Why is it important to remove the fear from the foods that seem to trigger you? Do your core beliefs help or hinder you in recovery? Can you change your core beliefs to change your outlook on life? In this podcast episode, Dr. Cristina Castagnini speaks about Core Beliefs: Why Yours Matter with Lara Zibarras.


Dr Lara Zibarras is a Psychologist & Food Freedom Coach. Her background is in academic psychology (BSc, MSc, PhD, Certified Nutrition & Wellness Coach), and she works with women to help them develop a healthy and happy relationship with food, without guilt or emotional eating.

After years of intensive dieting, following the latest faddy diets, and developing an eating disorder, she got her life back on track when she discovered the power of a positive mindset. Simple mindset shifts helped her break free from the dieting trap and set her on the path to a healthier (mental, emotional, and physical) and more balanced lifestyle.

Visit her website. Connect with her on Instagram and Youtube.

FREEBIE: Check out Lara's free Food Freedom Masterclass.


  • Remove fear from food
  • Check your influences
  • Core beliefs in eating disorders

Remove fear from food

For people who are recovering from an eating disorder, some foods feel “scary” or threatening because the person has associated them with binging or eating “unhealthily”.
I never allowed myself to eat toast with peanut butter and jam … that was something that I restricted and a real fear food and something that I would binge on. [The clinician] recommended to me that I eat it every day for breakfast. (Lara Zibarras)
Food is food. There is no moral value tied to it. Within the mind is where the associations come up, and they begin to steal the show. To regain control over understanding that food is food, and remove the fear, it is important to confront it, and show your mind that you can eat it without binging.
I did it and within two weeks I was so bored of having toast with peanut butter and jam. That was the process that he helped me go through; face some of these things, and by allowing food into my life they no longer have that psychological and emotional pull on me. It just became food. (Lara Zibarras)

Check your influences

Keep an eye on what you are surrounding yourself with in terms of news, media, and information because they all influence you. Update your social media so that you follow people who truly inspire you and make you want to learn to care for yourself and create the best possible life, instead of following people who you may feel envious of or who you want to copy to feel happy.
What you’re following and what you’re reading becomes your world view and you think that’s normal. (Dr. Cristina Castagnini)
Be aware of what you are allowing on your feed. Interrogate how things make you feel, and weed out the information and perspectives that keep you stuck in restriction and fear instead of wholeness and trust in yourself.

Core beliefs in eating disorders

If your core beliefs are rooted in a more positive outlook on life, then you view the world more positively with opportunities for growth, development, and worthiness. However, if your core beliefs come from a place of unworthiness or pessimism and you feel that nothing has value or worth, then your outlook on life can be more negative and stagnant.
The thing is with our core beliefs is that they help us make sense of the world which therefore impacts the decisions we make and then they become important to our emotional health. (Lara Zibarras)
Therefore, when you want to heal your relationship with food, it is important to know what your deeper core beliefs are because they will either help you or hinder you. You must first uncover them to work on them to be able to change them. It is not your body that is the problem. It is the core belief that you have about bodies in the world.


BOOK | Christy Harrison – Anti-Diet: Reclaim Your Time, Money, Well-Being, and Happiness Through Intuitive Eating BOOK | Megan Jayne Crabbe – Body Positive Power: How Learning to Love Yourself Will Save Your Life



I am a licensed Psychologist and Certified Eating Disorder Specialist. While I may have over 20 years of clinical experience, what I also have is the experience of having been a patient who had an eating disorder as well. One thing that I never had during all of my treatment was someone who could look me in the eye and honestly say to me "hey, I've been there. I understand". Going through treatment for an eating disorder is one of the hardest and scariest things to do. I remember being asked to do things that scared me. Things I now know ultimately helped me to get better. But, at the time, I had serious doubts and fears about it. If even one of my providers had been able to tell me "I know it's scary, but I had to go through that part too. Here's what will probably happen...." then perhaps I would not have gone in and out of treatment so many times. My own experience ultimately led me to specialize in treating eating disorders. I wanted to be the therapist I never had; the one who "got it". I will be giving you my perspective and information as an expert and clinician who has been treating patients for over 2 decades. But don't just take my word for it...keep listening to hear the truly informative insights and knowledge guest experts have to share. I am so happy you are here!


