Today we are talking about how a tragedy changes the through and behavior patterns that had been lived by for decades around dieting and trying to be thin. Joan knew that she did not want to spend the rest of her life counting points as in that moment she knew life was too short and can turn on a dime without warning. 

That’s the moment she stopped dieting and went on a journey to find out how she could value and accept her body at whatever size, shape, or weight and how to have a peaceful relationship with food. Once she achieved this relationship with herself and food, she knew she needed to help others find their peace too.

it’s not really about the food but we believe it is. It is what is under those behaviors and patterns that we need to address. What is really happening? Is it a belief, past trauma, or an unconscious block that was created based on something that happened in your life or something that was said to you. It’s time to add a tool to your toolkit to release that stress and anxiety and make peace with your wonderful body and food!

Joan Ridsdel is a Food Freedom and Body Confidence Coach. She is also the founder and creator of W.I.S.E.R Woman Coaching and a Registered Social Worker.

Specializing in individual and small-group coaching, Joan uses therapeutic coaching, EFT and Energy Healing, NLP, Choice Theory, Meditation, Mindfulness, coupled with years of experience coaching and counseling, to help women create a peaceful relationship with food and their bodies.

Her passion and mission are to support women change limiting beliefs, reconnect with their Inner Wisdom, and transform emotional eating, bingeing, food addiction, diet obsession, and body dissatisfaction so they can create a peaceful relationship with food and their bodies and achieve the freedom they deserve.


Connect with Joan:

Website  |  Facebook   | Instagram  |  LinkedIn



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Wish you much Mangos (joy) and Blueberries (clarity)



Welcome to the podcast.

Oh, thank you. It’s so good to be here. Jennifer, thank you for having me.

I’m so excited. So we had a conversation, I think it was a couple of weeks ago now. But I want to know, like, what is firing you up in this current moment right now?

Right now. Oh, gosh, you know, I’m doing some really exciting things around. Oh, next week I’m going into a Facebook group pardon me, Facebook group that I was invited into work with a group of women to help them manage their stress and anxiety using F.T. Emotional Freedom Technique. So I’m preparing for that. Oh, and just being here with you is so exciting. I was just so looking forward to this all week so all I could think about was, OK, it’s got to be ready for Jennifer’s podcast.

So in that in that group that you’re going to and you’re going to be sharing with for anxiety and all these things, is that the thing that you love the most? But like you said, F.T., maybe some of the audience doesn’t know what that is like. How does that help support those those feelings or anxiety or the different? I’m not sure I want to call it feelings, but those emotional mental states that we’re in.

Yeah, well, so you have to your emotional freedom technique or the other word is tapping is such a great tool because what it does is it’s the mind, body and energy tool that I use and a lot of people use to just really calm our nervous system. And so whether I use it a lot in my practice with women around food and body issues, because, you know, it’s not about the food and we really need to get underneath what exactly it is that’s going on and what’s happening, whether it’s your your your beliefs or blocking you, whether you’ve got some trauma that’s happened or something unconscious is going on. And so we want to get it underneath and that it is a great tool to be able to do that. So with this group, there’s sort of the theme is stress and anxiety. And gosh, who doesn’t have stress and anxiety, particularly in the last year that we’ve that we’ve had. But stress and anxiety is part of what happens when we are when we turn to food with emotional eating, binge eating, overeating, any of those kinds of eating issues, disordered eating issues, which is really my sort of area of expertise and focus. And but I was delighted to be able to go in and teach how to use F.T. to calm the nervous system for whatever it is that’s going on. And F.T. is also great for things like calming your nervous system when you have an autoimmune condition, when you are you’ve had trauma in your life, PTSD, it’s used extensively with traumatic. Traumatic issues and PTSD soldiers that have come back from war and are really struggling with PTSD. If he hears all that energy and so it’s a really beautiful technique to use. Yeah.

It’s one of my favorites. It’s one of the things I think is one of the first certifications I got was to become an EMT practitioner, and it really did help release a lot of things from my life.

