In this episode:
Are you ready to ditch diets forever? Erin Todd takes a Christian approach to intuitive eating, helping you unlearn everything you were taught about calorie-counting and other aspects of diet culture and break free from weight stigma. This episode came about when Michelle began exploring intuitive eating and found Erin's podcast. This content in the tip of the iceberg in what's out there, but Erin's approach ties in the guidance of the Holy Spirit—a piece missing from a lot of advice out there! Join Michelle on her journey toward a life repurposed that's free from diet culture.
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About Erin Todd:
Erin L. Todd is a wife, dog mom, attorney-by-day and writer-by-night living in St. Petersburg, Florida. As a redhead who battled insecurity and body image issues for over 30 years, she now claims the concept of being both a masterpiece and a work in progress simultaneously. Her blog “Ginger In Progress” was born from a spiritual awakening where Jesus set her free from diet prison. Now she is on a mission to empower and equip women to heal their relationships with food and body so they can find freedom, purpose and health, too!
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Quotes to Remember from Erin Todd:
- We're being led by God's design for our body how he made us to live and interact with food and move and care for ourselves.
- The superpower of intuition is the Holy Spirit and listening to that being tuned into that for guidance.
- Intuitive Eating is not a diet because there's no rules about food. There's no single way of doing things where things are good and bad. It's basically the opposite of that.
- Letting weight be our marker of health is wrong. We're going to look to how we feel and what we're able to do in our bodies, versus what the scale says.
- The Lord showed me that dieting and the way I had been living was idolatry. I was worshiping fitness and weight loss and body size and obsessing over myself. And he told me to lay it down.
- There's a place where you can really enjoy the food, how it tastes, the experience of eating it, how it feels, and how it makes you feel later, in terms of physically and emotionally.
- Cake is not good or bad, you're not good or bad or eating it. And when you have unconditional permission to eat foods, which you do, because they're all neutral, morally neutral, then there's no pressure to cram it all in on one day or on another day or restrict it.
- It's the false gospel of weight loss: when you hit this weight, then you will be happy, then you will matter, and then your life will be better.
- We just need to stop as a culture commenting on bodies.
- We just have to recognize that everybody's just doing the best they can, and nobody's really out to get anybody.
- It's a choice that you have to make every day. It is a daily surrender. It does not get easier. Oh, well, it gets a little bit easier with time. I noticed I would have fewer incidents of having to go through the whole, “let me wrestle this to the ground again,” thing. It's hard. I mean, we're out here living in a culture that body shames and glorifies some sizes and not others in certain ways of eating and not others.
- Not dieting is countercultural. But so is being a Christian.
- Doing it alone is not going to work. Let me just tell you that right now. Find other people to do it with.
- Podcast: Intuitive Eating for Christian Women
- Intuitive Eating for Christian Women workbook: This accompanies season one of the podcast and becomes an online course. It’s only $7! Michelle is working through this and highly recommends.
- Free Guide: Intuitive Eating Starter Kit for Christian Women by Erin Todd
- What is intuitive eating? Listen to this episode of Erin’s podcast for an excellent summary.
- Intuitive Eating, 4th Edition: A Revolutionary Anti-Diet Approach book by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. This is the book that started the journey for Michelle.
This episode is brought to you by the book and Bible study called The Repurposed and Upcycled Life: When God Turns Trash to Treasure. Are there experiences you'd rather toss in the dumpster? Discover the repurposed and upcycled life. This Christian living and humor book and accompanying Bible study will help you see how some of your greatest disappointments, mistakes, and hurts can be beautiful treasures from God. This simple format is welcome for busy women who are looking for deeper relationships with one another without the burden of extra homework. More about the best-selling book and study: The Repurposed and Upcycled Life: When God Turns Trash to Treasure
Michelle Rayburn 00:01
I'm so eager for you to hear this conversation with Erin Todd today. A couple of months ago, I realized that I was on a new journey when it comes to body image, weight loss, health. And I haven't even told very many of my friends about it because I'm still exploring what it is. So in this episode, I'm going to explain how I discovered the concept of intuitive eating. Well, I didn't discover it as in invented, I discovered all the materials that are out there about it. I also have been processing through what this means as far as diet culture, and body image. And really, this is a life repurposed for me in realizing that I spent a lot of years of my life thinking about body and about size, and I want something new. So today, I have a brand new friend, Erin Todd, who's going to talk about how God started her on that journey and how she's now helping others. I hope you enjoyed this conversation.
