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Designing Women S4 E27 Extra Sugar - Unpacking Our Obsession with Thinness and Weight Loss

Updated: Aug 14, 2023

This week’s spa episode and weight loss regimen for Suzanne and Charlene vs. weight gain regimen for Julia and Mary JO inspired this week’s segment.

Join us as we discuss the culture’s obsession with thinness and weight loss. What’s going on here? How is this affecting people? How do we put aside the fad diets for good and find long lasting healthy eating habits?

The reads (and listens!):

The History:

The Diets

The Spa Treatments

Healthier Lifestyles & Other Tips

Come on y’all, let’s get into it!



Salina: Hey, Nikki.

Nikki: Hey, Salina.

Nikki: You awake over there?

Nikki: I don't.

Salina: Not for long.

Nikki: Dozing on her microphone?

Salina: That's right.

Salina: Well, it's so pillowy.

Salina: It's like a little netting.

Salina: Well, welcome to this week's edition of Extra Sugar.

Salina: Thanks.

Salina: That's what we're here for.

Salina: Welcome.

Salina: You welcome, everyone.

Salina: So this week's episode, we had a spa episode.

Salina: It was a weight loss regimen for Suzanne and Charlene, and it was a weight gain regimen for Julia Mary Jo.

Salina: And that is the inspiration for today's segment.

Salina: With that in mind, we're going to talk about the culture's obsession with thinness and weight loss.

Salina: What's going on here and how is this affecting people?

Salina: This segment isn't necessarily geared towards women, but certainly that's the perspectives that we can come to the table with.

Salina: And while we don't own these obsessions, well, I think it's fair to say that women were early adopters.

Salina: I also think that this is another clear cut example of where things haven't changed enough since this episode aired.

Salina: Not to say that nothing has changed, but we could use a little bit more progress here.

Salina: We're also going to talk a bit about fad diets and spa treatments and then we'll close out with some information about healthy eating habits and just like some healthy habits.

Salina: So, Nikki, as always, pop in.

Salina: Let me know if you have questions.

Salina: I feel like I might be in more of a position to fill questions here than maybe ever before.

Nikki: Fair amount of experience.

Salina: Well, just more here than like, let's say history, right?

Salina: Where it's like it's probably a little bit more limited, like what happened in 1953.

Salina: I don't know.

Nikki: You know what that means?

Nikki: I'm not going to have any questions for you this time.

Salina: Well, keep me on my toes.

Salina: All right.

Salina: So I am going to pause here for a trigger warning that we will be talking about things like eating disorders.

Salina: Not a lot, but we will touch on that.

Salina: We are talking about dieting, culture, so that's just what it is.

Salina: And then other things that might be uncomfortable for some listeners.

Salina: If that is you, please stop now.

Salina: Come back to us when our finale finale episode drops in a few weeks.

Salina: We'd love to have you back then, but take care of you because that's important.

Salina: Now.

Salina: Let's go ahead and you know, I'm going to read this line that I wrote and it's really dumb.

Salina: Okay, just for you, let's Maria von Trap this thing that is let's start at the very beginning.

Salina: A very good place to start.

Salina: I sure regret it.

Salina: I regret it, but I said it.

Nikki: Anyway in the dating app titles.

Nikki: Really regretted that one as they were coming out of my mouth.

Salina: You really shouldn't.

Salina: So here in the US.

Salina: The concept of mainstream dieting can be traced back to as early as the 1840s when Sylvester Graham, a Presbyterian minister, preached that, quote, spices, stimulants and other overindulgences lead to indigestion check illness, sure.

Salina: Sexual excess and civil disorder?

Salina: I don't know.

Salina: According to the Live Science article I.

Nikki: Read, cinnamon, it is a spice that.

Salina: Does it all, spice of life.

Salina: According to the Live Science article I read, he was pushing for a, quote, plain abstinent diet for women as the key to health and morality.

Salina: This diet consisted mainly of vegetables, water and bread made of coarse graham flour.

Salina: Fun little fact, he was mean.

Salina: Well, these are literally the OG.

Salina: Graham crackers.

Nikki: Graham crackers.

Salina: Graham crackers I can live with.

Salina: No, no.

Salina: Today's sugar filled version would no doubt make Minister Graham roll over in his grave.

Salina: There's, like a whole fascinating story here to be told by the Dollop podcast, so we'll link to that for folks to listen to.

Salina: It's called the Serial Men.

Salina: And that's a wild ride.

Salina: Okay, I did not see that coming.

Salina: Well, let me just tell you, there's some really interesting people in the world.

Salina: That's all you need to know.

Salina: But it's better they tell you because it's very tangential to this.

Salina: But let's just say Minister Graham also came up in here and he comes up a lot on the Dollop as well.

Salina: So the article points out a couple of other interesting tidbits about how we operated before this time.

Salina: So even going back as far as colonial times, americans have always been a little bit heavier than our European counterparts because, well, we have a lot of land that equals more food, that equals more to eat.

Salina: The mentality was also different.

Salina: So if you were a little plump, it indicated health and vitality.

Salina: It wasn't necessarily a flaw.

Salina: Now, the idea that being heavier is somehow wrong and connected to laziness is something that really took root at the tail end of the 18 hundreds.

Salina: And by the 1920s, calorie counting and diets are quite pervasive.

Salina: So that's like 100 years, according to Sarah Lohlman, who's a historic gastronomist.

Salina: There was a mix of other things also going on that shaped the way that Americans look at weight.

Salina: So urbanization and industrialization played a role.

Salina: It's amazing how much city spread and jobs have affected every little facet of life.

Salina: But in this case, urbanization meant more sedentary lifestyles than we previously knew and access to more kinds of food than we ever had before.

