Are you making food too exciting? And by that, I mean, Are you putting foods up onto a pedestal so that they are the most exciting things in the world? Are you scared to keep those foods in the cupboards because you feel like you will lose control and eat and eat until it's gone? The key is actually to have LOADS of that food around you. Sounds crazy, but it's true. In this episode, I'm talking about habituation and how it helps to give you back that control.
Also, find out why I am just like Smithy from Gavin and Stacey, and why I've changed my name.
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Welcome to the Intuitive Eating and Body Positivity Podcast. I'm Terri and I'll be talking about all things Intuitive Eating, body positivity and health at every size, and shaking off weight, stigma, diet culture, and food rules so that we can all have a better relationship with food and our bodies.
Hello, how are you? It is hot today. Hot, hot, hot, and I am sat in my bedroom with the windows closed because it's too noisy outside. I think I've told you this before. I live on a busy road, so there's always lots of traffic up and down. I've got to have the windows closed while I'm recording so I'm going to talk real quick.
It's really warm in here. Oh, I love the sun though. I love summer. How's your week been? Has it been good? It's been all right. Nothing much going on really. No stories to tell you this week of clothes shopping and things like that, it's all pretty dull in Terri's life right now. Dull is quiet, quiet is good.
I quite like it. It's so busy at work. It's so busy through the week that I don't feel bad about not doing much with my weekends. That's my personal self-care. I don't feel bad about not having activities to do at the weekend. lots of people get to work on a Monday. This happened to you and people say, oh, what did you do at the weekend?
Or where did you go? And everybody's like, oh, when here, and I went there and I sit there and I'm like, I did absolutely nothing, nothing. I'm all right. With that tell a lie. We did have some friends round last Saturday had a barbecue. That was nice. I had some friends over, it was a little bit like normality.
Was just nice to see people and behave like normal adults and just sit and to have some drinks and have some food and chat without not without worrying about COVID, but things are a lot better now. And we're still very careful and the friends we had over, I know are very careful.
So it was nice. It was good, safe, fun kids. Yeah, so that was, that was last week for you. Nothing exciting going on there. I got up this morning and went to the bathroom and I walked across the landing and I was like, Ooh, I feel skinny today. You ever do that? You have skinny days and you have fat days.
That is terminology that I really have to change. That's not good words to use. I know I didn't get up any skinnier today than I was yesterday and I know some days I don't get up fatter than I am any other days I get up in the same body. I just feel different in my body.
You know, some days you just feel thinner. Does that make sense? You just feel different. And the problem is that we associate that with it being good. And when we're having a fat day, that's a bad thing and that's not the case because outwardly my body is the same. I just feel differently in it, but we shouldn't be associating skinny with good and fat with bad.
Our bodies are our bodies we should be probably thinking about it more in terms of I feel healthier today or I feel sluggish today, or I feel full of life today. I feel good about myself today. Oh, I don't feel so good about myself today. Cause it's all right to have a bad day. It's all right to have a bad body image day that happens to everybody.
But it's how we refer that to size that matters. So I just thought I would share that because it's one of those things that everybody goes through. We all have days where we get up feeling rubbish. We all have days where we wake up feeling great.
It's the words in your head and how you relate that that matter. So, yeah, I just thought I'd share and say that I get it. I don't live in this world of perfect body positivity all the time. Yeah, just an interesting thought from this morning.
So this week I want to talk to you about this Are you making food too exciting? And by that, I mean, Are you putting foods up onto a pedestal so that they are the most exciting things in the world. We do it with everything What is it that makes you go ooh, yeah, I'd love some of that.
For me it's things like ice cream chocolate. It's pretty much all the sweet things. But I also love pastry and those are the sort of things that I can't really resist maybe. If there was a platter of a variety of foods, the sweet stuff would be my go-to. Whereas people like my sister and my husband, they are very much about crisps and things like that.
So I know if there's crisp out on the side of my husband is probably going to eat them.
