In this episode of Eat the Rules, I’m revisiting an episode of the Body Image Series, talking about what to do if you still want to lose weight, and how the answer might surprise you.
I also explore the things that cause us to feel bad about our bodies and how to reject them, and the game-changing REFRAME that will help you get a lot closer to body neutrality.
In This Episode, I Chat About
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Links Mentioned in Show
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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 276. And it’s another segment of the body image series. And I’m revisiting the classic episode where I answer the question. What if I still want to lose weight? Can I accept my body? You can find all the links and resources mentioned in this episode at summer innanen.com forward slash 276. I want to give a shout out to Tanya who left this review. Dear summer, I want to take a moment to thank you because in times of uncertainty and fear on what’s to come your show has been a true anchor. When the pandemic started and we all started quarantining, I was committed to being on a diet and counting calories. Clearly, that did not work for me. And it turns out, it wasn’t what I needed either. I needed to feel good. I needed to give myself freedom and security because clearly the context was not providing it. You helped me feel safe with food to find what feels good inside out to stop binging and most importantly, to stop feeling guilt. I’m still on a learning process. I may not be completely there, but it feels like progress. It feels like coming up for fresh air. Also, thanks to you. I can see diet culture as a systemic problem that affects all of us and daring to challenge it is an act of bravery, compassion and self love. I just want you to know that your voice is empowering and inspiring so many of us out there near or far I live in Mexico. We need more people like you in this world. We need more people who feel like they’re coming up for a fresh air after being belittled by diet culture. You help make that happen. Please don’t ever stop hugs. Tanya. Tanya. Tanya. Tanya, thank you so much. Oh, that was a really thoughtful review. I’m so glad that you shared your story. I feel like people listening to this will feel more hope because of you sharing your journey and not review. So I appreciate that. You did that. Thank you so much. And you can leave a review for this show as well by going to Apple podcasts search for eat the rules, click ratings and reviews and click to leave a review. You can also grab the free 10 Day body confidence makeover at summer innanen.com. Forward slash freebies with 10 steps to take right now to feel better in your body. And if you are a professional who also works with people who may have body image struggles, go get my free body image coaching roadmap at summer innanen.com forward slash roadmap. I’m really excited to revisit this episode again. It was one of the more popular ones when it came out a couple of years ago. I think it’s such an important question like what if I still want to lose weight? What do I do? And I think the answer might surprise you. So let’s get started with the show.
Let’s get to today’s episode. Today’s episode is another episode in the body image series, which is a series of solo episodes where I deep dive into body image and self worth, and give you specific ways to be more accepting of your body and who you are. I’ve talked about so many different subjects in these in the body image series, I’ve talked about how to build our self worth outside of our appearance, how to overcome comparisons, how to feel better in your body, how to stop caring so much about what others think and where our body image comes from. And so much stuff and all those episodes are available, you can go to episodes Number 158 321 63 Number 174 Number 175 Number 180. And I think what I’m going to do is I’m going to just put together a page on my website, which actually just has direct links to all of these to make it really accessible because I receive a lot of positive feedback from all of you that there are some of your favorite episodes. And so if I can make them easier to access I will so I’m going to make a mental note to do that. And what’s so cool about this particular episode is that I recorded it Live it live streamed on Facebook, this record
And so that’s we’re going to be doing for these four body image series episodes. And so if you were there, awesome, I’m so glad you were or if you watch the video after that’s amazing, you got to kind of see behind the scenes of me recording this stuff. And it’s probably a little shorter than some of these other body image series because I didn’t want to create a super long video. But what we’re talking about today is what to do if you still want to lose weight and why the answer might surprise you. So I’m going to talk about what it means if you still want to lose weight, three things that cause us to feel bad about our bodies, and why rejecting these is so important, the game changing reframe, that will help you get a lot closer to body neutrality. And the one thing that you need to get clear on to help you feel better in your body. And I wanted to talk about this because sometimes there’s a lot of unhelpful information going around that is not actually helping us change the way we feel about our bodies, and ultimately change the culture that’s making us feel bad about our bodies. And, you know, I see a lot of people beating themselves up for beating themselves up or beating themselves up because they still want to lose weight. And I wanted to tackle that in in this episode. And so I want to talk about, first off what it means if you still want to lose weight. And honestly, it means you’re normal, it means you’re free, normal. But I hear this from people all the time, they feel bad for feeling bad, they feel ashamed for wanting to lose weight, you know, maybe they really believe in body acceptance and liberation, but they feel bad because internally, they still miss their former thinner body, or they still have a desire to lose weight. And it kind of conflicts with their with, with, you know, their personal beliefs and values. But they’re still having that internal struggle. And I’m assuming that most of you can probably relate to that. And if you’ve been following me for a while, then you’ve likely heard me say before that, you know, feeling bad in your body is not your fault. You know, it’s not your fault that you feel that way. It’s It has everything to do with these cultural messages that we’ve learned. And so anytime that you’re you know, wishing that you were still thinner or comparing yourself to your former body, or judging yourself, or hating yourself in a picture. That’s