Ditching The Diet Culture: Redefining Wellness In Midlife
What if, I wondered, as a woman in midlife, I ditched the diets and body shaming culture? Would it affect my motivation to take care of myself? And would I turn into a 24/7 TV-watching puddle of blah?
I had a really enlightening podcast chat with Michelle Yandle Nutrition Coach about her no-BS and no diet approach to eating and health.
After years of yo-yo dieting Michelle ditched the diet train and improved her health and wellbeing by doing so.
Michelle emphasizes that it is natural for women’s bodies to change as they age and that we should not strive to look like our younger selves. This took me a few years to get my head around, and Michelle was the catalyst that helped me change my thinking around weight and health when I was in peri-menopause.
Michelle shares her personal journey of overcoming restrictive diets and embracing a non-diet, intuitive eating approach that promotes health without shame or guilt.
Michelle sheds light on the prevalence of disordered eating and the impact of diet culture during this stage of life. They stress that weight gain can be natural and healthy for midlife women, contrary to societal beliefs.
We talk about the deeply ingrained influence of diet culture on women’s perception of our bodies and how it affects navigating changes such as perimenopause – and how we are both approaching this as women in midlife.
Listen in as we explore the terrain of unshaming our bodies, what we eat, and who are in midlife!
00:02:58 Restrictive dieting and weight obsession harmed her, but now she focuses on holistic health.
00:09:24 Disordered eating, diet culture, and midlife changes.
00:13:33 Healthy weight is beneficial.
00:19:11 Body size messaging impacts health and behaviors. Being aware of harmful messages and seeking diverse representation helps. Focus on healthy habits and feeling good. Health is about more than just weight.
00:27:02 Fear, guilt, and shame around food are red flags.
00:30:59 Detox diets are potentially harmful, no benefits.
00:34:25 Breaking cycles, supporting younger generation, body image.
00:38:19 Focus on caring for your body, not appearance.
Michelle is a health and nutrition educator and coach as well as the author of 6 books. She currently trains health coaches through the Holistic Performance Institute.
Through her online courses, 1:1 coaching, books and seminars Michelle offers a no-BS approach to clear nutrition confusion and get the ‘dieters off diets’ so they can feel their healthiest selves without restriction.
Join waitlist for The Midlife Upgrade Course:
Full Episode Transcript
[00:00:00] Meegan Care: Well, welcome to the podcast. Michelle Yandle. So glad you’re here. Finally got you, finally got us together in terms of the podcast. So tell us about who you are and what you do.
[00:00:11] Michelle Yandle: Great. Yep. So, uh, thanks Meegan. It’s yeah, it’s awesome. And we’ve known each other for quite some time now. So it’s really cool to be on the other end of the podcast. Um, I am Michelle Yandle. Um, for those that don’t know me, I. Live, um, yeah, here in Taranaki, and my background is in health and nutrition. I am a, a non diet practitioner, so I support people to improve their health without having to resort to dieting.
And that may be quite different to lots of people. Um, but we’ll, we can talk a little bit about that in the podcast. Um, I, yeah, run online courses that support people with this and. Have a pretty long history of experience with dieting and yo yo dieting and, um, it’s great to be on this podcast. I know you’ve been talking a lot about, you know, midlife and I’m in that time of my life at the moment now.
So I think that we’ll have definitely have lots to talk about during this, during this podcast. .
[00:01:17] Meegan Care: Yes, I was thinking about you before we started talking. I was like, oh, yeah, you’re definitely, you’re, you’re in midlife because I kind of know, know your age range ish. Um, so what did inspire you to focus on a non diet approach?
[00:01:29] Michelle Yandle: Yeah, I mean, yeah, and firstly, definitely mid, mid age, I assuming that I live to be 90, I’m at mid age, um, I was going to do my best to live longer than that. But, um, I, yeah, my, well, my history of dieting and restricting started when I was really, really young. So I, I would, I always say 12 years old, but I can remember having earlier Memories of being very, very young and asking my mom about the sugar quant quantity in, uh, mandarins and whether if I ate too many mandarins that I would get fat.
