Body respect can feel difficult after years of dieting. If all you’ve ever known is trying to change your body into something different, then you’ll want to know about Intuitive Eating Principle 8: Respect Your Body. Registered Dietitian Nutritionists Dalina Soto and Melissa Landry interview Allison Latham-Jones, stylist and Intuitive Eater to cover:

  • What body respect means to ex-dieters
  • Why it is important to be comfortable and express your style through clothes
  • Ways you can improve their relationship to clothing at home, work, and special events
  • Ways to cope with weight stigma and letting go of the weight loss fantasy

In this episode, we mention new information we’re learning about the about the ecological impact of renting clothing. In the spirit of supporting your value-driven decision making, here are the articles mentioned for you to consider as you balance your values for body respect and environmentalism:

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Connect with Dalina on Instagram: @your.latina.nutritionist

Subscribe to Break the Diet Cycle on Apple Podcasts

This episode was sponsored by No More Guilt with Melissa Landry. Reminder that though we are dietitians, we’re not *YOUR* dietitian. Podcasts don’t constitute treatment. If you have concerns about your dieting behaviors, seek out guidance from a medical or mental health professional. And if you’re looking for the process, support, and focus you need to live life without food guilt apply for a coaching program from today’s sponsor. No More Guilt with Melissa Landry is currently enrolling clients into 1:1 programs, group programs, and, recently added a do-it-yourself learning format: the Ex-Dieter’s Guide to No More Guilt.

[intuitive eating series] principle 8: respect your body transcript

Melissa Landry  0:04  
Hi there, we are experts in intuitive eating for on again off again chronic dieters and we are here to help you take the guilt and stress out of eating so you can become the first in your family to break the diet cycle just like we are in our families. We want you to be who you are without food guilt. Be sure to folow us on Instagram. No more guilt for Melissa and your Latina nutritiofo delina.
Are you ready? Let's break the diet cycle. Hey, it's me Melissa. Before we start, I want to let you know that this episode is brought to you by no more guilt with Melissa Landry. What you're about to listen to is not a professional coaching or counseling session. Each episode is a one time conversation meant for educational purposes. Look, we're dieticians. But we're not your dietician. Remember that podcasts don't constitute treatment. If you have concerns about your dieting behaviors, seek out guidance from a medical or mental health professional. And if you're looking for the process, support and focus you need to live life without food guilt apply for a coaching program from today's sponsor, me. I'm currently enrolling clients into one to one programs group programs and I recently added a do it yourself format the x dieters guide to no more guilt. Apply for a program at Melissa Landry, I hope to meet you soon. 
Melissa Landry  1:20  
Hey, everyone, we are back to continue the intuitive eating series. We're talking body respect today. delina. This is a good one one everyone may be shying away from in the beginning this this body image work can feel a little scary sometimes.
Dalina Soto  1:32  
I mean, yeah, I mean, who wants to kind of like dig in and figure this all out. We just want to be like perfect airbrush people.
Melissa Landry  1:40  
And we'd like to feel comfortable. And this can feel uncomfortable. So we're hoping our special guests today can help us to kind of unpack some of the nuances of the body respect principles so that you're leaving feeling really confident that there's something in this for you that you can take a tiny start. And I will say whenever I talk about body image with clients, I like to remind us some of this stuff can be a little touchy and triggering to our pasts. And so if you know you're having kind of a rough day, this isn't the one for you. That's alright, maybe come back to it. Maybe get yourself someplace comfy or cozy. It's okay if this stirs up something in you to feel a little bit uncomfortable. But we'll do our best to kind of tread lightly and give you some skills that make this feel approachable. So I'm very excited to introduce our special guests today. Alison letham Jones, who is here from at best dressed styling, Alison and I became internet Instagram friends. And I invited her on here because I thought you have such a unique perspective. So I'm excited to dive in on body respect. Before we do Allison, tell us about you and your work. Introduce yourself to our listeners.
Allison  2:44  
Okay, thank you so much for having me. I'm super excited to be here. My name is Allison leikam Jones. I am a queer body respect oriented personal stylist. And I also do commercial work. So what that means is that I work with clients to help them figure out how they can align the clothing that currently exists in their closet with their vision of who they want to be. And so sometimes that's shopping with clients. Sometimes it's doing a closet cleanse, sometimes it's shopping for the client. And I really take an approach where I care deeply about my clients having a good experience and having a positive experience. So I really put a lot of intention and thought into the language that I use with clients into the time that I spend with clients so that like everybody feels comfortable. And I work with women and men and people of all genders have a really wide variety of sizes.
Melissa Landry  3:38  
I love that. And so it seems that inclusivity is really important in your work. It sounds like you really like to get to know peop le before diving in at all of this styling. 
