ETR 188: When you still have a negative body image (Body Image Series)

SummerBody Image, Eat the Rules, Self-Love, Self-Worth

Podcast on When you still have a negative body image
When you still have a negative body image

In this episode of Eat the Rules, I’m talking about when you “intellectually get it” but still have a negative body image, as part of the Body Image Series.

I also unpack what this process can look like and tips for what you can do to move forward and begin feeling better in your body.

In This Episode, I Chat About

  • How this feeling is incredibly common,
  • A useful analogy between becoming a parent and starting on the path to a positive body image,
  • TWO things we can do to feel better in our bodies and why one of them is WAY more powerful than the other,
  • Where “intellectually getting it” sits within the 4 stages of acceptance and how to bust past that barrier,
  • Why you have to be intentional about challenging your negative body image thoughts,
  • That it’s normal to still have bad body days,
  • ONE question to visit daily to propel you towards giving less F’s about your body,
  • Plus so much more!

Stream it Here

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Links Mentioned in Show


This episode of eat the rules is brought to you by you on fire you on fire is the online group coaching program that I run that gives you a step by step way of building up your self worth beyond your appearance. With personalized coaching from me incredible community support and lifetime access to the program so that you can get free from body shame and live life on your own terms. Get details on what’s included and sign up for the next cycle at summer forward slash you on fire. I’d love to have you in that group. This is eat the rules, a podcast about body image self worth, anti dieting, and intersectional feminism. I am your host summer Innanen. a professionally trained coach specializing 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.

This is episode 188. And this is another segment of the body image series. And I’m unpacking what to do when you intellectually get it like understand you know body acceptance and what it means to not be on a diet. But you still struggle to feel better in your body. You can find all the links and resources mentioned in this episode at summer forward slash 188. Before we began, I just want to give a shout out to CollectA who left this awesome review, informational and positive love this podcast it has been very helpful in my own journey to self acceptance and rejecting fatphobia summer is bright fun to listen to and does not shy away from those important conversations we need to hear. Thank you so much the laka I really appreciate that thoughtful review, it means so much to me, you can leave a review by going to iTunes search for eat the rules, click to leave a rating rating or review and then click to leave a review that helps other people to find the show and the information that you’re learning here. And you can also help us out by subscribing to the podcast via whatever platform you use to listen to podcasts, whether that is Spotify, or Apple, podcasts, Stitcher, YouTube, I’m all over the place, you can find me everywhere. And if you haven’t already done so make sure you grab the free 10 Day body confidence makeover at summer Forward slash freebies with 10 steps to take right now to feel better in your body. And the 10 day body confidence makeover is actually going to be getting a makeover. It’s going to be brand new and updated. And,