So that was obviously a fear of mine for a really long time. And I did every diet under the sun, um, for all of us midlife. Women, we know that in the eighties, there were some pretty hilarious diets out there. I’ve done them all, um, from Richard Simmons to, you know, uh, we had Slim Fast and obviously Jenny Craig.
She was around for a long time. I did, did them all basically. Um, and then, you know, as I got older, I. You know, claim to, to not diet, but I was just focusing on healthy eating, quote, unquote, but the healthy eating protocols that I was doing was still quite restrictive. And, you know, you can eat this, but you can’t eat that.
And this is good. And this is bad. So masked as healthy eating, but actually still very much entwined in dieting. And this all started from being bullied as a child because of my weight and then later bullying myself because, you know, my weight was never good enough in my eyes and based on what I’d learned from society and everything we see.
And it was just, and I was never healthy enough, like it had to be this craze or that craze and had to try this diet and that diet. And eventually I just said, you know, enough is enough. And I realized that I was doing. Not just harm to myself, but I was doing harm to potentially doing harm to those that I was working with as well as a nutrition coach in that, you know, I was continuing to recommend these healthy eating protocols that were quite strict and restrictive and not just that they didn’t work.
None of these things worked long time term, which is why we were doing them over and over and over. And I thought, well, if my clients can’t. And I can’t maintain these changes for life. You know, I’m actually doing everyone a disservice. And so that’s when I started to look into this. Non diet approach and this sort of intuitive eating empowered eating way of Increasing our health and and eating better but without the shame and guilt restrictions that comes with diets and of course, I realized too that a lot of the The healthy eating programs or the, the way that I was be so strict with my food was actually impacting my mental health and it was impacting my emotional health and of course our, you know, our spiritual health and our relationships because that rigidity around food and that needing to control what we eat and for all of us.
You know, who understand that health is so much more than the body, I realized I was doing a disservice to my body by neglecting all these key areas of health. So, now what I do is a lot more, it’s, it’s still health focused. But it’s a lot more holistic and we try to avoid focusing on weight, but look at better ways to gently take care of ourselves.
And that’s, yeah, balanced eating and good friends and getting outside and moving our bodies and reducing stress. And, and none of that has to do with that number on the scale. And that’s the difference in what I do for myself, but also with the people. I work with, and it’s also about learning to listen to our bodies again, and, um, you know, getting in touch with the, the changes our bodies experience over time and, uh, really just a gentle way to take care of ourselves and, you know, be around for a while and have energy for, you know, our kids and grandkids and nieces and nephews and, and all of them.
So, yeah, it’s been a huge shift for me. Uh, it’s. It’s always a journey. It’s always a work in progress, but that’s where I am in my life. And also with the people that I’m working with. Yeah, beautiful. And I imagine
[00:06:04] Meegan Care: it, um, took quite some unpacking cause I, you know, we’ve known each other, I think maybe 10 years now and professionally as well and, um, you know, alongside you or knowing you when you went, went through that change and for me getting my, my head around it and it’s really helped me to understand, you know, a non diet approach to, to our health and wellbeing and, but how sort of.
intertwined the Dieting culture is in everything that we see in everything that we are, particularly for me as a woman, right? It’s just what we were raised with, what our mothers did. Yeah. All the magazines, they read Richard Simmons cracks me out because I watched that as well. We had that in New Zealand.
[00:06:54] Michelle Yandle: Good. And, and,
[00:06:56] Meegan Care: you know, so through in midlife, uh, you know, I guess, especially perimenopause, menopause through that phase, because it correlates with that age, our bodies are changing. And for many of us, our bodies are, um, increasing in weight somewhat. And I, funny thing, and I don’t think I’ve talked to you about this.
I remember you saying this, like probably when I was starting to go through perimenopause, you said something like, Oh yeah, women do tend to put on a little bit of weight around the middle. In, in midlife and the part of me that went, no, it can’t be, or it won’t be for me. And, and then of course it did.
That is, that is what’s happened. And I’ve had to come to. Um, a loving place with that, that this is a natural thing that happens in my body with my body and through midlife. So getting to my question, our bodies are going through big changes in midlife. How do you, how do you perceive that diet culture influences the way as women we perceive and navigate these changes?
