UNpodcast 087 & It’s Not a Lifestyle, It’s a Diet

UNpodcast 087 & It’s Not a Lifestyle, It’s a Diet

TL;DR Go listen to today’s podcast with Summer Innanen & watch her free video training series! The other day on Twitter, I saw someone post an article entitled, “It’s Not a Lifestyle, it’s a Diet.” The title hit me like a sack of bricks; the content, however, was more fitspo type schlock. I want to focus on the title though, because there was a useful post in there, even if the author didn’t write it. The thing is, we tell ourselves a lot of lies to justify our habits. We repeat any buzzword or phrase that will help us explain to ourselves why we keep holding onto cycles of destructive behaviors. We do a lot of silly things to trap ourselves in unnecessary patterns, just because it feels more comfortable to be stuck than to do the work to get out. I think the phrase, “it’s not a diet; it’s a lifestyle” is up there on that list of lies. And I think it’s time to call shenanigans on it. I’ll start by giving you an example: In 2009, I picked up my first Oxygen Magazine. That hundred-something-page advertisement for disordered eating and exercise addiction opened my eyes to a “lifestyle” that would change my lifestyle—and my body. Sure, there were posts about supplementing for heart health and exercising for strong bones, but at the core of the “lifestyle” the magazine extolled, there was a diet and an associated aesthetic, which I wanted to make mine. So I dieted, but I didn’t call it that. My calorie-controlled, macro-controlled, time-controlled meals (and associated supplementation, exercise, and daily weigh-ins/body measurements) were,...
UN-Podcast 055 & Are We There Yet?

UN-Podcast 055 & Are We There Yet?

Your body isn’t “there” yet, but it’s always on your mind. The body that you’re wearing is only temporary skin, yet it suffocates you—sticks ever tighter to you, no matter how you try to claw your way out of it. This body is not your body—the one that’s truly yours just hasn’t found you yet. It’s easy to sell a miracle cure to a person who believes that she is not wearing her true body. It’s easy to sell a magical pill to a woman who believes that, like a snake, she just needs a change of season to shed her skin and embrace the vivid new one that’s been hiding underneath. It’s easy to sell empowerment in the form of a diet that takes willpower or a boot camp that takes mettle to the woman who feels as though she cannot exert power in her own body. The entire diet industry depends on your disempowerment. The entire fitness machine requires you to say “strong” when you mean “skinny.” It’s more than the marketers and the shadowy “powers that be” who want to take away the power you have—it’s the language that’s been woven into the very fabric of our cultural conversation so that “not there yet” is the foundation of every attempt at conjugation of our health. [image source] But what does it really mean to be “not there yet?” I’ve been apologizing for that, even since the day I started this blog. When I first hit “publish,” I was planning on becoming the next Paleo miracle story—ending the acne, regaining my period, and, more importantly, ending the...
Trigger HAPPY Thursday: Don’t Prioritize an Event over Your Health

Trigger HAPPY Thursday: Don’t Prioritize an Event over Your Health

[youtube=”http://youtu.be/RNbiPKkIICc”] Dear lord. It’s time for Paleo F(X) and my thighs touch. In the past, this would have been cause for a major break down/panic attack/crash diet/30 day weight loss challenge. Instead…I bought a beautiful dress (on sale–score!) and went out for sweet potato fries and grass-fed burgers with my friends. Yes, there’s a part of me that is still conditioned to hold onto the marketing messages that I need a 7 day detox for people to like and respect me at this event, but these days, I just don’t have time for the extra stress. It’s not like I’m going to become an un-photographable vampire because I don’t look like a fitness model (and I have a feeling that I’ll get the same number of Facebook likes on any photo I post, whether or not I’ve lost 30 pounds on a juice cleanse.) The point is…we have to start moving away from the stress of preparing our bodies to show up at “events.” Whether it’s a wedding, a reunion, or a big conference, beating yourself up while counting down to some aesthetic goal just isn’t healthy. Check out today’s Trigger HAPPY Thursday for a little bit of incredulousness and outrage at the things I will no longer let myself believe about how we need to prepare our bodies for events. ALSO! If you’re in Austin, TX this weekend (April 10 – 14), if you DON’T come and give me a hug, I’ll be very upset. If you can’t hug me in person, at least check out the livestream of my panels: 1:35 – 2:30 pm CDT: Moving Past...
Un-Podcast 050 & Six Days to a Better Body (and Other Marketing Lies I Still Sometimes Believe)

Un-Podcast 050 & Six Days to a Better Body (and Other Marketing Lies I Still Sometimes Believe)

“Transform your tush! Lift it! Shape it! Tone it!”  “Shaun T’s No-Gym Way to Flat Abs” “Strengthen, Trim, and Tone in 4 Moves” (These are actual headlines from three of the top women’s magazines in the US this month.) “Part Time Diet, Full Time Fat Loss” “Blast Fat Even Faster: Erase Major Calories in only 15 Minutes” “Reach Your Goal Weight: Must Try 4-Week Plan” (And these came from some top fitness competitor magazines.) “The only weight-loss plan that has been scientifically proved to take weight off and keep it off for more than a year” (This is how PETA sells a vegetarian diet.) “The Diet to Lose Weight and Get Healthy for Life” (This is how Dr. Oz positioned Paleo.) Do you guys notice a trend? Sensational headline. Bold claim. Lose weight—your body isn’t good enough. One of the hardest things in the entire world to accept is that you can’t just “GET RESULTS IN 7 DAYS.” That sustainable happiness does not come from an event like stepping on the scare to prove you’ve lost the last X pounds. That your body isn’t a static outcome, but a responsive, flexible home for the ever-changing shape of your soul. And, yeah, that’s easy to say, right? I can accept that—sure. Until I have an event at which I’m going to be photographed. Or it’s bikini season. Or I walk past a copy of Oxygen Magazine at the grocery store and remember that I should be working my triceps. Or whatever. We’re bombarded by media that tells us how to get Jennifer Lopez’s butt or Jennifer Aniston’s arms or insert-Jennifer-and-body-part-of-choice-here,...
UN-Podcast 044: UNsunk & Diet Drama

UN-Podcast 044: UNsunk & Diet Drama

I was the quintessential drama kid. I couldn’t play team sports due to a lack of hand-eye coordination. The only CDs I owned from 1995 – 2001 (besides the Spice Girls, Britney Spears, and Josie and the Pussycats) were show tunes. I wrote my first stage play at 8 years old. (I didn’t say it was any good…) And I was good at being a drama queen. I don’t know about you, but as a child…and teenager…and young adult…I thrived on drama. Not just the kind on stage—I’m talking about the drama that inspired by my own life. So and so was gossiping about me? Drama. Fight with a sibling? Disaster. Test tomorrow that I couldn’t study for due to extracurriculars? End of the world as we know it. [image source] As awful as drama makes us feel, there’s something fun about the sheer tragedy of the moment. There’s an addictive catharsis in reaching the climax of histrionics and then the inevitable return to stasis through the resolution. And, of course, as soon as the drama is resolved, we go looking for more. I feel like many of us—especially those who compulsively eat or are constantly dieting—are addicted in the same way. Yes, we like the rush of succeeding—taking the “after” photo, completing the rigid eating challenge, mastering the exercise program of doom (I’m lookin’ at you P90X!), etc.—but even more, we like the drama of failing, because it allows us to return to the comfortable patterns of self-hate that we’ve used to fuel our lives up until now. And, ironically, I do think drama is comfortable. For the...