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Overcoming Negative Body Thoughts

Overcoming Negative Body Thoughts

When I first set out in search of non-diet interventions that could change the course of my relationship to food and overcoming negative body thoughts, I came across a study about the impact of body satisfaction on healthy behaviors, including food & exercise. That blew my mind.

I will share that with you in this blog post that focuses on body image and how it impacts your relationship to food. I will also tackle the concept called body neutrality and how it is different from body positivity; as well as intuitive eating. I’ll also share with you a free tool that I created to get you started with body neutrality and intuitive eating so you can enjoy your full life now… regardless of your body size. Here’s what you’re going to learn from this article:

Overcoming negative body thoughts

What is body neutrality?

Body neutrality versus body positivity

Body neutrality and intuitive eating

Overcoming negative body thoughts

A 2013 study published by the Journal of Obesity study found no link between body weight and the way women feel about themselves.

Yet, the findings show a link between how women feel about themselves and the healthy activities they engage in. Meaning, the better they felt about their bodies, the more likely they were to take care of themselves by eating well and being active. This allows them to create a positive cycle.  

Likewise, dissatisfaction with their bodies discouraged the women from taking part in certain activities, eating properly to fuel their bodies, and could eventually lead to weight gain.

“Body satisfaction or dissatisfaction isn’t correlated with body weight,” the research concluded.

That blew my mind. That meant overcoming negative body thoughts and making peace with my body size could actually improve my health behaviors, eat better and ultimately be healthier now… unconditional of my body size.

That’s how body neutrality was born.

Overcoming negative body thoughts

What is Body Neutrality and how it helps in overcoming negative body thoughts

Body Neutrality empowers you to embrace yourself as you are, including the parts you don’t like about yourself.

Its focus is to avoid self-hate while simultaneously relieving you from the pressure of having to love your body.

The goal is to respect and accept your body for what it is – and that’s it.

Body Neutrality recognizes that not everyone is going to love every part of themselves all the time because that’s an unrealistic expectation, to say the least.

The reality is that some days you’re going to look in the mirror like, “Damn it, yeah, thank you, legs for letting me travel. Thank you, arms, for allowing me to type this inspirational post and thank you, belly, for creating life!”

And then, there’ll be those days where you stand in front of the very same mirror, focusing on that cellulite you hate or the wrinkle that suddenly seems so obvious.

Body neutrality versus body positivity

Embracing Body Neutrality over Body Positivity allows you to experience negative feelings about yourself, but without the pressure that comes with having to be positive all the time.

In other words, it’s a middle ground between positivity and negativity (shaming) – that’s neutrality.

Body Neutrality is the safe bridge between body shaming and body positivity. It’s about being grateful for your body and everything it does for you because it does a lot. You are alive right now.

So, Body Neutrality is centric on the process of accepting your body.

Body Neutrality & Intuitive Eating

Overcoming negative body thoughts-1

For many of us, we’ve had years of suffering through body shaming. Along the way, we’ve picked up coping behaviors to neutralize the pain associated with body image struggles.

Being the victim of body shaming, most of it from our own mind, is difficult, to say the least. So, no wonder that many of us have become, along the way, emotional eaters or binge eaters. 

Combine the suffering that comes along with body shaming with the notion that food is the gateway to “loving our life and body,” food has become this enemy that we need to control in order to end the suffering. 

Healing our relationship to food is necessary in order to make peace with our body. Intuitive eating is the way in which you can achieve both: body neutrality and peace with food.

Moreover, intuitive eating teaches you to respect your body.

Intuitive eating teaches you to respect your innate body messages. This includes hunger and fullness to have a healthy and respectful relationship with your body. This is what we teach the women inside our Conquer & Thrive community so they can live and enjoy their full life right now… unconditionally!

The bottom line

You can’t hate yourself to health or peace. Love always wins. Always. 

Acceptance doesn’t mean giving up. It means seeing what is and adopting a non-judgmental perspective. Accepting allows you to improve and grow instead of obsessing about why it’s wrong and stress over the results.

Need help to get started with Body Neutrality and Intuitive Eating?

I have created a free audio guide for you to get started with body neutrality and intuitive eating and finally overcome negative body thoughts so you too can be on your way to freedom!

How to overcome negative body thoughts?

A 2013 study published by the Journal of Obesity study found no link between body weight and the way women feel about themselves. Yet, the findings show a link between how women feel about themselves and the healthy activities they engage in. Meaning, the better they felt about their bodies, the more likely they were to take care of themselves by eating well and being active, allowing them to create a positive cycle. 

That meant overcoming negative body thoughts and making peace with my body size could actually improve my health behaviors, eat better and ultimately be healthier now… unconditional of my body size.

What is Body Neutrality?

Body Neutrality empowers you to embrace yourself as you are, including the parts you don’t like about yourself. Its focus is to avoid self-hate while simultaneously relieving you from the pressure of having to love your body. The goal is to respect and accept your body for what it is – and that’s it.

Body neutrality versus body positivity

Embracing Body Neutrality over Body Positivity allows you to experience negative feelings about yourself, but without the pressure that comes with having to be positive all the time. Body Neutrality is the safe bridge between body shaming and body positivity. It’s about being grateful for your body and everything it does for you because it does a lot. You are alive right now.

Body Neutrality & Intuitive Eating

Healing our relationship to food is necessary in order to make peace with our body. Intuitive eating is the way in which you can achieve both: body neutrality and peace with food. Intuitive eating teaches you to respect your innate body messages such as hunger and fullness to have a healthy and respectful relationship with your body.


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Does my weight loss journey sound like yours?

Does my weight loss journey sound like yours?

I suspect that my journey with food and weight, like for many of you, began many years ago. My sincere hope is that you might see yourself somewhere in this story and can find some glimmer of hope that having a normal relationship with food and being at peace with your body is possible.