not your fault. You know, you learned that through our fat phobic white supremacist, sexist patriarchal society, you know, you learned that your purpose in this world is to be desirable to be disciplined to like fall in line to look a certain way to be attractive. And that in order to do that, you need to, you know, you need to be thin, you need to kind of fall in line with the standard of beauty. And you learn that your current body and current existence is not good enough, and will never be good enough. And that was hard coded into you from birth, you learn that through all the messages that we received in our culture, whether that’s like overt messaging, like seeing ads for dieting, and always seeing this person that’s always happier in the in the after picture, which we know is like very short lived. And we learned that in more overt ways, like only seeing thin young white women portrayed as the successful and attractive ones on TV, where we learned it in subtle ways. Like, your only option as a kid was to have dolls that looks like the beauty standard, like Barbie, which was completely unrealistic, human replica, but all that stuff, you know, rewires your brain to think that, okay, you have to, you know, you have to look a certain way, you have to be a certain way. And it makes you have that kind of hard coded those beliefs hard coded into your brain. And so we’re not born that way. We’re not born hating our body, but our brains are so malleable and you start to internalize like the environment that you live in, you’re like, Okay, this is the way it works in this world. And then you start to reflect those beliefs back onto yourself because you’ve internalized them. And so we kind of expect ourselves once we discover, you know, whether we want to call it like body positivity, or liberation or fat positivity, like whatever you sort of want to call it. And yes, there are differences to those, I understand that, but just on a general level, whatever you want to call that, you start to think, Okay, well, I want to be, you know, I want to change, I want to be more positive about my body, I want to feel more neutral in my body. But like, we often forget that we’ve had decades of conditioning and that we still exist in this culture, where all that stuff is being being fed to us on an ongoing basis. And so please, don’t beat yourself up for beating yourself up or feel bad for wanting to lose weight.
You can’t actually work through those things until you’ve really worked on accepting your pause body as it is. And that work is a lot deeper than just trying to appreciate your thighs, okay, it’s about cultivating a sense of worthiness outside of your appearance. And it’s much bigger than trying to like embrace your flaws, quote, unquote, it’s about seeing yourself as good enough, just as you are. And I’m going to be really straight, which this is what might surprise you, I actually don’t think we can ever really get rid of that desire to lose weight completely, we’re bombarded with those messages, do it daily, even if we try to tune them out, they might get quieter, they might lose their power, you might not respond to them. But I really, like I’m saying this as someone who, who exists in a body that is straight size, who has been doing this work for a really long time that, you know, I don’t know if that desire ever goes away completely. But it certainly can lose its power. It really, really can. And so my point is here is that we can’t beat ourselves up for beating ourselves up, I’m going to do another episode that that talks about how not to respond to negative thoughts, and it’s going to talk more about why that’s a problem. And, you know, why are negative shots thoughts show up in the first place. So I’m not going to get into that today. But just know that, you know, it’s in our DNA to want to be liked, which translates into being desirable, because historically, we didn’t have independence as as women, and I’m talking about that in a very heteronormative way, but as people who are women or identify as women, you know, historically, we didn’t have independence. And our survival depended on us being likable, which really translated into being desirable. And so that’s in us, we learned it, it’s part of our legacy, unfortunately. And then most of us have spent decades feeling that way. And so we want to get let go of this unrealistic expectation that we’re never going to want to lose weight, or that we’re going to love every part of ourselves. And that we need to be positive all the time. And I’m going to talk about why that way of thinking is actually pretty toxic and another episode, but we have to see like the reframe I want you to get, which is I’m gonna have another reframe later. But this is just one of them, is that we have to see acceptance as an ongoing practice of being kinder and more compassionate to ourselves in order to build resiliency and exist in our culture, versus seeing it as this final destination. That’s really important. So let’s talk about the three things that cause us to feel bad about our bodies. And why rejecting these is so important. And there are actually more reasons why we feel the way we do in our bodies. I’ve talked about those in some other episodes, but I just want to, I want to talk about these three that we can just be really critical of and start to actively reject on an ongoing basis, in order to reinforce that we’re not broken, we don’t need to be fixed. And this is why it really is so hard to to kind of rid ourselves of this desire to lose weight. And so the first thing is just the cultural messages that we receive about weight and health and our worth, we have to be really critical about those and open our eyes, to all the things in our life that reinforce this belief, that center is better, you know that that in that causes to have internalized fat phobia, which is the belief that thinner is better. And that being thin is the only way to help because it’s not, and that our worth comes from our appearance. And once you’re you start to be really critical of everything that you’re taking in information wise, everything that you are saying to yourself, that’s really, really key, you’ll start to see how rampant this messaging is. And you can start to reject it, and learn a new way of thinking that honors who you are, and reinforces that you’re good enough, regardless of how you look. Because like you are, I always look at people and I’m like, You are so amazing. You are good enough. You just don’t see that yet. But you will. You will. But you know what I posted this on Instagram the other day, it was just a tip. And it was it was a body image tip and I just said, you know, you want to remove any negative connotations to bigness, like remove any sort of like stop using in your