Yeah, it does. I’ve been using it a lot actually lately. And one of the things I love it for is not only clearing what’s happening currently, but it allows you with simple tapping to discover what else is going on for you. And that’s one of the things I really love. Sometimes we don’t know. We don’t know how we’re feeling. We don’t know what’s going on. And especially if we’ve been on that diet roller coaster and we’ve been feeling that we’re we’re just going around in circles and going nowhere. But we don’t know how to get off that roller coaster. We don’t know how to create a peaceful relationship with food. Tapping allows us to bring up all of the things in a very loving, gentle, respectful way, the kinds of things that are blocking us, that are keeping us trapped and stuck. So that’s the other reason I like it.

It is I never thought of it being gentle, but it does bring up a lot of things I noticed just in my own practice I’m like, Oh, I thought I was feeling this way. And then it wasn’t even close to what it really felt like. Surface level was not what was going on, that’s for sure.

Yeah, well, and we’re often really sort of cut off at a neck, right. We’re so focused on our on our thinking and what’s going on up in our head. And we don’t connect with our bodies. And that’s really where the emotional stuff happens. That’s where the the the meat of all of this goes on, in a sense. Right. You your your emotions get trapped in your body. And unless you clear both the emotional and sort of the physiological stress and stuff that’s going on within you, you can think all the affirmations you want, but they’re they’re not going to be as effective as when you you work with both. So and that’s the other thing about F.T. is you work with you’re looking at sort of clearing energy within the body and you’re also looking at sort of the psychological aspect of what’s happening. So. Yeah, it’s a it’s a phenomenal tool,

so I want to know, how did it come into your life? Like, what’s the story there?

So I. Well, so I started. So OK. I don’t know how far to go back

as far as you want.

Well, you know, I, I started coaching. I’m a registered social worker as well, so I was coaching and counseling. I’ve been doing that for donkey’s years. I tell you how many years old I am. But I in my practice I was trained and neurolinguistic programming and used and help a lot with my clients, particularly when there was traumatic events and traumas from childhood and stuff like that. When I decided sort of looking at retirement, I decided that I would formalize my coaching, the coaching part of my practice, so I went to Erixon International and they embed an LP and they’re in their process, which was what I really wanted. And so I did their training and. Throughout sort of all of that, then I was heading into retirement and but I’m going to become a coach and they’ve sort of heavy duty counseling behind and and really start coaching and so created a practice as a coach might create my business as a woman coaching and personal development and. And as I went sort of developed my business, a tragedy happened in our family, my brother was killed, murdered, and there were two things that I realized. One was I was short and can change on a dime. And the second one was that I had been a chronic fighter for decades and I decided that I no longer wanted to count points and I wanted to create a different kind of relationship with food and my body. And so I started down the path of working with disordered eating and with women, particularly, who struggle with disordered eating, emotional eating, binge eating, over eating, all that stuff. And I was you know, he is a fabulous tool, and then I was sort of looking around and thinking, well, what else could I add? Because I really wanted to be able to to be effective underneath the issues that food creates for us or that are there. And then we turn to food. And so I was on holiday in England and I had about 10 days that I didn’t have anything to do, and so I looked around and found some training. So I wanted to do actually I wanted to do a writing class, but they didn’t have anything available at the time. It was in October, I came across a woman who teaches F.T. And so I thought, that’s it, I’m going to sign up. And I started her program and was certified in level to F.T. and will hopefully in the next year be doing level three with her. And and so I’ve been able to combine F.T. and l.P and do some amazing clearing and work with women around childhood issues that have created this, spurning to food. Disliking their body, all of those kinds of things, so it’s fabulous. I love it. So that’s how I got started.

That’s amazing. And I love that you looked for something else and it was just presented. I feel like those are the most magical things that end up in our life are those ones that I like. I want something else, but it just shows up.