Salina: And then the Industrial Revolution impacted fashion by popularizing standard sizes.

Salina: Suddenly, women were very aware of their size and primed for comparison.

Nikki: When they were making their own clothes, they just made them fit.

Nikki: They didn't care whether it was a two or a twelve.

Salina: That's right.

Salina: Well, it's pretty easy to be a woman, so I'm sure it was fine.

Salina: So we also lost corsets around this time for very good reason, and we gained both the scale and more food science knowledge.

Nikki: Gosh darn it.

Salina: So here's how this winds up playing out.

Salina: Now, an important part I didn't really realize about that medieval torture device known as the corset is that it wasn't really in my mind.

Salina: It was always about making your waist look tiny.

Salina: It was also about moving things around.

Salina: So, like, maybe you wanted to hoist these or accentuate whatever was in fashion at the time.

Nikki: I really thought you meant, like, your liver and your kidneys, because it also.

Salina: Did that, I think of those hoisted it hoisted all the innards.

Nikki: I thought that's what you meant.

Salina: So when those fell out of fashion, women were suddenly not wearing them anymore.

Salina: And now they're hyper aware of their natural shape, so suddenly they know their size.

Salina: Things are flopping around.

Salina: Around this time, we learned what the calorie was.

Salina: We also learned what fats are, vitamins and minerals.

Salina: So along comes the scale, and suddenly Americans contract their weight and their calories.

Salina: Everything's just falling at our knees.

Salina: It's just a good time.

Salina: It's a good time to be like I've ever had anything fall at my.

Nikki: Everything'S coming up rice cakes.

Salina: Everything's coming up rice cakes.

Salina: That's right.

Salina: So according to registered dietitian and nutrition therapist Alisa Rumsey, she came up a lot in my research, and she would probably like me to pronounce her name correctly.

Salina: I think it's Alyssa.

Salina: Physicians and those in public health didn't start actually advising weight loss until the early 19 hundreds.

Salina: It sounds like it really had more to do with this culture of thinness that's coming up than the old scientific evidence piece that should have been connecting weight and health.

Salina: In fact, Rumsey point blank says, quote, there is zero research that proves higher amounts of weight or body fat cause diseases like heart disease, cancer, or diabetes.

Salina: There may be some correlation at play, but evidence shows it's behaviors and socioeconomic factors that impact our health the most.

Salina: So what does matter then?

Salina: What was that?

Nikki: Stress?

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: Rumsy mentions things like access to safe housing, good health care, not experiencing discrimination, eating a variety of nutritious small things, right.

Salina: Eating a variety of nutritious foods, and being physically active.

Salina: All of those things really have a lot more to do with it experiencing discrimination in case that doesn't resonate for anyone listening or that might feel like an outsider to the rest of the things on that list, like nutritious foods.

Salina: One thing that I thought about as an example that was, I don't know, coming to mind is this idea of the discrimination you might face in the exam room by a provider that's if you're able to access health care in the first place.

Salina: And we have talked here on this podcast about how people may be treated differently because they're a woman, because they look different.

Salina: Whatever the case is, it's not like all the issues of the world leave just because you walk in those doors.

Salina: And so her point was, weight loss can happen, but that's more of a secondary thing.

Salina: It doesn't have to happen if these other things will happen.

Salina: Unfortunately, a lovely thing to hear.

Salina: Unfortunately, those are the harder things to target, right?

Salina: And those are the harder things to work on.

Salina: But we do have a terrible habit in our society of doing the bandaid thing instead of doing the pullback thing.

Nikki: Just starve yourself and don't worry about all the other stuff.

Salina: Everything will click into place when you're 110 pounds.

Nikki: I mean, weight wise or not, all the other stuff's killing you.

Salina: I told you we keep it light.

Salina: So I don't want to rehash things that we've already discussed this season, but you can hear more about how a weight based approach to health is problematic in episode eleven's, extra sugar.

Salina: And actually, I think that might be a good companion piece to this one.

Salina: Now, at that time, we also touched on something that Rumsey does more extensively in her US news and World Report article that we'll link to.

Salina: And that's the idea that the diet culture we know today started as a way to control groups of people, including women and people of color.

Salina: I encourage reading her arguments there because she's going to do a better job making that argument than I ever will here.

Salina: But the bottom line is this is another situation where if you follow the trail long enough, we're really talking less about health and we're talking more about power, status hierarchy, achieving those things and keeping those things.

Salina: It's not all diabolical.

Salina: Diet culture also stems from wanting to belong.

Salina: That's practically written into our DNA.

Salina: And even if it's not weight, I think most everyone has experienced what it feels like to be othered when we don't fit the mold of what's accepted or acceptable today.

Salina: I think our obsession is driven by things we've all likely heard about before.

Salina: Western beauty standards proliferated by legacy in new media and money.

Salina: According to Ms magazine, Americans spend 33 billion on weight loss products each year.

Salina: That's a lot of cash, and I imagine that people who have part of that pie will say and do what they need to do to keep it.

Salina: So now that we understand a little bit about the history, let's talk about the impact.

Salina: There really is such a thing as weight and weight loss obsession.

Salina: It's not just the name of this segment.

Salina: It can affect you physically and psychologically and it can be harmful.

Salina: Here are some signs according to very well fit preoccupation with food in a way that's disrupting your life constant monitoring of calories, macros or overall food intake frequent weighins or other body measures anxiety associated with specific foods such as cutting out carbs or sugar rigid rules around food and or exercise feeling guilty and shameful when eating certain foods a loss of control around food such as binge eating, using exercise or purging to burn more calories following fad diets, weight fluctuations or yoyo dieting excuse me.

Nikki: I don't know anything about any one of those.

