(133) I am embarrassed I still struggle with food.

How long have you struggled with eating? Do you remember when it first got complicated? What if you have struggled your whole life after years of abuse, shame and fear? Is there a way to heal in our current diet focused and fatphobic world? Listen now for possible tools to promote your Food Peace journey.

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This episode is brought to you by my courses: PCOS and Food Peace and Dietitians PCOS and Food Peace. You CAN make peace with food even with PCOS and I want to show you how.

This episode’s Dear Food letter:

Dear Food,
Dear oh dear food, you have been the bane of my existence since I was born. I started
with diary allergies that took time to diagnose so from a newborn, my food relationship
has been difficult. That difficulty has morphed into many different things, anxiety
soothing with food, fear of food, restriction, bulimia, anorexia, binge eating and so on.
I’ve struggled to understand you.

When I was young, about six years old, my life changed a lot because of an abusive
homelife, then at seven, it turned to shear torture due to physical and sexual abuse. I
coped by stealing food (at home, other people’s houses, stores and so on), hiding and
eating it. I learned to eat until sick, then purge to make myself feel better so I could eat
some more. One very traumatizing event, I remember hiding multiple PB&Js behind the
trashcan in the cabinet for later and once the event was over, I hid where I thought I
belonged, behind the trash and ate them all, at seven years old… The trauma (really
torture) went on and on and I ate and ate, and I gained and gained. I was also tortured
in school for my weight and lack of social skills. Through all of this, I was caring for my
younger sister since no one taking care of either of us and was also caring for my
parents who could not care for themselves.

As I grew into a teenager my body started to change, but it was changing differently
from others. I didn’t know at the time that it was PCOS at the time, but it was. I was
growing hair on my face, I started shaving my face at about 12 or 13, my body shape
was different, and my weight was going up at what I was told an alarming rate. By 6 th
grade, I was “obese”. Once the torture stopped at home (not in my mind), I was 20, I
kept on eating, doctors kept telling me to lose weight, my mother kept telling me how
terrible I looked, and others would tell me “you would have such a pretty face and eyes,
if you’d just lose some weight…” I kept eating and purging. I had two stays in a mental
health facility and they tried to work on my relationship with food, but that was not the
major reason I was inpatient, there was a much more intense reason I was there. They
tried but I was not ready.

Eleven years ago, at 28, after trying to conceive for about a year, I was diagnosed with
PCOS. It took us three years to conceive the first time which ended as an early loss. I
had six more losses and then no other pregnancies. I ate through all the losses and was
told, had I not been so fat, I would not have gotten PCOS and would also be able to get and stay pregnant by a doctor. I ate some more until I didn’t. I started restricting about
six years ago and lost a very significant amount of weight. I was restricting so much I
would pass out due an inability to my keep my blood pressure high enough and could
not keep my body temperature stable to the point where I wore winter clothes in the
summer. I kept this going for two years then the binging started again. I was never able
to get my weight low enough to alert any doctors of an eating disorder, but I would
guess that is from the PCOS.

I have since been working with a wonderful therapist for seven years and an amazing
eating disorder and HAES registered dietician for almost two years. I still struggle to this
day with the thoughts that go along with an eating disorder. Dear, oh dear Food, will I
ever “get” you? Will I ever “understand” you? I know none of this is about you, but it is
just a way to cope and control one small part of my life when I was unable to control
anything but morphed to lack of control around you. I want a relationship with you Food,
but, it is oh so embarrassingly hard. I do have hope Food, that someday, there will be
calmness and no charge between you and I. Someday I can enjoy you…
Love,
Frustrated but Hopeful

Show Notes:

Do you have a complicated relationship with food? I want to help! Send your Dear Food letter to LoveFoodPodcast@gmail.com. 

Click here to leave me a review in iTunes and subscribe. This type of kindness helps the show continue!

Show Notes:

Do you have a complicated relationship with food? I want to help! Send your Dear Food letter to LoveFoodPodcast@gmail.com. 

Click here to leave me a review in iTunes and subscribe. This type of kindness helps the show continue!

Food controls my life. (Episode 118)

Do you feel like food has way too much power in your life and don’t see a way out?

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This episode is brought to you by my online course, Your Step-by-Step Guide to PCOS and Food Peace™. Enrollment is open! Receive my FREE road map: Your First 3 Steps Toward Food Peace™ with PCOS. You CAN make peace with food even with PCOS and I want to show you how.

