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Story Session: When Midlife Rocks the Foundation of Your Relationship with Food & Your Body

intuitive eating menopause midlifewomen perimenopause womenshealth

It would be fascinating to know how many women have considered intuitive eating only after a last-ditch effort to lose weight failed. It is certainly common because of the work required to untangle ourselves from the mess that is diet culture. But I know that when people like Lisa are bold enough to tell their stories of how intuitive eating transformed their lives, we will save future generations decades of disappointment over their bodies. 


In this story session, Midlife Feast Community Member, Lisa shares her experience on the other side of intuitive eating, where she has gained a sense of freedom and space in her life. She emphasizes the power of habituation in changing eating behaviors and her new ability to eat intuitively without constantly thinking about food. We dive into what’s at the root of the fear of gaining weight, and why we can absolutely improve our health when we choose to stop dieting and focus on meeting our body's needs.

Lisa’s story is so refreshing because of how honest and authentic she is about what this intuitive eating journey has meant to her. The truth is that it's really difficult to be in tune with your body’s needs and desires when the majority of your energy is spent calculating macros. If you feel like intuitive eating would be the signal that you were “giving up” on your health, listening to this episode will inspire you to believe just the opposite. 

In this episode, you'll learn: 

  • How challenges with sleep and rage made midlife feel impossible to navigate
  • Why we need to grieve the "thin ideal" in community
  • Why habituation is a game-changer 
  • Why we need to accept the idea that health at every size is attainable
  • The importance of getting in tune with your core values


Jenn Salib Huber 0:02
Hi and welcome to the midlife feast the podcast for women who are hungry for more in this season of life. I'm your host, Dr. Jenn Celine Huber. Come to my table, listen and learn from me. Trusted guests, experts in women's health and interviews with women just like you. Each episode brings to the table juicy conversations designed to help you feast on midlife. Okay, so welcome to this week's episode of the midlife feast, which is a story session which are always my favorite because I get to hear everyone's stories and share them with you. So this week, we welcome Lisa and Lisa is a fellow twin mom, who is also in perimenopause. And she's going to tell us about how her midlife experience of entering perimenopause in her late 30s. crash landed into her relationship with food. So Lisa, orient us Where are you ages and stages.

Lisa 1:04
So I'm 51 years old. And actually, probably my best for me didn't start in my late 30s. Luckily, I haven't been at it for that long. I would say the first thing I noticed was sleep problems when I was about 46 or 47. And just being wide awake in the middle of the night, always at the same time, often at 4am. And, you know, my doctors, several doctors that I had over the years kind of said the same thing. Like yeah, that's just sort of how it is. And my periods also got really super heavy. And the thing that bothered me the most was how incredibly short tempered I became right before my period. Do they call it mental reach? Yeah, yeah. It was real for me. And so I'm still kind of in that stage. I would say, I have gotten help. And I highly recommend doing that for the peri menopausal age I'm, I think I'm a lot less beforehand, through you're taking something. So recommend that. But that's where I am in terms of the perimenopause stage,

Jenn Salib Huber 2:16
and so relatable because that, you know, three 4am Waking is something that I think, you know, you can almost you can like find your people by saying like, who wakes up at three in the morning, you know, because that that seems to be a really consistent experience. I know that it was my experience, and perimenopause. Now that I'm like, pretty confident I'm in the waiting room of menopause, I'm actually not having that sleep problem anymore, which is really nice. Now I have a little bit more of that, like, I'm not waking up at three or four in the morning, but I'm waking up early. So you know, I'm waking up at like five or six, and I'm up for the day. But I've slept for six ish, seven hours. So it's better. I'm okay with that. And, you know, the mental rage is, is an interesting one too, because I think again, that word, if you've experienced it is really relatable, because it really is a very different, it's not feeling irritable, it's not feeling angry, it truly is like a rage that comes like a fire in the belly that just erupts out of your mouth before you even know what's happening.

