Intuitive Eating & Body Positivity with Terri Pugh

12. How dieting screwed up my childhood love of muesli

July 04, 2021 Terri Pugh Episode 12
Intuitive Eating & Body Positivity with Terri Pugh
12. How dieting screwed up my childhood love of muesli
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

This week I had a few food revelations. I ordered a jacket potato and I enjoyed it, I found a new love for gnocchi, and my love of muesli is well and truly over. Plus, what's the deal with 'what I eat in a day' and meal plan social media posts? 

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Related Topics:

Intuitive Eating, HAES, Health At Every Size, Body Positivity, Body Confidence, Body Positive, Anti Diet, Non Diet, Diet Culture, Food Freedom, Fat Acceptance, Fat Liberation, Self Care, Weight Loss, Eating Disorder, Eating Disorder Recovery, Disordered Eating, Nutritional Therapy, Slimming World, Weight Watchers, Cambridge Diet, Cambridge Plan, 121 Diet, Lighter Life, Noom, Coaching, Healing, Health, Wellness

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 of weight stigma diet culture and food rules so that we can all have a better relationship with food and our bodies.

 

Hello, how's your week been? I ask you this every week and every week, there is no reply. So I hope that when you listen to this, you're actually answering me.

 

How did you find the last couple of episodes? Did you enjoy them? It was a bit different, wasn't it Having guests on? It wasn't just me talking to you. Did you like them? Did you not like them? Give me your thoughts. Send me a message on well, wherever. Send me a message on social media. Send me an email or whatever. let me know. Let me know what you thought of them. I liked doing them, actually, that was a good fun experience, but I appreciate that they're quite specialised, aren't they?

 

Whenever I have somebody on as a guest, it's obviously going to be on a specialised topic and that's not going to suit everybody. But if you're happy with that, I'll continue. And if you're not that keen and you just want me to chat on to you all by myself each week Then I'm happy to do that too, because I quite enjoyed both. So, yeah, let me know. Let me know.

 

This week I had a few food revelations. Now this is going to sound really dull on the face of it but this week I ordered a jacket potato and I enjoyed it. Now I know. see, on the face of it, that means nothing at all but it got me thinking. Previously if I had a jacket potato, it was because I was on a diet and it was a filling option that I quite enjoyed, but was a bit nicer than..... Just trying to think of an example.....now, like a salad. Who wants a salad every day of the week? Well, right, I've said this before. If that's your bag, good for you. Just salad just does not do it for me. It doesn't fill me up. I need substance. I need foods that fill me up and make me feel like I've actually eaten a meal.

 

So anyway, there is a food van, like a food delivery, that comes round to our office now.  Bloody marvellous. It is a local cafe. Their food is brilliant. They do loads of food. They've got like the biggest portions and for a decent amount of money, so that's always a winner, isn't it? One day I forgot my lunch. I rang them up and I said, Can I have a delivery today, please? Because if you ring them, they'll just deliver to you. I said, Can I have a delivery today, please?

 

And I looked at the menu and what I really, really fancied was a jacket potato. I wanted cheese and tuna. Picture this: jacket potato, you put the cheese on first so the cheese all melts into the jacket, and then you have tuna mayo on top and a salad next to it. And so they drop this off and it was the best lunch ever.

 

So one of the guys at work said, Tezza, on a scale of one to 17, how good was your jacket potato? I was like, that was a 16, which completely shocked everybody, obviously. But the thing was, it was really, really good. It was just what I wanted at that time. It was filling. It was hot. The cheese melted just beautifully. The tuna was really good. There was a decent amount of mayo in it. The whole thing, the salad on the side that added a nice big crunch. it was just really, really good.

 

Now, I never felt like that about jacket potatoes when I was on a diet because I was just eating the jacket potato because I had to. Because that was the better option. Because potatoes were free, tuna was free, salad was free. I could eat as much of it as I liked and it was an easy way to fill up and not eat into my syns for the day. But I never really enjoyed it. I had to eat it because that's what I could have.

 

I didn't eat it because that's what I really wanted. And that's the thing with Intuitive Eating is that you eat what you really want to eat. You're not eating based around any points system or calories or anything like that. You're eating what you truly want to eat, what your body is telling you you want to eat in that moment.

