Let's Talk Bodies with Jenny Eden Berk

I can be a finicky gal, a person who has to develop a relationship with someone for a while before I feel like I can trust them, much less promote something that they've been working on. 

The world can be full of insincere people, am I right?  That's why, when I find someone special, I've gotta share them with you.


I want to introduce you to a women who has a heart of gold and really knows what it is like to have a fickle relationship with food and the angst that arises when diets don't work and your body doesn't fit the culture code.


Jenny Eden Berk is an amazing fellow health and eating psychology coach.  Like me, she is also certified though The Institute for the Psychology of Eating so of course we enjoy "talking shop."



Jenny just released her already #1 Amazon Best Seller book, "The Body Image Blueprint," and I couldn't be happier for her accomplishment and am super stoked that I could be included in her book.  I am anxiously waiting for my copy to arrive...  



In this # 1 Amazon Best Selling book, you will find:

  • Interviews from more than 50 men and women between the ages of 22-70 talking about their own body image perceptions. (Including an interview from me.)


  • Conversations about the rawness and commonalities between so many of us who struggle with body image.


  • Techniques and effective strategies for building your own personal body image blueprint.


Jenny's book as going to help so many people learn to relate to their bodies in a more powerful and kind way.  


We will each have our own journey coming home to our bodies, but Jenny helps to bring together some of the loose threads and commonalities between us so that the process can be a bit less stressful.


On top of Jenny's new release, she invited a panel of like-minded coaches and wellness advocates to a roundtable discussion on body image.  


I am honored that she asked me to be a part of the discussion.  We had such a fun time with the topic that we ended up recording the round table in two parts.  I have included our discussions for your viewing pleasure below.  



Wishing you all the best on your journey to your own unique body image blueprint.


<3 Cydney

You SHOULD be eating this, not that!

I saw this picture posted in a health group not too long ago...  


The person posting it was boundlessly happy to indulge in a product that is so clearly tailored towards dieters/healthy eaters.

I get it, I've been sucked in too, many times, but I see clearly now.

I see that we are being rewarded through moral linguistics (a strategy that I have used too, yikes!).

Honestly it enrages me now.

Let me tell you why.  

It sets up the guilt trap around food.

Guilt around food is a mental construct based on feeling devalued, unworthy, and not good enough.  

We can use food paradoxically to feed the body and to punish the body for not being what we think it should be based on cultural influence and norms...

It's this notion of, if my body doesn't fit what is culturally acceptable, I am somehow not good enough, unloveable, and/or unworthy, thus I must use food to modulate it.  

This is where you get stuck in the "good" food "bad" food trap; "this food will make me fat, this won't," etc.

From there, you place morality on the foods that you label as good or bad.
Then, you tell yourself that you are bad when you eat the "bad" food, and vice versa when you eat the "good" food.

So here is the problem with this marketing and why I think it sucks.

Using phrasing like "guilt free zone" implies two things: 

1. There are foods that you SHOULD feel guilty for eating. 

2. Their product is somehow morally righteous and acceptable, thus you can let down your guard and dig to the bottom without remorse (which you probably will feel anyways because that's the clean eater's/dieter's mentality).

This righteousness advertising lines diet industry pockets with your cash at your emotional and pocketbook's expense.

This is what it teaches you...

1. You are a good or bad person based on your food choices. (Which is an untrue statement)

2. There are foods that will render zero consequences and thus actually encourages over eating, binge eating, chronic dieting, and obsessed clean eating.

3. Your value as a person is based upon how you behave around "good" or "bad" foods. (Again, an untrue statement) 

4. To not trust that your body IS wise enough to help you make decisions on her behalf. 

5. Companies know what's best for you, you don't. 

With all this outside influence and pressure to be holy around food, it's no wonder that you wouldn't be able to trust or control yourself.  Advertising tells you that you can't.  

I think that's bull sh@*!  

The only way to know if you can trust your body and your appetite is to give inner wisdom listening and attuned eating a chance and to shut off the external chatter.

That being said, if there is any hint of "good" or "bad" verbage, a promise to change your body so you can finally be or get X,Y, or Z, take pause.

Be aware that commerce/sales is deeply integrated with our insecurities.

So what I ultimately want to say about this is that food itself is not moral and you need to reframe your approach so that you don't feel guilty around food.

Choosing to eat something does not make you more or less of a person.

It does not make you more or less worthy of love and acceptance.

Your value is based on you as a living being, not what goes in your mouth or on your hips.

And finally, be acutely aware of companies using your emotional state about your value as a person and your perception of your body to sell you things.

If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.  If it seems effortless and emotionless, you will not get to the bottom of why food is a problem for you in the first place.  

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic.

<3 Cydney 

P.S. If you are in the Creating Youphoria3: Food and Body Freedom Facebook group, be sure to catch the 3 day experiential Body Integration for a Positive Body Image video series that started today (4/11/17)