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Podcast Transcription

[CRISTINA CASTAGNINI] Behind The Bite podcast is part of a network of podcasts that are good for the world. Check out podcasts like the Full of Shift podcast, After the First Marriage podcast and Eating Recovery Academy over at practiceofthepractice.com/network. Welcome to Behind The Bite podcast. This podcast is about the real life struggles women face with food, body image and weight. We're here to help you inspire and create better healthier lives. Welcome. . Well, hello everyone. So today we have a great show in store for you again. Our guest is coming today to share her mix of personal and professional perspectives on eating disorders. As a psychologist, I could spend much more time introducing and discussing the topic of today's show right now, but I feel it's really best to just dive on in today and let her help us delve much more deeply into a discussion about our beliefs and what they have to do with eating disorders and treatment. Dr. Lara Zibarras is a psychologist herself and food freedom coach. She works with women to help them develop a healthy and happy relationship with food without guilt or emotional eating. All right, Lara, welcome to the show. [LARA ZIBARRAS] Thank you so much, CRISTINA. I'm so thrilled to be chatting to you here tonight. [CRISTINA] Well, I'm so glad that we connected and you bring to this show today, personal and some professional experience. So I'm really excited for that. I'm just curious, would you mind sharing with us your background and your journey with your own relationship with food and body image? [LARA] Yes, I love to because I spent many years with actually quite a terrible relationship with food and it was kind of off and on. So I actually started dieting in my teams. So I was going through those kind of the cabbage soup diet, the Atkins diet, the fat-free diet when fat-free was a fad. I was so obsessed with this extreme dieting that led to really quite disordered eating and then of an eating disorder. So from my sort of late tweet teens to early twenties, I was suffering from bulimia and it was sort of on and off but not a great stage of my life. Then it was around my mid twenties where I went and had some eating disorder counseling, some nutrition counseling as well. Then actually spent quite a few years, I would say in remissions, probably the best way to describe it because I had quite a good relationship with food and my body image. Then I had a family and I was going through pregnancies. I really struggled with the changes that my body went through and that real pressure that women have after they have their babies, to bounce back and lose your baby weight and all that. That's when I got sucked back into, and not so much diet culture that time around because I was very aware of what diets had done to me in the past, but I think I got sucked into wellness culture, which now in retrospect, I really see that as a diet in disguise. It was at the time when everyone was all about cut this out for health and cut that out for health. I saw that as my way back and it created a really unhealthy obsession with healthy eating. That was when I cut out so many things from my diet, but all in the mission to be more healthy and really in retrospect that I was suffering with orthorexia. Then I had this moment of clarity on holiday. I was on holiday with my family. My kids were young and I was with my husband. I remember being in a French supermarket pretty much in tears because I couldn't find the right organic or gluten-free food. That for me was a massively like bulb. I was like, oh my goodness, what is going on? I'm slipping back into my very disordered eating. That was the beginning of my road back recovery again, then, so twice really for me. [CRISTINA] That's so interesting. I kind of want to talk about that a little bit, because think you're talking about something that most people can relate to. Even when you were a teen is not knowing it's eating disordered thinking, just starting out like, oh, I just want to lose a little weight or it's like you see all these things advertised. You were saying, that's that free fads or this bad and thinking, well, everyone's doing it. It can't be bad for you or something wrong if it's advertised all the time or it's constantly talked about. So you take it on and I'm just wondering for you as a teen you said you went and got counseling in your twenties. At what point did you realize, hey, this is not like this diet or this is not okay. I actually need help for this. It might go beyond like, just wanting to maybe take on something and try something. [LARA] You're so right because I think there's such a fine line between just diets because, and that was it for me. I just thought I just want to lose a little bit of weight. That's all I wanted and that led to that slippery slope of it never being enough. So I would lose a little bit of weight. I'd go back to eating normally, I'd