[00:08:06] Michelle Yandle: So, I mean, firstly, I’m going to talk a little bit about disordered eating, and I just wanted to clarify what I mean by, um, disordered eating. So, cause I will, I will mention it, I’m sure a few times during this podcast.
So disordered eating is, is a spectrum, right? So it can start. With, you know, the yo yo dieting and the restriction, and it can go all the way to full blown eating disorders. So, when I mentioned disordered eating, I may not be referencing specifically eating disorders, though that is a possibility in some cases.
Um, but disordered eating is really that just. That obsession with food, the obsession with our bodies, um, being, you know, and manipulating our bodies through food, through dieting or restricting or over exercising and these sorts of things as well. So, I just wanted to clarify that before I go on that in this case, I may reference full blown eating disorders, anorexia, bulimia, um, and others, but for the most part, I’ll be talking about those disordered.
patterns and disordered way of eating. Um, so you were asking about, yeah, as we navigate midlife and how does diet culture influence the way we perceive these changes. I’m just going to say that first and foremost, for people who have been on and off diets or who have been really concerned about that, it’s terrifying.
I’ll be first to admit. That, you know, you’ve spent your whole life potentially, you know, maybe successfully keeping your body looking a certain way and that your body hasn’t changed, you know, since puberty or having children that sort of always has gone back to being about the same and then. Suddenly, mid life happens, you haven’t changed how you eat, you haven’t changed anything in your life, potentially, but your body is changing, your pants are getting tighter, um, and that can be, thanks to diet culture, an absolutely terrifying experience for lots of women, and there are two times in our lives where disordered eating and eating disorders are most prevalent, and they are when we go through puberty, Um, so our body is changing because of those hormonal fluctuations and changes.
And the second time is midlife, when we go through our own changes as women as we transition. And so. We don’t talk about eating disorders or disordered eating as much in midlife, um, but it is the second most common. It’s also a time when disordered eating and full blown eating disorders can resurface because of those triggering changes that are happening in our bodies.
So we have a really unhealthy view for many of us that have experienced diet culture about our bodies as we go through these midlife changes. Um, like say we’ve spent our whole lives Trying to keep our bodies a certain size and suddenly we have no control over what’s going on and you know I’ve had women who have restricted and restricted and restricted and restricted and their body is Holding on like hell it’s not changing and that yeah, that can be really really scary Thanks to diet culture and it can also be really, um, difficult as we get older to stick to diets.
So that’s the other thing that happens around midlife too, is that it gets harder and harder to maintain certain diets. And so that’s another thing that can, that can happen. Um, but yeah, thanks to diet culture, the, uh, it has a huge… influence on how we react to these natural changes that happen to our bodies.
And I want to emphasize that they are very, very natural. And we’ve been taught for so long that weight gain is always unhealthy and weight gain is always a bad thing. But for midlife women, It’s actually a very healthy thing. Um, and we can talk about that a little bit later on as well. Uh,
[00:12:14] Meegan Care: let’s talk about that now.
Why is it, why is it a healthy thing? Yeah, you just piqued my interest right there really strongly. I’m like, tell me why.
[00:12:24] Michelle Yandle: Yeah, yeah. Well, for, for lots of, uh, lots of reasons. Um, it is, yeah, again, a very just normal thing. I remember being so impacted once I got a biology. Textbook and it was or anatomy. I can’t remember now and it was sharing a the diagrams of women’s bodies over time.
Um, and as the, the woman progressed. It showed that naturally we might get a bit shorter and we might get a bit wider around our hips and this was just a, uh, you know, a anatomy textbook. It was a very factual sort of thing that the woman was starting to get a little bit more of a tummy and a little bit more of the hips and, you know, we, we are not.
meant to be looking like our 20 year old selves. We don’t look like when we’re from a 20 year old to a 10 year old, we’re not meant to look like our 10 year old selves from a 30 or 40 or 50 year old. We’re not meant to look like our 20 year old selves. Um, that’s not natural, right? So why is weight having that weight around our hips healthy?
Is, uh, well for lots of reasons, but it’s incredibly healthy for us as middle-aged woman because our, in our, this fat in our midsection and this fat that we’re carrying on our body that is new, it actually holds on to estrogen. And even now, we’re no longer. Potentially ovulating that fat allows our body to have a release of estrogen that can actually alleviate menopause symptoms.
