Why does practicing self-care help to heal the greater community? How do you distinguish being selfish from being selfless? Do you struggle with justifying your want to go into recovery? In this podcast episode, Dr. Cristina Castagnini speaks about self-care and what it means to be selfless or selfish with Dr. Jennifer Nardozzi.


Meet Dr. Jennifer Nardozzi (Dr. Jen), creator of the Food And Body - FAB - program. Over the last two decades, she has dedicated her life to empowering girls, women, and young men to alter their relationships with food and their bodies. Her work aims to help clients go below the surface to understand what food and body problems are really about and to find new ways of coping, eating, and living so they can have what they really want from life. The FAB program synthesizes all she has learned over 20 years to best help her clients change their food and body problems for good. She and her practitioners work with clients to begin making changes in their daily lives through a user-friendly, accessible, highly personal program. Visit the FAB website and connect on Facebook and Instagram. Connect with Dr. Jen on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Psychology Today  FREEBIE: Take the FAB Self-Discovery Quiz


  • You are worthy of seeking treatment
  • Self-care and why you need to put yourself first
  • How self-care helps the greater community
  • Selfish and selfless: what’s the difference?
  • Food is a mirror

You are worthy of seeking treatment

If you struggle with self-worth, standing up for your needs and desires, and often prioritize other people’s needs and wants over your own, it can be challenging to make a change.
Sometimes being able to receive the treatment and saying, “Hey, I’m important enough, this is important enough to make myself a priority and to take on this guidance". (Dr. Nardozzi)
You need to stand up for yourself, especially if you are in ED recovery, and know that you can make it a priority to get better for yourself.
Putting [yourself] first can feel selfish but it is your self-care, [which] is putting your own needs as a priority in your life. (Dr. Nardozzi)
It is not selfish of you to pay money and invest time and energy into your eating disorder recovery. You need to put yourself first because then you are better able to assist those around you without damaging yourself in the process.

Self-care and why you need to put yourself first

The classic metaphor of putting on your oxygen mask before helping someone else with theirs is true in everyday scenarios too.
If we’re not taking care of ourselves first [then] we’re not doing anybody else a favor. We’re not doing our children a favor or our partners or the other people in our lives. When we fill our cups first then we have more to give. (Dr. Nardozzi)
When you take care of yourself first, you set the best example for your family, and you can show up in your life to be the best version of yourself each day. Remember that healing starts with you.

How self-care helps the greater community

When everybody does the individual work in their own lives, the community heals and gets better. This is not only because each person makes an effort to meet their own needs, but then each person can recognize a bit of themselves in different people and feel seen and understood.

Selfish and selfless: what’s the difference?

If you feel like you’re being selfish, you might actually be putting yourself first, in a good way. (Dr. Nardozzi)
The people in your life who genuinely want the best for you, and want to support you, will appreciate you doing what is good for yourself. It is the people who may be benefiting from you not having any boundaries that could be upset by you taking care of yourself before them. Stand your ground and maintain your boundary with compassion and love. If someone is upset that you are standing up for your needs, you can peacefully explain the situation to them while not backing down.
If somebody is continuously pushing our boundaries or not wanting to support our “no”, or what is good for us … how does that person fit in your life if they’re not supporting what you need to take care of your self-care at your highest level? (Dr. Nardozzi)

Food is a mirror

The way somebody is eating … your eating habits are, a mirror for the rest of your life. (Dr. Nardozzi)
How are you showing up to each meal of the day each time? Are you honoring your needs, are you honoring your limits, are you honoring yourself? Often for people-pleasers, food can be chaotic. They may restrict or they may binge. They need to learn to trust themselves and show up for themselves consistently by centering their desires, and overall health, and trusting that they will take care of themselves.



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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