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Body Image Bullsh*t

Episode 9 of the Fuel the Fire Podcast hosted by Shanon Safi, RD, LDN.

Everyone has dealt with the hard grapple of self image, even our hosts. In this episode Shannon and Cat discuss their own struggles with self esteem, comparisons, social media, how they are reaching their point of true self love, and how you start too.

In this episode we talk about: When Shanon and Cat became conscious of body image and their struggles with it (01:05) When Shanon shifted her focus (20:50) The all too relatable views of comparison and external validation (27:00) Cat’s new freeing self love (32:30) Where to start your own slow and steady journey to confidence (37:00)

Episode Transcript:

  You're going to live your life trying to love yourself the most that you ever did. So every day you show up and say, like, how can I love myself more? The answer isn't always going to be through food. Any little thing that you could dislike or like about yourself has something to do with your health.

Hello, hello. Welcome back to the Fuel Fire Soul podcast. We are really excited to dive into it today. But we wanted to start by just reminding you guys, if you've been liking the content that you've been hearing on previous episodes, we would super, super. I would duper appreciate it if you would write a review and yeah, let us know because we're still giving away merch while it's still available.

We are running out at a lot of sizes. So yeah, definitely make sure to send us a screenshot of the review that you posted and check in with us. Come into my office, pop in, say hello, and I will give you that shirt. If you're listening from afar, send me a message. I'll ship it to you because I love you and I appreciate you.

So yeah, I can't wait for you guys to look gorgeous in your new fuel to fire apparel. So, today, we're just feeling really wild. We're totally winging this episode. We wanted to just give you, like, a little bit more of a background on us and kind of talk about this, like, not talked about enough topic of body image.

Yeah, I think this is a, a spicy topic for everyone, and I think it hits different, but I think... Everyone has this issue, especially with social media nowadays. It's a very easy thing to compare yourself to other people and kind of lose your own identity in that sense and feel like you're never really good enough.

So I think it's really important. And I think something that made me think of this recently is like a memory kind of popped up on my phone. You know how like memories pop up. It was me in this specific dress, and I remember taking that photo and thinking, Oh my god, I feel so big, and I feel like all I could see in that picture at the time was, like, my stomach.

And that was probably, like, five years ago. And it popped up on my memories, and I was like, oh my god, like, I thought I was fat in that picture. And it's like, so, like, that, like, made me so upset, cause I was like, wow, like, I know other people have said this too and like they've looked past back on photos from like five years ago and they wish they were in that body.

And I think that's something to kind of bring to your attention because you're probably in a body that in five years you're gonna look back on and be like, wow, I was so like different in that photo in some way, shape or form. So it like kind of just like sparked in my mind. I was like, Oh my God, that's like.

Like, really sad how lost we get in our body and our body image. Yeah, I hear that from so many people when they are looking at old photos and feel that way. And I think the interesting thing is, a lot of times, it's like, kinda like you said, it's like, we were, we looked fine, but we felt terrible in those photos, which is so crazy.

Cause I think, like. You know, like, I feel like I always thought about my body image, probably at, I mean, for as long as I can remember. Really, like, being young, I don't know when it started, but definitely, like, middle school age, when you're starting to, like, develop interest in boys and, like, wanting to fit in.

I feel like that's where a lot of it really... begins for a lot of people or unless it was something that was like talked about in your house I think it can begin even sooner than that where you're thinking a lot about The way your body is and the way you look and the way you feel I thought it would be kind of cool for us to talk about like our little body journeys or self image journeys in terms of like how we felt about our bodies because I do think there's a lot of stigma around this like people Are ashamed to admit that they don't feel comfortable in their body and it takes them a long time to finally like Seek help or express it or just like literally tell anyone in there Life or like even just with your friends.

I think it's just uncomfortable to talk about because again I think a lot of these topics we just feel kind of alone in them. So we don't want to say anything But I think it's super Normal, and I think most people I can't say all but like I want to say most if not all have thought about how their body is and had I don't know just like maybe some kind of negative feeling about how they looked or felt and And this really goes for anyone, like, whether you are underweight, or overweight, or a happy weight, or like, wherever you identify, I think we've always had a certain perception.

So, like, I think we could even look at other people and be like, oh, they probably love their body and have no issues, but sometimes those are the people, like, the people where we would say, like, society says they have the nicest bodies. I think sometimes those are the people that have the worst self image issues with their body.

Cause I, I think back to myself where I feel like maybe where I looked my best, I was the hardest on myself and felt the worst, but I was just like a little pinky. So it's pretty crazy to like look now and be like, wow, I love where I'm at now. But back then I looked so different. I like, or just that phase of my life, I should say.

