Podcast

[Ry + Lisa] on Finding Pleasure Outside of Food

July 13, 2023

Ryann Nicole

Hi, I’m Ryann.

Your Not-So-Average Food Freedom Therapist & Virtual Coach. As a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), Certified Nutritionist with a BA in Psychology, and a MA in Professional Counseling, yes I do a little of the "so how does that make you feel".

But my ultimate goal is to provide you with the resources you need, in an easy-to-understand way, on healing your disordered relationship with food and your body. 

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A challenging question during recovery we are all bound to face is: Who am I outside of food and body? What do I *actually* like? And what the heck do I do with all of this free time and energy I have, now that I'm not fixated on food and body 24/7?

In this episode, Lisa and I are chatting about exactly that! Listen for how we navigated this question ourselves, and how to find pleasure OUTSIDE of food.

What is this new segment? Once a month Lisa Schrader and I will sit down to have a fun, casual conversation about things that impact our day-to-day, our businesses, our relationships, and so much more. You’ll get a new episode on both shows so make sure you are also subscribed to Lisa's podcast, The Fully Fueled Life Podcast

Transcript

3
0:00:39

Ryann:
Hello, everybody. Welcome back. Today we have another episode with Lisa of our dual segmented podcast thingamajig that we're doing where we record two different elements of the same thing half on her podcast half on my podcast but they go together so today what we're talking about is finding pleasure in food and finding pleasure outside of food so we just recorded finding pleasure inside of food on Lisa's podcast, the Fully Fueled Life podcast. And today on this episode, we're gonna talk about how to find pleasure outside of food. This is something that you guys ask me all the time, right?

2
0:01:29
And how do you find pleasure outside of food? What does that even mean?

1
0:01:32
What does that look like? So Lisa and I are just gonna chat about not only what that means, what that looks like, but kind of how we incorporate that in our lives. So you're definitely gonna want to listen to both episodes because they go together really beautifully, but also I was just saying that the one that we just recorded on Lisa's podcast was one of the favorites that I've ever recorded and I don't know if it was just because we were talking about food. You can't really go wrong with that. But anyways, excited to dive into this conversation because I think that this is something that just really isn't talked about enough. 

Lisa:

Yeah, I totally agree. I've done a podcast episode on this too and it was more like finding a hobby, like what do I do when I have all of this time and energy that was once spent thinking about food, worrying about food, hyper focusing on food, and if you follow me on Instagram, you've seen this, I dove right into reading. And I know you read too, Rye. But I dove like right into reading, forgot how much I loved it, and that's been something for me that brings me pleasure. Like I love just plowing through a book in like three days, recording it on my Goodreads, because that brings me pleasure.

4
0:02:46

Ryann:
Gotta check it off, yeah.

1
0:02:47

Lisa:

I gotta keep track, because then someone is like, hey, have you read blah blah blah? And I'm like, pause, pull up my Goodreads. I'm like, yes, I read that in July of 2020.

2
0:02:57
Can I tell you what it's about? No. But yes, I have read it and I gave it four stars. But that brings me so much pleasure and that was something that I used to fill that free time and also kind of quiet my mind and focus on something else so it didn't start wandering to the food, to the movement, to the body image. It was kind of immersed in a completely different story. 

Ryann:

You bring up such a good point where, for me too, I didn't have hobbies because all of my free time was spent on food, body, food, body, food, body, and then outside of that, it was school and swimming. Like those are my things. And I realized that when I started healing my relationship with food, it was also very uncomfortable to figure out what to do with that free time. And I know that a lot of us that struggle with this are very similar, like very type A, like goal-driven and organized and want to get it done.

 And I realized that I started putting all of that energy now into work or like completing things or working out and having it be this thing where I'm still very uncomfortable with just doing something just for the sake of doing something. And I think that if we were to like pull back the layers of what does it even mean when we're saying pleasure, I think that for me like that's what it is. It's just like I am doing something just for the sake of doing something because it is bringing me joy or because it's making me feel good physically or mentally or emotionally. And I almost feel like we just have to start with some form of definition because it's kind of like, what does that even mean? 

