Self-Talk, Self-Care, & Self-Love with Taylor Gage of She Thrives

Podcast Episode #369: Self-Talk, Self-Care, & Self-Love with Taylor Gage of She Thrives

Diane Sanfilippo Featured, Paleo and Primal, Podcast Episodes 1 Comment

Self-Talk, Self-Care, & Self-Love with Taylor Gage of She ThrivesTopics

  1. News and updates from Diane [1:53]
    1. Keto Quick Start update
    2. 21-Day Sugar Detox  weekly newsletter
  2. Introducing our guest, Taylor Gage [3:44]
  3. Positive self-talk [10:13]
  4. Self-care versus self-love [25:34]
  5. Comparing self to others [36:32]

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Self-Talk, Self-Care, & Self-Love with Taylor Gage of She Thrives Self-Talk, Self-Care, & Self-Love with Taylor Gage of She Thrives Self-Talk, Self-Care, & Self-Love with Taylor Gage of She Thrives Self-Talk, Self-Care, & Self-Love with Taylor Gage of She Thrives

You’re listening to the Balanced Bites podcast episode 369.

Diane Sanfilippo: Welcome to the Balanced Bites podcast. I’m Diane; a certified nutrition consultant, and the New York Times bestselling author of Practical Paleo and the 21-Day Sugar Detox. My newest book, Keto Quick Start, will release on January 1, 2019. I live in San Francisco with my husband and fur kids.

I’m the co-creators of the Balanced Bites Master Class, with my podcast partner in crime, Liz. And together we’ve been bringing you this award-winning podcast for more than 7 years. We’re here to share our take on modern healthy living, answer your questions, and chat with leading health and wellness experts. Enjoy this week’s episode, and submit your questions at or watch the Balanced Bites podcast Instagram or Facebook account for our weekly calls for questions. You can ask us anything in the comments.

Remember our disclaimer: The materials and content within this podcast are intended as general information only, and are not to be considered a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Before we get started, let’s hear from one of our sponsors.

Liz Wolfe: Today’s podcast is sponsored by Vital Choice wild seafood and organics. America’s leading purveyor of premium, sustainable seafood and grass-fed meats, and a certified B corporation. As the days begin to cool down, it’s time for hearty, healthy, high protein foods. Vital Choice specializes in superior, sustainable wild fish and shellfish, which offer unrivaled bounties of omega-3 fats and vitamin D. You’ll also find mouthwatering grass-fed meats, organic bone broths, paleo friendly burgers, dogs, and bacon crafted from wild salmon, free-range bison, pastured pork, and organic grass-fed beef. Be sure to save 15% on one regular order with the promo code BBPODCAST or get $15 off your first Vital Box with the promocode BBVITALBOX from now through the end of the year.

1. News and updates from Diane [1:53]

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright you guys, just a couple of quick updates on some ways to stay informed about what’s going on in my little corner of the world.

Keto Quick Start, as you guys know, is my new book that’s coming out in January. And I think a lot of you know how much preorders for the book really help the book get off the ground and share the word. I love seeing you guys get the book the day it releases. I know a lot of you will probably be able to join me at a book tour event. But stay tuned, because I will share book tour stops as soon as I have them.

But if I’m not coming to a city near you, then a preorder is definitely the way to go. You can head over to and at the top of the page, I’ve got a little place to drop your email. I’ll be sharing all kinds of details around a preorder bonus I’ll be giving out. And lots of details around the tour, and just other updates on keto. Maybe if there are some products that I love.

And on that note; if you do love getting emails that have healthy product recommendations, great recipes, sugar free recipes, of course. Maybe some coupon codes, and that type of update. Head over to I know many of you have done the 21-Day Sugar Detox, or maybe you're curious about it. It’s actually a fantastic way to kick things off, even before you might try eating keto, if that’s something you're curious about. The 21-Day Sugar Detox is great to do before that.

And we’ve got an amazing weekly newsletter going out there. I know many of you are receiving my current newsletter from just me; from Diane. I’ve kind of switched it up a bit. I do still share recipes. I still share about the podcast, of course. But I’m sharing a lot more mindset and kind of personal development oriented stuff there. I know a lot of you still really want to get healthy recipes, recommendations, and all that good stuff. So the 21-Day Sugar Detox is going to be a great place to kind of sign up and make sure you're getting those emails.

2. Introducing our guest, Taylor Gage [3:44]

Today, I have a fun guest with me. Taylor Gage, of She Thrives, on the show. We’re talking about body positivity and self-love. I know you guys are going to love this episode. To give you a quick background on Taylor; she’s a blogger, podcaster, portrait photographer, and a CrossFit level 1 and USA weight lifting coach. She’s also a New Yorker turned Seattleite who loves to eat, laugh, and keep it real.

