FRR 161 – Body Image Series: Detaching From The Thin Ideal

SummerBody Image, Eat the Rules, Self-Love, Self-WorthLeave a Comment

In this episode of Fearless Rebelle Radio, it’s the fourth episode in the body image series and I’m talking about breaking the attachment to the thin ideal. Specifically, why it’s so hard to break the attachment to the thin ideal and how to identify and work through the fears that keep us hooked on the pursuit of thinness.

Don’t forget to grab your free worksheet – Goodbye Diet Culture – 5 prompts to help you break up with diet culture for good.

In This Episode, I Chat About

  • Why it’s so hard to break the attachment to the thin ideal,
  • Why no one should feel ashamed for wanting to lose weight,
  • Why breaking the attachment to the thin ideal is a crucial part of body acceptance work,
  • How to identify and work through the fears that keep us hooked on the thin ideal,
  • The 5 main fears that keep us hooked on the thin ideal and diet mentality,
  • Your free worksheet – Goodbye Diet Culture – 5 prompts to help you break up with diet culture for good,
  • Plus so much more!
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      Links Mentioned in the Show

      Fearless Rebelle Radio Episode Download

      Get The Episode Worksheet

      Enter your details below to get the free worksheet:
      “Goodbye Diet Culture – 5 prompts to help you break up with diet culture for good.”

      Episode Transcript

      Episode 161: Body Image Series: Detaching From The Thin Ideal

      SUMMER: This episode of Fearless Rebelle Radio is brought to you by You on Fire. You on Fire is the amazing, 12-week online group coaching program that I run, where we build up your worth from the ground up, so that it’s no longer hinging on the way that you look. It’s got personalized coaching from me and incredible community support, plus life-time access. Get details on what’s included in this program, and sign up to be notified when doors open for the next cycle, by going to summerinnanen.com/youonfire. I would love to have you in that program and in that group.

      INTRO: This is Fearless Rebelle Radio, a podcast about body positivity, self-worth, anti-dieting, and Feminism. I am your host, Summer Innanen, a professionally trained coach specialising in body image, self-worth, and confidence, and the best-selling author of Body Image Remix. If you’re ready to break free of societal standards and stop living behind the number on your scale, then you have come to the right place! Welcome to the show.

      SUMMER: This is episode 161 of Fearless Rebelle Radio, and it is the fourth episode in the Body Image Series, and I’m talking about how to break the attachment to the thin ideal. Specifically, I’m talking about why it’s so hard to break that attachment to wanting to be thinner, how to identify and work through the fears that keep us hooked on the pursuit of thinness, and the five main fears that keep us attached to the thin ideal.

      And there’s a really cool free worksheet called “Goodbye Diet Culture: Five Prompts to Help You Break up with Diet Culture for Good.” You can get that, and all the links mentioned in this episode, at summerinnanen.com/161. And you can just go to the show notes for this episode, so if you’re listening to it on a device such as an iPhone, you can go to the podcast app that you’re listening to it in and punch the info button to look at the description for this episode and you’ll see the direct link to the show notes. That’s what I meant to say. So you can hop on over there to get your free download.
      .
      Before we start, I have a couple quick announcements. First, big shout-out to Renata Pensuri who left this amazing review from Brazil: “Best podcast ever!!! Summer really helped me improve the way I look at food and health. It has been a long time since I’ve felt as confident as I am right now. Greetings from Brazil and thank you for all your work.”

      Thank you so much! It’s so cool to know that there’s someone in Brazil listening to this. That’s so awesome. If you haven’t already done so, please subscribe to this show via iTunes or whatever platform you’re using, and definitely leave a review for the month of February. If you leave a review, you will get a free audio copy of my best-selling book, Body Image Remix. All you need to do is just message me via Facebook, via Instagram, via email, which, my email is info@summerinnanen.com, or I’m on Facebook and Instagram as Summer Innanen. And just tell me what you wrote, and once that’s verified, I’ll send you the link to the copy of the book.

      I’ve been getting quite a few great reviews for that, so thank you! And I will likely extend that to the beginning of March, because this episode that’s coming out today was actually supposed to come out a week ago, but I was hit with the plague. I was so sick. I’ve never been this sick– well, I shouldn’t say never. I haven’t been this sick in years. I had the chills, and a fever, and I was bedridden, and it was pretty awful and it lasted a long time. So I had to postpone the recording of this episode, but we’re back now, so I’ll extend the offer to the first week in March. And go ahead and leave a review!

