Sept. 29, 2021

How To Change The Way You Feel About Your Body with Emily Lauren Dick

How To Change The Way You Feel About Your Body with Emily Lauren Dick

Our guest is Emily Lauren Dick, a body image expert and activist who is committed to making girls feel comfortable in their own skin.


It is alarming how easy body-shaming becomes a topic for teasing and bullying to little kids. With peer pressure, its effects can be more damaging to the mind of someone innocent. But how can we adults protect them from this if we struggle with it? In this episode of The Fit Mess, Emily Lauren Dick talks about her book Body Positive: A Guide to Loving Your Body and what it tells us about body positivity and the steps we can take to make it practical in our daily lives. The episode also tackles the role of media in the issue, how it affects both women and men, and how your body perception can affect your parenting.

Find out how a healthy body outlook is defined in this episode of The Fit Mess with Emily Lauren Dick!

One Move Toward Body Positivity 

For Emily, there are countless ways where one can move toward body positivity. Focusing on non-physical achievements, dressing comfortably, and talking to a therapist are just a few of the many steps people can take to nourish a healthier outlook of their bodies. But aside from the ones she mentions in her book, Body Positive: A Guide to Loving Your Body, Emily decides to take this movement forward through one particular step. She wants advertisers to take accountability for the images they show. By partnering with the organization Live Life Unfiltered, they plan to soon launch a campaign called ‘Show Me Unfiltered.’ This campaign will take after the law in France, effective in 2017, that required commercials to use disclaimers for any sort of image that is digitally altered. Being the leading source of oversexualized and unrealistic models of what a person’s body should look like, especially a woman’s body, this big move is a demand of transparency for mainstream media. The law being successful in France is proof of how it can possibly be done anywhere.

Listen to Emily Lauren Dick as she talks about how health isn’t only physical in this episode of The Fit Mess!

About Emily Lauren Dick:

Emily Lauren Dick is a body image expert and activist who is committed to making girls feel comfortable in their own skin. Her book, Body Positive: A Guide to Loving Your Body, is the number one resource for young adult women who desire to redefine and understand true beauty. Emily believes that educating young people about body image, teaching resiliency, and normalizing real bodies is critical in combating negative thinking and improving self-esteem. 

Emily holds an Honors Bachelor of Arts Degree in Women Studies and Sociology from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario. She is also a self-taught professional photographer who has photographed hundreds of women, including all of the young women included in her Body Positive book. Emily is the Marketing Manager for her family’s pizza business and considers herself a dreamer and “wearer of many hats.”

Emily lives with her children, husband, and dog in Burlington, Ontario, Canada. 

Outline of the Episode:

[02:10] Children listen more to what you do than what you say.

[06:51] About the book Body Positive: A Guide to Loving Your Body

[08:29] The media sells the female image all while sexualizing it.

[14:13] Health is not visible!

[16:25] Your body will always change because it adapts.

[20:47] What Emily’s Ten Steps to Loving Your Body is all about

[23:59] What is thinspiration?

[29:13] Pressure to get jacked: How can we improve ourselves without changing ourselves?

[32:40] If your young kid is asking for Tiktok, that’s serious!

[35:31] Zach’s vegan approach to normalizing cholesterol levels.

Resources:

Guest Website

Emily Lauren Dick on Instagram

Body Positive: A Guide to Loving Your Body

hello@happydaughter.com

 

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Transcript

Body Positive Transcripts:

[00:00:00] Zach: photos expectations to see a certain number on the scale, the pressure to look and dress a certain way as our guests this week explains the media and pop culture demand that we adhere to these often damaging norms. what if we started off with a more balanced approach, , asking each person to define beauty for themselves and to celebrate their own bodies, no matter what.

[00:01:01] Jeremy: We'll discuss those issues around body image and our own issues with our own bodies in this episode of the fitness. Thank you for making us part of your day. And just a few minutes. We'll be speaking with Emily Lauren. Dick. Her latest book is body positive, a guide to loving your body. But first we want to thank our sponsor for this episode inside tracker, their mission fits so perfectly with what we're about to talk about today.

[00:01:21] They want to make sure that you'll always be healthy enough to be able to do the things you love. For example, I went kayaking last night for the first time in a long time. And I was out there for like an hour and I was prepared to wake up just sore and stiff and tired. And in fact, I woke up feeling great. I think it's partially because of the steps that I've taken to improve my health. Based on the advice I've received since partnering with inside tracker, they analyze your body's data. To provide you with a clear picture of what's going on inside your body to offer you science backed recommendations for positive diet and lifestyle changes.

[00:01:50] Then inside tracker tracks your progress every day, every step of the way toward reaching your performance goals and living a longer healthier. 

