(148) Are you feeling hopeless about your recovery? This episode is for you.

How do other people recover into a world that hasn’t recovered from its own eating disorder? How do others binge less and love their body more in this thin obsessed world? Listen to this Love Food episode featuring words from a previous letter writer who wants to share the steps they’ve taken.

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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.

thirdwheelED is a social media advocacy platform that raises awareness of eating disorders in LGBTQ+ communities. Started by a queer couple whose writing addresses the intersectionality of eating disorders and body image, including gender dysphoria; a queer identity; trauma; and gender identity and expression, CJ and OJ provide a dual perspective of eating disorder recovery through the lens of a nonbinary person in recovery and of a nontraditional family carer, who just happens to also be a registered dietitian! CJ and OJ would love to work with eating disorder professionals on cultivating inclusive treatment for eating disorders in LGBTQ+ communities and are available to discuss training, webinars, and speaking engagements. You can follow them on instagram, facebook, and twitter @thirdwheeled or email them at info@thirdwheeled.com.

This episode’s Dear Food letter:

Dear Food,

I wrote you back in episode #64, and so much in our relationship has changed since then that I wanted to write you again. I was so terrified when I wrote that letter, so scared of what lay ahead and unsure of whether I could do what needed to be done to recover from a lifetime of disordered eating that had left me at rock bottom.

But I write you today saying that I am on the other side of that mountain, and sometimes I still can’t believe it. It’s not perfect, and never will be. But that is the beauty of life, we will always struggle, and there is beauty and meaning and so much learning in that struggle.

So I wrote you, and Julie and Judith Matz discussed the contents of my letter with such care, kindness and compassion. It meant so much to me, and I felt more validated that my struggle was real, and that I needed help. I ended up finding a wonderful eating disorder therapist in my hometown. She was a huge support during the really hard parts of my recovery, and helped me to challenge my beliefs and made me realize – or at least begin to digest the fact – that my worth
as a woman and a person in this world does not depend on the size of my body. I have to say that when I wrote that first letter, I never thought I’d be able to internalize that as truth. I wanted to share the three pivotal parts of my journey. And my intention here is to try to speak to
those who feel as I did back then: that there was no way I could ever stop dieting, and there was
no chance that I could accept my body if it was not thin.

For those who feel as scared as I did, I want to let them know that it is possible, and there truly is freedom on the other side. It involves taking some big risks, lots of trust in the process, as well as grit, patience and commitment.

  1. The first part of my journey involved letting go of all rules around food – which was
    terrifying – literally like jumping off a cliff and hoping that I’d be okay on the other side. I
    would say for me, this took a few years, and the beginning was so rough. It felt out of
    control and so awful at first, and I just had to keep going and trust that I would be okay.
    Over time, things slowly started to shift, to the point where today, I literally eat whatever I
    want. I no longer question my food choices, and rarely feel regret over what I’ve eaten. I
    crave healthy food a lot more than I ever thought I would, and when I want treats, I don’t
    think twice. I have ice cream and chocolate and cookies in my house all the time, and
    often don’t even think about them. My hunger and fullness signals are so much stronger
    than I ever knew they could be, and it feels so good to see foods that would have once
    sent me over the deep end, and now if I want them I eat them, and if I don’t feel hungry or
    don’t feel like eating them, I just say “meh” and leave them for others to enjoy. I can
    honestly say I never thought I’d have that freedom.
  2. The second part of my journey was body acceptance work, which involved beginning to undo the beliefs that I had about a woman’s value, and really questioning why people in my life do value or love me, and eventually realizing that it truly has nothing to do with how I look. That took time – but I continually remind myself that since I stopped dieting and my body changed, not one relationship has been negatively impacted by it. I still have wonderful friends, laugh my head off, have a great marriage, have sex, go to parties, spend time with family. Changing my social media feeds was super helpful with respect to body acceptance -seeing strong, smart and incredible women of all shapes and sizes owning their shit and unapologetically living their truths – that continues to be so helpful and inspiring. Doing this work also got me thinking about how I would want to be remembered after I’m gone. And I asked myself, do I want people to say, “Oh she had such a great body! Such small, tight thighs and she worked out so hard!” I can say with 100% conviction that that is not the legacy I want to leave behind on this earth. I would much rather it be that I truly loved and cared about those around me, and tried to live a life true to who I am and to my values.
  3. The third important part has been self-compassion: This was another critical part, because we can be so cruel to ourselves, and we would never talk to others the way we speak to ourselves. Self-compassion means that in times of trouble and inner conflict (which is basically all the time), that we talk to ourselves as we would speak to someone we love – a good friend, a child. So as I let go of food rules and my body inevitably changed, instead of using words like gross and disgusting when I looked in the mirror, I worked on being more neutral and accepting. Changing that inner dialogue to a much kinder one was a real shift for me and I continue to work on that every day. This doesn’t mean I look in the mirror every day and think I look beautiful. What it means is, I can now look in the mirror and even if I don’t like what I see, I can say, “Ok. I don’t love how I look today. But…oh well. I am still gonna go to work, hopefully accomplish something productive, have some good talks or laughs with colleagues and friends I cherish, and then come home and share a meal with my family, and love and be loved. How I look today will have no impact on any of those things.”

