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S6 E9 –Fitness, food and body consciousness in men

Mike, James and Ben share info on their personal lifestyles and give their own opinions on to their own health and wellbeing. How much is eating well related to vanity or simply feeling good. How do they strive for balance and find motivation?

Best soundbite: “It’s the strongest worm that gets the other worm. I’m talking muscle bound worms here Ebbers.” – Mike Huttlestone

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  1. amyatkins

    Beautiful conversation! I 100% agree with Ben and James, Mike you are so hard on yourself regarding weight. But, I understand it’s hard to love the skin your in with social media, athletic friends, and everything else these days. I love the chat about not buying certain foods because you know you eat them – that’s how I hate McDonald’s through years of telling myself it is awful and refusing to but it (I know well I love their shakes and fries but I just refuse to buy them!). The world of nutrition is growing so much every year now! It is a very exciting field of research. I’m particularly interested in Low Carb Healthy Fat eating life styles as more research comes out it makes so much sense. But even this science will develop.

  2. Miss.Steph

    Great discussion, guys.

    I’m a psychiatric nurse in Canada and I just want to say how wonderful it is that you’re speaking up for mental health (especially amongst men).

    Keep up the good fight, boys!
    Sending love from Canada ❤️

  3. vsotardi

    Thanks for a really lovely podcast, Mike, James, and Ben. I found it refreshing to hear you talk openly about your self-image. A few thoughts struck me in pretty powerful ways.

    Mike, your sincerity about having felt uncomfortable in terms of your weight, and about your candid concerns about how others perceive you, should be commended. This degree of honesty is rare, and even more so among males in social media. It’s quite challenging for viewers to comprehend what it might feel like to be on camera all the time, so I have major respect for each of you to be open to sharing difficult social experiences (e.g., harsh YouTube comments) and how they might affect you psychologically.

    Ben, one comment you made is fundamental to this podcast session, and I think it deserves being highlighted: aesthetics are entirely subjective. As you state, there are evolutionary explanations as to why certain body parts tend to be viewed as more attractive than others as a species; however, at the individual level, qualities that one person might find unattractive might be the same qualities that someone else might find attractive.

    I’ve learned that the characteristics that I’m more self-conscious about actually tend to be the characteristics that other people like most about me. Those quirks make me unique and different from more conventional standards of beauty. This podcast reminds me that accepting (and, ideally, embracing) people’s quirks increases their confidence, which exponentially increases how attractive they are perceived by others.

    Thank you all for this discussion. Cheers, Valerie

  4. coles205

    Similar to you Mike I find myself “yo-yoing” between weights and sizes due to a what I would call an at times unhealthy relationship with food tied closely into the vanity and self opinion related areas that you all discussed. It is hard to find a true balance & equilibrium when it comes to food and I constantly find myself questioning all my eating decisions and often end up in a “feast or famine” food mindset. I think alot of men struggle with self image these days even if they are active or don’t really care what others think, there is still (at least with me) an underlining internal need to always be better and disappointed with myself when falling off the wagon or “not being good enough”

    A great discussion with a good diversity of backgrounds and opinions across the three of you, for me this is a really important topic and like the closing remarks state one that is not discussed nearly enough in the general population.

  5. Dimi

    It is SOO refreshing to hear men talk candidly about these issues! I have 2 nieces and a nephew that I’m really close with as I am the youngest of my siblings and am only 10 and 15 years older than them. The thing that struck me most a couple of years ago was that I found myself having a few conversations with my nephew, who is quite tall and very thin, about body image and he was quite tough on himself, a lot more than the girls. I guess I never realised how hard it also was for boys, we usually only hear about girls in the media.

    I, like others here, like the idea of maybe making this one public, or at least a version of it. Or maybe it needs to be a new video idea (not sure how you’d work it into that)

    For me the whole health/fitness/food dynamic has always been a hard thing to find a good balance, and I still really struggle with it. And I also struggle to talk about it and body image in general.
    To throw out some random thoughts:

    1) The importance of finding what works for you and then making time for it. For James it may be climbing/gymnastics/things that can help climbing, for Ben it’s walking/hiking, maybe Mike, you just need to find that thing that you enjoy enough you can stick to it. Maybe it’s a sport?
    For me, it was actually the one thing I NEVER thought I would love, and it took me to the age of 28 to even try it, and it was lifting weights. I have always hated gyms and like many others, find them very intimidating/uncomfortable. But I was referred by a friend to a personal training gym that was a very small studio and had a really cool/friendly group of both trainers and clients. They were amazing at making sure everyone felt included, and if anyone was being a bit of a “willy” they were kicked out. I immediately found my “people” and fell in love with lifting weights and lost A LOT of weight. Even though I enjoy going now, I too require the discipline of booking sessions in advance and knowing I “have” to go, otherwise, after a long shift at work, it’s easy to say “nah, I’ll go tomorrow” a whole bunch. It is though, a very expensive investment, compared to a regular gym, but I still hate those places.

