One of the most liberating elements of my life has been working through the fears that have been conditioned into me about needing to look a certain way in order to be desired, loved, and worthy. Gaining weight and embracing the tremendous amount of wisdom in my body has transformed every aspect of my life.

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In this episode, I invite you to approach your body like it’s the complex and miraculous thing it is. I unpack some of my thoughts on common body neutrality messaging, skewed beauty standards, and what I’ve learned on this journey to becoming my most joyful, voluptuous self.

In episode 412 of the Embodied Podcast we discuss:

  • (2:41) Recapping what liberatory practices are and how we can use them to create a more expansive year (and life)
  • (5:19) Body positivity and body neutrality phrases that I deeply disagree with
  • (10:19) Examining the programming that makes you resent your body, or resist closeness with it, or judge other people’s bodies
  • (12:43) Why we need to stop looking at exceptions and treating them like norms or ideals
  • (14:52) My stance on cosmetic surgery
  • (17:01) A look into my nearly decade-long experience gaining weight and dismantling my beliefs about my body 
  • (20:28) Getting back into dating and realizing that we’re all somebody’s ideal

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Resources mentioned by Elizabeth in the episode:

Don’t miss an episode of The Embodied Podcast.

Quotes from this Week’s Episode of the Embodied Podcast: 

  • It’s liberatory to get on the same team as your body instead of constantly abandoning it, ignoring it, and denying it what it needs or what it’s really, truly calling for.
  • You’re not a better, more valuable, lovable person when you’re feeling good than when you’re feeling like shit. You’re still the same lovable, miraculous being here on this earth that absolutely deserves the same amount of care and respect as everybody else.
  • We really need to stop looking at exceptions and treating them like norms or ideals. They are not what’s most common, no matter how hard the TV and media industry is trying to convince you of that so they can profit off of your upset and insecurities. 
  • We all have choices in how we perceive ourselves, our desirability, and our lovability. And it doesn’t have to be based on society’s preferences

How was this episode for you?

Was this episode helpful for you today? I’d love to know what quote or lesson touched your soul. Let me know in the comments below OR share the episode on Instagram, tag me your stories @elizabethdialto, or send me a DM!

About the Embodied Podcast with Elizabeth DiAlto

Since 2013 I’ve been developing a body of work that helps women embody self-love, healing, and wholeness. We do this by focusing on the four levels of consciousness – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.

In practical terms, this looks like exploring tools and practices to help you tune into the deep wisdom of the body and the knowing of the heart, which I believe are gateways to our souls. Then we cultivate a new relationship with our minds that allows the mind to serve this wisdom and knowledge and soul connection, rather than override it, which is what many of us were taught.

If you’ve been doing self-help or spiritual development work for a while, these are the types of foundational things that often people overlook in pursuit of fancier concepts that often aren’t practical or sustainable. Here, we will focus on building these strong foundations so you can honestly and thoroughly embody self-love. If you’re feeling it, subscribe to the show, and leave us a review wherever you listen from. You can also keep up with show updates and community discussions on Instagram here.

Transcript for Episode 412 “You Don’t Have To Love Your Body To Liberate It“:

Elizabeth DiAlto  00:00

I’ve used other dating apps but these days I only use the dating app called field. And in my profile I literally write must go crazy for curves and natural beauty that lets people know out the gate. If my appearance is not something that you genuinely go crazy for, keep it moving. It’s not just that I’m not for you. You’re not for me.

Elizabeth DiAlto  00:28

Hello, everybody. Welcome to episode number 412 of the embody podcast, I am your host, Elizabeth Dialto. If you are new around here, my work is embodied healing and soul liberation. And I am the founder of the School of sacred embodiment. So my perspectives on how we connect with relate to and heal through our bodies is rooted in a body of work I’ve been developing for almost a decade now. You can check it out for free if you want to see kind of how I do things, how I teach our approaches to the sacredness, and the miraculousness and the healing of the body and the liberation of the soul. At untamed forward slash rituals. I’ve got some morning and evening rituals you could try out there, including some journaling prompts and playlists and meditations and energetic attunement. There’s a lot of goodies in that. You can also join me for a wild soul movement class, I teach one a month online at untamed forward slash classes. And if you haven’t heard a wild soul movement, it is a suite of healing movement methods, wild soul wisdom, wild soul flow and wild soul fusion. And they’re all sensual, gentle embodiment work that help you bridge together and integrate your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual parts. It’s energy work, and you don’t have to spend a fortune to access it. 