So there you have it. No more food rules, accepting my body, and practicing self-compassion. So
many big hurdles, so much change. And here I am on the other side of it.
When I wrote you back in episode #64, I never thought I’d be where I am today. I know that this
journey will be lifelong, and I am completely okay with that. I can’t and won’t ever go back to that
way of life, to those values I had internalized that were never really my own, to a world of body
shame and unrealistic beauty standards. I am committed to the ups and downs of the road ahead
of me, now that I know that my beauty and value lie within. I choose freedom, I choose to live my
own truth, and I choose to honour all people and all bodies, including my own.

Sincerely,

Previously Stuck and Scared and Wanting to Charge

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!

(137) Does set point mean I will always be fat? (with Stefani Reinold)

What does your body want to weigh? Have you heard of set point theory and wonder what it means for you and your body? Will it always look the way it does now? Or will it get smaller or larger? Listen to this latest episode of Love Food with special guest Stefani Reinold MD from the It’s Not About the Food Podcast.

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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,
I began my intuitive eating journey recently with a non diet dietician who specializes in treating ED and PCOS. According to her you are not the enemy and once I get my PCOS under control and reject diet culture my body will return to my setpoint. I am oversimplifying but you get the point.
My problem is that for as long as I can remember I have always been fat so I don’t know that I trust that knowledge. Could it be that there are people whose set points are in the “morbidly obese” range?
Well I guess I was a normal weight once until about age 5. At 5 I was the tallest girl in class. Taller than all the boys even and yes heavier. I wasn’t overweight just much taller than all the rest but adults would comment when they went to pick me up I was too heavy. I was too tall at my 8th birthday for the ball pit my parents had paid so much to reserve for my birthday. I was so “big”. They meant tall but I thought they meant fat.
I started gaining weight because my main abuser didn’t like fat girls and found them unattractive. Back then you were my friend because you protected me from him and most men and cat calls. Now I see I built my own prison and am left wondering if some people don’t have a healthy set point?
Sincerely,
Confused in Cleveland

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!

(134) Why hasn’t Intuitive Eating made me thin?

How long have you been at diet rock bottom? What’s keeping you stuck? For many they have tried things like Intuitive Eating yet don’t feel successful because they aren’t thin. Can you relate? There is a way through this. Listen to this latest Love Food Podcast episode for more.

Subscribe and leave a review here in just seconds.