vocabulary, anything that implies that thinner is better and bigger is bad. And that’s a really easy way to start to project those cultural messages. Okay, the second thing we want to do is or the second thing that we want to be aware of is just the archetype of the perfect woman and this idea that we have to live up to being the perfect woman, and how that affects the way we feel about ourselves. And so, the archetype of the perfect woman, it really goes beyond our appearance. And by the way, Kelly deals has this amazing article called why the perfect woman is really violence against women. I think I’m probably butchering that I’m paraphrasing it, but it’s a really good article, I will link to it in the show notes. But it just, uh, you know, this idea of the perfect woman, it goes beyond our appearance we have, it’s now in our culture we have to be we have to be like Gwyneth Paltrow like real realistically, or like Kelly Ripa like, I feel like that’s like the archetype of the perfect woman. It’s like you have to be a health enthusiast and have a house that looks like it came off HGTV and always be bubbly and happy and be successful and be the perfect mom and be able to do it all while still looking like you just walked off our runway, and it’s bloody exhausting. And it’s unrealistic and it only makes us feel like we’re never good enough.
So as long as you don’t feel good enough, there’s someone trying to sell you a solution to it, like dieting, and they sell you this idea that that’s this key to your worthiness that shows up in our belief system in the form of shirts. And so what I mean by that is anytime that we’re shitting on ourselves, like I should be healthier, I should be more organized, that’s all us sort of measuring ourselves up against the archetype of the perfect woman. And so we want to be aware of how that’s influenced the way that we feel about ourselves and the expectations that we’re putting on ourselves so that we can reject that. And then the last thing that I that we want to look at when we talk about the things that cause us to feel bad, and our bodies is dieting, so dieting chips away at our body image and self worth, so the longer that you were kind of on the dieting cycle, the more that that sort of chipped away at your, your sense of self worth and your body image. So the dieting cycle kind of looks like this, you you know, you have some sort of body dissatisfaction or you you know, you hate your body. So you look to dieting for the solution. And that gives you a sense of hope you’re like, okay, my life can be better. And so then you start the diet, and you’re kind of in that honeymoon phase where maybe you lose some weight and you feel better. And you feel like I got this, I got control. And all that just reinforces this idea that thinner is better. And then eventually the diet stops working because your body physically can’t handle deprivation, what mental or physical. And then you end up binging or cheating or giving up all those in quotation marks, because none of that is your fault. Rather, it’s your body trying to protect you from the effects of starvation or restriction perceived or real. And then you end up feeling like a failure, and that there’s something wrong with you, like you’ve let yourself go and you’re a disappointment. And then maybe you gain some weight back plus more, because that’s what happens for the most people, and then you end up feeling worse in your body. And so every time you diet, you further reinforced that your body is not good enough, and that being thinner is better. And you always end up feeling worse when the diet stops working, or you can’t keep it up. Because it’s literally going against your basic physiology to do that. The more you stay in the diet cycle, the harder it is to accept your body, it only makes us feel worse about ourselves. That’s the only thing that’s the only side effect of dieting is that you feel worse about yourself. And it might screw up your your metabolism as well. But the it really chips away at our sense of self worth. And it makes us feel like a failure and a disappointment makes you feel like what is wrong with me. And so we have to reject dieting and diet culture. And so the these things we you know, we exist in these culture where these things are still happening all the time, like I said, they’re either overt messages or subtle. And so unless we move to a deserted island, those forces are always going to be something that we have to continually be aware of and fight against. And that’s why this is so hard, you know, we can reject these things, we can reject diets, we can reject the ideals of perfection we hold ourselves to. And we can reject the fat phobic beliefs we’ve inherited. And by doing those things, that it makes it a lot easier to then move to a place of acceptance. And so the next thing I want to talk about is this game, changing reframe, I’ll call it because it is really good, that’s gonna help you get a lot closer to accepting your body, you’re getting to a place of body neutral, or neutrality. And so the solution isn’t to try to love your body, you don’t need to love your body, you don’t need to find yourself beautiful in love pretty sense. Because trying to chase after that keeps us really focused on the exterior and our body and trying to find ourselves attractive. And the problem with that is that it just it doesn’t get to the root of the itch issue, which is really about healing our sense of worthiness and believing that we’re good enough. And it’s really unrealistic to given our culture, like we’re all aging out of beauty standards. So as long as you’re kind of hinging your acceptance, on liking the way that you look, and that sort of aligned to the beauty standard, then you’re never going to be satisfied, you know, you’re never going to be content with who you are. And so what I want for you is to just be able to accept however you feel about your body. And that might mean accepting that you don’t like it right now. And that can alleviate a lot of pressure and expectation. So for example, accepting that you don’t like your stomach, for example, this is my stomach and I don’t like it right now. Are these are these these are my thighs and they they’re making me feel ashamed. You know, you want to take the judgment and the criticism and or the forced positivity out of it because you don’t want to smack a positive affirmation on something that doesn’t feel authentic. And just say what you really feel, give space to that. And that’s something that you can try right now. And just let me know how that feels. But if you stop trying to love your body and actually just maybe Accept where you’re at with things like maybe it’s really hard for you right now. Maybe you don’t like your stomach. Maybe you’re okay with your shoulders.