Lisa 3:25
Yeah, and I would just say to listeners, if you notice it for me, what I really noticed was that things that my kids would do that I normally would just laugh at, in the few days before I was getting my period, they would like just be on set me off completely short tempered and annoyed with them. And I that was really what drove me to say, you know, can I try taking something like Zoloft or something, you know, and having a long conversation with my doctor. But counselor that I talked to you, too had a really good point. And she said, Well, you know, wouldn't it be nice if you could seek help just because you were suffering? You know, don't wait, don't wait until you feel like it's affecting other people, which I think women so often do. You know, there is help out there and you can do things that will change and make things better. I think the advice that you just have to kind of put up with being awake was not true for me. There are things that have helped me. And one of them is just saying like, okay, so I'm going to be awake. And I'm gonna go into change to the extent that I can my schedule in the morning because for some reason I have fantastic sleep from six to 9am. And I felt really guilty and really lazy about that before. And now it's just well, this is what my sleep pattern is now. Yeah, I need to respect that and take care of myself and accept it.

Jenn Salib Huber 4:52
Yeah, absolutely. I think managing expectations asleep is a big part of it that you know, I'm not ever going to Sleep the way that I did when I was 22, I'm not going to go to bed at 10 o'clock at night and sleep soundly until it eight o'clock in the morning and wake up, you know, all feeling rested. I think that there's there should be an expectation of like decent sleep. But it doesn't have to be the one big chunk that I think so many of us compare our current sleep to. And also, it's normal to wake up like it is normal to wake up. And if we can just roll with it and not wake up and worry and overthink and start to clock watch and count down and you know, do all the things. Sometimes we get back to sleep faster, too. But I love that you kind of adapted your schedule to say, Hey, this is where I'm at. And this is how I need to this is what I need to do right now.

Lisa 5:45
And I think I don't think I would have done that. Probably 10 years ago, I would have just kept stressing out about it.

Jenn Salib Huber 5:52
Yeah, yeah. And I and people do stress about sleep. Absolutely. It's a big, big stressor. And, and we spend a lot of time worrying about the sleep we're not getting. So you know, and with the mental rage too, I think it is an important conversation to have that sometimes it is in addition to or part of some of the changes with anxiety and depression and mood that can be made worse with with midlife and menopause. So absolutely, you know, get the help that you need. There's no shame in doing that. And finding people that can help you feel better is what it's all about. Whatever those options are. So all of this is happening. But at the same time, you have been working hard to change your relationship with food, because like I said in the beginning, all of this kind of crash landed. And so maybe that was where I got the 39 bucks. I know I read something about 39.

Lisa 6:52
Yeah, so I used to jokingly say, and actually, it's not so funny or so joking, that I had been on a diet for 39 years.

Jenn Salib Huber 7:00
Oh, that's okay. That's my middle moment right there.

Lisa 7:04
No, I can see why it would be nice if it was just that I had, you know, had something changes in my body at age 39. But no. Yeah, I think, you know, talking about hitting midlife, at the same time that I decided not to dye it anymore, was really helpful. And I think that little piece about respecting this is the way my body wants to sleep now would not have happened without learning about intuitive eating, and Health at Every Size and listening to my body and saying, you know, wow, my body really knows what it needs. And I just need to listen to it. Which I think really jives perfectly with the idea of intuitive eating and non dieting. And for a little background, which I think will be very relatable. Yes, the 39 years of dieting started when I was about 10 years old. And I think like so many girls and boys, I started to gain weight. Before going through puberty, and my parents just like I didn't, I had no idea that that's actually normal. And that your body needs to do that. Just like your body often needs to gain some weight when you're going through perimenopause in order to produce estrogen and protect you. But they freaked out, basically, and were worried that I was going to be overweight. And even though I was a super active kid was outside all the time, played sports all the time. They started taking me to diet workshop. That was my first commercial diet. And I was I think about 11 years old. And I basically learned, you know, I think it's sort of training camp for eating disorders. When you go on those diets, and I know we don't call them diets anymore, but I pretty much died off and on the typical cycle of going on a diet being super intuitive at first losing weight. And then of course up it's not sustainable. And I would gain weight back plus a few more pounds at the end, get really frustrated, really upset, there would be some event that I need to lose weight for and I would start all over again. And I spent decades basically believing that I just hadn't found the right plan. And the last diet that I did, of course now we don't call them diets, right. It's a healthy eating plan or a clean eating plan. You know, the last one right? So the last one I did was essentially a different version of whole 30 and it was 2018 I actually started it on my 48th birthday like happy birthday for the next three days. You get to eat nothing but raw vegetables with lemon juice

