📲 Instagram: @freedomwithfoodandfitness
🖥 Website: freedomwithfoodandfitness.com
Hello, everybody. Okay, I am so pumped for today. I have Alana here and she is someone that I’ve been back and forth with on Instagram for a while and we are gonna be chatting about intuitive eating, making peace with food, all the things that we usually bring to the Food Freedom Lab, but with her perspective. So Alana, thank you so much for coming on today. I am so excited to dive into this with you.
Thank you for having me, Ryann. I’ve been looking at your Instagram and just having it wash over me for so long, honestly. And I love the conversations that you have and everything around food freedom that you stand for. So I’m really excited to just, you know, have this chat.
So I want to know, like, I always love to hear everybody’s story because I feel like there’s always a reason why people get into this stuff, right? So for anybody that doesn’t know you, what is your story? How did this start for you? And how did you get into intuitive eating and then where you are today with your work?
I think that my story is very similar to a lot of other professionals in our space. It comes from first-hand experience. So when I was in my 20s, I was in grad school, and it was really the first time in my life, and I’m very open to admitting that I have a lot of privilege in my life. You know, middle class, white, you know, a home that’s not broken. I had a lot of things going for me. I kind of knew all my next steps for most of my life, and then after grad school, I was getting a degree in secondary education. And for teachers, you either get a job in September or you don’t get a job at all. And that was really scary for me. I didn’t know where I was gonna get a job, if I was gonna have to move far away from my family and my friends, if I was gonna get a job and the sense of control I had over my life was all of a sudden gone. And because of that, I kind of started turning to food and controlling my weight.
So it was all a control issue. And there were other things in play that had happened to me along the way in my life that definitely were the building blocks of this all, you know, coming to a head in the form of an eating disorder. It was, you know, I was always validated externally for good grades and rule following and people pleasing. So I was a perfectionist. You know, the women in my family have a background of eating disorders and they, you know, they are the type that equate being thin with being pretty and being pretty with being valuable. So all that kind of contributed to it. So I actually had disordered eating. Mine developed later than I would say most, I think most people develop those habits, you know, preteen, teen years.
Mine, I was like 22. And I developed, I don’t know if you would really consider it anorexia traditionally. I was eating under 900 calories a day for years and years and years. I was exercising every day, weighed myself every day, all these disordered habits. And it also had some body dysmorphic disorder attached to it. There was a lot of binging and restricting cycles and eventually morphed into orthorexia and then from orthorexia, I finally found recovery through podcasts like yours, Instagram accounts like yours and I decided in December that I wanted to help people the way I was helped. I wanted to have a podcast, I wanted to have an Instagram account, I wanted to write a book about my experiences, my strategies that helped me get out of where I was so that other women can free themselves as well. So that’s how Freedom with Food and Fitness was born. So it’s only been since last December. It’s not even a year old yet, but we’re growing, we’re getting there.
I love it. I love it so much. And I also super appreciate your story because it was something that started a little bit later for you. When I think of that kind of just goes to show that we’re never immune to this. And like, it’s one of those things where it can hit later, but that doesn’t really make it any less, you know, severe or whatever the case may be. With that said, when you, like, let me ask you this first. When did you, when was your turning point when you realized I can’t keep doing this. When you kind of realize, okay, like I need to do something different.
I think there were several, several different turning points. My first one, I remember very vividly. I was following this blog and it was this health, fitness and food blog. And this girl was a little older than me, but she seemed like she had like the perfect life. She was pretty and thin and fit. And she cooked all these great meals and she had this nice husband and they seemed to have a great marriage and everything seemed to be great for her. And then she came out with this post one day that said she had hypothalamic amenorrhea and she wasn’t menstruating and she needed to gain weight because she was having problems conceiving. And even though I was only maybe 24 at the time, 23, 24, I said to myself, you know, I’m not ready for kids right now, but I know I’m going to want kids in the future and I’m gonna want a family.
And if this is what I’m gonna come up against, I don’t want this to be me. I don’t wanna have trouble conceiving, which I ended up having troubles conceiving for a totally different reason, but that really scared me that I could screw up my chances of having a family one day. So that was my first kind of aha moment. And my second was really when I started listening to podcasts like Caroline Dooner and the Body Love Society and Christy Harrison’s Food Psych, like those were the podcasts that made me realize, okay, what I’m doing is disordered. What I’m doing is indicative of eating disorder. I’m not alone, I’m not crazy for feeling the way I do. I’m not crazy for performing these behaviors the way that I am. And there is actually a way out of it.