[00:01:58] Zach: For a limited time, you can get 25% off the entire inside tracker store. Just go to inside tracker.com/fit MES or click the link on our website, the fitness up.

[00:02:09] Jeremy: So as that could happen again, this is one of those interviews that we did it a while ago. And the messages that, we learned then are ringing true for me now, right when I need them, because I'm in the middle of, dealing with these kinds of issues with talking about body image, talking about, , diet, nutrition, all these things, especially with working with my daughters.

[00:02:28] This has been a struggle, especially since getting them back to school. , I'm making their lunch every day and they come along and they unpack it and they want to shove, jelly beans and candy and chips and a second bag of chips and a third bag of chips just in case into the thing. And I'm just, and I'm losing my mind because I know better.

[00:02:42] I know they should be eating better than that, but I also need to really be conscious of what I'm telling them about food. And I even hear my youngest daughter, my six-year-old at the table, she'll be talking about, the food on her plate and, what, here's the most healthy. And while I'm glad she's thinking about that stuff.

[00:03:01] She's six. I don't want her worrying about that stuff. , and my wife was reminding me the other day that the issues that I had with food as a kid, I shouldn't be projecting on to them. And that is the root of a lot of this for me is that I don't want to see them making the same mistakes that I made and ended up having the body issues that I've had when they have nothing to worry about their kids.

[00:03:20] They're perfectly healthy. Uh, but, but this is something that I really need to work on because I'm focused so much on myself currently in what I'm eating and my relationship with my body and trying to make it so that they aren't doing the same thing in 30 years, based on the decisions they're making today.

[00:03:37] Zach: Similarly with my daughter, the conversations that I've been having with her, it's so interesting that, , she generally watches what I do instead of listening to what I'm saying.

[00:03:48] So when I tell her that, you should be eating healthy food while I'm putting a pint of ice cream down,

[00:03:54] Jeremy: Yep.

[00:03:55] Zach: that that message doesn't stick. , And interestingly enough, over the last two months, I've had to change my diet significantly not to lose weight or anything, but to, to handle a cholesterol issue that I've had going on for a little while.

[00:04:07] And she has seen she's noticing the changes that I'm making. And she still jokes at me. You know, like dad, you shouldn't eat a pint of ice cream every night. I'm like, well, I'm not. Okay. it's, , slowly but surely, like my actions are changing and it's hopefully it's resonating with her, , that, , those healthy choices are just part of normal, everyday living, as opposed to, , me, making a big deal out of it,, of,, you need to eat healthy, you need to eat healthy because like you said, she's 10, she's just a kid.

[00:04:42] She should be worried about being.

[00:04:44] Jeremy: Yes. And, and the making a big deal of it thing. I mean, that is totally something that, that I'm doing. And it is, like I said, I know that it has more to do with my own relationship with my own body than anything that she's going through because my kids are athletic and perfectly healthy. And,, we're very fortunate in that way.

[00:05:01] So it's something that I need to watch. And it was actually a conversation that we shared last week with your trainer, Kayla talking about body image, and in our own relationships with.

[00:05:11] Zach: You deserve to a relationship with your body and with yourself that allows you to feel. Successful simply because you showed up, right? Like unattached to the goals. Goals are fun. Goals are important once you've been doing it and you're trying to move a needle forward, but everyone deserves to have that relationship and that time with themselves where they can just.

[00:05:39] Jeremy: And that's such a hard thing to do. And , speaking of goals, that is a goal that I have for myself and I, and I don't meet it nearly enough.

[00:05:46] Zach: Yeah. I was just listening to a podcast on anxiety and how,, for somebody, with anxiety sitting with yourself and, , a lot of the things that make me anxious are things like my own heartbeat or random pains in my body. So sitting alone with myself is like a very scary thing for me, because if I listen to my heartbeat, I get anxious.

[00:06:09] That's not beating. Right. And that increases my heart rate. Then I get more anxious that my heart's not beating. Right. Set aside the whole body image thing. Like I don't think my body's working right half the time. So it's a very interesting thing to be able to sit with yourself. And it definitely is a goal of mine to get to that point. I'm not there yet, but I'm so much further along than I used to be.

[00:06:32] Jeremy: Well, there are tons of reasons that we all have this struggle with relationships with our own bodies. And we talked about that

[00:06:38] with our guests this week. Her name is Emily Lauren. Dick. Her

[00:06:41] book is body positive, a guide to loving.

[00:06:45] And we just started the conversation with

[00:06:47] why she thought now is the right time to bring this book into the

[00:06:49] world. 

