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Season 2, Episode 7: Food, Body and Our Moms with Bethany Webster

We all came from a woman and so have a Mother (some of us have two either from same-sex marriages or adoption). We all have Bodies. And we’ve all grown up under patriarchal conditions that tell us women are less than men and our value is often in how we look.

This reality can create quite a tangled web of body image and weight issues. But, according to Bethany Webster, a pioneering coach and writer, it’s not the body image and weight issues we need to address. Rather, we are all struggling with what Bethany calls, the Mother Wound.

I wanted to have Bethany on because no one walks around thinking their body and weight issues saying, “It’s because I have a mother wound.”

We might joke that we – or the people we date and know – have Mommy issues, but how is this actually influencing how we feel about our bodies?

We are going to get into that in today’s episode and so much more, including the political implications of the Mother Wound and how every time Bethany and I talk about a certain topic, we lose subscribers and followers! I might even lose some listeners here once we discuss it AND, it is what it is.

Part of why I wanted to have Bethany on is because her process and expertise goes deep.  I found it fascinating how many seemingly disconnected issues can be traced back to the Mother Wound.

Her process is also radical in that healing the mother wound isn’t about blaming our mothers but rather, looking at the larger safety dynamic it set up within us and taking responsibility to expand how safe we feel in our lives so we can step into our power and increase our impact in the world.

And selfishly, I wanted to ask Bethany if the Mother Wound is really the Parental wound. Are we just focusing on women when our safety is tied into our family unit and community? You’ll hear her answer and powerful steps to start exploring your own relationship with your mother in a constructive, empathetic and helpful way.

We also discussed this incredible piece Bethany wrote about “What’s Going on with Men?” I highly recommend reading it.

Bethany Webster is a writer, transformational coach and international speaker.  Her work is focused on helping women heal the mother wound so that they can step into their full power and potential. She teaches workshops, an online course and offers a coaching program for women leaders. For Bethany’s articles, interviews and resources, check out her website at  www.motherwound.com.

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Season 2, Episode 6: Thinness, Beauty and Power with Dr. Polly Young-Eisendrath

Last year, after reading Women and Desire: Beyond Wanting to Be Wanted, I put Dr. Polly Young-Eisendrath on my bucket list to have on the show.

This book explores the power in women having their own needs and wants, rather than focusing on wanting to be wanted.

This book dovetails with my Truce with Food work as it provides a road map and skills for clients to go from the “good girl” based on what others need and want to developing their own preferences that are in alignment with who they are. Knowing your body’s own unique nutritional needs and truest personal callings are under this umbrella.

What I love about Dr. Young-Eisendrath’s work is she makes the distinction between what we think we want and what we’ve conditioned to believe we want, like a size 4 body.

My clients, like me, are often shocked to find they aren’t completely living life on their terms.

My clients tend to be great in their careers and while they have challenges, feel they are in charge of their life and can manage well enough, except in their weight loss or healthy habit “thing”.

What they don’t realize is in some areas of their life, like being a foodie or wino, isn’t their genuine preference. How they are is how they were taught to belong, versus choosing for themselves where they want to belong.

Examining our relationship to our body is to examine our relationship with our needs, nutritional and emotional fulfillment included there. This is where life-changing power lies, not in the shape of our body.

In today’s episode, we dive deep into this thanks to Dr. Eisendrath’s expertise:

  • How thinness or “strong is the new sexy” offers an illusion of power but won’t get you what you want
  • What is true power or what we think of as confidence and courage? Dr. Young-Eisendrath gets into the nuance of this fascinating topic
  • The sneaky difference between self-awareness and self-criticism and why need to know the difference for personal sovereignty

POLLY YOUNG-EISENDRATH, Ph.D., is a Jungian Analyst, Psychologist, author; Clinical Supervisor, Norwich University, Northfield, Vermont; Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry, University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont; and in private practice in central Vermont.