Lisa 9:48
and my husband did it at the same time that I did and he lost 12 pounds in the first week and I lost one pound and was you know faint. Um And unfortunately, I was blogging for the person who was running this. And so I had to stay on it for the whole 28 days. And really didn't lose very much weight. And at the end of it, I just said, like, this is Einstein's definition of insanity, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different results. But I didn't know where to go. I didn't know, you know, I knew that I didn't couldn't face another diet. But I didn't know how to change my thinking. And that's

Jenn Salib Huber 10:30
ingrained in us. Like, it really is, you know, I can't tell you the number of people that I've worked with who said, it never occurred to me that not dieting was an option. Because the default programming was, I just have to keep trying until I find something that works. Yep. And, you know, it's kind of like, it's this alternate reality. People who listen to this podcast know that I'm full of bad analogies, good analogies, whatever you want to call them. But, you know, one that I described is that, you know, imagine that you grew up in this world, and you're continually told that everyone's mission is to get to Mars. So everything that you do, every decision that you make every conversation that you have, every educator ever, all the people that you talk to everyone's just trying to get to Mars. Oh, how are you getting to Mars this week? Did you try this? Oh, I know. So and so they get to Mars this way. And you just fundamentally believe that that's what you're supposed to do. And so you spent all of your time and effort and energy and money getting there, and you get there. And you realize that now you have to spend all your time, energy, effort and money staying there. Because, you know, it is not this, you know, Paradise. It is not, you know, life isn't easy, life isn't perfect. And all the problems that you had on Earth, you still have on Mars, but now you have to figure out how not, you know how not to fall back to Earth. So I think that's, you know, for those of us who grew up in diet culture, and were introduced to diets at a young age, this idea that there's a life outside of dieting really feels like a foreign planet, you know?

Lisa 12:13
Definitely. And you just, I think, for me, one of the other hard things was giving up the hope. I mean, I never felt like I quote got there. You even at my thinnest, I wanted to be thinner, you know, and it was never enough because my body was doing its job, it was keeping me alive. And I didn't see it that way. I just thought I just haven't found the right plan yet. I just haven't found the right way to make myself skinny. And so I didn't even I don't think I even realized that there was another option. Like you said, this is just whether I was 12 years old, whether I was an attorney, I was a 40 year old mom. My one goal all the time was to be thin and fit. And giving up the hope that I would get there was really hard to say this, you might never have that body that's in you know, in that vision where you walk in, and everyone's like, Ooh, she looks so incredible. Because I had been that had been the consistent goal no matter what my life stage was. And that was one of the things that was hard to give up.

Jenn Salib Huber 13:28
So how did you do it? How did you move? But

Lisa 13:31
it's a great question. And that's what I wanted to know, like, I need a guide. Because when you've been dieting your whole life, right? Everything is about a guide. This is what you this is what you do in the morning, this is what you do in the afternoon, this is what you're going to do at 12 o'clock, dinner has to be at 530. You can't eat anything after six, like there are all these rules. So if you've lived in that kind of rubric your whole life, you want a manual for how to untie it. And so the first piece of advice that I would give is that you should get a professional counselor to help you. I started working with the most incredible Intuitive Eating counselor who is also Hazel line, which is Health at Every Size. And she was you know, at first I was reading Health at Every Size and intuitive eating and what I realized when I ordered them and they arrived is that I already go into both books. But actually, probably 10 years before read intuitive eating and just sort of used it as another way to die it like okay, I have to sit and be mindful and have a small plate and stare at it and make it look pretty and respect my fullness and it was just all another way to eat less. And what my counselor really helped me with was changing the way I thought by asking questions by questioning what I had always thought was true. And it was little things like well, do you think that people can be naturally thin and eat whatever they want? And I would say well of course and she's Well, do you think people can be naturally larger fat and diet and exercise all the time and stay the same size? And I was like, Well, no. Of course, if you do the right things, you will be thin. And you know it, she really helped me to change the way I thought to start thinking about my body size, the same way I do about my shoe size. And to say, you know, I'm not going to bind my feet to be a size five, because that's what society wants me to look like. Yeah, this is the body I have. It's healthy. And it works. And I'm going to respect it. Yeah. And those pointers were essential. Yeah, and

