(226) How do I live with body changes? (PCOS series with Shira Rosenbluth)

We are concluding the PCOS podcast series with a letter from someone moving along their Food Peace Journey in a different body. Things feel different–they can’t cross their legs and breathe differently. Therapist and fashion blogger Shira Rosenbluth joins as a guest expert to share her clinical wisdom and lived experience in her own recovery–both that will give you insight on your path.

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This episode of the Love Food Podcast is brought to you by The Eating Disorder Trap book and podcast by Robyn Goldberg.

It is likely you have a close friend, client or loved one who is currently struggling with an eating disorder. Do you feel lost in a deluge of information? Are you unsure who to trust? Let this book be your guide.

Written by an expert with over twenty years of experience in the field of eating disorders, this book will give you the facts in a friendly and easy to read format. Get to know what you are dealing with and how it is taking a toll on your body and quality of life. Get rid of the myths “diet culture” has had you believe. Find out where to go and who to turn to for expert and compassionate care, maximizing your potential for recovery. A useful, inviting and all inclusive guide to eating disorders.

Also be sure to tune in to The Eating Disorder Trap Podcast, an expansive support and resource system for people struggling with eating disorders. This podcast is for clients, clinicians and anyone who wants to be able to support someone who is struggling.

Grab your free download here.

New Podcast alert!

Be sure to check out, support, and SUBSCRIBE to the Demystifying Diversity Podcast with hosts Daralyse Lyons and AnnaMarie Jones. The trailer has me hooked and can’t wait to hear more. I have a feeling you’ll love this podcast too.

Thank you for you supporting the Love Food Podcast!

Dear Food: 

Are you feeling as numb as I am right now after our years’ long fighting bout against each other? Numb but also a peace and calm in our relationship since we called this truce and I decided not to be afraid of you anymore. And while that absence of fear brings an empowerment, it has also left me confused. Throw in PCOS and hypothyroidism and my confusion doubles. Because I still feel like I need to lose weight. I don’t have crazy aspirations. I recognize I will not ever be society’s definition of “skinny.” And I’m okay with that. I’ve always been okay with that. What I’m not okay with is the physical limitations being fat brings to my life. I don’t like that my bra cuts into my skin. I don’t like not being able to breathe when I bend over. I don’t like the battle it has suddenly become to cross my legs. One day I could do it and the next day I couldn’t! Okay, maybe it wasn’t that drastic of a change but it felt that way. In the past, I have limited you from my life when these physical queues surface and it’s worked. But it’s never worked long term and I just can’t do it anymore. I don’t want to do that anymore. But I do want to do things like cross my legs, not to look pretty or demure or because that’s how people think women should sit but because I want to be able to have that physical ability. I want to be physically able! I don’t want to be “skinny” or fit into a certain size dress. I just want to lose weight to avoid physical limitations. Isn’t that a good thing? So food I feel you and I are in the “well, now what” phase of our relationship. It’s as if we just broke up and are trying to navigate how to just be friends. And I don’t quite know how that’s done. 
Hoping for the best,
Just friends

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!

(225) My coworker keeps talking about diets (PCOS Series with Laura Burns)

We see you exhausted trying to swim upstream against diet culture. Do you work or live with someone who is hard core into dieting and just won’t shut up about it? Have you told them to stop and they keep at it anyway? We made this episode for you. Join this latest episode of the Love Food Podcast with guest expert Laura Burns. We want you to keep swimming!

Subscribe and leave a review here in just seconds.

This episode of the Love Food Podcast is brought to you by The Eating Disorder Trap book and podcast by Robyn Goldberg.

It is likely you have a close friend, client or loved one who is currently struggling with an eating disorder. Do you feel lost in a deluge of information? Are you unsure who to trust? Let this book be your guide.

