Have you been walking your Food Peace Journey™️ for awhile singing anti-diet praises yet suffer in secret? Do you call yourself body positive yet find yourself fantasizing about losing weight? This is an isolating space yet you are not alone. We have options to explore. Listen as guest expert Kirsten Ackerman describes ways to navigate this part of your Food Peace Journey.
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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I feel like an imposter with you and with intuitive eating. I feel that I’m not truly anti-diet, truly in recovery for binge eating and anorexia, or that I am really past all the dieting. My relationship with you has been unstable since I was five. I remember being highly aware of my body at such a young age and knowing I was larger than everyone. So I started to diet. And the dieting cycle didn’t stop until two years ago when I found intuitive eating. I’ve worked so hard to unlearn my internalized fatphobia and diet culture that was ingrained in me from such a young age. But everyday I feel like I’m faking it. I tell myself that I don’t want to be skinny, but I do. I tell myself I dont want to diet anymore, but I do. I tell myself that calories and carbs count isn’t important, but I find myself still glancing at the nutrition facts on food labels. What if I’m not meant for intuitive eating? What if dieting is the only way I can manage my PCOS and my weight? And even as I say this to you, food, I know it’s not the truth. I know that dieting is a short term solution and that it will do more harm than good. But sometimes working against the system is so difficult. I constantly have coworkers, friends, and family that are so deep into diet culture that it’s easy to get sucked back into it. And then of course there’s the PCOS. There is so much misinformation about how to manage my symptoms with PCOS and much of the time it’s diet related. I want to be fully free with you, food. I want to truly feel free from diet culture and know that I am a good person, regardless of the food I consume. But it’s so tough. I know that nutritious foods feel so good in my body and that less nutritious foods exacerbate my PCOS symptoms. And in my mind that means I can only eat “healthy” and that I can’t have ice cream if I want it. That the moment I eat something, it will make or break my PCOS management skills. That I will do too much damage that can’t be undone. So what do I do, food? How do I feel free with you? Because I am an imposter, a sham, and I’m afraid that someone will realize that I’m not as anti-diet as I make myself out to be. Thanks for listening,
Have you been told your body is wrong? Recovering into a body that looks different from those you see in your profession? This week’s letter features a higher weight person with aspirations to be on stage, TV, or film. How do you recover while navigating rejection? Listen up as we chat with therapist Shira Rosenbluth about ways to keep moving forward.
After being at war with you for as long as I can remember I feel like I’m finally starting to make peace with you. Sometimes my relationship with you is friendly but distant and you’re not really on my mind which is honestly something I never thought would happen. After being bulimic for 10 years I must say I’m impressed. When I was 16 years old I had a doctor who diagnosed me with PCOS and who didn’t believe me when I said I was bulimic and just told me to stop eating carbs. He blamed you for my problem, food. I now realize that you are not the reason I have PCOS and weight loss to cure this condition is basically an exercise in futility. I don’t find myself binging on carbs anymore as a form of protest. I no longer find myself turning to you to spite that doctor. I have a loving partner after being convinced nobody would love me because of my body size and I’ve been with this person for 3 years. He has helped me really become comfortable with my sexuality especially when we are told that people in larger bodies do not deserve to have sex or even be sexy in general. This is huge to me.
However, Food, there is one hangup I still have that I feel like you’re stopping me from being able to truly make peace with you. I have wanted to be a model and an actress since I was a little girl. Most of the people who know me will tell you that I talked of little else and that I enjoy being in the limelight and I enjoy being the center of attention. Although the entertainment industry has gotten a lot better in the last 10 years especially as the body positive movement has gotten more mainstream, it is still very difficult being a larger woman in this industry. I have had terrible interactions with photographers while I’ve been trying to build up my portfolio and I was rejected from a fashion show I really wanted to do because my waist size was too big. I ended up making XXX for the first time in years after I got rejected from this show. I am no fool, Food. If you don’t fit the clothes or the costumes, you don’t work. How can I still make peace with you and make peace with my body and still hold on to my dream of being a star?
How do you navigate a fat phobic world without support? This episode’s letter writer just started college and recovering from an eating disorder. And it is hard! College campus can be a hub for overexercise, bad body talk, and diets. Listen as I chat with Ayana Habtemariam from Truly Real Nutrition about ways to navigate this part of your Food Peace journey.