Her work covers a range of topics from fitness, nutrition, mindset, and personal development, to healthy habits and happy living, self-love and confidence. Her mission is to help women empower themselves so they can ditch the shoulds and the shame, and live their biggest, baddest, most fun life.

Ok you guys; I’m really excited to welcome Taylor to the show. How’s it going?

Taylor Gage: So good! I’m so excited to be here today. You have no idea.

Diane Sanfilippo: I love it. I’m excited to chat with you. We’ve been Instagram/internet buds for, I don’t know, probably a couple of years.

Taylor Gage: Yes.

Diane Sanfilippo: I think this is the first time we’re actually talking. We’re face to face because we’re on a video. But it’s fun. This is going to be good.

Taylor Gage: It’s pretty cool. I can see you on video, and I can see your books in the background. And it’s funny because I started CrossFit about 6.5 years ago, and I got really into it right away but didn’t touch any part of my nutrition at all. And then I started seeing a health coach, and within the first week, she handed me your book, Practical Paleo. And that was the first introduction to really any kind of nutrition that I had ever taken on. And it just kind of; things really grew from there. So this is very cool in a lot of ways.

Diane Sanfilippo: A little bit full circle, or something.

Taylor Gage: Yes!

Diane Sanfilippo: It’s so weird to me when that happens. Because it feels like a lifetime ago when I wrote that book the first time. And also, the reach that it had. I feel like I just don’t know all those people. Which is fine. I can’t really wrap my head around it, but it’s very cool when people share those stories.

Taylor Gage: Oh, it’s super cool.

Diane Sanfilippo: So we’re going to break the ice with something you're digging lately, because we just like a little getting to know you. Whether it’s a new food thing that you're into, or a healthy habit, or some workout clothes, or whatever. What are you into lately?

Taylor Gage: I am into a few different things. I think in the food department, I’m just having a moment with peanut butter right now. I just want peanut butter on everything all the time.

Diane Sanfilippo: I feel like that’s a quotable. “I’m having a moment with peanut butter right now.”

Taylor Gage: I’m just having a moment.

Diane Sanfilippo: People are nodding along like; I’ve been having a moment for 10 years with peanut butter.

Taylor Gage: I don’t know, I feel like I just rediscovered it. And I’m into it. And honey crisp season is just beginning, so that’s a marriage made in heaven. I’m just enjoying that experience right now. And then also just kind of in a broader sense, I’m just in a season of life right now that is including a lot of slow down, and a lot of pausing and resting and reflecting. And just in general kind of focusing back onto really fundamental and foundational elements of pretty much every area of my life.

So, it’s a little bit of a different; it’s new to me, because like I said, I’m a crossfitter, and I run my own business. There’s a certain amount of stimulus I’m very, very accustomed to all the time. So this is like a very new thing for me. And I’m kind of liking it, to be honest.

Diane Sanfilippo: What triggered that?

Taylor Gage: Oh man.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} You’re like; how much time do we have?

Taylor Gage: Yeah. It’s really; I threw my back out four weeks ago in the gym. But I had been really struggling a lot with other kinds of signs and symptoms and things up until that point, and I think that was the last straw. And I think I found myself a little bit on the verge of adrenal fatigue, and overtraining. Just doing a lot of things regarding pushing through, and not slowing down, and not taking the time to address the fundamentals and doing the things I’m focusing on now.

So like most things in life, I learned that the hard way. And I’m just doing what I can right now to just heal those things. Healing and paying attention to the things that need attention. And it means going back to basics in the realest sense. I’m relearning how to breathe right now. Really back to basics stuff. It was kind of a long time coming. But then it all just kind of happened all at once at the same time.

Diane Sanfilippo: I love that. I probed on that question, just because I know a lot of our listeners are probably in that place. We talk so much on this show about; I mean, obviously, the name of the show is Balanced Bites. And we talk about balance. But I think the idea of balance is just ever evolving, and I think there are times and seasons in our lives where we need to really be hustling, and building our businesses, and doing all of that. And then finding the moment when before it gets too overwhelming, or we’re too badly injured, whatever it’s going to be.

I mean; injuring your back is never a good thing. I’ve definitely been there. But there are always more intense problems that could crop up if you don’t pay attention to that one. So I think that’s awesome we’re going to talk about all kinds of intuitive thinking, and we’ll get into it more in just a second.