    2) Diet/nutrition. For me, going to the gym in and of itself made me want to eat healthier, and it was definitely not a “diet” anymore, in the sense of restricting any one thing, so much as I portion control what I eat, make sure 90% of my food is coming from whole, unprocessed food and, like Ben, just don’t buy crap to put in the cupboard because I WILL eat it all.
    I did do the calorie counting and macro nutrient counting thing for a while and I recommend giving it a go, for at least a little bit, to everyone. If only to give you a gauge and a sense of how much food you are consuming and whether your diet in general is as well balanced as you think. But it’s not something you can sustain for a very long time as it’s time consuming and can be mentally draining. I think once you have a gauge, you can judge how much you should be eating by sight and by how full you feel when you eat. If you want to lose weight, eat a bit less, if you want to put on weight, eat a bit more.

    3) Body Image and outside influences etc. My sister tagged me in a meme the other day that was so perfect. It simply had a picture of a set of scales and the caption “Greek girls don’t need scales, your relatives will all tell you when you’re getting fat” This is at least 10000% true in my family. Having an eating disorder I’ve put on and lost more weight than I could tell you about. And I don’t think I have a single aunt that hasn’t commented on my weight more than once in my life, and the occasional uncle. And my mother every time I talk to her. I have, with age and maturity, (and therapy), learnt to turn a lot of that noise off and know, as long as I’m working on getting myself better for me and my mental and physical health, and not aesthetics, I am winning that day.

  6. saviluks

    One of my favourite episodes so far!
    Here some unstructured thoughts:

    I have a sweet tooth as well but I think my biggest struggle is my schedules. I study and work, so my schedules are different every day, and it’s very difficult to maintain a regular eating pattern. I forget to eat when I’m busy or don’t remember to have snacks with me, and then when I get home I’m already starving and don’t have the patience to start cooking. I exercise a few times per week and eat mostly healthy, but it would be great to be more organized.

    It would be interesting to know a bit more about your diets. For example James, how and what do you eat when you exercise nearly every day? You mentioned that before becoming a chef you didn’t know much about nutrition and therefore were skinny.

    Also, I have never understood why people feel the need to comment others’ appearances online and I think it is often unnecessary even when it’s complimentary. I easily get uncomfortable and self-conscious when I feel like people are just focusing on how I look, and I wouldn’t want to make anybody feel that way, especially when it’s somebody I don’t know personally. I was also thinking that some of the comments you get on youtube might be more controversial if it was men commenting women. As if it would be more ok to talk about men.

    Anyway, thank you for this episode! Would love another one on the subject.

  7. Great podcast! Usually you don’t hear guys talking about body issues in depth so I find it awesome that you guys did.
    I don’t know if you already have some in the office but at my previous workplace there were two treadmill desks. People used them for thirty minutes to an hour every day and just walked on them as they worked. It was nice to take a break from sitting at a desk. I was living in a city where the culture was all about being active and fit. So, a few of my workmates would walk up and down the stairs during their breaks. It was completely normal for them but I thought it was bonkers as I would just want to chat and drink coffee or hot chocolate during my breaks.

    Personally, I grew up eating delicious home cooked meals. So I find the taste of processed foods really bland. My husband was kinda the opposite. So when we first moved in together he was amazed at what I considered essentials -spices, seasonings, big bottles of soy sauce and other sauces, etc. He was mainly eating microwavable meals then.

    I’m completely with Ben on not keeping certain things in the house. I know that I will eat an entire package of Mint Chocolate Milano cookies in one sitting if I buy it. It will not last an hour in my home.

  8. Margusenock

    I would like to thank you for talking about this topic. It’s a rare type of conversation. Lots of things are taken for granted and sometimes we girls tend to forget that boys have similar feelings and issues too.

