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Life After Diets

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Life After Diets

Sarah Dosanjh / Stefanie Michele

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Many people are waking up to the fact that diets don't work, but if we're not dieting, now what? How are we supposed to find balance around food and figure out how to eat? Join Sarah and Stef, a psychotherapist and a health coach, as they talk about all things related to disordered eating, bad body image and creating a life that's free from food and body obsession. The hosts draw on their own eating struggles and openly share the highs and lows of pursuing food freedom over weight loss.
 
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show series
 
There is a significant intersection of people with eating disorders and disordered eating with T/trauma. In this episode, we identify the meaning of trauma and explore how it shows up in our body beyond intellectual awareness. We also discuss: Trauma informed vs trauma aware A little of Stef’s history Anger and eating disorder behaviors The issue o…
 
Food logs and meal planning are hallmarks of weight loss efforts and diet culture. Is there any place for them in a non-diet approach? In this episode, we talk about: Do we like food diaries? Food structure reduces decision making Is intuitive eating about meal variety? But I don’t like meal planning because I don’t know what I’ll want to eat Sarah…
 
The "anti-diet" and "diets don't work" messages can be very empowering for many people, but how do we reconcile these ideas when there seem to be people that do, in fact, diet and lose weight? In this episode, we discuss: Dieting as a physical trauma stored by the body Biology of weight set point and safety Psychology tendencies toward one-track th…
 
In 1978, Susie Orbach wrote the groundbreaking book: Fat is a Feminist Issue (FIFI) to decontrust the role of dieting as oppressive to women. She has remained an author, psychoanalyst, advocate for women and women's bodies. In this episode, we discuss: Dieting is taking your agency back The beauty of hunger in all forms The mother’s body anxiety & …
 
Why is eating in moderation so hard? In this episode, Sarah & Stef discuss: What does moderation mean? Is the 2000 calorie RDA based on moderation? Satisfaction and extreme hunger Why are some people able to eat in moderation more easily? Is moderation a challenge for impulsive people? How other parts of our lives can influence the reward aspect of…
 
Intuitive Eating advocates may have us believe that we will naturally start to crave nutritious food after allowing ourselves to eat what we want, but is this true? What does it look like if you're someone who feels more selective around food or doesn't really like vegetables? In this episode, we talk about... The foods that Sarah and Stef don’t li…
 
The summertime can be a difficult time of year when we’re dealing with body image – the heat, the clothes, the vacations. In this conversation, we break down some reasons why summertime can be difficult, share our own experiences with summer and body image, and offer mindset shifts that can help. Summer bodies syndrome Summer clothing – is fashion …
 
If intuitive eating is the gold standard of a healthy relationship with food, how do we actually become more intuitive? In this episode, Sarah & Stef talk about: The definition of Intuition (UK vs US) What role does conscious reasoning play in intuition? The role of intuition in Sarah & Stef’s lunches this week How long does it take to become more …
 
This week we talk to Molly Forbes, author of the book Body Happy Kids and founder of The Body Happy Org. Molly talks to us about her experience raising children in diet culture and the work she does to educate and empower both children and adults to create body image resilience. We discuss: Molly’s experience on Naked Beach TV How Molly navigates h…
 
Dieting can promote disconnection from self. Sometimes we use food to further disconnect from our experience or our shame. As we heal our relationship with food, body, and self, how do we address the tendency to disconnect? What is the difference between disconnection and self-abandonment? Sarah’s airport story of accepting the moment How to stay c…
 
A follow up to last week’s episode is out by popular demand. In this episode we continue talking about the nuances of restriction and the ways this might be showing up in your disordered eating and/or recovery process. We cover: What is emotional restriction? What does it look like to have emotional regulation instead of emotional restriction? Rest…
 
These days, restriction is a buzzword in the anti-dieting space, and it’s often talked about in disordered eating recovery. But what does it really mean, and how do you know if it applies to you? In this episode, we cover: The difference between physical and mental restriction The relationship of self talk with mental restriction Is it always restr…
 
We talk a lot about binge eating in this podcast, but this episode is dedicated to our experiences with bulimia – how it looked, how it felt, and how it was different from binge eating disorder. We’ll discuss: What is bulimia? Purging as an aggressive emotional expression Purging as a perceived boundary against binge eating Bulimic behavior feeling…
 
In this episode, Sarah and Stef discuss the role of the inner critic, and how each host dealt with the evolution of the critic during recovery from binge eating. We'll cover: Sarah’s embarrassment of her self critic versus Stef’s comfort with her own Binges as a criticism of being “out of control” Identifying as a Critic or not Does your critic spe…
 
Back with another guest! In this episode, we talk to Becca Robinson, a BEAT advisor in recovery from bulimia, about her experience with breast implants and her decision to ultimately have them removed. “As long as your belly is never wider than your bust, you’re fine.” Puberty, developing breasts, and having “real woman” proportions Does cosmetic s…
 
What does humility have to do with binge eating recovery? In this episode, we discuss: Is it wrong to be self-focused? Stef’s “fall from grace” during college and how humility diminishes the ego The power of letting go of how things “should be” The relationship between our humility and our insecurities Leaning into our insecurities to see that they…
 
