May 8, 2021

Episode 214: F!ck Your Diet (Book Review)

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Last summer I listened to the book F!ck Your Diet by Chloé Hilliard and it left me nodding my head, saying “I get that” and then laughing my ass off as she talked about food, boys, and diets.

I got a taste of what it feels like for you when you say, “Corinne, it’s like you’re in my head.” I totally related to her stories about her life.

Today’s podcast features a conversation between me and Coach Julie from No BS discussing our favorite parts and how we were impacted. You’ll hear us talk about…

Diet culture in America and how it’s led to women trying to do anything, including destroying their health, to achieve weightloss.

The “clean your plate” messaging so many of us received and how we are taught to be totally disconnected from our body as a guide to knowing what we need.

How being a strong woman often means you’re a bitch, not supposed to cry and how that creates a breeding ground for emotional eating and bingeing.

Take a listen. I highly recommend the Audible version of this book. Not all authors can read their shit but Chloé blows it out of the park.

You can click here to see all of my book recommendations.

Transcript

Corinne:

Hello, everybody. Welcome back. So, today I’m very excited. I have one of the No BS coaches here, and we are going to be doing a book review on Fuck Your Diet by Chloe Hilliard. And I just have to tell all of you, this book, I read it last summer. I actually did the Audible version. So, if you are interested in this book … I’ll tell you a little bit about it and then coach Julie is going to … We’re just going to, just like hit it hard. We’re going to talk about all the things that we both loved and stuff, but I took the Audible down with me last year to the beach and I would be walking and walking and walking and I would end up getting in two hour walks because the book, not only is it good, but she is freaking hilarious.

I mean, you’re just walking and you just start laughing out loud. If you don’t know who Chloe Hilliard is, she is a comedian and she is a comedian who wanted to write a book about her struggles with her weight, all her life. And she’s just, to me, she’s like a No BS woman. She has always struggled and really had to pull it apart for herself to figure out what was going on. Who does she want to be? She even says, I believe in the book that, she’s not solved it, but she’s for sure gotten to a place in her life where she isn’t suffering from it, like she always did. And so, I loved it and that’s why I wanted to have Julie here today, so we could talk about this book.

I think it’s an important read and a fun read for anyone who really wants to identify with someone else’s stories and stuff. So, let me introduce coach Julie, and then we’re going to dive into the books. Julie, just tell everybody a little bit about you and so they can get to know you.

Julie:

Thank you. Hi, everybody. So, I am Julie and I’ve been a No BS coach for about six months now. I’ve been a No BS member for a while, which has changed my life. The thought work that I learned from Corinne has affected every facet of my humanness and I have lost 70 pounds since I became a No BS woman. I have transitioned from being someone that had a disability to someone who only sees herself as able and I live every day with thinking intentionally and loving myself the way that I am now. So, thank you for that, Corinne.

Corinne:

And you’ve been in the middle of not only … You’re one of our newer coaches. When did you start? When did you start? About six months ago?

Julie:

I started at the end of September or early October. Yeah.

Corinne:

And you’ve not only been doing a new job, but you’ve also been moving across the country and …

Julie:

Yes. And in fact, I also listened to this book in Audible and she tells her own story and so her voice is amazing and hilarious. And so, I listened to it twice recently, driving back and forth. The drive is like seven and a half hours. And one of the times with my spouse and he loved it, which normally he doesn’t listen to things with me and it was like a car full of laughter.

Corinne:

I will just tell everyone, I enjoyed the entire book, but there’s one chapter in particular, that not only did I listen to it, but I made Cathy Hartman listen to it and then I made my husband listen to it, I was just like … And I made my best friend Jane, listen to it. I was like, everyone should have to listen to chapter 15 at some point in their life. It’s all about sex, when you are someone that has struggled with your weight.

She goes from talking about it in terms of what a lot of us go through, like I remember when I was overweight being so ashamed of my body and wanting all the lights out and all this other stuff too. Basically, she is like, “Girl, you need to get over this.” And that whole chapter is, it is an instruction manual on how to get over your bullshit about your body and get in there and enjoy that shit.