Michelle Rayburn 01:07
You're listening to Life Repurposed, where you'll find practical biblical wisdom for everyday living, creative inspiration, and helpful resources. Grow your faith, improve your relationships, discover your purpose, and reach your goals with topics to encourage you to find hope amid the trashy stuff of life. Thanks for joining me today. I'm your host Michelle Rayburn. Erin L. Todd is a wife, dog mom, attorney by day and writer by night living in St. Petersburg, Florida. As a redhead who battled insecurity and body image issues for over 30 years. She now claims the concept of being both a masterpiece and a work in progress simultaneously. Her blog Ginger in Progress was born from a spiritual awakening where Jesus set her free from diet prison. Now she's on a mission to empower and equip women to heal their relationships with food and body so they can find freedom, purpose, and health too. Let's jump into my conversation with Erin.
Michelle Rayburn 02:09
Erin, welcome to the podcast. I want to ask you a little bit of a fun question as we get rolling here. I found out from your website that you're a fan of cheese and I'm a Wisconsin girl. So this is like a "Yeah, why not ask about cheese? moment. So what is your favorite cheese?
Erin Todd 02:27
Hi, Michelle. I love that question. So I'm bad at picking favorites. But the cheese that just like made me immediately go "Alright, I want to eat that right now" is brie.
Michelle Rayburn 02:38
Oh my goodness. I have one in my refrigerator right now. And I've been waiting for the right moment to bake it and have it with crackers.
Erin Todd 02:47
Cheese and crackers has been like my favorite snack in the last year. So yeah, I'm loving it. I like a pimento cheese too. That'd be a close second, but we could talk about cheese all day.
Michelle Rayburn 02:56
I know. So being from Wisconsin, that's just something that... I could talk about cheese all day long. I grew up on a dairy farm. So gotta talk about cheese. Well, we are going to be talking about food in some way today. So that kind of leads into how I found Erin. So listener, I want you to know why I'm introducing you to Erin Todd today. I started... a couple months ago decided that I wasn't sure that another diet was the right thing for me because I've been on a zillion of them in 40 years. And I thought I need to get the psychology piece down, the psychology of food. So I joined a well-known program that's supposed to focus on the psychology of food, found out within 24 hours that it was just a diet where there were red light green light, yellow light foods that made me think this is good and bad foods. And so I started searching for something else and found a book on intuitive eating, which long story short led me to Erin's podcast, where she puts the pieces together between being a Christian woman and intuitive eating. So Erin, I'd like to start out talking today about your journey with food. And how did you end up becoming an expert on intuitive eating?