Allison  3:46  
Yeah, absolutely. So all of my sessions before my sessions, I do a free 30 minute intake where we get to know each other just to make sure that I can help the person with their style problems. And we do like a little get to know you, so that the person can get to know me and my background a little bit more. And I can make sure that they're comfortable with engaging in the styling process. Because consent is really important in all parts of my work.
Melissa Landry  4:07  
I love it. And this is why I thought you'd be so great to talk about with this this particular subject because I think on a very like, I don't want to use the word superficial in the way of saying it's like not important, but on the base level or the exterior level clothing is often one of the most triggering and difficult things that people experience when their bodies change. And so I want to talk a little bit about like a relationship with clothing, but I want to pin down deeper to what it means to the body respect overall. So I think you're such a great person to talk about that. With that I thank you for being here. We're going to kick this off which talk talking about what body respect means. I do think this is something one has to personally define Dalina body respect, what does that mean to you? 
Dalina Soto  4:51  
So I feel like for me, it's just like, really learning to like, listen to it and read Really actually taken care of it like mentally, physically, spiritually like, it's more than just about our looks when it comes to our body get the world is oftentimes telling us and are oftentimes all the time telling us that our appearances right is what defines us, right. And so like, with our clothing, of course, we want to express ourselves with it, we want to feel good with it. But then we know that there's like this whole world of nuance behind our clothing and where we shop, and you know, how they're cut and all these things. So I think that, for me, by respect is looking beyond that. But first you have to be comfortable with, with your clothing, and who you are, and your style and things like that, to be able to actually kind of like, reflect the person that you are, I don't know, I feel like I'm babbling here. I want to like in huge circles. But did that make sense?
Melissa Landry  5:53  
It did. It did? Well, I think being comfortable and being able to feel authentic and expressing yourself. It goes hand in hand with with other aspects. Like if you don't feel comfortable, that's sending little triggers to your brain, like we're not safe. And if you're not safe, how can you begin to care and be kind to your body? So let's pick it up. But you're putting down zelena it's okay to let it all out. And I don't know if I brought it full circle. I think you did. I think so, Alison for you. How do you define body respect for yourself.
Allison  6:24  
So I love the intuitive eating book, and like reread the body respect section in prep for this podcast, and dressing comfortably in a style that represents who you are on the inside, expressing that comfortably on the outside and clothes that fit you're here. And now body is one of the biggest ways that we can love ourselves. And I think a lot about bell hooks, who is this absolutely incredible, black lesbian feminist writer who wrote this book called all about love that I like am obsessed with. And she defines love as extending yourself for one's own or another person's spiritual well being. And she describes your spiritual well being as your intersection of your mind, body and soul, whatever that means to you whether you're spiritual or not. And so I think that making purchases for yourself that are aligned with like, who you are, is a way of loving yourself if we believe bell hooks, which I certainly do, because she's amazing and brilliant, and like the most amazing and has written like multiple multiple books about like love and black experience, and feminism and like is just like the best. So 10 out of 10 recommend that book. But basically, I think that buying yourself clothes that fit your current body is extending yourself, right like it costs money. And so if we are extending ourselves for the intersection of our unique way, if we just say mind and body, right like to make ourselves feel comfortable to make ourselves feel competent to fit our current here and now body, that purchasing yourself clothes that fit your current body is a deep act of self love.
Melissa Landry  8:10  
I love the word act or the idea of action, because it's one thing to believe these things are thinking that our minds. But if we don't follow through in some way, it's hard for us to really authenticate it and to believe that we are worthwhile, we are worth extending ourselves for and so many people that we work with, like our like ask them for something, they'll extend in one second for their friends, their family members, their co workers. And then when it comes to themselves, they're always the last on the list. So clothing is one way to do that. For me body respect. I just try to think of it like showing up. Like if you can show up for yourself, when you don't like yourself when you're uncomfortable when you're in a bad mood. That to me is the most respect you can you can offer that you're still worthwhile when things aren't going well. And so, you know, that can mean like showing up for a meal when you're really busy. If you don't think you have time for it, it can mean showing up to bedtime because you're tired and you're not going to keep burning yourself
Allison  9:08  
up like yes, I think those are all acts of self love is extending yourself for your own well being. So like I was just mentioning that I just finished a workout because I'm trying to engage in more joyful movement. And I'm trying to as like a busy mom of twins set aside more time in my calendar that's like my time for me to engage in joyful movement. And so for me, that's a component of like my body respect is like engaging in like movement that feels joyful and like affirming to me.
Melissa Landry  9:39  
Yeah. So we've kind of touched on investing in clothing that's comfortable and expresses your style feeding yourself resting yourself. Is that a phrase just made that up? Moving yourself? And I would also say it it lives in our minds too. Are we speaking kindly to ourselves? Are we giving ourselves the benefit of the doubt? are we supporting ourselves through difficult time, so you The intuitive eating book walks you through some different ways of making these things happen. But we'll offer that your way, maybe you're going to define it for yourself differently or similarly, but showing up extending toward yourself. That's what body respect is, doesn't look one way. It's actually a way of being. How do we feel about that summary?
