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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 Sophie Carter-Kahn, co-host of the She’s All Fat Podcast, on googling the diagnosis, hidradenitis suppurativa, and finding your path.

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.
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Listen as we chat with Jes Baker, author of Landwhale and Things No One Tells Fat Girls on shame, secrecy, and who’s to blame.

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.
  • Enter to win a 90-day supply here! (We will be picking 4 random emails from those who enter during September 2018. All will be notified via email.)
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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:

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.
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Are you on your path toward Food Peace yet struggling with accepting a part of your body? Do you live in a body that gets misgendered including in recovery spaces? You can have access to Food Peace too. Listen to expert guest Vaughn Darst as he explores this part of the journey on the latest episode and season 3 finale of the Love Food Podcast.

Subscribe and leave a review here in just seconds.

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.

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:

Dear Food,

We’ve had a rough ride. The past 5 years have been a constant flux of hating you, loving you, wanting you, needing you, abandoning you, and re-discovering you, all the while changing the body in which relates to you. Though it really didn’t change a lot at all; in fact it’s stayed relatively the same, but this un-changing body can just looks so different. On different days, in different mirrors, in different rooms, at different times, with different people, after different meals, it looks so different and I’m not sure which to believe anymore. I’ve come to accept this changing perception and try my best to give way to the kinder ones and not give much room to the less friendly ones. This has helped me come to a much better stage in my recovery and my relation to you (Food).
 
But there’s something I feel pulling me back into unhealthy thought patterns and coping strategies.I’m a non-binary trans people who has not been through any physical transition processes yet and, although I’ve managed to accept many parts of my body that I have felt hatred towards previously, I find it impossible too accept it as a whole. Because there are parts that I unequivocally don’t want, for example breasts, and so I don’t feel I can experience my body as a whole. At least not as long as I still experience this kind of dysphoria.
 
The thing is, Food, I don’t feel like I can resolve my relationship with you and move forward in my recovery while I can’t resolve my relationship with my body and my gender dysphoria. The part that I struggle with the most is that there is a distinct lack of resources and inclusion of trans people and bodies in rhetoric about eating disorders. Often, when I’m seeking help, I find myself confronted with invalidation of my gender identity and a sense of loneliness in my struggles. In fact, I tried to access counseling and they required everyone to take a nutritional information course first, in which they proceeded to mis-gender me and almost exclusively talked about anorexia and female body ideals as though that were the only issue in the room.
 
Now I know I’m not the only non-binary trans person to experience an eating disorder and/or gender dysphoria but I feel quite lost at sea in this struggle and don’t know where I’m suppose to swim to next.
 
Yours sincerely,
Drowning in Gender-norms

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!
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Are you ready to ditch diets…yet not ready? Does the thought of another diet seem intolerable yet so does losing control? Does it feel like you will be just letting yourself go??? Listen to the latest Love Food Podcast that dishes on just that with special guest Barbara Birsinger.

Subscribe and leave a review here in just seconds.

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.

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:

Dear food,
You are so complicated. We used to have a good relationship. It wasn’t that long ago. At first it wasn’t even about you. Then I went through that period of incredible stress. I felt so lost and physically couldn’t eat you. I think that’s when the problem started. I lost some weight. That wasn’t a plan. I don’t know if it became a way to cope, to feel (or not feel), a way to control something, a way to become invisible.Now it is definitely intentional. I like the smallness. I’m so afraid to let go of that. I want health. I’m sure this is not full health. My brain knows it is time to heal. So many days I go to bed and promise that I can heal, that I won’t think about you and will just take care of my needs. But it doesn’t last long. I get scared and can’t eat you again.I know where to find all kinds of resources. I seek them out, I fill my head with all the reasons to heal. I want to be better. But I’m terrified. I am terrified of admitting to anyone what’s going on. I am terrified of the body changes. I am terrified that some people will think I let myself go. I feel at the same time so ready for change and health but not ready to take the hard steps. How can I convince myself that it is time?Yours,
Ready, Not Ready

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!
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Julie Dillon Consulting - Podcast by Julie Dillon, Podcast – Julie Dillo.. - 1d ago

Does food control your life? Is every waking moment thinking about food, your body, calories, carbs, sugar, bad body thoughts, exercise, and shame? Listen up to the latest Love Food Podcast episode exploring how to move onward and what your body needs to carry on with your Food Peace journey.

