Even the best of us can start to believe that inner voice that wonders if we’re too fat, too skinny, too tall, too short, too light, too dark – whatever it is that gets in the way of thinking we’re worthy of love. But have no fear, we’re silencing the self doubt as we chat with Katie Sturino about how she regained her confidence and rocked the dating game even at her lowest point. We discuss how our earliest trauma still plays into the way we think about ourselves when dating, the importance of “doing the work” even though it feels unfair you have to do it at all, and why it's so damn important to get to a place where we’re truly comfortable in our own skin.
Trigger Warning: We discuss abortion rights and the recall of Chesa Boudin in the intro if you need to skip ahead
Follow Katie @katiesturnio and check out her podcast 'Book Sweat', book body talk and beauty line Megababe
Thank you to our partners for this episode:
Drizly: Download the Drizly app or go to Drizly.com and use promo code FAST5 for $5 off your first order.
S14E12: Taming Your Inner Critic w/ Katie Sturino
00:00:01 - 00:05:00
The dateable podcast is an insider's look into modern dating that The Huffington Post calls one of the top ten podcasts about love and sex. On each episode, we'll talk to real daters about everything from sex parties to sex droughts, date fails to diaper fetishes and first moves to first loves. I'm your host UA Shu, former dating coach turned dating sociologist. You also hear from my co host and producer Julie Kraft chick as we explore this crazy dateable world. Hi, dateable. Welcome to another episode of the dateable podcast. I'm so happy I got to see you this week, Julie. We haven't seen each other in person in so long. And I'm so glad that we both got COVID got over and we got to see each other in real life. It's been forever. I was trying to remember the last time we actually saw each other. It feels like I see you all the time because I'm talking to 24/7, basically. And seeing you on video all the time, but it is wild that it's been so long. Well, the last time I saw you, I couldn't talk. Yes, and then there was a time in between that we were supposed to get together and do a double date, but you had like an emergency last minute. Do you remember that? You were supposed to come over. So I finally did our long awaited double date. And we had the most lavish meal, y'all. It was so beautiful. We went to this new sushi restaurant that Julian, her partner have been to already, and it was such a treat all four of us could share that meal together. It was so decadent, like the first thing we got. Was toro and tartar. Tartar tartar and Caviar and uni. That was the first thing we got. I'm still dreaming about that. Oh my God. I know you love sushi. When I think of someone that loves sushi, you're who comes to mind. So as soon as I was eating that the first time, I was like, I got to take you in next time. She's a tad. I guess we should give them a shout out, right? Sushi Sato? Yeah. Sado sado ciabatta. To make a motto. But what is so wild is that when we were at the restaurant, we ran into someone I knew who is part of the restaurant group that started it, and he was telling us there were two other restaurants hidden within that one restaurant. It was so weird. It was like three for one. Well, what I love about ready get to people in San Francisco is there's always 3°. I feel like it's less than 6°. Like the 6° of Kevin Bacon. It's usually like two to 3°. He knew, I would say probably four people that were connected to this podcast somehow. Yes. In one way or the other. Whether they were a guest or one of which we no longer speak to or about. We'll leave it at that. Yes, it has been a week. That's for damn sure. I mean, the highlight, of course, was of course seeing you. Low light is all the shit that's going on right now with abortions. It probably by the time we air this, who knows, we're always a couple days ahead. Who knows if a decision will actually be made, but I feel like it's just been, I don't know. This whole week I've just been not feeling good and I think a lot of it comes back to that because it's just a direct hit on women's bodies, robots, rights, like all the stuff and you know, we're talking about inner critic today, Bonnie image is a big component and it makes me really think about it too that the relationship with our bodies is so important to our overall relationship happiness with ourselves and with others too. It's still so disappointing to think about how backwards are country has become. Yeah. We're taking like 30 steps back for some reason. Yet we're so woke in other areas. It just doesn't make any sense. This internal push pull, that's what's driving people crazy. I was just reading about how people are encouraging women to delete their period tracker apps because that data doesn't fall into HIPAA. So they can't. These apps can actually release your data and track your sexual activity as much as they want. We're losing our freedom and also just our choices. No matter what your own opinion is about abortion, you can not make that decision for a woman. You can not make that decision for someone else. You can only make that decision for yourself. The government has no right to buy opinion to be right. Intertwined with our bodies at all. I don't know. I've just so frustrated because I feel like I definitely identify more liberal, but I'm also frustrated by far left, too. Oh my God, yes. I feel like this is maybe more relevant to SF folks, but I feel like this is niche should why too. And you know, I'm not going to go on too much of a politics rate because this is a dating podcast. But I do believe the relationships in our community and our life, like all that go back to the relationships that we have with others and how we're showing up. So I do think it's all interconnected in some way. But in San Francisco, there's a huge recall that's happening, which has a Buddhist. I think it's booted, actually. Is it boudin? I looked it up.
