Do you feel unhappy with your weight? Do you hate your body? Wish you could have someone else’s body?
Well, we’re so glad you’ve landed on this episode.
We know what it’s like to feel constantly unhappy with your weight, body and hate what you look like.
There are lots of strategies to implement long-term change, and you’re probably across them, if not check out my blog - but when you’re in the mindset of hating your body, it’s hard to think that far ahead. You need a quick fix.
But what if going on another diet wasn’t the quick fix you turned to?
Let’s talk about what you should do straight away when you’re in the depths of a bad body image day.
P.s. Don't forget to download my FREE toolkit for building a healthier body image. Even if you’ve been hating your body for years - these simple strategies will help you feel healthier and happier in your skin.
Oh, hey, everyone, and welcome to today's episode of the No Wellness Wankery Podcast. I'm your co-host, Lyndi Cohen, and someone who's really fed up with hating my body. And I'm joined by my lovely co-host, Jenna D’Apice. Hello. That sounds like a nice little song.
No wellness, wankery. Yes, my name is Jenna and we are talking about one of the biggest things that can plague our minds when it comes to diet culture, what it breeds in our brains, a hatred of our body which is just such a sad thing to think about.
It is and it's very life impacting. I think someone who's never hated their body, they're going to be like, oh, it's trivial, it's narcissistic, it's like vain to think about how you look. No, it's life impacting. And it's reliably that one thing that used to be able to bring me to tears, someone commenting on my weight or feeling like I hated how I looked. That is, it's a huge deal and it's something that we need to fix because it can ruin days, it can ruin weeks, it can impact moods, it can keep your life small. So we need to have a bit of a game plan because, I mean, sadly, as you know, we talk about in this podcast, when you live in a world that's constantly telling you, you don't weigh, you weigh too much, that you're not pretty enough, you are going to have bad body image days, days where you hate your body, and that's sad, but we need a bit of a game plan.
We do need a game plan because, as you said, it can affect every part of your day. That's the thing that always would trip me out. It's not just when you're out with people, it's when you're alone by yourself, it's when you're in the shower, it's when you're in bed literally by yourself because you can like feel parts of your body touching each themselves, like what do you say, like your legs touching together. Yes, little things like that.
Can we start by talking about those little triggers, things that trigger a bad body image day or like hating your body? Yes. Question, why when you look down toward your stomach does it appear so much bigger than when you look at it in the mirror? Do you feel that phenomenon? There's a perspective
difference there. Yeah, looking down on your body and sometimes I would always think like oh you can see like my tummy poking out before my boobs and little things like that that don't even really matter and you look at a different angle
and it's totally gone. Yeah and that's also just how humans, females are built, it's kind of normal to have that. Other triggers for me would be putting on like underwear that's too small. We've talked about a lot of these things in the 15 ways I learned to love my body. How things like, underwear is like for some reason like two sizes too small all the time. And then when you feel it digging into you and your fat kind of comes over the underwear that can be incredibly triggering.
And the same with bras. Bras are even worse.
We really need to accept the fact that I think we all wear a bra size that's too small for our chest. I don't know if you, but when I was young boys, you'd be like, what's your bra size? And I don't know.
No, no one asked me that.
That was a thing in my school. And so you kind of needed that number to be as fitting in with cultures. Oh no. And so I feel like, beyond that, I also just think a lot of us, we like to think we're smaller than we are because we've been told that's what's better and therefore we go for a size bra that's too tight around our chests and that is not good for us either.
No, because it would happen if my bra is too small, then after literally I've just had lunch it gets too tight and then I feel like I've eaten too much and I've done the wrong thing when really I've just had a normal meal and my bra is too small.
Shout out to pregnancy bras, maternity bras, they actually have you know there's normally like three hookies at the back of the bra. These have six so they're like there's like an extra extension on each of them because they know your chest gets bigger, everything gets bigger and that's kind of cool. Anyway, they're incredibly comfortable.
Okay, we like them.
We do like them.
Anything else that can kind of trigger you to have a bad body image day or to hate your body? I think just keeping clothes in my wardrobe for too long that don't fit me anymore and assuming that they do and then trying them on. It's like you need to have a bit of a more regular cull so you don't try on something that you haven't put on your body in four years and then you get upset that it doesn't fit you. But four years is a long time.
