Do you get stuck in the old habit of thinking that the grass is greener on the other side of your goals? Are you putting off living your life because you are waiting on a “perfect” situation to enjoy it in? Have your opinions about your body image been usurped? In this podcast episode, Dr. Cristina Castagnini speaks about Transforming Body Image with Tara Wyatt-Treslove. We discuss unhealthy thoughts, how to break them, and realizing your inner beauty.


Tara is a speaker, writer, personal trainer, coach, teacher, and the mother of two busy boys. She is the owner and creator of Transform With Tara and the Head Coach of TWT Academy, a membership program that uses mindset and movement to help women unlock their inner strength, power, and potential. Tara spent most of her life trying to shrink both her body and her voice. She played small because her body wasn't. After doing the hard work, she knows that everyone deserves to feel empowered and that they can live the life they've always dreamed of. Connect with Tara on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Check out Tara's Body Freedom Workshop.


  • Avoid playing the “if then when” game
  • Look for the real reasons
  • You decide what is beautiful

Avoid playing the “if then when” game

People get stuck in the pattern of putting off their lives by waiting until the “perfect” moment to do something that they want to do, or know they should try doing because the timing is not “right” yet. Notice your words. Are you saying things like “I will only buy that item of clothing when I …” or “I will only start that hobby once I have …”. Do not put off your life. The grass is not greener on the other side, the grass is greener where you water it, so get to watering your life.
I knew then that my body was not the problem. My body had never been the problem, my body would never be the problem … my head, my heart, my spirit was the problem, and that’s where I needed to do the real work. (Tara Wyatt-Treslove)

Look for the real reasons

Beneath people’s desires to radically change their body or beneath the “if then when” game, the reasons for “why” that person wants to do this work sometimes go much deeper than simply wanting to look different.
What will really change for you? The deeper that we dig into that the more likely it is that something is underlying that, and that’s where we find the goal, and usually the tears come because the why is not always just to “be skinny”. (Tara Wyatt-Treslove)
What are you searching for? What is really going to bring you happiness; sitting at a certain weight, or feeling confident in yourself?

You decide what is beautiful

It might not seem like it, but you get to decide what your standards are, what you find beautiful, and how you want to exist in the world. No one outside of yourself can tell you what you think about the world. No one can tell you what is or is not, especially when it comes to incredibly subjective things such as beauty. That is yours, and no one can truly take it away from you.



