(248) Aging, Body Changes and Intuitive Eating with Kimberly Dark

What were you told about living with your aging changing body? Did you get the message that change is wrong? Or a failure? What would it be like to learn more often that an aging body is supposed to be changing? Kimberly Dark is a sociologist and author of Fat, Pretty and Soon to be Old as well as the upcoming Damaged Like Me. She has so much insight into this part of the Food Peace Journey. You can listen here now.

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This episode of The Love Food Podcast is brought to you by Ovofolic–a new way trusted way to get Inositol to help with PCOS. 

Love Food listeners get 15% off using the code ‘FoodPeace’ at checkout.

Some things I want you to know about Ovofolic:

  • It has the recommended 40:1 ratio of myo-inositol and d-chiro-inositol in Ovofolic.
  • It is important to take an inositol supplement with quality ingredients in supplements; not all inositol ingredients are the same.
  • Ovofolic has no taste or smell, no preservatives or additives.
  • The individual pouches guarantee equivalent dosing and optimum freshness. They are also easy to carry!
  • Woman owned and led.
  • Local small business not a big corporation.
  • Personal touch every time! Dr. Pari responds to all customer emails herself and oversees every aspect of manufacturing.

Use this link to check out Ovofolic to get 15% off (aff) ElanHealthcare.ca/discount/FOODPEACE or use coupon code FoodPeace at check out!

Thank you for you supporting the Love Food Podcast!

Dear Food,

Over the years, I have grown to love you: cooking and baking you, experimenting with ways to put you together in a meal or dessert, and, of course, eating you. The problem is that I’ve also struggled with body image and guilt about you, especially now that I’ve reached mid-life. 

 I was one of those kids and teens who was naturally thin. It was probably a mix of my genetics, my pickiness, and my anxiety, which often shut down my appetite. People commented on my small appetite and my thinness a lot, from a fairly young age. The comments ranged from admiration to mild concern, but the general message I got was that being thin was a big part of my identity. At the same time, I grew up in a strict food household in which there were definite “good” and “bad” foods. And I was told that although I didn’t have to worry about my weight as a growing child, someday I would have to be more careful about food to stay thin. 

When I reached my twenties, I gained weight naturally as my body became more womanly. I was still at a “healthy” weight, but for the first time I stopped getting comments about how thin I was. I will admit that I had a hard time with this—with this loss of that part of my identity­—and I began to question at times whether I was eating too much, or too much of the wrong things. I began to scrutinize my body, and dislike parts of it intensely, comparing it to bodies that were thinner. I also got married, and my in-laws had even more intense and overt judgements about weight and fatness. My fear of their judgment only added to my body image concerns.

After I had my two children, I secretly went on a diet for the first time—learning to track what I ate and maintain a certain calorie limit each day. This “worked” but I noticed that food, and tracking food, became close to an obsession, and that scared me. My sister has struggled with an eating disorder, and I knew I didn’t want to go down that path, so I pulled myself out of the diet. Even so, I found myself every year or two secretly dieting again to get my weight down to an “acceptable” level, and then pulling back out of it for fear of developing an eating disorder. I also railed against society’s obsession with thinness and beat myself up for giving into that superficial, even cruel, mentality. This push and pull was confusing, and still is.

Now that I’ve entered mid-life my body has felt out of control at times. I weigh more than I ever have, and when I’ve tried to diet, it’s much harder to lose the weight. In fact, I’ve noticed that when I do try to rein in my weight by restricting calories, my body rebels by gaining weight at first and then losing very slowly and sporadically. I’ve also noticed that I need to diet more often to keep my weight down, and that the weight fluctuations are greater. All of this terrifies me, so I am trying to make a commitment to stop dieting altogether, accept my higher weight, and trust my body to know what it needs—even if sometimes it needs to satisfy my strong sweet tooth. But it’s not easy and I often find myself feeling confused, wondering if I’m doing things right—balancing what I crave with what my body actually needs. I also fret about the future. What happens when I hit menopause and my body changes again? I’m scared about how that will feel and how I will handle it.

How do I move beyond what I now realize has been disordered eating and distorted body image? How do I move beyond my fear of fat and learn to love my body rather than poke and prod at all the bits I hate? How do I know the difference, food, between what is a healthy embrace of my enjoyment of you and what may be an unhealthy reaction against past restriction or guilt about you? How do I do this intuitive eating thing right and make it stick, through whatever changes are in store for my body?

Sincerely,

Trying to age gracefully 

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!

(247) When you are afraid of letting go of the eating disorder, messy recovery, and Intuitive Eating with Katie Barbaro

Have you been doing the steps to move away from your eating disorder, trying to beat Diet Culture off with a stick, yet wonder if you will ever make it? Committed to recovery yet wonder if you’ll always be flailing? Pull up a chair and take a break. Katie Barbero, author of Fed Up: An Illustrated Guide to Food Freedom, has some insight. Listen here now.

Subscribe and leave a review here in just seconds.

This episode of The Love Food Podcast is brought to you by Ovofolic–a new way trusted way to get Inositol to help with PCOS. 

