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I Started Having Negative Thoughts About My Body Again. Here's What I Did...

3 Things We Dive Into In This Episode:

  1. What to do when a negative or maladaptive thinking pattern that you thought you let go of comes back up.

  2. Why relationships and other vulnerable experiences might cause us to lean into old habits.

  3. Three powerful tools for breaking free from negative body image and other harmful thinking patterns based on my own recent experiences and experiences with clients.


📌Episode Highlights

[05:32] Resurfacing Negative Thoughts

  • I recently had some negative body image thoughts and dysmorphic views resurface.

  • I've been in full recovery for a decade, but sometimes my brain fixates on my body size when I feel vulnerable.

  • I want to share something raw, vulnerable, and real for this episode.

  • We need more honesty and vulnerability in the world. I want to share my support and insight as an imperfect, authentic human being.

[09:54] Wholeness With And Without a Partner

  • In Episode 1, I talked about the impact of my break-up last year and what it means to feel whole. How do we feel complete without all those external factors like a partner?

  • In August, I moved to Colorado feeling whole and at home with myself. I was finally in a place where I could pursue a relationship without losing my sense of wholeness.

  • I started a relationship with an amazing person. Unfortunately, he was ultimately unavailable in the way I needed from a relationship.

  • While on a trip, I finally realized that staying in this relationship stopped me from receiving the love and relationship I was ready for. I decided to stop our relationship.

  • While in that relationship, I realized I let myself become emotionally unavailable. It was my way of protecting myself from the possibility of getting hurt.

[20:12] Reframing Negative Thoughts as a Brain Response

  • A few hours later, I met someone in Lisbon who I fell in love with. Entering this new relationship meant stepping into vulnerability.

  • I have a history of an eating disorder and live in a body-preoccupied world. I also grew up surrounded by dieting women who were conscious about their body image.

  • In this relationship, I am afraid of abandonment. I didn’t want to lose this relationship.

  • My brain responded to this fear and vulnerability by defaulting to these negative thoughts about my body size. It was my brain’s way of finding safety amidst the vulnerability.

  • I didn't want to lose weight. What I wanted was to be able to have this relationship without feeling afraid and vulnerable.

Caitie: “My brain was like looking for safety, invulnerability. And I've had to acknowledge that and forgive that, and really give myself the space to explore what I actually need, which is not to lose weight or change anything about my body, and where I can actually find it.” - Click Here To Tweet This

[28:43] Stepping Into Vulnerability in Relationships

  • Pursuing a partnership or any relationship will open up a lot of vulnerabilities — even for healthy relationships.

Caitie: “We're wired for connection and that is when vulnerability usually emerges. Vulnerability emerges in relationships because we can't control other people.” - Click Here To Tweet This
  • We become vulnerable in relationships because we can’t control other people. They can come and go whenever they want. They can wound us with their words and actions.

  • Relationships may be the source of our greatest traumas, but they're also a source of healing.

  • Stepping into this relationship made me more vulnerable. I also hadn't been able to decompress and separate my thoughts from my client's negative thoughts.

  • I lapsed into my old negative thinking, but now I'm on the other side and feeling more confident and embodied.

[33:54] Tool # 1: Celebrate the Warning Lights

  • When we fall back into these old thinking patterns, don’t label it as a complete and total relapse.

  • A lapse is temporary. Reframing negative thoughts can help stop us from going back to unhealthy behaviors.

  • Celebrate that we’re still recovered and healed! At the same time, recognize that these thoughts are our brain’s warning lights telling us that we feel unsafe and vulnerable.

[36:45] Tool # 2: Reframing Negative Thoughts as a Safety Mechanism

  • Recognize how lapsing back into our old ways of thinking is a safety mechanism.

  • During my lapse, I talked to a close friend, a therapist. She shared how she still sometimes returns to her obsessive-compulsive way of thinking when she feels unsafe.

