127: What is Intuitive Eating & How to Build it Into Your Practice, with Sandra Thies, RD (plus, how she started her Intuitive Eating Practice!)

Dietitian Success Center Podcast Cover Photo 22
In this episode of The Dietitian Success Podcast, I sit down with Sandra Thies, RD & Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor. Together, Sandra and I explore the meaning behind intuitive eating and how the principles can be applied in all areas...

In this episode of The Dietitian Success Podcast, I sit down with Sandra Thies, RD & Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor. Together, Sandra and I explore the meaning behind intuitive eating and how the principles can be applied in all areas of practice (including clinical), work that Sandra has done to build her confidence in working with clients from an intuitive eating lens and what has/has not worked for her so far in her business!


This episode is sponsored by Practice Better . DSC Members can get 20% off 4 months of any Practice Better paid plan with the code DSC20. Use this link to purchase: https://practicebetter.grsm.io/dscpodcast 

Follow Sandra on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/embracingintuition/

Check out Sandra’s website here: https://embracingintuition.mykajabi.com/work-with-me-application

Episode Transcript:

Sandra Thies is a Registered Dietitian, certified intuitive eating counselor, and the founder of Embracing Intuition. Her mission is to help her clients understand health. As it exists beyond blood work, beyond the barriers of diet culture, and beyond morality, she takes a whole person approach to help individuals live their lives, according to their values.

Sandra’s practice has grown to include one-on-one nutrition, counseling, body image, coaching, and an upcoming intuitive eating group program. Today is Sandra and I are talking about what the journey has looked like to get her intuitive, eating practice off the ground. What intuitive eating even means as a registered dietitian, how intuitive eating can be incorporated even in clinical practice and how she’s honed in on her intuitive eating niche.

If you are someone who has been interested in the concept of intuitive eating bird, perhaps you’re just not sure. How it fits within your niche. Or how you can take some of the principles and incorporate them into your practice without getting the full certification. Sandra and I talked through all of that stuff today. So this is a great episode.

For all dietitians in all areas of practice. Who have been curious about intuitive eating and what that really means.

Sandra, welcome to the podcast. Feel free to say hey to the audience. Hello everyone. So nice to be here.

I’m so thrilled to have you. I’m so thrilled to talk to you. You’re such a wealth of knowledge and you haven’t even been in practice for that long, but I feel like you’re just like bursting with all of this energy and information around the intuitive eating space. So this is gonna be fun.

Yeah I am so excited to chat to you and just to reconnect and yeah, I feel like I’ve gone in about 80 different directions in the past, just over a year and a half that I’ve been, officially a registered dietitian now Lots to talk about. Very fresh too. Yeah, totally. Okay, so let’s go back.

Can you tell us a bit more about your dietitian’s story? So even going back to school and what that looked like for you, and then what you did when you graduated and how that brought you to where you are now? Yeah, long, long and winding road. I was a high performance athlete in high school. and that kind of originally sparked my interest for nutrition and, fueling my body for performance.

But it also, when I look back on it now, really generated some disordered eating habits for me. And to be perfectly honest, that is a large reason why I wanted to learn more about Nutri. And why I eventually got into, my interest in dietetics. I wanted to learn all there was to know about nutrition and how my body worked.

I liked science. So I started out at UBC in Vancouver just in the science program and learned about the dietetics program. A couple months into that and realized, okay, this is what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna go for it. I’m like, I’m gonna work with athletes. I’m gonna do sports nutrition. That’s gonna be what I spend my life doing.

And so fast forward three years after doing a bunch of prerequisites I’m in the dietetics program. Learning even more about nutrition from a clinical sense kept on fueling those disordered eating behaviors. I was taking what I was learning about nutrition and really turning them into rules around food and saying, you know what?

I’m in this dietetics program. , I should really be eating this way. And if I wasn’t eating that way, I was like, oh man, I’m not gonna be a good dietitian. And, and all of these kind of beliefs that were happening around food. Interestingly around that same time, just before I got into the program, I got cut from the rowing team.

So it was like a huge shift in identity for me and. Somewhere in that second year of the dietetics program, I got introduced to intuitive eating, and that’s when things started to shift for me. As much as I can look back at my university time the whirlwind that it was, I was trying to find out who I was in school, not being an athlete.