Diane Sanfilippo: Today’s podcast is sponsored by Perfect Keto. Dr. Anthony Gustin and his teams have created a line of supplements that are super clean and effective, no matter what your dietary needs. I’ve been blending their MCT oil powder into my matcha latte lately. Not only are MCTs; medium chain triglycerides; a premium source of your body’s preferred type of energy, and help to fuel your brain and body, but there’s also no added taste. It makes your coffee or matcha wonderfully creamy. Check them out at and use the code BALANCED for 20% off at Perfect Keto; and their sister site, Equip Foods.

3. Positive self-talk [10:13]

Diane Sanfilippo: Today, the topic of body positivity and self-love. This is one that has been; I mean, it’s obviously a hot topic for all of you, our listeners. Any time we have any kind of tidbit about this on the show, you all really seem to resonate with it. And I was thinking about bringing this topic kind of front of mind again, and creating a whole episode around it. And I’m sure we’ll have more in the future. But as I was thinking about guests that I wanted to interview and just have this conversation with, Taylor came to mind first.

Because this is just always; you're just constantly weaving these things into what you share on social media. And I think that as women, as athletes, as business owners, we wear all these different hats. But there’s this idea that we’re also expected to look a certain way. And I just really wanted to have this conversation, and tackle some questions that our listeners have about the mindset around body positivity or self-love. And all that stuff. Are you ready?

Taylor Gage: I’m super excited. Absolutely.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok. So, this one is from; well you know what, I guess they’re all public. I was like; should I not read their names? So this one is from Meredith of Paris on Instagram. She said, “How do I work on having more positive self-talk? Do I just do it? I know I should love my body, blah, blah. I just don’t.” That’s a good one.

Taylor Gage: It is a good one. And I think it’s a little bit misleading, even in the industry that is like; talking a lot about self-acceptance, and self-love, and body positivity. I think even within that industry, and all the messaging, I think the messaging can get a little bit misconstrued in that we are meant to believe that; she said it right in the question. “I know I should be, but I’m not.” We are meant to believe that if we’re not thinking of ourselves, or speaking about ourselves a very specific way that we’re now failing in a whole new arena. Right? It’s a whole new thing that we’re just not doing.

Diane Sanfilippo: You're failing at self-love.

Taylor Gage: Yeah! It’s a whole new place that we’re not doing what we “should” be doing. So I think that’s a dangerous trap to fall into. So instead of pushing positive self-talk on yourself, which can often times feel really inauthentic and really forced and really fake, and like I said, like you should be doing it. I would encourage you rather pause and just think about the ways in which you are speaking negatively about yourself. Think about the places that you are rejecting yourself, instead of forcing yourself to accept yourself.

We cannot change what we do not notice. So if we have no awareness about the really particular ways in which we are constantly rejecting ourselves, and speaking negatively about ourselves. Or to other people; because spoiler alert, it’s all the same. It’s really difficult to be able to make growth and improve our own self talk. So I think just starting with an awareness piece is huge and it just really goes a really long way.

Diane Sanfilippo: I love that. When I put this into perspective with myself, when I can get into different places where I’m kind of, you know, I feel like I’m noticing myself talking to myself more positively or less. It’s not always when I’m doing the exact same thing. Let me kind of rephrase that.

There could be times when I'm working out regularly, I feel like my nutrition is kind of whatever I think I want it to be, on point, whatever that means. There could be times when I’m in that flow. And there could be times when I’ve decided; now is not the time to exercise because my body is telling me not to.

And I think kind of what you're hitting at here too is; living in either of those spaces, or whatever space you're in, and just recognizing that you're doing the best you can and allowing yourself to not beat yourself up for whatever decision you're making in the moment. Because I think we assign this morality to our choices and our habits. And if we’re not eating perfectly, then we somehow decide we want to talk to ourselves negatively. That we should be X, should be Y, whatever.

But I do think that one way to improve the positive self-talk is to take ownership of the behavior, one way or the other. So, I’m looking at this from where I was 6 months ago to where I am now with my behaviors. Or maybe even more than 6 months. Let’s just say a year ago, when I really wasn’t working out at all. I was trying to, but my body was just rejecting it. I would try to exercise, and I was kind of falling flat.

And I did hit a point during that time frame where instead of beating myself up and talking negatively to myself about it. It was like; listen. This will pass. I will feel better at some point. And I will change what I’m doing and kind of get back to it. And I really had to own not putting that expectation on myself of being in the gym every day, or looking a certain way. Just because someone else might have an expectation. Do you know what I mean? We’re kind of sometimes in the public eye or whatever, and it’s like; you know what? Whatever they want to think of me, they can think of me. I’m dealing with my stuff right now, and I’m going to do what I need to do.