[00:06:50] Emily Lauren Dick: Well, when I chose to wrote it, , it was basically because this information I learned. Not until I was in university studying women's studies and sociology.

[00:07:02] So I really wanted to make this information accessible to young girls because that's when we need it most. So it's all about body positivity. , it's kind of like an introduction to all things about body image. It's got some introspective questions. , Some workbook, , answer sheets for you as well as the really visual aspect and responses from real women.

[00:07:29] Zach: So you mentioned body positivity and I can definitely relate through a lifetime of not feeling great in my own body, but, , I want to ask about negative views of your own body. Why is that so dangerous and why is that such a problem? 

[00:07:49] Emily Lauren Dick: I think because it really isolates us , from one another. It really makes us feel ashamed.

[00:07:54] Like our bodies are wrong. Like they've done something wrong. So we feel ashamed as people. And especially when we identify our self worth through our appearance, that's going to have some really negative connotations and that can lead into different areas like mental health issues, eating disorders, and all of that.

[00:08:17] Jeremy: , the media takes quite a beating in your book, uh, for, for their role in shaping our relationship with our own bodies. Talk about the influence that media plays , on telling us how to feel about our. 

[00:08:28] Emily Lauren Dick: Absolutely. Well, the media and sort of diet culture are really closely linked, , because they're selling us this idea of what an ideal body should look like.

[00:08:38] And for women, especially that is a sexualized object. So it's really important to recognize that what you see in the media is not representative of real., the women represented in the media represent 5% of what real women look like. And then those images on top of that are manipulated and edited.

[00:09:01] So we are constantly being bombarded with these messages that this is what we need to look like to be happy to be successful. And that's really problematic. 

[00:09:10] Zach: So with all of these, messages of what we need to be looking like. There's also the peer groups. Right? I can tell you with my own experience with my ten-year-old, she is getting the hourglass shape already.

[00:09:23] She's getting curvy as much as I really don't want to admit it. Um, and she's noticing that she looks different than the other kids. , because they're not getting those curves yet. And we're trying to help her understand that. But, is that another common thing that comes up is the peer group,, whether you just look different or someone else looks different.

[00:09:46] Emily Lauren Dick: I mean, as kids we're taught that body. Are important. The appearance of bodies are important. So really, , it's an easy target for teasing and bullying. And when you look different from the way that the majority of your peers look like, there's going to be more pressure on you to look like them or look like someone else.

[00:10:07] So it's really, it can be a really hard time for young, girls to go through. , especially when the women that they have. Up to maybe in the media, don't represent what it is their bodies are going through. So there are sort of at that in-between stage where they're not quite adult women, , and their bodies are changing.

[00:10:30] And, , they're being told that they're kind of a sexual object, but not quite. And it's a really tough place to be in. 

[00:10:38] Jeremy: So, what would you say to parents that have young kids that are going through this? How do we coach them through the bombardment of messages that everything about them is wrong and they need to do something about it like that.

[00:10:48] It feels powerless as a parent, because everything I say, I might as well be yelling at a wall because they don't hear me anyways, but trying to get through to them and say, no, you do matter. And that's fake and you are beautiful the way you are inside. How do we break through and be heard? 

[00:11:02] Emily Lauren Dick: I think it's just this consistent messaging that we need to show to them.

[00:11:08] I think what you're doing is, is great by, by explaining the stereotypes and pointing them out and allowing them to develop that skill in recognizing that media is not. Real because that's half the battle. These kids don't necessarily know that what they see in the media , is a false presentation of , what a body looks like.

[00:11:29] , the other thing is really focusing on non-physical achievements. , Especially , for young girls, we often hear you're so pretty. You're so beautiful. You're so cute. We need to talk about how smart they are, how kind they are, what they are doing. , in this world, it is unrelated to their appearance because whether you're having a conversation with them about body image or not, they're going to learn that they have value.

[00:11:53] That is a part from the way they look. And I think the other thing is. Modeling the way we speak about our own bodies after what we want them to strive for as they develop. So, , whether it's mom or dad, or just any adult figure, you need to speak positively about women's bodies about your own body.

[00:12:15] And even if you're having those internal struggles, it's really important not to let those comments sort of seep through to what you're teaching them. Even if. I don't quite believe it yet. , I always say fake it until you make it, especially with young kids. , because , it's going to affect that the way that they navigate , their life.

[00:12:34] Zach: I love the way you put that. I actually had that experience at home where I was half joking, half serious, mostly serious. , walk around the house saying, oh, look, I'm so fat. , cause I put on a few pounds during COVID. , and then my daughter started saying it and , it was a bunch of contributing factors, but my wife.