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

[CHRISTINA] 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 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. As anyone who has listened to my podcast before may know I have a real issue with diet culture and all of the toxic messages out there about how being in a small body means you are healthier and have more value and more in our society. This is just a lot of BS and we need to keep talking about it so that hopefully one day people stop believing them and we can start accepting that all bodies and all shapes and sizes can be healthy and that we have value and worth regardless of our body shape and size. Because all of us are so much more than what is on the outside. What makes each of us special and unique cannot be seen or determined by some number on a scale or on a clothing label. Really? Have you ever, ever seen an obituary that describes someone based on their size or weight? No, and you won't ever because that's not what describes who someone is or what their worth is. None of that is what makes them unique and special. They're just numbers, numbers So many of us chase. Numbers we chase believing that once we achieve them, then our lives will be different, numbers that we believe will bring us happiness, numbers that we believe will allow us to have lives We imagine will be so amazing today. We're going to talk more about all this with an amazing guest who knows all about what it's like to chase a number. So if you are someone out there who knows just what I'm talking about, you will not want to miss today's show. Tara Wyatt-Treslove is a speaker, a writer, a personal trainer, a coach, a teacher, and a mother of two busy boys and a wife. She's the owner and creator of Transform with Tara and the head coach of TWT Academy. It's a membership program that uses mindset and movement to help women unlock their inner strength, power, and potential. She spent most of her life trying to shrink her body and her voice. She played small because her body wasn't. After doing the work, she knows that everyone deserves to feel strong, empowered, and that they can live a life that they've always dreamed of. Kara, welcome to the show. [TARA WYATT-TRESLOVE] Oh, thank you so much. Thanks for having me. I'm excited to be here. [CHRISTINA] And likewise, I'm really excited. So I always love having people on the show that can really relate to the listeners. I know you have a background in your own history that a lot of people are going to relate to. So I'm wondering, would you mind sharing a little bit about yourself and your own background history, just basically who you are? [TARA] Yes, for sure. So my whole journey with my body and my life and my, all the things really started around eight or nine years old. I was swimming with my friends, which I love to do, and I grew up in a small town and that was kind of our freedom zone. Our parents dropped us off at the pool and we had all the freedom in the world and teenage lifeguards to keep us in mind. So it really felt like we were off grid. Then, yes, we just, we had so much fun and I felt so free there until there was one particular incident where we were in the showers afterwards and the lifeguards were yelling at us to hurry up, because obviously they had a life to get to. As teenagers we are in there with our foamy hats and our foamy beards and throwing shampoo soap all over us and being silly and goofy and just laughing hysterically. I was rubbing the shampoo bubbles on my belly and sort of grooving with the bubbles in there. I slowly started to become aware that the laughter around me had subsided and I kind of like opened my eyes from the dance moves and looked around. All my friends that were in the shower with me had stopped laughing, had stopped giggling and were looking at me, rubbing bubbles on my belly. I felt the heat come into my cheeks and the sweat on my palms and that feeling of my life is changing in this moment. It did. I sort of turned myself away from my friends and rinsed off my bubbles really quickly. They carried on, they just sort of fell right back into the laughter and the giggles but I didn't. I quickly moved out of the shower into the change room and it was in that moment that I knew that my body was different and when you are young different means bad. [CHRISTINA] Oh my goodness. I see it. Listeners can't see your face right now, but your face completely transformed as you're talking about this and I almost want to cry for you just thinking about this, like eight year old having so much fun and then it turns into this like very traumatic moment of, oh my gosh, this isn't fun anymore. [TARA] Yes. I was so innocent. Nobody intended for anything bad to happen in that moment. It just changed everything for me, it changed the trajectory of my life basically and from that moment forward, I spent a good portion of my life trying to shrink my body and in turn, trying to shrink my voice because I didn't want to stand out. I didn't want to be loud. I didn't want to be heard because if I was heard, I was also seen. [CHRISTINA] You're talking about just this moment where nobody even really said anything to you, but you felt something shift. I'm wondering, did anyone ever say anything to you before that, or even after that? Were there words or was it just stares? Was it just the shift in the environment and how people treated you or looked at you? What happened there for you? [TARA] The biggest shift was definitely within myself but there were situations with words all through my childhood and into teenage life. I remember being in the gym change room, which is like a whole level of, I don't even know why that exists in the world, and one of my friends, I always covered or tried to cover myself when I was changing for class, and one of my friends asked me in front of everyone, "Why do you do that?" I was like, "I don't know, just I'm shy, fat, whatever." She's like, "Oh Tara, you're not fat. You're just fluffy." [CHRISTINA] Oh, words. [TARA] Bless her heart, but what? Like, come on people. We can do better. So, yes, and just