Lisa:

Yeah, and I like that you brought that up too. And I definitely had the movement piece be a little tricky because I was like, oh, more time. So my mind instantly was like, you can work out more, you can move your body more. And I had to like pull myself back and say, okay, yeah, you can, you have that ability, but is that the best option? Is, you know, two a day is really beneficial or is movement every single day really beneficial? So I had to kind of like pull myself back because my first instinct was to substitute that new time with movement, which, you know, luckily I was at a place where I could realize that's not going to benefit me. It'll be like one step forward, 14 steps backwards in my journey. And sometimes that happens and that's totally fine. But I was able to catch it and be like, no, Lisa, let's find something else. 

And I did kind of flounder for a long time and be like, what do I like to do that isn't working out, work, or like socializing with friends? And that's where reading came in. But I'm still actively trying to do other things. Because yes, I love reading, but my therapist has pointed this out that sometimes it's not always the best coping mechanism. You just like, remove like remove yourself from one situation to put yourself into this like imaginary situation. 

Ryann:

Right. 

Lisa:

So I've had to really get outside my comfort zone and try new things. And that is hard, especially being someone who doesn't like to be bad at things the first time. My friend and I went to a pottery class. If you've listened to this podcast episode of mine, you've heard about this. We went to this pottery class and we made these little plates that were supposed to look like fig leaves. Mine are atrocious. But it was so fun doing it. And there are these weird little, like, it looks like a sad leaf, like it curled up on itself. But I have three little plates and we, you know, had fun for three hours and whatever. And it was something new. It got me outside of my comfort zone. And now I have these funny leaf plates that I can remember it by. 

Ryann:

Oh my gosh, that is hilarious. But that just made me think when you were talking about trying new things, which is so important and also so scary. What I see so many people falling into, and I don't know if you see this too, and I was definitely guilty of this, is trying to find pleasure in things that don't align with your personality. So for me, it was, you know, I had a lot of shame around the fact that I am super introverted and I don't love to be out and about and like doing all of these things. 

And so when I was trying to fill my free time, I was going into, okay, who am I going to text? Like, who am I going to hang out with? Like, what am I going to do tonight? And then I was like, I don't understand why I still feel the same way. Like, I don't understand why I'm still not happy or like not finding joy or like this isn't fun for me. And it took me a second to realize those things aren't pleasurable to me. And that doesn't mean that I'm doing anything wrong or that I'm not fun it just means that those are my things. 

Likewise if you're super extroverted or you love socializing, going for a walk, having a slow coffee with a friend, spending time in the Sun, like those are not gonna be your things. And I think this is almost a beautiful segue into yes it's finding pleasure outside of food, but it's almost like this exploration of who are you? Like who are you?

2
0:08:07
What do you like? And then can you try new things from that?

6
0:08:11

Lisa:
Yeah. And I love that because in the first part of this episode, we challenged you to ask yourself, what do I like when it comes to food? And now you essentially have to ask yourself that same question when it comes to hobbies or, you know, filling out free time, you have to say, okay, what do I like? Like, what's gonna actually fill my cup instead of make me feel maybe more drained or more depleted?

 And that was really hard for me because I have a little bit of both. I have that introverted tendency, but I also have an extroverted tendency. So I have to cater to both. I have to do a little bit of the, like, you know, reading my favorite, a slow morning with a cup of coffee, reading on my porch, beautiful. 

And then I also have to do the things, like the pottery class with my friend, trying something new. I have to have both of those, otherwise I don't have that balance, and that's just me and what I've learned. But you might lean more one way than the other, and that's totally fine, but it's knowing that about yourself. 

Ryann:

I'm curious, because you and I have very similar personalities. How did you break through the limiting belief of needing to do things that have a purpose and being okay with, let's say, reading a book that isn't a self-improvement book or doing a pottery class without leaving with, you know, a whole kitchen full of plates? You know what I mean? Where it's like, I am okay doing things without it having to have a purpose, without it checking a box, without it needing to complete something. 