[00:12:55] Let me know quickly. She's like, well, she's might be saying it because your saying that, and you need to start changing that. So I had to radically shift the way I treated myself externally fake it till I made it because I still had those doubts. Yeah, 

[00:13:07] Emily Lauren Dick: absolutely. , and I think de-stigmatizing fat is an important part too.

[00:13:11] Right? The way we speak about that, like you could blatantly say, like I've gained some weight, you know, , during this pandemic and that's okay. But if you're talking about. That is being a problem. That's where it sort of becomes more of an issue where it's like, I feel fat. Oh, I don't feel good. , things like that, whereas it could just be a simple recognition.

[00:13:31] Like I've gained some weight. I need to,, size up in my pants, you know, 

[00:13:36] Jeremy: along those lines, I've asked this question before I always ask it in a clumsy way. And everyone that asks it ends up clumsy. So please understand that I'm asking this from a, from a delicate and trying to understand perspective.

[00:13:47] But the idea of encouraging body positivity when somebody's body is unhealthy. And, and I'm not, I'm not saying that it's, is it okay to be fat, but encouraging someone to be okay with being in a body that could end their life prematurely or cause them health conditions? Is that a dangerous rope to walk?

[00:14:06] Is that, is that a, a fine line to cross trying to encourage that positivity when it could be damaging to. 

[00:14:13] Emily Lauren Dick: I think there's some misconceptions that like, sort of need to be dismantled before you can kind of answer that question. First of all, health is not visible. Right. So it's really important to recognize that seeing a fat person doesn't mean that they're unhealthy.

[00:14:27] Right. , there are so many medical tests that. I need to go through to find out if your body is healthy or not. And then there's the problem with fatphobia being so inherent in even the medical profession. , like a lot of the statistics we hear about saying that,, obesity is bad. It can end our lives is actually funded by diet culture, by diet companies who are profiting off of people turning to.

[00:14:53] Because they're being told by that their doctors that they, their lives could end early and things like that. , the other thing is that,, health is. It doesn't hold value, but health is so often focused on as a physical thing, but there's also a lot of issues that can have physical effects that are mental health related.

[00:15:15] So, you know, going through an eating disorder, I mean, anorexia is the leading cause of death of any mental illness. So if you think about it from that perspective, and you're comparing that to someone who's overweight, has, uh, a good relationship with food and, , is active in ways that works for their body.

[00:15:38] , the person with anorexia is more at risk than that person who is no, 

[00:15:44] Jeremy: that's a great answer. And when we did talk about this on a previous episode and the person we spoke with. Something to the effect of,, projects that are born from self hate, rarely succeed. Those that are born from self-love always do.

[00:15:55] And that has just that rings in my ears. Especially as we all do start getting ready to go back to the. Seeing our friends again, and perhaps like Zach and I have put on a few pounds that, you know, it's, it's hard being on a show where we talk about taking care of yourself and publicly showing like, oh yeah, but we kind of fell down to like everybody else because of the way things are.

[00:16:15] So how do we navigate these feelings of maybe some shame, some embarrassment about how maybe we've put on some weight and we're afraid to go back into the world the way that we. I think 

[00:16:25] Emily Lauren Dick: first of all is recognizing that we've all been through this together. Right., there's not one person I know that has sort of been unaffected by, by what's happened.

[00:16:36] I think the other important thing to do is really recognize that our boss. Have adapted and changed and they have kept us alive and they have allowed us to handle all this stress and negativity going on , and continue on. So we need to be thankful that we have these bodies that are letting us continue to live our lives.

[00:16:59] I think the other thing is acknowledging that diet culture is going to come after us all hard because. Our bodies have changed. We've all, increased in pant sizes and, and whatnot. And, , we need to get back to thinking about the mental health aspects of moving our bodies and getting out into the world, as opposed to doing it from a place of wanting to lose weight, to fit in, to, to be perceived as okay.

[00:17:30] In society again.

[00:17:32] Zach: So I want to shift to the book real quick and go back to my daughter. Cause again, I, when I flipped open the book, I was like, okay, I can read this, but it would be better if I read it with her. So I went and grabbed her and, , I mentioned , she's starting to say that she's fat because she looks different than some of the other girls.

[00:17:52] But your book has pictures , of women in it. All different stages , of their lives. And as you're were going through it, you know, she was like, is that normal? Yes, that's normal. Is that normal? Yes, that's normal. And at the end of it, she was like, so there's no normal. It's just whatever it is. It is.

[00:18:12] Can you say more about why you put all those pictures in the book and if that was the meaning you were trying to get. 

[00:18:17] Emily Lauren Dick: I, first of all, I just love that. That almost makes me want to cry, hearing, hearing that perspective. But yeah, absolutely. I wanted everyone who read the book to really see someone that reminded them of themselves.