    I think a lot of our adult habits come from childhood. Some families were active and kids learn this life style, some were couch potatoes and kids become the same. I am a bit jealous of those people who really enjoy gym and active sports. To me going to gym is a bit of a torture (admire you James for your dedication!). I did try several times. But I find gyms a bit intimidating. I have tried only ladies gyms as well but they are even worse :))))

    It took some time to find activity that I like. When i was a kid I did professional big tennis and I was enjoying it. I did not want to be big in it, I was liking the format. But after an accident I could not do it anymore so I have learned to love long walks in the city. Just love it! If it’s an old town – I can spend hours there and will not even notice the time and distance. I was trying some other things but ….it was a bit boring…especially (I am sorry) I don’t get yoga or Pilates things….Then one year I had too much stress in life, too many negative things were going on at the same time, I did not want to start drinking or take meds to cope with that so I have tried kickboxing and boy I loved it! My trainer was an English man living in Finland, he kicked insecurities out of all of us! He basically makes you believe in yourself and that is amazing! But the old trauma hit back so I had to stop it for a while as well until I get back on my feet. Now still keep on looking for other activity while walking in the city :)))

    About body…. EVERYTHING comes from childhood. I was unlucky a bit in this sense because I had an older sister who thought that it’s fun to make some ugly public jokes about the way I looked. And since I was about 11 till I gave birth to my first child I was very very very worried about the way I looked. Even though now when I look back I think – what an idiot, you were awesome! – at that time I disliked a lot in myself (primarily things I was told were bad in me by someone else). I actually see a bit of similarity with Mike and his opinion about himself. Dear Mike, you are amazing! Love yourself!

    If my sister would not have teased me I think I would not worry that much about the way I looked when I was younger. Only when I gave birth I have realized – daaaaamn I am good! My body is awesome and I did this little beautiful human! And I still feel so. Maybe I have finally accepted myself with all the small things. Or I just don’t care anymore because my opinion matters to me more than opinion of others in this sense.

    After giving birth to my son life has changed even more – now I feel that I am also a super woman ;)))) but that’s a different story and let’s wait for a new podcast with appropriate topic to come;)

    About carbohydrates love and sweet tooth. I was always a fun of those. Oh you can win my heart by serving me risotto, pasta or muffin :))) and my friends and relatives were always telling me that I am a “weak” person. So recently I did a DNA test that also included nutrition aspects and what I have found is that there are several genes that actually are responsible for love of dislike of certain tastes. In case of carbohydrate (in my case, I cannot say for others) these genes are LOC10537049, 1 FGF21 and FGF21. And they are so strong that these are red in my case (means strong love). Same for sugar (TAS2R38, TAS2R38, TAS2R38, FGF21) – it was scientifically proved that I can be called a sugar addict :))) at the same time I had totally green (no interest genetically) to consume fatty food, alcohol or tobacco. The results were mind blowing to me. I have finally realized why I like or dislike certain foods, or why certain diet does not work on me….

    So considering what I have found out I think I shall continue hide sweets at home (because not buying is not an option with 2 kids at home). Otherwise, well you know :))

    By the way, there is also DNA test for spots. Did not take it but judging by nutrition and health reports I think it would be of the same type when it shows what is better and why, when you can achieve better results (weight loss or muscle gain) etc. Maybe one day, you never know 🙂

