Satisfaction Factor

#33 - Body Image & Body Grief with Bri Campos

May 11, 2022 Naomi Katz & Sadie Simpson
Satisfaction Factor
#33 - Body Image & Body Grief with Bri Campos
Show Notes Transcript

This week we’re talking to Bri Campos of Body Image with Bri about all things body image! We’ve mentioned Bri so many times on previous episodes, we thought it was time to actually have her on the show!

Bri is a licensed mental health counselor based in New Jersey. As a body image educator and the founder of Body Image with Bri, she’s passionate about all the things body image and practices through the lenses of Health at Every Size® and Intuitive Eating. Utilizing a weight-inclusive approach, she combines her skills and lived experience to teach others how to maneuver through their own unique body image journeys.

We had a fantastic conversation with Bri about what body image even is, why body image work is a lifelong journey, and the importance of processing our body grief.

You can learn all about and Bri  and the services she offers on Instagram @bodyimagewithbri, online at bodyimagewithbri.com, on her Body Grievers Club podcast, or by emailing hello.bodyimagewithbri@gmail.com.

You can stay up to date on all things Satisfaction Factor by following us on IG @satisfactionfactorpod!

Here's where to find us:
Sadie Simpson: www.sadiesimpson.com or IG @thesadiesimpson
Naomi Katz: www.happyshapes.co or IG @happyshapesnaomi

For this episode's transcript, visit: www.satisfactionfactorpod.com

Naomi Katz:

Welcome to Satisfaction Factor, the podcast where we explore how ditching diet culture makes our whole lives more satisfying. Welcome back to Satisfaction Factor. I'm Naomi Katz, an Intuitive Eating, body image, and self trust coach.

Sadie Simpson:

I'm Sadie Simpson, an anti diet group exercise instructor, personal trainer, and Intuitive Eating counselor. Today we're talking with Bri Campos. Bri is a licensed mental health counselor based in New Jersey. As a body image educator and the founder of Body Image with Bri, she's passionate about all things body image, and practices through the lens of Health at Every Size and Intuitive Eating. Utilizing a weight inclusive approach, she combines her clinical skills and lived experience to teach others how to maneuver through their own unique body image journeys. Follow her on Instagram @bodyimagewithbri and visit her online at bodyimagewithbri.com. And that's B-R-I, Bri. We had a fantastic conversation with Bri about what body image even is, why body image work is a lifelong journey, and the importance of processing our body grief. So without further ado, let's talk to Bri.

Naomi Katz:

Well, hey, Bri, thanks for being here with us today. We're really excited to talk to you.

Bri Campos:

Thank you for having me.

Naomi Katz:

I have been following you for- I don't know- years now, at this point. And we, on this podcast, have certainly referenced your work several times, both in our conversations, and in our show notes and stuff. And so we kind of just decided it was a good idea to finally just have you come and talk to people.

Bri Campos:

Well, I'm honored to be here. Thank you so much.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, thank you. To start with, we like to ask all of our guests the same sort of entry question- and it's very broad, so feel free to answer however feels appropriate for you. But what has your experience with the diet culture

Bri Campos:

Okay, so big question. I will give you the been?

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, I love the way you phrased that when you talk short version. But my experience with diet culture is that I have been gaslit for more than half of my life that my body was evidence of either an eating disorder or illness. And I didn't learn until well after I graduated from graduate school and worked in eating disorder recovery, that body size can never be an indicator of health, or illness, or eating disorders. And so breaking free from that narrative, I often equate it to- which I've heard other folks identify it- but it's like deprogramming from a cult. Because it was just ingrained in me. I repeated things that other people said. And I believed it to be truth. And it wasn't until I realized there isn't a lot of truth in that, and why do we still cling to this message, is how I sort of developed this framework that I help my own clients through, which is body grief. Because there was a secondary loss with no longer choosing intentional weight loss, and it was the loss of perceived belonging from society. about the loss of social capital, and really having to grieve that as part of it. That's so powerful.

Bri Campos:

I have to credit that, too. I have such intelligent people in my communities. And so I had a body griever who said, from a sociology standpoint, we would call it social capital. I had another client describe it as feeling like missing out on currency that- especially having existed in a smaller body at one point- realizing, wow, I'm missing out by not existing in the smaller body anymore. Now personally, I've always existed in a larger body and a larger body than maybe that of my peers. As I look back now, it wasn't as big of a difference as my body dysmorphia made it seem like it was. But there was still that yearning to want to hold on to the idea of that potential capital of, I will be- my health won't be judged, I will be able to fit in in spaces, I'll be able to fit in clothing stores, my health won't be assumed, all of these things that you lose out on, which is where the idea of grief comes from for me.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, well, and especially, I feel like, for folks who are in larger bodies, there's almost like, even just engaging in dieting practices provides a form of social capital, too, and provides like almost like a defense against some of those judgments. Like at least- it's that- I can never remember who coined the phrase, but that good fatty narrative.

