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New Year, New Body: Navigating Triggers Around Weight Loss and Body Image

By January 9, 2024Podcasts
New Year Resolutions weight loss and body image
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New Year, New Body: Navigating Triggers Around Weight Loss and Body Image

Jenny Tomei is a Nutritional Therapist and Eating Disorder coach. See all her credentials on her About Jen page and then should you need help then make contact with her today. Your road to recovery can start now!

On this episode: Jenny Tomei and Becky Stone

Jenny Tomei [00:00:11]:
Hello, and welcome to the JenUp Podcast. I’m Jenny Tomei. Can you do me a favour? Please subscribe to the channel as it allows us to keep making relatable content for everyone. Also, please do share the podcast to anyone you feel who may benefit from it. So exciting times. We have a new co-host to kick off the new year. So Becky Stone is a psychotherapist, eating disorder therapist, And we both work together to help young people who are suffering with eating disorders. So you want to ask us anything, you can find us at AskJen app on Facebook and on Instagram and on my TikTok, Jentomei.
So today, we’re going to be talking about, the messages around New Year’s resolutions surrounding weight loss and body image and how this can be triggering for people with eating disorders. But I’m gonna hand you over to Becky to introduce herself to everyone.

Becky Stone [00:01:08]:
Hi, guys. It’s really lovely to be on the podcast and do some exciting stuff going forward altogether, And I’m really, really happy to be here today, especially to talk about such an emotive topic.

Jenny Tomei [00:01:24]:
Yeah. No. It’s really hot right now, isn’t it? I’m seeing it sort of everywhere. So it’s really great to have you on, to have to give us your opinion on it as well.

Becky Stone [00:01:32]:
I just I’m picking up. I’ve just started back at work the last 2 days, and so many of my clients are, like, especially for over Christmas, been really, really anxious. And then we’re then swamped with this image of basically, you’ve put loads of weight on over Christmas, so you’ve now got to lose it because you’re blatantly well, Obviously not good enough. And that is the message that’s coming through social media, diets, products being sold. So There’s very much a huge amount of negativity coming through.

Jenny Tomei [00:02:04]:
Yeah. Yeah. And then we’re seeing that every day, aren’t we? It’s sort of the, Why is everything focused on new year, new body? Like, why can’t we focus on something else? Like, it’s you know, the messaging is not is not good.

Becky Stone [00:02:17]:
Yeah. It’s it’s just quite frustrating because I’m, like, personally, I’m a firm believer. If you’re gonna make changes in your life and you wanna put new goals in place and you wanna make, I call it tweaks. You’re gonna do it and you do it like you do it over time. It’s gonna take 45 days roughly to change a habit and a pattern. So putting all this pressure on yourself to lose weight, set these new goals up, be this new vibrant you, Realistically, you’re setting yourself up to fail. It’s not gonna work. And then I don’t know about you, Jen, but when I, like, sort of look on social media, I talk my friends, it’s very much like, it’s everywhere at the moment, and there’s so much pressure.

Jenny Tomei [00:02:59]:
Yeah. I I tend to, like, really just stay off it because I just don’t I mean, I’m on social media, but I only follow I really generally follow content that just makes me feel good about myself. Like, I follow, like, a lot of, like, travel content and stuff like that because I like traveling. So I try to stay away from it because I find that sort of content doesn’t make me feel good. And, also, it promotes the message of, like I was chatting to a con about this the other day about how we’re having to move every day or do something every day, and that’s not good for someone like me because I cannot obsess over that. So I tend to not Follow that and listen to my own body. And if I need to rest, I had to rest over Christmas because I was tired. I had to rest.

Jenny Tomei [00:03:37]:
Like and I didn’t wanna have to, like, go on social media and be like, oh, look. Like, you know, someone’s doing loads of stuff, and then I feel guilty for not doing something. And it it just doesn’t help, does it? Like

Becky Stone [00:03:49]:
I think you and me have been quite similar over Christmas because I’m very similar to you. I’ve been very a tree over Christmas. My body was tired. My I just needed to rest. So and I wonder if lots of other people have done a lot of resting as well. And then it’s that That sort of shaming that you must be doing something. You must be moving around. And, actually, who’s who says we have to be doing this stuff? Because we’re getting it from somewhere.