Still interested in sports nutrition, but also recognizing the problems with approaching nutrition the way that I was and the way that I had been. And so I put my head down, got through the program, got through my internship year, and it was really in my internship year. I decided that I was gonna really go for this intuitive eating thing.

I worked with a preceptor who was also a certified intuitive eating counselor, and it just solidified my interest in it, and I knew that right when I finished that practicum year, I started that certification to become a certified intuitive eating counselor like a few weeks after my practicum.

And I think also in that time is when I reached out to you for the first time to be like, how do I even start my business? I had always known that I wanted to do private practice at least in some capacity. I knew that the nine to five hospital work wasn’t gonna work for me at least full-time and.

Fast forwarding to today, my work is a mix of clinical dietetics and long-term care and private practice, so I run my own practice called Embracing Intuition. It’s fully virtual, so I practice across BC with those clients. I am also a dietitian at two interdisciplinary clinics here, inna, where I live.

also private practice. And then, yeah, I’ve jumped between long-term care contract to long-term care contract over the last year and a half and now I’m here. Yeah. Hopefully that was streamlined enough. . That was awesome. No, that was really great. I appreciate you telling that story about your journey into finding intuitive eating and the journey around.

Going to school and actually being pulled into nutrition from that sort of disordered eating place. And I think that’s a really, that’s really interesting. And I’ve heard that before that the nutrition field

tends to attract people that might be struggling in that way. And it’s interesting what you said around the clinical nutrition actually feeding that a little bit. And I wonder if that’s changing or shifting at all. I just, I feel like I have so much to say about this. Yeah.

And I’m gonna try and condense it down into a thought that really comes back to the principles of intuitive eating. One of the last principles, principle number 10, we don’t often go through in order, but one of the last things that we address with clients is honoring your health through gentle nutrition.

And when I talk to people, intuitive eating. I often say, there’s no right or wrong way to go through this, but we talk about movement and nutrition principles at the end. Because if we bring them in too early, people can start taking them on as new rules. . So if we’re talking about , how many grams of fiber that we should be eating per day or getting half of your plate as fruits and vegetables according to the Canada’s food guide.

Or any of those kind of nutrition related, I’m using air quotes, . Yeah. Principles. People can start to take those on as another diet. And really the essential part of the beginning of intuitive eating is letting go. , those messages and beliefs that diet culture has ingrained in us. , the, you should eat this way or you shouldn’t eat these things, or food is, these foods are good, those foods are bad, and by extension you are a good or bad person for eating those foods.

So if we haven’t. Navigated through that rough water first. If I start telling someone, yeah, the recommendation is to get one green and one orange vegetable every day, they can then take that on and say, oh, this week I didn’t get any green vegetables. Oh, I’m so bad. I’m just gonna give this up.

And what the heck? So the other piece of that, and I’m sure we’re gonna get into this a little bit later as we talk about the journey of my business as embracing intuition, but. . I find that it’s a different kind of client that’s looking to work with a dietitian versus looking to work with an intuitive eating coach.

I often get clients coming to me saying, oh, I have these problems. Can you look at my diet and tell me what I should be doing differently? Or what foods to include or eliminate or avoid, or people coming. Managing diabetes or preventing, heart health complications, not those people that have realized the consequences of being so deep in diet culture, that they want to rebuild their relationship with food and their body.

. . So I find that there’s a story about what dietitians do out there. , but we do a lot more than what people seem to think that we do. Interesting. That is really interesting. And I’ve actually often wondered that how dietitians bridge that gap between those two pieces when they get clients coming to them that are looking for something.

That is, like you were saying, a little bit more of that like nutrition, therapy, diabetes, heart health type thing. But you’re sitting here being like, but I have so much I need to unpack with you first. . Yeah. And. I will often get clients coming to me and with the questions that I ask from my intuitive eating background.

There’s a lot that comes up for them. Things from childhood or eating habits. Yeah. Their parents pass on to them and I’ve had to take breaks with a number of clients and really encourage them to seek mental health support. Yeah. And counseling from someone that, is equipped. And trained to help work through those pieces.

