(231) How do I ditch diets for good (Anti-Diet series).

This episode’s letter chocked me up….

Welcome to International Dieting Month. Let’s Rally together to withstand the pressure from Diet Culture. This episode’s letter connects the dots on the pressure to diet, lose weight, and control oneself. Content Warning: this letter describes eating disorder behaviors linked to Bulimia.

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Dear Food,

or really, dear me 

for we are nothing without one another. 

Together we have navigated rocky terrain, 

a tumultuous relationship

full of more fear than love.

I have needed you, 

hated you, 

and in that 

needed and hated myself.

I have blamed you, 

restricted you

binged you

earned you 

burned you 

enjoyed you 

hidden you 

purged you. 

My Self is tied to you 

closely and painfully.

But as I have arrived 

at my 23rd year 

most of the previous 22 spent focusing far too much on you,

I am unravelling 

some of the tangled web we exist in together 

and realizing 

it is not your fault, food.

Ant it is not mine either. 

It feels cliché to say 

but I have seen the truth.

It’s society that has created all of this.

It’s all lies 

mirrors and smoke

illusions to suck away happiness and freedom 

and, most importantly, money and power.

It’s the patriarchy and capitalism 

two systems of oppressive power 

that taught me to worry about you 

about us

about my size and shape 

and the effect that you have on those parts of me. 

So young I felt for the first time like I took up too much space 

with this body of mine. 

That I needed to shrink 

so I could fit into tiny little premade boxes.

So young I cut you out 

I forgot the pleasure you could bring me.

I thought only of numbers,

trying to get you as small as possible 

so I could be that way as well.

The rush that success brought is tempting even now,

but I have learned since the first time 

that trying to make yourself smaller 

is a process doomed to fail. 

That in fact our bodies try to protect us 

by making us take up even more space after.

Because our bodies don’t believe the lies.

Our innate wisdom 

sees through the smoke and mirrors.

And if only I was better at balancing my body and my mind 

I would also be able to see the truth. 

Instead, I still look in the mirror 

and hear the voices of the systems 

whispering their poison. 

So insidious they are that I yearn 

to listen to them 

to try again to shrink.

But I won’t,

not anymore.

Because after years of finding myself with my fingers down my throat,

after years of having the most abusive relationship with you, food,

I’ve decided to save my own life.

I am unlearning the lies.

I am shouldering a lifetime of clearing away 

the darkness that has been put into my mind.

Because I realized that 

even when my body is not 

what the world tells me it should be,

I feel lighter 

When I can just see you, food,

As a friend.

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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(230) Weight changes (Intuitive Eating Series)

Have you heard Intuitive Eating can help you lose weight if you do it right? Blech. NO. I know you’ve heard that yet it is sooooo off. That advice is steering you in the direction away from Food Peace. I want to help you get back on track. Listen to latest Love Food Podcast for insight.

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This episode of the Love Food Podcast is brought to you by Jennifer McGurk’s Pursuing Private Practice programs.

Anti-diet dietitians: take business building one step at a time surrounded by community and support. I highly recommend Jennifer’s Pursuing Private Practice Programs. Check out her free resources for Love Food Listeners here: PursuingPrivatePractice.com/LoveFood

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Dear Food,

I have been trying to make things right with you for a while now. I’ve been exploring intuitive eating for the last year, and we’ve had some successful moments together. Remember when I wasn’t able to keep ice cream in the house? Now I have multiple containers, which I eat when I’m in the mood and don’t think about when I’m not. That’s something I feel proud of. 
I still make mistakes when it comes to our relationship – I know there are times I eat past fullness, and there are times I eat when I’m not hungry. I am trying to be as compassionate as I can with myself, but then l I see myself in a mirror. 
I threw away my scale in October, and haven’t been on one since. But it’s pretty obvious I have gained weight. Mostt of my old clothes don’t fit, and getting ready for work and social events is fraught with anxiety. I have bought things in new sizes,  but  I cannot shake the awful feelings that almost paralyze me when I see myself.
I was not somebody who needed to be weight restored. What I feared would happen, happened. I gained weight. I always thought that if I binged less and practiced intuitive eating that I would somehow magically become thin. That didn’t happen for me. I know I can’t go back to dieting, but I also can’t seem to accept myself this way.
I know about body positivity, HAES, and fat acceptance, but I can’t seem to get there. Forget about body love – I’d be happy with body neutrality. It seems impossible for me to love my body at this weight when I know look better thinner.
 I don’t know what to do about us, Food. I will not diet again, but I second guess my choices a lot. Even when I hear experts talk about intuitive eating, they always say things like, “Don’t worry – you won’t always want to eat Oreos or pizza” as if those foods truly are bad. I  want to give myself freedom to eat whatever I want, but in exchange, I hate how I look. 
Where do we go from here, Food? 
Love,

Feeling like a failure

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!

 

(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.

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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!

 

(221) Fighting diet culture while recovering with Robyn Goldberg

Enticed by those slick new wellness products? Attracted to the hopefulness that comes from the idea that you can be happier in your body if just smaller? Recovering from diet culture and/or an eating disorder is so much tougher because the world hasn’t yet. Guest expert Robyn Goldberg, author of highly recommended book, The Eating Disorder Trap, weighs in on ways to move forward on your Food Peace Journey.