      And if you’re not sure how to do that, you can check out my highlighted story on Instagram that walks you through that.

      And lastly, don’t forget to grab the free “10 Day Body Confidence Makeover” at summerinnanen.com/freebies, with ten steps to take right now to feel better in your body.

      So if you’re new to this episode, or you haven’t been listening to the last few weeks, what I’m doing is taking over the podcast with the Body Image Series, and I am hosting several episodes solo, to talk about body image and self-worth, and give you specific ways to be more accepting of your body and who you are.

      This is the fourth episode in the series, and today we’re talking about breaking the attachment to the thin ideal: why it’s so hard to break the attachment to the thin ideal, why this is a crucial part of body acceptance work, and how to identify and work through the fears that keep us hooked on the thin ideal. Plus, there’s a free worksheet: “Goodbye Diet Culture: Five Prompts to Help You Break up with Diet Culture for Good,” that you can get for the show notes for this at summerinnanen.com/161.

      What’s it like for you to hear me say that your body size is not in your control? What’s it like to entertain the idea that your body may not be smaller? If you’re new around here, and you think that your body size is in your control, I’m going to suggest that you loop back around to Episode 83: Why Diets Don’t Work, because that goes into more detail about setpoint theory and what the data says about long-term dieting and more.

      But let me just come back to that question, this notion that diets don’t work. What if the body that you’re in right now is the body that you’re going to be in? Diet and wellness culture sell us this illusion that if we only tried harder or found the right diet, or the right micronutrient, or the right mindset shift, then our body will finally be smaller. You know, I think if you’re like most people I work with, you’ve invested so much time and energy into trying to find the right solution, trying to make your body smaller, and you’ve put so much into the pursuit of thinness that contemplating the notion of acceptance can feel like giving up.

      It’s easy to buy into that, because diets often do work in the short-term. Everyone’s had a success where we lost weight, and we felt so great, and we got lots of compliments. And so, it feels like we do have control. But then what happens is our body fights back, because it wants to keep us alive, via compensatory mechanisms such as binging or burning out, and we blame ourselves and think that it’s our lack of willpower, when the reality is that it’s actually our body trying to save us and keep us alive.

      You binging on carbs after avoiding them for a week is your body trying to protect you and keep you alive. So let me come back to the question of, what’s it like for you to hear me say that your body size is not in your control? What’s it like to accept that your body may not be smaller?

      And let me just say, I don’t know that. Your body might be smaller. We don’t know what’s going to happen to our bodies. They might go up, they might go down, they might stay the same. But I like to throw that question out there, because it helps to bring some of the stuff to the surface that we want to work through, in order to unconditionally accept ourselves. Because we want to be able to accept ourselves if our body goes up, or goes down, or stays the same.

      So I had attached so many hopes and dreams to my smaller body, I thought it was the only way I’d ever feel like I was going to be lovable and enough and feel fulfilled. and I truly thought that once I got the body I wanted, life would feel so much more fulfilling. And I was totally wrong about that. But dieting for me was my career, and weight loss was my identity. It gave me a sense of purpose. It gave me something to fixate on. It made me feel like I had control. I loved the rush of starting a new diet and anticipating how the scale would change. And of course, every time it ended in me hating myself more and being endlessly disappointed in thinking that my body was broken because I gained 10 pounds in a week when I went to Portugal and couldn’t stop eating bread.

      But I’m such a stubborn, determined person, that I kept on trying for decades, until I really knew that this was not the solution to my problems. Until I did a juice cleanse for a week. Not even a juice cleanse. Basically I didn’t eat any solid food for a week, and I gained weight. That’s when I was like, there’s something wrong here.

      All this is to say that letting go of weight loss as a goal, and detaching from the thin ideal, is hard. And I know most of the dieters I work with are high-achieving, perfectionist, they get shit done in their lives, they are accomplished in every area of their lives, and so it’s really hard to let go of weight loss as a goal, because it’s like, “what do you mean it’s not my fault or I can’t fix this?”