Erin Todd 04:13
Ah, yes. Okay, so this is a God story. And it's got ups and downs and weaves in it. But basically, in my last phase of dieting, so where where you are probably right now Michelle, I was really, really disordered, probably had an eating disorder. At that time, certainly disordered eating itself. And I was health coaching online and making other people follow me and my crazy and eat the things I was eating and I run my body into the ground doing that. I was having all kinds of health problems, hormonally got stuff just like a really bad time of it because I wasn't eating enough food, and I was over-working myself and never resting and honestly was just beating myself up constantly for every little thing I did. So it was just a very negative, punishing place to live mind, body, and soul. And it led me to do my last diet, which I didn't know was my last diet at the time, was like a doctor ordered, or supervised, I should say, cleanse to kind of address some of my issues that were physical issues that I needed some healing on. And in the middle of doing that, I really felt the Lord told me that this was the last diet I was going to ever do. And I had been just crying out to Him for months about like, "What is this? What's going on with me?" Cause like, I've kept trying to fix myself. And I also got the message [from him] that "I am the cure." So I'm in the middle of this doctor diet, not really knowing what's going on getting some pretty good, interesting tidbits from the Lord in my quiet time. And I just was, I felt that something was coming. And so at the end of that cleanse, I had this aha moment. Literally an encounter with the Lord, a spiritual awakening, whatever you want to call it, like a massive, massive turning point in my life. And the Lord showed me that dieting, and the way I had been living was idolatry. I was worshiping fitness and weight loss and body size and obsessing over myself. And he told me to lay it down. And so it was like, "Alright, that was the last diet I've ever given you. Because I cannot proceed with dieting, with me being who I am, because I can't do it in a healthy way. I'm not totally convinced that there is a healthy way and the intuitive eating stuff. But I had a massive epiphany with that epiphany as my friend Judy says, and it just I just said, Yes, Lord, I lay down. I don't know how I was able to do that, in that moment, massive Grace received in that and the ability to say yes, I will surrender this. And like, let's do it your way, Lord, like, let's, let's find another way forward, I will do whatever you say, I did not want to stay in that pain and bondage. And I didn't know what the next phase was going to be exactly. But in all of that, you know, self diagnosing, learning I was doing leading up to the doctor cleanse, I had stumbled into intuitive eating. And so I knew what to do. I was like, Oh, well, I'm not gonna diet. Well, this is this handy non diet thing you told me about a couple months ago, Lord, like, Alright, let's try this out. And I basically just started walking it out all self, you know, self taught, walking it with the Lord in the word every day with it. And I just couldn't help but notice how much intersection and overlap and all of the just all of the facets of the body that are just just God made God breathed. Like I'm like, Oh, this is like starting to click for me. And as I continued to explore that, and walk that out, I just kept experiencing it. He took me farther on the journey. I'm still walking it out right now. I mean, that there's no, there's no arrival. There's no... that's why the expert term is like, "Oh, I don't know, I've definitely been doing it for a couple of years." But I think what I learned in all of that is that I am the expert of at least my own body, maybe not of a subject as big and powerful as how we care for ourselves. But I have learned how to do it in my life or my body with the Lord leading it.
Michelle Rayburn 08:38
So this is so upside down. I've been in some I've been in so many groups at church where, you know, there's so many versions of Christian weight loss groups, where I'm taught that my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. And so there's like this shaming that if I'm not on the diet, that I'm not living my life for Jesus in some way, because I'm not following what he would want for my body. So how is intuitive eating different from a diet? Because I know some listeners probably don't. They may be thinking intuitive sounds New Agey. Maybe you're going to be starting to talk about the universe instead of God. And so the the red flags go up, but that's not what it is. So tell us a little bit about that.
