While on your Food Peace journey, are you feeling powerful fighting diet culture yet deflated every time someone else brings up diet talk? Wonder how to best handle verbalized fat phobia? Let’s huddle to help you decide what your next steps look like in this latest Love Food Podcast episode with special guest Cara Harbstreet.
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This episode’s Dear Food letter:
We’ve had a complicated relationship for as long as I can remember. I have always felt guilty when eating you and blamed you for my oversized body (according to society’s standards). My guilt and shame turned into a full fledged eating disorder, which I was entrenched in for years. I was diagnosed with anorexia in 2015 after years of restricting, over exercising, and hating myself. I finally agreed to get help from professionals, which meant having to eat a lot of you food. I was forced to eat what I considered my “bad” foods or “off limit” foods and refrain from exercise. It took years to restore my weight and countless appointments with my dietician, doctor, and therapist. It was and still is the hardest battle I have ever had to fight.
Here I am now, in 2019, and still have a difficult time with you. I still overthink you and I worry that you will always have control over my life. But I have also come a long way in understanding our relationship and the distorted thoughts I have about you. I have recently felt a strong desire to fight against diet culture. You see food, I am about to enter the field of professional counseling and my hope is to help people understand you better and become less fearful of you. I want people to enjoy you and honor the body they live in, without being on a diet. I want that for myself and for others.
Though, as empowered as I feel, I am stuck. I have a hard time listening to people talk about you, diets, and weight. It makes me cringe and I don’t know how to address you in conversations in a respectful and knowledgeable manner. Unfortunately, the conversation of you and weight occur far too often. I usually just ignore what I am hearing and don’t get involved because I am scared of how others will react when I tell them I am on your side and that you are not the real problem. What do I say to them? How do I enter a conversation about you, body image, and scales when I am against the norm? How do we as Food Peace soldiers push back on diet culture on a daily basis? How do we respond to our family and friends when they sit and talk about you and restricting you? How do we help people understand that diets are so harmful to our bodies and that we deserve so much more? How do we help people see that Food Peace is possible and it does not include restriction or being on a diet?
I want so badly to tell the world that everything they have heard and learned about diets and you is a big lie. I want to help people find body acceptance and break free of the shame and guilt they feel around you, but I don’t know how. HELP!
Stuck and Fed Up.
- Julie Dillon RD blog
- Link to subscribe to the Love Food’s Food Peace Syllabus.
- Cara Harbstreet’s website: StreetSmartNutrition.com
- Cara Harbstreet’s IG: https://www.instagram.com/streetsmart.rd/
- Cara Harbstreet’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/StreetSmartRD
- Healthy Eating For Life: An Intuitive Eating Workbook to Stop Dieting Forever book (aff)
- Find Eating Disorder Dietitians near you.
Do you have a complicated relationship with food? I want to help! Send your Dear Food letter to LoveFoodPodcast@gmail.com.