put a bit weight back on and I'd try another diet. So I really was following all the fatty diets. Then I think for me again, that kind of light bulb moment was when I was either restricting or I was binging and then that led to, and it ended up with me becoming bulimic because I needed a way to, I was like, oh, I can't cope with this binging. I need to get rid of it, so binging, purging. And I just remember so well, this was in my early twenties. After university, I moved to London. I had a few friends here, but I was kind of making my way and getting to know the city. I remember I would be walking home from work and every, well, not maybe not every evening, but many evenings, I would stop off in the corner shop on my way home. I would just have, I had been restricting all day, so I may have had like an apple and a tiny salad for lunch. Then I would stop off in the shop on the way home and buy loads of food and then have big blowout. It was when I was reflecting on this behavior, thinking the dieting behavior that seemed normal, because everyone was doing it. But when it started going into this extreme of restrict and then binge and purge, I thought, this can't be right. That's when, thankfully I did, it was very secretive. You know, I've heard you talk about this a lot in your podcast is how secretive this behavior is. No one knew that I was doing this and then eventually I reached out to my doctor and I was put forward to seeing an eating disorder specialist. That's also when I came clean to my boyfriend, who's now my husband and the time and actually telling, starting to tell people, I think was, it's that whole process of, wow, yes, there is something wrong with me and now I need to seek help. And I found the eating disorder specialist was great. Then I also went to go and see a nutrition counselor, because I felt like I'd forgotten how to eat. I didn't know what was normal anymore because I was so out of whack. I was either extreme restrict or extreme binge and then purge. [CRISTINA] And you bring up such a good topic. Like you said, I've talked about before, but I hear this all the time, that secrecy. I think that's such an important thing to talk about because it is very embarrassing. I mean, I remember going through that too. I was like, I don't want anyone to know what I'm doing and even lied to so many of my therapists because I was like, nope, I'm not telling anybody what I'm doing. And I'm wondering for you, do you remember what it took for you to even admit to somebody for like the first time, okay, this is what I'm doing. [LARA] Gosh, I remember, it was the man who's now my husband, but I remember he, I think he suspected something was going on because we would go for meal and we'd eat and then I'd head off to the bathroom afterwards. I remember him just looking, giving me that look and it was a look of like huge love and compassion. I think that was the bit that got me. It wasn't like, whoa, what are you doing? It was more like, wow, let's deal with this together. And then, yes, that's when I came to clean to him, but it was really hard. I think I didn't want to. I think probably I had already, I was already very aware that I needed help at that point and that's the reason I reached out. So I think there was all the time before that where I definitely wouldn't have reached out for sure. [CRISTINA] And do you remember for yourself, like after you started opening up about it and telling people, do you remember if there was some like relief and like unburdening? [LARA] Yes, so much, so much. I remember, and really it was just him. Then after I'd been seeing an eating disorder specialist, that's when I told a couple of my very close friends. But I remember the moment where speaking to him and then later speaking to the eating disorder specialist and it was really reassuring and helpful to have his support because I'd say to him, we're going to be going to party and there's going to be food around and I'm going to really struggle not to go crazy or not to go wild around the food. Can you just, and I was, I don't want you to make a big deal of it, but just like a little tap on the arm or the shoulder and just to, it's like pattern interrupter, I guess. Like I was so into the habit of just going wild around buffet or snacks, like just the little tap. That was really helpful to know that was someone compassionately supporting me through it. And sometimes you choose not to listen, but I think it's so helpful, and you feel that sense of relief because you've unburdened it. Then later when I did tell a couple of my close friends, then that's when I realized that the behaviors that I'd engaged in weren't so unusual. I found a couple of my other friends had suffered with secret eating disorders, but we hadn't really told anyone about it. So again, it's that relief unburdening it. [CRISTINA] Did you remember having any fear like, oh gosh, if I tell somebody they're going to judge me or criticize me or think differently