There’s a different line of thinking that says, you don’t have to be thin to be worthy. You don’t have to be chasing this ideal. You can just be yourself. And that was like, that was huge for me, just to feel like I wasn’t alone. And to hear other people have the same thoughts I did and the same fears that I did around food and my body was insane to me.
So did you do that completely on your own?
Yeah, and I always say that with the caveat of, don’t be stubborn like me, go get a therapist, get one that is, you know, health at every size, aligned and understands body positivity, weight neutrality, all that stuff. Like don’t white knuckle it the way I did with just podcasts and books. Like it’s probably not a great idea. I’m just, you know, I’m an only child and I’ve always been very independent. And I was like, no, I’m gonna do this on my own. But it took me, it took me a lot longer than it probably needed to, to be quite honest. So I always recommend that people seek professional help.
What I really appreciate that though, is first, like just throwing it out there that it’s absolutely not impossible to do on your own. But it’s so bringing in the fact that like, when you are willing, right? Like when you get to this place where you’re like, I am willing to do whatever it takes to get on the other side, you become willing to do whatever it takes to get on the other side. And I think that that is the mindset that we need to have to be able to make those lasting changes because you can have all of the information in the world, but if you’re not willing, if you’re not ready, then it doesn’t really matter. So I super appreciate that you say that.
Thank you. It’s true. You can read all the books and listen to all the podcasts, but if you’re not willing to actually apply it, it doesn’t mean anything. So we, as experts and professionals, can say all the things we wanna say, do all the things we wanna do, and if people aren’t willing to implement them, if they haven’t hit rock bottom yet, you know what I mean? And it’s something that takes a while to realize. It’s kind of like when you’re in that bad relationship with that partner, and nobody can tell you that you need to get out of that relationship until you realize it for yourself.
Totally, totally. And so when you realized it for yourself and you started on this journey, where did you start? Like other than podcasts, like what did that process look like for you and how did you find intuitive eating?
The process for me to recovery was super interesting because it was in weird phases. And what I mean by that is like, I was eating, I was saying like under 900 calories a day and then I found Beachbody. And I was like, oh, okay, I’m gonna quit the gym and just do these at-home workouts and I’m gonna follow their container plan. So I went from grossly under eating to at least eating better. I don’t wanna say what I should be eating because there isn’t a should, but you know, eating definitely closer to what my body actually needed. So that was a huge step for me, but then I was still stuck in that restriction. You could only eat X amount of calories a day.
And then I like went from that and I was like, oh, but macros are so much more flexible, but then like macros drives you absolutely insane as well. So there was all these phases to it. And I think I found intuitive eating when I started finding the podcasts. I don’t remember when I found the first podcast, but it might’ve been like Jessie Jean’s, God, why can’t I think of her podcast name? It’ll come to me. But I started just following all these accounts and listening to all these podcasts. And I read Evelyn Triveli and Elise Rush’s Intuitive Eating, and that helped tremendously.
So just really hammering myself with the same information over and over and over again from different people because sometimes the way one person explains it to you doesn’t resonate with you as much as when another person says it a different way. So I just, it was the hearing it in different ways and the repetition of the same messages because when you believe a thought it’s because a neural pathway has been created and it’s solidified in your brain. You can erode those and create new synapses with repetition. So the more I heard it, the more I was like, I started to believe it, which was awesome.
So I wanna know before I start to pick your brain, like how do you define intuitive eating? Like to somebody that’s like never heard it, when you look at the dictionary definition, it is like, what? Like, how do you define it?
I would define intuitive eating as an anti-diet philosophy where we honor our hunger and our fullness and our satiety and we incorporate joyful movement. So movement, however that looks for you that you enjoy and gentle nutrition. So we do keep in mind the nutritional value of foods and what those foods are going to make our bodies and our energy levels feel like after we eat them.
