Evelyn Tribole talks Intuitive Eating

anxiety eating disorder guest interview intuitive eating

This episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit podcast is incredibly special and very dear to my heart.  The amazing Evelyn Tribole, author of Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works, joins us for this episode.  Yes, you heard that right!  This episode is geared towards giving you all some direction with food and body, especially if you struggle with immense fear surrounding food. 

Don’t miss this podcast episode!

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I have shared with you my own personal struggle with an eating disorder in a recent podcast episode.  The disorder destroyed me.  I had so much fear, dread, panic, obsessions, and compulsions around fear and exercise.  To give you a bit of context as to why this episode is important to me, Evelyn’s book Intuitive Eating pretty much changed my life.  I go back to the book and check in with it.  We are all on a journey to break free from fear surrounding food and fear around the bodies we have or disown (such as telling ourselves that our body is bad).

I feel comfortable saying that many of us, on a spectrum, struggle with this one issue.  I think that the fear we experience around food is such a huge part of our own relationship with ourselves and us trusting ourselves and us having peace with who we are in our body...the body that carries us around each day.

In this interview, Evelyn does an incredible job identifying why there is immense fear surrounding food and addressing cultural, societal, and familial rules around food.  She identifies these rules as coming from diet culture, which she says is all around us.  We break down some of the barriers between food and fear and discuss the relationship between food and anxiety.  For many of us, our anxiety manifests as a bad relationship with food.  For others, food creates anxiety for us personally.

Evelyn Tribole answers the following questions: 

  • What is Intuitive Eating?
    • Intuitive Eating is basically connecting to your body and honoring what it needs.  The body has this natural wisdom if we tap into it. You ask yourself: What do I need today?  Am I hungry?  Am I thirsty?  Do I need self-care?  On an individual level, all of this is about shifting your perspective to what is going on in YOUR body.  When you are in your head, you are not in your body.  Distinguishing whether something is a thought or a direct experience is important.  With intuitive eating, we are looking for the direct experience happening in your body.
  • Why is Intuitive Eating so important?
    • Intuitive Eating can be so incredibly life-changing!  It doesn’t just stop the insatiable background anxiety about food and every little morsel that you put into your mouth, but also helps you connect and trust your body. You start trusting your instincts and gut reactions to making decisions in your life.  You are more grounded in yourself as opposed to trying to please the expectations of culture.
  • What is diet culture and why is it such an important concept to understand?
    • Diet culture has to do with the unspoken beliefs and rules in our culture surrounding food and the body. Asking about someone’s weight loss or food plan they are on is considered normal.  This is not right.  Diet culture is everywhere.  You don’t have to be a member.  It has already hijacked you.  Diet culture heavily influences people and they embody it, whether they realize it or not.  This worry about eating and the body sucks the life force out of you. 
  • What happens when you don’t Intuitively Eat?
    • If someone follows rules or is dieting or follows some kind of plan, the rules are generally very rigid.  If they perceive that they break the rule, they get involved in “last supper eating.”  There is an intense drive to eat because they think they will never be able to eat that food again.  Then, it terrifies them and they think that they cannot be controlled around food.  This false evidence causes them to think that they need to get back to their rules.  It is a vicious cycle that does a number on the body and mind.  Dieting or food restriction is the gateway to binge eating.

The CBT School family submitted questions to ask Evelyn and she answered some of them below:

  • How can I introduce myself to Intuitive Eating? 
  • What are the steps of Intuitive Eating? 
  • How do I avoid the extremes of eating? I am either eating “too unhealthy and too healthy as a compulsion.”
  • How do I address Emotional Eating or “bad” eating because of a hard day? 
  • How do I attempt Intuitive Eating if I HAVE to lose weight because of health reasons? 
  • How do I manage the fear of gaining more weight? 
  • How do you make all foods neutral whilst also finding joy in food? 
  • How do I not get trapped in diet culture? 
  • How long does it take to get a good handle of Intuitive Eating? 
  • How do I begin to desire and have the persistence to intuitively eat while having an Eating Disorder?
  • Due to mood changes, how can I eat when I don’t want to? 
  • What is the best way to stick with Intuitive Eating?
  • What is the best way to approach Nutrition for Anxiety Disorder
  • How does Anxiety impact hunger cues. etc.? 
  • How do I address Avoidant and Restrictive Food Intake Disorder? 

For more information on Evelyn Tribole, visit: https://www.evelyntribole.com/


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About Kimberley Quinlan

Kimberley Quinlan is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes in Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Eating Disorders, Panic Disorder and Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRB’s).  Kimberley is highly trained in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), with a heavy emphasis on Exposure Response Prevention (ERP), and has been practicing meditation and mindfulness for many years.  Kimberley has a special interest in the integration of mindfulness principles with CBT for OCD, Anxiety Disorders, and Eating Disorders.  Kimberley has experience treating adults, adolescents, and children, and tailors each program to suit the age and cognitive development of each client.  Kimberley has a private practice in Calabasas and Westlake Village. 

For more information, you can find Kimberley at the following:

Website: https://kimberleyquinlan-lmft.com

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