There is a relationship between fatigue, tiredness, and food. In this episode, we discuss: The evolution of Sarah & Stef’s fatigue over the years "Fatigue" versus "being tired" Sarah naps! Rest: Splitting attention versus single-focus restoration Connection and purpose to mitigate fatigue Routines, intentions, and structure as coping tools We are n…
 
In this episode, Sarah and Stef pull out old journals to read excerpts from their deepest binge eating days. In this vulnerable episode, we share: Stef’s entries from college: feeling like the cycle never stop repeating, and themes of loneliness and disconnection Sarah’s “Fasting Journal” The difference between Sarah’s despair and Stef’s inner crit…
 
In this episode, Sarah and Stef review Caroline Dooner’s book: The F*ck It Diet. We’ll talk about: The book that changed Stef’s life The power of the Minnesota Starvation Experiment Caroline’s Five Tools The parts of the book most helpful to Stef versus Sarah Orthorexia and “in defense of sugar and carbs” Does food become a “non-issue” after we hea…
 
Improving body image is one of the most popular topics in this field. In this episode, we talk about our own stories of making more peace with our bodies and offer concrete tools we use with clients and ourselves. We discuss: Stef’s initial body image recovery journey in a group Sarah’s sense of “splitting” from her identity Stef’s story of being c…
 
Our very first guest on the podcast! This week we’re talking to former dieter Katie Thistleton, host of Life Hacks on BBC radio. Katie has given up on dieting while in the public eye as a media presenter and is here to chat with us about her experience. We’ll discuss: Katie’s New Year’s Instagram post and how that prompted this episode The “Last Su…
 
Talking to loved ones about recovery from disordered eating (or the choice to give up dieting) is complicated. We created this episode to share with friends and family who want to support your journey but aren’t quite sure what to say. We’ll discuss: Sarah & Stef’s experience of talking to friends about binge eating When your disorder is not taken …
 
Deciding not to diet anymore can feel empowering…especially from the safety of social media communities or inside of a pandemic. But what happens when we go out into the world and get confronted with people who actively trying to lose weight and eat “healthy?” What comes up for us? In this episode, Sarah & Stef discuss: Dieting with others as a for…
 
Greed is a word that comes up a lot around binge eating and overeating. What if you believe that your binges aren’t a disorder or a “problem,” but a manifestation of being greedy? In this episode, Sarah and Stef address questions like: Do we want too much food or do we simply want too much? Where does greed come from? Does greed have a reason, or a…
 
Do you struggle to be more consistent in your life? Whether its with food, exercise, self-talk, or pretty much anything else in life, what is the story with consistency (or lack of it)? In this episode, Sarah & Stef talk about: What consistency looks like for Sarah & Stef Consistency depends on your context of the day How do you know when to push y…
 
In this episode, Sarah & Stef talk about the influential Geneen Roth, author of books like "Breaking Free from Compulsive Eating" and "Women, Food, and God." The hosts discuss how Geneen's work influenced their own recovery and ways in which they still agree and depart from her message. We are now on Patreon! Join the private FB group. Connect with…
 
The Intuitive Eating approach sometimes gets portrayed as a “junk food free for all.” So does eating nutritious food only happen in the context of a diet, or are there ways to incorporate nutrition intentionally without dieting? In this episode, we explore: What is your definition of “healthy eating”? The role of flexibility in a non-diet world Wha…
 
Have you ever heard people talk about their experiences of eating in secret? How does secret eating make us feel? In this episode, Sarah and Stef talk about: Shame as it relates to secret eating Binge eating with roommates Eating privately as a way to focus on pleasure and “me time” Feeling more “in control” when eating in front of others The conne…
 
Food guilt is a popular theme in the disordered eating community. How often has food guilt been linked to your own behaviors of binge eating and/or restricting? In this episode, we look at: Guilt induced by food excess How understanding the primal brain’s role in binge eating can help reduce guilt Is “permission to eat” alone enough to reduce guilt…
 
Does intuitive eating and not dieting anymore sound good – but you’re afraid that the alternative is to “let yourself go?” In this episode, we discuss: What does it actually mean to “let yourself go”? Love from others vs approval from others Creating your own template for existing in a larger body in this culture Admiration VERSUS connection & love…
 
Have you ever felt like you don’t want to start eating because it actually makes it harder to stop? Why do you think that is? In this episode, we discuss: The desire to put off eating to reduce “out of control” eating The psychology of the ego in diet mentality, and how that sets up expectations and perfectionism with food The “Eat When You’re Hung…
 
Have you ever thought: “I’ve gained weight and now I don’t want anyone to see me?” In this episode, Sarah & Stef talk about: Stef & Sarah’s family reactions to weight changes How it feels to see ex-partners The opinion of the collective versus the personal How our brains recalibrate weight changes Do you like someone less when their weight changes?…
 
All the self-help input in the world feels like it makes sense until the moment a binge urge presents itself – and then what? In this episode, we discuss: Announcement: More live Zoom Community events! Is the point of recovery to get rid of binge urges or to manage them? Permission to binge as a binge management tool Are there different kinds of bi…
 
