The F*ck It Diet with Caroline Dooner

By Caroline Dooner

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 Dec 8, 2019


(eating should be easy)

Episode Date
You’re Allowed to Leave in the Middle of Fitness Class with Lauren Leavell
Today I chat with Lauren Leavell, a body inclusive fitness coach in Philadelphia. She talks about her own journey and the moment she wondered if she could be a fitness coach and personal trainer in the body she had... (then she just... did it). Now she intentionally creates safe fitness environments for others.  Listen to our convo! Time Stamps! 00: HELLO! And "this is my new podcast structure" 2:10 Listener email from Ruth 11:03 Sponsor! Affordable online therapy from your own darn home! and use code TFID for 10% off your first month. 15:28 My conversation with Lauren Leavell (links below!) 36:00 Let the Rambling Begin 48:00 The F*ck It Diet Book Club is going to enroll in April! 49:20 is BACK!!!!!! It's a place to ask questions for the podcast or at the $10 you'll get archived Q&As from past programs, as well as archived podcast episodes and posts, PLUS priority with you podcast Q&As   Links!: Lauren's instagram Lauren's website Black Girl Barre - a special workshop for Black History Month at Lumos for Black womxn and non-binary folks to come take Barre and journal in a safe fitness space. Larkin's instagram (the mutual friend, colleague and owner of Lumos Barre and Yoga.) Lumos Yoga and Barre instagram
Feb 17, 2020
Disordered Eating in Nutrition School with Maddie Deakin
In this episode, Maddie Deakin (of Messy Health) shares her experience with extreme dieting while she was in nutrition school, being the only larger bodied person in her nutrition class, using dieting as a coping mechanism to feel a sense of control, and her experience recovering from disordered eating in a larger body. She also shares great advice and inspiration for people who are recovering from years of dieting and disordered eating. Maddie Deakin (the mind behind the account Messy Health) is a HAES and Non-Diet Nutritionist (BFoodSc&Nutr) in Australia, and she explores the intersection between food, health, and the body - without dieting. Listen to the episode for my convo with Maddie. Plus! I share a new listener email about their experience, and a story about my dog Molly being in a fight with a tapestry of Jeff Goldblum. Follow Maddie Deakin at Messy Health
Feb 03, 2020
Dietitian Anna on Refeeding Symptoms & Chasing Miracle Cures
Are you curious about some of the common (and temporary) physical side effects of re-feeding after chronic dieting, an eating disorder, or any other phase of under eating??? When you've been dieting for a long time and finally start eating more, or when you've had an eating disorder and start eating more, most bodies will have uncomfortable physical symptoms (digestive issues, skin issues, etc.) Lots of people take this as an opportunity to freak out, and assume it's a sign that they should go back to restricting. So, wouldn't it be nice to hear that those symptoms are... normal? And to be expected????? Ya! We talk about that (among many other things!) on today's episode.  Today I chat with @DietitianAnna (Anna Sweeney MS, CEDRD-S) about her experience as a dietitian specializing in eating disorder recovery, Health at Every Size®, and Intuitive Eating. But she also shares what it's been like living with chronic illness and disability, and navigating wellness culture her whole life. Listen to our chat and find/follow online: @DietitianAnna AND! I'm doing a Live Free Event with Christy Harrison in Philadelphia, on January 30th, 2020, at 7:15 at Head House Books. SEE YOU THERE.
Jan 20, 2020
Let's start 2020 with a F*ck It Diet 101. A Primer. (Again!) My instagram grew by 100,000 followers in 2019. That's an average of 273 new people a day. Big picture, that's fantastic and super exciting. But day to day, it means new people are seeing random, one-line posts that speak to one tiny piece of this whole puzzle, and they are intrigued, but more: they're confused. And instead of saying: ok let me check out this woman's site, podcast, or better yet, book, they ask for me to explain The F*ck It Diet to them, right there, in the comments or direct message. The hardest part is that there is no short answer. It's complicated. It's nuanced. There is a lot to explain!!! Also, when I am writing things for social media I have to make a choice: Am I posting on social media for newbies? Or for people who've read the book and already get it? That's a pretty wide divide, but I kind of have to do both. So if you're new, and confused, a great way to get a basic primer on TFID, is to sign up for the "Free Fun Stuff" right here! I send the beginning of the book, and three free primer lessons. Another really great way to understand WTF The F*ck It Diet is and why I think what I think, and how to actually do it, is to read the book. But also, here is another primer on WHY DIETS DON'T WORK: Our bodies are wired to push us off any diet or restriction - and, even though we tend to think this is a horrible thing, or something we need to overcome and conquer, it's actually a good thing. Our resistance to dieting is a biological advantage for famine survival. But that inherent protection against dieting is why dieting is so hard, and leaves us so obsessed with food. And why we get so hungry. It’s why we can’t stop thinking about food. It's why we binge. And why we almost always gain the weight back. We are wired that way. So, what counts as restriction? Calorie restriction, macronutrient restriction (like keto), time restriction (like intermittent fasting), any over thinking or micromanaging of eating amounts or times or purity, over-exercising, over-thinking and over-worrying about hunger and fullness (yes!), and any  intentional weight loss. Dieting causes food addiction. Well... sort of. This is nuanced. And semantics. Food addiction is both real and ... not very real at all. It's not an addiction in the true sense of the word. But we definitely feel addicted when we are restricted in any way. Even just mentally restricted (more on that soon). It's that same protection against famines I just mentioned. Dieting makes us fixated on food. Chemically. In our brain and in our body.) Dieting and restricting make us feel (and act) addicted to food (and carbs). It feels VERY REAL, but it is just the state we are in when the body is screaming indiscriminately for food. (“PLEASE DON’T LET US DIE THIS WAYYYYY".) Our culture has a disordered relationship to weight. Which gives us a very disordered relationship to food. Our culture is extremely and insidiously fatphobic. What's fatphobia? For our purposes here, compare it to homophobia. A very cultural fear and judgment of certain people. We make assumptions about people. We believe the stereotypes. Not only is this messed up, but it messes up all of our eating - wide scale. Insidiously. Subconsciously. We have to unlearn all the things we’ve learned about weight, especially as it relates to health.  Our relationship to weight is f*cked up, and based on faulty information. Weight is not a direct result of our habits. And you cannot tell someone’s habits or health from looking at them. That widespread belief is simplistic and causes a lot of harm, cruelty, and mistreatment. Our own healthy weight range is very genetic, and can only be manipulated so much, without consequences. This requires more than an instagram post or a blog post to unpack. I recommend lots of further reading on this. Read my book. Research weight stigma.
Jan 06, 2020
Christy Harrison & her book Anti-Diet
In Episode 61, I chat with Christy Harrison, MPH, RD, CDN. She is an anti-diet registered dietitian nutritionist and certified intuitive eating counselor, and her book ANTI-DIET is coming out December 24th, 2019! (So... like, now.)  I read the book early, and it's great. It's a super comprehensive look at why obsessing over what you eat is bad for your health. If you've already read my book, I think you'd love it as further reading! (It's super aligned with The F*ck It Diet, obviously!) Show Notes: 00:00 - Hello and I technically changed the name of my podcast again, and this might be a mistake. 3:52 - My Chat with Christy! We talk about the social justice end of being anti-diet, what people usually get wrong with intuitive eating, Christy answers a listener question about pre-diabetes, and about medication that causes appetite increase or weight gain, and a lot more! Find Christy: Food Psych Podcast Christy's Book, Anti Diet 48:35 - Whoops I forgot to mention that Christy and I are doing an event together in Philadelphia on January 30th at Head House Books, at 7:15 (it's free!). It's her Philly book launch, in conversation with... me! Come hear us chat and get signed books. Head House Books Events 51:00 - Goodbye, and also maybe soon I'll talk more about "Moongate," the time on instagram where 3 people told me that talking about the full moon made my book lose credibility in their eyes. I can't wait to talk about how science and spirituality are not mutually exclusive, and how black and white thinking, and science absolutism feeds eating disorder mentality. (Also... I literally never even said anything definitive about the full moon so: pshhhhhhhh!)