Bri Campos:

Stacy Bias.

Naomi Katz:

Yes. Thank you.

Bri Campos:

Yeah, absolutely.

Naomi Katz:

And so even just giving up on engaging in those practices, there's like a loss of social capital in that as well.

Bri Campos:

Yeah. Because you have to consider, if I lose the identity of being a good fatty, then who am I? What place in society do I hold? And typically, the idea is that, well, if you're not taking care of your body, if you're not moving your body, and you're not taking care of your health, somehow, we've attached it to moral failure. And it's a lie. It's a myth. And I ask my clients this all the time, who profits from that idea?

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, that's such a- it's such a great question. And I think, like, everybody knows the answer to it. But nobody asks the question.

Bri Campos:

Nobody asks the question, but I would say moreso is the onset response is, I just want to hold on to this thing. And it's when that thing is no longer tangible. When you're like, wow, okay, so my choices are between being super disordered or existing in a fat body, I don't have the choice to hold on to this social capital anymore. That's when it's like, wow, I've believed this message for so long because someone profits from it that- you know, the beauty industry, the diet culture industry, $72 billion industry profits from the belief that we need to better ourselves.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, that $72 billion always blows my mind too, because it like, I don't actually think that even includes like the bariatric surgery industry and things like that, which, that's like a huge industry in and of itself.

Bri Campos:

We actually just had a masterclass in my community, where we did a panel discussion with Ragen Chastain, and then two folks who've had bariatric surgery, as- including myself, I also had bariatric surgery- and we got to talk to Ragen Chastain. And if you don't know who that is, go find them on Instagram right now.

Naomi Katz:

We definitely reference Ragen Chastain on here all the time.

Bri Campos:

Incredible, and just a wealth of knowledge. And she provided so much research about just the failure of bariatric surgeries, and how it is- it is not health promoting. And I'm- let me just establish here, if you are somebody who has had weight loss surgery, this is not to shame you, this is not to make you feel othered. Because, again, you have been taught that this is the thing that you need to do for your health. But when you look at the research, when- it's not that the research is ever going to say, you know, bariatric surgery is harmful, and therefore we shouldn't have surgeries. It's, well, they did lose weight, and they kept it off for two years, and at least they got those two years of thinness, and we saw these increased health outcomes. And so it's up to the reader to interpret, wait a second, it was only two years that we saw improved health bloodwork? Is there anything else that maybe contributed to that? What about 10 years out? What about 20 years out? What are the outcomes, or the side effects, or the impacts that come from these invasive surgeries? And there isn't- it's hard to track that kind of research. I don't know about you, but I don't claim to be a researcher. I don't like looking at the research. I like knowing it. I like- I like to look at the feelings. And that's the- that's the therapist and the coach in me. What I know from my experience with weight loss surgery is that I believed that my life was going to be different, that I was going to feel different. And I- it was only like, I want to say three months after surgery, and I felt this deep hatred for my body. And I remember asking a family member who had gotten weight loss surgery themselves, and I said, when does that go away? Like when does that body hatred go away? And they said to me, there's no surgery for that. And I felt cheated. I felt lied to.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, I mean, that's- I don't- I don't think there's any other word for it other than being lied to. Like the promise that you're made when you- when you consent to this kind of surgery is that your life is going to be different, and that your life is going to be better, and that you're going to feel all these magical ways, and then that's not the case. Oh my god, I love that so much. I think that

Bri Campos:

And it's not just surgery, it's diet culture. It's if you lose weight, your life is magically going to be better. And what do we see when we people experience weight loss? An increased in praise and adoration for their body. And they're celebrated. And I saw a post on the- on the internet once, and it said, if plants grow better when we speak kindly to them, imagine how our bodies are impacted when we speak kindly to them. And so if we are- I use this analogy of body image being like an archeological dig. And the reason I use that is because I have so many clients that are like, okay, tell me how many sessions to heal my body grief, like, give me a number. And I'm- I'm the same way, so I get it, you're that kind of person, like, alright, give me a timeline. When there's a journey, when there's a place of arrival, that is that magical thinking of like, oh, I'm gonna wake up and, one day, it's gonna be like, the birds are singing, and I love my body. And that is diet culture, that is the lie that we are- are sold. And what I find it to be a little bit more similar to is like a dig- of, sometimes we're going to be digging around, we're going to hit on something, and it's going to be uncomfortable, it's going to be deeply uncomfortable, might even be distressful. And then do we have the tools to continue to unpack it, or to say, I'm gonna come back to this. I just shared with my therapist- and this is, you know, in real time, like, this is not years ago, this is currently- I still think like a hard surface for me in my dig is knowing my weight. I don't know the number on the scale. And it activates me, I feel that activation in my body to think about knowing that number. And what that says to me is that that's not just discomfort, it's distress. I don't have capacity, and I don't have a need to explore that right now. I don't need to know my weight. I'm very thankful that I have a doctor who hasn't weighed me in the last three, four years. And if I people have a tendency to- like, if they bump up against it, you ever had to be in a situation where I would need to be weighed, I would be very clear that I am not to know that number, and that number is not to be seen by me in any account of it. The goal, of course, would be neutrality, but it doesn't have to be the thing I start with. have to deal with it right now. And it's like, you don't actually have to deal with it right now. Like there- I'm sure there's something else that we can talk about right now. And when you let go of that concept of a point of arrival, of like an endpoint that you're working towards, you also let go of this like rushy timeframe of having to push through everything. Because if this is the work that you're doing from here on out, with no end arrival point, then what's the rush? Right. And I think that the fear for many folks, is

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, absolutely. And I also love the the, what if I don't get there? What if I don't get to the arrival point? And that's why we have to detach from the arrival point- that maybe there is no arrival. Maybe there is just learning and unlearning. And this goes for anything in our life. We- neuroplasticity is this concept that we can change and challenge our beliefs through the process of neuroplasticity. So when our thoughts are linked to a acknowledgement of, that sometimes there's like, almost behavior- and if anybody's listening out there and they're like, you are butchering this, again, I like feelings, I don't really like the science- but that if a behavior, a feeling is triggered to a behavior, the way that we would challenge that is that when we have that feeling, it would be this active, this radical, like movement of like, wait, let me try a different behavior to lead to a different outcome. So let me- let me give you an example. Every time I would change over my seasonal clothes, I would get this pit in the bottom of my chest that I named as shame. I knew it was shame coming up, being like, here we go again, we're not going to fit into this season's like you learn how to protect yourself from that activation, clothes. And I remember saying to myself, how would I coach somebody through this. And the way that I would do it is say, alright, I have to face changing my clothes. Because if I don't, I am stuck wearing clothes that don't fit my body. And then I'm feeling that feeling every single day, of this discomfort. It's like a rock in your shoe, or a pebble in your shoe. It doesn't hurt unless you're walking on it for days out, and then it becomes a bigger injury. And so every time I would try on clothes and they wouldn't fit, and I would feel that sensation in my body, I asked myself, first, do I have the capacity to explore this right now? And the way I usually assess that is on too, but not in a, like, distracting, not facing up to that scale of one to 10. If the feeling is that like 10, distress, call my therapist, that's probably not something we want to unpack in the moment. It's something we can come back to later. If it's like a five, it's activated, it's uncomfortable. Can we explore the thoughts? Can we understand the narrative that's playing out? And one of the things I realized was that every time my adult self put on clothes that didn't fit, I actually reverted back to this younger version of myself, that I was, you know, eight, nine years old, and not fitting into the clothes that I wanted to. And the shame was- it, kind of a way. But like in a, I know that this is going to let's say, if I was eight years old, right? It's an over 20 year wound, that I had to then tell my adult self, that doesn't have to be our story anymore, that at eight years old, you not fitting in clothes wasn't a shameful thing. It was the thing, actually, that was supposed to happen. You were supposed to grow. Your body changes a lot. And- and this other- this other reframe, right, that I've encouraged myself and my clients is that, hey, why are we feeling like a bad person because our clothes don't fit? Like, did you- did you murder someone? Did you cheat? No. Right? So there's literally no moral failure here. The only moral failure is in our mind. And so then that's where harm me if I don't take care of it now. And so this is a way we want to add in that impactful reframe of, how would I speak to someone else in this moment? And it took a lot of time, every time changing out my seasonal clothes, of saying to myself, I would speak with way more compassion to someone else in this situation. And here are the things that I might say- I might say, you have an innate right to have clothes that fit your body and feel comfortable. You're not- your ability not to fit into clothes does not reflect your character as a human being. You are not alone in this struggle. And so in- unlike diet culture, where we have the scale to measure our progress, we now have litmus tests of, oh, wow, you know what, I changed over my that I can protect myself by taking care of it in advance. So seasonal clothes this year, and it was less activating than it was last year. And I'll tell you, I've changed over my clothes- I've developed such a unique relationship and conversation in my mind around clothing, that I didn't even have to change over seasonal clothes and go through and be like, I don't know what fits. Because I have allowed the grief process to move that, as I noticed through the year, you know, this- this clothing feels tight, or it doesn't feel comfortable, I'm going to let this go. Because I know the pebble that this is going to be if I- if I hold on to it. And that- it takes- it's not- that's not where we start. We don't start with just getting rid of the clothes. We start with the conversation. like taking care of it as it arises kind of a thing.