Have you ever looked at a photograph of yourself and moved into a bad body image spiral? What is it about photos that feels so triggering? In this episode, we discuss: Why Sarah changed the topic of this episode at the last minute The difference between intellectual body image and emotional body image How a photo feels in the moment vs how it feels…
 
GUIDED MEDITATION TO RESET AFTER OVEREATING, BINGE EATING AND/OR EMOTIONAL EATING – Sarah shares her guided meditation to help you find balance after an episode of out-of-control eating. Compulsive eating is a cycle and sometimes the place to break in the cycle is how we treat ourselves AFTER we have binged by shifting our emotional state and setti…
 
Have you ever felt like you might be truly addicted to food? Have you been told that food is addictive and you have to avoid certain foods in order to have control over your eating? In this episode, we discuss: Is food addiction about the food or the behavior? The role of the addiction model in OA The withdrawal effect of a post-binge day Do “hyper…
 
This week, Sarah & Stef answer a listener question: is there hope for healing even after having an eating disorder for decades? We discuss: The role of social media in recovery Is recovery a real thing, anyway? The emerging role of somatic experiencing The difference between younger clients and older clients in therapy and coaching Readiness that c…
 
Has dieting been center-stage for so long that you don’t know who you would be without it? In this conversation, we discuss: Dieting, body image, and the pursuit of recovery as an identity The Diet Personality vs the Restricting Personality How our identities can feel black and white in a dieting mentality Why is dieting “bad” if it helps us create…
 
So many people are on board with the idea of not dieting anymore, but does that mean giving up on weight loss entirely? In this episode, we dive into: Can you diet and heal from dieting at the same time? Can you heal your relationship with food and return to the pursuit of weight loss? Does “taking better care of yourself” mean you’ll lose weight? …
 
But How Do I Handle My Relatives? As we head into the holiday season, discussions about family dynamics and boundary setting with loved ones is a relevant conversation post-dieting. Do you find it difficult to stay grounded in the presence of family members? Is it harder to stay in a protected headspace? Join the conversation where we talk about: T…
 
All or Nothing (otherwise known as black and white) thinking is one of the most common thought patterns of disordered eaters. Do you ever feel like you’ve eaten one “bad” food and you “might as well keep going?” Or feel rigid thinking that turns into an all-out binge? In this episode, we talk about: What is black and white thinking? How black & whi…
 
Are you still influenced by the diet culture messages you received in childhood? Does your family conditioning still impact your beliefs and behaviors about food and eating? In this episode, Sarah and Stef take a look at: Jane Fonda, Nair commercials, and Disney princesses Beliefs about the “ideal feminine” and gender hierarchies, especially in pre…
 
Do you feel obsessed with thoughts of food? In this episode, Stef & Sarah talk about the reasons this may be happening for you -- none of which include being selfish, addicted, or gluttonous! We cover: The role of restriction in food obsession (including the role of ghrelin, the hunger hormone) Food obsession driven by feelings of food guilt, inclu…
 
In this episode, Sarah and Stef discuss the role of rules, comfort, joy, creativity, and boundaries in relation to food-as-reward. We’ll take a look at: Food as a pressure-release system at the end of a long day How diet culture has manipulated happy, comfort foods as something we have to earn Sarah & Stef’s memories of food as rewards or treats St…
 
In this episode, Sarah and Stef make sense of the impulse to eat when your rational brain doesn’t want to be eating. Do you ever feel conflicted about eating? Do you feel like you self-sabotage? We’ll take a look at: Why the conscious brain and the subconscious mind have different agendas Eating just to “get it over with” Eating from rebellion or t…
 
But I Can’t Cope With My Emotions In this episode, Sarah and Stef talk about the role of emotions in binge eating versus emotional eating recovery. Do you feel like you’ve tried “sitting with” your feelings but it doesn’t make a difference? Or that you don’t know what to do with your emotions at all? We’ll take a look at: Why addressing emotions do…
 
But I Can’t Cope with My Weight Gain In this episode, Sarah and Stef talk about how difficult it is to deal with weight gain that we experience from binge eating or overeating, as well as the weight we may gain after giving up diets.. Do you feel like you want to give up diets but feel torn about the possibility of gaining weight? Or do you feel di…
 
In this episode, Sarah and Stef talk about exercise, movement and impact on weight, hunger and mental health. Do you struggle to approach exercise in a non-diet way? If you’re not losing weight do you find it difficult to motivate yourself to get moving? We take a look at: Our relationship to exercise Having a routine vs flexibility When to move an…
 
Do you find yourself eating when you’re bored? In this episode, Sarah & Stef interrogate the feeling of boredom and how it relates to eating urges. We cover things like: What is boredom, really? Why Sarah dislikes terms like "tolerate" and "sit with" when it comes to emotions. What do you DO to cope with an emotion like boredom? Boredom, eating, an…
 
But What If I Need to Diet For My Health? In this episode, Sarah and Stef discuss the idea of dieting for health reasons. Do you believe weight loss will improve your health? Are there foods you need to avoid and feel guilty for still having them? We take a look at: How linked are weight loss and health? Food intolerances and bingeing Dealing with …
 
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