So it’s, it’s very healthy. This fat is there for a reason. Um, and it’s also protective. I mean, you often hear about some body fat being protective for our organs as well. And, you know, it’s again, this. It’s just a way of protecting and relieving menopause symptoms, um, as we get older. And I think, I mean, when I think of, um, I think of like grandmothers and I think of mother figures and you know, they just, they just seem to me, I mean, this is me, I guess looking at it now, when I see a curvy.
older woman, they radiate health to me. I don’t know, like, you know, they’re just this voluptuous older woman. Um, you just want to give them a hug. Um, I don’t know. And when you see women that are quite, quite skinny, or they’re losing a considerable amount of weight as they’re getting older, one that can be quite dangerous, but also it’s, it’s not, Um, necessarily healthier than being in a curvy body as we age.
Uh, it’s also really stressful on our bodies when we engage in dieting as we’re getting older, because we, um, Well, it can affect our energy, it can affect our metabolism to go on and off of diets, that’s been showed in the Biggest Loser study, um, they did a study on that show, The Biggest Loser, and it showed the impact that this yo yo dieting had on people’s metabolism.
It can lead to disordered eating, it affects your self esteem. It can also be incredibly stressful on our bodies, which increases cortisol. And we’ve all heard, you know, the negative impacts that high cortisol levels can have resulting from stress. Um, so embracing our bodies and nourishing our bodies and taking care of our bodies.
As they are and letting our body do what it’s naturally going to do is it’s going to be a lot healthier long term than attacking our bodies.
[00:16:17] Meegan Care: Like attacking our bodies, yeah. Yeah, yeah makes a lot of sense and you know, we we see all of the writing about you know in perimenopause, menopause, how our cortisol is higher anyway because of the hormonal fluctuations and so then if you add on really restrictive dieting on that I imagine That’s going to give even more of an increase of cortisol stress hormones in the system.
[00:16:42] Michelle Yandle: Yeah, totally. Yeah. I mean, nobody dieting is incredibly stressful when it, especially when it starts to not work, you know, and you’re trying everything and you just, so, I mean, I’ve been there. I know that feeling of constantly hating your body. That is not. Unstressful state for your body to be in. Um, and as we get older, like you say, that’s even more important that we keep those stress levels down as.
You know, we all know the benefits of, you know, having a low stress or lower stress life on our health and dieting is like I say, and body hate and body shame is incredibly stressful.
[00:17:20] Meegan Care: Oh, exactly. Exactly. And I, you know, being a midlife woman and somebody who does, you know, a lot of research around menopause and midlife and now bombarded with all of the, um, diet programs, all of the menopause health programs, which many of them to me look like just another fad diet in disguise.
And I I’m very much generalizing. And then also the sort of the fad exercise diets all aimed at at women in midlife to, you know, lose the weight. To feel healthier, but not, well, all that I have seen anyway, a very, very restrictive, um, how on earth do we
[00:18:09] Michelle Yandle: navigate that? Yeah, they, um, they, and they all, you know, target that, that belly bad and target, they know exactly what we’re suffering with.
And, um, you know, it’s, yeah, it’s incredibly. It’s, it sounds difficult, but it’s, it’s actually quite, it’s simple, but it’s not easy because we are bombarded with all these messages and we are bombarded with, um, you know, things that are telling us every day that we’re not good enough if we have belly fat or more scarily, I think is the.
The health, uh, shaming or scaring that we have, like, if you’re not doing this, if you’re not losing weight, you know, you, you know, you’re not going to live as long, you’re going to get diseases, you’re going to get this and this and this. All of those things are related to our behaviors, not what our body size is.
And that’s a hard thing for people to get their, their heads around because we’ve been told for so long, the opposite. And it is. How we move our bodies, how we eat, how we live, that’s going to impact disease and, you know, being unwell, and despite whether our body changes. And so it’s, it’s really hard for us to get our head around, but we can increase our energy.
