In this episode of Eat the Rules, I’m joined by Hilary Kinavey and Dana Sturtevant, authors of Reclaiming Body Trust and founders of the Center for Body Trust.
We talk about how to overcome the challenges around trusting your body and how to navigate body grief that may arise as you step away from dieting.
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Summer: 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 innanen.com 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 244. And I’m joined by Hilary Carnegie and Dana Sturdivant authors of reclaiming Body Trust and founders of the Center for Body Trust. We talk about how to overcome the challenges around trusting your body and how to navigate body grief that may arise as you step away from dieting, you can find all the links and resources mentioned at summer innanen.com forward slash 244. And before I get into this episode, I want to just mention something that we did not mention at the end of this episode, and that is the reclaiming Body Trust retreat that Dana and Hillary are running from November 6 to ninth at the Kripalu center for yoga, discover the pathway out of a rigid mechanistic way of thinking about the body and into a more authentic, sustainable way to occupy your beautiful self. Now is the time to unravel tiresome patterns and reconnect with your party. This looks like an incredible retreat. I will link to the details so that you can learn more about it. If you’re looking for an in person event that’s really going to help you cultivate the practice of Body Trust in a supportive environment with two incredible instructors then, definitely check this out. And honestly, it looks extremely affordable, so well, like it’s not blowing it out of the water like a lot of retreats do. So I’ll link to a link to that in the show notes for this episode. You can find that at summer innanen.com forward slash 244. Okay, so just a few other announcements before we get into this incredible interview. First, I want to give a shout out to working on my body positivity via Apple podcasts. Some are and our guests are so inspiring and it really helped me open my eyes to the pervasiveness of diet, culture and fat discrimination highly recommend for anyone looking to improve their self worth and stop hating themselves. Thank you so much for leaving that review. If you leave a review during the month of October 2022. Then I will give you a free audio and ebook copy of my best selling book Body imagery mix. Just email me or DM me through Facebook or Instagram to tell me that you left a review and I will just send that link over to you it’s going to be the digital copy. And you can do that by going to iTunes search for eat the rules then click ratings and reviews and click to leave a review or give it a rating and only takes one minute. And don’t forget to follow along or subscribe via whatever platform you use. Two other quick things that you can grab. If you want support feeling better in your body get the free 10 Day body confidence makeover summer innanen.com forward slash freebies 10 steps to take right now to feel better in your body. And if you’re a professional who works with people who may also have body image struggles, get the free body image coaching roadmap for professionals at summer innanen.com forward slash roadmap. If you can’t remember any of these links, always you can just go to the body image coach.com That’s my website, you’ll find everything there. I’m going to jump right into this interview. I loved reading the book by Dana and Hillary called reclaiming Body Trust. I think it’s an incredible resource. It takes a really nuanced perspective on the journey to healing your relationship with food and your body. And they laid out in such a beautiful way including many different individuals stories, as well as a lot of different exercises and tactics that you can incorporate to deepen or start to enter into trust with your body as well as move through that body grief phase which is what we’re going to center. A lot of our discussion around today. For those of you unfamiliar with Hillary and Dana in tune in 2005 Hillary Canady and Dana Sturdivant co founded the Center for Body Trust to offer programs that encourage movement towards a compassionate weight inclusive model of radical care to address body oppression, heel body shame and associated patterns of chronic dieting and disordered eating center for body trust also offers programs for helping professionals and educators interested in adopting client centered trauma informed, justice based approaches to healing, including an intensive year long body trust certification training. Their work has been featured in The New York Times self real simple Huffington Post and the TEDx stage. And their book, reclaiming Body Trust, a path to healing and liberation was released on August 30. You can learn more at Center for body trust.com. Let’s get started with the show.
Hello, hi, Hilary. Hi, Dana, welcome to the show.
Hilary/Dana: Hi, thanks so much for having us.
Summer: Yeah, I’m so excited to have you here. Sorry, I didn’t mean to cut you off. There’s two of you, I have to wait for both. I’m really excited to have you both here. I really adored your book. It was it was such a wonderful piece of work. I’ve been recommending it to all sorts of my colleagues as well as my clients. And I’m excited to have you speak to the book and your work here today.
Hilary/Dana: Thank you. Yeah, we’re excited to be here and talk about it. Yeah.
