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The Diet Industry is Toxic AF
So we’re calling bullshit in today’s episode…
The diet industry is worth billions (64.7 Billion to be exact) –– and it profits directly off our insecurity around our bodies and our health. This pervasive industry takes over our culture, minds, and wallets and preys even more specifically on women from young ages. Research says that 80% of girls have been on some kind of diet by age 10.
Today’s guest, Victoria Garrick, is working to tackle shame around our bodies and share her journey with disordered eating, mental health, and becoming an advocate for college athletes. Because this episode dives into topics around diet culture and eating disorders, we want to make sure you know that if you need to step away to protect your mental health –– we fully support you.
Resources for those struggling with Eating Disorders:
This conversation between Tori and Victoria is incredibly vulnerable –– they discuss their experiences as women surrounded by diet culture and talk about the pervasive ways this industry targets women.
Watch the promo:
Victoria Garrick is a TED Talk speaker, mental health advocate, podcast host, and former Division I Athlete who has amassed 1.5M+ followers across social media where she’s known for her unfiltered campaign, #RealPost. Victoria first began sharing her story of how she battled and overcame depression & anxiety as a student-athlete in her 2017 TED Talk, “The Hidden Opponent,” which has been viewed over 420,000 times. She delivered the talk as a sophomore member of the University of Southern California Women’s Volleyball Team, where she was a four year starter, PAC-12 Champion, and finished her career with the top five most digs in program history. She has been featured in The New York Times’, The Players’ Tribune, E! News, People, AccessHollywood, and is the Founder & CEO of mental health non-profit, The Hidden Opponent, which was recognized as a standout resource for athletes by Kobe Bryant in his novel, “Geese Are Never Swans.” She also brings her message of authenticity to life daily on her social media platforms as well as her raw and relatable podcast, Real Pod.
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Tori Dunlap (00:00:00):
Hello Team! Welcome back to Financial Feminist. I hope you’ve been liking this new format of weekly episodes, really like six episodes a month. So, it’s like weekly episode plus a bonus episode every other week. And our last two guests, I was about to say brought the heat, but that sounds so bro-ey, but I’m going to say it anyway, they brought the heat. All right.
Tori Dunlap (00:00:20):
I’m so excited to welcome Victoria Garrick onto the show. She is a friend of mine. We have become friends now over the internet. She has been one of the people who I have called needing a pep talk and one of the people I’ve received a call from needing a pep talk. And I love this episode for many, many reasons. But I didn’t expect to talk about my own struggles with my body, my own struggles with my self-image and with my confidence. And yeah, I cry on this episode, which is not a shocker. I think I cry on every other fucking episode. But I think it’s a really powerful conversation, not just of course about the financial impacts of the diet industry, but the emotional and psychological impacts as well.
Tori Dunlap (00:01:05):
Victoria Garrick is a TED Talk speaker, mental health advocate, podcast host, and former Division One athlete who has amassed 1.5 million followers across social media, where she’s known for her unfiltered campaign #RealPost. Victoria first began sharing her story on how she battled and overcame depression and anxiety as a student athlete in her 2017 TED talk called The Hidden Opponent, which has been viewed almost half a million times. She has been featured in The New York Times, The Players Tribune, E News, People, Access Hollywood, and is the founder and CEO of the Mental Health nonprofit, The Hidden Opponent, which was recognized as a standout resource for athletes by Kobe Bryant and his novel Geese Are Never Swans.
Tori Dunlap (00:01:46):
She also brings her message of authenticity to life daily on her social media platforms as well as her raw and relatable podcast real pod which I have been a guest on and will hopefully be a guest on again soon. She now tours the country speaking at universities and high schools throughout the country in hopes of destigmatizing the conversation around mental health and encouraging all people to be their unfiltered selves.
Tori Dunlap (00:02:06):
Okay, a content warning at the top of this episode, the whole thing is about diet culture. So, if that’s not your jam, we’re talking about diet culture, disordered eating, body dysmorphia. So, if this is a conversation you rather sit out on, I welcome you to step away from this discussion if you need to at any point. It’s a great conversation, but your mental health matters and we fully support you. If you or someone you know is struggling with disordered eating, there is help. Visit nationaleatingdisorders.org for resources to help and we’ve also linked several organizations and resources in the show notes. Now, without further ado, here’s our conversation on the billion-dollar diet industry with Victoria Garrick.
Victoria Garrick (00:02:58):
I had a bunch of events this past weekend, so I lost my voice.
Tori Dunlap (00:03:01):
Great. And now you’re on my podcast.
Victoria Garrick (00:03:03):
I know, but it’s okay. It sounds sexy, raspy.
Tori Dunlap (00:03:04):
Yeah, it does. You’re very Scarlett Johansson. Did you know that supposedly, have you seen her? Because I’ve never actually seen it, the Joaquin Phoenix.
Victoria Garrick (00:03:13):
Is that the one in love with the robot?
Tori Dunlap (00:03:15):
He is in love with Siri. Yeah.
Victoria Garrick (00:03:15):
No, I didn’t see that. Is that Joaquin Phoenix?
Tori Dunlap (00:03:17):
That’s Joaquin Phoenix.
Victoria Garrick (00:03:18):
They really did him up in that movie.
Tori Dunlap (00:03:19):
He won or he was nominated? He was definitely nominated for an Oscar, I don’t know if he won. But the funny thing about that as I spilled coffee all over the table is that apparently somebody played the voice of Her. And they were like, “No, it’s not good enough,” and then brought in Scarlett Johansson.
Victoria Garrick (00:03:40):
Wow, I didn’t even know she played the voice.
Tori Dunlap (00:03:41):
Yeah. So, she was like the voice of the Siri equivalent.
Victoria Garrick (00:03:45):
Honestly, I would fall in love with the Scarlett Johansson’s voice.
Tori Dunlap (00:03:49):
Yeah, I would as well. I don’t blame him. I haven’t seen that movie. I should see that movie before I start bringing in fun facts about it. Hi.
Victoria Garrick (00:03:59):
Tori Dunlap (00:04:00):
I’m so excited you’re here.
Victoria Garrick (00:04:01):
Me too. Thanks for having me.
Tori Dunlap (00:04:02):
I’ll throw you a softball and pun intended, because I’m about to ask you a question about athletics. Okay, so was what was it about athletics, about volleyball that was so compelling for you? And were you someone who was just naturally gifted and fell into it and then kept going because you felt like you had to? Or was it like a true passion that you really loved?
Victoria Garrick (00:04:23):
Well, it’s like, I’m thinking because I want to say I was naturally very athletic.
Tori Dunlap (00:04:29):
Victoria Garrick (00:04:29):
In eighth grade, I was like Athlete of the Year, but this is like eighth grade.
Tori Dunlap (00:04:34):
Thirteen-year-old Victoria is like medal, please.
Victoria Garrick (00:04:36):
She loves playing all the sports.
Tori Dunlap (00:04:37):
I love it.
Victoria Garrick (00:04:38):
So, I was athletic. I loved being competitive. I loved sports. And so, when it came to volleyball, I actually fell into that sport naturally in the sense that I was playing all these sports in middle school and then when it was time, that eighth grade year, there was a friend’s mom on my middle school I ball team that said, “Your daughter is really good,” to my mom. “She should join my daughter’s club team.” So, I started playing club volleyball and then I just became infatuated with how do I become better at the sport? How do I make the ones team next year and before I knew it, that was the only sport that I was playing.
Victoria Garrick (00:05:17):
And I feel like the timing was perfect because come high school, at least for me, if you’re wanting to play the division one level, you do kind of have to zone in. I know people who’ve played double sports, you totally can do it. But it’s risky, right? If I were to be playing high school soccer, and I tore my ACL that jeopardizes my possible playing live on college. So, I only played volleyball in high school and I loved it. I think looking back now at all the sports, it’s definitely one I think I would still go back and choose but I definitely think I’m way more physical. I could have seen myself in soccer or lacrosse, budding up next to people and using physicality where this net separates us in volleyball and you don’t touch anyone. I almost felt like…
Tori Dunlap (00:05:59):
You’re only touching something, somebody if something is severely wrong.
Victoria Garrick (00:06:02):
Right. You’re really supposed to dance around each other on the court. So, I always wonder what would have happened if I could be a little bit more physical in my athletic days.
Tori Dunlap (00:06:11):
Yeah. A lot of people are shocked to find that I played softball for 12 years, 11 years.
Victoria Garrick (00:06:15):
I love that.
Tori Dunlap (00:06:16):
But the thing, and then I also played basketball for three years. And basketball, I was not good on offense, but I will wrestle you to the goddamn ground.
Victoria Garrick (00:06:26):
An aggressive defender.
Tori Dunlap (00:06:28):
Oh, literally like seventh grade. At one point, the referee had to break me in a goal up because we were wrestling for a jump ball. I was like, “I’m not letting go with this ball.”
Victoria Garrick (00:06:37):
I need a footage of this.
Tori Dunlap (00:06:38):
My dad coached. I’m sure they have footage somewhere. So, your family was very successful in sports.
Victoria Garrick (00:06:45):
Yes. My older brother was a professional golfer. He just retired.
Tori Dunlap (00:06:49):
Did I know this?
Victoria Garrick (00:06:49):
No. I don’t think you knew that.
Tori Dunlap (00:06:50 a>):
We’re a big golf family, the Dunlap’s.
Victoria Garrick (00:06:54):
Tori Dunlap (00:06:55):
Oh, gosh, yes.
Victoria Garrick (00:06:56):
My brother played at UCLA and then he played professionally for five years on many tours, and what is it now? the Korn Ferry, it was web.com Korn Ferry. And yeah, he just retired, which is a whole story in itself, sports. But yeah, he was always very successful, big competitor. And I think that rubbed off a lot on me.
Tori Dunlap (00:07:17):
Did you feel like there was pressure then of like, brother good at sports, me have to be good at sports, too.
Victoria Garrick (00:07:23):
I didn’t take it as personally as us competing with each other. I think being different genders and being three years apart, there was separation. I will say though, I do remember getting praised for achievements and loving that praise. And it wasn’t like my parents weren’t loving towards me if I wasn’t successful, but it felt good to achieve and to have something put on the refrigerator and to be called out at the family dinner table and to be bragged about. I also grew up in a neighborhood that everyone was just white picket fences. Everyone had to pretend they had this perfect life. And I think, I also felt okay, I need to be perfect.
Tori Dunlap (00:08:05):
Damn. So, as you’re progressing with athletics, with volleyball specifically, when was the first time you remember looking at your body in a critical way and thinking something about this needs to change?
