Month: October 2016

LU 017: Sonya Renee Taylor – The brilliant mind behind “The Body Is Not An Apology”.



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Hi, sweet radicals!

This week, the “Life. Unrestricted.” podcast brings to you the wonderful Sonya Renee Taylor from California. Sonya Renee is the Founder and – as she calls it – Radical Executive Officer of “The Body Is Not An Apology”, an international movement and organization committed to radical self-love and body empowerment as the foundational tool for social justice and global transformation.

sonya-renee-taylor

Sonya holds a BA in Sociology and a Masters degree in Organizational Management. Her work as an award-winning Performance Poet, Activist and transformational leader continues to have global reach. Sonya is a former National and International poetry slam champion, author, educator and activist who has mesmerized audiences across the world. Believing in the power of art as a vehicle for social change, Sonya has been widely recognized for her work as a change agent and has won heaps of awards and honors, and Bustle Magazine has named her one of the 12 “Women who paved the way for body positivity“. Sonya’s work has been seen and heard on practically EVERY news outlet in America. Sonya is a fierce advocate and activist for intersectional global justice. Listen in as Sonya Renee tells us:
– What sort of messages she heard about women’s bodies when she grew up
– What the most important messages are that made her believe in her abilities and power
– How she experienced privilege and oppression
– Why she believes body-shame and tendencies of self-hate are learned and can be unlearned
– What body-empowerment entails and why it really is about all areas of social justice, be it ableism, racism, classism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, weight-discrimination or any other form
– Why weight-stigma is adding a toxic layer that affects those most that are already being discriminated against
– How her great movement called “The Body Is Not An Apology” came about
– Why she feels so grateful for all the contributors for showing her their perspective
– Why “The Body Is Not An Apology” is for everybody
– How her idea of self-love is different than the fuzzy ideas we often hear; why she calls it “radical self-love”
– How her 30-day self-love challenge called RUHCUS helped her overcome her biggest shame
– Why it is that some form of body shame is likely to seep back in and how we can deal with it to maintain body-peace
– Why it is critical to learn about the mechanism of the diet- and beauty-industry to see just how much power we are giving away by buying into the lies we are being told every day
– What would happen when women over night stopped believing those lies and stopped buying all those products
– What radical self-love realistically looks like and why it has a massive impact on the world around us
– Why we can never create a peaceful world unless we make peace within ourselves
– What she does on those days that she finds it hard to love herself
– Why it is important to see that we would only set ourselves up for failure if we want to do this journey towards body love perfectly
– Why she encourages all of us to do “what WE want” and not “what we think others want us to do”
– What she would change immediately were she to rule the world…

… And so much more!

Check out Sonya Renee Taylor here:
http://www.sonya-renee.com
and her platform “The Body Is Not An Apology” here:
http://www.thebodyisnotanapology.com

 

********* Don’t forget!*********

Podcasting is expensive, more so than I thought. So if you enjoy and love my podcast, please consider supporting it by becoming a “Patreon”!
It would greatly help me to keep those episodes coming to you.
Thanks!
https://www.patreon.com/lifeunrestricted

Make sure to join my tribe and meet some of the most supportive, loving and kind people of all shapes and sizes, including great coaches and leaders! We’re right over here at: http://www.lifeunrestricted.org/join/

Please: Do subscribe on iTunes (Apple):
https://itunes.apple.com/ch/podcast/life.-unrestricted.-podcast/id1130713233?mt=2
or on Stitcher (Android):
http://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=93987&refid=stpr

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LU 016: Dr. Maria Paredes – Reframing and healing your relationship with your body.



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Hello, dear body acceptance radicals!