Lisa: 

Yeah, so in the reading example that came a little bit more easy to me because I think I burnt myself out. Every podcast I listened to had to be business related or intuitive eating related or like benefiting me in some way. Every book I read had to be self-improvement or like a textbook style. And I think I burnt myself out and I took a time off where I wasn't really reading anything. And then I jumped into reading for fun. So that was an easy transition, easier I should say.

 But with the other one, like the pottery example, that's harder because I'm doing something for no real reason. And I'm always like, that's a waste of money. Why would I do that? Why would I spend that much on already thinking like plates that are gonna look like crap, why would I do that? And I have to like pull myself back and be like, Lisa, you're doing it because it's fun, it's a memory. You're gonna go, you know, spend time with this new friend that you made, you're gonna laugh and whatever. 

You're doing it for that reason. When I was looking at the money and saying, oh, that's a waste, I was very much so in that transactional relationship, just like I was with food, just like I was with movement, and I had to break away when it came to hobbies or having fun, I had to say, yeah sure it costs money, but it's something I'm gonna talk about and something that you know her and I can laugh about and maybe we'll use the plate, maybe I won't, maybe it's a great gag gif, like who knows?

But it's something that I did and it was three hours of my life and it makes for a great story and it pushed me outside of my comfort zone so the next time this same friend asked me to go to bingo and I was like, sure! We found out it was music bingo. Even better! Like, it just kind of started this trend of saying yes.

Ryann:

 I love that. And I think, you know, you bring up such a good point of you gotta challenge yourself to figure it out. And I know that I used to be so guilty of being like, whoa, I don't have anything. Like, I don't have any hobbies. 

And then checking myself and being like, yeah, but on the weekends, you're not actually doing anything, or you're not actually trying anything new or you're not challenging yourself to go do something that you wouldn't normally do so is it really fair to be mad at yourself for this because you haven't really given yourself an opportunity to explore this and figure out what that is but I also realized something that I too struggled with when it came to finding pleasure outside of food and just in life is thinking that a it needed to be this like monumental thing like I think anybody can think oh my gosh a massage is so pleasurable. 

But bringing it back to something so simple of even just having my coffee in a mug versus a to-go cup is so much more pleasurable or just like the sensation of sun on my skin and like taking a moment to just experience that and when you get that heat and you get the goosebumps and it's like oh that feels so good those things and it's almost like you need to practice bringing your mind back to now, because we get into this habit of like, always onto the next thing, and like always thinking about what I have to do, or where I need to be, or what's gonna, you know, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

2
0:12:38
And it's like, wait a minute, what if some of the pleasure is not even doing new things, but it's even just allowing myself to experience the things that I'm already doing?

Lisa:

 Yeah, and like you were saying with the coffee mug, like, you know, reaching for a mug instead of a to-go cup and even if your morning was the exact same if that brought you pleasure go for it like keep doing that you always see tiktoks and instagrams of people saying like romanticize your life and at first I was like this is bs like there is no way but then you like start looking and I'm like actually no I kind of understand what they're saying like if you can bring that pleasure that joy into the smallest things it proves that it doesn't have to be this extravagant thing. 

It doesn't have to be a pottery class. It doesn't have to be a massage. It can be you, my favorite thing, legs up the wall. Like throw your legs up the wall, lay on the floor, put an eye mask on and lay there. Like that is the most relaxing and rewarding thing and costs no money. But if you can bring those very simple pleasures into your life, I think that makes a huge difference.

2
0:13:38

Ryann:
And then it also directly impacts your relationship with food because this is a conversation that we have all the time where it's like if food is the only source of pleasure in your life, then of course it's gonna be really hard to put the fork down when you feel full. Like why would you? This is the only opportunity you get.

