We have an amazing episode for you today! We interview Debra Benfield, a registered dietitian and certified eating disorder specialist whose work is focused on pro-aging and body liberation. We talk about the messages women receive about their bodies and their relationships with food, including the influence of an “ageist diet culture” on both how we feel about ourselves and the behaviors we try to adopt. Explored the role of fear and desire to control, and discussed factors that might be underneath this. Debra shares about normal bodily changes we might experience during midlife, as well as some nutrition guidelines to help nourish our bodies and whole selves during midlife and beyond. Throughout the episode we weave in the (over) focus on appearance and staying young, and we consider the freedom that comes from instead focusing on a pro-aging mindset, connecting with your values, and integrating more pleasure and joy.
Some of our favorite takeaways:
When you feel the urge tocontrol, shift instead into care instead
Give yourself permission for pleasure
Fear and trust are often in opposition
Some nutrition guidelines:
When/if possible, listen to your body.
Eat enough! Adequate intake is soooo important. (Many people are undernourished because of diet culture. When a human body is undernourished, the brain is underfed and therefore changes. Symptoms of this include brain fog, anxiety, irritability, mood swings.)
Eat enough fat! This is important for your nervous system.
Consider your gut. For this, eat regularly (no skipping or fasting) and let yourself be fed adequately. Eat fermented foods, lots of fruits and veggies, and carbs.
Carbs are important for our bodies to function well and fully.
Belly fat is important and good. We need it.
Pleasure and satisfaction are important.
Brains can change at any age. Neuroplasticity is real. You are not stuck after a certain age.
You’re exhausted, burnt out, and fed up with your never ending to-do list. Quite honestly, you’re over it. We want to give you 5 Permission Slips that will take you from Dead Ass Last to Priority #1 in your life (without the guilt)!
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The Badass Rebellion: Helping women upgrade their midlife from bleak to badass