Yeah. Before we can then come back and readdress the food. Yeah. Yeah. And so you don’t have to be a dietitian to be a certified intuitive eating counselor or coach. Was it coach or counselor that you used the term? Or is it either The certification is for being a certified intuitive eating counselor.

Okay. I find that people, I prefer using intuitive eating coach. Gotcha. Just because the language around counselor kinda has some of that oh, and I don’t wanna be, Yeah. Thought of as a mental health counselor. Of course. Yeah. But you don’t have to be a dietitian. In order to become a certified intuitive eating counselor, you need to have some kind of health science background, whether it’s just a degree or a professional designation. When I was doing the course, there was a lot of therapists, like clinical counselors in it, psychologists. There are, chiropractors that do it, physios that do it.

even, I believe you are a certified health coach. , you can take the certification. Okay. You just need some kind of background in it. Gotcha. The other option is if you don’t have. any kind of professional designation in terms of, health or kind of health sciences. You can do what I believe is called the lay facilitator program.

And that’s more about, for your own education and just developing some skills in that. But you don’t get that certified right counselor. makes sense at the end. Yeah. So this is a tangent and then we’ll bring it back to your private practice. But I’m curious if you find it challenging to or rather, how do you bring your intuitive eating lens and background into your clinical work?

This is something that has shifted and grown and changed, Continuously for me and it still is and it still is a challenge because it looks different for me in long-term care in my clinical work versus my private practice. And I find the starting point is often education with the other members of my healthcare team.

So when. . For example, in long-term care, I will have a referral for weight loss or weight gain. Say a resident is, continuing to gain weight and they’ll be like, can you do a nutrition intervention, please? Here you go. I will often go and chat to the nurse that gave me that referral.

I will chat to the resident if they are with it. , and I’ll also chat to the family and I’ll say, this is end of life care. Yeah. The resident has expressed that they are comfortable and happy and actually, from a clinical perspective, the benefits of weight loss are really not there.

Yeah. And food in that end of life setting provides so much joy and pleasure and satisfaction. . Ultimately, it really comes down to the resident’s goals of care and their wishes. Yeah. And the family’s wishes. But I do tend to do quite a bit of education around why diets for weight loss in that setting are not appropriate.

And then on the other hand of things, intuitive eating that. I guess I more say the anti-D diet lens comes into all of my more clinical nutrition related work too in private practice. So I work with a number of people with diabetes. I work with a lot of women with gestational diabetes as well.

People with, hypertension or, concerning blood work and. , I focus on nutrition by addition. , often the focus that comes when people come in with these concerns is what foods can we take out that you’re eating? Yeah. And that just goes along with this restriction mentality. How can I restrict myself to get better?

But when we think. Restriction. It’s like me telling you, don’t think about an elephant. What are you gonna do? You think about an elephant. . And when we restrict and restrict we get these uncontrollable cravings for the foods that we are not allowing ourselves to eat.

So when I’m looking at, say, somebody that’s managing blood sugars, How can we add protein and fiber in because we know that protein and fiber help balance blood sugars throughout the day and how can we, balance and time the meals and snacks in a way that is supporting balanced blood sugars, but also allowing them to eat the foods that they actually enjoy.

. And I always tell clients this, when, when we have our discovery calls or when I meet them for the first time, I say, you know what? I practice from a non diet perspective. I believe that health exists at all sizes. And if you’re familiar with it, I also practice from an intuitive eating lens.

And often they ask, oh, what does that mean? What are you talking about? And I talk. , why restrictive diets and weight loss aren’t evidence-based and they aren’t gonna provide the health benefit that these clients are looking for. , I gotta say, I really love listening to you talk about this stuff.

I really do. No, I really do. I feel like for somebody who hasn’t been practicing for that long, I feel like you’re coming from such a place of like true, deep understanding of this world. And I appreciate all of the education you’re doing for me right now and for our audience.

So I love this . I love it. Diet culture makes me really mad. . Yeah. Yeah. And what it has done to so many people that I know, a lot of people that I don’t know, and myself and my family. Yeah. Yeah. It frustrates me. And so I am really passionate about just getting these messages out there. Yeah. And I jump on opportunities to just.

The word about this kind of work because Yeah, it, even if I just get to one person and it changes their belief or thought about something, then yeah, I’m happy. .

