Body Trust™ Insights with Anne Cuthbert
We are delighted to invite Anne Cuthbert to share her Body Trust Insights with us! Also, be sure to keep an eye out for her forthcoming book titled, “If Your Hunger Could Talk: How to Break the Binge/Purge Cycle by Listening to Your Body.” But first– more about Anne:
Anne Cuthbert knows first hand what it’s like to deal with food and body issues. As a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in California and a Licensed Professional Counselor in Oregon, with a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from Antioch University, Anne’s counseling experience spans over 12 years and has included studying and working with experts in the eating disorder field, teaching counseling and communication skills classes, and assisting and managing several personal growth seminars and support groups. Anne provides individual and group counseling as well as body image workshops to people who want to make friends with food and peace with their body.
- What led you to Health at Every Size® and Intuitive Eating?
I found each of these concepts at different times in my journey. I first found Intuitive Eating when I decided I was ready to give up dieting. It was scary! I wanted to do it but I felt so afraid that it took about a week to really decide to eat what I wanted. Since then, I’ve been so glad I did! Years later, I discovered Health at Every Size. I always knew, deep inside, that our cultural stigma against weight was wrong but I wasn’t in touch with it. I believed what I had been told all those years. So discovering and reading two books really helped me shift my thinking around this. Those books are Fat?So! by Marilyn Wann and Health at Every Size by Linda Bacon. After reading these books, which felt so valid to what I knew must be right, my thinking around health and size easily shifted. I’ve been an advocate ever since!
- What has been the biggest struggle as you have learned to accept yourself?
For me, the biggest struggle is remembering that what our culture teaches is wrong and then embracing (sometimes again and again) that every body is beautiful! I started really appreciating the variety and beauty of all women years ago but it was still difficult to really accept my own body. I still work on this. Some days, it just creeps back in… the belief that if only I was thinner here and here, I would be more desired. When it comes to dating, this struggle is more apparent. I worry that men won’t really find me attractive. I know this is just my fear of dating that brings up this voice. Yet, it is still there more than in other situations.
- What are three aspects you feel are the most important to remember when moving toward radical self-love?
Letting go of the critical voice is probably the most important and helpful. Self-criticism really gets in the way of self-love and is so wrong in its judgments. Letting go of this makes a huge difference! I also think that finding the places that it isn’t about your body or food, and learning what is really going on that leads you to think about food or your body as the problem is important. Dealing directly with these underlying issues makes a huge difference! Deciding to embrace your body and what makes you different (as opposed to trying to fit in) is also very helpful. Making this shift to self-love can bring up a lot of feelings in you and in people in your life. Committing to facing these feelings and shifts will support you in staying on your journey. Finding a community to support your change can greatly help with this!
- What is your favorite part of your body? How do you celebrate it?
I like my butt! It’s big and I like that. I don’t often wear tight jeans because I don’t find them comfortable. However, I recently found a pair that I like and that shows off my butt. I wear them with pride, intentionally showing off my big butt!
- What is your favorite food and how do you like to enjoy it?
I love chocolate cake! I don’t eat it often due to issues with my blood sugar. When I do eat it, I make sure it’s exactly what I want. I sit down to eat it. I make sure I enjoy every single bite, eating slowly, without any distractions. Mmmm. It’s very satisfying and delicious!
- What inspires and renews your dedication to your process when you need it the most?
I am very fortunate to work with women struggling with this issue. Supporting them in change and growth supports me in always feeling passionate about helping my clients and all women love themselves and their body and feel freedom around food that they maybe haven’t experienced since childhood. Their courage inspires me!
- Radical self-love means…
Taking good care of yourself, whatever that means for you. It means putting yourself first often. It means that deeply loving yourself means you have a greater capacity to deeply love others. It means you are perfect just the way you are, right now!
- What books, music or websites inspire you right now?
Fat?So! (book and website and the author herself, Marilyn Wann), Health at Every Size by Linda Bacon, Darryl Roberts and his movies America the Beautiful, Jeanette DePatie aka The Fat Chick, Golda Poretsky and Body Love Wellness.
- Favorite quote or poem?
Pry Me off Dead Center
By Ted Loder
O persistent God…
Deepen my hurt,
until I learn to share it
and myself openly
and my needs honestly.
Sharpen my fears until I name them
and release the power I have locked in them
and they in me
Accentuate my confusion
until I shed those grandiose expectations
that divert me from the small, glad gifts
of the now and the here and the me.
Expose my shame where it shivers,
couched behind the curtains of propriety,
until I can laugh at last
through my common frailties and failures,
laugh my way towards becoming whole.
O persistent God,
let how much it all matters
pry me off dead center
so if I am moved inside
they will be real
and I will be in touch with who I am
and who you are
and who my brothers and sisters are