Harder To Kill Radio 262 How To See The Value Outside Your Body & Overcome Self-Doubt w/ Summer Innanen

How To See The Value Outside Your Body & Overcome Self-Doubt w/ Summer Innanen

Summer Innanen is working to help women embrace their body however they looks. Summer believes that your purpose if more than just your body and is here today to help you see the value outside of your body and overcome self-doubt and fear.

Harder To Kill Radio 262 How To See The Value Outside Your Body & Overcome Self-Doubt w/ Summer Innanen

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Truly Embrace Health At Any Size

If you want to help those marginalized through weight stigma and discrimination, are looking for a friend to address the total chaos and body shame prevalent in new motherhood or are searching for a way to break free from the diet culture system, Summer is the expert for you. The self-professed ‘anti-christ of weightloss’, Summer wants you to stop your unhealthy relationship with food and start loving your body for all that it is.

All of the energy that you put towards constantly thinking about your body could be refocused into leading a more purposeful and passionate life and free up space in your mind for new thoughts and experiences. Once you embrace the fact that fat and thin are just mutual descriptors that hold no power over your ability to produce quality and substance you can truly embrace health at every size and become an advocate for treating yourself with kindness.

Are you ready to expose yourself to body diversity and stop perpetuating the idea that thinner is better? Share what you enjoyed most about Summer’s attitude in the comments below.

On Today’s Episode

  • Exploring the nuance of intuitive eating, body image, and diet culture (23:40)
  • Lifting the veil on disordered eating and body image in the ‘wellness’ community (28:50)
  • The power of changing your social media feed to include larger bodies (34:00)
  • How to challenge your beliefs surrounding life in a bigger body (39:30)
  • Health-promoting behaviors that can help people of any shape or body (46:20)

Resources Mentioned In This Show

Summer Innanen Website

The Body Image Remix Book by Summer Innanen

Fearless Rebelle Radio with Summer Innanen

Get the Free Body Confidence 10 Day Makeover Here

You, On Fire 12 Week Group Coaching Program

HTK 037: Summer Innanen

Order The Core 4 Here

Join the Core 4 Facebook Club

Nutritional Therapy Association Website

Quotes

“It wasn’t about the food, it was about the way they felt in their body. And so really shifting my gears to focus on that has been something I am really so grateful for.” (13:42)

“I really want people to know that they are more than their bodies. That we don’t need to make it about the body so much, we want it to be about what we have to say and our voices and our purpose.” (17:29)

“I don’t know what is going to happen to people’s bodies. Their weight could go up, their weight could go down, it could stay the same. What we want to do is really create neutrality around those changes so they are not dictating our self-worth and how we feel about ourselves and our food choices and everything else.” (26:30)

“It can be quite emotional and I think having someone helping you to process those things and see the deeper meaning and also the opportunities and the hope that can exist now that you are not a prisoner of that system.” (37:47)

“Educate yourself on the link between weight and health and the success rates of diets. Because there is a lot that we can do with people’s health by taking weight out of the equation.” (43:46)

The Core 4 is now available! Click here to get a free gift when you purchase.

Harder to Kill Radio is sponsored by the Nutritional Therapy Association. Registration is now open for the NTA’s Nutritional Therapy Practitioner Online Program. Learn more and save your seat (and don’t forget to mention my name on your application!)

man and woman cooking in the kitchen with veggies and chopping board

You can also try out their free 7-day course, Nutritional Therapy 101 by clicking here.

How To See The Value Outside Your Body & Overcome Self-Doubt w/ Summer Innanen FULL TRANSCRIPT

Steph
This is harder to kill radio episode 262 on today’s show. I’m welcoming summer in an Inn and we’re diving into body image. Let’s go. I’m Steph Gaudreau. I help women get stronger, know their worth, and take up space without restrictive dieting or exercise as punishment. I’m here to share that you can approach nutrition, fitness, and mindset from a place of nourishment so you begin to trust yourself more deeply. Let’s talk about how to embrace your body and own your power. Now with over two and a half million downloads, this is harder to kill radio.

Steph
Hello. Hello. Welcome back to the show. Thanks so much for hanging out with me today. I really appreciate that you’re taking some time out of your week to hang out with me and my guest today, summer in an Inn. I’ve known Summer for many, many years and I really, really love the work that she’s doing in the world. Today we’re going to be talking about diet, culture, body image, body confidence, body neutrality, and really peeling back the layers of this onion which if you’re somebody who has started down this road for yourself, you know that this is not something you can necessarily conquer in a weekend or a week. This is really a process and it is a process that is multilayered and multifaceted, so summer is joining us today to help us understand some of these different points of view regarding things like body image and diet culture for we jump in a couple of sponsors for today’s show.

Steph
The first is, of course, my book, Core 4 embrace your body, own your power. I just got a couple of cases more books at home and so I’m ready to send you a copy. I will sign it and send it your way. You can get all of the details@coreforthebook.com this is my four-pillar approach to sustainable health, building health from the inside out and really leaving behind restrictive diets and exercise as punishment and you’re going to hear that this really dovetails super well with what we’re talking about on today’s show. And before we jump into today’s content, today’s show is brought to you by the nutritional therapy association, the NTA trains and certifies nutritional therapy practitioners like myself. I did the program in 2018 and it was one of the best things that I have ever done for myself professionally. In the realm of nutrition, the NTA emphasizes whole food, properly prepared nutrient dense frameworks as the key to restoring balance in the body.

Steph
They’ve just launched a brand new online program for NTPs where students take an in-depth look at things like function and dysfunction of body systems, food quality, health and wellness barriers, emotional wellbeing environment, the importance of sleep and movement and stress. And you know, we love all those topics here and how they affect the body. As a student, you’ll be empowered with motivational interviewing techniques, clinical and practical skills and all the most up to date knowledge to become a highly recognized and respected nutrition and wellness professionals in your community. Registration is now open and seats are filling up quickly. You can learn more and save your seat by going to nutritional therapy.com and of course, remember to mention my name on your application.

