Overcoming Motherhood

Intuitive Eating Principle 2: Honour Your Hunger; Honour Yourself

October 13, 2021 Gillian Yuan Season 1 Episode 7
Overcoming Motherhood
Intuitive Eating Principle 2: Honour Your Hunger; Honour Yourself
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, Gillian Yuan, Non-Diet Mom Coach, takes you through Principle 2 of Intuitive Eating, Honour your hunger.  She discusses the reasons it can be so hard to feel you hunger and allow yourself to eat, as well as how honouring your hunger can be applied in other areas of Mom-Life.  Gillian gives easy tips on how you can get started on this life preserving path of honouring your hunger not only with food, but in all areas of your life so you can truly live a Motherhood UnDieted.

The thoughts and opinions discussed in this podcast are solely the opinion of Gillian and/or her guests and for information/ educational purposes only. Gillian is not a licensed health or psychology practitioner. Please consult your healthcare providers prior to utilizing any information presented in the podcast.

S1E7 Podcast: Intuitive Eating Principle Honour Hunger and Your Needs.

Hello, and welcome to Season 1 Episode 7 of the Motherhood UnDieted Podcast!  I’m your host, Gillian Yuan, your personal Non-Diet Mom Coach for the next few minutes .  Today we’ll be chatting about principle 2 of Intuitive Eating, Honouring your hunger, and it doesn’t just apply to food.  Let’s get started!

For decades, females in western society have been socialized to deny themselves of their needs and to be “seen but not heard”. This was taught with a huge helping of moral judgement.  You were a “good girl” if you denied yourself and instead served others, and now you are a “Good Mom” if you deny your needs over your kids’, partner’s, family’s, and job.  This was and is Patriarchy at it’s finest.  Even though, through the years, this notion has become less accepted in certain areas of life, like possibly the corporate world, there is still that underlying pervasive belief that women and moms have higher moral value if they deny themselves over the needs of their kids, family, work, or something bigger than themselves.  So, when patriarchy came up with diets, again telling women that they will be more desirable by denying themselves one more thing, their hunger, it almost felt natural and easy for women to comply.  Now as mothers, yet again, many have been told that they are better moms if they deny their own needs over their kids and familiesz\, and deny their hunger too, to “get their body back”, as discussed in episode 6.

Think to yourself for a minute, where in your current situation have you been denying yourself of your needs?  Whether it be for your kids’ sake, your partners’ sake or for any reason at all.  What would change in your life if you gave yourself permission to notice your needs and to honour them? It is not about honouring yourself instead of your kids, it’s about honouring yourself and your kids and family.  Often, we’ve been so accustomed to denying our needs, be-it from diets or the busy-ness of life, that we don’t even realize what our needs are, that we’ve been denying ourselves from them, nor how to actually start honoring them.

Here are a few areas that I have seen the moms that I work with deny themselves of their needs:

Food, Rest, Self-Care and Career.

I am sure there are many other areas, of which I’d love for you to let me know where you have denied yourself and your needs, so please send me an email to let me know.  

Have you ever experienced a time where you felt your anger and frustration build and build and build until you just couldn’t take it any more and then you exploded? Yep, those are your unmet needs talking!

The thing with denying our needs is that it often becomes something to boast about or to make us believe that we are better than other women or Moms because we deny ourselves.  I have been there too, friend, but the only one it hurts to think this way, is ourselves.  By not honouring our needs from food to self-care, we are causing ourselves and often our loved ones__ Misery.  So, it is time to start tuning into our needs and meeting them!  

One way to begin honouring your needs is by starting to tune into your body and noticing when you are hungry.  There are a range of sensations you may feel when you’re hungry, and often women are so used to denying their hunger that they don’t notice it until they explode!...yes, I’m talking about being HANGRY.  
Just as babies give subtle hunger cues before crying, our bodies give us subtle cues before the hangry stage emerges.  For babies, their cues generally go from simply opening their mouths, to sucking on their hands, to crying.  For us, our cues  may go from thinking what to have for dinner, to feeling an emptiness in our stomach, to a headache or lightheadedness, and finally to feeling HANGRY!  Ideally, just as we want to try to feed our babies at an early stage of hunger,  we want to feed ourselves at our early stage of hunger too. 