Julie:

Yep. You know it. She goes for it.

Corinne:

Oh, and it was hilarious. And so anyway, I’m always like, I just think every woman should have to listen to chapter 15, no matter what. So, all right. Let’s start talking about this book because it was really good. Let’s go with chapter two, Starving Kids in Africa. So, if you’re following along with us and you do have the book or you end up getting it afterward, this is pages 19 through 24. So, tell us about chapter two and why this chapter meant a lot to you.

Julie:

First, I was a teenager in the timeframe that they were talking about. So, it was during that period where We Are the World and those songs where they were fundraising for people in Africa that the United States perceived didn’t have food. And so, I was in high school and I remember it like it was yesterday. And the idea that there are like 42 million people hungry in America and yet we had the highest obesity rate in the history of the world at that time.

And she talked about all the way from worldview down to her own kitchen table and the clean your plate narrative that went on at that time and how our parents used that against us as kids. Like, “You’re going to stick here and eat all your food because there’s kids starving somewhere.” So, the concept that we’re supposed to overeat and eat everything because someone else is hungry somewhere, that blew me away.

Corinne:

Yeah. I remember hearing that and thinking about how so many of us … I know, even for myself, there is a desire to still to … I mean, I have lost my weight and it has been 15 years and I, almost every meal have a strong desire to finish whatever I have because I did have so much food scarcity growing up. We didn’t know when our next meal was coming. I remember going to buffets and my mom actually saying, “Eat all you can because we don’t know when we’re going to eat again.”

And so, I was conditioned, safety is stuffing yourself. If you’re going to feel good about food and you’re going to feel like you’re going to have enough, you’ve got to overindulge. But I thought this was a good concept because I think of all the things that we coach in No BS, one of the four basics is making sure that you only eat when you’re hungry and you stop it when you’ve had enough.

Stopping at enough, hands down is the most asked question. And I know, you know, because every single week we go through … I do a Q and A every Wednesday and we go through all the ask coaches questions, we go through all the Facebook questions and we look for recurring themes. And you’re the one that gives me all of the questions that I’m going to answer for the week that are most asked questions. And that damn, “How do you stop at enough?” It’s there every week. It has got a permanent fixture in the Q and A box.

Julie:

Yes, because everybody needs you to teach parents, when parents have little kids, so that they can teach their children when they’re young, what satisfied feels like as opposed to the idea of more is better or cleaning your plate somehow is better. If we aren’t really taught as humans when we’re young, how to notice our own body’s cues.

Corinne:

Right.

Julie:

So, yeah.

Corinne:

I think there’s that and I think just even as adults, I think that I watch our women get so upset that they don’t know their cues. And I’m like, well, think about everything we’ve ever been told about food. Why would you know? So, why are you upset? I just want everyone to really understand, our nation in particular, I think in America, has deconditioned our reliance on our own bodies to feel our feelings, to feel about food. It’s almost like we are just in this country, taught to numb out in all kinds of ways. If you are impatient, you should grab your phone. If you’re having to wait for a moment, you should grab your phone, you should do something. If you have one moment where you’re bored, well, you should find something on Netflix. We’re just in this way, in this country, of being taught not to be with ourselves for any reason, like almost that’s the bad thing.

So, I think when it comes to food, number one is never beat yourself up for not knowing, for being out of touch. It’s normal. We’ve been taught this for a long time, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t start paying attention, and it doesn’t mean that if you give yourself enough time and patience, that you can’t find those signals. They may be subtle. They may take a while to get dialed back in. But if you don’t have the noise of, I should know this, going on, it’s a lot easier to find them.

