(129) I can’t love my body because I hate it.

You know diets don’t work. Do you gravitate toward the body positive message yet hung up on one thing…

You don’t love your body because you want to lose weight. You find your body unacceptable.

There is a way through this. Listen now for insight.

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Key Points:

  • Do you have a complicated relationship with food? I want to help. Send your Dear Food letter to LoveFoodPodcast@gmail.com.
  • If you feel like a failure because you can’t lose weight or keep it off, know you are not to blame. Diets have failed you.
  • Dieting predicts weight gain.
  • Dieting promotes the idea of body hate and conditional acceptance.
  • Does a deeper understanding of diet culture, its toxicity, and manipulation make you angry? Stay with it!
  • It’s ok to not accept your body.
  • You are acceptable the way you are today. The end. Your body is acceptable no matter what.
  • Oprah Winfrey joined weight watchers and Julie’s mind was blown to see diet culture and its reign make one of the most amazing women also feel not enough.
  • First step: work on RESPECTING your body.
  • Challenge the false truths.
  • Claim your space and find those who agree with body positivity.

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.

Which PCOS type are you?

People with PCOS share many similar experiences, yet there is quite a bit of variation among the PCOS experience.

Why do people with PCOS have different symptoms? 

Why is there body diversity among the PCOS community if we all have the same condition? 

Will the same medications help everyone? 

The questions are endless!

Research has demonstrated people with PCOS can be separated in four different categories depending on three basic PCOS symptoms:

  • inconsistent and/or lack of ovulation (oligo/anovulation),
  • increased male sex hormones (hyperandrogenism),
  • and the presence of cysts on ovaries (polycystic ovaries).

Yes, you read that correctly, having cysts on your ovaries is not a requirement to having PCOS. One study identified the following four types of PCOS, and these four types have built the foundation for understanding the general differences between people with PCOS:







Classic polycystic ovary PCOS                X                X              X
Classic non-polycystic ovary PCOS                X                X
Non-classic ovulatory PCOS                X              X
Non-classic mild PCOS                X              X

Since these types of PCOS were identified many researchers examined what other symptoms vary between the types.

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

Grab a FREE download from Julie here.


The classic polycystic ovary PCOS is the most prevalent type of PCOS, and, unfortunately, it is associated with the most negative health outcomes. People with this type of PCOS are more likely to experience more severe insulin resistance (more on that here). They are also at an increased risk of having unhealthy lipid panels.

All three types of PCOS that have hyperandrogenism are at an increased risk for developing cardiovascular disease.

There are also hormonal differences between the types. One study found that people with classic polycystic ovary PCOS have higher testosterone levels than the other types.

There have been some studies that compared the body sizes and shapes between the types of people with PCOS. Most studies find that people with the Classic polycystic ovary PCOS are most likely to have larger bodies and carry more weight around the midsection.

Although the research on body diversity and PCOS is super scarce, this is such a great indicator that people with PCOS should not be expected to have a particular body type. I have heard so many people suggest that if there are thin people with PCOS then all people with PCOS should and can be thin. This is false for any population- especially for people with PCOS.

Differentiating between types of PCOS gives me hope for the future of PCOS research. So many people with PCOS feel disappointed with the quality of healthcare of treatment options available.

I hope that by better understanding different PCOS experiences, future treatment options will be more individualized.

Let’s continue this conversation in the Facebook PCOS Support Group. Click here to join! Which type are you? Did that keep you from getting accurately diagnosed?


Aziz, M., Sidelmann, J. J., Faber, J., Wissing, M. M., Naver, K. V., Mikkelsen, A., . . .