Dalina Soto  10:20  
No, I agree. And I feel like you know, because I always bring that like culture part into all of this. It's also honoring who you are, how you grew up, like, it's like, all of this falls into like respecting who you are and who you've become, right. Which I think that again, a lot of the time, his body of respect could feel like so hard to attain, because we have so many outside sources telling us how we need to look how we need to dress, how we need to eat, and actually doing what's right for us in our body, which is the respectful thing to do things really hard when we feel like we're going against what the world wants us to do.
Melissa Landry  10:59  
Very true. It takes a little bit of courage sometimes, yeah, yeah, to be able to express yourself the way you want for sure. Now, Allison, we often hear like clients downplay the desire to find, quote, cute clothes as superficial. So I sometimes get a little embarrassment from clients, I'm like, you know what I really want, I want to be able to, like, enter a party and feel like a million bucks, I want to be able to go to the beach with a cute suit. And I think part of that has to do with like signal factor, sometimes it can create a sense of belonging, when we have closed the fits the part. And sometimes people really are trying to like be more authentic in their skin. So I don't know what your take on that is this idea that it's like it's superficial to care about clothes and pursue clothes that invest in clothes. How do you think about that?
Allison  11:44  
Oh, my gosh, I love this question. So I think that this is like a little bit Woo. But I think that anything that we choose to spend our money on is a transfer of like energy. And so actually, like, in the same way that people like, are like, I want to buy organic chicken or whatever, like, because that's aligned with their values, right? purchasing clothing that is aligned with your values is like a super deep spiritual act. Like it is like so, like, important. And like, here's, here's what I'm saying. It's like a deep spiritual act to purchase yourself clothes that align with your values, right? So I personally with my clients, like try to encourage if the clients open to it like engaging in like a little bit more of an eco friendly approach, right? Like potentially shopping secondhand, it's a little bit easier on the budgets better for the planet, like, if the client is open to that, and that's like their values, right? But like, we are all the time talking about like shopping your values when it comes to like, potentially food or like where you donate your money, like especially during COVID, right? Like, like, to me, I was like, I need to be donating a greater percentage of my income like, and to me, that was a spiritual act, right? So at the same time, if I'm like, I have this privilege to spend any number of dollars, let's say it's $40, I have a privilege to spend $40 on clothes, what am I going to do with that privilege? And so what like I'm going to do is I'm going to try to buy something secondhand that is supporting a small business on poshmark or something like that. That's like more eco friendly and fits with my budget, but like purchasing things that are aligned with your values is also like, I think an act of like a spiritual act, or like what kind of like woo ish, so I don't think it's superficial at all. Like we have to wear clothes. There's like some dumb Benjamin Franklin quote that's like, being naked is like socially unacceptable or something like that. So like you have to wear clothes. And so if you have to work clothes every single day, like why not have it be this beautiful expression of who you are? Why not have it be this like daily celebration that you love yourself. Like, there's so much potential in having clothes that fit your body, like for your current body, like because of COVID like, I would say, almost all my clients have changed sizes like pretty drastically in one direction or the other during COVID because like stress impacts all our bodies differently. And for these clients to be like I have all these clothes that don't fit and it makes me feel terrible. And for me to be able to like be there and bear witness to like their experience and be like, let's get you some things that make you feel amazing. I just see this total transformation and clients who work with me like that they are just like happier, their workdays easier. They feel cute at these like really high stress like social functions. And so I don't think the clothes are superficial at all. They're a consumer decision. And so it's like actually like pretty deep.
Melissa Landry  14:46  
I like how you mentioned like secondhand and thinking intentionally about where you're going to buy clothing. I think sometimes people get intimidated like it has to be couture it has to be like funky and unique and I mean it can be as simple as getting yourself a pair of jeans that really fit well or yeah a new bra that's not digging into your sides like absolutely simple simple stuff. Yeah is what we're what it can be and it also can be like crazy wild couture. You know Bananarama thing you want to wear
Dalina Soto  15:14  
yeah and like Melissa and I do newlink Well, I put Melissa on to do at least
Melissa Landry  15:19  
a dozen let me forget Dalina like I am the top dog influencer Don't you dare Forget it. They're not paying us for this. I know they
Dalina Soto  15:27  
love but like, I love how you were saying like, just like better for the environment because I do feel like renting and like, not I don't purchase anymore like I am and I am renting and they're, they're pieces that you know, aren't something that I would usually buy because I'm not someone and well, we did the episode with the capsules and stuff. I was like capsules. Who does that? I can't afford that. Yeah, like Apple wardrobes. Yeah, because I like to wear things like once and then like, never wear it again. So because like I like bold prints. But then I feel weird. If I wear it more than once I get photos. I'm like,
Allison  16:03  
Oh my gosh, I love writing. There's like different kinds of people. And so there's something I read it in a style book, but there's like people who are simplicity lovers who love like minimal options of like less stuff and like love a capsule wardrobe. And then there's people who are called abundance lovers like to collect things and have like, a lot like like a magpie. Like they love collections. They love you. Right. They love like, so I think both ways. Like even though there's been like a lot of trend towards like, Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, I think that there's like lots of different ways that you can go about it, right, like I have a one size fits all approach. I'm not into that. So I think like the abundance lovers like that want a lot of variety. If you are like I want a lot of variety, and I don't want to wear this statement dress like multiple times, because people regret buying those items like secondhand or renting, like, it's a great option on my top that I'm wearing right now I gotta Rent the Runway.