Victoria Garrick (00:08:23):
Oh, well, if that’s the question, I got to rewind it to when I was 12 before all of this. Because honestly, my body image issues and my awareness of the size of my body, the shape of my body, the number on the scale. I literally remember being 12, having gone to a summer camp, coming home, and naturally had lost weight. Just because when you go to a summer camp, you have meal times, you don’t have your normal snack, whatever. So, I lost weight.
Tori Dunlap (00:08:48):
You’re also running around everywhere.
Victoria Garrick (00:08:50):
Yeah, totally. And I wasn’t aware of this. However, when I got back, I received a compliment, “You know, you look so lean.”
Tori Dunlap (00:09:01):
It just fucks with you immediately, doesn’t it?
Victoria Garrick (00:09:03):
Yeah. Well, and I also go, what is lean? I’ve never heard that word. And the person says, “Oh, it means thin. It means thin and you look good.” And I thought, “Oh, okay.” So, I’m putting now my equation together, right? If we’re, we’re talking finances, the math. What’s the math here, right? Losing weight equals looking lean equals complements equals good, pat on the back.
Tori Dunlap (00:09:25):
Equals good self-worth.
Victoria Garrick (00:09:26):
So, it’s almost like from 12 on, I had understood what it meant to be an appealing woman who received compliments. And I was incredibly aware of that throughout the rest of middle school, especially high school, and then really hit rock bottom in college.
Tori Dunlap (00:09:44):
So, was that the point you started consuming content around diet culture? Around 12, 13?
Victoria Garrick (00:09:51):
Yes. However, it was different, right? I mean, I remember when the Victoria’s Secret company had a Victoria’s Secret app, and all the angels…
Tori Dunlap (00:09:58):
Well, the catalog first, right?
Victoria Garrick (00:09:59):
Tori Dunlap (00:10:01):
Because you and I are about the same age. I think you’re a year or two…
Victoria Garrick (00:10:02):
Tori Dunlap (00:10:03):
Oh God. Fuck. I’m 27. I was like, “Oh, she’s 26.” That’s fine. Oh my God.
Victoria Garrick (00:10:08):
Yes. So, there wasn’t…
Tori Dunlap (00:10:09):
I feel like I used to be all the time the youngest person in the room and now I’m less likely to be the youngest person in the room and I do the shit that people used to do to me where they’re like, “Oh no, I’m so old.” And I hate that. But now find myself doing it. I’m like, “Jesus Christ.”
Victoria Garrick (00:10:21):
Literally, we despise the jokes our parents and people used to make and now I do it. I see my-
Tori Dunlap (00:10:26):
I know. What is it the State Farm commercials where it’s like you’re turning into your Dad?
Victoria Garrick (00:10:29):
Oh my gosh, those are hilarious. No, also my baby cousin, like, “I remember when you were this big,” I hate myself saying that.
Tori Dunlap (00:10:35):
You’re like, “I’m the aunt who sees you four times a year.”
Victoria Garrick (00:10:37):
Yeah, honestly. So, there was no Instagram, there was no TikTok. There wasn’t a social media account for Candice Swanepoel or Adriana Lima. However, I could Google them. I could Google their waist measurements. I could pull up…
Tori Dunlap (00:10:49):
Victoria Garrick (00:10:50):
Yeah, 1000%. I had a notes page on my phone of all the measurements.
Tori Dunlap (00:10:54):
Say that for me again. No, break that down. So, you would Google supermodels.
Victoria Garrick (00:10:59):
Yes, yes, yes, yes.
Tori Dunlap (00:10:59):
Or public figures and their waist measurements and write them. And so, what was the goal I’m writing this down in order for me to compare myself in order for it to be a measurement of “success.” Was that the idea?
Victoria Garrick (00:11:15):
Definitely, it was seeing these women who I thought were stunning and who society had deemed “made it.” I mean, when I was growing up, it felt if you were a Victoria’s Secret model, if you walked that fashion show, you were one of the most beautiful women in the world. And so, of course, I idolized them, I aspire to be like them. You look at the old campaigns. I mean, everything is one specific way. It’s very clear what the beauty standard was. I also want to acknowledge the privilege I have of being closer to that standard than most people.
Victoria Garrick (00:11:52):
I still, though, felt this pressure to make su
re every single thing was exact. And so, yes, I would pull up my Victoria’s Secret app at 13, 14 years old. I would record on my phone what their measurements were. And then I would measure myself. And of course, try to have that specific number, which of course I remember. I won’t say it because I don’t want to bring that into people’s thoughts and have them worrying about it. But I still remember what those numbers were and how I wasn’t there.
Tori Dunlap (00:12:22):
That breaks my heart.
Victoria Garrick (00:12:24):
Yeah, it does. It’s wild for me to sit here though and reflect it because I’m in such a different place. But let’s say in the trenches, Tori, because we got a long episode.
Tori Dunlap (00:12:33):
We do. Okay, so role models for this diet, culture and media. You said Victoria Secret models. Who else are you looking at?
Victoria Garrick (00:12:42):
I think you’re looking at celebrities. You’re looking at Hannah Montana, you’re looking at Selena Gomez, you’re looking at, I mean, they’re all thin, they’re all beautiful. They’re all the pop icons. I mean, there’s Britney Spears. There’s Ashley Tisdale. I mean, Vanessa Hudgens. It wasn’t even just people exemplifying the beauty standard. It was the active call outs and the way that society communicated what you should not be. And if a celebrity had gained weight, like a Jessica Simpson or like the character in Wizards of Waverly who plays Harper, who was supposed to be “this ugly duckling.” And you look at these photos now thinking this is a totally normal woman.
Tori Dunlap (00:13:29):
She looks completely, yeah.
Victoria Garrick (00:13:30):
Whatever normal means. And yet at that time, it was so obvious to us that if you fell outside the lines of this beauty standard, these celebrities are on the cover of Us Weekly, OK Magazine, all the tabloids, about their weight gain or so and so is fat now.
Tori Dunlap (00:13:48):
Or they lost 60 pounds after they had a child. Here’s how they did it in two weeks.
Victoria Garrick (00:13:53):
Definitely. And all of the messaging is about weight. And you see it mainly tied to women. And so, not only do I have this little equation, I figure out in this one interaction as a 12-year-old in my life, but I’m growing up realizing how we look is essentially the most important part of us and the most important thing. And then, I in turn, became obsessed with that being exactly what I thought it was “supposed to be.”
Tori Dunlap (00:14:22):
Yeah. Well and that weights equals your self-worth.
Victoria Garrick (00:14:25):
Tori Dunlap (00:14:26):
This random number on the scale is your measurement, your yardstick for what is good or what is normal.
Victoria Garrick (00:14:35):
Tori Dunlap (00:14:35):
So, I think about like Mary Cain story with the Nike Oregon project, we’ll link it. And how it seems like there’s these high-level training programs completely ignoring that bodies, the nutrition, like bodies need fuel, are things getting better now that more athletes are coming forward in this industry in particular.
Victoria Garrick (00:14:56):
Well, the Mary Cain story is unique because she was a track athlete and the situation that happened with her. I honestly feel from the experiences I’ve had in Division One Athletics and then also with the universities I speak to across the divisions, I would say the issue is more the way that we learn about nutrition and how to fuel our bodies can be and often is very versed in diet culture.
Tori Dunlap (00:15:26):
Tell me more about that.
The people who are nutritionists and dietitians have been essentially coached in diet culture. And I have learned this, study this from whether it is the now anti diet dieticians I follow who are amazing, which I can provide you with some awesome resources that you can share with everyone.
Tori Dunlap (00:15:45):
That’ll be great.
Victoria Garrick (00:15:45):
And they even talk about how they’ve had to kind of re-learn and unlearn what they were taught in school, because it was fat phobic, or it was restrictive behavior that would lead to disordered behavior. And so, I think the way that it is learned can cause these disordered eating behaviors, can lead to eating disorders. For example, I can remember times where a professional in this space would say, “Well, how many carbs are you eating? How much you’re burning? Are you going to be running a marathon? Just extremes.
Victoria Garrick (00:16:19):
And then you while there may be is some science on paper that you need a certain amount of carbohydrates based on the exercise, you’re going to be doing. Sure. And like, even then I hesitate because…
Tori Dunlap (00:16:33):
That is machine robot shit. We’re human beings.
Victoria Garrick (00:16:35):
Yes. But I also think it’s wild how I could go find right now someone with all the credentials and doctor in front of their name, that would tell you go keto. And then I could find someone with all the same credentials that would tell you absolutely don’t go keto. So, which to me is a problem. The fact that we don’t even know if a dietitian or a nutritionist, do they have an eating disorder? Do they get into this field because of the structure that they have around food?
Victoria Garrick (00:17:01):
The dietician I worked with when I was young, sweet woman, I only think good things of her. But I was 16 years old, tracking my calories and calories out to lose two pounds a week in high school. And that was an appointment my mom brought me to because I requested to lose weight. And we thought we were doing the right thing by going to a professional.
Tori Dunlap (00:17:21):
Because this professional still exists in a system that is fat phobic and disordered and all of these things.
Victoria Garrick (00:17:27):
Yes. And is looking at me in a body that would have been presumably closer to this beauty standard and saying, “Great, let me help you lose two pounds a week.”
Tori Dunlap (00:17:35):
As opposed to, “You don’t need to lose weight because you’re healthy.”
Victoria Garrick (00:17:38):
Right. Right. Yep.
Tori Dunlap (00:17:39):
So, we’ve been tiptoeing around this.
Victoria Garrick (00:17:41):
Oh, no tiptoeing. Ask me anything.
Tori Dunlap (00:17:41):
No, no, but I’m in it now. Diet industry is a billion dollar a year industry, a billion dollars with a B, and even as you’re talking, I’m thinking about all of these things.
Victoria Garrick (00:17:52):
Not even 1 billion, like 62 billion.
Tori Dunlap (00:17:53):
Multi, multi billion. And I’m thinking about even you said, like, one person says, keto, one person says this. Just I remember probably around the same age as you were like, 12, or 13. My mom getting what was it, the Atkins diet. She got the Atkins Diet book.
Victoria Garrick (00:18:07):
Tori Dunlap (00:18:08):
Weight Watchers. And what was it? The South Beach diet. I still remember what that book looks like.
Victoria Garrick (00:18:13):
I remember South Beach, I tried it.
Tori Dunlap (00:18:15):
I do still remember. So, this is where we talked about the financial implications of this. So, this is a marketing machine, meant to shame us into purchasing diet books, workout gear, clothes that make us look better. Talk to me about the marketing implications of a multi, multi, multi-billion-dollar industry.
Victoria Garrick (00:18:36):
Let me tell you how it works. Let me pull back the curtain on the Wizard of Oz here. Society has created a beauty standard that is unattainable. It is from the get-go, impossible. It cannot be met. Not only can it not be met from the standpoint of, “Do you have the private chef? Do you have the plastic surgery? Do you have to Photoshop?” But even if you get very close, like a Kim Kardashian, you still have the rest of the world saying, “Not good enough. Not for me.” So regardless of if you even get to this place, you are never going to get a unanimous vote from the world that says, “Yep, you’re beautiful.” There are always people disagreeing.