Jenny Tomei [00:04:15]:
No. Definitely. And it’s just like you know? Because I’m pretty active anyway. It’s good to rest. You know, I always talk about about the importance of rest with clients, you know, who we both work together with. And, like, if you’re not, you know, having proper recovery between, like, your sessions or your training, you’re just gonna end up burning yourself out, and then that takes, you know, weeks or months to come back from. And then you just become tired, and then you don’t, you know, you don’t really solve anything in that situation. You know? And it’s tough to listen to your own body when you’ve got messages from from social media that are making you feel guilty, which is not good.

Becky Stone [00:04:50]:
Yeah. And pressure from other people around you that you must or you should. They’re all coming from a very critical shaming negative place. And I’m very quite I’m quite argumentative. So I will literally say to somebody, who says I should? Like, whose opinion is that? Is that yours or is that mine? Like, I normally reflect it back onto somebody else because I don’t have to do anything I don’t wanna do. And I think the pressure that’s coming on over there like, especially January, You must be doing this. You need to be losing weight. You need to be doing, I don’t know, this amount of steps.

Becky Stone [00:05:23]:
You need to be doing that. You need to be eating this. Who says this? Like, you don’t have to do this stuff. Everything comes with balance and like what you’ve just said, Listen to your body. Listen to what you need. What nourishes your belly, and what nourishes your soul?

Jenny Tomei [00:05:40]:
No. Definitely. And then on the, Obviously, on the topic of social media, I was reading an article about it, the other day, actually, about people on social media who I mean, I don’t follow them because I just find them completely unhelpful. Sharing those what I eat in a day sort of videos and the clean eating diet meals and stuff, like, you You know, it can lead to people sort of, you know, comparing each other in their feed, which I find obviously not helpful at all, like, comparing your feed intake because we all need to eat and exercise differently because we all have different bodies. We have different metabolisms. You know? So I think those sort of images can really affect people.

Becky Stone [00:06:19]:
And people are only showing you what they want you to see. So I’m always really curious. Instead of taking it as a fact, I’m quite curious why are they putting it up there. Why do they need the attention to show people what they’re eating? Because, Actually, that’s there’s a different meaning going on behind, and we don’t know what’s going on for somebody else posting that stuff. Is there disordered eating going on behind it? Is there not a huge amount of recovery? Is it that they genuinely are trying to help somebody else? We don’t know the answers behind it.

Jenny Tomei [00:06:52]:
Yeah. No. You it’s like we’re making assumptions, aren’t we? We don’t know. We don’t know if they have a problem with it. And if we start following them and, You know, follow what they’re eating. You know? We could develop possibly a bad, you know, bad habit or disordered eating. So, yeah, that’s really important to I’ve mentioned, especially, like, influencers as well. Like you know? And, also, it’s not their fault if they’re not aware of what they’re doing.

Jenny Tomei [00:07:15]:
You know? They’re unintentionally influencing someone.

Becky Stone [00:07:18]:
It’s really scary because I think we look onto social media and we take it as fact. Well, actually, is fact. So, like, we’re taking it at face value. So I would always say to everybody, just be curious. Why is that person posting that? Where is it coming from? And what is it about their frame of reference of What is going on for them? Because you might not even know the answer, so try not to take it as fact. I know it’s very easy because it’s quick. It’s 15 seconds. We’re scrolling.

Becky Stone [00:07:45]:
We’re reading what we want to see from our mindset. And I’m very like, negativity. If we think about COVID, COVID was horrendously negative. So when you’re feeding off negativity, all it’s going to create is more negativity in your mind. So, especially with dieting and not feeling good enough and feeling quite vulnerable, you’re gonna be attracting this stuff. So I would say a bit like what you said, a little bit further into the, earlier was that very much follow really positive stuff on social media, Get the algorithm going, and then you’re gonna create that manifestation, that happy feeling, which is gonna make you live a better life.