      And we want to let go of that, because letting go of that pursuit is really the catalyst to helping us fully have a good relationship with food, and feel better about ourselves. But that is to say, again, that letting go of weight loss as a goal, and detaching from the thin ideal, is really hard, and can bring a lot of fears and a lot of emotions. And so, in today’s episode, I want to explore some of those fears and talk about how they keep us trapped in diet culture and prevent us from truly accepting who we are and loving our badass lives.

      But first, let’s quickly talk about why working on this piece of the puzzle is so important, and yet can take a long time. Working on detaching from the pursuit of thinness, and detaching from the thin ideal, and again, it doesn’t mean that your body may not be smaller– it might go down, it might go up, it might stay the same. But we want to break that emotional attachment to it. That’s what I mean when I say that. But by exploring that, it helps us to get to the beliefs and the fears underneath, and one we identify the beliefs that we have about bodies, and about our own body, and the fear that keeps us coming back to diets as a solution, we can start to challenge that, work through the fear, and navigate that. And working on accepting our body and accepting who we are helps to break this attachment.

      I would never expect anyone to just be able to let that dream go, or expect them to no longer want to lose weight. That’s why I think it’s ridiculous when people feel like the body positive, anti-diet movement is making them feel shamed for wanting to lose weight. No one should ever feel ashamed for wanting to lose weight. It’s an innocent and protective response to living in a culture that stigmatizes fat bodies. Like, of course you want to lose weight. Of course you still want to lose weight.

      Of course, even if you’ve been working on accepting your body for a long time, there’s still a sliver of you that wants to lose weight. Like, yeah! We live in a culture that makes it scary to think of being otherwise. And so we never want to shame people for having that desire, and I never want to shame you for having that desire. But what we want to do is work towards detaching from it, and work towards fully unconditionally accepting your body and you. And so, what I do shame, I’ll shame the culture. I’ll shame the culture for sure, and how it’s created this environment where women are born believing that their purpose is to be small and desirable. And that desire to want to be smaller is not a switch that we can turn off.

      So, it’s not like you have one session with me and then you never want to be smaller again. This is the deep uprooting of all of our beliefs, and so it’s going to take time. But the more work we do on detaching our worth from our body size, and the more that we work on feeling more comfortable with ourselves, the easier it becomes to detach from that desire. Adn the less that desire occupies our mind, and the more that we can live in the present moment and be accepting of where we’re at.

      So, let’s explore these fears. I identify five fears that really come up. And this is just from working with so many people over the years. These are the fears that come up around breaking the attachment to the thin ideal, so, breaking that pursuit of thinness. And I’m going to talk a bit about how they keep us trapped in diet culture, and how we can start to work through those fears.

      So the first fear is: “I cannot accept this body.” And this is often when I’ve kind of thrown that question out to people, which can be jarring and scary. The question of, what if this is your body size? Often, they’ll say, “I cannot accept this body.”

      And you’re not alone in feeling that way. Most of us have been trying to avoid and escape being in our bodies for most of our lives. We’re not in the body that we wanted to be in. And we’ve learned through internalized weight stigma, fatphobia, and the sexist white supremecist culture that we live in, that our bodies are wrong, and something to constantly shrinking and fixing.

      And we’ve learned that our body defines who we are, and that thinness is the only way to achieve success and desirability, being loveable, and belonging. And of course we want those things. Who doesn’t want success, and to be desirable and be loved and belong? Those are innate desires that we all have. But we’ve learned that the only way to get that is through the pursuit of thinness. And that our body size is our social currency.

      When we think about accepting our body, it can seem like we’re letting go of all of those things. It can feel like we’re saying goodbye to being desirable, adn being successful, and being lovable, but that’s not true. That’s a lie that diet culture has sold us to keep us seeking out the next diet to solve our problems.

      You have absolutely nothing to lose by focusing on treating yourself with respect and kindness and compassion, and letting your body do what it’s going to do. That’s all I’m asking you to do when I talk about acceptance, is really start to treat yourself with respect and kindness and compassion, and let your body do what it’s going to do, because dieting is the opposite of that. It’s treating ourselves with disrespect, and cruelty, and violence, as Rachel Cole said many years ago.

      And I also acknowledge that I’m coming from a place of privilege here, meaning, I don’t experience weight discrimination. And that element makes this that much more difficult. And so if you experience weight discriminationn, I don’t want you to feel like that’s your fault, or that you need to muscle your way through your feelings about that. You don’t have to be okay with discrimination.