We can hopefully in some cases, increase our longevity. We can, you know, have a happier, healthier life by just focusing on those behaviors instead of. Our body size, our weight is not a behavior. Whatever size we are is not a thing that we do. It’s the, the, the healthy habits. And so I, well, firstly, I mean, the probably the most.
impactful thing that anybody told me to do, but also what I tell others to do first and foremost is to start being, uh, really aware of the messages that we’re receiving on our screens because we are on our screens a lot. So Being aware of whenever we see those adverts for, you know, midlife belly buster diet or whatever it may be, or, um, whenever we see somebody else that’s really slim and we perceive to be beautiful, but it’s making us feel like we’re not enough whenever we see anything that’s telling us that we’re not good enough in our current bodies.
Just. Unfollow, you know, report whenever I get dieting adverts, I report as misleading or scam, um, and, you know, eventually you’re going to start seeing less and less of those things, but that’s not enough. And not a lot of people do that. And that’s great. But I really encourage people to then start to follow people that are in different body sizes, people that are living with different body shapes and sizes.
And that was really impactful to me to see people in bigger bodies that are healthy, living their best lives, um, you know, beautiful and, and just to be more exposed. To that and people of different, um, different genders, people of different, um, you know, cultures, people, different abilities, people of from different, yeah, just more variety, more diversity.
And, you know, it’s. I think that that in itself has a huge impact when we start to see people of all different body shapes and sizes, because we live in these little bubbles on social media. And we’re, that’s all we’re seeing. Like, even whenever I sit on the, like, when I go to Wellington, the city, I’m sit on the bus or in the cab or whatever.
And I look around and it’s just. Look around, like there’s so many different body shapes and sizes, we all look so different to each other and the more we expose ourselves and make ourselves aware of that, we can start to at least start to potentially look at ourselves a little bit differently, even though that’s hard.
Um, but navigating it too is, is about, you know, focusing on healthy behaviors. That in order to feel good, so don’t worry so much about whether your body changes with these healthy behaviors, but what can I eat that makes me feel good? Um, what’s, you know, what types of foods make me feel good? What kind of, uh, frequency of eating makes me feel good?
And making it all about feeling good. And having our, you know, increasing maybe our bed of sleep or reducing our stress rather than punishing our bodies because they’re changing and, you know, keeping that focus on, on feeling good to that might be having a piece of cake with your besties at the cafe, like, that feels really, really good.
So, but instead we get hung up on worrying about the calories and that cake, but actually maybe. A quarter of that cake or half that cake or that whole cake actually still makes you energized and makes you feel good because, you know, you’re around great people and great friends. So just keeping the focus on what is making me feel good, obviously, if we have cake every meal of the day, we don’t feel good.
So we may not want to do that. Maybe we feel great. I don’t know. Maybe we’ve got this random body that thrives off cake. I mean, but you know, we are all different. And it’s really important too that, yeah, health is about relationships and all of those blue zones, you know, it’s about community and relationships and If you don’t want to go out to dinner with your friends because you’re worried about what’s on the menu, you’re limiting that aspect of your health and you’re not going to be able to create those, you know, those memories because we’re too scared of what’s on the menu.
And so we know that health is so much more than just our bodies. And so focusing on just that, that number and weight loss, we’re really neglecting a lot of key areas that have been proven. To impact their health and and even moving your body is a way to feel good and to have energy and to sleep better as opposed to I need to exercise because I ate a piece of cake or I need to push myself because I’m considered overweight or whatever it may be like it’s just a whole different way of looking at Health.
Um, but yeah, I’m going to be the first to, you know, admit that it is, it’s hard. It’s a lot of unpacking, but it is equally rewarding. And it just, it takes some time, but doing this. Yeah, focusing on feeling good eventually is going to help you to feel good, isn’t it?
[00:24:50] Meegan Care: Exactly, and I think you’re right. There’s, there’s so much unpacking there.
But there’s a lot of unpacking that we do in midlife anyway. You know, we’re looking at our boundaries and tendency to people please and our gender conditioning and all of that stuff. And I think diet culture very much is a part of that. Yeah. Beautiful. Um, that, that’s really helpful for me because I think that that’s what I tend to do is, is, you know, is this making, helping me to feel good today, tomorrow, and the next day.
[00:25:23] Michelle Yandle: Yeah. And sorry, I just wanted to add too that we’re going to eat things that make us feel bad as well, and that’s okay. I don’t want people to think, oh, I can’t eat this because. Yeah. Make me feel good. It’s just about what we do most of the time that matters, yeah.