  And so I wanna jump ahead a minute and then we’ll come back to your private practice cuz I think that this is a good segue to keep talking about the definition of intuitive eating.

And just what I think that when we were talking before there’s a lot of misunderstanding, I think, within the world of dietitians about intuitive eating and what it is and what it is not. So I’m wondering if you. Just define it a little bit more for us. Define what intuitive eating looks like and also maybe just like what it is not.

I think that’s an important piece too. So there’s, you’ll find a lot of definitions of what intuitive eating is and what it is not out there. So taking with a grain of salt that this is my view and my interpretation of it.

It is, a, a practice that is rooted in self-care and it is weight neutral. Intuitive eating was coined by two dietitians back in, I think 1995 or 1997. Don’t quote me on that year. And currently there are well over 150 to 200, studies that support the benefits and the practice of intuitive.

and what it comes back to is listening to our bodies innately. As babies, we really have this ability to eat when we are hungry, reach for what we want, and stop eating when we’re full. We exhibit those signs, we cry, we fall asleep, we relax, and somewhere along the line we lose that.

We work to get back to with clients in intuitive eating is how can we listen to those internal signals, and we call that interceptive awareness of what sensations and feelings and emotions are coming up in your body that can help you make decisions about what you want to eat, when you want to eat, how much you wanna eat, and also when to stop, when you’ve had enough.

So I, I like to say use the words, , regaining trust with our bodies and helping to rebuild a positive relationship with food and your body. Is what intuitive eating is to me. And it goes beyond the food for me as well. It brings in some components of body image and body respect and also self-care beyond food because.

Food is often a coping mechanism that people use. And this can be a learned behavior from years and years ago. It can be from childhood or, teen years or whatever it’s from. And so some of the things that we talk about are what are some other coping mechanisms and ways that you can take care of yourself that are addressing.

The emotion or feeling that is coming up where food might actually not be supporting and helping you in that moment. So it’s hard, we have to learn actually how to listen to what our bodies are saying. So learning how to tune into that and then learning how to respond and honor those emotions and those feelings.

Figuring out what foods actually feel good to eat, figuring out what foods. Taste good. What do you enjoy eating and learning how to recognize fullness as it comes up throughout meals. As I’m saying this, some, dietitians and, and other people listening might be thinking, oh, that, the hunger fullness diet.

And yeah, it’s not more than just. Eating when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re full. It is. What do you feel like eating? What tastes good right now, is food, what your body is craving in the moment. How can we plan if we have a really busy day to make sure that we’re fueling our body?

Okay. , how can we respect our body through joyful movement and other body respect practices? Another thing that I like to make the, the comparison, intuitive eating is not mindful eating. mindful eating is a component of intuitive eating, but intuitive eating encompasses so much more than just that mindful eating practice.

Yeah. The other comparison I make is intuitive eating is also not impulsive eating, so it’s not just eating whatever you want whenever you want. Who cares? I can just eat this whole bag of chips all day. It’s you. Paying attention to how your body is actually feeling. How would you feel if you ate 16 bags of chips in one day?

, there’s a fear that comes along with starting intuitive eating. I’m just gonna keep eating this. I’m never gonna be able to stop. Yeah. But yes, you are. You’re gonna be able to stop because you’re not gonna feel physically good. And part of it. Going through that challenging learning curve of figuring out when it doesn’t feel good.

, and how to, react or respond differently next time. I really like that ex, I love that example that you gave at the end, because I actually think that’s maybe one of the biggest misconceptions or misunderstanding amongst dietitians is the thought that intuitive eating is essentially just a free for all.

Yeah. When it comes to food, right? And so I really appreciate you actually, explaining that’s not the case. , that’s not the case at all. Yeah. It’s a common fear and not just among other dietitians, but among almost any and every client that I’ve worked with. Oh, I’m sure intuitive eating, but.

There and there’s one practice that I’ve done with almost every client of mine and we go through the list of their forbidden foods and we choose one of them. For one of them it was potato salad for another, it was a chocolate bar. and I asked them, I’d like you to go and buy some or make some, if you wanna make a potato salad and sit somewhere comfortable with it, turn the TV off, put your phone away, shut the computer.

