3 Things We Dive Into In This Episode:
Tangible tools for feeling complete as you are now, feeling whole as a single person, and tapping into a sense of self-worth.
Tangible tools for eating more intuitively and healing your relationship with food.
Tools and mindset shifts for feeling more alive and tapping into a sense of freedom.
Release restrictive dieting, break free from body shame, & create habits that help you live fully! Sign up for my nutrition coaching program and community, Whole, Full, and Alive, and get a FREE 20 Minute Discovery Call!
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[01:46] Looking Back at 2022
2022 was a wild year for me. I moved out of Manhattan, traveled the world, and ended a relationship. I became a better counselor and learned so much.
It’s important to process our experiences from the past 12 months. There’s value in taking the time to acknowledge what we’ve learned and how much we’ve grown.
Set an intention this New Year. Focus less on what we want to let go of and more on what we want to start or bring into our lives this coming year.
By focusing on what we want to do, we naturally release things we don’t want without shaming ourselves.
Take a moment to give yourself a bit of energy and attention.
[07:18] Wholeness: All We Need is Ourselves
Wholeness is about feeling complete as we are now. We're complete and whole; we don't need anything or anyone else to complete us.
One of my learnings on wholeness is that we will never feel as good as we can if we think not having ‘this’ or ‘that’ makes us inadequate.
I struggled with thinking that I’m incomplete without a romantic partner. Because of this, I developed maladaptive coping tools and compromised to save my relationship.
Similarly, when the feeling of wholeness depends on our body size or shape, we can develop maladaptive tools when our body changes.
We can feel whole and good even when things outside our control change or leave. We are whole and worthy from the moment we're born.
Caitie: "You get to feel good, even as your body changes, even as these things that are outside of your control, change and evolve and leave. Over time, you will still be whole. You will still be worthy. Your worth is inherent, and you are whole and you were born whole. You will never feel as good as you can feel if you're depending on something that's out of your control." - Click here to Tweet this
[13:58] Wholeness: Choosing Ourselves
Choose the people that choose you back. Don't stay in relationships where you're the only one who gives your time and effort.
Choose ourselves. Identify and honor what's valuable to us. We're worthy of being chosen; choosing ourselves can help us become valuable contributors to the world.
When we choose ourselves, we also show other people that they have permission to recognize their own value and worth.
[17:52] Wholeness: Being On Our Own Team
It's important to be on your own team. Let's be our own teammates.
Practice kindness, compassion, and cheer for ourselves. At the same time, we can continue to call out our own bullshit.
By being our own supportive teammate, we build relationships with people who are also on our team.
In my experience, the relationships I built were a form of relief from feeling incomplete.
Talking to a therapist or a coach can help us have the space to be on our own team.
[22:58] Wholeness: Leaning Into Loneliness
Don't resist loneliness. Instead, lean into it and feel it.
In the year I've been traveling alone, I only felt lonely when I moved to Denver. Instead of resisting it, I let myself cry and feel it fully.
The day after, I felt great — even after a lonely night. I didn't resist my loneliness and let it move through me.
It's human and completely okay to feel lonely. We don't have to shame ourselves for it.
Through healthy coping tools, we can soothe ourselves as we ride the wave of negative emotion. These practices might not solve anything, but they can be a comfort.
[30:17] Fullness: Structure With No Restrictions
Fullness is about nutrition. It's feeling full and giving our bodies the energy we need.
It's possible to have structure without restrictions. We can create nutrition plans and build food-related habits without forming rules that restrict us.
People often feel threatened by the lack of structure without the diet mentality.
We might need to relax more in areas we think need more structure. Relax and trust our bodies to regulate themselves.
Look at the big picture when structuring our food and nutrition habits.
[34:16] Fullness: We Deserve to Eat Good Things
It’s important to have solo meals that are extravagant and pleasurable. You deserve it!
When I was in Rome, I found it felt good to have great food by myself. After that, I always had at least one fancy meal a month — all for myself.
We don't need a special reason to eat pleasurable food.
[37:00] Fullness: Releasing Energy and Emotion Within Us
Letting our nervous system regulate and release our pent-up energy is one of the best ways to get in touch with our hunger and fullness cues.
Through somatic breathwork and other somatic practices, we can release what we’re unconsciously holding onto.
These practices helped me stop avoiding my body and move into a place of embodiment. I could let go of the emotions and unprocessed events stuck within.
Caitie: “Through a practice like somatic breathwork and any other somatic therapy type of practice, you truly can release the emotional clutter that's built up inside your body and get yourself to a place where embodiment feels more natural. Where tuning into your body cues feels more natural and less scary, and you're not so tempted to step into a place of body avoidance.” - Click here to Tweet this
Intuitive eating is the process of being aware of what our bodies are trying to tell us by removing obstacles like pent-up emotions.
Practices like somatic breathwork are essential to becoming an intuitive eater and cultivating our awareness.
[39:43] Fullness: Weight Loss Doesn’t Solve the Deeper Problems
Remember that losing weight doesn’t solve the deeper problems of belonging, love, and acceptance.