Steph
Welcome back to the show. Oh my goodness. I’m so pumped because I am talking to one of, gosh, Oh person I’ve known for a really long time. I was trying to think like when, when did I first meet her? It would have been

Steph
seven or eight years ago. Right? That’s a long time in the world of blogging and being in this online space, but I’m really excited because we haven’t seen each other. We’re actually looking at each other right now recording on video, but haven’t really chatted and a hot minute and a lot has changed in her life personally and professionally. So we’re going to get into some of that on the show today. So welcome to the show. Summer. Thanks for having me back. I am so excited to see your face like it’s um, I always say that this podcast in a way is, is just a selfish way for me to get to talk to my friends. Yes,

Summer
totally. Totally. Well, you know what’s so funny about the podcast episode that we recorded years ago is yours. Yes. Is that like you, you were doing that thing where you’re like running people through the gauntlet and you asked me what something that people will never see you too. And I remember I said have have a child and now I have a child and I’ll never forget that.

Steph
I remember that.

Summer
Sure. And then, and then now, so yeah, so lots of stuff has changed, but I just find that really funny cause I think that was one of the times that I had really made that public, but I wasn’t going to have a child. And then, um, yeah, life is training.

Steph
They use change. And you’ve had a lot of change in your life. You moved, right? You’re Canadian.

Summer
Yes.

Steph
Yes. I moved, but that was almost five years ago. We moved, she got married. I have carried for 11 years. Okay. Yes. So I was always married, but yeah,

Summer
I think when I met you. But yes, we had a, we had a baby, uh, just over a year ago.

Steph
And w what was that, what was that process like for you, if you, and especially as somebody who is kind of selfish question, cause I got on record many times saying I’m not having kids. Yes. What was that like for you? I mean, well why the change of

Summer
I wish so it’s the most random story I can remember vividly. I was, uh, 37 and a half years old. It was August and I was folding laundry on my bed and all of a sudden I had this like force overtake me that said I want to have a family. And it was, I was like, who the fuck just came in this room? Who is here? Who is talking to me? It was the straight like, it was honestly, it was so visceral and I remember it so clearly and intellectually I was like, no, this was never in our plan. I never wanted this. I always said I was the type of person that didn’t have a clock. Like it just, I wasn’t built with one. It just never turned on if I had one. And then honestly it was like all of a sudden there was this clock that just boot it up.

Summer
And, uh, it really was, um, one of the most bizarre experiences that I’ve had. I know you’re quite intuitive and sensitive and things like that. And it was like such a strong intuitive Paul that I, and I pushed it away for a month. I didn’t even talk to my husband about it. I pushed it away. I was like, there’s no way, like this is just never in our plan and I just couldn’t get rid of this like really internal pole that made no sense to me logically. Uh, and so, um, when I told my husband, he thought I was joking and I was like, no. Like I am so confused. Like I was crying. I was like, I’m so confused. And uh, and then we sat on it for months because I didn’t want to pressure him. This was not in our plan collectively. And, uh, and then, um, I said, you know, by that time I was like, you know, into my, into my 38th year and I said, we should really, you know, discuss this because I’m not getting any younger.

Summer
And so our first step was to just see if it was even possible cause I’d had hormonal issues my whole life and, um, I’d been taking hormones to kind of regulate things for me. And so, um, yeah, I went to see a fertility doctor just to get some tests done and check my ovarian reserves and, uh, and the results were pretty grim, but I, in hindsight, I feel like they are really trying to just sell you fertility so they don’t really want you to be that fertile on your own. At least the clinic I went to, that was the vibe I got. Um, so any, anyways, we, you know, but we, my husband said, well, are you going to regret not trying? And I said, yes, I’m gonna regret not trying. And, and, uh, so he’s like, all right, well let’s just try and see what happens.

Summer
And then I got pregnant four weeks later. I was one of those really, really, really lucky people. Um, I’m extraordinarily grateful cause I, as I said, the, you know, the fertility specialist and some other doctors like functional medicine doctors I’d worked with had sort of said like [inaudible], you know, there might be some undiagnosed endometriosis. There’s like a short luteal phase. Like the, I have a low ovarian reserve. I had a whole bunch of things working against me, but, um, I don’t know. I think my, I always joke around that my ovaries Senta hail Mary pass down my fallopian tube. It’s like this one about [inaudible] and uh, and yeah. And so it w you know, it’s funny to say this story to someone cause I was the same as you like I just never wanted kids. And then it was like this weird, you know, what’s the name of when like a demon kind of comes into your body? I’m trying to remember the name of it. I can’t remember what that expression is called, but um, like being possessed kind of. Yeah, there’s another word for it.

Summer
Um, so that, uh, that, um, that’s what happened. Wow. And here you are and so you, so if anybody hasn’t listened to the episode that we did a long time ago, we’ll link that in the show notes to this pen. I mean everything has changed I feel like except for the fact that I show up and record the show. But everything looks different. The name still the same. But you know, back then we were talking a lot about stuff like body image and you know, I think when I take like a mental trip back and I think about like all of the things that you’ve worked on and your professional projects, your podcast, fearless, rebel radio, all of this stuff that you’ve been doing, I really saying that you were super ahead. They have the curve in this community because there were not as many people talking about things like body image and working with women.

Summer
And I mean the [inaudible] the image stands out to me is like you with a sledgehammer smashing a scale. Like that was really, people weren’t doing that back then and now I feel like it’s so much more common. There are so many more people talking about things like [inaudible] yeah. Tom and Tommy bought the body positivity movement, body neutrality, body image, so on and so forth. And um, you know, what is, how do you feel sort of looking back at all of that? And I’m thinking, you know, I was, I feel pretty good like I was doing this kind of ahead of the curve or do you feel like, uh, any, any bit like a pioneer in any way or how does it strike you now looking back at all that? Yeah. You know, it’s interesting, like I think, um, in like if I were to look at it in a vacuum, I would say, Oh, you know, I was talking about it and I was a pioneer or I was, you know, one of the few people talking about it.