And I want you just to sit with it. What does it taste like? Do you even enjoy the taste? What does it feel like as you’re eating it? How does your body feel as you’re having a few bites of this and nine times out of 10, , these people will come back for the next session and be like, you know what?

I didn’t even like it. Why did I let that have so much power over me all these years? Like it doesn’t even taste good. And it’s just an incredibly liberating and freeing experience I find for them. They are just so bewildered . By what is going on and the power of distracted eating.

That’s so interesting. Okay, let’s bring it back to your business a little bit. Yes. I wanna talk about embracing intuition. So tell us how did you get started? What were some of those first steps that you took to get your business off the ground? In a nutshell, you , I was like, I don’t even know what I need to do.

. The first couple of things that I did was all of that kind of, admin stuff, yeah. Registering a business name. Registering as a sole proprietorship, making sure that I have, my business structure set up. Okay. I’m someone that likes to have the whole backend ready before I.

Put it out to the public. I’m a planner that way. I needed to have all of that stuff set up and then deciding on what was I going to offer, what are my pricing structures, is it just gonna be one-on-one? Is it gonna be group The pricing was a really hard one for me because I have a hard time asking people for money.

So recognizing what I was worth was something that I know you and I worked on. In that beginning phase, it was getting a website up and running, letting people know what I’m doing and who I am. Doing some work to define my ideal client. How am I gonna. getting the message out there to people that I have a practice and that I’m accepting clients.

And then, some more of the backend stuff, finding a scheduling and a charting software that worked for me. And, having a way that I could bill clients, but also making sure everything was in line so that they could, submit it to insurance if that’s what they were doing.

A lot of systems, I feel like it comes back to . Yeah. And so if you look back over the last year, how has your business changed slash evolved? I’ve changed my offerings quite a lot. , I’ve also increased my prices, which is wonderful. I try very much to keep it in line with what other private practice dietitians are doing in BC and Canada.

I have developed offering like professional offerings. I go and do trainings for U B C O and for other groups of health professionals on what does it mean to provide weight neutral care and what are the harms of weight stigma and introduce intuitive eating as an alternative to prescribing diets.

, I have really. . In terms of the structure of my business, it has not shifted much. Still the majority of what I offer is one-on-one. What has shifted is my confidence in my coaching and my , my counseling strategies. Yeah. I’ve sought a lot of additional education and training from, other providers and coaches different courses, just to.

Really be able to feel confident about what I’m speaking to and be able to work through these struggles with, that clients bring to me, because some of them are really hard. Yeah. It’s not just, how do I get fiber in my meal? It’s, yeah. I don’t allow myself to eat carbs because I need to earn them and Yeah.

It’s a big, it’s a deep man thing. and I need support. often in, making sure that I’m not taking on the, sometimes the heaviness of Yeah. My sessions and yeah, feeling like I’m able to work through these things with clients, that, that kinda . Yeah. And can you speak specifically about programs or coaches that you’ve worked with who you feel have been really instrumental in terms of helping you build that confidence?

Yeah. So I’ll start back about a year ago. I was, working. Clients and realizing that I was getting to a barrier with them and this point where I was like, I don’t know how to help you through this next bit. And it was with body image. And I didn’t feel like I had the tools and I also realized, I’ll be the one to admit I couldn’t work through my own body image struggles.

So I hired Brianna Campos body image with Bree to work on my own body. and that was a very instrumental and helpful in navigating my own process. But then I continued on working with her because she has offerings for professionals and providers in doing body image work. And I’m con and I still work with her every week, this day.

Developing my confidence, my language, my counseling skills, and just furthering my knowledge in. What body image even is. . Where does weight stigma come from? Like, where is that rooted? How does it look? And appear and present in clients in different ways? We talk about the racist roots of, diet culture and fat phobia, and just getting that background information helps me to understand.

like what is going on that’s deeper for these clients. And so she has been a huge support for me in both, when I am having a struggle with a client or even just developing my ideal client and my niche and furthering. Defining who I wanna work with, and in the intuitive eating and dietetic space, how can I merge the two and create a unique offering that clients need?

