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Raising Body Positive Children

Raising Body Positive Children

Busy Mom's Starter Guide to Making Peace with Food
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We all want our kiddos to feel comfortable in their bodies, but we can’t always protect them from the cultural messaging and outside voices implying that there is a right and wrong way to eat. And for those of us who struggle with eating and body image disorders ourselves, there is the added worry that we might pass these issues on to our children. So, what can we do to raise body positive children with the confidence and autonomy to practice intuitive eating?

Karen Diaz is a registered dietitian certified in intuitive eating. She earned her BS in Dietetics from James Madison University in 2001 and completed her internship at the Cornell Campus of New York—Presbyterian Hospital in 2003. Karen spent several years working as a clinical dietician in the nutrition department at The Renfrew Center, one of the leading centers for eating disorder treatment on the East Coast, before creating The Free Life, a platform designed to support women in overcoming eating and body image disorders. She is also the author of Within: Making Peace with Food and Body Image to Create a Healthy Family and Home.

On this episode of The Embodied & Well Mom Show, Karen joins us to discuss the challenges moms (and parents) face in judging ourselves when it comes to body image and food. She shares the two overarching themes from her book on confronting eating and body image disorders, building yourself up first—and then opening a dialogue with your children. Karen also describes the value in developing a Family Manifesto around food and learning to practice ‘appreciative looking.’ Listen in for Karen’s insight on talking to your kids about cultural messaging and learn her top strategies for raising body positive children!

Key Takeaways


What inspired Karen to specialize in eating disorders

  • Addiction issues in family, friend with eating disorder
  • 8 years in nutrition department at eating disorder clinic

How we judge ourselves around body image + food

  • Rules make it hard to be active participant in relationship
  • Remove mom-guilt that we caused child’s issues

The two overarching themes in Karen’s book Within

  1. Build self up so strong that diet culture crumbles at feet
  2. Open dialogue in home to address struggles

Karen’s Family Manifesto around food

  • Set of beliefs, e.g.: food shouldn’t be reward
  • Don’t judge other families for different values

The value in facilitating an open dialogue on body image

  • Ask questions to let kids be heard
  • Avoid bringing own worries into conversation

The concept of appreciative looking

  • Look at photographs 3X, find something like
  • Learn to see self in different way

Karen’s advice on shifting negative cultural messages

  • YOU determine your environment
  • Choose foods that taste good, feel good for you

How to educate your kids on cultural messaging

  • Point out lack of size diversity
  • Discuss shows with personality based on body size

Karen’s insight on talking to preteens about body image

  • Proactive strategies (i.e.: write letters to parts of body)
  • Don’t panic about phases, doctor’s comments

Connect with Karen

The Free Life

Karen on Facebook

Karen on Twitter

Karen on Pinterest

Within: Making Peace with Food and Body Image to Create a Healthy Family and Home by Karen Diaz RD


Connect with Lindsay


Intuitive Eating Moms

Embodied & Well Mom Show on Facebook

Lindsay on Instagram

Lindsay on Pinterest

Lindsay on Twitter

Lindsay on LinkedIn




Wendy Yalom Photography

How to Be a Good Enough Mother with Corinne Crossley, LMHC and Jessica Foley, LMHC, LPCC

How to Be a Good Enough Mother with Corinne Crossley, LMHC and Jessica Foley, LMHC, LPCC

We all want to be good moms, so we set the bar high. In fact, our expectations are SO elevated that we end up neglecting ourselves in order to put the baby first. But what if the moments we think of as mom fails are actually beneficial to our kiddos? What if ‘good enough mothering’ is a good thing for our families? What if—sometimes—it’s okay just to show up?

Corinne Crossley is a psychotherapist and mother of two whose practice focuses on helping people heal their relationships with their bodies. She holds a master’s in Counseling Psychology from Lesley University. Jessica Foley is a licensed mental health and professional clinical counselor whose practice centers around supporting women in developing a healthy relationship with their bodies. She earned her master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Lesley University. Together, Jessica and Corinne host the Momma Bites! Podcast to help moms eat mindfully ‘one animal cracker at a time.’


Today, Jessica and Corinne join us to explain how they came to work with moms and share the common struggles among their client base. They discuss how guilt and perfectionism lead moms to neglect themselves—especially when it comes to eating. Jessica introduces the concept of ‘good enough mothering’ and Corinne offers insight around giving yourself permission to do less. Listen in for advice on reassessing your basic needs and learn how failing in manageable ways can actually benefit your kids!


Key Takeaways


Jessica’s path to working with moms

  • Focus on women (mental, reproductive health)
  • First mom client struggled with mood disruption
  • Trained with The Postpartum Stress Center


Corinne’s path to working with moms

  • First client struggled with binge eating disorder
  • Becoming mom changed experience of work
  • Focus on how take care of bodies as parents


What issues moms are struggling with most

  • Guilt and perfectionism
  • Postpartum anxiety
  • Body image


How these common struggles show up

  • Moms neglect selves (eating first to go)
  • See eating as something we must earn
  • Use food to supplement other needs


Jessica & Corrine’s advice for moms with self-care challenges

  • Reassess basics and get support
  • Cultivate self-compassion
  • Set intention for self-care
  • Give self permission to do LESS


The idea of ‘good enough mothering’

  • Coined by researcher DW Winnicott
  • Benefits to manageable failure
  • Sometimes okay to just show up


How to adjust your expectations based on the circumstances

  • What’s good enough in this moment?
  • No ‘perfect,’ just what’s right for you
  • Foster flexibility in thinking
  • Pay attention to what’s good


The benefits around failing in manageable ways

  • Promotes independence and trust
  • Kids have different perception of ‘failure’


Check out Momma Bites!