Dalina Soto  17:00  
There you go. See, that's what I like, I like to be able to just be like, boom, this looks cute. Let me try it. But I'm probably only gonna wear it once.
Allison  17:07  
I have some clients that are like really into thrifting. Because they're really into like having the new piece like all the time, but they want to have like an eco friendly approach to it. And generally, like over time, I also try to like work with clients to be like, as opposed to like, always, like getting new stuff, like over and over and over and over again, because this new report just came out about the environmental impact of renting. And it's like, kind of like a little bit like, you can just check it out if you want to. But it was like I was like, oh, because I rent and I also helped clients rent and I think it's a really good option for special events and stuff like that. But what I was gonna say was with this client, I was like, how can we get you this like feeling of having new stuff all the time? That makes you feel great, but like, how can we maybe not like her closet is like overflowing? Like, it's just like, packed to the gills with stuff that she bought for $3. And with clients, I try to work with them to be like, how can we get that new clothes feeling by potentially, maybe spending a little bit more on an item that will make you feel amazing all the time that you could rewear right? Because like, allegedly, the most eco friendly thing to do is like buy things that you will wear over 30 times. There's this hashtag 30 wears. And so it's like, ask yourself before you buy something, is this something you would wear 30 times that feels
Dalina Soto  18:21  
low do we need? I don't know I would struggle with that. But you got your framework do me a favor. jeans, yes. But like tops dresses.
Melissa Landry  18:34  
Like guys, like no, I'm gonna, I might start tallying like, no, I gotta do some.
Okay, but wait, yeah, you I'm so excited by something you just said, which is like, what is the feeling that we want to create? And I think whether you apply body respect to clothing, to your food to your sleep, etc, we guys get the point, buddy respect is more holistic. But whatever it is that you're gravitating for. That's such a powerful question, Allison, like, what is the feeling I'm trying to create? And then what are the actions that align with that feeling? Everybody's different. But what a great question you're asking.
Allison  19:13  
Yeah, so that's what like, when clients work with me, that's what we parse out and like our intake and our work together, right? Like, are you trying to feel sexy? Are you trying to feel conservative because you're going to a more somber that or a religious event? Like what feeling Are you trying to convey and then I use my expertise to translate that to an actual garment that's within the client's budget?
Melissa Landry  19:35  
Mm hmm. Amazing. I think to like maybe even asking that question to your current closet. Like if you have a certain feel like what are the pieces that are currently doing that for you and what are the pieces that are like not doing that for you? intuitive eating offers a little bit of a framework around updating your closet, it doesn't go to the extent that you are with like thinking about style and expressions, but that is one of the things That clients are doing they're going through their closets, keeping what works and letting go. It doesn't any longer.
Allison  20:05  
I did like a little bit of research and like thought of some stuff that I wanted to like mention that's like useful for clients to have in their closet. Is that okay, if I talk about that
Melissa Landry  20:16  
is how can we improve our relationship? How can we make it a little bit more workable for ourselves? She came prepared.
Allison  20:24  
I did I prepared both of you. I'm so professionally just like astounded and in awe of your work. Worth I'm prepared. Oh my god. Okay. So it sounds like you have a lot of clients that are like starting from scratch, right? Like you're like they're like nothing. Yeah.
Melissa Landry  20:43  
And often not always by choice, right. And so either dieting has backfired, and or the intuitive eating journey has caused a change in their body. And I think there's sometimes some stickiness around that, like, what do I do next, I want to feel differently. So this starting from scratch isn't always chosen. I think that's why that's hard to kind of go into it with like an open mind, because we're still grieving some of the shifts. So we can imagine our clients there, what would be some of the tips that, that you would suggest to make it positive and make it feel empowering.