There is still so much work to do for body diversity, acceptance of body shapes and sizes, and reducing fatphobia in our society.
Nutrition decisions driven by fear of weight gain don’t support achieving a sense of energy and longevity.
Unpack our fear of weight gain and desire for weight loss. These problems are often rooted in love, belonging, acceptance, or at times, a desire for control.
[45:06] Aliveness: Feeling It All
Being alive means feeling it all. Lean into every emotion, experience it, and release it in time.
Both good and bad feelings can happen simultaneously. Have the capacity to hold space for many things to be true at the same time.
Caitie: “Being alive is letting so many things be true at the same time. Allowing yourself to have the capacity to hold space for many things to be true at the same time and letting yourselves feel it all.” - Click here to Tweet this
My most joyful moments make me feel alive, just as much as the painful and sad ones. Feeling the depth of one wouldn't be possible without the other.
[47:58] Aliveness: We Are Where We’re Supposed to Be.
Never worry that we're wasting our day. The worrying itself is what ends up wasting our day.
While visiting Rome, one of my friends was constantly worried about not making the most out of the day.
Live and lean into where we are right here and now. That’s the best way to spend each moment.
Trust that we’re exactly where we’re supposed to be.
[50:02] Aliveness: We Don’t Have to Chase Goodness
One of my favorite learnings in 2022 is that when we don’t force ourselves to be good, we are free.
Let go of the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ mentality. Open up your sense of freedom and expansiveness.
There is no good or bad. Everything depends on the context of the moment.
Trying to chase the standards of ‘being good’ is exhausting and anxiety-inducing.
[53:02] Aliveness: Every Moment is Yours
Being alive means that every moment of aliveness is always from our own energy.
When I lost a relationship, I didn't lose any of the love. The love I gave came from me and is still within me.
We create the joy and fulfillment gained from something we lose. It was always ours.
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Whole, Full, & Alive is a podcast exploring the art and science of falling in love with your life, with your story, and with who you truly are — underneath your titles, your resume, your relationship status, and your bank account. What did 2022 teach you? Take some time to reflect on and process those experiences, then set an intention for the new year ahead.
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Caitie Corradino: Structure without restriction is so, so, so possible. You can create a sense of structure, and you can create plans around your nutrition and food related habits without putting yourself on a diet, without using specific numbers, without feeling restricted.
Welcome to Whole, Full and Alive, a podcast exploring the art and science of falling in love with your life, with your story and with who you truly are underneath your titles, your resume, your relationship status and your bank account.
I'm Caitie Corradino, a registered dietician nutritionist, certified fitness and yoga instructor, eating disorder recovery coach, Reiki healer, and founder of Full Soul Nutrition, but underneath my titles and resume, a big fan of kitchen dance breaks, early mornings, all things chocolate truffles, world traveling and serendipity. I'm here to share no bullshit stories and actionable tools to help you feel unshakably worthy.
You have everything you need within you to feel whole, full and alive right here, right now. Let's get into it. Hey, welcome back to another episode of Whole, Full, and Alive. This is the 2022 recap episode. I am here on the microphone solo today to share some tools for wholeness, some tools for fullness and some tools for aliveness that I have picked up over the course of this year. 2022 was a very wild year for me on a personal level.
I moved out of Manhattan after being there for 10 years. I ended a relationship. I traveled around the world and around the United States trying to decide where I wanted to live next. I settled in Denver, Colorado, which is a huge change from living in Manhattan, and I also made a lot of changes to my business. I learned a lot about being a better counselor, became a somatic breathwork practitioner, had some interesting dating experiences, started working at a strength and conditioning fitness studio for the first time after only ever really teaching yoga and bar and dance fitness-like classes.
A lot went down for me this year, and I'm sure a lot went down for you, too. I really, truly, deeply, fully, completely believe in setting aside some time at the end of every calendar year or the beginning of every new calendar year to just process and label the things that happened to you over the last 12 months. I know we can argue that the New Year is an arbitrary time.
Also whether or not you decide to do it in December or January or at a different time of the year, I do think that there's so much value in just taking the time to acknowledge how much happens in the course of 365 days, in the course of a year, how much you experience, how much you learn, how much you grow, and also to take some time to set an intention for the new year ahead. Not a resolution because you're not a problem to be resolved, but an intention.
An intention because it can be so powerful to have some sort of internal compass that feels true and authentic to us and use that to guide us through the rest of the year. So anyway, if you haven't done that yet, I really do recommend taking some time to just sit down, process, meditate on everything that's happened to you this year, and sit down, process and meditate on what you want to call in for this new year.
The same way I encourage clients in nutrition counseling to focus less on what they want to eliminate from their diet and focus more on what they want to add to their diet. I encourage you to focus less on what you want to stop doing in the new year or what you want to let go of in the new year and focus more on what you want to call in, more on what you want to do, more on what you're going to eat, more on what habits you want to engage in, more on what kind of energy you want to bring into a room.