00:05:01 - 00:10:05
I feel like I was calling a booty, but then I looked up his pronunciation. He sucks. I feel like he's gone so far left of just like any criminal activity is fair game. Like he doesn't want to prosecute anyone. So it's just me, the city's super unsafe, but do you remember, we stumbled upon his election party when he got elected. And I remember our friend at the time was there and he hated it. This is bad. He's like, this is really bad for S 7. I was ignorant at the time. And did not vote. I was like, oh, this is really effect me, you know? And I think it's so easy to do that, so hopefully people can, you know, take that vote if they want to. I'm glad that we can voice our opinions. I wish we could voice our opinions with all the abortion. Stuff, the fact that that's just sitting with someone else's control is really disheartening. I feel like each direction's fucked. Well, I think we can relate this back to dating, which is a lot of times we forget, we're sharing the same goals, so therefore we're trying to do is just prove that we're right. I mean, I feel like politicians get into office just to prove their right. They're not thinking about your interests and they just want to be right. And I think in dating sometimes too, or just trying to win, we're trying to be right, but we forget the common goal is we're trying to improve humanity, right? Especially with dating. And that's why we create this friction in dating and in politics because we feel like our purpose is to prove our point versus like being curious and having a mutual interest at heart. And I think that's something that we've forgotten. Yeah, well, I was reading these articles about how Buddha or boudin, however you pronounce his name. Was using San Francisco dot because he genuinely wanted to make it a better place for a testing ground. And a lot of his policies come from his own upbringing. And I feel like that's kind of dangerous personally. But I've also heard from sources that I will not name. He, what is the holy police department at San Francisco? It's completely discouraged. It dismantled. And I've also heard on a dating fraud that he's a total fuck boy. Before he became a big shot. So recall fuckboys. Recall fuckboys. That should be our next campaign recall. Yeah, sad. It's been a sad sad week to think about that. Talking about abortions and thinking back to the times I was in college. I knew many friends who had abortions or had pregnancy scares, and I can't imagine what their life would be like today if they didn't have that option, or it was illegal to do so. This is not China. I don't want this to be China again. This is stuff like people were trying to escape from their countries and I really hope we don't become that country. Yeah, well, I think women have just made so much progress and I read a quote somewhere that it's not just the body obviously is one big part of this, but it's also the financial freedom that comes with it because you're right if you can't get an abortion and now you're raising a child when you're 17. That's going to mess up your whole trajectory if you're not ready. And it's a really fair to the child, right? Right. There's like another whole side of it is it's like pro life versus pro birth is another debate. Are you really giving this person the best life that they could if you aren't fit to be a parent and ready? Yeah, I've certainly met some parents who probably shouldn't have kids. But was that by choice? I don't know about this one. But yeah. We're going down the body topic this week, so it is very in line with what this whole episode is about. We have a really great body positivity influencer. We were on her podcast, boob sweat. Best day of ever. So fitting. It is soon as we did her podcast. We said to each other, we need to get her back. She just has this, I love it. It's just like a no bullshit attitude. I really appreciate that. This is just a conversation I think everyone can relate to men and women and everybody from all walks of life because we've all had those moments and still those moments of just discourage by our own bodies, not liking what we see, having that negative self talk, and not knowing how to get out of it. And then the media, society, your own network, they're not helping either because we just kind of perpetuate the negative body talk that we have. So she's someone who survived the negative body talk. She still dealing with it on a daily basis, but she's able to really flourish out of it. So this is such a great talk just to hear from the other side of someone who really overcame this. Yeah, we've had some body image episodes. We had body image and dating with Erin. We also did one. Everybody beautiful with Natalie, a while back. So this has been a topic we've hit a few times, but this is I feel like a different perspective, which, you know, there's always going to be many perspectives.
00:10:05 - 00:15:03
But what I like about this is it goes deeper than just body, too, of all negative self talk, because we all face this. This is something that is in all of our heads as we're dating. And you know, I feel like it shows up extra hard when you're day day because data is ultimately a reflection of you or the way that we interpret data, whether it is or isn't really what data is is a way to fight connection. But I feel like people use it as validation that there's something right or something wrong depending on how many dates they get or how far a relationship progresses. So it can feel very personal. And our inner critic loves to come out when it gets personal. So this episode, we definitely go into it all in Katie posed one question that is stuck with me the last couple weeks of why did I have to do the work. And I think that's something to think about as we're listening to this episode because I feel like a lot of times we all feel like why do I have to do all this? Like my inner self and reflection mode and all that like, why can't I just skip to the end? Well, isn't that the truth for dating too? Why can't it skip to the end? Get into that rally relationship. Yeah, I think doing the work is so important, but also we as a collective need to do the work too. The onus isn't just on an individual person. We all need to reframe the way we think about body image and something that really stuck out to me was someone kind of like an acquaintance was pregnant a few years ago and I made a comment about her body saying, oh my gosh, you're so I couldn't even tell you're pregnant. It just looks like you ate a burrito. And she took it to social media was like, this woman, another woman commented about my body and my body is not for her to comment, whether I'm small or big or whatever, it's not her right to comment about my body. And I learned my lesson, I apologize, but I think sometimes we at least for me, I just get so comfortable with someone. I feel like I can say these things. Also coming from a Chinese culture, that's the first thing you always say to someone. You always say something about their body, whether they got taller, smaller, shorter fatter, skinnier, whatever, or darker, you always want to make that comment. It's just part of our cultural upbringing, and I'm trying to undo all of that. And know that someone else's body is not for me to comment on. I feel like Jewish upbringing. I had to save situation. Every time it'd be like, oh, you got skinnier, you got fatter, like there was always a comment about it. And I also had kind of that reality check when we did our last body image episode. I remember I made a comment in our Facebook group love in the time of Corona around like being real thin and one of our members, you know, called me in, which I appreciated. I'll give her a shout out Laurie. I remember her saying like, this is just as offensive as someone saying that someone's bigger. And I think for me, I've always struggled with weight and always wanting to be thinner, right? So I think I viewed it as my own bias coming in that people that are thin, have it easy and you know that they don't have body struggles, which is totally false is what I learned from that. Well, that's why we need this conversation. Exactly. I hope we have more conversations like this. Yeah, and I feel like the list of things that we can beat ourselves up with goes so much even further than body image. I feel like so often we talk about this too on dates, you're a lot of times you're thinking about like, how am I showing up? And almost self critiquing. But that is the opposite of collection, ultimately. If you're sitting there just thinking about yourself, how are you connecting to this other person? But it's so easy because you want to present well. And you want to make a good impression. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah, let's do it. Let's get into it. But before we do, a few announcements, definitely share this one with a friend. This is, I think everyone needs this, regardless of what you're going through, you will relate. Like we said, everyone has something that they think is getting in their way with dating and just, you know, how they show up in general. So share this with a friend who will benefit from it. And other announcement follow us on Instagram. At dateable podcast, that's where we put up clips. We'll be putting up a clip from this episode. You get to see our guests. You get to see us, you know, or YouTube. Also. Or TikTok, we're trying to grow TikTok. We don't have much of a following it to you. But we would love to have a following a TikTok. Another announcement is my partner and I really like Julie's partner. This is important announcement to make. It's a very cool guy. You know, sometimes when you meet your Friends partners, you kind of have to just be nice and maybe the conversation doesn't flow. I think with your partner, it just felt so comfortable and so easy to talk to him.