It's a long long time and I feel like I don't know about you, but there's like 80% of my wardrobe that I'm like I wear you occasionally But only when like the star the moon everything aligns the underwear is right the moon
million things have to align for me to feel comfortable enough to wear those clothes and Just because I can wear them sometimes doesn't mean they deserve a place in my wardrobe They really just take up a whole bunch of space So, you know what? They can just kind of go to a different section of my wardrobe where they occasionally wear
or I can give them away. Another thing that kind of triggers me sometimes, if I'm like in bed really triggers me a lot because I feel like I can feel like my stomach touching something, like touching my side or little things like that. And then it gets in my head, I'm like, I don't feel comfortable alone in my bed with literally no one else around. Like, who's judging me? Just myself.
We judge ourselves the hardest, don't we? Yeah.
Like, I'm in bed alone with the biggest critic of myself. And I'm like, no one's looking at me, but it's just that feeling of like, feeling my stomach touch the bed or something like that, that it makes me...
I know what you're feeling.
It can ruin the start of my day.
Yeah. For me, it's when I'm not wearing a bra and I can feel my boobs on my stomach.
I find that really hard. If you're in bed and a partner cuddles you and especially if they cuddle your stomach, it can feel like quite a vulnerable act. And I think there's a lot of people who have had that experience where I used to when I first started dating my husband, I'd like, try sucking my stomach a little bit so I could feel like...
Touching the stomach.
Yeah, that's a hard one. Lying in the bath can be tough as well sometimes. It looks like the shower thing when you're really quite exposed. Or going to the bathroom when you're wearing a jumpsuit. Oh God, I mean, that's an awful experience. That's an awful experience. Jumpsuits. It's all this thing, it's like how do they convince grown women to wear a jumpsuit, which is an item that's made for like toddlers. I know.
So there's a lot of stuff. There's a lot of stuff throughout the day that's going to make you feel like you're not good enough, seeing someone else's body who you think looks amazing, going bikini shopping, going shopping at all, any of these things. So you think about, well, this is making it more common and more likely that we're going to have these crappy body image days, days where we hate our body. Now, what do we do about it? We need to be armed. So I have a bit of like a go-to plan. This is like, what do you do immediately? So you're like, okay, cool. Like I am not in a good place. I hate my body. The first temptation is to go, I need to lose weight. I need to diet. And we know that what that does is it flings us into an unhealthy thinking pattern around food, around restrictive eating, around under eating, which can only just fling us back in the other direction. So we don't want to do that.
What we want to do instead,
and something I found really, really helpful, is when I'm having a bad body image day. So I'll give you an example. I was in Fiji about four months ago, a lot of pool time, a lot of buffets, a lot of that kind of thing, and I noticed that on day five, I was like, okay, my body image is really taking a bit of a tumble. And then I realized, when was the last time I exercised? I hadn't exercised since I'd been to Fiji. I was at a resort with my child, it was fine by the way. But I wasn't moving, I wasn't going for long, sprawling walks along the beach. And so I went to the gym, which is something I would never do normally, by the way. Going to a gym on holiday just makes me feel, but I don't know, maybe I'm moving past that diet culture the way that I've always thought gym is like diet culture. It's not always. Anyway, I went to the gym and within like half an hour after going, immediately after going, I left. I was like, I feel better. But because I had been raised to think, okay, when you hate your body, you go and exercise because you need to lose weight. Then that whole thing felt tainted to me. So anytime I felt bad about myself and someone would go, we'll just go exercise. I'd be like, you're just trying to tell me to lose weight. That's just what you're trying to say to me. And I read between the lines. Yeah, I can see what you're saying. But actually it just releases all these happy hormones and you just feel better about yourself, your body, your life, the sky, everything. Yes, it's true. It's game-changing. I was speaking to Martina, who's one of our colleagues yesterday, shout out to Martina, and she was saying that she was having a really grumpy day yesterday and that she woke up and she's like, you know what, I need to go for a walk. I need to, that's what's going to help me because this is irrational grumpiness. And she went for a walk and she's like, after like 5,000 steps, she got home and she's like, I felt so much better. So it changes. I always feel, I like to have a shower and then go for a walk. Yes. Because I feel like even if I'm like sweaty and I'm trying to put my gym tights on, that makes me in a worse mood. You know what I mean?
I like to be fresh, clean, put some walking clothes on, and you just feel so much better.