Tori Dunlap (00:19:12):
Well, and that’s what makes it profitable is if you dangle a carrot that you can never actually get, you’re going to be chasing that carrot for the rest of your goddamn life.
Victoria Garrick (00:19:19):
Correct. So, here’s this beauty standard that’s unattainable. And then the diet culture industry says, “If you want to reach this thing, here, buy these things. Try this diet. Buy this workout plan, do these things, buy this food, and it’ll help you get to this place,” but it doesn’t work. And it will not help you get to that place. And more often than not, it will just lead to disordered eating habits. So then you’re on this cycle. And also, diet culture is sneaky. So, it’s not like they’re saying, hey, try these things. And it might not work and if it doesn’t work, it’s okay because you’re human and really, it’s not going to work. They’re saying, “If you don’t do this, you’re a failure. You don’t have willpower.” I mean, willpower is a term that’s been coined by the diet industry to make you feel like you are inadequate and that it’s your fault that you cannot lose the weight. I mean, I was a Division One athlete. If you tell me to do something, I do it. I know how to do it.
Tori Dunlap (00:20:16):
And by the way, you don’t need this. For me, you were a goddamn amazing individual.
Victoria Garrick (00:20:20):
Oh my God, thank you.
Tori Dunlap (00:20:20):
Literally, every time you post about you playing volleyball, I just sit there, I never played volleyball, I was never good at it but I love watching it. And every time you post your old volleyball videos, I’m just like, I stare in awe. It’s good.
Victoria Garrick (00:20:32):
Oh my god, you’re so sweet. Thank you. I will I bring it up not to toot my own horn, but to say, my track record will show that if I need to get something done, I can put my head down, grind it out and be successful. So, tell me why until my 19th, 20th years of life, I tried every single diet that we’ve listed, and I never could lose the weight that I wanted. And I never could target my thigh gap in a workout. And I never could get to this certain number on a scale. Is it really because I don’t have willpower and I’m not hard working? No, it’s because what was asked of me was to limit the nutrients that my body actually needs. That’s going to cause me to have anxious thoughts, to overthink things.
Tori Dunlap (00:21:11):
To meticulously track everything to the point where you’re miserable.
Victoria Garrick (00:21:15):
And if you take something away from someone or you tell someone they can have something, what happens? They want it.
Tori Dunlap (00:21:21):
We actually know because literally, I wrote about this for my book around deprivation when it comes
to money, and I equate it to a diet because we did some research, 99% of diets don’t work for the reason that you just said. As soon as literally psychologically, and again, it has nothing to do with willpower. We think we’re the 1%, where we’re like, “Oh no, we’re strong, and it’s fine.” And it’s like no, that doesn’t mean you don’t have willpower. It’s literally been proven that if you psychologically tell somebody you can’t have this thing, all you’re going to do is want the thing.
Victoria Garrick (00:21:49):
Yes, and diet culture selling us different products, plans, meals, in hopes that we believe that that’s going to help us achieve this unattainable beauty standard. But guess what? it’s never going to work. Oh, and the reason why this beauty standard keeps changing is because as long as we are unhappy with ourselves, they keep making money. The day that we wake up and say, “I’m good enough, I don’t want to change anything about my appearance or my body.”
Victoria Garrick (00:22:13):
What are they selling? Who are they selling to? There’s no audience. So as long as we are unhappy with ourselves, they continue to make money. And it’s empowering to think about it that way. And look, one podcast episode, one conversation isn’t going to be able to lift off the weight of someone’s eating disorder or the messaging and conditioning that they’ve been.
Tori Dunlap (00:22:31):
We’re not claiming that it will.
Victoria Garrick (00:22:33):
Their whole life. However, I do think there is some hope. And it is empowering. If you’re not at a place yet where you can say, “I love my body,” maybe you can say, “I recognize that this system is fucked up and it’s empowering.”
Tori Dunlap (00:22:46):
And it’s conditioning me to hate me.
Victoria Garrick (00:22:48):
And it’s kind of empowering to join this movement against diet culture because that way, it almost feels less personal. I’m inadequate. I’m not good enough, but more so, I recognize the way that the system was designed to make women hate themselves perpetually. And I don’t agree with that. And that might be your first foot in the door to healing.
Tori Dunlap (00:23:10):
Right. I’m seeing more and more as I do research, as I look at my own relationship with my body and food and diet culture. This overlap Venn Diagram of diet culture, the diet industry, and the wellness industry. And the more I look, the bigger the middle of the Venn diagram gets. Can we talk about that?
Victoria Garrick (00:23:34):
Oh, yeah. I mean, diet culture has just shape shifted and morphed itself and disguised itself to be something different.
Tori Dunlap (00:23:42):
Because wellness sounds like it’s a good thing.
Victoria Garrick (00:23:46):
Yeah, for sure.
Tori Dunlap (00:23:48):
My voice changed, do you noticed? I’m like wellness.
Victoria Garrick (00:23:51):
Mm-hmm (affirmative), yes.
Tori Dunlap (00:23:52):
Victoria Garrick (00:23:52):
And I want to quote Aubrey Gordon right now who’s …
Tori Dunlap (00:23:55):
Great. She’s fantastic.
Victoria Garrick (00:23:55):
… an incredible fat activist, her Instagram is Your Fat Friend.
Tori Dunlap (00:23:59):
And she’s the co-host of Maintenance Spaces, which is a phenomenal podcast.
Victoria Garrick (00:24:02):
I’m obsessed with that podcast.
Tori Dunlap (00:24:02):
It’s so good.
Victoria Garrick (00:24:03):
The quote is, “We are replacing a beauty standard with a health standard that is just as fickle, just as relentless, and just as unattainable for so many.”
Tori Dunlap (00:24:13):
One more time.
Victoria Garrick (00:24:14):
“We are replacing a beauty standard with a health standard that is just as fickle, just as unattainable, and just as out of reach for so many.”
Tori Dunlap (00:24:23):
And it’s also arguably worse because it’s not just necessarily what you look like, right? It’s now like, again, what you weigh.
Victoria Garrick (00:24:31):
Shaming you if you don’t eat kale and you don’t go on a hike. They are starting to say, “Oh, hey, we don’t care if you wear a larger size of clothing. We don’t care anymore. Are you drinking green juice? And are you working out five times a week? We don’t care what you look like, but are you healthy?”
Tori Dunlap (00:24:43):
Right. And we’re recording this in Los Angeles where you live. I do not live here. And I don’t think I can ever live here for that big reason where I walk around and it seems like everybody’s hot and it feels so unobtainable. And everybody, yeah, is drinking fucking green juice and they’ve got Botox, which there’s no shame in that but there’s this constant feeling of not enough. And then it’s rebranded as “No, but it’s good for you.” And it’s you, you living your best life and showing up as your best body.
Victoria Garrick (00:25:12):
Right. And I love that you said it could be arguably worse. I mean, I really see that the overlap, sorry. Oh my god, I just burped. Honestly real post…
Tori Dunlap (00:25:24):
That was the cutest. I’ve been burping too, but I’ve been trying to…
Victoria Garrick (00:25:27):
The way that I’ve actually never burped in my life. And I actually think burping is disgusting. I don’t know how that just came out of my mouth.
Tori Dunlap (00:25:34):
That’s so funny.
Victoria Garrick (00:25:36):
Wait, I literally hate burping. So, I’m not a burper, people. But [crosstalk 00:25:38].
Tori Dunlap (00:25:38):
That was so funny. I fucking love it.
Victoria Garrick (00:25:42):
Honestly, because I’m so repulsed by talking about that my body had to also-
Tori Dunlap (00:25:46):
No, it’s a involuntary bodily response where it’s just like bleh.
Victoria Garrick (00:25:51):
That was my body being like, “Screw health. Do whatever you want.”
Tori Dunlap (00:25:56):
Fucking wellness bullshit.
Victoria Garrick (00:25:57):
Yeah. Yeah. And look, here’s another thing. I’m very passionate about encouraging people to reconnect with their intuition.
Tori Dunlap (00:26:03):
Tell me about that.
Victoria Garrick (00:26:04):
So much of diet culture and the wellness industry is other people telling you what you should do. And sometimes, that’s helpful. And sometimes, that can change a life. And that can be the epiphany that you need. But going back to what I said before, you could find an expert PhD, who will tell you do keto, and you can find another expert that will tell you not.
Tori Dunlap (00:26:24):
And you can also find an expert who’s great and who’s supportive who’s doing all the yeah.
Victoria Garrick (00:26:27):
You can have an expert who will say, “We have people who are addicted to sugar. There is a sugar addiction crisis.” You will also find people who will say that is not true. So, I’m just saying that, so if we don’t really know necessarily what is true. And look, I’m not a conspiracy theorist saying don’t go to the doctor, I go to the doctor. I’m just saying, “What about asking yourself, do I like green juice? Do I feel good? When I go on a hike in the morning, do I feel good? When I have a bagel, because maybe I do. Maybe a bagel gives me energy and I love the taste of it.
Tori Dunlap (00:26:57):
Literally, Victoria, I called you I think like a couple of weeks ago and was talking to you about all this. And I was like, I am not willing to give up bagels. I refuse. I refuse. And if that’s the reason that I have …
Victoria Garrick (00:27:11):
I die a few years early.
Tori Dunlap (00:27:13):
Literally, I’m like, I’m not giving this fucking … I love … There are very few things that give me as much joy as an everything bagel with cream cheese.
Victoria Garrick (00:27:21):
Oh, I love and everything [inaudible 00:27:22]. You’re talking my language. So, I love that. And you know what? There are dieticians and nutritionists who would say “Tori, a bagel for you everyday is not good.”
Tori Dunlap (00:27:30):
And other people who are like moderation.
Victoria Garrick (00:27:32):
Right. Exactly. So how do you feel? Because if you can have a bagel every morning.
Tori Dunlap (00:27:36):
Victoria Garrick (00:27:37):
Yeah. And you feel good, and that’s satisfying for you. Also, something I like to joke about a lot on my page is like what even is healthy because here’s the thing, if you told me I could never have a bagel, that’s triggering my binge eating disorder. I’m not feeling I have to restrict.
Tori Dunlap (00:27:49):
There is deprivation.
Victoria Garrick (00:27:50):
The binging voice in my head is like, “[inaudible 00:27:52] every bagel now.” So no, it is not healthy for me to not have a bagel when I want to have a bagel.