In today’s episode of the “Life. Unrestricted.” podcast, I’m talking to Dr. Maria Paredes from Greensboro, North Carolina. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Eating Disorders Specialist who describes herself as a five-star listener, heart healer, courage instiller, lover of ALL bodies, self-compassion coach, voice amplifier, companion to those in pain and a believer in hope.

maria-paredes

She holds a Bachelor degree in psychology, a Masters degree in school counseling, as well a a doctoral degree in counseling and counselor education. She helps people who are stuck in the diet-binge-cycle as well as those who want to feel more comfortable in their own skin, make peace with food and with their bodies. She offers individual and group counseling, clinical supervision, workshops, and talks at schools, workplaces and different communities. Listen to Maria tell us:
– How she grew up without constant diet-talk, weight-obsessing or body-shaming
– What made her get into her field of work
– How she helps her clients with different therapy methods like Dialectic Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Relational-Cultural Therapy (RCT)
– Why she doesn’t demonize any behaviors around food and how she finds out what the behavior represents
– How she lets people re-relate to behaviors like binge-eating
– Why she is against “forcing” people to let go of their coping mechanism and what she does instead
– How she helps parents not to pass on the difficult relationship they have to food and body to their children
– What she says about her “butt” when she looks in the mirror (hint: it’s gooooood!)
– How we can utilized Social Media to our benefit when it comes to un-learn toxic ideas about weight, body, food and shape
– Why she fully supports the Health At Every Size (HAES) principles and Intuitive Eating
– How she introduces these concepts to her clients
– How she helps overcome their internalized shame and fat-phobic beliefs
– What helped her become aware of the weight- and fat-stigma in our world
– How she helps her clients educate themselves about diet-culture and the capitalistic machinery behind it, and how this helps us stepping out of old beliefs
– Why she thinks the path to real body and food liberation are MUCH harder to do than going along with the mainstream dogma and constant dieting
– How she started to appreciate her own body
– Why we will always be stuck in a weight-obsessed mentality (and spend precious amounts of energy and time trying to “fix” our bodies) unless we address internalized fat-phobia
– Why it is so important to surround ourselves with people and images of people of all shapes and sizes to end our inner fat-phobic beliefs
– What makes the HAES movement so incredibly beautiful, warm and welcoming…

… And so much more!
If you are interested in working with Dr. Maria Paredes or finding out more about what she does, check out her website:
http://www.threebirdscounseling.com
Also, check out her Facebook site called “Body Politics with Dr. Paredes”:
https://m.facebook.com/BodyPoliticsWithDrParedes/?__mref=message_bubble

 

********* Don’t forget!*********

Make sure to join my tribe and meet some of the most supportive, loving and kind people of all shapes and sizes, including great coaches and leaders! We’re right over here at:
http://www.lifeunrestricted.org/join

Podcasting is expensive, more so than I thought. So if you enjoy and love my podcast, please consider supporting it by becoming a “Patreon”!
It would greatly help me to keep those episodes coming to you. Thanks!
https://www.patreon.com/lifeunrestricted

Please: Do subscribe on iTunes (Apple):
https://itunes.apple.com/ch/podcast/life.-unrestricted.-podcast/id1130713233?mt=2
or on Stitcher (Android):
http://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=93987&refid=stpr

We’re all a click away…

 

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LU *Bonus Episode 1*: Guided meditation – Quiet the monkey mind in a body positive way (25 min.).



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Hello there, lovely radicals…

Time to unwind!
Here’s my first bonus episode of “Life. Unrestricted.” for you: A guided meditation of 25 minutes.
Take this time for yourself and allow yourself to find some peace in the midst of the craziness of daily life. Your body and mind will thank you for it.
Enjoy this guided meditation to tame our monkey mind, and to drop into a state of awake presence and full awareness of THIS moment—all we ever have.

If you experience your mind wandering off into thoughts and worries, expectations or judgments, just remember that this is normal and it happens to everybody.
Just notice that “thinking” is happening, acknowledge the thoughts, and let them go. Over and over again.
As if they were clouds passing by.
Don’t attach any meaning to them, don’t hold on to them, just return to the present moment, and focus on the sensation of your breath as it enters your nose and fills your chest, your lungs and your belly.
It’s all about noticing and returning back to the present moment, without judging yourself. That is what mindfulness and meditation basically is.