And I have managed to, surprise, create the exact offering that I would’ve needed. . . Yep. I think that that is such an important story just around the reminder that business is an evolution and what we create in business and what we come up with in business is always going to be an evolution.

And the idea that we’re ever like done learning as entrepreneurs it’s so false. Like I can see, I just in talking to you right now, like you’ve undergone a pretty major shift even over the last year, just in terms of how you’re talking about this stuff and the confidence that you’re bringing to the table, and I think just your overall, Just like you just, you have an even deeper passion around it too, which is so cool to see.

And that’s just a reflection of you and your willingness to have put the time and put the work into personal development over the last year. So that’s pretty incredible to see. It’s really wonderful and I feel really lucky to have gotten the support that I have. And yeah, that hasn’t come without challenges.

I invested in a group coaching program that totally burned me and left me like a few thousand dollars outta pocket. No. Yeah. And , I think that one part of it is increasing my own education and confidence in my coaching. And being able to, really feel like I know what I’m talking about and overcome the imposter syndrome when it comes to that piece.

Yeah. But also the mindset that has been instrumental and it is very far from, , working over my money mindset hurdles. Social media. One thing recently that I have been working on is, Celebrating my efforts that I and time that I am putting into social media, regardless of the outcome.

If I don’t have anybody, buying from a post or from a launch, I still did everything that I could and everything that I logged into in that strategy. And I did a really good job. Yeah. And I, I have the belief that energy and effort that I put out, Maybe it won’t come back to me today.

Yeah. But in some way, at some point, yeah. It’ll come around . You’re planting the seeds. Yeah. Okay, so let’s actually talk a little bit about the group program. And what that looked like for you. I know that you had just alluded to the fact that, maybe it didn’t work so well this time around, and I think that’s really important to talk about because before we hopped on this, Before we pressed record, we were just talking about how I, it’s just really important that we don’t present everything that we try as a success

And I think it’s really easy to do that in the business world. We wanna talk about the things that works really well, but at the end of the day, we all. Situations where we’ve tried something and it just hasn’t worked. It just hasn’t worked, and it’s not a reflection of us as successful business owners.

It’s just the reality of running a business. It happens to every single person. And so I think it’s important to talk about this so that we don’t feel like. This podcast is just a highlight reel. Can you tell us a little bit about that journey? . Yeah. Yeah. For those listening before we got on, I was like, Krista, I had zero people sign up for this. Do you even want me to talk about this? Yeah. . And I was like, yes. The fact that you had zero means that I absolutely want you to talk about this

Yeah. Yeah. So I had this whole strategy that I planned out with Bree. On, we’re gonna do a freebie and then we’re gonna do a masterclass, and then we’re gonna launch the group program. It’s gonna be this whole thing. Freebie launch went really well. I had a lot of people grabbing that masterclass launch, which is what I put most of my effort into.

My. , I had three, three people buy. And one of those was my dad. Aw, love a parent purchase. Yeah. Yeah. And and then we went into the group launch. Before I talk about the launch and that result, I wanna talk about why I even decided to do a group program. Yeah. I find there’s a lot of.

Similarities in the beginning work that I do with the majority of my clients, there’s a lot of conversations that are happening that are similar if not the same between a lot of clients in where is diet culture coming up in life? Where do we get these messages and these beliefs from?

How do we identify food rules? What does hunger feel like? What does fullness feel like? And so I wanted to create a group program so that there would be a little bit of community around this, because I’ve had a lot of clients that have felt alone.

In this work, and I don’t blame them. Diet culture is everywhere and it is rampant and overwhelming, and there are a lot of systems out there that really perpetuate a lot of those harmful narratives and beliefs, and I think having a community, Of people that are doing the same hard work alongside you is incredibly supportive and it just lets you know that you’re not alone in what you’re doing.

So the group program that I created is honestly the essence of what embracing intuition is, and it was all about taking intuitive eating beyond the kitchen because I believe that intuitive eating and building a. and trusting relationship with food and your body is about more than just what you eat.

I believe that there’s a lot that comes in from the body image side and the beliefs about our body. There’s a lot that comes in about, values work and identifying intentions and goals. So something that I’ve incorporated is doing some values, work with clients and , I developed kind of the modules of it.