Salina: Not a thing.

Nikki: I've never even thought once about any of those things.

Salina: I just wish I could relate.

Salina: So there is also eating disorders and disordered eating.

Salina: Here are the descriptions on those.

Salina: An eating disorder is a mental illness that meets the specific criteria defined by the American Psychiatric Association.

Salina: Things like anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder.

Salina: Disordered eating isn't a diagnosis, but rather a way to describe abnormal eating behavior.

Salina: So someone may have disordered eating patterns, but they don't fit within the current APA eating disorder diagnosis.

Salina: It may still require treatment and it could turn into something more problematic.

Salina: It almost reminds me of the way that you talked about stress and anxiety.

Salina: There's like these really strict definitions.

Salina: We use these kinds of things interchangeably, but they're not really all that interchangeable, but they can feed into the other one.

Salina: According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, 9% of the US.

Salina: Population, or 28.8 million Americans will have an eating disorder in their lifetime.

Salina: And every 52 minutes, at least one person dies as a direct result of an eating disorder.

Salina: Have you ever heard of orthorexia neurosa?

Nikki: Is that where you exercise too much?

Salina: It's in line with that.

Salina: So here's how they define it.

Salina: This is a condition where some people may also become obsessed with only eating foods they deem healthy or high quality, whether that means it's organic, vegan, non GMO, et cetera.

Salina: Okay, I'm mentioning this for a couple of reasons.

Salina: One, I think it's a good reminder that you can take anything to an unhealthy place and even when it's health.

Salina: And then number two, also that we all kind of wear obsession differently, if that makes sense.

Salina: And so it makes some concerning behavior harder to spot.

Salina: So they didn't have a whole lot to say on that one.

Salina: I think this is just a reminder that even when you're trying to just do the right things, you can take that to a level where it becomes unhealthy.

Nikki: It's that mentally, that thing where you lose control over your decision making.

Nikki: You lose control to an inanimate something.

Nikki: So if it is an ideal and that is what you don't get to decide what you want for breakfast anymore.

Nikki: Veganism decides what you get to eat for breakfast this morning.

Nikki: So if you're thinking, I really want a bagel with cream cheese.

Nikki: Oh, but I can't have that, that's bad.

Nikki: That is disordered eating.

Nikki: That's how you identify it because you can't decide anymore.

Nikki: You could make the decision.

Nikki: I'm choosing not to have that because I feel like cream cheese is made unethically.

Nikki: That's a vegan.

Nikki: That's someone who's choosing to live that lifestyle.

Nikki: But if you don't do it because of the strict set of rules that is guiding your life, I think that's where it becomes disordered.

Nikki: Yeah, that's the distinction to me.

Salina: That's a really good example.

Salina: So speaking of concerning things, this segment is full of them, but we just can't have this conversation without at least touching on fad diets and spa treatments as promised, or what I'm going to call our quick fixes.

Salina: So for both, I would say if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Salina: I mean, that's just good life advice.

Salina: Let's start with the fad diets.

Salina: Initially, I had planned to mention some specific ones, but instead I'm going to focus on how to spot them.

Salina: Here are some signs to be on the lookout for.

Salina: According to very well fit.

Salina: So claims of fast and easy weight loss, elimination of certain food groups or bad foods requires you to buy dietary supplements impressively labeled as fat burners, weight loss AIDS, and metabolism boosters.

Nikki: That stuff is so bad for you.

Salina: Hydroxycut, I think, is the kind of thing they're referring to.

Salina: There Been There tells you that foods need to be correctly combined for proper digestion to occur.

Salina: No need for exercise.

Salina: Highlight specific foods such as grapefruit, maple syrup and lemonade or special soup.

Salina: I'm like, I know all those diets.

Salina: Okay, so I think many of us can discern the really bad ones.

Salina: Someone's telling you to swallow cotton balls, smoke cigarettes, to not get hungry, or swallow a tapeworm.

Salina: You kind of get it.

Salina: You're like, that may not be the best thing to do, but some are a little tricky, like, say something prescribed by a doctor like Ozempic.

Salina: I know this might not be your typical fad diet, but when you crosswalk it with the above list, it checks some boxes.

Salina: If you don't know about Ozempic, this is a diabetes drug that's being prescribed for weight loss.

Salina: There is at least one other, but this one is the most popular one.

Salina: It's a weekly injection that dramatically lowers blood sugar and cholesterol.

Salina: Great thing for people with diabetes, no question about it.

Salina: People who take it report forgetting to eat completely.

Salina: Here's my that's healthy, right?

Salina: Here's my three issues with it.

Salina: Number one, people who need the drug are having a hard time getting it because people are using it as a weight loss treatment.

Salina: Number two, the weight comes back on if you stop taking the injection.

Salina: From what I've read, I don't want to speak like I'm some sort of authority.

Salina: These are based on news articles I've read.

Salina: But number if I was like, I.

Nikki: Get Ozempic every two weeks and I.

Salina: Can answer all your questions, well, that would be very helpful, I guess.

Nikki: Concerning, but helpful.

Salina: And number three, we really don't know what the long term side effects are now.

Salina: Everybody has to do that with new medicines in the beginning, right?

Salina: And we have to do kind of our own risk benefit analysis.

Salina: The risk benefit analysis for making that choice when you have diabetes is a little different than wanting to lose some weight.

Salina: Okay?

Salina: So again, in my opinion, I'm not trying to poo poo on people.

Salina: I'm just trying to highlight something that you probably want to be thinking pretty.

Nikki: Closely about and just make sure that the people around you who need the drug have access to it before you take it for weight loss.

Nikki: Yeah, that's probably a good neighborly thing to do.

Salina: I think that's right.