Bri Campos:

But again, when something is distressful, that's hard to do.

Naomi Katz:

Right.

Bri Campos:

And so, if it's distressful- so, for example, if I were to think- just, you know, being so vulnerable here, and this will be a great litmus test that I can't wait to come back to. But so it's- this is being recorded in 2022, April 2022. Right now, the idea of knowing my weight causes me about, on a scale of one to 10, probably like a six of anxiety. And so it's- that's- it's pretty high. But it's not something I have to deal with every day. Unlike clothing. I have to deal with that every day. So I can start with clothing, and work there, and then maybe, eventually, I move on to knowing my weight. I know- I actually just recorded a podcast on my own podcast- shameless plug- that will all- will be coming out probably the same time as this episode, called Healing the Medical Narrative. And I share how I move through that shame medical narrative at the doctor's office. And it was something I was not ready for. And also knew that I was- it was not as charged as it had once been. And I was ready for that reframe. So it's all- all that's in that episode, so we don't take up time here talking about that.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, I actually- I know that you've posted some about that recently on Instagram, too. And I've been reading your posts, which are wonderful. And so I very much look forward to that episode, and highly recommend that our listeners go check that out. If it's alright with you, let's like sort of build some groundwork here. So I just- you know, just for the sake of our listeners, and just for all of us on the same page, can you define body image for us?

Bri Campos:

Absolutely. So I- I take the definition from bodyconfident.net, which- when we usually think about body image, we think body image is the way that I look or see myself, and I think that perception is one part of body image, but I believe that body image is actually four parts. So it is our perception. It is our affect- how do we feel about the way that we look? What are our beliefs about the way that our look- we look? And what are the behaviors about the way that we look? So what does that look like? Okay, so if I- if I were to take, you know, something I talk about a lot- photo grief. If I were to look at a picture, and see my body, and objectively not like how my body looks, that is my perception. But if I also feel shame, that's my affect. If the belief is, people are gonna think I'm not taking care of myself, that's my belief. And if then I say, okay, well, I need to go on a diet so that I can change how my body looks, so people won't think that about me, those are my behaviors. And so it's four equal parts that make up our perception. And my- my goal when working with people, it's not to change our affect or to change our behaviors, but it is to change our beliefs. Because if we can change our beliefs, the other two will change as well.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, I love that approach, where- because I feel like sometimes we can like force the behaviors. You know, that, like, oh- just like that fake it till you make it kind of concept. And that really doesn't work with things like body image. Like, you just end up feeling that cognitive dissonance, that like yuck, that ick. And so you really have to get to the root of the behaviors, otherwise, everything else just feels off, even if you're- even if you're putting on the show, even if you're not doing the behaviors, even if you're not all the other things.

Bri Campos:

Yeah. And I think, you know, I imagine if a listener is like, well, okay, but there are so many beliefs and feelings that are, you know, impeding my everyday life, there's this approach that I actually learned from my clinical background of impairment- like, how does it impair your everyday functioning? And so we look at three areas of functioning- you look at your work or academic, you look at your emotional, and you look at your social and relational. How does your body image impact your ability to show up at work? How does your body image impact your ability to show up in friendships, relationships, romantic partners, intimacy? How does body image impact your feelings and your emotions? And for me, and I've talked about this also on my podcast, then, my- you know, my therapist had told me, she was like, I would diagnose you with depression in the area of body image, because it felt so hopeless. I felt so on top of the world in so many spaces, except my body image. My body image felt like my Achilles heel. And so in that, what I had to lean into is, okay, well which spaces does it feel like my Achilles heel? Does it feel like it in my friendships? No, because I know my friends love me. But it felt that way in romantic relationships. It felt that way in professional relationships. That there was this lingering feeling in the back of my head. And so I started- started first with romantic relationships of, okay, I can explore this, because if I- if it doesn't work out, like fine, whatever, I'll be the single cat lady, and I'll be very happy, and I have lots of friends. It was scarier to do it in a- with a professional setting. Because, one, at that point, I had already experienced harm from professionals. And, two, I- it was something that I held so dear to me. And once I started to see myself as an authority on this topic, that's what shifted that fear. Not other people thinking I was an authority.

Naomi Katz:

Hence that belief really being the strongest thing- your own belief. Yeah.