Yeah, just more on what you do want, rather than on what you don't want. Inevitably, when you focus more on the things you do want, there is less shame associated with that. We know that shame is a very biologically potent emotion that prevents us from getting the things that we actually want. Also, inevitably, when you focus on the things that you do want, rather than the things that you don't want, you naturally end up releasing the things that you don't want without a sense of shaming yourself for them.
So those are some invitations for you as I'm diving into this 2022 recap episode. Before I dive into lessons on wholeness, lessons on fullness, and lessons on aliveness, let's take a deep breath. If you're here with me, listening, if you have time to give a little bit of your attention, your energy to this podcast, I want you to take a moment to give a little bit of energy and attention to yourself.
When you're ready, take a nice deep breath in through your nose. Hold it at the top, and exhale. Let it go slowly, nice, long exhale. Let's do that one more time, and let's do it more sincerely this time. If you can, I encourage you to take both the inhale and the exhale through your nose. Nice deep breath in. Hold, and exhale. All right. Let's dive in. Let's do it, lessons on wholeness, lessons on fullness and lessons on aliveness that I picked up throughout this year, which was a year full of all the things I just mentioned a few moments ago, lots and lots of stuff.
We're going to start with wholeness, just in the spirit of going in order of the title of this podcast. Wholeness is about feeling complete as you are now, knowing that you are whole within yourself, knowing that you don't need another person, a job title, a certain thing on your resume, a certain amount of money to complete you. You are complete. You are whole within yourself. So what have I learned about wholeness this year that I want to share with you, number one, and this is a call back to Episode One of this podcast, but I cannot say it enough.
You will never feel as good as you can feel if there's something that you think you are inadequate without. Why do I feel so passionately about sharing this? You will never feel as good as you can feel if there's something that you think you're inadequate without. Well, my greatest absolute passion is helping people feel good, helping people feel more energized, helping people feel more confident, helping people feel happier and healthier and more purposeful.
One of the biggest blocks I have faced is believing that I'm only complete if I have this thing outside of me. I mentioned in Episode One that for a very long time, I've struggled with the idea that I am incomplete without a romantic partner, without a boyfriend, in my case, and this has caused a lot of problems in my life. Because every time my partnership, my relationship has been threatened, it's caused me to sort of contort and bend over backwards and change a lot of things about myself and compromise a lot of things in order to hold on to the relationship.
When my sense of wholeness was dependent upon having a boyfriend, I would be like every time that relationship was maybe going to end, I would feel my sense of wholeness threatened. When my sense of wholeness, my sense of completeness, my sense of worthiness, my sense of home within myself was threatened, I would feel completely out of control and as I said, first of all, try to change myself in order to try to hold on to the relationship.
Or I would engage in very maladaptive coping tools that were ultimately, obviously maladaptive, not good for me. This happens with a lot of people in relation to romantic partnerships, and it happens to a lot of people in relation to body shape or size. If your sense of wholeness, if your sense of feeling complete is dependent on having a certain body shape or size, whenever your body inevitably changes, because bodies do change throughout life that is so natural, you will feel your sense of wholeness, your sense of completeness threatened, and you may engage in maladaptive coping tools to try to get that sense of wholeness back.
Body size is another thing that I certainly placed my sense of wholeness, my sense of home, my sense of self worth in for a really long time, and I let go of that quite a long time ago. But this year, 2022 was definitely the year that I learned to fully, completely stop placing my sense of wholeness in having a partner. Woof, it feels good to say that. I know I already said it on Episode One, but wow, I cannot believe how much I sourced my sense of worthiness in not being single in such a subconscious way for such a long time.
I really didn't realize I was doing it. Now that I am not sourcing my sense of wholeness from being in a partnership, I'm able to take an entirely new approach to dating and relationships. Because I'm not looking for a partner in order to feel a sense of wholeness and a sense of home, I'm looking for a partner for a million different other reasons. If I were to get into another relationship and then lose that relationship, my sense of wholeness would still be intact, and now, I get to feel good with or without a partner.
I want to invite you to remember that you get to feel good with or without a partner. You get to feel good in the body that you have now. You get to feel good in the body that you might have in a few years from now. You get to feel good even as your body changes, even as these things that are outside of your control change and evolve and leave over time. You will still be whole. You will still be worthy. Your worth is inherent, and you are whole, and you were born whole.
You will never feel as good as you can feel if you're depending on something that's out of your control, such as the presence of a partner or a certain body shape or size or having a certain job title to complete you. So if you want to feel good, if you want to feel energized, if you want to feel like you have meaning and purpose in your life, start working on finding wholeness within you.
That was what I learned in quarter one of 2022 about wholeness, and what I learned in quarter two of 2022 about wholeness might be something that will help you start to cultivate this sense of wholeness from within and stop relying on things outside of your control for a sense of wholeness. What I learned in quarter two about wholeness is to choose the people that choose you back, and don't be one of the people that isn't choosing you.
