Ep.76 – When Did I Start Hating My Body? ‘Snapshots From The Body Image Brink’ | Susan McCulley

This week, we’re keeping our finger on the pulse of diet ‘cult’ure. Our guest is a former affiliate of ‘the Org’ and a valued contributor in the Deconstructing Dogma series over on Patreon. Susan McCulley recently joined Candice for heart-to-heart, and we’re sharing the first half of the convo here on the main feed. In 2016, Susan wrote a powerful essay about the double-life she was living as a holistic fitness instructor touting ‘body love’ who was secretly struggling with body acceptance and a lifetime of disordered eating. You’ll hear Susan read excerpts from this remarkable and revealing piece where she shares ‘snapshots’ from her life in a body – ie. the calorie book she discovered at 10 years old & why even as a grown-ass woman she didn’t think to fire her “shitty shitty doctor.” She & Candice discuss the subtle-yet-critical differences between restriction and genuine self-care, how shame and perfectionism keep us from normalizing body image struggles, and the lip service they each gave (but didn’t fully embody) while teaching the ‘Org’ practice. Candice reveals how she’s actively shifting the language she uses in her classes, and Susan offers up the personal mantra she now uses when she catches herself judging/comparing bodies. The two get real about day-to-day capacity when it comes to challenging diet-culture norms, and then reference the work of Kate Manne and a radical reframe they both love – body reflexivity. Finally, and paving the way for conversations that will drop later in the series, Susan shares a few ways that she is using her thin privilege to actively support folks living in larger bodies.

Susan McCulley has been a mindful movement leader, artist, and writer since 2000. She is the creator of The Age of Becoming: Embodied Practices Empowering Women over 50 community which offers free movement practices & workshops, connection & community and more. Her 30-Lesson audio course, Building Balance in Your Body & Life was published on the Insight Timer meditation app in early 2022. She has two illustrated books, Buddha Cat: Learning Awareness, Presence & Self-Care from a Teacher Who Sometimes Barfs on the Bed and Octabusy: Letting Go in a Sea of Doing. Her teaching schedule, classes, books and art are available at www.susanmcculley.com.

January 24, 2024

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