Now Let us slow down for 25 minutes, as we experience … the NOW.
The aliveness of your body, the state of non-doing… and the wonderfulness of just “being”.

This is my first guided meditation, so I hope I manage to bring some stillness into your life as we travel through the body together.

More is to come; as soon as I can make the time, I will play with it and try different lengths and different styles.

With love, M.
****** Don’t forget! ******

Make sure to join my tribe and meet some of the most supportive, loving and kind people of all shapes and sizes, including great coaches and leaders! We’re right over here at:

We’re all a click away…

Podcasting is expensive, more so than I thought. So if you enjoy and love my podcast, please consider supporting it by becoming a “Patreon”! It would greatly help me to keep those episodes coming to you.
Thank you so much! Here’s the link:
https://www.patreon.com/lifeunrestricted

Please: Do subscribe on iTunes (Apple):
https://itunes.apple.com/ch/podcast/life.-unrestricted.-podcast/id1130713233?mt=2
or on Stitcher (Android):
http://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=93987&refid=stpr

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LU 015: Zoe Nicholson – Teaching us how to do “moderation” in moderation.



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Lovely having you here, my fellow traveller!
It’s Podcast time, which means: It’s a great moment to just open our ears and listen to a wonderful woman who has so much to say about what “moderation” really means.

In today’s episode of the “Life. Unrestricted.” Podcast, I have the pleasure to talk to Zoe Nicholson from Melbourne, Australia. Zoe is an accredited practicing dietitian and the owner and director of the highly successful Melbourne based private practice called “figureate”- spelled out like figure and ate, as in “I ate cheesecake”.

zoenicholson

Zoe conducts nutrition seminars and workshops for workplaces and corporations and she has, together with multi-award winning fitness professional Jodie Arnot, established the now well known “Moderation Movement” in Australia. Here’s Zoe! She will tell us:
– How she grew up without constant diet-talk, weight-obsessing or body-shaming
– Why it is so important what kind of role-models we are for our children
– When she found out that, basically, the rest of the world had gone slightly mad around so called health, weight and fitness
– How most people ended up feeling so much shame and guilt around food and their own bodies
– How the constant barrage of images of so-called “goal-bodies” and the millions of weight-loss messages we see every week has twisted our idea of health
– How to be real: We are not MEANT to – nor can we be  successful at (without losing our minds!) – reaching an unattainable beauty ideal
– How much precious time in a person’s life can literally be wasted on this toxic idea
– What she means when she speaks of the “Non-Diet”-approach to nutrition and health
– Why she still can’t believe that in todays day and age, we need to stand up for something that ought to be normal: a sustainable, balanced approach to health that doesn’t shrink our life
– What “The Moderation Movement” is and what its goals are – What “moderation” means to her
– How she helps people get comfortable with the idea of “moderation”
– How we can manage our health without ever dieting or fixating on our weight, and why, ironically the sheer act of “not fixating on weight” might be the first step to real health
– Why a person’s size never tells us anything about their health and the dangers of equating “thin” to “healthy”…

… And so much more!

If you are interested in working with Zoe or finding out more about what she does, check out her website:
http://www.figureate.com.au
Check out “The Moderation Movement” on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/moderationmovement/?fref=ts

********* Don’t forget!*********

Please consider supporting the podcast with a donation by becoming a “Patreon”; so that I can keep producing it. Thank you! Here’s the link:
https://www.patreon.com/lifeunrestricted

Also,  make sure to join my tribe and meet some of the most supportive, loving and kind people of all shapes and sizes, including great coaches and leaders! We’re right over here at: http://www.lifeunrestricted.org/join/

Please: Do subscribe on iTunes (Apple):
https://itunes.apple.com/ch/podcast/life.-unrestricted.-podcast/id1130713233?mt=2
or on Stitcher (Android):
http://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=93987&refid=stpr

The top five regrets of the dieting.

regret

Let’s talk about regrets, dieting and… dying.
Great way to start a post, isn’t it? Totally uplifting.