Salina: And I also wonder too, I don't know what these conversations are looking like when people are going into their doctor's office.

Salina: I don't know if some people are getting it and they don't know that people with diabetes can't get a hold of it right now, you know what I'm saying?

Salina: Because I don't know how much they're reading the news, I hope doctors are saying.

Nikki: And also, before you go to your doctor to ask for a medication or an injection, or before you take something your doctor tells you, maybe look into it.

Salina: Yeah, it's good to trust but verify.

Nikki: Right.

Nikki: And are some of these happening?

Nikki: Do you know some of the Ozempic and Ozempic adjacent things like semiglutides or whatever that's called?

Nikki: Some of those are happening in medical spas, and I'm putting that in parentheses as well.

Salina: Right, well, I'm going to talk a little bit about oh, goodness.

Salina: They are called lipotropic.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: But I don't know that these are exactly the same things, but they're like fat loss injections that are a mix of like vitamins, minerals, and some other magical ingredients.

Salina: But I don't know that's the exact same.

Nikki: I just can't figure out what sort of doctor is giving someone Ozempic who a drug for diabetes who doesn't have diabetes or pre diabetic.

Nikki: There's no level of prioritization.

Salina: I want to say that, and I think that's absolutely right.

Salina: And then at the same time, how many providers got busted for running pill mills and stuff?

Salina: I don't know.

Salina: And I don't know if maybe some providers are feeling pressured or whatever.

Salina: I don't know.

Salina: It's complicated.

Salina: I am complicated.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: Another example though, one that's a little less pharmaceutical might be something like whole 30.

Salina: If you don't know what whole 30 is, basically you eliminate sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, dairy, sulfites, and baked goods.

Salina: That is an interesting amalgamation of things, but you do it for 30 days and then you slowly reintroduce certain foods, I think with a few goals in mind.

Salina: One is to come out on the other side with a healthier lifestyle.

Salina: This is supposed to be like a jolt interchange, like a switch up.

Salina: It was also like the idea of as you're introducing those foods back in, it's supposed to give you an idea of what's making you feel better and what's making you feel worse so that you can tease out what really works for you.

Salina: I want to be very clear.

Salina: I know that you and I have both dabbled with this one.

Salina: That's why I picked it.

Salina: And that's to say that this is not unsafe.

Salina: But as Liv Strong points out, it's really that it's so restrictive and it requires a high level of commitment to actually work, including daily prepping and meal preparation.

Salina: So unless you're like highly disciplined or really competitive because I know people turn them into competitions, I think it would be super easy to just end up elbow deep in a chocolate cake.

Nikki: Yeah, the thing with something like whole 30 or something that's really restrictive is knowing why you're doing it and if you're doing it.

Nikki: Like me, I have a problem with dairy.

Nikki: The older I get, the harder it is.

Nikki: And so I have had periods in my life where I've gone completely dairy free.

Nikki: And I'm mostly dairy free now, but I did like a whole 30 adjacent thing a few years ago and went completely dairy free.

Nikki: And the second I reintroduced it, I felt like crap.

Nikki: And I knew dairy is a trigger for me.

Nikki: I can live without dairy though, because I made really slow adjustments and I did it because I don't want to feel like crap, not because it doesn't make me any skinnier.

Nikki: I just don't want to feel like crap and it really hurts my stomach.

Nikki: So to restrict yourself in that way is a little more manageable than to restrict yourself against an arbitrary set of rules.

Salina: Well, I think that so I will share that for me, I know there's trigger foods for me that I can't just have one.

Salina: I need 17,000 of them.

Salina: And so sometimes I will just steer clear because don't get them.

Salina: I know what I feel like on the other end of that when I've decided to overindulge soft cookies from the grocery store.

Salina: That's such a very specific example that I love.

Salina: I'm like that with certain potato chips.

Nikki: Doritos I'm rough with doritos certain flavor.

Nikki: I really like Cool Ranch, but I also can do nacho cheese year.

Salina: So the whole thing to get back to this sorry for the tangent, but is this this idea like if you do enter into something that you know you can't stick to because it's so restrictive, it leads to this concern which is yoyo dieting or weight cycling.

Salina: And this is where a person is just losing and gaining weight on repeat.

Salina: That kind of thing can get pretty unhealthy.

Salina: I kind of think of this whole thing as I was pulling this segment together as like a really intricate, perhaps overly complicated Venn diagram.

Salina: That is, not all restrictive diets or regimens are fad diets and not all fad diets are restrictive, but there is overlap.

Salina: So psychologically speaking, they can all make people feel terrible about themselves when they can't maintain these impossible or even just really weird standards.

Salina: Nutritionally, they're probably robbing participants of things they do need.

Salina: Vitamins, minerals.

Salina: In the long term, when you don't have those vitamins and minerals that you need, it can turn into things like osteoporosis and heart disease.

Salina: Not eating enough, ironically, can affect your metabolism, but also your heart temperature regulation, heart rate, digestion hormones.

Salina: Weight cycling may increase the risk of developing things like cardiovascular disease and type two diabetes.

Salina: And you know what stood out to me across this list?

Salina: Your heart.

Salina: That thing is both strong and sensitive, so we want to be careful how much stress we're putting it through with all of these different things and just be mindful of that.

Salina: Spa treatments.

Salina: Up next, these start to read a little bit like kissing cousins to the fad diet, if you will.

Salina: They work, but they're not a long term solution.

Salina: The bottom line is the weight comes back with most of them quickly, especially without regular exercise and healthy eating.

Salina: Women's Health has a good article that we'll link to where they talk about some of the most popular treatments so that people can make informed decisions.

Salina: Now, those are cool sculpting vila, shape two, and Body wraps.