Jenny Tomei [00:08:26]:
Well no. Definitely. And once you’ve liked something on a particular area, they’ll push it more your way. Like, I’ve noticed that as well with topics. And I’m like, oh god. And I found myself the other night just scrolling the on TikTok, and I was like, nope. Get off it. I was like, I’ve just wasted nearly half an hour doing that.

Jenny Tomei [00:08:41]:
It’s not good. Come on, bit.

Becky Stone [00:08:44]:
I mean, literally, I was listening to one of the podcasts. Is it Steven Bartlett? And he had The guy who because I’m ADHD. I’m going through the process at the moment, and I’m like textbook. I have a habit of scrolling and scrolling, and then all of a sudden, I’m like really anxious. And I’m like, how have I wasted, like, an hour of my life? I’m like, what am I doing? I’ve after listening to that podcast about that stimulant because it changes the process in your brain over social media, I’m trying really, really hard. It’s not perfect. It’s like work in progress as I call it. So wherever I am in the house, the phone is upstairs.

Becky Stone [00:09:22]:
If I’m downstairs, it’s upstairs. If I’m upstairs, the phone goes downstairs because I have this really bad habit of it’s like cocaine. I’m like, oh my god. I’ve got more of it. It’s really addictive and makes it good for me. And because it creates a dopamine hit for me, That social media scrolling is very addictive. So if you’re worrying about dieting, you’re researching, you’re hyper focusing, that’s all the algorithms coming up. You’re gonna hyperfocus on that.

Becky Stone [00:09:52]:
You’re gonna lose hours of your life wasting. What would it be like flipping it on its head and maybe writing a bucket list? Do you change the algorithms maybe? So instead of looking at as in A negative way of focusing on your body shape and food, why don’t you look at as a bucket list of, I don’t know, like Like, I’ll just use my examples. For example, like more paddle boarding, going walking. Is it that mine is going out for more Coffee and breakfast with my friends, making more memories and pockets of time. So you’re not focusing on the phone. Yeah. I mean, the phone is brilliant for research. Like, if you wanted to, there’s this thing that I’m following about travel at the moment and I wanna go to Brussels and Paris and things like that, all the algorithms come up.

I’m like, oh my god. I can’t wait. I love an adventure. But change the algorithm so you’re then making memories because Without being rude, if, like, I pass away and God forbid anything happens to me, like, it I mean, we’re all gonna pass away at some time, but no one is ever gonna remember much I weigh on the scales. Everyone’s gonna remember me as, oh my god. She’s bonkers. She’s good fun. She’s lovely.

She’s loyal. She’s caring. Most probably late because I’ve got lost, but all of the all of these things are what people are gonna remember me for in my personality. They’re not gonna remember what I’ve been following on TikTok, what I’ve been doing on Instagram, what I’ve been doing on Facebook. I think dieting is just soul sucking.

Jenny Tomei [00:11:30]:
No. Well said. I think that’s, you know, it just made me laugh. It’s about turning up the turning up late. You’re always late.

Becky Stone [00:11:39]:
So I’m just like right. I know with my ADHD, it’s like time just flies, and I’m all of a sudden, I’m like, What happened? Oh, no. And then I’m like, I’ve gotta sort this out.

Jenny Tomei [00:11:50]:
Yeah. I always used to be late, actually, for school. I was terrible again. This was earlier, like, but I’m really prompt now as if I think I have an anxiety around being late, so I end up turning up half an hour early.