And then by the same token, flipping it around when I can. When I was feeling better; it’s like, now that I’m taking ownership of my behaviors in a different way, and I am actually able to exercise again, and feel really good about it. Admittedly, the positive self-talk is easier when I feel like I’m living what I want to be doing. My body is agreeing with me. But either way, I think that just aligning yourself with your own decision is paramount to all of that. Because if feel misaligned, or unaligned with the actions that you're taking, and you're not believing yourself that that’s what’s best for you, then I think it’s hard to be positive. Does that make sense?

Taylor Gage: Yeah, and I think there’s a lot in there. There are a lot of rabbit holes we can go down in there, too. Because I think one of the things that you mentioned there is expectation, and things needing to look a certain way or seem a certain way from the outside. And that, I think, is just the eternal struggle. Particularly with women, who basically have been told that not only is their value and their worth just completely tied to their appearance. But that their appearance and their bodies themselves is not their own. Their bodies belong to other people, for other people to view, for other people to enjoy.

So I think both of those interplay, and make it really difficult. It makes it really difficult to be able to take that ownership piece back. But that’s why I think just becoming aware of the ways in which you are rejecting yourself, and speaking negatively or thinking negatively about yourself is an amazing place to start. And like you mentioned in there; we often don’t have those feelings when things are going super awesome for us. Because everything is aligning and everything is there.

So if you're really struggling to figure out what that inner critic loop sounds like to you, and really pulling it out of the woodwork, it will usually come to you in a moment of weakness. Whether that’s you just got in a fight with your partner. Or you just got some not so awesome criticism from your boss. Or you just binge ate your entire pantry. These moments; what are you thinking in those moments. And I think that pulls; that surfaces all those negative stories where you're like; ugh. I knew it. I knew this was never going to be for me. I’ll never be healthy. I’ll never get it. And we can really start to identify those threads that are constantly on loop in those moments of weakness.

I don’t think you necessarily have to put yourself into there on purpose. But if you're struggling to identify what those things are that you're thinking about yourself, and where your insecurities really are stemming from. Those are usually the moments when they’ll float to the surface, and you can start to listen. Identify them. Become aware of them. And then start the work to kind of reframe it to make it serve you.

And I think getting to the place of positive self-talk is way, way down the road. Its absolutely possible, and it’s there, and it can be done. We have to start here.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yes!

Taylor Gage: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: You guys should see her hand gestures, because she just painted a whole picture of where we are in space and time. You know, Meredith I’m also thinking. There’s this podcast; I don’t listen to it regularly, but it’s called Dear Sugars. It’s Cheryl Straight, and I forget the guy’s name. But they give advice, and I kind of feel like we’re in an episode of that right now. Because it’s very much like, you know, listener. Here’s what we think. {laughs} Like an NPR style.

Taylor Gage: I like that.

Diane Sanfilippo: There was one other thing; and I’m sure this is going to feed into some of the other questions, as well. But; “I know I should love my body, blah, blah, blah, but I just don’t.” I think this is something I’ve seen over the years. I keep talking like; listen. Turning 40 really does something to you, I think. When I look at the women who I admire, and I think that they doing brave things in the world. It’s not to say that they likely don’t have their own insecurities. So I’m just going to name Oprah and Brene Brown. Those are my two hero; I look up to them.

Honestly, it makes me sad to think that this concept of gaining or losing weight has ever plagued Oprah. Obviously, she made it a topic, and I think she said she regretted ever making it a topic. But it’s hard not to, when someone is on TV every single day, and you're seeing them, and they look one way or another. And I think that with the exception of someone getting to a point where it’s just extremely harmful to their health; that’s a different story. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t care that people are going to be around and not riddle with disease. But someone gained some weight, and it’s aesthetically not something they want.

I’m just thinking to myself; just be grateful that you're here. You're alive. That you're awake, and able-bodied. I think that’s hard if we’re injured and we’re like; I am not able bodied. But I think having that gratitude, and then recognizing that we are so much more than our physical bodies. And I don’t mean that even in a spiritual way. I just mean; what are we contributing to the world? And I will say that’s definitely a place I always go back to.

If I’m feeling like; I’m getting wrapped up in my appearance. And look; I’m wearing lipstick right now. I curled my hair. I like to be presentable; look cute, whatever. But what I’m saying is, if I’m getting wrapped up in it to a place where I’m pushing myself down with negative self-talk, I pull myself out by talking to myself about showing up in the world and contributing to people the same way Oprah maybe did when she had gained a bunch of weight, and still showed up every single day. It’s just not about how the person looks. Their contributions to your life.