What is that food for you? What makes you want to just dive on in and eat it
I guess it doesn't really matter what that food is. It's how you feel about it. I was having a chat with a friend of mine in lockdown, and we got into some baking. And I started baking most weekends as did she and it was lovely. We'd be like, what are you baking this week? What have you baked this week?
Look what I made yesterday. Yeah. What I knocked together last night and having a conversation about, you know, whether we'd always bake d and it occurred to me that I never used to bake much when I was dieting. Because I was too scared of having the food in the house after I've made it. I really love making sweet stuff.
I don't mind cooking. I like cooking if I got time for it. I love putting a meal on the table for people. I love feeding people, but what I really enjoy is baking. And I never used to bake because it was one of those things where as much as I'd enjoyed the baking afterwards, the food was there to be eaten.
And either I would just eat it and eat it and eat it and then came the guilt and the restriction afterwards, you know, all the usual stuff or I would be so worried about other people eating it. And then there would be none for me. Do you know what I mean? It was like, I was worried that I would never have it again.
So it was quite relief when I got into intuitive eating and then during lockdown started to bake a bit more and then it became a weekly thing and it was so lovely. It was so, so lovely to make that food, to give it to my family, to eat some, if I wanted some. I even made stuff that I wasn't even that keen on.
I would never have done that before because the food and having it available afterwards was really important to me. I think this was an emphasized version of what a lot of people go through with normal food shopping. I know that I do or used to do it rather. And a lot of other people do it.
They avoid having food in the house so that they can't eat it. So I would avoid baking so that I couldn't eat it. I would avoid buying things like chocolates and ice cream and just nice stuff that I would really like to have a bit of every now and again, because I didn't trust myself with it. And I know that that's a lot of, people's worry around food and food that is seen to be particularly bad, you know, in inverted commas, bad for you.
The key here is what we call habituation and it's basically getting used to it. That's all it means. Getting used to having that food around. The more you eat a food, the less pleasurable it becomes over time. This is not just a theory, by the way, it has been proven in multiple studies, the more you have a food available, the more you eat a food, the less, you actually want it over time. And I know that you think that that is nonsense because I'd have said it before as well. If somebody had said to me, have all the chocolate in all the world, in the cupboards and after a while you won't want to touch it, I'd have been like, yeah.
Okay. Whatever. I love chocolate. And if somebody had said to have all the ice cream you want in the freezer, in fact, here is a freezer full of ice cream, fill your boots, but I promise you, you won't want it in a couple of weeks I'd have been okay, whatever. I love ice cream, but actually it's the truth.
If you think about it, you're probably already doing it a little bit. Things like leftovers. So if you've got a takeaway and you've got all this food and then your eat, eat, eat, eat, eat, eat. And. Normal meal leftovers, just normal meal leftovers. You made too much. Say you've made a big lasagna and there's loads leftover and you think I'm going to put that in the fridge. I'll have some tomorrow, and then you have some tomorrow, and it's not quite as good as it was the day before.
But you have some cause it's still good and then there's still some left over so you put that back in the fridge and I'll have some tomorrow, tomorrow comes, yeah. Dunno if I fancy that lasagna. And that's what habituation does to you. Yeah. With all foods, they just become less pleasurable over time.
And this is a neurological thing. Your brain at the moment is hardwired to eat all this food when it's available to you, because you're so used to restricting it. And you think you're never going to have it ever again. It's not going to be available after today. I have to eat it all now.
Whereas if you have an abundance of that food available to you all day, all night for you to help yourself to over time, your brain learns, that you're not restricting that food. You can have that any time you want and it becomes less appealing. In intuitive eating, we call that kind of eating last supper eating and we know that we do it with all sorts of things.
After we have done years of dieting, we have this drive to eat all the foods that we usually restrict. So food at work, you know, when people bring in birthday buffets, meals in restaurants, when you go out to a restaurant and you look at the menu and there's this whole list of food that you want because you don't usually have it. you order your meal and then you think I'll have that side.