This article tackles my personal weight loss journey and how I became successful in healing my relationship with food and body. I also shared how I am helping other women like me find peace with food and their body and live their full life now… unconditionally.

Here’s what you’ll learn from this blog post:

The beginning of my weight loss journey

Breaking the glass ceiling

The big shift in my weight loss journey

How old were you when you started your weight loss journey?

The first of the crucial defining moment for me was my first diet. I still remember the day my mother took me to Weight Watchers when I was 12. I still remember the “older women” shaking her finger at me telling me that I should chew gum when I feel hungry instead of eating. 

That day, I began a 25-year dieting career. An ongoing journey of yo-yo dieting. 

I was raised in a loving middle-class home with two very normal parents and a brother who wanted nothing but the best for me. In their heart, the best meant a “normal” body that would not be noticed and fit the society standards. For that, back in 1987 = Weight Watchers and weight loss.

The first diet at 12 didn’t “work” but the second one at 15 did. I lost 40 lbs… and with that came the compliment and praise “you look so pretty,” “wow, you lost so much weight, how did you do it?,” “You’re so strong I admire you.”….. For the first time, I felt worthy. I felt beautiful.

At 16, I had learned that to be acceptable, to be beautiful, a woman needed to be thin.

I managed my weight by calorie counting, eating low fat and going to the gym until my late 20’s when I had my first serious heartbreak. I went to food to feel better. As a result, I gained weight.

weight loss journey-2

Breaking the glass ceiling

I gained a lot of weight, and at one point, I decided it was enough. I went back on a big diet. It was harder than the last time. I had to go to the gym 6 days a week. Eat very little food. I isolate myself to not have to be tempted by “bad food” and to not break my routine.

As I lost the weight, my career took off. I didn’t have food anymore to deal with the discomfort of my emotions, so I jumped head first into work. That kept my mind busy. I broke “the glass ceiling” and at 36 years running a $900 million business. To society standards, I had made it.

Inside, I was a solid mess… a few months after having reached the pinnacle of my career, I collapsed on stage speaking to my employees. My body couldn’t take it anymore. I was rushed to the hospital and was diagnosed with anxiety, panic attack syndrome, depression, and high cholesterol & blood pressure. 

The big shift in my weight loss journey

That day when I left the doctor’s office looking at my long list of prescription medications, I made a choice. I chose me. I chose to stop worrying about what others thought I should do, look or be. And I committed myself to me. To do what was best for ME.

That’s when everything changed. Over the next 3 years, I spent an enormous amount of time and money to heal myself. I read every book on the psychology of eating, nutrition, and holistic health I could find, and spent countless hours researching medical journals, health blogs, and making myself a human guinea pig. Moreover, I quit my career and went back to school, graduating valedictorian with a degree in holistic nutrition.

I became obsessed with finding the answer.

I thought to myself, if I could understand WHY I ate, then maybe I could find and treat the root cause, and hopefully, my story would inspire others to do the same.

weight loss journey-3

That’s how I created Conquer & Thrivea feminist approach to food & body; a program where smart, resilient women go to unlearn diet culture.  Relearn to eat normally, respect for your body and confident mindset.

I have had many setbacks before I found something that worked for me. But I never forgot how great it was to finally feel normal, eat normally and be at peace with my body.

After much perseverance, time, and trial and error, I can finally say that I was successful in healing my relationship to food and body.

Through our programs, I share my rationale for the need to Go Beyond The Food based on what finally worked for me, with the hope that it perhaps will also work for you. 

Your roadmap to diet-free living

I created a free audio guide for you to know exactly what to do when you stop dieting, emotional eating, binge eating and body image issues. So you’ll be on your way to freedom!

How old were you when you started your weight loss journey?

The first diet at 12 didn’t “work” but the second one at 15 did. I lost 40 lbs… and with that came the compliment and praise “you look so pretty,” “wow, you lost so much weight, how did you do it?,” “You’re so strong I admire you.”….. For the first time, I felt worthy. I felt beautiful.

The big shift in my weight loss journey

That day when I left the doctor’s office looking at my long list of prescription medications, I made a choice. I chose me. I chose to stop worrying about what others thought I should do, look or be. I committed myself to me. To do what was best for ME. That’s when everything changed.

How I help women find peace with food and their body

I created Conquer and Thrive, a feminist approach to food & body; a program where smart, resilient women go to unlearn diet culture.  Relearn to eat normally, respect for your body and confident mindset.
That you just stopped dieting yesterday or years ago, Conquer and Thrive is for you


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Intuitive Eating Resources

Intuitive Eating Resources

I rounded up my best free intuitive eating resources, body neutrality resources, and Health at Every Size resources. It includes books, blogs, podcasts, programs, and courses.

Intuitive eating and body neutrality are increasingly becoming popular among women for a number of good reasons. For one, it’s been proven to lead to positive health outcomes. In addition, both are a healthy approach to health that puts you in control of your eating behaviours and body image.

Health at every size is the overarching weight-neutral health principle that drives the foundation of both intuitive eating & body neutrality.

This blog post is aimed at helping you discover intuitive eating resources to support you in your journey Going Beyond the Food: which means ditching diet culture, making peace with food and your body.

What is Intuitive Eating?

Body neutrality definition

The meaning of Health at Every Size

My top 4 free intuitive Eating resources

Intuitive eating resources

Body Neutrality resources

Health at Every Size resources

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What is Intuitive Eating?

Intuitive eating is an evidence-based approach to eating that allows you to be the expert of your own body. And this self-care eating framework enables you to develop a healthy relationship with food and your body.