Summer: So you know, normally I’ll ask people, just what brought them into this work, I do want to focus more on the book, but you want to just give everyone just a little brief snippet of of how you got together how you decided that you wanted to support people with reclaiming Body Trust, and really make that like your purpose.
Hilary: You know, my interest in doing this work came from my own struggle with my body early on, and my own healing process. And then at the same time, I was becoming a therapist, and just noticing how this I was so struck by how this conversation wasn’t this conversation about this anti diet conversation, this body affirming conversation, this idea about understanding by our body hierarchies, and how that affects how we engage with our bodies, process, trauma, all that kind of stuff. You know, I was just shocked that it wasn’t in my field at all. And so I wanted to start having much different conversations with people. And it was around that same time where I was starting to do that, that I met Dana. And I’ll let Dana tell you a little bit more about what brought her to the work. And what brought us together.
Dana: Yeah, so I’m, I’m here sometimes say I’m the dietician, the dietitian, half of feed nourished and was, you know, clinically trained in the dominant weight paradigm. And for a long time, I really believed I was not promoting dieting behaviors, I really thought I was promoting healthy lifestyles and air quotes. And I was working in clinical trials, helping participants make, quote, unquote, lifestyle changes to, quote unquote, improve their health and lose weight. And I worked with this intervention for seven years. And the intervention worked and that people lost weight at six months, but at two years, their weight was back up. And the researchers wanted to figure out how do we follow people long term to help them keep the weight off. And I was starting to think like, focusing on weight, it’s not helpful, like we can trust people’s bodies to sort out the weight. Why don’t we like decenter weight, and just help people have better relationships with food and their bodies, and then we can trust their bodies to sort the weight out. And nobody on my research team was interested in doing that. And they also thought nobody would participate in a program like that. And I was just continually getting disillusioned with what I was doing, and frankly, starting to feel unethical. And that’s when I discovered Health at Every Size in this growing community of people who were starting to really push back on what what we’ve been trained to do. And then I discovered intuitive eating and in that book, they talk about the dieting mind. And when I saw the qualities of a dieting mind, compared to a non diet mentality, I was like, Oh, guess which side the research participants were on. Like, we were calling it lifestyle, but they were definitely dieting if you talk to them. And so it was from there. I was also at the time a yoga teacher and I was really curious about combining the mindfulness and self acceptance practices of yoga with food and body image and changing our relationship with our bodies. Because that’s what I noticed in my own relationship with my body is how much it changed when I from a yoga practice. And you know, as a as a woman in this culture, I’ve had my own complicated relationship with my body. But I wasn’t exposed to a lot of diet talk. In my family. My mom didn’t talk about her body. There just wasn’t it wasn’t super pervasive. And so when when I was wanting to do something different with my career, I knew nobody would hire me to do what I wanted to do. I couldn’t I’ve been telling you what I wanted to do, but I just knew it wasn’t conventional. And Hillary and I both brought our private practices into a clinic, where we started to facilitate groups for people looking for something different and, and wanting to try something different instead of trying harder. And that’s where Be Nourished was born. And we’ve recently rebranded to center for Body Trust.
Summer: Yeah, amazing. Thanks for sharing that. So you talk about body trust in the book as being in the middle, in your words in the land of discernment. What does that what does that look like? Or if you could elaborate on that? What would you say?
Hilary/Dana: I mean, I think a lot of people, especially when people start coming to Body Trust work, divesting from diet culture, and they start sharing it with the people in their lives, many interpreted as the Fuckit plan. And certainly people often do go from rigidity and perfectionism to fuck it. And then back to rigidity, and perfectionism, and then fuck it. And Body Trust is more about finding that sweet, gray area. And certainly in the healing process, you know, it can be a really helpful part to do that, fuck it kind of be in that Fuckit place. But then we start to kind of get curious about what are what choices Am I making in reaction to the culture versus what, what actually sounds good to me and what and feels in alignment with my own values. And sometimes it is pushing back and having, you know, all the foods that we’ve that culture deems, you know, unhealthy or the things your mom doesn’t want you to be eating. And then you go to dinner with your mom. And you’re like, noticing you might want something like a salad that the culture deems healthy, but you don’t want to eat it because your mom you’re eating with your mother, and you don’t want to give her the satisfaction. So you do this kind of fuck it. I’m just going to eat the burger and fries to piss her off. And so there’s this discernment of like, to me and Hillary can certainly share her thoughts is, is having a stronger analysis of what’s come between us and our and our bodies. And being able to navigate the world of food and eating well, feeling more connected to what we want, what we need, what we like, and not having it be so reactionary eventually. I don’t know.
