(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!

(123) My past trauma keeps me bingeing (with Amy Pershing)

Have you been been making steps towards body acceptance, but find yourself stuck when it comes to letting go of certain eating behaviors? Perhaps, you are one of many of those with an eating disorder who has suffered from trauma? Listen to this week’s episode with special guest Amy Pershing as she helps guide listeners along their recovery journey so that they can begin their healing process from trauma.

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This episode is brought to you by my online course, Your Step-by-Step Guide to PCOS and Food Peace™. You CAN make peace with food even with PCOS and I want to show you how.

Check out the Love, Food Podcast store. 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:

*Content Warning: discussion of sexual abuse

  • Special guest Amy Pershing, licensed clinical social worker and founder of the Body Wise binge eating disorder recovery program and the Hunger Wise program as well as author of Binge Eating Disorder-The Journey to Recovery and Beyond.
  • Many individuals who experience eating disorders have a history of trauma.
  • Our culture has not recovered from its own eating disorder. When we are capable of making some steps forward in our culture’s recovery from its eating disorder (and acceptance of all bodies), we can begin creating space to process our individual trauma so that healing can happen.
  • Trauma, particularly sexual trauma, makes an individual feel as though their physical being is not okay.
  • We must begin challenging cultural narratives that perpetuate body hate/fat phobia, such as that an individual’s size predicts their health (spoiler alert: NOT true), in order to allow this trauma work to be able to take place.
  • Additionally, filter your environment/social media: “If an image makes you feel bad, don’t consume it.” ~Amy Pershing
  • Healing from an eating disorder includes honoring what the eating disorder/food behaviors has done for an individual’s survival as well as adding tools, in addition to food, to one’s toolbox for coping.

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 want to hide my bad habits from my kids {with Lindsay Stenovec}

Do you deal with binge eating? Did you experience bullying, specifically within your own family, that relates to your body shape or size? Have you experienced sexual abuse, and feel that it has impacted your relationship with food and your body? Are you trying to set a healthy example for your own children after having a difficult relationship with food in your past? Listen now for some expert advice on how to cope with these body trust struggles.

Subscribe and leave a review here in just seconds.

 

Check out this summer’s special blog post series: Empowering Your PCOS Journey. It aims to help you understand PCOS, improve your relationship with food, and advocate for better care. You will be hearing from nutrition grad student Kimberly Singh and her experiences with PCOS as well as evidenced based info to help arm yourself with the most up-to-date research. Find it here now: JulieDillonRD.com/PCOSseries

Episode’s Key Points:

  • Sometimes our family environments can be just as toxic as this culture that we live in… remember, we ALL live in diet culture!! But that doesn’t make our family’s actions okay.
  • Abuse, physical or mental, can have a profound impact on our relationship with food and our body.
  • Lindsay Stenovec of The Nurtured Mama joins to talk about the complex interactions of motherhood and our relationship with food!
  • Processing this kind of trauma is essential… find a therapist to work through these difficult emotions and to help you cope with your past!
  • Sometimes we use food to cope with our emotions… this is totally understandable, but we can take steps to help heal this part of our relationship with food if we find it interfering with us living our lives.
  • We are all doing the very best that we can under our own circumstances! This doesn’t make us a failure or a fraud.
  • How do we feed others when we’ve had such a fraught relationship with food and body ourselves?
  • As parents, we do our best to shield our children from pain, especially from pain that we have experienced ourselves. Many mamas are trying to shield their children from the pain that they themselves experienced in relation to food and body… but sometimes this backfires when parents do so by trying to get their children to lose weight or to eat in a “perfect” way.
  • Feeling acceptable is SO important to finding body peace and body trust! Instead of repeating the same cycle of trying to control your own child’s food intake or body shape, focus on the unconditional acceptance you have for your child and help them to foster this body acceptance in themselves, no matter the outside influences.
  • We should ALWAYS feel safe at home, even if we live in diet-culture world!
  • We’re all just doing the best that we can!!
  • What does it mean to eat in a “healthy” way? How do we make peace with food and our bodies?
  • Ellyn Satter’s definition of normal eating is a helpful resource!!
  • Healthy eating is more about being connected to life, not about what we put in our bodies.
  • Our relationship with food and our bodies is about very complicated, difficult, and personal truths. It has to do with the food, but it also doesn’t! Our past has a HUGE impact on all of this, and it’s SO important to find support around figuring all of this stuff out. Find a trauma, Health at Every Size, and eating-disorder-trained therapist or dietitian to help you along this journey!!
  • Raising children brings up the difficult parts in ourselves that still need more work.
  • Going to therapy is a BRAVE choice! It is hard, but it gives us the tools to move forward in our lives and find healing.
  • Stress, discomfort, and feeling like a fraud are messages from our body! These emotions mean there is something that needs to be addressed within.
  • Secretive eating, shame, and hiding of food is an understandable reaction to growing up in an environment that body and food shamed you! The important question is not, “How do I stop,” but, “What do these actions tell me about my needs?”
  • Sometimes we don’t learn sustainable coping skills as a child… therapy can help us bolster our toolbox of coping mechanisms as adults!
  • Normal eating is FLEXIBLE!!! Normal eating is trusting our body to make up for our “mistakes” in our eating, and being compassionate about our choices.
  • In the end, it is JUST food.
  • When you trust your body to take care of yourself, it’ll do the best that it 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.