Choose the people who choose you back. Do not stay in one sided friendships. Do not stay in friendships where you're always chasing the other person. Do not stay in relationships where the person is not giving you wholehearted reciprocity. Do not say and give your time and energy and attention to people who clearly aren't choosing you. Maybe they're choosing an old version of you or maybe they're using you.
You know the difference between when someone is choosing you, and when someone is using you. You know the difference between when someone is reciprocally giving you back their time and energy, versus when you're kind of in that chasing energy. Resist the urge to stay in that chasing energy. Your wholeness depends on you, not being in that chasing energy.
The second part of this lesson, don't be one of the people who isn't choosing you. This is so, so, so important. Choose yourself, choose to honor, well, choose to identify first, and honor the things that are really truly valuable to you. Choose to take care of yourself.
Choose to recognise that anything you put before taking care of yourself is going to suffer. Choose yourself, and remember that every time you honor yourself, every time you remember that you are worthy of being chosen, you not only honor your sense of worthiness, you also raise your sense of worthiness.
I believe I heard that from Mark Groves. I really liked the Mark Groves Podcast, absolutely recommend that. I'm pretty sure he says something along the lines of that every time you choose yourself, you not only honor your worthiness, you also raise your worthiness. You become even more worthy, because someone who walks around choosing themselves and recognising their own value gives other people permission to recognise their own value, too.
So what a valuable thing to do for the world to recognise your own value, to walk around knowing your worth, because then you give other people the opportunity to recognise and understand their worth, too. Think about someone who you either know or admire in the media, who really, really owns and honors what a valuable, unique, cool, talented person they are, and puts themselves out there and puts themselves into rooms.
That person inevitably gives you permission to do the same, inevitably. So every time you acknowledge your value as a person, you become an even more valuable contributor to the world.
What did I learn about wholeness in quarter three of 2022? So in quarter three of 2022, this was July, August, September of this year, I really learned that it is so important to be on your own team, genuinely, and the reason for that is because it makes you get into relationships with other people for the right reasons, not just for a sense of relief.
So if you can be a teammate for yourself, which doesn't mean letting yourself off the hook, let me be clear about that. I think sometimes when I say be compassionate to yourself and be kind to yourself and be on your own team, people are like, oh, so you're just telling me to just let myself off the hook and never push myself or challenge myself. No. Think about what a teammate would do for you and what a supportive coach would do for you, they would be compassionate with you and be kind to you and be a cheerleader for you sometimes.
Also, they'd call you out on your bullshit, and they'd nudge you and they challenge you. So can you find a way to be that supportive coach or that teammate for yourself? Compliment yourself, be a cheerleader for yourself, say, “Hey, you're awesome. You did really great with that thing today.” Acknowledge your accomplishments, acknowledge what you've learned, acknowledge how you've grown in this life to yourself, and also give yourself those little challenges, those little nudges.
Be a supportive teammate for yourself, because then you won't settle for people who only give you bread crumbs of that. You won't settle for people who are less than a teammate for you. I'm talking primarily about partnership here but also friendships, and also like colleague relationships. You're not going to settle for people who only give you scraps or bread crumbs because what use will you have for those scraps and bread crumbs when you've already got your own back, when you already got yourself being genuinely on your own team.
What use are you going to have for someone who only gives you those little bits and pieces like definitely feel like a sense of relief when you're stuck in the spiral of shame? So if you are constantly criticizing yourself and constantly beating yourself up, of course, a little breadcrumb is going to feel like a sense of relief, and that might motivate you to stay in relationships with certain people who are not the best people for you.
I certainly learned this in quarter three of 2022, because I started dating again, a little bit more consistently. I recognised that it was so much easier than it had ever been before for me to turn away people who were only offering me a silver platter of breadcrumbs. Definitely, this goes along with what I said in lesson one. I definitely used to be in a place where I was seeking relationships as a form of relief from my own belief that I'm not enough without a relationship.
I was seeking relationships as a form of relief from my own inner critic. Relationships felt like the only sense of relief that I got from my inner bully. It was like, well, any breadcrumb from anyone feels good, because I'm not on my own team. That transformed fully for me this year through a lot of different experiences. Primarily, I will say through the help of my therapist and the help of my breathwork coach.
So if you are having a hard time being on your own team, I can't recommend working with a therapist and or a coach enough, because it is so important to give yourself a space where you can work through the blocks that are preventing you from being on your own team. Yeah, I think that's all I have to say about that. If you can genuinely be on your own team, that will allow you to get into relationships with other people, whether they're romantic, or friendships or professional for the right reasons, rather than just for tiny sparks of relief from your inner critic.
Of course, you want the people that you enter relationships with to be on your team, but you're only going to enter relationships with people who are also fully genuinely on your team. You're not going to enter relationships with people who are half ass breadcrumb style on your team. The final lesson that I learned about wholeness this year in quarter four, which was, October, November, December, do not resist loneliness, lean all the way into that shit when it comes.
