permission to do whatever is going to work for you right now, whatever happiness is for you right now.
I think for a lot of women chasing that diet mentality at first is something that feels like they want to let go of it, but then they also realize that, wait a second, maybe my weight is important to me and that needs to be okay too.
ALLIE: I’m glad you said that about controlled starvation. That is such a sad phrase, but it’s true.
LAUREN: We need to say it, we need to understand it, and we need to get in our heads that that is what we are doing.
ALLIE: And so much body dysmorphia is a fear based thing.
I also loved what you said about wanting to not be wrapped up in your size. But also I care. I want to feel good. I want to look good. It’s okay. I care about how I look.
I wanted to lose weight, but it wasn’t working and I was tired of following a set of guidelines that was given to me by somebody else. I also kept saying, “I’m allergic to something that’s in everything.” I didn’t get any tests done. I was just trying to figure it out myself. I was cutting out oils and they cook in such crappy oils at restaurants. I figured it out.
The diet that I had done before, where I had lost weight had made me miserable. It wasn’t taking into account how I was feeling. I was blowing up. My stomach would get eight months pregnant and rock hard bloated.
And it was just kinda like, “Oh, I don’t know what’s going on. But I went down three pounds, so good job.” There was no looking inward.
And diets shush your body. Again, we’ve been shushing our bodies and their symptoms and the message they’re trying to give us for so long. It is normal to not see what you like on the scale or in the way your clothes fit or whatever, and to control starvation yourself until you like what you see.
That’s so screwed up. And that is where your body is talking to you. It’s not doing well with something. Maybe you’ve been emotionally eating, let’s fix the emotions causing the bingeing, not just punish yourself.
LAUREN: Your management of your wellness and your management of your weight has to do with so much. It has to do with your home. It has to do with the way that you dress, like the amazing work you’ve been doing with Jammie Baker lately.
There’s just so much that goes into it. And these diets do not respect that fact. That is why I believe in using the scientific method to find what truly works for you instead of jumping from diet to diet for the rest of your life.
Put yourself back in the driver’s seat so that you never have to go and look to somebody else for answers again. You should be at the center of your wellness journey.
Also a lot of people don’t realize I’m a scientist so I can say this. My undergraduate is in biology; my master’s degree is in exercise science. I got my masters more than a decade ago now, so I really feel like I’ve been watching my industry for a long time.
Science is not as clear as people think that it is, especially in modern times. We have a lot of interesting challenges going on in the scientific community with research quality.
We look for something called “reproducibility of scientific research,” meaning that if one scientist in America does one thing, a scientist somewhere else should be able to reproduce their work. That’s how we know that something was genuine. There have been crises with reproducibility in health science.
Especially since the pandemic, I see a lot of people who are like “science, science, science, science,” and it can be a shiny object that pulls us away from looking inward because we feel like science is the answer.
Yes, we should take advantage of as much science as we can. But the fact of the matter is you might not be built the same way the people in that scientific study are. So again, the only way we’re going to understand how we’re built is by collecting data on ourselves, reflecting on ourselves, and having our own little experiment.
ALLIE: So what about people who are listening to this and are really resistant? I feel like there’s a lot of fear in taking the power and giving it to yourself because we’ve given it away to others and looked outside to influencers, dieticians, and other people.
What would you say to that? If someone is listening to you? I want to hear how we can learn to do that, but first, talk about that fear of trusting yourself?
LAUREN: That’s an easy one. I would just say, how’s that working for you? How’s it working for you? And if the answer is, “it’s working,” that’s great. Don’t change anything.
If you’re happy, if you feel good in your body, if you’re able to look and feel the way that you want to, awesome. Don’t change a thing.
But if it’s not working for you, let’s not keep doing it over and over. You have these goals for a reason. You have goals for your wellness and for yourself for a reason. Because it plays into your purpose and your happiness.