Love Food listeners get 15% off using the code ‘FoodPeace’ at checkout.

Some things I want you to know about Ovofolic:

  • It has the recommended 40:1 ratio of myo-inositol and d-chiro-inositol in Ovofolic.
  • It is important to take an inositol supplement with quality ingredients in supplements; not all inositol ingredients are the same.
  • Ovofolic has no taste or smell, no preservatives or additives.
  • The individual pouches guarantee equivalent dosing and optimum freshness. They are also easy to carry!
  • Woman owned and led.
  • Local small business not a big corporation.
  • Personal touch every time! Dr. Pari responds to all customer emails herself and oversees every aspect of manufacturing.

Use this link to check out Ovofolic to get 15% off (aff) ElanHealthcare.ca/discount/FOODPEACE or use coupon code FoodPeace at check out!

Thank you for you supporting the Love Food Podcast!

Dear Food,

Our love and hate relationship has been ebbing and flowing. It all started really innocently wanting to opt for “healthier options’ ‘ until it led me to an unhealthy place. A place where I feared you, a place where I felt guilty after eating you, and a place that took away all the pleasure and freedom around guilt.

I’ve been recovering from an eating disorder for almost 2 years now and although our relationship is relatively better, we could say that we are not in peace yet. Diet culture has made me believe that there are “bad” and “good” foods. That I should fear some of you. That some of you are evil. I really want to change that, I want to make peace with you.

I’m trying to unlearn all the lies and myth diet culture has taught me but it’s hard, you know?

I’ve been trying really hard to reject diets, the mentality of good and bad and surround myself with anti-diet, body positivity, and food freedom content. But I’m struggling to take action steps to have a better relationship with you. It’s easy to consume and motivate me with a lot of inspiring content but it’s overwhelming, you know? I mean… There are so many fear foods I need to face, unlearn diet myths, change my mentality around food, learn to brush off diet comments, relearn how to listen to my body and treat it with respect and so much more that I need to do… I don’t even know where to start. Also, I’m afraid, I feel alone and I am afraid of what will happen if I let go of control and food restriction.

I really want to have a better relationship but things like diet culture, fear of weight gain, or eating disorder thoughts get in the way?

I won’t give up food, I am positive I will get to a place where I no longer fear you but embrace you. I know I will get there one day,

This girl needs a little guidance!

Love,

Not Giving Up

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!

(246) Parenting without Food Peace and using Intuitive Eating while raising kids with Unyime Oguta

Are you trying to break the dieting cycle within your family yet don’t have the foggiest idea on how to make that happen….so you just pretend it is all ok?! How do you teach your kids how to relate to food without passing on the disordered eating burden and body hate? The latest Love Food podcast episode explores just that with The Thriving Mum Podcast host Unyime Oguta.

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This episode of The Love Food Podcast is brought to you by my PCOS + Food Peace Course. Grab the details at PCOSandFoodPeace.com.

Thank you for you supporting the Love Food Podcast!

Dear Food,

The worst question my children can ask me is, ‘’Whats for dinner?’. It’s a daily assault on my desire to avoid thinking about you altogether. For me to answer my children’s question, I need to have thought about you- what would be tasty, what my children would like, what will nourish them. And then when I have thought about you, I then have to prepare you. I find this utterly overwhelming  and exhausting down to my bones.

Did you notice I don’t ask myself, what would I like to eat? I don’t know the answer to that question. I am so divorced from you that I don’t know what I want when I feel hungry. And Food, so you know, I have felt hungry for as long as I can remember.
Here’s what I do know about you Food: I know that it’s not my fault I am fat and it’s not your fault either. I just feel like we got off on the wrong foot. My mum was scared of you Food, and did the things women do to keep you at bay. She did the best she could with what she had, but it’s left its mark.  I watched, and I felt constrained and angry. So I very angrily and defiantly ate what I wanted, but eating because you’re angry doesn’t lead to food peace either.  I talk about you so positively with my kids, and I put on such a cheerful, food neutral voice at dinner and lunch and breakfast and snacks and all the times that we seem to talk about food. My children will never, ever know that you and I don’t really get on, that is a promise. But, truthfully I want to not think about you, you make me so anxious and demoralised.
Do you think you and I might be able to make peace?
Sincerely,
Overwhelmed + Exhausted

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!

(245) Intuitive Eating while supporting someone with Diabetes with Rachael Hartley

How do you continue to fight diet culture when someone in your family lives with diabetes? Is rejecting diets hurting them? Does this diagnosis mean food must now be managed rather than met with curiosity? Listen to the latest Love Food Podcast with guest expert Rachael Hartley, author of Gentle Nutrition.

Subscribe and leave a review here in just seconds.

This episode of The Love Food Podcast is brought to you by my PCOS + Food Peace Course. Grab the details at PCOSandFoodPeace.com

Thank you for you supporting the Love Food Podcast!