Written by an expert with over twenty years of experience in the field of eating disorders, this book will give you the facts in a friendly and easy to read format. Get to know what you are dealing with and how it is taking a toll on your body and quality of life. Get rid of the myths “diet culture” has had you believe. Find out where to go and who to turn to for expert and compassionate care, maximizing your potential for recovery. A useful, inviting and all inclusive guide to eating disorders.

Also be sure to tune in to The Eating Disorder Trap Podcast, an expansive support and resource system for people struggling with eating disorders. This podcast is for clients, clinicians and anyone who wants to be able to support someone who is struggling.

Grab your free download here.

New Podcast alert!

Be sure to check out, support, and SUBSCRIBE to the Demystifying Diversity Podcast with hosts Daralyse Lyons and AnnaMarie Jones. The trailer has me hooked and can’t wait to hear more. I have a feeling you’ll love this podcast too.

Thank you for you supporting the Love Food Podcast!

Dear Food: 

I’ve been a listener to this podcast for a while now and it has been a helpful resource as I’ve worked on my own recovery from bingeing and restricting along with repairing my own body image. This year I began teaching at a new school and a teacher on my team has been a big trigger for me. She’s a former gymnast/power lifter and she often talks about her body and fat people in a really disparaging way. It started in the beginning of the year when she wouldn’t eat meals. Then it continued as she would talk about how disgusting she thought her body was. This year she had a miscarriage and later shared her PCOS diagnosis with me and how frustrating it is for her that she gains weight so easily.
Since quarantine has begun she’s been heavily into weight loss and has dropped 25lbs in the 3 months we’ve been in quarantine. I unfollowed her on social media but I still have to attend video calls with her where she tends to bring up her weight loss and about how disgusting she was before in her already thin body. I mentioned my concern to work friends that have worked with her before, and it sounds like she’s lost weight really rapidly before using diet pills and not eating consistently. They did not seem as concerned as I was.
I recognize that I cannot change anything she does, and truthfully I consider her a friend outside of this issue. We’re all on a team together so it would be far more difficult to not get along with her. That said, being around her and having to do video calls with her where all she talks about is weight loss and dieting (even after I’ve  asked her not to) has been really triggering for me. 
At this point, I don’t think she’d be receptive to anything I have to say especially because I do have a fat body and I’m worried she’s going to only hear my concerns as jealousy of her thinness. At one point i asked her to not send me her weight loss updates anymore and she gave me a not so sincere sorry. 
How can I continue my own journey of recovery while I have to be in close contact with someone who hasn’t even begun to realize they might have a problem? Over the summer I can hopefully take a break but I’m still worried about maintaining the friendship I have with my team while also trying to avoid her? I see an eating disorder dietitian and I used to work with an eating disorder therapist, but this has been a new problem. 
I know I don’t need to be thin to be healthy. I’m really proud of the healthy relationship I’ve built with food and permission and I have made strides in finding non-weight related motivation to consistently exercise. I just worry continued exposure to her fat phobia and rapid weight loss will cause me to spiral back only focusing on losing weight. 
Thanks for reading. 
Sincerely,
Don’t Want to Go Back

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!

PCOS and Keto

Curious if Keto is right for you to manage PCOS? Been told Keto is the way to control your insulin levels to prevent diabetes, improve ovulation to get pregnant, or get rid of your constant carb cravings?

Why is Keto so popular to treat PCOS?

Most people with PCOS experience high circulating insulin levels that promote intense carb cravings, absent or irregular periods, and problems with sleep. Finding a way to lower insulin potentially helps improve fertility, energy levels, mood, hair growth, and metabolism.

I didn’t mention weight and PCOS yet on purpose. I appreciate people promote Keto as a way to lose weight (aka weight suppress) and that assumes that weight CAUSES the high insulin levels and other PCOS symptoms. It doesn’t.

Weight gain or higher weight does NOT cause PCOS. It is a genetic condition passed down through families.

Assuming weight loss will help manage PCOS contributes to the constant weight discrimination found in the PCOS world.