Tori Dunlap (00:27:58):
Well, and we also, I think weirdly there’s been like the shift in the other direction and the hopes that it feels positive and I think people are well intentioned when they do the food is fuel thing. But then I’m thinking to myself, “Oh, I only need to eat, I don’t know, the gruel that is protein based that gives me enough energy to fuel my body.” p>
Victoria Garrick (00:28:21):
But then you’re ignoring satisfaction.
Tori Dunlap (00:28:22):
That’s what I mean.
Victoria Garrick (00:28:23):
You’re a human.
Tori Dunlap (00:28:24):
And I love food literally more than any, like I love food more than certain dead relatives of mine. I love food more than anything.
Victoria Garrick (00:28:30):
And you know what? I love that and actually, I have my own complex that I’m working through around saying that I love food and I do. I love food so much. Nothing makes me happier than sitting down to eat good food, especially with someone else. I freaking love food.
Tori Dunlap (00:28:45):
We literally before we started rolling I was telling you about this restaurant I’m going to tomorrow where I’m like, “It’s the best chef from the final table and I’m so excited about it.”
Victoria Garrick (00:28:52):
But you know what they kind of say to us women when we talk about food, it’s like, “Oh, that’s so masculine and like food is so monstrous. It’s gluttonous.” Gluttony. I grew up being told gluttony was a sin. So, when I was at home at 10:00 at night, anxious.
Tori Dunlap (00:29:05):
What is gluttony?
Victoria Garrick (00:29:06):
binging. Yeah, I thought all my sinning because I’m eating a lot.
Tori Dunlap (00:29:10):
I want to wrap 12-year-old Victoria.
Victoria Garrick (00:29:12):
Well, that was more like 17-year- old Victoria.
Tori Dunlap (00:29:14):
Sure. All right, I’ll wrap any age of Victoria up in a hunch.
Victoria Garrick (00:29:16):
And I’m not saying I’m super religious and I thought I like needed to repent. But you just grow up seeing this is the portion for a female. This is the portion for a male. I mean, I grew up with my brothers being served more than me always because I’m the girl. Why would I eat as much as the guy right?
Tori Dunlap (00:29:29):
And then it’s like that, “Oh, he is a growing boy. He needs thirds and fourths of everything.
Victoria Garrick (00:29:34):
Literally. And my fiance is 6’5″. I’m frequently out eating him, frequently. Because it’s different. And I think that’s been really a release for me to understand is that all these labels around food and how we’re supposed to eat what we’re supposed to eat, especially the way it’s tied to women. We don’t have to abide by that and it might not be true for us. I am now an avid intuitive eater. That is what saved my relationship with food. It might not work for everyone but it has been just so amazing for me to ask myself, “Hey, I know it’s 12:00, and it’s “lunchtime.” Am I hungry?
Tori Dunlap (00:30:06):
Am I actually hungry?
Victoria Garrick (00:30:08):
Yeah. Am I hungry? Okay, and do I want a salad? Or am I just thinking I should eat a salad? Because if I eat a sandwich, I’m going to feel guilty all day long. And why would I feel guilty? Who told me I can’t have two pieces of bread? You know, it’s powerful to unlearn to question, do I actually want this?
ri Dunlap (00:30:25):
I have more questions about the diet industry in particular, and we’ll get there. But one thing I wanted to talk about as well, is the male gaze of all of this. So we talked about Victoria’s Secret. And when we think about something, now, they’ve evolved a lot, which I also, I’m like, “How do you celebrate progress while also being like, this is some bullshit.” That’s a thing I’m conflicted on.
Victoria Garrick (00:30:45):
Yeah, I have a lot of thoughts there. I would just say I, at the end of the day, go back to compassion. But I really do think the change is great. And I think we have to celebrate change. I think it’s important. You can proceed with caution as you celebrate. But I think we’re all humans and I don’t know if the same people running the company or the people that ran it back then. I don’t know.
Tori Dunlap (00:31:05):
Well, for me, I mean, everything honestly, under capitalism is bullshit. But when you think about you’re just doing this because you know it’s what sells now. Right?
Victoria Garrick (00:31:13):
What you’re tempted to think is that, what’s the intention? Your intention is to wonder what it is. And we might never know.
Tori Dunlap (00:31:19):
But when we think about the early 2000s Victoria’s Secret, the runway shows. That was not for women, that was for men. Yes, women were tuning in, but women in bikinis, that was for men.
Victoria Garrick (00:31:31):
Well, I would even go more specific with the beauty standard was to appease men.
Tori Dunlap (00:31:36):
Yes, thank you. That’s where I was leading with that. So, it feels like there’s this added layer of patriarchal bullshit where it’s like, and again, I teach around personal finance, where it’s like, we are conditioned as women to deprive ourselves of things that are joyful. So, when you look at personal finance advice geared towards men, it is invest in the stock, buy this piece of property, negotiate your salary. And when we look at financial advice for women, it is stop spending money on these frivolous things. You can’t buy the Dior purse, you fucking cow. That’s the advice, right? So, it’s like for men, build your wealth. For women, deprive yourself of the things that we’re deeming frivolous. And we’ve talked about this a lot, you and I privately. And I feel like the diet industry or the wellness industry, whatever you want to call it, is also doing that where they’re literally like become a smallest possible and deprive yourself because then we can control you.
Victoria Garrick (00:32:28):
And that’s how you’re going to find your man. That’s what men like. If I had a dime for every time I heard, “Don’t crack your knuckles, that’s so manly. A boy won’t like you.” If I heard your arms are-
Tori Dunlap (00:32:38):
Don’t eat too much because boys don’t like when you eat too much.
Victoria Garrick (00:32:41):
Yeah, you’re too hairy. Guys don’t like hairy girls.
Tori Dunlap (00:32:44):
Shave everybody, wax every hair off your body off every single region of your body in order to be appealing to men.
Victoria Garrick (00:32:52):
Literally. I mean, the amount of times I think we’ve all heard, “Boys won’t like you, boys.” Because we heard it when we were so young that you can’t even call them men, right? It was fifth grade cracking my knuckles. Oh, boys don’t like it if you crack your knuckles.
Tori Dunlap (00:33:05):
Right. Do it. I don’t know. I don’t mind I’ll make a sound but I still do it.
Victoria Garrick (00:33:10):
I still do it. it’s just rebellion.
Tori Dunlap (00:33:11):
No, I love mine. I don’t really make a sound.
And can I just say something here to be cheesy? When did you find a life partner that is your life partner? They won’t give a fuck because Max doesn’t care about anything.
Tori Dunlap (00:33:22):
That is so true.
Victoria Garrick (00:33:22):
And honestly, I’ve had moments with him where I’m sitting, I remember one time just like feeling so disgusted in my own skin for whatever reason, I felt XYZ. And he’s just like, chilling next to me and he doesn’t care. And I it’s not like you need that a person or a man to be your permission.
Tori Dunlap (00:33:43):
For them to validate you.
Victoria Garrick (00:33:44):
But in that moment, I thought, “Wow, I can’t believe, I thought that my life partner wouldn’t like me. If I didn’t do a certain XYZ thing.”
Tori Dunlap (00:33:53):
I literally, I keep getting reminded of this because I’m dating right now. And it’s so funny getting naked with somebody. And they just look at me. They just look at me like, “Who is this God’s gift to the earth?”
Victoria Garrick (00:34:09):
Yes, they do.
Tori Dunlap (00:34:10):
And I’m like, “Oh, I have a stomach and I haven’t shaved today.” And I really actually don’t care. I really don’t care. I’m like, “Yeah, you are lucky to be in bed with me.” But it’s very funny because you’re exactly right. The men, the capital M men are the ones who are just like, I can’t believe their goddamn luck.
Victoria Garrick (00:34:28):
And I’m going to sound like, first of all, I freaking love that you just said that. And that’s so iconic.
Tori Dunlap (00:34:33):
That they’re looking at me and they’re like, “Oh my God.” And I’m like, “Yeah. Yes.”
Victoria Garrick (00:34:37):
Would you say that confidence is a huge part of that too.
Tori Dunlap (00:34:40):
Victoria Garrick (00:34:40):
And not the bad comments. Oh my God, you have so much confidence to be like, not the beauty standard and become the [crosstalk 00:34:47].
Tori Dunlap (00:34:47):
Which people say to me all the time, which are like, “Oh my god, you’re curvy. How are you so confident? I’m like, “Mmm.”
Victoria Garrick (00:34:51):
That’s some bullshit. But the confidence that you feel comfortable, anyone feels comfortable. I think it’s powerful when anyone walks into a room and just isn’t thinking about or scanning for what people are thinking or how they’re perceiving them. That’s the confidence I mean, and I think that’s something I don’t even feel like I have a lot of and I’m working on. Because when you can just sit in your body and sit in your skin, that is more beautiful for me to witness in a human than them feeling so insecure and so not confident but looking a different way.
Tori Dunlap (00:35:22):
Well, that’s what I was saying before of like, the whole system, financial, diet culture, all of it is meant for us to be controlled, A, right, and B, for us to be as tiny and controllable as possible. And so, you were saying, walk into a room and have nobody care. For me it is different. Because I in that moment, let’s say I am I’m naked with a boy with a man, I am thinking, “Oh, I have a stomach, okay, oh, I haven’t shaved my legs. Oh whatever.” And then I’m actively rerouting my brain to go, that doesn’t fucking matter. Whatever.
Victoria Garrick (00:35:59):
That’s the inner work.
Tori Dunlap (00:36:00):
It doesn’t fucking matter.
Victoria Garrick (00:36:00):
So important. I’m so glad you like that.
Tori Dunlap (00:36:02):
But I don’t want to be the person who’s like, “Yeah, I’m confident all the time.” No, I am choosing, I’m actively because I know it’s not really me. It’s society going, “You shouldn’t have a stomach though. You should not have a stomach. And especially after this pandemic, you should really not have a stomach. You need to make that stomach go away.” And I still fight that all the time. And trying to work out because I want to feel stronger and not guilty myself into working out because it’s what I should do in order to like, “lose weight,” right?
Victoria Garrick (00:36:32):
I’m so glad you said that. Because I think it sheds light on a really bigger point to anyone listening who’s trying to heal their relationship with food or better their body image. Those thoughts are natural. That’s what makes us human. Your whole life, you’ve been conditioned to think one way about yourself, and now you’re doing the work to undo it. So, to anyone listening who’s like, “I’ve been so good at my eating disorder recovery or I’ve been so positive about my body image,” or neutral, whatever it is. And then you have the day where the thought creeps in, please, please, please don’t say, “Damn it. I thought I deal with this. Why am I having these thoughts? I’m so mad at myself.”
Tori Dunlap (00:37:05):
No, it’s the same thing with personal finance, right? I am a personal finance expert. And I still have moments where I have purchased something that I didn’t really need and didn’t really want to try to fill an emotional void. I still do that shit. This is an ever progressing thing that you’re trying to get better at, right?