Erin Todd 09:22
Yeah, yeah. So full disclosure there. Intuitive Eating is not faith-based inherently. It's written by two women dieticians. It is a book about our relationship with food. And it's not written for Christians or by Christians. It's just you can't help but notice how they have tapped into God's design to the body, and hunger and fullness and just their version of intuition. I think as Christians we can read as our body signals and the Holy Spirit. Yeah. And we're being led by God's design for our body how he made us to live and interact with food and move and care for ourselves. And then of course, the superpower of intuition is the Holy Spirit and listening to that being tuned into that for guidance, which, honestly, I didn't really know how to do that as a Christian. And this is the area of my life where I finally got to figure out what Spirit-led anything was. So that was pretty amazing. But Intuitive Eating is not a diet, because there's no rules about food. There's no single way of doing things where things are good and bad. It's basically the opposite of that, we're kind of rejecting all concepts of dieting, from what you would know from culture. And the thing that's really challenging for people is that intuitive eating really asks you to set aside goals about weight loss, because if you're focusing on something external, like weight, you're really not able to tune into the internal cues. And the weight just distracts people. So it's like, if you can't set down the goal and walk away from weight as an issue for you for a little bit, you won't be able to tune back in and get connected with your body and listen to the Holy Spirit or your body signals in practice the principles of intuitive eating in your relationship with food, because it's a total distraction. It totally derails us. And I think the weight part of it is what has really clouded and muddied the waters in the Christian diet space, because we've equated in our culture that we live in—I always call this diet culture. A new term I'm trying out is a little bit stronger. But it's true, it's culture of death. Because we're glorifying a body size we are worshipping and chasing after a body says, I mean, it's, it's setting everybody up for the same idolatry issue I have. And I recognize that not everybody will have an idol. Some people can do it in a way where their heart isn't completely just enraptured with culture's version of beauty and health. But the culture wants to pull you into that. And it's very easy to fall into that. And so letting weight be our marker of health is wrong. And the kingdom of God and in the intuitive eating realm. So I think that's probably the biggest difference, we're going to look to how we feel and what we're able to do in our bodies, versus what the scale says. And we're just going to let that go as a marker of health and start looking at other facets of health, because health is so much bigger than a number on the scale that does not tell you if you're healthy or not. And a lot of times, it's it sends you down the wrong track and actually makes you less healthy, because you're chasing something and then you get off on a tangent like I did for like 20 years and actually make your health worse. So I'm not sure if that answered your question, Michelle, but non-diet, weight-neutral approach.
Michelle Rayburn 13:05
Thank you. And I think, for me, I'm just identifying that idolatry piece of it, and looking at, you know, how many times did I plan for the next meal, and or plan for the next cheat day, because Saturday was going to be the day and then, you know—the Intuitive Eating book talks about this, where you consume all the goodies on the Saturday or Sunday, because on Monday, you're starting over again. And I would actually end up eating more than my body wanted on all of that because I was thinking ahead to the day I was going to have to restrict it again. And so this intuitive approach takes that piece out. And I think any listener that has been on a diet and done everything on the food plan, and then gone to weigh in and find out the scale went up, will relate to how the scale can play games with our minds when we step on it. Because now there's this I did it right or I did it wrong kind of a measurement. So for those of us who are starting an intuitive eating, we're we're not stepping on the scale anymore. Was that easy or hard for you to do to not weigh yourself anymore?
Erin Todd 14:14
I think I think it was easy for me, but I have a personality type where if I'm jumping in on something I'm going all in. So the like do everything 100% different than you have been was kind of I don't know, I dieted that way previously, I would jump all in on, okay, I'm doing this 100% new plan. I just have a brain for that I can go make big transitions like that. And so it was just something I stopped doing. I was doing it every day and I'm like, Nope, this is out of town. And I want to say, you know, my heart was in the right place with that. But in the beginning, it really wasn't—I was terrified to not be tracking that and to know what was going on because just knowing that information made me falsely think I had some kind of control over it. Of course I didn't, but I thought I did. And just knowing the information made me feel just, I guess, a little bit safer because I knew what was going on and knew enough from being a self taught like diet expert in my own life, to be like, "Okay, I know what I can do about this." So even if it wasn't something that was good, or my perception of good, I was like, "Okay, well, now. We'll just do this to fix it." So in that constant perfectionist, fixing, controlling kind of mode that I feel like a lot of dieters are in the restricting space, that's probably something that somebody can identify with. Right? And so, intuitive eating, really challenged me on my thinking on that and made me surrender all of that. And I mean, it's a spiritual issue to surrender something. So I honestly don't know how people do this without the Lord. I don't know how you could be not a believer and be doing intuitive eating well, because where's your identity coming from? If you were a dieter, it was in your body. And like this is just such an opportunity and invitation to put your identity back in the place where it should have been. But we all drift away, and that's fine. But it really that was the anchor that made it, I think, made the going all-in a viable option for me, because without that, I would have just been adrift completely.