Dec 23, 2019
My Chat with Your Fat Friend
Today's episode is a conversation with anonymous essayist Your Fat Friend! Your Fat Friend writes anonymously about the social realities of life as a very fat person. Her work has been translated into 19 languages and covered around the world.  Listen to our chat (and fast forward to 17 minutes in to jump right in.) Show Notes: 0:00 - Hello, and welcome, and I don't know how to use my garage band (song: Extremely Sneaky Cat) 6:15 - More follow up about Molly, trauma, and Goose, the dog to attacked her 15:00 - Housekeeping! Get the updated free lessons here and the book resources here. 17:55 - My conversation with Your Fat Friend! Here are links to find and follow Your Fat Friend on the internet: YrFatFriend on Twitter YrFatFriend on Instagram 1:09:00 - Goodbye and also, I'm obsessed with Vanderpump Rules (song: Dena Deadly: Raise Your Glass)
Dec 11, 2019
When You Worry You’re Being Irresponsible
"How do I get to a place where I am confident enough to tune out diet culture? (When it's ...everywhere?)" The truth of the matter is that weight loss and diet talk are everywhere. It's actually, in many ways, the definition of diet culture: a culture where dieting and weight loss attempts are the norm - and are everywhere. But when it gets hard, or when we don't feel so great, or so confident, we wonder if we've made a mistake. If maybe, the diet that your co-worker is now on is maybe the one you should have tried before you gave up dieting. You wonder... maybe... maybe I really didn't give it my all. Maybe I really was happier then. I don't think it's much about "tuning out diet culture" as it is about being super honest with ourselves when we start to get pulled in by the siren song ... what are we looking for? What are we craving or missing that we think intermittent fasting is going to give us? What beliefs might be rearing their head? It's an opportunity to look at how our minds work, get some more awareness, and do some more healing. One of the big core fears, (or beliefs if you will) is the fear that when we stop dieting, "we are not taking care of ourselves". That dieting is responsible, and not dieting is irresponsible. And when we are having a rough day or a rough week, or new or recurring health woes, wanting just want to know that we are taking care of things and taking care of ourselves. Feeling responsible is often what we are craving. And nobody will stop talking about how responsible dieting is. So... we panic. Oh no. Oh no. Maybe I really should be intermittent fasting. Maybe I really would be happier and healthier if I were on keto. Maybe I should be intermittent fasting and doing keto. Dieting is not the answer. And dieting is not a cure-all. And dieting is wired to backfire. It's even not so good for us long term. So if you're having trouble remembering that, remind yourself: "Why did I stop dieting in the first place?" Answer the question. If that doesn't remind you (or if you haven't actually stopped yet...), start reading. Read The F*ck It Diet. Read Body Respect. Read or listen to whatever helped you wake up and snap out of it in the first place. And then, ask yourself: "How can I make sure I'm taking care of myself today?" Health is not a black-and-white thing. Sometimes all we want to know is that we are, in fact, taking care of ourselves, and in the moment we sometimes assume that a diet is best (or only) way to do that. (It's not.) So, take a moment. Ask, "what can I do to take care of myself today?" Maybe the answer is to take a walk. Maybe the answer is to lie down. Maybe the answer is to cry. Maybe the answer is to call a friend. Maybe the answer is to cancel plans. Maybe the answer is to make plans. Maybe the answer is to stretch. Maybe the answer is to eat two pieces of cake. Maybe the answer is to go grocery shopping for vegetables and sauté them up. Maybe the answer is to make a doctor's appointment. It doesn't matter what the answer is, but ask yourself what little thing you can do to take care of yourself today, and then do it! Even if it's just: take two deep breaths! The Holidays are here, and with them will come ... lots of diet talk. If you haven't read the book yet, you can check read the beginning and get some other helpful intro lessons from here. And if you've read the book you can get lots of resources to support next steps over here. Show Notes: 0:00 - New podcast music!: "Extremely Sneaky Cat" 7:00 - Q&A: How do I tune out diet Culture? 16:52 - Story about how my sweet angel dog got attacked on Thanksgiving and how I'm now traumatized, but realized I was traumatized right after, because I'm fascinated by how trauma works. (+ lots of musings on trauma). And I just realized that I talked about this for 44 minutes on this podcast....
Nov 30, 2019
You don’t have to diet for PCOS with Julie Duffy Dillon
Today you'll hear me talk to the wonderful Julie Duffy Dillon! She is an RD specializing in the Non-Diet approach for people with PCOS. If you don't know what PCOS is, it's a hormonal disorder associate with weight gain and insulin resistance, and most people are told to diet and lose weight when they're diagnosed. But guess what! Dieting still doesn't work or help longterm with PCOS, and can actually make things worse. Listen to the podcast episode for the interview, and go about 6 minutes in if you want to skip my intro and get straight to the interview! Also... on the podcast episode before and after the interview with Julie, I am very low energy and afraid to really ramble to my heart's content. When I started recording I got hit with.... a wave of misery. I just feel temporarily disheartened by the reviews that say my podcast is just "a lot of rambling about nothing" and my deep desire to... really just ramble ramble ramble. Part of me is like... yea! It is! That's my fave part! And part of me is like yea... it is... what am I doing? Don't worry. I'll get my mojo back for next episode. I promise. I promise. Here are some links to check out after listening to the interview: Julie's Blog Posts about PCOS PCOS and Food Peace Course (Her course that I've gone through! This is my affiliate link, too.) POLYCYSTIC OVARY SYNDROME: AN ANCIENT DISORDER? (The article I reference that someone sent me on instagram!!!) Until next time!!!!! Talk soon... Caroline
Oct 29, 2019
What About Vegetarianism?!?!?!?!?!?!?
Hello cruel world, I am back. I've been on a sort-of hiatus from writing these posts, and from podcasting - even though I spend approximately 9 hours a day on instagram, and tried to go on a vacation but still posted on instagram every day. I also tried to say to myself: "Caroline, why don't you just relax and not worry about what you're going to do next. You just spent 3 years on a book, you just released the book, people are reading it, buying it, loving it. And you just ran the book course in the summer. Just chill." And I listen to myself and I say, "Ok, I'll chill, but first let me figure out xyz and post xyz and bring back a more legit version of the podcast, and run an even better version of the group, and figure out my second book and ..." This is sort of similar to telling yourself you're allowed to eat and then judging yourself for every little thing you put in your mouth. Telling yourself you're allowed to relax and then worrying that you're really not allowed to be relaxing because you haven't figured everything out yet. News flash: Everything will never be figured out. And what I mean by that is: as soon as you figure things out there will be new things to figure out. I am trying to take my own advice. And trying to let myself float in the metaphorical pool. I don't usually start these posts with a diary entry like I just did, I usually get right to my F* It Diet advice. So let's do it. Here we go. This is one of the most asked questions since my book came out by both book readers and by people new to my site or my instagram: AM I ALLOWED TO BE VEGETARIAN/(OR VEGAN) ON TFID?!? Short answer: Yes. But there is also a long answer. There is always a long answer. Long answer: It is totally possible to be vegetarian, or vegan, for the right reasons🌹. But (BIG but), when you are dealing with chronic dieting, disordered eating, or eating disorders, it is rarely (fully) for the right reasons. EVEN IF you tell yourself you are only being vegetarian for ethical reasons, if you have some sort of eating issue, then a disordered and fear-based reason for being vegetarian is often tangled in with your ethical reasons. A lot of people hide their disordered eating, even from themselves, behind vegetarianism or other moralistic ways to eat, and call themselves responsible, instead of acknowledging it is still a manifestation of control issues. A lot of people recovering from eating disorders adopt veganism or vegetarianism as a sort of buffer, because it feels safe. "Ok I'll eat more, but I'll only eat ___________". It's another (socially acceptable) set of rules and another way to exert some control over your eating that makes you feel safe. It's understandable. And it's common. But there is still more to unpack on the reasons why you are eating the way you are eating. It's also a common expression of orthorexia (a fear of impurity and a disordered worry about food and health.) Here is a barometer: if you are doing it because you genuinely care, but you don't feel any sort of stress over slipping up and eating some soup with a little butter or stock in it, then it's closer to a healthy relationship for you. If you are trying to be vegetarian or vegan and you over worry, over think, over scrutinize menus, and get panicked when think you might have eaten something that doesn't fit your rules, that's a big sign that there is something else going on, and that being vegetarian might not actually be the healthiest for you at the time. So! If you are recovering from dieting or disordered eating, and want to be vegetarian (or vegan) for whatever reason, I would say: see if you are willing to go through a time where you are either not vegetarian or vegan, or in the very least, see if you can stop being stressed or over-worried about it. Sustainability matters, but your mental health matters too. It isn't mutually exclusive. This is a matter of constant checking in on why we do the...
Sep 29, 2019
Q&A: Intermittent Fasting and More!
Here is another podcast episode with life updated and answering your questions!!!! I'm going to take a 3 month podcast hiatus to focus on The F*ck It Diet Book Club, see you at the end of the summer!
May 04, 2019
My Book is Out! (+ Q&As)
IN CASE YOU HAVEN'T HEARD ME YELLING ABOUT IT ALL OVER MY CORNERS OF THE INTERNET, MY BOOK IS OUT! You find lots of purchase links here (or read the beginning for free). Today... there's no new post. Just a new podcast episode where I ramble, tell you to buy my book, and answer some listener questions! ENJOY.