Moreover, it teaches you to trust your ability to meet your own needs, distinguish between physical and emotional hunger, and ultimately develop body wisdom.

Most importantly, eating intuitively is well–researched and proven health framework supported by more than 100 intuitive eating studies as of 2020.

What is Body neutrality?

Body Neutrality definition is about empowering you to embrace yourself as you are. That’s including the parts you don’t like about yourself.  And its focus is to avoid self-hate while simultaneously relieving you from the pressure of having to love your body.

And the framework of Body Neutrality recognizes that not everyone is going to love every part of themselves all the time because that’s  an unrealistic expectation, to say the least.

In short, the goal is to respect and accept your body for what it is – and that’s it.

What is Health at Every Size?

Health at Every Size definition is a philosophy and an approach to health. Linda Bacon, Ph.D  wrote the book Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight.

The book demonstrated through health at every size research and studies that health behaviours influence health more than weight.

Above all, the HAES movement promotes the simple truth that all bodies are good bodies. It shifts the focus away from dieting for weight control.

Instead, it steers you toward self-care practices that support your body’s natural wisdom and vitality.

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My top 4 free intuitive eating resources

#1 The Going Beyond The Food Show

This is my intuitive eating podcast. A collection of 200+ episodes that cover all topics about intuitive eating, body neutrality, and health at every size.

I suggest you get started at show 199 and move your way up!

#2 Health at Every Size Manifesto

A free HAES guide is provided by Dr. Linda Bacon.  And it explains the Heath at Every Size approach to health and provides sustainable research-based evidence that demonstrates that health is accessible at any body size.

#3 Beauty Redefined

Beauty Redefined is a non-profit, dedicated to promoting positive body image online and in live speaking events. This website is run by identical twins Lexie Kite, Ph.D. and Lindsay Kite, Ph.D.

These two experts teach body image resilience through research-backed online education available on their website, and social media. Visit their blog, Instagram account, and TEDx Talk.

#4 Get Started Guide

I created this free guide to help women understand the basics of intuitive eating. Most importantly, this guide is followed by a series of educative articles to help you to get started on this new journey.

Get the FREE guide here.

 

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Intuitive Eating Resources

There are 3 levels of resources for you if you are ready to learn intuitive eating.

#1 Intuitive Eating Books

Evelyn Tribole is the ultimate intuitive eating expert, my teacher, and my mentor. She has dedicated her career to training health professionals with the intuitive eating framework.

All of our programs at Going Beyond The Food are certified by The Original Intuitive Eating Pro®.

The Intuitive Eating Book

The Intuitive Eating Workbook

#2 Structured Online Intuitive Eating Program

The Intuitive Eating Project is a 5-week online program.

In addition, it is a self-study program to teach you Intuitive Eating in an easy step by step, supported by an online community, and dozens of videos, guides and integration exercises. And it’s lead by myself, Intuitive Eating Expert, Stephanie Dodier CNP.

#3 Intuitive Eating Program Private Counselling

Two options for you:

#1 If you want to work with a local intuitive eating certified counsellor, then, you can visit this directory to locate someone to work with you 1-on-1.

#2  You can visit this intuitive eating coaching page on my website. Not only will you be able to read more on my coaching programs but also submit your application if you would like to work with me 1-on-1.

Most importantly, my 1-on-1 coaching is inclusive of body neutrality and health at every size alongside with intuitive eating.

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Body Neutrality Resources

Are you ready to get started making peace with your body? Then, there are 3 levels of resources for you.

#1 Body Neutrality Books

I would suggest starting reading books. Things No One Will Tell FAT Girls by Jess Baker is a lived-experience book combined with research. This book was a game-changer!

The second book you should read is definitely The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women by Naomi Wolf. This is a classic that redefined the relationship between beauty and female identity. Body image issue is a feminist issue! Must read for all women.

#2 Body Image Courses & Programs

I would suggest two online programs. Both of these programs are a step by step structured program to heal your body image and make peace with your body.

#1 Beauty Redefined Body Resilience Program.  A 8-week program to build body resilience by helping you navigate body shame, objectification, and unreal ideals.

#2 The Body Acceptance Project, this is my baby. A 5-week self-study online program to help you accept your body using the body neutrality framework.

#3 Body Image Private Counselling

Two options for you:

#1 Jess Baker is a Recovery Support Specialist with a long history working as a Psychosocial Behavioral Specialist. With both formal education background and lived experience I’m pleased to recommend Jess. You can find more about working with her here.

#2 Would you like to work  1-on-1 with me? You can visit this intuitive eating coaching page on my website. Not only will you be able to read more on my coaching programs but also submit your application if you would like to work with me 1-on-1.

My 1-on-1 coaching is inclusive of body neutrality and health at every size alongside with intuitive eating.

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Health at Every Size Resources

Ready to relearn health and adopt a weight-neutral approach to health? I have a few options for you. Three levels of resources for you:

#1 Health at Every Size Books

The first place to get started is to read Dr. Linda Bacon’s  Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight. Think of this book as the bible of the weight-neutral approach to health.

Next, I would suggest my colleague, Christie Harrison’s book Anti-Diet. Her book is very well researched and structured for you to understand why health is available to you now!

#2 Health at Every Size Course

If you are looking for a step by step structured program to teach how to support your health in a weight-neutral holistic methodology…

Going Beyond The Food Health Mastery is a 9-module curriculum. And this program will teach you how to support your body towards the best health without having to lose weight. Not only without restricting food or taking any supplements! This program is taught by myself, Stephanie Dodier CNP.

#3 Health at Every Size Private Counselling

Want to work with a Health at Every Size care provider? You can visit this directory to locate someone to work with you 1-on-1.

What is Intuitive Eating?

Intuitive Eating definition is an evidence-based approach to eating that allows you to be the expert of your own body.