I think, you know, Les and I were talking about this, my husband, we're talking about this idea of going to exercise in the morning. And yes, you get the energy boost from the morning, but it also gets your mind set up for the day. I think I get a real mental boost from exercising in the morning so that I feel such a noticeable difference if I haven't exercised. So I guess what we're saying is when you notice that you're having, it could be a bad body image day, but it could just be like a shitty day, like I feel like eating because I'm just so emotional, I'm having a tough day. Instead of thinking that people telling you to go exercise is like them trying to con you into losing weight, it's not. It's really just an instant quick fix. And I think I used to be that person who was like, and I still am sometimes, let's be honest, when I'm having a bad day, I'm like, I just want to eat and I eat and that's going to happen. But if you can try and remember that that exercise option is there and it's going to be an actual quick fix, unlike eating in front of the TV, which doesn't really help you feel better, but going and exercising, whether that's going for a gentle walk with your dog around the park, that counts. You tick the box by doing that or it could be something more intense, whatever lights you up. Could literally even just be like going out into the sun
and doing some stretching.
Oh yeah, beautiful, so good. Going down to the beach, a pool, like just a little dip, dip, especially with cold water. I think that's something quite beneficial that they've shown some research around anxiety and mood changes in dipping yourself in cold water.
So that's always a nice thing. Because I think it's very different exercising or moving your body to feel good as opposed to just doing it to lose weight. Because if you're doing it to lose weight, then you're like, oh, now I've exercised, now I have to eat well and quote-unquote good and I can't eat anything quote-unquote bad because now I'm exercising. It's like, well, that's not it. It's like you're on holidays, you're going to move your body and feel really good, and then you can continue to enjoy the buffet and all these amazing things that you get on holidays. Who doesn't love a buffet? No one can make an omelette like a buffet worker. They're incredible.
Maestros. I agree. So just to finish off that CG story, that's exactly what I did. I didn't change what I did that day. I continued enjoying myself. I went to lie down by the pool. I read a book. I got a cocktail delivered to me. It was amazing, but I felt so much better thanks to that little blip of exercise.
We love that. So another thing you can do on a bad body image day, just be noticing your triggers so you can avoid them.
Yeah, like just what we talked about before, or at least becoming aware. I think when you don't know what triggered you, you're more likely to be like, my body's the problem. But once you notice, okay, well, it was this thing triggered it, then you're like, okay, well, it was the thing. It's not my body, my body's not the fault here. It was that moment, it's the clothes, it's that comment that person made, it's seeing this person, it's all the stuff I've internalized, I think that it just can help you feel just a little bit more removed, so it can be helpful. So like we just talked about before, becoming aware of all these little triggers is very helpful. Something you can do as an exercise is write down your common triggers in a note section in your phone, just so you kind of have it as like a bit of a go to. You're like, right, you know, that makes perfect sense why I'm feeling this way. Yeah, I'm not the problem. The other thing you need to do, you need to check what time of the month it is.
So this happens every month, but I still don't believe it. It'll be happening and I'll feel so bad and I'm like, no, I couldn't possibly be that. And then like two days later I'll get my period. I'm like, oh, I feel it was again.
Got me again. Month after month. Literally month after month. Yeah, like I'm 32 and I'm still like, wow, okay, I've had period now for 20 years. Yeah. It doesn't get easier. You still get caught unaware. In fact, it's kind of like my biggest sign that my period's coming. I'm like, oh, I hate myself. Yeah. Oh, I hate everyone. Oh, okay. Yeah. So it's very hard to realize it in that moment because you're so caught up in the emotions, totally. And if you're going through menopause or perimenopause, noticing your hormones, which are not going to sadly have a bit of a cyclical nature to them, that's all going to mess you up. So check in with your other symptoms. Like if you're feeling like particularly hot and sweaty today, if you're feeling all the feels from your body, it's hormonal shit and it's got nothing to do with your actual body. And I think once we can kind of notice those external triggers, whether it's hormones or whether it's the way the sun is aligning on the day, you can have more compassion for your body and take the blame
off yourself. It's like, this is going to pass. I don't need to lose a specific amount of weight for this to go away. It's just going to pass on its own.
Another quick fix is to change your clothing.
This is huge.