[00:18:30] As much as we want to take away, the fact that women's bodies is tied to their worth. We need to redefine beauty first. And I think showing and normalizing normal bodies is a huge part of that. And recognizing that. We are also different, but that also makes us so similar. You know, we all have struggled with negative body image, but our experiences with negative body image , are very unique.

[00:18:58] You know, I thin person is going to experience, , the pressures differently than someone who is in a much larger body. And I think really we need to see a little bit of everyone represents. 

[00:19:09] Jeremy: There are, there are lots of women in this book. Can you tell us a story or two about who they are, how they came into this project and how.

[00:19:17] How'd that happen? 

[00:19:19] Emily Lauren Dick: Yeah. So that was probably the biggest struggle , with this book, because it's really hard to get women to pose in, in pretty much their underwear or a bathing suit, , to be published. And, , I had lots of people who were thin and white and blonde who were like, yeah, I'll pose for the buck, but I really wanted a variety of women represented.

[00:19:39] So it, it was a little bit of just, networking, putting. Adds up on social media, asking friends of friends. , and you know, I had some incredible experiences with some of these women. I connected with, , a great organization called drama way. , and they support, , Children of all type with different abilities.

[00:20:00] So a lot of the girls that have down syndrome came from that connection. , and then, , just there's so many stories. I had one woman who flew to Canada, , from Texas and she was a WEMT and came specifically to be a part of this book. So it was just so amazing, ? The different personalities that came together and , how empowering it was for some of these women, especially the women who were still in a place of struggling with their body image, but we're doing it despite those feelings because they wanted to make a difference in the world.

[00:20:39] Zach: So , the end of the book, , there's 10 steps to loving your body. Can you talk about those steps , or some of the steps you don't have to talk about all of them. 

[00:20:46] Emily Lauren Dick: Yeah, absolutely. Um, really it's about, , taking steps to be resilient against these pressures and whether that's, you know, consciously curating your feed, thinking critically about what you see in the media.

[00:20:59] , some of it is. Self care, , dressing comfortably for the body that you have, not the body that you think you need to have. , non-physical goals and expectations of yourself, you know, maybe it's that you want to go back to school or that you want to participate in a race,, really focusing on things that have less to do with the body you have, , You know, finding support in whether it's a friend, , a proper social media, a body-positive social media accounts, talking to a therapist or a dietician.

[00:21:34] If your issues are a little bit more complex and need to be dug into a little bit more. Sort of this really overview on, on what body image is, and just really forgiving yourself and being compassionate with yourself , through this process, because the goal is not to feel guilty about participating in,, dieting or fitness or anything you've ever done to try and appear a certain way.

[00:21:59] It's really just a challenge. What you see and set you on a different path to reconnecting with who you are and what really matters in your. 

[00:22:09] Jeremy: In your research for this book, obviously it's geared toward women and young women, but I mentioned, I can't remember if we were recording at the time, but as a man, this is something that I struggle with.

[00:22:17] And Zach alluded to it as well. Did you do any research on how this affects men? , are the lessons in, at universal and where is there crossover when it comes to body image in between men? I 

[00:22:31] Emily Lauren Dick: think there's definitely crossover. We all experienced this pressure women obviously, , are effected a little bit differently because of their social status.

[00:22:42] I guess you would say, , women for many, many years have been seen as the second sex, their, their bodies have been objectified. , but I do see the pressure for men increasing in my research. , the fact is that there isn't a whole lot of research out there too on male experiences with body image issues.

[00:23:03] So I'm starting to find and see more and more articles coming out more and more studies that are also focusing on this as well. But I think one of the important things is, is everything I covered in the book, even though it's directed towards women, these are things that men need to know because. Men also play a role in precipitating this cycle of, , what we expect of women.

[00:23:28] , and it also, I think makes men, you know, they think this whole idea of toxic masculinity, they need to be manly. They need to be with a hot skinny girl to be valued in society as well. So it's. It's also that,, combination of things as w as well that we need to, to tackle him. And the more educated men are the better.

[00:23:51] Zach: There's one chapter in here called inspiration. Can you say more about that? I love the word. Absolutely. 

[00:23:59] Emily Lauren Dick: So for inspiration is basically an image of a thin. Person or a body part attached to a slogan or something that is promoting fitness. So famously the model quotes, nothing tastes as good as skinny feels, comes to mind as an example.