In fact, I think there’s a point of diminishing return. We want to look a certain way so that people will listen. That’s real. Cleaning yourself up to a certain point helps people pay attention to you, and that’s fine. But at some point, how much of your time and energy is going into that, when it could be better spent on more worthwhile causes? And I notice at 40 myself at 30 like; wow. I could have been doing so much more to help other people with more important things than worrying about every bite of food that I took. Or whatever it was. Do you know what I mean? Do you know what I’m getting at?

Taylor Gage: OH, yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: Like, how much time are we wasting on this nonsense?

Taylor Gage: It’s so much time, and it is hard.

Diane Sanfilippo: Not nonsense, to dismiss. But really when we talk to ourselves; like, oh my gosh. I can’t believe I was so wrapped up in that.

Taylor Gage: And how many life experiences you missed out on because you were afraid to get into your bathing suit that day at the beach. Or wear those shorts at the thing. Yeah. I think we are limiting ourselves and literally our life’s fullness in so many ways by these beliefs. But I don’t think that they’re necessarily all our own imposed; our own issue to kind of get through. I think it’s on us to heal these things. But at the same time, I’m very aware that a lot of the reasons that this is a thing. Is because it’s just the world we live in. And I think it’s very difficult to unlearn that our value and our worth is actually not our appearance.

And it’s actually not our health, either. You are valuable whether you’re healthy or not! I think that health has become this new; it gets tricky, right? Because it’s kind of tricky. But yeah, I think just separating our worthiness and our value as humans and what we can bring to the table, and what our legacy is and what we are going to be thinking about on our death bed, versus the garbage that we concern ourselves with day in and day out and kind of limit ourselves with. It takes work to separate that. But when you get that; or at least make progress towards that. Really, really big doors start opening. And I think you start experiencing your life in a new way. And it’s like the most empowering thing ever. So it’s worth the effort, for sure.

4. Self-care versus Self-love [25:34]

Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm. So on that note, a question from Sandra. “I’m curious on self-care versus self-love. Could you elaborate more on that?”

Taylor Gage: Yeah, I saw that, and I liked that question. So I think that to me, self-love is a state and self-care is an action. And so to me, honestly, if I’m breaking things down, to me self-love, self-compassion, and self-confidence are all the same thing to me. They are all the same thing. You can call them what you want, but at the end of the day, it’s you having a patience and a grace and an understanding with your own self and giving yourself space to take what you need. Be a full human, in all the colors that comes in.

So, I think that self-care is like the action of self-love, in that you are listening for what you really need, and honoring it. You're being present in the moment versus pushing through. You are taking care of yourself. Because if you think about it; we just, as a species, take care of what we love. We take care of anything we love. From your iPhone to your partner. We take really good care of the stuff that we care a lot about. So if we have that same intention with ourselves, I think that’s just how it manifests. You just paying attention.

And again, this is one of these things that I don’t think really comes naturally to a lot of us. Especially as women. Because we’re always, I think, the person who is there to make sure everybody else is comfortable. And everybody else is taken care of first. So that kind of becomes our default. Then we also have all these expectations. We have a laundry list of expectations, and things we should be hitting, doing, and looking like. So when you pile all of that garbage onto regular humaning, you end up in a pretty hot mess of things to do. And taking care of yourself doesn’t always float to the top of that.

But I challenge people to pay attention to it. Because I think even if the concept of self-love is just super far off, nebulous, it’s just a concept that’s not real or near, I think we can get closer to that through the verve of that. Through actions. Through what we do day in and day out. And it’s literally just as simple as; ok, I’m feeling this way today. I feel like my clothes are tight. Or I’m feeling really run down and tired. And it’s just pausing enough to say; why do I feel like that? Is there an actual physical difference? Is it something maybe I ate yesterday that’s not sitting super well? Is it the fact that I just got into a fight with my best friend? Because that emotionally will make me feel pretty gross all over. That ripples out.

And then understanding where these feelings are coming from, and giving them all space to breathe. Because I think ultimately that leads to self-compassion. That builds that muscle. We get better at it. And self-compassion, like I said, to me is self-love. So I think it’s all kind of one and the same. And it’s just kind of the state versus an action.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yes! I’m totally with you. I’m nodding along this whole time. Totally with you on one being more of the other in action; self-care is self-love in action. And I think a lot of women have the disease to please, and it’s really hard to put yourself on the list.