Cause I, my phases were like up and down, up and down, um, with my. Self image just kind of like, I don't know. I don't know if there was always a correlation with oh, like if I was up Did I feel good if I was down? Did I feel good? It was it was probably more the opposite honestly or like not always the same like if I was heavier Sometimes I felt better, but sometimes if I was heavier, I felt worse and then vice versa I don't know if you felt that same way.

Yeah, I mean I think like The realization of everything has like really hit me over the past year probably because I think my body image from the time I was probably like you said, in like middle school up until, I don't know, I want to say like as recently as within like the last year, cause I did do my show like that this past year, I guess.

Yeah, like a year ago. I think like leading up to that my whole body image like was just all I had in my mind was like weight loss. I need to lose weight. I need to lose weight. I need to be thin like if I could pull up my stomach or my thighs like I wasn't doing enough. So it's like, yeah, All the time I'd correlate this little pooch that I had with like my calories, like they would be 12, 1400 calories and I'd be killing myself in the gym.

So it's like my body image was never good enough for me or my standards at the time. And like I said before, I think I like did the show kind of in a sense, like, I'm glad I did it. I don't have any regrets about like. Prepping and doing a show, but I think I almost had to like prove to myself how hard and how much I'd have to push myself To look like this ideal image of myself and like that really lean look and you know Like the little pinky version of myself and then once I got there, I was still like Alright, like, still could pick at my stomach, or still could pick at my thighs, like, no matter how lean I got, like, I still was really hard on myself up until that night.

I remember, like, Being really upset in the hotel room like crying to my mom I was like this isn't good enough like I'm gonna look like an idiot and like blah blah blah So I don't think the change really started happening mentally Like I think that's when the first time I was I switched my mindset of like, all right I'm going to like go through different phases through this whole thing And right now, my goal was maintenance for a little bit, and now I'm going into, like, a different phase of, like, building.

Like, I want my calories to be high, and, like, I appreciate that step in the journey that I'm in, and I'm, like, trying to come to terms with, like, there are different phases of your body, and you have to, like, see where you're at right now, and that you can always go somewhere different. Yeah, let's like throw it all the way back.

So like young kitty cat. So like, what, like what's your earliest memory of body image? I think it was, I definitely compared myself to like, my sister was really thin. And my cousin Katie, she was very thin too. And it was like, I felt like I was the chunky person. Like I know Katie has mentioned, like we've, we were grocery shopping.

Oh my God. I guess that's what's on my mind, but no, we were shopping for a formal dress or something, whatever. There was a dance or something. And even she has pointed out the memory of like. Yeah, like, don't you remember our moms, like, saying, like, Oh, Katie, you look so nice, or Tressie, you look so nice, and they didn't say anything about you.

And I was like, wow, I don't remember that, but now that you brought it up, I kind of, like, that makes sense. So, I think, like, comparison to other people started really young. I think my friends all had very, like, slimming bodies, and it was like, I was... Kind of the odd person out and I might not have been like I think just kind of if I would look at a picture from high school or You know middle school.

I don't think looking at that picture I feel out of place, but I definitely felt like I was out of place in that time in terms of my body image I wasn't the skinny person, you know, yeah so then like did at that point like I guess leading into your High school years, then, at some point, did it change?

Did it, like, shift at all? Or do you feel like that, like, underlying feeling of comparison, or, like, not feeling like you're matching the people in your surroundings, or you're not, like, feeling as good as the people look in your surroundings? Like, did that go away, or is that something that you're Yeah.

Like how did that evolve as you got older? I mean, it definitely continued through high school, through college. Like I always was comparing myself and I think that like, really took a toll on me mentally, definitely in college, but high school version of Kat, like she was, I was on the cheerleading squad, is that what they're called?

Yeah. Squad. The squad. And I just felt like. You know, uncomfortable in my uniform. I was like, you know, comparing myself to other people on the team. And like, in that situation too, I feel like you are put in front of everyone. And like, that's like a pretty, you know, there's an aesthetic to that sport. I think at least I thought that mentally, and I was trying to be that so hard.

And I think it was like. That definitely took a mental toll on me, too. I think I was definitely comparing myself to people on the team and things like that. So, you know, it'd be like almost embarrassing, like, sometimes you wouldn't fit in your uniform, or it wouldn't look the same as other people, and then you're in, like, Even more of an uncomfortable situation.