Yeah, no, I’m really with you on that. I think when I think about what it takes in us to be able to discern and trust our discernment. You know, I think that is a commitment to our relationship with ourselves, you know, that we want to be in, and that we’ve got our back no matter what we choose. And when we have that kind of open field, it’s way easier to say, I’m going to trust me my discernment process, right? Like, I’m going to say, I know that there’ll be more tomorrow, if there’s more than I need. I know that if I blow it, I don’t know how we blow it on minor decisions. But you know, that’s diet culture. If I blow it, I don’t care, like I’m going to be I’m going to be kind, I’m going to be kind of myself like, this is not a moment where much much is at stake. And I think when when we get that, like you said reactiveness out of the way, I think then discernment is this wild place of experimentation.
Summer: Okay, I love the way you said that just really framing it as that place of experimentation and because I think that for so many people, it’s like, that feels so scary to just, you know, like, be like, wait a minute, like I, it’s, I think for a lot of people, it can feel quite scary and confusing, right to think, okay, I can trust myself, like to find that sort of middle road, I guess, is what you’re talking about, like that sweet spot. I feel like, there’s so much and I know, obviously in the book, it’s about trying to get the things out of the way that create that, that conflict within us. But it’s such a scary place for people to to, to like, try and navigate this.
Hilary/Dana: Yeah, we’ve become so attuned to judgment, ours and others, that every decision feels so monumental. And that’s, you know, when we’re so geared towards, you know, the external eye, which is either within us or outside of us, than we are very far from our own sovereignty.
And trust. You know, we tell people we read about the sin, and the book that, you know, when you lose trust in any relationship in your life, you don’t just say, I’m going to trust you now. Yes, of course, you don’t trust yourself with food. Like, then we don’t just like make a declaration that we trust ourselves, or we trust this person who’s broke our trust, right? Trust is, is rebuilt through small consistent acts over time. And this is where the risk taking in the experimentation is so critical that we work the edges of our comfort zone. Because we can read about it, and know it and not be practicing it and embodying it in our life. And it’s through those practices and experimentation, and seeing what happens when you say yes, and see what happens when you say no, and seeing what happens when you say not now, and see what seeing what happens when you have more, you know, when seeing what happened, like, that’s just what the processes and collecting these experiences over time gives us more information to arrive in that land of discernment.
But I think summer, like you were saying, you know, there’s, there’s all this stuff in the way, you know, and the culture has done such a good job diet culture, and constructs around health, have said, done such a good job of, of convincing us that we’re the problem, that we’ve been the problem that needs to be fixed and corrected. That, you know, that’s why body trusts kind of lives in a separate idea or construct altogether, which is that, you know, this is this work is about getting the problem focus out of the bodies of individual people and putting it back on the culture where, where it belongs, you know, because so many of us were indoctrinated into this way of thinking before we could consent. And here we are trying to be good, trying to be good to kind of be good. With no real reward for doing so.
Summer: Right? Yeah. So good. Yeah, I think what I take away from law, there’s a lot that I’m taking away, but it’s really about approaching it too, with, like, non judgement and curiosity. Because I think that, you know, people can get really lost in the nitty gritty of like, well, if I eat this, like, am I am I committing to, like, Am I making like, a healthy choice? You know, or am I making like a diet? You know what I mean? Like, I think people overthink, like almost every bite in that beginning phase. And it’s like, okay, let’s like really try to zoom out to a more meta view and really understand that, like you said, just approaching it with that, what was the word you used? I wrote it down. Something about like wild something. What did you call it? It was really good. I thought I wrote it down. But anyways, no, like, more about experimentation? While yes, that was the word. Thank you.