Michelle Rayburn 16:34
This episode is brought to you by the book and Bible study called The Repurposed and Upcycled Life: When God Turns Trash to Treasure. Are their experiences you'd rather toss in the dumpster? Discover the repurposed and upcycle life. This Christian living and humor book and accompanying Bible study will help you see how some of your greatest disappointments, mistakes, and hurts can be beautiful treasures from God. Move forward with new purpose even in the midst of the trashy stuff of life. The workbook includes small group discussion, Bible study doodles to color, and optional at-home applications each week. This is a study for busy women with easy prep for leaders and very little homework for participants. This simple format is welcome for busy women who are looking for deeper relationships with one another without the burden of extra homework. You'll find more about the best selling book, The Repurposed and Upcycled Life: When God Turns Trash to Treasure at Michelle rayburn.com.
Michelle Rayburn 17:44
You have built some community of people who support one another. So you have the support of the Holy Spirit, but you need people too, so we'll talk about when we get to resources because I do want you to talk about your community. I think for me starting out, I do have kind of that fear. And I'm still trying to label my emotions, because a lot of times I would just eat through my emotions. So I don't even know sometimes what I'm experiencing. But I do have this fear of what if I go all in here? And what's going to happen if I gain weight? And so yes, you're right on target with where I'm at. What has surprised you about your journey into this anti-diet world?
Erin Todd 18:29
I think the biggest surprise for me was recognizing that I was a little idol machine. Because as soon as I laid down the diet one and the body one and started getting some freedom there and moving forward in life and feeling the Lord lead me to start sharing about this blogging and podcasting, guess what became the new idol? Podcasting. So I was like, I went from a pant size idol to like a platform size idol. Pretty similar. And so I had to basically go through the whole process again a few years later into the intuitive eating journey. So that was a surprise, but not really like when I think about it. It's like, of course I did that.
Michelle Rayburn 19:20
I've done that with my writing. I can totally relate. We do look for something and food, for my entire life, has been the thing. So when you take that away, I mean, that's how my, my family showed love through food. And we celebrated through food and all of those things. So if you take away that emotional connection, and you start looking at the relationships and all that, yeah, you feel I feel really raw as I'm starting this part of the journey.
Erin Todd 19:49
Yeah. Well, the emotional component of food, I think, is part of the gift of it and part of like how we're meant to be have a relationship with food and with other people. And it's like this beautiful fellowship gift thing that is like one of our pleasures we get on this earth. And I think dieting really cuts you off from that. I think you can't go too far in the other direction and that's your only pleasure. And that's, you know, that's a different kind of idol. But it's meant to be a gift. And it's meant to be enjoyed. And it's meant to point us to the Lord. So like, just enjoying food again, and having that simple pleasure. And another thing to be really grateful for in life, I think has, has been humbling and beautiful, and unexpected.
Michelle Rayburn 20:41
I think about like, the things that I've heard in diet culture over the years, "Food is fuel." Now, it's true that food is fuel. But that was used in a context of eat this thing that tastes horrible, because it's just fuel to try to disconnect the emotions. So something you've talked about in your podcasts that resonated with me is how you drink your coffee. So I was like, you know, I have to put this artificial sweetener in there, and I can't have the cream, I have to do skim. And so I didn't enjoy my Starbucks light lattes very much. But I have found like this happy medium where I can enjoy the iced mocha, and not feel guilty about having it. And I enjoy the taste of it. So I can have a smaller one even enjoy it more than you would a large, horrible tasting fat free sugar free one.
Erin Todd 21:36
Yeah. Oh, I love that. That's such a beautiful illustration of it. Yeah, there is a place, and I wouldn't have believed you if you had told me this while I was still dieting, but like there's a place where you can really enjoy the food, how it tastes, the experience of eating it, how it feels and how it makes you feel later, in terms of physically and emotionally. Like that's possible. Diet culture does not tell you that it's the food is fuel message and the don't trust your body and don't enjoy anything. And it's just, it's all baloney.
Michelle Rayburn 22:11
I recently had a birthday. And in the past, I would have enjoyed lots of cake on the birthday, knowing the next day I was going to be, "good again." And this time, my mom sent the leftover cake home with me. And each day, I enjoyed some of the cake. And I spread out the experience instead of stuffing myself on that one day. So it was like a whole new thing for me to enjoy the cake.