you know I this this episode is obviously airing sometime in February of 2021. But I know people listen to these episodes at any given point in time. So I would say you know, go and check for that if you’re on my email list you’ll get, you’ll get an email about the new updated version that you can decide to opt into if you want it. But that’s just in the works right now and will be released probably sometime in March 2021, which I’m super excited about because that hasn’t had a refresh in a long time. And it definitely needs one. Today, we are going to be covering another segment of the body image series. And this was one of the ones that I did live live through my Facebook page. So you can find the video for this one too. If you go to my my Facebook page, and just look through the videos, you’ll see that it’s it’ll be there. And that whole experience was was super fun. So definitely something I’ll probably continue to do in the future. And this time, we’re talking about what to do when you intellectually get it. And I put that sort of in like quotation marks because I hear this all the time from people they say to me, I intellectually get it but I just I still don’t feel okay in my body or, you know, I’m still really struggling with diet thoughts. And so I want to talk about what that really means. And how there’s, there’s really two things that we can do to to feel better in our bodies, and why one of them is a lot more powerful than the other. And then I’m also going to talk about where intellectually getting it sits within the four stages of acceptance and how to how to really move past that barrier. And then one question that you can ask yourself daily to help you move past that barrier and to really propel you towards giving less fucks about your body. So first I you know, I just want to talk about this because it is so common. I hear this from people all the time especially When they start working with me, they say they intellectually get it like they understand body acceptance. They know diets don’t work. They believe the messaging and our culture around bodies and health is toxic. And you know, maybe they already follow somebody positive or anti diet, people on Instagram, or if they’ve read some books, or listen to some podcasts, but they still really struggle with the way they feel in their body. And so if you can relate to that, that’s like, I mean, this is for you. And hopefully, this helps gives you give you a bit of perspective and actions to take from this place. But first, I want to use a bit of a metaphor or a story just to put this into perspective for you. So I’m a mom. And before I had my son, I read all the books, I listened to all the podcasts about parenting, and what to do with a newborn. And I was like, Okay, I got this, like, I’m, I can do this, I knew I knew it was going to be incredibly hard. I actually, like, thought it was easier because I expected it to be like, just like, destroy my life completely. I know that sounds really weird. But that’s another story for another day. But I felt like, you know, after reading all this stuff, and like really studying it, like I remember, I watched all these YouTube videos on how to breastfeed. And I was like, Okay, I know what to do when the baby arrives. I’m a really like studious, high achieving, prepared, semi detail oriented person. And if you had given me an exam on how to raise a baby, I would have got an A plus plus. But then, when my son Dylan came into this world, all of that went out the window, I struggled so much, and I could not put any of the stuff that I’d read into action. Or if I did, it didn’t work for me, because, you know, no one told me that babies aren’t robots. They are all their unique little individual beings, with their own quirks and complexities. And different things don’t