Yeah, so beautiful, I love that. So as you were learning about intuitive eating, as you have created this foundation where you’re like, okay, I’m ready to like, you know, teach other people about that, you’ve created this concept, or maybe, correct me if I’m wrong, but like, you have formed this idea of salve. Am I saying it right?
Salve, yes, like a salve that you would, like an ointment that you would put on your body.
Okay, tell me about that and how you apply that to like food, weight, body stuff, all of that jazz, because I love it so much.
Awesome, okay, well, the reason I came up with it, well, first, I’m an English teacher, so the fact that I had an acronym made me so happy on the inside, I can’t even tell you. So, you know, I did a lot of deep diving with the help of books and podcasts, you know, that it’s never really about the food. And I have a lot of people DM me and they’re like, and I’ll ask them like, oh, why are you following me? Like, what drew you to Freedom of Food and Fitness? And they’re like, oh, well, I just wanna lose the last 15 pounds. I’m like, oh. And I think a lot of people well meaningly think that their issue is still the food or the weight. And me, I dug really super deep, which I guess is why I didn’t need a therapist because I’m such an academic that I’ll do all the research and do all the inner work myself, like it’s fine.
But I realized that my issues with eating were because I was a perfectionist and a people pleaser and, you know, salve is basically four things that we are looking for as human beings. And when we don’t get those things, they manifest in disordered eating and a chase of dieting and weight loss. And so salve is S-A-L-V and then in parentheses E and I’ll explain that in a second. So S is for safety. We’re all looking to feel safe. We want to be physically safe, yes, but we also just want to be mentally and emotionally safe to be ourselves in society. So there’s an issue when people who are in larger bodies don’t feel safe being in larger bodies. So that’s the safety aspect.
A is for acceptance. We all want to be accepted. And that’s evolutionary. That’s when we were hunting and gathering in packs, if the pack left you, you would be eaten by something or you would starve to death. So being accepted in a social setting is something that is just human nature. We want to be accepted. And then the L is love. We want to be loved. And in our fat phobic society, we are told that if we’re in a larger body, we will not be loved, we will not find a partner, we will not find friends, we will not, we shouldn’t love ourselves if we’re in a larger body. So there’s the love portion. And then the V is for validation. And there’s an E at the end, not only because I wanted to spell the word self correctly, but also because we are usually chasing validation that is external, E for external. And that’s a problem, right?
We need to figure out a way to cultivate inner validation, internal validation, where we realize that we are valuable as we are, no matter our size, what we look like, what our job is, how much money we make, any of that stuff. It’s a really hard thing for people to wrap their head around because our entire society is go, go, go, do, do, do, succeed, succeed, succeed. I have all external validation and I grew up with external validation and I get that. Like as a parent myself, I’m gonna want to celebrate my son for the wonderful things he does. So even me, I’m gonna have to figure out as a parent how to balance both of those, how to cultivate inner validation or teach him how to cultivate his own inner validation while also being able to be his cheerleader.
Yeah. Oh my, that is so beautiful and so spot on. Holy cow. Okay, so I wanna break it down with you one by one because all of those components, I a thousand percent agree that like, first of all, it has nothing to do with the food. It never has anything to do with the food. And that’s why, you know, I love, love, love that like so many dietitians are doing this work. And I, and I think that that is awesome. And I have a lot of people that reach out to me that say, I’ve worked with dietitians and I’m still struggling. And I’m like, that’s because there’s this mindset element that is missing that we need to kind of bring in because the food only goes so far, right? It’s never about that food.
Like when you were explaining your story and you were like, you know, it started with losing control and I needed something to be able to control. Like that’s usually the story that we hear all the time over and over and just different boxes here and there. So when we’re breaking this down first with that safety piece, I totally agree, right? In this society that we live in, our bodies or the safety that we feel in our bodies only has meaning, only has charge because of the charge that this world has given us. Like we wouldn’t feel unsafe in a larger body or we wouldn’t fear weight gain if we were stranded on an island. Like that is because of what, you know, we have learned in this society.
So like with what you know and the work that you’ve done, like how do you help others find that safety or kind of overcome maybe that fear of weight gain or fear of being in a larger body because of feeling unsafe?