  9. Anita

    I’d like to share my little story in a nutshell, well, kinda, on the topic of fitness as wellness I thought I was in my prime in my early and mid-twenties. I just failed to notice a few itsy-bitsy signs. My seemingly healthy pescetarian diet slowly started to consist of deep-fried this and breaded that, mountains of pasta, huge amounts of low-fat dairy, and lots of processed, sugary treats. I could only function socially with booze (later, I had to drink to be able to be okay with myself, too). I had to drink 3-4 cups of coffee to be able to work as I was constantly overcommitting. I was edgy, tired, depressed. Only when the symptoms started to get more “physical” did I start to worry. I had to feel crappy enough in order to wake up. I was finally hit with a diagnosis (oh, the power of putting a name to things…). I felt like my body had deceived me. As the first wave of shock and self-pity cleared up, I began to do tons of research about my condition (autoimmune thyroiditis), and autoimmunity in general, and slowly started to change. Change my diet, my lifestyle, my workout routine, my way of thinking (this one is always the hardest), how I relate to people, work, myself, and life in general. Lots of trial and error on the food front, sometimes I did more harm than good. But these modifications have brought along real changes. I’ve put on almost 10 kilos, which sounds like a lot but doesn’t look like a lot, in terms of fitness, I gained strength, muscle, better balance, I reversed many of my “physical” symptoms, but for me, changes in my personality were the most interesting, I’ve noticed that I became calmer, more affectionate, more flexible, more well-meaning, like for real. This is a huge part of being well for me. Is it yoga? Is it my diet? Is it better sleep? (Well, it certainly isn’t the job I have now… ) Who could tell? It truly is all connected, I guess, your lifestyle, how you feel, think, breathe, your hormones, your environment, how you perceive that environment, your body’s ability to heal, rest, digest, they all affect one another in many intricate ways. It’s fascinating how little we know and how little we actually use of what we know, and how out of tune we can get with our bodies, our own selves. Of course, it’s simpler to take a pill, drink a shot, feel and think how we’re supposed to but sometimes these can backfire in sneaky ways. But you can still take steps. I surely sound like some know-it-all, look-at-how-healthy-I-made-myself. But it’s far from the truth. I have come a long way in 5 years if I put it all into perspective for sure but I’m not saying that now it’s all sunshine, rainbows, and golden unicorns. I still have a lot to learn, without being counterproductively overwhelmed, I have things I know I should change but just can’t or don’t want right now. It’s not about wanting to be and feel perfect (wow, that sounds stressful), I think it’s more about being honest with ourselves about how we feel and how we want to feel and what steps we are willing to take. I know that food and diet (not dieting) have always been and will always be a crucial part of my journey in many different ways. One of my goals now is to get back to enjoying food – as many others in the comments say they do – without overthinking its nutritional balance, appropriateness, its possible effects on my sleep, etc. This community helps me a lot with that <3

  10. mamamaria

    I really enjoyed this one. I think you are great models of non-toxic masculinity. The way you talk about topics that aren’t normally discussed amongst men and the vulnerability you show by being real and honest is admirable.

  11. nosoytonta

    This is a special podcast indeed. Like someone mentioned before, it is sobering the realization that grown up men also struggle with weight and appearances, and it is sobering because -for some reason- I was putting men in a different box than women in this particular topic. Was I being sexist, thinking that men were a different kind of human beings?

    It is no surprise I enjoy sorted food because I’m part of the club, but it is quite a reassuring joy to see men willing to show vulnerability and talk about it. Like it was mentioned, it is important to talk. I think a good chat amongst friends should be treated as important in one’s health as any physical workout or any balanced meal.

    On a personal note, I align myself with Ben: conscious of nutrition, not having food temptations at home, being active whenever possible, but above all, enjoy food and life.

    Two things I would like to point out:

    – Regarding internet trolls, I think the best way to deal with them is denying what they crave so much: attention. The second best way would be not taking what they say seriously, so, in that regard, I again agree with Ben. Take their comment, use it as your own and laugh it off.

    – The notion of an acceptable ‘attractive’ body carries a cultural point of view: what one can be considered ‘slim/positive’ in certain parts of the world, it very well be considered ‘underfed/negative’ in some other parts of the world.

  12. JoRo

    First of all, well done, important topic to cover and conversation to have.

    I’ve mentioned before about supporting young people with their eating as part of my job, and one of the areas we’ve found that people often overlook is eating disorders in boys/young men, especially in my setting boys/ young men with special educational needs.
    Something I see quite regularly is this – they see film stars and athletes and want to look like them and for the young people I work with quite often the one thing they can control is what goes in their mouths, the media that they have access to is full of mixed messages, sometimes even dangerous advice on diets and what a healthy body looks like, which is why having these conversations is so important, it helps people identify the rubbish advice and lets them know they’re not alone with how they feel about their bodies.
    Also super important that men are having these conversations, as James said “men are terrible at talking”; I can talk to teenage boys about healthy eating and fitness until I’m blue in the face, but I’m a woman in my early 30’s, looking at it from their perspective what the hell do I know about being a teenage boy and how they feel about their bodies!? (quite a bit actually, been doing my job for many years) they want someone who they can instantly and easily identify with.

    I’m one of three, one of my brothers has never had to worry about his weight, can eat what he likes, is super active and has always been a healthy weight, however my other brother (they’re twin’s, it’s relevant) has always struggled, when we were little he’d fluctuate between over and under eating so his weight would yo-yo, he is also incredibly active, but his weight ballooned as a young teen, he then essentially stopped eating and it was only a couple of years ago that he finally gained enough weight to be classed as being a healthy weight again. I’m not as active as my brothers, that being said it’s rare for me not to hit 20,000+ steps a day at work and my weekends are often spent hiking, but unlike first brother I am very conscious about what I eat as I find it really easy to gain weight and not so easy to lose it.