I get it why Keto is so attractive to treat PCOS. But….

Keto doesn’t work for most people and long term research does not exist to support it for treating PCOS.

PCOS and Keto Research

With everyone recommending Keto for PCOS–doctors, dietitians, trainers, and Aunt Marge–you’d think there would be research behind it. Here’s the thing:

We have ZERO long term data on PCOS and Keto.

We do have 2 short term research studies though.

The most recent 2020 research describes:

  • studying 24 people with PCOS without hypothyroidism who weren’t taking Metformin or other insulin sensitizers.
  • 12 week duration–this is important!
  • used a Mediterranean style Keto with extra herbal supplements
  • Plenty of biomarkers improved like HDL, LDL, triglycerides, LH/FSH ratio, and testosterone. Weight decreased.
  • Small sample size and short duration were two of the many study limitations that make it not a generalizable recommendation. It also did not determine whether this diet was safe before and during pregnancy.

The other Keto and PCOS research–from 2005–describes:

  • Eleven people with PCOS were recruited for this study.
  • Study design was 24 weeks and people were instructed to limit their carbohydrate intake to a scary low amount and checked in every 2 weeks into an intensive education program.
  • Five people finished the study–this is important!
  • Plenty of biomarkers improved like LH/FSH ratio, fasting insulin and testosterone. Weight decreased.
  • There were non-significant decreases in insulin, glucose, testosterone, HgbA1c, triglyceride, and perceived body hair. 
  • Small sample size and lack of long term data (>2 years) were some of the study limitations.

Some follow up questions from this research:

  • I am curious what their fasting insulin, testosterone, blood sugar, blood pressure, FH/LSH ratio, ovulation, A1c, and weight was 2 years after completing the study. What are they today?
  • What is life like now with the study subjects? How is their relationship with food? Health is not just physical health yet includes mental and emotional health.
  • What was it like moving away from the rigorous research intervention to real life management of food? How did they experience grocery shopping, family get-togethers, and work dinners?

Six people were not able to continue with the Keto diet in that 2005 research article summarized above. What if that is the norm? How are they experiencing food now that they “failed” that diet? Why weren’t they further studied? (Writing this down for future PhD research.)

Are you ready to cut out a whole food group because 29 people were able to stay on a Keto diet for 3 to 6 months?

Are you ready to shame yourself for not sticking to a Keto diet because 29 people were able to stay on a Keto diet for 3 to 6 months?

Long term diet research–what it says about how it affects the body

We don’t have long term data to support ANY diet to treat PCOS. Yes, dieting is the go to first recommendation to treat PCOS yet even the 2018 PCOS Evidence Based Guidelines say we have ZERO diets that are shown to be sustainable and health promoting for people with PCOS.

Of note, we do have research that found people with PCOS who yo-yo diet more often experience binge eating. So there’s that.

Since we don’t have any long term PCOS diet intervention research to go on, we have to look at general population diet research. This is what it has found (all research looked at >2 years post diet intervention and findings were the same whether a person continued the diet or not):

  • Higher fasting insulin levels
  • Higher cortisol levels (an issue already with PCOS because of its associated chronic pro-inflammatory state)
  • Higher blood sugar
  • Higher incidence of diabetes
  • Higher blood pressure
  • More eating disorders among higher weight individuals
  • More binge eating
  • More weight cycling
  • More depression
  • Higher weight *please note I do not include this as a way to say higher weight is bad because I don’t think it is. I include it because I appreciate most people start a diet in hopes to weigh less. As such, long term dieting predicts weight gain rather than weight loss.

So now what? What can you do instead of Keto or other diets?