So that I think through high school, definitely continued with body image. And then in college, it was kind of the same thing. Like, you know, and I gained a lot of weight in college. I think I gained like 20 or 30 pounds, like freshman year. Like it was, it was the real freshman 30. I want to say like, then I started like training a little bit differently.

But it was still like I was, I was working out to go drink that night, you know, like it was not a good relationship at all with the gym, like, or with myself. So, yeah, it's definitely been like a battle. I'd, I'd say it's still like, it's not a hundred percent yet, but I'm learning to accept it more where I'm at.

Yeah, that's really good to hear. Mm hmm. It is something that I think is really normal. To almost like revisit or like have different feelings and different emotions because it's like, okay, like, I feel like right now I'm like, okay, I'm like so content with how things are flowing and there's always that like little fear in the back of my mind where I'm like Will I stay feeling this way or is this just a phase?

Am I gonna pass through it and then start to feel differently about myself again? And so I think it's like how can I kind of quiet that fear and like reassure myself that I'm always gonna make a good choice and I'm always gonna be happy with my body and making sure that I'm focusing on the right things.

So I like I was kind of like reflecting on my own journey and thinking about how I can like kind of really To some of your phases and I, I feel like it's like we, it was like same, same, but different in a lot of ways when I think of my earliest memories with my body, like I remember being young and like liking my body, I think because I played sports and stuff like I remember being in middle school and I guess like maybe And even still now, like I equated, like, if a man is attracted to me or from like getting attention from men, then like my body is good the way it is.

So I think like I, that, that was kind of like my, what's the word I'm looking for, like my calibration, whether like how I felt about myself or it was like, okay, like if someone's finding me attractive, then I'm doing a good job. So when I was young, I guess, like middle school, high school, I'm not saying that I was like a babe magnet by any means, but like, you know, it's like, I felt like.

I liked my body, and I probably, like, used it to get attention, maybe, when I think about, like, how I viewed my body, and I was like, Ooh, this part of me is really nice, so, like, I'm gonna use it to my advantage, because I maybe was, like, less confident about, like, my looks, in, like, in my face, I guess, because, like, you know, I have more I don't know what the word is, like, okay, like, I have a bigger nose, right, and so, like, I was always self conscious about that part of me.

Being young. So I was like, okay, like I have a good body so that makes up for it So like I kind of like wrote that for a while and then like freshman year of college came and I was very Focused. Well, I guess no wait, we'll throw it back one step. I went one step too far. I skipped a body phase so, I loved the way my body looked and then I think sophomore year of high school, I blew out all of the ligaments in my knee.

It was gross. And that really ruined things for me because I put so much, like my identity was so closely tied with my body, my athletic performance, things like that. So then when I couldn't work out and I couldn't play sports, I was just like a lost soul. And like, I was going through so much pain with the recovery, things weren't going well.

They made a mistake in my surgery that messed up, like, my nerve function, so things were just, like, not going the direction I wanted them to, in terms of, like, getting back to where I was. So, I lost a lot of weight because I just genuinely, like, couldn't hold anything down because I felt so sick all the time.

Because I was in so much pain, I would just, like, want to sleep it off. Like, I had no motivation, and I just felt like I really lost myself at that point in my life. And then, once I could like, start to move again I re tore it. It was like, again, it was just like, depressing. Like, I lost weight again because I just like, I think I was just really sad.

And then I used college as a time to like, reinvent myself. I'm like, okay, you know, you don't get to be a college athlete, that's okay. Like, you can find some kind of different value. In yourself to be like really proud of a new identity that's not dependent upon your athletic performance and like your body, whatever.

But of course, somehow that translated into, then I started doing figure competitions. So like, it was just like another way to like. You know, it was good. Like, I don't, again, like you said, like, I don't regret it because at that time, like, it made, like, those were a lot of my friends and I was so happy with those relationships and stuff but then once I actually competed in my first and technically only show I realized after that, that it made me Care about my body in a way that I never did before like I was so much more critical because this is a sport We were just 100 percent judged off of how you look and mentally I could not handle that That was just something like I think it takes a special type of person to be able to do that and not Have an emotional attachment to the judgments that's being passed upon you and I Didn't like the way it made me feel emotionally and like I think I talked about on episodes before I did very questionable stuff during that time because All I could think about was like wanting to taste something other than asparagus and like I just mentally Like it was really great that I had close friends because otherwise, I don't know like I would have gone crazy during that time But then after that, I think like again Like I I look back like that was a time where I remember being like wow I feel terrible because my weight I think I like stepped on stage at like 115 and I weigh, now, what, like, 20 more pounds than that now.