So here we go.
There’s a wonderful woman called Bronnie Ware who worked as a palliative nurse for many years. As she was tending to the needs of people who were dying, she started recording the regrets that these people expressed to her. She collected them. Thousands of them. And she subsequently wrote about them. Her book is called “The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing”.
Most of us have heard of them, and most of us even gave the list some thought, but then… life happened. The daily grind.
Let us refresh our memories, shall we?

Here are the Top Five Regrets the dying expressed:
# 1 … They wish they’d had the courage to live life true to themselves
# 2 … They wish they hadn’t worked so hard
# 3 … They wish they’d had more courage to express their feelings
# 4 … They wish they had stayed in touch with their friends
# 5 … They wish they had let themselves be happier

„Yes. But what do these have to do with dieting?“ you ask.
„Only everything“, I say.

I’m assuming, of course, but let’s say, you’re one of those people who – like me – spent decades trying to lose weight, suppress weight or maintain weight, engaging in excessive exercise even when injured, feeling guilty for eating “too much”, feeling shame for “losing control” and binging, not ever feeling comfortable in your skin, obsessing about calories, the scale and the size of our pants, declining invitations to social gatherings for fear of “eating too much of the bad foods”, not having birthday cake because you’re trying to “be good”, pinching your stomach, hating your thighs and following every piece of diet-advice that is being thrown around in the media. Let’s assume, you’re one of those people who – like me – risked illness in the name of health, wrecking your hormones and metabolism, in other words doing everything in order to avoid weight gain.
And, for the sake of the argument, let’s assume for a minute that we’re all lying on our deathbeds. Can you picture yourself?
Good.
Now, let’s have a look at those regrets through the dieting-lens.

# 1 … They wish they’d had the courage to live life true to themselves.
(—Sadly, a perfect match.)
Because no, we didn’t have the courage to live life true to ourselves. We were very much concerned about what other people expected us to do, and what they expected us to look like. In fact, we internalized society’s arbitrary beauty standards and tried our damnest to conform to them. Exit “live life true to yourself”…

# 2 … They wish they hadn’t worked so hard.
(—Well, it looks like CARPE DIEM flew right out of the window when we started our quest for thinness, right?)
Maybe the first diet was comparably easy, and we were high from all the compliments we got. So when the weight started to creep back up, we doubled down on our efforts, and we loved being showered with praise for our “discipline” and “willpower”. But then, our bodies started to fight back against our attempts at starving it, and flooded us with crazy cravings, which eventually made us binge. And from there, it progressively got worse, didn’t it? Now desperate for control, we cranked up our efforts to keep our weight “in check”. Over time, weight-suppressing turned into a full time job, and we spent half of our mental bandwidth obsessing about food, weight, and how “broken” our body was. Adding the hours, days, weeks, months or years we spent dieting or rigidly weight-suppressing, we end up with a heart-wrenching amount of time (decades?) spent hating our body for not meeting the current beauty ideal. When we truly think about how much time we spent obsessing over our appearance – time that is forever lost – … it makes us want to cry. Possibly forever.

# 3 … They wish they’d had the courage to express their feelings.
(—Oh funny, another match.)
Dieting is an addiction. Dieters are afraid. By dieting, people numb out by obsessing over calories, scales, their pant size, “good” and “bad” foods, meal plans, “health” blogs, diet advice, excessive exercise and therefore not having to really participate in the mess that is LIFE. Afraid of loneliness, rejection and sadness, we often end up manifesting just that. What do dieters really mean when they say “I feel fat”? What kind of truth are we masking by putting all the blame on our body for something that hasn’t got anything to do with its size? What if we did, instead, express how we truly feel? How about saying “Hey, I feel really vulnerable, insecure, sad, angry or confused right now”. What if we stopped pointing the finger at our weight and stopped hiding behind this admittedly cheap and cowardly deflection.