You know, I tell them my story partially because I have gained weight as an intuitive eater. I’m bigger than I was, but I love my body more now. So having them understand that the love you have for your body and the actual size of it don’t have to be one and the same thing at all. And I tell them that the journey to weight loss is a slippery slope because I thought, oh, when I become X weight, I’m gonna be happy. But once I got to that weight, I was like, oh, I’ll probably be happier at this weight and this weight. And it’s a moving target, and it’s a moving target because that’s not the actual issue. So I tell people, play the why game. So just keep digging down, keep asking why to all your answers regarding weight loss. So it’s like, oh, I wanna lose 10 pounds.
Well, why? Because then I’ll feel sexy. Well, why? Why would you feel sexy after the 10 pounds? Well, because if I’m thin, I’ll be sexy. And then it’s like, well, why do you equate thinness with sexiness? And you just keep drilling it down, and then it’s like, oh, okay, it has nothing to do with the weight. It has to do with my thought that being thin is beautiful or that I need to be beautiful to be worthy or being beautiful is going to keep me safe from criticism. That’s another thing. Yeah. Definitely. Criticism. That’s something that I always tried to keep myself safe from. I hated being criticized by others, people pointing out flaws or mistakes that I was making. So I was like, well, if I’m perfect, no one can do that to me. You know, I’ll be safe.
Right. Or safe from judgment of others. I mean, that’s a huge one as well. Just that fear of like, what are others gonna think? What are others gonna say? You know, regardless of what the reality may be, and just that constant fear of criticism and judgment. Huge.
And what you were saying before is this is a social construct. You know, if you go to a country like Somalia, larger women are revered. Like, that’s sexy in Somalia. So it’s not, it’s not truth. The ideas that you have about body and weight and food, they’re not, one, they’re not truth. They’re not unequivocal fact. They are something that you have learned along the way from whoever. And not everybody believes them, and you don’t have to subscribe to them. And sometimes the voice you hear in your head isn’t even your own voice. Like sometimes it’s your mom’s voice, or your sister’s voice, or I don’t know, like a well-meaning aunt’s voice, I don’t know. But sometimes it’s not even your own voice. So you should be able to differentiate those.
Totally, totally. And I always recommend the book, Life Without Ed, because in that book she does a really good job in talking about differentiating that voice and she calls that eating disorder voice in her mind Ed and the book is about like breaking up with Ed and that voice in her mind of like saying nope that’s Ed talking or that’s Ed rules or whatever the case may be, which is huge because like you said a lot of times most of the time it isn’t us It isn’t us speaking. So moving from that safety element to that acceptance piece, which I mean Honestly, I feel like that is that is the hardest this acceptance of Your body who you are your genetics the reality even if you don’t like it because at some level, rejecting it isn’t going to do anything. And that acceptance piece, it’s really hard. It’s really hard.
It’s hard. You’re breaking up with an ideology that you’ve grown up with your entire life. And whether you’re 14 or 40, that’s hard. That’s hard to give up with. You’re breaking up with a mentality. You are breaking up with this fantasy that you had for yourself this entire time. That’s really, really hard.
For some of us, we’re breaking up with the identity that we’ve had. So for me, I was always like that thin, thick girl that goes to the gym a lot. So if I would gain weight, people would automatically, falsely think, oh, what, you’re not going to the gym anymore? What are you letting yourself go? And it’s like, you don’t wanna hear those things. And you’re feeling rejected from other people when you hear those things. So not only is it acceptance of reality and the truth, but it’s also just finding a way to feel accepted separate from your weight and your body, so finding your tribe.
And that’s, you know, it’s scary for a lot of people, this idea that we could be rejected, but honestly, you’re only gonna be rejected by the people who aren’t for you anyway, who aren’t meant to be in your life anyway. And I’ve found a lot of wonderful people in this community, a lot of supportive people in this community that understand what the rest of us are going through and that’s your tribe. So you will be accepted in our community.
Yes. Yes. Love that. I love that. And I almost like feel like that can be a benefit in the sense that when you start to move into this inner work and accepting yourself, you get to those people faster because you’re no longer wasting your time on the people that don’t matter. I mean, I cannot even tell you how many times I spent like, you know, trying to morph myself into being this person to be able to like fit in with these other, you know, girls and being like, you know what?