Check out the whole Love, Food Podcast store here. All T-Shirt designs have at least one with size range options from XS to 5X. All proceeds go to funding this labor of love to keep it as a free resource for you.

Product links may be affiliate. If you click and make a purchase, there’s no extra cost to you.

The transcribed episode can be found here.

Episode’s Key Points:

  • How do we know when food has too much power? It’s when we’re thinking about it ALL DAY LONG. At night, while you’re eating a meal… all day.
  • We as humans are wired to survive, and if we’re not getting access to enough food, our bodies are going to send food preoccupation into overdrive. But there are ways to think about food in a calmer way! And it isn’t more restriction.
  • Remember, food preoccupation is you being a successful human. We don’t want to demonize that!
  • Diet culture and body hatred perpetuate all of these food rules and body rules, but these rules are manmade… they don’t actually help us, and they disconnect us from our internal wisdom.
  • Using food to soothe is a SKILL! It’s not something to feel shameful about. But maybe this coping skill doesn’t suit you anymore, and that’s okay.
  • Unconditional permission to eat is KEY to reducing food preoccupation, and as long as you’re giving yourself permission, you can explore what I call symbolic hunger.
  • Food also has too little power in our life… but what does this mean? It means that we aren’t giving ourselves room within our relationship with food for anything but food as fuel. We also need food for pleasure, and we need to give ourselves true unconditional permission to eat.
  • You don’t need to be fixed… the world does!
  • Food is the GREATEST connector. It unites us, and it connects us to ourselves.
  • Our relationship with food is a great window into our relationship with ourselves. When we make peace with food, we make peace with ourselves.

Show Notes:

Do you have a complicated relationship with food? I want to help! Send your Dear Food letter to LoveFoodPodcast@gmail.com. 

Click here to leave me a review in iTunes and subscribe. This type of kindness helps the show continue!

Thank you for listening to the Love, Food series.

My mom criticizes my body and food choices. (Episode 114)

What do we do when our foundation for Food Peace™ is rooted in negative self-talk and shame? How do we find make peace with our body when those around us are hyper-critical of our appearance? Listen now to get my tips on how to handle this part of the Food Peace™ journey.

Subscribe and leave a review here in just seconds.

This episode is brought to you by my online course, Your Step-by-Step Guide to PCOS and Food Peace™. Sign up now to get on the waitlist for the next enrollment period in April, and receive my FREE road map: Your First 3 Steps Toward Food Peace™ with PCOS. You CAN make peace with food even with PCOS and I want to show you how.

Check out the whole Love Food Podcast store here. All T-Shirt designs have at least one with size range options from XS to 5X. All proceeds go to funding this labor of love to keep it as a free resource for you.

Product links may be affiliate. If you click and make a purchase, there’s no extra cost to you.

The transcribed episode can be found here.

Episode’s Key Points:

  • Caregivers have a HUGE impact on our sense of self-worth and the development of positive self-talk. If our primary caregiver is a critical voice in our lives, we are unable to create our own internal compassionate voice.
  • If we have a caregiver with a personality disorder, it can be doubly hard to assert your right to your body. Personality disorders can be super rigid, and it’s important to set boundaries around what is and isn’t allowed. Tell this person that you won’t talk about food and body with them anymore, period!
  • Specifically, having a primary caregiver with narcissistic personality disorder can really effect your ability to have a peaceful relationship with food and our body.
  • Our relationship with food MIRRORS our relationship with other aspects of our lives!
  • Experiencing a foundation of criticism related to our body will have a lasting impact on how we view our body.
  • The “shoulding” inner voice aims to shame us! It’s important to react like a rebellious teenager to these shoulding voices.
  • When we deprive our bodies, they react by seeking out large amounts of highly palatable foods. This is the way our body tries to save us! It’s important to reframe these experiences as something shameful, to something necessary for survival.
  • Compassionate curiosity is the foundation to Food Peace™. Seek out safe spaces to further enhance this journey, including online groups, therapists, and more.

Show Notes:

Do you have a complicated relationship with food? I want to help! Send your Dear Food letter to LoveFoodPodcast@gmail.com. 

Click here to leave me a review in iTunes and subscribe. This type of kindness helps the show continue!

Thank you for listening to the Love, Food series.

What will it take for me to have a normal relationship with food? {Ep 108}


Are you ready to let go of the food rules and embrace body acceptance, no matter your size? Is it time to cast aside the myths we’ve learned through diet culture about what we eat and what we look like? Listen now as I respond to a letter from someone ready to take those next steps.

