I have a few questions for everyone. How old were you when you went on your first diet? How many diets have you been on? What have diets given you and what have they stolen from you?
In this week’s podcast, I explore the interaction of body image, dieting, and happiness with Zovig Garboushian. Zovig was a guest on my first season of Fix Yourself. Last year, she described taking on the medical industry after being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. She is a powerhouse of knowledge, strength and insight when it comes to women’s issues of health and self-empowerment.
Like so many women, Zovig went on her first diet at the age of 9. They actually had a program for children at the Jenny Craig she attended with her mother. Since her first diet, Zovig has tried “every single diet” and cleanse imaginable to lose weight. She has done 12 step programs, Weight Watchers, Keto, Paleo, cleanses, hypnosis and even Noom, a newer program that uses psychological techniques aimed at creating behavioral change. She has tried them all, some more than once.
If you have ever struggled with your weight, or struggled to embrace your body as it is right now, I highly recommend listening to this podcast. Zovig embodies what I have seen far too often in my career as a psychologist. She is an intelligent, successful, beautiful woman, who nevertheless, has struggled to not hate her body. She has literally spent years of her life on restrictive diets, feeling hungry, in order to look like a cultural ideal that very few can attain.
Listen in as Zovig describes what diets have cost her in her life, including her sense of peace, untold hours of her time and headspace, and even anxiety. We will discuss the current anti-diet culture and how to get out of the cycle of the never ending diet. Here’s a hint, it isn’t easy!
It seems to me, if almost every women wishes they could be smaller or thinner or somehow look different, we have a cultural issue that needs addressing. We must figure out a way to help women use their headspace for more valuable pursuits. We should not saddle future generations with the need to constantly diet. It doesn’t work and it only serves to enrich the person touting the current diet miracle.
You can listen to me talk through this in the podcast by clicking ‘play’ below or in the following places:
Shannon Connery, Ph.D.