If that’s not the reason you have the goals, then you probably need to circle back and do a lot of the deeper work that I know you talk about so much, Allie. But, how’s that working for you? If it’s not, then it’s obviously your choice. Do you want something different for yourself or do you want to just keep doing the same old thing?
The worst that can happen is you find that this approach isn’t a fit for you and you can go back to what you were doing before. No skin lost.
Moving forward from here, where do we start with being our own scientist? Being the controller and the researcher of our bodies?
LAUREN: I’m going to toot my own horn on this one and say that I made it easy for you guys. I created a program called Your Daily Journal, which is a downloadable PDF journal where I literally have all the data points for you to take every day of the week, Monday through Sunday.
I guide you through the process of evaluating it. There’s some videos in it. I would definitely say that if you’re ready to start examining, what’s working for your unique body in life to start doing this.
ALLIE: I’m going to interrupt and say, I have it. I’m going to start using it. She gave it to me today. I’m so excited because like you said, you’re a scientist. It is a scientist version, an official version of what I was trying to jot down in my journal and track on my iPhone notes.
It was okay, but with this you don’t have to think. You can just feel into your body, write down what you’re feeling, and write what’s coming up today. I ate this, now how am I feeling? Connecting those dots that are impossible to connect when you are rushing through life with the kids, getting on zoom calls, doing school and all these things.
I also want to toot Lauren’s horn for her and say that she gave us a coupon code that makes it less than $32, right? We’ll give you the link for that. I’ll put it in the intro before this episode and after.
I just want to say how kind of her that is. Thank you for doing that because I know your heart is to help these women and you didn’t have to do that. I really appreciate it,
LAUREN: I want people to have this approach because I didn’t have it. I had Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism. I have three kids. I needed to lose weight and like you, Allie, I found myself struggling with a lot of really negative thoughts about my body and about weight loss to the point where after my first child I ended up making myself throw up for the first time.
That was where this whole journey, my whole method of coaching began from. I heard this voice in my head at that moment that told me that I wasn’t the problem. And thank God I heard that voice because I think if I hadn’t heard that voice, I would have thought, “Wow, look at me, I’m making myself throw up. How broken am I?”
Instead, the question I asked is, “How broken is the system?”
I have found so much freedom in this method. I want that for moms everywhere, especially if you’re a mom of girls. But also if you’re a mom of boys. We pass on so much to the next generation. I actually call it generational wellness because our children learn to care for themselves from us.
Just about everybody in my family was overweight when I was a kid. And I remember hearing a lot of really severe things come out of their mouths about themselves and about their bodies. And it stuck with me.
It stuck in my head and I don’t want to pass that on to my children. I don’t want to pass it on to my girls. I don’t want to pass that onto my boy. I want us to put a stop to that with this generation.
But putting a stop to that doesn’t mean that you have to stay at a weight that you’re unhappy with. I think that’s where we’re hitting a really interesting disconnect in our conversation culturally right now. A lot of people feel like not doing that means just not caring about, not necessarily your body’s health, but your weight specifically. And I think that we need to respect that as an individual choice.
ALLIE: Absolutely. It’s almost like a free pass to just eff it and whatever, but how are you feeling? Going back again to how are you feeling?
It’s a personal choice. It’s about how you’re feeling. If you feel great and you’re happy then okay.
But if not, it’s okay to not be okay. And to ask those questions and figure out what your body is trying to tell you, what it needs, and then move forward from there. Which is where the journal comes in.
I do think though, too, that in my experience, it is important to go through this journey with support. I think if you can’t afford to get help even just bringing your spouse in is important.
Brian and I went through this weight journey together, and that was really helpful. So helpful. Because the person you’re living with and eating with to not be supportive is so hard.
Also getting a dietician or somebody who’s going to be on the same page as you and going to understand that they want to help you listen to your symptoms, listen to your body, figure that out and support you.
Lauren, you are such a well of knowledge when it comes to nutrition. I remember going to lunch with you and your daughter and I thought, “Oh, like, this is like a lot of starch.” And you said, “Actually, starch…” and you just went on a little tangent.