Elizabeth DiAlto  01:46

Which speaking of liberation, which is what we’re going to talk about today in this episode, that’s very intentional. I really believe in a world where healers can be well compensated for their work so they can thrive and not have to burn themselves out to live and be of service, and also where people who need healing don’t have to be wealthy to access support and guidance. So in the School of sacred embodiment, we craft all of our offerings in a way that contributes to that vision. I also teach several online workshops throughout the year. And if you want to see what’s coming up next, you could always go to untamed, forward slash workshops. Finally, as this is episode number 412, you can check out the show notes by going to untamed forward slash podcast and just scroll around. So you get to Episode 412. If you’re listening here in real time, it’ll be up at the top of the page. And if you’re listening at a later date, you’ll be able to scroll through and find it. 

Elizabeth DiAlto  02:41

So this is part two of a three part series today about liberatory practices for an expensive year. And it doesn’t matter how you have felt going into this new year, doesn’t matter if you’ve like hit the ground running, if you’ve eased into it, which is how I personally prefer to move into New Year’s since in the northern hemisphere. We’re technically still in winter, which isn’t really a time for getting off to the races, if you’re orient yourself to cycles and seasons. So however it is you feel about the year or however it is your year is going this is about setting yourself up for expansion. Right? There’s a saying it’s a how you start, it’s how you finish. And I agree and I don’t agree with that. But what I think is valuable no matter what is to always remember that you can always pivot, you could always make a different choice, start doing things differently, and get yourself on a different trajectory.

Elizabeth DiAlto  03:38

So today, this episode is kind of a manifesto about how we relate to our bodies. And I mentioned earlier, my work, the liberation work I do is about liberating the soul. It’s about embodying your soul, letting your soul take up more space in your life. And so I don’t specifically focus on anti oppression and social justice, though I deeply integrate those things into everything I do. And I’m a Forever committed devoted students of those things. When it comes to teaching those things. This is one of the reasons I love having a podcast. There are many, many brilliant people whose field of expertise is that and so we always have some great guests throughout the year to discuss those things with us and this year will be no different. So stay tuned and look forward to that.

Elizabeth DiAlto  04:29

But today we’re getting into our relationship with our bodies. And I’m pumped to dive in. It’s a short episode, but we’re gonna go deep. So buckle up, y’all. And one last thing before we dive in again, especially if you’re new here. And you may not have ever heard me say this before. You don’t have to agree with or align with or field truth in every single thing I say on this podcast. In fact, you shouldn’t because we’re all so different, right? But I promise if you listen all the way through, there will absolutely be something here for you that Will lands that will resonate. Even if it’s something that you don’t fully agree with, you’re like, Oh, but I like this part of it. Let me see how I could put this in my own context and make it my own and make it relevant for me. So listen with your ears that way, you might even want to listen to this episode more than once, and see what like resonates for you each time the strongest.

Elizabeth DiAlto  05:19

So, I want to start out by highlighting a couple of phrases that I hate. I detest these whenever I see people write or speak about or Share these on the internet. Your body is the least interesting thing about you, or how you look is the least interesting thing about you. body positivity and body neutrality. Folks will say these things, and it doesn’t make me cringe. It makes me wince, and it makes me wince at the depth of untruth like it actually hurts, like a tiny shock, a gut punch or stubbing my toe. And the reason is, the body really is a holy temple. It is so sacred. And it is so miraculous. Something I always say in the School of sacred embodiment is your body is a pathway, a portal and a temple as well. Beauty is healing beauty, not in the sense of culturally sanctioned ideals. Beauty in the sense of the wildly subjective thing that it really is, this is how we get ourselves in trouble. We take other people’s ideas about beauty as truth, rather than seeking to discover know, embody and embrace our own. So a lot of this episode is going to be about how to create, accepts and verify edify. What’s the word I want to use validate There we go. Your Own. Everything you know and feel in this life comes through your body in some way, shape or form. Your brain is part of your body, your organs and cells, your tissues, your blood, your bones, your skin, your muscles, your hair follicles, the pain and the pleasure you feel, the wonder the ah, the joy, the grief, anger, you wouldn’t experience any of that, if not for your body. So how could it possibly be the least interesting thing about you, when in fact, it’s the most integral element of your human existence. 

