It took me some time to find the perfect guest to teach us about intuitive eating. I am so excited to share the story and wisdom of Alissa Rumsey, MS, RD, CDN, CSCS. Alissa is a Nutrition Therapist and Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor who specializes in intuitive eating, body acceptance, and recovery from chronic dieting and disordered eating. Her philosophy is rooted in the Health at Every Size (HAES®) approach, and she believes that true health comes from nurturing behaviors to enhance physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing – not by following external food rules or a number on the scale.
- Alissa shares her experiences with dieting in high school and how her conviction that she was the ‘healthy one’ led to her decision to become a dietician. It was during her internship at an NYC hospital, that she observed the healthy relationship that her colleagues had with food and realized that she had a disordered relationship with food. Everything changed when she stumbled upon a course in intuitive eating.
- Alissa explains that intuitive eating is all about getting to know our body’s signals for when we are actually hungry and how much to eat. Babies and children do this naturally: Babies will cry when they are hungry, stop when they are full, and the cycle continues. Young children, if they have easy and constant access to food will also eat when and how much they want on their own.
- Our ability to trust our intuition tends to diminish as we grow older and internalize society’s rules about what and how we “should” eat. We also observe the dieting and eating habits of our parents and then as teenagers and adults, we are influenced by society, diet culture, and advertising. We are told that some foods are “good” and some foods are “bad” and that our bodies should look a certain way.
- We talk about experiences with practitioners and how it is important not to put doctors, dieticians, etc on a pedestal because bias can exist in the current healthcare system. People tend to have ideas that the size of a person means they are or are not healthy.
- We talk about the misconceptions around intuitive eating. For example, we think if we just listen to our body it will just want cupcakes. Alissa explains that the process of intuitive eating takes time to be able to connect to the body’s signals and see feeding yourself as self-care.
- Alissa explains how food can be a powerful entry point into exploring more about ourselves, our beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and developing a deeper relationship and trust with our intuition.
- Alissa shares that she experiences her intuition as a gut instinct, like the initial instinct before the brain starts thinking and analyzing. If the “should” voice comes in, recognizing that’s not coming from a place of intuition.
Books mentioned in the episode: Unapologetic Eating by Alissa Rumsey
Books can be found: https://bookshop.org/shop/Victoriashawintuitive
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