little things like that all the way through and boys and just sort of, when you seek a truth, you find a truth. Since I felt the truth of my body being wrong, because it was larger, I found lots of proof of that and whether I made those situations bigger than they needed to be, or whether they legitimately were that big, it doesn't matter. For me, they stick and that was really the beginning of this journey. Not the best start to the journey, but the good news is I'm here and I'm talking about it. So after I had my second baby I had, I have two healthy baby boys, and when I found out I was pregnant with my second baby, I went into the ultrasound with my husband and I said, "Listen, if they tell me that this baby is a boy, I'm going to lose it." He's like, but I'm, well, I had lost who, I had always been an athlete, a larger sized athlete, but I'd always been fit. I'd always been busy. Then I had my first baby and I just sort of fell into the motherhood role and didn't take care of me and didn't take care of my body. The fear that I had, so, so deep inside was that I was going to have two boys, two active athletic boys who didn't have a mom to play with. I was going to be the mom on the sidelines, handing out snacks. I was going to be the mom who drove to the playground and sat in the car and watched because I couldn't get out and play. I didn't ever want to be that mom. So I went to the ultrasound with my husband and they said, "Congratulations, you're having another baby boy." I ugly cried. I absolutely lost it. The poor ultrasound tech was like, "You heard me say healthy. Of course that's all anybody wants and all anybody wants." But I couldn't obviously explain to her why I was having this emotional reaction but it was in that moment where I just knew that something had to give, something had to change. I couldn't be that mom for these babies that I chose to bring into the world. I just couldn't do it to them. So three months after my second baby was born, I hired a personal trainer who came into my home and she was amazing. She was a gift. She was a regular human mom who happened to really enjoy fitness. She looked a lot like me and that felt really comfortable for me. Then I went on that journey and I ate some vegetables and I did move my body and I lost a lot of weight, a substantial amount to wait and when I finally saw that number on the scale, nothing happened. Nothing happened. The heavens didn't open up, the angels didn't sing, nothing happened. I stepped off the scale and went and looked in the mirror and still thought, Ugh. [CHRISTINA] Now I know a lot of people listening are probably thinking, oh, come on, that's what most people do. They think once I hit this goal, once I achieve what I want to, I'm going to be happy or my life's going to completely change because that's, what's motivating them. I hear this a lot, is okay, once I get there, or if you do get there, that's not what happens. So you have this experience and now what? You're there and now your life's not different. You don't feel different inside. It's not about the number. It's not about your size. It's not about how you look. So when did that hit you and you were like, wow, this is not it? [TARA] Yes, it's a really devastating lesson to learn because I think we do spend our whole lives saying if I get to this certain weight, I will then. If I get this certain amount of money in my bank account, I will then. If I lose this job, then I will venture out on my own, or whatever it is that if, and then when game. And it's devastating. Honestly, it really did hit me in the moment when I stepped on the scale and faced that number that I had imagined in my life as the number that would set me free and it didn't. I just remember looking in the mirror and thinking what? This was supposed to be it. I knew then that my body was not the problem. My body had never been the problem. My body would never be the problem. It was not the problem. My head, my heart, my spirit was the problem and that's where I needed to do the real work. [CHRISTINA] I'm so grateful for you for sharing this because I know so many people listening and going, oh, come on, once you get there, that's got to be it. Like, I know I can wear the cuter clothes and I can fit into things. It won't be so difficult to fit into airplane seats or chairs. Or like my life will be so much better. Maybe my legs won't hurt. My knees won't hurt. Everything will be so much better. You're full of it. I hear that all the time because there's so many things people imagine. "I feel more confident. I can go out and I can go to the stores and buy the sizes on the rack. Then my life will be so much easier. People will treat me better," and all of this stuff, I hear all the time, but it's always surprising I think for people when they do get there and they're like, wow, that's not it. That didn't happen all this, my life didn't become this amazing life I thought, or I didn't automatically feel so elated and happy and super confident. [TARA] I was the same. I spent my life trying to hit that number from a very young age. So yes, it was devastating because it, I mean, I think, I hear people say that to you. If I just get there, I'll feel more comfortable, I'll feel better in my clothes. I'll be able to walk a farther distance. I guess I just, when I hear those conversations, I want to get deeper. What will really change for you if you can fit into clothes? What will really change for you if you can walk five kilometers instead of three kilometers? What will change for you? The deeper we dig into that, the more likely there is something underlying that and then that's where we find the goal. And usually the tears come because the why is not always just to be skinny or thin or smaller or lighter. It's usually a much deeper why than that, but people are really scared to go there. [CHRISTINA] That is the big thing. It's what's the real why. What are you really searching for? What's really going to bring you the happiness. So I'm imagining you in that moment and having this realization, like where did you go from there? Because you had hired