Apr 12, 2019
Is This the Same as Intuitive Eating?
Lots of people have been asking me: "Is TFID the same as Intuitive Eating?" It is and it isn't. They have the same goal: body trust, appetite trust, and food trust, with different ways of teaching and explaining how to get there. A lot of my writing over the years has talked about how I turned (what I thought was) "intuitive eating" and "listening to my body" into a diet. I turned it into a weird stressful attempt to eat the smallest amount possible. I interpreted good advice through a fat-phobic, food fearing, diet culture belief system. Lots of people do the same thing I did: they take good advice and twist it into a diet that they convince themselves is not a diet, because they let themselves eat a few squares of dark chocolate 3 times a week! Moderation is intuition! Right?! (UGH!) But... the more I've been asked to answer if TFID is the same as intuitive eating, the more I realize it's important to reflect on how I've referred to IE over the past seven years of writing this site, as well as in my book that's coming out in less than a month. First of all, Intuitive Eating is a book written by two registered dietitian nutritionists, Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, that came out in 1995. The book is revolutionary in its genre and field, completely evidence based, and I recommend you read it. However, my experience with official Intuitive Eating and the official Intuitive Eating book is actually pretty limited, which means the way that I've referred to it (or not referred to it) should probably be examined. In fact, the book Intuitive Eating and Geneen Roth's books are mixed up in my mind at this very moment as I write this. Maybe that's because there is a hunger scale in both of them? (And I DEF turned that hunger scale into a diet.) I only read Intuitive Eating book once, when I was 18. And I'm not positive if I even finished it because I became a raw vegan 2 weeks later. I obsessively dieted as a teenager. I went on every fad diet that existed at the time. It was disordered, it was extreme, and I felt more and more and more out of control with food the more I dieted. When I read the book Intuitive Eating, it was the first time I realized that my dieting was dysfunctional. Before then, I thought that this was just the way it had to be. I remember the book really spoke to me. But I still didn't fully understand how deep it all went for me: culturally and metabolically and emotionally and on and on. And I didn't see how messed up my relationship was with weight, and how that was actually the core of the whole thing. I needed very, very explicit instructions to F*** IT: f*** all diet and weight loss noise, and be willing to gain weight and take up space and be angry and prioritize my mental health over my desire to be a pretty little thing. But I was also young, and clearly needed to suffer a little more before I really understood that dieting was always going to backfire. (***I bleep curse words for iTunes) Weeks after reading the book, and just a few weeks before I went off to college, my mom told me she had cancer, and we both became raw vegan to try and heal all of our earthly ills (it didn't work) (my mom is fine, but not because of raw veganism, she ditched it soon after starting chemo) (also, I have complex feelings about pharmaceutical companies too, but raw veganism was still not the answer).(Yes I was a raw vegan in freshman year of college.) I was raw vegan for almost a year - and then after I realized it wasn't "working" (read: I was less healthy, starving all the time, horrible skin, horrible digestion, and crazier than ever around food), I started trying to "eat intuitively" again... for 6 years. My general idea was that if I could listen to my body, and "not eat too much," that that was intuitive. But I didn't revisit the book, instead, for six years I did some version of "listening to my body sooooo closely and constantly trying to eat the smallest amount possible".
Mar 03, 2019
I am Not an Authority on Body Image
I started writing about how to heal from disordered eating and body hatred seven years ago, back when I was f---king* sick of being afraid of rice, and being full, and gaining weight. My life was hijacked by the obsession with beauty and thinness and health and purity. And I was f---ing over it. I didn't start this website to become instagram famous or become a "thought leader" or "influencer" in this space. (Ew?) I didn't set out to work with people or run groups. And I definitely didn't think I was going to have a book coming out on not-dieting. I was just a writer --and I was anonymous for the first three years. I was just f---ing exhausted of diet culture and my own f---ing brain and I felt very strongly that I needed to write about it, for my own sake, on a little blog that no one read. I was writing about what I was applying to myself as I clawed my way out of the miserable hole I was in. We all just needed to f---ing eat and rebel against absurd body standards. I kept writing, and learning, and eating, and writing. Eventually I put together workshops and courses, teaching some of the ways I helped myself process fear and resistance and diet culture. I've always had a special interest in the way we avoid our bodies, and our emotions, and our humanity, plus all of the subconscious cultural beliefs we are operating under that need to GTFO. My "expertise" is on how we are afraid of our hunger - and how that will always mess up our eating. And a huge part of that, if not the core underlying factor, is our fear of our bodies, and our cultural fear of, and misconceptions about, fatness. That's always been clear to me: Fat-phobia is the reason we are messed up around food, and the reason we fear gaining weight above anything else. But still, no matter how much I care, or how important it is to me: I will always inherently have blind-spots in writing about the full scope of these issues, because of my many privileges. It's just a fact. I am not an ultimate authority on body image, body acceptance, body positivity, or fat liberation, even though I know how important those things are. My thin privilege inherently becomes one of my shortcomings on this subject. In the BIG PICTURE, me learning to accept my body isn't really that radical, because I have always naturally been on the thinner side. And even when I've yo-yo'd A LOT, I've always had thin privilege. A thin girl saying: "stop dieting! we should be allowed to get full and gain weight" feels safer to people. (But still ...not that safe. People still tell me I am giving dangerous irresponsible advice). But if I were fatter saying the exact same thing, so many more people would say: "Woa woa woa, stop trying to make excuses for your lack of willpower and laziness. Stop 'glorifying obesity'. Stop leading people into disease." And then they'd probably tell me to die of heart disease along with other explicit and aggressive threats. I have always been able to say things that people in larger bodies also say, and people listen to me, because they assume TFID is "working" for me, because I am thin. And this is based on major misinformation about how much control we have over our weight, and what weight means about us and about our health and our habits... and all the other s#@t our culture teaches about fatness. So that is one of the first problematic things - I have been given a voice and a platform because of the systemic prejudice I am trying to talk about - the assumptions we make about people based on their size. The assumption that I'm doing something right, and that fatter people are doing something wrong. Also, TFID is meant to be for every body and every size: the instructions are the same. But one piece of those instructions is to rebel against societal beauty standards, and a fat person learning to rebel against society will experience a lot more pain and pushback than me being like, "oh,
Feb 02, 2019
Isn’t This Irresponsible?
Some people assume that The F*ck It Diet is unnecessarily extreme. They assume it's a steady diet of donuts, McDonald's, and fried ice cream for the rest of our short little lives. That we're a group of lazy anarchists who are reveling in our newfound food-related health problems, and not taking any personal responsibility for our health, and who refuse to make any attempts at self-improvement. Or they think: Why can't we just be balanced? Why can't we just enjoy cake every so often but mostly try to eat a healthy, moderate diet? The answer is because: we've tried that. Also, chronic dieting is somewhere on the eating disorder spectrum, so for people who've become obsessed with dieting, trying "to be balanced" doesn't work. It doesn't heal us. And ironically, it perpetuates feeling totally out of control with food. There is nothing wrong with true balance, but for many people, "just trying to be balanced" becomes the new diet. Not to mention that after years of restriction and dieting, balance is eating a hell of a lot, for a good chunk of time. The beautiful thing I found, once I truly allowed myself to eat with total abandon, is that my body actually spoke up. After years of bingeing and restricting and bingeing again, once I stopped judging myself for eating and stopped trying to micromanage my weight, my body actually finally felt fed, and my lifelong food obsession melted away. Note: I never thought that could happen. I thought I was born a food addict, and would die a food addict. The F*ck It Diet is the (seemingly) counter-intuitive way to stop feeling insane around food. Allowance paves way for easier, nourishing health choices, and getting in tune with what your body wants and needs. It's a way to get to a place where you can easily feed yourself a varied diet, without too much overthinking, and get on with your life. However, I know it feels more complicated for some people. I understand why people still fear certain foods, especially if they don't feel well, or if certain foods make them feel sick. And some foods really do make people feel sick. I understand this first hand: wanting to heal your obsession with food and dieting, but wondering if you're actually causing your own pain and misery, and fearing that you need to be avoiding certain foods. And so here are a couple things I want to remind you about food, weight, dieting, and health that may calm you down. The biggest issue with dieting is assuming that weight is the cause of our health problems. That's like blaming coughing for causing your cold. Weight can be symptom of underlying health problems, (and it can also just be... your body). But either way, focusing on weight loss is not your best bet to improve health, not matter what. Stress from weight stigma has also been shown to cause the health problems that are blamed on the weight itself - including increased mortality. The other issue with dieting is assuming that you can't trust your hunger and your appetite, and that the less you eat the better. No. That makes no sense. That is not good for you. That is not supportive of health or a good relationship with food. It's not supportive of a strong metabolism, or good digestion, or good sleep, or anything really. The Fuck It Diet is calorie positive. Calories aren't a problem or the problem. Same with carbs, sugar, fat, and protein. Food is good for us. So... once you can step out of both of those ways of thinking (demonizing weight and demonizing hunger/food) you can eat however makes you feel good. For people who have food sensitivities or who feel better eating a certain way, you can do whatever feels good and right, as long as you have healed your relationship to food and weight. Does that make sense? And once you have healed your relationship to food, if a certain food makes you feel terrible, you can re-evaluate your relationship to it. Do you want to eat it if it makes you feel bad?