Maybe you actually like your eyes and accept just what’s there that there’s some things that you like don’t like and feel kind of neutral about, it becomes a lot easier to start to look in the mirror with neutrality and not have an emotional reaction to the way you look. And that’s what I want for you. And that’s what I do with my clients. Because when we know we’re good enough, regardless of how we look, it doesn’t matter so much whether we like our appearance one day or not. And so ultimately, like when I work with people, though, having them feel better is not about having them try to like the way they look. Rather, it’s about building up this solid sense of self so that our appearance just doesn’t matter so much anymore. And it’s really freeing, very freeing. And so the you know, the, to kind of wrap this up, I just wanted to mention one thing to think about to help you feel better in your body. And it’s just, it’s a question. And that question is, what would feeling better in your body mean to you? And this is a question that I ask all of my new clients and in my programs, because it helps us just think about this from a way that where we can detach from the external measures we’ve been using to define how we feel about ourselves. So for example, like, typically, we’ve sort of thought, well, I’ll feel better if I fit into a size, whatever. But that’s like, kind of meaningless. You know, we want to get past that, like, what would it really mean to you? Would it mean that you feel more comfortable with intimacy? Would it mean that you’re able to speak up in meetings at work or find pleasure in movement, or be able to wear the things you want to wear without trying on 20 different outfits? And so I want you to just noodle on that question? And give yourself permission to really imagine what it would mean to you? Like, really? Imagine it? What would feeling better in your body mean to you not loving it, just not really thinking about it anymore? So maybe the question should be like, What would just feeling neutral in your body mean to you? And I’m telling you that when you really think about that, it is possible? And you might think to yourself, like, well, there’s no way like, there’s no way I could possibly feel better in this body. Like, that’s, like, I’ve hated it. Why would I feel better in this body? And I get that, but living in that negative state of mind is not serving you, you know, and it’s not to say you have to be in a positive state of mind. But it’s how can we start to be kinder and compassionate with our current body with where we’re at right now, instead of thinking, there’s just no way because I’m telling you like, that is going to change things, when you just start to work on being kinder, more compassionate, more accepting of where we’re the way things are right now, even if you don’t like them, it’s going to really have a ton of benefits for you and be able to have you do those things that you want to do that you that from the question that I just asked you, which is like, what would what would feeling better in your body mean to you? So, you know, we have nothing to lose by being kinder to ourselves, we, you know, if our worth isn’t dictated by our by our parents, things are going to be better. I’m telling you that. So you know, kind of being tied to this idea that like, I can’t like there’s just no way I can accept this body. It’s like, well, then yeah, you’re going to always kind of have your happiness conditional on something that’s outside of your control, and how has that served you so far, probably not very well. So to reframe it, it’s like, I want you to think to yourself, Okay, I may don’t like my body right now. But I really want to learn to be more accepting, learn to be more kind, learn to be more compassionate and gentle with wherever I’m at with my body, because it’s always going to change. And so my point here is that it’s important for you to think about what feeling better and your body can mean to you, and that you have a vision of the what you’re working towards, and know that it is possible, because it is. And so that’s a wrap on this episode. That’s what I wanted to cover today. And I’m so glad that you could be here, I’ve got some other really great episodes coming up, I’m going to be talking about how not to respond to negative thoughts about your body. I’m going to be talking about what to do when you intellectually get all these concepts but don’t embody them. And I’m also going to talk about why you might have resistance to body acceptance or why it might feel so scary. So I’m excited about those. There’s some really good content coming up and keep listening because it’ll be here for you real soon. And you can find all the links and resources mentioned in this episode at summer innanen.com. Forward slash 185. Thank you so much for being here today. Rock on.
I hope you took away some good stuff from that one. You can find the links mentioned at summer innanen.com forward slash 276. Thank you so much for being here today. 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 wouldn’t be so grateful. Until next time, rock on.
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