The Love Food Podcast Episode 54 with Barbara Spanjers

The Love Food Podcast Episode 54 with Barbara Spanjers

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Have you finally settled into intuitive eating and experiencing more food peace? Yet, do you have trouble talking to close family who are still engaged in dieting? Or, feel conflicted with friends in their pursuit of weight loss when you have finally embraced your innate wisdom?

Are you having trouble supporting friends and family who are still on the diet track without pushing them away?

Listen now for some ideas and solutions on how to tackle this difficult issue.

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Key Points:

  • It’s still January, which means it’s still National Dieting Month! Find some respite from diet talk with my hashtag, #foodpeace, or email me at
  • Intuitive eating and healing our relationship to food and our body is a long, difficult process, but it’s worth it!
  • Intuitive eating: a way to relate to food that rejects diets and encourages people to connect to their internal body cues in order to know when to eat and what to eat.
    • 3 Components: Unconditional permission to eat, to rely on your own hunger and fullness cues, and eating for physical rather than emotional reasons.
    • It may sound simple, but it’s not easy!
  • NPR’s #SoAnyway Project: helped to guide people through political discourse with friends and family over the holidays after the 2016 Presidential election by giving alternative conversation starters and topics to focus on.
    • Take a page out of their book! Have a bunch of topics ready as conversation changers for when diet talk comes up and you just want to avoid and redirect.
  • Barbara Spanjers, Marriage and Family Therapist, joins for more insight and therapeutic guidance to help navigate this further.
  • When you start to heal your own relationship to food it is really hard to ignore the diet talk all around you!
  • Diet talk is everywhere in our society, it often is a bonding mechanism for women, and it frequently comes from the people we love… so how do we set those difficult boundaries? How do we find the balance between maintaining our relationships, not alienating those that think differently then we do, and not compromising our own recovery?
  • When people are discussing their diet plans, IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU! This is something super key to remember when these conversations are happening around you. It’s not about you, it’s about them, and approaching them with compassion rather than thinking they are making snide suggestions about you and your anti-diet decisions can be extremely helpful!
  • Barbara’s Stranger Things analogy: When you heal your relationship with food, you enter a place that others can’t even comprehend! You may feel like they’re trying to drag you back down, but really it’s that they can’t see what you can see. You are living in a completely different universe.
  • Changing the subject and shifting it is totally an option! Approach conversation topics with self-compassion and radical self-love, and see what happens!
    • For example, if someone says, “Wow, I’m just so fat,” you can respond with, “Oh, well I love you just the way you are!” You stop the diet talk in its tracks, meet your friend or family member with love and compassion, and maybe even begin to challenge their negative self-talk.
  • People with different ways of living can still have loving relationships.
  • Cognitive dissonance: when two opposing thoughts occupy one person’s mind, causing tension.
  • The more you try to teach someone an alternative perspective, the more people dig in their heels and cling to their beliefs. If we can understand this reaction more, we can approach friends and family with our alternative point of view in a more effective way.
  • Compassion is key!

Show Notes:

Do you have a complicated relationship with food? I want to help! Send your Dear Food letter to 

Click here to leave me a review in iTunes and subscribe. This type of kindness helps the show continue!

Thank you for listening to the Love, Food series. Give me feedback via Twitter @EatingPermitRD.


This episode is sponsored by my friends at Green Mountain at Fox Run.

Free 4-Week Email Course: #BeHerNow

It’s time to STOP putting your life on hold until you lose weight and START living the life you desire and deserve today! Register for our free 4-week #BeHerNow online course to learn how to transform your thoughts and behaviors so that the real you shines through…paving the way to a fuller, richer life. Explore how to shift your focus from weight to well-being, how to make lasting change from the inside out, and how to identify and realize what you really want and need. Registration for this series closes on Wednesday, February 1, so sign up today to receive the first email in the series on Thursday, February 2.


It’s time to shine the light on yourself and make YOURSELF the priority. Here at Green Mountain at Fox Run, we’re all about embracing and supporting yourself through self-care. Through powerful tools such as mindfulness techniques, stress management skills, and movement that is customized to your body and fitness level, you’ll learn to practice self-care in your daily life. Visit more information.


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