So one of the things that I think I often hear from people is that they think they’re doing it wrong, because perhaps they’re not losing weight. Or I think you give the examples in the book of like, their, you know, eating sugar, or emotionally eating. So they feel as though they’re, they’re doing it wrong, or what’s your response to that
Hilary/Dana: this work is really different than programs and plans that people have done in the name of weight loss, like when you go on a diet, or your 30 day plan, or, you know, whatever the diet of the day is, when you’re listening to this podcast, you’re given a set of rules and guidelines that are really tangible, eat this, don’t eat that have this much, I don’t know, whatever, eat six times, eat three times, eat, you know, don’t eat after this time, do intermittent fasting. And then there’s all these rules, right? And when you when you come to Body Trust, we don’t give you any of that. We don’t give you any of that containment. And when you go on these plans, you know, within an hour, two hours if you’re doing it right, and air quotes, and Body Trust doesn’t feel like that. People feel like they’re flailing. When they do this work, and disordered eating rigid plans completely like it creates containment. And so it makes sense. But people struggle early on in this work, because there’s not a lot of do’s and don’ts. We don’t have these training wheels, all these rules to train you. It’s really about coming home to yourself and your own knowing. And sometimes we start it just understanding that Body Trust is a birthright that you were born into the world with this and it’s it was taken from you often by the age of 10. And you can get it back. Absolutely, we wouldn’t do this work if people didn’t land in a better place. But we don’t know what’s going to happen to your weight. You know, a core aspect of Body Trust work is really redefining what healing looks and feels like. And, you know, nobody knows what your body is supposed to weigh. And if they tell you they do, they’re lying. We say one of three things will happen to your body and that’s the truth, you will gain weight, you will lose weight or your weight will stay the same. Like we have no idea of what your story has been up until this point. We don’t know how long you’ve had a disrupted relationship with food in your body. And a really hard aspect of this work is kind of a tipping point is understanding that you can’t keep doing it that even if you wanted to dye it your tolerance to it has has been impacted by all you’ve done in the name of fineness. And so sometimes people sit in this place of acknowledging that they can’t go back and keep doing the rigidity and the perfectionism and the restrictive eating plans. And they don’t necessarily know how to go forward. And most people, when they hear this work, they hear truth, it resonates deeply. And they want to lose X amount of weight before they do it. Right.
Summer: Yeah, that notion of like, feeling like you’re doing it wrong is really informed by the anti fat bias, you know, because if that wasn’t there, then that would not, you know, there wouldn’t be that sense of like, I must be doing this wrong.
Hilary/Dana: Yeah. Yeah, that your body has a has a place where it’s comfortable. And, you know, you can spend your whole time your whole life trying to suppress that weight, or you can move towards freedom.
Summer: Yeah, yeah. And I know, like, one of the points you, you land on, which I think most people listening to this probably know, but it bears repeating, is that you know that there’s just no evidence based treatment for a higher body weight that and as I’m quoting your book here, there’s no evidence based treatment for high body weight that leads to sustained weight loss five to 10 years after the initial weight loss, and this includes weight loss surgeries. Yeah, that that point about weight loss surgeries. I didn’t know that was included in that as well. But it’s to your point, just being that yeah, there’s no for in it’s hard to come to that place where you’re like you realize maybe there’s no other option. And yet that is really the path to healing is sort of coming to that realization.
Hilary/Dana: Yeah, that’s why the you know, the book has three sections the rupture, the Reckoning and the reclamation, and you’re really the word we’re in the reckoning right now, that’s what we’re talking about is how do we come to terms with the fact that what we have done hasn’t worked, that we’ve been harmed by in that we’ve maybe contributed to harm and other people by upholding the dominant weight paradigm. The there’s so much we grieve in this work. And most people want to bypass the Reckoning and just get to the reclamation. And, you know, the reckoning is often where the magic happens, it’s where we really start to deepen our commitment to this and, and deepen our roots into Body Trust, which is, one of the metaphors we use in this work is, you know, we’re digging out our divestment. When we talk about divesting from diet culture in the chapter with that title. divestment means digging out the roots. It’s like pulling out all the invasive species, digging out the roots from toxic fitness culture, which is a term Eliot Parker has coined from diet culture from wellness culture, I’m just been listening to the maintenance phase episode on goop. Holy shitballs. What a fucking shit show goop is. And so I didn’t know how to like, talk, like, I knew it was toxic. But I didn’t know that they really liked the news, because it drives a lot of business, their way of negative publicity. And negative publicity makes the house that make money. And it was so gross, like, as I’ve listened to it, but anyway, that’s a side getting away from what we were talking about. But that reckoning place, you know, that realizing that we’ve dieted our way up the scale, and we can’t do it anymore, and now what, and I can’t die and focus on weight loss, but I’m terrified to do anything different. Like that is such a precipice?