This self-care eating framework enables you to develop a healthy relationship with food and your body.

Teaches you to trust your ability to meet your own needs, distinguish between physical and emotional hunger, and ultimately develop body wisdom.

I hope this helps sister!

 

 

What is body neutrality?

Body Neutrality definition is about empowering you to embrace yourself as you are, including the parts you don’t like about yourself.

Its focus is to avoid self-hate while simultaneously relieving you from the pressure of having to love your body.

What is Health at Every Size?

Health at Every Size definition is a philosophy and an approach to health.

The HAES movement promotes the simple truth that all bodies are good bodies.

It shifts the focus away from dieting for weight control. Instead, it steers you toward self-care practices that support your body’s natural wisdom and vitality.

What are my top 4 free resources?

The Going Beyond The Food Show

Health at Every Size Manifesto

Beauty Redefined

Get Started Guide

What are the intuitive eating resources?

1. Intuitive Eating Books

a. The Intuitive Eating Workbook by Evelyn Tribole, Elyse Resch, Tracy Tylka (Foreword)

2. Structured Online Intuitive Eating Program

a. Intuitive Eating Project by Stephanie Dodier

3. Intuitive Eating Program Private Counselling

a. Intuitive eating certified counsellor

b. Intuitive eating coach, Stephanie Dodier

What are the body neutrality resources?

1. Body Neutrality Books

a. Things No One Will Tell FAT Girls by Jess Baker

b. The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women by Naomi Wolf

2. Body Image Courses & Programs

a. Beauty Redefined Body Resilience Program

b. The Body Acceptance Project

3. Body Image Private Counselling

a. Jess Baker

b. Stephanie Dodier

What are the Health at Every Size Resources?

1. Health at Every Size Books

a. Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight by Dr. Linda Bacon

b. Anti-Diet by Christie Harrison

2. Health at Every Size Course

a. Going Beyond The Food Health Mastery

3. Health at Every Size Private Counselling

a. Health at Every Size care provider

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What is Diet Culture and 4 Steps to Navigate It

What is Diet Culture and 4 Steps to Navigate It

If you’ve been following me on social media or reading my blog, you certainly have come across the term “diet culture.” I’ve mentioned it many times before. But what is diet culture? How does it impact your life? And what should you do about it?

This article tackles this topic and teaches you how to opt-out of it. Also, I offer some resources that will help you start a new life outside of this oppressive belief system. Here’s what you’re going to learn from this blog post:

What is diet culture?

How to navigate the diet culture

Diet culture educational resources

Now, let’s begin exploring the diet culture so you can take your first steps to freedom!

diet culture

What is diet culture?

From the sound of it, you might think the term “diet culture” refers to a group of people who are on a diet. But it actually has a different meaning.

Christy Harrison, a colleague of mine, has the best diet culture definition. She defines it as a system of belief that worships thinness and equates it to health and moral virtue. It’s now prevalent in our society and oppresses women from all over the world!

How does this impact your life?

This means you may have spent your entire life thinking that you’re broken just because you don’t look like the impossibly thin ideal.

That’s just one angle. You can also look at the diet culture from three other angles:

The second angle is that it promotes weight loss as a means of attaining higher status. It makes you feel compelled, almost obligated, to spend massive amounts of time, energy, and resources, trying to shrink your body so you can fit into this thin ideal. Now, research is very clear that the dieting model has a 95 percent failure rate, so it might as well be an exercise in futility.

The next angle is it demonizes certain ways of eating while elevating others. It forces you to be hyper-vigilant about your eating, shames you for making certain food choices, and distracts you from the pleasure of eating as well as from your purpose and power.

Last but not least, it oppresses people who don’t match the supposed picture of health or the thin ideal. This affects us most particularly as women, although it’s starting to affect men.

My 25-year journey inside diet culture

As you probably know, I used to have a love-hate relationship with food and my body. A 25-year career in dieting left me obsessed, frustrated and confused about food. I was also at a loss on how to take care of my body.

Dieting was stealing my life and at 39. Then I decided that I had enough… I finally chose to take my power back and free myself from dieting and body shaming. The Going Beyond The Food Method™️ was born out of my personal journey.

Now, as a health professional, I’ve helped hundreds of women work their way out of this oppressive culture and develop a healthier relationship with food using intuitive eating and body neutrality.

Is diet culture affecting you, too? I invite you to consider its impact on your life. Take our quick self-assessment tool we created to help women determine if intuitive eating is the right solution for them.

How to navigate the diet culture

how to navigate diet culture

I invite you, and honestly all women, to become diet culture dropouts! Below are the four steps you need to take in your journey towards freedom:

  1. Understand that you have a choice. 

Now is the best time to be a woman. Unlike the generations before us, we’re liberated and empowered! You have to understand that diet culture is a tool that the patriarchy uses to keep us from being in our power. It keeps us busy minding our calories and macros. It induces guilt and so we feel inclined to punish ourselves when we fail.

Whether you want to stay in the diet culture and be oppressed or to break away from it and change your life, it’s totally up to you. But you should know that you have the power to make that choice.

  1. Take responsibility.

With great power comes great responsibility. Now, that sounds like a quote from a Spiderman movie, but as an empowered woman, you are responsible for your life. No one else is!

Now, you can be the victim of diet culture and drown yourself in self-pity and helplessness. Or you can say, “Screw this! I’m going to take responsibility, and I’m going to work myself out of it and change my life.”

It’s your call.

  1. Educate yourself. 

Read books and blogs. Listen to podcasts. Consume content that supports the choice that you’ve made for yourself. Be on guard against the content that might suck you right back into the diet culture. As I’ve said before, beware of diet culture programs disguised as wellness practices.