of me? [LARA] Mmh, for sure. Interestingly, it's only much more recently that I've really been truly honest and open with everyone about what I went through. For those few years afterwards it was really only a very small inner circle. I think a lot of people didn't know. I actually I did a reel on my Instagram maybe about a year ago and I had in it about suffering from bulimia and one of my friends who I've known for a really long time said, "Ah, I didn't know that." And that's exactly it. Like there are people that I never told because it felt like I was doing such an awful thing. You know that there's something wrong. You think that there's something wrong with you and so there's only very few people that you can tell openly and honestly about it because it feels wrong. [CRISTINA] That's such a great point because it does, it feels like you're doing something wrong. You're doing this behavior and I wish everyone really knew this is the illness. This is what the illness looks like. It's like, you are sick and you do need help. It's not, nobody chooses this, my goodness. And to have such compassion for anyone out there listening, who's like afraid to say something because you're going to get judged, it's like, this is one of the symptoms of the illness. These are the behaviors and you can't just stop doing it. I don't know if you could've, like looking back, do you think you could have just stopped doing it without all the help? [LARA] I needed the help because I needed someone who understood to walk me through it. I also really needed the nutrition counseling as well to re-learn how to eat because I felt like I'd so lost touch with my body, my capability to listen to what my body wanted. I remember sitting in front of this, he was a male, actually, nutrition counselor. I was like, I don't know what is normal? How much should I eat on a daily basis? What should it look like? And even though everyone needs to eat differently every day, he gave me some really good tips on like start off for this amount and visually what to look for. It's interesting. It is you need that help. I needed that help. I think a really big thing for me was really understanding the impact that diet culture had had on me. It was the dieting that led down that slippery slope and a part of my journey of recovery was undoing that, like undieting, getting away from that thinking, I don't need to diet, I don't want to diet anymore. Yes, big part of the journey. [CRISTINA] I'm curious for you because you did choose nutrition counseling, I hear so many people I work with, so hesitant to do that saying I know everything I need to know about food nutrition. I know it all. And I can kind of understand that. They've been on so many diets and read so much about food and know so much about what's in each food and this and that. And I don't know if you were at that point a little bit like, oh gosh, I know what's in the food, I know what is this and this, and mentally calculating all these things in the mind as they're eating it. Did you ever think at all, like, I don't know if this will be helpful to work with someone who knows about nutrition and counseling. [LARA] Yes, it's interesting. I think I went in with a slightly different mindset because I think that, I literally felt like I'd forgotten how to eat or what was normal to eat. And he was so useful in turning what I had learned from diet culture on its head. So I had spent all these years restricting, cutting out foods, you know, the fat-free diet or low calorie diet. So it was all about restriction. And when I went to him, he said, we're not going to restrict anything. In fact, I want you to start thinking about adding things to your diet and a big thing for me, with him, how he was so helpful to me was helping me face my fear foods. So a lot of the things that I had restricted became the foods that I wanted to binge on. And he helped me in that journey of actually let's face those fear foods. So one of the big things I remember so well, because it seems now so ridiculous in hindsight, but I never allowed myself to eat toast with peanut butter and jam on it. That was a big something that I restricted and a real fear of food and something that I would binge on. So he recommended to me that I eat it every day for breakfast, for as long as I want and it freaked me out hugely. But I did it and within two weeks I was so bored of having toast with peanut butter and jam on. That was the process that he helped me go through was like face some of these things. And by allowing food into my life, they no longer had that psychological, emotional pull on me that it just became food. It just became a piece of toast with peanut butter and jam on it, like kind of what's the big deal. That, I think was what he really helped me with because I had lost touch with eating. [CRISTINA] So interesting. So you get, as you called in remission, and then I think you fell into what I see so often too, is kind of diet culture under