Subscribe and leave a review here in just seconds.

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.

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:

Dear Food,

Food controls my daily life.

I think about my next meal every second of every day.

Stress makes me restrict or binge. There’s no in between.

I lost XX pounds in the month of April and May – almost hospitalizing me.

Then I gained XX+ pounds in one month – August.

I binged – cookies, ice cream, anything sugary. Every day sometimes twice a day.

Food controls me. But I am more powerful. I can control this.

Disordered eating is an issue for me.

I want to look like myself again. Not me during restriction. Not me during binging. Normal me. Physically and mentally me.

Love,
Me

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!
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Julie Dillon Consulting - Podcast by Julie Dillon, Podcast – Julie Dillo.. - 1d ago

Diet culture is literally everywhere: in safe spaces, sacred spaces, and progressive spaces. How do you break up with diets when the world celebrates their worth and demands their adherence? Listen to the latest Love Food podcast episode to give you mojo as you radically reconnect with your body.

Subscribe and leave a review here in just seconds.

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.

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:

Dear Food,

I am not sure if you and I can ever have a peaceful relationship. Lately, I am exhausted with recovery and the daily struggles of trying to eat intuitively, feeling like I am failing, and wanting to change my body. It feels like there is too much stress in my life that I do not have any energy left to try to go against the mainstream’s ideas on food and dieting that on bad days I wish that I had never heard of intuitive eating and embarked on this journey.
I realized that we had a complicated relationship after reading Intuitive Eating for the first time. I bought it on a whim, looking for an end to the food and exercise tracking madness, but still desperately wanting to change my body. I wanted to teach myself the “right” way to eat. I thought I was doing well, eating intuitively, and generally feeling at peace. This was until it was pointed out to me that I was following the “intuitive eating” diet, and this realization launched a pretty steep decline in my recovery. I know that the behaviors I had were not healthy and that at one time I realized that I needed help with them. But since I am not able to separate Intuitive Eating with the “intuitive eating” diet, I am so confused and apprehensive to try to re-learn it. Was everything I had learned the last 3 years completely wrong and how could I have missed the mark so much? Part of me wants recovery and the other part of me knows it will continue to be very challenging and I do not feel like I have it in me to stay on this path. I don’t think I can go back to how I was before, but I continue to be in what feels like a half-recovered space. Working through my disordered food behaviors illuminated that I have a lot of personal trauma and feelings that I was using disordered behaviors to cover up and deal with. As I work through those, I notice the disordered food behaviors creeping back in like an old friend, wanting to help me cope.
I realize diet culture is everywhere. And because it is everywhere, I feel exhausted by constantly defending my position to people and not giving in to the allure of what I know now to be another diet. My extended family gatherings that involve food consist of comments about amounts of food, “good/bad” food, needing to “work off” the food, or some special ingredient that will save us all from disease. Yoga has been a refuge but walking into the studio I might read a flyer for a weight loss cleanse, overhear conversations about diets, hear body negativity from other yogis and even some of the teachers. I attended a yoga teacher training informational session, thinking it would be a good challenge for myself to take my yoga practice to a new level and left feeling completely defeated after learning that one of the training modules was around “how to eat like a yogi”. Sharing my own baked treats with co-workers inevitably invites a litany of body and diet comments as well as their own personal justifications for eating or not eating the food I brought. I created an Instagram account for my dog because I thought it would be a fun way to share the funny things he does. Do you know how much diet culture permeates instagrams about dogs? A lot. I cannot shut off the continuous diet culture that is everywhere in my life. Something has to change.
Perhaps I am not fully on board with Intuitive Eating and HAES and that there are still pieces of diet culture I am hanging on to. All I know right now, food, is that I am mad. I am mad that I know that my food behaviors aren’t healthy for me but that I want to keep doing them because it felt like I was in control. I have so much shame for having this problem at all that I can hardly admit it to myself. I justify this by fully embracing that I hate my body and that, of course, then the disordered eating makes sense. I am so tired of starting over with different therapists, finding yet another book that I put my salvation into, hoping that, yes, maybe this one will click and I will magically love my body and I will become a true Intuitive Eater. Will I ever feel normal around you, food? Will I ever want to take care of my body instead of punishing myself for making a mistake at work, getting into an argument with a loved one, or accidentally reading a diet message on a magazine cover and feeling self-loathing? Can I enjoy you, food, without feeling an intense desire to want to exercise or restrict later? Can I trust you, food, knowing that my IBS may cause days or weeks of intense intestinal pain and fear of you, food? Will I be able to go to my doctor and not be completely obsessed for weeks after accidentally seeing my weight (and shame for feeling good that it was lower than what I thought)? It all feels too much, and I feel entirely un-grounded. I realize that this letter is even contradictory, stating that I wish I could have my old food behaviors back and also knowing that I have learned and made progress. I am just not sure, food, that I am on the right path, or even what the right path is.
Sincerely,
Wanting to Check Out