Elizabeth DiAlto  07:09

And I understand where the sentiment comes from when people say your body is the least interesting thing about you. They’re inviting you to stop being obsessed with shape, size and appearance of your body, and with good reason. But it’s a dangerous statement and a slippery slope. Because it also compels you to entirely dismiss and ignore the body. Right? Ignore the mysteries, the passion, the truth, the wisdom and the healing, that can only happen through deeply accepting and respecting the body. You don’t have to love your body, you don’t even have to like it. You don’t have to love how it looks or even like how it looks. You don’t have to love every part of your pain or an illness. You don’t have to treat those things as gifts if you don’t want to you could. But you don’t have to. This is about relationship though. Right? So we’re talking about liberatory practices for an expansive year. I mean, you could take a year off of that sentence and say, for an expansive life, it’s liberatory to meet yourself in the places where you believe your body should be any different than it is in any way. It’s liberatory to get on the same team as your body, instead of constantly abandoning it, ignoring it, and denying it what it needs or what it’s really, truly calling for. And often people don’t do that intentionally. They do that because they’re not listening. They’re not paying attention to their body, because they’re out here going, Well, my body’s least interesting thing about me, let me get on living my life. But it’s like, okay, but your body also has tremendous amounts of information and wisdom, important things to share with him.

Elizabeth DiAlto  08:46

And I want to make a note here about why I’m referring to the body is it I used to call body her. And I used to see that and like podcasts or courses and classes and stuff, since my work is primarily with women. But not every woman feels like a her. So I went back to calling the body it so that no matter how you identify, you know, I’m talking to you, and your body is included. And your body is just as sacred and miraculous as everybody else’s. No matter how you relate to it and agender context and what you want to call it. If you want to call your body, her it or something else that’s up to you, you pick, you pick your own terminology. I’m just going to keep it neutral with it.

Elizabeth DiAlto  09:28

Now, on this note, I read a New Yorker interview just the other day with Janelle Monae and we’ll link to it in the show notes. It’s one of my favorite things that I’ve ever read. Again, you can get the show notes by going to untamed forward slash podcast and this is episode number 412. So in that interview, she mentioned identifying as she her were they them are really she said her favorite pronoun is free as a motherfucker, written as all one word. And I loved that so much. That’s liberation. So Finding yourself defining your own terms, rather than subscribing to other people’s. Also, later on in the interview, she talked about not really caring so much if people don’t get the pronouns, right, as long as they’re not being dicks about it. That’s not how she said it. But like, that’s the gist of it. But for real, go read that interview because it was so great in so many ways. 

Elizabeth DiAlto  10:19

So let’s talk about more liberatory practices for expansion. This little three part series is all about that. And I love suggesting things as practices, because they take practice, we got to get some repetition under our belts before we master things. So it’s a constant practice. And there’s no perfection here. There’s no ever getting it completely right. Because also what happens is, as you heal and grow and liberate your soul over time, how you relate to things or speak about things or feel about things will likely change. So practices or whatever it is, that’s going to help you create or cultivate a relationship with your body that’s not adversarial, or filled with resentment, where you don’t treat your body like a burden. And you’re not upsetting yourself constantly. If you don’t measure up to societal standards, and ideals, and norms, because that shit is entirely made up. It’s entirely made up. And it’s not made up to make people feel good about themselves. That’s why it’s liberatory to treat your body like you would any loved one in your life, with curiosity, compassion, and care. And my invitation to you is always going to be to approach your body. Like it’s the complex and miraculous thing it is acknowledge all that it does for you every single day, and work on your ability to hold these truths, along with any honest frustrations that you have with your body to and do that without making yourself wrong, bad, less than unworthy, unlovable, broken, or any other stories that maybe you tell yourself or maybe you have believed in the past, or maybe that you believe about other people. Because you know, we’re talking about our relationships to our own bodies. But a big part of how we relate to our own bodies is how we relate to judge and perceive other people’s bodies as well.

Elizabeth DiAlto  12:05

So it’s a liberatory, to take the time to question your thoughts and programming that even makes you resent your body, or resist closeness with it, or judge other people’s bodies, it’s liberatory, to accept the fact that bodies that don’t function, I’m going to put this word in air quotes, and then I’ll explain it. bodies that don’t function exceptionally are just as sacred, holy and miraculous as the ones they do. I’m saying exceptionally here, even though a very popular term is optimally because you always need to ask yourself when people are using these kind of like absolutist kind of terms like optimally, according to whom, right by what standards. So when I say exceptionally, I mean, basically, without any pain, or illness or agitation, which to be honest, is very rare these days for most people. So these optimal ideals and things like this should not be presented as a norm. But as an exception, not an ideal, but an option, and not necessarily an option that’s available to everybody. So let me repeat this bodies that function without pain or illness or exceptions, not the norm. And I don’t necessarily mean chronic pain or illness. I mean, we all have shit sometimes right? Illness, injuries, bouts of things. Some people have conditions that might be totally dormant sometimes and flare up during others, like you’re not a better, more valuable, lovable person, when you’re feeling good than when you’re feeling like shit. You’re still the same lovable, miraculous being here on this earth that absolutely deserves the same amount of love and care and respect as everybody else.