Summer
That’s why I started my podcast just over five years ago was because I wanted to talk about these things and I was looking for this information myself. It was the stuff I wanted for myself and I wasn’t finding, I think I found like one or two other podcasts at the time that were sort of talking about, um, body image and like disordered eating and like the connection between those two things. Um, but you know, has really done a lot of research and reading this stuff has been around for decades underground, mostly by women of color, women in bodies. Um, and people who have been doing this since like the 60s, like I think that’s when, um, uh, the national association of, Oh my God, I’m going to mess the name up anyways. I’ll come back to it. Oh, or I will Google it. But um, NAFA Bay, I think it’s called a, you know, the national association of that acceptance, like that stuff was around like for decades.

Summer
And so I would never want to like see, be seen as like co-opting or anything like that. Like, I’ve, I’ve learned so much from those things and really seen it from a broader social justice perspective that has always existed and like a very, very deep pocket of the underground that has now been taken in a lot of ways and, and, um, co-opted and like changed from sort of like the initial real roots of the movement. Uh, and so it’s been really interesting to just read so much about that and learn so much about that and then, you know, try to give credit to people who really started that movement. But in terms of like coaching on that thing, you know, I do feel like I was probably one of the earlier people really focusing my work on coaching around body image because it was just, it was what I needed. And when I was a nutritionist I just saw how much body image was really the root of people’s relationship with food and, um, their dissatisfaction. Like why they were coming to see me in the first place. I wasn’t about the food, it was about the way they felt in their body. And so really shifting my gears to focus on that is been something I’m so grateful for. Cause I still, I still love that. I still love coaching people on that. It’s just, it’s, it’s awesome. [inaudible]

Steph
yeah, thanks for the sort of clarification, nuance, and distinctions around what you said. And I probably didn’t phrase the question very well. Um, but it’s important to point out and I think, you know, we see how things like the term body positivity or the body positivity movement have been co-opted by people in yeah. Thin, straight size bodies or there’s, you know, there’s a lot of debate and discussion these days about, you know, even when a woman shows up and is in a bathing suit or something like that and people say, Oh, you’re so brave. What you’re doing is so courageous what you’re doing and why are we having those conversations? And when women who are in pretty small Bonnie’s by society’s standards are saying, you know, like, Oh, I accept this, you know, tiny bit of me that has a little extra fat on it. I mean how that can be really polarizing. I feel like because of what you said, there are so many people who have been advocating for this for so long and because they are truly in

Summer
the intersections of that with things like [inaudible], racism, classism, and, and everything that we know exists. So, um, know what do you think about those? When you see posts like that, how does it strike you? Yeah, I think, I think, I feel like for a lot of people who are doing that like there’s really good intentions behind it. I totally did that. So I’m in more of like, you know, like a BBM size body, but I’m sending the straight size body, so I do have thin privilege. Um, and I, when I first started I was doing some stuff like that too, like posting pictures of my cellulite or whatever. And I’ll tell you, that’s really good engagement. But when I, when I started to really listen to other people, I realized that it was doing harm. And so I think the, um, that that’s really what we need to be looking at is, is, you know, who are we helping and who are we harming by doing that.

Summer
And I think that yes, we can have been helping other people who are in similar bodies to us, but we’re further marginalizing or people who are in larger bodies when you know, there’s um, like straight-sized people really kind of leading the forefront of like the body positive movement by using their, their bodies as kind of like their brands, so to speak in their message. Um, I don’t think that there’s anything wrong. There’s something wrong with anyone embracing their body using social media to do so. Uh, but I think that you know when your ultimate goal is kind of like empowerment, which I think like that’s the intention for a lot of these people. Like I want to empower other people to embrace their bodies, but they’re not seeing or understanding the harm that it actually does to people who are legitimately in larger bodies who face weight stigma, who face discrimination.

Summer
And so I made a point, pretty significant change to stop any of those pictures, I would say like three or four years ago now for sure. Three years ago if not four. Um, to stop sharing any kind of like body-related photos of mine. Um, for that reason because, um, I, I’ll, so for that reason, I didn’t want to like cause harm. Um, in addition to that, I think that I really want people to know that they are more than their body, that, you know, like that we don’t need to like make it about the body so much. We, you know, I want it to be about what we have to say and our voices and our purpose and not to just still be about the aesthetic and our body. Um, and you know, embracing cellulite is like, that’s great. That’s, that’s good. You know, I want you to [inaudible] embrace your body, but ultimately what’s really underneath that is I just want you to know that like your body can look however it is. You can like it or not, but you are just worth so much more than that. Your purpose in life is not related to that. And that’s um, that’s, that’s how I feel about that situation.

Steph
Yeah. You know, what do you think about, um, if you can go back to when you were really doing a lot of stuff in nutrition. I mean we sort of were in similar communities doing similar things and you mentioned earlier how people, women would come to you and you know, be dissatisfied. And so it’s almost like there’s this parallel like process or parallel story. I feel like, for a lot of us who have struggled with some of these things, they were like, okay, nutritious. Kind of how I got my foot in the door and started to understand this stuff for myself and for then helping other people, you know, how have you sort of progressed then? Like you mentioned earlier, you know, you were, this was sort of a way for you to create the things that you really were seeking. And I feel like a lot of us do that, right? We’re seeking that clarity or seeking that process in that growth in those areas. So where would you say your progression has gone and in terms of how you started with understanding things like body image and, and stuff like that?

Summer
Yeah, so I was, you know, I was a nutritionist and like really my focus was, um, very paleo driven or the sort of like platform that I used or the approach that I took and I was helping women with weight loss. That was my focus. Um, and when I went through my own, um, transformation if you want to call it that or kind of a like awakening when I realized that my relationship with food was horrible and, um, I was actually really unhealthy because of my relationship with food. So depriving myself of too many foods, restricting too much, I’m over-exercising all those things. Um, and it was started, it really harmed my health. And that was when I kind of had this, that wake up call moment and realize like, Oh wow, this is really about my body image. And so did a ton of inner work on myself and concurrently, uh, discovered intuitive eating, which I know that like you’re into as well.