      Accepting your body is not about accepting discrimination. That’s not at all what it is. You can have feelings of shame and hurt and frustration and grief over your experiences, and you can say, “fuck this, I’m going to do my best to live my life to the fullest, despite the fact that our culture is fucked up. It’s not me that’s broken, it’s this world that we live in.” So it’s not about choosing one over the other and trying to bootstrap your way through these difficult emotions, it’s about having those emotions because of your valid experiences, and also trying to do the best that you can with your situation, and have a good community around you to support you in that, and get fully immersed in fat positivity and those communities to help you through that.

      And when we say yes to acceptance and doing this work, we’re in a better position to be able to change the system and speak out and advocate for fat positivity. When we refuse to accept where we’re at, and we keep holding onto the thin ideal, we’re essentially living in a state where we’re saying, “I’ll be happy with myself when…” We’re hinging it on the external.

      So by saying, “I cannot accept this body,” we’re essentially saying, “I can’t be happy.” We’re putting happiness on hold. We’re putting fulfillment on hold. We’re hinging that all on the external, which is never going to give us contentment with who we are, or fulfillment in our lives. That has to come from within.

      And so when I hear people say, “I cannot possibly feel better in this body,” I usually ask, what is the alternative? What do you have to lose by being kinder to yourself? What do you have to lose by treating yoruself like the fucking queen that you are?

      And so, that is really my response to that fear.

      And to not let that put your life on hold, you know, you deserve to experience more peace and freedom now. And so maybe it’s not happiness, but maybe it’s peace that we start to go for. Freedom that we start to go for. And just a greater sense of fulfillment in your life.

      The second fear that I want to talk about that keeps us trapped in diet culture and hooked on the thin ideal is: What if I gain weight? So whenever I hear this, I know it’s tied to two things. One is our fatphobic beliefs, and two is the fear of the unknown. So when we’re dieting, we’re dead set on being smaller. It’s what diet culture promises us, and so we believe it. It gives us a sense of security, even though the science shows there’s no long-term form of weight loss that results in the majority of people sustaining that weight loss in the long term.

      But we continue to believe that it’s possible, because it’s been so ingrained in our heads and it gives us that promise of hope. So seeing the lies in that hope is integral to moving forward, and in order to do that, we have to challenge fatphobic beliefs. And these are the beliefs that we have about what it means to be in a larger body. And this influences the way we speak to ourselves, and how we show up in the world. And so we have to rewire and challenge those beliefs to let this fear go.

      And intellectually, you may know that the beliefs are bullshit, but perhaps you don’t feel it for yourself. You can see someone in a larger body and think, “They’re beautiful, but I can never see myself that way.” And so, if you’re that person, which I think a lot of people are, we have to put conscious effort into rewiring those beliefs. And that can take time. That can take time. It’s a process of unlearning and relearning, as Melissa Toler says. And we have to be intentional with it,and give ourselves time.

      It’s also really important that we get to the root of what those beliefs mean to us, because internalized weight stigma takes root differently in every person. It’s not like a one-size-fits-all discovery when we’re unpacking those beliefs. Everyone has their own tender spots related to that fear of weight gain that we have to get into and address to try and change that.

      But also: what if weight gain isn’t bad? What if it’s your body’s way of healing? What if you end up gaining so much more in terms of the peace and freedom that you have in your mind and life, that it doesn’t matter? And that’s ultimately– which, I mean, that’s a complete 180 reversal of what diet culture tells us. But for me, my body size is a few sizes larger than it was when I was hardcore dieting, and yet, I’m so much more comfortable in it, and appreciate it so much more, and don’t think about it so much more.

      And again, I acknowledge that I don’t experience discrimination, so my lived experience is different there. But I think it’s worth noting that it’s a challenge to really believe that you could actually be happier at a higher weight. And again, I don’t know if you’re going to gain weight. You might not. You might lose weight. You might stay the same. But we ultimately want to challenge that belief regardless, so that we can unconditionally accept our body and who we are.

      And that brings me to my next point, in that we don’t know what’s going to happen to our body. And so, the second point of resistance around that question of what if I gain weight? is fear of the unknown. So many of us don’t like fear of the unknown. That’s why we were dieting. Because it gave us this hope and promise of something that seemed really clear and really tangible. And so, going into the abyss of the unknown is terrifying. And that is something to acknowledge and work through.