Bri Campos:

Absolutely. Which is why we call it self esteem, not others esteem. Because there's other people in the world who can like and love you and think you're great, but if you think that there is something inherently wrong with you because of your body, that's the thing that is keeping us stuck in these areas of functioning. And let me say also, that yes, it does not mean that- like I get it, we- we have grown up in diet culture, we are in the cult, I don't blame you if you're still stuck in that cult mentality- but when you are in that- that dissonance, that- right, you mentioned that cognitive dissonance- where our beliefs and actions aren't lining up, and it's like, okay, well, I don't believe this for anyone else, but I believe this for me, what I would encourage you to do is if you were to lean into that, what would it look like to lose out on that currency that you're holding on to? And that's where you're going to find the grief.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah. Yeah. Which is actually a great transition into, can you maybe define body grief for us, and give us a little bit of a framework for that?

Bri Campos:

Absolutely. So when you look up the definition of grief, the definition is deep sorrow. And when you look up the definition of sorrow, the definition says loss that causes distress. And so I believe that body grief is the distress caused by the loss that is associated when we stop intentionally trying to change our bodies. Because it is- it goes back to that social capital, that currency of, if I exist in this body, that means no one's going to praise my body anymore, that means people are going to actually judge me, people might judge me for the way that I look, it means I might not be able to shop in the stores I want to, I might not be able to buy furniture as easily. There is a cost that comes with that intentional choice. And an exercise that I'll do with clients is, do the benefits outweigh the cost? So if you are like, I'm not ready to leave diet culture, I'm not ready to give up social currency, that is your autonomous right. You have the right to exist in the body that you do, and the habits that you make. And are the things you're doing sustainable? And in my experience, they weren't, which is why I came to that crossroads of, I just- I need to let it suck. So I have a four part framework that I bring clients through when we talk about body grief. The first step of that framework is to build awareness. Can we build awareness around the narrative, around the areas where we feel the loss? Can we build awareness around our self talk? Then the next step is active unlearning. It's not enough just to know the information. But of, okay, maybe this is where I need to implement the reframe. Here's where I need to challenge that. Again, we don't start there. Because we have to first start with what's the information. Third is that it is over time. And let me make no mistake, time heals nothing. Like there's like this quote that, like, time heals all wounds. That's bullshit. Time heals nothing. The only thing that time does is allow the wound to become familiar. And so if you think about- if you think about like a breakup, or like a friendship ending, that first day, it can feel like a 10. Years out- it doesn't mean that you're not sad about it- but maybe it's no longer at 10. That's the only thing time does, is it allows the wound to become more familiar. And then for me, what I found is the most important part of this framework, is the last one, which is in community. Because I think there's something so powerful about seeing our healing journey reflected in someone else. Because as human beings, I think we are far more compassionate and understanding of other people than we are to ourselves.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah. That's so powerful. It's- you know, one of the reasons why we're so grateful for people like you who are having these conversations and holding these comunities is, I think that- that just the power of knowing people are not going through this stuff alone. And you're totally right, like it's- it's one of those things where when you're in a community and you can see somebody else who's basically having the same struggle that you are, and you can look at them and be like, it's not you, this is not your fault, there's nothing wrong with you, and really like show that empathy, at some point, you have to be able to say, why can't I show that same empathy to me. Like we have the same story. This is- I- I'm seeing myself reflected in you, so I deserve that same empathy.

Bri Campos:

Absolutely. And I don't know if you've experienced this with- with your clients, but I knew- and I- I've- even before Body Image with Bri, people knew, oh, Bri, she's the counselor that does body image. And I'd have client after client coming in saying the same exact thing and feeling alone in it. And I'm like, okay, well, I can't tell you, but my three o'clock patient said the same thing, and my- my 12 o'clock patient said the same thing, that you are all feeling the same thing. And I wondered how- how are they capable of believing that they are the only ones feeling this. And so I ran my first group when I was in internship in my- my graduate program, and remember thinking, this is how the healing has to happen. It has to happen in community, because it is a taboo topic that we- people don't know how to talk about. And- I don't know if if anyone remembers back in their, you know, I guess pseudo dieting days- I remember when I was on the brink of finding out about Health at Every Size- there's a term in counseling, we call a bid for connection, which is when I share something vulnerable with you, and what I want you to do is I want you to join me in that bid. And I would- I would do this around body image. And I would share with with folks, and with counselors, and with people- I would say, I am feeling uncomfortable in my body today. And instead of taking that bid, instead of joining me in that suck, I would get told, what can you do differently? Like, could we maybe start like moving our body, or- right? Like it's about- and I see you're- you're wincing as I say- I'm sure I've said it, and I will hold space for that for anyone, but I knew it always felt like a dismissal of my suck. And that is why we've also- we call it sitting in the suck in my community. Because sometimes just being validated that like, yep, this is hard. This is hard, and it sucks, and I'm going to sit with you in this, and we can come up with some solutions to maybe make it easier, but this is not your fault, this is not your responsibility, and the onus is not on you to fix it.

