Pandora Paloma briefs us on intuitive eating and living...
Q. What do you do for a living and what do you love about it?
A I’m an Intuitive Eating & Living Coach, which I appreciate sounds totally unique. It is. I trained initially in nutrition and quickly realised that I wanted to go deeper in supporting people with their relationship with food. I trained in life coaching and CBT and have done other training such as meditation, yoga and reiki. I call upon everything when working with clients and that’s what I love about my job – no two clients are the same. Diet culture is extremely damaging and what we are seeing now is more and more [people] feeling afraid of food, their body or both. Many have a very unhealthy obsession with being healthy. I absolutely love seeing women transform their lives and, in turn, their relationship with food. I always say the living comes first. I watch women go from talking so awfully about themselves to literally finding an unconditional love for themselves. I also work a lot on deeply ingrained stories and imprints that people are living, support with comparison (which is increasingly on the rise in our share-more digital age) and helping them really challenge the way they think about themselves and food. I love my job!
Q. Tell us about intuitive eating and living.
A Intuitive eating is a non-diet diet – an approach developed to help people who have issues around food, from any type of disordered eating and orthorexia to chronic dieting. Intuitive eating allows you to become an expert on yourself, throwing away the rulebook and putting you in charge of your body and your food consumption. Many of us have ideals around what we should and shouldn’t eat based on past imprints (rules growing up, how you ate as a child, what body size you compare yourself to), which can leave us very confused and lost with what actually works for us intuitively! Intuitive eating removes restriction and works on principles such as honouring your hunger, making peace with food, respecting your fullness and building self-love, worth, trust and compassion. By teaching women to trust their body’s signals, they allow their body to find its natural size and accept it, rather than constantly trying to change it. As soon as we start eating intuitively we free up that energy and time for other areas of our lives. We learn to listen to what our body needs and feed it correctly. We learn to feel and be satisfied. The living aspect of what I do allows women to connect to their greatest guide – their intuition. This coaches women in all aspects of life, from career to love, teaching them to use their intuition to make choices and live life with their true authenticity vs. someone they think they “should” be. Learning to trust in yourself and your choices is magical and can have a huge impact on all aspects of your life.
Q. What do you want to work on more of in the new year?
A 2019 is a going to be a huge year for me! I’m launching a book and this has already opened lots of exciting doors. I’m keen to spread the message even further on intuitive eating and living and grow the digital aspect of my work, such as my six-week online programme, to reach a wider audience around the globe. I’m also creating a 30-day mini programme and a podcast, Rooted Living, which again will help to spread the word and allow me to speak to people in the industry that really inspire me. My one-to-one client work is my main purpose, so I’m creating more space for that too. I learn so much from my clients: they are my constant source of inspiration. I’m also keen to work more with children, so I’ll be working on that in the latter part of 2019.
Q. How do you practise self-affirmation and how does Instagram play a part in that for you?
A For me, self affirmation is a lifelong journey. I think for a long time “self-development” was seen as the kind of thing only “hippies” did, but now, with yoga, meditation and the like, it feels more accepted by society. It’s so important for me to recognise things in myself that deserve gratitude or some extra work! I am only as good to my clients as I am to myself, so I always strive to be better for myself and them. I have ups and downs with Instagram. When I have lots to say and feel like I’m in the inspiration zone it’s great, but when I feel without words, Instagram can allow comparison to creep in! I keep Instagram as my scrapbook, a way to journal how I’m feeling and what I’m learning by sharing with others. It can make me feel crap but mostly it helps when I’m having a down day or need inspiration. My non-negotiables for self-affirmation are meditation and journalling, with some affirmations thrown in. This keeps me in the zone and on my game. I practise what I preach, put it that way!
Q. How do you find time for “self-care” now that you’re a mum?
A I am lucky that while my family aren’t around much, my partner is incredibly supportive and we have a solid teamwork mentality. This means we allow each other to have time that we know we need to be better for each other and the family. I work three days a week and so always get a yoga class in then and at some point over the weekend. I can manage 20 minutes of meditation most days and that’s enough. I try and get a massage once a month and make sure to see friends as much as I can. They feed my soul! I work in London on Wednesdays, seeing clients, so that evening I’ll always have dinner with friends. My aim is get one weekend every two months that either my partner or I can get away for a night. I honestly feel like a better mum knowing I’ve had a bit of “me” time. I don’t let myself feel guilty about it. It works for me and as mothers we have to do what we feel intuitively works for us.