I experienced, I would say, the most loneliness this year during quarter four. I traveled alone this year. But honestly, I would never felt lonely while I was traveling, even in the nights when I was alone in Rome, and Montana and Portugal and places I never felt lonely. But I would say I felt some loneliness starts to creep up when I moved here to Denver, even though I'm so lucky to already have a solid base of friends here.
I definitely am still cultivating my sense of community, and I am still single, and I do still live alone. So there have been quite a few moments in quarter four where I felt pretty damn lonely. I remember my first weekend here alone or not, it wasn't my first weekend here, but the first weekend that I ended up spending alone was a really difficult one for me. I was excited because it was a time for me to rest and journal and integrate and start to just slow down and be like, whoa, a lot has happened to me this year.
But I was met with intense feelings of loneliness one Saturday night. I remember just taking a moment and deciding, this was one night in October, to just lean all the way into it, to just let myself cry and let myself feel lonely and just kind of welcome all the feelings that came with that loneliness. Then I went to sleep and I woke up the following morning on a Sunday, and I felt so good.
I remember waking up vividly on this Sunday morning in October and just like putting on my favorite Lizzo songs and making myself breakfast and coffee and like bouncing around my apartment and just going for a walk around the block and feeling great. I was like, “What the hell?'' Last night, I was so sad, and I was so lonely. This morning, I'm feeling like I'm bouncing off the frickin’ walls with joy and gratitude. What the heck is going on?
I described this instance to my friend Maria the next day, and she was like, “Well, you didn't resist the loneliness, so it didn't persist.” That's kind of how feelings go. If you don't resist the feelings, they don't persist. They move through you, and that especially applies to loneliness. You just kind of let yourself lean in and feel it and then it was done. I really, really want to share that in relation to loneliness. Of course, it applies to all feelings. What we resist, persists.
But especially with loneliness, I've found this to be true. So since that one weekend in October, I've had a few more pangs of loneliness hit me during my time settling in here to Denver. Every single time that pang of loneliness comes up, I just kind of like ride it out, like a wave. It kind of crests. I feel it. Sometimes, I cry for a moment. Sometimes, I just feel a little bit of a sting, and then it goes away.
This is so important because it supports the truth that it's not wrong to feel lonely. It's okay to feel lonely. If you are also single and living alone, like me, you might have many moments where you feel lonely. Or maybe you don't live alone, maybe you're not single, and you still have moments of loneliness, and that is okay. That's a normal and natural part of a human experience. There's nothing wrong with loneliness.
If we weren't feeling lonely, sometimes when we're alone, then that would be odd, right?
Because this is part of being a human, we crave connection with other people, and sometimes when we lack that connection and certain moments on certain nights of our weekends or nights of our life, we feel lonely. It's important to let ourselves be human in that way and lean into that feeling and just say, “Hey, I'm lonely right now. I'm not going to shame myself for this. I'm not going to label it as problematic or wrong.”
I'm just going to say, “Okay, I'm lonely. Let's ride this out.” That is when coping tools, healthy coping tools, become very important. Giving yourself something that will soothe you as you ride the wave of that negative emotion. So it's not that you need to find a coping tool that's going to solve the feeling and wipe it away, but can you give yourself something that will help make that moment of loneliness a little more comfortable and help you feel a little more soothed in that moment?
So I know something that I did on that Saturday night that I was feeling pretty lonely was grabbed my knockoff serif gun that I have, and I gave myself a little bit of a trap massage. I used a weighted blanket. I took a bath with a really lovely bath bomb that I spent maybe a little bit too much money on, and I listened to a playlist that made me feel comforted and soothed. I watched a documentary. I think it was the Pink documentary. I love Pink.
I think Pink's amazing. On Amazon Prime. I felt soothed while I did those things, and I let myself lean into the loneliness while using those soothing tools. Food is another tool that you can use. Food, I always say it can't be the only coping tool in the coping toolbox. You need to have other things. Also, comfort foods might be something that helps you sometimes in those moments when you're riding the wave of a negative emotion.
We can't expect any of these tools to solve the negative emotion but they can soothe us while we're riding the wave of that loneliness. So, four lessons in wholeness. Lesson number one, you will never feel as good as you can feel if there's something you think you're inadequate without. Lesson number two, you choose the people that choose you back and don't be one of the people that isn't choosing you.
Lesson number three, be on your own team that makes you get into relationships for the right reasons, not just for a sense of relief from your self criticism. Lesson number four, do not resist loneliness if and when it comes, lean all the way into that shit, because then it truly does not persist. So let's move into fullness. Fullness is about nutrition, feeling full, giving your body the energy that it needs to live your life.
Lesson number one that I learned in quarter one of 2022 about fullness is structure without restriction is so, so, so, so, so possible. You can create a sense of structure, and you can create plans around your nutrition and food related habits without putting yourself on a diet, without using specific numbers, without feeling restricted. This is kind of a through line in so many of my podcast episodes, especially the ones where I talk about nutrition, and it kind of is like my shtick as a dietitian.