Show Notes

Intuitive Eating Moms Club


Connect with Jessica & Corinne

Momma Bites!

Mindful Eating Moms on Twitter

Mindful Eating Moms on Instagram

Mindful Eating Moms on Facebook

Corinne’s Website

Jessica’s Website

Jessica on Twitter

Jessica on Facebook

Jessica on Instagram


Connect with Lindsay


Intuitive Eating Moms

Embodied & Well Mom Show on Facebook

Lindsay on Instagram

Lindsay on Pinterest

Lindsay on Twitter

Lindsay on LinkedIn




Lindsay on Momma Bites

Karen Kleiman

Postpartum Stress Center

Boston OBGYN

Dr. Linda Shanti

Winnicott Research Study

Harlow Monkey Study

Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living by Shauna Niequist

‘A Normal Day’ Video


How to Use Yoga to Support your Motherhood Journey (without studios or expensive pants)

How to Use Yoga to Support your Motherhood Journey (without studios or expensive pants)

Listen + Subscribe on ITUNES or STITCHER

We’d greatly appreciate a podcast rating and review so that we can reach more mamas and families!
Every mom needs more help than we get. But if you’re a new mom struggling with anxiety and depression, it can be difficult to reach out for support. With or without a diagnosis of PMADs, you deserve help—and yoga therapy may provide just the tools you need to address any physical or emotional imbalances you are experiencing. The best part? Much of it can be done while you’re holding a baby or lying down. No mat required.

Suzannah Neufeld is a licensed psychotherapist and certified yoga therapist in private practice out of the Bay Area. She has 15 years of experience supporting people coping with eating disorders, body image concerns, anxiety, and pregnancy and early parenthood. Suzannah speaks regularly on the topics of eating disorders, body image, perinatal mood disorders, and yoga therapy for organizations like the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, Postpartum Support International, and About-Face. Her first book, Awake at 3 a.m.: Yoga Therapy for Anxiety and Depression in Pregnancy and Early Motherhood, was published in 2018.


Today, Suzannah joins us to share her definition of yoga, discussing the difference between its true intention and how it’s been marketed in Western culture. She offers her take on the idea of self-care and explains why she advocates for responsiveness to your body instead. Suzannah also addresses what she calls the ‘all-natural mandate’ and the judgement and shame pregnant women and new moms feel around food. Listen in for Suzannah’s insight on the distinction between PMADs and the baby blues, the value in researching therapists before the baby comes, and how she leverages yoga therapy to help moms with anxiety and depression.


Key Takeaways


Suzannah’s definition of yoga

  • Practices to connect body, heart and mind
  • Provide clarity and meaningful existence


The 3 key components of Suzannah’s practice

  1. Breathing techniques—pranayama
  2. Movement/postures—asanas
  3. Philosophical tools (e.g.: inward focus, compassion)


The true intention of yoga

  • Not about certain body type, structure
  • Dropping into body to access freedom


Suzannah’s take on the idea of self-care

  • Focus on self disregards community as source
  • Activities often require time or money


Why Suzannah advocates for responsiveness to your body

  • Act on need to rest, relationship with food
  • Yoga affords opportunity to learn to listen


The difference between PMADs and the baby blues

  • Distinction in duration, severity of symptoms
  • Emotional, behavioral and thought indicators


Suzannah’s insight on creating a postpartum plan

  • Deserve help with or without diagnosis
  • Interview therapists while pregnant


How PMADs might show up in unexpected ways

  • Anxiety (normal vs. interfering)
  • Rage that makes you ashamed


How Suzannah uses yoga to help moms with PMADs

  • Get present in body, notice areas of tension
  • Address imbalances with poses or practices
  • Many can be done holding baby, lying down


Suzannah’s view of the ‘all-natural mandate’

  • Perception that yoga means eating clean
  • Judgement that hurting baby if don’t
  • Another way of policing women’s bodies


How to recover from shame around food

  • Do what’s right for you, find support
  • Know people will say unhelpful things


Suzannah’s top advice around yoga and mental health

  • Medication can be helpful (not ‘easy way out’)
  • Yoga won’t fix, but will provide solace




Connect with Suzannah

Suzannah’s Website

Suzannah on Facebook

Suzannah on Twitter

Suzannah on Instagram


Intuitive Eating Moms Club

Non-diet wellness made simple for moms.

December’s Topic:

A Mindful You!

A month dedicated to establishing a mindfulness practice and using it to support your eating (and life) experiences.



Resources Mentioned in the Episode:


Awake at 3 a.m.: Yoga Therapy for Anxiety and Depression in Pregnancy and Early Motherhood by Suzannah Neufeld

Body Full of Stars: Female Rage and My Passage into Motherhood by Molly Caro May

Nancy Bardacke

Mindful Birthing: Training the Mind, Body, and Heart for Childbirth and Beyond by Nancy Bardacke

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

Jon Kabat-Zinn

Yoga Rising: 30 Empowering Stories from Yoga Renegades for Every Body by Melanie C. Klein

Yoga and Body Image Coalition

Yoga and Body Image: 25 Personal Stories About Beauty, Bravery & Loving Your Body by Melanie C. Klein

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