00:15:04 - 00:20:02
So social. I like that. I like someone who's just like easygoing and social. Well, you met him before, but you were just not in a good place then. I mean, I liked him then, but at the same time, I was struggling to talk and breathe. So go back to thinking about myself right now because I can be focused on other priorities, just trying to stay alive. That is always great to hear. I mean, obviously I like your partner too, but I've met him many of times. So yes, you got the, you got the UA seal of approval. People be so happy to hear. He can put that on his resume. He's like, is he a kind of grill be? Like last time because UA pulled up her phone asking questions because she could not speak. I was typing questions on my phone for him. The first time I met him and I had some questions in mind. But this time I was like, you know what? It's been over a year. There's no point in grilling. It's a little grilling. So we'll just eat some good food. Yep, that's better. That's better all around. I love hearing that, obviously, but before we get into the episode, let's hear from our sponsors. This podcast is sponsored by better help online therapy, people don't always realize that physical symptoms like headaches, teeth grinding, and even digestive issues can be indicators of stress, and let's not forget about doom scrolling, sleeping too little, sleeping too much, under eating and overeating. For me, stress takes over my life sometimes to the point where I spend more time stressing than actually being productive. For many of us, stress shows up in all kinds of ways. In a world that's telling you to do more, sleep less and grind all the time. Here's your reminder to take care of yourself. Do less, and maybe try some therapy, personally, therapy has been a life-changing experience, helping me truly feel my feelings and have the tools to make progress in my mental health that her help is customized online therapy that offers video phone and even live chat sessions with your therapist. So you don't ever have to see anyone on camera if you don't want to. It's much more affordable than in person therapy. Give it a try and see if online therapy can help lower your stress. This podcast is sponsored by better help and datable podcast listeners get 10% off their first month at better help dot com slash dateable that's BET TER HELP dot com. Okay, let's hear it from Katie. What are we talking about? We're talking about overcoming negative self talk and that inner critic that we all have. And Katie with us today. She is the body acceptance advocate entrepreneur and founder of megabit beauty. She's the author of the book body talk, how to embrace your body and start living your best life. And she also has a podcast called boob sweat that we were on, so thank you for having us on as guests. Hello. How are you? I'm great. We are so excited to have you. You are great. Thank you are great. Here are more stats about Katie, she's 41 years old, lives in New York and Palm Beach originally from Wisconsin and she is married. Let's get right into it. Let's start with your own personal story. You describe yourself as a bigger girl. What does that mean and how did that play into your earlier life in terms of how it played into my dating life? It has always been a factor. It definitely negatively impacted the way that I felt and the treatment that I accepted from men because I thought that that's just what I could get. I definitely didn't think that I deserved what my Friends seemed to get, which was like a respectful normal relationship. And I found myself in not great situations. I have to attribute that a bit to my size because I really felt that while this is who's here for you. So that was terrible. And I'm glad that I was able to learn that those were in fact not true feelings. And I'm on my second marriage. I dated a lot in between my first and second marriage and I think I learned the most about myself in that time because I had gained so much weight during my divorce that I had to date in a whole new body and I actually learned to love myself at my new size and feel the most confident and most sexy at the heaviest I never weighed. So I think that there's a lot of good learnings in there. So walk us through that early part because I definitely can relate to a lot that you said and what I've actually learned is through our community, everyone has their hang up. And what you think that everyone else has, it's super easy, but they think that about everyone else. And we all feel that we've been dealt the worst hand. And that was a huge revelation for me that it wasn't just me that felt that way. And I guess I was curious, how did you get out of your own way with that? How did you start to realize that that wasn't actually what was getting in your way? It's just like with body acceptance that you think that you have, you've been dealt the worst hand, but in fact, you haven't. Everyone thinks that they have to battle this body, whatever terrible body they've been given.
00:20:02 - 00:25:05
And I guess what you're saying is it's the same with dating. It's just not true. We all think we have this thing to get over, but it's not true, right? I mean, basically, we all have issues that we're getting over, but for some reason, everybody feels like they have the bigger issue. To deal with, which is not always the case. So grass is always greener on the other side because when you're in your own body, you're like, well, if I had that body by dating life could be a lot easier. Yes. But how did you get over that? Oh, right. You're like, you're like, how'd you do it, girl? Here's what I think is interesting. I had come out of this relationship and I had felt so terrible about my body. And as I had gained weight, I was like, well, now no one's really gonna want me. But what I found and I know that this isn't the best advice and I will say that up front. I went into the dating world and basically men complimented me and they had been so long since a man had complimented me on my physical form. I was like, wait, am I sexy? 'cause I thought I just was like a shoe. And then I was like, wait, so I kind of let that outside validation, which is not the correct thing. Come in and show me that I should maybe dig more into that sexy vibe. And then I went on a journey and did the whole thing. I bought lingerie. I wore lingerie for myself. I looked in the mirror. This was during my body acceptance journey as well. So I would say that that was a big part of it. And really, to go back to what you said before, I thought that just thin people were happy with their body. And so if I could just get thin, that's when I would feel happy. But when I realized that wasn't true, that's when my lightbulb went off and I started to do this body acceptance work because I wanted to help all women feel comfortable in their body just today right now as they are. So how old were you? When did this body acceptance period start for you? Started. So I'm 41. So if we do the math, I would say I got divorced at 35. Which is like probably your nightmare time to get divorced if you're thinking about it maybe. Because you're right, that's the time when society tells you that you're approaching the last years of having children. Your time's running out, yeah. Yes, your time's running out. And you've spent all your good 20s with someone who you're not going to be with, which I'm here to tell everyone is a lie, because I'm here thriving Joe looking amazing and with frozen eggs can have children. I don't know whenever we want. But I think that I started at around 35 to go on this body acceptance journey. So walk us through then the earlier parts of your life. Where were you when you were younger realizing that you were kind of a bigger person? How did that play into dating until you met your first husband? Well, I think that I think that I often just assumed people were not interested in me. Why though? I was like, I don't have the body. Why don't you want a skinny blond girl? 