Skouby, S. O. (2015). Polycystic ovary syndrome: cardiovascular risk factors according to specific phenotypes. Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, 94, 1082-1089. doi:10.1111/aogs.12706

Clark, N. M., Podolski, A. J., Brooks, E. D., Chizen, D. R., Pierson, R. A., Lehotay, D. C., &

Lujan, M. E. (2014). Prevalence of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Phenotypes Using Updated Criteria for Polycystic Ovarian Morphology. Reproductive Sciences, 21(8), 1034-1043. doi:10.1177/1933719114522525

Hayek, S. E., Bitar, L., Hamdar, L. H., Mirza, F. G., & Daoud, G. (2016). Poly Cystic

Ovarian Syndrome: An Updated Overview. Frontiers in Physiology, 7. doi:10.3389/fphys.2016.00124

Jamil, A. S., Alalaf, S. K., Al-Tawil, N. G., & Al-Shawaf, T. (2015). A case–control

observational study of insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome among the

four phenotypes of polycystic ovary syndrome based on Rotterdam criteria. Reproductive Health, 12(1). doi:10.1186/1742-4755-12-7

Jamil, A. S., Alalaf, S. K., Al-Tawil, N. G., & Al-Shawaf, T. (2015). Comparison of clinical

and hormonal characteristics among four phenotypes of polycystic ovary syndrome based on the Rotterdam criteria. Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics, 293(2), 447-456. doi:10.1007/s00404-015-3889-5

Pehlivanov, B., & Orbetzova, M. (2007). Characteristics of different phenotypes of

polycystic ovary syndrome in a Bulgarian population. Gynecological Endocrinology, 23(10), 604-609. doi:10.1080/09513590701536246

Sahmay, S., Atakul, N., Oncul, M., Tuten, A., Aydogan, B., & Seyisoglu, H. (2013).

Serum anti-mullerian hormone levels in the main phenotypes of polycystic ovary syndrome. European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, 170(1), 157-161. doi:10.1016/j.ejogrb.2013.05.019

Help me make peace with food while losing weight.

Are you trying to make peace with food, but still trying to lose weight? Do you want to know if there is a way to pursue weight loss AND heal your relationship with food? Are you struggling with what you see as an addiction to food? Listen now to hear my insights on this complicated food peace issue.

Subscribe and leave a review here in just seconds.

This episode is brought to you by my PCOS summer series: Empowering Your PCOS Journey. You CAN make peace with food even with PCOS and I want to show you how. This series and our Facebook group will be with you every step of the way.

Episode’s Key Points:

  • The pursuit of weight loss CANNOT be combined with making peace with food… so now what??
  • Thinking about food addiction leads to issues with food preoccupation. We NEED food to survive and thrive! We shouldn’t pathologize the desire for food.
  • There isn’t ONE diet that, for most people, can help maintain weight loss for more than two years. In fact, most dieters regain all their lost weight, plus more, within five years. Dieting predicts weight gain!!
  • Ancel Keys’ Minnesota Starvation Experiment: strong and fit men were fed half of the amount of nutrition they needed. Eventually these men became depressed and food preoccupied, and experienced a decrease in libido and in interest in extracurricular activities.
  • Weight loss pursuits promote restriction, and restriction leads to food preoccupation… so we can’t pursue weight loss without it resulting in food preoccupation.
  • Remember, even if you decide to leave dieting and intentional weight loss behind, it will still take TIME to end your struggles with food preoccupation. Make sure you have a team behind you to support your healing!
  • We live in such a fatphobic world! It’s important that we break down our own internal biases related to fatness, and face our own fat discrimination.
  • What is really behind the fear of fat? Explore that to figure out what’s really behind the obsession with weight loss, and to discover what’s keeping you stuck in disordered eating patterns.

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 is PCOS really?

This special PCOS series written by nutrition grad student Kimberly Singh aims to help you understand PCOS, improve your relationship with food, and advocate for better care. She experiences PCOS too and gets the struggle.


What is PCOS?

PCOS is one of the most common endocrine disorders in those assigned female at birth, creating a hormonal imbalance that leads to a variety of symptoms. People with PCOS tend to have high levels of insulin and androgens (like testosterone), causing symptoms that affect their overall health, fertility, appearance, and metabolism.

What causes PCOS?

PCOS seems to be related to a combination of environmental factors and genetics. There are both maternal and paternal genetic links to PCOS. I was surprised when I linked my PCOS to my father’s female relatives.