Jenn Salib Huber 15:39
I think having someone that can understand where you've come from, because I always say, not everyone comes to this place of I need to do something different than what I've always done with the same experiences. I work with people who have only you know, dieted for five years, and I've worked with people who have dieted for 50 years, I've worked with people who've had, you know, who had families who didn't restrict anything and made no mention of bodies, and I have other people who went on their first died at like, six. So, you know, I think that having someone who can help you to tease out those, you know, kind of formative experiences it and really call into question your beliefs about your body and your beliefs about bodies in general, and health and nutrition is is key. So, you know, when we're talking about this grieving the thin ideal, it, you know, there's often that that well known grieving process, where, you know, first you're in denial that diets don't work, you know, and that, like, What do you mean, this doesn't work? This works for other people. Like there's, you know, multibillion dollar industry, how does this doesn't work. But there's often anger, and that's the part where I find sometimes people have a lot of anger that builds up, it's like, well, I've spent 30 years trying to make this work. Are you telling me it was never gonna work? Can do? Did you relate to any of that? Did you have any of that experience?

Lisa 17:18
Oh, 100%. You know, yeah, it does make me angry in the same way that sort of that like, feminist rage against the patriarchy, like some Society decided that this was the one way that that women should clock and that spending all their time, money, energy and emotional energy on trying to look a certain way, was a way to keep them in their place. And to keep them small. You know, yeah, had a lot of anger about that. Yeah. But I will say that, I can't even begin to describe how amazing it is on the other side

Jenn Salib Huber 17:57
of amazingness, because I do want people, I always want people to know that, yeah, there are times that are going to suck, and there are going to be times that aren't easy. And there are going to be times when you think, Oh, I'm just gonna go back and, you know, start tracking again, I'm just gonna go back to what I was doing before, I'm just gonna try harder this time. But I always try and keep them focused on okay, we're committed to the process, and that process of unlearning everything that you think you knew and know about body and health and nutrition, but I want you to at least imagine what life is like on the other side. So tell us about that. What is life like for you now on the other side?

Lisa 18:36
Yeah, it's really, if you told me that I would be telling you what life is like on the other side, two years ago, I would have said, You're insane. And I would have also said, Oh, I'm not restricting what I eat. And now I look back. And I realized that all of my decisions about what to put in my mouth and how to exercise and move my body were based on what I had done the day before, would do the next day. I never ever made a decision based on the here and now. And it was stressful. And it took a ton of time. And I was always mentally calculating. You know, okay, well, tomorrow, I have a work dinner. So and it's gonna be a steak house. So that means that, you know, tomorrow, I need to eat this and this, and I need to bring this with me to work. And meanwhile, I'm making lunches for my kids and, you know, getting them taken care of, and I'm going to do all this stuff for myself. And it was exhausting. And it was lonely. You know, I never almost never eat the same dinner that I need for my family. Right? I would make lasagna for them. But then I would have the salad that went with it. And I wouldn't have those on yet. Until of course at 11 o'clock at night when I was absolutely starving. And I had three glasses of wine. And then I would finish lasagna that was now cold. And you know I was doing I think night eating is a big thing, right? Or it was for me. The end of the day I would sit down with a bowl of goldfish, whatever was in the house because my kids were little and a glass of wine and I just didn't understand why I couldn't stop eating at night and So I will tell you on the other side that what I realized after I really started into eating, intuitive eating, which means are meant for me that in the beginning Yeah, I over ate, I was really afraid that I would just go crazy and like, you know, eat Doritos and pizza and everything and bagels and everything else that I'd never let myself eat forever and ever and ever. So one thing that I will tell you about the other side is habituation is like a miracle. And the way that I the way that I describe it is, I think the definition is constant access, decreases desire, or sometimes eliminates it. And when people say, Oh, no, it won't for me, I will never be able to have, you know, golden Oreos in the house. And I say, Well, are you married? What has constant access dug for your desire? In your marriage? I can tell you and promise you that it will do the same thing for food. I routinely throw out foods that I would have finished the entire I used to say like, what are they talking about what the serving size? It's ridiculous. Just give me the Ben and Jerry's carton and I will finish it with a spoon. Like there's four servings in here. Well, there are for me now. And I never would have believed that. And I realized I hadn't eaten at night and like six months, after starting really letting myself eat whatever I want. And I realized it wasn't that I was stressed out and needed to take a bath or do some yoga. I was hungry. Because I'd only eaten about 600 calories at breakfast and lunch. And I hadn't let myself eat anything else until dinner. So and then then dinner wasn't very big. I was just hungry. And now I'm never hungry at night anymore because I feed myself when I'm hungry during the day.