Victoria Garrick (00:37:21):
Yes, because you’re human. And the last thing I would want people to walk away from this episode thinking is they’ve got to be totally the opposite and feel so in line with the revolt against the rebellion, the diet culture. More so I think where we can really see a lot of growth is that compassion to where you can be in that moment, Tori, and think, “Okay, yeah, I know where that thought about my stomach is coming from because the shits been really hard for me.”
Tori Dunlap (00:37:45):
And I also had a partner, my first partner ever and I’ve been public about this, who literally on a beach in Hawaii, oh this is going to make me cry, Victoria, I think I’ve told you this. I have never really honestly had a bad thought about my body. And I was lucky. I was like 20 At this point, and like, never really honestly internalized any sort of bad thought about my body. And then, I was with my partner at that time, who is an amazing person, but was going through some shit on his own, and literally turned to me while we were on a beach and said, “I think you should lose some weight.” Did I ever I told you this?
Victoria Garrick (00:38:18):
Tori Dunlap (00:38:19):
Yeah. And you can see like, it still affects me. It’s so interesting. And I was like, “Why are you saying that?” And he’s like, “My mom told me that she expected you to be skinnier.” Because I hadn’t met his family. And 20-year-old me was so angry, but also loved this person, and ended up staying with this person for another like a year, year and a half. We worked through it. Eventually he apologized. He acknowledged that he 100% was going through his own shit, which he was. And that’s the other thing you start to realize, right? It’s like people are projecting their own insecurities onto you. I’m not in contact with this person anymore. This person is not in my life. And I’ve chosen to do that.
Tori Dunlap (00:38:56):
It’s so interesting, though, because I don’t give a fucking shit what this person thinks about me. Yet that has stayed with me for now seven years. And it’s so crazy. Because if he thought I was fat then, I weigh, I don’t weigh myself anymore, but I weigh at least 40, 50 more pounds than I did then. So, it’s so interesting how somebody else’s opinion when they’re going through their own shit and they projected onto you, that one comment from someone whose opinion I don’t really care about anymore is still fucking with me seven years later.
Victoria Garrick (00:39:27):
Thank you for opening up and sharing that with everyone.
Tori Dunlap (00:39:29):
Victoria Garrick (00:39:29):
I feel like I’m going to take the-
Tori Dunlap (00:39:31):
Like a fuck you but like-
Victoria Garrick (00:39:32):
I’m going to take the interviewer role now. I’m like, “Tori, thank you for opening up.” And also, I’m going to ask you a question here. I feel when people tell us to lose weight or they comment on our bodies and I’ve had moments like that, not as intense but where my mom sat me down and said, “You don’t look like yourself, X, Y, Z. And you’re like in high school. And it feels like a part, so much shame. I have done something wrong. And then the fact that you think they were talking about you and you weren’t there. I mean, it’s just yeah.
Tori Dunlap (00:39:59):
And I know, again, with all the love in the world, I don’t think they’ll ever hear this. But with all the love in the world, I know that those were two people who were having severe crises about their own bodies. And so, they couldn’t control their own shit, so they projected it onto somebody else. And what was really hard for me is I was supposed to be, and I think I was still because there again, I wish there were many beautiful moments with this person. But I am supposed to be desired by this person, I’m supposed to be wanted and celebrated. And I was, but then I had to grapple with this other side, where I have now this information that came out of his mouth.
Victoria Garrick (00:40:35):
It just feels like such a breach of safety.
Tori Dunlap (00:40:37):
Victoria Garrick (00:40:38):
Tori Dunlap (00:40:38):
Because it wasn’t so much me in in that moment feeling shame. I was so angry, but I was going to say, stay stuck in Hawaii.” But I couldn’t leave unless I booked my own flight because we were supposed to fly home together like five days later. And if that would have happened to me now, I would not have tolerated that behavior. I would have been like, “Yep, I don’t care. I’m paying for the flight. And I’m leaving. And I am not dealing with this.” But I was 20. And I was young. It was my first relationship. And I was trying to grapple with that. And so yes, I felt shame. But it was more I was so angry and was like, “How could you do this?” And then now, throughout the years, as I’ve reflected on it, it just sits in the back of my mind occasionally. It’s so interesting.
Victoria Garrick (00:41:21):
Do you it’s because you’re afraid that something like that could happen again?
Tori Dunlap (00:41:25):
No, I think it’s I think it was literally just the first time I had ever, and again, I’m lucky that it took me this long. I think it was the first time…
Victoria Garrick (00:41:35):
That was your math equation moment.
Tori Dunlap (00:41:36):
Yeah. Yeah. That was me logging the Victoria’s Secret models measurements, and the Notes app on my phone. It was the like, “Oh, am I fat?”
Victoria Garrick (00:41:44):
Which society’s told you is a bad thing and a bad word.
Tori Dunlap (00:41:47):
Right? Right. Because this person who I love, oh I’m crying, but this person who I love is telling me I am. This person that I love, who is supposed to desire me and want me and think me beautiful, is now telling me to change. And I had never, I’d had like thoughts of like, “Oh, should I do this right? Or should I work out more? Oh, should I do this?” But never really internalized them until that moment. Because it was from somebody I cared about so much.
Victoria Garrick (00:42:11):
I’m so sorry.
Tori Dunlap (00:42:13):
Me too. I just want to hold 20-year-old me and just be like, this person…
Victoria Garrick (00:42:16):
I do. I hate that we’re so far apart, I’ll be holding your hand right now.
Tori Dunlap (00:42:19):
But this person, again, I can look back on this and be like, “This person was severely struggling with their own shit and I know that now, because there was a lot of other things going on that I want to keep his privacy on. But there was a lot of other things that were happening in this man’s life, a lot of things that were happening for his mom. And it was very much like hurt people hurt people. And I just now have to deal with that, which I think is really interesting.
Victoria Garrick (00:42:42):
It makes me think about the way that even though we have our own personal relationship with food in our body, inevitably, other people are involved in that. Now, I have a healthy relationship with food. But I am very sensitive to certain things. And I’m now in a relationship with someone where we do eat every meal together, we live together and I’ve had to communicate, like, you know, under no circumstance, will I ever want you to make a comment about what I’m eating or how my body looks.
Tori Dunlap (00:43:11):
Well, because you’re in a healthy relationship and a relationship I was in with my first relationship, which, in a lot of ways was really fantastic. And in a lot of ways I would not tolerate.
Victoria Garrick (00:43:21):
Tori Dunlap (00:43:22):
But you know that after growing older and dating other people. But yeah, it’s really interesting that those thoughts still fuck with me.
Victoria Garrick (00:43:32):
And that’s okay. Everyone has not to minimize, but to comfort. I think we all have those. I mean, I’m remembering this when I was 12, I couldn’t tell you another thing that I can’t tell you my 12th birthday. But I remember this person what they said where we were, and you know…
Tori Dunlap (00:43:45):
It’s the weird things that we just internalized. Okay, I don’t know. We’re off on a tangent. But I want to bring us back to diet culture. There’s a lot of trendy, we’re not a diet, we’re lifestyle or we’re wellness, right? Weight Watchers.
Victoria Garrick (00:43:59):
Tori Dunlap (00:43:59):
Whoohoo. Talk to me about Noom, because it’s going to be awkward because we just signed with a podcast network and I have a feeling we’re going to try to get a, I have a feeling Noom is going to try to sponsor.
Victoria Garrick (00:44:08):
No, you want that, right?
Tori Dunlap (00:44:09):
No, I don’t think so. Well tell me, tell me why I shouldn’t. Because I won’t because I know enough. But I want everybody else to know what’s going on.
Victoria Garrick (00:44:18):
Noom has disguised themselves as intuitive eating, which to me, that’s personal. That’s on home base baby, because, I don’t think we’ve defined intuitive eating. Yes. So intuitive eating is a self-care approach to food, a framework that incorporates rational thought, satisfaction and mindfulness into the eating experience. It was coined by Elyse Resch and Evelyn Tribole who wrote a book called Intuitive Eating. And they just have a recent edition come out. It’s phenomenal. I highly recommend to everyone and intuitive eating is essentially checking with your body’s cues of okay, am I hungry? Yes, I have the hunger cues. Okay, what sounds satisfying to me what’s going to give my body what I need, I probably want a fuel.
Tori Dunlap (00:45:01):
It’s not just what I need for fuel, it’s like, you’re craving this or not craving cravings,
probably, is not the correct word.
Victoria Garrick (00:45:07):
You’re also incorporating satisfaction, right? You want to make sure you’re enjoying food.
Tori Dunlap (00:45:11):
This thing tastes good and I like this thing
Victoria Garrick (00:45:12):
And you’re going to feel good after it’s, it’s a mix of everything, right? And Intuitive Eating is like bringing us back to our most natural form, right? I mean, when you were a baby, you would cry. And that meant hungry water. And then when you were done, you would cry again to signal full stop feeding these all right? You had queues. And then as we grow up in the world says, “Eat this many calories a day, stop eating at seven, stop eating at eight.”
Tori Dunlap (00:45:36):
Don’t eat fried chicken, Tori.
Victoria Garrick (00:45:36):
Yeah, don’t eat this, don’t eat that. You don’t even listen to your body, you’re not even thinking about, “Do I want an egg white.” You’re just like, “I’m supposed to eat egg whites.” That’s what the influencers eat egg whites. So Intuitive Eating is really reclaiming your relationship with food as your own. And it is something that more and more people are becoming aware of, thankfully. I love to get to a place where instead of all the diet culture ads, it was like intuitive eating, like, you know, purchase these books. Here’s some classes, here are some resources here. So you can like get better in touch with your body.
Victoria Garrick (00:46:09):
You don’t intuitively eat to lose weight or change yourself. So, if you’re approaching it as a diet or in the back of your mind, you’re thinking, “I hope I lose weight.” It’s not going to work. Intuitive Eating at a very, very basic high level is Yeah, eating what you want, when you’re hungry when you want. There’s so much that goes into that. Obviously, there’s different things, whether it’s lack of access to certain foods, or what not so intuitive eating can be a privilege. I will say though, Noom, if you search Intuitive Eating Noom comes up first.
Tori Dunlap (00:46:38):
And they pay in for that? Are they paying as ad?
Victoria Garrick (00:46:40):
Yeah, probably, allegedly, allegedly.
Tori Dunlap (00:46:42):
I’m literally going to do it right now. Keep talking.
Victoria Garrick (00:46:45):
And that breaks my freaking heart. Because if someone listens to this, and they’re like, “Oh, I’m interested in intuitive eating, I want to be done with diet culture.” And they Google intuitive eating, the first thing they’re going to get is the disguised diet.