Allison  21:17  
So I also have changed sizes over my life because I quit smoking a few years ago. And like, my size changed pretty dramatically when I quit smoking, which was like a health decision. And I felt really good about it. But what felt like a kind of like punitive or like a punishment was like, Oh, no, no, I have to spend all this money on like, all these new clothes, right? Because literally none of my clothes but like, my undies didn't fit. So like I had to go buy new everything. And so it felt like punitive. And so what I did to like celebrate that initially was basically start small. Start small with just like a few as high quality as you can invest with within your budget like class, like Easy Pieces that fit with your lifestyle. So some things that I would start with, if you're like starting from scratch is I would get what I call an APD, which is an all purpose dress, which an all purpose dress has like some sleeve and is knee length. And is usually like machine washable, or like fits an easy lifestyle and can be dressed up or dress down. So it's like you could wear it with sneakers, you could wear it with like your casual purse, you can wear on the weekends, it's machine washable, or like because I have a little sleeve and his knee length. You could wear it to work or whatever. And what I really like is from universal standard, which is inclusive sizing and goes from double zero to 40. I think it's called the Genova dress, and it's super easy, and like really great. And definitely love that. Another thing that's easy if you're starting from scratch is I would just get like one to two like blouses of some kind like not like a T shirt, but like a little blouse that's made of woven fabric because you could dress it up, you could wear it to work, you could wear shorts, you can wear it if you're a mom, but it like just kind of like dresses up a question
Melissa Landry  23:01  
defining a blouse. I feel like that's a term that gets used does it mean buttons? Does it mean a certain type of fabric? How do you define blouse
Unknown Speaker  23:09  
the way I just find a blouse, but the difference between a blouse and a T shirt is the fabric that it is made of and the details on it. So like is this a blouse? If it's made of a woven fabric, then yes, it's a blouse,
Melissa Landry  23:20  
guys, I'm wearing a blouse. Continue to continue the definition so.
Allison  23:27  
So t shirts, occasionally people will make blouses out of knit but like basically like if your T shirt is like made of like stretchy knit, then it's like more of a tea and a little bit more casual. Whereas a blouse is made of fabric like that doesn't stretch. And so it's usually like a little bit more formal. So you can obviously on the podcast, you can't see this, but I'm just like folding up a blouse,
Melissa Landry  23:46  
touching her glasses in front of us. Yeah, not something you can hear.
Allison  23:51  
But I'm just thinking of like the average working woman who like need some stuff to wear to work need some separate dates need some stuff real cute, I would get like, if you're like changing sizes, you're starting from scratch, I would just get like two blouses that are like in your current size that make you feel cute, that are in like a pattern or a color that feels fun and joyful to you.
Melissa Landry  24:09  
I was just curious on tips for like, so like Dalina is talking about pattern, she loves old patterns. What is your take on that? Do we go like, really distinct? should people be thinking more like classic patterns?
Allison  24:23  
It's like it's gonna be like, it's gonna be up to that individual person to like determine that for themselves. Right? They have to do like a little bit of like self searching and like body respect work in the beginning to be like, what do I like what feels joyful to me? Do I like natural fabrics? Do I like florals? Do I like polka dots? Do I like leopard? Right? Like I love leopard. And so like I would do like a little bit of like searching for yourself before you start shopping to give yourself at least a couple of like adjectives or themes to go off of that like kind of like give you a guideline of like, Is this my style is this not your style, people usually know this pretty organically. Like, if you can, like trust your gut, you can be like, that's not my thing. That's not my vibe. And so like try to go with things that like, Are your vibe that make you feel cute or because I again think feeling cute is important.
Melissa Landry  25:14  
important important takeaway there I'm hearing is that like don't gravitate what you think you should want or what's on trend or what so and so looks cute in like, I love this idea of going with your gut. So yes, we're looking for these very specific pieces. But then you get to color in how that comes to fruition. Go with what you like, forget whatever is popular at the moment.
Allison  25:37  
Totally. And magnetic. Yes, exactly. And even with clients, I'm not I personally am not a super trendy person, right? Like I'm, I'm, I'm a mom of twins. I'm 35 I'm turning 36 in a week. And so like, I find that for me, at my age in my life where I'm at right now. I'm not trying to like wear like what college students are wearing, or what I see on Instagram is trending or like, neon shoes or like whatever is trending like that's fine, but I don't think that's true style. I think true style is found when you listen to yourself and you wear things that are aligned with the make you feel awesome about who you are. That's what style is like anybody who's like whatever. If you're getting like fashion tips from like people who are not actually experts about it. Like there's boatloads of bad fashion advice, like on Pinterest, and my god, there's just like, there's literally like an unending supply of bad fashion advice like have you seen I'm like, please, please, please, please, please follow me on Instagram, best dress, styling and like get like some like real like advice about like following your heart and like what feels good for you. As opposed to like, pinning a list that's like, you need the 10 pieces for like a French girl like or whatever,
Melissa Landry  26:53  
you have to have the way of thinking about it. My favorite thing on Instagram right now is like, is it stylish? Or is she skinny? Because a lot of times it's like if someone in a bigger body wore that we might not think it's good looking like we can keep using bodies as the accessory that is not that's not what style is. And so many influencers now are doing a lot of like, like supersize that look type of photos where like they take a trending or a viral image of a woman's body and they like create it for their bodies. So it just makes me wonder about this idea of a trigger warning, flattering because so many people in bigger bodies as they're growing up here, but what they can and cannot wear how to flat or hide, minimize. How do you help clients who might be feeling like I would love to be more comfortable? I would love to express my style. But there's this little nagging voice that's telling me that that's not for me, how do you cope with that with your clients?