[00:25:40] Meegan Care: So if I’m, if I’m eating generally speaking to feel good, how do I see the signs where I might be sort of encroaching in that territory of more disordered eating? And I can start to become aware like what would tell me that? I mean, aside from really restrictive. Dieting, that kind of stuff. What are the sort of the more, um, you know, if we bring it back a little bit, what are sort of some signs that would indicate?
That I’m maybe moving into more of a diet approach or more disordered or disordered eating. Yeah.
[00:26:19] Michelle Yandle: Um, that’s a really great question. I think it’s going to be individual, but my first thing that comes to mind as a red flag would be when we feel fear or guilt or shame when we eat a certain food. So if we, or we don’t eat a certain food because of fear.
So we may not, um, you know, we may not, somebody might offer us a piece of cake and we really, really want that piece of cake, but we’re trying so hard to be good and we may not eat that cake. Because we’re, or we might be afraid to eat it because it’s not organic, or we might be afraid to eat it because of the sugar content.
And so there’s that fear that keeps coming up around certain foods. And also then there’s obviously the feelings after eating those foods. So maybe we decide, you know, we are going to eat that food. We feel, you know, bad if we don’t, but then we feel really. awful about it afterwards and we may over exercise because of it or we may just feel really Down or shameful or guilty, or we might think that’s okay.
I’ll just, I’ll skip breakfast tomorrow because of, you know, I eat that cake last night, so there there’s those, it all revolves around those feelings, those feelings of guilt and shame or fear. Um, you know, it’s like. If you catch yourself not going to social events because you’re scared of what’s going to be on the menu or you’re going to be feel like you’re going to be embarrassed if you just get a salad and others are going to say something, you know, like just, it starts to encroach onto your emotional wellness starts to encroach onto your relationships and it starts to encroach into you, just your overall mental wellbeing, you know, those are the red flags.
For me, impact those other three areas of your, your wellbeing circle, body, mind, spirit, heart, you know, and even if we talk about spirit, if we’re living a life of dieting and restricting and wanting to become smaller, personally, I believe that that can impact on your life’s purpose and the spiritual fulfillment.
When we’re just controlling and micromanaging our lives when, you know, we could, we’re not allowing for that expansion, you know, it’s, it’s really, if I’m lack of a way to describe it, I feel like it, it’s like a big thumb, keeping us down, you know, so I think it can impact our spiritual, our purpose, everything, or even I know that body shame and feeling bad about our bodies can impact it.
You know, our finances that can impact whether we go for that job promotion. Like it can really impact our confidence in so many ways. And so when we start to see how it’s that. But, you know, again, while it’s impacting those other key areas of our health, that’s when it’s a red flag for me. Um, you know, I can’t eat that, it’s bad, or I can’t eat that, it’s naughty, or, you know.
I mean, every once in a while, you know, maybe let’s say we decide we don’t want to eat cake all the time. That’s fine. But if we have it, we, we should be all like, oh, well, you know, it’s a nothing thing. It’s a piece of cake.
[00:29:34] Meegan Care: Or enjoying it because it’s a really good piece of
[00:29:36] Michelle Yandle: cake. Yeah. Depending on who made it.
Yeah. You’re lucky in Taranaki. We’ve got some great cake makers. Fantastic.
[00:29:45] Meegan Care: Um, uh, so that, that got me thinking about, I guess in, in my, or in some parts of my, my world, there’s a lot of detoxing that happens, but that that’s still within that same range, right? Of diet.
[00:30:06] Michelle Yandle: And you mean like a detox diet, or like detox?
[00:30:09] Meegan Care: Oh, okay. Yeah, no, I mean detox diet. Yeah. I mean, it’s still dieting, right? It’s still really restrictive eating. So where everything you’re talking about today, I could just overlay that onto the idea of detoxing. Totally.
[00:30:23] Michelle Yandle: A detoxing diet. Like, if, I think if you could. You know, if you do a detox diet, um, which is, you know, quite restrictive for a short time and you’re like, I’m just going to do it and I’m going to experiment and see how I feel and, you know, just do it and either have no emotional attachment to it and you can just do it.