Naomi Katz:

Sitting in the suck is such an important part of the process- of just being like, yeah, you're not wrong, this actually does suck.

Bri Campos:

Yeah, yeah. Absolutely. Yep. And- and this is where that coming back to the to the the grief comes in- is we can allow it to suck. And I know one of the fears of folks is, but I don't want to get stuck in the suck, I don't want to get stuck in the spiral. And I actually talk about this in a- I hosted a free webinar. It should be on my webpage by the time this airs. We did a free webinar on sitting in the suck of body image, and I talk about the spiral versus a thought trail. And before, the spiral would just be like one distressing thought leading to another distressing thought leading to another distressing thought. And you know, just that downward spiral from there. And the problem with the spiral is there's nothing at the bottom, like it doesn't bring you to a place where it's like, oh, I feel better now. The thought trail is, oh, this was a distressful thought, let me get curious, let me get inquisitive, let me lean into this if I have capacity and see what is happening here, what is unfolding. The difference is, instead of being led by your thoughts, that we are leading the thoughts.

Naomi Katz:

This is- I always talk about the difference between the autopilot versus the autonomous, you know, action, and I feel like that's the difference between these things.

Bri Campos:

Love it. Love it. Absolutely.

Naomi Katz:

So- just sort of to really hone in on the the grief aspect of this- so, we know the five stages of grief. We've got, you know, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. Can you give us an idea of, like, what the stages look like when we're talking about body grief?

Bri Campos:

Yeah, absolutely. Now, I'll give just a little tidbit about stages of grief. They were created by Elisabeth Kubler Ross, who actually created them under the concept of the stages of death. And these stages were never meant to be linear, like first I feel denial, then I feel, you know, anger. It- it's supposed to provide a framework of, hey, this is what I'm feeling. I wonder where I am in the stages. And so this might look like, oh no, I've noticed my body gaining weight. I just need to get back on track. I just need to- I need to find a system. That's what it looks like in diet culture. I'm curious what it might look like in Intuitive Eating, of like, oh no, like, my pants don't fit. I wonder if it's because I'm doing this Intuitive Eating thing. I wonder if maybe I have too much food freedom. You know, like, okay, I'm just gonna trust my dietician that, you know, my body's gonna- my body's gonna regulate at some point, it's fine. Then there's the anger. I can't believe I've let it get this bad. You know, it's probably because I switched to a flavored creamer. Like, you know, I enjoyed one, you know, one too many of my formerly off limit foods. Like why- like why- why were we so stupid to think this could work for us? That anger. This next stage where- is I think where most people get stuck- is the bargaining. Which is, maybe I can still fix this. Maybe it's not that bad yet. Maybe- maybe my- you know, maybe my dietician's, right, and I'm gonna- I'm gonna find a set weight point that's much smaller than this, at some point. This is just temporary. And people are not ready to go into that next stage, which is the, I can't believe this is my body. This is my body and I'm uncomfortable. And then we have acceptance, which I hear a lot of people talking about body acceptance. It's not, whoo-hoo, this is my body, I love my body, I love my my acne, and I love all the the parts of my body. That might be for some, but for a lot of us, it is just, yeah, this is my body, and I'm not going to fight it anymore. And it- it doesn't mean that you don't have discomfort, it doesn't mean that you don't get dysregulated, it doesn't mean that you don't have bad body image thoughts or days. And it doesn't mean that once you get to acceptance, like that's it. Because this is what I'm finding with a lot of my clients. They're like, okay, well, I accepted this body. But now my body's changing again, and I don't want to- I don't want to do it again. And what I'll encourage you, if you're like, yep, that's me, if you were able to accept your body once, at one weight, you will accept your body again, at a different weight. And I think that there has to be room for the discomfort. There has to be room for the grief of, yeah, there's stuff you're losing out on. And it sucks. And you're not alone.

Naomi Katz:

I actually just listened to your podcast episode where you talked about the, like the grief framework, and you were talking about acceptance. And one of the things that I really loved was, you know, this framework, these five stages come from thinking about grief about death, right? And like that acceptance- like, there's no point like, when you're thinking about this in relationship to death, it's not like you get to that point of acceptance, and you're like, yeah, I'm glad this person's dead, or like this pet is dead, or whatever. Like, that's obviously not it. So why would that be it here? Like, recognizing it more as like, you don't have to love the end result, you don't have to be happy about the end result, but you're no longer in distress about that end result.