this trainer, you'd been doing all this "work" to reach this one goal, but it really wasn't the goal. It wasn't going to get you to where you really wanted to be. So what did you do? [TARA] So through that journey of weight loss, I was very careful because part of why I connected with my trainer is because she did look like me. She did act like me. She had similar qualities to me and she was really the first person I had ever experienced in that world that did connect with me that way. So I spent a lot of time curating and researching, making my social media feed make me feel good, to see other people who looked like me on this journey, to see other people who were larger than me doing these things. And I found a way to connect outside of the size piece. I'm grateful for that because once I hit the goal and realized this wasn't it, I needed to look more into like, okay, what are these other people doing? What am I missing here? It really was the mindset piece that I didn't have. I saw that other people did, and I saw that other people were working on mindset pieces and that some of the people I had followed on social media were working out for the sake of working out rather than to shrink. I was like, hey, that sounds like something I could get behind because I do love it. I absolutely love moving my body in new and fun ways and lifting heavy things. But I also love tacos and wine and I just want to be happy. I just want to be happy. So I got involved in some groups and met some people, some mentors who really helped me work on that mindset piece and that connecting to myself and learning that I am so much more than my body. [CHRISTINA] I think that's such a great message. I've had other people on here talking about exercise for the sake of movements because our bodies are meant to move and it's, like you were saying, people think, oh, if I "lose weight," I can move further or I can walk further, but that's not necessarily the case. That has nothing to do with size. That's about like cardiovascular fitness. Because I know people who are in very tiny bodies who can't walk up a flight of stairs. I think that's diet culture talking saying, if you're in a smaller body or you're thin you're more healthy and that's not true at all. It has nothing to do with it. [TARA] No, absolutely nothing. That's one of the things that guided me into coaching. It's that I was, I started working with people physically and but we would work out in these classes and have all this fun and laughter and it was easy and everybody felt a little bit freer in their body and then they would do something really strong that they never imagined that they could do. Then I would watch them leave class looking and feeling differently, even though they were in the same body they walked in in. They would just, it was different. Then they would go out and do things in their regular life that they never imagined they could do. It was this like, unlocking that magic, that like, wait a second, if this body can do that thing, what else can this body do? What else can I do this body? It gives me goosebumps. I just love that moment when I see that in people. [CHRISTINA] Absolutely. I think you're helping people experience things that I think it is, like you said, the mindset, it's these unenforceable rules that, where do they come from? It's challenging these things. I love that you're doing this. It's like challenging these things that we're told or that we are told to believe that are facts and rules that they're not at all. They're limiting. [TARA] Entirely. And who got to decide them? I just imagine some old white dude sitting in the top of his office making all these, like, if you're not this size and your boobs aren't this way, then that doesn't count. You're not worthy. Like what? We get that power. That's our power. That's our decision to make what is beautiful, what is magical and it's you. That's it. [CHRISTINA] It's so internalized too. Like you internalized at eight years old from just a moment there with your friends saying I'm different, so I'm not as worthy. Like ouch. [TARA] Yes. [CHRISTINA] Been on there. [TARA] It's not ok. [CHRISTINA] It does start so young. [TARA] It is. I mean, you listen to the kids, I was an educator for 20 years and it's so sad in schools to see those little ones not feeling comfortable in their skin and social medias for all its goodness has exacerbated that issue so much. [CHRISTINA] It's getting worse. There's so much out there that's misinformation and people saying, oh, well to look like this, just do this, this, this, and this. It's toxic. The things they're saying to do, it's like the game of telephone. It's like one person said it and then it's, now it's like a law or something and nobody's questioning it. It makes me, I'm sure for you as a coach, too, it makes me very scared and angry to hear things that are being told to do and how you're supposed to look or else there's something wrong with you or to be ashamed of your body or ashamed of who you are versus promoting, "Hey, what's so great about you as a person? Are you nice. Are you caring? Are you artistic? Are you creative?" Or something else about like what's going on inside here as a person. [TARA] Yes. That's just not, it's not the norm. That's really sad and unfortunate because that is what makes us amazing. And every person has so many gifts and so much magic inside of them but we are constantly told that we need to change something, that we need to be better, that we need to be different. If you think about conversations with friends or staff or whoever, the conversation always seems to come back to what we're not enough of. And it's so heartbreaking. People talk about, oh my hips in these pants and oh, I can't eat that cupcake. When's the last time you saw someone walk into a staff room, a meeting and say my looks great in these pants today? Why isn't that the conversation we're having? Why is it oh, I need to lose five pounds, I need to change my hair, I need to dye my hair, I need to get Botox, I need to change, I need to be different? [CHRISTINA] But it's almost demonized. I talked