Summer
And so those first, like that transitionary period of like working with people, it was hard because they still had kind of like one foot in the door and then one foot in the other door. Um, and I was kinda trying to kind of like mesh the two together and make it that work. And then I, you know, and then it kinda got to the point where I was just like, this is not like this isn’t working. Like I, I can’t support like this weight loss paradigm and really help people to accept who they are now. Like they just is not working. People aren’t getting anywhere. And, and so, and seeing that within myself too and really just continuing to kind of grow and learn on my own process. Um, and during that time I also did a couple of different life coaching programs and really I worked with coaches in my own process as well, and just saw how much, um, how much there was that you could do around that.

Summer
Like helping people see their value inside side of their body, helping them discover their purpose, helping them really overcome self-doubt and fear and all of those things are like heavily intertwined with the way that we feel about ourselves and our body. And so, um, I just did a kind of a significant rebrand where I was like, I’m going to focus on body image. That’s it and I’m not going to endorse or promote weight loss anymore. Like that was it. And I just, it kind of happened in one fell swoop on the internet cause I just shut down the one website and went on the other. But the process itself was, was certainly more gradual because I was like, you know, you’re trying to figure it out yourself. You have one foot in, one foot out. And, and it took me like a little while to kind of really figure out the new message and how I wanted to help people and um, and let the other thing go because like, I’ll tell you, it’s way easier to sell weight loss.

Summer
Like, it really is, you know, it’s, um, and I call myself like the antichrist of weight loss now and it’s like, um, it’s like, it’s hard. It’s hard to sell. Like it is, it is hard to sell, um, because it, people, you know, they don’t want to put that dream down and I don’t blame them and me, and I don’t, I’d never shame people for having that hope. I had that hope and desire for decades of my life. Um, that’s not our fault that we feel that way. It’s, it’s really a product of the culture that we live in. But to make that change was like pretty risky, but also at the, at the same time, um, I just felt so driven and passionate too, to go that way. And I, and again, it was like there weren’t a lot of coaches doing that specific work that, um, I felt like, okay, there’s this need for this. Like, people really need this. And I think if I can get through to them, even if they’re not totally ready to hear it, that ultimately along the way, like the things will start to click the same way that they started to click with me when I had my awakening if you want to call it that.

Steph
Hmm. Yeah. And you’ve sort of alluded to something that I was going to ask you about, which is okay, now that there’s so many people talking about diet culture, discussing the nuance, which let’s be honest, in the social media world, like talking about anything nuanced, everybody’s like, ah, roll eyes next. Um, you know, can it just be X, you know, extremes only or anything that you can get in a sound bite or a meme or a viral headline. That’s how information’s passed, right? Yes. Podcasts are an exception to that rule cause we’re sitting down and having a conversation and we can explore that nuance. But I mean, how do you explain the nuance of something intuitive

Summer
eating body image, diet, culture. And so what I see now, and I’ve heard this like a million times, is well, if people want to lose weight, you’re just shaming them. [inaudible] and um, you know, or like it’s okay to want to lose weight. And so I have personally struggled with this too, which is, I mean, how did, so I would love your opinion and your thoughts on it. How do you maintain respect for people’s body autonomy? [inaudible] while still saying I don’t do, I don’t know how people lose weight anymore. Yeah, yeah. Well, I think, um, I would never shame anyone for, for wanting that. I think where people get confused is like when, you know, if I make a post about the culture of, of weight loss, like diet culture, sort of implanting this desire in us for thinness, like really without our consent, when like right after world war.

Summer
And you know what I mean? Like, it’s like we come into this world and, and I see this now, especially being a mom of a really young baby, but it’s like, it’s just there. And, um, and so we don’t have a choice. So I don’t blame anyone for feeling that way. And I do think that you are 100% entitled to, to want that, um, and to desire that. And if that is something that you want to pursue, aye. Okay. [inaudible] I will not support you so to speak. Like I won’t be like, I’m so proud of you, but I will be like, you do your thing and I’m going to do my thing and if you want to know what I’ve learned about that, I’m happy to share it with you. Um, but I think so many people are like done with it because they’ve spent decades of their lives on it.

Summer
They’ve realized it doesn’t work. Um, and they’re ready. They’re just sick of it. Like sick of focusing on food, focusing on like trying to count things and feeling shame and guilt and like all it’s doing is chipping away at their self-worth. And so I’m happy to be like this radical message that’s like, you don’t have to do that. Um, but I, I certainly like, I think, you know, the way I just, for me as a coach, like when I work with people, I think that the vast majority of people come to me with still like wanting it of course. Like how do you get rid of that? The only way you get rid of that as by working on accepting your body, which is what I’m here to help you do. And so, um, and that doesn’t mean that like it’s not going to happen.