Jan 02, 2019
The Truth About Weight Stigma
I am in the last stages of finalizing my book, and I just found a glaring error about weight and starvation which shows my bias and assumptions about weight. In the book I wrote that if a famine never ended, you would eventually become emaciated and die. BUT THAT ISN'T TRUE. If a famine never ended, you could still die in 8-12 weeks, even if you're fat, because your body would break down your muscles to convert to ketones to keep your brain and body running, and in the absence of food, would weaken your heart so much that you'd die. If you still had some access to food, and were eating only a little, the same thing could happen, just slower. You can also die just from not having the electrolytes to keep your heart working. You will die from malnutrition whether you are skinny or fat. And if you don't need to be skinny to die of starvation, guess what the fuck that means about dieting? Still think weight and weight loss are fully within our control?!?! Also, the fact that I had it wrong in my book (a book that talks a lot about how weight stigma affects our relationship with food) is scaryyyyyy to meeee. It also just goes to show how deep weight stigma and weight assumptions run. (And yes, I just emailed my editor in a panic that this HAD TO BE CHANGED, even though it is VERY last minute.) So while we are at it, let's talk about some more weight facts: You can have anorexia in a fat body. Anorexia does not make everyone skinny. You can still be fat even if you barely eat anything. You will still experience the same effects of starvation and malnutrition, no matter what your external weight set point is. A person's weight does not give you any information about how they eat or their health. Our weight is not really as easily manipulated and controlled as we think - we have weight set ranges that are set by genetics. The body does not want to be above or below our particular range. Most (if not all) weight loss studies have only looked at the short term results. And the ones that have looked at long term results have seen weight regain and poorer health because of the diet and weight cycling and stress/stigma. Every health problem under the sun seems to be blamed on a high weight, but weight is just a scapegoat. Sometimes weight gain is a symptom of other health issues, but blaming the issues on weight is not only missing the mark, but also may be causing the very health problems it claims to be fixing. Yes, weight stigma is terrible for us, and the health problems blamed on weight (including increased mortality!) are more likely caused by the weight stigma itself. Weight stigma is the real national health crisis, not "obesity". "Obesity" being called a health crisis alone is weight stigma - see how cyclical this gets??? In addition, weight cycling and dieting are detrimental to our health. Especially yo-yo dieting or restrictive fad diets that are focused on weight loss. People can and do improve their health without losing weight. People also hurt their health by focusing on weight loss. And I haven't even touched on the MENTAL HEALTH ASPECT of weight focus, dieting, weight stigma, and body fixation. I can't believe that I got that tidbit about starvation so so so wrong, even with all of the other things that I know about weight, health, and weight stigma. So here is to doing better, here is to learning, and here is to listening. The truth about weight stigma and fat phobia, is that it permeates the very air we breathe. None of us can avoid it. We all have it and can perpetuate it, even with good intentions, and we need to just be super aware of our assumptions. I've probably missed some other essential facts too, so, message me on instagram and let me know what I'm forgetting about the BASIC PHYSICAL FACTS ABOUT WEIGHT AND WEIGHT STIGMA. Oh and pre-order my book! I promise I'm fixing that mistake! The book tackles weight stigma and diet culture...
Dec 02, 2018
Why Do People Swear By Keto?
Some of the angriest comments I get on instagram are from people who swear that the keto diet is helping them and that I'm soooo incredibly ignorant and/or deceitful for saying that the body prefers carbs. However, for every comment where someone is swearing by keto, there are twenty more comments with people saying that they too tried keto, with hope bursting in their hearts, only to find that after a few months it had fucked up their metabolism, hormones, energy levels, sanity, and has been really hard to recover from, mentally and physically. I've spent a long time trying to decide how to be diplomatic and to not claim to know what's best for everyone's body. Because-- everyone is different. Some people are allergic to fucking tomatoes. We are all different. I'm also not a doctor or nutritionist or dietitian so I have no authority or desire to weigh in on diets that people claim are medically necessary and helpful to them. TFID is concerned with the mental and spiritual ramifications of chronic dieting, it just so happens that there are very physical consequences to dieting, too. So in my attempts to be diplomatic, I say things like: I'm so glad you feel good on keto, but this is an account for people trying to heal from chronic dieting or disordered eating, and your comments about keto do not belong here. And many many people have had opposite experiences on keto. I've also compared keto to wheelchairs or mobility devices. Meaning, just because a select number of people are benefitted (read: children with seizures, maybe), that doesn't mean that it cures any underlying condition, and also doesn't mean that people who don't need keto/mobility devices should be using them, in fact if they do, it will probably make things worse in the long run. (I also asked Anna Sweeney, MS, RD, LDN, CEDRD-S, who uses a wheelchair, if this was a cool comparison and she gave me the green light.) But the most honest thing I can say about the keto diet is: what the fuck do you think I'm going to say?  Keto is a very, very restrictive diet, and therefore it has no place in or on or around The Fuck It Diet. It has no place in the lives of people recovering from disordered eating or eating disorders. And if you are someone who is on the keto diet and you feel great, then you don't need the Fuck It Diet either. Why are we fighting? If your diet is truly supporting your mental and physical health: that's great. Round of applause. Most people don't have that experience, and I'd love for you to check in with me in two or three years and tell me how you're doing, too. More frankly: I don't care how you eat, Pamela. Eat a no-carb-diet to your heart's content. I have no desire to evangelize you. If it is 'working' for you - I'm not going to try and tell you it's not working. If you want to know what I think, the short term "benefits" of the keto diet, and any diet for that matter, are just that: short term. The long term effects can be physically and mentally devastating, and have yet to be truly studied. So, where does this leave us? Do you need to do keto? If you want to recover from chronic dieting: NO. HELL NO. But could keto cure your chronic health problems?  Probably not. It was shown to help children with epilepsy in the 1920s, but it still comes with side effects (kidney strain, hypoglycemia, dehydration, GI issues, etc). Are those side effects worth it for kids with epilepsy? Yes! Potentially! Is it the cure-all that people claim it is? I don't think so. Will keto help you lose weight? Temporarily, yes. Like all diets. But now we are getting into our usual TFID rigemroll. Diets backfire longterm. It's how we are wired. And, diets and weight loss can actually negatively impact health, against all our cultural common knowledge. We are all confused about weight loss and health. We are assuming weight loss is always good for us - often it's not . But more importantly,
Nov 05, 2018
But Aren’t There Foods That Are Objectively… Shitty?
Lots of people ask me, “ok -- I can get behind the “no dieting” thing, but aren’t there foods that are inherently … shitty? Shouldn’t I still avoid shitty food, even while I’m “not dieting”? Here's the thing -  and it's important: If I told you stop dieting but to try and avoid or even limit “shitty food,” that would first of all, be a rule, which is a diet, which would turn into restriction in many people’s heads and fuck up their eating anyway. But people would also think, oh jeez… So there IS food that I should be eating and food I shouldn’t be eating? But which food is shitty food? I thought we were neutralizing food? What will happen to me if I do eat it? If it's a sometimes thing, how often is it okay to eat shitty food? Should I really just avoid shitty food always?   And that way of thinking is not the Fuck It Diet, and it will not help you. Look, let me play devil's advocate with myself. If we zoom way out: We have polluted our planet and our food and our water and our air and our soil and our homes. We have. It’s a fact. It goes way, way deeper than food or packaged food or "shitty food". There are way worse things in the air than whatever food additive you're afraid of or whatever fried food you're avoiding. Pollution is everywhere. I could make you afraid of drinking water and taking a breath and taking a shower. But that would not help you.  You could easily spend every moment of your day thinking about it and worrying about it and trying to avoid all pollution - but you cannot avoid it. You can’t. It’s a dark reality. I actually care deeply about environmental sustainability, and cleaning up our planet, but I also care deeply about helping people heal disordered eating and restore their mental health and quality of life, and focus on resilience instead of fear. In a way, pollution and disordered eating are both issues of quality of life, and they aren’t mutually exclusive. You can feed yourself organic foods when you want or when it is possible, you can vote with your dollar, (if you have the luxury and privilege of being able to afford it), you can volunteer for environmental sustainability groups and charities, and eat packaged snacks when that’s what you crave, or when that’s all that’s available. We can and should be able to do both. Food perfectionism has gotten you nowhere. Stress over the food you eat is arguably worse for you than the food itself. Stress has been shown to change gut microbiota, can shut down or slow digestion, and raise inflammation. The lining of the gut is literally a part of our nervous system, and every process in our body is interconnected. Stress physically affects your body, your nervous system, and your bodily functions and processes. On the other hand, under calmer circumstances, our bodies are wired and equipped to take the good from food and process out the bad. These are all reasons to just surrender during this process and let yourself eat whatever food you want, “whole” or “shitty” or somewhere in between. Fuck it, listen to your body, and eat the funfetti.