That’s, you know, I don’t really see a huge harm. It’s not going to hurt you physically to do that for a short time. It’s not going to do much for your body, though, in the sense of our body can naturally detox itself. We don’t need to do a detox diet. Um, there are some times where we might have, we might be told we need to do an elimination diet and hey, go, you know, go for it and experiment.
But again, once we start to then notice that we become fearful of eating. Say, for example, gluten, because we’re, we’re reintroducing it, or we’re getting fearful of having sugar, or we’re getting fearful of, um, those things that we remove during the detox, that’s when it can have a really negative impact.
And I can talk from experience of doing detox diets and, uh, it, you know, 10 years ago, and also recommending them. That they created a lot of fear around food, because those dedox diets generally tell us that this is a bad food. That’s a bad food. This is a bad food. This one’s, you know, sugar is gonna hurt you and and carbs are gonna hurt you and gluten is gonna hurt you.
And so even though it’s only a short. Term, it can really, for somebody who has a history of yo yo dieting or disordered eating, it can be incredibly triggering to do these detox diets. And even for somebody who hasn’t, it could open up some, some fear around food that they didn’t have before. So I, I do, I don’t see any benefit of doing a detox, but if obviously if somebody did do it, it’s not necessarily going to be a bad thing for everybody.
Um, but it’s really, again, uh, a marketing. You know, way of making some money for somebody, I, I think personally, um, you might, again, feel great, um, during that detox diet for some people, people really like that sense of control, um, to, you know, to have that week of, I’m just going to eat this, this, this, and this.
But long term benefits of a detox diet are really quite nil, um, and in many cases they can do harm. But again, it’s personal choice, and if somebody wanted to give it a go and they didn’t have any negative reactions to it, it’s not going to necessarily do them harm. But there is a potential for harm for lots of people, and that’s why I wouldn’t recommend them.
[00:33:07] Meegan Care: Makes a lot of sense. Um, I, I watched my mother for all of, she passed away eight years ago, but for all of from midlife all the way through till when she was 70, want to lose that extra 15 kilos. You know, it was always, she was always wanting to lose that and starting and stopping and trying this and like having.
Cupboards and cupboards of supplements and all of the rest of it and and I look at that now like oh, yeah You know that that was she was a product of her environment that was everything that was fed to her and her growing up and her socialization and We’re all a product of our conditioning in our environment.
So if this is showing up for us It’s not our fault, it’s like, it’s our upbringing, it’s society, it’s culture, it’s everything that’s pushed on us. It’s everywhere. Yeah.
[00:34:07] Michelle Yandle: Yeah. And I think that’s why it’s so important for us now as we’re learning this to do what we can to break that cycle for those that come after us, uh, to, you know, we What you don’t know, you don’t know, but when you do know, you know, you can, you can start to support the younger generation.
And, uh, I’ve got a program called Brave Bodies, which is all around body image for parents and teens and. I think I call it, you know, the, well, I think back at the principle of seven generations, which is an indigenous principle, and it’s what you do now impact seven generations into the future. And so for us to be part of that change, even though we might still be struggling.
We can still impact how our young people view their bodies and hopefully stop that cycle because we are, I mean, my mother was the same and luckily, even though I’m sure she still has fears and stuff around what she eats, she’s not dieting anymore. And I think that’s just, you know, it’s taken her a long time to get there and same with my sister.
Who’s, you know, no longer dieting is now a non diet practitioner as well. And, you know, for us to get there together as you know, us three women is pretty cool and we support each other. And I can remember reading about a hundred year old woman who still weighed herself every day at the nursing home. And like, I just think that’s just so, it would be so soul crushing for me, you know, like I would hate to be a hundred years old and still worrying about my body.
Like it’s so freeing to be 45 and I’m like. This is my body. This is like me. I’m just going to go have fun now. Like I’m just done with that. I’ve belittled my body for so long. And yes, I still have times where I’m like, Oh my gosh, like this, you know, there’s cellulite on my body or I’ve got more rolls and my hips are expanding and it’s still scary, but I just get on with it now and just go and do fun things and be grateful that my body is still moving and that I’ve still got my health and, you know, and like, again, it’s, it’s very freeing to no longer be like, Okay.