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!
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Julie Dillon Consulting - Podcast by Julie Dillon, Podcast – Julie Dillo.. - 1d ago

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.

Subscribe and leave a review here in just seconds.

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.

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:

Dear Food,
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.
Love,
Stuck In The Cycle

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!
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Have you done the Food Peace journey for some time yet still find yourself emotionally eating? Are you frustrated that food still soothes you like nothing else?? Does it feel as though you are doing Intuitive Eating incorrectly because you can’t just eat when hungry? Well, we have a podcast episode made just for you. Listen here now with special guest Heather Caplan RD from Lane 9 Project.

Subscribe and leave a review here in just seconds.

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.

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:

Dear Food, 

I feel like I am at a crossroads with you. For years I restricted you and then binged on you, part of me struggling to give myself enough of you and part of me demanding that I get my needs met. I know so much more now than I did when I first started struggling with you; I know about trauma, dissociation, how bingeing can’t be “fixed” with restriction, that my weight and my body and even what or when or how much I eat are not the problem. I know that, nowadays, when I use you to numb my feelings or try to escape them, you don’t provide me the true comfort and relief that I long for. I also know that, nowadays, I can enjoy you so much more than I did in the past. I can be flexible about when and what I eat, I can sometimes articulate what of you I’d like to eat, and I can sometimes say when I’ve had enough of you. 
 
I no longer binge as often as I used to, and I don’t binge on the quantities of food I used to. But there are still lots of evenings when I turn to you and eat more of you than I’m hungry for, or I eat something that I don’t even truly want to eat. I don’t think this is the same as bingeing, but it still feels like I’m trying to use you in ways that you can’t help me, and this behavior is keeping me stuck in a place I want to grow out of. I feel like I turn to you when I simply WANT—want more of a good feeling, or want less boredom, or exhaustion, or frustration from the workday. Why do I keep turning to you when I know you can’t give me what I need? How can I connect this knowledge that you can’t fix my feelings or take them away with the part of myself that still depends on you for . . . everything? I’m ready to take the next step, yet at the same time I feel like I am holding myself back.
 
From,
Caught in Between

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!
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When did you learn that certain bodies were more valuable? When did you start your first diet? Recovering from chronic dieting or an eating disorder can’t all be independent and individual. Culturally we must change together to help support your recovery. Listen to the latest Love Food Podcast episode and hear from Caroline Dooner, author of the book The Fuck It Diet.

Subscribe and leave a review here in just seconds.

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.

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:

Dear Food, 

You are my best friend and my worst enemy. You are as familiar to me as my own backyard, and yet as foreign as the deepest realms of the ocean. I taste you and smell you and manipulate you with my two hands every day. I read about you. I peruse photographs of you on Instagram. I am obsessed with you. And yet, I hate you. 

