Hi. If we haven't met, I’m Jill. I love snow, salt, chocolate, the beach, a fresh sheet of plain white paper and a nice pen...and I'm an Intuitive Eating Counselor.
You can read more about me on my About page or in the emails you will receive if you purchase my course Heal Your Wellness Story, but in this post, my focus is on sharing my Intuitive Eating story with you. If you have no idea what Intuitive Eating is you can read more about it in my Helpful Intuitive Eating Guide.
How My Journey Started
My journey with Intuitive Eating as a professional began around 2007. At the time, I was coordinating the Employee Wellness Program at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. Part of my responsibilities as Wellness Coordinator included helping faculty and staff with their food and weight loss challenges. With a background in Lifestyle Management, all of my first attempts to help people included some sort of calories in, calories out tracking tool. It seemed like it helped at first, but changes in food behaviors and/or weight loss were never permanent.
Frustration Was My Motivator
As I became increasingly frustrated, I was lucky to connect with one of the nutrition professors who happened to be familiar with Intuitive Eating. It immediately made so much sense to me as it paralleled my own, natural Eating Style. I attended training in California and became certified as an Intuitive Eating Counselor. Armed with a fresh way of helping clients. I began teaching Intuitive Eating in a small group setting at the university for any interested employees.
SO. MUCH. LOSS. and HEALING
I was in my late 20’s at the time and in my personal life I was coping with personal loss. My sister, Heidi, was mentally ill and had just died at the age of 38 leaving behind her then 11 year old son and husband. Needless to say I was grieving. A short time later, my dad died of cancer, which made more sense and felt part of a natural life course. Again, a few years later, my mom died of breast cancer. Over the course of a few short years, my family of origin was reduced by half. As this was all happening, I was still working and teaching Intuitive Eating, which I found to be very healing for myself and clients.
My Food Story Is Not Painful
Interestingly, I don’t personally have a painful food story. It does not include dieting, restriction, over-eating, using food to cope or any other painful pattern. What I did have, and still do, was a deep understanding of personal pain. This understanding created a point of connection allowing for me to relate to students who felt pain in their food story.
Pain. The Common Connector
During this time I learned that pain is pain no matter the cause. Everyone’s story is unique, and the circumstances surrounding pain are unique, but the raw emotion is very similar. Healing can take place when pain is allowed to be seen without judgement, either by oneself or someone else.
Where I Am Now
I eventually left my job at the university to move to New Zealand in 2010 and start a new adventure, which included parenthood. Along with this adventure was a new set of challenges, including the loss of my professional identity in exchange for spending time looking after my young son. I’ve tried a few things, but nothing has yet to feel like the right professional fit for me here. The loss of my professional identity has been painful. This blog and my online efforts are my attempt to reconnect with my professional self.
How This Can Help You
I have created a handout to get you thinking about your own food story a bit more. Please help yourself to it in my free resource library.
See you soon for more Intuitive Eating.
Yours In Health,