'cause that's what you see on TV. Yes, that's what I was seeing on TV. That's what that was my only reference for what a hot person looked like. There was no, there was no alternative hot person. That was just it. I grew up in the 90s, like looking at, I don't know, Beverly Hills 9 O two. The first one. Right. And nobody ever mentioned that they were like 35 year olds playing high school kids. But who cares about that? You're right. So I think that I had no other example of what beautiful looked like or what hot looked like. So I just assumed that I was not it. I couldn't relate a 100% of that. And I feel like for me, it made me just focus on other things. Instead of dating. Did you feel something similar or were you always still dating despite feeling this way? No, I was pretty boy crazy. I did, but I really, I was very careful with who I put my affections towards. I really would kind of make sure that they were interested in me before I would put anything out there. And I would never go for people who I just thought weren't going to be interested. You know what I mean? I feel like I would let someone throw the first move towards me. And then I'd be like, oh, okay. You're interested. So let me see, do I like you, maybe? So it's never you selecting. Right. Right. Because I found that most of the time, if I did take the initiative, the answer was no. And I'm talking about from like elementary school. If I had a crush on the soccer player, the soccer player did not like me back. So I just kind of learned to wait to see who was interested. So was that the case with your first husband or was that different that you actively chose each other? I've always had the same type. I like a big hairy guy preferably with a chain. Yes. Yeah, just like Tony Soprano. It's always my type. I never deviate from this type. I don't know why we have types. If you have an episode on types, let me know. It's just it is what it is. So I've always liked this type of man. But I did start to get more bold and was surprised sometimes when someone would like me back because I was like me, you're interested in me.
00:25:06 - 00:30:01
But no, I've always been a very active data. Yeah. And then how did you meet your husband, your first husband? First husband met him through friends and was right away, romantic. Yes, it was right away, romantic, because my friend said, you're going to like him a lot. He's your type. And then his friend told him that he was going to like me because I was his type. And we did. We really felt strongly right away. So did you tame this inner critic by the time you met him or was it still showing up for you and in what ways? I guess it was still showing up because I while I accepted the love and I don't know, compliments and things from that person. I don't think I ever fully felt like I deserved it. I deserved love. And then when you feel like you don't deserve love, you can actually start having the opposite stuff come towards you. And I feel that I attracted probably a lot of negative comments and negative feedback about me because I didn't have that inner confidence or the self worth to know that sometimes what was being said to me was not very kind. Yeah, like a self fulfilling prophecy when you start acting like you don't deserve love, then you're gonna see all the clues for it. Like I went into that relationship stronger. And I'm more like my old self now. I really do think in my early 20s that I was I was like more confident and more and felt that I was just like a beautiful special person. I think that people don't realize that you can lose yourself in a relationship. Not in a good way. And then that person that you're with might just start reacting to the things that you're putting out there. So it's not necessarily, I'm cutting this person a lot of leeway on the show. But I'm just saying that I think that you then start to believe that that's your position. And so it took me a while out of that relationship to rebuild my own self esteem and I did it at 75 pounds heavier than I was when I entered into that first relationship. So I'm saying that people say, oh, I need to lose weight before I start dating or, oh, let me lose weight before I make a profile. But I am just saying I did it. I got out there at my heaviest weight. I had ever been. And I killed it. I killed the game. So okay, so I've so interested in this. You were confident in your 20s. Yeah. I still accepted bad treatment in my 20s, though. Okay. I don't know if I accepted bad treatment because girls can accept bad treatment or because I specifically had some deep low self esteem issues. I don't know. We have not worked that out. Welcome your feedback though. You know what I'm saying? I'm in a room with a guy and there's like a used condom in the corner and I still stay for the date. Okay, so that's what I'm saying. Our most girls leaving or are they staying? I think a lot or staying. I think it's day. Okay, that's comforting. That's comfortable. To hear. But they're staying because I think there is that self esteem side of it. And the other side is just being like exploring, how do I feel around this sort of toxic environment? And getting to your threshold? Yeah, threshold. Trying to test your threshold. That's what it is. I mean, I think it does go back to the fact that in our 20s, there's a lot of self critics that are happening. It doesn't, and I've learned this from our Facebook group. It doesn't just have to do with your weight. There is a zillion things that could be going off of why you're not enough and why you're not worthy. And I do think it takes really being comfortable with yourself, which sounds like you stepped into in your 30s after the divorce, to realize I'm not going to stand for this type of behavior because I deserve better. So I think a lot of it comes from not feeling like we deserve it. Yeah. Now I'm just having a therapy session on. But I think what's incredible about your story is that you came into your own after a divorce in your mid 30s at your heaviest when most people would think I am at the lowest at that stage. I'm done. You rose to the occasion. So how did you do that? The Phoenix. Because I'm going to tell you something, you can choose, you can choose to lay down and say that was my life, my life is now over. Or you can start again and starting again sucks. It's sucks. You got to make new friends. You got to, you got to get new routines. You got to go to therapy. You got to do the, you have to do the work and it's called work because it sucks. It really does. But you build and you don't even know what you're capable of.