      But here’s the thing: we don’t know what’s going to happen to our body. Ever in life. We don’t even know if it’s going to be here tomorrow. I know for sure it’s probably going to sag, things are going to sag more, because of aging, that’s normal. But we really just don’t know, and so we have to get comfortable with the unknown by staying focused on the present. You know, how do you feel today? in this moment. Let’s work on that and let go of the stuff that’s not within our control, which, for most control freaks like me, this is a really hard thing to do. But it’s possible.

      The third fear that keeps us trapped in diet culture and hooked on the thin ideal is: What if I do this work and I still hate myself? I find that sometimes people are hesitant to really let go of dieting and the pursuit of thinness because they can’t fathom accepting themselves. They think, “What if I invest this time and energy into rejecting diets, and doing the work on changing my beliefs, and fail?” They think, “I’ve already bought into and failed so many things.”

      And here’s the thing: diets are meant to fail. That is not your fault. It’s not your fault that the diet didn’t work. It’s not because you didn’t have willpower or you didn’t meal plan, or that you just couldn’t get your shit together to wake up early enough to exercise. It’s that they are literally meant to fail. And so walking away from that and working on acceptance is not the same thing.

      Let me rephrase that: believing that diets fail, thinking that you’re going to fail acceptance… you can’t compare apples to oranges. That’s what I’m trying to say. I’m trying to rephrase this in a way that makes sense, because I’m realizing maybe it didn’t. But you’re not a failure because you didn’t keep the weight off with dieting. And you can’t fail at acceptance. You can’t fail at being kinder to yourself. You really can’t. So that’s what I’m trying to say. They’re just two totally different things. Acceptance, you cannot fail at.

      So you didn’t let yourself go, you’re not a failure because the diet didn’t work. Your body was literally trying to protect you. And if you can’t fathom feeling like you’re good enough at this size, then you’re certainly not going to feel this way when you’re smaller, because that’s not how it works.

      I think we all think, “Well, I’ll feel like I’m good enough when I’m smaller,” but when we’re hinging our self-worth, when we’re hinging this belief that we’re good enough on something that’s external, whether that’s the scale, the mirror, the number of Instagram likes we have, or the compliments that people give us, external validation from others. Then we’re never going to feel good enough. It can’t come from the external. It’s got to be unconditional and it has to come from within us.

      We’re talking about reclaiming your power from a system that’s stolen it and made you feel like you’re not good enough. And yes, the journey has ups and downs and this work requires you to be outside your comfort zone and sit with feelings, and be vulnerable, but once you commit to doing the work, it only gets better.

      And so this fear that it won’t work, that, what if you fail, that’s really just coming from this belief that you’re not good enough. And so, if we work on this belief that you’re not good enough, and have you really work on believing that you’re good enough, then you’re going to know that that dieting stuff was never your fault, and that it is totally possible to feel good enough and appreciate yourself unconditionally. You are courageous and you can do this. I know this for sure.

      I’ve worked with people in so many different shapes and sizes and ages, and seen them give way less fucks about what other people think,a dn be softer and kinder to themselves, and wear what they want, and do the things with their lives that they didn’t think were possible, and that can even mean just getting up in the morning and not thinking about dieting.

      So I know that you can shake this belief that you’re not good enough. And you cannot fail this, because there is no failure when we break free of diet culture. There is only freedom. Only freedom.

      The fourth fear that keeps us trapped in diet culture, and hooked on the thin ideal and from living our lives, is when we think, “I really don’t want to dive into the feelings underneath this pile of shit,” for lack of a better phrase. “I don’t want to dive into the feelings that are underneath my attachment to the thin ideal.”

      Dieting is familiar, the shame that that we feel in our body is familiar. And even though those things are uncomfortable, sometimes it feels safer to stay there than to venture into the unknown and step outside your comfort zone.

      And so, that’s why this is a common fear that pops up. And also, dieting and fixating on our body is an awesome way to avoid feelings and cope with difficult emotions when our life feels out of control. So, we become preoccupied with our weight to comfort ourselves. I’m not sure if that’s a new concept for you. It’s one that I’ve been talking about for years. I’ve always said, it’s not about emotional eating, it’s about emotional dieting. And emotional fixation.