So, like, that just felt so different, and then, like, I just didn't feel good about myself after, because I was, like, I really liked how thin I got, and, like, the way I felt then, and how muscular I looked, but then it was just, like, transitioning out of that, I just, like, All the things that I couldn't do like drink and eat like I just like didn't care anymore I was like, I just want to drink I want to go out with my friends Like I'm a kid in college like I want to go out like this is supposed to be the time of my life And I feel like I missed out on a lot of things because of competing and so I Like after that like I of course gained weight back and gained body fat and I think that's where I started to feel My most insecure about how I looked so Yeah, that was definitely like a tough phase with how I viewed myself and then yeah, I guess like I was in a relationship during that and then We had broken up, I don't know, like months after I had competed.

I don't know. I can't remember the exact timeline, but let's say like five months later the relationship like ended. I wasn't feeling good about myself. And then I think that's again where I was just like, Oh, I like, don't feel attractive. I don't feel like. You know, like, I had my heart broken, and so it was just like, nothing was really helping me at that point in time in terms of, like, making myself feel good about myself.

It was like, oh, I feel rejected, and I gained this weight, and I feel gross, and so, yeah, I just, like, kind of felt sad, and so, from there, I guess I tried to, like, re approach things, and I, again, just, like, got back on to, like, Eating very properly and monitoring things and like I got back in shape and I was in a place where I was like Feeling good, but I think always in my head I was like at what point in my life do I stop eating and training like this?

Like when will it when will I be okay to just like eat a normal dinner? Because I was still trying so hard to control what I was eating and I just was like when does this phase of my life end where I can just Be healthy without having to make it feel so difficult all the time. Like if it was like I was always on top of my meal prep and on top of my gym routine.

And then again, like I got into competing in power lifting and then I competed in CrossFit. So the level of training, those kinds of things required was so high. So I could eat a lot when I got into CrossFit. I could eat so much like to keep up with my training because the training was insane. But like I was training like.

At the least three hours a day, at the most eight hours a day, not exaggerating. Like, we were competing with, like, to make it to the CrossFit Games and stuff. So like, this was no joke. We were like, going hard all the time. But yeah, that, that was a nice time. When I hit that phase, it was like, I could eat whatever I wanted and I looked great because of how much I was training.

But that's not sustainable. At that point, I was like, Again, I was in a new relationship and he was like you don't even give me any attention or time because all you do is You're so focused on like eating and working out And I was like well then I can't be with you and like we broke up cuz I was like This is where my focus is I look back and I'm like, wow, that was so mean of me because I really it was like but in the same You know, there's other reasons and stuff behind that one but it was like another phase where I was just like wow, am I really putting exercise before other things that I really value, like connection.

And that's when I had to kind of like check myself and I kind of like, I don't know, probably went long further with it, even though I was questioning it until I hurt myself again. So again, I hurt my shoulder. And that's when I had that check again. I was like, Oh my God, this is like a repeat of high school where all I did, like, this was my identity was being an athlete.

And here I'm again, when I don't have that thing, I don't know who I am. So. Again, I was just, like, after that I, I just, like, didn't, like, you know, again, like, the way I was eating changed, and so probably, like, that probably lasted for, like, a few years, and so I would take it up until, like, probably, like, the beginning of this year, I'm sorry, the beginning of last year, I guess, I forgot it's a new year, so, like, the beginning of 2021, I think I finally got to a place where I was, like, okay, I'm, like, I want to be okay with not working out, As aggressively as I did, and I want to be at peace with my food, and I want to eat more normal things and not feel like I am forcing myself to eat things just because it's, like, nutritionally balanced.

So, again, going back into this body phase, I think, approaching this point, I was, like, I was feeling weird and fighting it for, like, we'll say, like, three years prior, and then beginning of 2021. I felt like I was like, okay, this is the serious time to shift, and like, I'm focusing so hard on loving myself, no matter what I look like and what I do and what I am, like, I'm just going to, like, pour love into my soul.

Because I really was emphasizing, like, self love, and I wanted to stop having these body image issues. It was just like cyclical. So it was like, I caught myself like repeating that pattern and I was like, this needs to end. So, yeah, I feel like, like I honestly feel like right now is the most, is the best that I felt.

But like, I think I was coming into really trying to love myself. And again, like, I got into another, like, really, like I was seeing someone and, I think his identity was really tied in with his self image, and I saw the way he spoke to himself, and it really made me sad because He was always critiquing himself, and then it made me start to do that to myself again.