00:30:01 - 00:35:03
And I find also that people who are in pain like that, there is so much productivity and so much power that can come from being broken. And I built mega babe because I was like, I couldn't sleep. These are just these are things that we don't explore when we talk about ending relationships or what life is supposed to look like, right? Because it can only go up from here when you're at the worst, right? You're at the wrong time. And the only way out is through and all these things are no one wants to hear them, but it is just true. Yeah, the only way out is through. Yeah. So that actually made me think of something. You kind of had this lightbulb moment of I'm going to love myself as cheesy as that sounds, but it's like I'm going to accept myself. She was life. And then you dated and had the most success. Despite what size you were at. Did you take a break? When after your divorce, one of the things that I think of is so important, in our community, we always hear people saying how they master date. They go on dates with themselves and really get to know it themselves. That's what it's called master date. There you go. And I just thought it was like, I thought it was like a pro level date. Date. I didn't get masturbate. Okay. I didn't guess. Yes. Now I do. Hilarious. So yeah, they master date. And I know for me, taking a year off from dating and really just getting to be comfortable with myself was so important on my journey. Did you have anything like that or was your process different? Oh, I was alone a lot. I mean, I was alone doing the work and did I take any time off from dating? No, I would say there were varying degrees of dating. Was I entering into any serious relationships? No, not for not for probably a few months. I did. I just spent a lot of time alone. And I think most of my friends had were in relationships and it just like, I was just alone a lot. And so is that a master date in theory? I did a lot of things alone. I traveled alone. And I think that those things are really important. It's important to be comfortable with yourself. But I understand why people don't want to take those breaks. Because I think you think you're going to get stale or something. Yeah, I find it fast, 'cause a lot of people think that a relationship will solve all their problems. And it sounds like if anything, this actually broke you down further. Do you feel like it's because you didn't do the self confidence work at that point or what was it? Yeah, 'cause you know what I've always wondered also. Why did I have to do the work? Why do I always see people just in relationships living life, like whatever they're doing? I'm like, did they ever have to do the work? Are they fine in their relationship? Why do I have to do this work? I've never understood that. And I think the answer just might be that people's relationships are never what they seem. And you don't know what people are going through behind closed doors. And if that might just be the truth. But I really felt that. I really felt like I don't understand why I couldn't just go on feeling bad about myself. Why was I forced to do this? But obviously it was so good that I was. I think a lot of people feel that way. I've ever felt like that way too. When a relationship of mine broke down, I went to therapy and that's what changed me for the better too. Yeah. And I think sometimes it takes that breakdown to build back up. And you always think too, like, why am I the only one that has to do it? Yes. From this podcast, we realized that that is what builds healthy, sustainable relationships. And one piece is you never know what's behind closed doors. But also it's how much are you keeping in, like, how much is that inner voice criticizing you all the time versus you're able to work it through and not hear that. It's interesting when the inner voice is bad and the and you are because I actually, I was reading through some DMs that I got yesterday about a post I did on panic attacks and a few women messaged me saying that they're panic attacks got worse when their husband became verbally abusive and more was very critical. And I find it so interesting that women we think that because you're so in it that you have to stay connected to this person and you can't free yourself because what are you going to do that and start over? I really feel for people and if you're out there and this is connecting with you, you can move on and you can find yourself and you don't have to live with that kind of criticism. And I think that that just, it broke my heart yesterday and I just wanted to say that out loud. Well, don't you think the same can be applied to your own abusive relationship with yourself? That's where the inner critical. Well, that you have a little bit maybe less control. I don't know. It depends. Because you can walk out the door, but you can't escape your own mind. Right. And I don't even think people realize that they're in toxic relationships with themselves.
00:35:03 - 00:40:07
They don't. No, they don't. But what's your theory on this? Do you think that our inner critic will always be inside ourselves is just how we want to deal with that voice or can we actually squash it, get rid of it? I think that you can change your inner critic into your inner cheerleader. I do. I really just think it's about training that muscle and rewiring the conversation that you're used to having, which is why I'm going to bring up my book, body talk. I really talk about noticing when you say bad things to yourself, and then the way that I change that is just by cutting it off with the word no. I just say, oh, if I start to go down a rabbit hole and I start to say things that are not kind, I just say, nope, and I cut it off. And I think after a while, that becomes faster. And I'm sure there are other techniques and ways to do this, but this is just what I have found helpful. And you really do start to control that dialog because I think I used to say very rude things to myself ten years ago that I would never say now. With a totally different physical form. So how did you learn to say no? How did you learn to say, I'm not going to take this anymore? This is not accurate. It goes back to that big lightbulb moment I had what you said about people with the dating that everyone thinks that they've got just like long road to long road to walk because of something about themselves. They have a really hard time finding someone to connect with, which is not true. It's just that everyone has everyone feels that way about themselves. You just said, everyone doesn't like their body. And when I realized that the thin women didn't like their body, also, then I said, what is the point of hating myself and beating myself up? And punishing myself for the cookie. And got to go out and do two workouts because I've got to be in a swimsuit tomorrow and this whole hamster wheel of insecurity and torture that I had in my brain. I found that there was no point to it because when I realized that once I got to that goal weight and quotes, I was still gonna hate my body, then I wanted to spread that word. Can you recall your lowest point? Body wise? Just emotionally, that inspired you to do something about it, but you're like, I don't ever want to feel this way again? No, I don't know if it was