I only eat in front of the TV + want to change. {with Rachel Cole}

Do you tend to eat on the couch and with distractions, rather than at the dining room table? Are you someone that avoids the dining room table because of past trauma related to mealtime? Are you just trying to navigate this whole food peace journey, and are looking for some direction? Listen now for some steps you can take today.

Subscribe and leave a review here in just seconds.

Check out this summer’s special blog post series: Empowering Your PCOS Journey. It aims to help you understand PCOS, improve your relationship with food, and advocate for better care. You will be hearing from nutrition grad student Kimberly Singh and her experiences with PCOS as well as evidenced based info to help arm yourself with the most up-to-date research.

We are so excited to release our first blog post on Wednesday June 14th.

Episode’s Key Points:

  • Vulnerability is a part of healing our relationship with food, but there is also a time and place for NOT being vulnerable! It’s all about balance.
  • Rachel Cole joins to talk more about vulnerability and food peace!
  • Having a nourishing and safe place during mealtime as a child is super important! If we don’t have that, it can really impact our relationship with food and eating in adulthood.
  • Expand your choices!! Your food behavior shouldn’t be dictated but “should’s,” but instead by what you honestly want to do.
  • There’s a time and a place for non-distracted eating, but don’t force it!
  • Eat where you feel SAFE.
  • There’s no timeline, should’s, or black and white thinking… it’s all about being “choiceful!”
  • Pleasure is an important part of the eating experience, and we should embrace that. Make sure that the food you’re eating is something that you WANT to experience.
  • How do we re-parent our traumatized childhood selves without giving them all the power? Reach out to a therapist to work through this struggle, and have an active dialogue with that child!
  • Put in the effort to make the dining area welcoming and safe… create a warm environment, and make the area available to you with zero pressure to eat there.
  • Make small steps… what would it be like to have one meal at the table? Or just a cup of tea? Start with the lowest hanging fruit! Immerse yourself in the experience with non-judgmental awareness.
  • We should strive to make ALL areas of our literal and metaphorical houses welcoming and comfortable for us.
  • Have compassion for the ways that we take care of ourselves, even if our coping mechanisms aren’t the most sustainable!!
  • If your experience doesn’t feel good, start getting curious about what would make it feel better.
  • EXPERIMENT!! Explore, get feedback from your body and your emotions, and continue to check in.
  • We are the expert of our own bodies… connect to your body, embrace embodiment, and explore body trust!
  • Listen to a podcast or invite or call a friend while eating if you’re feeling lonely and want company, and don’t feel like watching the television.
  • Don’t be afraid to reach out for support in any capacity to help you through this food peace journey!

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.

How do I deal with all these feelings when not emotionally eating?

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Have you numbed out using emotional eating or binge eating yet now finding ways to stop? Sounds great, right?!? Not so fast: How do you tolerate these tough emotions? Will they ever end? Have you found alternatives to emotional eating, but are now dealing with confronting these emotions for the first time without the ability to use food as a buffer? Listen now for some tips on handling this part of the food peace journey.

This episode is brought to you by Pursuing Private Practice Masterclass. Ready to start doing things your way and kiss the corporate world goodbye? Details here and remember the super secret discount code BOSS for 10% off.

Subscribe and leave a review here in just seconds.

Episode’s Key Points:

  • Intuitive Eating: a way of experiencing food WITHOUT food rules… following your inner wisdom to determine what and how much to eat.
  • Our relationship with food MIRRORS how we relate to the world!
  • Intuitive eating will lead to experiencing a more intuitive life in ALL regards.
  • Learning how to eat intuitively in response to hunger and fullness cues, learning to tolerate emotions without food, and learning how to type on the computer without looking at the keys are all similar experiences!! (Listen for the full metaphor… it makes sense, I promise!) It all may feel a bit obsessive at first, or carry a sense of hyper-awareness… but you’re learning a new skill, and that’s okay! It will calm down and feel more natural eventually.
  • Do we always need to feel all of our feelings?? Yes and no.
  • Manage your emotions like you’re making holes in a volcano! Find ways to release before you explode. Work with a therapist or counselor to help you find ways to release your emotions that work for you.
  • We must acknowledge and honor the trauma we’ve experienced! Work with a therapist to process this trauma.
  • Sometimes being aware ALL of the time of our hard emotions can be exhausting! Sometimes we have to distract ourselves from our emotions so that we can get things done. Just don’t let them build up or rely on these distraction techniques too heavily!

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.