Oct 06, 2018
Weight Control as a “Core Value”
Maintaining a low weight is one of my core values. How am I supposed to be happy if I sacrifice one of my core values? I have heard something like this again and again, and I think... maintaining a low weight is one of your core values? Like treating others the way you’d want to be treated and being honest? Maintaining a low weight is not a core value. It’s a fear-based ingrained societal standard, created to make money off of your insecurities. Keeping your weight below where it wants to be relies on fear and fixation. The only thing we like about it is the high of fitting in, getting praise, feeling safe, and the temporary relief that comes when we reach a goal weight. Whew, now everyone will leave me alone and approve of me. Now I’llllll leave me alone. That's until it isn’t good enough anymore, or we gain it back and feel horrible about ourselves, and the cycle continues. Better focuses like health, self-care, movement, eating what feels good, and dressing yourself in clothes you like aren’t even core values. They are, however, awesome ways to take care of yourself. Feeling healthy and strong and embodied is a perfectly legitimate desire or goal, but living in a constant food and weight obsession is not. “Staying healthy and thin/fit” as a core value also relies on the belief that health and weight are fully within your control, and that controlling your food and weight will actually lead to better health - all things that that have been proven untrue. Goals and core values that are more self-loving and self-forgiving will almost certainly end up being better for your overall health anyway. A core value that’ll serve you better is “prioritizing your needs” or “taking care of yourself,” and if you have a weight obsession or eating disorder, prioritizing your needs is gonna look a lot like The Fuck It Diet and eating what you want. You have every right to remain someone who judges your daily worth based on your weight, but it’s not gonna be fun for very long.
Sep 03, 2018
How do I grocery shop now that nothing is off limits?
How expensive is this whole thing? I am just supposed to let myself eat anything, anytime, anywhere? How can I afford this? Will I spend all my money out at restaurants? Or will I have to make everything at home?! How do I grocery shop now that nothing is off limits? How will I know what I’m going to crave in a few days? Woa! Calm down! First of all, there is nothing more expensive than being on a diet. Diet food and low-calorie food is often marked up to be way more expensive than normal food (when most normal food is more filling because it usually has more calories). But yes, staying alive on enough food costs money. And you’ll need to prioritize that if you want to heal. Frugality is sometimes a necessity but beware of the irrational fear of spending money on food. I’ve known people who had that as part of their disordered eating. Someone I knew in college refused to eat any food unless it was free and they didn’t have to pay for it. It was an eating disorder, but they were able to formally call it a financial decision. Everyone on TFID will be in totally different financial situations, so, like all things, it will need to be tailored to what you can access and afford. And when I say eat whatever you want, in any quantities, I don’t mean that if you crave a lobster feast and strawberry shortcake at 11 am in the middle of winter, that you need to go get that for yourself. I mean… you can, but you also can and should satiate your hunger and cravings with what’s around, and what you can afford. Maybe you can compromise with some lemony, buttery seafood for dinner, with some sort of cake or cookie and fruit. If you have never grocery shopped for what you want, as opposed to what is on your diet, there is going to be a learning curve. You are going to have to try things out. Get things you think you’ll like. And next week, edit your choices depending on what you learned, what you liked, didn’t like, what you wanna try and have around this week. Or try going food shopping more often. If you’re looking for cheap ways to make sure you get in lots of calories, look to build meals around rice and potatoes, bread and peanut butter and cheese. See? Can’t do that on your diet. It’s that simple. But I get it, I am a terrible grocery shopper, and also a really basic cook. But my first two years of The Fuck It Diet included a lot of sourdough bread and cheese, avocado toast, and granola and ice cream. So much ice cream that my original secret Fuck It Diet pen name was Caroline Haagen (as in Haagen Dasz ice cream brand). Now I sometimes make elaborate vegetable stews from scratch. If you are like most people and can’t afford to eat your favorite foods out at restaurants all the time, welcome to the world. You need to learn to cook the things you like and save eating out for special occasions. Or just eat sourdough sharp cheddar grilled cheeses for a year like me. If you’re cooking for a family, navigating your cravings with your kids and partner will probably always be hard, but maybe now that you can eat Macaroni and Cheese, some nights will get easier. And you may not always have what you crave in your pantry, so you’ll either go out and get it, or make do with what you do have. If you can make grilled cheese, you can do this. I believe in you.
Aug 02, 2018
Lowering the Stakes
Can you teach a control freak to become more chill? Food and body issues are a manifestation of the underlying fear that everything is falling apart. It's a way we try to mitigate the panic of being alive. If we don’t control and micromanage this, we’re all screwed. We can’t trust anything to work if we aren’t actively controlling it and tending to it. Disaster. Chaos. Destruction. The idea is that by controlling the way you eat, and therefore (we hope) our looks and health and mortality, we can save ourselves from being powerless and/or mortified and/or judged or... fill in the blank. We’re not usually fully aware of this panic, it's still the thing running the show. We are afraid of being alive. We are afraid of dying. We are afraid we have to be the ones to fix and control and heal everything. We are making the stakes for everything so extremely, unnecessarily high. And if we don't ____________ then _____________ will happen and it will be all our fault. And we will live or die in misery, wishing we tried harder. Taking action is great, but the panic, control, and worry is just not a sustainable way to live. So the biggest advice I can give anyone who identifies with being a perfectionist or a control freak is to lower the stakes. Unless you are performing brain surgery, or conducting a military coup, or … well, doing anything with legitimately high stakes… you are making the stakes too damn high. Catching that train, looking amazing in your pants, making sure your children finish their yogurt, making sure you buy the right yogurt, getting the best seat in the restaurant, making them like you… all are things with low stakes. Most of the things we do throughout our days and our lives are very low stakes, but still, we hype it up to feel like if this doesn’t go the-way-I-arbitrarily-think-it-should, everything is going to fall apart. The underlying belief that things are supposed to go a certain way, and we are supposed to single handedly make them go that way, is crazy making. And so many of us are operating under that programming. The (il)logic of it tends to go something like this: I have to make things go a certain way and make them think I’m doing so well, or else I am failing, and if I fail, I will become ugly and poor and nobody will love me and then I’ll die and people will roll their eyes at my funeral. You can’t live your life to try and eliminate eye-rolling at your funeral. And that leads us to another side of this: the illusion of control. We have some control over what is right in front of us. And we can take action. And that… is about it. Everything else is out of our control. The results? Other people’s actions? Other people’s opinions? We can’t do anything about it. Nothing. So we can walk around with the stakes unnecessarily high, feeling like we have control over everything that is happening, worrying that we are letting it all fall apart, and failing, and letting everyone down. But we are just making ourselves miserable, stressed, and sick. You can let go. You can lower the stakes. And you can let go of your control. You don’t much control anyway.
Jul 09, 2018
How To Eat Like a Normal Person
How DOES a normal person eat? This totally depends on your definition of ‘normal.’ Here’s the truth: most people are a little disordered with their eating these days. Obsessive or disordered eating is common, so you could call it normal. But it’s not normal - it shouldn’t be normal. And it’s definitely not healthy. So instead of calling it normal eating, I call it ease with food. This is how a person who has ease with food eats: -They can go through their day and pretty much only think about food when they are actually hungry. -They have a strong, healthy appetite for lots of food, and yet their weight stays stable in their weight set range, because their metabolism isn’t compromised and stressed from dieting. -They eat what they crave, and crave what they need. Sometimes salads, sometimes cookies, sometimes fruit, sometimes steak, etc. -They can eat a meal and stop in the ballpark of satiation and fullness without overthinking it. -They can eat distracted, or tired, or stressed, or sad and still stop once they get full, because when food is neutral, and the body is fed, food intuition is easy. -They will have a strong sense of what food they want, when, and how much, but it won’t be that important that they follow it perfectly, because life is too short to obsess about food, hunger, and satiation levels. How do we get there? How do we find ease with food? How to feel neutral and even joyful with all foods, not just your “safe” diet foods? Eating. BELIEVE ME, back before the F*** It Diet, I was so far from normal and so fixated on food and weight, that I wasn’t even sure what the other alternative was. I had no idea what it was supposed to look like. I would look at people who didn’t overthink food and think, “Well — I guess they are just lucky to not have a food addiction.” I didn’t realize that my “food addiction” was biologically driven, and constantly being made worse by every diet I went on. I didn’t realize that, in a way, we are meant to be fixated on food. Because food is a fundamentally important part of staying alive, so when the body senses that food access is scarce, our food fixation increases. Thankfully the reverse is also true. Hallelujah. Once the body knows it will be fed, it can calm down.     (**Bleeped words are just for iTunes rules. Blerg. I know.)