I’ve made it my personal mission to empower women by educating them so they don’t allow themselves to be oppressed. And so, I have put together some resources for you.

We have anti-diet culture podcast episodes on the Going Beyond the Food Show, where I interview health professionals. I invite you to listen as they share their expert insights and opinions on our relationship with our bodies and with food.

You can also read our anti-diet culture blog posts on this website. Here, we go deep into the research and the studies around diet culture as well as dieting and its impact on health.

If you’re looking for an anti-diet culture book, I recommend Health At Every Size by Linda Bacon, PhD. Dr. Bacon does research around health and dieting. It’s a book that gave me a lot of “aha moments” and subsequently changed my life.

  1. Find a framework to help you reconstruct your relationship with food and with your body.

You’re going to shift from the way of life that diet culture has taught you to a more empowering way of thinking and doing things. This means there’s a lot for you to unlearn and relearn, so you’re going to need all the support you can get.

The Going Beyond The Food Method™️ is a 5-step strategic process to help women move out of diet mentality and into self-care. Our 5 pillars are: mindset, emotional wellness, mindfulness, body neutrality and intuitive eating.

Diet culture educational resources

diet culture resources

As a clinical nutritionist, I’ve found that intuitive eating is the most effective tool for developing a healthy relationship with food and your body. Intuitive eating teaches you to tap into your innate hunger and fullness cues. It requires you to relearn how to engage with food without restriction and without labeling food as “good” or “bad.”

The trauma around body image is more powerful than the one around food. What I have found over the years is that when we work through our relationship with food, it’s a lot easier and faster to heal body image issues.

We offer a variety of programs that will help you should you decide to opt-out of diet culture:

1) The Intuitive Eating Project – This is a self-study program that will help you relearn how to eat intuitively at your own pace.

2) The Going Beyond the Food Academy – This is group coaching program where we teach the Going Beyond The Food Method™️ and offer support and coaching in a more in-depth approach. In this program, we talk about mindset, emotions, body image, intuitive eating, and mindfulness.

3) Conquer and Thrive– This is a six-month, high-touch intensive program where you work one-on-one with me. Here, you learn how to work your way out of the diet culture and heal your relationship with food, your body, and yourself.

Diet Culture FAQs

What is diet culture?

Christy Harrison defines it as a system of belief that worships thinness and equates it to health and moral virtue. It’s now prevalent in our society and oppresses women from all over the world!

How to navigate the diet culture?

1. Understand that you have a choice.

2. Take responsibility.

3. Educate yourself.

4. Find a framework to help you reconstruct your relationship with food and with your body.

What are the diet culture educational resources?

Intuitive Eating Project – This is a self-study program that will help you relearn how to eat intuitively at your own pace.

The Going Beyond the Food Academy – This is a group coaching program where we teach the Going Beyond The Food Method™️ and offer support and coaching in a more in-depth approach. In this program, we talk about mindset, emotions, body image, intuitive eating, and mindfulness.

Conquer and Thrive – This is a six-month, high-touch intensive program where you work one-on-one with me. Here, you learn how to work your way out of the diet culture and heal your relationship with food, your body, and yourself.

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“… But I need to lose weight”

“… But I need to lose weight”

Me: “… but I need to lose weight”.

Her: “Ok… I can see how you can think that.”

Me: “Everything you are sharing with me makes so much sense and I can feel it inside of me, that it’s what I need [pause & sigh]… but I need to lose weight”.

The tears started to roll off my cheeks. Uncontrollably crying. The tears were coming from the depth of my gut. It was one of those moments when you want to stop crying because you really don’t want to cry in front of strangers but you can’t… it’s not in your control.

Her: “Stephanie, your desires to lose weight are valid. It’s normal that you want to lose weight. The society in which we live, an environment that is full of weight stigma, body size discrimination, and fatphobia encourages these desires every day. It makes perfect sense that you want to lose weight.”

I was deeply confused.

But I need to lose weight

But I need to lose weight…

I was 38 years old and the last 25 years of my personal life had been a series of pressing “pause” and “play”.  I only allowed myself to “play” my personal life when I was at a weight that others recognized to be ok. If I was gaining weight or not working hard to lose the “abnormal excess weight”, my personal life was on “pause”.

Her: “So, let’s work through this, Stephanie. Why do you want to lose weight? What do you feel will happen when you lose weight?”

Me: “ Uhhh….. “

No one ever asked me this question. I never asked myself this question either. My brain was stumped… blank.

Her: “It’s normal that you don’t know how to answer this question. You likely never thought of the desire to lose weight as optional therefore never considered why you desired it.”

She was right. At that point, it had been 27 years. Since my teens, I had lived on and off diets always chasing “another body”. My happiness was conditional to the way my body looked. Even when my body looked “ok”, it was such a battle to keep it up that I didn’t have the mental space or time to fully enjoy my now “allowed happy life”.

Me: “I guess you’re right...”

Her: “Until we see each other again, I want you to ask yourself these questions: Where is the desire to lose weight coming from? What do you feel will happen if you lose weight? Will you be treated differently? Will you feel beautiful? Worthy? Healthy? 

As a good perfectionist, I did my homework.

I had so many Ah Ah moments… so many realizations. It took me a while to fully accept what these questions forced me to see: As a strong, independent & feminist woman, I had given away my power.

But I need to lose weight

My power was in my body size

The way others view my body affected my capacity to be myself. My power was in my body… size. Over time, I had acquired a deep sense that “I wasn’t good enough” so nearly everything I did was serving the purpose of proving to the world that I was enough even though my body wasn’t.

It was hard to prove my worth all the time. I had to strive for perfection, be sure to make choices that would appease and please others around me not to give them another reason to reject me beyond my body.

