In this interview, Veronica and intuitive eating coach Tiffany Thoen talk about intuitive eating and finding peace with food in recovery.
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Tiffany Thoen is an RN, Intuitive Eating Coach, and person in long-term recovery who is also a friend who I’ve known for some time. In my experience, problems with food pop up quite often when people get sober. Knowing that, it’s been really important to me to discuss the topic of food addiction and intuitive eating on this show and to include a program about it in Soberful Life.
Our bodies are wise and we have completely disconnected from them. – Veronica Valli
Tiffany’s work is all about transforming our relationship with food. Eating challenges show up in recovery for a number of reasons. For some of us, they extended way back into our past and come back centerstage when alcohol is out of the picture. For others, these issues start new in recovery with sugar cravings and more. Tiffany supports her clients by helping them to heal the underlying issues, build connection and trust with their bodies, and become empowered in their relationship with food.
As a young child, Tiffany struggled with her body image. She started dieting very early and as a teenager, heavily used alcohol and substances. Luckily, she sought treatment and got sober as a young adult but that was when her issues with food came back in full force. She was now a nurse and training to be a coach but still struggling with food and stuck in an unhealthy cycle of dieting, filled with shame.
I felt like I was supposed to be this picture of health and here I had this kind of shameful secret. – Tiffany Thoen
In the midst of yet another extreme diet, she had the sudden realization that there had to be a better way. On the quest to find that path, she found intuitive eating which helped her to transform her life.
Through intuitive eating… I felt extremely empowered and felt like I wasn’t broken anymore, I was really able to heal on a deep level. – Tiffany Thoen
But why do these issues kick in for so many of us once we get sober?
We’ve been carrying trauma that we simply don’t have the skills to deal with and in order to numb the pain and the unwanted emotions, we turned to alcohol and substances.
Once we take away the object of our addiction, we’re left exposed.
We turn to food to distance ourselves from our bodies and calm our nervous systems. On top of that, we probably don’t know how to feed ourselves well and our guts are used to the sugar from alcohol, making us crave it. It’s a perfect storm.
I know how painful it can be to get sober only to find yourself on your knees, struggling with food. – Tiffany Thoen
“I’ve stopped drinking but now I can’t stop eating.” Have you ever felt like this?
It’s completely normal.
There are many reasons why this happens but the number one thing to remember is: stop judging yourself. By removing judgment you can start to look at your eating patterns and then try to support yourself in getting your underlying need met.
Getting sober is a massive shift in your body chemistry yet we routinely underestimate the amount of time we need to heal and beat ourselves up about these behaviors. The truth is, we’re just trying to get our needs met.
That’s where intuitive eating can really support you.
With intuitive eating, not only do we talk about removing the judgment and looking at the patterns, but also making sure that we are honoring our health in other ways, like with sleep and exercise.
In this episode, we talk more about how you can get started with intuitive eating, stop judging yourself and develop a healthy relationship with food in recovery. Enjoy the episode!
About Coach Tiffany Thoen
As an RN, Intuitive Eating Coach, and person in long term recovery, Coach Tiffany has helped hundreds of women to achieve their goals. She works with high achieving women who can do anything they set their mind to but still struggle with food. Having experienced food obsession herself, she committed to finding a kinder solution that didn’t involve depriving herself. She was able to heal her relationship with food, it was so powerful that she has dedicated herself to supporting high- achievers like her to do the same. Her clients are able to find peace with food and get back to doing what they really want to do in the world!
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