Maybe they just weren’t for me and that’s okay. That’s okay. And like, you know, I think with dating as well, where it’s like, if somebody doesn’t accept you in your current size, great. You don’t have to waste the time on them. You can get to your person faster instead of, I know I would stay hung up with these other people that didn’t matter for so long. And I mean, at the root of it, it really comes back to accepting yourself first.
Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. And that’s, like you said, that’s the hard part. I think A might be the hardest.
Yeah, I agree, I agree. And I think that coming on the side of it with that safety piece and then that love piece, love from other people and love from yourself, I feel like is, yeah, major. What are the elements of love or like cultivating more love in your life? Do you see or bring in with that L?
It’s so cliche to say, but it’s true. You can’t love anybody else, truly, if you don’t love yourself. And that’s a hard thing to do. And I would say, especially with all the toxic positivity that I see out there, you don’t have to go from hating yourself to loving yourself in a day. Like that’s not gonna feel authentic at all. So instead of maybe love, can you work on neutrality? Can you work on simply acceptance? Like you don’t have to love the body you’re in, but can you accept it? Can you just look at it from a neutral view? Instead of saying, I hate my fat thighs, can you say, well, I have thighs?
You know, kind of make it a fact and say that to yourself instead. And, you know, I’m sure everybody has something that they at least kind of like about themselves. If it’s not your stomach or your thighs, maybe it’s your eyes, maybe it’s your hair, maybe it’s something not related to how you look. Maybe we can get away from that a little bit and focus on, you know, are you a good mom? Do you work really hard? Are you funny? Do you cook really well? You know, do you think about others and you know, what is it? You know, you really have to kind of dig deep and instead of seeing what you don’t have, see what you do have and work through it.
Totally, and you know, I really love how you bring in, love, I really love how you bring in that neutrality piece because you’re so right. Like I know for me, when I was beginning this journey, I was like, there is no freaking way I can stand in front of the mirror and say, I love me. So I’m not even gonna try because I know that I’m gonna do that. And it’s just gonna be empty words. And so when we can meet ourselves in the middle and maybe you’re not looking in the mirror and you’re saying, you know, I love myself, but let’s, you know, look in the mirror and say, you know, I’m grateful that my legs, you know, allowed me to walk or like, thank you for being here. You know what? I don’t like this, but I’m gonna respect it. I’m gonna take care of it. I’m going to honor it.
I think is one of those things that often gets, what is the word that I’m looking for, that often gets disconnected from the word acceptance is that acceptance doesn’t necessarily mean that you like it or love it. It is just like embracing reality as it is, right? Like I might not love or even like that it’s raining outside, but if it’s raining outside, like I either accept that and move on with my day or I can reject it and stay miserable, but me saying that I reject that it’s raining outside isn’t gonna stop the rain. And so like being able to look in the mirror and be like, okay, even something as simple as like, I don’t love what I see right now, and I’m going to respect it. If I can’t get to that love piece, middle ground, neutrality, yeah.
I love that you said and. I love how you have the idea that you can hold space for two different thoughts. That’s awesome. And you’re right, genetics has so much to do with how we look, right? We can diet and exercise, and we can probably get the ideal body, but at what cost? Like, are you willing, and this is something that really, this is another light bulb moment for me. This question is, will I spend the rest of my life fighting my body, the rest of my life to look a certain way or am I just going to accept the person that I am?
Because the fight gets so exhausting and what are you really fighting for? You’re fighting for someone else’s version of who you’re supposed to be.
You’re fighting for other people. Like this is the only body you’re ever going to have. It’s the vehicle we use to experience this weird thing we call life. We don’t even know why we’re here. So, whoop! Now, we don’t know why we’re here on this earth, but I doubt it’s to look a certain way. And eventually, if we’re lucky enough, we all get old and saggy and wrinkly anyway. And that’s depressing. This isn’t meant to Anyway, so, and then we, and not to be depressing, this isn’t meant to be depressing, but we all die. Like, we’re all gonna die. And then what is it gonna be for? What was your life for? Right. You know, it’s just like, honestly, that question, instead of depressing me, it’s life affirming for me. It’s like, oh crap, I only have a finite amount of time on this earth, I’m not gonna spend it calorie counting, I’m gonna spend it doing something that I really, really love and making an impact and feeling good about my life when I’m ready to leave it.