a point. I don't know that it was a point of low. I think what it really was was the eye opening experience that women everywhere hate their bodies, including myself. And then I just kind of, it's like that part in the matrix when he realizes he's not in the matrix and he looks out and he's like everyone is in their own pod. And that's how I felt. I was like, wait a second. We're all just out here hating ourselves for no reason. What are we doing? Yeah. That's kind of how it felt. It just felt like I broke free from something. We had this post in our Facebook group that women of all body shapes were commenting about how they felt. And men were chiming in too. It was not that I want people to feel bad about themselves, but it was eye opening to see that it touched everyone. Everyone hates their body, which is bullshit. So in your book, you talk about other stuff too. It doesn't have to just be body. I mean, there's so many negative self talk that we can spew to ourselves. What were some other areas that showed up for you? Oh, people have, I think, people have problems with their skin or they don't feel beautiful. They don't feel worthy. It can be anything. It can be you're too short. You're too tall. Anyone's physical appearance. I think that they think that it's like unique to them and that something is wrong with them. And so often that starts with a comment when you're little and you remember this playground comment all the way now, you're 41 years old and you still remember this one moment on the playground and that is what that is what rolls around in your head when you're supposed to be feeling good, that little voice can pop in and be like, it's under thighs. Yep. I had a girl call me Rolly pulley. There it is. You have that mountain playground. Like in gym class, you didn't even have to think about it. It was right there. Yes, that's what I mean. So those little pieces of trauma stay with us and then we bring them everywhere we go. Let's hold that thought for a few quick messages. This episode is brought to you by the baby or bus podcast. Did you know that one in 8 couples struggle with fertility? That's over 7 million people in the U.S. alone, and the risk of miscarriage, it's more common than breast cancer or diabetes. 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When do you know it's a right time to have a baby do hot tubs really kill sperm? Join doctor shaheen each week for practical approaches for your fertility journey. You are not alone, really. Find baby or bust on Apple podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. Have you ever thought about how much better dating would be if you had a whole army of people supporting you along the way. We know that dating can be frustrating and lonely, but it can also feel fulfilling and fun. Have you recently decided you want to make some changes to your love life? Maybe you've recently reentered the dating scene. Maybe you've gone on one too many dates that went nowhere, or maybe you're just ready to take your current relationship to the next level. That is exactly why we created the sounding board, a true extension of our podcast that delivers a personalized experience, which includes monthly office hours where you can drop in and chat with us about anything. Weekly sound offs with guided discussions and regular virtual happy hours, allow Julie and I to become your dating sherpas to provide real-time guidance and wisdom in a more intimate way so we can all navigate dating and relationships together. Join the sounding board today by going to dateable podcast dot com slash sounding board. Again, that's dateable podcast dot com slash sounding board. What about outside of physical? Because I feel like I'm not good enough. There's beyond weight physical. Yes. Yeah, self esteem is something that we all should strive to have obviously. I think that we have narratives about ourselves, negative narratives that you can change into positive narratives. I read Gabby Bernstein's books and she's always talking about these narratives that we have in our head that are no longer serving us and that we've created and so I think one of mine was like, I'm from Wisconsin and I'm here in New York and why am I here? I'm not even local. Just silly things that you make up in your head. Plus I'm big and everyone's small and you find ways to feel different. And I think that you can change those stories just as much as you can have them dictated to you. You can change them and put a different story out into the world. I think part of the struggle for many people, including myself, is identifying what is a toxic criticism versus what's something that's actually helpful for you because to me, growing up in a Chinese household. Every other word was a criticism of everybody, you know? You're too tall, you're too short, you're too fat, you're too skinny. You're too dark you're too white. Everybody has something that's like two something. And growing up in that kind of household, you just feel like, oh, I'm getting criticized for my own good. I will improve myself now. I will try to be not as short, or as dark, that that was a big thing in my household. I'm always, I was always the tanned one, which is not a good thing in Chinese culture. So everybody was always like, can you be a little bit less dark? I don't know how, but I will try my best. So how do you decipher what criticism is actually good criticism or is there actually a good criticism and what is very toxic and Katie's holding your head, she's like, I think that I don't think there's good I don't think that there's feedback and if you're doing something wrong in your life and someone's giving you feedback, that's fine. Everything that you just said is bad criticism. And those are those people and the role that they play, it can be an external negative force that basically helps create your narrative for yourself. So you take on that criticism as your own story and you're like, well, they're not going to like me. I'm too short. And I know it because if someone told me that every day, it's that kind of thing. So all the stuff you said, UA, it's like clearly you can't change your skin tone. You know, I'm saying that's what is interesting, even you know white people say you can change your weight, but a lot of times a lot of its genetic and you can only do so much. So what is the difference of feedback versus criticism? Is it stuff that you can't control or is it stuff that's more about behavior as you could change versus fundamentally who you are? I don't know. I think the feedback thing is, I mean, I don't know that I've ever gotten feedback from anyone in my life. Have you gotten feedback that you find helpful? Definitely through my partner, yeah. Yeah. I was going to say there's definitely stuff that's come up. But I think for me it started off not as helpful as criticism and then over time. I'm like, okay, actually this is helpful. For instance, I was mispronouncing a word. And I found it really annoying at the time to just be corrected because I took it as a sign of faulting my intelligence, right? So I took it to that sign. But I mean, I do a podcast for a living. I obviously want to say words correctly. So it actually is helpful. But what is the line though? Because I definitely took it as criticism upfront.