[00:24:19] Um, and really it's just imagery that is out there, , to promote this thin ideal. And it's very problematic because it's especially prevalent on these, , Eating disorder websites. So you'll see a lot of it there, but also it's very much embedded in,, social media it's guys does wellness culture or,, health, culture, you know, w let's get fit, let's get healthy, but it's promoting this idea that fitness, isn't the only way to achieve health or acceptance 

[00:24:53] Jeremy: since we're back on kind of the media connection, there have been some ad campaigns that have tried to get on the body. Positive bandwagon. I think dove is probably the most popular most well-known example of that. Are they leading a new trend?

[00:25:06] Are they, are they a unicorn? What are you seeing in terms of media? Are they adapting to this or is it just going to be more of a. 

[00:25:13] Emily Lauren Dick: I think there is, it's sort of a slow burn effect. They were obviously, dub was obviously one of the first companies that, that has taken this on and they've really taken it on with their there they've created the dove self-esteem fund and all kinds of great resources.

[00:25:29] , but there's other companies. Followed suit there's Aerie, who doesn't retouch their images, and they use a bunch of diverse bodies as well in their advertising. , sometimes though it's performative, like I know Victoria secret, they had sort of tried their version of the perfect body and it was really just a bunch of thin airbrushed women.

[00:25:51] Slightly different shades. , so there are companies , who recognize that being body positive is profitable, but aren't actually committing to the steps needed to actually be body positive, which is being inclusive in their sizing and really using a diverse amount of bodies, not just, you know, a straight size plus size woman, you know, like real bodies.

[00:26:14] Zach: What could we do to change that? How can we further that along? 

[00:26:18] Emily Lauren Dick: I think we, I think we need to really demand from these companies that this is what we want to see. So whether it's,, tweeting them or sending them emails, you know, there's, there's little things we can do. , I've also just recently teamed up with a organization called live life unfiltered, and we are going to be launching a campaign soon called show me unfiltered.

[00:26:40] And really what we want to do is get a little political and actually. Try to find ways that we can hold advertisers, , accountable for the images that they put out there. So what we want to see specifically is, , disclaimers on images that have been edited. And this is something that's been done successfully.

[00:27:00] It's been a law that's been passed in France. So, , We think it's possible. And I think this is maybe our next step in the right direction, but we just need to do all the things,, to improve this. 

[00:27:12] Zach: I just wanted to mention the filter. I know last night, my daughter and I were playing with Instagram and one of the filters that removes all the blemishes from your face came up and my face.

[00:27:25] I didn't think there was a filter that could fix my face, but it was flawless in this picture. And I was like, wow, that looks really good, but incredibly fake. And it's so easy to get these. And for just normal people to use them. 

[00:27:41] Emily Lauren Dick: Absolutely. I mean, , dove just released a study, , girls age 13 and up 80% of them are filtering themselves before they post images online.

[00:27:53] And, , we've gone past the point where it's fun and it's colorful. You know, filters and stuff. We're actually really like really changing the way we look and really filtering out the things that make us real. And, it's almost scary because we're scared to just show up , and be ourselves it's.

[00:28:12] It's no longer just about putting on some makeup and altering, , bright lights and, and whatnot. Now it's, it's so easy with a click of a button to, to really change who we are. 

[00:28:25] Jeremy: We've talked a lot about, , the social media influenced that sort of thing. But even in this space, I mean, dabbling in a self-help space where it also can be very toxic to body image because all we see, especially for guys, like I have reached out to various Facebook groups that pretend to be, you know, the, the dad group, the dad wellness group, and everything is, Hey, bro, how do I get my protein up?

[00:28:48] And how do I get totally. Guys have this inability to communicate , on a real level beyond how do I change the way these muscles look and all that. So if you can help us navigate self-help and body image because the two seem to collide so drastically when, when they do meet, 

[00:29:13] Emily Lauren Dick: I think a lot of the time, like you said, wellness, Culture gets misconstrued as, you know, diet culture, right?

[00:29:21] Like it's, it's hidden, it's really embedded in there. And it's so important that we speak up about these things. Like what you guys are doing is great, right? Telling your truth is a huge part of. Inspiring someone else to say the same thing. Like actually, yeah, I don't want to change this part of me. I just don't want to deal with the pressure of having to look jacked or whatever, you know, like, and that will make me feel good.

[00:29:48] So what are some ways we can improve ourselves without having to change ourselves? And really speaking up about that is, is so important on bringing , attention to this issue. 

[00:30:03] Jeremy: With that we're about out of time. So where can we find out more about you? Where can we find the book and, uh, any closing thoughts you have for our listeners that are hearing.

[00:30:11] Emily Lauren Dick: Absolutely. So you can purchase the bark anywhere that you can buy books. , or you can follow me on happy daughter.com and on Instagram at real happy daughter. And, uh, yeah, final thoughts, just, you know, be conscious of, of what you see in front of you, whether it's a media advertisement or someone, you know, social media feed and, you know, challenge, challenge.