Becky Stone [00:12:03]:
You know what? Actually one of my clients recommended, and it’s been the most useful thing and actually this might be helpful for other people, there’s an app called “Structured“, it’s mainly aimed for people with ADHD because I have a really bad of setting alarms, and then they just go off and then I forget all about them. So the the alarms aren’t actually really that helpful. And With the, structured app, it actually gives you alarms and it keeps going. So you then have to mark it off to say you’ve done it. So when I have to be on time somewhere, I use my Apple alarm to say I’ve got a be somewhere, and then I have 2 reminders, Then the location and the tracking. So, hopefully, I get out the door on time. And then on the other side of the structured app, I then put Things that I wanna focus on. So I try to focus on 3 things every single day to help me move forward.

Becky Stone [00:12:57]:
So I’m then doing things that are really positive, and I’m not creating this shame. So that might also be something really good for instead of focusing on the diet and that feeling of not good enough, which is gonna be installing this negativity, set 3 goals a day on something like the structured app. If you’ve got a different app, Do the same. So then you’re focusing on 1 thing that you wanna overcome and that you’re avoiding like the plague, and then do things that are gonna make you feel good, so you’re distracting yourself. And, hopefully, some of this stuff will pass.

Jenny Tomei [00:13:30]:
Yeah. No. That’s really good. That’s really good. I have to look at that app. I definitely I will, like, flit between different tasks, and then I start a task. I mean, I haven’t finished that task, and then I move on to. So I definitely need to start doing that.

Jenny Tomei [00:13:48]:
And it’s something that I’m aware of, but I need to work at it. Like, it’s fine. But it’s only because I have to wear many hats, and I have to do many things. So But I’ve got to the point where I’m like, right. I’ll finish that, and then then move on to the next one, and then I do the next. So I don’t start something and then not finish it now. Right. So I’m getting better.

Becky Stone [00:14:04]:
That’s why I got the app because I’m very similar to you. I bounce around quite a lot. And, also, I think it’s about Not setting myself up to fail?

Jenny Tomei [00:14:14]:
Yep. No. Definitely.

Becky Stone [00:14:16]:
That is incredibly important because I think I start stuff, stop stuff, then I go off and do something else, then I forget what I was doing in the 1st place, and then I get frustrated with myself. So and Some of it is part of my personality, just how my brain is wired. So what I try to do is get a new habit and a new structure and That sort of leads into the new you part of Christmas and the new year. It’s

Jenny Tomei [00:14:41]:

Becky Stone [00:14:41]:
Try to work with how your the brain is working, not comparing yourself to other people because, like, you and me, Jen are quite similar And Yeah. Somebody else who isn’t neurodiverse will actually have a very different way of structuring their day. And so me comparing myself to somebody else, it like, it’s not gonna work. I’ve already set myself up on a a failure bucket. So why would I do that? So I you need to find systems and structure and things that are gonna work. So I have a habit of writing stuff down on a piece of paper.

Jenny Tomei [00:15:16]:

Becky Stone [00:15:16]:
Why would I do that? Because I know blatantly well, I’m not gonna remember that piece of paper. You’re gonna lose it.

Jenny Tomei [00:15:24]:
You’re gonna lose it. I keep it on I just use Trello, actually, on my laptop because I just have the really

Becky Stone [00:15:29]:
good news there.

Jenny Tomei [00:15:30]:
I just have the board, and then I might look at it, and I’m like, oh, right. Like, that’s that. I just something down immediately so I don’t forget it. I don’t know. It works for me, but it might not work for someone else. So I just do what works for me. So

Becky Stone [00:15:42]:
And that’s the bit. I think going forward into the new year with a lot of the pressure of the new you, the new like, this massive change that’s going on, Work out how your brain is working and Yeah. Then set your goals around though how your brain and your rhythm works. If there’s things that need to be tweaked, find something that’s gonna support that as well. Like that structure that for me is just like a godsend. I had that on the phone, and I this is a little bit embarrassing. I had that on the phone for over 6 weeks. I never used it.

Becky Stone [00:16:13]:
Like, It was like I got recommended, didn’t do anything about it. And then the other part of my brain is spend some time remembering how to use it. Forget all about it. So once I sit down and I really make a point of making a change, I need to be ready. So I think anybody going forward with whatever goals you wanna focus on, you’ve got to be ready to make those changes. If they’re half hearted, it’s not gonna work.