Yeah, exactly. I, I have a really nice balance in my toolbox. I’ve got when I first started as a social worker, I worked with an organized IT organization that worked with women who were so preemployment were on social assistance and uh were in trying to figure out their lives and. Lots of stuff going on for them, and Christine, who is the executive director, insisted that we were all the staff were trained in one modality. And so I came out of social work school, really not knowing a whole lot because I hadn’t really done a lot of work with people and went into contemporary women’s program. And she insisted that we were all trained in choice theory, reality therapy, reality therapy, choice theory, which is a very cognitive model. But it’s such a great grounding because a solid base to work from, because you can add in anything to it. And so it’s very cognitive around looking at your feelings and your thoughts and your actions and your physiology and how those all fit together and where you have control in your life, which is in your your thinking and and your actions, but your feelings and your physiology. Those are so important because they are your signals to tell you whether you’re OK or not. And so that was my start, and then I added in an LP and and now F.T. in the last couple of years and. So this built on the experiences that I’ve had and the training that I’ve had over over the years have quite a good toolbox to work from.

And how is that toolbox helped you in your life?

Oh, immensely, you know. We always go into something like social work or counseling or coaching to help others, and the part of the reason we go in to helping others is because we’ve had issues ourselves. And so for me, the biggest issue throughout my life was wait and. Using food to soothe my my soul, to soothe my emotional self and not being able to not having the confidence over many years, particularly when I was a younger person, to, uh, to step into my power. And so my tools over years have helped me peel that onion away and look at all of the different pieces of my life and parts of my life and figure out how I can be more confident, how I can step into my power as a as a woman and doing this work when you when you do the work of a coach or as a counselor, you have to do your own work because you can’t leave behind your client. You have to be in front of your client. And so in order to do the coaching, you have to be able to to have experienced your own growth and development or else you’re not effective. And so so that’s how it’s helped me. I’ve been able to do a lot of my own work. And I’ve I’ve worked with other coaches on a personal level and with other counselors. And I’m absolutely an advocate of if there’s something going on for you and you can’t figure it out on your own work with somebody else because they’ve got the experience. And it’s sometimes hard to get out of your own way to see where your blocks are, where your challenges are, and where you need that shifting and that adjusting. So I, I totally believe in that. And I have a lot of respect for people who. Have the courage, because it takes a lot of courage to call a counselor and say, you know, I really need help, I really need to work this through. And it means work, it’s it’s not just going and chatting and saying, oh, I’ve got this issue and and that’s all very fine and good. No, you have to really dig in and you have to do the work. And, um, so it takes a lot of energy and and commitment to do that. Yeah.

So if someone was just getting started and realizing, like, OK, things need to change in my life, I’m willing to put the work in, I’m ready to I’m ready to do all the things. What? Like in your point, in your journey, was that turning point, that was like, OK, I can I am courageous enough to get help. I guess their normal thinking point,

yeah, and there’s been a few turning points. I think that. Your friends are lovely and you can talk to your friends, and sometimes that’s really helpful. But I think there comes a point, and certainly there was for me over a number of years when things were happening in my family, that I, I couldn’t sort it out on my own and felt that if I didn’t support that I needed, I just keep going round in circles. And that became so uncomfortable. And so that there was at that point that I reached out and got some counseling support when my brother was murdered. It was pretty clear to me that I had no idea how to sort that out. I you know, I it took about a month for me to reach out to a counselor because I thought, oh, well, this is a tragedy and I can sort of sit with this for a bit. And it was good that I sat with it. But then after a while, it’s like, you know, I can’t I don’t know how to sort this out. I’ve not experienced something as traumatic as this in my life, had lots of trauma, big trauma, small trauma. But this is the biggest. And I needed that help to to to move forward. Um. And so, again, it’s that I got to the point where I was so uncomfortable sitting with what I was sitting with and didn’t know what to do with it, and so that’s when I would often reach out in my life. Yeah.

That’s that’s a great point, is just like there’s a certain point when you can’t handle the uncomfortable anymore and, you know, there’s you know, there’s a light. You don’t know when the light is exactly.