She is chairperson of the non-profit “Enlightening Conversations: Buddhism and Psychoanalysis Meeting in Person” that hosts conferences in cities around the USA. She has published many chapters and articles, as well as fifteen books that have been translated into more than twenty languages. Her most recent books are The Present Heart: A Memoir of Love, Loss and Discovery (Rodale, 2014); The Self-Esteem Trap: Raising Confident and Compassionate Kids in an Age of Self-Importance (Little, Brown, 2008); and The Cambridge Companion to Jung: New and Revised, of which she is co-editor with Terence Dawson (Cambridge University Press, 2008). Polly’s forthcoming book, Love Between Equals: Relationship as a Spiritual Path, will be published in 2018.  www.young-eisendrath.com

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Last day and is this the real reason you’ve been stuck around food all these years?

Registration for Truce with Food 2018 closes today. 

And GO EAGLES! Beat those PatrCHEATS! #flyeaglesfly

One of my 2018 goals is resuming a retirement savings strategy. I started one during my Corporate job. Then I left for the start-up life and my financial focus was paying for graduate school and living on the cheap.

For the past couple of years, I could’ve and should’ve resumed retirement investing.

My Mom recently informed me the number one reason most people don’t save for retirement is inertia.

This hit me powerfully. AliShapiro.com - Truce With Food Program. "IT’S TIME FOR A DIETING TRUCE FIRE. IT’S TIME FOR A TRUCE WITH FOOD."

It wasn’t that I was incapable of figuring out my needs or didn’t have time to figure this out. It’s that I was confusing inertia with excuses, including I’ll get to that eventually and I love my job. I don’t mind working till I’m 80!

Inertia is what will undermine many people who want a genuine Truce with Food. Everyone is capable of doing this work (it’s freeing and meaningful, so you won’t stop trying). And the resource of time usually appears when we value the results we get.

But the side of us that doesn’t want to change, and we all have that side, will come up with reasons not to take action. Sometimes those reasons are legit. And many times, it’s inertia disguised as self-doubt and self-criticism.

Even trickier, many of us will confuse learning with change. In other words, we will think we are changing and headed towards results when really, we are just learning more of the same old, same old, reinforcing the very behaviors we must change to end the food battle.

For example,

Learning: Headed to a Super Bowl party, worried about the food so you must meditate before you go, find a recipe that’s a healthy version of something you’ll enjoy and then try and check-in with yourself to see if eating badly is worth it. Maybe you win, maybe you lose the battle. And you definitely didn’t fully enjoy the party.

Change: Prevented the food battle in the first place by reducing the stress in your life during the week so your weekends aren’t your excuse to “go crazy” and treat yourself. You know you’ll find something that works for you once you get there and actually have fun during the game because of the Super Bowl, not the food.

Learning: Recommitting to MyFitnessPal to track your calories and join a Facebook support group to hold you accountable.

Change: Using MyFitness Pal to revisit your portion sizes while ignoring the archaic, one-size-fits all algorithm for what’s too much fat and protein for you and not feeling shame when you go over your goal.

Rather, you know how to X-ray the auto-eating spiral of why you went over and know what to do differently the next time. You don’t need to be held accountable because you’ve tasted food freedom and it keeps getting better and better overtime. Why would you stop?

Inertia or doing the same old, same old, is familiar. And while it might make us miserable, staying with what’s familiar is the safe choice. At least in the beginning.

When I finally met with a financial advisor that I trust to guide me to my goals, I felt so much relief. And of course, asked myself what took me so long. And there was a good week at being mad at myself for not resuming being strategic, sooner.

But like we learn in Truce with Food, clarity and compassion is healing. I feel supported and using my inertia as research and reminder that getting started is often the most uncomfortable and then momentum takes over.

Most importantly, I’m confident my money is working to support me instead of determine my future. Because I probably don’t want to be forced to work till I’m 80.

I want food and your body to support your life, not something that holds you back and determines what you do or don’t experience. Food can be a wondrous tool or a battle.

If we can recognize inertia, including learning more of the same, for what it is, we can feel the relief and results of food freedom.

The Truce with Food train is leaving the station today. Are you getting on? Betting on yourself by investing in a “ticket” is when the inertia ends and the momentum begins!

Be well,

Ali

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Why we backslide and gain weight

Truce with Food is open for registration for five more days. This program is for women only.  