Subscribe and leave a review here in just seconds.

This episode is brought to you by my online course, Your Step-by-Step Guide to PCOS and Food Peace™. Sign up now to get on the waitlist for the next enrollment period in April, and receive my FREE road map: Your First 3 Steps Toward Food Peace™ with PCOS. You CAN make peace with food even with PCOS and I want to show you how

Product links may be affiliate. If you click and make a purchase, there’s no extra cost to you.

Episode’s Key Points:

  • You CAN have a normal relationship with food! How do you do that? By placing the blame where it belongs: with society.
  • We live in a world where people judge body size, and where people make assumptions about what we eat based on our size… but this isn’t a true representation of the various experiences that people in ALL bodies have!
  • Most people of size are actually some of the MOST disciplined people out there due to years and years of trying to diet.
  • Weight Watchers just announced a special, free summer program for teens. This is a problem!! Dieting is the number one precursor for eating disorders, and the summer is a particularly vulnerable time.
  • The food we eat doesn’t dictate our moral value!
  • Losing weight and maintaining a smaller body size is about trying to find acceptance from the culture around us… but in reality, diets don’t provide long-term, true acceptance!
  • Diets give us the hope that we’ll be finally treated with respect and be able to participate in our lives to the fullest extent, in ways that we couldn’t before the weight loss. But this is a fantasy! First, losing weight doesn’t grant us these things automatically. And second, diets fail. Long-term intentional weight loss is virtually IMPOSSIBLE! And the diet industry knows it. They COUNT on repeat customers.
  • The blame is not on you. It’s on our world’s fatphobia. But there’s no simple cure for eradicating weight bias! So what have we got to do? We as individuals have to join together and take a stand, and that starts with acknowledging our own internalized fatphobia and rejecting it.
  • Practice respect and compassion with yourself, continue to place the blame on our society, continue to deconstruct your own bias, and eventually you’ll come to a place where you can call out the fatphobia around us. This is how we change the world for generations to come!

Show Notes:

Do you have a complicated relationship with food? I want to help! Send your Dear Food letter to LoveFoodPodcast@gmail.com. 

Click here to leave me a review in iTunes and subscribe. This type of kindness helps the show continue!

Thank you for listening to the Love, Food series.

I have an abusive relationship with food. {guest Anita Johnson}

068 Image

Do you consider food to be your enemy or a waste of time? Are you tired of struggling with body image, yo-yo dieting, and food hate? Do you desperately want to embrace intuitive eating, but are too afraid of leaving behind the safety of an eating disorder? Listen now for a breakdown of how to confront these common food peace dilemmas.

Subscribe and leave a review here in just seconds.

Episode’s Key Points:

  • Anita Johnston joins to talk recovery!
  • We live in a world of PARADOX… it’s about food, but it’s also not about food at the same time!!
  • So how are our food issues not about food? This struggle is a messenger to let us know that there are other issues going on in our lives… what other hungers are we starving for??
  • What is the symbolic nature of our food struggle? If we struggle with food restriction, it’s important to look at other areas in our lives where we are restricting. If we struggle with binge eating, it’s important to ask where else we feel scarcity in our lives.
  • How do we create a peace-keeping force in our lives? We explore compassionate curiosity, rather than judgment.
  • The foundation to food peace is compassionate curiosity!!
  • How do we discern our symbolic hungers??
  • First we need to change our patterns in our lives… then we can tackle the patterns in our relationship with food.
  • So how do we crack the code on our food behaviors??
    • Sugary foods usually indicate that we are needing sweetness in our lives, either from ourselves or others.
    • Salty and crunchy foods generally indicate repressed anger and frustration.
    • Warm foods mean we are yearning for emotional warmth.
    • Spicy foods are often connected to a desire or fear of excited, stimulation, or change.
    • Chocolate is all about sex, romance, and sexuality.
  • So what next? After we explore our metaphorical relationship with food, how do we reconcile that information with our everyday lives?
  • We’re the experts of our bodies!! We’re the only ones that really can understand what the food metaphors mean.

Show Notes:

Do you have a complicated relationship with food? I want to help! Send your Dear Food letter to LoveFoodPodcast@gmail.com. 

Click here to leave me a review in iTunes and subscribe. This type of kindness helps the show continue!

Thank you for listening to the Love, Food series.