  • Have compassion for our brains. It's trying to make us feel safe using outdated strategies. Instead, list other things we can do to reach that sense of safety.

  • I sourced that safety from other people, including my friends, therapist, and partner. I slowed down and took baths to help repattern my brain.

  • The safety I needed came from other people, and that's okay.

[41:27] Tool # 3: Throw Away What Isn’t Yours

  • Identify what we are holding on to that isn’t ours. We might be lapsing because we’re holding on to other people’s negative thinking.

  • We must start reframing negative thoughts like this as things that aren't ours.

  • I recognized that I was absorbing thinking patterns from my clients and the people around me.

  • Write down all the things that aren’t yours. Rip it up and let them go.

[43:97] Reframing Negative Thoughts About Relationships

  • These lapses are likely to happen because of our relationships. Many of our greatest wounds and trauma come from our relationships.

  • We can get triggered by the challenges we face in a new relationship and become likely to have a lapse.

  • Be compassionate and forgive yourself. Recognize that you’re triggered because of an old wound or past trauma.

  • Let yourself heal by leaning into the vulnerability. Get the support you need to show your brain that relationships can be safe.

Caitie: “It's important to give yourself an opportunity to repattern and heal your brain by staying in the relationship and letting yourself lean into that vulnerability. Do what you can to get the support so that you can show your brain that relationships can be safe.” - Click Here To Tweet This

[45:48] Nourishment and Rest

  • Don’t neglect your body. You need nourishment, hydration, and sleep.

  • It can be hard to listen to your body during a lapse. Eat what you know is adequate to fuel you.

  • Don’t worry about getting fancy with your nutrition. Just make sure you’re giving yourself enough nourishment.

[47:49] Staying on the Edge

  • There are moments when you're on the edge. Sometimes you need comfort to take the edge off. However, this is also where you can grow and change.

  • Trust that what’s making you feel vulnerable will be a great catalyst for meaningful change in your life.

  • Many people flee from relationships because they don’t want to be on the edge. Our brains might be lapsing into outdated thinking because it wants to take the edge off.

  • Reframing negative thoughts about being on the edge helps us learn and grow.

  • Give yourself the tools, support, and at times, safety and comfort you need to process and grow.

Enjoyed the Podcast?

Whole, Full, and Alive is a podcast exploring the art and science of falling in love with your life, with your story, and with who you truly are — underneath your titles, your resume, your relationship status, and your bank account. Who is your authentic self?

Remember — your brain does its best to keep you safe, not happy. When you fall into old thinking patterns, it’s just your brain doing its best. Reframing negative thoughts you have as safety mechanisms or warning lights can help you stay whole, full, and alive.

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Have any questions or want to leave a suggestion? Come say hi on the 'gram @caitie.c.rd. You can also sign up for my nutrition coaching program and community, Whole, Full, and Alive, and get a FREE 20 Minute Discovery Call!

Thanks for listening! 💖 Stay tuned to my website for more episode updates and other exciting programs and resources.


Caitie Corradino: I journaled quite a few times and one of the things I ended up writing in my journal after just kind of working through a lot of the muck was: You don't want to lose weight, Caitie. You just want to feel unafraid of abandonment.

Welcome to Whole, Full, and Alive, a podcast helping you break free from food anxiety, body dysmorphia, self doubt and hustling for your worth. I'm Caitie Corradino. I'm a registered dietician, nutritionist, a body image coach and the founder of Full Soul Nutrition. I use a unique combination of nutrition counseling, body image support, somatic breathwork, and holistic coaching. I've guided hundreds of clients to freedom with food, their bodies and every aspect of their lives. I've also been on this healing journey myself.

On this podcast, I share actionable tools, no bullshit stories and interviews that remind you why you have everything you need within you to feel whole, full and alive. So are you ready to eat with more confidence, embrace your body, create aligned relationships, and fall in love with your life? Let's get into it.

