Pleasure is not only encouraged in Embodied Eating - it is absolutely critical! So critical, in fact, that it’s one of the 4 pillars of embodied eating and really fun so we’re starting here! You simply can’t have a wild and free relationship with food and your body without it. YET, there is a very important distinction between false and true pleasure that you need to learn to serve your body the best! By listing to this episode you will come away understanding why pleasure is so vital, the difference between true and false pleasure and how to start incorporating more of it into your life today.
About the Host:
Chanci Dawn is a non-diet certified nutritionist, mindset and embodiment coach whose soul’s purpose is to help women create the most wildly free and loving relationship with food and their bodies. After over 30 years of dieting and recovering from her own eating disorder Chanci is determined to help women find the same freedom she has through embodied eating and pleasurable living. Chanci believes that when you fall madly in love with yourself you’ll have the power to change your world and from there you can change the world around you making embodied eating a deep and powerful form of activism! When she’s not coaching Chanci loves spending her time walking on the beaches and in the forests of her West Coast Canadian town, hanging out with her teens - or hiding from them while eating ice cream on her bathroom floor.
Find Chanci on the following platforms:
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This show is about freedom. Freedom from your constant struggle with food and letting the size of your thighs determine your worth. Join me weekly for no whole fat, unfiltered girlfriend kind of conversations that will inspire, teach and empower you. As we tune into our own body's wisdom and tune out of the diet industry lives, we can live our most radiant, pleasurable and fulfilled lives. My name is Chanaci Dawn. I'm a non diet nutritionist embodiment and mindset coach. But most importantly, I'm a woman on a mission to grow a deeply connected and conscious relationship with food and my body. And I'm here inviting you to do the same. Let's go.Chanci Dawn:
Hello, and welcome to It Tastes Like Freedom. Today, we are going to be chatting about one of my most favorite topics. Pleasure, pleasure is so critical. It's so vital to embodied eating to embodied living, that I actually have made it a pillar in my embodied eating program. It is absolutely one of the foundations that we are honored that we get to indulge in to really understand and to cultivate more of in our lives in our in our quest to know ourselves deeper, and in that beautiful relationship building that we're dealing with our bodies. So to begin, I want to share a quote with you from Epicurious, the Greek philosopher Epicurious, it goes, it is impossible to live pleasurably without living wisely well and justly, and it is impossible to live wisely well and justly without living pleasurably. Oh, I love that quote. To me, it really helps illustrate how important pleasure is. And it really dismisses that sort of common thought and common thread that I see in a lot of people in our society, that there's something wrong when we are deeply pleasurable beings, right, when we're seeking out pleasure. So many people think pleasure is the problem, when it comes to our relationship with food. It's like, Oh, my goodness, if I didn't just love chocolate so much. If I didn't find so much juicy pleasure in it, then I'd be able to have the self control and the willpower that I need to stay away. So this is absolutely false. It couldn't be more backwards than the truth. So I want to have this juicy conversation with you today all about pleasure to dismiss the myths and to really drop in and dig in to the beautiful truth, which is so fun. Because once you get it, once you really start understanding what a pleasure does for you and your body, then you can start creating more of it on purpose. And that is where all all of the juicy things begin.Chanci Dawn:
Okay. So as we've talked a lot about wisdom comes from our body, you are born with so much wisdom in what you need to eat, how you need to move, what do you need to do in order to thrive in order to feel alive and radiant. And your body will communicate with your brain the best when you're in pleasure. Now, let's get into the science of this let's nerd out a little. So you can understand at a deeper level because sometimes it's like we can chat about things but then when we really look at the science and and the backing of it, then it can really solidify in us that yes, this is true. This is important. A gotta have this in my life. So nerding out, we have three parts of our brain. One is the mammalian and this is like the subconscious emotional part really driving those emotions. And then you have your reptilian brain which is very concerned with food, shelter and sex with reproduction. So your