May 14, 2018
What’s Going to Happen With My Weight?
Over the weekend I did this weird dancing video to Jesus Christ Superstar when I was reunited with my weird sister, and I shared it on TFID instagram. As I shared it I thought maybe it was a mistake, because watching it back I noticed I looked so thin. I don’t show my full body often in my work with TFID - when I do, it raises lots of questions that I think are ultimately unhelpful distractions. Like this comment from a follower:   First of all, think about what it means when you say, "you are thin and you look great." What are you implying? That if I wasn't I wouldn't look great? That people who don't look thin don't look great? Think about the implications of the way we choose to compliment people, women especially. This is why we are dysfunctional with food. This is why we are at odds with ourselves. I understand that this was a lead-in to her questions about what happens with weight on the fuck it diet, but still. I am not trying to be aggressive or difficult... this just happens all the time and it's tiring. I have a fat mirror A year ago I moved into a house that had put up a flimsy full length mirror on the bedroom wall to cover the water damage to the exposed brick. This also means that the mirror puffs out and turns into a WIDENING or “fat mirror”. I know this and I accept it because I am currently too overwhelmed to deal with the brick water damage in the house I bought.  What this also means is that every morning I look wider in the mirror than I actually am. In my laziness I figured this maybe was also a sort of interesting TFID experiment. Because, no it’s not fully accurate, but like, ultimately so what? This is not something that I would have ever been ok with say… 5 or 6 years ago? Back then all I did was check out how wide I looked in windows, mirrors, everything- just always so so so afraid of being wide.  Everyone who comes over to my house and looks in that mirror says, “CAROLINE THIS IS A HORRIBLE MIRROR!?!?!? WHY DO YOU HAVE THIS?! I LOOK HORRIBLE?!?!?”  What they mean is they look SLIGHTLY wider than they do IRL.  They say, “CAROLINE, YOU NEED TO GET A NEW MIRROR!” And I say, like ok, eventually. But it’s not like a fucking emergency. Calm down. Anyway, what this means is that when I see a rare video of myself, even I am shocked that I look so thin. Woa, I have some extra padding in my warped bedroom mirror. Thin Privilege I am steeped in thin privilege. Because yes, I yo-yoed hardcore, 20-30 lbs, all the time, many times a year, for 10 years. And I’d gain weight in my face and boobs and I would vacillate so much that clothes, bras, dresses wouldn’t fit and acting teachers didn't know what kind of scenes to give me because like, was I mainstream pretty or not? Who knew. It changed month to month. In college, a freaking creep of a headshot photographer told me at my creepy headshot photoshoot that when we had our consult he thought I was the chubby friend, but now I looked liked the hot, thin ingenue. (Screw him and his epic creepiness.) But yea, there was always a microscope on my weight, thanks to acting, and even though I was like “ingenue chubby”, I was probably always real-world thin, and that is also why media beauty standards are extra fucked up. But all of this to say: Yes, I have yo-yoed. Also, yes I am sometimes a bra size G. Yes I also have always had a naturally lower weight set range and have lots of thin privilege. With this out of the way, let’s talk about the questions people ask me about my weight. BUT CAROLINE WHAT'S GONNA HAPPEN WITH MY WEIGHT THO?! When I show my full body on TFID these are some of the questions I get: Can I/Will I become thin by not dieting? Can I NOT trust you because you are thin and I am not? How much weight did you gain? How much weight did you lose? Are you thinner now than you were before? And I’m positive that the answer to those questions isn’t necessarily helpful,
Apr 17, 2018
The Way Diets Work
Diet companies are thrilled that diets seem like they work. Diet companies are also thrilled that diets, ultimately, almost always fail. And diet companies are thrilled that everyone seems to think that it's their own personal fault that it failed. Weight loss studies last long enough to take note of the weight that’s lost, they don’t go on long enough to see what happens after the weight is lost. That’s very convenient for the companies funding the studies, who are almost always the companies who are selling the drug or diet in question. Weight loss is not confusing. Well… at least that’s what we are told over and over again. It is a simple equation of calories in versus calories out. Or it’s a simple balance of macronutrients. Or it’s a simple avoidance of certain food groups. Or it’s a simple rotation of different food groups. Or it’s a simple amount of hours during the day you’re supposed to eat and not eat. Or it’s a simple supplement that ancient cultures used to induce euphoria and perfect health. Or… Or… Truth is, all of those things can cause initial weight loss. In my diet heyday I tried lots of them. And most of them worked. For a time. What none of these studies account for is the inevitable regain. They never stick around long enough to see what happens to your body biologically and mentally as you try to stay on the diet. We are also now all living under the assumption that eating less, restriction, and constant micromanagement of our intake is a healthy, normal activity. It’s so common that we assume it is normal. And it’s so ingrained and ‘normal’, that we assume it’s healthy. But your body does not want you to restrict your food, and it does not want you to lose weight, especially when it feels like food is scarce. So it will sabotage your efforts almost every time and make it harder and harder to lose weight in the future, the more ‘famines’ you put it on. How does the body sabotage your efforts? It makes you exhausted and slows down your metabolism so you expend less energy and burn less calories. It makes you fixated on food. It makes your hungrier. It makes you binge. It forces you to gain weight back. Sometimes in one fell swoop, sometimes over the course of a year. Your body does all of this on purpose. It does all of that to get more calories in, and expend less calories. After all, your body has no idea you are trying to fit into an arbitrarily small bikini. Your body thinks there is a motherFing famine. But if you have ever ended up at the same weight (or higher) after a diet, it’s not because you just needed to try harder. It’s because your body is baller at keeping you safe from famine. And diet companies are lucky their clients “fail,” because it means they keep coming back for more, determined to try harder and “be good this time”. They remember back to that one time they lost a lot of weight, and give all the credit to the diet but fail to see that the yo-yo is all part of it. It’s incredibly rare to have the initial weight loss and not have the following regain. And the people who seem so good at staying on diets, are either people who are not actually dieting at all and are truly listening to themselves, or they are people who have disordered eating and can only focus on their diet and little else. So what’s the answer? Your best bet at being a stable and healthy weight (which might not be as tiny as you’ve been hoping for…) is to learn to truly feed yourself what you want and how much you want. That’s the only scenario where your body won’t fight you back. The answer is to stop fighting your weight, and you’ll find your weight stops fighting you back. (See supporting science here.)
Apr 03, 2018
I shouldn’t be this hungry…
"I shouldn't be this hungry." Judging your appetite is one of the things that will keep you very stuck. We are trying to heal the body and mind of all restriction, not just physical under eating, but the guilt and overthinking that comes along with restriction, too — mental restriction. If you feel guilt over your eating, you are experiencing mental restriction. It’s the kind of guilt that makes you feel like you should or shouldn’t be eating a certain way. It is very common to make major improvements with actual physical restriction and finally be eating what you’re hungry for, but still be completely plagued by mental restriction. Guilt and overthinking about food affects the body, metabolism, hormones, stress, and appetite, and will keep you stuck in the yo-yo just like physical restriction. Mental restriction will also take the form of anxiety, panic, and constant cycling thoughts about what you should or shouldn’t be doing, or what should or shouldn’t be happening. Without mental restriction, this whole thing would be pretty easy. The body would fix itself in a few months, and eating would normalize. But thanks to our brain. Our brains freaking get in the way. Mental restriction often sounds something like this: I shouldn’t be this hungry… Maybe I’ll just do this for another week and then go on another diet if I keep eating like this. Ok, I’m allowed to eat whatever I want, but if it doesn’t prove to me that it’s working soon, I’m quitting. I can eat this brownie, but I’d better only eat half. I shouldn’t be craving so much. I’ll eat this piece of pizza and then have a salad later. Oh I shouldn’t be eating all of this bread. I’m ruining everything. Oh if I were really being intuitive I’d probably be eating more vegetables! If I were really being intuitive I’d be eating less by now! Mental restriction is constant bargaining, judging, guilt, and is normally run by old diet rules and subconscious beliefs. A lot of this mental restriction is so habitual, and feels so normal, that we barely notice it’s happening. What we notice more, is just the general anxiety and mistrust of the process. It also doesn’t help that everywhere you look, every person you talk to, and every magazine you’ve ever read seems to confirm, add to, and applaud your ‘responsible’ mental restriction. Our collective and cultural disordered eating just makes it harder to identify that the way we are thinking about food and weight is really weird and messed up. Most of us have always believed that this constant judgment and worry about food was ‘responsible’. It’s not. It is actually the reason you may still be bingeing, and the reason why your relationship with food became so dysfunctional in the first place. Without mental restriction, bingeing would just be eating a lot and it would do exactly what it was supposed to do: re-feed the body. Once we start judging the food we are eating and subconsciously deciding there will be a diet (famine) the next day, it spirals out of control. So if you are bingeing, but haven’t been restricting physically, the cause is mental restriction, and the answer is awareness of the beliefs that are perpetuating the anxiety.