Totally, and that’s something that we have to take an honest look in the mirror and kind of ask ourselves. And I was just doing a coaching call with my clients on Monday actually about set point weight and kind of like the reality of set point weight and like the fundamentals of, okay, we have the genetic predisposition to be a certain size and we can either embrace that or fight it. But like, it’s a choice that we have to make, but like, it is either I am fighting for the rest of my life, or I am just accepting that this is the reality of what things are. And like, this is not that I can change genetics. This is not that I can change that biological makeup. It is, okay, what do I really, really want?
And I think it’s really important to know that there’s no right or wrong, right? There’s no right or wrong of whatever you want, whatever you feel like is gonna make you happy. That is your truth. But get really, really honest with yourself about at what cost, at what cost and is that really, really worth it, like you said. And I mean, I think that that just kind of filters us right into that V piece of that validation, that validation that sadly we’re just not taught how to do. Like, why is that not something that we’re taught how to do in school, in life, like it’s just not something that we learn. I know that like before I went to therapy, I was like, I don’t know how to validate myself. And I think especially now with the world of social media and looking for all of these external validations, it gets harder and harder to know, aside from that, how do I validate me?
Yeah, honestly, I think that actually might be the hardest one for me personally, because as I said, I grew up, you know, accomplished, like, praised for my accomplishments, I was a people pleaser. I didn’t understand how someone could just be valuable. Yeah. Like, I just didn’t get it. And it took a really long time, but I think it’s, again, going back to that acceptance piece of accepting where you are and being grateful for the things that you do have and you can do and working from there and realizing that your life is for you. So whatever you do, pat yourself on the back for it, be grateful that you can do it, that you did it, and honestly, I think it’s Kristen Finch who likes to say, can I curse on here? Yeah, go. She says, do it shitty. And I love that. And I like, I am embracing that because I feel validated in doing the best that I can every day and knowing that I’m trying my best and that’s enough for me. And if I have to do it shitty, I do it. I give B minus work.
I’m okay with that.
That is huge.
I think embracing the fact that your best looks different on different days. Where like, today my best might be having all of these calls and they all go great and that’s awesome. And tomorrow my best, because I’m super introverted, is going to be not talking to anybody.
Yeah. You know what’s funny is I just I actually just had an unannounced observation and my mom was like my mom texted me she’s like how did it go and I was like I think I’ll have a job tomorrow like I like I didn’t even say like oh it went like it wasn’t perfect but it wasn’t like a dumpster fire either so I was like I’m pretty sure I’m still hired so I’m like that’s good. So like years ago years ago I would have been freaking out about my score and all this stuff and it’s just like, it’s not worth it. It has nothing to do about my work. It’s just, I gave the best I could today, not knowing this was gonna happen. So hopefully everything works out.
Yeah, yeah. And, you know, bringing it back to that work piece, I think that, you know, it all coming full circle. It’s like, can I allow me to just be me as separate from all of these other things defining who I am and like connecting to my worth where it’s like, I know who I am. I know my worth regardless of my job, who I’m with, what I eat, what I look like, whatever the case may be. And just being like, I’m Ryann and that’s it. And whatever happens around me happens around me but that doesn’t change who I am. And that doesn’t change what I am worthy of. And yeah, who I am.
Well, it can also go, like you said, to other people. It’s like, you have to really think about it. The person that I think is more beautiful than me on social media, does that mean she’s worth more than I am? And if the answer is yes, that’s something you need to kind of dig into and say, well, why am I equating those two things together?
Yeah, I mean, I think the theme of this is just getting curious and exploring and knowing that all of the letters of SALVE are not easy. They’re not easy, but that’s what makes it worth it. That’s what makes them challenging and that’s what makes it growth. Because if it was easy, you wouldn’t be changing. And I love that so much.
Yeah, that’s another thing. It’s like being a perfectionist. If you were perfect, then why are you here? You’re not growing, you’re not learning anything new. So when you make a mistake or you don’t know something, that’s not something to beat yourself up about. That’s something to celebrate because you have room to grow.
Right. And something that I just thought of as we’re like continuing this analogy, and I don’t know if you, I’m sure you’ve thought about this, but like with Salve, like ointment, like it’s not just you put it on once and it’s done and you’re hydrated forever. It’s something that you have to do all the time, every day to continue to have that hydration where it’s like, this is a journey, this is ever growing and I am forever going to need to work on these things and as I allow one to slip, you know, I need to bring it back up but that it’s not a one and done.