Allison  27:52  
I create space and honor what the client is saying to me, right? Like sometimes that's like listening. But I think I don't use the word flattering. with clients at all. That's not in my language. I asked them if they feel comfortable and confident. It's specifically on my bio on my website that I do not force clients into, like fake, like fake make you look skinny tricks like wear black wear belts where he'll wear monochromatic. Like, I don't do any of that in my styling work. Because I'm like, trying not to use profane language, but I feel really strongly about this. But I am like morally opposed to being like in any way shape, or form, am I coming to a client and making them feel like their body is not good enough, my entire goal is to be like, your body is beautiful. You are like loved and accepted. Your current size is how you are supposed to be working with me is like also an act of self love. Like this is like totally okay to feel like you're not sure about this, right? But what I do do is I listen to the client at the client's like, I'm not sure about this, what I do is I encourage them to listen to their inner voice. And I say, Are you not? Like, is the garment not comfortable on you? Or like, Is it like, you don't like that color? Or is it like I also don't use the phrase problem areas and I don't use them with clients at all. I don't like that phrase. And I don't I'm not like okay with it in general. So me and one of my girlfriends came up with the term bridesmaids, which is like you want like them to look really hot, but not hotter than the bride. So instead of with clients saying like, Oh, I know you don't like your stomach. I don't use that language at all because I'm not trying to mirror any language that the client is giving me that's like negative about their body. Instead I just say okay, so we'll call that a bridesmaids area. And like that's like we're gonna up play like other areas right? Whatever to you. The bride is like we're gonna make that part.
Melissa Landry  29:58  
Yeah, and as think that this kind of fits in the framework of neutrality to like, many people feel intimidated again on Instagram, seeing lots of women in all size bodies, maybe wearing things that are more revealing or different than they might feel comfortable with. And they're like, oh, if I'm doing a good job at body respect and doing that, and Allison's offering a nice exit ramp here, like, if it doesn't feel comfortable for you, you don't have to force yourself into it. It might be worth inquiring, why. And then reframing those parts that we don't like about ourselves, how do we maybe feel more neutral, and then focus on the parts that we do with more passion and more joy and more vibrancy, then that's another place
Allison  30:36  
I am on, I am currently on a fitness crop top journey where I am exploring, like, wearing like, kind of more sexy crop tops when I engage in fitness, because I'm trying to like find my edge with that and be like, Am I comfortable doing this? Or am I not comfortable doing this? Does this feel like sexy and empowering and like liberating? Or does this feel like self conscious and like not comfortable? And like on some days, you might feel like, Yes, I want to engage with something sexier. And on some days, you might feel like today is not a crop top day. And that's the other thing too, with all my clients like you might have like good body image days and bad body image days. And so you want to have like this, like basic wardrobe in play that feels like comfortable on like all of those days. Absolutely. So
Melissa Landry  31:18  
having variety and anticipating that it's not going to be always rosy feeling when you're really feeling totally,
Allison  31:25  
I follow this other amazing stylist named born Messiah, who struggles with fibroids. And so when it's her time of the month, she's like, super, super bloated. And so she was posting about like, that you should have like backup pieces in your closet that maybe are like a size more generous, so that you can accommodate that on days if your body changes literally daily, which totally brings me to another story that I would like love to talk about, but I want to make sure we're staying on track.
Melissa Landry  31:55  
Okay. Okay. So I think there's just so many good points. And I just love your passion. By the way, I can tell how excited you are to be doing this and supporting people. I love that tip of normalizing that our bodies change. Sometimes they happen seasonal, you might notice that you're like trending toward a larger or smaller size over seasons, that could be month to month, it could be week to week, I have plenty of clients who keep two sizes of jeans for that very reason. I am someone who is on the cusp size of jeans, and I have that for several pairs of pants of my own. Because some weeks you're gonna have to Yeah, and I think if it's not a stretchy material, right? stretchy material tends to kind of ebb and flow. But if you have the privilege to do so. And you would like that for yourself, so you don't have to feel badly. also getting 
Allison  32:39  
oh my god absolutely? Absolutely. So I mean, I had twins. And then like, you know, and so I like was experiencing like my postpartum body and I did an Instagram post about it. That was like about like, how it's normal for your body to change over your lifetime. And so I specifically posted about this like beautiful blouse that I got on eBay, that I was like treating myself to in my new like mama thighs because I was celebrating the fact that my body had been through growing two babies having a C section. And like being a new Mama. And like that is like a beautiful time to be like, I'm going to celebrate myself and I'm gonna buy myself something nice because I love myself like, and so I did a whole Instagram post like specifically about like postpartum clothing.