Mar 20, 2018
Chronic Yo-Yo Dieting IS Disordered
We are a culture of Yo-Yo Dieters. So many of us try to stick to diets, only to find ourselves bingeing, then restricting even more, then bingeing again, then restricting more, yo, yo, yo, yo, yo. Our eating is all over the place, our weight is all over the place, our sanity is all over the place, and we feel totally out of control with food. So why does that happen? Why do so many of us seem to have such terrible will-power when it comes to what we put in our mouths? It comes down to a very fundamental biological mechanism: Your body does not want you to restrict food. At all. In fact, when you restrict even just a small amount, your body responds with more fixation on food, irritability, higher stress hormones, slower metabolism and digestion, less energy, holding onto more weight... and bingeing. That binge is your body is purposely forcing you off your diet. But because we still assume that our diet is the best thing for us, we turn around and try to restrict even harder, and then we fail even harder. That's the Yo Yo. Here is the thing people never really realize: chronic yo-yo dieting is disordered. And since eating disorders are a spectrum, the yo-yo diet is on the that spectrum. No it's not necessarily anorexia or bulimia. (Though since yo-yos often include bingeing, there are yo-yo dieters who think they have Binge Eating Disorder. But what the bingeing really is, is a biological response to physical restriction). Instead of letting ourselves eat, re-feed, and heal, we keep dieting harder, and that continued mental fixation on food and weight loss is where we perpetuate the disordered eating. This means that there are wayyyyyyyy more eating disorders and disordered eaters than we think there are. And they go undiagnosed because we've been taught how normal it is to obsess over food and "losing a few".  We think it is normal to live in a chronic binge/repent cycle for the rest of our lives, blaming ourselves endlessly for our lack of willpower, and having the topic dominate our conversations with other women. "Well I gained weight", "Oh me too", "No you look tiny!", "Oh! Well thanks." "I would do anything to not be obsessed with crackers." "Tomorrow I'm gonna be good". And on and on. What is important to remember is that this cultural obsession with a tiny body is relatively new, and our cultural relationship to food is also new. Never did we treat food with such judgment and obsession. Never before did we try to abstain from arbitrary foods based on ever changing fads. Never before did we pray to be able to walk away from the table hungry. Never before would this kind of feeding and eating have made any sense. And even though this way of eating is now extremely common, it is still disordered. And our bodies are not having it. We also believe that the only way to have an eating disorder is to be emaciated. NOT SO. You can be thin, middle ground, or very fat, and be suffering from a restrictive eating disorder. The difference here, is that the disorder will be praised. I really, really hope that in the coming years we can start to have a different dialogue about health and food that is not so black and white. I hope we can move into a place that's a lot more supportive of different body types, understanding weight science even more, and that a nourishing and intuitive version of eating can replace this restrictive madness. (If you are suffering from an eating disorder, please seek treatment. The Fuck It Diet is geared towards yo-yo and chronic dieters, not extremely restrictive eating disorders. TFID will never stand in place of treatment, this is simply a supplement and not specifically geared towards anorexia. Check out The Eating Disorder Institute which is more geared towards EDs.)
Mar 06, 2018
Calories In vs Calories Out is BS
We've been told that calories in versus calories out is how-weight-works. "Eat less than you expend and you'll lose weight". But this is what really happens: "Eat less that you expend and you'll lose weight at first, but then you'll gain it all back and think it's your fault- but it is actually because your body will compensate your metabolism in order to keep your weight stably around the same place, because biologically that is how we have survived as a species during all those years when food wasn't as easy to ensure or come by." I understand that it's a mind trip after the simplicity of calories in vs calories out. Because first few times you dieted, I bet you really did lose weight easily. Then, when you gained it back, you were sure it was your fault. But it wasn't. Your body made sure that that happened. And it even wanted you to go a bit ABOVE where you started, just for good measure. But now you're convinced that if you can just do it like you did the first time, you'll lose weight again, but THIS time you'll keep it off. This time you'll do it right. This time you'll succeed and be beautiful and happy foreverrrrrrrrrrrrr. But it's harder to do now because your body isn't having any of this shit. You've already pressed your luck, and now your body is fighting back harder. And even if you happen to muster the willpower to override your body's efforts to make you eat and keep on weight, and even if you actually do lose weight again, your body will immediately lower your metabolism and make you expend less in order to eventually bring your weight back up. It will also wire you to crave more food than you ever would have wanted under normal eating and metabolic conditions. It should be noted that increasing exercise will have the same effect. The body will encourage rest to make up for your exertion. And if you force more exertion, it'll just slow down your system altogether. There's a good reason why Michael Phelps ate 12,000 calories a day. That's what extreme exercise requires. (And it's also around the amount that men rehabilitating from semi-starvation ate after the Minnesota Starvation Experiment.) So, for any of you who thinks that weight is just a matter of decreasing your consumption, and are confused and frustrated that it's not working anymore... it's just because your body wants you to chill the eff out and start eating normally again. It also wants you to put on weight. You know why? Weight is actually healthy. Letting yourself gain weight actually is the only way to heal your metabolism. Paradoxically, once you stop trying to control your appetite, and finally eat whatever it wants (even if that's a LOT), it'll heal. It'll speed up. It'll trust that there is food. And that is the surest way to have a healthy stable weight for you. Bring on the calories.
Feb 20, 2018
What to Expect
Or: What to Expect When You Are Expecting to Heal Your Eating Real Fast And Become Skinny (If you're curious why I am editing the F word, it's because of itunes' new rules. SMGDH) Your personal journey will be different from mine, or your friend’s, or the people you connect with on the internet. That being said, there will mostly likely be overlap and similar experiences as well, so I am going to list some things many people experience, just so you’re prepared. Expect to be very hungry in the beginning. You will be hungry. Think of the rehabilitation of Minnesota Starvation Experiment. Hunger is the body’s way of repairing the body and metabolism. Lots of hunger is the natural healing response to the famine survival state. You will need to honor this hunger by eating. Expect to be afraid of this hunger You will be scared that you are never going to stop eating. You are going to be afraid that you will be this hungry forever. You are going to be afraid that without tight control, your eating will just keep going and going and going until you pop. These fears are understandable but untrue, and ultimately, unhelpful. The more you can trust that eating is the only path to food normalcy, and a normalized appetite and metabolism, the quicker and easier it’ll be. Whenever you’re panicking and doubting this whole process, just remember the famine. What would happen after a famine (or even a decade long semi-famine)? You’d be starving, you’d need to eat a lot more for a little bit, and then, naturally, things would go back to normal. And even if you have never experienced what normal appetite is, you will get there naturally, and eating is the only way. And fighting it is futile. Expect to gain weight. Trying to control your weight is the reason why you are now so messed up with food, and the reason weight becomes erratic and harder and harder to “control”. To heal the damaging starvation mode, you must gain weight. It is the only way to stop the cycle. This applies to you whether you are on the lower or higher end of the weight spectrum. I know you want me to tell you that you are going to be ‘fighting the man’ and ‘rebelling against beauty ideals’ and eating a shit-ton and repairing your metabolism all while looking like an adorable, hairless, lithe fairy, but that’s not how this goes. You are almost certainly going to gain weight. And it is actually an essential rite of passage on this journey. It is also pretty much the only way to heal your metabolism. Remember the famine. What would happen after a famine? You’d gain weight. And then, only then, would the body be able to calm down and stabilize again and not hold onto every pound for dear life. No matter where you are, you can count on gaining some weight, and the more you resist it, the longer this whole process will take. Expect to resist gaining weight Your fear of gaining weight is one of the big root causes of your messed-up-eating, and always will be. So you need to face that fear — gaining some weight and learning to like yourself anyway is arguably the big rite of passage here, and will be a huge shift in your quality of life. If you attempt to skip this part, there is a part of this journey that will remain incomplete. You will remain petrified of what your life would be, and who you would be, at a higher weight. Facing the fear of gaining weight will make all the difference ongoing, and make you able to continue eating normally as you go forward, understanding that your “worst fear has happened” and your life is still continuing to get better than before. Expect to slowly stop fixating on food This will take months, but the more you eat, and the more you allow the things that you used to be petrified of, the less you will find yourself fixating on food. This is both biological - as the body becomes more and more fed, but also just mental, you take away the power a food when you truly let yourself eat it.