about this on a past podcast about how, if a woman would walk into a room and say, wow, my ass looks great in these Jean she'd almost be demonized. Like, oh my gosh, she thinks she is. Versus if she walks in, it's like, oh yes, I need to lose at least five pounds. It's almost like everyone would be like, oh yes, me too or there'd be this great conversation where everyone would like rally around her and talk about the next best diet or how to do it and more relatable. That to me that is so sad. So what's going on here? You do look great. You know, even if like she's not in the "ideal body," she thinks she looks amazing. Why aren't we celebrating that? [TARA] Exactly. [CHRISTINA] What's happening. [TARA] I don't know, but that's what I'm here for. That's what I'm here to work on and hope to impact. And let's just give people permission. Permission granted. You are amazing and you can tell people that you're amazing. That's okay. I say it's okay. Come tell me how amazing you are. If you don't have the people in your world that will listen to how awesome you are, come tell me. I will listen and I'll celebrate. [CHRISTINA] I love that because, I don't know about the people you work with, but I know so many of my patients say, "Oh gosh, it's so uncomfortable when somebody gives me a compliment. I can't take it in. I can't even say," or if they say thank you, it's like, they just say it to not upset the other person, but they don't believe it. That's so sad to me too. It's like women or men out there listening, like if someone says a compliment to you and you can't take it in, or it's uncomfortable really think about that what's happening? [TARA] Absolutely. Practice is so important. Take those compliments, take a deep breath in and just say, thank you. Breathe it out. No justification, no, I got it on sale, just thank you. And just let it sit. Let yourself feel it because you deserve it. [CHRISTINA] The mindset is so powerful. So saying all the negative things to yourself all day long, I don't know if people are aware of how cruel they are to themselves and the negative things they say like, oh, it looks awful looking in the mirror, the number on the skin. Like, oh my gosh I need to do this or that or I wish I looked like this person. When they're comparing themselves it's just all the negative stuff that has so much power over you. [TARA] Words are very, very powerful things and you're right most people don't even realize the language that they're using towards themselves. I run a body freedom workshop and that's one of the first exercises that we do. We write a list of all the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad things we say to ourselves in the matter of a day or an hour and we then say those things to another person. Incredibly uncomfortable and it's tearful. It's hard because we would never use that language in speaking about another human but we have no problem saying it to ourselves over and over again. And when you say it enough times, you believe it. So I'm a huge supporter of affirmations and just really getting deep into those words and focusing on the words, thinking about the words you use to describe yourself in everyday language. Most of the words we use are whispers. Nobody hears them, but not even some of the words are out loud when we joke about our hips or we joke about our, it's a joke, ha-ha. The more you joke, the more you believe because words are powerful. [CHRISTINA] Absolutely. It's like having this bully incessantly just going off on you all day long. I mean how could that not affect you? I'm wondering now, as you've transitioned in your coaching, are you nicer to yourself and your own internal dialogue? [TARA] So much nicer, yes. That is not to say that I have arrived at the end of the journey. I don't believe there is an end of the journey. I don't believe there is an arrival. I believe this is life. I just now have tips and tools that can help me through some of those bad body days in a healthier away than I did before. So things like affirmations, things like practicing, wearing shorts, having a naked dance party in my bathroom and being aware of the language I use while I do that, those are really powerful things. But I mean, although I am kinder I still have to do this. [CHRISTINA] Well, my hope for you is the voice gets nicer and nicer and the negative ones can just shut up. [TARA] I actually give my inner voice a name and a fun voice. She's got a name. She's Aunt Francis, because I don't have an aunt. But imagine if I did, she wouldn't be very nice. Sorry if your name is Francis. You're probably lovely. Then I give her this terrible voice so when I'm talking to myself, I imagine Aunt Francis and I'm like, whoa, you don't get to say that to me. [CHRISTINA] Well, I have an Aunt Francis and she's wonderful. [TARA] Not you. It's not you Aunt Francis. [CHRISTINA] In my world we always call it ED, eating disorder. But everybody's got to have their own, so absolutely, it's this internal voice that's not you so. [TARA] Exactly. [CHRISTINA] Whatever you call it. [TARA] The funnier you can make it the less power you give it because it becomes ridiculous and anything it says must be ridiculous. [CHRISTINA] Absolutely. Well, you have been such a joy and inspiring and I have a feeling people are going to want to find you on Instagram or even work with you. So how can they do that? [TARA] Yes, for sure. I am on Instagram. That's probably the most present, I would say. Transform With Tara, nice and simple. And Facebook as well, Transform With Tara. My website is and yes, I would love to connect with people and hear more about their journeys and their stories as well. [CHRISTINA] Fantastic. If anyone didn't get that down, I will have it all in the show notes. So do not worry, just go to the website after, and that will all be there with all the links. So Tara, thank you so much. This has been great. I love your story. I love where you're at right now. So thank you so much. [TARA] Thank you. It was so great to chat with you. [CHRISTINA] Great. Thanks so much. 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.