      We try to control our emotions and destiny by fixating on our weight, because we truly believe that being thin will make everything better. Which we know is not true. So we medicate ourselves with dieting to soothe and fix our feelings, we fixate on our body to distract ourselves from other things that are potentially more uncomfortable to feel and deal with.

      And that’s another reason why dieting is so addictive, because it just gives us that dopamine hit that things are going to instantly get better. And so it’s easier to think that our weight is a problem, especially when we live in a culture that discriminates against fat bodies. It’s also easier to think that our weight is the problem instead of facing things like rejection, or loneliness, or anxiety or hurt or shame and fear of the unknown. So again, it’s like, sometimes we’d rather just be with the shame of our body, than feel other things that perhaps feel more uncomfortable and scary to us. But I can promise you they’re not. I promise you they’re not. I make it really fun when I have people feel emotions and work through that stuff.

      So we think dieting will protect us from feeling these things, and so we numb ourselves out by obsessing over our weight, and planning our next attempt at weight loss. And it gives us this sense of hope that we have control, and that everything’s going to be better if we can just lose weight, and one of the things that keeps us hooked on that promise of the thin ideal is that we don’t want to lose our coping mechanism.

      Again, we don’t often realize that it’s our coping mechanism, but it’s just like, it feels comfortable, it’s safe, it’s protective. And sometimes when we take that away, it means we have to sit with some of the discomfort of what we’ve been avoiding. And not always, because everyone’s situation is different, but sometimes, that means sitting with some more difficult stuff. But I read a quote recently that Tara Moor sent out in her email newsletter that she shared from someone named Gordon Newfield, that said, “So often, happiness is on the other side of tears that have not yet been shed.”

      And I really liked that quote, because I think a lot of us avoid feelings and we stuff it down, but when we can feel through stuff, that’s when real, and I wouldn’t even say happiness, but peace… this feeling of an emotional weight being lifted. I always tell my clients that crying is just your eyes having an orgasm. That’s all it is. It’s a release. And when we can actually face the stuff that’s happening to us, and feel that, we can take action and move through it, instead of staying stuck. Because otherwise, it’s just going to keep popping up like a whack-a-mole, and we’re never really going to move through it.

      And it takes courage to do that. And that’s why having support can be super helpful. Because often we don’t even really see the root of that desire to diet, and why we’re fixating on our body. Often we don’t even know why it just feels safer to stay where we are. And so, having someone like a coach to be able to help you pinpoint that and work through it can make the process so much easier. And if we don’t deal with our shit, it just festers and begins an epic dumpster fire that flares up in every aspect of our lives.

      So just picture it that way. It is so liberating to really work on healing and sit with those feelings that we’ve been avoiding. It can just be so helpful. And I say this as someone who’s had to work through a lot of really hard stuff in the last few months, with my dad passing away, and opening up the dumpster fire that was associated with that. It can be really healing, as much as it’s uncomfortable and I never wanted to go to my therapy sessions, and I was like ‘ughhhh,” it was necessary and I’m so much better because of it.

      So imagine how much mental space you would have if you weren’t fixated on food or thinking about what you’re going to eat for lunch, or whether you should work out, or how you stomach looks in a certain top. You know, imagine what can be possible if you really let go and try to work on some of this stuff. You reclaim so much by letting go of the dieting and the weight fixation as a coping mechanism. Even if it means feeling some hard stuff.

      So the last fear that keeps us trapped in diet culture and hooked on the thin ideal is this idea that, “I’m not ready to let this go. I’m not ready to truly put that pursuit of thinness down.” And again, no one’s asking you to do that, because that’s always going to kind of be there. I think even the most accepting person still has that little sliver of, “well, wouldn’t that be nice!” because of fatphobia and the culture that we live in. I know that’s a really hard thing to completely detach from.

      But let’s talk about this notion of feeling ready. Have you ever really felt ready to make a big change in your life? You know, whether that was having a child or moving or breaking off a relationship? Sometimes maybe we do feel ready, but likely, you haven’t, if you think about a big change in your life. You probably had to feel the fear and do it anyways, whether it was asking for a promotion at work, or having a difficult conversation with a friend.

