Happy New Year everyone!
I wrapped up 2018 by being the featured guest on the Dietitians Unplugged podcast, talking about sex and body image!
I had SO MUCH FUN, not to mention kind of fan-girled out because I adore Glenys Oyston, RDN, and Aaron Flores, RDN, the two dietitians behind this awesome podcast. We made accidental sex puns and cracked ourselves up, but also had some really great conversation about the intersection of body image and romantic relationships. We tackled diet culture, sex education, pornography, and most importantly, I give practical tips for how to work on your body image and sex life simultaneously. In other words, how you can work on your body image via sex and sex via body image.
You will not regret giving this a listen and I am so excited to be able to share it with you all!
Here's the link: dietitiansunplugged.libsyn.com/episode-48-sex-and-body-image-with-dr-linda-baggett
I'll be writing up these tips soon in a future blog post, so be sure to check back or subscribe to my newsletter so you don't miss out!
Please check it out, and if you haven't already, definitely give Dietitians Unplugged a listen. It has been powerfully helpful for many of my clients and the topics are body image and Health at Every Size focused, ranging from swimsuits to photos to binge eating to fatphobia to fashion to men's issues and all kinds of interesting things!
Ah January. A time of reflection and inspiration.
Buckle up, my friends!
Unfortunately, it's also the time of year when you are assaulted around the clock with ads from companies trying to get you to pay money to be smaller or a different shape, when it feels like everybody around you is resolving that this will be the year they will lose the weight, when the kale is sold out and the cookies are thrown out, and when it seems all anybody can talk about anywhere is weight loss and the desire to alter bodies.
It's a LOT of pressure and the siren call of weight loss is strong.
I have such compassion for those struggling with the temptation to get on the diet bandwagon this time of year. The effects of weight stigma are no joke and when you are constantly getting the message that if you were smaller, you'd be happier, more successful, more likable, and attract the partner of your dreams, it's pretty hard to resist. Plus, the unspoken message is that you aren't good enough as is, which is a pretty crappy feeling that nobody wants to have. It's only natural to want to try to do what you think will make you good enough. Perhaps you think, "THIS is the year I will get serious about it and finally lose the weight."
However, diets are a bad idea no matter how you look at it. Here are ten of the biggest reasons to resolve to get off the diet merry-go-round this year.
Does this statement surprise you? Most people associate post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with war and are surprised to learn that sexual assault (including rape and childhood sexual abuse) is actually more likely to cause PTSD. Even though sexual assault is at the forefront of our nation's attention thanks to the #MeToo movement, this fact has not been a part of the conversation and it needs to be.
I can't count the number of times that a client has wondered aloud why they can't move past trauma, "I mean, it's not war." Or, "I know it can't be PTSD since I wasn't at war, so I don't know what's wrong with me." It is absolutely mind-blowing to them when I tell them that, actually, sexual assault is more likely to cause PTSD and I explain why.
I can see the self-judgment melting away in their surprised faces. I can see the stigma and shame of seeking help lessen. They express such relief at knowing. All of which underscores how vital it is that the general public be educated on this subject.
ESPECIALLY when you consider that ONE IN THREE WOMEN and one in six men experience sexual assault in their lifetime.
Think about the women in your life that you care about. Now figure out how many constitute a third. If your math skills are really good, do the same for men. Spoiler alert - it's a LOT.
So this is not esoteric knowledge that doesn't really apply to you. From a public health perspective, from a caring-about-the-people-in-your-life perspective and perhaps the I've-lived-through-this perspective, this is essential information that everyone needs to know and share with others.
Image: Recipes for Self Love
If magazine headlines are any indication, we are all supposed to LOVE our bodies. You haven't achieved maximum winning as a woman unless you do, and if you don't, there's definitely something wrong with you!
So why do I use the term body acceptance and avoid talking about loving your body?
1. Because loving your body isn't a requirement for a fulfilling life.
News flash - you can have an absolutely amazing life without loving your body!
Regardless of your body shape or size you can travel the world, have great sex, love and be loved, go on adventures, kick ass in your career, on and on and on.
But wouldn't life be better, you say, if I loved my body? Sure it would! But life would also be better if we got to pick all our coworkers and family members and had unlimited money,
Raise your hand if you're feeling on edge and nervous about this year's fire season?
How do I know that you are raising your hand?
Hint: I'm not psychic.
I know because if you made it through the apoplectic fire season of 2017, there is no way you AREN'T.
That's the way trauma (like natural disasters) works.
The 2017 California wildfires were devastating, especially in Wine County. Several of my friends and family members had to evacuate (thank goodness they weren't hurt!) and so this topic has been on my mind as this fire season gets underway.
Befriend Your Body with Dr. Linda Baggett
Blogging with expertise, compassion, and humor (and occasional swearing) about all things trauma, sexuality, body image, and diet culture from a feminist, Health at Every Size perspective with psychologist Dr. Linda Baggett.
Dr. Linda Baggett