Jenny Tomei [00:16:39]:
Hi. Definitely. And and what what sort of advice would you give to someone who’s struggling with an eating disorder right now and is getting triggered by content around weight loss, dieting. What what advice would you give to someone if, you know, in that situation? Because it’s bound to happen.

Becky Stone [00:16:58]:
I would say what we’ve just spoken about, changing the algorithms on social media. I know it’s very addictive, and there’s gonna part of your brain that’s really curious. Sometimes please don’t get me wrong. I think social media could be the most amazing tool and we can learn a lot from it. It can also be a mental self harm. So like cutting, doing anything that’s not healthy for you, I class as hell self social media can be like that. So maybe reducing your time down on social media, putting your phone in a different area, putting a timer on it. Yep.

Becky Stone [00:17:33]:
Try and eat anyone who’s got an eating disorder. Food isn’t your enemy. It actually can nourish and balance you Out. So you’re regulating with your blood glucose sugars. Small, frequent, eat regularly, that will lower the anxiety down and it would also right? It’s not a cure, but it will stop you looking at negative things and feeding that low self esteem. Yeah. Just another random idea.

Positivity changes the, like, the rhythms and the vibrations in your brain. So maybe buy yourself a 6 minute diary. So if anybody’s like me, if you said to me to write a journal or to do anything like that, I just forget. I just don’t do it. The 6 minute diary is really good. Do 3 things in the morning that you’re already grateful for, Three things in the evening that you’re already grateful for. And what will happen is you will start changing the vibrations in your body and your brain, And you’ll start looking at things in a positive way instead of a negative way.

Jenny Tomei [00:18:33]:
Okay. I really like that. That’s pretty good.

Becky Stone [00:18:36]:
Yeah. It does it takes I know I’ve had a client before who’s like, oh, I don’t see the point of this. I was like, oh, okay. And then after 6 months, she came back to me. She went, oh my god. I can’t, Right. I can’t get over what a difference this has made from the 1st part of the 6 month diary to where I am now. So it takes time.

Becky Stone [00:18:55]:
And I think with people with eating disorders, try not to shame yourself. We are human. We are going to make mistakes. We don’t have to get everything perfect.

Jenny Tomei [00:19:07]:
No. Definitely. And that’s, you know, the whole side of perfectionism. You know? That’s taken me a while to obviously get a handle on mine as well, but I have got a lot better. And you’ve helped me so much with that when we first when we first met. Like, you’ve honest honestly, yeah, you’ve helped me with that. I don’t actually Mind making mistakes now. I I actually, because I learned from it.

Jenny Tomei [00:19:25]:
And then I know we said about, actually, before we came on here, you mentioned around let’s talk about this trend around eating 1,200 calories is not enough for your body.

Becky Stone [00:19:38]:
Oh my god. I have an 8 month old grandson. I mean, he’s amazing. He eats more than 1,200 calories in a day. It’s like We need if if I had I mean, I’ve had an eating disorder, and I’m quite open about what I’ve done. Years ago, I ate 1,200 calories. I was lethargic. I was moody.

Becky Stone [00:20:01]:
I was zoned out. I was depressed. I didn’t wanna be around anybody. All I could think about was food. That isn’t a life. It’s really soul sucking as I call it. You need to have good food to nourish your belly, but to give you the energy to have To go on adventures, be with your friends, nourish your soul. And if you don’t nourish yourself, life is gonna be pretty boring.

Jenny Tomei [00:20:25]:
No. Definite. And to reemphasize the fact, guys, it’s not enough to feed a child. Do not do it.

Becky Stone [00:20:32]:
And, also, just Something that’s coming through at the moment with some of my clients, some people out there who are coaches are putting people in a calorie deficit down to 1,200. It is calorie deficit down to 1,200, it is creating eating disorders. They are then coming through to me. My little face is like I’m not very good at hiding my shock. I’m like, oh, what’s happening? And then I’m battling against the damage That somebody else’s advice. So it’s I mean, we don’t always get it right as professionals, but when you’re going to And you’re going in and you’re giving them money and you’re buying into their branding, you’re trusting them.