So like those, like, however many months like, we were seeing each other, I be I started to become self conscious again, where I was like, Oh my gosh, I worked so hard to get to a point where I was happy with my body even though it's not the same athletic body that I had, like, five years ago, and now I feel like I'm moving backwards.

And it was almost like, I don't want to say that led to the end of the relationship, but it was definitely like a factor that was just like I can't be around this kind of energy and do my own healing when I'm trying so hard to love myself and then being with someone that I wasn't sure if, like, I questioned if they loved themselves because of how hard and critical they were, I was like, Oh my God, are they hard and critical on me too?

And then just like, It would get in my head, so I was like, I just, I need to separate myself from this, like, because I care so much about trying to love myself right now that I can't be around, like, negative energy and constantly be reminded of something that I'm trying so hard to get away from. So, when that kind of like fizzled out, that's when I really felt stronger again, where, like, emotionally, where I was like, no, like, you do love yourself, like, don't let someone else's Perceptions and judgment bleed into how you perceive and judge yourself.

And so, once I kind of, like, re grounded that, like, now I feel like, from that time, like, I was trying so hard to look a certain way, and then, like, now I feel like I would almost say, I don't feel like I'm trying that hard, I'm just kind of, like, eating more intuitively, eating stuff that I like. I can cook a dinner and not have to worry about making sure I know the calories.

And, like, I'm so happy. Doing this and eating this way that, like, and, like, loving myself, that Even though, like I said, like, I recently made a post where it's like, This is not the leanest I've been, this is not the lightest I've been but I feel really good about it. Like, yeah, I've also lost muscle, that's another thing.

But the thing is, like, I'm so happy from the inside That it allowed me for the outside to, like, match that. So every time I fought myself No matter what I looked like, I didn't feel good. But now that I'm not fighting myself in this moment, I feel my best, because I'm like, you're just honoring what you're feeling, and doing what feels right, and hearing your intuition related to like, food and exercise and movement, that I can finally appreciate my body because I feel like I can finally hear myself.

Like, I can hear what my soul is asking me to do for my body. And like, I'm, I'm really thankful for this time. And like I said, I'm going to do everything I can to stay in this space. Because like I said, it was honestly like a five year journey when I woke up and was like, this shit needs to stop. I need to stop hating myself.

And it really took a long time and like many different people and different interactions for me to finally get to a place where I'm like. Wow, I need to cut the chatter that's around me and just center myself and come back to me and hear what I'm saying and like fulfill that need within myself rather than like seeking external validation for how I feel about myself.

So I think when, again, like it's been a big journey inward and I feel like that was what it took, like that deep inward journey for me to finally feel like I can love myself. Even though I'm not the quote unquote best of any of the things, muscle, leanness, weight. But I'm the happiest I've ever felt.

That's good to hear. That was a good, good little wrap up of your journey. Wow. Yeah, that was like the longest journey. That was, I was like really, like really into that. So, but that makes sense too. Like, like I like that you're saying like the external validation. Cause like kind of going back to You feeling, like, when you were in high school, like, your body and you got, like, this approval from, like, maybe the guys and things like that, and that made you, like, feel good and feel like you were doing good.

I think maybe that too, like, now that you've said that. I never had that, but everyone else in my friend group I feel like did. So it was like, alright, well then I need to work out more and I can't eat anything because I need to lose weight. Like it was, that's when like the whole weight loss thing I think started.

Like high school of like, I, I'm not getting any attention from any boys maybe. So like maybe I have to lose weight, maybe if I look like this person. I'll feel better. And I think that did like kind of continue through college. I think that was probably a big thing, honestly. Like, I think I was jealous of other people, like, who were getting more attention than I was.

And I think as a woman, like, you do feel, like, bad about yourself if your body doesn't look like Someone else who might be getting the attention, you know Especially like when you're single and you have like your roommates in college like and everyone around you is like, you know Maybe getting hit on or whatever and like if you're not getting that it's like wow Like I'm I feel gross and I'm ugly and like I feel fat so like none of my clothes look good Like I don't look good I'm not gonna eat this week and I'm gonna go to the gym and that's like I think, like, a continuation, like, that happened all through college, up until, like, my senior year, where then I did start feeling, like, a little bit better, body image wise, cause I, I actually, like, lost some weight, so, but that wasn't in the healthiest way either, like, my dieting started when I was probably in, like, high school, so, like, I think college, I did something crazy, I don't remember what exact, I don't, I want to say that was, like, Maybe my keto phase like I definitely did go through that phase.