Hey, welcome back to another episode of Whole, Full, and Alive. I want to give you an invitation, as always, to take the absolute deepest breath you've taken all day today. When you feel ready, take a nice, deep breath in through your nose. Let it fill your body through the base of your spine. Hold it for a moment. And then take a nice, long, dramatic, big exhale all the way. Let's see that one more time, inhale for four, three, two — hold. And then nice, long, slow exhale for four, three, two, one.

If you've been listening to the show for a while, you know I love a good deep breath. I really do. And I hope that wherever you have to move throughout the rest of your day, you remember that you do always have access to that little shift, that power to transport oxygen a little bit more efficiently throughout your body, that power to just pause and regulate for a moment. Despite all of the things that are out of our control in a given day, we do always have the power to take a deep breath and the power to decide that it might actually work.

I think sometimes if we take a deep breath, we're kind of just like, “Okay, moving on.” Can you decide that maybe it'll work? Just be open to it. If you lengthen that exhale, especially you can regulate, you can find relief, you can find release. And if you need a little more support, then a deep breath before I dive into today's episode, I just want to remind you that all of the services I provide the one on one coaching and group coaching designed to help you break free from food anxiety, binge eating body dysmorphia, self-doubt, and burnout are available on my website

You can book a free 20 minute consultation just to talk a little bit more with me and see if it feels like a good fit for you. And you can also purchase my Whole Full and Alive Toolkit, which is a collection of journal prompts, actionable experiments, modules, all kinds of things that you can do to help you regulate your nervous system, eat intuitively, release body shame, and create a holistic self care routine that actually feels good and sustainable and authentic to you. So just a little plug if you're needing more than a deep breath today. But I do encourage you to lean into the power of that deep breath throughout the rest of your day today and maybe throughout the rest of this episode as you're listening.

And let me tell you as I dive into today's episode, I am feeling a little vulnerable already. I want to talk about something that I recently navigated my way through. On today's episode, I want to talk about what to do when the thinking pattern that you thought you let go of resurfaces. When I say this, I mean for a lot of my clients it's like what to do when you finally cultivated a sense of body peace or more positive body image and negative body image thoughts start to resurface.

Or anxious thoughts about foods start to resurface after you've really healed your relationship with food. Or, in other cases, maybe we're not talking about food and body. Maybe for you, it's, you thought you let go of anxious thoughts about something else, or just general negative thoughts about yourself or social anxiety and, you know, through therapy and through counseling and through different things like that you've really released it, but it starts to reemerge again, at some point in your life, what do you do, when you notice those thinking patterns start to re emerge again.

I'm feeling super inspired to talk about this today, because I actually had some negative body image thoughts resurface for me over the last couple of weeks. I think it's important to clarify that these negative body image thoughts did not result in me, engaging in eating disorder behaviors, I didn't start restricting food or engaging in compensatory exercise, or doing any of the eating disorder behaviors that I used to engage in when I was going through recovery myself ten years ago.

But I did have a lot of negative thoughts about my body and pretty dysmorphic views of my body start to reemerge over the last couple of weeks. And it was hard. I have been in recovery from my eating disorder fully recovered from my eating disorder for about a decade now. And sometimes, when I'm feeling really vulnerable, my brain starts to fixate on my body size again. And the body thoughts that I was having over the last couple of weeks, were particularly gnarly. A couple of weeks ago, I was looking in the mirror and I felt like I was like standing in a fire.

I was looking in the mirror and I felt just such a resurgence of body size, preoccupation, and body dysmorphia that just felt so hard. It felt so heavy. And it felt like oh my god, I can't believe this is happening again. I want to share the story of how I process this and I want to share the story of you know why this has happened to me because there is a pretty specific reason why this happened to me. I also want to provide you with tools that you can use for if this ever happens to you in relation to body or anything else. So same format as always.