00:45:04 - 00:50:02
And I got really upset that I was just constantly getting corrected. What is the line? I mean, that's a great question. I think it's more, I think it's more about the way it makes you feel, but you felt attacked. So I don't know that I can really, and I know that when my family has in the past has tried to give me feedback about my weight, that definitely is taken as a criticism. So I don't know that I can tell you the answer. Because it really depends on maybe I don't know. This is a great question. So maybe in an ideal world, we can take every piece of criticism as you can either accept it as feedback or you can just kick it out the door. If you are confident enough to make those two distinctions, I guess. But I don't like that because it's giving leeway for someone to just keep saying comment. That's true. That's unheard. I'm struggling with the line too. Trust me is a silly bit that goes through my mind daily. What is that line? And I think so much of it's how it said to, you know, and are you in a place to receive it? I don't know. I feel like for the longest time my parents were like, get a real job, get a full 9 to 5 job. And for so long, I was like, shut up. I'm going to do my life the way I want to do it. And then I finally got a 9 to 5 job. I was like, I kind of get it. Right. So I think to me it was like, it was criticism, but at the same time, what were you doing? That was not 95. Everything but everything but. Let's try everything. That's the thing though. There's some truth in all of it, right? Like that's the thing. There is, there's the stability that maybe would actually be helpful for you at that example. But I think until you're in the place to hear it, it's almost not going to sit that way. You had to come to terms with the fact that you were like, maybe I should explore a 9 to 5. I don't know. I almost feel like same for like weight loss or something like until you're in the place that you're like, I want to get serious about working out or doing it. People just telling you stuff isn't going to really help. That's true, especially with the body. They're probably telling you stuff that you already know. You're like duh. Yeah, I know that. Yes. But it's like they think you don't know. It's the same thing when you go up to someone with who's struggling with acne, and you say, say, have you ever tried a medicine to someone with acne. No shit. Yeah. Thanks for that idea. I had a thought about it. Yeah. And but I do, I feel like people all the time just think that the person must not know. Right. Which I find very interesting. So is it a confidence thing? Or is it because I'm just thinking about what you said we asked you, what is this pivotal point for you? And you were kind of like there wasn't a pivotal point. There's just one day that my mindset shifted. Because I realized what was I working towards and I was working towards self love in my head. But unfortunately, when I realized that there was not going to be any destination for self love, if I got to a size 8, was I actually going to feel better about my body, certainly not, because this size four and the size two and this size zero, they all hate their bodies. So what was my point of living in such a negative space? That really was a lightbulb moment. I mean, I guess you could call it a pivotal moment, but it wasn't nothing happened. I actually really like that because I think it actually answers some of the questions the difference between feedback and criticism a little. I'm just trying to get back. I just had a lightbulb moment myself. Okay. If you can get really clear on your purpose and tie it back to that, for instance, UA years about stability, right? You are open to exploring a 9 to 5 because you're like, yeah, I do want stability. I do want that stable paycheck or whatever. For me, maybe I can become more open to correction of words because I do want to be a better public speaker. You know, I think if we can keep in mind what our north star is. Yes. And then if we can also be confident to say, actually, this isn't accurate about me. This isn't my nor a star. I will not take that criticism. Yeah. I think also there's with the body stuff. It's interesting because people are like, if you want to lose weight, you'll lose weight or someone in my life approached me and said, when you're ready to lose the weight. Oh my God. And I was like, oh, okay. Thank you. And I think that this is something that I think I'm still in the process of, I am still learning how to move my body and how to eat for health. These are things that I'm still working on. And to do anything different than just going through and learning this process would be to go back to diet culture would be to go back to my old ways of thinking and that's not what I'm trying to do.
00:50:02 - 00:55:04
I'm trying to learn to live. I'm happy with my body. I'm happy with my size. Do I need to get more in shape for strength for getting older for muscle tone for picking up boxes for walking up the stairs? Yes, I definitely do, but that's my journey right now. It's not about fitting into a pair of pants. So I have to keep on that. I have to keep learning on this journey. I can't turn around and go back to an old way of thinking, I guess. That's so key. It's understanding the why and not the why now. And I think that's the problem with diet culture and the fitness industry in general is like fitting into your wedding dress. Yes. You have a big birthday coming up summer because seasons coming up. If you keep thinking in short term goals, then you're never going to reach your long-term goals. I think the longevity part of it is really important for health. And for, I guess, all the criticism or feedback that we do get, we have to think about what is the long-term benefit of this versus this is a short term fix. But for you, someone like you, you built such a strong brand and I know Drew Barrymore loves you and you've really put yourself out there and you have such a strong social media presence. I'm sure you get all kinds of comments all the time. How do you brush off or how do you deal with the negative comments that you may get? Well, the negative comments are it may it may surprise you, but I do not get affected by the negative body comments. I really don't. And I think that that is because it's a product of me being comfortable in my skin, knowing when I'm out there doing and if one hillbilly wants to come on, can you say help Billy? I don't know. But it's gonna offend somebody these days. Yes, but if the reason he was that term is because usually a weird man with like two followers who's like has like a gun in hunting stuff in his profile. It's not typically women. It's usually someone like that that comes in. And I guess what I'm saying is that person's opinion does nothing to me. Because I know that I'm here with a bigger purpose and I'm serving a bigger community and every day for every one comment I get from a man. I get 25 comments from women telling me that I have changed something about the way that they think about themselves. So I'm here for that and that is what really fuels me. I would say if someone wanted to really get to my core, you could talk about my business. I would be really sensitive about my business because I feel like that's probably something that's new and even though I've been doing it for 5 years, it's more like so much competition in it and it's something I've never done before. So if you wanted to really hit me, you could hit me in other places, but you can't hit me there. You can't tell me my husband and I aren't in love because these are things I know. Is my brand like a top seller at Ulta? I mean, yes, but also, you know, like these are the things that I get, by the way, we are thy rescue as number one. Selling a skew in the bath section of all this. So yes, but I'm just saying I'm very competitive with my business. We hear this all the time through commercials and the media. People love talking about being comfortable in your own skin and be confident with who you are. What does that mean? When is a good point to say, I am comfortable in my own skin. Because I think it's the thing that you know. So like I said about the comment, if someone's like, you're fat, I hate your body. I'm like, okay. I'm fine. Again, if someone was like, you're in a fake relationship. I'd be like, okay. But I'm saying, you have your, you have your things in your life that you feel really solid about. And I think that's what that's what I interpret comfortable in your own skin is because you kind of know who you are. But that doesn't translate across every category of your life. I don't think. You can feel like you're a really good at business, but a really bad mom. Or vice versa. You know which parts of yourself you feel comfortable with. And then parts that you are working on. I mean, I think there is a never ending process, whereas always it's true because boom. I think you think you accept yourself and then you change again. You have a kid, you get older, you may get sick. Like there's so many different things and that's part of body acceptance is being open to riding the wave of just not being one thing. Like, I accept myself only in this phase or only if I look like this. You have to, you have to kind of understand that you change. Well, that's what I love about your Instagram posts where you have a side by side of a celebrity wearing an outfit and you wear the outfit and how it's the same outfit but it can look different.