I was working so hard that my health had collapsed 2 years earlier. It was the time that I was trying to feel better, be healthier but nothing was working, not even… weight loss.  I had spent a lot of $$$$ with many health professionals trying to “find and fix” my weight loss resistance without success. My body didn’t want to collaborate anymore… no matter how hard I worked: nothing.

Love versus fear

Maybe it’s time for another approach…” That’s what my very expensive functional medicine doctor told me after doing all the tests and protocols possible. She said to me, “Maybe there’s nothing wrong with your body… what if you try to love it?”.

To be honest, I was pissed when she said this. I invested a lot on her. “Loving my body? WTF… that’s not a solution.” It took me time to accept these words and gave it a try. But I did.

By now, you might have guessed HER was a professional I was seeing to teach me how to “love my body”. When I sat and reflected on the questions, she had left me with after our first appointment, I realized that I was living in fear.

Fear of not being good enough, being rejected, not being loved, not being promoted at work, not being healthy and live a long life, …. I was powerless in the face of my body.

The journey back to my power

The hard truth was that patriarchal social conditioning had kept me very busy dieting and chasing after the false currency of beauty instead of chasing my dreams. Diet Culture taught me how being consumed by the fear of my body not being “thin’ enough was the way to be a woman… and that indoctrination kept me quiet, and most importantly, conform to patriarchy.

For 27 years, I had fully embraced the lie that my power as a woman was in the looks of my physical body. That lie was the real reason why I was struggling, anxious, and secretly depressed.

Her: “So now you are ready to do the work, sister?”

Me: “ F*ck yesss… let’s do this!”.

The journey to conquer and thrive

But I need to lose weight-2

The first layover was to conquer my mind. All that societal conditioning was showing up in my negative self-talk. What I now call Diet Brain had to be reprogrammed. From there, I was able to conquer my beliefs around food and let my innate power guide my food choices instead of some “weight loss guru” tell me what my body needed. My body and I are smart enough to know what to eat.

The most powerful part of the journey was becoming emotionally intelligent. I had to shift from being the victim of my emotions to using my emotions as a source of information to make the best possible choice for ME. That’s how anxiety and depression left and confidence and compassion came into my life.

That led me to thrive in my relationship with my body. What I sought in my life was no longer the outcome of my body’s look… that gave me freedom. I could care for myself unconditionally and beyond dieting which is the key to bringing back my health.

I now have a relationship of trust and respect with my body. My female body wisdom is my power. I love myself, care for myself, and I thrive in my relationship with myself.

I found my power. The power to live my life now. I gave myself the permission to be enough unconditionally to what my body looks like or weight.

That’s my true power.

Are you ready to do YOUR work?

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What is Body Neutrality?

What is Body Neutrality?

What is Body Neutrality and how is body neutrality going to help me ? That one of the most frequent question from client inquiring to work with us. before I answer this let’s consider the following statistics…

In Glamour Magazine study found that 97% of women are “cruel to their bodies” every day.

Research released by Dove, for their ‘Self-Esteem Project’, found that 96% of women in the UK reported feeling anxious about the way they look, compared with 86% in China, 72% in Brazil and 61% in the US. Only 4% of the women in all the countries surveyed would consider themselves ‘beautiful’, and by the time girls reach 17, 78% will be ‘unhappy with their bodies’.

In fact, current media ideals are achievable by less than 5% of the population – and that’s only if we’re thinking about weight and size. When we add shape, face, muscle tone etc into the messed-up mix, it’s probably going to be around 1%. 1 percent

Are you a statistic?

I was for years until I discover Body Neutrality.

That’s a question I receive very frequently… we are somewhat used to term body positivity but body neutrality not so much.

What is body neutrality?

body neutrality -1

What is body neutrality?

Body Neutrality empowers you to embrace yourself as you are, including the parts you don’t like about yourself.

Its focus is to avoid self-hate while simultaneously reliving you from the pressure of having to love your body.

The goal is to respect and accept your body for what it is – and that’s it.

Body Neutrality recognizes that not everyone is going to love every part of themselves all the time because that’s  an unrealistic expectation to say the least.

The reality is that some days you’re going to look in the mirror like ‘Dam it, yeah, thank you legs for letting me travel, thank you arms for allowing me to type this inspirational post and thank you belly for creating life!

And then there’ll be those days where you stand in front of the very same mirror, focusing on that cellulite you hate or the wrinkle that suddenly seems so obvious.

Body neutrality versus body positivity

Embracing Body Neutrality over Body Positivity allows you to experience negative feelings about yourself, but without the pressure that comes with having to be positive all the time.

In other words, it’s a middle ground between positivity and negativity (shaming) – that’s neutrality.

Body Neutrality is the safe bridge between body shaming and body positivity. It’s about being grateful for your body and everything that it does for you because it does a lot. You are alive right now right!

So Body Neutrality is centric to the process of accepting your body.

Body neutrality & intuitive Eating

For many of us we’ve have years of suffering thru body shaming and along the way we’ve picked up coping behaviours to neutralize the pain the pain associated with body image struggles.

Being the victim of body shaming, most of it from our own mind, is difficult to say the list so now wonder that many of us have become along the way emotional eater or binge eater.

Combine the suffering that comes along with body shaming with the notion that food is the gateway to “loving our life and body” food has become this enemy that we need to control in order to end the suffering.

Healing our relationship to food is necessary in order to make peace with our body. Intuitive eating is the way in which you can achieve both: body neutrality and peace with food.

Intuitive eating teaches to respect your body.

Intuitive eating teaches to respect your innate body messages such as hunger and fullness so you can have a healthy and respectful relationship with your body.

What is intuitive eating?

Intuitive eating is proven and well-researched self-care eating framework that makes YOU the boss of YOU.