Yeah, it’s, you know, I’m working with a couple of people right now. And, you know, have there been any fat affirmation in their lives to this point, you know, we would be, they would not be suffering in their 30th or 40th year of this, you know, what there hasn’t been and so all we know, is failure associated with bodies, right, unless we’re doing something to create performance. And a lot of that performance is about performing our gender better, or performing fitness or performing health. And we need to go, you know, as I think we need to go much further in our conversations, in general in our field, to really like, lift up that what we’re doing for most clients is that they’re going to live a fat life. Like people, a lot of people who give up dieting and disordered eating are going to live as fat people. And this is not a big deal. Except for then it’s everything when you’ve been tortured by weight stigma throughout your life. Right? And how do we have this conversation? Because this keeps coming up for me this week? A lot about like, yes, there’s weight stigma in the world. And yes, a living a joyful, fat, celebratory life is wonderful. At the same time, like both and and that’s a conversation we’re not having. Quite some people are I really appreciate the fat icons out there that are. And so, you know, lots of us, I think get to that place you’re talking about where it’s like you can’t go back. But you know, you don’t really want to go forward, because it only looks like hell, your only story about living in a larger body is that it’s going to be hell. And that some of what we grieve along with grieving like that we’re never going to be thin or the big reveal or we’re never going to wear designer certain jeans or whatever, you know, our we grieve the time that we’ve spent the time that’s been lost to this, the vibrancy that’s been, you know, and vitality that’s been an energy that’s been put towards this instead of other things in your life. We grieve all of that. But then also, we need some hand holding happening around what it means to go forward and a fat body as a fat person. Ultimate Fat person. I like Yeah. Where’s all my? Where’s the fat role model? Where’s the places where we hold up? fatness as fantastic. So that’s coming up for me. I don’t know why, because I’ve talked about it so much this week, I guess. But it’s the part that’s missing. You know, I guess to just like, make it simpler. There’s a lot that we get for taking this path. And I think sometimes it’s hard to articulate the freedom Well, it’s hard for people to believe right? When they Yeah, totally message or exposure at all, you know, and their own internalized experiences. Living in, in perhaps a fat body. Yeah. Yeah. So sorry, go ahead.
I was just gonna say it’s making me think about those before and after pictures where they flip the script, and they have the before pictures, the thin, you know, person and then the after pictures, the, the fat person and, and that celebratory joy there. It’s so countercultural to post something like that. And yet, you know, I wanted to make just mention that this is why we recommend that you curate a social media feed, that is fat affirming, and that, you know, some of our clients make create a separate account where they just have fed information. So when they need it, they know they can go to the separate account and just see a feed full of fat joy. There’s a hashtag of fat vanity, our old business manager and the Chapman does fat self care tips like there is community out there, enter and you can find it and you can find people upholding a different narrative that will be so helpful to divestment.
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Summer: Yeah, I think that that’s super important. And you mentioned the importance of of community and obviously trying to find in person is even better, if you can not always easy depending on your your own situation. But yeah, so he was, you know, talking about the grief process. And just, I think that, you know, for some individuals, if their weight increases there is there’s a loss of privilege, you know, whether it’s like coming to terms with not being able to go on a roller coaster or having to, you know, have more traumatic experiences at the doctor, things like that, like, what’s your advice? Or, or how do you help people navigate those those feelings? Because I, you know, I that, I imagine that that creates just so much resistance and people are it makes the process really difficult.