Erin Todd 22:39
Yes. So that's the principle of, you know, making peace with food. Cake is not good or bad, you're not good or bad or eating it. And when you have unconditional permission to eat foods, which you do, because they're all neutral, morally neutral, then there's no pressure to cram it all in on one day or on another day or restrict it. Because if you can really have it anytime you want. Then you are free to listen to your body and listen to the Holy Spirita bout when to eat that.
Michelle Rayburn 23:10
Yeah, so I had the same amount of cake. I just ate it over four days instead of all in one sitting.
Erin Todd 23:16
And probably enjoyed it and how everything so much, but yes. Yes. Another great illustration of that. I love that you're doing it already.
Michelle Rayburn 23:25
Yeah, so I've experienced a lot of self-shaming in the past because there are so many things—I'm a I'm kind of a type A, I'm a goal-setter as far as like, I'm an achiever, I guess not so much a goal setter, but I like to achieve things. So I will set out to do something and achieve it. And weight loss was the one thing that every single time I set out, the weight would come back on. And I would tell myself then that you succeed at everything, but you fail at being thin. So what would you say to the listener right now who's here at the table with us and self-shaming? What would you say to that person?
Erin Todd 24:05
I would say to her that the whole idea that that success is going to make you happy is also a lie. Yeah. Because I was the type A achiever and I could do it. And it still didn't satisfy I would get there and it would be you know, a fleeting moment of, "Yeah, I did it," and then it would be, "Okay, well, what am I doing next month? I have to go to the next level." It's a finish line that keeps moving. It's not ever able to satisfy you because it's not it's not meant to or not meant to be satisfied that way, and so just that was part of my, you know, crying out to the Lord face. It's like Whoa, I got it. I don't understand why. Why are all my dreams not coming true right now? And yeah, so it's, it's just a, it's a trap. You're gonna do it and feel like failure if you can't get it, or you'll do it, and you'll get it, and you still won't be happy, like, it's just the biggest waste of time. It is such a false promise, and it's a false gospel. I mean, that's what I've been calling it lately. It's the false gospel of weight loss, when you hit this weight, then you will be happy, then you will matter and then you your life will be better. And it's like, that is just not true. That's not scientific. That's not biblical. Like, it's not true. So that was I had to learn, I kind of had to learn that one the hard way. 100% had to learn that the hard way. I wouldn't have believed that. I'm like, no, no, trust me, once I get this next weight, then, yeah, it took some, it took some shaking up and some, you know, months of distance to be able to reflect back on that and be like, actually, that never satisfied. I can look back on my life now and really recognize that and so not everybody's ready to hear that. And I understand that. But in case it saves one person from falling into that even one more cycle, because it's a cycle of you lose, and then you gain typically more than you lost. And then you're stuck in the cycle, like one more cycle diet cycle, like you can skip out on the next one, you will have done your body a huge favor, it's actually very bad for your health to stay in that cycle. Mental health, physical health, everything they they're, they're starting to really have the science now to, to show that the weight cycling is specifically for your heart health is very bad, because stretching out your arteries, and I don't speak into the science very well. But there's, there's some good research out there, available through the intuitive eating book in those kinds of books that really show how hard that is on your body. Not to mention, you know, your mindset and the rest of your life that's passing you by while all those cycles are going through. And, of course, your spirit and your spiritual health is massively in trouble if it's an idol.
