I thought this would be a helpful topic to cover as we head into the holiday season. Somehow, as a society, we've worked ourselves into a place where there can be a lot of shame and guilt around holiday eating. Magazines and fitness experts will blow up your social media feeds the next two months, with all kinds of "rules" around eating... how to plan for that stuffing or pumpkin pie, how to starve yourself all day so you can go to that work cocktail party, how many burpees you need to do to "work off" the holiday cookies you ate in the breakroom.
It's no wonder we have so much confusion over nutrition, diet, exercise... as well as a stigma around larger bodies and a skewed idea of what beautiful means.
Today's guest wants you to know that all the emotions and confusion you feel around eating are not your fault. We've been fed so much garbage about what to think and believe, it's hard to sort through it all.
Cassie Christopher is going to set you straight, and hopefully, help shift your perspective a little.
Cassie is a body-positive Registered Dietitian and is passionate about helping women 45+ heal emotional eating by loving themselves well. She supports her clients to create unapologetic self-care practices from a sense of connection to their bodies and desires so they feel comfortable in their own skin, in control around food, and energized to live a life they love.
We covered so much ground talking about nutrition and emotional eating. And a huge lightbulb went off for me when we got on the topic of why people might feel the need to hide what they are eating. I hope you also get a lot out of this conversation!
Kim: Before we started recording, we were talking a little bit about how the diet industry and the wellness industry prey on our fears.
Cassie: I think it's really important for people to understand: we live in a culture where there is this thin ideal and this thin ideal is generally white, fit, and toned. So it's a racist ideal. And it's an ideal that no one can actually meet most of our bodies, our genetics, aren't set up to be that way.
You can do things that make you feel good and live a life you love without fitting into that "thin" ideal.
That's what I really love to talk about. Body acceptance. And that is: how is it that you want to feel, rather than how is it that you want to look? Because I think you can feel good in your body without, shrinking to the point where other people are saying, "Oh, you look so good." Because that's just underscoring an unattainable version, this unattainable racist, patriarchal ideal. And it's true for men and women; men have the ideal too.
Cassie: We are told through fat-phobic jokes and the news showing pictures of people in large bodies without heads... show them from the neck down. We are told in so many ways, and oftentimes, experiences growing up - and from our family of origin - and school bullying and whatever...
Or the dating scene: we're told over and over again, that large bodies are not worthy of love and connection. So there can be a lot of shame involved with having a larger body. And just exposing yourself to pictures [a strategy discussed earlier in the interview] like the ones you mentioned or, following on Instagram, #bodypositive, exposing yourself intentionally to different body types is a really helpful way to start to like your body more.
Cassie: There are real reasons for why you're using food to cope with your emotions, to numb how you feel.
And so once you start to address the root cause, then you can actually - which is addressed by dieting by the way - then you can actually start to heal and easily make those healthy choices that you want to make for yourself. When you're choosing the best for yourself and for your body, you're loving yourself.
It's an expression of self love, of self care, which is something that we're often disconnected from when we've had years and decades of dieting.
Cassie: Feeling deprived really leads to only more eating. So yes, make sure you don't feel deprived. And what I recommend is anything is on the table. Pair it with protein because that's going to help balance your blood sugar; and let's savor the heck out of it. And I guarantee if you're eating ice cream and savoring it, and really connecting to the flavor, and noticing what's going on, you're going to get way too full and uncomfortable before you can get through a whole carton. But that's about staying present in your body, present to the situation, which eating is often a way to make it so you don't have to stay present.
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FREE - A Roadmap to Achieve Peace and Freedom with Food and to Feel Comfortable In Your Own Skin, for Women over 45 Who Have Tried it All - https://cassiechristopher.net/Free
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