the guise of wellness or "healthy eating," or this is for some other different reason. So at what point did you realize maybe I've crossed the line a little bit? This is not, I mean, besides being in that French store, was there any point where you realized, gosh, I'm cutting out all stuff and really being rigid and having all these rules? [LARA] I think, so alongside that, I think that was the very beginning. That was the first light bulb, but it was then realizing that my diet, or I had cut so much out of my diet. I was basically vegan and gluten free and wasn't like, at one point I wouldn't have soy either. So like everything, there was a fear factor, but it was to do with health. So like cut out gluten, because it's bad for this and don't eat dairy because it's bad for this and don't eat red meat because it's bad for this. So I listened to absolutely all of that advice to the point where my diet was so limited. I remember, I think a few light bulbs, but like that and my husband being, "You really need to eat, maybe you could think about eating some other stuff or expanding what you're eating." But then it really started to hit home when I would be in a restaurant and I'd look at the menu and I'm like, there is literally nothing on this menu that I can eat because it either has gluten or dairy or it's meat based or it's got this, that and that in it. It was that kind of, yes, just so much restriction. I just, wasn't having fun. I was missing events. Every few months I would go on what I would call, I mean, I never used the word detox because I didn't agree with detox, but a kind of clean eating month where I would cut out everything, alcohol, caffeine, soy, dairy, gluten, and leaving very little that you can eat. I would do it regularly within the kind of like, I'm doing this for my health. This is really the way I feel really good. But it meant that I was really boring and I didn't want to go out. Or I did go out with my friends and I'd be like, oh yes, I'm not, it's not much I can eat. So you'd have the kind of like salad with, and you can't really have anything on it really either because you can't have any dairy, you can't have any protein really. So those little things. Then also I remember being invited to people's for dinner and I'd be like, oh yes, I can't eat this and I can't do that. Then you realize, wow, this is yes, starting to be wild. You can't that, this can't keep going. That's when I think I realized that yes, it was, I basically slipped into my disordered eating that I'd had in my twenties, but under the guise of wellness culture. [CRISTINA] I do think that it's so hard for people when they take that on because there's so many articles and there's so much out there promoting it. So it does sound like, well, I'm just doing something great for myself. I'm following something that's healthy. So it's hard to tease out for so many people like, well, gosh, now I'm afraid to eat the dairy. I'm afraid to eat this. So I'm afraid to eat this because I might get sick or, well I'm reading everything that says, this is a great thing to do. But again when you say the word orthorexia, I've had a podcast about that too, but it is a very slippery slope and also disordered. So I'm glad you're bringing that up too, because I'm wondering, so after you kind of had that moment, did you also go back and seek more help or what happens with that? [LARA] I didn't. I don't think I needed it. I think deep down I knew, actually I really did know, and what helped me was I started reading a lot of books. I'm just trying to think, like anti-diet, Christie Harrison, I started following people like yes, Christie Harrison and Lindsay Kit and Lexi Kit and certain people on Instagram. I had a complete rev of what I was following on Instagram. So it used to be all like the wellness "influencers." I was like, I can't do this anymore and I completely switched to people who were focused on intuitive eating, food freedom, people who like body positivity movement. All of those things that really helped me. Meghan Krabb, I think hers was the first book I read actually. That was a massive like, oh my goodness, what have I been doing to myself for the last few years? I think also, thankfully it wasn't such a long period of time. It was maybe a couple of years and so as soon as I really realized it was a big switch. I need to get away from this, kind of this culture that's sucking me in and move to something that's going to be a lot more positive. That big irony for me was, I'm trained as a psychologist. My background is in psychology, but I was also working as a health coach. So I trained as a health coach after my daughter was born. So I was working as a health coach with orthorexia, and you get praised. People say, oh, you eat so well. Your food is so healthy. When I cook, I would do all these like healthy versions of sweet potato brownies and that kind of thing. So people are like, oh, this is amazing, sugar free, all this. The other thing, actually, now