(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.

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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!

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!

(241) I am giving up on Intuitive Eating now that I have diabetes. Or can I still work toward Food Peace?

Everyone is welcome on the Food Peace Journey and when I say everyone I include those of you with diabetes. Public opinion likes to eliminate intuitive eating with a diabetes diagnosis yet what if moving away from diets promotes health and better blood sugars? Listen up for this week’s episode from someone just diagnosed with diabetes.

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This episode of The Love Food Podcast is brought to you by my Pop Up PCOS Podcast—Live only through the month of April.

It focuses on how to live with and manage PCOS cravings. Get access to this private podcast here.

Thank you for you supporting the Love Food Podcast!

Dear Food

We’ve never been friends, you and I. You lurked in the center of a labyrinth of Rules, the monster but also the prize. The Rules were supposed to guarantee good health as evidenced by a good body, and for “good” read “thin.” But I didn’t have a thin body. I had a big body. A fat body. A wrong body. A must-be-unhealthy body. A body that required regulation according to external rules since I was obviously incapable of regulating myself. The only thing about my body that mattered was my weight and my weight was always too much.

You were rarely flavor but always components: sugar, protein, fat, carbs. You came only at meals and meals happened only at assigned times. Hunger that happened outside those times wasn’t real. My body lies because I’m fat.

I enjoyed swimming and bicycling and roller skating, but movement for fun was worthless. Movement meant losing weight. Movement was punishment for being fat, and punishment had to hurt. I quit all the activities I liked and convinced myself they were never fun to begin with.

You were my enemy, food. You were the cause of everything that went wrong. Unless I got smaller I was going to die, and soon. If only I could get my food right then my body would become right, become thin, and then I could start my life.

Instead of living, I spent a lifetime avoiding you. My list of acceptable foods grew shorter and shorter. The amounts I allowed grew smaller and smaller. Meanwhile, my body got bigger and bigger.

Eventually, I discovered HAES and intuitive eating, and tried to repair my damaged relationship with you and my body. I ditched the constant analysis. It never made me feel good. I tried to think of you in terms of taste and flavor. If I ate enough of you overall, listened to and honored my body, everything would sort out. I felt better, physically and mentally. I am still fat and working on being ok with that. Because HAES, right?

But.

There’s always a “but,” isn’t there?

Barely a year after finding what felt like salvation, I developed diabetes.

I’m devastated. I’m angry. I feel betrayed. No more HAES; I don’t have health. Goodbye intuitive eating; my fat body lies. No more thinking about you in terms of flavors and taste and what sounds good. Back to The Rules. You are components, not flavors. Exercise and movement isn’t for fun, it’s to use up blood sugars.

I was wrong about my body and everyone else was right. I must accept reality and impose Rules to discipline my body and make it good. And by good, they mean thin. They replaced numbers on the scale and clothes sizes with A1c and fasting blood glucose. If my numbers aren’t good enough I will die, for real this time.

I’m afraid to buy a glucose meter. I would use it as a scourge, not as a tool. Hungry? No eating unless the meter says so. Blood sugar rises? Never eat that again. I know where this story ends. Surviving on black coffee and cabbage while still being the object lesson for eating too much cake. I’ve been there before. I don’t want to live there again. I’m back to obsessing about you and trying to make our relationship Stepford Wives perfect and I’m miserable.

Engaging the topics of diet and exercise at all feels like grabbing a live wire with both hands. Yet I’m told I must grab and hold tightly or I will die. I want to let go. But I want to take care of my body too.

How do I balance the requirement to dissect everything I eat into its component parts and assemble them into perfect plates without ending up back where I started? I hear the siren call and it is hard to resist, especially with doctors rowing my boat that direction.

Please help me find a better way.

Signed,

Frenemies (she/they)

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!