reptilian brain is the oldest part of you. And your mammalian brain is also old, not as old as the reptilian and it's these two parts that I'd love to kind of combine and then refer refer to as our brat brain, okay? Because these, these parts of our brain are, they are all about survival, right? They're all about keeping your seat safe keeping you fed, regulating those emotions, so you feel good, and keeping you reproducing. So you can make more humans and keep the human race going. And it also really, they also really, really just want you to feel good. Because if you think about it back your ancestors back if they felt stressed, it most likely meant that their life was under threat. So this part of you really feels that any stress that you're experiencing, is actually a threat to your very survival, and it will do everything it can in order to keep you alive. Now, the other part of our brain, the more highly evolved part of our brain, it's called the medial frontal cortex, or the upper brain, sometimes I like to call her the big sister brain. If we're working more corporately, it's the CEO brain. But this is really the part of our brain that is concerned with logic, she can plan ahead, she has advanced symbolic thinking, and she's the one that can really pay attention, even like you're thinking about your own thinking, right? All of this, this is part of this upper brain. And tricky thing about this is that these two parts of your brain, right, so the brat brain, the two in one rat brain, and then your upper brain, they can often really feel like they're at conflict with each other.Chanci Dawn:
So to illustrate this, let's look at dieting and actually why it doesn't work at a deep brain nerding out base level. So think about this, you're planning to go on a diet, and you're all excited, you are feeling really good. You're getting out all the books, you're reading all the things, you're downloading all the recipes offline, and all of the different things that you do when you're filled with hope, when you're filled with excitement. At this part, your your brat brain is thinking this is a pretty good thing, because you're feeling good, right? So as long as you're feeling good, she's like, we are safe. This is awesome. And social dive into it with you. But inevitably, what happens here is reality sets in. Because diets take willpower, right? They take self control. And when your brain when your brat brain is starting to feel denied when she's feeling restricted, right when she's like, This is no fun. Or when the thrill is born off, and reality is hitting. Or here's the other thing, if she's not getting if your body isn't getting everything it needs for survival, this part of your brain will drive you to seek out immediate forms of pleasure, okay, so this would be like, why we binge eat, this would be why we go to all of a sudden you're like, Okay, quote, unquote, I'm doing good, I'm doing good, I'm doing doing good. And then you're like, Screw it, I'm just gonna eat the whole bag of cookies so that they're gone. And I'll stop thinking about it. This is why dieting can feel so out of control.Chanci Dawn:
The good news here, though, is it's not your fault. You are wired for this to happen. You are wired to keep you alive. So so often in the diet industry, what happens is people feel like a failure. They feel like there's something wrong with them, right? They can't they don't have enough self control. They don't have enough willpower. Pretty much they suck. And this keeps you in the diet cycle. Because you're going to go oh, okay, yeah, no, this isn't working, binge binge binge, and then comes in that upper brain and she's like, oh, let's make another plan. Okay, let's make another plan. So and so lost so much weight on that diet, maybe we should check that out. And then the cycle continues, your brain gets all excited, and blah, blah, blah. And before you know it, you're back in the ice cream or cookie jar, whatever it is that you find that your right brain drives you to. So literally, literally the root word of diet is die. And this is what your brain is thinking is happening when you're under this stress of denial restriction, no fun, or not getting everything that your body needs to thrive. arrive.Chanci Dawn:
Okay, wow, I get pretty passionate about all that. Because when I first understood why dieting doesn't work, it just completely set me free. I was like, oh my goodness, all along my body and my brain were just doing what they were actually born to do. Good news, good, good news. Now what also happens here, it just like I said, your upper brain will come in and be like, Oh, okay, let's start another plan. This is also the part of your brain that will go, Okay, let's start again on Monday, okay. Or, let's just plan and eat all of the ice cream, and then it'll be gone out of the freezer, and we won't be thinking about it anymore. So your Neo frontal cortex is trying to make sense of the matter logically, but these two parts just collide. So essentially, what we really want to do with embodied eating, is instead of trying to control this brat brain, instead of trying to like use the Neo frontal cortex to go, Okay, if I only plan this, right, and if I plan on my food for the week, and if I, you know, use this Neo frontal cortex to be able to regulate myself and, and logic myself into not eating this stuff, then that is where we run into trouble. So instead of this, what we want to do, is we want to use this upper brain, to be able to learn how to work with this brat brain of ours, to love on her to calm her down, to show her that she's safe. And this is where pleasure enters. And this is why it is a cornerstone, it is a pillar to embodied eating.Chanci Dawn:
Now, your brat brain feels safe when she feels good. So when you intentionally bring in true, genuine pleasure, what happens is she calms down, there's an evolutionary reason that we as humans seek out pleasure. And it is because of that safety. It absolutely is to do with that brain science that we've been talking about. And when you feel safe, when your brain feels safe, your body has a relaxation response all is well. And in this space of safety, when you create this relaxation response for your body, really cool things happen, your metabolism will rev up, your digestive system will be supported. And you'll just feel good because of the endorphins running through your body. Now, your body has absolutely zero interest in the crazy yo yo cycle of dieting, it stresses her out. But when she feels safe, when she feels listened to when she feels honored and respected and trusted, she will learn that she can also feel this way for you, she can trust you that you are going to take care of her. And in this beautiful space, she will reach her natural, healthy setpoint. And this is something we will talk about in future episodes for sure. But just know this, you are wired to seek out pleasure, this is how you were created. And if you don't create pleasure, if you don't cultivate it, and seek it out in ways that really serve you in true pleasurable ways your brat brain will drive you and she will seek it out in ways that don't serve you.Chanci Dawn:
Okay, so now that I hopefully have you convinced of the importance of incorporating more wonderful, true pleasure in your life, Let's chat a little bit about the application of it. So when we're looking at pleasure, there really are two different types. There's a false pleasure. And then there's the true pleasure. And what we really, really want to focus on and create more of on purpose is that genuine, true pleasure. So let's dive into false pleasure right now what exactly is that we want to be able to create awareness around it so that we are empowered to choose the best for our wonderful bodies. So when you're thinking about urges and cravings that we have, most of the time this is for immediate gratifying things that will really feel kind of good in the moment. Maybe it'll give us a rush right we'll be able to distract ourselves really I call it buffering from difficult to feel emotions, but these are fleeting, and they can often leave us feeling more stressed. Feeling yucky in our bodies, in our emotions in our spirit, they really don't serve in the long term. But the issue here is that if you don't plan and if you don't create a true pleasure for your brain, as we talked about before, your brat brain is going to seek out any pleasure. And your brat brain can only think of the present moment. It's your Neel front frontal cortex that actually has the ability to look ahead and to plan. So instead of using this Neo frontal cortex to try to self control and willpower, what we want to do is we want to use your own body's wisdom, to plan ahead and to love yourself. It's like turndown service at fancy hotels. How can I think ahead of what I'm going to need? What will feel good to me what will feel safe, what will feel secure? What will feel cozy?Chanci Dawn:
Okay, so, pitfalls, pleasures, instead of those safety, security, cozy, you know, like that wonderful elation that feels good now and an hour from now. And when you think about it a month from now, you're still like, oh, my gosh, that was good. Most likely, I'm not talking about food there. Fill in the blanks for yourself. Okay, so false pleasures, again, immediate gratification. There's not a lot of planning behind it. It's just like, I want that it feels compulsive, I want that I'm gonna get it. Your brain drives you to it. Quite often, you can tune out when you're having it. So think about at the movie theater, you're eating popcorn. And at first, it's really pleasurable, like the first few bites you're like, oh, yeah, that's really yummy, salty, buttery. And then before you know it, you've had like the entire bag, and you don't even remember tasting it. Or you maybe feel sick, because of it. greasy. Whatever it is. But that tuning out. For the sake of this podcast, we're going to call that fog eating. It also can feel chaotic. So think about like standing in front of your fridge or your pantry and having denied yourself having restricted, or perhaps you're just out with a bunch of friends. And the whole time you just thought about that bread basket. Okay, you're like wanting that bread basket. And you're like, nope, nope, nope, nope, no, the whole time. You're like, no, no, no, you come home. And all of a sudden, it's like a storm hits, you're eating everything you're like, you're feeling completely out of control and chaotic. So that is called storm eating. And that is what we will call that again.Chanci Dawn:
In this podcast, I learned about these two different types of eating, actually, from one of my coach mentors, teachers, Brooke Castillo at The Life Coach School, but I think they just explained it perfectly. So definitely, we're going to use use those terms. So thank you, Brooke. Okay. Like I said before, false pleasures feel compulsive, you're not really satisfied. It's like you have it. But then you need more and more and more in order to try to get that fix in order to feel the pleasure that you're seeking. And then especially when it leaves you feeling so crappy physically, emotionally, spiritually, it does not fulfill, okay, so we want to look at the different ways that our brain drives us to false pleasures. And what's really important here is that we do that with so much compassion. I love to say with my clients, like let's just honey coat ourselves warm honey compassion all over ourselves about that, because your brain again, is only doing what it's supposed to do. And if your pleasure starved, if you're not feeling safe, your brain is going to drive you to try to seek that out. And as we talked about already, that brat brain can only think in the moment and quite often it's those false pleasures that are at those immediate gratifications. So tons of compassion. Let's just get curious. Start looking at your patterns. So in your week ahead, just keep that at top of mind. How does this feel in my body? How do I feel later? Does this actually satisfy me? And let's just start choosing better for yourself because you absolutely deserve it.Chanci Dawn:
Now to illustrate false pleasure, let's think of like chocolate cake. So I don't know about you. But I know for me when I was really wrapped up in the diet mode and if There was like chocolate cake on the counter, I would go okay, I'll just note and I'm not going to have any No, I'm not going to have any note, note note and then screw it. And I would like cut a little piece off. And then I'd be like, okay, and then compulsively, I'd find myself back, cutting more, cutting more, cutting more, cutting more and never satisfied, feeling like crap, getting a sugar high. And before I knew it, I ate like half of the cake, without actually any true satisfaction and gratification and pleasure. So that is a really good example of a false pleasure, what your brain thinks in the moment is genuine, but it's not. Now we'll talk about the cake illustration where we talk about true pleasures and what that would look like. But let's just become aware of some wording around pleasure. That actually is not, it doesn't serve it. So things like cheat days, I'm going to treat myself. So like naughty boy, right, I'm going to treat myself to a naughty thing. Sinful indulgence, guilty pleasure. Even these phrases are loaded with shame and guilt. So pay attention to not only your actions, but your words and your thoughts around pleasure. And let's take the guilt and the shame out of it.Chanci Dawn:
So this brings us to true pleasure. Hmm, I love even thinking about it. True pleasure is satisfying. It feels good. Now, it feels good an hour from now, a day from now a week from now. It serves you even the desire around this true pleasure is serving of you, it feels delicious, it doesn't feel rushed or chaotic, or like I must have it or I'm going to end up screaming at all my kids in my kitchen, right? It feels just like ah, well pleasurable pleasurable in your body. It has both short and long term gains, okay, whereas false pleasures only here in the moment. True pleasure serves you now and down the road. And what we what can really, really increase the pleasure quota of this is to bring presence into it. Focus presence. And there is no guilt attached to true pleasure, no stress, no binging later. And like I said, No chaotic feelings, you feel at ease. You're not obsessed about it. And it comes with permission. Permission is definitely like a foundational word around true pleasure. And we will talk about that again, in future episodes, for sure. Now, let's revisit that cake scenario. So I chose chocolate cake, because we will often have a judgement of chocolate cake, right? We'll think about it as like junk food or going back to those phrases like sinful indulgence, blah, blah, blah, right? Guilty pleasure. But yes, we