You know, to worry about those things as much and to be able to go, man, I’m closer to 50 than I am 40 now, like, surely I’m allowed to have some curves now. Come on, like, it’s, it’s freeing in that sense. And it’s scary, but you know, it is freeing when we get to that point of just taking care of our bodies instead of punishing our bodies, which is essentially what dieting is.
It’s, it’s very liberating,
[00:36:41] Meegan Care: isn’t it? And I think of all of the energy. I haven’t been a big dieter. Um, but every now and then I have, and all of the energy that goes into that and all of that focus. And I think when we can claim that back for ourselves, and yes, we might have to do some unwinding work on, you know, What’s okay for our body and what we love about it and how it functions in the world.
And we might need to shift our perspective, but it is incredibly liberating to be free from the, from those traps and, and just, you know, sort of rounding out, I suppose, our conversation. It does become much more in our face in midlife because our body is changing and When I pre perimenopause, I used to go, oh, I need to lose a few kgs, just adjust my diet slightly for a few weeks, and things would change.
Perimenopause hits, nothing is changing it. It’s just a slow creep and, and now I’ve got to this place where I’m like, oh, who gives a shit? Right? Who gives a fuck? It’s like, am I happy? Can I be moving my life? Can I play in my life? Can I maintain strength? And if I’m not, what do I need to do about it?
That’s sort of become my focus.
[00:38:02] Michelle Yandle: And do we have people that love us and what would they say, you know, and, and it’s, uh, I think too, like a lot of people can be put off by. Improving their body image because they think they need to love their bodies and that’s really triggering for somebody who has lived their whole life hating their bodies to be like, I can’t love my body.
I can’t. And that’s fine. You don’t have to love your body. Doesn’t have to be body. You have to be you suddenly fall in love with what your body looks like. It has nothing to do with what your body looks like. It’s just about taking care of yourself and taking care of your body. Um, and, and respecting your body because it’s.
It’s going to carry you for the rest of your life. You know, it’s, it’s never about if you can learn to love your body, that’s great, but that’s pretty hard for a lot of people. And instead it’s about just, well, let’s take care of this vessel that we’re in and let’s, and that’s not through dieting. It’s not through punishing ourselves.
And I think it’s really important too, to remember that. Our children are watching us and, and so the behaviors that we’re engaging in, we have to be really mindful that even if we don’t think they are, they are. And even in our language that we use, we’re out with friends and, and these sorts of things. So when we can work on ourselves, we’re, we’re really helping that younger generation as well and stopping that cycle.
[00:39:22] Meegan Care: Beautiful, beautiful. Well, thank you so much for joining us, Michelle. Um, how can people get in touch with you if they want to find out more about your work or potentially work with you in the future?
[00:39:34] Michelle Yandle: Yeah, so just if Michelle Yandle dot com, nice and easy to find me, I have a couple programs. I have the empowered eating program, which is all around reclaiming a healthy relationship with food and obviously improving our health.
But I really recommend that people start with my brave bodies program. And the beauty of the brave bodies program is that it is. Uh, pay what you can. So if you can only afford a dollar, then just pay a dollar. And if you can afford more than that’s great too. And it all goes back into the program. So it’s a really easy way to get to know me and my work and as well as start to improve your body image, which I think is the first step in improving our relationship with food.
Because if we, the more we hate our bodies, the more we’re going to want to keep. Changing it and restricting. So if we can start with, with the brave bodies and start with that body image and encourage, you know, if you have a teen in your life, um, that may want to learn as well, or that’s struggling with body image, you know, they can do the brave bodies program to, you could do it together or separately, or, um, you know, we can even do, there’s opportunities to do it as a group.
And if people are interested, they can just get in touch with me. Uh, but yeah, that’s, that’s, those are my two key things, and finding me at michelleyandle. com is the, the best way, or just, um, emailing me at hello at michelleyandle. com, or finding me on Instagram and all those fun places, Facebook and Instagram.
On the socials.
[00:41:06] Meegan Care: Fantastic. Thanks so much, Michelle. Those programs sound really, really helpful. And, um, thanks for joining us on the podcast and. It’s been really enlightening. Yeah, amazing. Thank you.
[00:41:19] Michelle Yandle: Thank you. It’s been, it’s been awesome.