Intuitive eating teaches us to have a healthy relationship to food empowering you to trust your ability to meet your needs, distinguish between physical and emotional hunger and ultimately develop body wisdom.

Get started with intuitive eating

If you’d like to explore intuitive eating and discover how it can help you make peace with food download our Get Started with Intuitive Eating Guide.

This free (and highly detailed) cheat sheet will give you a 3 easy to follow step process to help you get started with intuitive eating right away (and give you a shot of confidence to stop dieting … perhaps ).

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Body Neutrality

Body Neutrality

Body Neutrality empowers you to embrace yourself as you are, including the parts you don’t like about yourself.

The focus of body neutrality focus is to avoid self-hate whilst simultaneously alleviating the pressure of having to love your body. The goal is to respect and accept your body for what it is – and that’s it.

Body neutrality recognizes that not everyone is going to love every part of themselves all the time. The reality is that some days you’re going to look in the mirror like ‘yess, thank you legs for taking me places, thank you arms for allowing me to reach for the biscuit tin, and thank you stomach for keeping my organs where they should be’, but then there’ll be those days where you stand in front of the very same mirror, focusing on that cellulite you hate, or the belly rolls that suddenly seem so obvious

Body Respect

My physical body is a vehicle for me to experience my life.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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The moment I realize that I had my self-worth all tangled up with the appearance of my body is the day that my new life began.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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The notion of body respect came into my life. Respecting my body was essential for me to feel better about myself. To increase my self-worth.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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Body Neutrality is the safe bridge between body shaming and body positivity. It’s about being grateful for your body and everything that it does for you because it does a lot. You are alive right??.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

My body neutrality journey

To say that accepting my body was easy is a wild understatement…

The act of accepting my body required of me to be courageous. To be vulnerable and lots of tears.

Choosing to make peace with my body was scary. Scary as shit to be honest!
Frightening to be a health professional in a larger body. In a fat body. In an “overweight body” as my colleagues like to categorize my body.

Nerve-racking to stand up in front of my audience and say that I no longer recommended to chase weight loss. That the most efficient path to health was thru acceptance.

Body neutrality and intuitive eating

Going Beyond The Food has taught me that courage is not the absence of fear rather the ability to act in the presence of fear. That’s what accepting your body requires in a society controlled by diet culture and the concept of thinness=happiness & health.

Intuitive eating teaches to respect your body. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Intuitive eating switches our perspective from wanting to control our body to need to respect our body. We can’t respect what we hate right?!?

No matter, where you are now sister on your path of body acceptance, know that I feel you.

I hear you. I see you. I know how you feel and the fear of what could happen…. You aren’t alone.
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Be reminded of one universal law: Love always win in the end. Not hate, shame or fear.💞

“Show up, be seen, answer the call to courage… ’cause you’re worth it. You’re worth being brave.”

Brene Brown

What is intuitive eating?

Intuitive eating is proven and well-researched self-care eating framework that make YOU the boss of YOU. 

Intuitive eating teaches us to have a healthy relationship to food  empowering you to trust your ability to meet your needs, distinguish between physical and emotional hunger and ultimately develop body wisdom.

Get started with intuitive eating

If you’d like to explore intuitive eating and discover how it can help you make peace with food download our Get Started with Intuitive Eating Guide. 

This free (and highly detailed) cheat sheet will give you a 3 easy to follow step process to help you get started with intuitive eating right away (and give you a shot of confidence to stop dieting … perhaps ). 

 

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Body Acceptance is a challenge and it’s real….

Body Acceptance is a challenge and it’s real….

Body acceptance is a challenge it’s real… Body acceptance has been a challenge for me for 25+ years.

I’ve lost and gained weight my whole life always chasing body confidence and every time, I failed to understand something really important

Every spring, I used to recommit myself to a new diet and/or lifestyle. What I was seeking in weight loss was already available for me to grab. It was in me and I just didn’t know it.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Every time I engaged in a new diet: paleo, keto, low calories… it didn’t matter which one since my intention was to fix myself so that I would finally be ok and accept my body. 

I need to lose weight to accept my body

I thought a diet would help me be confident enough to find love, be acceptable enough to wear any clothes I wanted, be thin enough so that I could blend in.

I’ve lost and gained weight my whole life and every time, I failed to understand something really important.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Seeking the answer fuelled nearly 30 years of my life.  I was successful in most area of my life: career, finances, friendship… but I considered myself a failure when it came to my body (which for me meant my weight which meant food).

My life goal wasn’t to lose weight… weight loss was a tool to get to my end goal. What I really wanted the most was just to be normal and not have to worry about what I looked like and what “people” thought of me. I deeply desired to become “normal”… I wanted to blend in.

Why the heck was I able to be successful with everything else and not with my body?

Today I know why…. it was right there in front of me but invisible to my eyes.

The body confidence I was seeking wasn’t in a thinner body. Confidence was in acceptance. Confidence was in being at peace. Confidence was in my mind. 

The truth is there is has many “thin body” women that aren’t confident in their “thin” body that there is “big body” who aren’t confident in their body. Look around you… if confidence came as a result of body weight then all “thin bodied” women would be confident and we all know this isn’t the case.

but I need to lose weight to be healthy

that was my come back to ” body confidence isn’t the outcome of body weight”. 

To be healthy your body weight must be in the “normal” BMI range. That was my core belief since I can remember and this core belief was validated through my formal education in nutrition. That’s also the core pillar of Diet Culture and I know many us believe this too… right?

I strived hard, hustled and spent a whole lot of time and money figuring out how to be healthy.

The truth you and I can chase health at any size. Look around you… you and I have life long thin people around us who been diagnosed with health conditions at the same rate as “overweight” people. Diet Culture fuel on our fear of weight to sale us $67 billions of product in 2017. If dieting was the solution would we have “an obesity epidemic”? Did I make my point yet?

