Today we have an amazing guest. I am so excited to bring back participant stories – folks who have been doing the program and are just sharing their own stories. Today I have Lydia joining us on the podcast. Lydia started the program in May 2021 and has been with me for the last year and a couple of months. It has been such an amazing thing to see her heal and her relationship with food and her body transform. Lydia is going to be sharing her story on how her relationship with food and body looked like, how her journey changed when she joined the program, how her healing was, and how her relationship with food and her body is today.
[04:36] Lydia’s relationship to food and body prior to the program
Her relationship to food and her body was bad. She’s always lived in a larger body so she’s always really felt like she faked it till she made it. She really thinks a lot of people would describe her as confident but I always did not feel that truly I felt like it was a facade. She wasn’t living her full self or felt like she had to put on a show to compensate for how she looked and felt. Lydia has been dieting since she was very young. She thinks the fourth grade was when she started her first diet and just was going through the motions from there through adulthood.
[09:46] Her relationship with her body through the ups and downs of diets
It was almost unique. She felt good until everybody else was involved and always felt misunderstood.She always thought if only people could see her physically the way she saw herself or if only everybody could see who she is inside. She felt very frustrated and very betrayed by her body, like her genetics and body were the reason why everything was going to be harder. Everything felt so overwhelming. She just always felt like she was striving for connection.
[19:05] Things holding her back from trying something different
If she’s being truly honest, Lydia kind of thought that some of this stuff would mimic a lot of diet culture just in a different way but there is not any diet culture to be seen anywhere to latch on to at all.
[21:37] When she knew needed to try something different
Lydia did my free course first and thought that everything I were saying was everything she was thinking and feeling. Then she had a call with me before she joined the program to see if it was the right fit. It was an actual intuitive experience. She felt like her life was a little out of control and like she didn’t have anything to lose. She was really in a bad place and knew that something needed to be different.
[23:00] Lydia’s healing journey throughout the process
It was hard, it was really hard. She needed the time. If she was going to do it and do the work, she needed the time to do it. Lydia’s life changed so much from the start of the program to now. Throwing away the diet books and cookbooks that she had in her home was very hard. She even had to do a ticket for a big item pickup because there were so many. It was hard especially in the beginning, those first steps towards really making that decision that diets are over.
[29:09] Her first trip to the grocery store after starting the program
She still remembers the first time she walked in the grocery store after starting the program. She felt like she could cry because for the first time ever she could buy what she actually wanted to eat. It still makes her emotional thinking about it. She knows it seems so small and silly but it’s those little moments that make it worth it.
[34:44] How her relationship to food and body has changed
Oh my gosh, completely, completely. There were actually not as many things that she had originally thought would be different. There are a few things that are a little bit different because there’s a privilege of being in a smaller body. There are certain things you don’t have to advocate for yourself like flight seats, seat belt extenders, armed chairs, and weight limits on things. There are certain things that living in a larger body doesn’t bring as much privilege with or you need to be more of an advocate. But other than those things, which are completely out of her control, nothing, she wouldn’t change anything that she’s doing. It takes work, and it still takes work, she just has all the tools now to be able to address those things. Lydia still has things that trigger her and knows that they will. Now she has the tools to address those head on, face it with facts, and move on.
[39:44] What Lydia is doing now
Since she started the program, she quit my job and started her own company. She’s now self employed and her own boss. Lydia travels when she wants and now she gets on airplanes and flies anywhere she wants. She bought a house. She has reconnected with so many people.
[47:51] Lydia’s advice for others struggling with diet culture
The number one thing that she would even ask is has anything you’ve ever done worked? And then has anything that you’ve done made you happy? For most people, the answer to both of those is no. When you’re in the diet culture mindset, it’s really hard to even peep into the idea of just stopping. She thinks those are really the two big questions she would ask.
[52:06] Fun questions with Lydia
Her favorite foods are sushi and peanut butter. For a superpower, she would choose the power to meditate and fold fitted sheets. Meditating is something she’s been working on and they say it will come with time. Her favorite form of self-care is movement. She just loves that she can move and do what she wants without worrying about wearing some fitness device or measuring something. She also loves to dance. Balance for her is that things aren’t always going to be unicorns and rainbows. So knowing life really consists of highs and lows. That’s true for pretty much every facet relationship and with your body. There will be hard times and there will be great times and that is the human experience.