Michelle Rayburn 27:03
Yeah, and I think maybe when I was younger, I didn't realize... I just thought it was doing the thing I was supposed to do. And now that I'm 53, I can look back and say, "Oh, I've wasted so much of my life on this." But I think about like, before I had kids, when I got to this goal weight, the smallest I'd ever been as an adult. And I thought that, you know, I thought I was really happy. And then I started to notice my hair was falling out my skin was a mess. It was so dry. And it was so hard to stay at that weight that when I got pregnant, I just was like, "Okay, I'm gonna, I'm gonna eat for the baby. Not gonna worry about starving myself anymore." But I remember the people in my life who don't know any better, you know, we say to somebody, "You look good." And I've rebelled against that term. In fact, I wrote about it in my first book. And it's, you know, I did it in a funny way. But it's not funny that when someone loses weight, we say you look good. But when somebody gains weight, we don't, to their face, say, "You look bad." But that's what's implied when we have that mindset. So I you know, I remember my mother in law, a photo that she had of me, I was in the newspaper for the diet center I was at and was the before-and-after photo and she had it on her fridge for a long time. I had regained all the weight and then some. I remember walking by that newspaper clipping. And I just I still, you know, 30 years later, remember what that what it did and still does to my spirit.
Erin Todd 28:29
Michelle, I'm so sorry. That so, I know how hard that is. And it's so worth pointing out. Here, too. It's like you never know who is struggling with this. You don't you don't know who is in the disordered eating or eating disorder space with it, too. So it's like, it's never okay. Like, we just need to stop as a culture commenting on bodies. ... Can we find a new way to pay someone a compliment and give a kind word that doesn't have to do with their body size or how they look? Physically, it's very hard. I still accidentally let compliments slip out, but they're dangerous. And we need to stop it. Christian women, we need to do better. We need to find something else to talk about.
Michelle Rayburn 29:11
That's hard because I still I maybe I love someone's blouse. But you know, it's like, yeah, that is that's a good challenge. Thank you for that, Erin, because that's gonna help me moving forward. And I do want to give the disclaimer that people like my mother in law, didn't they didn't know better. They're not intentionally shaming people. They just are caught in the diet culture themselves.
Erin Todd 29:34
Absolutely. Yeah. That's and that's, I mean, just the way we can have compassion on them and and extend forgiveness where necessary. It's like, well, I was also doing that. I know they meant well, because I meant well when I was doing it. We just have to recognize that everybody's just doing the best they can, and nobody's really out to get anybody. We've just got to love on each other and it's hard.
Michelle Rayburn 30:02
Before we talk about your resources, I just would like to hear if you've had any specific objections about intuitive eating that people have brought up to you.
Erin Todd 30:10
I would say probably the number one objection and where people get stuck, is what I mentioned before the weight issue it's like, "But what if I gain weight?" And like, just letting that stop them from even trying. And so there's no easy answer to that either. But that's definitely like the weight issue is the number one thing. I found the thing that helps most people and what helped me with it was, you've really got to wrestle that idea down to the ground with the Lord, and just do the hard work of: what does weight mean to me? What do I think this means about who I am? And then you have to have to do the hard work, then you have to go do a little like learning and figure out some of the weight science myths you've been taught. And it's like, well, actually, that's not how the body works. Like, let's just understand what's going on in our bodies, and how we react to food and just like, get a better scientific understanding of what's going on. Yep, start with the, you know, the faith foundation of where's my identity, untangling your weight and your identity, and then moving forward with like learning the science, to be able to then come to a place where you can go, "Okay, I'm going to make a decision that can I or can I not set weight aside for now and do this." And that's a choice. That's for everybody to make. Everyone's on their own journey with it. And I will say that it's a choice that you have to make every day. It is a daily surrender. It does not get easier. Oh, well, it gets a little bit easier with time. I noticed I would have fewer incidents of having to go through the whole, let me wrestle this to the ground again, thing. It's hard. I mean, we're out here living in a culture that body shames and glorifies some sizes and not others in certain ways of eating and not others. And we have to live in that while doing this different thing that is countercultural. Not dieting is countercultural. But so is being a Christian.
Michelle Rayburn 32:19
That's true. So I would recommend for the reader that they pick up the Intuitive Eating book, and I'll link to that in the show notes. Because that, like you said, is written by two dieticians. And there's a lot of science in there. But then beyond that, we need a next step, because we need more than the science. So Erin, you have a lot of resources. And I want to point our listeners toward those. So the first one is your podcast, Intuitive Eating for Christian Women. I will link to that in the show notes. But you also have some freebies and courses and memberships. So tell us about those.