Jenn Salib Huber 21:46
Yeah, so many important points are like, I don't even know where to start with him with them. But yeah, I think that habituation really is like the magic, it's permission, right? So if you have permission to have something, it means that you truly believe that you can say yes or no. And it's not based on whether you think you should or shouldn't, or whether you can or can't, it's based on whether you want it. And that is a game changer. Because if you know that you can have it and you want it, it really just takes the urgency out of the decision. And it really becomes a Yeah, I'm gonna have some of this. But you know, intuitively, when you're satisfied, you're not measuring, counting, tracking portioning. You know, it's really just a, it's a feeling and satisfaction is you know, it's the cherry on top, because you can't feel full without feeling satisfaction. But you also can't feel full if you haven't eaten enough. And I think that for so many of us, we've had that experience of trying to be good during all day, thinking that like you can like hold on to that goodness, that that feeling of like checking all the boxes will like carry you through to the next day, when really all it does is make you realize that you're hungry. And once you start eating, it's very difficult to stop if you're still hungry. So yeah, I think that that is that is such a great thing to just to be able to realize and notice. I have another analogy for the habituation.

Lisa 23:17
It's maybe a little bit less obnoxious to ours. No.

Jenn Salib Huber 23:21
I think the analogies are great, because they're just a variation of storytelling, and they're just how we relate to the world. Right? So you know, I describe it as if if someone told you that every drawer in every closet in your house had a million dollars, you would spend probably the first little while first few days searching for every closet, every drawer looking for the million dollars. But if you knew that it was there, you would eventually just wait until you needed it. And you'd go find it. Right? You wouldn't feel the need to hoard all the money from all the closets and all the cupboards because you just know that well next time I need it. I know where to look. And it's the same with habituation is that if you have regular access to foods that you enjoy, and foods that you find filling and satisfying. You don't feel the need to try and store up satisfaction when you have them. You can just really experience it as a in the moment kind of thing. And I know that anyone listening who's deep into dye culture still and is still very much in that restriction cycle thinks that we are talking like complete bullshit right now. They're like, No way. Not possible. Not gonna happen to me. But I want you to know and Lisa wants you to know and so many others who have been through this that it not only is it possible, it's reality, you can actually exist in your body not thinking about food all the time. And that is the death the food freedom.

Lisa 24:48
And it's so there you have so much space for so many other things and you'll be so much less angry. I felt like I used to describe it as the number one thing I felt was I was And belling I was about like, what was my eating? You know, it would go to all these different nutritionists and dietitians and people to talk to them. And they would say like, Well, do you think you eat? Because you're sad? Are you? What's that? What's that? Look, it's not what you're eating, it's What's eating you. Emotion, and I really feel is like rebellion. And it was it was rebelling against all these rules, right? And it was really hard to understand that. And I would read things like, you know, the models were like, Oh, I just have a square of chocolate every night and not really satisfied. And I'm talking about. And yeah, if I had listened to this podcast, when I wasn't really ready, which I think is another really important point, get someone to guide you on your journey, who's a professional? And second of all, you have to really be ready. Yeah, you know, I was really ready. I couldn't do it anymore. And, you know, I was ready to listen to the kinds of things that we're saying, and you don't have to believe us, if you're listening. Just try it. And I think the habituation, I do think if you've really been in diet culture for a long time, you are going to need a guide. Like I can remember talking to a counselor and saying, Oh, my God, I had two bagels for lunch today. They were really delicious. But I can't believe I ate both bagels. And I feel like I'm not respecting my fullness, because I was still so obsessed with all the rules, right? Intuitive Eating principles, were still rules to me. And she was like, great, like, have some more like have another bagel. And so, at that stage, I wasn't ready to listen to myself via my body yet. So I needed someone to say, here's the rule for right now. This is what we're doing, you're gonna need some more. And I think also addressing fears. For people who are listening, who don't know if they're ready, like what was I afraid of, I was afraid that I didn't know how to change the way I thought and, and having a guide will help with that someone like you are an intuitive eating coach. Or I should say, and another Intuitive Eating coach. I think the second thing I was really terrified of was gaining weight. I knew in my head that I was gaining weight anyway, because I would die it I would lose less, you know, as you your body gets better, and you're protecting you, you know what I had done at 15. When I did that at 45, I didn't have the same results at all. But I was terrified that letting myself eat whatever I want. And I would gain weight. And, you know, the answer to that fear is maybe well, and maybe you won't. But accepting your body and appreciating it for what it can do, as opposed to how it looks, you know, really practicing that will help free you from from that concern?

