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Are you ready to break up with diet culture?

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Menopause and diet culture!  Many of you are in that perimenopausal state or you are postmenopausal.  But as we lead up to this, we have all been impacted by diet culture! It’s been in our brains since our teens and early 20s!  So, what exactly is diet culture? 


Well.. it is social expectations about how you should look and how you should eat!
Your body should fit a certain way, should fit what society deems appropriate. Back in the 90s it was all about how skinny you could possibly be, bones sticking out, ribs sticking out, but if you had boobs and hips and a butt you felt inadequate because you would never get down to that skin and bones physique.
We were told for so long that we could have the physique of anyone we wanted if we worked hard enough.  Diet culture really promoted this whole thought of excessiveness. Excessive and rigid. Excessive working out and dieting would get me anything I want. I had to do the plan and be on point all the time!   And if I wasn’t on point, I’d crumble into a heap on the floor.   As diet culture permeated into our society people would automatically say the diet they were on when you said they were looking good!  Diet culture has made us vilify our actions as good or bad. Vilify our food as good or bad. If we start vilifying foods and say you can’t have cookies, you can’t have apples.. then you are going to want it more!
If you are still trying to figure out diet culture, all foods fit.  And so, why is diet culture so bad? Well for first things – the labeling.. The vilifying, the feeling you have to be so structured to get results.  In our over 40 bodies, it’s really hard. Everyday things are getting topsy turvy and our hormones are on a rollercoaster ride!  On top of that our progesterone is plummeting and we are trying to push our bodies into something it can’t do.  That is why 95% of the diets fail! And we always gain the weight back. When we are in hormonal turbulence, it leads to so many other metabolic health disorders.
And second.. – food obsession.  I struggled with this. Every thought was, is this good or bad? And I was always wondering what I could have or not have.  I spent so much mental energy on this and looking back it was exhausting!
If I always keep looking for things outside of myself, I am never going to find it.
One of the ways that it happens is you are always comparing.  How come they’re not dealing with this or that?  And you are always so frustrated about what other people are doing that we don’t look at ourselves and get out of this diet rut. The way to undiet yourself is to stop being so ingrained and focus on what the end game is that you want. We are trying to chase that very first diet.. That very first magical diet that you are following to a T and the weight fell off.. That isn’t going to happen anymore.  So we hit 40, relying on these really rigid and structured programs and it is really challenging.  That is where we need to evolve and find a more balanced approach.
So.. What exactly are you eating?
This is the first place I always have my clients look at! I get the eye roll at the food log.. But you need to understand what is going on in your body.  If you don’t understand what you are eating, how can you make adjustments?  What exactly are you eating, write it down and do this for 3 days. Live your normal life and see what exactly you are eating.
Then when I look at this, I look for patterns. How much protein are they eating?  What do their carbs look like?  What do their good fats look like? Where is the junk? Where are the FAUX health foods we have bought in to?  How much space are we having between our meals? Too much time or not enough time? What is your day like which could cause you to have a mid-morning or mid afternoon snack?  I also look at the vegetables. The biggest thing people are missing is they are only having 2 vegetables a day, here or there.  How can we increase the vegetables for not only the micronutrients but for the fiber intake too?  (Be mindful of that fiber intake. If I increase it too fast, you may have ill effects. Bloating, fullness, other things!)
As we fill our grocery carts, really look at the nutrients of our food – not good foods and bad foods.  What protein can I fill in there? What fruits and vegetables can I fill in there?
When you work with me everything will be an experiment to see what works for you!
Yes, there is an initial plan to see how it’s going, but we will see where you fall in.  It is structured flexibility.  Work within your boundaries, whatever is going to work best for you.
Yes, you can have them. There is no cheat day!  Can you have treats? Can you have ice cream with your kids?  Can you go out on a date with your sweetie? You bet your butt you can! But it’s about portions!  Portion it wisely.  Go in with a decision, this is the decision I am going to make and stick with it. Whether it be dessert and a cheat meal.  Wine and a great meal, etc. Make that decision and make it work!
Everyone that follows me is pretty good at exercising.  Exercise is their jam.  But when we get to that age 40+ and our progesterone starts to get a little wonky, we don’t have the resilience we used to have. Those 5-6 days a week go big or go home workouts, they shouldn’t exist at our age. Can I get in 4 good workouts? Can I get in 3 good workouts? How many days can you truly workout? And factor in LIFE! When it comes to exercise, I really start to think about more whole-body workouts.  Strength training and cardio/walking!
Diet culture sucks the joy out of working out. It sucks the joy out of eating, and it makes you overthink the shit out of everything.  Anything that flies in the sky, comes from the earth and you can pick it. That’s yours all day long.  It’s the synthetic packaged bullshit that we have to have a conversation about.  It doesn’t matter what vegetable you eat, just eat it! If it’s more than you did before, just eat it. Stop sucking the joy out of your life when it comes to diet culture!!!
A lot of my ladies are A++ and don’t know how to relax. They don’t know how to sit for 5 minutes.  So, I challenge you to do this and set a timer and just sit!  They can’t sit, but just sit! Even if it’s in your car.  Find something that finds you joy.  And I challenge you to have it be different from exercise.  Find something in your life other than exercise.  This is non-negotiable.  Painting, roller skating, playing with your dog or kids, something that is not, I need to go work it out.  Finding stillness!
Self-care- this is what brings you joy!  Most people think of manicures etc.  Whatever brings you JOY is self-care for you! Find it and do it!
I always talk about sleep.  If you walk away with one thing, can I set a bedtime? Can I say, if I need to get up at 7am, count 8 hours back and that is when you need to get to bed.  Instead, I am going to pass out in front of Netflix.  Get a bedtime and create a bedtime ritual.  This bedtime ritual is so important!  Your kids have a ritual right? Why can’t you? This is your wind down time that you need to cruise into so that you are not laying bed thinking about everything you need to do or forgot to do.  You want your engines fired down and come in for a nice landing into sleep!
Ladies… Find a lifestyle that works for you that makes you feel like you aren’t missing out on the fun.  Or like you have to take a pause when you are on vacation.  How do we weave health into our everyday life?  That is my goal for every single person listening.  How do we find a way that nourishes and supports our bodies as we move through this menopause and post menopause?
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If you’re over 35 and curious about your menopausal status, I’ve got a handy checklist of symptoms to help clue you in. So grab this menopause tracker and take back the reins!


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