Yeah, I actually didn’t, I’m gonna be super honest, I didn’t think of that, but that’s genius, and I’m adding it on.
Add it on, girl! Add it on! That is it, yeah! Keeping it going, adding it on, continuing that hydration, to just build a better life. I mean, at the root of it, that’s why we’re here. That’s why we’re here, to build a better life, to be happy, and we’ve all in some way or another, if we’re listening to this, have been sucked into that disorder-beating world. And I know for me, I was like, okay, I am who I am, and I’m the strong person that I am today because of that. And so I think that one of the most powerful things that helped me kind of move on for that was asking myself, how is this happening for me rather than to me and that can be like maybe even the the opening of okay I’m ready to start looking at these four elements and bringing them back into my life to really get to the core of what I need.
That’s yeah I like to say to myself often like I’m the captain of my own ship.
I’m driving the car, I’m navigating the ship, whatever metaphor you wanna use, you are, you’re in control of you. So yes, it’s very hard to get out of, but you can. It’s just, are you willing to, like we were saying before, have you gotten to that point where you don’t really have any other option? Or no other option sounds good to you at this point. And going back to intuitive eating, it’s all about feeling good.
Why are we here? We want to feel good. We want to be energized. We want to just be happy and as healthy as we can but in an authentic sense like a mind body connection happy and not healthy.
Totally, totally. So in, I mean because I could, I feel like I could literally talk to you all day, we’re the same age.
Um, in honor of the, just like, Food Freedom Lab, this whole thing is about food freedom, what does food freedom mean to you?
It means reconnecting with my own version of health and reconnecting with my body and being able to celebrate it and nourish it in a way that is actually good for it.
So beautiful. So beautiful. Last thing. Anyone who is currently struggling with food, struggling with the obsession, struggling with the spiral, and is kind of in that in-between of, I want to do something different, but I’m scared. Words for them as they are kind of maybe potentially beginning this journey.
Just arm yourself with as many resources as you can and just flood yourself with them. Follow me, follow you, follow, there’s so many people need intuitive eating, health at every size, body positivity, body neutrality, weight neutrality. There’s so many people in that space. Just start listening to their messages over and over and over again. And find a therapist that is also aligned with those ideals and just get started. One day is going to be your day one. One day I stopped stepping on a scale. One day I just stopped counting calories just to see what would happen. So also get curious, like you said. Just try, try it out for a day, a week, see what happens.
I love that, I love that. Alana, thank you so much. This has been such an epic conversation. Where can everybody find you, connect with you, chat with you, learn more, give us all the places?
Awesome, so I’m assuming you have show notes and you have all the links, I’ll be in the show notes, but definitely freedomwithfoodandfitness.com. The best place to find me though, honestly, is Instagram. I’m at freedomwithfoodandfitness. DM me, follow me. The link in my bio has literally everything I offer, from courses to guided meditations to free resources to published articles. And I’m also coming out with a 10-week group coaching opportunity over the summer called Same Girl Summer. So that’ll be out soon.
I love that! I love that. What are the courses that you have?
I have an introductory course. It’s more video, there’s no interactive component, but I have a 40 minute introductory course called It’s Not All Pizza, Ice Cream, and Rainbows, and that’s all the 10 principles of intuitive eating in detail and five myths of intuitive eating. And then I have an intermediate course, it’s just a half an hour long, it’s called Secret Ingredient to Intuitive Eating, and it talks all about five mindset shifts that help you maximize your likelihood of intuitive eating success.
I love that. So cool. Yeah, I’ll have all of those links below. So amazing. Thank you so much again.
Thank you for having me, Ryann.
Licensed Therapist, Certified Nutritionist, and Virtual Wellness Coach
Ryann is a licensed therapist and virtual wellness coach who has assisted individuals worldwide in establishing a healthier relationship with food and their bodies.
I understand—it can be overwhelming to figure out where to begin. Let's simplify things and have you start right here:
Why Am I Overeating?
First Steps To Stop Binge Eating
The Food Freedom Lab Podcast
the food freedom lab podcast