Jenny Tomei [00:21:12]:

Becky Stone [00:21:13]:
So when somebody’s saying to you, right. On. Let’s get your 1,200 calories. Your body is actually shutting down. Your brain takes 500 calories just to function. Let alone Eating, moving, exercising, whatever you’re doing, you need to feed your body.

Jenny Tomei [00:21:31]:
No. Definitely. And it’s not good for the body because You you actually down regulate your metabolism. You’re slowing down your metabolism if you do that. And then your body will actually start to gain weight once you start eating. Well, you’ll put more weight back on a diet, that’s what happens. Like and that’s a whole another podcast we can talk about.

Becky Stone [00:21:50]:
That is another podcast. I think What I would say to people is be careful, be curious, always wonder what is going on, why is somebody selling you this product, What is about what is it that they want you to be in a calorie deficit for? Is it because they don’t feel good enough about themselves, so they need to bring you down to their level? Is it that you’re pulling in so much negativity? Does your self esteem need a bit of work on that you’re latching onto this information? Wherever you are in the world, listen, trust yourself, and be curious, but putting yourself into a 1,200 calorie deficit is so Dangerous.

Jenny Tomei [00:22:31]:
Yeah. No. And then, of course, it is. And it’s really damaging for the body as well, like, especially over time as well. No. Thank you, obviously, Becky, for that. Obviously, before we came on, I think before we finish off, what was you made some really good points actually that we spoke about to of come to the end of the podcast. Can you just remind me what they were?

Becky Stone [00:22:53]:
Take the pressure off yourself to lose weight. You don’t need to be Constantly telling yourself that you are not good enough. It’s you are good enough, and social media or people around you Shouldn’t be really telling you what you should and shouldn’t be doing. You are worth more than that. Don’t get included into this competitive nature of being sold is a money making scheme this time of year. You are just gonna be feeding somebody else’s pocket pocket by, Like, buying in to somebody’s brand and build up your self esteem because negativity will just spread. Don’t set yourself up with unrealistic goals because you’re just setting yourself up to fail, which just creates more, like, low self esteem. And, naturally, like me and Jen said at the beginning, we’ve both been very sedentary over Christmas.

Becky Stone [00:23:47]:
We’ve both needed to recharge. So, actually be kind to yourself, guys, and focus on making memories. Don’t focus on the calorie deficit. Get yourself out there. Be just nourish your soul with the things that make you feel happy and have good healthy people around you.

Jenny Tomei [00:24:06]:
I love that. Love it. So let us know what you’re gonna be doing, and tag us on social media about when you booked your trip.

Becky Stone [00:24:15]:
Or I’d love to hear about anything that goes on your bucket list because I might stick it on mine, to be honest with you. I love adventures. And I think if you get one shot at this life, make the most of it.

Jenny Tomei [00:24:29]:
No. Definitely. No. Thank you so much, Becky, for that, and I’m sure that Everyone will find, your advice very useful. Any, say, final last words before we finish up? I think you’ve kind of said it really.

Becky Stone [00:24:43]:
Just enjoy your life, be kind to yourself, and just thank you for listening to right to the end.

Jenny Tomei [00:24:50]:
Amazing. Well, thank you everyone for listening to the Jenup Podcast. I’ve been your host, Jenny Tomei, and your cohost, Becky Stone. You can find us on Facebook and Instagram at Ask Jen Up and on our website at If you visit the website there, you’ll find lots of different, available resources there, especially around eating disorders. Remember to subscribe to the channel, and please share. Take care, guys.

How to get help?

Jenny Tomei is a Nutritional Therapist and Eating Disorder coach. See all her credentials on her About Jen page and then should you need help then make contact with her today. Your road to recovery can start now!

Contact Jenny

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