can find so much pleasure in foods that just nourish us, right that just like make ourselves come alive. Definitely, we can find pleasure in that. And it's so important to and again, we will talk so much more about that. But let's drop in to the example of the chocolate cake because I want you to be able to neutralize food. My desire is for you to give yourself permission to really allow your body whatever she desires. But let's make sure it's a true desire. Let's make sure it doesn't feel chaotic. So let's think about this chocolate cake. Instead of going and cutting off pieces and eating it, you know, secretly kind of even be behind your own back until half the cake is gone. Or you've checked it. You know what I've done? I've oh my gosh, I just remember this. I have done this with cake where I'm cutting pieces off and I'm cutting pieces off and I'm like, no, no, no, I'm feeling so much shame. And I've actually thrown it in the garbage and then gone back and ate some after like, wow, and then I saw this on Sex in the City. I just Oh my goodness. And she puts soap on it so she wouldn't eat more and I'm like, Oh, that's a good idea. I should do that. Oh my goodness. Let's just like take that away. We can have chocolate cake. Let there be chocolate cake if you true really desire it. But let's make it a true pleasure.Chanci Dawn:
So, think about it this way, instead of doing that, you get out a beautiful plate and silverware that you enjoy eating off of, and maybe a napkin, you put some nice music on your you find a space where you can just really be present with it right? It's not like you're rushed eating it, trying to get it in so that your kids don't see and they don't want any or you're just annoyed. So you're just like shoveling it in no. Pause, presence. You sit down with this chocolate cake and you breathe, you take a few inhales and you look at it. And then you take a bite, and you fully experience that bite. What does it taste like? What is the texture? Where do you taste it in your mouth? Is it really sweet? Do you feel and to taste any other different flavors in there truly experience the entire, the entire process of eating this luscious piece of chocolate cake. And when it's no longer pleasurable, when you're at a place of being like yeah, you know what this, take this cake is now just tasting sugary, or now I'm just like tuning out or fogging out like with the popcorn, whatever. When it's no longer as delicious as the first and second bite, then you get to put it away. And maybe you can have it later, or maybe not. But this is genuine true pleasure presents, loving every moment, paying attention to every moment and stopping when it's no longer pleasurable. Because if you eat when it's not, then you're not actually having pleasure. And it's for another reason.Chanci Dawn:
Now to wrap this all up, I want to give you a little bit of homework, okay? Get out a journal piece of paper, something you enjoy writing on something that brings you pleasure, right with your favorite pen, I love gel pens, they're my favorite. So get this out and start to keep a list of the things that you find pleasurable, this true pleasure, what makes you feel good, what makes you feel alive, what makes you feel satisfied, and start to compile this so that you can plan using that upper brain to plan more of it. And this is a beautiful way that you can serve yourself because again, if you don't create it, your brain will drive you towards it. So this is a way that you can start bringing in more intention and more awareness into this and in this really fill it up with a lot of non food pleasures. So I am not going to tell you that you shouldn't be going to food for pleasure at all. Definitely yes should let me just should on you there absolutely you should. But a part of this list can be things like compassion, gentleness, tenderness, right like giving yourself a warm hug. Pleasure does not have to be grandiose this can be just small little things that can make a big huge difference. For example, yesterday I my progesterone as I'm learning, I'm tracking my cycle more and that dipped and I started feeling really low. And I'm like how can I even record a podcast on pleasure when I'm feeling this way. And that created shame, right? That created the not enough sort of mentality going on in my brain. So I stopped and remembered what this podcast was about. And I honey coated that compassion over myself and just that helped me feel safe helped my body feel at rest. So that that's just a little side note. But it's really important to realize that your thoughts that you think about yourself, how you treat yourself, all of these things will potentially create stress or that pleasure relaxation response. Okay, my friend. Thank you for joining me. Go make that list. Share with me the pleasurable things that you're going to start incorporating. Let's get satisfied. I adore you. Thank you for tuning in. And we will see you next week.