I really do believe in helping people cultivate a sense of structure without feeling deprived. This is important to me, because I think so many people feel threatened by the idea of intuitive eating and by the idea of dropping the diet mentality because they see it as a lack of structure. A lack of structure can definitely feel very disorienting and dysregulated to our brains, and it can kind of increase anxiety for a lot of people, for most people, in fact.
I just want to remind you, and I'm here to tell you that you can create plans around the way you want to fuel your body without creating rules, without getting stuck in a sense of rigidity.
When it comes to creating the structure, though, keep in mind that where you think you might need more structure, you probably need to relax a little bit more. The areas that you're going to create structure in might be ones that you're not even really thinking about right now. so hear me out. When people set out to create more structure around their nutrition. They're often like, okay, how many calories should I eat in a day. That is not where you need more structure. That is where you need to relax more.
Calories can not be perfectly calculated. Calories are not a helpful way to look at balanced nutrition, it matters more about the balance of our plates, we don't need to portion control if we're truly being intuitive eaters, because we've got attunement to our hunger cues and our fullness cues and our functional cravings and all of that stuff. We don't need to say okay, I want to create more structure around my nutrition, how many grams of added sugar should I eat? That is absolutely where we need to relax more.
If we start to trust our bodies, our bodies are going to naturally regulate the amount of added sugar that we eat. A lot of people say, okay, I need more structure on my nutrition, I need to meal prep more, I need to measure out like little boxes with rice and broccoli and chicken in them. That is where you need to relax more, you need to create a meal prep system that feels intuitive, and gentle and simple for you.
So you absolutely can create structure around your food and nutrition habits. Without depriving yourself. It's just that you probably want to start to add the structure into your grocery list and the structure into the way you create a plate of food and this structure into a more big picture-type planning of your food and nutrition.
I'll do another episode on this where I get a little more specific, but that's what I've got to say about that. I certainly learned more about this for myself in quarter one because I was just doing a lot of experimenting with meal prep and leading my second cohort of my group coaching programme and created a lot more specific tools around that for my clients.
So quarter two, what I learned about fullness. So this was April, May and June. Solo meals are amazing. And it's important to have some solo meals that are extravagant and pleasurable. Not just instant rice and chicken. If you are someone who eats a fair amount of meals alone, I encourage you to make at least one of those meals that you eat alone every month an extravagant and pleasurable one. Of course, I learned this when I was in Rome.
When I was in Rome, I had a lot of solo meals and I went out to dinner by myself quite a few times. And my god, does it feel good to have a bowl of pasta, and an appetiser and a dessert just by yourself, for yourself and fully lean into the pleasure of eating that. After I got back from Rome, I started to cook myself more extravagant solo meals. So like when I was eating alone, I wasn't just like, okay, let me throw it together the easiest combination of carbs, protein and fat I can find. I do that like most of the time, most of the time, I'm like, okay, yes, I do eat just some toast and eggs and mix a little spinach in there, and we're good.
But I try to make a conscious effort at least one, two, three, four times a month to make my solo meals a little bit more fun, a little bit more fancy, a little bit more elaborate. You deserve to experience the pleasure of eating by yourself for yourself, sometimes. Give yourself the opportunity to really fully completely lean into the pleasure that eating is supposed to be entirely on your own.
Teach your brain that you deserve food, without justification. That you deserve good fancy food without justification. Teach your brain that you don't have to be at a social event or a special holiday dinner, like out to dinner with five friends on vacation in order to have a meal that is good, and elaborate. Lean into the pleasure of eating. I promise you, one solo meal, once a month, that has more than five ingredients. That's what I recommend.
In quarter three of 2022, my biggest lesson about fullness is that nervous system regulation and releasing pent-up energy and emotions from your body is truly the best path for getting in touch with your hunger and fullness cues. In quarter three of 2022 — so July, August, September — I was wrapping up my three months of weekly somatic breathwork sessions. I talked about somatic breathwork, a few episodes ago.
Through somatic breathwork, I was able to release so much pent-up energy and pent-up emotions from my body, which allowed me to step out of a place of avoiding my body and into a place of embodiment, which made me feel more in touch with the cues my body was sending me than I had ever been in before.
So prior to practicing somatic breathwork, I felt like I would kind of step into a place of like, body avoidance somewhat frequently. The only reason I would ever step into that place of avoidance was because there were some emotions and unprocessed things living in my body that I was subconsciously afraid to touch.
If I had really, really tuned into my body, if I had really stepped into a place of embodiment, I subconsciously knew that I would have had to face those emotions. Through a practice like somatic breathwork and any other somatic therapy type of practice, you truly can release the emotional clutter that's built up inside your body and get yourself to a place where embodiment feels more natural, where tuning into your body cues feels more natural and less scary, and you're not so tempted to step into a place of body avoidance.
I will definitely do another episode on that and just how I think we can use somatic practices to help ourselves become intuitive eaters. Remember, intuitive eating is not eat when you're hungry and stop when you're full. Intuitive eating is the process of removing obstacles that may prevent you from having interoceptive awareness from having awareness of what your body is trying to tell you. And I think that practices like somatic breathwork are like an essential tool for becoming a truly intuitive eater and cultivating awareness of what to eat, when to eat and how much to eat, and a natural flowy intuitive way.