work for them. I mean, you think someone like me would know that, but no, it was it was a chaotic shit show. And that’s because like, nothing teaches you how to be a parent. But actually being a parent, the oldest sorry, let me let me rephrase that, because that came out clunky, the only thing that teaches you how to be a parent is being a parent, like actually having the child in your arms, and having to do the different daily tasks, like putting them to sleep and changing their diaper and feeding them. And you can’t learn how to take care of a baby, unless you are actually taking care of a baby. And so it was the real life implementation and practice and support that I got from a lot of other people in real life that really helped me at the end of the day. And that’s when I started to feel like I was getting the hang of it. And it became a lot more intuitive. And I was able to really like we were able to kind of like get in the groove with each other. And so even though I’d read the books, and the stuff I learned in those books were important. And some of those perspectives and tools I certainly used, I wasn’t able to actually apply them until I had like, had the baby and had that real life parenting experience. And I’m telling you this, because it’s a similar kind of thing when people come to me and say that they intellectually get all these concepts about body acceptance, and they don’t diets don’t work. But they still feel bad in their body, I’m going to connect those two dots in a minute, but I just want to tell you this point first. And that is really just kind of separating the two things that we can do to feel better in our body. And why one of them is a lot more powerful than the other. So the first thing that we can really do to feel better in our body is consume information. And that’s all the things I mentioned off the top, like reading books, listening to podcasts, looking for body positive stuff on Instagram, you know, that’s all and I mean, I’m putting body positive in quotation marks, because there’s a lot of crap in that category on Instagram, but that’s all consuming information. And there’s a lot of value to that. And, you know, that’s like that can make a big difference. Like, I think that reading those books, listening to the podcasts, obviously, like listening to this podcast, and like following, you know, stuff that really helps to, you know, affirm different bodies, and experiences on Instagram is so, so helpful, but it’s all consuming information. And that’s kind of what I was doing before I had the baby like I was consuming information and thinking like this is going to make me know how to do what to do with a baby. And so when we’re consuming information, we sort of assume that like, okay, through osmosis, like we’re just going to sort of know what to do, we’re just going to sort of show up differently. And that’s not what happens. So the second thing that we can do that to help ourselves feel better or to like help to really, you know, assert that we are more than our body that our body is it doesn’t dictate our sense of self worth is actually take action. And so what I mean by that is like actively working on changing your beliefs intentionally being more compassionate to yourself. That might mean like breaking out the journal that might mean like taking a few minutes to really like, be in tune with what you’re saying to yourself. That might mean giving space to feelings that you have about your body in order to process and move through them, versus ignoring them. That might mean you know, actively working on like being more okay with yourself in pictures or in the mirror, or making time for self care or the other things that really assert that you matter. And so it’s really about being curious and digging through all the stuff that is causing you to feel this way in the first place. And this stuff doesn’t necessarily sound fun, because it is kind of messy. And it’s sort of like peeling off these stinky layers of the onion, where you might find some stuff underneath that’s a little bit vulnerable and a little bit uncomfortable. And I think that’s why a lot of us sort of avoid that work. Because it’s kind of feels like work. But that’s where the real change happens. Like that’s where the real going from, like intellectually getting it to really embodying it, that’s where that happens. And that’s I mean, that’s essentially what I do with people. That’s what I do in my you ON FIRE program is it’s all about, like those specific things that we can do that are unique to you, to help you put this these principles and these tools into practice for yourself so that you can actually start to embody these things. And so consuming the information is useful, too. I’m not saying don’t do that. I think that’s really important towards unlearning the beliefs we have about weight and health. But if that’s all you’re doing, and you’re feeling kind of stuck, or you’re feeling like okay, intellectually get this, but you’re not, it’s not progressing, then that means that there’s room to really take action and go deeper, you know, before I had my son, like I said, I watched so many breastfeeding videos. And then when I had him, I didn’t like he would not Brett like it was like breastfeeding was like such a nightmare for me. And because he was unique, and we all are until I actually practiced it, and tried to figure out what worked best for him. And I, I wasn’t able to really master it and embody and embody it. And so I know it’s a bit of a weird kind of metaphor. But a more simple explanation would be, it’s kind of like reading the manual on how to drive a car without actually getting behind the wheel of the car. Like we have to really get into our bodies and get into our heads to really start to like dig this stuff up and make these changes. And that’s super important. And so one of the one of the frameworks that I really like in terms of just understanding where, like how these changes sort of happen within us is the four stages of learning. And so the four stages of learning was first uncovered by Newell Burch of the Gordon train of Gordon training International. I learned that through Tara Moore, it’s a it’s a chunk of her playing big facilitators training course, which I took a few years ago. And she uses it in the perspective