She struggled for decades: 5 important things Intuitive Eating counselor Joni O’Donnell wishes she knew earlier in recovery

Embracing intuitive eating isn’t always as simple as eating when hungry and stopping when full. It can be a rollercoaster journey, but we’re not alone in this adventure!

In this powerful episode of Recover Strong, an audio series on The Recovery Warriors Show podcast channel, host Andrea Wells brings in Intuitive Eating Counselor Joni O’Donnell to share an intuitive eating guide that will help you go further in your own journey.

Embracing Food Freedom

Imagine this – no more counting calories, no more stressing about portion sizes, and no more guilt trips about that slice of cake you enjoyed. 

Intuitive eating says, “Hey, it’s okay to eat what you want, when you want, as long as you’re in tune with your body’s signals.”

It’s about breaking free from the dieting mentality, which can mess up your relationship with food big time. 

It’s also about nurturing a positive and balanced connection with what you eat.

You might say, “Sounds great, but how do I actually start on this intuitive eating journey?” 

Well, that’s where our guest speaker Joni O’Donnell comes in with this quick intuitive eating guide. 

Transformative Insights for Navigating Recovery

With decades of personal struggle, Joni highlights five important things she wishes she had known earlier in her recovery. 

These lessons shed light on the complexities of healing from eating disorders and body image issues. 

They also provide a roadmap to self-acceptance and redefining our relationship with food and our bodies. 

1. Your body is not the enemy

Joni highlights an important idea, which is changing how you think about your body.

In a world that just won’t stop pushing unrealistic beauty standards, it’s way too easy to start seeing your own body as an enemy, right?

But here’s a reminder: your body is your trusty sidekick through this wild journey of life. 

With that said, your body absolutely deserves your love, respect, and care.

When you start seeing your body as an ally, a friend, it’s a game-changer. 

You build trust, you find harmony, and suddenly, you’re on the same team, ready to take on anything together. 

2. You are not broken

Feeling like you’re all broken inside is something you may grapple with when on the road to recovering from eating disorders and body image struggles. 

But Joni O’Donnell shares that feeling of being broken isn’t an actual emotion; it’s more like this heavy weight you pick up from society and your own self-doubt.

So, here’s a thought: why not take a moment to look at where this idea of being broken really comes from?

Broken things can be fixed, and they can be better than before.

Andrea Wells

Is it even true, or is it just something you’ve been carrying around unnecessarily? 

It’s kind of like baggage you can leave behind.

The good news is that once you start recognizing your inherent self-worth, it’s like setting yourself free. 

It can lead you to a place of self-acceptance and set you on a healing journey that’s way more empowering and liberating.

So, remember, you’re not broken; you’re just on a unique and beautiful journey of self-discovery.

3. Diets don’t work

Diets are not all they’re cracked up to be.

They’re like temporary solutions that often do more harm than good. 

They mess with your head and leave you feeling restricted in your relationship with food.

But here’s the exciting part: intuitive eating is like a breath of fresh air! 

It’s all about tuning in to what your body is telling you. 

Your tummy’s grumbling? Time to eat. Had enough? Take a break.

Intuitive eating lets you find the joy in nourishing yourself without all those diet-related headaches.

4. Perfect doesn’t exist

This whole idea of perfectionism can be a real struggle, especially when you’ve been through the ups and downs of an eating disorder.

Aiming for perfection is like chasing a rainbow; it’s pretty, but you’ll never catch it.

Let’s face it, nobody’s perfect. 

You’re already the perfect amount of you

Joni O’Donnell

This quest for perfection can slow you down, and even stop you from being your true, authentic self.

5. You are not alone

Finding a supportive community makes a big difference. This was something Joni experienced years ago, before she became an intuitive eating counselor, she was once a member of our very own Courage Club.

When Joni connected with others, she realized she’s not the only one dealing with these struggles. It was like a big warm hug. 

My recovery wouldn’t have been complete without the Courage Club community.

Joni O’Donnell

It’s like, “Hey, you’re not alone in this.” And that sense of belonging? That’s pure gold.

So Joni and Andrea remind you to get out there and embrace community – it’s where the real magic happens!


Remember that intuitive eating is all about embracing the freedom to enjoy your meals without the weight of diets and perfectionism.

These lessons from Joni are like your trusty map on this adventurous journey toward self-acceptance and an improved relationship with food.

Take a listen to the full episode and be on the way to a healthier, happier, and more authentic you! 

Join the Courage Club Waitlist

In the courage club, you can learn to alchemize fear into courage, and finally say goodbye to food struggles for good.

Get on the waitlist here →

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