Salina: Now, more details about each of these, and I can share as little or as much as you'd like.

Salina: I'm going to let you dictate.

Salina: Just if you have any questions, you let me know.

Salina: What I want to make sure everybody walks away with, though, whether we go through the details of each of these or not, is that the cheapest one is $200 a treatment one time, and the most expensive is $1,700 a treatment.

Salina: How long it lasts is pretty on par with the expense.

Salina: The cool sculpting is the most expensive one.

Salina: If and when that weight comes back, it won't magically go back to the same area.

Salina: So you could target your thighs, but you might gain the weight back in your face.

Nikki: Perfect.

Salina: That is straight up.

Nikki: Sorcery and then you can't do anything with that.

Nikki: Yeah.

Nikki: That's rough.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: So totally crazy.

Salina: Women's Health also warns caution around high heat and excessive sweating.

Nikki: Depending what I was thinking about with the body wraps, it's basically just going to compress your cells and as soon as you drink more water so this.

Salina: Is what's so funny.

Salina: So exactly.

Salina: They say you don't want to get dehydrated, you don't want to throw off your electrolytes or worst of all, stress your heart.

Salina: Let me go ahead and tell you, that is all a body wrap is.

Salina: It's dehydration.

Salina: I know.

Salina: I've done them.

Salina: Now I will tell you.

Salina: I think even a spa will tell you.

Salina: I would be really surprised if anybody was like, yes, come in.

Salina: This is a great weight loss treatment.

Salina: No, it's like a, hey, I'm going to prom.

Salina: Hey, I'm going to this special event.

Salina: You, like, slim up for a dress where you're just trying to get, like, a little I'm not saying any of this is healthy.

Salina: I'm just saying this is the way I think of it being.

Nikki: I cannot imagine anything worse than spending 600 or 400 or $200 on something to feel good for an hour until I have my first glass of water.

Salina: It's usually a couple of days and.

Nikki: I'm in, like, a really snug dress, and then I feel terrible about myself all over again.

Salina: Well, and then they're like you can lose anywhere from up to 38 inches or something and you're like great, but it's like a little bit from your wrist.

Salina: My wrist is so thin.

Nikki: Cumulative is in really small letters.

Salina: It did work really great for just being in a dress that none of those formal dresses are comfortable.

Salina: And so you almost do want something that makes you feel a little bit more like a corset.

Salina: Like a corset.

Salina: Something that makes you feel like equal with men and others in the world.

Salina: But yeah, I mean they're pretty dumb.

Salina: Oh, sorry.

Salina: I mean, unless you want them then go for it.

Nikki: I mean that's the bottom line with all this, right?

Nikki: Like choose what's best for you, go in with eyes wide open.

Salina: They also weren't $200 when I was getting them.

Salina: Of course a lot of time has passed.

Salina: I did say the word prom.

Nikki: I'm going to go out on a limb and guess it was more money than I had.

Nikki: I feel comfortable saying that.

Salina: It was a lot of daycare money is what I'm trying to tell you.

Salina: I had to just tote around so many juice carts for that body wrap.

Salina: But all those things though.

Salina: Yeah, I mean, again, stressing the heart.

Salina: That one just keeps bubling up across all of these.

Salina: The last one I'll mention is what I was talking about earlier, which are these fat burning injections.

Salina: I think this is more of a med spa offering, but more than you would find at like a luxury spa.

Salina: But they may have like a med spa section.

Salina: I think it just depends on the spa.

Salina: But B Twelve and lipotropic injections are the most popular.

Salina: So B Twelve, that feels a bit more obvious.

Salina: It's B twelve like the vitamin.

Salina: But lipotropic is a mix of vitamins, minerals and amino acids.

Salina: And B Twelve is often in the mix of those things.

Salina: They reportedly boost energy, increase metabolism, reduce water weight gain, help the body break down fat and carbs, and can benefit a patient's mental health by improving mood and helping with focus.

Nikki: This all sounds great.

Salina: Wonderful.

Salina: Well, I'm a big fan of B vitamins.

Salina: Honestly, I think it's great for a lot of things.

Salina: I don't use it for weight loss, but a lot of those latter things I use it for like the focus and improving mood and that kind of thing.

Salina: But according to medical news today, research hasn't confirmed that these injections are safe or effective for weight loss.

Salina: Now let me be clear.

Salina: I didn't necessarily read anything that said that they were unsafe or didn't help.

Salina: It's just we don't have the stuff yet to prove that they are.

Nikki: I think anytime you're injecting something into.

Salina: Your body, I'm going to think twice.

Salina: I'm going to think twice.

Salina: Well, this to me kind of puts me in the mind of the vaping situation.

Salina: This is.

Salina: Better for you.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: If you're inhaling something and it's not oxygen, chances are your body's not going to like it.

Salina: So I tend to think a little bit in line with that here.

Salina: Now, again, like B twelve, I get a little less concerned about just because it's a water soluble vitamin, they're taking.

Nikki: A needle and putting it in your skin.

Salina: They are taking a needle and putting it in your skin.

Salina: That's true.

Salina: So I read an interview with author Randy Susan Myers, who wrote the book Wasted.

Salina: Coincidentally, this is about a group of friends who go to a weight loss bar.

Salina: Got it because I was going to read it in preparation for today.

Nikki: And it made you sad?

Salina: No, it's just sitting on my night table.

Nikki: Oh, you ran out of time.

Salina: I look at the book cover.

Salina: I go, oh, look at that.

Nikki: That's nice.

Salina: That's what I like to do with books.

Salina: I like to just accumulate them.

Salina: Good.

Salina: In writing this book, though, because I did look into the background of it.

Nikki: Is it like, biographical or autobiographical?

