Today, I have Isabel Foxen Duke on the blog for my interview series. She is a rockstar body image coach and one of the best ones because she's not going to just tell you to 'love your body' and move on. Body image is bigger than that, which is why I love her work around weight politics and how important body image work is to help you stop feeling crazy around food. It's not about continuing to try to lose weight - it's working on your mindset around food and your body. The best part is she has a free video series called Stop Fighting Food (the first video is out today!), so if you like the interview, go check that out as well!
EVERY WOMAN HAS THEIR OWN UNIQUE STORY. CAN YOU TELL US ‘YOUR STORY’ WITH FOOD OR BODY IMAGE?
Before I truly let go of trying to make my food look a certain way, I was a chronic diet-binge cycler from the age of 3 years old until about the age of 24. I was constantly trying to control myself around food, believing that if I didn't actively stop myself from eating "too much," I would keep eating forever — and ultimately lose all the social privileges our society rewards to women who are "thin enough."
I fully identified as an "emotional eater," a"binge-eater," a "compulsive eater," and my fear of never getting to the other side of these issues — that is, my fear of never gaining control of my food — made it very difficult for me to give up my attempts at restriction.
Ultimately, I was only able to let go of trying to restrain myself around food (meaning, let go of both physical and emotional restrictions) when I accepted my powerlessness around food — when I realized that fighting my urges around food only leads to more rebellion, more binge-eating, more compulsive behaviors, etc.
That's when I realized I am far better off letting my food be what it wants to be, than trying to fight a war that can't be won — and will likely be lost with casualties. That's where the the name of my program "Stop Fighting Food" came from— the realization that fighting my urges around food is not the answer to my binge-eating problem, but the cause of it.
WHAT ARE THE TWO BIGGEST LESSONS YOU LEARNED IN ORDER TO HEAL DISORDERED EATING AND BODY SHAME?
That humans are generally not capable of controlling their food with their minds for very long — and attempts at control through willpower, will probably backfire. Just like I can't consciously control my breath for very long before I will inevitably start gasping for air, I also can not control my food for very long, before I will inevitably start gasping for food.
I also learned that adopting this mentality almost always involves a lot of body image work and education around weight politics. There's a lot of very dangerous and very inaccurate information out there about weight control that I think is allowing all this food craziness to go on — usually to the benefit of corporate sales or capitalist gain.
IF YOU COULD WRITE A LETTER TO YOUR FORMER SELF, WHAT WOULD YOU WANT HER TO KNOW?
I would tell her to stop wasting time trying to be someone she's not. True productivity starts from a place of self-acceptance, from a place of working with what you have.
WHAT KEEPS YOU INSPIRED, ALIVE, AND VIBRANT THESE DAYS?
Seeing the body-positive movement grow and change everyday. In the context of body image, weight activism, and pulling the rug under under the bullshit of the diet industry, we are in a very special time in history right now — it's exciting to watch.
Favorite place… Lighthouse Beach on Eleuthera, Bahamas
Bucket list travel location… Seychelles or Fiji
Favorite way to move your body… Walking
Quote you love? “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I'll meet you there." -Rumi
WE’D LOVE TO SUPPORT YOU. WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON THESE DAYS?
My free video training series, Stop Fighting Food, launches this week! It's the best place to start if you think I might be on to something with this food thing...
WE’D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU IN THE COMMENTS BELOW (+ GO check out Isabel's video series!)
- Are you ready to stop the stop fighting food?
*I am a proud affiliate of the Stop Fighting Food program.