      And just to give you some background on how fear works: fear is there to protect us. If we didn’t feel fear, then we’d run into oncoming traffic, we’d make toast while we’re having a bath… you know, we’d make some really poor decisions.

      And so ,having a voice of fear which often shows up as this narrative of, “I’m not ready,” is going to be there anytime we’re stepping outside of our comfort zone, and anytime we’re entertaining this idea of stepping outside of our comfort zone. And I can’t think of anything that’s more outside of your comfort zone than rejecting diet culture, of being the black sheep that’s like, “I’m not doing a Whole 30 this January.” You know, that’s really being the badass black sheep. That’s a good thing to be.

      But it’s really outside someone’s comfort zone. So of course, we never really feel ready to do that, and to let go of that hope of weight loss, and to be honest, like I said, that hope doesn’t go away until we’ve really worked on accepting who we are. We’re always going to kind of have that hope until we are working on acceptance and believing that we’re good enough and all the layers associated with that. We can’t just shut this off. Especially when we’ve been conditioned to think this way for so long.

      So the way I like to reframe it is: I’m not ready to let this go, AND I’m ready to work on accepting my body and believing I’m good enough. So you can hold these two things in tandem. And doing so allows you to have compassion for that part of you that’s grieving letting go of the thin ideal, and work on moving forward and accepting and finding more fulfillment in your life and lal these other things.

      And so imagine what it would be like for you if you could wake up and look in the mirror and either like what you see, or not like what you see, but be okay with it either way. Imagine being able to be intimate with your partner, not worry about how your body looks. Imagine going to a social event and not caring what other people think.

      Be really connected to these hopes. And let them give you the courage to work through any of these fears that pop up. Also, what do we sacrifice by waiting, when we say, “I’m not ready”? What are we sacrificing? Do we really want to spend another month, another year, or like, god forbid, another decade doing the same thing over and over and over and expecting a different result? I think we all probably know people in our lives that are doing that, and we probably want to shake them and hand them this podcast, but not everyone’s ready, and that’s okay.

      But for you, ask yourself: What am I really sacrificing here? What have you got to lose by trying to be kinder to yourself and more accepting of yourself? Nothing! Life is way way way too short. Unexpected things can happen and you’ve got time in front of you right now. Live it to the fullest and don’t let dieting occupy any more time and energy in your life. Because it’s just like, so much more peaceful and freeing without it.

      And it’s amazing how far you can get in a few months when you commit to working on your beliefs, and working on being more compassionate with yourself, and getting to know who you are outside of your body or dieting or that pursuit of weight loss, and to work through maybe some of the feelings that come up about breaking free of that pursuit of thinness, and that attachment to the thin ideal. Don’t let those fears stop you, because I know, I just know that amazing things can happen when we truly trust that there is something better for us on the other side.

      Okay! I hope you enjoyed that episode. Once again, you can get your free worksheet, “Goodbye Diet Culture: Five Prompts to Help You Break up with Diet Culture for Good.” And this just kind of helps work through some of the stuff that comes up when we break that attachment to the thin ideal. What we’re really letting go of, and what we have to look forward to. And I sort of structured it like a break-up letter just to be fun, but really, the prompts you can use in any way. And I think there’s actually 6, but 5 sounds better on a slide, so I just put 5, but I think there are actually 6.

      You can get those at summerinnanen.com/161. I hope that the next episode, I don’t sound nasal-y and I don’t have a cold, because for this entire series, I’ve sounded sick, because I have been sick. I’ve been sick since mid-December, because I have a toddler, and apparently that’s just what happens now. But we’re on the mend, and I’m hopeful that I’ll have a good week where I actually feel like a normal human again.

      So, thank you so much for listening! And don’t forget to leave that review to get your free audio book, and if you’re enjoying these episodes, let me know as well! I’m going live on Facebook every Friday at noon PST, on my main Facebook page, Summer Innanen, so you can always head over there and catch the replay, where I do a little bit of a wrap-up and talk about some of this stuff as well. So you can catch me there on Friday and thanks again for listening. Rock on!

      OUTRO: I’m Summer Innanen and I want to thank you for listening today. You can follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, @SummerInnanen. If you haven’t yet, go to Apple Podcasts and subscribe, rate, and review this show. I would be so grateful. Until next time, rock on!

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