1
0:13:55

Lisa:
Right. I know when I was trying to introduce pleasure into other areas of my life, it made me realize how much weight the food was holding. Just how much stuff I had wrapped up. It was like I had it on this silver platter and it was the best thing and I was putting like a lot of time and energy and thoughts into that, like making it be the best and I was really setting myself up for discouragement because if it didn't match this unrealistic expectation that I had set, I was just trying to find it at the bottom of the bowl, regardless of like what everything was telling me. 

Oh, I don't like this flavor, I don't like this taste, or you know, you're already full, whatever it was, I was just ignoring it because I was like just trying to get as much of it as I could, thinking that, oh, if I just eat it all, it'll happen, or whatever the case might be. And when I took that step back and realized like, whoa, I was relying on this one thing to do and give way too much, I was able to say, well, what if I take some of that and put it here? Like, what if I, you know, try this? 

Or what if I put some of that into my nighttime skin routine and I practice self-care and I bring pleasure and joy there? I was able to take some of that away from food and distribute distribute it into other places and now yeah, there's still pleasure in food, but it's not the only thing.

2
0:15:19

Ryann:
Totally, yeah.

3
0:16:11

Lisa:

We talked about this a little bit in my podcast. You brought it up, actually, or in my half of this episode. What do you think the difference between numbing and pleasure is when we're not talking about food? 

Ryann:

I feel like when anything takes you out of the moment, that's numbing. And when it brings you into the moment, that's pleasure. Wow. I don't know where that just came from. 

Lisa: 

That was so good. 

Ryann:

Because I was thinking about when it came to food, and I talked about this on Lisa's podcast, I used to be the queen of, I can't find anything that brings me the same pleasure that food brings me like I just can't Get it and I remember my mom was like the queen of this when she ate too uncomfortably full She'd be like I just hate this feeling and I'd be like, I don't understand. Like I love that feeling that feeling of being so full is really pleasurable to me.

 But then I realized as I was doing this work It wasn't pleasure that was numbing and when we go back to that definition, that was taking me out of being here, whatever it was that I was feeling or experiencing or that I didn't want to feel, it took me away. And so I think that when we're looking at finding pleasure in your day, it's anything that can bring you here. 

Like when I think of sun on my skin, that's like one of my favorites, especially because I just came out of like the most brutal winter. It's like bringing me into, I am experiencing this feeling on my hand right now. And like, in this moment, I am here. 

Lisa:

No, I totally understand that. Like, mine is the breeze off the ocean. Like, when I go for a walk and I turn this corner, I'm like visualizing my walk path. I turn this corner and you just like have the breeze from the ocean hit you. And you know, it's like that little salty, there's a very distinct smell. Like, that brings me into that moment. And I'm like, oh, this is for me. This is pleasurable. This is something that I enjoy doing. And you're right. Like pleasure brings you in, numbing takes you out, which now I'm laughing at myself because I love reading, but that totally takes me out, which sometimes you need.

1
0:18:18

Ryann:
Yeah, totally. And it's like, where is it taking you out? Like, is it taking you out and I'm enjoying being in a different space or is it taking me out like I'm not loving my life so I want to be in this different life.

1
0:18:30

Lisa:
Ooh, also such a good like this or that because you're right sometimes it can still take you out but you're in this place where you're still experiencing joy and pleasure from the story that you're reading or you get so immersed in the story that you're reading and you're distracting yourself in maybe not the healthiest way.

7
0:18:49

Ryann:
Totally. So as you were chatting, even when you're chatting about this, I can just feel like, and I know you, I know your personality, I know your mood, you're a pretty positive, joyful person. And it made me think, has having these elements of pleasure affected your mood? Like, do you feel like it's easier to feel more joy, like feel more positivity? 

Lisa:

A thousand percent. Because if I think back to my worst disordered days, I was not getting any pleasure from food because I was severely restricting food and there was so much guilt and shame. So I wasn't eating these pleasurable, indulgent things. Guilty pleasures were not happening because I was on this strict, strict routine. And the rest of my life suffered. 