00:55:04 - 01:00:02
And I think that's just symbolic of relationships too is that we always think there's like a one size fits all and how relationships should look. But we can also create our own look of how that relationship should feel. Yes. And I really love that message you give out. It's like, listen, this is the same outfit, but I can make it look totally different, and that that works for me. And that's what we're trying to do. It's like you're constantly changing, dating scenes constantly changing, you just have to find what works for you in that moment. So I guess my last question to you is, how is your current marriage different after you've done the work in between the two marriages? How does this current relationship look different than the previous one? I so I did I did a lot of that therapy and then when I first started dating, I was like, you know what? I want to pay for my life and I want to guy who's going to treat me like a princess. And if he's not a boss, I don't want him. So I had all these very like, I don't know. Rules. Looking at dating. And then as I went on and I kept meeting more people, I realized that what I really wanted, oh, height, I had to be over. Or he had tall, what I really realized is that what I wanted versus what I needed were two very different things. And what I needed was a cheerleader, someone who supported and was interested in my career in my life and was rooting for me. And someone who wanted to spend time with me and someone who really understood me and loved me and just wanted to be with me, which these things sound like, well, yeah, isn't that every relationship? No, it's not. No, it's not. So I think and my husband's 5 9, right? It's never like you think it's gonna be. It's 5 9. We're talking about it all the time. But I'm just saying that that's the thing is I think the naive, there's a bit of naive naivete. Naivete? Nope. Sounds fantastic. My boyfriend will correct you later, don't worry. I think that you can be naive going into the dating scene thinking like these are the things you want because this is what you saw in a movie. And those are the feelings you want to capture, but what you realize at the end of the day is that marriage is long, and you need, you need a partner who can fulfill the real things that you need, not the fake things that you think you need. But does he look like Tony Soprano? Oh, oh yeah, hell yeah. Okay, all right. To budget. I think this is such a good tie in. I mean, this conversation's been incredible. I think the tie in that I have is to takeaways from what you just said about your husband and just throughout this whole convo is clarity. I think clarity is so important in taking that beat. And sometimes that involves spending time by yourself. I think that is a common theme that we hear. We think that we have to always be filling our social schedules and lining up date after date, but sometimes the best thing is to take that beat, get the clarity. What is it that I really want? What is it that I know about myself? What is it? What are the areas that I want to improve on? And that's how you can be confident and you can take criticism or take feedback and interpret it a certain way and get these voices out of our heads because we all have them and I really think until we can address them and stop thinking about it like oh why am I having to do this work but rather I am so lucky that I'm going to be doing this work because it's going to actually set me up for the rest of my life that I'm not in a constant hamster wheel battling these demons and letting people take me down and being unhappy in relationships. And relationships don't make you happy unless you're happy and that's something that we've all heard way too often and it sounds cliche. But it's totally true. A clarity. This was a therapy session. I really, I think that just you can apply that to every part of your life, slow down to speed up, I think, is always a big one. Yeah. I really like your story about kind of zooming out and seeing the world beyond just your experience 'cause I think once we zoom out, we realize we're not the only ones experiencing these were not the only ones experiencing the negative self talk. In fact, there are many people who are experiencing the same thing. And it's good to zoom out because then you don't feel alone in what you're going through and also just know that it's not just about you. You know verse does not revolve around you and so it's we always say when you're on a date, everybody's so, so self conscious about how the other person is thinking about them when, in fact, nobody's thinking about you. Like the other person's just more concerned about how they're coming off. So it's important to know that there is many people who are going through what you're going through.
01:00:03 - 01:04:22
The negative self talk is very interesting because you can either say completely say, okay, I'm going to just not listen to it, or you can also challenge yourself to say, no, don't say that, but rephrase it. Refreeze it in a kind way. So that I can receive it in the way that you intend it to. There is nothing wrong with challenging ourselves to rephrase how we speak to ourselves. I just feel like if anybody wants to, after this episode, think about what's one takeaway that I can get from this conversation is that we are constantly changing and evolving and we can't feel like how we feel today is going to be the same as how we feel tomorrow. Same as when we start dating that we constantly are like trying to see our partners in the lens of today when we have to know that they're also going to be changing too. So we put so much pressure on dating today when we should really think about just this person want to date me like for the long term in terms of the constant changing of who I am versus just criticizing me or thinking about me for today. So I really love that and the evolution of who we are is important to take note of. I think UA, you just spark something and Katie, you said it earlier of like, what is the why for me? And I think that's important because it doesn't mean that you always take something at face value. But can you dig a little deeper into it instead of saying like you should lose weight to fit into the dress, it's I want to be healthy. I want to be able to lift something or age better, all of that. And then that allows us to still love ourselves who we are, but also have a growth mindset because I think it could be dangerous too if you're just like, nope, is this who I am. I'm not changing. I love myself the way because it does it allow you to get better too. But it is a balance because you don't want to always be thinking like, I need to be a different person. This is who you are. What are some ways that's going to help you be that best version of yourself in a way that ultimately fulfills that why for you? Yes. Wonderful. Well, Katie starina, where can people find out more about you? You can follow me on Instagram at Katie's Torino or you can check out my products mega babe at target and Ulta. Awesome. Love it. Well, thank you so much for lovely conversation and for sharing your journey. We're always talking about the J word. And that was lovely and for all of our listeners. If you want to be on this journey with us, we really appreciate a review in Apple podcasts 5 stars and something really nice. Katie knows this too when someone leaves you a nice review makes you feel good, right? So that's self confidence. Yes. Yes, be on this journey with us. And on that note, we're going to wrap this up. The dateable podcast is part of the frolic podcast network. Find more podcasts you'll love at frolic dot media slash podcasts. Want to continue the conversation? First, follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter with the handle at dateable podcast. Tag us in any post with a hashtag stay dateable and trust us. We look at all those pose. Then head over to our website dateable podcast dot com. There you'll find all the episodes as well as articles, videos, and our coaching service with vetted industry experts. You can also find our premium Y series where we dissect, analyze, and offer solutions to some of the most common dating conundrums. We're also downloadable for free on Spotify, Apple podcasts, Google Play, overcast, stitcher radio, and other podcast platforms. Your feedback is valuable to us, so don't forget to leave us a review. And most importantly, remember to stay dateable. At children's national hospital, everything we do is just for kids. Our top ranked specialists are here for kids of all ages. From babies who need help before they're even born to teens and young adults. Our pediatric experts work together to diagnose problems quickly and thoroughly and use treatments designed exclusively for growing children, with convenient locations all across the D.C. metro area, find a specialist today at children's national dot org slash stronger.