LAUREN: I’m like an encyclopedia. I’m kind of obsessed with this stuff. And my kids are picking up on it too, which is hilarious. They come out with facts and they’ll tell their friends about what they’re eating. I’m like, “Oh my God, I’m creating little monsters.”
ALLIE: It’s knowledge. It’s wisdom. And you bring it in such a factual way like, “This is what starch is. This is what fat is. This is how it works together.” It’s just so helpful.
Ladies, invest in your body. Invest in yourself. Stop throwing money away at the diets that are made for God only knows what type of body type.
Emotional states of being and all kinds of these things come into play. And they don’t come into play with diets. They’re not there.
I have worked with several people from an energy healer to a dietician to a nutritionist to doctors. I’ve gotten allergy tests and been figured out all this stuff to come to where I am currently. And I have changed things throughout the way. There is no, “Oh, I did this and I lost weight.”
LAUREN: You’re bringing up an amazing point about the support. It’s not just about working with a coach for the expertise. You also have to realize this approach is really counterculture and you’re going to get pushback.
You’re going to get people in your life who don’t understand why you’re not signing up for their challenge group, or why you’re not going to do keto when everybody else in your family is doing it before the upcoming wedding. It’s a thing. You need to create relationships and community.
I’m always up in the Your Uncluttered Home community asking questions about wrapping wires with zip ties and stuff. So many women show up in that community because they need support because they’re doing something counterculture and nobody else gets it.
You guys listening intuitively understand the fact that what Allie has created helps you to make these changes in your life. And you need the same thing for your wellness or you’re not going to stick with it.
Another thing I should have said when you asked, “What would you say to somebody who’s just not ready for this,” is you can actually use the journal with any diet that you want to try. Let’s say that you’re dead set on trying Keto’s, South Beach, Paleo, whatever it is. Cool. Do it.
Just do it all with the journal so that you’re taking this process and you’re taking data on how exactly it’s working for you. It’s still going to bum me out that you’re changing more than one thing at once, but I will be okay with it if I know at least you’re collecting data on yourself and you’re learning from it.
ALLIE: And not just noticing you’re losing weight and that’s it. You are really noticing how you feel.
I’m telling you guys, the fat thing was huge for me. Realizing that I was feeling sluggish and then seeing that connection to the higher fats. I was drinking coconut milk, eating avocado, seed cycling and eating so much fat. it was huge for me and it empowered me to realized what was going on.
You think, “I’m eating healthy so I will lose weight.” No, your body is made up of its own makeup and it is different from everyone else’s. That was huge for me. I promise you if I wouldn’t have written it down, I wouldn’t have noticed. It’s still a miracle I noticed it even from writing it down.
That data is amazing. It’s huge. It’s everything. To see it for what it is and learn to notice how you’re feeling, knowing the questions to ask when you track.
The questions in this journal, Lauren, I’m so impressed. They’re so good and helpful. And really like, “Yeah, that is the whole point of eating is to fuel and nourish my body. Is this making me feel good?”
LAUREN: Yeah. And the big question at the end of it is, “Am I moving closer to the goal I set for myself? Did what I did this week work?”
This journal is literally the coaching process that I used in one-on-ones for a decade. I just figured out how to put it out there for others, because it’s just that important.
To go back to the intuitive eating conversation a little bit more, I do have a couple of things that I believe would be helpful for people to hear. The first one is I believe that it’s not easy to not eat. It’s just not easy to not eat.
I think most people are like, “Well, duh, why are you saying that?” But we need to hear it. It’s not easy to not eat. And I think that there’s a danger with intuitive eating if you’re not set up to hear that. There’s a danger of feeling like it’s another thing that you failed, right?
But again, it’s controlled starvation and we’re not designed to not eat. So I want all you guys to take permission for this to be hard, but to know that you can do hard things.
There is a really amazing article. I think it was in maybe The Journal that the American Psychology Association runs, but a lot of the best research on dieting is actually done by studying starvation.