As my level of health knowledge evolved the purpose of my hustle change to: “be healthy and you’ll release the weight”  because a healthy body doesn’t hold on to weight. That’s the core of Wellness Diet.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

The truth is becoming healthy doesn’t mean you’ll release the weight. There is little something call “Set Point” that Diet Culture forget to mention when making the promise that a healthy body will release unnecessary weight. That’s what is called the “Wellness Diet”. That’s just another form of dieting beliefs aka Diet Culture.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

I’m healthier today than when I was 50 lbs lighter. I’m healthier today than when I consumed 20+ supplements a day. I’m healthier today than when I was Keto, Paleo or Fasting. How can this be? I focus my attention on all the other health factors that impact health and the most important being stress and non-acceptance of my body was very stressful.⠀⠀⠀

Finding Body Acceptance

Body acceptance is buried below years of saying to yourself  “I’m not good enough and I need to work harder!”

Body acceptance is hidden behind “What the heck is wrong with my body?”.

Body acceptance that we are seeking thru weight loss can be found within us… right now without losing any weight.

Body acceptance is self-acceptance. Self-Acceptance is the platform for you to create permanent change (and no it doesn’t mean giving up).

Without acknowledging your current state and station, it’s impossible to know what’s going on with yourself. You have to accept your current reality and the way things are to be able to move on. Self-acceptance lets you take stock and make changes at your own pace without ultimatums and makes them an actual, conscious choice that you make. Accepting something for how it is now doesn’t mean it will never change, it just means that it doesn’t have to for you to see value in it.

By accepting yourself you move from love to fear. From that place of love, you’ll be able to find and heal what is really holding you back. What is really the issue… instead of what everyone else thinks is the issue.

5 Day Body Acceptance Challenge

Ready to beging the journey towards body acceptance?

Ready to make peace with your body?

I’d love to invite you to join me and hundreds of other women in our 5-day Body Acceptance Challenge. This free (and highly transformative) 5-Day Body Acceptance Challenge will get you started with accepting your body right now unconditionally (without having to lose any weight! 😀).

I’m going to share what I’ve discovered after years of studying eating & body image psychology combined with personal practice is what I’ll be sharing inside the Body Acceptance Challenge. 

I’d love to invite you to join me and hundreds of other women in this 5-day journey. 

 

Hope that I’ll get to meet you inside the Body Acceptance Challenge.

with love,

Stephanie

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Increase Body Confidence: The Journey to You

Increase Body Confidence: The Journey to You

Increase Body confidenceThe mind is the most powerful aspect of health. It’s more powerful than your stomach which digests the food, or your hands which prepare it, or your legs that carry you through exercise. As I teach to the ladies in my free and private community : truly your mind is the thing that determines you, and how you view yourself will mold the way that your body actually looks and feels, not to mention how long it lasts. If you want to increase body confidence, you need to start with your mind.

A Never Ending Cycle

We are completely overtaken with images from the media and fitness industries that bombard us with ideas about what we should look like. Women literally can’t get away without seeing them. All you have to do it to walk into the grocery store and you’ll find dozens of images that tell you what you should look like. You don’t even have to leave the house – flip on the television or open your mailbox and you’ll see even more.

These images have a huge impact on our ideas of self, creating an inner dialogue and goals that we might not even be aware of. They’re presented as truth, as beauty and as the ideal of self worth. If we don’t look like these standards of beauty, then how can you be worth anything? Unfortunately we find that the language of modern culture is one that places emphasis on outward images of self rather than of inner strength of spirit.

The cycle comes when we see these unrealistic images and try to attain to them in an attempt to help us to feel good about ourselves, again most often without even thinking. Then when we do attempt to make changes in life to create that image that we see in our own lives we of course fail, because again they are unrealistic, which makes us feel bad about ourselves and cycles us into negative self image. The cycle goes on and on.

Breaking the Body Image Cycle to Increase Body Confidence

If this is a negative cycle, then how can you possibly go about freeing yourself from it? The answer is with a dramatic shift of understanding. Smart women like you know that the pictures that you see on the covers of magazines aren’t any more real than the images on Saturday morning cartoons, airbrushed and painted over as they are. And yet when you see them they tap into your subconscious, which doesn’t know that they aren’t real. Your natural inclination for self improvement kicks in and pushes you try to meet that goal, or you get a kick in the pants that tells you that you’re not worth much because you have already failed to look like that.

Understanding the connection between your body and your emotional self is how you break free and increase body confidence. Remember that your mind is the most powerful tool that you have when it comes to transforming your physical self, and you’re in control of it! Learning to harness the power of your mind to create a positive perception of your body will bring you into the reality of your beautiful self. For many women, it’s hard for them to comprehend the wonder and beauty of their own bodies.

“Stephanie has helped me make the connection between my emotional body and physical body, which has helped me heal and also lose weight.” -Shelley Langlois

Finding support is your first step in the process of creating a healthy body image. Realize that you are not alone in your struggle, and that there are people who have been there and who can help you increase body confidence. It’s possible for you to love your body and also to recognize that it needs to change so that you can feel better and live longer. That doesn’t mean that your goal is to look like some person who you’ve never met and who is for the most part a creation of a marketing company, but it does mean that you goal is to be the best that you can be. Emotionally and physically. You have the power to make it happen!

This is the first article in the series ” Journey to YOU”. You can find the next article of the series on Empowerment right here. Hope you enjoy!


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Welcome!

 

I’m Stephanie Dodier - Clinical Nutritionist, Intuitive Eating expert, Podcast host, and Creator of the Going Beyond The Food Method™️, which was born from my own journey with chronic dieting & body image and has since grown into a global movement.

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