I was in a constant cycle of binging or eating poorly and then getting angry. I spent so much energy figuring out how to “fix” myself. Thanks to Truce with Food, I can’t remember the last time I binged! I feel more free as the program helped me transform my perfectionist mindset. This enabled me to to go for my dream job and get the position. The program is challenging and completely worth it. It changed my life and I am so thankful! Krista

Two years ago, Loren* reversed her depression by healing her gut. She made the necessary dietary changes and lost 15 pounds as a side-effect. She felt the best she ever had.

However, now, she was “slipping”. Her weight was creeping back up. Her mood swings back as she was trying to manage the roller coaster of highs and lows that came with her recent promotion to CEO of the non-profit she worked for. She knew how great she could feel and yet, “couldn’t keep it up.”

 “Backsliding” on your nutrition healing protocol or “cheating” on your third Whole30 is usually a sign you need to shift from general tactics to a personalized, holistic strategy.

In the same way Loren as the CEO needs to start thinking strategically for the entire organization (and use her voice) versus following organizational direction as a manager, backsliding is a threshold.

Crossing this threshold to life-changing results is far from guaranteed. Unfortunately, most nutritionists and wellness gurus aren’t experts on the change process.

And to change is to heal.

As a result, there’s very few choices that mid-wife you through the guaranteed messy process and exponential healing of lasting change. When we get stuck, we believe we have only two options:

Option A: Switch to a new plan. Diet culture tells us we need more willpower and discipline. Yet these new tactics usually conflict with what we thought was working, overwhelm ensues as you throw your hands up on the way to the fridge.

Option B: We focus on self-acceptance and don’t address the emotional reasons we’re “slipping”. Body positivity often tells us to be kind to ourselves, even if that results in us staying in pain. This takes us further away from trusting our power and we backslide further.

As someone suspicious of authority and Option A or B didn’t work for me, I was desperate to believe there could be a better way. At the time, there wasn’t. So I created one.

Option C: Truce with Food. A strategic, evidence-based, client-proven process where self-acceptance means befriending your body by discovering what foods work best for you and removing the emotional patterns that cause you to backslide or are keeping you stuck.

This holistic approach gets us the results we want and need in order to answer the callings of our lives.

For Loren, removing the emotional pattern about how she dealt with her work stress leveled out her work highs and lows. To her delight, she got better results as she finally felt confident knowing she didn’t have to be perfect. And on the tough days, she has more resilience because she’s taking better care of herself as her food fell back into place.

Maybe most important is being liberated from the story that she could either be healthy or successful at work. The deep mindset work we do in Truce with Food enabled her to trust and experience that her health supports her creativity, leadership and strategic vision as the CEO.

If you ready to stop fixing and fighting your body and instead propel forward through the messy process of change, Truce with Food is here for you.

And as a bonus, you’ll have a new mindset, skills and confidence for the new challenges you’ll want to pursue and succeed at.

Be well,

Ali

P.S.  There’s only five days left to register for Truce with Food. On the fence? Let’s talk 1:1 to see if it’s right for you. And this isn’t a sales call, it’s a genuine exploration.

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Season 2, Episode 5: Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong with Journalist Angela-Saini

“Women are from Venus, Men are from Mars” gets clicks and reads.

Yet these easy to sell books and overblown differences between men and women actually feed into destructive ideas of the “inferior woman” and have profound implications for women’s health and well being.

I sat down with Inferior author and science journalist Angela Saini to discuss the cultural myths like “women being better built for parenting” or “women aren’t as sexual as men” that lead to politics damaging to women’s health, overwhelm and not knowing the whole range of ourselves. And when we are overwhelmed and under-fulfilled, we make food and lifestyle choices unaligned with our goals.

If you’re looking to understand how science has sexist biases and how that can liberate you to be more of who you really are, without illusionary female “norms”, this episode is for you.

And my favorite part of Angela’s book? The radical truth that there is no normal and we all need to figure out what works best for us.

And yes, of course I’m biased since I operate under the same belief! But at least I know I’m biased, unlike some of the science you’ll hear today.

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