And when I say the rest of my life, I mean like my relationships with myself, my family, my friends, food, movement, everything. Everything just started to crumble and I was the crabbiest human. Just like not fun to be around because I mean anyone who's hungry is not always happy. But I was just lacking that joy in so many aspects of my life and I don't think I realized it until, you know, fast forward through the whole process. 

Now, because there's so much joy and I can do that little like food happy dance, but also find pleasure in other things and taking myself outside of my comfort zone, I would say my entire mood is drastically improved. 

When I was in my disordered eating days, I was getting severe panic attacks to the point where like calling my therapist, putting my hands in ice water, it was bad. I had one on my birthday because the fear of getting older and we were going out to dinner, all the things, I like vividly remember that. 

But like now, never. That never happens. Like, sure I have an off day. I call them my like do less days. I think that's what I called it once. Just like a day, like a bare minimum day where I'm like, I don't feel great. I'm just going to do the absolute bare minimum because I know tomorrow is a new day. But I don't have that like dark cloud hanging over my head anymore.

Ryann:

 I had to ask because I get asked a lot, Ryan, how are you so positive? And I just recorded a podcast episode on that. And part of it was, I don't think that I am so much positive as it is that I really don't dwell on the negatives, but having this conversation made me think that, I wonder too if a little bit of it is that adding pleasures into my day, or even just acknowledging pleasure, slowing down, appreciating it, has had a direct impact on my mood, where because I have these little things throughout the day, when something tough, or, you know, triggering, or hard happens, it's not I'm getting hit from a place of I'm already drained. 

It's like I'm having these little things throughout the day that are making me feel good and alive and here. And then when something hard happens, it's like I already have that foundation of, okay, well, I feel good. And yeah, that sucks. But it's not hitting me at the same level as I'm sure or what I did when I didn't have those things.

1
0:22:04

Lisa:
Oh, 100%. And it's like thinking that feeling when you like go outside and you were describing like the feeling of the sun on your skin. It's like that multiple times a day. So you're like constantly filling your cup, filling your cup, having that positive feeling. And then when that one thing happens, it's just like the tiniest little splash out of the cup. 

It's not a dump, like it's not cups flipped over, every drop gone. It's just like this tiny little spill and then there's more sunshine feeling. I mean I know that's like the worst metaphor, but like that really is what's happening and you're not just this like toxic positivity because I think there's an extreme and some people can kind of peg it as maybe toxic positivity, but it's like truly a mindset shift. It's like your entire life is just different. 

The joy that you're feeling is from these tiny little things and that's like authentic pleasure, positivity, joy. It's not like this made-up thing or you're not relying on these extravagant experiences. You're very real about the things that are bringing you joy.

6
0:23:07

Ryann:
So on that note, what are some really small things recently that you've gotten pleasure out of, like the last couple of days? 

Lisa:

Well, this will be interesting because I'm traveling at the moment, so that'll be fun. My favorite thing is, I said this, like a slow morning with coffee. 

If I'm solo with my book, if I'm with people, my favorite thing to do, we do this at our family lake house, we all get our coffee and no one's in the house in the morning. 

We're all on the screened-in porch, and we have this big couch, and everyone's just, like, piled. It's just like a cuddle puddle on the couch. And we all have our coffee, and we all are, like, chatting and talking. And we sit out there for, like, hours in the morning. And sometimes, you know, there'll be, like, coffee cake brought or, like, fruit, and people will just, like, munch and chat. That is one of my favorite things, and it's going to happen soon, and I'm so excited. 

But little things that I do on my own. I love legs up the wall, that makes me feel so good. It brings in just that little bit of joy, pleasure. We talked about this with the food, having that one thing that just like elevates your meal, so much pleasure. 