In quarter four of 2022, my fullness lesson was just a reinforcement of the truth that losing weight does not solve deeper problems related to belonging, and love, and acceptance.
And there is still so much media and advertisements and diet programmes out there selling people the idea that if they just lose weight, their deeper issues related to love and acceptance and belonging are just going to be resolved. And the way I see this is like you could chop a branch off of a tree, but the roots of the tree will still be intact, the tree will still stay alive, you could chop a branch off of a tree, you can lose weight, but the roots of the tree, the issues related to love and belonging and acceptance will still be there.
I'm saying this as my fullness lesson for quarter four. Because over the last couple of months, I've just observed an increasing resurgence of weight loss adds a resurgence of the push to become thinner, a resurgence of the thin ideal. I say to clients pretty often that, you know, we still have so much work to do when it comes to accepting body diversity, and reducing fat phobia. And making the world more accepting and welcoming and loving of more body shapes and sizes. But we've made a lot of progress.
Now I'm like, I don't know, I feel like we've really backpedaled. We've really backpedaled. And I guess if you're listening to this, I just want to remind you that if fear of weight gain, or desire for weight loss is driving the car. It is really, really difficult to meet your nutrition and health needs. If your nutrition decisions are made by fear of weight gain, or by desire for a weight loss, you are not going to make nutrition decisions that truly support a sense of energy, a sense of well being, a sense of longevity. It's so important to unpack, fear of weight gain, and desire for weight loss, and see what's at the root of that tree.
For most people, it is related to a desire for love, belonging, and acceptance, for most people. For some people, it's related to a desire for control, and a lack of internal safety and feeling like they need to control their body shape or size. And for some people, it's related to actual experiences of rejection related to their body size. And I guess that's also related to belonging, love and acceptance. So I guess it does kind of boil down to that for a lot of people.
But I really just want to remind you when it comes to fullness, that we need to let a desire to live our lives more completely, more deeply, more presently make our decisions about food and nutrition and not fear of weight gain. It's so important to unpack fear of weight gain. And to acknowledge that it's not just about our own individual experiences with body shape and size and feedback on our bodies. This is also a larger cultural systemic issue that's been happening for a really, really long time. There's so many layers to this, that I feel like I couldn't wrap up the fullness section without talking about that.
So the four fullness lessons are: number one structure without restriction is so so, so possible. Number two: solo meals that are extravagant and pleasurable are a necessary part of leaning into the joy of food and feeling really truly full and satisfied. Number three: nervous system regulation and releasing pent-up emotions and energy is truly where it's at for getting in touch with your hunger cues and fullness cues and just your body cues in general. And number four: you can chop a branch off a tree, but the roots will still keep the tree alive. So you could change your body, lose weight, but the roots of the tree, the issues related to love and belonging and acceptance will still be intact.
Shifting into aliveness, I'm gonna try to plow through this one pretty fast. I noticed that I'm going a little bit slow on this episode here. So, lessons in aliveness in quarter one, I learned that being alive is feeling at all. This kind of relates to the lesson about loneliness, you know, really leaning into loneliness so that it doesn't persist. With every emotion, we can either like, block it, and store it in our bodies for when it evidently comes up later, or we can let ourselves experience it and release it. We can let ourselves experience that emotion that's coming up, so that it passes through and releases.
Remember that experiencing a negative emotion doesn't mean that you're having a bad day, or a bad life. We need to let all things be true. We need to simultaneously let ourselves grieve, and let ourselves be grateful. We need to simultaneously let ourselves be proud of ourselves, and also giving ourselves loving nudges and calling ourselves out on our bullshit, we need to acknowledge where our parents could have done a kinder and more compassionate job with parenting us. And also can acknowledge the ways in which we were fortunate to be raised by the parents we were raised by. Being alive is letting so many things be true at the same time, allowing yourself to have the capacity to hold space for many things to be true at the same time, and letting yourselves feel it all.
There is an episode where I talk a little bit about how I recognized that one of the most painful and sad moments of my life this year and one of the most happy and joyful and freeing moments of my life this year, kind of reminded me of each other a little bit because they were both moments where I felt extremely alive. When I was sobbing with my face down on my bedroom floor in my New York City, Hell's Kitchen apartment in March and when I was running around in the rain forest and Costa Rica during a torrential downpour, with two amazing friends in September, I was really, really alive.
In both those moments, I felt like the depth of one would not be possible without the depth of the other. And that is the number one lesson and aliveness for 2022 — being alive is feeling at all.
Lesson number two, in aliveness never worry that you are wasting your day. Because that is the worst way to waste your day. That is something I learned. When I was in Rome, I had a friend come to visit me for a few days while I was there. My friend, I understand that she was only in Rome for a few days. So she really had to squeeze the juice out of it.