Environmental factors that affect PCOS include geographic location, exposure to industrial products, and changes to the food system. Agricultural changes that affect the food system may also influence the development of PCOS. Some environmental factors are out of your control, and I know this can feel frustrating.

As I have learned about the environmental factors that influence my PCOS, I can understand how to better nourish my body through what I can control. I look forward to sharing how changes in the food system affect PCOS.

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

Grab a FREE download from Julie here.

Did my weight cause my PCOS?

Nope. Your weight did not cause your PCOS. A lot of health-related guilt can surround existing at a higher weight, but numerous studies show that weight gain does not cause PCOS. 

Should I wait to worry about my PCOS when/if I want to get pregnant?

You may not want to have children now or ever, but you can still manage your PCOS. PCOS affects more than just your fertility. It’s associated with diabetes, high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, anxiety, depression, and endometrial cancer. PCOS can also influence your cravings and how your body uses energy from food. Managing your PCOS can improve your overall health and energy regardless of if you are trying to get pregnant.

Is there a cure for PCOS?

There is not a cure for PCOS. This may seem scary, and you may be wondering if there is a special secret remedy to get rid of PCOS forever. The Internet may try to sell you on a special diet or remedy, and it may seem appealing, but I know you won’t fall for it!

Although there is not a cure for PCOS, there are many ways to manage it. In addition to various types of treatment, there are lots of changes you can make to your lifestyle in order to manage your PCOS.

A lifestyle change-I’m sure you have heard this before.

Suggesting a lifestyle change is usually accompanied by a friendly spiel about diet and exercise. Although nutrition and movement are important components of managing PCOS, there are many other aspects of your life! These may include learning ways to manage stress, build support, advocate for your needs, and, perhaps most importantly, how to listen to your body.

Stay tuned to learn more about these in future posts. Growing in these areas can help you manage PCOS.

In my experience, using a wholesome approach to managing PCOS helps me feel like I’m working with my PCOS, not against it.

It helps me work in sync with my body, and I hope it helps you do the same.

Let’s continue this conversation in the Facebook PCOS Support Group. Click here to join! Who in your family experiences PCOS too? Suspect someone else does yet never diagnosed? Wonder if best to let them know so they can get help too?


Diamanti-Kandarakis, E., Christakou, C., & Marinakis, E. (2012). Phenotypes and Enviromental Factors: Their Influence in PCOS. Current Pharmaceutical Design, 18(3), 270-282. doi:10.2174/138161212799040457

Dumesic, D. A., Oberfield, S. E., Stener-Victorin, E., Marshall, J. C., Laven, J. S., & Legro, R. S. (2015). Scientific Statement on the Diagnostic Criteria, Epidemiology, Pathophysiology, and Molecular Genetics of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Endocrine Reviews, 36(5), 487-525. doi:10.1210/er.2015-1018

Hayek, S. E., Bitar, L., Hamdar, L. H., Mirza, F. G., & Daoud, G. (2016). Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome: An Updated Overview. Frontiers in Physiology, 7. doi:10.3389/fphys.2016.00124

Merkin, S. S., Phy, J. L., Sites, C. K., & Yang, D. (2016). Environmental determinants of polycystic ovary syndrome. Fertility and Sterility, 106(1), 16-24. doi:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2016.05.011

Polycystic ovary syndrome. (n.d.). Retrieved May 29, 2017, from https://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/polycystic-ovary-syndrome.html

The Love Food Podcast Episode 49 with Jennifer McGurk


Are you trying to reconnect to your own innate wisdom with your body and food? Do you feel obsessed with food, especially during the holiday season? Has “clean-eating” become the focal point of your life, and does the idea of eating non “clean” foods make you anxious? Listen now for some ways to combat the holiday diet stress, and to free yourself from the guilt around food.

