(224) Navigating Food Peace even if you've hated your body since childhood (PCOS Series with Nina Mills)


Manage episode 272086698 series 115840
By Julie Dillon and Julie Duffy Dillon RDN. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Are you coming to terms with the fact that diets don't work for most people--yourself included? And yet every cell in your body feels repulsed with the idea of body acceptance? If you've been riding that diet roller coaster for as long as you can remember and want OFF you have come to the right place. Join us as we learn from guest expert Nina Mills who has new insight to get you on solid ground.

This episode of the Love Food Podcast is brought to you by The Eating Disorder Trap book and podcast by Robyn Goldberg.

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Dear Food:

You and I have had a difficult relationship for a very long time. I am only 21 years old, in the middle of working hard to be successful in my college career and other life goals, but I can't ignore my fear and addiction to you that has always followed me like a creeping shadow. I was unhappy with my body from an early age; I recall looking back in my diary and complaining about my size (I was a healthy weight at that time) when I was 7; even back then I attributed my problems to you, though I continued to look forward to the junk food I was allowed to consume at parties or weekend restaurant trips. Puberty hit me like a truck and I grew too quickly, gaining stretch marks all over my thighs, hips and breasts. I blamed you for that too. As a teen I gradually started putting on the weight, and suffering from mysterious little things that I just thought were a part of being a growing woman. My periods were irregular and heavy; I had borderline high cholesterol and was diagnosed with prediabetes in high school. I had such low energy and craved a nap every single day. I suffered from terrible panic disorder and depression, and was put on medication that I continue to take for almost 6 years now. My acne was so bad that it made my skin itchy and red, and I spent over eight years trying what I have totaled to be at least 10 different topical and medicinal treatments for my problems. Eventually my dermatologist's assistant (a woman) suggested I had PCOS. I did the blood work and consulted with my gynecologist; turns out they were right. I got the news of my diagnosis over phone call. I was immediately put on birth control to manage my periods, with a promise that none of these medications would affect my steadily rising weight. I sought out the help of my GP multiple times with what to do about my weight gain and other symptoms. I thought I would find a woman who understood what was wrong and how to help me. What I found was someone who just agreed to whatever I suggested I try for myself, whether it be meds, diets, or somewhat suspicious natural treatments that I was so desperate to trust that I tried them anyway. Needless to say Food, you and I both know none of it worked. I tried restricting my consumption of you to only about 1000 calories a day, for almost two months. I tried intermittent fasting. I hit the gym hard 4-5 times a week, following the instructions of other women online who said they "cured" their PCOS. I tried quitting my birth control even if it meant painful periods. I have even had my family involved in helping me; my sister-in-law recommended the keto diet and running as much as possible; my brother helped me meal plan for weeks. My weight has stayed the highest it's been. I am miserable at parties; seeing my skinny friends eat pizza and chips and soda while still staying slim makes me so upset I want to peel myself out of my own skin if it means I don't have to be in this body. If I enjoy even a little bit of you I feel immediately riddled with guilt and shame. If I indulge a little bit I use it as an excuse to indulge a lot. Then I beat myself up, cry myself to sleep, and get up and hit the diet hard again. I have finally admitted to myself that none of these diets are working, and it isn't my fault or necessarily yours either. PCOS was not something I got by eating one too many Oreos at sleepovers as a kid; it was genetic, something out of my control. The thing is though, even though part of me knows this to be true, I still hate my body, and I hate what you do to it. I hate that I feel like I can't escape your influence. And I hate that I hate the way that I am. Will our relationship ever improve? Will I ever find the right combination of you that benefits my body the most? Will I be able to realize the difference between dieting or a final lifestyle change? And lastly, will I ever be happy with you around? Sincerely, -Struggling for Life


Do you have a complicated relationship with food? I want to help! Send your Dear Food letter to LoveFoodPodcast@gmail.com.

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