of of like teaching coaches, like how long it takes to like really embody and have these coaching tools be intuitive. And so I really liked this framework, just you can kind of use it for a lot of different things. But I use it to sort of look at acceptance, and how long it takes to really kind of embody these things and where we are in this process. And this all like this, this, like I made this connection. A few years ago, I started to kind of teach the people in my classes and my clients about this, about these four stages of learning, or I’ll call them the four stages of acceptance. For the purpose of this podcast, I started to talk about this when a client asked me, Do we have to be intentional about challenging our old thoughts. And I was like, yeah, like, if you’re not intentional with it, they’re not going to change, because it doesn’t happen by osmosis. And it doesn’t happen by chance. And it’s really hard to change negative thoughts. When we’re living in a culture that’s, that’s challenging every new belief we’re trying to learn. And so this framework really helps you to understand why it can take a while to change these ingrained thoughts and behaviors, and will hopefully give you hope that things will and do get better with practice and time. And so the you know, the first stage is it’s called unconscious incompetence. And honestly, like, these words are just like they’re kind of, I mean, it makes sense once you hear that description, but don’t worry so much about that all sort of have my own like, like definition of this face. The definition of this stage, from my perspective is like, Wait, it isn’t normal to hate your body. And that’s the sort of like awakening stage when we we don’t really, we’re we’re just sort of getting a awareness to our unhelpful thoughts and behaviors. Or we don’t even really have a lot of awareness of them. Because they’ve been, you know, they’ve been so ingrained in us. So in other words, we’ve been beating ourselves up. We’ve been hating our bodies. We’ve been believing that if only we lost we all would be right with our life, and we’re unaware of really how hard we are on ourselves. because it’s so normalized, it’s like that background chatter that we have that we haven’t even realized, is so pervasive and influential in our lives. And so to get out of the stage, you know, maybe you come across a blog or a podcast like mine, and you realize, Wait, it doesn’t have to be this way. And tell me more. And then that’s when you get into stage two. So stage two is really like, you know, it’s called conscious incompetence. And I call it like, why can’t I get rid of these thoughts, because in this stage, you’ve got awareness, like you’ve woken up, you realize that you’ve been fed a bunch of bullshit about diets and health, and you start to feel this desire to really fight back and reclaim your right for respect and freedom and worth, and you start to learn and read more, and you become aware of your unhelpful thoughts and behaviors, but you find them really hard to change. And even when you are able to kind of catch these thoughts or behaviors, it doesn’t necessarily make you feel better, because there’s still maybe a bunch of guilt or some heavy emotions attached with them. And that’s totally normal. This is kind of the stage where I find most people struggle. And this is where I hear them say, I intellectually get this, but I still don’t feel better, you know, you judge yourself for not being further along. And you wonder, why can’t I just feel like those other people feel where they’re just so confident and can like, you know, post pictures of their body, like what is wrong with me, this is where you need to be really gentle with yourself. And also have the most perseverance and rallying because this is where you, I find a lot of people sort of start to toy with the idea of going back to dieting, they start to kind of think like, well, this is really uncomfortable, like, I’ll just stick with what I know. Or they really are committed, and they push past because they know that things are not better. Like they, they really know that from their history, from their past, from what they’ve learned, that dieting is, is just only going to make you feel worse about yourself and ruin your relationship with food. But this is where you really need to start to take action so that you can actually change those beliefs. So it’s not just like an awareness of them and a struggle with them. But like you have some tools that you can actually start to take action. And this is where, you know, you want to ask yourself this question like What am I what am I intentionally doing to change these beliefs that I have? You know, and if your answer to that right now is like, nothing or I don’t know, then like, there’s, there’s a huge opportunity for you to really get into that, and help you feel better. Like that’s, and that’s what I want for you like I and I know that you can that you can really feel that way. But it does take that intention, and it does take practice and time. And this is where you know, getting support for your unique situation. And getting get like immersing yourself in supportive communities can is so important can be super, super helpful. So the third stage is what I would call, not what I would call is what’s called conscious competence. It’s what I would call, I don’t really think very much negative stuff about my body, actually. So no, can’t hang on rewind, it shouldn’t read like that. It’s I didn’t think anything negative about my body today. Today part is really important. So it’s maybe where you’ve like had a day, or a couple days, where those horrible thoughts you used to have become more fleeting, you know, the volume has been turned down, you’re more solid in your convictions, and you have a little more neutrality and maybe even some positive days. And maybe you have about the same amount of bad days, that’s pretty normal. Or maybe you have a mix of those things on a day or a mix of those things in a moment. Like maybe look at yourself in the mirror, and it’s kind of like, okay, like I’m okay. And then maybe you’re like, oh, there’s a little bit of, you know, emotion or sadness or shame there. And that’s like, that’s so normal. And that’s progress. I would say like, you know, as long as