Melissa Landry  33:25  
Yeah, there's so many changes that we go through in life. And this is just a masterclass on being okay with change and learning to cope with change and getting resilient. One thing that I want to make sure we discuss before we close today is sort of the relationship that folks in larger bodies can experience with clothing where there is exclusion, not all stores carry your size, there may have been weight stigmatizing experiences that you had many clients to hold on to this weight loss fantasy, you know, once I lose weight, everything's gonna be wonderful and I'm going to like myself better. So I think there are some particular nuances to this. I want now for us just kind of talk about ways to navigate that because while we all work in a grassroots way and through policy ways to like change that systemic anti fat bias that exists This is something that clients and larger bodies are facing, and it's something that they have to face differently than women and smaller bodies do so caveat all of us are in what I would call straight size bodies having this conversation so in sharing this, you know, we're kind of talking about what are we seen at work for our clients but for your clients, Allison for your Dalina and for mine What are you see helpful helpful to people in larger bodies who are trying to find body respect, navigate
Allison  34:46  
and just just a quick I do identify as having a straightedge body, but my body is on the cusp of plus. So sometimes I buy plus as well but beyond clothing, other ways to cope with weight stigma and letting go the weight loss fantasy I just think it's so beautiful once you can be like, I like my body right now for how it is, it is so beautiful and liberating to be like, I have clothes that fit me, I feel good about myself some other ways that I cope with letting go of like weight loss fantasy, which I love your new hashtag that x deiter hashtag, because that's me too. I would say another thing that's helped me is actually I started engaging in more movement, but I needed that to be like safe. And so in order to do that, I sought out a personal trainer. So I see this amazing person who's trans masculine, and their name is m Bowen, and they're at endure movement. And they do remote sessions. And so actually, like the same way that people seek out like a stylist, or nutritionist, like I sought out like a personal trainer, to like navigate being like, I want to build more muscle, I want to feel stronger, it's valuable to me to have like a coach or a guide in this, like, you know, I mean, like, there's so many options of people who are coaches or guides in this like body image journey. And for some people that might also be like, therapists or like just like a body image coach, like I've worked with just Baker in the past. And so I also like, specifically have like, changed my Instagram feed, which I know You talk a lot about, but like, I like decolonize, my Instagram feed, like I made sure that like all the people that I'm following are people that are people that are my size, or plus, like that I'm not just like seeing this feed of like endless, like super slender people. So I definitely have, like community I have, I feel like I have lots of role models, I feel like just like participating in this conversation is like such a privilege. And I'm so grateful to be here. Because this is a component of like the advocacy, right? This is a component of like, getting the message out, but like, your body deserves to feel loved. And like find yourself clothing is a component of that. So like, I think there's, I mean, I think I engage with like a lot of different ways to cope with weight stigma and like, like a weight loss thing. I
Melissa Landry  36:59  
love that. For a lot of my clients, once they get to a place where they can practice that body respect, advocacy does become something to help them make meaning of their experience and support shifting of our culture. And I think that's why this pod is called break the diet cycle. Like, we want all of you to whatever degree you're ready to step into self love and to body respect, because that means you're one less person who's in the world buying into diet culture, that's one less person who's just passively taking anti fat bias on and just going about their day that matters. And so for the parts of the world that aren't changed yet, I hate that. I don't like it. And this is sort of a call to to let yourself be loved and respected in spite of it, so that we can see a better future. So I love that idea of advocacy being part of the coping delina what do you see your clients doing to support navigating weight stigma as you're trying to find body respect.
Dalina Soto  37:57  
I mean, I don't think I have anything else to add, you know, besides everything you all said, but it's definitely really hard for my clients in a cultural perspective, with with our culture being so, so, so focused on how we look and you know, fitting this mold, and just when you deviate from that, just the comments. And so I often talk about just having boundaries with yourself, like sometimes we're just not ready to tackle the world. Sometimes we're not ready to fight everyone in our life. And sometimes it's creating that peace with ourselves and having those boundaries with ourselves and keep our mental health safe, so that we can continue this journey. And when we're ready, we can go out and fight the weight stigma and everything else and advocating for yourself in different ways that are necessarily just like, I'm going I'm burned down the patriarchy, you know, because it's overwhelming.