    Like Ben there are definitely foods I just won’t have in the house because it would be far too easy to over eat, I also won’t beat myself up about enjoying good food with friends or family because that’s valuable shared time and I wouldn’t change it for a thing in the world.

    (Really hope this makes sense and isn’t nonsensical ramblings, this week has been draining so I’m rather sleepy right now!)

  13. Taezar

    That has to be my favourite episode so far. I loved how reflective and honest you were. Thank you for sharing. xoxo

  14. suebarnes

    Well done for this podcast, it’s a pity it can’t be released (edited down perhaps) to a wider audience because it is an important subject. We are constantly bombarded in the media about body shaming in women but few people realise how much it affects men too. I know loads of women who wont go to the gym because they are afraid of how their lack of fitness makes them too self conscious and it surprised me to hear Mike say the same thing, I have this stereotypical idea that all men are cool with the gym and can use every piece of equipment with alacrity and panache, it was sobering to learn this is not so. We need more of these types of conversations, thank you xx

  15. Luik

    Interesting chat, and perhaps something you can think about bringing to a wider audience since it seems that it’s something men worry about a lot, but don’t discuss.
    As to the stripe direction, the scientific evidence is that horizontal stripes are slimming, but given that you need to ask in the first place, common sense says the effect is not that noticeable.
    Congrats to Mike!

  16. Lmrocha726

    This was the podcast I have been hoping for!!! I’m an exercise physiologist and work in research that revolves around exercise & fitness, and of course love food, so this is a lovely convergence of some of my passions!

    In high school, a friend and I began competing to see who could eat the least…not sure if this is a thing that girls do typically, but I really hope it’s not the norm because it lead to a poor relationship with food that lasted into my early 20’s. Then I began running, and as mentioned in a previous podcast’s comment, that was a complete game-changer for me. I know running is not for everyone, but it really just meshed with my personality – I could write a novel on why I love running but essentially, it gave me a sense of peace and sanity, and I was instantly addicted to the high.

    Now, I view food as fuel that allows me to run and explore the world on foot – I recently went to London and love old cathedral architecture, so ran 13 miles from cathedral to cathedral and got such a unique experience of the city! Now I love my body for what it DOES, not what it looks like. Of course, an athletic body is a lovely side-effect. I’m happy to say that I love food, I don’t fear it like I once did. Food and fitness ought to be a symbiotic relationship, I think, rather than one being a way to cancel out inadequacies in the other, and while I primarily eat healthy and wholesome foods to fuel my lifestyle, there is always a time and place for indulgent, delicious foods (and I also love carbs and gin!).

    While body acceptance and self-love is being promoted more and more these days, I’d love to see more of an emphasis on overall health (body and mind) and the importance of activity – I am a little afraid we’re overcorrecting and inadvertently enabling unhealthy lifestyles (obesity). The whole issue is so complex – the importance of eating right and exercising is very scientific, but it’s application is so abstract – to be truly embraced and sustainable, it needs to become a lifestyle for each individual, and there are so many variables that can’t be controlled for when you involve the human element. But that can be a talk for another day.

    Thanks for the podcast, really really enjoyed it!

  17. Annie1962

    Horizontal stripes make one look wider Ebbers But hey, have you lost a bit of weight? Looks like you have lately. Speaking of weight, Jamie’s too lost weight as his ‘work’ shirt is more loose around his belly. Well done.
    I have noticed over many years that a lot of men tend to lose or gain weight and actually not notice it I’m guessing due to not bowing down to media pressure as much as we women do . That’s a question I do have though.. are men succumbing more in today’s society, to pressure from the media in regards to body image ? My guess is yes amongst certain age groups only.. that is, younger men.

    Wow , always thought that James would be a weights person but nope.. that would be the rock climbing and the yoga.
    As you can see I’m just rattling on with observations I have made watching your podcast.
    I gather you’re not going to do a talk re women in this topic as well, you can’t really unless you sit the girls down to chat.
    Without getting too philosophical I have learned over the years that (and I’ll speak for women only) that being overweight/obese is an emotional issue. It definitely is a case of ‘eating our emotions’ and I never heard so true a phrase “What’s eating you?” If I am really upset I won’t eat but if I am bored, or depressed, I eat. Wayyyy too much.

