When I was a little girl, I remember my super evangelical, conservative mama telling me, “There’s this sinful notion out there that if something feels good, you should do it.” I’m sad to say this was one of the first messages I received that all things pleasurable were actually of the devil. I shit you not. Of course this message certainly applied to sex and drinking and other debachery [she says sarcastically], but this message was also super harmful around the pleasure derived from food. From enjoying delicious meals and treats. I mean one of the seven deadly sins is gluttony, for fuck’s sake.
You may have grown up with a similar sentiment around the morality of food. Not necessarily that Jesus would be after you, but think about how many times you’ve indulged in a decadent cake or delicious ice cream and have said something like, “Oh, I’m being so bad.” Or if you opt for the kale over the cupcake, you get to label yourself as “good”. Listen, food has nothing to do with morality and the idea that we deny ourselves a basic human pleasure like the taste of yummy food is incredibly harmful and furthermore, ruminating on what our bodies look like takes up waaaaay too much mental space. Like, how fucked up that we spend soooo much time and energy worried about our food choices and our body image.
On this week’s show, I dial up my pal, Summer Innanen, who is a body image coach and mentor who helps us look at the way we’ve been taught to constantly pursue thinness… at nearly all costs. Sometimes it’s a cost of pleasure, but other times it’s incredibly damaging to our mental health. Hands raised, amiright!? In this episode, we explore how the goal of “liking how you look” may be causing you more harm than good, how fixating on diet struggles can hinder us from addressing deeper traumas, and where to start if you can’t imagine ever having a loving relationship with your body.
This pod explores:
- The connection between food and pleasure and how many of us have been taught that pleasure is a bad word
- Summer’s tactics for setting intentions around your health that have nothing to do with what you look like
- How we’ve equated “taking care of ourselves” with thinness and how thinness is a inaccurate gauge of health
- How to adopt an additive (versus reductive) perspective around your body image, health, and food choices
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- POD #437: [Dial An Expert] The Truth About Body Positivity With Dr. Lexie Kite
- When Women Stop Hating Their Bodies: Freeing Yourself from Food and Weight Obsession, Jane R. Hirschmann and Carol H. Munter
- Fat Girls in Black Bodies: Creating Communities of Our Own, Joy Arlene Renee Cox Ph.D.
THIS WEEK’S ‘DIAL AN EXPERT’ GUESTIE
Summer Innanen is a professionally trained coach specializing in body image, self-worth and confidence. She helps people all over the world to stop living behind the numbers on their scales through her private and group coaching at summerinnanen.com.
She is the best-selling author of Body Image Remix, host of the podcast Eat The Rules, and creator of You, On Fire – an online group coaching program dedicated to helping people get free from body shame. She also co-runs the Body Image Coach Certification program helping anti-diet professionals learn to work with clients around body image.
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