  • Move away from the scale as a measure of progress, health, and worth.
  • Be sure you are eating enough. Diets have fucked with your ability to know this. Be compassionate with yourself as you unlearn diet rules. Finding a person to help may make this easier.
  • People with PCOS probably need more protein. This doesn’t mean cut out carbs, sugar, or fat. Experiment with adding more protein at different times of day. Let your body tell you what helps and what doesn’t.
  • Consider your carb cravings as insight. They should be listened to, respected, and not shunned. Carb cravings are the way PCOS lets the person know that the condition needs attention. These cravings indicate that insulin levels are higher, or you are not eating enough, or need more sleep, or need to increase supplements, or medications, or need more protein.
  • Worrying about your weight will only keep you from trusting cravings. Worrying about weight won’t improve health long term and won’t make the cravings go away. Worrying about your weight will only make you more susceptible to binge eating experiences and intensify those cravings.
  • Find sustainable tools that help you lower insulin long term. These include eating enough, adding more protein, adding medications and/or supplements, resting more (and testing for a sleep disorder) and moving your body when you have the energy to do so.

Want more ways to help manage your PCOS without diets? Click here for a tool I designed just for you.

Looking for a non-diet PCOS community? Look no further than here.

(168) [Rebroadcast] Sasha Ottey on PCOS and Food Peace

While prepping for Season 4 of the Love Food Podcast, I am rebroadcasting conversations on PCOS and Food Peace. Listen as Kimmie Singh and I chat with Sasha Ottey, founder The PCOS Challenge which brings us the international PCOS Symposium, on turning challenges into advocacy.

This Chapter of the PCOS and Food Peace Podcast is brought to you by Julie’s PCOS and Food Peace course. Get 25% off using the coupon code ‘podcast’ at check out. Get all the details here:

Did you enjoy the podcast? Leave us a rating, review, subscribe or share the podcast! Doing these small acts of kindness help the show grow and connect more with the concept of Food Peace.

Notes:

Thank you to Theralogix, the makers of Ovasitol, for sponsoring the podcast.

  • Ovasitol is an inositol supplement with a blend of myo-inositol and D-chiro-inositol, in the body’s optimal ratio of 40 to 1.
  • Inositols are nutrients that help to decrease insulin resistance, promote menstrual regularity, restore ovulation, and balance hormone levels.
  • In convenient powder form, Ovasitol can be enjoyed in your favorite beverage or smoothie.
  • Available in both a canister and convenient single-serving packets, Ovasitol contains 100% pure inositols, with no additives.
  • Read our blog post about what Inositols can do to help your PCOS.
  • Order online today at theralogix.com. During checkout, use “PRC” code 127410 for an exclusive PCOS and Food Peace Podcast discount.

(162) [Rebroadcast] Ivy Felicia on PCOS and Food Peace

While prepping for Season 4 of the Love Food Podcast, I am rebroadcasting conversations on PCOS and Food Peace. Listen as Kimmie Singh and I chat with Ivy Felicia, from Weightless Wellness, on feeling broken and finding comprehensive health care.

This Chapter of the PCOS and Food Peace Podcast is brought to you by Julie’s PCOS and Food Peace course. Get 25% off using the coupon code ‘podcast’ at check out. Get all the details here:

Did you enjoy the podcast? Leave us a rating, review, subscribe or share the podcast! Doing these small acts of kindness help the show grow and connect more with the concept of Food Peace.

Notes:

Thank you to Theralogix, the makers of Ovasitol, for sponsoring the podcast.

  • Ovasitol is an inositol supplement with a blend of myo-inositol and D-chiro-inositol, in the body’s optimal ratio of 40 to 1.
  • Inositols are nutrients that help to decrease insulin resistance, promote menstrual regularity, restore ovulation, and balance hormone levels.
  • In convenient powder form, Ovasitol can be enjoyed in your favorite beverage or smoothie.
  • Available in both a canister and convenient single-serving packets, Ovasitol contains 100% pure inositols, with no additives.
  • Read our blog post about what Inositols can do to help your PCOS.
  • Order online today at theralogix.com. During checkout, use “PRC” code 127410 for an exclusive PCOS and Food Peace Podcast discount.