Dearest Food,
I love you. You are delicious and I enjoy you. I also sometimes feel angry towards you and
blame you for my problems. I’ve also felt scared of you and felt you were going to hurt me.
However, I’ve done a lot of work around this. These days, I often feel neutral towards you. I feel
we are getting into a groove and have a much better relationship. I’m so grateful for this. I even
ate a tuna on raisin bread sandwich to celebrate–one of my newly discovered weird food
combination loves. I’m so glad we can be playful together sometimes.
Nevertheless, I still have hiccups in this journey that make me doubt all of it. Recently, a family
member of mine, someone I love and cook for often, was diagnosed “prediabetic.” Honestly, I’m
not sure what this means. I do know he has been told to be careful about carbs and sugars or
he will become full on diabetic and this will ruin the rest of his life. This is not what was actually
said of course, but this is the message that seems to underlie what was said. I am scared. Did
my cooking do this? By embracing food, stressing less, and ditching diets, have I caused a
health problem for someone I love so dearly? What about when I get pregnant and have my first
child? What will I do then? How do I know that what I’m doing is best for those that will be
dependent on me? Don’t they deserve the best chance at a healthy life? And what does that
actually mean?
It feels as if I am able to work out my individual relationship with you a bit, but when others are
involved, I begin to feel the creeping in of doubt. I even googled diets for diabetes today. I had a
sinking feeling when I did that. As if maybe I would have to break up with you. Maybe all our
playful, fun, neutral times were over. Maybe we would have to go back to how things used to be.
Maybe I was wrong all along? It’s been hard to know what is right for me and I still struggle to
stay on course. When I start to feel my decisions may be impacting others I love deeply, the
doubt becomes fiercer and I actually become afraid. I become afraid of you, food. Will you hurt
my family?
Love,
Sad and scared

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!

(244) Letting go of diets and food control with Daph Levy

How many of you have moved from controlling food to letting it be? What if controlling food was a part of your life’s work–literally AND figuratively? This latest Love Food Podcast is a bit different. We get to hear from Daph Levy (she/they) an anti-diet eating-disorder recovery mentor, fat activist, and video media producer based in Boston, MA. They submitted a Dear Food letter and Julie invited them on to explore next steps. Listen to hear Daph’s words of support and wisdom!

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This episode of The Love Food Podcast is brought to you by my PCOS + Food Peace Course. Grab the details at PCOSandFoodPeace.com Get 30% off until May 24th using coupon code ‘birthday’ at check out!

Thank you for you supporting the Love Food Podcast!

Dear Food,

I don’t even know where to start. We have a such complicated relationship. Some words that come to mind that accurately describe our relationship are tumultuous, chaotic, and intense. I cannot think back to a time where you were just you. It feels like we have always had a toxic relationship, especially when others tried to manipulate the way we view each other. I remember when a relative would feed me a delicious homemade meal, only for a moment where I could sneak in a few bites before they snatched the plate away from me.

There were points in my life when you were all I had; I turned to you for comfort and joy, especially when it felt like my life was crumbling all around me. Other times, I was so obsessed with exerting control over you. I would spend hours tracking you, following you, measuring out every individual portion I allowed myself to have each day. I was obsessed with you- but I am sure you already knew that. I thought, the more control I have over you, the more worthy, lovable, and happier I would become. I had it all wrong.

These days, our relationship is distant- I am keeping you at arm’s length as I navigate trusting you again. ****You no longer occupy my mind like you once did. You no longer dictate my worth, because I don’t let you. I am in the process of reclaiming my power, which means letting go of the control I had over you. Even when I invested everything I had- my money, time, and energy- into controlling you, it didn’t make me happy. I did everything everyone told me to do, and yet, I felt miserable. You disappointed me. I spent most of my life fearing you and neglecting you, because that is what I was taught was best for my “health.” Little did I know, I was developing a severe eating disorder; although you wouldn’t know it since everyone around me applauded my “discipline” and “willpower.”

I find it ironic that I studied the very thing that I now try desperately to avoid thinking about. I cannot believe that I once thought my life’s purpose was to exert control over you to maintain some arbitrary number on a scale, to eat as few calories as I possibly could, and to become smaller- in more ways than one. It makes me deeply sad thinking that I wanted to help others do the same- develop an exhausting, chaotic, and toxic relationship with you, in hopes to shrink their body.

Letting go of the control I had was one of the hardest and scariest decisions I have ever made. Who would have thought that letting my body be would be the healthiest thing I could have done for myself. Yet, I find myself grieving you, and the toxic relationship we once had. But I want you to know it’s not your fault, it never was.

The way diet culture tries to lure me into its grasp with its messaging is so enticing. Messages like “eat this, guilt free”, “nobody likes a girl who can eat” or “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” or “you need to earn your food” are the ingredients for a disordered relationship with you.

But I have to confess something to you. I don’t want to be enemies, in fact, I want to be life-long companions, making new memories that someday I can reflect back on and think “oh, that was a good day.” I may not have all of the answers to our problems, but I promise I am working on it. I am not ready to give up on this relationship, no matter how complicated it is, because the truth is, I need you.

Love,

Can we be friends?

Best,
Daph

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!