One of the biggest things I have found is I will always, if it's a nice day, my partner wants to go to the beach, everything's daisy, and then I'm like, hmm, this is going to be a trigger for me because all my swimming costumes make me feel bad. And I don't like going swimming costume shopping because that's horrific. So I feel like a good solve to that in 2022, we have solutions. I will like buy a bunch online so I can try them on in the privacy of my own home, in the normal lighting, with no one looking at me, with mirrors coming from behind. Why are there 20 million mirrors in our lives? I don't need that in my life.
You evil people who designed this change room.
Correct. And you can pick the one you like and then return the ones you don't. And it's so much easier than just to know when it's getting hotter in Australia, summer's coming up, that you have a swimming costume you feel comfortable in that you don't need to be tugging and twisting and picking out your butt.
When I buy swimsuit bottoms, which I actually rarely wear bikinis anymore, but when I do, I'm always going two sizes up. And it took me so long to realize that I didn't want to, oh, I buy the things with the ties on the side so I can adjust how big it is, but also I need some butt coverage, personally.
Yeah, I know. The ties on the side also have their issues.
They have their issues, too, and they can fall off, and I've been there. I've been stranded in the water, grabbing at some clothes. But the things, and also if you've got big boobs like me, then you need to go with those bigger sizes so that you're actually getting the appropriate nipple cover that you need in your life. The point is, you need to upsize and these kinds of things and don't be afraid to kind of change your outfits.
This is it. Change your body changes. Your clothes can change too.
Amen. Have you ever gotten to a point where you've like, okay, I'm going to go out, but then you just like realizing that you're feeling really bad and you change your clothes and it made a difference?
I had an experience the other day. I was in Melbourne for the weekend and I was at this kind of kids' park. I couldn't dress. I'm pregnant at the moment. And I caught myself in a reflection in the mirror and I was like, I'm just not feeling amazing and it was impacting my mood. So I was like, I'm just going to go get changed. I asked my husband, I was like, this is what needs to happen and he let it happen. And I think I was just really grateful that I had a partner who would understand that and that I knew myself enough to be like, I'm not going to let this ruin a day of my holidays. I went and got changed in new clothing and I was right as rain.
Yes, it makes a big difference. And even just knowing what you're going to be doing for the day and what activities you're doing in the clothes that you're buying, you need to be able to sit down in your jeans for prolonged periods of time. I'm not saying they have to be comfortable enough to go on a long haul flight to Europe because jeans aren't that comfortable. But just in terms of day-to-day traveling, sitting in your car, going to get lunch, you need to not be at any point being like, oh no, my pants are too tight and I feel like I've put on weight because I just ate.
So when you're going out, like you're going out for a lunch, you need to wear lunch appropriate clothes. Your stomach will expand, okay? So you have to wear something that's going to allow for you to A, sit down, and B, expand while you eat, particularly if it's dinner time. So it's kind of like I gave a situation on some of the podcasts, I talked about how I bought the size dress that fit me as long as I was standing up and posing. But the moment I ate or I sat down, I was incredibly uncomfortable. So you need to buy clothes that are going to allow you to actually exist in the world? Yes. Crazy thought. Can we talk about clothing fabric? Yes. Okay. So synthetic versus natural fabrics and sweating. Because when you feel sweaty, and especially the more weight you have, the sweatier you get, you get things like chafing, that does not make you feel good. So I'm a bit of a passion for natural fabrics these days. The older I get, the more I'm willing to invest in slightly, firstly, this environmental factor that I think is fantastic, but if nothing else alone, just do it because of your body image that when you buy polyester and nylons and all those kinds of stuff, you sweat more, you feel uncomfortable, you feel hot, you feel wet. So that's another really important thing to do.
It doesn't help, it doesn't help.
It does not help. Something I want you to do as well, this is like another thing, is just becoming aware of your thinking around your body image. I think sometimes we can kind of get a bit of a funk, like I don't know why I'm feeling bad. Or notice the temptation to go on a diet. You know, notice that thing, you're like, oh, I just really need to stick to my healthy eating plan. I just, if only I was better, if only I exercised religiously, then I would be so much better. Just notice when you're giving yourself a hard time, because you're kind of double dipping then on the bad mood. You're kind of doubling down on it. You're not helping yourself. And I think this is a thing it took me so many years to realize. I really believed if I reprimanded myself for gaining weight, that I would lose weight. I really believed the more I tried to berate myself and guilt myself around it, that it would motivate me, that the self-loathing could motivate me to lose weight, and yet all it did is it led me to emotionally ease, and then I'd gain weight, and then I'd stay stuck, and the cycle would get worse and perpetuate and perpetuate. The nicest thing we can do for ourselves, and this is like, I'm being honest, this conversation around weight, by beating yourself up, you're kind of setting yourself up for more weight
So it's like the best thing you can do if you're like, I'm really stressed about my weight, the best thing you can do is be compassionate about your weight. It's truly like, because what you're going to do is you're going to curb that cycle and stop it from perpetuating into a week-long depressive binge.