Elizabeth DiAlto  13:46

And this goes for Lux as well, average are most common body shape and size are not what you see on Instagram, in magazines in Hollywood and entertainment. Those are largely exceptions. I mean, intake by exception again, I mean, just like a small percentage of the population. To some they might be ideals. But that doesn’t mean they need to be your ideals. We really need to stop looking at exceptions and treating them like norms or ideals. There are anomalies, they’re out on the wings of the bell curves. They are not what’s most common, no matter how hard TV media and industry is trying to convince you of that so they can profit off of your upset and insecurities. 

Elizabeth DiAlto  14:24

We also need to constantly remember, which is easier now than it’s ever been as we get more than ever we understand more than ever, how technology works, that even the most ideal looking bodies on the internet and an entertainment have been altered in their final presentation to us the majority of the time in both Video and Photo format. It’s wild. I remember a quote from years ago, that always stuck with me that said the girl on the magazine doesn’t even look like the girl on the magazine. This is a reason why for the most part, I am anti plastic surgery. And I just want to say something about this and be clear about Why here? So we’re not ostracizing anyone. If you’re someone who’s sitting out there who has had plastic surgery, I’m not judging you. I’m not throwing shade your way. And I’m not saying this to make you feel bad about your choice or wish you would have done anything differently. I personally just really, really wish more people would just allow themselves to age however it happens, and especially women and women folk, because it affects us more than other people, for the most part, certainly not exclusive to us. I just wish we were more focused on training ourselves to see and feel beauty and power in however it is a person exudes it rather than only recognizing it in a shortlist of societally preferred ways that we’ve been taught to revere.

Elizabeth DiAlto  15:43

Now, I also want to mention that I am speaking specifically about, like elective surgeries and procedures to alter the way you look to conform to some way you think you should write, like, I live in Miami, and there’s just It’s so wild here, the lip injections, the Tommy talks, the fake butts, you know, fake titties and things. And you know, I

Elizabeth DiAlto  16:10

look at some of these people who just look so altered. And I’m like, I’m sure you were beautiful, the way you are. And I just people get addicted to that stuff. We live in the age of the Kardashians, where you know, even women in their 20s are starting to get Botox, you know, afraid of wrinkles, like your wrinkles are just a map that just shows you how you been living your life. You know, people, I don’t want frown lines, I don’t want smile lines, I want crow’s feet, but you earned it. It’s just it’s a normal wear and tear on a body you know, and it just breaks my heart. It breaks my heart when people in order to feel better about themselves need to alter the way that they look. And listen, though, if if it’s going to be a game changer for you do your thing, right? Again, like I said, begin the episode on many people do agree with me about everything, you’re more than welcome to your own opinion. And please don’t let my opinion make you feel bad about yours. Cool.

Elizabeth DiAlto  17:01

Now, speaking of appearance, I’ll do a little content warning here I’m about to talk about weight. And I know this can be triggering for some, and I’m gonna mention one number and amounts. I’m not a specific weight. But one of the most liberating things of my life has been gaining weight. I recorded an episode last year called self love after weight game. And we’ll link to it in the show notes. So you could check it out if that sounds interesting or helpful to you. But let me spend a minute on it here today. Because I know this impacts a lot of our listeners anyway, for me, has been about becoming my most joyful, voluptuous self. Now does this mean I will always be this voluptuous, maybe, maybe not like currently something I’m dealing with is back pain, I have some stuff going on, and my lumbar and my lower lumbar l five s one. And there’s just some things I need to do for it some exercises certain things, so I’m gonna be moving my body differently. And I am going to be altering the way I eat because certain foods affect and inflame the body and food can be medicine. So I’m going to I’m going to be doing things that may result in some weight loss. And if it does cool, if it doesn’t cool, what’s more important to me is to be pain free, or to reduce my pain significantly.