Salina: It's a fiction, so it's interesting that you asked that.

Salina: So it is fiction.

Salina: But she talks in interviews leading up to this book coming out about how she had to address her own issues in order to write the book.

Nikki: That's familiar to me, probably.

Salina: I show you the book.

Salina: I should have brought it in here.

Salina: So in writing the book, she thought a lot about why women are so tough on themselves, about their weight, what was coming from internal judgments, how much was coming from society, how much from the media.

Salina: So I'll just say that I'm not sure it matters how much comes from each of these, but rather that we're just getting it from all directions.

Salina: And that's what makes this such a tough assignment.

Salina: So I'm just going to share some things about myself.

Salina: I started thinking about my own weight when I was five.

Salina: I wanted to know why my stomach wasn't flat like the people that I saw on TV.

Salina: And I specifically remember asking my grandmother what was going on.

Salina: Like, where's my ABS?

Salina: I didn't know they're ABS, but where.

Nikki: Are my bumps on my stomach?

Nikki: What's ABS?

Salina: What a five year old would say, yeah, she couldn't have been more graceful about it, but it didn't matter.

Salina: The seeds were already planted.

Salina: So I'm monitoring my weight.

Salina: By the time I'm eight years old, I'm getting on the scale sometimes.

Nikki: That's so sad.

Salina: I'm getting on the scale sometimes several times a day.

Salina: I've fallen prey to fad diets, restrictive regimens, and my relationship with food has been unhealthy.

Salina: I'm not really an emotional eater.

Salina: I can be.

Salina: My issue is more that I'm an epicurean by nature.

Salina: So I love food, and it tastes good, so I want more of it.

Salina: One cookie is too many, and yet 1 million is never enough.

Salina: That's just sort of my mentality and so I did do some self research during the past couple of weeks.

Salina: And another thing I realized I do is I may not be an emotional eater, but if I'm bored, I'm like, where is the peanut butter?

Salina: Just because it's almost like I have to always be doing something, so I guess I might as well be eating noodles.

Salina: I don't know.

Salina: But that's part of my journey, and I want to share that because I don't want anyone listening to think that I'm some kind of expert.

Salina: I'm not.

Salina: What I am is someone who keeps trying to figure it out.

Salina: I am also someone who despises when people are taken advantage of in any way, really, including when it comes to health and wellness, but especially making people feel like they're not good enough because they don't look a certain way or fit a certain mold.

Salina: And for me, that's what this episode is about, like, just talking these things through and attempting to distinguish the truth from the lies.

Salina: With that in mind, I'm going to take a stop break and just see if there's anything that you want to ask or if there's anything that you want to talk about before we move into the healthy portion of this conversation.

Nikki: Yeah, I mean, I think it's that thing of your internal narrative, right?

Nikki: What is your brain telling you?

Nikki: And is your brain telling you you're not enough?

Nikki: And if you've ever had someone make a pointed comment about your body or your weight, it lodges somewhere in your brain, because the negativity always lodges more than the positivity.

Nikki: And so that one comment someone made to you when you were at a really impressionable age, for me, it was probably like 1516.

Nikki: And that comment lodges.

Nikki: And every time I start to feel bad about myself, that's the voice that comes back up.

Nikki: And I think bringing a parent perspective to it, and a parent of a little girl in particular.

Nikki: But I'm also cognizant about this for my son as well.

Nikki: It's so hard to be body neutral and try to model those behaviors that I want her when I'm still struggling with my own issues.

Nikki: And I keep waiting for that magic age where I just don't care anymore.

Nikki: I can tell you the last few years I focused more on weight training and less on cardio and burning calories and more on getting stronger and feeling better about my body.

Nikki: And I will say that has changed a lot about my perception on food, because I just don't obsess over it the same way I used to.

Nikki: Some of its time, I just don't have the time to do it anymore.

Nikki: I do still have a little bit of if I don't watch what I eat for the same reason you mentioned, if I don't watch it, I spiral really quickly.

Nikki: So I've tried to reframe to focus on nutrition.

Nikki: We talk a lot in our house about nutrition versus healthy.

Nikki: Sometimes it still slips up.

Nikki: But I try to say, like, is that really the most nutritious choice that we should make today?

Nikki: So, like, my daughter had Fruity Pebbles for breakfast the other day.

Nikki: And not to give her a complex, but I know she also eats a lot of not super healthy snacks at school.

Nikki: Super nutritious snacks at school.

Nikki: See, it slips.

Nikki: Super nutritious stuff.

Nikki: And so then she comes home, has dinner, and we have been making homemade ice cream.

Nikki: I just want her to kind of be cognizant that all this sugar is adding up throughout the day.

Nikki: And so make nutritious choices and make it for that reason.

Nikki: There's not tied to body at all.

Nikki: It's because I want you to feel good.

Nikki: So it's a tough balance because you're trying to teach good nutrition.

Nikki: But in our society, good nutrition is so intermingled with weight loss that it's really hard to tease those apart.

Nikki: And I've struggled with it a lot.

Nikki: And I will say my son also has occasionally pointed out belly sort of stuff like, why is my belly so big?

Nikki: And we just say, because you ate a good dinner, bud.

Nikki: Your tummy's full.

Nikki: It's going to digest and stretch out later and you're going to feel great.

Nikki: And that's how we move on from it.

Nikki: And then he's five, so we move on.

Nikki: But it's going to get harder as they get older because you don't want your kid to stick out for any sort of way.

Nikki: You want them to be healthy and feel good about themselves, but you also don't want to restrict their foods.

Nikki: It's just really that is a really major source of stress for me.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: And the thing is, my mom would have never if anything, I think my mom was so concerned about me, about me going through what she went through.