that I think about what was a big turning point for me, I think maybe this was the biggest wake up call. I have kids. My daughter is the youngest and she's seven and a few years ago, I started to see how my sort of obsession with restricting sugar with my kids, was starting to create more desire in her, especially to eat sugar. That just suddenly reminded me, I had this like, ooh, flashback from when I was restricting and then binging and restricting and binging. I thought, oh my goodness, it was just this huge, like several light bulbs one after the other of, oh my goodness, I do not want to create that kind of fear in my daughter and how I had, it's only realized I'm restricting sugar. I'm restricting sweets. I'm not letting them eat things that they want to eat and I'm creating issues in my children. I just did not want that. So it was a really quick kind of, as soon as I realized what I was doing, I just, I was like, I can't, I have to change for the sake of my daughter more than anything else. So yes. [CRISTINA] Well, I mean to see it in your kids, and I think, I can relate with that. I have kids too. That was my biggest thing in my head. Before I had kids was thinking, oh my goodness, if I never get over this, how is this going to impact other people? I know that sounds strange to not even have had kids, but that was a thought always going into my mind like, oh my goodness, what kind of role model am I going to be? Because a lot of my fear was that had I done damage to my body, I'd been told that and I couldn't have kids. Then I thought, well, if I do get to have kids and I don't get over this, they're going to see this, not something you can hide from them. So what impact would that have to the fact that you saw that in your daughter, like for you just thank you for sharing that? Because I think we do see so much in our kids and how they do get influenced by so much of what we're doing, but also you brought up such a great point in how you got influenced too by just the things you were seeing and reading and just the flip of going from wellness and all of that to different people on Instagram. So just like the influence of like you and your kids, but like, it's like a domino effect. It trickles down. And that's the scariest part for me, is thinking like, wow, just what you're following or what you're reading, it becomes your world view and you think that's normal. [LARA] Yes, totally. It's everywhere. It infiltrates everything, I think, diet culture, wellness culture, and yes, just wherever you look. I think you have to be very aware of what it is you are putting on your feet because you are curating your own feed. You need to be wary of what you're putting in your head. [CRISTINA] Well, I think that's the interesting part is maybe you don't know what kind of worldview you're creating. You're just thinking, following something that seems like, yes, that seems good to follow or that's interesting to follow. And before you're getting fed all sorts of things and that becomes your truth and your belief. I kind of wanted to talk to you a little bit about that because I know you talk about core beliefs and just thoughts and beliefs in general and how powerful those can be. So just wondering how you use those, like in your own personal life, but also maybe in working with people you do in your work. [LARA] So it's saying, I had been health coaching people. I had been a health coach and what I was finding, so I found that I would put people on this kind of quite restrictive program. I kind of feel like I have to publicly apologize to everyone that I did that to. They always said that they felt really amazing. They did things for sort of 30 days or six weeks and felt wonderful. But what I was finding is that people kept on slipping back to their sort of old ways, old habits and then going back and then ending up putting on weight. So I had a bit more of kind of a weight focus approach, which I don't anymore. So after realizing that I was, and realizing what impact I was having on people, I completely shifted my coaching to focus on food freedom coaching. So trained in intuitive eating. I just had a complete, almost like 180 shift and what I've realized, and again, this is from my psychology background is how much core beliefs can impact your journey. So whether that's your on dieting journey or recovery journey, whatever it is, your journey from orthorexia to food freedom, because they're almost like principles and assumptions that totally guide you through life. And often they are created when you are young, but then they're often reinforced during the rest of your life. So you might have sort of positive core beliefs, which are things around like, I can do anything I can put my mind to, but if you have a negative core belief, they can really trick your mind into seeing the world in a much darker way. So often it comes down to things like worthiness. So like I'm not good enough is a classic negative core belief. The