I talked about this a bunch with Emily Schromm on her Body Awareness Project we did. She did part one about skin and part two was about adrenal health. And what I ended up talking about with regards to adrenal health was sort of this idea of self-care, and also boundaries. Because I think that probably the biggest form of underestimated, underutilized, under executed self-care are boundaries. And I think that

I don’t personally have the disease to please. I’ll just throw it out there. I struggle to relate to that, because I just don’t know. I think, somehow, I’m lucky to mostly have an inherent; I’m valuable whether or not I do the thing for you, today. I don’t commit to things that I’m not really willing to do. I think that’s probably part of it.

People say yes when they don’t mean it. And I think that’s a really important thing to stop doing. It’s very easy to continue doing that in an age where we can text someone and cancel plans last minute. We used to have to show up when we said we would show up, because unless you're going to call that Chili’s and tell them you're going to stand up your friend, get that manager on the phone. I don’t know; I was trying to imagine; what would we have done? But it wasn’t like that. We would drive around the neighborhood and pick each other up.

But I think that this comes back to a lot of really deep stuff around integrity, saying yes to things we mean to say yes to, saying no when we mean it. And that doesn’t mean being selfish. I consider myself a very generous person. However, I think there is that line.

And here’s the thing I think people confuse. People often think that by saying no, you will disappoint the other person. And I think ultimately what’s more disappointing or perhaps doubly disappointing is to say yes when you don’t mean it and then show up inauthentically for the yes. Don’t say yes if you don’t mean it. Because then you're going to show up, and you're filled with anger or resentment. And that person; that’s not on them. And at some point, if you always do say yes, and you train them. You teach them how to treat you; you’ve trained them to ask you for this favor over and over again. It’s really not on them to draw the line. Because that boundary that you set is there for you.

And I think ultimately people are afraid of rejection, because they don’t want to say no because they think that then that person won’t love them. And it’s like; listen. I have never seen it be the case where someone that I was pretty sure loved and cared about me didn’t take a boundary well. And it’s like; it’s always going to prove to you who is not worthy of space in your life if you set a boundary, and they don’t want to respect it. Whether it’s a relationship that you shouldn’t be in. Whether it’s your parent and they’re just not treating you in a fair way. And I know that’s the hardest one to really talk about. But I think this idea of self-care does come back to a lot of the idea of boundaries. So that then you believe yourself when you tell yourself things. This is getting deep. Then the self-love is more real.

Taylor Gage: Oh!

Diane Sanfilippo: Whoa.

Taylor Gage: 100%!

Diane Sanfilippo: Right! Because you could be like; oh, I love myself. But if you don’t act with integrity, then how can you believe yourself when you say that?

Taylor Gage: Totally. And I think to me this concept of being an authentic person; I speak a lot about just on my platforms and in my courses as well. Because it’s something that, what you just said, it bleeds into other areas of your life in ways that you might not even realize if you are being inauthentic. And there are a lot of ways to be inauthentic, and one of them is when you are thinking something on the inside and saying another thing on the outside. Whether that’s; I really don’t want to do this. I really don’t think that’s a good idea. Whatever it is, but you're just nodding along to please or whatever.

That, to me, while I understand where it’s coming from. I don’t judge people for doing it. I completely get the very primal tendency; what we’re doing when we do that. At the end of the day, you're only playing yourself. Because you are not living in your truth or your values. So you are bringing these people around you who you think like you for you. But if you're not being authentic, who are they even dealing with?

It’s important with you when you're dealing with your own stuff, as well, to be as honest as possible. And listen; it’s not fun. It’s not pretty. It’s not cute work to get in there and get honest with yourself. Which is why I think a lot of people shy away from it. Because it’s; like you said. This stuff goes really deep. It goes back to your childhood, and how you were raised, and your value system, and life origin stories, a lot of your insecurities and coping mechanisms. It gets into yourself.

But, like I said, this is still something that’s so worth it. Because not only does it help you be more authentic with other people, and really build better relationships with people around you. But you also build a better relationship with yourself.

Diane Sanfilippo: Amen! That was good. I feel like; I don’t know. Can I get an amen! Yes, yes. Yes, queen! Ok.

Liz Wolfe: The Balanced Bites podcast is sponsored in part by the Nutritional Therapy Association. The NTA trains and certifies nutritional therapy practitioners and consultants (including me; I’m an NTP), emphasizing bio-individuality and the range of dietary strategies that support wellness. The NTA emphasizes local, whole, properly prepared nutrient dense foods as the key to restoring balance and enhancing the body’s ability to heal.