Hilary/Dana: I mean, we want to name that it’s a thing I think like, like you’re doing just by saying it out loud, right now is that this is, you know, there’s a lot of grief here, you know, our bodies are us. And we’ve been introduced to completely disembodied ideas about who and a sense of who we are based on, you know, what we’ve come to believe about our bodies. And so there’s a lot to grieve there’s a lot that we’ve missed out on. And grief is like one of the most natural emotional processes we have as humans. You know, we it’s the way our body processes stuff and helps us move through. So it’s something we can trust in ourselves. And we don’t like it, but you know, it Every moment inside of us, there’s something happening that we don’t like. And then there’s other things happening to, right. So grief is essential for understanding both our body story what’s happened, and what hasn’t been okay for us. But it’s also essential for saying, I can no longer tolerate this, I can no longer go forward. And it’s also a part of our process of saying, my life is going to be different than when I thought, it’s not going to that doesn’t mean it’s going to be worse, it doesn’t mean it’s going to be better. It’s just going to be different than what I thought. And I was sold a bill of goods, if I perform all these things, right, I get the good life. And I might not, that might not be the truth, I was lied to. Right. So I think the most important thing about grief is that we acknowledge that it’s happening, you know, when we’re engaging in diet culture, we’re not engaging in an emotional process. And so our emotions are just kind of getting shoved to the side as maybe inappropriate or not necessary or even problematic. And we want to start bringing them back in. Because they’re messengers, you know, our emotions are messengers, Grief is a messenger, we find that grief, lends permission to people to say, this is hard, or I’m in a process, as opposed to, I can’t do this anymore. And so we’ve, you know, in in reading more and more about grief, when we were, when I was writing the book, it became clear that like, ritualizing, awareness of grief can be really helpful. So we talk about, you know, creating a physical place in your house where you’re reminded that I’m in a process, and part of it is grief, you know, so that might be like an altar, or sacred space, or a picture or set of words or something like that, that you put that you run into, and you’re like, I’m in process, you know, because as we go through our days, our heads often want to explain away everything that’s happening, and take us into the to dues and the shoulds, and all of that. And I think we need reminders to land back in, and feelings and emotion and in our bodies. You know, emotions are one of the things that embodied Yes. When when you acknowledge that they’re even there, this I’m listening to Hillary, I’m thinking about when I used to do more clinical work, naming grief, and just how helpful it was to name it as that like, people are like, wait, what and how it’s like, gamma, like, there’s grief sounds like there’s grief here. And then, and then I’m, inevitably most sessions bring up. They’re like, Oh, yeah, there’s the grief. And they’re like, you say, grief one more time? Yeah, we are. But it’s always record. It’s, it’s often in the room, you know, and for people to see it as such, is it kind of its expansive, I feel like it gives them a way of understanding what’s happening, which grief is not comfortable for many people. And yeah, there’s something about the naming of it that like makes sense to people. And we also, you know, we let people know that you’ll likely wander from this work. You’ll do this works, explore it for a while, and then you’ll find yourself with a freezer full of, you know, Jenny Craig food, and you’ll open up the freezer and go, This isn’t me, who is this? Where what was I thinking when I bought you know, hopefully people can catch themselves before they spend $250 They don’t want but it’s not uncommon for people in this reckoning phase to feel pulled back. You know, we’re recording this in late September. And you know, the magical behavior change time of year is upon us where the siren song of, of the wellness and fitness and diet industries is going to get really loud and people are people feel that poll, like it’s gonna be different. You know, there’s always like luck this year. And I think when we fully reckoned, or we’re closer, we’re, we’re kind of through the reckoning. People see it for what it is that like, I just can’t do it. Even when I feel the poll. They can’t do it. But they may wander and return. I feel like people come to this work and then they step back and they kind of sneak up on it and then they pull back and we always say this is something Sharon Salzberg. I’ve learned from a meditation retreat of hers is that the healing is in the return, you know, coming back to ourselves again and again and again. And if you wander away from Body Trust work, you can return when when you’re done. And I think with time, our resolve kind of strengthens to this work, and we say someone with a strong body trust practice. Someone who’s reclaimed about a trust is not immune to having tough days. Like we’re all swimming in the culture. It’s toxic. But somebody who has a strong body trust practice doesn’t feel totally tanked on these days and find themselves back on it. plan that we kind of, you know, when you have deeper roots, you, you might sway a little bit, but you snap back up. And that can be a really helpful way of thinking about this, that the deeper your roots are in this work. The stronger your you’re able to hold your ground when you do get big gusts of fatphobia or have a medical experience. That’s rough.
Summer: Yeah, no, I love what you said there. And I think that, you know, one of the things that you really do communicate is the fact that the process is really not linear. In the end, the grief process is not linear. It’s not like you go through, you know, like the anger stage and then you go into, I’m not sure I can’t remember whether it’s like depression that comes next or something else. But it’s not like, Okay, you’re on one stage, you’re on to the next, then you’re clear, one of the memes I really like around grief, having, you know, experienced some significant loss in my life is that I don’t know if you’ve seen it, where it’s like the, I don’t know if it’s like a jar with a marble in it or something. But then it just shows how like, your life grows, like the grief, the size of the grief doesn’t change, but your life grows around it. So your life actually gets bigger around the grief. And I find that to be like a very helpful, like visual as it applies to this work as well. Because I think that like to your point, you know, it’s it’s there. It’s a part of it. And because of the culture we live in, it’s not something that you just like, never have to reckon with again, especially as you’re, you’re experiencing other changes to your body or aging and other things that happened to happen to us.