Currently, I work as a baker. I graduated last spring with a BS in nutrition. I’ve learned through my career how to meld delicious flavors and bake a custard to perfection. I’ve learned through my schooling how to teach others about ‘balanced’ eating. However, I don’t know how to eat. I’ve cycled through patterns nearly my whole life. Restriction, bingeing, purging, exercising and always compulsively weighing myself. I’ve probably spent at least $200 on bathroom scales. Once, in Italy, I pretended to tour a gym in interest of their membership, just hoping to find a scale. My weight is the center point of my life. Therefore, you are at the center point of my life. 

My childhood was…interesting – as said in a negative, classically Minnesotan matter. I also don’t have the best memory of those days, but I can place pieces together. I ate for comfort, and my high weight quickly became an issue I could not escape. I don’t remember when I was first placed on a diet, but the on-again, off-again dieting cycle started some time in elementary school. My step-mom took me to doctors for weight loss medication. I’d take it, but with limited results. I remember shopping for clothes Old Navy. I remember my embarrassment having to purchase the XYZ T-shirts. I remember my step-mom telling me “if only you could lose some weight, your face is so pretty.” I remember when I was 11, my mother brought me to a plastic surgeon to consider liposuction. Thankfully, he advised us not to take this route because my body was still changing. At school, I was bullied. I remember a child in middle school telling me I was the cause of world hunger. I remember a girl at a birthday party asking me why I was invited. I was ‘too fat’ to sit in the hot tub. 

Everything changed when I was 13. As a bit of background, my father had custody of me during the summer. Most children coveted summers, but I dreaded staying with him. He was almost always working and traveling – leaving me alone with only my stepmom. I felt lonely, isolated and, eventually, angry. I decided to take control: I stopped eating. Between the beginning of eighth grade and the beginning of ninth grade I lost over XYZ pounds. I could finally wear clothes designed for people my age. Boys finally noticed me. My mom finally told me I was pretty. I was also very hungry. I carefully watched my food intake. I obsessively counted calories. And I’d weigh myself every day. In high school, I started hiding my scale because my mom had realized it was an issue. At age 14, I was diagnosed with an eating disorder. 

Since this diagnosis, I have been in and out of recovery. My eating disorder has shifted all over the board. I identify most closely with bulimia, but I also have restrictive tendencies. I still weigh myself compulsively. I hate myself on the days the needle hasn’t budged – I hate myself even more if the needle budges in the wrong direction. Some days I cry to myself in the mirror because I hate what I see. I pinch my fat rolls and tell myself over and over that I am fat and useless. Throughout the tougher battles, I’ve sought out treatment. But when I initially step out of the grip of my eating disorder, that hideous monster wraps his hands around me and draws me back. He convinces me I don’t need treatment. He convinces me I should have an abusive relationship with him instead of a healthy relationship with you. I am fortunate in that I have gone through periods of more mindful eating. Typically, this lasts only for a few months, but those months have always brought freedom and joy. Unfortunately, you’re so entangle with the eating disorder that he never leaves completely. He always finds his way back to me. 

At the same time that I struggle, those around me don’t notice a thing. They praise me for my dedication to working out. They commend my healthy eating. “Oh, what’s for lunch today? A salad? Classic.” My co-workers don’t feel my isolation when they’re enjoying a staff lunch of barbeque while I quietly eat raw vegetables. My family doesn’t understand my pain when I’m the only one to deny dessert. They love my self-control. I tell them I’m a baker and I get sick of sweets. Really, I’m denying myself the current satisfaction only so I can secretly eat to no end later. As a baker, though, I still find enjoyment in you. My friends and I are fanatics of the restaurant industry, and I do admire you as a work of art. The eating disorder likes to deprive me of this adoration and leave me only with desperation. 

Food, you make me so confused. I don’t know if I want to work with you full-time. I don’t know if my joys for cooking and nutrition are true, or if they only stem from the grips of my disorder. I am confused with my path in life, and my relationship with you is blocking my view. I want to remedy our relationship so I can navigate my future, but my self-hatred and fear of weight gain keeps me from full recovery. Although treatment has helped, I still feel trapped and terribly alone. Will I ever find my way out of this terrible maze?

Sincerely,

The Broken Baker

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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