I'll have that side. I'll have another one. I'll have a side of that before. You know, it you've ordered more food than what you would actually be able to comfortably eat.
Takeaways. If you have a table full of takeaways. Now, I don't know about you, but I am completely with Smithy Gavin and Stacy, on this. You don't share a takeaway. But some people out there do, and they have this table full of food and everybody just helps themselves. And you dive in and you fill your plate with so much food because you are used to restricting it.
And you think, when is the next time I'm going to be able to eat food like this? When is the next time I'm going to be able to eat lovely food like this
habituation will take that away. You'll be able to just have some of the food that you like, the look of. You'll be able to enjoy your meal.
So how do you do this? Start by making yourself a dream food list. Make yourself a list of all the foods that you would usually restrict. What do you not have in your house? Because you don't trust yourself. Then try and put them in a bit of a priority order. Which ones would you like to become more comfortable with first.
Then go out and buy a few of those foods. Pick them from your priorities, pick them from the top of your list of the ones that you want to tackle first and go out and buy some of those foods. Buy loads of them, if you can. Then when you get home, you put them away. You put them in the cupboards. Maybe you'll eat some first, but they will be there and they will be, they're free for you to eat whenever you want to.
Then, and here's the key in this, when you choose to eat some, do it with an awareness. So choose to eat some at a time where there is no stress around you. Pick a time when it's comfortable for you. And then sit down with that food and eat with an awareness of what's going on for you. This might be something that's really scary for you. It might be difficult for you to do. You've just got to take it bit by bit, step by step. But as far as you're comfortable doing it, sit down with this food and as you eat it, Think about how it feels, how does it feel in your mouth?
How does your body feel eating it? How are you enjoying the food? How sweet is it? How salty is it? How sour is it? How hot is it? How cold does it? Feel the sensations while you're eating it? Is it crunchy? Is it soft? Take notice of how it feels to eat it. As you continue to eat it, gauge how your body feels.
Are you starting to feel like it's not so enjoyable? Are you starting to feel full if it's a big food that you're eating? Do you still want to keep eating then carry on, but eat with an awareness of how you're feeling? When you're ready, stop eating it, put it away and put it away with a knowledge that you can come back to it later.
You can have some more of that food later. You've got permission to eat that food whenever you want to. So when you put that food away, don't feel like you're restricting yourself. If you're done eating and you're putting the food away because you've chosen to, that's not restriction. That's you deciding that you've had enough to eat and you're going to put it away for later. If you don't want to put it away and you want to continue eating, continue eating. This is going to be something that is different for you to me, to anybody else going through this process.
But the key is to sit down, eat the food with an awareness of how you feel and how it feels to be eating it. And you will find that as you continue to eat the pleasure of the food tapers off. So you start with that "wow. This is amazing" and then as you keep eating it, you feel a little bit less satisfied by it.
It's like, oh yeah, it still tastes good. It's okay. And then as you continue maybe the salt is too much. And you now need to drink your body weight in water. Maybe you've had enough of the sweetness. Maybe you're just not enjoying it as much as you were when you started. That's not to say that you don't enjoy it at all.
You're just not enjoying it as much as you were when you sat down to eat it in the first place. This will be something you'll need to do a few times. You will need to work on it and be kind to yourself in the process because it might not be an easy thing for you to do, but once you've got it, once you've cracked it, once you've broken through that barrier with a food, it's amazing because it no longer holds that power over you.
It no longer drives you to eat and eat and eat with no control. You get to choose. When you want to eat, you get to choose when to stop eating. You get to choose what to eat or what not to eat. We had biscuits in the office the other day. It was one of those days where they were there for no apparent reason other than someone had been to the shop on their way to work and bought some biscuits.
Then somebody else came in, had been to the shop and had brought some biscuits just completely coincidentally. Oh, and somebody else also brought brownies in. So there was all this food around. And do you know what? I didn't really have any of the biscuits. I did have a couple and I did have a couple of Jaffa cakes.
