(131) Did my body size cause this?

Have you ever been made to feel like you are to blame for a medical condition like diabetes, PCOS, high blood pressure or gestational diabetes? More specifically, have you been told that your body size has caused you to experience a particular condition? If so, you are not alone. Listen along as Julie Dillon helps unpack the unfair stereotypes often associated with being in a higher weight body.

Episode’s Key Points:

  • The label of “obesity” as a disease is problematic.
  • Being at a higher weight is unfairly associated with many stigmas and misconceptions. For example, anorexia nervosa at a higher weight is actually the most common way to experience it.
  • Weight is just one anthropometric measurement like blood pressure, temperature, etc. It doesn’t mean it causes any condition/disease but rather could indicate that we need to dig deeper for a root issue.
  • No one is to blame for their body size nor is one’s body size something to feel shame about. Simply being alive means we are valuable and worthy.
  • Intuitive eating can be utilized by everyone, no matter their body size or any conditions they may be experiencing.

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.

Does the non-diet approach make diabetes worse? (Episode 113 with Megrette Fletcher)

Does the non-diet approach make diabetes worse?? How does intuitive eating fit when a person has real health concerns are impacted by food choices? Listen now to get my tips on how to grapple with this part of the Food Peace™ journey. Special guest expert is Megrette Fletcher, diabetes AND mindful eating dietitian expert.

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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.

This episode is also brought to you by my new Fat-Positive Dietitian t-shirt and mug! All proceeds go to funding this labor of love to keep it as a free resource for you. Check out the whole Love Food Podcast store here. All T-Shirt designs have an option with sizes ranging from XS to 5X.

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:

  • Black and white thinking is a cognitive distortion. Real like, and real health, isn’t like that at all. Being a weight-inclusive, fat-positive, non-diet dietitian is NOT an approach that harms health.
  • Gastric bypass does NOT rid the world of fatphobia! The answer to this problem is a combo solution: to help people heal their relationship with food AND with their bodies. Part of this means healing the cultural fatphobia our world is currently struggling with.
  • Megrette Fletcher joins us to talk about medical nutrition therapy!
  • Moving away from a job that doesn’t support our passions and values is an amazing step.
  • The culture surrounding diabetes is super saturated by diet culture, and so moving out of the diet-centric paradigm in diabetes work is hard! Before insulin was invented, restriction was the only way we knew how to manage the disease.
  • We need to pause and think, why are we so afraid of nourishing the body?
  • When we teach diabetes from a Health at Every Size perspective, we address every body as an individual.
  • We’re ALL marinating in diet culture, and people who struggle with diabetes exist in a diet-culture pressure cooker. We don’t cause diabetes as it’s a genetic disease, but so much of diet culture blames the individual and individual food and exercise choices.
  • Compassion is KEY for diabetes care, as there really isn’t a cure and it’s not a disease anyone asks for. It’s a genetic condition that’s VERY complex.
  • The goal needs to be to nourish the body, period. Where our weight ends up doesn’t matter!
  • No matter what your body size, you need to eat! We need more food than we think, and we’re allowed to nourish our bodies.

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.

Metformin + PCOS

“But I don’t have high blood sugar? Why am I on the diabetes drug Metformin?”

Metformin, aka Glucophage, is a common treatment option for PCOS and many wonder why it is chosen.

{Side note: in order to understand the role of Metformin, you might want to review the previous post on PCOS and insulin.}

The state of insulin resistance so common with PCOS promotes an environment where extra glucose and lots of insulin hang out in the bloodstream. That glucose wants to get in your cells to give you energy (and that’s why you are so tired all the time!). Those very high insulin levels seen in PCOS drain you even more and are behind the acanthosis nigricans, carb cravings, irregular periods, and even affects your sleep.




Want to find a way to treat your PCOS without dieting?

Grab a FREE download from Julie here.

Metformin steps in making your cells more sensitive to insulin: that’s why it’s referred to as an insulin sensitizer. It helps the glucose actually get in your cells, giving you the energy you need. Many report having more energy and less carb cravings after starting metformin.

Metformin has another job: it stops the liver from making and sending out so much glucose. Most people connect Metformin with blood sugar since it is a common diabetes drug.