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,

I have been trying to make things right with you for a while now. I’ve been exploring intuitive eating for the last year, and we’ve had some successful moments together. Remember when I wasn’t able to keep ice cream in the house? Now I have multiple containers, which I eat when I’m in the mood and don’t think about when I’m not. That’s something I feel proud of.
I still make mistakes when it comes to our relationship – I know there are times I eat past fullness, and there are times I eat when I’m not hungry. I am trying to be as compassionate as I can with myself, but then l I see myself in a mirror.
I threw away my scale in October, and haven’t been on one since. But it’s pretty obvious I have gained weight. Mostt of my old clothes don’t fit, and getting ready for work and social events is fraught with anxiety. I have bought things in new sizes,  but  I cannot shake the awful feelings that almost paralyze me when I see myself.
I was not somebody who needed to be weight restored. What I feared would happen, happened. I gained weight. I always thought that if I binged less and practiced intuitive eating that I would somehow magically become thin. That didn’t happen for me. I know I can’t go back to dieting, but I also can’t seem to accept myself this way.
I know about body positivity, HAES, and fat acceptance, but I can’t seem to get there. Forget about body love – I’d be happy with body neutrality. It seems impossible for me to love my body at this weight when I know look better thinner.
I don’t know what to do about us, Food. I will not diet again, but I second guess my choices a lot. Even when I hear experts talk about intuitive eating, they always say things like, “Don’t worry – you won’t always want to eat Oreos or pizza” as if those foods truly are bad.
I  want to give myself freedom to eat whatever I want, but in exchange, I hate how I look.
Where do we go from here, Food?
Love,
Feeling like a failure

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!

(126) I have no willpower.

Do you feel like you have no willpower when it comes to food? Does it seem like you will never get out of the cycle of dieting and bingeing? Are you even wondering if you may have a food addiction? Listen along as Julie Duffy Dillon provides insight on your next steps of your Food Peace journey.

Episode’s Key Points:

  • Nutrition Myth: Calories in, calories out is the key to weight loss.—>Fat phobia is actually at the root of this false message
  • Intuitive Eating will help bring about peace with food and your body through rebuilding connections with your body and allowing food to be consumed for both fuel and pleasure.
  • Taking steps to dismantle our fat phobic system and move towards body liberation is key to promoting health for us all.
  • Our worldview of bodies is broken, not our bodies.
  • Research shows that diets don’t work for most people.
  • Saying someone is addicted to food is like saying they’re addicted to oxygen, water, warmth, and sleep —>we need all of these to stay alive; “We can’t be addicted to something we need to survive” –Amy Pershing
  • Connect with as many fat positive people as you are able in order to help move towards body autonomy and body liberation.

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.

Can food cure me? (Episode 120)

How many times have you read about someone curing their diabetes or PCOS with food? Feel frustrated you can’t too?? Listen to latest Love Food Podcast episode for ways to move forward while healing your relationship with food and your body.

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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 now open! You CAN make peace with food even with PCOS and I want to show you how.

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The transcribed episode can be found here.

Episode’s Key Points:

  • Do you have a long history of dieting in your efforts to control or cure a medical condition or to just feel like you fit in within our society?
  • Many of the medical conditions we experience are blamed on ourselves. You are not to blame! Food is not to blame! These conditions are often genetically-based and incurable.
  • The “Shoulds” imposed on us by society lead to guilt, shame, and distrusting our innate wisdom that we all have for identifying our body’s needs
  • Diet seduction/”Should Eat Fantasy Compliance” is commonly experienced upon embarking on a new diet as we feel like we are moving towards meeting societal body standards. However, this distracts us from the destructive nature of dieting.
  • Research shows that diets do not work long-term and they predict weight gain and exacerbate many of the markers of medical conditions. So, why do diets continue to be sought out? Fat Phobia, White Supremacy, and Misogyny. We want to feel accepted, safe, and at home in our own skin. This is completely understandable. However, we don’t need to be fixed and our bodies don’t need to be fixed. Rather, society needs to be fixed.
  • Connecting with fat activists is an important step in dismantling the “Should Eat Fantasy Compliance” and fat phobia.

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.