thing is with our core beliefs is they really help us make sense of the world and that therefore impacts the decisions we make. Then they become very important to our emotional health. So when you are trying to heal your with food, it's important to understand what your core beliefs are, kind of where they came from, and then it's in uncovering them that you can work on them and change them. So now when I work with people in my Food Freedom coaching, we focus on core belief specifically in relation to food and weight, because most people suddenly have this kind of light bulb moment of, oh, wow, that's why I think this. So I think one classic core belief, and this is something we've kind of been talking about already, this idea that that thin is better. This can often be, you know go back to messages that you received as a child. It could be, like we've talked about, it could be indirect messages. You might have seen all the women in your life, your mom and your aunts and your grandmother dieting. So then you're thinking, wow it must be important to be a certain weight. Or maybe when you're a kid, someone commented on your weight, commented on your body shape or size or your weight at school. Those kinds of events can lead to that idea that thin equals better. Again, when I think about some of the things that happened to me, I don't think I necessarily, certainly not from my family had anything directly said negative to me. But I saw a lot of the women, the older women in my life dieting. I think that can be so, and this is why I was saying earlier, when I suddenly realized how I am around food is going to impact my daughter forever more. That makes you really sort of think about it and what you are doing. But then again, what I do is help people sort of unpick that, like is thin really better? I think one thing we see a lot in diet culture and in wellness culture even is that thin equals healthy or healthier and so that there's this assumption that if you lose weight, you are therefore going to be healthier. So I really help people a lot in my coaching site, really unpick that and unravel it, like is thin, actually healthier? And actually we know from research thin does not necessarily mean healthier at all. Then with helping people work through this is like thinking of a better of affirmational like mantra to have. So something that could work for some people is things like all bodies are worthy regardless of their size. So it's like moving away from that idea that thin is better and moving towards like you're worthy as you are, it doesn't matter your size. Then another core belief, I think this is sort of, it builds on the last one, but again, we see this in adverts, we see this on Instagram. We see it everywhere. Is that when I'm thin then, so when I'm thin, then I'll be loved or then I'll be beautiful, then I'll be worthy. Again, I just think this is so reinforced in diet culture and in fact it's everything that diet culture is really. It's that idea that you want to look like this image and therefore in order to look like that, you need to lose weight and often it's like, let me sell you this thing. Or let me sell you this program. Let me sell you this diet plan, or let me sell you this really expensive diet food and then I will help you get thinner and when you're thinner, then you'll be worthy or then you'll be beautiful. Then lots of people end up putting off their lives, like living their lies, because they'll say, well, when I'm thin, then I'll go out on a date or then I'll start dancing or I'll change my job. Or you end up just putting off your life until you get to that certain size. The thing that I always get people to think about is, and this was me as well, so realizing that it's not your body, that's the problem. It's that idea of if you've ever looked at a photo and thought, oh my goodness, didn't I look so wonderful back then? Then I get people think, go back to when you took that photo, how did you feel then? And often people say, oh, I was actually wishing that I was back, even further back because I felt better then. So I always think about my honeymoon photos. I spent years, and this is post babies thinking, oh, I wish I looked like that. I really do. But then someone said that to me and I was like, oh no, when I was on my honeymoon, I was definitely wanting to be thinner. So it's not your body that's a problem. It's diet culture. It's this core belief that's so ingrained in us that thin equals better. And again, I work through this with people as that, if you do get thinner all that happens is your appearance changes. So that doesn't change anything else in your life. It doesn't suddenly improve your relationships or your finances or your self belief. So it's really important for people to unpick, like if you do lose weight, is that going to make you more lovable? Is it going to make you better person? Is it really going to be that holy grail of making your life better, and really, probably not. The