Bri Campos:

Beautiful. And- and that's where I would- I would actually call it body neutrality, is that you don't have to love the thing right now. But it's like I think about the color blue. I am very neutral to the color blue. It doesn't make me feel angry. But it also doesn't make me feel excited. But I love the color pink, the color pink gets me excited. I love the color. It's probably one of my favorite colors. If you're not neutral towards your body, that's information, of why do you not feel neutrality. And I also want to acknowledge, because I think it's really important to learn from people in marginalized experiences and people with different experiences than yourself, so one of the books that I absolutely recommend as must read is The Body Is Not An Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor.

Naomi Katz:

Another book that we reference on here a lot

Bri Campos:

She has a workbook. Highly recommend. In Sonya's book, she actually talks about how we shouldn't have body neutrality, and that we should have body love, because the only antidote to hatred is love. And I often say, like Sonya's work is like graduate level work. It is okay to start with neutrality.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, I also think that, like, you know, obviously it's- this is my interpretation, as a like small fat who has lived in a- in a straight sized body all my life, white, cisgender, all of these privileges person- my interpretation of when I read The Body Is Not An Apology is that, even there, when she's talking about radical self love, not just radical body love, and that those are different things.

Bri Campos:

Yes. And- and I think that self love is very much a part of our body image work. Like on the surface, it's like, that doesn't even come up, but in its roots of like- you know, I think about- I think about my cat, I think about my family, I think about my- my- my- my goddaughter. The love I feel for them is not contingent upon what they do, or how they look. Because that's- that's true, true deep love. That is the love we need to have for ourselves. And Anna Sweeney- a dietician, and also talks about this- and she identifies our body is our Earth suit. Right? This is our Earth suit. I like to think of my body like a cup- no matter what size cup I'm in, the contents remain the same. And one of the things I'm talking about a lot recently is, how do we live according to our values? How do we live aligned according to our personal values? And you know what? Shaming myself for not fitting into my clothes isn't really aligned with my values. Believing that a person is less worthy of dignity, health care, and respect, that's not aligned with my values. So when you stop trying to fit in, to be accepted in diet culture- which, as Sonya says, it's a rigged game, like there is no- there is no achieving that- that endpoint. And if you look at any person in our society who has that perceived beauty, they are not even comfortable or happy in their bodies, with their pictures. Their lives aren't perfect. Like, it can never fulfill the promise that it tells you it's going to. So you have two choices - and this- these are Sonya's words- you can continue to climb the ladder, or you can choose not to play the game at all.

Naomi Katz:

I think Sadie and I both do a lot of work with folks around, how does this align with your values? And that- like that really does seem to be one of the most powerful ways to work on all this stuff. You know, it's funny, you were- when you were talking about the five stages of grief and you were- around body image, and you were like, how would this apply to Intuitive Eating? And again, I think Sadie and I kind of both take the view that Intuitive Eating work is body image work.

Bri Campos:

Ooooh.

Naomi Katz:

Our food issues are really not about food. They're about how we feel about our bodies. And so you can't separate them.

Bri Campos:

I love that reframe. Because I mean, one, that's good for me, because I need all the providers to come work with me. But, right, you can get people to a specific place in food freedom and Intuitive Eating, because food is inanimate, right? We don't have- like we have a relationship with food, but it's very much one sided. I believe we have an ongoing relationship with our body. And Anna- Anna Sweeney says this too- that the longest relationship that you'll have is the one with your body. And our food, we have been taught, directly impacts our beliefs about our body, right? And so if you're afraid to eat this food that you have restricted for so long, because you're afraid that you're going to gain weight, that's body image work.

Naomi Katz:

Yep, absolutely.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah, we say this a lot, that Intuitive Eating is kind of like the gateway to open the door to do all of the other digging, and working on all of the other stuff that feeds into it.

Bri Campos:

Love it. Yep.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah. Well, awesome. We have heard a lot of anecdotes, and just some things about how you work with your clients through this body grief framework, can you tell us a little bit more specifically about how you work with people?