Nikki: When she was younger.

Salina: And it's not really my place to tell my mom's story here, but I think that lady has never called me anything but beautiful.

Salina: I mean, that is just how she is.

Salina: And so it didn't really have anything to do with her or the words that she was using with me.

Salina: Which leads me to believe all these years later, that I just have to just imagine that it was all that.

Nikki: Other text, it's the other noise yeah.

Salina: That was coming in from all of the different directions.

Salina: And I think you and I recently talked about what we're seeing on TV, the people that are just so like and it's not always the case, and it is a little bit better, but not really people who aren't just like tiny, tiny tinies.

Salina: You can be an average size, but if you're just constantly watching really thin people, hollywood thin people on TV and in movies all the time or on your phone, I think it's hard for you to not then look in the mirror and be like, oh, wait, what's happening?

Salina: Where's my Hollywood skinniness?

Salina: I don't have all of the answers for this.

Salina: All I know to do is keep talking about it.

Salina: So when this came up as something that we could address here, I just want to be as honest as I can about it, because I feel like if there's anybody out there that hears this and it's helpful for them or makes them realize, like, you're not alone or whatever you're feeling, it's not strange or funny.

Salina: I mean, we feel all kinds of different things, and we're just trying to put it in the right boxes and make sense of it.

Nikki: Honestly.

Nikki: Of all my girlfriends that I think I've known throughout my life, I can only think of one or two who are capable of being completely disassociated from negative feelings about their and having it affect their day to day life.

Nikki: I have at least one friend I can think of who can say objectively, like, I've gained some weight.

Nikki: I haven't been eating well.

Nikki: And it doesn't beat herself up over it.

Nikki: She's not losing quality of life over it.

Nikki: She still goes and enjoys the food she likes because that's where she is in life.

Nikki: I can only think of, like, one or two people like that.

Nikki: I can think of many more people who have been influenced in a negative way, and so they're making active decisions about their life because they want to be thin.

Salina: It's just really sad.

Nikki: And again, I can see that in other people, and I can say, god, that's so sad.

Nikki: I feel like I want to help you.

Nikki: I do the same thing to myself.

Nikki: I do the exact same thing to myself, and I've done it for years.

Nikki: So I don't know what the answer is, but maybe you have the answer.

Salina: In the next part of the no pressure.

Salina: So okay, well, let's hop on into it.

Salina: What do the experts say?

Salina: Let's loop back to Alyssa rumsey.

Salina: She seems like she knows what's going on.

Salina: She's our registered dietitian and nutrition therapist.

Salina: Take the focus off weight and instead consider healthy eating or nutritious eating?

Salina: Nutritious eating, physical activity, how you're managing your stress and learning how to be compassionate with yourself, not just physically, but emotionally and mentally too.

Salina: Now, I think there's a lot to unpack there, but I do think that's true is, like, more of this holistic approach where you're thinking more than about one aspect or these things that are really secondary, like how much you weigh, but how do you feel so much of it?

Nikki: Sounds to me like it boils down to that inner voice.

Nikki: Like, if you truly listen to your inner voice, and your inner voice is saying, oh, God, I want that cookie, but you know what?

Nikki: I had three cookies at lunch.

Nikki: I don't really need it right now.

Nikki: I want to feel better in an hour.

Nikki: If you truly sat and listened to that, maybe you would hear it maybe not always, but maybe sometimes.

Nikki: Yeah, but it requires being present.

Salina: Thank you for saying the word present because I think that's the other thing.

Salina: It's so funny because it's almost like the world keeps trying to tell me something.

Salina: It's like trying to hammer at home and I'm just like I'll just do this over here and I'll multitask.

Salina: And the world is like, hey, sit down, shut up and just be for a minute, just be a human being and stop being a human doing.

Salina: And I do think that some of that is in the sauce.

Salina: One thing she didn't really come right out and say in these different articles, but she is encouraging, looking for progress beyond the scale.

Salina: Now, I find this challenging, but one of the things is to tune into when you're hungry and full and listening to your body.

Salina: I got that man, but then I'm soaring right past it because I want that six cookie.

Salina: So I think again that's like now sometimes I do a little bit of a better job of just saying you will at least not be p***** off at yourself in 2 hours if you just have one, but not a ton.

Salina: But I still don't know that.

Salina: I don't think that there's some unhealthy stuff there that's going on.

Nikki: That's what I was thinking.

Nikki: So when I think about it, I'm thinking, like, on my good days, on my present days, I'm thinking, you're really not going to feel well, like cookies and sugar and all that.

Nikki: Because I don't really eat a ton of sugar anymore.

Nikki: But I do on the weekends and sometimes during the weekend because I am an emotional eater.

Nikki: But when I have sugar now, I react to it and I know I'm not going to feel good.

Nikki: And so if I'm really treating myself well, I'm listening to that part of my brain.

Nikki: If I'm in a mode where I'm not treating myself well, that is self flagellation right there.

Nikki: That is telling yourself, oh my God, you're so stupid.

Nikki: You have no self control.

Nikki: You're always going to be fat because you eat too many cookies, because you're a horrible human being.

Nikki: That's what you're doing to yourself.

Nikki: So then in 2 hours you're going to tell yourself that.

Nikki: So the next time the situation pops up, you're not making the decision from a place of I want to feel good.

Nikki: You're making the decision from a place of I don't want to hate myself in a little while and I'm going to hate myself in a little while.

Nikki: It all comes back to how much do you want to hate yourself today?

Nikki: Yeah, just make the decision not to hate yourself.

Salina: I mean, I don't want to, that is for sure.

Salina: So she also talks about this is again what I was saying, like check in on these other aspects as you're trying to kind of fine tune your own health.