# 4 … They wish they had stayed in touch with their friends.
(—Damn. Yes. That one, too.)
This one, I find particularly painful… I’d be lying if I said that this doesn’t apply to all the years when I was trying to maintain my lower weight. I am still recovering, as you know, but already now, I can see just how many social invitations I declined, how many friends I stopped going out for dinner with because I was worried about the food, and about losing control. Just how much my constant worrying was keeping me imprisoned in my own mind, how it seemed so much “safer” to stay alone, to eat my “safe” foods, to binge alone, to exercise alone, to prioritize all my weight-obsessing above everything else. When I didn’t exercise, going out and doing something else was out of the question, and I would squeeze it in, no matter what.

# 5 … They wish they had let themselves be happier.
(—The most punch-me-in-the-gut-match of them all.)
Oh boy. All those years. All those decades… I was doing what I was doing because I still believed that “once I reached a certain weight”, then I could be happy, I could date, I could RELAX, I could enjoy life. And it took me forever to see that all I did was maneuver myself further away from happiness. Further and further away from the idea of “real intimacy”, carefree laughter, midnight cake or lazy Sundays. I didn’t let myself be happy. I thought happy was around the corner.

Ha, funny how these regrets of the dying all apply so perfectly to us dieters, isn’t it?
Only, it’s not funny at all.

There is no “around the corner”. All we have is NOW.
Let us let ourselves be happy.
Let us reach out. Let us laugh.
Let us eat cake.
Let us jump for joy.
Let us cry.
Let us do your own thing.
Let us acknowledge our innate awesomeness.
Let us throw out the diet-books and that motherfucking scale.
Let us live.

We only have this one ride.
Love,
Meret.

LU 014: Tracy Brown – Stepping towards a joyful relationship with food and body size.

Lovely radicals!

In this episode of the “Life. Unrestricted.” podcast, you’re going to hear Tracy Brown from Naples, Florida. She is a nutrition therapist, registered licensed dietitian and somatic attuned eating coach who has offered counseling in private practice since 2006.

tracy20brown11

She specializes in treatment of eating disorders and eating problems for both adults and children and she also routinely teaches intuitive eating workshops and disordered eating related talks in the North Central Florida area, including Santa Fe College and Flager College, St. Augustine, Florida. Today, and only on the “Life. Unrestricted.” podcast, she’s will tell us all of this:
– How being highly sensitive as a kid led her to numb her feelings with an obsession to be the perfect kid
– How her obsession quickly turned into meal-skipping, dieting, and taking advice from fitness-magazines at face value
– Why it took years of purging, binging, restricting and suffering before she realized that happiness wasn’t to be found by chasing after the skinny ideal
– When it was that she decided to learn to accept her body and look into attuned (intuitive) eating
– What it took for her to heal her relationship to food, body and exercise
– Why therapy and body image work helped her not to worry about food and her body anymore
– How she provides practical guidance and interventions for people suffering from eating disorders, food fears and underlying emotions
– How society has a false image of how eating disorders look like and how the reality of eating disorders look like
– How we can learn to eat based on permission
– Why, when she works nutritionally with her clients, she only does so to make sure that they eat enough and have all they need
– Why the concept of “good” and “bad” foods is obsolete to maintain a body’s natural weight – Why she believes that dieting, binging, purging and all eating disorders are symbolic communicators delivering a message from our soul
– What she does when she does “symbolic decoding”
– Why, when we are tempted to say “I feel fat”, it never – ever – is about the size of our body, and what we can ask ourselves instead
– What her three most favorite words are
– Why she thinks that everyone who is willing to heal the relationship to their body/food and weight is a badass…

… And so much more!