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Key Points:

  • Food is something that connects us to our family and our culture, but diet culture makes food WAY too important and obsessive, and that preoccupation removes the connecting and pleasurable components of food.
  • Use the hashtag #foodpeace to join in my discussion about alternatives to diets throughout the next few weeks, which are bound to be full of diet talk (January is national dieting month!).
  • Finding pleasure in food contributes to your overall quality of life and health!!
  • Food provides a connection to people around us, and when we get in the way of that, EVERYTHING suffers.
  • Orthorexia: a condition in which a person relates to food in a moralized way (think “good” and “bad” foods) that becomes overwhelming and creates a negative relationship to food.
  • Jennifer McGurk joins for some more insight on food peace!
  • Our culture places so much emphasis on health, and conflates weight loss and clean eating with being healthy.
  • How do we change our relationship with food and find food peace? How do we take back our power and control in our lives without trying to exercise power and control over our food?
  • The ways in which we relate to food can be a metaphor for other things that we are struggling with in our lives!
  • Orthorexia may not be a full-blown eating disorder, but it IS a form of disordered eating… we don’t know enough about it yet to really have a full grasp of its impact on mental health.
  • First step to healing: make a list of pros and cons of eating in this “clean,” controlled way.
    • Pros: control
    • Cons: guilt, disconnection from family and friends around food because you can’t join them in certain meals, thoughts and emotions are obsessive about food and make you feel out of control, sacrificing parts of your life!
    • So do the cons outweigh the pros??
  • Recovery from orthorexia takes time! Working with an eating disorder dietitian can help, as well as proper nutrition education (we need “healthy” foods just as much as we need “unhealthy” foods!).
  • Increased moodiness and decreased sleep is a big sign of disordered eating.
  • Carbohydrates are IMPORTANT!!!
  • Taking the focus off the food and focusing more on individual positive health may be a helpful mindset shift.
  • Let’s label food not as “healthy” or “unhealthy,” but just as what it is. An apple is an apple, plain and simple. Bring food back to the present, rather than interacting with food in an anxiety-driven, future focused, “Is this food going to kill me????” kind of way.
  • “Clean eating is washing your food and making sure that it’s cooked to the right temperature. There is no such thing as dirty eating unless your food literally comes from the ground and has dirt on it.” – Jennifer
  • Orthorexia carries implications for those around us… if some of us are eating “clean,” then are the rest of us eating dirty??? NO!
  • Eating “well” doesn’t have to be black and white… we can eat our ice pops and also go to the farmers market.
  • “Our relationships are more important than our food choices.” – Julie
  • Nutritional health has a lot more to do with our mental health and our emotional health than we’ve ever realized before… let’s cross our fingers for some more research!!
  • Let’s give ourselves permission to have fun with food and our family… Just remember, how would it feel to be at peace with food?
  • “The importance of mental health as it impacts our physical health cannot be ignored.” – Julie
  • Having such rigid rules around food may actually result in negative consequences to our health.
  • Food is just not as black and white as we want it to be… apples won’t cure all ills and cheeseburgers won’t kill us!
  • You don’t need forgiveness for the food choices you make!!

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.


This episode is sponsored by my friends at Green Mountain at Fox Run.
A special promotion for Love Food listeners:
Join Green Mountain at Fox Run for their Binge & Emotional Eating Weekend Intensive (January 20-22, 2017). Participants will explore personal barriers and how to counter them with evidence-based strategies to prevent eating in response to stress and emotions. For more information or to register, please visit https://www.fitwoman.com/therapy-services-eating-disorder/offerings/binge-eating-intensive-weekend/.

Immerse yourself in a practice of mindfulness. Join Green Mountain at Fox Run for “Mindfulness for Women Who Struggle With Food and Body – A Meditative Retreat”, designed to help you reduce stress, eat well, move joyfully, and guide the way toward ending eating and food struggles. For dates and registration information, please visit


The Women’s Center for Binge and Emotional Eating at Green Mountain at Fox Run is the only clinical program in the nation solely for women suffering with binge & emotional eating. Their insurance-eligible program is backed by over 40 years of experience and is staffed by licensed clinicians. Their program has created life-altering changes by helping women to manage emotional overeating through the practice of mindfulness. For more information, visit www.fitwoman.com/binge.