But it’s just interesting, I still have to be overcome, I guess the core little person that’s in me, who wants to feel like they got enough food and redefining what enough is, is I think just super important. And if you don’t know what I’m even talking about, this is one of the first podcasts you’ve listened to, go back through our podcasts. We have got tons and tons of podcasts. Look for anything that talks about stopping at enough. And then, in our earlier days, we used to call it the Hunger Scale. But all of those podcasts on the Hunger Scale … The main reason I switched gears on that was because people got caught up in the numbers as if like, oh my God, it’s math.

So, I was like, all right, well, I will talk in the terms that you understand. Don’t fucking put food in your mouth until you’re hungry and then when you start to feel like you’ve got enough, just don’t stuff yourself, stop short of feeling full. That we can all figure out. All right. So, the next part is chapter seven, where she starts going into, what would Janet Jackson do? I just thought that was hilarious. This is pages 90 through 92. So, tell us about why we need to talk about what would Janet Jackson do?

Julie:

Well, I think that chapter was all about diet culture in America and really, I mean, she goes into every crazy diet all the way back to the 1950s, in this chapter. From women eating grapefruits, specifically to process certain types of food, all the way to ephedrine. And she and her girlfriend taking ephedrine when they were in high school and how it affected her, like up until the point of literally fainting in her kitchen and having an injury that required stitches. And she was an athlete and somehow behind the scenes, as women, this is what’s going on. On the surface, you think you’re this successful woman, everyone’s looking at you like, look at you, you’re this great athlete, but behind the scenes, you’re popping pills and starving yourself to death.

Corinne:

Yeah. Yeah. I remember being in high school and doing Weight Watchers and always trying some … Me and my girlfriends, we were always looking for some batshit crazy diet. And I had one girlfriend in particular who our senior year of high school was diagnosed with anorexia. She had gotten down to about 80 pounds and it was really hard for me because I was her best friend all through high school. And I remember talking to her and saying, “Something’s wrong. I don’t know what’s wrong, but you never eat and you just don’t look right anymore. You look like you feel like shit.” And she got so mad at me and didn’t speak to me for the rest of the year.

It was the same year that … What’s so funny is she was always really cute and all the guys wanted to go out with her and then she was just suffering with all this body image stuff. Whereas I had always been the bigger girl, but I was also the first chair piccolo. I was smart. I had a car. I had to have a car because somebody had to drive me and my brother around, because mama was always at work, doing something. So, my grandparents bought me a car. I was always the girl that seemed like she had it together, and I was suffering with depression to the point of trying to take my life at Mother’s Day of 1992. That whole chapter, when she was talking about that, it just reminded me of how often kids are going through so much and no one knows. No one really knows.

And it’s the same thing, I think we have to be super mindful of this as women, we look at thin women and we just assume that they’re happy and they have all their shit together and you never know what’s really going on underneath the surface. That’s why I don’t think it’s helpful to look at other people. One, I don’t think it’s ever helpful to judge yourself, but it’s never helpful to look at someone else and assume that all of their success is easy and they must have these amazing thoughts and they must always be happy, because you just don’t know. So, if we’re going to quit looking and judging and doing all that, it’s better to look within ourselves and say, “Well, what am I thinking and what do I want for me? And what’s going on underneath my surface? I don’t need to be like fixated on these external things. I need to be really focused on what’s going on inside of me and what can I solve, for that?”

So, I just thought it was interesting plus it really is a commentary … And I don’t even think things have changed that much. I don’t think that we’re so quick to do all the pills like we used to, it doesn’t seem that way, or at least I don’t see it as much as I used to, but it felt like in the ’90s, in particular, everybody was taking pills. I remember taking, what was it, Phenadrine? Or I don’t even remember, you could get it at GNC. It was essentially speed. And I would take them and I’d be like, “Oh my God, this is great. I’m not hungry.” I was still beating myself up, but I was thrilled that I wasn’t hungry, but I also couldn’t hang onto a cup because I was jittering so bad.

Julie:

Exactly. Chloe talks about this very thing. She opened this chapter with the idea that, she thought she’d become a woman, i.e., get her period and then suddenly she would turn from the ugly duckling into the swan. And in her mind’s eye, the swan looked like Janet Jackson, had her shape, had her success. She never even connected with Chloe’s version of that. It was always what this other person looked like. Yeah.