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This episode is brought to you by my courses: PCOS and Food Peace and Dietitians PCOS and Food Peace. You CAN make peace with food even with PCOS and I want to show you how.

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This episode’s Dear Food letter:

Dear Food,
Where do I begin? I hate you. I love you. You nourish me, yet you cause me feelings of utter guilt and shame. Do I sound crazy yet? I have been struggling with an eating disorder for over ten years. It started out innocent-as it always does! Just wanted to lose a few pounds here and there. But then the weight loss became addicting. Consume less? Move more? The weight melted off. Okay, I thought. This is working. Years down the road I am faced with a number of health problems. Electrolyte imbalances, the bones of an 80 year old woman (I am 27), weakening of my heart muscle, low potassium, and oh did I mention the depression and anxiety? With all of these consequences of my eating disorder, I found myself pushed into saying enough is enough. So, I went to treatment. I left there feeling great. Then I relapsed. I went back to treatment. Here I am weight restored, relatively "healthy" besides the issues I can't reverse. I follow my meal plan every day, listen to my body, eat when I'm hungry, don't over exercise. It is literally a full time job committing to recovery, food. So you can imagine my frustration with the world when I am all of a sudden being bombarded by the latest diet trends EVERYWHERE I LOOK. Wrap yourself skinny! Drink this superfood shake! Don't eat that processed crap! Join my fitness accountability group! Do I need to go on? What is happening? I've spent years in treatment trying to develop a healthy relationship with you food. Trying to let it sink in that you are not BAD. That it's all about balance and getting the nutrients you need to feel your best and yeah, that also means not denying myself a cookie or a damn muffin when I feel like it. I've been trying to be okay with eating how I truly WANT. Not how others think I should. But I can only take so much of this diet stuff. I can't have a conversation with someone, log into my Facebook, go to a coffee shop without calories, weight loss, or some new "get skinny quick"'scheme being thrown into my face. The problem is, the logical part of me who wants to stay in recovery knows that these schemes are bullshit. But the eating disorder loves this. It loves to just kind of tap me on the shoulder sometimes and say "hey..why don't you just order those shakes? It could be a healthy replacement for lunch if you're on the go." Or "hey you really don't get enough exercise these days, why don't you just order that new insane fitness program everyone is raving about?" 

My question is, food, how in the world am
I expected to stay on track to a healthy, balanced life when everywhere I turn there is a tempting reason for me to go back to my old ways? I know that trying one of these diets, cleanses, programs will only restrict what I am "allowed" to eat, thus ruining all of the progress I've made. BUT IT IS SO HARD, FOOD!! Are these people right? Are there foods I need to stay away from? It's so hard not to be tempted or convinced when I am feeling so vulnerable. Would trying any of these programs hurt me or can I do it in a way that is healthy? 
-Tired (but tempted) of the diet industry 

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!

(192) I want more control while intuitively eating.

The road to Food Peace is not all rainbows and butterflies. Most will experience rejection, body hate, and complicated ways of eating. If you come from that place and journeying toward intuitive eating, you may crave more control in the process. I made this week’s Love Food Podcast episode just for you.

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This episode is brought to you by my courses: PCOS and Food Peace and Dietitians PCOS and Food Peace. You CAN make peace with food even with PCOS and I want to show you how.

This episode’s Dear Food letter:

Dear Food,

Our relationship has been complicated since before I can remember. I’ve been overweight my entire life and you have always been the one i put the blame on. I was very young when i was told you were bad for me. I knew to stay away from carbs and sweets before i went to grade school. My mother lived for diet culture. Every month it was a new diet and I was always forced to participate. The diets never worked. I couldn’t stay away from you. Although i knew i was overweight i never wanted to admit it. I was ashamed of the word fat. After my dad passed away our bond grew closer. We were now best friends. You were there for the tears and you were there for the laughs. I used you as my crutch to get me out of a dark place. After a year i realized that we needed a break. My clothes were tighter, i went up pant sizes, and the pictures from spring fling made me want to vomit. I didnt want to be the fat girl any more. At 16 years old i just wanted to fit in. So I lost Xlbs, i joined the dance team, and the cheer squad. I was still overweight but i felt good about myself and all of the new friends i made. I managed to keep the Xlbs off for 2 years until I graduated. That’s when i started working and could start to feed myself. I ate fast food every night after work. I loved it. I had never been able to experience this. As a child i rarely got fast food because our family was always on a diet. I couldn’t control myself. Sometimes I’d get fast food multiple times a day. Before i knew it the Xlbs were back.  I managed to not gain anymore weight for about 4 years. Then i married my husband and my relationship with food went sour. I gained Xlbs over the first year i was married. I remember hearing the doctor say my weight and i almost fell to the floor. How could this happen? Ive been overeating for years and i never gained anything. I knew a change needed to happen. But how? I started dieting. I would spend hours planning meals and snacks for the week but that grew tiresome fast. I figured I’d try keto everyone raves about how easy it is. It didnt matter what diet i did i always managed to overeat to the point of being sick. I heard about intuitive eating from a friend at the gym and she suggested i Look into it. Once again i find myself binging on unhealthy snacks. I’ve been desperately trying to rebuild a healthy relationship with food but some how i always find myself in the fridge eating until my stomach cant handle anymore. I’m lost and confused.  I am frustrated and desperate to get control of my life again. 


Sincerely,

Desperate For Help

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!