UNpodcast 101: The Real Reason You Don’t Know How to Eat

UNpodcast 101: The Real Reason You Don’t Know How to Eat

TD;LR: Go listen to today’s podcast with Laura Krassner! I’m grateful for Google. I really am. In addition to introducing me to resources upon resources to help me discover myself, fix my health, and build a network of amazing coaches and friends, it’s helped countless of you readers find this blog and start working on your own mental health as well. At the same time, though, I think our need to “google” is becoming a problem—because it’s set up a paradigm in which we’ve bought into our own disempowerment and lost our intuition. That’s a pretty big claim, I know. But it’s true. Not sure how to eat? Google a meal plan. Not sure what type of fitness is best? Google an exercise regimen. Not sure how to get rid of whatever symptoms have you down? Google to figure out what you have and then google again for a treatment. We have become reliant on other peoples’ opinions to help answer questions that could be solved with intuition. So much so that we’re almost afraid of not having access to the answers. When I talk with potential clients about their goals, inevitably, they’re the same: I want to know how to eat again without fear. I want to be able to know how much is too much and which foods are the “right” ones. I want to know which exercises to do and when I should push and when to stop. In other words: I need the answers before I can feel empowered to make decisions. Don’t get me wrong—there’s absolutely nothing wrong with seeking answers. There’s nothing wrong...
UNpodcast 099: Why I’m Not Doing My Office Fitness Challenge

UNpodcast 099: Why I’m Not Doing My Office Fitness Challenge

TL;DR Go listen to today’s podcast with Kai Hibbard!  I don’t know what happened, but the second we moved into a new office, every one of my coworkers suddenly become obsessed with self improvement and fitness. You can’t turn a corner without hearing someone talking about how many steps their pedometer recorded or how upset they are that someone left cake in the break area because it’s ruining their diet. Which is why I wasn’t surprised when we (as an office, not me) decided to do a fitness challenge. While this fortunately isn’t a “weight loss” challenge, the number of land mines and triggers in this challenge is astounding: meals tracked, workouts logged, and spontaneous jumping jacks. All with the end goal of building healthier habits. But I would ask: are these habits really healthier? For some people—people like me—the answer is “no.” I could crush a fitness challenge like this: I haven’t tracked calories in three years, but I still could approximate the caloric value of every single piece of food I ate if I tried. I could do two-a-day workouts, even through the ankle pain and still take the 8 flights of stairs to and from the office as many times as I could. I already chug enough water to sink a small ship, so the multiple trips to the bathroom wouldn’t phase me one bit. I’d be the girl leading the every-hour-on-the-hour plank breaks. But I’m not going to. Why? Because, despite the fact that movement and good nutrition are a good idea, I don’t believe that fitness challenges are healthy. I know that we’ve been...
UNpodcast 098: Why You Can’t Stop Dieting 

UNpodcast 098: Why You Can’t Stop Dieting 

TL;DR: Go listen to today’s podcast with Jen Sinkler! When it comes to your body, you are not a contractor. (Stay with me here, I’ve got a patented Kaila metaphor for you!) A contractor is someone who is hired on a project-by-project basis. The project has a definite start and finish date, and the contractor has an imperative to complete the project during those dates. It’s completely goal-based. And at the end of the project, if you want to keep working, you have to start a brand new project. Salaried workers, on the other hand, can do projects, but they don’t only have a single project on which to focus. Salaried workers are in the long-term maintenance game, working on several projects at once, many of which that don’t have start and end dates. Salaried workers keep on going with the job they have and see their work in terms of career and not in terms of a single deliverable. The same thing is true with you and your body. You are not a project-based contractor. You are not doing a series of “start and finish” jobs, hopping from one to the next. You are not a diet-doer. Diets are short term projects that trick you into thinking that you are and have to be doing your work on contract. Diets and challenges and detoxes and resets (they’re all the same thing) distract you from your career as a long term worker in your body. They get you so used to having your start and end date (before and after!), that once you reach the end date, you don’t...
UNpodcast 097: Exercise Addiction: How to Face Your Demons

UNpodcast 097: Exercise Addiction: How to Face Your Demons

TL;DR: Go listen to today’s podcast with Kimber Simpkins & find out how to win 12 books on body love for free!  In today’s podcast, Kimber Simpkins shared a parable about the Buddha that made my brain melt a little, so I thought I’d talk about it with you: The buddha was sitting in a cave when the demon Mara, showed up at the cave’s mouth to torment him. Each day, the demons would return and torment the buddha from the mouth of the cave. Finally, one day, the buddha invited the demon in for tea. If you’re struggling with your weight (keeping it on or taking it off), your food, or your exercise, you have a demon who shows up each day at the mouth of your mental cave and begins to torment you. Maybe it’s the torment of overeating. Maybe it’s the torment of restriction. Maybe it’s the torment of exercise addiction. If you let the demon sit at the mouth of the cave and taunt you, all you will hear all day long are the echoes of each insult. But what if you were to invite that demon in for tea? Sorry to get all metaphorical here, but I see this as an incredible lesson for using your inner demons to your advantage. In order to make it less esoteric and parable-like, I’ll give you a great example of how I invited my exercise addiction in for tea. I had my third ankle surgery in January of 2014. I was already recovered. But even recovered, lack of exercise still gave me anxiety. I went for three...
UN-Podcast 064 & When Eating Disorders Become Your “Business”

UN-Podcast 064 & When Eating Disorders Become Your “Business”

TL;DR: Go listen to today’s podcast with Jodi Rubin now! I’m not going to pretend that the main reason I got certified as a personal trainer in 2010 wasn’t because of my eating disorder. I “wasn’t” an anorexic at the time. I was just getting my toes wet again with EDNOS—a nice combination of “clean eating” (read: rabid orthorexia) and “lifting heavy” (read: compulsive exercise). I wanted nothing more than to be featured in the pages of Oxygen Magazine, so I spent as much time as I could in the gym and the kitchen, the latter of which I learned was “where abs are made.” When grad school and theatre—two things that I formerly loved with a fiery passion—started getting in the way of my workouts, I knew that I needed a way to be in the gym as much as possible. I reasoned that personal training was a great way to live my new passion, while also “helping” the “pathetic cardio bunnies” I sneered at while I did my own fasted cardio after lifting a favor by showing them how to fall in love with the squat rack as I had. I was not in a good headspace, as you can clearly tell. Now, I know a whole bunch of fitness professionals who are the most UN-disordered people in the world—people like Jessi Kneeland and Luke Robinson and Kevin Geary, who truly, truly get that fitness isn’t a punishment and that women’s bodies are different and beautiful and don’t require harmful force to reach and maintain some perfect ideal. There are also a lot of trainers out there...