But I also love taking a second for me, whether it's like one more step in my skincare routine, a hair mask, exfoliating, shaving, and lotioning my legs, like something that simple makes me feel so good, not only about myself, but just like in general. So those tiny little things really do make a difference. And I feel like when you're lacking that pleasure and that joy, those tiny little things feel like an overwhelming task. And when you realize how much pleasure they can bring you, it's not that daunting of a task.

Ryann:

 And I think that if any of you are listening to this and you are a more extroverted, outgoing person and you're like, those tiny little things don't do it for me, your tiny little things might be different. Like, your tiny little things might be, you know, a quick phone call or, I don't know, like an exciting… 

I was thinking the other day, I now live back in Arizona and so we have like all the big workout classes again, and I was in a spin class. And I mean, the spin classes here, it feels like you're in Vegas. I'm like, if anybody needs to have a taste of that, but doesn't want to have alcohol involved, I mean, if you need something adrenaline provoking, I was just thinking, you know, redefining what those tiny things are for you, based on who you are and your identity and what things bring you joy. 

Lisa:

Yeah, and I like that you said that because it could be something like that or like exploring a new town or trying a new restaurant. It could be something that is a little bit bigger. You know, I named tiny things because that's manageable for me, but sometimes it is that. 

Sometimes it's that spin class. Sometimes it's the pottery class. Sometimes it's a vacation, but I think having both can be really, really beneficial. So we're not getting too dependent on one or the other.

2
0:26:09

Ryann:
I was just thinking, you know, some of my little small things. Jack has fallen in love with the pool. Jack is my golden retriever for any of you that don't know. And seeing see the pool, get in the pool, when we throw, we call it a bumper. It's like this giant rubber thing that floats in the pool and we'll throw it and he will launch himself off the step to go get it. 

And I just like that to me, like it's just so pleasurable to see him so excited and so happy and just like those little things. I obviously love a good book, sunshine 100%, but even something as simple as like after a long day, like putting on comfy clothes and just having a minute to be like, oh, this feels so good or getting snuggly on your couch or just acknowledging like that feeling of fresh sheets.

 Like I just washed my sheets last night, which made me think of that. Again, it doesn't have to be these major things, but again, pleasure is bringing you in. So like the more that you can just pay attention to some of these things, you might not even need to add in a ton of things. It could be as simple as like, I'm just starting to pay attention to the things that are already there.

6
0:27:14

Lisa:
Oh, I love that. It doesn't have to be this extravagant thing. It's just really paying attention. And like Ryann and I gave so many examples today, but ultimately it's which one resonates for you. 

Like which one really hits home and which one's going to make you do that little like food happy dance multiple times a day, have that feeling of sunshine on your skin multiple times a day, and that's going to be unique to you. And I think finding those is half the experience. 

Ryann:

And also acknowledging that just like food and body and everything that you're learning, like that's gonna look different on different days. Like it might feel so pleasurable to go to like a very intense, hard workout class today. It might feel so pleasurable to like organize your entire closet. And at the same time, another day, it might feel so pleasurable to do nothing and just like put on a killer Netflix show or grab a book. And that's just what it is.

5
0:28:03

Lisa:

Oh, I couldn't agree more.

4
0:28:05

Ryann:
Yay. Oh, well, any final thoughts on that?

1
0:28:08

Lisa:
No, that was great. Like you said, the food one, like I think this is our best, what did you call it earlier? You were like, sing-a-ma-bob. 

Ryann:

That was way too long ago, I don't remember. 

Lisa:

It was our best dual episode yet. 

Ryann:

So hopefully the wait was worth it.  As I've been kind of recuperating, I definitely am finally back to myself where I was telling Lisa, I was like, you know, we can record these, but they're just not going to be the same because I'm not the same. So you know, it's one of those things where you just meet yourself where you're at.

 But if you haven't listened to the episode on Lisa's podcast, definitely pop over there, listen to that. It's going to be such a good compliment to this as you guys are working on healing your relationship with food. But also this is an element of so much more than that. This is healing your relationship with yourself and allowing all these elements to make your life better, fuller so that you can feel more alive and I guess like you again.

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