[00:30:36] Jeremy: Our thanks to Emily Lauren, Dick again, her latest book, body positive, a guide to loving your body. All of the links to her, her work and her social media presence is available on the show notes for thisPage@thefitness.com while you're there. We'd like to invite you to follow us on Facebook, where we will be reopening a Facebook group very soon, that will have all kinds of exclusive content , we'll have some accountability tools, some challenges to help you reach your goals and ways to be an active participant in the show. You can find the link to that on our Facebook page, or just again, by going to our website, the fit mass.com and, , lots of great takeaways in there.

[00:31:09] And I think, speaking of social media, that's one that's that she hit pretty hard was the media and social media in general and the expectations that we all try and meet, I think not only in body image but just in lifestyle. I mean, so often we get caught up in the rabbit hole of scrolling social media with envy of,, all the fabulous lives everyone seems to be living. And it is hard to remember that that is complete nonsense and that those are not expectations that any of us, even the people posting those pictures should necessarily be aspiring to.

[00:31:36] Zach: actually, I was having a conversation with somebody today about. Social media and how I post things. , I really only post things on Instagram for my personal account. And the photos that I post to my account, those are like all the good things that happened in my life, which is why it's usually a picture of my daughter

[00:31:55] usually.

[00:31:56] But then if, if you follow me and you watch my story, that's where I'm like, I'm trying to rewire my whole house and this isn't working well. 

[00:32:05] I put all of that stuff in there. Like, you know, it's, it's all real, but like these permanent ones, I want those to be, , the

[00:32:12] Jeremy: reflect the shiny and the, and the

[00:32:14] pretty 

[00:32:14] Zach: the shiny, but at the same time, like all the negativity it's going to live for 24 hours, you know, 

[00:32:19] like, yup.

[00:32:20] I suck at this 

[00:32:22] and you're going to see it for 24 hours and then it's gone and I'm going to keep moving on. 

[00:32:26] But I generally try and keep a balance in there because. It's just not good if it's all positive, because it'll make me feel 

[00:32:34] bad.

[00:32:34] Jeremy: , we've talked a lot about kids, cause obviously this is a book geared toward, reaching out to, to young women. But, has your daughter been asking for a social media? She asked him for a phone. Does she want to be plugged in yet? She's trying to attach herself to the matrix. 

[00:32:48] Zach: Uh, we, we we've got a problem already because she has a phone. She got a phone at the beginning of quarantine, 

[00:32:55] so she could listen to music. Uh, and it was an old phone, right? It's not connected to cell service or anything like that. It was just wifi, um, with all the parental controls on it. So it locked at a certain time. And she's been wanting Tik TOK,

[00:33:09] like Facebook, Instagram. Those are like one level, but Tik TOK is a whole different beast.

[00:33:15] Jeremy: wasteland. 

[00:33:17] Zach: All right. And there's parental controls on it, but they're 

[00:33:18] like, they don't work as well as I would like them to. Her main reason for wanting Tik TOK is to make her own videos. But we had to have a long conversation about it, of you get 30 minutes. That's probably not enough time to make a good tech talk video. So if you need 15 minutes extra, let me know. 

[00:33:39] But, if you watch videos 

[00:33:40] on tick-tock, you will not make it.

[00:33:42] Jeremy: right, 

[00:33:43] Zach: Like, you're going to run out of time and I won't give you the 15 extra 

[00:33:46] minutes if you're just watching videos. So it's worked out pretty well, you know, through like screen time, I can see she's and she's showing me the videos that she's making. So, but yeah, no, it is a slope that is covered in snow with a coat of oil on top of it and razorblades all over the place.

[00:34:10] Uh, not a comfortable place for me, but we're working really hard to make sure that she's,, not be because all of our friends have it. Right. All of her friends at 10 years old have phones have social media accounts. And we're trying really hard to make sure she's not, the outcast in real social life,

[00:34:30] Jeremy: right. 

[00:34:32] Zach: but she's not ready for the full-blown social media.

[00:34:35] activity yet. So it's, it's been a really slippery slope. But w whether we're talking about, , phones or social media or eating habits or anything like that, I mean, I think the key here is like, as a parent, it's our job to lead 

[00:34:48] by example. And I know that,, 

[00:34:51] I look at my phone too often, 

[00:34:53] right. She sees 

[00:34:54] that I eat unhealthy 

[00:34:58] sometimes most of the time, 

[00:35:00] the reason why I work 

[00:35:01] out. And she sees that and, I need to make the changes. If I want to break the chain, if I want to make sure she has a healthy, long life, and it has her,, a good body positive 

[00:35:12] image in both a health way and physical 

[00:35:15] way, you need to lead by example. And I do have, , an update for anyone who's interested because I've mentioned a couple of times that , I've been having a cholesterol.