So I did lose weight, but I gained it back and What else were you saying that made me like think of something? Oh, man said many words. You did you said a lot? I'm just going back to like the boy thing like I do think that has or like just in general like people and You know, maybe the friends they have, or like their friend group that they fit in with, like, you feel like you don't have that, and then you, like, are comparing yourself in that way.

anD it all stems, I think, from maybe your body image, at least for me it did. Yeah, I do feel like, like a lot of our, the way we look, like, I think love has a lot to do with how we view ourselves. And so, That's going back to like the self love topic where it's like I didn't love myself, so I needed someone else to love me, and I thought I could do that through how I looked.

It's like my body, right? And I think a lot of times, even people in relationships that are married, like, might feel the same way, where they're just like, if you don't feel attractive to your partner, it makes you question the relationship, you know? So if, like, you're not feeling desired, I feel like that takes away from how...

Like you feel less loved, right? So like, if we're talking like on a love meter and just using that as the gauge where it's like, Oh, like I don't feel lovable because of the way I look. And there's other people that are more attractive and then they're going to get the love because I look this way. And then I think it's like a vicious cycle where you try to like, a lot of people like shame themselves.

Into trying to get skinny. Mm-Hmm. And I just don't think that works. Like, I think it can work short term. Mm-Hmm. But I don't think it's a long-term solution because you still dislike yourself. Mm-Hmm. So, no matter if you're shaming yourself or like hating yourself into this body, you still hate yourself.

Mm-Hmm. like. Your body changing doesn't make you like yourself more. We think it will, but it doesn't. So you, like, if you use shame to get there, you still have, like, now you just have more shame, ultimately, because you just use that, and if you're like, okay, if I continue applying shame, and sadness, and disappointment, and disgust with where I'm at now, Then it'll take me to a place where I can be proud, but it really, it's just like a buildup of more and more shame.

And so then when you're looking your skinniest or thinnest, you're just like, I still feel ugly on the inside. And so it's like, okay, what, like, that's where it, like, it's so crazy because these, like, self image thoughts. Where it's like the sooner you can embrace where you're at now, which I think is so hard for people because they're like, I don't like the way I look.

So how am I supposed to love myself? And I think that's where people get so stuck in their journey is that. They can't understand how to give love when you're not meeting this, like, theoretical, desirable look that society decided was desirable. And again, that goes back to, like, The external validation, like we're seeking something external and you cannot control the external.

So for me to hope, like, try to control something that I can't control, I'm going to fail every time. Yeah. And I think that's like, what's important about like kind of digging into like things that you do like about yourself and starting there and like really surrounding yourself with people. Like I can't explain that enough or stress that enough, like with people that are Going to listen to you and like give you maybe the validation you kind of need like seriously when Shannon and I were on vacation Like this is probably when I started feeling my best because Shannon was like, what the hell are you talking about?

Like I'd put my bathing suit on it's like, oh like I feel gross Like I was saying this in November and she's like you have like the best body ever And she's like I wouldn't like say that if I didn't mean it like you have like Such a nice butt and you have like such a great like so Shannon like literally would talk me up.

I'm like Damn, right, you know, I do like you're right And like ever since then I was like, this is the probably like the most i've like weighed in a really long time But it's probably like the most freeing I felt too in a sense Because like of who like really shannon being a very like obviously we're with each other all the time But you know if I feel bad like Like, sur, surrounding yourself with people who are gonna be like, What are you talking about?

And not like, Oh my god, yeah, same, me too, I look disgusting and I feel gross. Cause then it just brings you down. And then like, even your relationship, too, like, I'm in a good stable relationship at home with someone like, who... Like supports where I'm at in my journey and like has never talked down on me and like Always will be there to like say something nice if you're feeling down.

So it's like, you know, I have that like External like you're good where you're at and I feel good where I'm at So it's like that's the first time I've really felt this way and even like if I am like say I'm in the gym Like I do I do love working out. So like I'm I'm in the gym I see myself in the mirror and I can very easily like Pick out five things, but I'm also like, but look at the weights that are in your hand right now.

Like you're strong So it's like coming up with that like, okay Maybe I don't like physically look the best right now my back my personal best But I'm feeling good, and I'm feeling strong and I'm feeling healthy and that's like You know, maybe I'm not as intuitive with like my food, but I'm not putting any restrictions on myself in terms of like, I can't eat this or that.

I'm like getting back onto my... You know, routine of like making sure I'm hitting like higher calories than I've ever hit in my life. So, and I'm doing like, I'm successfully doing that and I'm not gaining weight. So it's like, I feel like this is probably the most calorically I've been eating in a, in ever.