Summer
I don’t know what’s going to happen to people’s bodies. Their weight could go up there, we could go down, it could stay the same. What we want to do is really create like neutrality around those changes so that they’re not dictating our self worth and how we feel about ourselves and our food choices and everything else so that we can live our lives, you know, really have purposeful lives, free up the time and energy that all that that was being taken up by constantly thinking about food in our bodies, um, to just either free space in our mind or do other things with our lives. And so I really see it as like a much broader thing and I would never want anyone to feel bad. And I hear that too. And I always feel like, okay, well

Steph
you know,

Summer
you got to kind of like listening to my stuff more or like really get the message. And like you said, I mean it’s really hard to be nuanced. Like I, there’s so much nuance, everything I post, I could be like, I didn’t write five pages on the nuances of this because everyone likes to comment with their nuance on it. And I’m like, I know, but I can’t put that in like 10 word meme. So just know that there I am aware those new odds and hopefully you read my blogs and listen to my podcast and hear me talk about the wants. But I’m not, should be rude to anyone who calls out nuance, but I feel like there’s, you know, always called people commenting about that. And I’m like, I know [inaudible] caveat, I know there’s only so many caveats I get made, but just, just take what you want from it and then go deeper with the books. And the actual like resources that are much more in-depth

Steph
for sure. Yeah. And I know a lot of people who are professionals, whether they’re nutritionists or they’re health coaches, so on and so forth. Fitness coaches are also really struggling with this. So it’s not just on a consumer point of view, but also on an [inaudible] a professional level. Right. People, right. I have had many discussions with different people about this sort of, Mmm. You know, there’s, I was watching a discussion the other day on the fold on Instagram and it was sort of like, well, you know, if someone comes to me wanting to weight loss and that’s what I’m going to give them. And I just kept thinking, yeah, but if that’s not what you do and that not where you align and that’s not part of your professional, you know if somebody came to me and said, Hey, I want you to teach me how to become a world champion bodybuilder, I wouldn’t lie and say, okay, I’ll help you do that.

Steph
Yeah. They’re not going to be happy. I’m not going to be happy. Right. And that’s just not a good fit for that wheelhouse. So, um, yeah, I think that’s gonna be helpful for people to hear your perspective because there are a lot of professionals who are sort of there. We’re beginning to see, right. Those avail is being lifted a little bit on disordered eating. How even in the, you know, the wellness community and music, air quotes here, the wellness community that’s showing up a lot [inaudible] and um, people learn about and learning about intuitive eating health at every size and how those concepts, and it’s sort of like once you know, and once you’ve learned what you’ve learned, how do you unlearn it? And so there are a lot of people who are feeling kind of a bit stuck in the middle with, you know, if I say then I don’t help people lose weight or count macros or it’s fat loss or whatever, then I’m being disrespectful to what they want. But I keep saying, you know, so you mean something that’s outside of your value system and professional wheelhouse is, is being disingenuous as well. So, well, yeah. And it’s like, what

Summer
system are you feeding into and who are you ultimately helping versus harming? And I think it’s like, you know if we want to really help the most marginalized if we really want to see this from like a social justice perspective, which not everybody does and I’m totally fine with that. You don’t have to. Um,

Steph
but if,

Summer
if you really kind of understand, again, like the roots of this message where it came from, um, and understands a little bit about like weight stigma and weight discrimination, then you see how, um, like helping people with intentional weight loss doesn’t fit into that [inaudible] equation and it, it ends up perpetuating thought phobia, which directly impacts body image. Like if we are, um, trying to help people have a healthier body image, we really have to be all about this message that like, you know, fat and thin or just neutral descriptors. And you know, there’s, that’s it that like period, you know, there’s obviously more nuance to that, but, um, but that, you know, that’s my perspective on it. But I think it’s really hard because as a wellness professional, that’s where the money is. Like it’s hard to walk away from that because then you’re going to lose a lot of people when we know that. I can’t remember what the stat is, but like, I don’t even know if it’s like 30 or 50% of people are always on a diet. Like there’s some ridiculous number. Um, and in terms of people wanting to lose weight, I would say that’s probably like a good percentage of the population. So to take that out of your business equation is a big loss. And I think that I totally understand why people would struggle with that. Um, but, um, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s not the easy road to take, I’ll tell you that.

Steph
Yeah. Yeah. So you mentioned earlier some of the different things that you help people try to build is they’re working with their own body image and body neutrality. Would you be able to share with us maybe a couple of your favorite things or things that tend to make a big difference in shifting the needle for people in this process? Yeah, sure. I think

Summer
like there’s some really basic things that, um, I can cover quickly and then I can talk a little bit more about some of the bigger concepts, but, um, certainly, you know, getting rid of things that you hinge your worth on. So tangible things that you hinge your self worth and body image on. So whether that’s a scale or, um, the smaller clothes in your closet that doesn’t fit anymore, which are like, I know that you kind of did a podcast on like not too, too long ago. Um, uh, yeah, scale clothes, uh, those kinds of things are really important too, to deal with. So I always encourage people to get rid of the scale because all it’s doing is telling you how you should feel about yourself and that needs to come from within us, not from anything external. Same with the clothes in your closet.

Summer
If every time you open your closet, you’re not feeling good about yourself. Like got to get rid of the stuff that doesn’t fit and make you feel good, which can be quite an emotional, emotional process. Um, outside of that, like looking at the world that you exist in. So what I mean by that is like body shapes that you are exposed to. I think a lot of us, especially like your listeners, probably a lot of them are into fitness and fitness culture and things like that or wellness culture. Um, a lot of the individuals who we’re looking at are, you know, thin or like you see a lot of muscle definition and, um, if those are the only images that you’re exposing yourself to and you don’t match that image or even if you kind of do, but like in your mind, you don’t, um, that is going to make you feel really bad about yourself.

Summer
And all it’s doing is kind of continuing to perpetuate this idea that thinner is better or leaner is better. And so if we want to change that, we have to expose ourselves to diversity, like to body diversity. And so different shapes, different sizes, different ages, different races, like different identities, like any of those things, is going to help you see that. Like the 5% of individuals that represent like that ideal. Mmm. So basically what I’m trying to say with that stat, which is not coming out correctly, is that 5% of people naturally have the kind of like an ideal body that we see in the media. 95% of people don’t genetically it’s genetics. Like we just don’t, we’re not golden retrievers. We’re not meant to look that way. We’re not all meant to look the same. And so, um, to, to really change the way we perceive ourselves, we have to expose ourselves to diversity. And so changing your social media feed to like see larger bodies and expose yourself to that is so important. Like it makes such a huge difference. It’s sometimes amazing. Like I do, I do so much like in-depth coaching with people. I’m like, you know, their values and who they are and like self-doubt and all that stuff. And then I’ll be like, what was the most helpful thing we did together? And they’re like, I changed my social media feed. And I’m like, okay. [inaudible]

Summer
that’s good. But it really does make such a huge difference. And that’s not something that’s been studied, but we don’t even have to study that to just know that if you’re not constantly exposing yourself to inner bodies, like you’re gonna [inaudible] feel better. And I, and so social media is one place where we can actually control that because television, it’s a little harder to control, although there are some, our shop was out like shrill being one of them. I think everyone needs to watch shrill. And um, I know there’s others too, but I just haven’t personally watched them. Um, anyway, so, so things like that and then like a huge piece of the work I do with people is really around self-doubt and helping them to acknowledge like the voice of, of their, their inner critic, where that comes from, why that’s there. Um, all the kind of ways that cultural expectations have influenced that voice within us and helping them to then build up, uh, since, uh, a voice of compassion within ourselves.