Corinne:

I think that, that’s also something that’s very important, is one of the reasons why I just, I don’t really follow hardly … On social media now. I like to follow all kinds of bodies, all kinds of things. I think it’s dangerous when our feed looks all the same. I mean, in anything, everything thinks the same, everything looks the same or it’s just this one topic or whatever. I think it’s good for the brain to be able to see lots of different ideas and thinking and visual stuff, visual feasting, visual feasting of food, visual feasting of bodies, all that kind of stuff.

So, that the brain isn’t thinking, “This is how I should look, or this is how life should be.” Because if it only sees one thing, it’s very easy for the brain to get trapped into thinking, “This is what it should be.” And when it sees a buffet of choices, of all the things, it’s a lot easier for the brain to be able to say, “What do I like? What feels right for me?” I think that that is a choice that we have to give ourselves more of, so it’s interesting. It makes me wonder too, what all of us that grew up in the ’80s and ’90s … It would be amazing if we had had all this social media. I wonder sometimes if we would have … For me in particular, maybe I would have had people I could reach out to easier or talk to.

But then at the same time, it’s like, what are our kids going through? Social media is so hard on, I think young women, especially. You are literally, if you’re on social, you are at the whim of somebody else’s bad day, at any moment, in your comments. Because I know people my age have a hard time with it, but are we teaching our young people emotional flexibility, to never listen to those kinds of comments and make it mean anything about themselves and their body?

Julie:

Yeah. I just want to say to you too, Corinne, I know, you know, your audience doesn’t know me, but I’m a competitive stair climber, and I climbed before I met you. But while I was on the stairwell at over 300 pounds, I had all these thoughts about how I didn’t look like the people in the stairwell, that I shouldn’t be there, that this was something that I shouldn’t be doing. And you basically taught me that I could do whatever I want, at whatever size. And now, yeah, fine, 70 pounds later, I still don’t look like the people in the stairwell and it doesn’t even come to mind. I’m on the 80th floor and thinking everyone’s tired on the 80th floor. It has nothing to do with my body. And you really taught me that I could do whatever I want, at whatever size and basically just go for it. So, thanks for that.

Corinne:

Well, you’re welcome. But I think that that’s important. I mean, you’re such a good example of someone who is living their life, not waiting to lose all of their weight before they live their life. I mean, how many of us have spent our entire lives … And I even know that there are people in maintenance who’ve lost weight, don’t look the way they think they should look and are now waiting to live that life based on that. It’s like, at some point we have to just get over that and just say, “What if I just go live my best life and I just think really good things about myself?” Nobody’s going to die one day and on the tombstone say, “Thank God she waited until she had nothing left.”

What is it that they say that people, right before they die … I’m going to butcher this but, the one thing you never hear is that they feel like they did everything. They usually are going to their grave, wishing they had have just gotten over some bullshit, wishing they had said things, wishing they had done things. And I just think it’s, we all have to quit waiting. We think we have unlimited time. We don’t. We don’t know what kind of time we have. So, why not just make the best of the time we have right now and go for it? All right. So, now that we know what Janet Jackson would do, chapter eight, Hoop Dreams, 104 to 110. Tell us about this part.

Julie:

Man. Yeah. Chloe just blew me away here. This moved right into her basketball career and the expectations of how she should look and how she should perform, and she worked herself into an eating disorder and it was just such a commentary on the perception of women. Like if you’re a strong woman … She was identified as a lesbian because she was an athlete. She was identified as many negative connotation words because of her athleticism, as opposed to looking at a woman, who’s a strong, smart woman and acknowledging that part of her.

And she talked about being labeled just a bunch of, in her mind, negative things because of her strength, because of what she was doing, that was the success of her life. And subsequently, she only focused on her body, like starving herself and trying to perform at that level with starvation. So, that underlying lack of self-esteem and self-acceptance and self-worth, and then sucking up how other people perceived her and accepting their identity of her, as is to her own.