I have battled with you for almost three years now. This weekend actually marks one year of choosing recovery. Choosing to fight Anorexia Nervosa was the best decision I have made, but I did not realize it was going to be so hard and long. I was a senior in high school when I began recovery, but I knew no matter what I HAD to go to college. My parents talked about me taking a gap year in between high school and college to focus on my relationship with you, but that is not the usual in my small town. Thankfully, I am in college now at a university just down the road from my house. I thought my battle with you would be completely over once I left home, but honestly it has just gotten worse. Living on my own means making my own meals and keeping myself accountable. Diet culture is so loud here; I feel like I find you to be a part of every single conversation. It makes me feel hopeless in such a challenging and lonely environment. The school gym is just steps from my dorm—I usually find myself there after a bad meal with you or a hard exam. Why do you attack specifically college students? College is already difficult and adding fear of food and fatphobia makes it even harder. I know it is not just me too that has this struggle, but no one speaks out about it. I am at a loss of how to keep motivation and pushing forward in such a challenging community.
Tired of diets that don’t work to treat your PCOS?
Feel chaotic around food yet think you HAVE to diet?
Feel shame for your food cravings, bingeing, and body size while living with PCOS?
We have a podcast for you.
Kimmie Singh and I have put together 10 special episodes to form the PCOS and Food Peace Podcast. Each chapter features an interesting person affected by PCOS and their lived experiences. We also sort through a listener question within each episode on topics like exercise, cravings, mental health, infertility, finding good doctors, diabetes, and so much more!
This particular episode on this page is a great place to start. It gives you all the meaty details about the show and a glimpse into each episode.
Let us know what you think!
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:
Along your Food Peace™ journey you may have connected with how you were raised around food and how to treat your body. Did you learn early on that only thin bodies were acceptable? That we MUST diet in order to keep our weight low and letting go was a failure? Not surprising then that the desire to lose weight will continue. How do you stop wanting to lose weight? How do you accept your body? Listen now to the latest Love Food podcast episode for insight along this part of your journey.
I want to share the work going on within Decolonizing Fitness. The person behind it, Ilya Parker, is a trans person of color Physical Therapist Assistant and Medical Exercise Coach with over 13 years of rehabilitative and functional training experience. He is a social justice advocate and educator whose work centers gender, racial and healing justice.
He decided to merge his love for restorative based movement practices and community advocacy to create Decolonizing Fitness, LLC; which is a social justice platform that provides affirming fitness services, community education and apparel in support of body diversity. Check out www.decolonizingfitness.com.
This episode’s Dear Food letter:
I’ve been struggling with you for almost my entire life. When I was little I remember watching my Dad go on diet after diet and rigidly refusing to go up a pant size. It looked so miserable but I also wanted to be like him. I also knew (from what my parents had told me) that I was getting fat. So when I was 8, I went on my first diet and began counting calories. Later, around age 15, I began to reject dieting and wanted to relax and eat what I wanted. This made my parents uncomfortable and eventually they began to mandate that I diet and exercise. I began to sneak you up to my bedroom and eat you in the middle of the night. I was riddled with shame, guilt, and self-hatred. Even when I was outside of my parent’s control, I carried their voices of judgment with me and continued dieting throughout most of my adult life.
Now I’m 31 and I’ve tried so hard to redefine my relationship with you and my body. I’ve seen a counselor and nutritionist who come from an intuitive eating approach. I was fortunate enough to be part of a 10-week intuitive eating group and I loved it! But a job change caused me to move away from those resources and now I feel stuck. I’m heavier than I’ve ever been in my entire life and I’m so ashamed of my body. I don’t even recognize myself when I look in the mirror. While the dream of being smaller is still tempting, the thought of dieting repulses me. I know dieting isn’t the answer, but I can’t seem to get the hang of intuitive eating. I feel like I’m making zero progress on my journey to food peace.
Often I still feel like that rebellious teenager who would overeat (whether it made her feel good or not) just to spite her parents. I still want to lose weight but I know that intuitive eating isn’t suppose to be about that. How do I stop the incessant desire to be smaller when it’s been a part of my life for so long?
I’m also feeling scared because sometimes listening to my body and choosing to stop eating when I’m full/satisfied or not eat something because my inner wisdom is telling me that I don’t truly want it reminds me of the rules and restrictions I lived under for so long. Intellectually I know that responding to my body and inner wisdom is different than dieting. But emotionally they sometimes feel the same. Eventually I end up still engaging in rebellious eating even though I’m not sure what/who I’m rebelling against. Then I feel like I’ve fallen off track and give up and shame takes over. I know this is a diet mentality but I can’t seem to shake it! I’m not sure how to interrupt this cycle and stop thinking of intuitive eating through this dieting lens. I want to move forward in my food and body peace journey but I’m not sure how to get past this hurtle. I just want to find peace with you and my body but I’m not sure what the next step should be.