Summer
And that’s really like through the way that we speak to ourselves, the way that we treat ourselves, the way that we act and behave towards ourselves. Um, most of us haven’t trained that muscle or use that muscle and it’s such a critical piece to feeling better about ourselves. And so that’s not a big chunk of what I will do when I help people is like using that and leveraging that and really just, you know, helping them to, to give that to themselves versus looking for that validation externally and things like that. Um, so that’s, that’s a few core things for sure.

Steph
That’s awesome. I think that’ll be super helpful. And I love how you also mentioned, you know, taking things out of your closet. Um, you know, just doing that sort of taking things out of your social media feed or you know, whatever adjustments you have to make and feeling how that

Summer
is very powerful, right? It’s not, you’re not feeling like you’re at the mercy of

Steph
all of these circumstances that there are things you can do. And I think sometimes it’s just really easy to get in that

Summer
that kind of run or that

Steph
you know, that habit or whatever you want to call it. Like that’s just the way you’ve operated

Summer
your life has been operating. And so sometimes it’s hard and that’s why I love [inaudible]

Steph
the idea of coaching and I have a coach and I think it’s really helpful to have that external person or PR or people or entity or who are like group or whoever it is that can help you

Summer
make those assessments. Cause we become so immune to what we see all the time. Right. Yeah, exactly, exactly. And I think sometimes we need that gentle push or that encouragement or ways to modify it. So it’s not just like this thing that happens so abruptly and causes it can be quite emotional. And I think to have someone to help you process those things and um, see the deeper meaning and try to see also the opportunities and the hope that can exist now that you’re not a prisoner of, of that um, system so to speak. Yeah. Yeah. How do you,

Steph
how do you approach when people that you work with are saying or they might say, I’m so on board with all of this stuff. Like I’m seeing progress in all these areas. I have a better sense of self-worth. Yeah. I went through my closet, I’m wearing clothes up at my hair and now body, um, you know, not facing anxiety. Every time I try to get dressed in the morning and they have these really tangible things that they are, they feel like things are moving forward and things are getting better. And yet there is, they, maybe they aren’t using the scale, but they are like, I know that my body is bigger now and I don’t like it. How do you help? How do you help people work through that? Cause it’s not, it’s so easy as you’re saying,

Summer
just don’t feel bad about it, right? No. Oh my gosh. No, that’s like the worst thing that you can say to somebody. No, I think it’s like, I think, I think it’s like we, we have to really make space for those feelings. There’s, there’s often like a mourning process that comes with letting go of sort of that an ideal or like our ideal body. Um, and there’s a lot of feelings that come up because many of us, like myself included, were spent decades trying to achieve this body. There were a lot of hopes and dreams associated with it. And she put that dream down and perhaps see a change in your body can be really hard, like really hard. And so, you know, I think it’s, first of all, like acknowledge those feelings, like name them and feel them and give them space to exist and know that like you are not alone with that.

Summer
And then we can start to challenge the beliefs that we have around what it means to be in a larger body. So the question that I’ll ask people is, so like, what, what, what’s the impact on you? Like what are you, what are you afraid of? Or what are you thinking? Or, um, uh, yeah, like what do you associate with and with a larger body, and I do this even if they if their body hasn’t changed and they’re just afraid of gaining weight because I think that that’s like, people have this fear of gaining weight. Um, and it’s, and it’s about under co under recovering, uncovering the beliefs that are underneath what we associate with a larger body. So whether that’s something like I’m [inaudible] not going to be attractive anymore, or people are going to think that I’ve let myself go. Um, or you know, my mom’s going to comments on my body.

Summer
And so the, like, all of those things have to do with fear. So whether it’s like fear of rejection, fear of judgment, um, its fears of, yeah. So those were the two big ones. But fear of like emotional discomfort, there’s a lot of fears that come into play. Um, and so it’s, it’s about then working through some of those fears. And a big piece of that is like being our own champion, being our own voice of encouragement, being our own voice of compassion through that and starting to still live our lives the same way and really just like tried to disprove. And sometimes we can’t. Sometimes if your mom is the way she is, we can’t change that. But what we can do is then talk about whether it’s like setting boundaries around it or having conversations around it. Um, or, um, trying to, you know, just make ourselves feel better about the situation.

Summer
To the best of our ability, but often it’s tied to like people are gonna think I’m an attractive or people are going to take, I’ve let myself go. And that’s where we have to really kind of look at, okay, what’s more important? Then others like other people’s opinions and digging into some the stuff around that and trying to really live that like live our truth within that. So whether it’s like, well, what’s more important to me is like my health and I wasn’t healthy when I was dieting or what’s more important to me is my mental health because I wasn’t mentally healthy when I was dieting or what’s more important to me is just being authentic and people loving me for who I am and if [inaudible], you know, if people don’t love me and see my value for who I am, then like do I really want those people in my life?