And it’s, again, it’s hard to sort that out with within yourself when you’re in it. And so it’s really helpful to have a coach or a counselor ask you the questions that you need to be asked so that you can sort it out, help you get out of your own way, help you transform those limiting beliefs, those thoughts and beliefs that keep you stuck, that keep you going around in circles, that offer you the opportunity to look at things in a different way. And, you know, food is a perfect example. I knew that I wanted to do things differently with food, but I didn’t know how to do it. And so I started out with looking at intuitive eating and reading the book and listening to podcasts. And that was a great start. And I was able to take myself farther and farther. And then I was, of course, connected with a coach who who works in this field and was also able to, um, I was able to watch her. I was able to listen to her. I was able to question ask questions and and then continue that work that I needed in order to create a peaceful relationship with food and my body that I have now. Not perfect for sure, but certainly way farther along than I ever thought that I would ever be. But the impetus for all of that was, again, that tragedy around my brother and knowing that I didn’t want to stay stuck in a pattern and a system that had kept me feeling awful about myself and kept me feeling like I was never successful. And when I was successful and twice in my life of getting down to a goal weight, I couldn’t stay there. Well, I couldn’t stay there because I hadn’t found the emotional work. And you know, all of the things that I believe I believe I was addicted to sugar, I believe that carbs were bad. I believe that food I would never be a healthy person with around food, that I would always be emotional and an emotional eater, that I couldn’t love my body unless it was unless she was one hundred and ten pounds or whatever. Right. And. I just got to the point where I was so uncomfortable with that and knew that it wasn’t working and. Probably the regret I have is not not recognizing that way sooner in my life, because it took me until I was in my fifties to recognize, but here we are at some point. I think that. You get to a point where you just realize that I did anyway, that I just didn’t want to do what I’d always done, I felt like I was banging my head on the wall every single time I started that new guy on Monday. Right. Yeah. Yeah, I think so many of so many of us are familiar with that we’re familiar with. That emotional cycle that we go through or that binge eating cycle that we go through, that we start our diet on Monday. And for me, it got to the point where I would get my pen and paper out and I would write down my breakfast in the morning. Well, first of all, I would wake up and I would think, all right, from the start of a new day, start of a new week, I’m going to get I’m going to do this. I’m going to be really good all week. And so I would set an intention and then I would go down, write my all my meals out today and by four o’clock. I had already blown through my points and had no points left, but, well, screw it, I’m just going to eat and so I couldn’t do it anymore. I just literally could not bring myself to another point. So I think a lot of us go through this. Recognizing that things aren’t working, but there’s a lot of fear in letting go of that system and letting go of that cycle, because what else is there? What else do you go to then if you’re not counting points so you’re not fighting or you’re not following someone else’s meal plan or you’re not counting calories on your on your iPhone or or your what’s it called the, um, the apps. There’s one that I used to use. Anyway, you know, so what else do you do and it takes a lot of courage to be able to say, I’m done, I’m done with diet culture, I’m done with this whole emotional eating stuff, I’m done with all of that. I just want to create a peaceful relationship with food in my body. So I think it’s a hard place to shift from, but the clients that I work with. Um. Are women who are who are exhausted, like I was from going around in circles and not being able to figure out what to do differently, but moving that cycle wasn’t what they wanted anymore. They wanted something more for themselves. So that’s that’s where I that’s where I’m at now, I’m I you know, I love the work that I do. And and it’s really gratifying. And I absolutely was thrilled to get to a place myself where I I don’t have any issues with food for the most part. Three days. There is the other day that I think about. Well, should I have that piece of pie, maybe I shouldn’t have that piece of pie, um, but, you know, I check in with my body, check in with myself to see whether it’s something that I really want. And if I if I want it, I have it. And there’s no guilt. There’s no shame. There’s no going around that cycle anymore. It’s fabulous.