 

Also, gnocchi, you know, gnocchi? Like potato pasta? It's funny stuff and I never used to like that. I remember trying it years ago and being like, oh, yuck, I don't like it. It's a funny texture, it's funny taste, it does nothing for me. I would rather make pasta, but because I've got all this food freedom now, I made this really nice gnocchi dish out of a recipe and I thought everybody else will like it. I'll be all right with it, that's fine. The stuff around the gnocchi I will enjoy. Now for starters, that's the wrong approach because you shouldn't just make things for other people if you're not going to enjoy it but I thought it would be OK.

 

I loved it. I really enjoyed it, and again, I wonder if that's because my tastes have changed now. I wonder if now I'm not restricted to having things like that all the time, that now I'm going to enjoy them more? My tastes have changed because they've just adapted over time and I didn't realise that I really enjoyed it.

 

If I did it well, if I did it in a way that I enjoyed it, once again, there was cheese in it so that's always going to be good, but this gnocchi was really, you know, it was nothing fancy. It was just gnocchi, some tomatoes, onion, some spinach, I think was in there, some mozzarella. There was I threw some other bits of veg in. Yeah, there was mozzarella in there. There was all sorts of bits and pieces in there and it was just so tasty. It was stodge and gooey with the cheese. The gnocchi tasted really good.

 

My tastes have changed so much now that I've allowed myself to play around with food a bit and listen to my body and know what I feel like eating at the time, and what I actually enjoy now rather than what I am told that I will enjoy. Because that's what dieting is, isn't it? You're told what foods you can enjoy and everything else, don't touch that. Instead, you'll learn to like the things that you can eat.

 

There was also another thing that surprised me food wise this week. Not for the better either. Well, in the end, it's for the better but I'll explain now. When I was younger, we used to have muesli in the house. I was rarely allowed to eat the muesli. That was for the grown ups. I had other cereal that I could eat, but again, that muesli used to fill me up when I ate it, and that's why I enjoyed it, because it was a good substantial bit of something to eat rather than, you know, like Coco Pops and things are just full of air. They don't fill you up. They just taste lovely.

 

Well, muesli used to fill me up and I used to hate going to school and being hungry. So if I could have muesli, I wouldn't be so hungry, but that cereal was for the grown ups, so I didn't get it very often, and when I used to eat it, I used to love it. The taste of it, the texture of it, how it's soaked up the milk in the bowl, how the last few spoonfuls were, you know, this nice, stodgy breakfast.

 

And then the years go on and I'm in Diet Central, and that's where I stay for the next 30 years. Yeah, if you know my age do the maths, 30 years of dieting. Anyway, because I was dieting, I didn't have things like muesli. It got replaced with things like Weetabix, porridge oats, low fat yoghurts, all sorts of things that were not quite hitting the mark. And that's not to take away from those foods because on their own they're great foods. When you're being forced to eat them because you're on a diet, not so great foods.

 

What I wanted was the muesli. Anyway, the years go by. Don't touch it. Don't touch it. In fact, I haven't eaten it since I was young, living at home, maybe 10 or 11, and then when I started Intuitive Eating and decided to get rid of all these diets from my life for good, I started to have these foods that were not restricted anymore that I never used to touch before because they were not OK. They didn't fit in with this diet plan that I was on at any given time. Things like granola.

 

Now granola has not found a place on a diet plan, mostly because of, I think, sugar content, things like that. But actually, on the whole, granola is really good because it's grains and oats and fruit and, you know, other bits and pieces. I've even made homemade granola and it's so good, and it's full of goodness. I've really come to enjoy eating granola but when I was in the supermarket last week, I thought, oh, I just fancy something a little bit different for my breakfast this week, what shall I get? And I scanned the shelves and I thought, oh, muesli. Haven't had that for a very long time.

 

So I grabbed some for myself, put it in my trolley, got it home. Next morning, excited for my muesli and I poured myself a bowl, put in the appropriate amount of milk that I used to love, I let it sit there for a little bit, so it got just a bit stodgy too. Then I put a spoonful in my mouth and hated it.