As always, for my solo episodes that kind of tell a little story, speak for a little bit and then provide you with some actionable tools and sort of like a list format of some things that you can use in relation to the topic I'm speaking about. And so that's the agenda for today. Stick around, here we go.

Before I dive in, I do want to say that I feel like this episode is kind of signifying a little bit of a shift in the vibe of my podcast. I'm just feeling super called to get even more raw and just vulnerable on here and keep it super real. Because I just think that's what we need in this world. We need people to keep it real. We need people to be human beings. We don't need perfect robots talking on a podcast microphone, shouting at us telling us exactly what to do.

I think we need humans on microphones just being admittedly imperfect. And sharing from a vulnerable place and being honest, and sharing some support and some insights and some things they may have learned that might help the person on the other side. Like I just feel so many of us are starved for actual genuine human connection right now.

I feel like one of the ways that I can contribute to alleviating that challenge is to just be a human here. I have really been trying to be a human here from day one. I mean, my first episode was about my breakup and stuff like that. But I just want to keep it even more real. I really want to step into even more of an authentic human vibe. I hope that you'll give me some feedback on that and just help me understand what kind of vibe you want and how I can be more real with you. So let's dive in.

So as I just mentioned, episode one was about my breakup that I went through last year, a pretty significant breakup that made me really recontemplate like what it means to feel whole, what it means to feel like I am complete without another person without a job title without, you know, all these things that the world tells us that we're incomplete, without. I recorded that first episode about how to feel complete as you are now — especially if you're single, how to feel complete as you are now.

I shared some tools for how I built a home within myself. And I shared why it was essential for me to cultivate a sense of wholeness, like, what happened to my mental health when I was sourcing my sense of wholeness from something outside of me, which was my relationship. And that episode got really, really great feedback. And people still listened to that episode, and reached out to me about that episode. And I'm so grateful for it.

And also, I did get a really specific piece of feedback about that episode from a number of people, a handful of people, at least like four or five, who said, okay, but like, what do you do when you do enter a relationship, and you start to feel like, your sovereignty is like being impeded on.

So I did talk a lot in the episode about, you know, really cultivating a home within yourself. And feeling good as you are now, especially if you're single, and a few people who are not single reached out to me and said that they found the episode helpful in a lot of ways. And they also wanted me to expand on, like, how do you navigate the triggering dynamics of a relationship? Once you've got that sense of wholeness within yourself, how do you make sure that you don't slide into a partnership? And have that sense of wholeness threatened? And was like, hmm, good question. Good question. Valid question. I've been thinking about that, you know, since then.

This was like in August when the first person who gave me that feedback reached out. So I've been kind of thinking about it since then, and didn't want to, like, record an episode about it too quickly, because I didn't really feel ready to be a talking head about that topic.

And then I got back into relationship. And as it turns out, I've now had that experience of entering relationship and feeling like my sense of wholeness was being threatened a little bit. And one of the manifestations of that was the reemergence of these negative thoughts about my body. So you know what, let me just elaborate, let me just let me just get into it.

So I moved to Denver, Colorado in August. And when I moved to Denver, I was certainly feeling very much on top of the world, I felt really the most in alignment I had felt in a really, really long time. I felt like I had a really beautiful relationship with my business and my clients, a really nice relationship with my body, a really good sense of who I am. And a really just solid foundation in being a single, late 20s woman in the world. I felt like I didn't need a relationship and I finally got to a place where I'm like, okay, I can, I can desire a relationship and pursue one. And I can date from a place of really having self confidence and knowing who I am and not sliding into sourcing my wholeness from relationship.

Well, I started dating in Colorado, in like September, and though I gave myself an opportunity to date multiple people, many people I ended up kind of attaching and forming a relationship with one in particular, a really amazing human being who spent a lot of time with and learned a lot from however, I knew this from the start. He was ultimately unavailable to be in the type of relationship that I really desired and the type of relationship that I really needed. Like from the get go, I knew that as much as we formed a very honest, beautiful, deep connection that was lovely.