Today I am sharing an interview with a very special woman. Paige Schmidt from Healthy Hits The Spot. Paige is one of the most honest, open, & sweetest bloggers I have ever come across. & not only is she a blogger – she is also a health coach & she has helped so many women. If you don’t already follow her blog you should! You can’t help but love her. She has a very healthy approach to food, & no food is forbidden or off limits. & diets? Well, they don’t really excist in Paiges vocabulary. Refreshing, right?
So without further introduction, I’ll jump right into the interview.
When and why did you start intuitive eating?
I started eating intuitively after I did in cleanse (took out sugar, cheese, and grains) for 7 weeks in January of 2011. For the first time, I realized that I could actually make choices around what I wanted to eat without counting calories. Coming off the cleanse, I began paying attention to how foods made me feel, and began to eat in a way that was totally non-restrictive and also honoring to the way I wanted to feel physically.
What excatly is intuitive eating? And can everyone practice it?
Yes, anyone can practice intuitive eating. We’re actually intuitive by nature, but somewhere along the way we get confused at how to listen to our bodies. My experience with getting confused was through dieting. I began to believe that I was supposed to eat X amount of calories per day, eat certain good foods and avoid certain bad ones, and felt that it didn’t matter if I were hungry/full or not – I was supposed to stay within my calories limits. Ah, little did I know this is so untrue.
You can start eating intuitively by checking-in and asking yourself what foods you feel the most “tempted” around. Those are likely the foods that you have rules around – thus, the reason you’re feeling tempted by them. I would encourage you to do a little taste test with one food of your choice. Let’s say it’s Oreo’s. Buy yourself some Oreo’s, bring them home, sit down at the table, and notice your experience: do you actually like the Oreo’s? What does your body feel like? Are they actually as exciting as you’ve always made them out to be? This will help you to see that foods actually only have power over us because we have them on a pedestal.
What has intuitive eating done for you?
Eating intuitively has given me so much freedom. Intuitive eating allows me to have choice. It allows me to go out to dinner with my husband or my friends and not worry about what’s going to be on the menu. Rather, I trust that in any moment I have the ability to make a choice that is in line with how I want to feel. So, if I want to feel super stuffed, I can concisely make that choice. Funny thing is, when feeling super stuffed becomes a choice I have I lose all desire to completely stuff myself.
How has intuitive eating changed your body image?
This has probably been the most challenging part of intuitive eating for me. Intuitive eating has allowed me to arrive at my bodies most natural weight. I don’t know the number, because I haven’t weighed myself in years, but I do know that this weight is one that is higher than my “ideal” weight, which was much, much too low. What I know though, is that being at my natural weight has given me SO MUCH MORE than what being underweight gave me. In fact, I was so much less happy when I was underweight. So, since starting the process of eating intuitively to today, I continually learn to love my body exactly where she’s at, and I feel great doing so.
Is it still possible to eat intuitively at social gatherings? How? Oh, of course! That’s the best part of intuitive eating. There are no rules. You can take it with you wherever you go. Being intuitive at a social gathering to me simply means checking in with how you want to feel, and what’s most important to focus on: conversations, having a fun time, relaxing, etc.
Is it still possible to eat pizza, chocolate, take-out etc. when practising intuitive eating?
Yes, totally! Think of intuitive eating as “normal eating.” If you’re craving something, you can have it. You’re just in charge of eating it in a way that would leave your body feeling well. We want to feel good after we eat. So, for example, if I want pizza I might plate a couple of slices and have a little salad on the side. This way, I can enjoy my pizza AND feel good.
Do you ever fail at intuitive eating? When and how?
Yes, and I actually wrote a whole post about it here: http://www.healthyhitsthespot.com/2015/01/28/how-i-sometimes-fail-at-intuitive-eating/. As you’ll see in the post “failing” might look like I forget to listen to my body. However, you really can’t fail at intuitive eating. Rather, every experience gives you more proof and feedback for how you’d like to feel. Therefore, you’re continually feeling more an more encouraged to listen to your body. You believe in intuitive eating more and more as time goes on.
I wrote a post on this here: http://www.healthyhitsthespot.com/2015/11/18/what-to-do-on-days-where-you-feel-fat/. In this post, I talk about how the goal is not feeling good all of the time. Rather, the goal is learning how to care for yourself and have compassion for yourself when you do feel down so that you can make it through without beating yourself up or making some huge change (like joining a new diet program).
What is your thoughts on exercising?
Love exercise! I also know that each woman has her own relationship to exercise, so we want to be mindful of that. I would encourage each one of you to check in on your relationship to exercise: how does it feel? Does it feel how you’d like it to feel? Do you look forward to working out or do you dread it?
Exercise should be something that we can look forward to. That being said, it’s also totally normal for it to feel hard to get up an exercise at say, 6:00 AM. You’re a normal human being, and it’s okay that you feel sleepy and want to stay snug in a cozy warm bed early in the morning. This doesn’t mean that you don’t look forward to exercise.
The goal is that in these early mornings you can at least remember how you feel so great once you do get up and go. (If you DON’T feel great once you do get up and go, then it’s time to look at what you’re doing and ask yourself if it’s what you want to be doing).
Tell us about Finally Free and how you can join in!
How exciting! I love Finally Free. Finally Free is a virtual health coaching program that I created with my good friend and business partner Simi Botic. It’s a twelve session program that is entirely self paced and is designed to lead you toward total freedom with food. Basically, everything I’ve talked about here!
Simi and I will coach you on eating intuitively, feeling great in your body, having a positive mindset around exercise, etc… We teach you how to navigate events, and check-in with yourself in the toughest of times. We touch on emotional eating, binge eating, falling off track, and all that tough stuff that we all struggle with. Finally Free is for anyone who wants to feel more FREE with food.
You can join Finally Free today for $297 on our site: www.FinallyFreeProgram.com.
You can also join our jumpstart program called the 28-Day Pleasure Plan if that feels like a more doable investment ($47): https://www.finallyfreeprogram.com/finally-free-28-day-pleasure-plan/
Both are wonderful programs. Eventually, I’d encourage everyone to be in the full Finally Free Program. The community itself is a worthy investment.
Sure do! Here are my book recommendations for intuitive eating and self-care:
I hope you all enjoyed this interview.