Which is really hard to come out of. I've been in this for days now and it's so hard to just take the first step because you always think, I've got to restart. I've got to restart this whole diet now. The whole thing's ruined and it's so hard.
You've got to double down. You don't have to double down. You don't have to restart fresh. You know what, we need to work on this society. With this idea in the old school nutrition, if I change the behavior, my thinking will change. It is the opposite. If my thinking changes, my behavior will shift. So rather than going, I need to eat differently, I need to think differently around food. And naturally, you're going to change what you end up eating. So stop going on the behavior pursuit and start thinking, becoming deeply aware of those thoughts. Something I talk about in my Keep It Real program often, which is my program to help you stop binge and emotional eating. So if that's something that you're struggling with, please come. I give really personalized support. Because I've been there, I really want you to get to the happy promised land where you're a unicorn and you can eat whenever you want because you feel full and comfortable, and that's what you deserve. But one of the things we talk about is becoming, like creating a bit of a thoughts diary. So it's like when you create a note section in your phone and you just become really aware of those thoughts that are coming into your brain all the time and thinking about food, because that is gonna be cues, clues, about how we can change our behavior. So once we change the thinking, that is when we're gonna start to see some really big changes.
So like thinking you have about times you feel like you hate your body and all those type of things.
Yes, and when you write it down in the notes section, don't paraphrase, don't be like, and then I thought this, and then I thought that. I want the exact language that you use, and then that's gonna be what we use to try and change it. So in Keeper of Real, you can share those comments with me, and then I'll give you the personalized support on exactly how we're gonna change each of that thinking so that we can get to a better place. So that's kind of very valuable stuff.
Yeah, so becoming aware of your thinking and just probably not accepting that negative thoughts and I hate my body is always the way it has to be.
Yeah, it doesn't, it really doesn't. You don't need to, I don't think the goal is to love your body, I think it's really just to be free of hating yourself. So if we can try and imagine that our brain is a radio channel and we're switching off the channel, we're swapping stations, whatever we're doing, I think that's really, really important. And just one more thing. I've talked about this before, but I just want to share it again. So it's a bit like, if you've ever taken a photo of a sunset and you're like, that's a beautiful sunset. And then you look at the photo and you're like, that's not the sunset. That's a terrible photo. You don't blame the sunset. You don't think, oh, the sun was really ugly from that angle. You don't think, oh, it's the sun's fault. She's just really not turning up her best self today. She's let herself go. You think the photo sucked. When you see a bad photo of yourself and you see an unflattering angle, just think of it exactly like that. You don't have to think, I'm the fault. The mirror could be like, it's a dodgy angle. It's dodgy lighting. There's nothing unflattering about it because you'll take photos where you look amazing and you'll take photos where you look really really shit and that is totally okay. So we can just have a little bit more compassion for ourselves becoming aware of those external triggers so we can give ourselves a break that you actually deserve and then trying to rewire our thinking. I know it all sounds like a lot but honestly just go for a walk. If you're going for a walk, you're going to feel a whole lot better. I hope you've liked today's episode. I'm Lyndi and I'm joined by Jenna, and if you love this episode, please jump online and give us a review. We would love to hear from you, or send Lyndi a note, nude underscore nutritionist. Ask us a question if you want us to answer on the podcast. We'll see you next episode.
Do you feel like you know what you should be eating, but you feel completely out of control with food, you're either eating perfectly or you're face planting into the fridge. Well, if you've got binge eating or you're struggling with emotional eating, I can help. Check out my program, Keep It Real. I've got lots I can teach you and hey, you don't have to be a binge eater for the rest of your life. You can get 20% off Keep It Real when you use the code podcast when you check out via the website. And because I don't want this to be just another failed attempt for you, I'm offering a 30-day money back guarantee because you know what? You've just got to give these things a go, no risk. You've just got to give these things a go, no risk. Give it a try.