like, you’re getting these little glimmers of neutrality, and glimmers of not having that negativity be so emotionally intense, like you’re really progressing. And that’s awesome. And this is the phase where, you know, negative thoughts are getting quieter. And when they do pop up, you know how to work through them much more easily. And they don’t dictate how you show up in this world. And they don’t like I said, they’re not as emotionally charged. And this is where a lot of people get to. And that’s because we live in a thin obsessed patriarchal fat phobic society. And it’s really, really hard. And we’re talking about undoing like decades of beliefs and behavior. You know, when we have been feeling this way for, you know, 20 3040 even more years, some of the clients that I work with, we can expect ourselves to just be free of those things in a couple months. Like that’s ridiculous. So what you want to do is to become more resilient, you want to have a bunch of tools to use. What you want to look for is like having these things be less emotionally charged, having more moments of neutrality, having more moments where you You can really like work through your feelings in a way that is really supportive and compassionate. And you’re not beating yourself up for beating yourself up. And you just you start to become a little more resilient, a little more bulletproof to the messaging and our culture. And this is totally dependent on someone’s experiences as well. I mean, someone who lives in a more marginalized body is obviously it’s going to be harder than someone who lives with more levels of privilege. And so that’s something to really take into consideration too. But when you have some really powerful tools and frameworks to help you work through these things, it gets a lot easier when these thoughts pop up. And so the stage is really just about like having these moments where you don’t think negatively about your body, not permanently, but just more often. And then the last stage, which is called unconscious competence, that’s what I would really call sort of like the neutral zone, or when you really have this, like, belief of acceptance of, of yourself. And this is where you know, those old stories and reactions, they may still pop up, but they aren’t as intense and you really understand where they’re coming from, you know, how to tend to those parts of yourself, and continue to do kind of the ongoing healing that we have, because like, we can’t cut off parts of our brain that exist based on, you know, traumas that we’ve experienced, or negative experiences or things that people said to us, like, we’re all we’re always gonna have, like these sensitive and tender spots in us. And so it’s not about eliminating those completely, it’s about learning how to attend to those things, when they when they come up, and being like, really kind and compassionate and gentle with yourself. This is the stage where, you know, I would say we feel a lot more peace with ourselves in our body, and maybe we just don’t think about our bodies that much anymore. You know, we might look in the mirror and like, like what we see or not, but be able to just go on with our day. And that’s an awesome place to be, you know, we’re still gonna have bad days for sure. But it just doesn’t shake you as much. It’s not like that catastrophic, thinking of like, Oh, my God, what’s happening to me. And our go to reaction becomes one of more like compassion and acceptance versus criticism, and spiral spiraling into doubt, you know, but like I said, even when you’re here, you still have self doubt and rough days, because we are all hot messes like, and it’s normal to be a hot mess. Sometimes, we got to embrace that stuff, nobody has their shit together. Just remember that. And it’s not a linear path, like everyone sort of moves through these differently because we’re individuals with unique experiences. But by having an idea of of these stages, and where you’re at, you can kind of give yourself a round of applause for for just being where you are. Because where you are, is, is is great means you’ve done something. And if you’re feeling like you’re really stuck on the intellectual phase, or you’re sort of stuck on this, like, Okay, I’m aware of all these negative thoughts, but they’re not really going away, I don’t know what to do with them, then definitely, you know, seek out some tools seek out some support. That’s what I do in my program. That’s what I do, and you on fire. That’s like, people who come in there, and they say to me, I intellectually get this stuff come out of there saying like, Okay, this, like, made the difference for me. And that’s what’s so awesome. You know, it’s, it’s all about sort of giving them those tools and helping them go from like, why can I get rid of these thoughts to like, Oh, my God, I didn’t think about my body today. I’m actually like, pretty good. This is awesome. And that’s a wonderful, wonderful place to be. And that’s what I want for, for everyone, really. And so the last thing I want to just leave with you is one question to visit daily to really propel yourself more towards giving less fucks about your body, and just being more accepting of yourself. And that is, what is the kindest thing I can do for myself in my body today. So just sit with that. What is the kindest thing you can do for yourself in your body today. And that might be an action that you take, it might be just doing nothing and meaning like not doing something that like saying no to something, it could be a way that you’re speaking to yourself, there’s just so many things, but and not just one little question there. But that’s that that’s like going to help you take some action to help move you forward. Okay, that’s a wrap. On this episode. You can find all the links and resources mentioned at summer forward slash, one, eight,

thank you so much for being here. I really, really appreciate it. I can’t wait to be back with you again soon. Rock on. I’m Summer Innanen. And I want to thank you for listening today. You can follow me on Instagram and Facebook at summer Innanen. And if you haven’t yet, go to Apple podcasts search eat the rules and subscribe rate and review this show. I would be so grateful. Until next time, rock on

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