Hilary/Dana: Yeah, I remember as somebody who’s had some loss recently and been living through the grief process, and at times feeling unbearable, you know, I really appreciated hearing Cheryl Strayed, say, I’m not sure where it came across it. But she said, you know, we can bear the unbearable. That’s one thing we learned through grief is that we can bear the unbearable. And over time it it becomes less unbearable. You know, there’s still I love the wave metaphor that when the grief is fresh, the waves come and just take you out and like waves are frequent and big and rough. And then as as as time passes, and we we’ve have more healing, and acceptance of the last the wave still calm. But they’re less frequent. And they and they and they don’t always have that enormous impact on us. And we can still years later have something happen and be really gutted by it. But it’s it has, it has it’s a Morphosis is a set of words a more amorphous, they’re like it morphs and changes over.
Summer: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Yeah, such beautiful stuff that you’ve that you’ve talked about there. I really appreciate it. One of the one of the other things I wanted to touch on today was just the the, there’s a phrase you use called a tuned self care, I’d love you to just describe what that means and how that’s different from the way you know, self care is really sort of positioned in the mainstream.
Hilary/Dana: I mean, when I hear the word self care, I feel an immediate detachment often because I feel like it’s like a noose around other things we’ve talked about today, it’s like, it’s often very performative, or the way we talk about self care is very geared towards getting it right. Or it’s very geared towards people with the most privilege who have more access to the suggestions and attune self care is more of this quality. I think that we’ve been kind of or this essence that we’ve been talking around today, which is like, what do I need the most in this moment? You know, what is what is the truth of my experience in this moment? Do I need to follow a feeling through, you know, do I need a break? Do I need a rest? You know, what, what is it indeed, that my body is wanting, and can I trust in what is being asked for and just follow, instead of applying an idea to it, I’m not saying that’s wrong, like there’s nothing bad is gonna happen if you do some of the self care stuff that I love to do, like, you know, getting a pedi getting my hair cut, like all that kind of stuff. But it’s not the same as having a regular check in and following through with what my body is wanting and needing even if it’s completely the opposite of my plans for the afternoon. Which is usually to admit, you know, there’s never in my home with kids and life and things to do, it’s not often convenient to rest or take a nap or say no to something and then if I am attuned, and that’s what my body’s asking for, that’s what’s needed.
Summer: And would you please apply that same lens to eating then like, is that sort of the way that and movement like things, things like that?
Hilary/Dana: I think so. Yeah. I mean, I found a form of movement I really liked lately and I had carved out the time to go today and really wanted to go and I just don’t have the energy and I’m super bummed I didn’t get to go, which is very new for me. I have to college. I’m not a big, like athletic movement person at all. And so I’m just kind of sitting with like, that choice was fine. I wasn’t trying to get out of it. If I was, that’s okay, too, by the way. But like, I just genuinely couldn’t go today. And like, What a bummer. Because I like the way I feel when I go. And I don’t get to have that feeling today, because so instead, I’m just gonna feel tired today, you know? And that sucks. So yes, I do. And I think with food, too. What do you think about food? Yeah.
Yeah, I think we want to get away from really rigid ideas, you know, perfecting self care. Even in that group. I have to go back. I think that’s the section I was starting until listen to last night was they were talking about where that word self care was born in the medical field. And it was like this whole history that was really interesting. And it’s so new to me. I can’t even speak to it here. So you can update it and output.
Space podcasts? Is that what you’re talking about? Yeah, that’s goop. The goop goop episode.
Summer: Okay, yeah. So I’ll just link to it in the show notes.