Although it affects blood sugar, most people with PCOS on metformin have normal blood sugar levels. Also, insulin levels are MUCH higher in PCOS than diabetes so more Metformin is necessary compared to people with diabetes.

Metformin affects more than just insulin and glucose.

In addition to reducing blood glucose and insulin levels, Metformin has been shown to improve menstrual irregularities, fertility, and ovulation rates.

Metformin may also slow the progression of type 2 Diabetes and improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

When taken at it’s current therapeutic dose of 1500-2000 mg, Metformin can play a major role in managing PCOS. A lot of people swear by it, yet others can’t tolerate it.

I’m one of those people that can’t tolerate Metformin. It left me with GI distress, energy crashes, and dry skin. If Metformin doesn’t work for you, supplemental inositol is another great insulin sensitizer.

To reduce the side effects of Metformin, Julie recommends:

  • Take it with a meal (like a whole meal not a snack)
  • Follow your doctor’s instructions
  • Start at a smaller dose and build up
  • Stay hydrated

Let’s continue this conversation in the Facebook PCOS Support Group. Click here to join! How has Metformin affected your PCOS? Are you one who experiences negative side effects and/or can’t tolerate it?

Campbell, R., White, J. R., & Saulie, B. A. (1996). Metformin: a new oral biguanide. Clinical Therapeutics, 18(3), 360-371. doi:10.1016/s0149-2918(96)80017-8

Diamanti-Kandarakis, E., Economou, F., Palimeri, S., & Christakou, C. (2010). Metformin in polycystic ovary syndrome. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 192-198. doi:10.1111/j.1749-6632.2010.05679.x

Mathur, R., Alexander, C., Yano, J., Trivax, B., & Azziz, R. (2008). Use of metformin in polycystic ovary syndrome. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology,596-609. doi:10.1016/j.ajog.2008.09.010

Ozcimen, E. E., Uckuyu, A., Ciftci, F. C., & Zeyneloglu, H. B. (2009). The effect of metformin treatment on ovarian stromal blood flow in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics, 280(2), 263-269. doi:10.1007/s00404-008-0904-0



Love Food Podcast Episode 27: How do I stop dieting with diabetes??

Ep 027 Image

Do you think your chronic conditions make you a slave to rigid diets or chained to the scale? Do you have a long history of coping with your emotions via food and now want to find other ways to survive?? There is a way for you to heal your relationship with food AND find health. Listen now for insight.

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Key Points:

  • Hoarding, bingeing, and other related behaviors are the most common experiences from childhood dieting/restriction.
  • I am sorry on behalf of all health and medical professionals for the oppression.
  • You don’t have to choose health OR healing. Working on healing your relationship with food will help you promote health long term.
  • Healing is not passive or giving up or weakness. Healing is an active process never passive.
  • Fat on the body didn’t CAUSE the problems. Eating sugar didn’t CAUSE the problems. Being shamed in your body and not teaching you how to tolerate feelings caused the problems.
  • Healing from Binge Eating Disorder (BED) takes on average 7 to 14 years.
  • Restricting nutrients or calories may show favorable outcomes in short term yet worse in the long term especially if affected by BED.
  • Keep the data! You need proof that you’re bingeing less as time goes on.
  • Diabetes is a chronic progressive disease. It is always changing and slowly getting worse even if you do everything you can.

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. Give me feedback via Twitter @EatingPermitRD.

Your eating lessons from My Big Fat Fabulous Life and Whitney Thore

I sat down with Whitney Way Thore of My Big Fat Fabulous Life. I am honored she trusted in me to guide her toward health. Plus, we got to share the visit with you during episode 2.

Whitney Way Thores's dietitian Julie Duffy Dillon.
Laughing and crying with Whitney Thore during season 2 of My Big Fat Fabulous Life on TLC.

I found Whitney to be a kind, genuine, charismatic woman who got me in stitches with her goofiness. Do you know why Whitney is so captivating to watch on TV? She is like all of us: afraid for her health, feeling the pressure, and not wanting to lose herself.

I gave Whitney pointers and here are ways you can incorporate them into your life.

Are you afraid for your health?