 

Oh, can you imagine how disappointed I was? Can you imagine how much that broke me that morning? Oh, it was sad, sad, sad. This meal that from a young age I loved all of a sudden, I didn't like one little bit. Now, this is going to be twofold. It's going to be firstly because when I was younger, I put that food up on a pedestal. It was an important food because I wasn't ever allowed to eat it. It was something for the grownups.

 

It was not something that I should eat. It was restricted. Therefore, I wanted it. And then actually the positive side of this is I don't like it anymore because I've come to appreciate better food. I appreciate a really nice granola. I'm willing to spend a little bit of money to get a really nice one so that I enjoy it, and that muesli doesn't have a place in my life anymore which I'm sad about. But all this really highlights this week, these three things, the gnocchi, the muesli, the jacket potatoes, it all highlights to me how much restriction and dieting has messed up my thinking around food.

 

It's funny to look back and reflect on all these different foods that once were just the best for me, or things that I deprived myself of because I shouldn't eat them at any given time, and to look now at the foods that I really love, the foods that I really enjoy, and the fact that I'm enjoying them because I want to eat them, not because I'm told that I have to eat them. That makes a huge, huge difference to how I approach food.

 

When you tune in, you find out what you really, really love. You find out the things that you really don't like and you find out the things that are just OK and you start to learn what your body feels like it wants, what is going to satisfy you, what you want on your plate at any given time of day. And you can only do that through really paying attention and starting to listen and learn all the time. You're being told by a diet plan what you should eat, what you will eat, what you won't eat, what you will like, what you won't like.

 

All that time you're not actually listening to yourself. You're not listening to your body. Your body isn't having a chance to say to you, now, this is what I need right now. I need something sweet. I need something savoury. I need something hot to eat. I need something really filling. I need something that feels like I've had a decent meal. Oh, I just fancy a light snack right now. All these things that your body tells you all day, every day about what you want to eat, that all goes out the window when you are on a diet because you lose all sense of that regulation.

 

And this is another reason why I don't like seeing what I eat in a day posts on social media. All these fitness professionals, nutrition professionals, I say nutrition professionals with a pinch of salt when it comes to these people. People who say they have qualifications in this field, yet they're stood handing out meal plans and what I eat in a day posts for everybody to see and copy. And it's the same as dieting, if you're copying what somebody eats in a day because you think you want to achieve what they've achieved, you're not listening to your own body.

 

You're not learning what your body wants. Those meal plans, those days worth of food that you're seeing. They've suited that person that is putting them out there. They may not suit you and you have to remember that what you see on social media is the highlights reel of their day.

 

So I'm willing to bet they'll put out this wonderful day's food breakfast, lunch, dinner. Here's what I had as a snack. Here's what I had is another snack. Look at the perfectly cooked, perfectly balanced, perfectly presented on a plate meals. When actually there's probably also half a packet of biscuits, a bar of chocolate, the scraps off the kids' plates, a couple of, I don't know, fancy coffees. All sorts of bits and pieces will have been added through their day. Whether they choose to share it or not, I'm guessing not, those plans are just not worth the money because these people sell these plans as well.

 

These plans are not worth the money because they do not see you. They don't know how many calories your body needs to function. That's a very difficult thing for anybody to calculate accurately by the way. They don't know what your activity levels are like. They don't know what quality of food you have available to you. All these variables and more mean that they can't possibly give you a meal plan that suits you and suits your body. So my advice is be very aware when you see these posts that all they're doing is showing you a couple of plates of food through the day of what somebody else has eaten do not apply them to your own body, because whatever they have achieved in their own way of eating and exercising, etc.. even if you mimicked that 100 percent, you will not have the same outcomes as they will.

 

And I know it's difficult when you're striving for something to try and cling onto these things that you say and try and cling on to ideas and ways that might help you, but at the end of the day, there's a lot of fake stuff out there that's just trying to reel you in, trying to earn followers, trying to sell things, trying to earn money.

 

And also, while we're on the subject of being told what to eat, who told us to eat at certain times of the day? Who told us that we should eat breakfast at breakfast time, lunch at lunchtime, dinner at dinnertime? Dinner, tea, whatever you call it, that's interchangeable for me, some days it's tea some days it's dinner. Who told us that? And who told us what we should eat for those meals. I never thought about that.