But she was constantly worried that we were like, not doing enough or like not taking advantage of every second of the day. There was one day that we actually ended up sleeping in because we were jet lagged a little bit and we had gone out really late the night before. She was kind of freaking out a little bit when we had woken up late. It kind of hit me like, we can't worry that we're wasting our day. That is the absolute worst way to waste our day, especially when we're exploring a new city, especially when we're in a place like Rome, where we're going to be for a very limited time. Why would we spend any of our time here worrying that we're wasting our day?
Let yourself lean into wherever you are, right here, right now. Knowing that that is always going to be the most valuable way to spend your moment is accepting this moment exactly as it is and squeezing what you can out of that moment. Not worrying that maybe you should be somewhere else or maybe it should be different. That's easier said than done. I encourage you to hold on to that.
What if you trusted that you are exactly where you're supposed to be right here right now? What if you trusted that your life is never going to take you too far away from where you're supposed to be and who you're supposed to be? Play with that.
Aliveness lesson number three. Now that we don't have to be good, we can be free. This is a quote from Glennon Doyle's book, Untamed, which I absolutely love. It's a book full of banging quotes. And I love this because when you let go of the good bad mentality, in relation to how you eat, and relation to how you exercise, relation to how you live your life. Are you a good daughter or a bad daughter? Are you a good friend or a bad friend? Once you let go of making your life a pass-fail system like that, once you let go of judging yourself as good or bad, you do get to be free. You get to be free from the hustle of trying to be good.
When you stop creating this sort of black or white, good or bad, wrong or right system to your life it opens up this sense of freedom, and expansiveness. What if everything was contextual? What if there was no good food or bad food? What if it just depends on the context? And what's right for you and your body and your mind and your soul in that moment? What if there was no being good and going to the gym or being bad and not going to the gym? What if it was contextual? What if it depends on what your body needs that day? What if it depends on what's going to make you feel more alive that day?
What if there was no being a good wife or a bad wife, being a good daughter or a bad daughter, being a good friend or a bad friend? What if you could let yourself be alive? And acknowledge that so many things can be true at the same time and therefore there isn't an objective good-bad, right-wrong, black-white, this-that? What if everything was contextual? What if everything was nuanced? Could you then let go of the hustle that comes with trying to meet a certain standard, a certain good, a certain bad, a certain right, a certain wrong and let yourself be free. Now that we don't have to be good, we can be free.
I just love that, quote so much. Trying to be good, trying to meet this arbitrary standard of good often makes us exhausted and anxious. I have found so, so much freedom this year, by dropping the good-bad mentality in every area of my life. If there's anything that I want, for all of you listening to this, it's for you to feel free.
And lesson number four in aliveness that popped in during quarter four, during these last three months of 2022: being alive is knowing that every moment of aliveness, every moment of full bodied, energy, electricity, joy, happiness that you've ever felt was your own energy the whole time. It was always you the entire time. When I went through a breakup, earlier this year, I realized that I did lose a person. I had to grieve the loss of him. He was one of my best friends and I still miss him. That's how grief is right? But I didn't lose any love. I didn't lose the love that I felt in that relationship because that love was coming from me the entire time. It was the energy of my own love that I was feeling.
When you lose something in your life, whether it's a person or a job, or something that you felt brought you a lot of joy. This happened to me at another point in my life when I lost the — sounds ridiculous — but I lost a certain like fitness format that I used to do that I used to love because the the founder, the creator of this fitness format, became a very toxic person and I was like I can't do this anymore, but I am so sad that I'm losing this like style of movement.
I made peace with that when I realized like it was me creating the energy that I felt during that fitness class the entire time. That's like, still within me, I may have lost some aspects of this community and some people and a physical place space that I used to go to, to workout in. But I didn't lose the energy and the aliveness that I got from doing that fitness format. If there's something that you're sad is over, can you let yourself recognise that the joy that that thing brought you the fulfilment that that thing brought you like — it was really you? It was you creating it the whole time.
You have everything you need within you to feel alive. You have everything you need within you to recreate that energy. You haven't lost your ability to feel alive even if you've lost the thing that gave you that sense of aliveness.
So the four lessons on aliveness are: being alive is feeling at all. Remember, you can either block your emotions and store them for later and they might explode like a pressure cooker. Or you can let yourself experience them and release them. Feel it long enough for it to pass. Lesson number two: never worry that you're wasting your day because that is the worst way to waste your day. Number three: now that we don't have to be good, we can be free. And number four: being alive is knowing that every moment of aliveness that you've ever felt, was you the entire time.
I hope this 2022 wrap up ,these reflections, these little lessons resonate with you if they do please give me a shout out. Let me know which ones landed with you. Let me know what lessons you learned this year about wholeness, fullness and aliveness. I want to hear from you. I love hearing from you. Thank you so much for tuning in. I'm so grateful that you're here. I'm wishing you a peaceful New Year, a peaceful 2023 or a 2023 that's exactly what you need it to be. And I am so excited for what's coming this year as we continue this podcast. All right, I can't wrap this up. I'm having a hard time. Take a deep breath. See you next week.