Summer
So there’s a lot of nuance nuances like the keyword to this episode. There’s a lot of nuance to it, but I guess, you know, in terms of coaching, it’s like really acknowledging the feelings that come up around it. Really understanding the beliefs that come up around what it means to live in a larger body. Working through the fears around that will also, um, and kind of strengthening our knowledge and beliefs and like who we are and, and treating ourselves with kindness through that process. So that’s the like Coles notes version. The last, yeah, that’s super helpful. Um, I think the one that people see that people oftentimes we’ll come with is there was a family member, a close family usually who has the diagnosis of a chronic illness or passed away due to chronic illness and weight was associated with this um, condition or this illness.

Summer
And so then the fear is not wanting to end up in that same position. And I think that one’s really tough because that gets reinforcement from the medical community who we know is there’s this like institution of medical care is not immune to things like weight stigma and fatphobia either. So it gets really messy. Yeah. I think in those instances like I would encourage everyone to like pick up a copy of health at every size or our body respect is shorter and still has the same points in it, um, by Linda Bacon and Lucy Emma for. But that’s what I would suggest there is, is for people to kind of educate themselves on the link between weight and health and this and then, and the unsuccess rate of diets because there’s a lot that we can do with people’s health with, with, by taking weight out of the equation.

Summer
So, um, for example, if it’s like my heart or like blood pressure like we can talk about making changes from a health perspective without it being about weight loss, like weight loss, again, may or may not happen, but if we can help ourselves to become like how healthier to try to prevent diseases, um, we can do, we can have those conversations and do that without it being about weight. Um, knowing that sometimes these things are just genetic and there’s actually like nothing that we can do. You can be the quote-unquote healthiest person on the planet and still, you know, have a stroke dropped out of a heart attack. Like any of those things can happen. I’m so, so trying to kind of surrender an of that control to you. Like, cause sometimes that can become almost like such an obsession or an anxiety-like that health anxiety that um, we want to make sure that you’re still like living her life and that it’s not causing you stress.

Summer
And so I really try to encourage people in that situation to work with like a non-diet, um, nutritionist or, or dietician that can help you focus on the health component of it without it bringing, without it being about weight. And you know, I would also encourage people to try to either have those conversations with those doctors or find new doctors, which is so much easier said than done, unfortunately. But when you can kind of arm yourself with a lot of the information and knowledge, then you can at least feel more comfortable knowing that you are, um, able to advocate for your own health and body. And that it’s often like intentionally trying to lose weight and dieting can actually cause more harm in a lot of instances then than just focusing on health like and trying to like reduce and minimize stress cause stress like stress and genetics are such a huge driver.

Summer
You would probably know this more than me, but like stress and genetics I think are like make up a vast proportion percentage of like what really influences our health. Like probably more so than just you know like [inaudible] nutrients that you’re eating and things like that. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, and things like smoking cessation and you’re reducing alcohol intake, like things that we don’t normally associate with. Yeah, those are such health-promoting behaviors, but one of the first things that people do is go to like one you said just completely slashed the amount of meat I’m eating and half, like there’s so many health permitting behaviors that really can help people in any kind of body, not just, yeah, people in larger bodies. Yet, people in larger bodies are the ones that receive all of this unsolicited and sometimes unwarranted because you can look at all their health markers.

Summer
Everything is all the time it happens. So yeah, I appreciate you bringing that up. Um, I have one more question and that is now that you have gone through a pregnancy, you had a child and I’m assuming that may be in some ways your body has changed. Um, you know, even if it might look the same. I think some people who go through that process, their buddy looks relatively the same on the outside. It might be different on the inside. How has the work that you’ve done and sort of your own process that we talked about in this show? Yeah. How have you leaned on that throughout this process where perhaps you’re in a different season than you were before? Yeah, it’s been really interesting too to go through it myself. Um, you know, the body changes after are like, for me at least, I can only speak for myself around that, but like down up Donna like it’s just, it’s so, you know, your body changes and, and like, I don’t even think it’s still sort of subtle because there’s just, life’s been so bizarre, but um, uh, it’s, it’s one of those that like, I did so much work going into it.

Summer
I think that I didn’t have a lot of body concerns coming out of it, so I, and I prepared for that. So I didn’t expect myself to go back to where I was. I still don’t. So what I did was, um, you know, I wore like stretchy pants and maternity clothes. Like I had no intention of buying like-new jeans or anything like that within the first six months of being postpartum. Like I just, I’m not, I actually, I might’ve, but they were really cheap. Like, I kind of had the intention, I was like, okay, I just need to get a pair of that fit me right now. But like there was no intention of like, okay, I need to get my body back to a certain size or fit into certain things. It was really like, let’s just work with where our rubber, my body is showing up and um, and do that.

Summer
And I think, you know, for, for me, like at least, and again, I can only speak for myself here. Like I was so busy with this other little human that I was trying to raise that like I didn’t even really look at my body very much. I just didn’t have time. Um, sometimes I would look in the mirror and be like, I don’t even remember the last time I really looked at my face. Like every time I was in the bathroom, I was like holding a baby and looking at him. Um, and so it didn’t, it didn’t come up too much. But where, where I started to really notice it for me at least was, um, you know, the last few months have been pretty, uh, or two months I would say, have been like pretty like life, uh, altering for me. So my dad drove, died really suddenly two weeks after I returned to work from maternity leave.

Summer
So I kind of went through like one major transition and then another major transition. And like as my therapy therapist put it, she was like, you are in crisis mode. Um, and so what was interesting to me was that like that is when some of my body insecurities really started to show up. And, um, this is something that I really work with, with my clients and teach is that so often like it’s not about our bodies, it’s about like whether we’re feeling out of control or whether we’re experiencing, um, like significant emotions and another area in our life that feels so overwhelming that dieting becomes the coping mechanism or fixating on our body becomes the coping mechanism. And that was my coping mechanism for decades of my life. Like that was always kind of at the crux of like why I was, I’m turning to diets and like fixating on my body.