I've never had a goal to eat 22 plus a hundred. What is that? Right. Right. 2, 200. Yeah, I know. Where's it at right now? And I'm like. I'm like, thrilled with that. So it's like, that's just the phase I'm in right now, and I've accepted that, and like, I'm looking at myself from the angle of being like, strong, I'm being healthy, I don't feel like I can't have alcohol when I'm with my friends, I don't feel like I have to look up the menu before I go out to eat, like, I feel good, like I can, I don't have to like, limit and feel scared to do things with my friends or with my family.

So, that's like, a big milestone. I did not realize how much I would value being in that state just being able to like go out and not have to worry about what i'm eating or how much i'm drinking because like I can finally trust myself and say like Okay, like you're gonna listen to your body like I think that's another big thing that i've been working on I think it ties into this like Self image where it's just like, I didn't trust myself because, and like, I guess maybe in the beginning, I even said that a little bit too, where it's like, I still have that little voice of fear where I'm like, are you sure you can trust yourself to stay in this stage?

Are you sure you can just be so free to not count the calories that while you're cooking this meal? Are you sure? Like, you know, I questioned myself at moments, but. It's, it's almost like a spiritual experience where I'm like, have faith in yourself. Like, my mantra still, like, I think I might have even said this last episode, but it's just like, just trust yourself and breathe.

Like, that's all you need to do. And it's like, going back to like, trusting myself, where I'm like, okay, I just have to have faith that I'm gonna continue to choose to listen to my body and honor my needs, and to listen to myself, and like, Hear myself in the moment and know that I'm going to make the right choice in those situations.

Kind of like, you know, I still use the little kid situation where you tell a kid, like, you have to do this and you can't do this. Like, I swear to God, kids will look you right in the eye and do the exact thing that you said, do not do it. And same things with ourselves. Like, the more restriction and rules, like, you feel the urge to rebel because I think that's just human nature and we have to stop fighting.

Being human, and I think once we, going back to the earlier point too, I feel like it's all connecting now, so it's like, you know, fighting yourself is never going to help. I think the less resistance you have in your body overall, the more natural, like, love and acceptance is going to come in. Mm hmm, yeah, I agree.

I, I don't know, it's just been like a very big shift even in like the last few months, like, I'm really proud of like how far I've come in like a few months. So, you know, it's like hard to get into that phase of like trusting yourself or like, you know, thinking of like a lot of people like thinking of.

Like these grown women thinking they need 1400 calories or, you know, to survive. And it's like, I just feel like I'm at a point where I know I can have a lot more, especially like with your workouts and things like that and putting it towards something like versus like restriction. I think like I was stuck in the restriction phase for so long that it was never about growth.

It was always about just. The number isn't changing, the number isn't changing, like on the scale, so, you know, I think now that I'm in the mindset, like, I'm just accepting, accepting your journey, and where you're at, and like, like I said before, you can always change it. You can always change things. Where you're at now doesn't have to be where you're at forever.

I think that's important to remind yourself, because again, like, you heard us, like, I'm rounding up to 30 because I'm almost 30, but like, you know, 30 years of like evolution with how we viewed ourselves, more or less. I'm sorry to age cat like that. She's younger than I am. I am. I am a little younger, but yeah, I mean like it's really normal.

And like I said, I think it's, it's okay to talk about this and. And like, again, we are professionals in this realm, and we still have these thoughts because we are still part of society. And we try to put ourselves in these, like, little boxes so that we can be accepted, be loved, be welcomed into this society.

that we've created. And so I think it's just reminding yourself of like who you truly are inside, like deep down in your core and like embracing that. I think that's where a lot of the self acceptance comes from. So this episode, we don't necessarily have a list of journaling activities for you to do.

I think the self love, like, ultimately, if you're trying to take steps in that direction and love your body into its healthiest state, the way to start with that is, like, appreciating yourself right now, where you are, good or bad, just embracing all of that. Because that's ultimately what's gonna help you feel less resistance and be able to make choices and, like, trust that you're gonna continue to make.

The right choice time after time without needing crazy rules in order to do it Yeah and I think the more in tune with that you get and like the more self reflection you do on maybe even just like if this sparked You to like kind of look Back to your own body image through your like childhood or when did it all start and like see like kind of connect the dots there you know and if that like the picture thing resonated with you like Seriously, like kind of think about that and like you're at a different stage now.

So like You have control of the situation, like start focusing on your values or your, you know, what you're good at, what you're capable, capable of doing and like kind of looking from that standpoint versus like, my thighs are big, you know, and looking within a little bit more. We're big on self reflection.