Erin Todd 32:51
So the way we wanted people to listen to the podcast was to go in order from the beginning, because we set up season one to be kind of like your companion guide for tying in at every step of faith. Like where does my faith into principle one and principle two? Because there's 10 principles of intuitive eating. So we were really basically doing an online course in the first season of the podcast. So we want people to start there. And listen, listen again, take notes. If you are a workbook kind of hands-on person, we created a podcast workbook that's designed to be kind of a printable resource that you work through the content with and that's that's probably the easiest online course, only $7. If you're treating season one like the of the podcast like an online course, that's what we want people to do, because there's a lot to dig into. And it's a lot of information and it can definitely get into the overwhelm territory, which is why the other thing we try and get people to do is to come into our Facebook community for podcast listeners, because you will see as soon as you get in there that there are hundreds of women who have the exact same questions, who are struggling with the same things, who are bumping into the same little obstacles. And it's just really helpful to have kind of a safe space on the internet because there's not a lot of them anymore. But this is one where we you know we don't allow diet talk I moderate personally the content so some stuff that's accidentally diety is not getting through. Just because I've found that a lot of women in there are like I was in beginning, where you you're in the disordered eating space and hearing certain things can be very triggering and are damaging. So we're trying our best to make it a safe place for people to come and just kind of process all of this and dig into the body of Christ with it. Because like we need each other for doing this and doing it alone is not going to work. Let me just tell you that right now. Find other people to do it with. That would be the top two things. We've also got lots of online courses and stuff that are available on the podcast website, intuitiveeatingforChristianwomen.com. But start, start in the community and in season one.
Michelle Rayburn 35:12
That's great. I've been listening to some current episodes. So now I'm gonna go back and do season one, because like I said, I'm really at the beginning of this journey. And there is an intuitive eating workbook that I got that's available, but it's, it's I opened it and I got, I didn't get very far it's a little overwhelming, like you said. So I think I need to go back and do your course first. Because that will help me process in bite sized pieces.
Erin Todd 35:38
Yeah, yeah, the workbook is from the original authors, and it's very in-depth that was kind of their tool that if you're like, if you're working one-on-one with a dietician or coach or something, they would probably be having you go through the workbook. It's it homeworky.
Michelle Rayburn 35:53
Yes. Yeah. So I love that you are just so smart that you put together the workbook, and I did see that on the podcast website page. So for listeners, I will link to that in the show notes. But could you also repeat the website again for the listeners?
Erin Todd 36:06
Sure. It's intuitiveeatingforChristianwomen.com.
Michelle Rayburn 36:09
Okay, so we'll find that there. So as we wrap up today, Erin, is there anything we haven't covered that you'd like to leave with our listeners?
Erin Todd 36:18
I would like to invite everybody to prayerfully kind of bring that question about weight, to their quiet time and sit with that with the Lord for a while. And just ask like, ask for him to reveal anything in your heart that maybe you're not aware of. Just ask for some help and some guidance there and to sit and make sure you really have your heart in the right place for help. Because it's very easy to let it be in that worldly place where it's really about status, and approval, and being "right," and we just we just have to constantly heart check ourselves with our goals, whatever they are. And I just I think the power of doing this with God from the beginning of the journey is going to pay dividends later. And I just yeah, like it's, this has taught me that the constant prayer— praying without ceasing and relying on God for everything. This is how it looks, like, I didn't have a reference point for that in my life. And I wasn't doing that in my life. And this forced me to, because I needed to, and I think it's just such a door into a deeper faith. When we are just surrendering constant daily decisions about food and body to him and walking it out together. It's—You can't help but grow in faith from doing that.
Michelle Rayburn 37:51
Thank you so much for sharing your story with us today, Erin.
Erin Todd 37:54
Michelle Rayburn 37:57
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