Jenn Salib Huber 27:50
Yeah, absolutely. And that's the you know, I've mentioned body neutrality, I have an upcoming episode soon. All about it. But and that's really what body neutrality is all about. It's not that you don't care about your body or that, you know, you no longer put any, you know, thought into what it looks like, it's that what you look like doesn't drive the self image and self esteem bus anymore. And that if your body changes, how you feel about yourself doesn't take like a catastrophic hit. And I think that that is the biggest change that happens. When you you know, do this work around how you feel about your body and how you've spent, whether it's five or 50 years trying to change it is that what how your body changes, almost becomes irrelevant. I'm not gonna say completely, but it is no longer the focus of every decision that you make about food, how you feel in your body, becomes the focus of your relationship with food. And yeah, it is, it's just life changing. There's no other way to put it.

Lisa 29:00
There really isn't. And, you know, I think one of the ways to help people start thinking differently about their bodies is, first of all, it's just a truth that we don't take care of what we hate. And you don't have to love your body. Like, it's like, oh, you may need to learn to love your body. No. But, you know, my counselor had me get out a photograph of myself at 12 years old, which was at the time, that same age that my twin sons were and one of them my parents were worried that he was going to be quote, chubby. Now meanwhile, he's like a fantastic athlete, and I kept saying his body works for him. And then I thought, why can't I say that to myself? You know, I'm a really good athlete, and my body works for me. And maybe I don't look like what I think the mental picture of a really good athlete should be. But you know, she really helped me start thinking about decisions about taking care of myself, and by taking care of my So I mean, like the way I take care of my kids like feeding them when they're hungry, and letting them sleep when they're tired, and letting them move their body in the way that they want to, you know, why can't I do that for me, so looking at that picture of myself, you know, as a 12 year old and thinking about taking care of yourself, I think, you know, we talk about self care as women in midlife all the time. And I don't think I really understood what that meant. I thought of it as like, going to get a manicure, pedicure like spa day, or, you know, these external things, as opposed to thinking about caring for yourself, the way you would care for a child and being kind to yourself.

Jenn Salib Huber 30:40
And meeting your needs, right? Like self care, by definition is meeting your needs. And that might be the need for relaxation, and going for a manicure may be part of that. But it could also be saying no to things. It might also be putting yourself first, you know, instead of all the other people in your life once in a while.

Lisa 31:03
And you'll have so much more time to do that, when you're not trying to figure out your macros. Or, you know, I honestly can't even sitting here tell you like I would have to really think about it to remember what I had for dinner and lunch and breakfast yesterday. And if you had said you'd asked me a couple of years ago, I could have told you like the whole past week or month. Yeah, every single thing I'd put in my mouth. So you will free up so much space, and it feels so much better. And I would just also say to address the fear of gaining weight, like Yeah, like, I know, it's the elephant in the room, and we don't want to talk about it. But yeah, in the beginning, I did gain some weight, I think because I actually ran over my scale with my car, which I also highly recommend love that it was terrifying. I own that scale since college. Wow. Yeah. And, you know, they tell you to hit it with a hammer. And I just actually like a little afraid to do that. So I ran over it with my car. So I don't actually know if I gained weight. But I think I did have my based on the way my clothes fit. But I, it doesn't even matter honestly, like it didn't matter. And it doesn't matter, I don't care. I just want to feel good and be healthy. And even with with maybe I gained weight. But even so it doesn't matter, I will tell you, and that is like a miracle coming from someone who spent at least 50% of her waking hours her entire life since the age of 10. trying to lose weight.