Tori Dunlap (00:46:58):
Okay, so first thing I get is the book.
Victoria Garrick (00:47:00):
Tori Dunlap (00:47:00):
Yeah. Okay, then I get intuitiveeating.org. I’m scrolling to see how long it takes.
Victoria Garrick (00:47:04):
but you’re on the phone. On the computer, it’s like that.
Tori Dunlap (00:47:06):
Is it different.
Victoria Garrick (00:47:06):
I don’t know.
Tori Dunlap (00:47:08):
Yeah, because you get the ads at the top.
Victoria Garrick (00:47:09):
I’m positive. I did this recently. And I saw Yeah, the Noom ad was at the top.
Tori Dunlap (00:47:13):
I don’t get any ads at the top. So, maybe that’s the issue.
Victoria Garrick (00:47:15):
And they say things like it’s not a diet. It’s a lifestyle. But if you’re tracking your calories, what you’re eating.
Tori Dunlap (00:47:22):
Was it my fitness pal?
Victoria Garrick (00:47:23):
Well, here, here. If you’re trying to lose weight, it’s not intuitive eating. Bottom line, right
Tori Dunlap (00:47:28):
Because my mom is currently, she’s pre-diabetic. She got that diagnosis two years ago. And so, she had to completely overhaul everything she ate, because she did not want to go on insulin. And Mom, you’re probably not listening to this, please God, because I mentioned naked men. But if you are like, I have never, I don’t think I’ve ever been more proud of my mom, because she is completely, she has not had to go on insulin, because she’s completely changed her lifestyle to a point where she’s like, “This is what I want to do, because I don’t want to depend on a medicine.” And she has found that she has to track because she has to track her carbs.
Victoria Garrick (00:47:56):
Yes. Yes. And I love that you said that because, of course there are exceptions. And of course, our conversation I want to just clarify is a very broad anti diet conversation. I’m not saying if you have diabetes, or you have a health concern, or you’re gluten free, that you shouldn’t do that. You know, and if you are trying to intuitively eat and you have dietary restrictions, there are amazing intuitive eating and dieticians who can help you with that, because that’s unique and that’s an experience that I had.
Tori Dunlap (00:48:22):
We’re talking really about you’re trying to lose weight, because you fear to lose weight.
Victoria Garrick (00:48:27):
Right, right. Right. Yes.
Tori Dunlap (00:48:29):
So, the Weight Watchers, the Nooms. It’s still part of diet culture.
Victoria Garrick (00:48:33):
I mean, when Weight Watchers came out with that thing for kids, and it was like color coordinated. There were like red foods that were bad, yellow foods that were good. And then any instance where we are villainizing foods or food groups is diet culture.
Tori Dunlap (00:48:48):
Right. And actually, speaking to maintenance phase, they have a phenomenal episode on Fat Camps. Did you listen to that one? Wow.
Victoria Garrick (00:48:55):
Actually, that’s when I have not listened to that one.
Tori Dunlap (00:48:56):
Oh, that one is rough. It’s crazy. Just like…
Victoria Garrick (00:49:00):
Tori Dunlap (00:49:01):
The shaming and the judgment.
Victoria Garrick (00:49:03):
I listened to the one on Biggest Loser.
Tori Dunlap (00:49:05):
Oh, yeah, that one was really interesting. Again, we’ll drop maintenance phase. This is so great. But I feel like again, like all of these things. It’s like we’re disguising this as healthy. But we’re really doing this in order to hate yourself or in order for you to hate yourself and just get your money. That’s what I mean is like if you keep hating yourself, well, then you’ll keep coming back. Right? If you’re never satisfied with who you are then right making money off of you. All these things are now packaging themselves in a different way. Again, under like the wellness label. Yeah, sure. So how can we be aware of something that is being sold to us that’s just as harmful but has been repackaged as something less harmful?
Victoria Garrick (00:49:47):
It’s tricky, because diet culture is very sneaky. It knows that a disguise itself, it knows how to warm up to you and tell you, you can do this and it’s going to be great and you’re going to be a better you. It takes scanning for it, it takes looking for it. I would just say your red flag should go up anytime weight loss is involved anytime, calorie counting is involved or a food is being glorified, skinny pop. Any labels like that…
Tori Dunlap (00:50:19):
Do you remember like the thin, the 100 Calorie packs?
Victoria Garrick (00:50:23):
Tori Dunlap (00:50:23):
The thin Oreos? Yes. Remember those, I do. Early 2000s.
Victoria Garrick (00:50:27):
Remember, Halo Top. I used to binge Halo Top pints because I wouldn’t allow myself to eat ice cream.
Tori Dunlap (00:50:31):
Yep, I would go to Halo top. Yeah, I will go to Halo Top because I was like, it’s healthier.
Victoria Garrick (00:50:34):
And look, I’m not I’m not super black and white in the sense that…
Tori Dunlap (00:50:38):
Some of these things are bad in a vocal way.
Victoria Garrick (00:50:40):
No, but sometimes I eat skinny pop, if a friend has it and it takes good.
Tori Dunlap (00:50:42):
I actually really like skinny pop.
Victoria Garrick (00:50:43):
Yeah, yeah, exactly. So, I’m not saying like, I’m not the kind of person that says, “Oh, you’re you have a different view than me. Like, I’m not going to talk to you and I’m going to block you.” But I am aware of like, yeah, this doesn’t this doesn’t serve me. So, it’s just not for me.
Tori Dunlap (00:50:57):
What are the marketing tactics? You said anytime weights involved, anytime your calorie tracker.
Victoria Garrick (00:51:01):
I would say when the goal is weight loss and when you’re tracking what you’re eating, and how much you weigh, I would say verbiage like diet, like guilt free, skinny.
Tori Dunlap (00:51:15):
Victoria Garrick (00:51:16):
Skinny, light, sometimes.
Tori Dunlap (00:51:19):
Guilt free, I feel like it’s a, that one’s just so fucking loaded. It implies you should feel guilty for anything that isn’t this.
Victoria Garrick (00:51:27):
Yeah. And small verbiage, helps with weight loss. I mean, all the time, when I get ads for my podcast sponsors that are trying to come on the show, I have to go to a website and I scan for this stuff. I look through everything. And sometimes a brand is completely perfect. And then, in the about section, it says and help support weight loss. And I’m like, sorry, this bullet point is the reason I can’t work with you.
Tori Dunlap (00:51:44):
Yeah, I feel it’s easy to like rant on the Kardashians and shit like that. But I do feel like they, in particular are easy. They’re easy targets. I want to acknowledge that but there’s a lot of the lollipops, the diet lollipops and the diet tea. SkinnyMe Tea, which is literally and you can probably tell me way more than I know, but from my understanding it’s literally supposed to make you poop.
Victoria Garrick (00:52:09):
I mean, it’s just like laxatives disguise. Yeah. It’s horrible.
Tori Dunlap (00:52:13):
And so, you have these companies that have enough money to pay a Kardashian, half a million dollars to post about something like this, which is that’s like the rate for a Kim Kardashian Instagram post. I think it might be more than that.
Victoria Garrick (00:52:24):
Did you say 100,000?
Tori Dunlap (00:52:25):
Five hundred. Oh, I wouldn’t say yeah, it’s way more than 100,000 Yeah, it’s five. It’s like, it’s like half a million, 1 million.
Victoria Garrick (00:52:29):
I think it’s about a million.
Tori Dunlap (00:52:32):
Yeah, I think the Kardashians are ranked. I think that Kim’s more expensive.
Victoria Garrick (00:52:37):
You cannot get on any of their Instagrams for less than millions. Yeah, my guess.
Tori Dunlap (00:52:41):
Yeah. So not only do you have these companies that have that kind of money, right? So, they’re making money. Not just again, Kardashian is easy target bunch of people are doing this shit, bunch of influence considering this shit.
Victoria Garrick (00:52:51):
I have compassion for the Kardashians. People think I’m a Kardashian hater, because I always expose their content and what they filtered and what they haven’t.
Tori Dunlap (00:52:58):
Again, like they’re an easy target. But there’s a bunch of other people doing this shit too.
Victoria Garrick (00:53:01):
Totally. And also Woman to Woman. I have a place in my heart where I’m like, “Ah, Chloe, like, gosh, it hurts my heart that you feel like if to filter yourself this much. It hurts my heart that the entire world made you feel bad and I don’t even know how I would function if I would be you.” And maybe already good enough shit that that little teeny tiny way lowercase have fame that I have.
Tori Dunlap (00:53:26):
Jesus Christ, being a Kardashian.
Victoria Garrick (00:53:27):
It could be survival mode, I have sympathy where I struggle to be patient is when you are actively lying or selling.
Tori Dunlap (00:53:37):
What was that interview they gave? Where they’re like, “No, we just care about like making our bodies the best.” Well, they said that they do not think that they I think it was allegedly I might be quoting a wrong, something like they don’t think that they’re creating an unattainable standard. I know. Kylie has a different face now, which is fine. She’s allowed to do that but she has a different face and it’s not because of makeup.
Victoria Garrick (00:53:56):
And look, I get it. I think where Kim was coming from was like, “I should be able to post a picture of myself at the beach and not trigger someone.”
Tori Dunlap (00:54:04):
Victoria Garrick (00:54:04):
I understand that. You should be able to live your life.
Tori Dunlap (00:54:06):
But if you’re selling a cosmetic company in order for me to look like you, but you again have a different face.
Victoria Garrick (00:54:12):
Yeah. And I also think you can acknowledge, it wasn’t my intention. I don’t sit down it at work with Chris every morning thinking how do we create on the table we just entered? You could acknowledge I think it has gotten out of hand and that that might be the impact on some people because that’s true.
Tori Dunlap (00:54:26):
Right? Right. So, tummy tease, if I pay anybody on line to post it means that this company has enough money to post and then of course, they’re making more money from people who are trying to lose weight, trying to change themselves off of that post. How does the diet industry focus on that cyclical social media cyclone in order to make more money?
Victoria Garrick (00:54:46):
It’s similar to how you just described it. You pay someone for an advertisement, they advertise to their following their followers think, “If I do this, I will look like this person. If I follow your What I Eat in a Day video, if I buy the food that you have, if I work out like you, I will look like you.” That’s why you get influencers saying this is my booty blast program. This is the diet I follow. These programs and then they monetize them. And they put up a paywall, because they know a little part of you thinks you think you will be or look like them if you do this. And we all have that where we fangirl around people. I mean, there’s people I follow that I love, and if they were something I want to wear it too.
Tori Dunlap (00:55:23):
Well, and I think both of us would be lying if we said that, “I don’t want this but I’m fully aware that I’m there’s probably a percentage of the people who follow you because they want to have your life.
Victoria Garrick (00:55:34):
Oh, and I want to acknowledge.