I love it, and the thing that I think stands out the most is checking in with your body. We check in with ourselves. You know, I know being in the intuitive eating space myself last year, that was the one thing that I realized was my big realization is it’s like I kept seeking outside sources to tell me what my body needed. And it was like, it’s not going to work. Let’s look outside selling that inside. But that going inside was hard.

Yes. Yes, because we’re not used to it. We don’t know what our our hunger signals are, we don’t know when what what satiety feels like excuse me, we don’t know what our signals our body gives us when we’re not listening and we’re not paying attention and we’re not used to checking in with our bodies. But our bodies know our bodies are smart. And if we listen to our bodies, they will tell us exactly what it is we need to eat, how much we need to eat, when we need to eat. And it’s our brain that overrides any of that. And and body wisdom really is is one of the big keys to overcoming and transforming things like emotional eating and binge eating. It truly is. So speaking of your

your practice and stuff, where can people find you?

Oh, so they can find me on my pretty new website, actually, which is I’m really excited about, and there’s also the free emotional eating a wiser woman’s guide to transforming emotional eating, um, free e-book that you can access as well on my website. So I can be found it, but would still not. So that’s one of the places I’m also on Facebook and LinkedIn and I’ve started to become more visible on Instagram as well. So my Instagram tag or whatever it’s called, is at Robbinsdale. So I can be found anywhere

and I’ll make sure I make sure to get all the information in the show notes. So it’s easy for people to find because I think that what you’re doing and you’re like, I like when we were talking was this podcast was made to be like a tsunami of self-love. But I’m also realizing is that we’re all change makers that I’ve been interviewing and you’re making a change in that culture so that we can go inward and it’s OK to be us through food and confidence. It’s OK to be confident. It’s OK to have your own thing. And I just I love what you’re doing. It’s amazing that that’s what everything has morphed into. And you have that background of the social work to which I think is great because you can do a bigger range of things with people and allow them to go through that space. And I think I just think it’s magical.

I think, you know, I mean, my goal is to work with women so that they can really step into their power. Food and the disordered eating takes away our power. And when you can step into your own power, get out of your own way. Um. Magical things happen. You feel more confident, you’re resilient, you’re intuitive about your body, and there’s nothing better than really to come home to your own body. And it’s the only vehicle that you have to live in for the rest of your life, and so it’s important to make the most of that. And I think the more that women can recognize their signals and recognize their truth, that’s able to speak their truth. Then that’s that’s the that’s what keeps me going in this work and keeps me motivated to keep working with women around this issue.

And it is a big issue, and I’ve seen it a lot in all of my spaces. OK, it’s time. It’s time to make a change here.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, definitely. It is a huge issue. And that’s why it’s not a quick fix. Um. It’s it’s a work, it’s work that needs to be, you know, we need to dig into it and and, um, women need a willing to do to go the distance. And so but I tell you, I would not have done any differently. And when I when I recognized that I didn’t want to stay mired in that mess, um, I, I got to tell you, it’s just the best thing to have a peaceful relationship with food in your body and not be worried about what you eat and all of those kinds of things.

It gives you back a ton of time.

Oh, my gosh, the mental capacity that I have now compared to what I used to when I used to get up and think about biting. I mean, yeah, there’s so much more to life. And that’s really about the work that I do, is is helping women step into their lives and their power to step into their lives in a fully and completely different way that allows for so much room for friends and family and so much more in their lives. Yeah.

I love that. So if someone was to walk away with just one one little nugget, I would want them to walk away with. Hmm.

I think one of the biggest things that for me that made a huge difference was to give myself permission for permission to learn to do things differently. Full permission to eat and eat. Frehley. And that doesn’t mean you have to go crazy with food, but it just means that you give yourself permission to eat whatever it is that you and your body need and want and learn to. Learn to think of food differently, to feel into food differently, which then means that you’re feeling into yourself differently and in such a in such a better way. Um, so that you’re not, again, mired in all that stress and that anxiety. And so I would say just give yourself permission to explore a different way. And that goes that for me, that was a big one. Just giving myself permission to that’s what I would say.

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