The NTA’s nutritional therapy practitioner program and fully online nutritional therapy consultant program empower graduates with the education and skills needed to launch a successful, fulfilling career in holistic nutrition. If you're interested in learning about holistic nutrition but don’t necessarily want to become a practitioner, check out their new Foundational Wellness course. To learn more about the NTA’s nutritional therapy programs, resources, and to enroll in their free course, Nutritional Therapy 101, visit

5. Comparing self to others [36:32]

Diane Sanfilippo: So I’m going to move on here. Because I think we could probably riff on one topic the whole time. But these are all pretty similar and intertwined. Blanchet is asking, “Any advice on comparing yourself to others? I’ve been having a hard time with that. I.e., why can’t I look like that? Even comparing the amount of food I’m eating to other people. I eat lunch with others, and have a really hard time some days if it seems like I’m eating more than them. And then I end up not eating all of my food. I should note that I’ve struggled with my weight; dropping to 95 pounds from 180 at 5’2”. I’m now 100 pounds. This has just been really hard for me, and I’ve been having an awful time at staying body positive. Just being happy with what I’ve done. This is perfect time for a body positive episode. I almost cried with a saw the post, because it’s something I need to hear more about.”

Aww! I’m sending you a virtual hug.

Taylor Gage: Same here.

Diane Sanfilippo: What do you say about this?

Taylor Gage: Comparison is also one of these rabbit holes, right? It’s something that I think a lot of us talk about a lot. It’s something that a lot of us deal with a lot. And truth be told, I don’t think it’s something that you just do a new thing and it disappears. Right? I don’t think it’s like; oh, just do this. And you're totally cured of the comparison thing. I just don’t think it works like that.

I think on some level, we will always have that feeling. We’ll always have those thoughts. But I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Because I think there is a way to make this tendency work for you. And one of the things; it’s actually a step-by-step process that Marie Forleo talks about. It’s kind of like pulling the data out of that circumstance.

So, you're dealing with comparing how much food you're eating. Ok, so if we can break that down. What is it about that circumstance that makes you really uncomfortable? What makes you feel like you need to compare yourself to that person’s plate? Because I think when we get down to the nuts and bolts of what we are envious about of that other person. Maybe we’re envious about the other person. Maybe it’s us being insecure in a very particular thing about our own selves. Either, or, it doesn’t matter.

What’s there for you is some pretty awesome data that you can now use to address it. To either level up. If that’s something; you're envious of something that person has, I think if you get really honest with yourself and go; maybe this is just a place I haven’t been giving myself enough time, or attention, or effort. I would really like to do that. Then you have an opportunity to do that. But you also get the opportunity to ask yourself; is that something that I actually really want, or is this just coming from a place that I am feeling very insecure, and not enough of in my own life?

In that case, we can turn inward and go; ok. What is some work that I can do to make myself feel more secure about this one particular thing? So you can kind of go a bunch of different ways with it. But I think either way, there is a way to make that tendency of comparing yourself or being envious or even being insecure about something work for you. And it’s literally just asking yourself. It’s just asking question. Why? What is it? Why am I afraid of that? Why am I uncomfortable with that? Why am I so envious of that? Why do I look up to that?

And you might find that that’s not something that you're actually interested in working for. It was something completely else. It was an illusion that you were attracted to of that person or that thing. Or like I said; you might find that there is an actual crack here that we need to figure out in our own lives. Put your attention back there.

Either way, I think you win with that. Right? You either start working for something you really want and/or, you can do both at the same time. You pay attention to what is clearly calling for attention in those moments within yourself. So I don’t know that we can ever just snap our fingers and say, you know, comparison goes away. But I think being able to use those moments as clues, as places for you to look to heal or to give yourself more attention I think is the best way to handle that. Because they’re going to continue to come. But you can make it work for you, I believe.

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m wondering if you’ve seen this in action in your life. Because I feel like I’ve seen it in action in my life. When I drop a judgement of myself and of others. Then a certain point of comparison starts to sort of fade away. For example, in this case if Lissy were to actually drop the judgement around how much she may or may not be eating. Which, first of all, let me just talk through this scenario. What somebody eats at one meal is one meal. You have no idea what the rest of their day looks like. You have no idea what happens when they go home from work. Whether or not they’re going to judge you as somebody who has lost half your body weight.

For now, eating a large plate of food, frankly I could see my own mindset in this case. I’m the person who is proud to have the fullest plate at a table. And being like; I don’t know what y’all are here for, but this was a free buffet, and I just filled up the plate. You know?

We were recently at a Beautycounter conference, and I was probably third in line for the food. Because I was just a little slow to be first. And I saw the wait staff was standing there with more salad. They were ready to fill in. So I was like; ok, I’m going to take as much as I want. I am not going to be shy. I feel like this is totally just a moment where, in my mind; maybe this is a negative the other way. In my mind, if someone’s got a really empty plate, I’m like; that is sad. Because we’ve got a lot of learning to do here, you better fuel up. We need some fuel right now.