Hilary/Dana: So you can so we can just refer people to themselves, because, like, it was kind of getting late. I like to puzzle and podcast, that’s my self care. It’s a great way to listen to puzzles, or podcasts. My brain just can really absorb into a podcast when I’m puzzling, but it was late and I’m like, Ooh, this is really important. Good, juicy stuff. I’m gonna pause it here, just not retaining it at all. But, you know, this idea of attune self care comes out of Neva params research is one dimension of embodiment, and the opposite of attuned self care, self neglect, and self harm. And so, you know, I think, in some ways attuned self care for many of the people we work with is, you know, reckoning with the fact that they’re required to eat like that we don’t get out of this requirement for food and nourishment, no matter how hard we try. And I feel like, there’s a lot of self neglect around food, because it when we eat, in some ways, we’re saying, I’m here, I exist, I have needs I want, I want, I matter. And most people walk out the door, and also the people that I work with, you know, walk out the door in the morning, to go to work, and they don’t even, there’s not even awareness that like, at some point they’re going to need to eat. And like, what are they going to have, and I we don’t recommend that people have like, these super rigid meal plans, typically, unless there is an eating disorder where there may be a benefit of that for a period of time. But you know, a big part of my work is like, Can Can we leave the house in the morning, acknowledging that you have food needs that will, will be met somehow, today, and you can go your whole day and not eat, or you can bring a food bag or something that is like some acknowledgement that, yeah, I have this busy day, I’m not bringing my food. But at lunchtime, around this time, I’m gonna have this break, and I can go get this, like, there’s some idea of where your food needs will be met. That, to me is a huge part of attune self care for the people I work with. Because when you when you you’re under this, you know, training that not eating is good. Like a lot of dieters think, you know, not eating is better than eating. And it’s, you know, there’s some subtle or not so subtle belief in there that it’s probably okay to go without food all day, right? There’s, there’s some struggle with that aspect of eating. It’s a huge shift for them to just start to think like, I’m allowed to have food and we love the breastfeeding campaign that’s like Fed is best not breastfeeding, the child is baby feeding campaign. And that’s fed as best whether it’s breast fed or formula or you know, that feeding, it’s important that we get enough to eat. So I don’t know if that was really rambley. But that’s what I’m thinking about.
Summer: Yeah, no, that’s great. And so as we wrap things up here, first of all, thank you so much for being here. I feel like I could ask you a million other things. I want to just really direct people to pick up a copy of your book, reclaiming Body Trust. I think that there’s I feel like it was one of those books that I was like, I feel like someone could read this like five times and take away something new every time and I felt like the way you structured it in terms of the three phases that you mentioned, as well as like the the actual, you know, steps that people can take without it being rigid without it being like you have to do this. It was more like here are some things for you to consider. Here are some things, some suggestions for you. I found the way that it was laid out to be really great. And the other thing I really appreciated about it was the number of stories that you included. because I feel that I don’t, I can’t think of other books that includes so many stories from other individuals that show a diverse range of individual experiences. And I just think it’s so helpful for people to read other people’s stories and think, oh, gosh, like, this is just like me, or I’m not alone, or these are the words that really are healing to me in this moment. So I just wanted to give a little sales pitch to people listening, that I really do like wholeheartedly will be recommending that as your book as as one of the top books for people to pick up. So with that said, Where can people find more of you?
Hilary/Dana: we are center for Body Trust. So center for body trust.com as our website, Instagram is our primary social media platform, you can find this at Center for body trust with a four in center for where Body Trust Center on Twitter and center for body trust on Facebook, we do have a LinkedIn account, but we don’t use it a whole lot.
Summer: And then you offer provider trainings, you offer individual programs as well, right?
Hilary/Dana: Yeah, we have programs for individuals like our six week ecourse caught No more waiting. And we also have a year long body trust Provider Training, Certification Training, and some other options if people want to get trained in this work that are looking for certification. So there’s a lot there for learning and unlearning.
And I, you know, I think one of the last things I want to say is it’s it can be really helpful to find some community, whether that’s social media community, or doing this work in groups, something happens when we come together and explore this work and know that we’re not the only ones who are trying something different. And especially when most people in your life are probably unaware of this work and this approach. We’ve seen people shift leaps and bounds when they come to a retreat or a workshop or something and explore this.
Summer: Yes, absolutely. 100%. I agree with that. Thank you so much for your time today. I really appreciate you both being here. I’m so excited to finally got you both on the show.
Hilary/Dana: Thanks so much for having us. It’s been really good to spend this time with you. Yeah, it’s been nice to connect.
Summer: Rock on.
I hope you enjoyed that interview as much as I did. And I hope you go out and grab a copy of their book, reclaiming Body Trust. It’s really, really incredible. You can find all the links and resources mentioned in this episode at summer innanen.com, forward slash 244. And if you’re looking for an in person event that’s going to integrate all of these things that we talked about in this episode, as well as everything that Hillary and Dana teach. You can check out their upcoming retreat that’s happening November 6 to ninth at the Kripalu Yoga Center. Again, we’ll link to that in the show notes for this episode. And thank you so much for being here. Thank you so much for listening 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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