Bri Campos:

I would love to. So my- my offers have been changing a little bit because in order to live aligned with my values, I needed to stop what I call the grind, right, the hustle. And so I do still have my two signature offers, which is my professionals group course, and my Body Grievers group course. But I am living autonomously, and so there are currently waitlists for both of those classes. Because as opposed to just being like, I'll run one every couple of months, I'm really just allowing myself to take care of the clients that I'm currently working with. So, that being said, I will typically have low cost monthly drop ins offered. You can find that information directly on my Instagram. And so if you're interested in just being first to know when the doors are going to open for either of those programs, my Body Grievers program is a three month membership, where we will deep dive through my Body Grievers course. And then my professionals course is my Body Image Bootcamp, which is also a three month membership for professionals looking to clarify that language, their competence around working with body image. And yeah, so if you want any information on that, you can email us at hello.bodyimagewithbri@gmail.com, you can go to my website, www.bodyimagewithbri.com, or you can go on Instagram, because I'm there way too much, and there's lots of stuff there. And if you're like, I don't- I just want to hear you talk more, I do have my own podcast, which is on most streaming services, and we have now called that The Body Grievers Club. And my heart behind The Body Grievers Club is that when- when you are grieving, you often feel like you're alone, and that you're the only person struggling with it. And you also know, I know who's gonna get it, and it's somebody else who's grieving. And so this is the club- this club is for those who are grieving their body, they want to have an outlet and access to community, and they want to have access to our monthly masterclasses at a discount. So there's a waitlist for that on my website as well. But, again, the drop ins are there, if you want to- you want to check it out.

Naomi Katz:

That's awesome. And I just- side note- can absolutely personally vouch for Bri's professional programs, because I have participated in those. And they're just, like, invaluable resources for anybody who is in this profession and looking to strengthen their body image skills. So be sure to check that out.

Bri Campos:

Thank you so much. I appreciate that. Thank you.

Naomi Katz:

Thank you. Well, so one last question, which is how we wrap up all of these is, Bri, what satisfying for you right now?

Bri Campos:

It can be anything?

Naomi Katz:

Anything.

Bri Campos:

Intuitive rest.

Naomi Katz:

Oh, say more about that.

Bri Campos:

So as part of trying to live more aligned with my values, I realized I created a culture in my life, where I'm always working. And I would say things like, I'm not in touch with my hunger cues, I'm not in touch with my food cues, I'm not in touch with my rest cues. And I took a vacation at the end of 2021. And it was so hard for me to do- actually did a live on it, where I was like, this is very distressful. And after that break, I said I want to come back into the new year being able to honor rest intuitively. And so, just like I would with hunger and fullness cues on my best day, of trying to honor what does- what is my body communicating to me about rest and movement? And so yesterday, that looks like taking a nap. And any other day would be like, we don't have time to nap. Like we have to get all these things done. And honoring the discomfort, while also honoring the need. That also looks like, you know, sometimes I'm like, I would love to go out and get some fresh air and go for a walk, but I don't know if I have the energy to do that today. And so sitting outside and getting that fresh air without the the fear of like, well, but I have to get this- I have to do this thing. And so I think it can become a practice, just like anything else, just like Intuitive Eating. And maybe it feels a little forced. But I can tell you that when you stop the grind, when you stop the hustle, you can you actually can live more intuitively, altogether. And so intuitive rest is satisfying to me right now.

Sadie Simpson:

Nice.

Naomi Katz:

I love that so much. And it's- oh man, I feel like you're you're talking to me about-

Bri Campos:

When I speak to my providers, the burnout is real.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah. It is real. And this is how we can continue to show up for our clients is by taking care of ourselves first. It's that oxygen mask. And that's very hard, especially- I don't know if you're familiar with your Enneagram- I am an Enneagram two and I love helping. But I also realized how much my- my giving was attached to my worthiness. Like it went from, okay, well my my worthiness is attached to my body, now my worthiness was attached to my giving, and so how is my worthiness just attached to my being?

Naomi Katz:

Yeah. You just like knocked Sadie over with that one.

Sadie Simpson:

I know. I feel like I'm like praise hands.

Bri Campos:

I saw the hand go.

Sadie Simpson:

I know.

Naomi Katz:

Sometimes I wish I could respond with emojis in real life. And then I remember I have a face and hand.

Bri Campos:

I love it.

Naomi Katz:

Awesome. Well, Bri, thank you so much for being with us today. This has been just such a powerful and awesome conversation. And I always love talking to you. This has just been wonderful.

Bri Campos:

Thank you so much for having me. And I really, really appreciate this honor.

Sadie Simpson:

That's all for us this week. Thanks to Bri Campos for having this conversation with us today. If you enjoyed this podcast, we would love to connect with you over on our Instagram page @satisfactionfactorpod. Be sure to comment, let us know what you think about this episode, and send us a message if you have any suggestions for future episode topics, or guests to have on to talk to. And another simple thing you can do to support us if you're listening in Apple podcast and Spotify, be sure to leave us a rating and a review as this helps us reach more people. That's all for this week. We'll see you next time.