Tori Dunlap (00:55:36):
Got a percentage of people follow me, who want to have my life?
Victoria Garrick (00:55:38):
Yes. And also, I think people are very receptive to me being anti diet, pro intuitive eating, because a little part of them still looks at me, and is like, “Okay, this is a girl and a voice and an image, I believe. But if you had the same person on this podcast today in a different body from a different life. I mean, actually, that’s a lie, because your fans are awoke and they’re amazing.
Tori Dunlap (00:56:01):
I will post as a you know, and it doesn’t even it, I have such an interesting relationship because I want to acknowledge like, of course, I’m not skinny, but I’m also I’m midsize right? As I’m probably Yeah, I’ll probably classify myself if I had to as midsize, but it’s really interesting, because yeah, I’ll post something in a bikini. And I know full well, that the comment section is going to be like, “Yes, yes, you go, you go.” And like the subtle, they’re doing that will intentionally right subtle, like, underlying part of that comment is like, Oh, my God, she’s so confident. And like, I love that she feels confident in her body.
Victoria Garrick (00:56:39):
I actually have a question for you about this. So I have seen a lot of Instagrams and things where, there will be times where people will say, “You know, I’m posting this photo, and I’ve done this too, like, I’m posting this photo, and I was insecure about the stretch marks on my back or, these side rolls shelling, like, I’m embracing and there’s a message around, and there’s an acknowledgement of that. And then there are people saying, let’s get to a place where you just post this photo and the captions about your dog, and you’re not even having to like, point out or acknowledge the body insecurity. And I see that, I do. And I’ve shifted more that way. And I think and I try to incorporate that a lot more.
Tori Dunlap (00:57:16):
I see both.
Victoria Garrick (00:57:17):
However, I do think we can’t jump from A to Z. Because I do think the people that are commenting, “Tori, you are so brave.” They’re not saying that that candidly, even though it might be that way.
Tori Dunlap (00:57:27):
I know their intention is really lovely.
Victoria Garrick (00:57:28):
So yeah, I’m curious, do you think we should jump to Z? Do you think there’s meaning in the middle way?
Tori Dunlap (00:57:33):
It’s a good question. One, I’m not the expert on this. But two, I’m going to have to take a couple minutes to fully explain this because it’s going to sound manipulative. Social media is a performance, always, always, always. And even if you are not making a living off of social media, the very art of social media is a performance. And I love Bo Burnham, Bo Burnham, this amazing comedian, who I’ve been following for 10 years. I love this man.
Victoria Garrick (00:57:56):
But I’m sorry, I got someone emailing me this morning from an address called Bowburn. I’m like firstname.lastname@example.org, saying, hey, it’s Bo, how are you? And I literally my me and my assistant read it. Well, it’s not him.
Tori Dunlap (00:58:05):
I know. But that’s just … My heart went pitter-patter for a second.
Victoria Garrick (00:58:09):
Me and my assistant read it like, do you think we would believe Bowburn just emailed me, delete.
Tori Dunlap (00:58:13):
He’s on my like, I get three people dead or alive at dinner. He’s one of them.
Victoria Garrick (00:58:17):
Oh, my God, that’s genius. Because I’m putting him on my list, too.
Tori Dunlap (00:58:19):
I love him so much. But he and I’ll link some of the stuff he’s talked about. But he talks about how social media is just this generation’s answer to the demand to perform. So, whether or not again, you make a living off of social media, if you have a social media account, even if it’s a Twitter, you tweet from once a year, you are performing your life. And that is a very hard thing to realize. Even me, who is very, I hope, I’m very well-intentioned, right? My heart is in the right place. I am here because I fully believe in the work I’m doing.
Tori Dunlap (00:58:55):
Everything we post on social media is a performance. Me, being “vulnerable and authentic,” and I’ll put both of those in quotes is not me doing it maliciously. But I’d be lying. And I think anybody’s lying, who says that they don’t think about that vulnerability, as you are performing vulnerability, that’s by the very fact of posting it on social media.
Tori Dunlap (00:59:20):
So, and I do have shit too, where I’m like, “Hi, I’m in a bikini, and it was scary to post, but I’m posting it anyway.” I know for a fact that the response is going to be “Yes. That’s so great. I feel better about my body because you did too.”
Victoria Garrick (00:59:34):
Because you’ve signaled that that’s the message you want to talk about.
Tori Dunlap (00:59:37):
Totally. And in the other way, if I just post something that would be, and all of it’s again, within the societal standards, right? It’s yes, you should just be able to post whatever you want. And yeah, be like, “I’m eating a burrito and I’m excited about the burrito.” Not the fact that I have rolls on my side or whatever. I have visible armpit hair or something right. That should be a statement, but in the fact that even then I’m not calling it … Again, all of this is within the means of like a performance. And we don’t like that because it makes us feel uncomfortable. Like I’m performing my life, but it’s literally what we’re doing.
Victoria Garrick (01:00:14):
I do feel uncomfortable be
cause I don’t really, Tori, I’m so comfy with you. I just mean like, I am sitting here thinking like, I don’t know, if I 100% agree. I do think that if you’re, I’ve never posted like a crying photo just because to me that definitely does feel more of a performance. I’m not saying that that person wasn’t really crying that they don’t really feel the pain. But if you have…
Tori Dunlap (01:00:34):
I feel like it’s a little I think, I think it’s potentially really dangerous for you to be in the middle of crying and then to think I need to take a photo of this to document it. I don’t know, like that feels really weird to me.
Victoria Garrick (01:00:47):
I totally see that. And also, just to, I’ve never posted a photo like that, but the content creator and me to defend, you do get into to play devil’s advocate, a place where everything you do in your life you share.
Tori Dunlap (01:01:01):
So, you’re trying to share the bad moments. I totally [crosstalk 01:01:03].
Victoria Garrick (01:01:03):
You literally can’t help it.
Tori Dunlap (01:01:04):
That’s what I’m saying is it is a performance, right? Because even if you’re having this moment, and then you’re like, I should share this because it’s the right thing to do. And again, your intentions are good. Like my intentions are never like, “Oh, I’m going to perform vulnerability because it’s manipulative, like I’m never doing that right. But you are making when you post something, you are making a conscious choice if somebody else is going to see this, right. And I’m to your point about messaging, I am trying like this is the message I want someone to get across. And whether we like it or not, that is a performance.
Tori Dunlap (01:01:28):
Now that performance can be positive, that performance is trying to get somebody to feel a certain way or to do a certain thing, right, but I argue it is a performance. I almost would prefer the word calculated performance to me feels, but we know from Taylor Swift, calculated, right? Did she get that whole interview, like men do something and it is strategic. Women do something that’s calculated.
Victoria Garrick (01:01:50):
Oh, yes, yes.
Tori Dunlap (01:01:51):
Did I just pull the Taylor Swift on the Taylor Swift fan? Oh, to end all Taylor Swift fans?
Victoria Garrick (01:01:55):
I think you did, but wait…
Tori Dunlap (01:01:58):
She says it’s in a negative light.
Victoria Garrick (01:01:59):
Tori Dunlap (01:02:00):
I think so.
Victoria Garrick (01:02:02):
I don’t think…
Tori Dunlap (01:02:02):
That the word calculated is manipulative.
Victoria Garrick (01:02:04):
Well, that’s funny. I was just going to say like, it does have a negative connotation. I guess I’d almost say like performance…
Tori Dunlap (01:02:10):
May be strategic.
Victoria Garrick (01:02:11):
Yeah, yeah. jazz fingers. I’m seeing like, I hear performance, I think acting. But I do think I know what you’re saying of like, there is an awareness of what you’re doing
Tori Dunlap (01:02:21):
That’s what I mean by the word performance is it’s just like …
Victoria Garrick (01:02:23):
Wait, so to answer the question now, do you think that we should jump to Z? Or do you think it’s fine for people to make post and acknowledge whatever the perceived insecurity is?
Tori Dunlap (01:02:33):
That’s a really good question. Because I think my point is more, when you’re thinking about, like making a statement, I think it will help so many people, and I think the net impact is positive. Right? It is whether again, whether we like it or not, it is you saying, “I am here in this world. And the world is telling me not to be brave, but I’m being brave anyway.”
Tori Dunlap (01:02:56):
And I would define that as a performance. Again, not bad. It’s just like, you’re realizing that. In the same way that like, I actually did this, I posted a photo, I think on Valentine’s Day, two years ago of me and my underwear, and you could see my body hair. And I didn’t reference my body hair. I didn’t reference any of that. People in the comments lost their goddamn Minds, Like, lost their minds. And it was women, women who were like, I don’t want to see my financial advisor’s body hair. And I don’t want to see that. And like, this is not why I came here. And other people were like, “This is not your brand.” And I’m like, you don’t get to decide what my brand is.
Tori Dunlap (01:03:39):
And other people of course, even if I didn’t call attention to it, I knew what was going on in that photo. I knew you could see my body hair, I knew you could see that. And I knew I’d probably get comments about it. So even in the act of me posting, unless I was doing it and completely didn’t notice or was completely blind to it.
Victoria Garrick (01:03:56):
Yeah, and also I think-
Tori Dunlap (01:03:59):
I don’t know if I have an answer for you really is my answer.
Victoria Garrick (01:04:01):
But you know what, I’m almost coming up with an answer …
Tori Dunlap (01:04:04):
Victoria Garrick (01:04:04):
… to tell to I’m like what’s coming up as an answer to my question, not me like playing devil Angel, this whole interview with myself. I’m just trying to paint a picture for everyone. But I would say …
Tori Dunlap (01:04:14):
You’re just cronky. Cronk over where, cronk over here.
Victoria Garrick (01:04:17):
I literally do. I think what’s the most powerful about not acknowledging these things in like Instagrams and posts like would be the fact that we are elevating ourselves beyond a conversation about our appearance that I can just live my life, post this picture XYZ, and not have to make it be about anything about the way that I look. And look, but people still will.
Tori Dunlap (01:04:41):
And I think that’s my point of I posted a photo with very, very visible body hair. People again lost their god damned mind.
Victoria Garrick (01:04:47):
Which is then what is the one part of me that’s like so then do you think it is okay for people to write a caption PS and I know my body hair is here, but I am empowered by my hair XYZ.
Tori Dunlap (01:04:56):
Which I think it fine.
Victoria Garrick (01:04:57):
I don’t know. So yeah, it’s there’s so much, there’s so much.
No, it’s very layered. And I don’t think there isn’t, and my answer is there isn’t an answer. And I’m also not an expert on this. But when I’m, again, I think you’re right in me, in describing what I mean, by performance. I don’t mean jazz hands, I just mean that if you’re posting something, you have the knowledge that somebody else will see this. And so, you’re posting something with a message or with trying to get somebody to do something or feel something. And for me like that, yeah, I would define that as a performance. Again, not positive or negative, potentially. And again, you’re not necessarily doing it in a way that is harmful or manipulative. But at the end of the day, you’re doing it with an audience.
