389-Aging Powerfully with Deb Benfield From Aging Body Liberation

by | Apr 29, 2024

Aging Powerfully

As someone in my late 40s, the idea of “aging powerfully” has been on my mind lately. That’s why I was thrilled to have Deb Benfield, the force behind @agingbodyliberation, on the It’s Beyond The Food Podcast to share her wisdom.

Overcoming Internalized Ageism

From an early age, we internalize societal narratives that cast aging in an overwhelmingly negative light. Deb stressed that the first step to aging powerfully is recognizing and overcoming these internalized ageist beliefs that have been imposed on us. Unlearning the idea that getting older is something to fear or resist is crucial for inhabiting our changing bodies with confidence.

The First Step to Aging Powerfully

Deb drove home the point that we all have internalized ageism – preconceived notions about what aging looks and feels like based on the narratives we’ve absorbed since childhood. The first step to aging powerfully, she says, is recognizing that internal bias exists and working to unlearn those limiting beliefs.

Embracing Body Changes

As we age, our bodies naturally change. Deb emphasizes that staying comfortable in your body means accepting – not fighting – those transformations. Rather than treating your body as a “project” to control, see it as your partner through life’s journey.

Dismantling Diet Culture’s Role

One of the key themes Deb emphasized is the need to dismantle diet culture’s influence alongside the anti-aging industry’s agenda. These two forces are intrinsically linked, reinforcing the toxic notion that only thin, youthful bodies have value. Aging powerfully requires rejecting these harmful cultural narratives in favor of true body acceptance at every stage of life.

The Anti-Aging Industry’s Agenda

One of the most powerful parts of the conversation centered on the intersection of diet culture, anti-fat bias, and the anti-aging industry. Deb highlighted how these reinforce the notion that only certain bodies – young, thin, able-bodied – are worthy, fueling unnecessary fear and control around the aging process.

Focusing on True Values

For many, thinness becomes a way to try clinging to societal relevance and belonging as we age. But Deb argues this misses the point entirely. By middle age, our true values have often evolved beyond empty promises of the anti-aging machine. Aging powerfully means refocusing on what really lights you up in this new chapter.

The Path Forward

So how can we age powerfully? According to Deb, it begins with conscious choice – examining our motivations and making empowered decisions free of fear-based narratives. It’s about staying curious, building community, and above all, treating our changing bodies with deep compassion.

As I move into my “wisdom years,” this conversation was an inspiring reminder to let go of limiting beliefs, embrace the beauty of this journey, and show up powerfully at every age.

Deb invites you to blaze a liberating new path to a respectful, nurturing relationship with your aging body. She has helped hundreds of women heal their relationship with food, eating, and their bodies in her 35-year career as a Registered Dietitian and Registered Yoga Teacher specializing in preventing and treating disordered eating. Now in her 60s, she focuses her research, training, passion, clinical, and lived experience on the intersection of pro-aging and body liberation.

What you’ll learn listening to this episode:

  • How to recognize and unlearn the internalized ageism we’ve all been exposed to
  • The importance of dismantling anti-fat bias alongside anti-aging culture
  •  Practical tips for staying comfortable in your changing body as you age

Mentioned in the show:

Health At Every Size Health Sheets

Free Resources and Training

Connect with our Guest:

Website – Deb Benfield

Instagram – Deb Benfield

Facebook – Deb Benfield


Podcast Stephanie Dodier


I’m Stephanie Dodier – Non-Diet Nutritionist and Coach. I help women fight diet culture by reshaping their mind not their body. I have been hosting a million downloads podcast- It’s Beyond The Food for over 8 years and created the Going Beyond The Food Method™️, which was born from my own journey with a 25 years dieting career  and has since grown into a global movement.

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