Melissa Landry  38:53  
Yeah, and it is very overwhelming. And because folks in larger bodies are in an oppressed group. It's not always safe to advocate and dismantle. And so that's where, you know, finding allies who can support you. And people stepping up who are not in larger bodies like this might not affect you directly, but it does add value and so important to other people. When you hear diet talking, you say like that's not cool. Let's change the conversation. Or someone says, Oh my god, Santa says daddy changed. Shut it down. Make it clear that that's not to converse about any more. We are so much more than our bodies. We are interesting people. And sometimes guys sit in the goddamn silence. We don't have to be talking all the time. If you have nothing fabulous to say or kind to add or productive to add. It's okay. It's okay to be still. That's just my two cents on that. So Dalina I love that take that you know roll. It's okay not to fight the fight always. And when you can get the privilege and the bandwidth freakin Go for it, you have you have that permission to do so. Love it. I guess I just want to add one thing we've talked about community support role models advocating permission to not fight the fight all the time and take care of numero uno, as Dalina tells me all the time, you got to take care of number one. One other thing I would just offer you is like it's okay to feel mad. It's okay to feel sad. It's okay to feel anything that comes up in this process. We started this call saying, you know, maybe this is going to stir up some stuff in you that feels like grief. And if that's what you're feeling right now about the change in your body. You don't have to be raw, Ross's Kumbaya about it all the time, if you need space to grieve, that is some of the work that Dalina and I do in our groups is to say, like, hey, like, you know, it doesn't have to be okay all the time. It's okay to not be okay. And at the same time, you can create a positive future. And that's why I'm so excited about what you do, Allison, because I think you link that grief like you can get it sounds like you can kind of connect with that grief and honor and say that's okay. And help create a little path for people to move forward. So thank you for your perspectives today. Awesome.
Allison  41:03  
Thank you so much for having me. It was just like such a pleasure. And just really excited that we got to talk today because I just respect both of you so much. Likewise,
Melissa Landry  41:13  
likewise, you got me thinking about new things. Now remind us we can find your work at
Allison  41:19  
best dressed dot styling on Instagram. And my website is just Best Dressed styling. com.
Melissa Landry  41:26  
Excellent. Everyone, go check out Allison, if you're looking for new ways to think about body respect as a relates to style. We want to thank all of you for being here for this interview. And Allison, thanks again for your time. 
Allison  41:37  
Thanks for having me. All right.
Melissa Landry  41:39  
 Take care. Bye, everybody. We talked about all the clothing things today, Juliana,
Dalina Soto  41:44  
well, you know how I feel about clothing. It's like a weird relationship for me.
Melissa Landry  41:49  
Um, you know, Allison had sent over a little like, report about sustainability and rental services. And like, what that's doing the environment? Definitely. During our conversation, we were like, actively like, Oh, yeah, I hadn't really thought about what
Dalina Soto  42:06  
I mean, because like, I assumed it would be better for the environment, because I'm not purchasing all the time. But also, like, I don't want to feel guilty for renting and not, you know, buying all the time. Like, I feel like we definitely could talk about guilt and shame, and how it falls into different categories. And now, like we write are very much about the like, you should never feel guilty for doing what you have to do. Right. Yeah. So I think like, it's, I understand where she's coming from, but if it's gonna help someone to write and feel good, like, it helps me feel good.
Melissa Landry  42:43  
Yeah, well, ultimately, and I think this is the work we both do with clients is to like, take a step back and say, What are your values and if your values place you someplace where you're saying, look, rentals are not for me, I'm going to do thrifting as I update my closet, 100% pursue that, but maybe some of your values have to do with like, having enough time and bandwidth and thrifting is going to not necessarily work cuz you got to go to a lot of stores and sometimes things don't work out. I think people can honor and think about sustainability in a broader way. And if it's not how you're going to, if you're not going to do that through clothing, that's okay. Maybe you want to express that another way. It's like the food way stuff where people are like, Oh, I don't want to buy convenience foods even though it would help me eat enough because what about the environment? It's really tough to try to like do it all that's why the good place The Good Place, we're learning about the good place all the time. Like Yeah, for sure. And so for you, so we want to encourage everybody to check out that report I'm gonna put it in the show notes. I definitely want the information out there and if you yourself are like I hadn't thought about it that way. It's food for thought ultimately we just want you to feel good in your body with the choices you make and that's the autonomy we always open you were for sure. Yeah. So appreciate it this Convo appreciate you my dear. I think that's a wrap on this episode.
Dalina Soto  44:17  
Hey, I like to hear that because mom is tired
Melissa Landry  44:23  
all the things we are juggling all the things. Oh my god, like did you just tell me like real time you're done talking with me? Gosh, I need a nap. All right, let's get Dalina to her now. Thank you guys for being here and for listening to this episode. We've loved doing the intuitive eating series would love it. If you are finding this helpful. Tell a friend leave us a review share the mission and the movement behind break the diet cycle.
Dalina Soto  44:49  
Yeah, thank you for being here. Peace, love and break the diet cycle.