Jan 23, 2018
The Most Important Thing You Can Do.
I was taught, just like most people, that thin was healthy, and not-thin was not-healthy. I was also taught that thin was beautiful and that not-thin was not beautiful. And that if for some reason you were living your life at a not-thin and “not-optimal” weight, then you should do everything you could to make sure your clothes are as “flattering” as possible to give the illusion of as much thinness as your current condition will allow. It turns out that not only is that fucking messed up and infantilizing and glamorizing the bodies of women who look like they can’t digest food, but it’s all relatively new. We learned that ‘skinniness is beauty’ only in the last century, and we’ve subscribed to it. What that means is that we can unlearn it. Just like you learned to like, and then unlike, bell bottoms… you can learn and unlearn to see different body types as beautiful. What I would encourage you to do, is to expand your definition of what beauty is, instead of just trying to change it. The single biggest thing that made The F It Diet work for me, was my shift in my relationship to weight. My newfound willingness to accept wherever my weight fell was the thing that made this work. Accepting your weight and totally relearning the way you see yourself will, without a doubt, be the hardest part of this journey. You have already tried to fight your weight, maybe even for decades, and now here you are, probably still secretly hoping that The F It Diet will give you the key to unlocking your tiny body… No. It’s not. What this whole thing will unlock for you, however, is the body and weight you are supposed to have, plus your best chance at a normal appetite, a normal relationship with food, and weight stabilization. If you think that letting your weight fall where it may is unacceptable, you’re still in denial about what trying to control your weight has done to you and will continue to do to you and your weight and heart and mind for the rest of your life. If your weight still keeps ending up higher than it was when you started your diet, that’s all thanks to your survival mechanism and starvation response, and it is purposely upping your weight in preparation for the next famine. That will keep happening. When I tell you your best bet is to drop the fight, I really mean it. More dieting and more attempts to lower your weight is just going to do the opposite of what you want it to do. The best option is to accept where your body wants to be, treat your body well, feed it, love it, and let it calm down. You will probably end up somewhere in the middle of where you’ve yo-yoed. You may spend some time at the top of where you’ve yo-yoed. You really can’t do anything about it. You’ve tried. Your body is gonna keep fighting back until you are an old woman, complaining about her pant size. And we deserve better passions than our pant size. So you may as well learn to befriend it. I know this is all easier said than done. I know there is way more fear, and social stigma, personal judgment, and health fear, and more that goes into doing this. I know it’s not simple, but there is no other option except continuing the mania and misery you are experiencing right now. Your choice.
Jan 09, 2018
Portion Control is a Diet
(I'm doing an experiment where I publish new articles and podcast episodes at the same time, on the same content, and see how that goes. If you want to ask questions for the podcast, you can become a podcast insider over at Patreon by clicking here.) When you start a meal thinking, "I shouldn't eat too much of this," that's a diet. Meaning: it's diet mentality, it's fear of food, fear of amounts, an attempt at controlling from the outside in, it's fear of weight, and fear and mistrust of your appetite. Instead, thinking, "I don't know that I want all of this" is a totally different story. That's legit, you don't have to be hungry for everything on your plate. You don't have to want the food that is in front of you. But thinking 'I shouldn't eat too much of this.'  ???? Why? Because a diet book once told you how much you should be hungry for? Because getting full scares you? WHY? If eating a meal, or eating certain food has the power to make you gain weight, you probably need to gain weight. Hear that again: If satiating your hunger makes you gain weight, you probably need to gain weight. Meaning, metabolically, if eating a big meal is going to change your weight? You should probably let it, because the main reason our weight yo-yos is because we are chronically underfed and metabolically compromised. Eat your freaking food. Food shoulds are BS. External, food-fearing, amount-fearing portion control is a diet.
Dec 09, 2017
Cheese is a Health Food
Today I cover politics, how being paleo led me to the f it diet, and podcast insider questions about vegetarianism, and my take on "trying to prevent binges". Become a podcast insider at
Dec 01, 2017
Emotional Eating n’ Stuff
We talk emotional eating. We talk cult leaders. We talk why no one knows everything. And we talk about Yoga Sleep: yoga nidra. And rest rest rest. It's a short one today. But more coming soon!
Nov 20, 2017
Health, Health, What About My Health
Today lots of listener questions are about health. And then I get so tired that I fall asleep on the podcast. Go to to become a podcast insider!
Nov 09, 2017
Sugar Addiction?
Answering podcast insider questions!!! Do foods have energies good and bad? How do I stop overthinking How hungry I am? Is sugar addiction something that addicts need to be worried about? All this and moHORE in this week's episode. Become a podcast insider on Patreon.
Oct 16, 2017
Do I Have to be Spiritual?
This episode includes a story about how I cut my own hair today (mistake) and answers some awesome listener questions: Do I have to be spiritual to benefit from The f it diet? Why aren't all my limiting beliefs going away?? This is the first episode where I feel like the patreon community is swinging into gear and really helping to direct the podcast. Go to to join us!
Sep 29, 2017
How to Start
Today I read unpublished blog posts, including: How to Start, Waiting to Not Be hungry, What I Wish I Knew Before, and The Worst Thing About Being on a Diet. Ask your questions for the podcast over at
Sep 16, 2017
Isabel Foxen Duke – Stop Fighting Food
Isabel and I talk about control and trust issues, and how our old food control issues can pop up in other areas. It's a good one! Check out Isabel's free video series HERE.
Aug 29, 2017
The Fear of Being Ugly
Answering Podcast insider questions today, as well as reading recent posts. Become a podcast insider at Patreon!
Aug 22, 2017
Intuitive Eating Mistakes
In this new episode I read some blog posts, answer some questions, and sing a little song after all this time.
Jun 02, 2017
Minnesota Starvation Experiment
Today I talk a weeeee bit about the Minnesota Starvation Experiment
Mar 18, 2017
Reading My Newer Posts
Newer TFID ideas are getting some air time on the podcast! Rate and review in itunes and support us for $1 a month on
Mar 01, 2017
Melissa Fabello & Skin Hunger
Back from my hiatus! Today I talked to Melissa Fabello. Melissa is a body acceptance activist, sexuality scholar, and patriarchy smasher living in Philadelphia. You can follow her on Twitter/Instagram at @fyeahmfabello and subscribe to her newsletter at
Feb 06, 2017
Reading My Old Blog Posts
I read my very first blog posts in this episode. Read these posts: Not About Anger Everything Is Good For You: Starting to Bust Food Phobias When Does Real Food Become a Problem? Why I Don’t Do Cardio Anymore Letting Go of Health Perfectionism YAY! Let me know how you like this, and I'll keep it up!
Jul 16, 2016
LINDA BACON, author of Body Respect and HAES
Here we are! Today's episode features Linda Bacon PhD, a researcher on the inside track of weight regulation science – a scientist whose three graduate degrees, research, and clinical expertise uniquely prepare her to understand and translate the physiological, psychological, and socio-cultural underpinnings of weight control. She is currently a Health Professor at City College of San Francisco and an Associate Nutritionist at the University of California, Davis. An internationally recognized authority on weight and health, Dr. Bacon has published her work in top scientific journals as well as the highly acclaimed bestseller, Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth about Your Weight. Her recently released book, Body Respect: What Conventional Health Books Get Wrong, Leave Out, or Just Fail to Understand about Weight, is a crash course in what you need to know about bodies and health.
Jul 09, 2016
Christy Harrison, anti-diet dietitian
Today we talk to the amazing Heath at Every Size nutritionist, Christy Harrison! Check her our at Subscribe on itunes and support on Patreon!
Mar 29, 2016
The F*ck It Diet Basics
This is a TFID INTRO episode where I go over the basics. The original first episode was a poor intro, so it's deleted, THIS IS THE FIRST EPISODE NOW!! This is for anyone new, or for anyone who wants to hear the basics again. IF YOU WANT TO HELP REACH MORE PEOPLE, rate and review it on iTunes!
Feb 15, 2016