Summer
And so I think for me it was like really easy to kind of, um, it, and not even easy, but it was like easier for me to see that, see that like be like, okay, like you’ve gone through these massive changes, like life is completely turned upside down. Um, self-care is like kind of in the gutter because you’re, we’re turning to work, you’re mourning the loss of your dad, like you’re raising, uh, you know, a one-year-old, um, like it was [inaudible] in chaos. It’s been really stressful. And so like, no wonder I’m feeling bad about my body like that, that’s kind of stuff is sort of popping up again. So what I’ve had to do is just sort of return to a lot of the stuff that I know, which is like, okay, like let’s make sure that we have stuff that, yeah, [inaudible] is making me feel okay and my body in terms of like clothing, let’s make sure that I’m like really trying hard to do just the bare minimum of self-care that I can manage with the time and resources that I have right now.

Summer
And let’s really work on the emotional stuff that’s causing this in the first place and know that it’s probably just gonna take a little bit of time and that this stuff [inaudible] so strangely enough, like this stuff hadn’t popped up for me for years. Really. Um, and so it just has gone through kind of these crises, if we want to call it that, um, made it show up again and I was like, what the hell is like, you know, this was so long gone. Um, and so, you know, I know my story is pretty specific to me, but I think that motherhood itself is really chaotic and it is a massive life transformation and it, everything kind of gets turned upside down. And so it’s really common to experience like body shame and things like that or because everything else feels out of control, we feel like, well, maybe I can control my body, um, in order to kind of mitigate some of this, like, uh, some of these deep emotions that I’m feeling with motherhood and sleep deprivation and all the crop that comes along with that.

Summer
Um, so, and then you have the pressure of the media and everyone else telling you that like, you should be getting your body back. And like, everyone wants to compliment the new mom on the size of their body. And, um, and that’s something like, there’s a lot of comparisons. There’s a lot of like mommy boot camps and like things like that. And so being able to Wade through that bullshit, like I don’t think I would have been able to do that, you know, uh, like seven years ago, I, I think I would have really, really struggled. And so, fortunately, I had like a good seven-year base of doing this work and like really having a solid body image to be able to go through that process without it shaking my self-confidence. But it’s there. I mean, it’s like, it’s so hard and I think that it, it becomes tenfold with, with the way that you mentally feel as a new mom just because you’re so exhausted and things feel so overwhelming and out of control.

Summer
Uh, so, um, yeah, it’s, it, you know, it’s, I think for a lot of people it’s like you really have to kind of be vigilant with it and do the work around it and know that like you’re not alone and it’s, it is a really tough period of time, but, but it takes also, it takes time to sort of overcome these things. Thanks. I really appreciate that. Yeah, I know, I know a lot of people will relate and especially at that point that you brought up about when things really feel out of control in different areas that can really

Steph
kick that up if it’s been something that you’ve dealt with in the past and you felt like you had a good handle on like it’s sort of normal for those things to come and ebb and flow and come in waves. And um, unfortunately sometimes it doesn’t feel good when it’s, it’s adding on top of all the other things they’re dealing with emotionally or in your life. But I know that that’s going to be helpful because so many people that I know are going through that or they experience it and they then they, you know, there’s judgment that comes along with, yeah, like, Oh, I should be over this by now, or here we go again. You know, I thought it was done with this and so it can be a lot of judgment that comes along with it.

Summer
Oh yeah, no, and, and me as like a coach of being someone who preaches it and teaches it. It’s like, why am I like, and then you go through imposter syndrome and all that stuff, but you know, it’s like one of those things that I’m also like, well, because I’m human and I got it and so I’m, I’m not immune to it. None of us are.

Steph
Absolutely. This has been so great to have you back on the show to talk about all of this stuff and it’s just been really great to connect with you. Will you let people know where they can get in touch with you or find out more about your work, where they can listen to your podcasts and how they can work with you.

Summer
Sure. So everything is that summer in an n.com, which you probably don’t know how to spell. So you go to the body image, coach.com. If you can’t head to the show notes for this episode right away and go to the body image, coach.com that redirects you to my website and everything is there. So I have a book called body imagery mix that I wrote five years ago. Um, it’s also on Amazon. Um, my podcast is called fearless rebel radio and uh, that is pretty much everywhere that you can get a podcast. So iTunes, Spotify, yeah, it’s also on YouTube and a Stitcher. Does anyone listen to Stitcher people? Last but not there. Um, and uh, and uh, I have a free 10-day potty, 10-day body confidence makeover on my website, which is um, that has 10 steps to take, which includes kind of a couple of the things that I mentioned, um, in this show to help you start that body acceptance journey and um, do that work for yourself. And then I have, um, I have a, I have programs as well. So my big program is called you on fire. It’s a three-month coaching program that um, is really like a body image and self-worth makeover, but really to help people shut that body shame and discover who they are outside of dieting and, and weight loss and all that fixation around those things and um, and to yeah, just feel a lot more confident in themselves and so they can live their lives to the fullest.

Steph
So. Great. We’re going to link all that in the show notes too, so if people want to go and grab that or see a transcript of this episode, they can head over to the website. This has been such a pleasure Summer in an end. Thanks for coming back to harder to kill radio. Thank you so much for having me.

Steph
okay, there you go, my friend. Thank you so much for tuning into the show.

Steph
To grab the show notes, including a full transcript for today’s episode with the wonderful summer in an Inn, please make sure you head over to my website. That is Steph gaudreau.com S T E P H G a U D R E a u.com. I know it’s a long last name with a lot of vowels, but there you’ll find links to all the things that summer’s up to, including her program, her book, and as I mentioned, a complete transcript. Sir, if you’re somebody who likes to read alongside listening or you just do better with reading or you want to see something in print, then you can get that transcript over on my website. Okay. That does it for today’s show and this week’s show. Of course, please make sure you hit subscribe on your podcast app. That way every time a new show comes out, it will automatically end up in your device. Thanks so much for doing that. I really, really appreciate it. And until next week when we’re back with another guest or my solo on the mic, be well!

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Hi, I'm Steph!

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