I was gonna do, six modules over 12 weeks. It was gonna be live video with, a group community a couple resources here and there, and I just had no interest. I introduced it. I launched it. And given, , I had pretty low engagement and interest from the masterclass, and this launch was only at the beginning of this month.

So this is beginning of February 2023. And yeah, there was like, I don’t know, how else to say it. I just, I didn’t get any queries. I didn’t, have any conversations with anybody about, . Something that, that I will fully admit is I have never gotten a client off of Instagram.

And I put a lot of time and effort into Instagram. But again, coming back to the mindset piece, Instagram is a place that I know people can come and see exactly what I do and who I am. Yeah. Yeah. And if that is all it is , that’s okay. , but dealing with not getting any clients and not getting any engagement, with my offer, like my paid offerings. That I promote on Instagram was like a difficult thing Yeah. To work. Yeah, of course. Yep. But, I trust that it just, it wasn’t a time for my group course. There’s a lot more that I can put into it and develop it further for. A future launch in June of this year, and I’m really excited for that and I trust, I know that it is going to be a really amazing, powerful, transformative group.

And maybe it just wasn’t the time Yeah. For it right now. And so we’ve, shifted the trajectory a little bit for the next couple of months and pushing, my one-on-one offerings, my nutrition counseling, and also intuitive eating and body image work a little bit. And I’ve also gotten, some interest in the professional.

offerings for health providers. Yeah. On, how to create weight inclusive care, what intuitive eating is, and, the harms of weight stigma that we see in healthcare these days. Yeah. thank you so much for sharing that. I wanna talk for, I hope you don’t mind, I wanna talk for a second about group programs because I do think that this is an important piece.

Yes. So I, so group programs. are so challenging. That’s my belief as someone who observes the landscape and sees people try things and tries to understand the result. Group programs are so challenging and the reason why they’re so challenging is because we have to have however many. So usually I would say, A minimum on a group program is typically around five people or so.

So it’s like we have to have five people in our audience who are all interested in the same offer at the exact same time that are ready Yeah. For that offer right now. Yeah. And that is so difficult when we think about the fact that. Average conversion rates on from an email list are only about 1%, just depending on the offer.

Some are higher, some are not. But if we’re looking at your email list and we’re thinking about, okay, so if I have a hundred people on my email list, maybe one person will convert. And so when we think about launching a group program, suddenly. , we think about the fact that our audience needs to be pretty massive in terms of the people that we’re promoting this to in the hopes that we have five people that are all interested at the same time.

So I just wanna say that as a validation that it’s in no way a reflection of you or anything you did. I really just think group programs are challenging for everyone and. They’re just hard period . They’re just really freaking hard . Yeah I agree. Yeah. With that, I think, people need to be open and vulnerable in sharing.

Yes. Like they’re like hundred percent share with the group and Yeah. Everyone else is gonna see, and I think another thing on top of that is starting intuitive eating is, it’s a big jump. It’s. , it can be pretty overwhelming for people. The jump from dieting to intuitive eating. , it’s a hu there’s a huge gap, a huge valley there.

And and it’s something that I’ve just really recognized that people, there’s a fear, of jumping into this work because dieting is what most people have spent so many years knowing, like that’s all that they’ve known. And, there has to be a level of. Yeah. To just be like, I’m gonna let that go.

Yeah. And try something totally different. Yeah. And trust that by the end it’s gonna feel good. . And it’s that will be a focus of my content and my marketing over the next few months. Like that really messy middle between dieting and intuitive eating. And I can’t just assume.

people that see my content are ready to jump in to intuitive video. Yeah. There’s a lot to unpack before you can truly like, dive in and start that process. There’s a little bit more there than meets the eye and I think an intuitive eating group especially, can get really vulnerable.

Yeah. I’m curious, have you ever thought about just in you saying all of this, have you ever thought about the group program being something that your clients can almost graduate into knowing that they need to have done some of this foundational work, like that’s what it sounds like, right?

It’s like there, there’s some foundational, really vulnerable work. that you do with people one-on-one, and maybe they feel more comfortable diving into that in a one-on-one setting. I just wonder if that’s a, might be an interesting way to think about it or frame is it, is that sort of your continuation of working with you as this really wonderful group of past clients who can all then continue to do deeper work together?