I'm telling you that's gonna come up in every single episode. You cannot grow as a person if you don't look yourself in the mirror and tell yourself some hard truths that you don't want to hear. So it's really confronting yourself and these behaviors that are not serving you well, and again, like, acknowledging that, going back and seeing where these things started, and that's the only way.

Like, you have to unearth these things in order to work through them. If you just suppress them, ignore them, and try to pretend that you didn't have these phases, you're never gonna get past them, and again, it's just gonna become a repeating cycle in your life. So you just have to, like, address it. Head on, get after it, talk about it, explore it, and you might need to do this like 87 times.

Like, it's not like, oh, well, I journaled out at once and so I should be healed. No. No. Right. Like, Shannon and I are, have, what, you've been doing this since... Our body image is just changing like I'd say in the last year or two on our own selves. So it's like, it takes a long time. It's not just going to like one day you're going to wake up and be like, I love every piece of me.

Yeah. It's, it's hard. And I think that like, Like, I think there's always going to be a little part of ourselves that we try to challenge. I think you live a lifetime where you're going to constantly challenge yourself to grow. Well, I should say, people listening to this podcast, I imagine you're going to live a life where you're constantly challenging yourself throughout your lifetime.

So, the important part is to know that this is a lifelong journey of self love. Like, this is... Like, you're gonna live your life trying to love yourself the most that you ever did, each and every day. So every day you show up and say, like, how can I love myself more? And I think that's an important part of it, and it's not the answer isn't always gonna be through food.

Sometimes it's something else, but again, like, I believe everything ties together with your health. Like, food and body image and self love and you know, any little thing that you could dislike or like about yourself. Has something indirectly to do with your health. Because, again, your identity is in every little is like tied into everything that you do.

You know, it's like who you are when you're eating is also who you you're the same person when you're like, washing a car. I don't know, I just made up a random activity. But this is like, you're still that person. That doesn't change just because you're doing a different activity. So this really does all tie together, and that's why this self exploration feels irrelevant, but It's, it's really the only way.

Yeah. And I, I always say that, like, people will be like, Does this have anything to do with food? And I'm like, yes. Yeah, just everything. Yeah. Because when you can't love yourself, you're never gonna be happy with your body. Huh. It's very true. Yeah. So, that's where it all starts. Well, wow, we gave you an earful today.

So yeah, today was really just like an opportunity for you to reflect on your own journey. So that's what I really want you to take away from this and make peace with that journey. That's a big part of it and that's all that you really need to focus on doing. And again, this is gonna be more of, like, little things along the way that you do to help increase your self love.

And there's so many different things out there, so many different methods, but you have to figure out what works well for you. Maybe it's not the hype yourself up every day. I don't think that necessarily always does it. But like I said, I think your step one is, like, acknowledging your journey and appreciating every step along the way.

So, gratitude. That's such a big thing that's really going to help with self love is just taking those moments to say, I'm grateful for what my body can do. I'm grateful for having access to these healthy things and like stuff along those lines. So give gratitude, give thanks appreciate those parts of yourself that need to be appreciated that don't get enough attention.

The more you nourish those things, the more they're going to work in your favor. Well said. Thank you, kitty cat. Well, excellent. So yeah, Cat, I'll let you wrap it up today. Tell them where to find this. Tell them what to do. Yeah, so, you know, like we said in the beginning, kind of give us a little review if you're feeling up for it.

And then we've been doing a lot of fun stuff on Instagram, so you can follow us at Fuel the underscore fire or our Facebook page. We're on there too. Yeah. That's about it. Yeah. We're really trying hard for the gram. So show us some love because we would really appreciate it. Go love our reels. Yeah.

I, I would like to say we're publicly, publicly embarrassing ourselves, but I'm no longer embarrassed. I know I 10 minutes, making one single reel yesterday. So. Yeah, that's honestly, well, like I really will just like re watch our funniest reels and just be like, God, we were so funny. I'll be in my office and I hear you're playing in Shannon's office.

I'm like, are you still watching that? I cannot get enough of us. Huh. We're our biggest fans. Yeah, that's real self love, man. Number one fan. I would print my own face out and put it on a t shirt. Just kidding. I don't think I'm that... That's too vain, but like, you can wear my face. I'll wear yours. Yeah.

Okay. Perfect. We have a plan. Yeah. We're a lot of love in here. Love is important. Don't forget that. Love yourself first. Yes. Okay. Well, we love you guys. Yes. Love you. Bye.

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