Elizabeth DiAlto  18:11

And what I realized as I gained weight, which was really like a journey of almost a decade started in 2013, when I moved across the country to California, what I realized as I was gaining weight over that decade is the fears that have been conditioned into me about needing to be fit for a variety of reasons. And I’m sure many of you can relate to these health, attracting men, I’m hetero. And so for you it might not be man, it might be whoever else being respected in my field even. And those things are only true if I allow them to be. And in fact, this is a great filtering system, anyone who would judge me or reject me in any context, because of how my body looks, or just not for me, period. I had an axe who really thought he was a Superior Man, he was very fit. And so was I when we got together like fit by, you know, societal standards of low body fat, right? But gradually over our years together, I gained almost 30 pounds, and he would criticize my body. And he would say things like, I feel like I deserve to be with someone who looks like a fitness model. And when he would say things like that, it’d be like, Why don’t you go find that then then like, why are you with me? And he was a bit narcissistic. And that was his way of instead of dealing with his own insecurities, trying to make me feel bad about myself, personally, I took those digs mostly as opportunities to love myself more deeply, and all the ways he couldn’t and wouldn’t. So ultimately, his criticisms ended up being an enormous gift to me. And even though his fat phobia was disgusting, and I also want to note here, it was rooted in some healing ideas that he had bought into as absolute truth.

Elizabeth DiAlto  19:56

The idea that extra weight is protection or for hiding? And listen, that can be true, but it isn’t always right. So attaching to that as an ideal was his way of propping himself up because he had a lot of insecurities, but he had low body fat. So he was able to convince himself that he was better than other people, because he wasn’t fat, which is just very silly when I’ve just explained to you how this person behaved, right? So after the relationship, first off, I had a shitload of healing to do, right had to look at, you know, why would I even be with a person like this? Why did I stay with a person like that for a couple of years, even in live with them? Took my time did my healing work around that, before I opened back up to connecting with men again? And when I did, I distinctly remember it was 2018 when I opened back up to connecting with men again, having like a wonder if men would be attracted to me, because I had gained weight. Because my ex’s comments had planted a small seed of doubt. For me, that’s perfectly human, you hear something enough times you might start to be like, is that could that be true. And here’s what I learned. Not only was it not true, but for a lot of men, my body is their ideal. And you know why? Because we’re all so different. And we all get to like what we like, some people might really like and prefer super toned fit lean bodies. And there’s nothing wrong or good or better or worse than than that. Some people want more curvy, voluptuous bodies like mine, some people want, whatever you have, wherever you land on whatever is the spectrum of body shape, size, all these things. Personally, I believe that we’re all somebody’s ideal.

Elizabeth DiAlto  21:41

And it might take a little more searching for our personal diamonds in the rough to find the folks who prefer us just the way we are to find the people that we prefer and enjoy the way they are. But I truly believe it exists for everyone. And you might think that’s overly optimistic or unrealistic. And that’s okay. I’m not asking you to believe it to unless you want to.

Elizabeth DiAlto  22:01

What I really want to emphasize here is that we all have choices in how we perceive ourselves or desirability, and our love ability. And it doesn’t have to be based on society’s preferences, especially because not everyone is even oriented around physical appearance being the most important thing. Not everyone is even a sexual being. There’s plenty of asexual folks out there who like that’s not even how they’re interested in having intimacy and connection with people. However, if you are someone who does, I just want to let you know that since that relationship, basically from 2018 on, I have had more passionate, amazing sex and intimacy than I ever could have imagined.

Elizabeth DiAlto  22:41

And I’ll tell you one reason why I’ve used other dating apps, but these days, I only use the dating app called field. And in my profile, I literally write must go crazy for curves and natural beauty that lets people know out the gate. If my appearance is not something that you genuinely go crazy for, keep it moving. It’s not just that I’m not for you. You’re not for me. Right. And for me, that’s one of the most powerful stances I’ve ever taken to say if somebody is going to criticize my body. That right there is a full stop for me. It’s a hard, no. And the cool thing is it actually has never happened since that relationship. One man one time once like said something about my stomach. But it wasn’t a criticism. It was just like a curiosity about something, it was actually kind of a little like naive and cute coming from a man who really didn’t understand how women’s bodies work.

Elizabeth DiAlto  23:41

So this is where I want to wrap up today I’m keeping these episodes in this series short on purpose. Because as a teacher myself, something I’m working on is digestibility not giving so much information that it overwhelms you, but rather giving less information that you can maybe listen to a couple of times really let it sink in, seep in and see what’s most relevant or resonant for you so that you can get the nuggets that you need. And like I said in the beginning of this episode, there had to have been something here for you that you absolutely needed to hear today. And I always love knowing what that is. So if you want to share with me on the socials, mostly Instagram is where I hang out at Elizabeth D alto, tagged me DM me make a post share it whatever you want to do. If you’re more of a private person, not on social media. You can also just email us at Hello at untamed But thank you so much for listening. We will be back next week with part three of this series on liberatory practices for an expansive year slash life. hope you loved it hope it was helpful. And you know, just a reminder no matter who you are, where you are or what’s going on. You are absolutely sacred and miraculous and so worthy of everything that everybody else is to