I’m not sure. It’s just a thought. Yeah. It’s definitely a community that I would love to Yes. Facilitate. Yeah. And maybe instead of having it be a group course, be just, a community that they can Yeah. Yeah. Be in and if they have things come up and questions, there is a level of support there.

Yeah, totally. My. Really intention with the group program. There is a an amount of education that I would love to have happen in that because I could spend an entire hour and a half zoom call with clients just talking about where diet culture pops up in society.

Where we see it and why those beliefs and narratives continue to be perpetuated. . And the other thing is like values work can be really fun to do. as a group, like identifying the things that you value and like figuring out ways to, incorporate more things on a regular basis that help you live in alignment with that.

, or even if you had two people that lived in the same city that were doing this group program, wouldn’t it be amazing to, to connect and, make friends with somebody who. in that same struggle and going through that same thing as you. So there’s so many different ways that, that you can take this work and a lot of different ways that I see dietitians taking intuitive eating and also just other intuitive eating counselors and intuitive eating coaches working in the space.

But I think that, what I’ve created in. Taking intuitive, eating beyond the kitchen is something that I haven’t seen before. I find dietitians do have a focus on the nutrition piece of intuitive eating, and that’s great, but I also think that it only gets people so far, diet culture will come up somewhere.

It’s gonna poke nasty heads somewhere. And I think people really need to be prepared and equipped with the tools to navigate that when it does come up. And so on that note, what is next for you and your business? Us

I wish I knew. part of me wishes that I knew where I would be in like two or three years. Yeah. Because I really believe in it. I really, truly believe in what I do and what I have. Next for me, I’m I’m currently in the middle of a group program with Bree learning about body image and body image coaching.

So I will, continue. With that and developing confidence and competence in that kind of coaching. Working on really defining my offerings is something that I’m doing right now. Just making sure that I have a very clear, tier. Approach in terms of, what’s an entry level offer for people that are just starting to get interested?

Is there a low cost offer that I can have? And then up to, those one-on-one coaching and packages, and then some offerings for the professional side and different providers in terms of, supervision and trainings for other people that are wanting to implement this work or this perspective into their practice, but don’t know how.

. I am developing a masterclass right now for sometime later this month on, you know what, just what we were talking about, that messy middle and navigating the messy middle between dieting and intuitive eating. The other piece that’s gonna come along with that is a free community on.

Being somewhere in the middle of dieting and intuitive eating, you have a little bit of interest in that. You’re ready you know that dieting is not what works for you, but you’re not feeling confident enough yet to invest in a large scale program and you’re just looking for some people to.

Be alongside and, flush out some thoughts, some questions about it with, and it’s important to me that this starts out as a free community for people. Because I want everybody to be able to access it. I don’t want the financial barrier to be there just to ask questions and meet other people and find support for.

some work that’s really challenging. Have you ever thought about having a podcast? Just sort of curiosity. I have thought about it. . I think you need to just gonna say that, but I think you need to have your own podcast. . One more thing to add on the, I know. Todo list, right? I know. I love coming on other people’s podcasts.

Yeah, that’s fair. That’s totally fair. Thank you so much. It was so awesome to chat with you. I feel like we need to do a part two cuz I know there was questions that we didn’t even get to, but I’m mindful of the fact that we’ve been chatting for a while and yeah. wanna be respectful of your time.

but it was so good to talk to you. And where can the audience find out more about you and the work that you.

I I’m on Instagram, obviously as we’ve talking about at embracing Intuition. My website is embracing intuition.ca and on there is a lot more information about what I offer.

And I also have a whole page on there of different resources to get started with intuitive eating podcasts, books, different, courses and things that people can turn to if they just wanna explore a bit on their own. But, . I so appreciate coming on and chatting with you, and you are one of the people that really does know, like where I started.

And some of those challenges that I had at the very beginning. And I just, I always love chatting to you, Krista. Yeah. And I Love you are doing, and. . Yeah. I wish we lived in the same city so that we could connect. I know . I know, but I’m closer to you now that I’m in Calgary. Yes, it’s true.

It’s true. Awesome. Thank you so much. Thank you. And I hope everybody has a wonderful rest of their day.