 

So it's frowned upon to have a doughnut for breakfast, yet it's OK to have jam on toast. What's in the middle of a doughnut? Jam. And what about takeaways? We'll have a takeaway in the evening, you know, like a Chinese takeaway or an Indian takeaway or something like that, or a kebab, and we'll have that in the evening. Sometimes it's a lunch affair I know, but we'll mostly have those in the evening. And then when you've got leftovers and you say to somebody, I finished my takeaway for breakfast this morning. I had the rest of my curry for breakfast this morning. People laugh at it and well, they either laugh at it or they're disgusted by it.

 

They're like, oh, God, how could you even do that? And it seems like one of those acceptable things to do when you've got a bit of a hangover, you know, soak up the beer from the night before, but if you were to just get up and say, do you know what I fancy for breakfast today, I think I might have a curry, I think I might have a tikka masala rice and non bread for my breakfast, people would look at you like you were barmy, wouldn't they?

 

They'd think you were crazy. However, when you flip it round and you look at cereal, cereal is fine to eat at any time of the day. It's a given. And toast. Toast. That's good for any time of the day. I have it for breakfast, have it for lunch, have it as a snack while you're waiting for my to cook. Have it in the evening because you're a little bit peckish before you go to bed. Cereal. Exactly the same.

 

So why is that? Why is it acceptable for breakfast to be OK all through the day but lunch and tea not OK to have for breakfast. Isn't it odd. I did try to put this out there as the great food debate this week, but I didn't get any response. Boo. Yeah, nobody nobody could really come up with anything but I wonder if that's because we covered the cereal and the toast and that's it, you know, but what else do you eat that's a funny time of the day?

 

If you've got anything, I'm going to put a box up on social media, fill it in and tell me and then I might come back to this next week if there's anything decent in there. Yeah, it's weird, isn't it? You told us we had to eat certain foods at certain times of day.

 

Here's another one. I'm on a roll now. When does breakfast become brunch and when does brunch become lunch? And when it does late lunch no longer mean late lunch, it's then tea time? You know what I mean? So if you're going to meet a friend. Shall we go for brunch? Sure. What time? Well, that's, you know, 10.30-11, is it? So what time is breakfast? Any time up until well, 10 o'clock. And then when is brunch lunch? When does it suddenly become lunchtime?

 

And then when does lunch stop being lunch time? Because that's quite a big window as well, isn't it? And when does it then become too late to have lunch and it's then nearly tea time? And then if you're a person who has supper, I don't understand supper, to me, that's just an evening snack, but if you're a person who has supper, when is it not dinnertime anymore? When is it then supper time? Or are supper and dinner interchangeable?

 

I just don't really know. Oh, so many questions, so many questions. Help me out. Let me know if you know the answer to these things, because it just boggles my mind sometimes.

 

OK, I hope that helped. I hope a little insight into my eating habits has helped you. Quite often these things in real life would be a two way conversation wouldn't they, between you and a friend. Me, right now, with this podcast, I'm just here telling you my life story.

 

So if you want me to change that, you need to tell me. If you've got any suggestions for podcast topics, if there's anything you want to know more about that I don't cover yet, just send me a message and let me know and I'll put something together.

 

Until next week though that's it for me. Also, just to let you know, if you haven't listened to my cheeky little adhoc episode the other day, I am now doing weekly group coaching sessions all around Intuitive Eating and body positivity.

 

So if you missed that, go and have a listen to it. It's only seven minutes long, something like that. It won't take you forever, but it will give you more insight into what I'm doing and why I'm doing it, and then join me, come and sign up and take part in the weekly coaching sessions. They're going to be so, so good. I won't bore you with the details here, though. Go back and have a listen to that episode is the one before this one.

 

And finally, could you do me one little tiny favour, please? As soon as this episode ends could you share your favourite episode with somebody you think needs it. You could post it to your Instagram story or you could send them the link directly in a, oh do people even text message any more. Yeah, could you DM it to them? Could you tweet it to somebody? Just could you just take your favourite episode and send it to somebody and say, here is a great podcast, please have a little listen? I'd really appreciate it. Let's grow our little growing community. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

 

Take care of yourself. Be kind to yourself and look after yourself, and I will speak to you next week.

 

Jacket potatoes
Gnocchi
Muesli
Listening to your body
What I eat in a day
Who said what time of day you could eat certain foods?