Corinne:

I think one of the things that I’m real big on these days is really investigating not only why do you want to lose weight? And I think it’s an important question because a lot of times when I ask people about it, if the best you can give me is a bunch of negative answers. I just don’t think you’re ready. It’s like you have to first do that first level work of really understanding … I just have a core belief that when the last time that I lost weight, it was literally because every other diet I was trying to fix myself and it wasn’t because I loved myself so much. It was because I hated myself so much.

And so, I would try to fix me with a lot of things that were born and bred through hate, and that is never going to work long-term. It is never going to have you doing things, learning about yourself, changing your inner conversation, all the shit that I teach you guys to do, none of that can come from hate. It just can’t. They can’t work together. And the last time when I really thought about it, it was, I wanted more for my life and I knew that the more, had more to do with, I really wanted to learn how to believe in myself.

I really wanted to learn … I remember thinking I wanted to start walking every day because I wanted to learn how to do something every single day, simply because I said I would do it. Those kinds of things mattered to me for the first time in my life. It was the first time that I didn’t try to go and just say walk every day, because I was like, “You’re a lazy ass and you need to, it’s the only way you can lose weight.”

I really had to figure out some core reasons why this was important and I think it’s always a good question for everybody to ask, because then you end up getting into doing things for the wrong reasons, and if your reasons are wrong, you’ll do wrong things to get there. You set yourself up to take pills, kill yourself, overly restrict. It’s just such a losing game for all of us. I just think it’s one of the most important conversations we can have. And I also, I know that one of the things that I’ve read and that I talk to my best friend about all the time, when it comes to especially actually binge eating, it is so borne out of a combination of not really knowing how to talk to yourself, not knowing how to be there for yourself.

And it’s probably just borne out of a young age, combined with this idea of, I’m trying to fit in, so I’m ignoring my feelings. I don’t have emotional coping tools. Food seems like it feels really good. And then, I’m spending my time thinking, “I’m supposed to look this way and I need to do this.” So, then I just restrict, restrict, restrict. So, essentially there’s only one thing in my life that feels good, food, because if my brain doesn’t feel good, really, the only thing I got going for me is my food and so, now I’m going to take that away too, and then wonder why sometimes I have to auto-correct and go straight into a binge.

I just think it’s just time we start opening these conversations up for people and her book, I just, I really want all of you to … If you want to get a really good introduction into a book that really takes diet culture and puts it under a lens in a easily digestible way, I thought this book really had such a great conversation. It talked about all of the … There was a lot in there, I didn’t really realize that was going on just in the poorer areas, and how disenfranchised from being able to eat healthy and stuff like that.

And how just even for a lot of people … I’ve really stopped … One of the reasons why I really wanted to stop making “healthier foods,” better than other foods, is because there are people in this world that if we say, fruits and vegetables and those things, like, “I’m good when I’m eating these.” There are people in the world who are good people who can’t afford those foods, but they can figure out how to quit emotionally eating.

But if we keep making these to be a morality choice, then we’ve got a whole subset of people in this world who are what, bad people, because they can’t eat the good foods, because they can’t afford them? She just introduced so many interesting concepts that will make you think or rethink, “Oh, maybe I just shouldn’t believe everything that I’ve grown up on. Maybe I should quit believing everything my brain offers about dieting and why we diet and all this other stuff.” And I love how she also just said that she doesn’t have it all figured out, but she knows she’s done struggling with it.

Julie:

Yeah. She’s so open. That socioeconomic stuff you talked about, cultural differences. She really opens the door to talk about anything.

Corinne:

I loved, one of the notes that you had put in here was, “Chloe’s perception of society defining what a strong woman looks like and how limiting that is.” Can you tell us a little bit more about that?