So part of it, I think, is shifting your mindset. Part of it is remembering that every moment that we think we’re comparing to, every photo we’re comparing to; it’s such a snapshot in time. And so often we are projecting so much onto a situation that’s just not there. You know?

Or if it is there, it’s none of our business. You know what I mean? So I definitely thing; oh, sorry, go ahead.

Taylor Gage: No, I was just going to expand. I think that’s exactly right. When you are feeling insecure in any situation, it’s your own stuff. Right? That’s a clue. That’s your own judgement. That’s your own shame. That’s your own stuff that’s saying; hey, excuse me. Please pay attention to me. And instead we go; ugh. And we get down on ourselves instead of going; ok, wait. What is this piece of data telling me. How can I pay more attention to myself?

Because here is the truth. When you are captivated by your own stuff, that comparison stuff just kind of fades in the background a little bit. It just dissipates just enough. I don’t really think it ever goes away. But it’s not something that’s consuming your lunch every day. It’s not there when your captivated by your own stuff, your own drive, your own purpose, your own personal growth, and your own healing, and your own journey.

Because like you said, as well; especially with food. Man. We are all on very different paths with our nutrition and our journey and our growth; in every way, but especially when it comes to food. Some person’s idea of progress is choosing a salad at lunch and some person’s idea is choosing the pizza and not beating themselves up.

Diane Sanfilippo: Totally!

Taylor Gage: We are on very different paths. So to be able to sit here and like, it’s kind of metaphorical. But to look at somebody else’s plate, and feel like you know what’s happening, and what they’re thinking of you is just so misguided. But I think that it’s natural, and I think there’s a way to make it work for you.

Diane Sanfilippo: I think at the end of the day, too. This is definitely one of the biggest lessons that I took from my 30s. {laughs} I get to this for the whole year. My whole year of 40, and maybe beyond. But I think one of the biggest lessons is; the less you judge others, the less you judge yourself.

Taylor Gage: Big time.

Diane Sanfilippo: Right? And when you start to be a little softer with yourself, because you know your whole story, everyone has their whole story. And first of all, I think some of this might come back to being; I don’t know why, but superficially or for whatever insecure reason, jealous of someone else’s situation. So in this moment, it’s like, jealous of the fact that this other person is eating less food. Which, again. I’m not diminishing it, but I’m like; I’m not jealous if you're eating less food. Because I want all the food.

I know you're an eater. We’re big on the food. But I get it; she is probably feeling insecurity around the fact that she lost all this weight and she doesn’t want people to look at her like she has a big plate of food as if she’s now going to gain all the weight back. I’m projecting onto the situation, but I’m imagining that’s why she’s stressed about it. Because she’s like; “I don’t want them to think that I can’t maintain my healthy habits.” I don’t know. Whatever it is that you're thinking in that moment.

But, I think your point about the pizza; that is so critical. Because what if someone else sits down next to you with a piece of pizza, and you have no idea that they’ve gone through eating disorder recovery. And that’s a big win for them. And the fact that we might have a judgement that it is or is not healthy, or whatever we want to impose on that piece of pizza. That is just such a prime example of how we just cannot make a judgement based on that moment. And if we can’t judge another person because we don’t know their life, then they have no business judging us. And if they’re going to, that’s their business. It’s not our business.

Taylor Gage: Right. And at the end of the day, I feel like so much of us are day to day experience through all of the things we’ve been talking about so far, this question included, is just different examples and different ways of looking at the exact same thing. Which is basically, trying to control other people’s opinion of you. And that is not a thing. It just doesn’t work like that. It doesn’t happen that way.

So when you can liberate yourself of that, and realize that no matter what’s on your plate, literally or figuratively, no matter what you are doing with your life and yourself, you will never be able to control the way people think of you. Oh, man. A whole new life begins! You're free! It’s just the most amazing thing ever. So, it takes practice. But it’s true.

Diane Sanfilippo: You just hit the nail on the head. The sooner we can get to that place, the better. Yes. So good! So, so good.

Diane Sanfilippo: We are going to cut my interview with Taylor right there, because I’m going to bring it back for a second part in another upcoming episode. Because Taylor and I just had so much to get into, we wanted to make sure we didn’t cut any of it out. So you're going to catch the rest of it on a future episode. That’s it for this week. You can find me, Diane, at Don’t forget to join our email lists for free goodies and updates you don’t find anywhere else on our websites or even on the podcast. While you’re on the internet, drop over to iTunes or Apple Podcast and leave us a review. We would absolutely appreciate it. See you next week.

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