Jenn Salib Huber 32:34
And I'll just add to that just to kind of finish out that thought that we often equate the feeling of giving up with waking, or that you know, when people start and undying journey, they're just kind of like wellness is just really giving up like I see all the time people will have measurable improvements in their health, when they stop dieting, their blood pressure improves, their cholesterol improves, their blood sugar improves, their energy improves, their sleep improves. So if we're talking health, your health probably will improve when you're not continually restricting, and making decisions about food that are based solely on how you think it will influence the scale.

Lisa 33:15
And that is exactly true. For me, those real health numbers that really matter, have all improved for me and saw this, this dress has decreased. And, you know, I just would never have believed that I thought that there was just this direct connection between what we consider clean healthy food, you know, good food versus bad food. And I can tell you that I eat a huge variety of whatever I want and whatever my kids want. And by the way, if you're listening to this, and you have children, and you're like, Oh, my kids will just survive on Doritos and gummy worms. If I let them eat whatever they want, nope. My kids eat so much healthier and better. Nutritionally, not to you know, say foods are good or bad. Now that I let them choose any whatever they want, and don't restrict anything. Because it just takes the shine off of things and makes them

Jenn Salib Huber 34:08
absolutely we have a snack cupboard. That is routinely stocked with you know, chips and crackers and cookies and gummies. But we also have like three overflowing fruit bowls that we stack stock with their favorite fruit. And if their favorite type of Apple is in the Apple bowl, they will choose that just as often if not more than they will the cookie or the cracker. You know, they they really kind of eat intuitively, I hope in you know, they let their taste their satisfaction kind of be the guide, but they also know that eating, you know, foods that we would traditionally consider healthy, helps their bodies to feel good.

Lisa 34:51
Yeah. And so in their minds, just like us. Yeah.

Jenn Salib Huber 34:57
Lisa, I can't thank you enough for sharing your story. Thank you. So so much. So I always ask my guests guess, what do you think is the missing or ingredient in midlife?

Lisa 35:10
I think listening to yourself from the inside, as opposed to, you know, there's so much whether it's social media, whether it's on the internet, there's just so much coming at you all the time about what you should be and how you should be living. And I would say, really, take some time away and think about what you want, in addition to you, completely changing the way I thought about food and body size. And what was most important, we left a life that my husband and I and my sons left a life that most people would say, well, aren't you really happy, like a big house, in the suburbs, kids in private school, big corporate jobs, we left all that behind and changed, made that change at 47. And I think, you know, if you just listen to yourself, as opposed to all those external rules, whether it be about food or about what you should be doing or how you should be looking or how you should be raising your kids, how you should be at work, and, and really let yourself take over. I think that's the magic trick to being happier in midlife.

Jenn Salib Huber 36:16
That's a Tumen, right. That's attunement in a nutshell, learning to listen and respond in a way that feels, you know, right.

Lisa 36:25
Yeah. So just because something is the best for someone else doesn't mean that it's the best for you. Yeah.

Jenn Salib Huber 36:33
Thank you. Thank you so much. I know that your story will help so many, and thanks for being a guest. Well, thank

Lisa 36:40
you for having me. And if people want to read more, they can go to my blog, if you want to see how I did it. It's Hayes H E S. Le n Because I really wanted to see like, I need a manual. So if you want to read my journey, you can visit that.

Unknown Speaker 37:01
Awesome. Thank you, Lisa.

Lisa 37:03
All right. Thank you, Jen.

Jenn Salib Huber 37:04
Hey there. Thanks so much for tuning in to this episode of the midlife feast. You can find a link to my group program beyond the scale and anything else that I've got on the go in the show notes. You can also find a link to download my free menopause nutrition for underwriters Guide, which includes some of my favorite recipes to help you implement gentle nutrition. And as always, come hang out with me on Instagram at menopause dot nutritionist. It's where I love to connect with people who are in this stage of life and are looking to try different instead of harder


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