The Love Food Podcast Episode 58 with Andrew Walen

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Are you struggling with your relationship with food and your body, but are finding it difficult to find the right resources to help you heal? Do you identify as a man and feel lost or like an outsider in the food and body peace world? Have you made peace with food, but are still struggling to make peace with your body? Listen now for some advice on how to begin tackling these issues.

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Key Points:

  • You are not alone, but we can appreciate that you still FEEL alone!
  • SHAME is a big part of eating disorders, and there is an extra layer of shame for men.
  • Andrew Walen joins for more insight into the male experience with eating disorders, body image struggles, and food peace concerns.
  • Resources for men who struggle with body image is severely lacking!
  • The male ideal: 50% of men wish they were bigger and 50% of men wish they were smaller… there is also a lot of focus on musculature, especially in the chest region (very different than the female ideal!). The physical ideal is also influenced by our ideas of “manliness.” Men must be tough, strong, and nothing like women (stereotypically feminine traits such as soft or weak).
  • Eating disorders within the male population are stigmatized because they imply that the person suffering from the eating disorder is weak… which is feminine and therefore “bad.”
  • Right now, the biggest thing is NORMALIZING the male eating disorder.
  • According to some research, about 85% of people who struggle with body image issues and eating disorders are heterosexual males.
  • We live in a society that drives us to self-hate because we are told we don’t measure up, and people of all ages and of all genders are constantly comparing themselves to those around them.
  • We all struggle with wanting to be appreciated and accepted by those around us!
  • It’s important that men dealing with body image issues have the inner courage to speak out and begin to share their stories of struggle and success so that the experience is normalized and more research money can come in to help people suffering!!
  • Residential treatment facilities for men suffering from eating disorders is sorely lacking… only one current center in the country offers in-patient residential treatment for males!
  • How do eating disorders look different in men? How do men talk about their bodies?
    • Focus on muscularity, strength, and dominance
    • Co-morbidity of substance abuse, specifically alcohol
    • Language around the body is less specific and less emotionally intense than a woman’s language around the body
  • Coping skills are super important! This can include learning how to sit with discomfort and learning how to communicate emotions.
  • Men are less likely to seek out treatment, more likely to wait longer before undergoing treatment, and more likely to rush through treatment and, as a result, relapse. This inevitably makes the fatality rates for males with eating disorders, specifically anorexia, higher than that of women with eating disorders.
  • Resources can help normalize the experience of men with eating disorders and body image concerns!!

Show Notes:

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

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Thank you for listening to the Love, Food series. Give me feedback via Twitter @EatingPermitRD.

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This episode is sponsored by my friends at Green Mountain at Fox Run.

A Taste of Green Mountain – Weekend Program Green Mountain at Fox Run is excited to announce a one-time opportunity to newcomers – an all-new A Taste of Green Mountain weekend program! Key strategies for mindful eating, mindful movement, self-care, and stress management will be introduced to help participants to eat, move, feel, and LIVE in the moment…to #BeHerNow! This opportunity is only open to new guests of Green Mountain. https://goo.gl/tCVQWl

Binge & Emotional Eating Weekend IntensiveThe Women’s Center for Binge & Emotional Eating is offering its foundational one-week Pathway™ program in an intensive weekend format. Participants will explore personal barriers and how to counter them with evidence-based strategies to prevent eating in response to stress and emotions. Dates are scheduled monthly throughout 2017 although capacity is limited, so visit https://goo.gl/xFh2up  for more information.

TAKE TIME TO INVEST IN YOU.It’s time to shine the light on yourself and make YOURSELF the priority. Here at Green Mountain at Fox Run, we’re all about embracing and supporting yourself through self-care. Through powerful tools such as mindfulness techniques, stress management skills, and movement that is customized to your body and fitness level, you’ll learn to practice self-care in your daily life. Visit https://goo.gl/si9wZi for more information.

Green Mountain at Fox Run’s Foundational Guide to Reaching & Maintaining Your Healthy Weight

Download Green Mountain’s free healthy weight foundational guide to learn how to embrace healthy (and pleasurable) eating strategies, cultivate a fitness practice you enjoy, and use mindfulness to overcome stress & emotional eating https://goo.gl/WwUDOr