TPV Podcast, Episode 36: Body Image

Our thirty-sixth show!
Ep. 36: Body Image

In this episode, Stacy and Sarah invite George of Civilized Caveman Cooking Creations, Stefani Ruper of Paleo for Women, and Tara of Primal Girl to reflect on their experiences with body transformations. Learn about body dysmorphic disorder, teaching your kids about health choices as opposed to diets, and how to look beyond the excess skin that comes with dramatic weight loss.

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The Paleo View (TPV), Episode 36: Body Image

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 1:19 – News & Views
    • Planning to expand upon the Body Transformations panel from Paleo FX to further discuss body image, ideals, transformations in mental health, emotional eating, physical changes
    • George’s background
      • Active duty marine for 12 years, just ended due to some injuries
      • Spent 12 months in a wheelchair and 18 months in physical therapy, ballooning him to 257 pounds
      • Dealt with bulimia, fad diets, triathlons, carb rotations, carb loading and binge eating
      • When deployed to Afghanistan two years ago, found paleo and began his journey
      • Has helped him overcome all of his body image issues and develop a healthy relationship with food
    • Stefani’s background
      • Was orthorexic and a disordered eater
      • Through her site she deals with issues on both psychological and physiological wellness
      • Lost weight in unhealthy ways following conventional wisdom, and didn’t start eating a paleo diet until about a year ago when she adapted eating paleo for nourishment/health and not weight-loss
    • Sarah’s history with body image
      • Began struggles with weight in early teen years, by late teens was 265 pounds
      • Found low-carb eating and marathons in her early 20’s and lost 100 pounds, but was not happy or healthy
      • Had health crisis in 2002 and was apartment bound for three months
      • Was battling binging, depression and anxiety, and that is when her autoimmune diseases started
      • Wasn’t until her first daughter was one that she was able to lose weight again through low-carb
      • Found paleo when her youngest was two
      • Have always had image issues
      • Has now been at a stable weight for a year and a half and gained a healthy understanding for food, but the body image issues are still present
    • Stacy’s reflection on body transformations
      • Body dysmorphic disorder, which is very common, is when someone who has gone through a drastic physical transformation is mentally unable to catch up with what has changed visually – you essentially see your old self, or what still needs to be done
      • If you can’t see your own reflection, how can you appreciate all that you have done and who you are
    • The shape of our self-love changes over time, and the core of your self-love should be in acceptance and forgiveness
    • Our self-love doesn’t correlate with weight-loss, and we need to love our self independent from our looks
    • The first time George got a six-pack he was a person he didn’t want to be with an entitled attitude
    • Eventually learned that the six-pack doesn’t define him, doesn’t make him any better than the guy who doesn’t have one, or any worse than the guy who has a better one
    • Stefani’s experience with coming into a better body and developing a superiority complex made her relationship with food just as difficult as it had been in the past
    • Giving herself to higher things and dislodging the emphasis that society places on looks alone has moved her in a powerful direction
    • For the entirety of Stacy’s life people had treated her badly, and she didn’t know that she was being treated that way until people treated her differently for being lower in weight
    • When Stacy realized that people were treating her differently it was a depressing situation that made her feel used and abused
    • When Sarah lost weight she felt like she had to make up for all the years that she was at a heavier weight
    • Sarah had so many experiences where she felt like she didn’t belong, and now has feelings of resentment towards all the things that she missed out on during a time in life when one should be carefree
    • Surprise Guest Appearance! Tara from Primal Girl has much to add to the body transformations talk
      • When Tara was eight years old she was called a cow by other kids and developed a poor body image from that point
      • In high school was at a health weight, but still thought she was huge
      • Her weight became a self-fulfilling prophecy as she got older, but after she lost that weight she had a hard time reconciling the way she looked with the way she felt
    • Sarah had a similar experience and thought that she was fat years before that belief influenced her choices and became a reality
    • Tara’s fourth grade gym teacher told her she was overweight and that feedback made her believe she was out of shape, and that belief shaped who she was and who she became
    • Official introductions between Tara, George and Stefani
  • 42:48 – Science with Sarah: What is body dysmorphic disorder? And, can paleo help?
    • Body dysmorphic disorder is an unhealthy obsession with a flaw that is either imagined or exaggerated
    • The obsession is so extreme that it is considered part of the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder spectrum because it goes along with obsessive or repetitive behaviors
    • Symptoms can include checking your reflection often, or the complete avoidance of mirrors, not wanting self photos displayed, attempting to camouflage your perceived flaws, excessive dieting, excessive exercise
    • It is highly related to major depressive disorder and occurs frequently with depression and social anxiety
    • Body dysmorphic disorder has a spectrum of severity, with approximately 1-2% of people dealing with this disorder
    • Because it is a depressive disorder it has been highly linked to serotonin
    • SSRIs are used to treat depressive disorders
    • Serotonin is made in the body from tryptophan
    • To support natural serotonin production one needs to increase tryptophan in the brain
    • Eating a paleo type diet is a great start to increasing tryptophan, and the number one tryptophan rich food is sea lion kidney
    • Game animal muscle meat, organ meats, seafood, seaweed, and leafy greens to a lesser extent are all also good sources
    • One of the key things that people can do to improve their brain health is follow a paleo diet, eat organ meat and seafood
    • There is a strategy to eat tryptophan rich vegetables on their own without competing amino acids to increases your absorption of the tryptophan, but long-term research is showing that it might not be as effective as eating organ meat or seafood
    • Studies show that eating a carbohydrate rich meal four hours before you go to bed dramatically improves sleep quality
  • 59:55 – Q&A
    • Meredith: How does the 21-Day Sugar Detox look to children? Do you think it teaches them that food is bad, rather than real food is good?
      • Stacy’s children have done the 21DSD and have learned that it is all in the way that you present healthy choices
      • The kids were not limited to fruit in anyway, and if the kids asked for something that wasn’t on the list of approved items the kids were asked if it was a healthy choice or not
      • It was a positive experience for the Paleo Parents family and taught their kids how to make better food choices
      • Making the distinction between going on a diet to lose weight and making healthy food choices is key to setting a good example
      • Be transparent with your kids 100% of the time; communicate with them why and how you are eating
      • As your kids evolve give them choices to help teach them communication and responsibility with their health
      • Everything comes down to outlook and how you position it, you have that power as a parent to stay true to your beliefs and to teach your kids the same
    • (1:05:17) Amy: Thoughts on excess skin removal surgery? Regimens or supplements for skin elasticity?
      • For most people, if you have been heavy for a long time, your skin will permanently lose it’s elasticity
      • Stacy points out that the alternative to saggy skin is to have it filled with fat (her referenced post on what losing 135lbs looks like) – the skin is not something to worry about medically and is there as a reminder of her health journey
      • Stacy did consider plastic surgery and decided it wasn’t for her
      • Stefani notes that we need to not apologize for who we are and instead be proud of all that you have done for your health
      • Tara thinks that the worst thing that you can do for your body image is to go for a consult with a plastic surgeon
      • Analyze your motivations for surgery and consider what you are and aren’t willing to risk
      • Sarah thought it was something she would want to do, but she doesn’t care about it
      • Focus on the good fats of a paleo diet to help with collagen and elasticity
  • 1:22:07 – Outro

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