Salina: How does your energy level feel?

Salina: What's your sleep look like.

Salina: We talked a couple of episodes about how important sleep is, your flexibility, your endurance.

Salina: And these two are both critical issues for me.

Salina: Less binging and less all or nothing thinking.

Salina: And that's a really hard journey for me.

Nikki: All or nothing is hard for me, I'm telling you.

Salina: So we'll also link to a couple of articles for food specifically.

Salina: This one's a little tough for me because I think this has to be super individualized know.

Salina: But one is the healthy eating plate.

Salina: I'm assuming this is what they're teaching in schools now.

Salina: I'll just say that this is actually from I don't know that it's Harvard that did it, but this was in a Harvard article.

Salina: But you can use this guide for creating healthy balanced meals.

Salina: And I do think there is something to having a guide in.

Salina: Like a lot of times when I talk to friends who are trying to eat more nutritiously or do some kind of workout plan, sometimes they'll come to me and ask me for guidance because they don't know what to do.

Salina: And I think sometimes just having something to look to as a starting point and then you start tailoring it to your own likes and dislikes I think can be really helpful.

Nikki: Is the plate the thing of like half to be greens, a quarter to be protein?

Salina: Okay.

Salina: That's right.

Nikki: I also think people are highly visual.

Salina: So I think that helps.

Salina: What is really smart, it's nothing like the six to eleven breads that we were supposed to have when we were in school.

Salina: Have you had your eleven breads today?

Nikki: I don't think the number was eleven.

Salina: Was it a lot of bread where it was six to eleven?

Nikki: It feels much more encouraging than I thought.

Salina: No problem.

Salina: I had eleven parker rolls so all covered.

Salina: I also like just having some guide posts and I did we'll link to an article with some of those.

Salina: It's like top healthy eating habits brought to you by dietitians.

Salina: So it's just like stuff to pick and choose from.

Salina: I mean literally a menu of options.

Salina: So some sample ones are like staying away from sugary beverages.

Salina: I'll say that I stopped doing that a long time ago.

Salina: That was like, I think one of the best decisions I've ever made.

Salina: I quit drinking sodas in 2010 and I've just sort of never looked back.

Salina: Now this is actually one place where I feel like I may have actually reached some kind of even kill.

Salina: Every now and then I will just treat myself to a coke.

Salina: It is a regular coke.

Salina: A regular coke.

Salina: It is maybe once a month maybe, but most of the time I just don't even want it anymore.

Salina: But sometimes if I'm having like pizza or a hot dog or something that's.

Nikki: Just in Mexican food, you just need something that's really going to and sandwiches.

Nikki: Cereals mine.

Nikki: I prefer the taste of Diet Coke over regular Coke.

Nikki: I just prefer it, really?

Nikki: Okay, so my treat is not the right word, but the one time I will have a soda is when I have Diet Coke.

Nikki: Maybe at a Mexican restaurant or like out at dinner.

Salina: Man, you can't beat the fizzy.

Nikki: A crispy Fountain Coke.

Nikki: That's where it's at.

Salina: The other thing I can't turn down is a Coke Freezey.

Salina: They're my favorite treats in the entire world.

Salina: Like, above all else is a Coke Freezey.

Salina: So I go to the movies, I'm getting me a Coke freeze.

Nikki: See, I want a Diet Coke and popcorn.

Nikki: Popcorn makes my stomach hurt.

Nikki: But only at the movies do I want popcorn.

Nikki: Makes my stomach hurt so bad.

Salina: Yes, I'm very excited.

Salina: We're going to go see Indiana Jones on Monday, and I plan on getting normally, I try and stay.

Salina: That's a trigger food for me.

Salina: But not on Monday with Indiana Jones.

Nikki: Not in the movie.

Salina: All the butter and I'm having all the popcorn.

Salina: Because there is nothing more miserable than going to the movies and denying yourself, which I have.

Nikki: Kyle does not buy food at the movie theater.

Nikki: And he's always like, we just had breakfast.

Nikki: And I'm like, so.

Nikki: He's like, we just had lunch.

Nikki: And I'm like, so.

Salina: It's movies, man.

Salina: You got to eat at the movies.

Salina: It's a rule.

Salina: So some of these other guideposts, though, is, like just little things, like including some fermented foods like kimchi or sauerkraut.

Salina: Are these terrible to you?

Salina: See.

Salina: I love Sauerkraut.

Nikki: That feels weird to me.

Salina: It's a probiotic tablespoon.

Nikki: I'll just take a probiotic vitamin.

Salina: There's another way about it.

Salina: And then you can add fruit to your midday snacks.

Salina: And then this one goes back to what we were talking about, about being mindful and being present is like, don't just sit there and mindlessly.

Salina: Eat in front of the TV.

Salina: That can be a danger zone if you're not careful.

Salina: Although I will say if you just have the one plate, like, I wouldn't go and sit there with a bag of chips, but I might sit down with my dinner plate because it's already made.

Salina: That's a done deal.

Salina: It's just that and then done for the night.

Salina: But the other thing I just want to say is, please remember, just about everything in life is a journey.

Salina: It is not a destination.

Salina: It's trite, but it is true.

Salina: And that goes for health as well.

Salina: Trust me, we will be doing the same.

Salina: I'm going to let Kimberly Dark, an author and Ms magazine contributor, close us out with this quote that I've personally been marinating on for two weeks now.

Salina: Diet culture has disguised itself as wellness.

Salina: If your practice of wellness is looking at how you can modify your body, well, that's still diet culture, even if it is for health.

Salina: You know the drill.

Salina: DM us, email us, or contact us from the website.

Salina: Find us all over the socials.

Salina: And that's this week's extra sugar.


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