Posts tagged body positive
Relationship with Food Series Part 5: Emotional Eating, Self Soothing and Meeting the Change Triangle

We’re back with part 5 of our relationship with food series, and today I’ll be sharing some amazing resources that will be so helpful on your journey to a better place with food, especially when it comes to emotional eating. We’ll be talking about how normal it is to see food as part of our coping tools (eating for reasons other than hunger is a part of normal eating and emotions play a part in this), and what can help when it has become the only coping tool. I’ll share a resource that has been enormously helpful in understanding emotions and anxiety, and we’ll talk about how there isn’t just one side of us running the show when it comes to our eating, and how we can begin to nourish the different sides of us, with and without food.

It’s not uncommon that from a very early age, those of us who have had a hard time dealing with difficult emotions, have also found our way to using food as a coping mechanism. For many of us food was associated with early rewards, or it was used to help us deal with tough emotions such as sadness, grief, anxiety or worry. For some of us the restriction of food was used as punishment, or perhaps fun foods were only permitted when we had been “good”. For some of us (myself included), food became a great way to momentarily escape situations we were not prepared to face or weren’t old enough to face. For many of us it was the way family members showed love and affection, for others it was a door to a calm space, away from difficult circumstances. For some food was where you turned to when you’d had a bad day, or perhaps it was the way your culture expressed its sense of community and enjoyment. Whatever our origin, most of us have learned from pretty early on that food is a point of connection, of celebration, of reward, and it can be a way to cope with difficult situations or emotions.

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External Body Image Triggers and Remembering We Have all the Tools

Right around this time last year I felt some familiar pangs of anxiety in my stomach. I knew where they were coming from because I felt the first wave of them when I noticed some guys cleaning out the pool in our building and getting it ready for its grand summer opening. I felt the second pangs a few days later when I saw the calendar and realized what moment of the year it was and that the weather was getting warmer. I felt the third pangs a few days later while scrolling through instagram and seeing the last remnants of my instagram clean up (more on this later), in which someone was getting "bikini body ready".

The biggest pangs came when I remembered what I had been doing to get my "bikini body" ready two years earlier and how I never wanted to be in that place again. So I did what I normally do when I know I can't go back to what I'm triggered to do, but I'm still feeling slightly anxious. 

I sat down to write. 

What came out was our bikini revolution series. Three posts and podcast episodes (links are below) that ended up being one of the most popular series in our podcast.

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Body Image Series: Resilience, Self Care and Body Kindness

For today's post and episode, part 2 of our body image series, I'm going to introduce you to the idea that the shame, hiding, negative body image moments, sad dressing room or morning scale moments, might not be a complete waste. Don't get me wrong, I don't wish these on anyone, and we're going to work hard through this series to prevent these from popping back up as frequently as they've been happening to you. What if I told you though, that the actual research shows that we can use these moments as a jumping off point to improve our body image? It's called body image resilience, a concept I found out about thanks to two of my favorite twins on this planet, two amazing women I'll be introducing to you today. A pair of identical twins who aren't only as eloquent as they get but who are body image activists, PhDs and experts on the topic of body image resilience and self-worth. Lindsay Kite, PhD and Lexie Kite, Phd have made it their life's mission to scientifically study how to help women and girls stop the self objectification, and see their bodies as more than objects to be looked at, teaching us how to re-wire the way we see our bodies. 

Last week in part 1, I shared the story of my rock bottom moment and the tools that helped me climb out of that space, and that's certainly the place to start when you're on this quest to improve your perception of your body and that negative self-talk, but I know how hard this can be. It can feel like an uphill battle in which you have one good day and then 5 bad ones back to back. You can feel totally confident and appreciative of your body one day, and then have a body bashing fest in front of the mirror the next morning. It's why I created this series, to share the tools that have helped me.

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Bikini Revolution Part 3: Change What you See - Amazing Body Image Advocates

In part 1 of our bikini revolution series, we talked about those perfectionistic voices in our heads, the stories we tell ourselves about our self worth as it relates to our body image and how to change them. Plus I gave you my top four resources to start recovering your relationship with food and your body. In part 2 we talked about the pressure to be thin, I gave you the coolest body image exercise and told you how your dog can help, and I gave you tons of ideas on what we can start doing to change the way we see our bodies. In all of these posts and episodes I kept reaching the same place:

"You can't be what you can't see".

This is especially true when it comes to young girls and boys who are now growing up in this age of social media, but it's also the case for us as adults. Our instagram and facebook feeds, the media and advertising are showing us only one possibility. One beauty ideal that we should all reach for: a white, slim, toned, sexy, feminine, perfect woman, and an athletic, well-built, chiselled, masculine man. Where does everyone else fit in?

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Bikini Revolution Part 1: The Stories We Tell Ourselves and How to Change Them

As you know, one of the main topics we cover in the blog and in our podcast has to do with improving our relationship with food and eating. Weird for a vegan cooking website, I know. The thing is, we can't talk about cooking without talking about food, and we can't talk about food without talking about the way we eat, and as you've heard me say many times before, we can't talk about the way we eat without looking at our relationship with our own body. One of the reasons why I decided to open up today's topic is because bikini body season messaging is already filling the air. Almost like when you pass a bakery, get a whiff of those baguettes and suddenly all you can think about is bread.

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The Dieting Chronicles Intro (Plus a Public Apology)

I have a confession to make, and a few stories to tell you (by now you know I love going to the past and telling stories almost as much as I love eating cupcakes and I LOVE eating cupcakes). Today's stories though, are so very personal and tough, because they have to do with one of my biggest struggles, the one I've had since I was a little girl, with my favorite best friend/comfort/nemesis/I forgive you let's be friends again/why are you doing this to me/that's it your grounded again bestie: FOOD. My relationship with food though, as much as I love to eat, went hand in hand with dieting. Almost all my life. Even until recently. Hence the public apology I want to start this post with.

A couple of months ago I published three posts and three podcast episodes titled the "A Way of Eating" series. I was so happy when I wrote these posts because my intention behind them was to separate veganism from all the dogma that is out there when it comes to food rules, i.e. oil free, gluten free, soy free, clean eating, etc. These posts had a little surprise in store for me, something I wasn't expecting at all. Something that came in the form of an epiphany/ice bucket in the head wake up call that caught me completely by surprise. 

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