    Just recently I lost 50kg in body weight (and have put a little back on due to a back injury) but I find myself constantly asking ‘why are you eating’ as like I said, it’s an emotional issue compiled with the fact that I love the taste and texture of food Unfortunately not all of us have the same level of metabolism and I’m sure mine seems to be at the basal metabolic rate(the sleeping rate) so I just have to look at food and I put a kilo on. Pretty sure you hit the nail on the head with Baz – he’s so totally slim and I don’t think he’d ever suffer from being overweight – maybe a belly paunch but that’s it. Ben would have the lowest metabolism and like me, he loves food..

    Personally I haven’t seen any nasty comments about you on YouTube , just mainly the female fans ooing and ahing over you all . There were some comments about Ben’s weight a couple of years ago but not really now. Why take too much notice of the comments regarding your looks anyway? Just ignore them if they appear like I ignore the comments of ‘fake’ from trolls when I’m watching the launch of a SpaceX rocket into space.

    Mike, you’re a dag – wanting to get fit before going to the gym..just bite the bullet and go if you want some pecs and traps. You’re not going to lift weights at home in order to go with James to the gym. Just go.

    “Men are terrible at talking” – James , After participating in a half hour chat. lol.
    Anyways, I’ve rattled on enough. Love you lot

    • Nettan_Juni

      Way to go to with the weight loss, well done 🙂

      I’m the same way, both with the eating and metabolism, so I know the struggle.

      Also I agree with everything else you wrote 😛

      • Annie1962

        hahaha thanks
        Right now I’m at a standstill weight loss wise as I am currently 56 and have just commenced menopause.
        Those hot flashes are a doozy.
        A current injury has prevented me from doing aquarobics (which is the only exercise fitness class I can do due to a balance disorder) and I’m missing it.

    • Anita

      Oh yes, emotional eating is huge for me, too! When I’m tired, when I’m overworked, when I don’t want to get back to work at the end of my lunch break… And of course, I also like what I eat. I feel your pain 🙂 I know I’m not a dog but I also use food as a reward sometimes 🤨 😀

  18. Elin-ae

    Thanks for a great pod guys.
    The horizontal/vertical stripes reminded me of a wonderful rant by David Mitchell on an episode of QI, you should check it out for a laugh.

    (Had to look it up, it’s the episode called Geometry, it’s hilarious)

  19. Nettan_Juni

    Ben would hate my kitchen, I always have ice cream in my freezer and it can last weeks, I even have a jar of Nutella which expired 190320, still tastes good though. I’ve talked about this before on an older podcast, but my mental health is what decides if I eat healthy or not, now it’s mostly food though, I comfort eat pizza, fries/chips, burgers etc. Or I bake a kladdkaka and eat over a weekend.

    I’m quite used to men/boys being body conscious, since I have 3 older brothers and 2 of them are really fit, James would feel small next to them. While me and my oldest brother are fat and he’s very conscious about his size and he lets that stop him from doing some things. So I have both extremes in my family and I honestly don’t really care, after seeing how this affects them.

    That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t mind losing weight, mostly to get more energy to be able to play more with my nieces, and I have lost weight before, mostly by walking and swimming, although mom did drag me to the gym a few times too (to those who don’t feel fit enough to go to the gym, most of the decent fit ppl on the gym admires that you actually went to the gym, so the looks aren’t disgust, most of the time they’re approving), once straight before christmas too, she made my stomach hurt so much that I was stuck in a chair the whole day XD

    I’m just worried for my nieces (if I had nephews I would worry for them too), the oldest two who are 7 and almost 9 are already a bit conscious about their bodies. All I can do is to give them all my love so they know that no matter what, their aunt love them just as they are.

  20. Powerfulweak

    This was an excellent conversation, guys. Really thoughtful insights brought to light.
    I’m super conscious of my eating habits and health and fitness as I was an overweight kid (to the point my parents tricked me into starting weight watchers). Even as an adult, I have foods which I see as “bad” while consciously knowing that no food is in and of itself bad. In the past, I have purposely conditioned myself to this behavior and it’s the hardest habit to break. It’s still hard for me to get a dessert at a restaurant or an ice cream and not spend the rest of the day feeling the sinking guilt of eating it.
    I definitely empathize with Ben about wanting to keep certain foods in the house because they won’t last, and it drives my partner crazy.
    At this point, I try to shape these odd food ticks into something productive and try to reverse engineer my habits like “oh well, I had a dessert. It’s ok. Tomorrow is a new day. Let’s try and do better.” It’s not perfect, but it reduces the guilt and anxiety I feel after the fact.

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