Victoria Garrick (01:05:46):
Right. I hear you.
Tori Dunlap (01:05:49):
What do we feel like are some “easy ways” of combating the diet industry, I think of like, girlfriend, who’s an amazing athleisure brand out of Seattle that I love, like using, quote, unquote, real models, they don’t retouch their photos, like, what do you see as some very basic things that either we, as individuals can do, or companies can start doing to combat all of the negatives that the diet industry brings?
Victoria Garrick (01:06:16):
Well, one of the principles of intuitive eating is reject the diet mentality. So just rejecting that, whether you see it in magazines, you see it in media commercials around you. When you hear it come up in yourself Elyse Resch and Evelyn Tribole. Actually, Elyse Resch has a workbook, The Intuitive Eating Workbook, where you can like literally journal, they call it the food police, which is the voice in your head that saying, “Don’t eat this, don’t eat that.” So, just overall rejecting diet mentality, I think, really surrounding yourself with people who are aligned with your beliefs and the way that you want to talk about yourself, and you’re going to talk about others. I think it’s so important. I mean, this is hard stuff. This is really hard stuff. And it’s going to be even harder if you’re going to lunch every day with your coworker that’s talking about their diet, and talking about weight loss.
Tori Dunlap (01:07:04):
And talking about how much they hate themselves, it’s really sad.
Victoria Garrick (01:07:07):
Take an inventory of the environment. And that also means social media. You know, everyone saw the movie, what was the new social dilemma on Netflix? What was the movie, the social network movie? Do you know what it was?
Tori Dunlap (01:07:18):
The Social Dilemma about how Instagram is terrible for us.
Victoria Garrick (01:07:21):
Was it The Social Dilemma?
Tori Dunlap (01:07:22):
I think so, I never watched it, because I knew I would have to think too hard about what I did for [inaudible 01:07:27]. That was too scary.
Victoria Garrick (01:07:29):
I’ll say like this, you know, The Social Dilemma came out on Netflix and it basically revealed how an algorithm essentially works. You engage with content, the little people on the phone, recognize that this is keeping you there, they pull more of it from the freaking archives of tech and throw it back at you. And then you stay on your phone. That said, if you engage with positive content with anti diet, culture things with influencers.
Tori Dunlap (01:07:55):
Things that makes you feel good about yourself.
Victoria Garrick (01:07:56):
Yeah, that are helpful. The algorithm will feed you more of the same. So, pull out your phone, make cuts, block people, mute people, delete people. Create, be super specific about your environment. I think that’s also been so helpful for me, because I don’t even have experiences anymore where people say toxic things. And I think maybe in part because I’m so active on social media, anyone who hangs out with me just knows the deal. But I was intentional about that. And there are some friendships and things I had to slow down on, because they weren’t going in the same way that I was. And that’s okay.
Tori Dunlap (01:08:34):
Yeah. What would you tell 12-year-old Victoria if she were here right now?
Victoria Garrick (01:08:39):
I would, and I just watched The Atom Project. I’d transport back five minutes before I walked into the room and was told that I was lean. No, I’m kidding. What would I tell myself? You know, it’s interesting, because I also appreciate how everything I’ve ever experienced has led me here at this table in this moment with you.
Tori Dunlap (01:09:00):
I’m not asking you to change it. I was just asking, what would you tell her?
Victoria Garrick (01:09:05):
I would probably tell her that when the time comes, where you feel like you’re really struggling with your mental health, whether that is an eating disorder, your depression, anxiety, It’s okay. You’re human. There’s nothing wrong with you for being here. You’re not less than, you’re not not good enough, you’re not not a leader. You’re human. And there’s some wild shit out there. And this makes sense, unfortunately. So, it’s okay.
Victoria Garrick (01:09:39):
Because I think when I was beginning to really struggle with my mental health, I felt like I had really lost in some way like I had failed in some way and then I couldn’t be perfect enough to avoid “weakness.”
Tori Dunlap (01:09:52):
So, you would fail.
Victoria Garrick (01:09:53):
Yeah. And so, it’s like, I think it’s probably weird for people to hear an athlete like say prepare to fail, but sometimes it is healthy to entertain the fact that not everything will go our way. And we’re going to be okay.
Tori Dunlap (01:10:05):
Victoria, I think that’s actually, I mean, I think that’s beautiful. Because I have my own answer for 20-year old me.
Victoria Garrick (01:10:14):
Tori Dunlap (01:10:15):
I mean, it’s probably, again, these people are hurting, and it has nothing to do with you. But I think it’s actually really more beautiful what you were saying of like, I’m not surprised this should happen, and it’s going to keep happening. And I can’t shield you from all this shit. Because again, I want to hug 12-year-old Victoria, I want to hug 20-year-old Victoria, Tori. I want to take care of you know, both of us. But it’s also like, it’s going to keep happening. And that’s really the shitty part. It’s like preparing rather of like, how can you do your best through it, knowing that it’s going to keep happening.
Victoria Garrick (01:10:53):
And have kindness and compassion for yourself when it comes.
Tori Dunlap (01:10:56):
And especially everybody else. The whole society, again, is trying to make you, control you, and shame and judge you. And if you are contributing to your own shame and judgment, it’s hard enough just to deal with the shame and judgment from everybody else, yet alone the shame and judgment that you’re then putting on yourself. My last question, so if we’re thinking about younger us, is there anything you and I or listeners can do to take care of the 12-year-olds in the future or the 20-year-olds in the future? How do we make the biggest question in the world? How do we make the world a better place for the women and the girls who are going to come up after us?
Victoria Garrick (01:11:35):
I wish I had a guide book and I could give the answers. But to give a tangible thing that I do feel like people can walk away with and that they have control of and calling from your example and my example is the way that we talk about food and our bodies is so important. And sometimes not saying anything is better. And the fact that I remember this time when I was 12, and you remember this time when you were 20, and I bet every single person listening truly can remember a comment at some point, whether it was said to them or said about someone else, and then they thought about it. Moms might say, “Oh, I don’t tell my daughter to lose weight.” But do you look in the mirror and hate your body? Because she hears that and she thinks she looks like you.
Tori Dunlap (01:12:20):
Brene Brown talked about that a lot where she was, she was talking to her daughter about like, “You should love yourself. We love your pigtails and we love all these things.” And then she was like, “I literally watched my daughter watch me pick myself apart in the mirror.” And so it’s like, “Okay, I’m telling her one thing, but I’m doing another.”
Victoria Garrick (01:12:35):
Yeah, I just got chills. So, I think what’s one thing that we can do to prevent that is be really mindful, and really careful and really intentional about the way that we talk about bodies, food, whether it’s someone else’s, or it’s our own.
Tori Dunlap (01:12:48):
Yeah, I’ve seen this whole movement as well. And I’m trying to be more conscious about this, of when you’re giving young girls a compliment, try not to compliment their appearance.
Victoria Garrick (01:12:57):
Tori Dunlap (01:12:57):
Just don’t. Because we don’t do that with boys, right? Compliment their intuition or their initiative.
Victoria Garrick (01:13:03):
Or they look so happy to be there. Or you love the fact that they’re with their friends they haven’t seen in a while. I mean, if you compliment someone’s body, people might say, “Why is it a bad thing?” Because we don’t even know how they’re obtaining this body. So, you’re going to compliment someone for looking really thin. What if they’re not even eating? Then you’re just praising them for this behavior. Maybe that’s triggering for them or like you just never know. There’s literally so many other things you can compliment someone on.
Tori Dunlap (01:13:33):
Right. Well, and it works regardless if they’re young girls or not, right?
Victoria Garrick (01:13:36):
Tori Dunlap (01:13:37):
Yeah, you look happy to be here. I’m so happy to see you as supposed to.
Victoria Garrick (01:13:40):
I love this photo. Yeah, the weather looks amazing. Can’t wait to see you. Your smile is contagious. Love the energy in this pic. The list goes on and on.
Tori Dunlap (01:13:53):
The volume on this bus is astronomical. And where can folks find you if they want to learn more about your work?
Victoria Garrick (01:14:00):
Oh, well, I have a podcast called Real Pod.
Tori Dunlap (01:14:02):
And it’s so good guys, and I’m also on it.
Victoria Garrick (01:14:03):
I know Tori has been on it and we got to have you on again. You can listen wherever you stream. It’s called Real Pod. We have conversations, essentially just like this, where we’re pulling back the curtain and everyone’s coming on to share their honest stories, what they’re struggling, what they’re going through. My Instagram is Victoria Garrick and honestly, I feel like nowadays from Instagram, you can pretty much find everything, those two.
Tori Dunlap (01:14:22):
Yep. Okay, thank you so much for being here.
Victoria Garrick (01:14:23):
Tori Dunlap (01:14:25):
Thank you again to Victoria for her vulnerability and for her advocacy. This episode was one of my favorite conversations because I think it’s relevant, unfortunately relevant to so many of us who grew up with the narrative of skinny equals good and fat equals bad. Or the idea that food is somehow our enemy or this notion that we need to be in constant pursuit of skinniness, of thinness, of changing ourselves to live up to this completely unobtainable standard of what our bodies should look like.
Tori Dunlap (01:14:59):
So, once again, if you know someone who is struggling,
if you yourself are struggling, there is help out there nationaleatingdisorders.org for more information. Victoria also has a list of books, social media accounts and other resources on her website victoriagarrick.com. And that’s with an “a”, G-A-R-R-I-C-K, we’ll make sure to link it in our show notes. And if you’re a student athlete, don’t forget to check out her nonprofit, The Hidden Opponent.
Tori Dunlap (01:15:23):
And as always, if you’re enjoying the show, please subscribe, please rate, please review it helps more than you know and share it with friends, family members that could use this information. We want mission of Financial Feminist to reach as many people as possible. We appreciate your support of our movement of the show. And as always, Financial Feminist, we will see you back here soon.
Tori Dunlap (01:15:46):
Thank you for listening to Financial Feminist, Her First 100k Podcast. Financial feminist is hosted by me, Tori Dunlap, produced by Kristen Fields marketing and administration by Karina Patel, Olivia Coning, Cherise Wade, Alena Helzer, Paulina Isaac, Sophia Cohen, Valerie Oresko, Jack Coning and Ana Alexandra. Research by Ariel Johnson, audio engineering by Austin Fields, promotional graphics by Mary Stratton, photography by Sarah Wolfe, and theme music by Jonah Cohen sound. A huge thanks to the entire Her First $100K team and community for supporting the show. For more information about Financial Feminist Her first $100K, our guests, and episode show notes, visit financialfeministpodcast.com.