research says no to that, for sure. [CRISTINA] That's so true. I hear that all the time. People try to convince me too, and I think they try to convince you. They're like, no, you don't understand. I'll be able to blah, blah, blah. It's like, well, I don't know if you go down this line with people you're working with to say, okay, so once you get there, now, what happens? Or should really stuck if you ever do get there. You're really stuck. Do you think you start living the life you want. The pressure's really on to stay there? Like, what did you have to do to get there? You were struggling and suffering and all this other stuff. That sounds like a miserable space to be. [LARA] Yes. I think in most people's experiences, it's never enough. Is it because you lose your, whatever it is, X number of patterns. Then you think, oh, maybe just a couple more or maybe a little bit more and I think that then becomes that slippery slope, because you never feel like you're going to look like that person that you're aspiring to. When I see people, and I used to this, you cut pictures out the magazine or you print things off and you're like, that's the body that I'm aspiring to. I'm like, no, it's not going to change your life. It really isn't. [CRISTINA] It's something else they're aspiring to, really it's like, what is it like the, what feeling, what kind of life, what are you really searching for that you think this body is going to get you. [LARA] So true. [CRISTINA] So I know we're getting close to time here and I don't want to keep you. You shared so much. Just curious, like just real quick, if you could share with us now; do you feel like you struggled all with food or do you feel like, hey, I'm totally, like you said, you have food freedom. So do you feel like for people listening who are hesitant and say, there's no possible way I can ever really have this healthy, free relationship with food. Do you think there's something you could say to people who are very hesitant or think now it's not possible? [LARA] Yes. What I would say is I totally like feel you because that's exactly how I used to feel. I just thought there's no way I'm ever going to have a "normal relationship" with food. I'm just not going to be one of those people that can have dessert and not feel guilty, or just have a varied diet. Because I didn't see that happening for me, but I would say it is possible. And obviously I still have days where I don't have the best body image day or I still have days where I feel like I've overeaten. And now I don't mind. Before, if I ever overate that feeling would lead to a purge, but now I'm just, I had a really lovely evening with my friends. So what I enjoyed more food than I would normally. That doesn't matter. That's just life and I think the more you can allow food into your life and eat as much variety as you want, the more you are able to really start tuning into your body. I still do this from time to time. So like even a few months ago, my husband bought some crisps that I just thought I love. I'm more of a savory person now. I honestly, I couldn't get enough as a crisps and I was eating some of these crisps every day, but after like 10 days, I was like, yes, I'm kind of done with those crisps. I'm like, I'm not feeling it anymore. I didn't bother buying anymore. In fact, I didn't think I've bought anymore for the last two months, but I sometimes have this in this moment of like, oh no, am I just going to go wild for these crests again? I didn't. And I think it's just about yes, it really is about allowing yourself unconditional permission to eat things and to work through the feelings, because feelings do come up and you're not going to be sort of cured tomorrow, but food freedom is absolutely totally possible for everyone. It just requires a bit of a bit of work and dealing maybe with some hard feelings and hard emotions and understanding some core beliefs and things, but it's totally possible. [CRISTINA] Well, thank you. And for anyone listening, who would like to learn more about you, follow you or find you, how can they do that? [LARA] So good place to find me is on Instagram. So I am at Dr. Lara Zib on Instagram. Also on YouTube at Dr. Lara Zib, also on YouTube and my website. So I have a masterclass if anyone wants to find more out more about food freedom. So drlarazib.com/masterclass. Would love to see you. [CRISTINA] Fantastic. Thank you for sharing your story and telling us more about the work you do. Thank you for doing the work you do. It's really invaluable and people definitely need you in the world. So thank you so much, Lara. [LARA] Oh, thank you so much for having me. It was great to chat. [CRISTINA] This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regards to the subject matter covered. It is given with the understanding that neither the host, the publisher or the guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical, or any other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one.