There was Jaffa cakes there as well. But I wasn't really bothered by it. And as the day went on, I really wasn't fazed. I really didn't feel the need to go and get some more of those biscuits in case they weren't there later. That's what habituation does. It helps you to make peace with the foods, the ones that had a hold over you and before you know it, this whole new world of food availability is there for you.
You can do those things like baking. Without the worry of the guilt afterwards, because you won't feel guilty for sitting and having some of the food that you've made. You can do things like have takeaways with your friends or with your family, without the worry of having that lack of control around how much you're going to put on your plate, because you'll just have some of the food, the food that you enjoy, you'll be able to buy those things that you want to put in the kid's lunchboxes, for example, Without worrying that you're going to have eaten them all before Monday even comes right around. You will be able to have food in the house without feeling like you need to get somebody to hide it for you. You won't feel guilty about sitting and eating some chocolate or some crisps while you're watching TV in the evenings, because you're just going to have some, if you fancy it, you're not going to have it uncontrollably.
I know this has been a bit of a whistle-stop tour of this piece of work that you would do. I just wanted to explain to you the principle of hatituation and give you an idea of how you can start working on it. For some people, it will come really easily. For some people it's going to be hard work, but when you have cracked it, it is amazing.
So give it a go try it but remember not to beat yourself up in the process. If it feels difficult for you the first time you try it. That's okay. There's no rush. You can just come back to it another time. Remember? No food is inherently bad. No food is better than one other food.
Obviously allergies and intolerances need to be taken into account there, but those things aside, no food is bad. No food is better than any other.
that's one thing that really helped me through the process was remembering that while I was giving myself permission to eat. So good luck. I wish you well with it. I can't wait to hear how you've got on. Drop me a message. I look forward to hearing from you.
While we're talking about dropping me a message. I thought I would let you know about some changes that I've made. I put a bit of a poll out to some people who are signed up for a membership that I'm launching. I asked them for their honest opinion on what they thought of the membership that was coming and if there were any changes to make and things like that. And one of the overwhelming comments that I was getting from people was that they don't see enough of me in it. They don't see enough of me in the contact with them. When I thought about this, I thought, gosh, they're right. I really am not that visible on my social media platforms. I don't put my face on there very often. Everything that's written is written by me, but I don't have a lot of me personally, on those profiles. Does that make sense? So here's what I've done. I have changed my name.
I decided that the first place that I could put myself out there more would be my profile names. So I've done away with LifeBite. It was a name that I picked to get the ball rolling with my profiles and the messages that I was putting out and I don't dislike it, but I don't see it being a long-term thing.
So I am just going to do everything under my name. My website is now terripugh.co.uk.
If you're following me on social media my profile is now @IAmTerriPugh because I am Terri Pugh. . If you're not, why not? I put some great stuff out. I put some okay stuff out. But yeah, give me a follow if you're not following already. So yes, that will be the first place that you will see the changes. I will put all the links in the show notes below so that you can see them and link through to them. You don't have to do anything, but that's what I will show up as now.
I will start putting a bit more of me into my posts and things. I have always kind of fed bits and pieces of me into them in stories and experiences and things. And there's quite a lot of me in this podcast now. I know I base it around my experiences and my stories in an effort to try and help you understand that I know how you're feeling.
But I will make a concerted effort to put more of myself in there for you. So you'll see those changes happening as you see more of my posts and see more of the plans I've got ahead. I'm going to make some changes to the membership too, on that basis. So keep your eyes peeled for that. I'll be announcing those changes soon.
I am done I think. The sun is shining. I am ready to go and sit in it. Have a glorious week. I hope you get to enjoy some downtime. Let me know if you've tried out a bit of the habituation work. Let me know how that gets on. I really would love to hear from you.
Be kind to yourself this week. Do nice things for yourself this week. Be positive about yourself this week and I will speak to you next weekend. Bye-bye .