There was a study in the forties that looked at men who could not go to World War II for one reason or another and to do their duty they volunteered for this study where they were essentially starved. The scientific researchers look to see what would happen to them if they starved.
Now, what’s interesting is if you look at how much they ate and how much exercise they did, it was actually not that far off from what many women do to diet today. I can’t remember the exact number of calories, but they were like walking for a certain amount of time every day and it was a certain number of calories. Granted, they were men and men usually consume more calories. If it were women, it might not have been as severe of a gap.
But basically they found that for a certain percentage of the people, it made them a little crazy. There were actually a couple of people who found ways to sneak food into the study and so they had to be excluded. I think there was one person that actually had to be institutionalized, they went a little bit crazy.
They found that psychologically starvation affects your brain. It affects your ability to cope. It affects the way you feel anxiety and depression. And we’re just all over here thinking that we’re just bad at dieting when really we have documented research that controlled starvation makes people a little crazy.
We can see from that study that it makes some people more crazy than others. And that’s okay. And that’s another factor that you have to make space for. You will handle controlled starvation differently than someone else.
Even though it is true that we can do things to make controlled starvation easier on us, it’s very possible that you may just find it hard and you have to figure that out. We need to make space for that and make that okay as long as you’re not hurting your body and you’re doing it safely.
ALLIE: Yeah, absolutely. I just love how much your message brings the power back to the person. If you need guidance, help, and support, get it. But it just all goes back to figuring it out for yourself. I really, really love that. That’s super empowering.
Anything else that you want to cover in this?
LAUREN: Another thing that I think is an important point of conversation is that I think it’s really easy for us to look up, even to a coach like myself, and think that we’re the experts.
But there’s so much good information out there right now that it’s really hard for a professional practitioner to keep up with all the information that comes in. Even if you have the most amazing coach in the world, the most amazing personal trainer, and most amazing registered dietician, we can’t consume all the information out there. We just can’t, it’s physically impossible now.
The amount of scientific research and information that’s coming out is just too fast for any human to handle. It’s just another reason that it’s important to put yourself back in the driver’s seat because no expert can do that for you.
ALLIE: Yeah, absolutely.
In conclusion, you’re amazing. I feel like we could talk for hours, so we’ll cut if off here.
Take your power back. Learn what your body is trying to tell you. Relearn how to listen. It’s so innate.
Babies listen to their bodies. They cry when they’re hungry. They start to throw food at the dog when they are full.
We need to revisit and relearn how to have that kind of intuition with our bodies and learn what your body’s trying to tell you, what it likes and doesn’t like, how it reacts to certain foods.
Find your healthy weight. Find your healthy body. And get there in a way that feels really good and isn’t controlled starvation.
LAUREN: This is not easy stuff, so just remember, give yourself time to let these changes happen in your mind.
ALLIE: Yeah, that’s really good. Thank you so much, Lauren.
LAUREN: I also gave you guys my Belief, Shifts, and Affirmation worksheet for free. You can get that laurenchante.com/friendsofAllie. That’ll get emailed to you.
ALLIE: Yes. And if you want to go ahead and get that journal, which I highly recommend that you do, use the code PURPOSESHOW and you will get it for less than $32.
So amazing! Thank you so much, Lauren. I appreciate you so much. I can’t wait for everyone to hear this.
LAUREN: Thank you, Allie.
Thanks so much for hanging out with me! In case you didn’t know, there’s actually an exclusive community that’s been created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions around The Purpose Show episodes. It’s designed to get you to actually take action and make the positive changes that we talk about here. I want you to go and be a part of it. To do that, go to alliecasazza.com/facebookgroup.
Thank you so much for tuning in! If you’d like to learn more about me, how I can help you, how you can implement all these things and more into your life to make it simpler, better, and more abundant, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, online courses, programs, and other resources to help you create the life you really want.
I am always rooting for you, friend! See you next time! I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.
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