[00:35:24] And it's not a little issue. It's you know, gone in 10 years issue, , with cholesterol. , and I've hinted a couple of times at going. Which I did 90, 98%. I had some chicken here and there if I had to eat out and get a salad or something like that. But, I went vegan for like six weeks and no ice cream, no nothing.

[00:35:47] , just lots of fruits and veggies and completely changed , my eating for a cholesterol issue, which I am happy to report by just doing that. My cholesterol is perfectly normal now.

[00:35:59] Jeremy: That's incredible. And that was what, like three weeks, 

[00:36:01] Zach: It was like three total weeks from my last test, which was, if anyone knows cholesterol levels, it was close to 300, which is normal is like 180 ish.

[00:36:14] And I was like at 300. , and now I'm at like 180 6 with three weeks of vegan eating, ,

[00:36:20] Jeremy: And your doctor was like, you need meds now 

[00:36:24] Zach: oh yeah, she was.

[00:36:24] Jeremy: you on the meds now. 

[00:36:26] Zach: She was like, you need to start taking cholesterol, lowering drugs, the Staton. And I was like, okay. Cholesterol is not an immediate death sentence. Right. It builds up over time. I was like, can you give me a couple of months? Let me see what I can do, diet, , a couple of supplements that I found that helped, but I was like, let me see what I can do.

[00:36:45] And she's like, okay, I'll give you a couple of months. You're absolutely right. It's not going to kill you tomorrow, but you should address it. , so she was reasonable in it, but her first suggestion was let's get you on pills.

[00:37:00] Jeremy: And I mean, that ties in so much to what we're talking about just with body image too, and, and our relationships with our body and. The food that we put into it is such a huge part of it just from a mental health standpoint and clearly from a cholesterol standpoint. And so, I mean, you didn't, you didn't go into this going, oh, I'm going to change my diet 

[00:37:18] so I can look great and, you know, fit into my ski pants to, to hit the slopes this winter.

[00:37:24] You had to make some changes for your health on the inside. And that was a great point that she made in the interview. When I asked her about how to be positive about. 

[00:37:31] A body that may be unhealthy. Because a lot of people associate, 

[00:37:37] body positivity with, , accepting being overweight or whatever.

[00:37:40] And her point about you can't see health on the outside is so right on with you, because someone who would look at you would say, wow, that's a super healthy dude. And would have no idea that a doctor was like, you need meds now, or this is going to be a real short.

[00:37:54] Zach: Yep. Exactly. And, on the positive side, again, like changing my diet to take care of myself. My daughter has seen it. She's noticing it. And then also like my belt is noticing it too. So. Positive benefit to it. , you know, it helps me Nina ice cream,

[00:38:13] Jeremy: Yeah.

[00:38:14] Zach: as much as I was eating ice cream. I still love it though.

[00:38:19] so since we're talking about, changes, . And some of the things that it's mental changes in the way you look at things, the way you feel about things, , we need to cut the show now because I 

[00:38:29] have to go eat lunch, which is going to consist of a salad. 

[00:38:32] And I'm going to tell you, like a month ago, I hated salads with a passion.

[00:38:40] Couldn't stand them. , don't know why just didn't like 'em, 

[00:38:43] but you know, again, 

[00:38:45] things change. If you just give it an opportunity and I gave salads a chance and I actually like them now. So I think we should end it here. Cause I got to go eat my 

[00:38:54] Jeremy: You've made friends with your salad, just like your anxiety, , all of your demons. You're just having a nice little chat with them all and, and becoming close buddies. 

[00:39:02] Zach: Oh, no, I still fight with, with many of them on a regular basis.

[00:39:05] Jeremy: good. All right. Well, we will wrap it up we would like to invite you to join our Facebook group, that we'll be opening up here in the next week or so, but start by just following us there on Facebook.

[00:39:14] And we will invite you to join the group for various accountability tools and challenges, and just a community to, to sort of, uh, share this journey that we're all on to try and live a little bit happier, healthier lives. Again, do that@thefitness.com where next Wednesday we'll be back with a brand new episode.

[00:39:29] Thanks so much for listening 

Emily Lauren Dick

Body Image Expert

Emily Lauren Dick is a body image expert, who is committed to making girls feel comfortable in their own skin. Emily holds an Honors Bachelor of Arts Degree in Women's Studies and Sociology from Wilfried Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, and specializes in women's portraiture where she inspires her clients to feel beautiful inside and out.