My hubby always used to tease me because around 4pm each day I’d  text him asking him if he had any ideas for dinner that night.  For me, I thought I was just being considerate and planning ahead.  But once I learned the early stages of hunger, I realized that I was texting him because I was ACTUALLY HUNGRY, and trying to deny myself from snacking by starting to think and then prepare dinner.  Once I tuned into my body, and confirmed that I was actually hungry, I started honouring my hunger at 4pm by having a snack, by meeting my need for food, my questions about dinner decreased and instead I would just text my hubby to see how his day was going.  

How you can start tuning into your hunger and your needs.  

  • It may feel a bit strange at first, but with practice it will become second nature.  
  • By honoring your needs and your body’s signals, you lay the groundwork for your body to trust that you will give her what she needs.  
  • Tuning into your body to determine your needs is called Interoceptive Awareness.  Just as you feel when you need to go to the bathroom, you can tune into your body to notice the more subtle cues that she is trying to tell you.  

Here is a simple exercise:

  • Start by taking your pulse on your wrist or your neck for about 10 seconds.
  • Next, close your eyes, take a couple of deep breaths
  • Now see if you can feel the sensation of your heart beating without touching your body.  
  • Your ability to tune into and sense your own heart beat, is Interoceptive Awareness.  
  • If that seems difficult, keep practicing, until you feel more comfortable doing this. 
  • Then start moving into noticing sensations in your body, aches and pains, hunger and then fullness.  

I recommend that you start tuning into your needs a few times each day.  An easy way to remember to do this is to take some time before meals to notice your hunger or other sensations, or even while you’re going to the bathroom.  

  • There is no one way to tune into your needs, and not everyone will have the same sensations for what they need or their own stage of hunger.  
  • Start by being curious about what your body is telling you and what needs she wants you to meet. 
  • With an open mind and curiosity this will become a fun experiment!  

A New Thought:

If you’re having difficulty wrapping your mind around actually honoring your need for food, which is very common.  

  • Perhaps start by asking yourself what is the reason you don’t want to meet your own need and if it was your child asking you for what they needed, would you be as reluctant to meet that for them? 
  • Imagine how your body would feel when you actually met that need.  
  • What alternative thought could you have that would allow you to honour your body’s need and feel calm and comfortable doing this?  

For me, my previous thought was that I was weak for being hungry all the time and that I just needed more willpower to wait until I was starving before I could allow myself to eat.  However, from the extensive work I’ve done with Intuitive Eating and reframing my thoughts, I changed my thought and belief to being  :

  • "Hunger is my body’s way of telling me that she needs energy to keep going" and do all the things she needs to do optimally throughout the day.  
  • You are welcome to borrow this thought, if it works for you, or find your own that sits more true for you.  
  • Truly, food is not the enemy.  It is the denial of food and our needs, that leads to using food and other things as coping mechanisms for the life of denial we thought we had to live. 

You may be asking, what do I do now? 

  •  I recommend you start noticing your needs...or noticing when you deny yourself of your needs.
  • What thoughts, feelings and sensations does denying yourself bring up for you?  Just notice these with curiosity and without judgement.  
  • As you become more aware of this, you may feel angry or frustrated, 
  • however I caution you from lashing out at others for your denial of your needs.
  • Instead, start wondering to yourself how you can begin to meet your needs more fully and appropriately.
  • What kind of support, if any, do you need to help meet these? 
  •  A small step may be noticing your hunger, and actually feeding yourself, even if it’s not at the time or place you usually eat.  

***By honouring your needs, you’re telling The Patriarchy and Diet Culture that they can no longer control you by their “shoulds and should nots”! 

 ***Honouring your needs is truly an act of resistance!

Thanks for joining me this week.  If you would like more guidance on beginning to notice and honour your needs, head to the links in the show notes.  There you’ll find a free guide with 3 Facts Moms need to know to quit dieting for good, and my calendar to sign-up for a free discovery call where I will guide you on your next step to living a Motherhood UnDieted.

Be sure to tune in next week where I will discuss the next two principles of Intuitive Eating and how it applies to Moms!

Thanks for tuning in, and remember that you, Mam, are worthy of love, support, and respect!

Free Guide: 3 Life Changing Facts for Moms to Quit Dieting!
Free Discovery Call with Gillian Yuan