Whitney tearfully described her fears of diet prison. She was terrified of the all too familiar head space where she’s afraid of anything she eats, a slave to the gym and chained to the scale. Whitney is not the only one who has tried to change her eating habits quickly because of health fears. Many move toward fear as a motivator. I find this type of motivator hurts us in the end. Fear tends to promote impulsive decisions, fad diets, and quick results over health. If you have walked in Whitney’s shoes and experienced that same terrifying head space, read on.

Weight loss is not a behavior

When My Big Fat Fabulous Life premiered, the cast got together to celebrate. I met a fabulous young woman named Samantha. She described doctors refusing to treat her medical conditions until she lost weight. That would be fine and dandy if weight loss was really calories in calories out and a proven method to work. BUT it is not. Surprised? Read more herehere, and here.

I told Whitney “weight loss is not a behavior” because we cannot control what the scale does in reaction to eating, exercise, and self care habits. Behaviors = the food we choose and the way we move our body. How our body reacts is up to an immeasurable amount of variables. Even more, if you experience PCOS multiply this by 100. High testosterone and insulin levels left untreated will make the scale not move or go up.

When Samantha told me doctors refuse to treat her medical conditions UNTIL she loses weight I wanted to scream. Doctors, I appreciate you have good intentions, yet you are keeping this young woman from finding health. And, this practice is discriminatory.

Say NO to the Food Police

Black and white thinking, in the psychology world, is referred to as a cognitive distortion. It is distorted and pathological because not much lives on opposite sides. Rather, our world has continuums and shades of grey.

Sadly, society losses sight of this concept with food. We categorize it as right or wrong.

Good or bad.

All or nothing.

Black or white.

This is a trap my friends.

When we set up food as ____is good and ____ is bad we are setting ourselves up to fail.

Here’s why:

  • Nutrition science is a fluid science. This means it is always changing and never exact. Most nutrition research is based on correlational methods. This can only suggest a relationship NOT cause and effect. Next time you read “Eating sugar causes diabetes” or “Eating fat causes a heart attack” note the error. And send the author a Research Methods 101 textbook. I will pitch in.
  • Good versus bad food ideas relate to morality. I teach my children and my clients the only bad foods are the ones we steal. If you pay for it, it is good. I think it is easy to call a food good or bad yet it is inaccurate. Stop using lazy terms and go for accuracy.
  • Relating food to morality harms our ways of relating to food. This is especially true for children. Those genetically predisposed to eating disorders learn this cognitive distortion and can find an eating disorder waiting eagerly around the corner.
  • Using all or nothing thinking about food sets up a perfectionism that does not exist in nature nor is necessary. Eating one Twinkie or Donut will not cause diabetes or kill us.

Eating less is not better!

Eat less often or fewer calories has been twisted to equal healthy for everyone. As I mention in My Big Fat Fabulous Life, eating too little is harmful. Keep in mind:

  • Every binge starts with not eating enough earlier.←Tweet this Don’t blame the “tempting” food or a lack of willpower. Binge eating starts with a diet and overly restrictive eating habits.
  • Eating infrequently stresses out our body. I explain to Whitney that it makes our body go into a starvation mode. This means it taps into primal brain communication demanding us to eat and EAT NOW! This will feel out of control or binge like. It isn’t in reality. It is just being human. More here.
  • Eating infrequently sets up the body to want to binge which then pummels our body with glucose then insulin. These spikes are exhausting to our physiology. Insulin and blood sugar spikes hurt body systems like blood vessels. And, the more insulin spikes, the more weight goes up since insulin is a growth hormone. So if you aren’t interested in gaining more weight, stop dieting. Restriction/dieting predicts weight gain. Tweet this Skeptical? That’s ok. Learn more here.

Your body has the answers

Burn your diet books. Walk away from boot camps. Stop looking outside of you for the food and exercise answers. Each of us has our voice inside letting us know how to eat for health and pleasure. Don’t hear it? Doesn’t matter because whether you are looking or not your body is still communicating. Before you eat your next meal or snack pull up a chair. Listen. Open yourself to the options.

Warning: saying no to diets may feel wrong. It may even feel neglectful. Many people tell me it feels like letting yourself go. It’s not letting yourself go. It’s letting yourself Be.←Tweet this