Julie:

Yeah. She literally, there was a point where people were defining … There was a society perception she had on how women were being defined, when they were strong, and it was this insane negative connotation, all the words she used had a negative connotation. And the idea that you look out into the world instead of looking in at yourself. So, you look out into the world and you’re being defined by what people see about you and then those are negative things. Like that a strong woman is somehow bad. That someone gets to define your sexuality based on it, someone gets to define your intelligence based on it, as opposed to trusting yourself, looking within and deciding who you are and what your strengths are, yourself.

And she just went for it. I mean, she really just looked out into the world and sucked up what people thought about her and believed those things. She thought they were true and went forward in her life as if they were true.

Corinne:

Yeah. I think that, that’s important for all of you. I know, a lot of times you’ll hear, “Strong women don’t cry.” There’s so many things that we hear about a strong … “Strong women are bitches.” Stuff like that. People have asked me sometimes, “I know, you know, you’re a strong woman, but does that mean you don’t cry and that you have to be a bitch to everyone and blah, blah, blah.” And I’m like, “No.”

But it’s one of those things, though, if you … Think about when, if our society keeps saying that strong women are bitchy and they don’t cry, then if you, as a strong woman have a day where you need to cry, you’re going to feel weak. You’re going to associate having normal emotions as a weakness, not as no, I am strong and that’s why sometimes I need to cry because I’m strong enough to let my emotions come through. I just don’t go eat over them.

So, I mean, I just think that some of that stuff’s important and the same thing with just all of our body image shit, is all wrapped up in what we’ve been told all these years is what a good body looks like. But one of the reasons I keep putting my loose skin and scars out on the internet. It’s not because Corinne is so in love with her body, but it’s because we need real bodies out there.

Julie:

Yeah.

Corinne:

We have got to quit idolizing … Anybody who has an amazing body that’s smooth and naturally airbrushed, I’m not taking anything away from you, but that is like five percent of this world. The other 95% shouldn’t be considered less than because they don’t measure up to the five. It’s like, what if we just equal it out? And we just all really like ourselves and we all start learning, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying who you are. There’s nothing wrong with figuring out what you love about you. That is the message that has to get put out into the world now. So, any other final comments you have on this book? Other than, everybody should go get it.

Julie:

Everybody should go get it. It’s really just the most open book I have heard on these subjects and I felt like she and I were friends having a conversation. I highly recommend listening to it. Hearing her voice. It was like she was in the car with me driving along and we were laughing together.

Corinne:

That’s the way I felt. I mean, every walk I felt like I was walking with another woman who gets it, who really understands what it’s like to go through this world, trying to navigate eating and diet and expectations of what people think of you and stuff. I mean, it just was such a delightful read.

Guys, it’s in my store, just as a disclaimer, if you buy anything from me from Amazon, they give me a small, let’s emphasize that, I do get a little bit from that, but I mainly have an Amazon store more so that you guys don’t have to go on the hunt for all the books I recommend. We do have it in there. It’s at pnp411.com/faves. So, you can see all the books I recommend.

But Chloe has no idea we were doing this podcast. I follow her on social. I’ve never talked to this girl, never met this girl or anything, but I love everything she does. I think she’s amazing. I think she’s hilarious. And I think she is someone who … she made a huge impact on me and I’m hoping that by sharing this book, that her message will get amplified to where she can make a big impact on so many others. Julie, I appreciate you coming on.

Julie:

Thanks for having me.

Corinne:

Yeah. And we’re going to have more books that we’re reading with the coaches, so that you guys can share. Now, are we doing this as a book study inside No BS? Do you know?

Julie:

I don’t think in the next few months, but I hope we do.

Corinne:

We probably will. I couldn’t remember if we had it coming up or if we just … I know that I have asked my personal team that works for me, I’d asked a lot of them to read it just to … It’s such a good book on diet culture and I’m always trying to educate my team. So, all right, guys, enjoy the book and we will talk to you next week.

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I'm Corinne Crabtree

Corinne Crabtree, top-rated podcaster, has helped millions of women lose weight by blending common-sense methods with behavior-based psychology.

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