Check out Tracy Brown’s website and find out about her coaching business at: http://www.tracybrownrd.com

 

********* Don’t forget!*********

Make sure to join my tribe and meet some of the most supportive, loving and kind people of all shapes and sizes, including great coaches and leaders! We’re right over here at:
http://www.lifeunrestricted.org/join/

Please consider supporting the podcast with a donation by becoming a “Patreon”; so that I can keep producing it. Thank you! Here’s the link:
https://www.patreon.com/lifeunrestricted

Please: Do subscribe on iTunes (Apple):
https://itunes.apple.com/ch/podcast/life.-unrestricted.-podcast/id1130713233?mt=2
or on Stitcher (Android):
http://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=93987&refid=stpr

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LU 013: Chris Cole – A man makes peace with his body, mind, spirit and food.



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In this episode of the “Life. Unrestricted.” podcast, I get to talk to Chris Cole from Boulder, Colorado. Chris is a life coach and works with clients in recovery from any number of addictions, mood or behavioral issues. He has been through quite a journey himself. In fact, it was such a rollercoaster ride that he wrote a book about it: It’s called “The Body Of Chris – a Memoir of Obsession, Addiction and Madness”.

chriscole

Chris is a highly compassionate, positive force that helps people find their truth and their unique healing by offering an experienced perspective, a radical wellness orientation and an encouraging relationship that is crucial to sustainable growth. Listen in and hear Chris’ amazing story:
– What factors contributed to him feeling ashamed of his body in childhood
– Why early restriction only exacerbated his difficult relationship to food
– How being bullied and fat-shamed as a boy made him obsessed with losing weight
– How he learned to binge eat and the real danger of the concept of “cheat meals”
– How a personal trainer introduced him to diet-pills
– Why he didn’t realize the harm of them and quickly got hooked
– Why these “speedy” diet-pills turned out to be a gateway drug for him
– How his obsession with becoming thinner escalated into a whole range of problems
– When and how it became obvious for him and those around him that he was really sick
– What kind of harmful behaviors and habits contributed to his manic episode in college
– How manic episodes of psychosis typically present themselves and what it felt like for him
– How his deep body shame manifested in this peak moment of crisis
– Why his book is called “The Body of Chris”
– Why he is very passionate when talking about “The tragedy of the BMI”
– How he now sees that his alcohol/drug addictions are connected to his history of body shame and disordered eating as well as to his bipolar disorder
– Why he felt he had to numb out his sensitive nature
– What made him have liposuction at 17 and why that didn’t help him feel better about himself
– Why his body shame was the last and biggest hurdle on his road to full recovery
– Why he thinks recovery from any sort of destructive behavior is only the first step to dealing with the deeper problem that we tried to numb out from
– How vulnerability with his then-future-wife helped him take the necessary steps
– Why intuitive eating was so hard for him to learn
– How he deals with the messages that our weight-obsessed culture, TV and movies throw at us
– How meditation taught him to deal with his thoughts
– Why his current profile picture on Facebook represents what recovery looks like to him
– What having a body means to him these days and how he appreciates it, flaws and all…

… And so much more!

Check out Chris Cole and his coaching over at:
http://www.colecoaching.com
Here’s the link to Chris’ wonderful book “The Body Of Chris”:
https://www.amazon.com/Body-Chris-Obsession-Addiction-Madness/dp/1941758142/

 

********* Don’t forget!*********

Make sure to join my tribe and meet some of the most supportive, loving and kind people of all shapes and sizes, including great coaches and leaders!

We’re right over here at:
http://www.lifeunrestricted.org/join/

Please consider supporting the podcast with a donation by becoming a “Patreon”; so that I can keep producing it. Thank you! Here’s the link:
https://www.patreon.com/lifeunrestricted

Please: Do subscribe on iTunes (Apple):
https://itunes.apple.com/ch/podcast/life.-unrestricted.-podcast/id1130713233?mt=2
or on Stitcher (Android):
http://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=93987&refid=stpr

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