The Eating Instinct – Motherhood and Diet Culture — 080

Nov 12

As a journalist, Virginia Sole-Smith frequently wrote diet articles for women’s magazines but much of what she wrote never rang true for her. Then, when her first child was born with a rare congenital heart condition and wouldn’t eat on her own, she began to connect the dots of how outside influences can alter our bodies’ natural instincts to nourish and satiate ourselves.

Her new book, The Eating Instinct: Food Culture, Body Image, and Guilt in America, was inspired by her daughter’s resistance to eating, her journey to feel safe in her own relationship with food, and her experience of writing about diet culture. The book explores food culture, body image issues and eating disorders that can occur when societal rules disrupt our intuition, and the self-imposed judgments many women put upon themselves.

Virginia is a powerful voice not only for seeing yourself in a new way but also for raising the next generation in a new way that doesn’t assume we have to keep doing things the same way when it clearly isn’t working.  Her book comes out this week and will be an incredible resource to anyone looking to de-program cultural messages about our relationships to our bodies!

In This Episode:


  • How she learned her daughter had a congenital heart condition

  • How she built trust around the feeding relationship with her daughter

  • The intense bond the trauma and stress created between her and her partner

  • The importance of establishing feeding patterns

  • Ellyn Satter’s Division of Responsibility in Feeding

  • The ever-changing rules of nutrition

  • The science of hunger and satiation

  • How the word ‘best’ is a misnomer

  • The unhealthy relationship many women have with food

  • How our bodies have a natural intuition about what we need

  • The downsides of the diet culture

  • How to get a free 1-month trial of guided meditations through Expectful

Show Notes:

Virginia Sole-Smith

The Eating Instinct: Food Culture, Body Image, and Guilt in America, by Virginia Sole-Smith

@v_solesmith on Twitter

@v_solesmith on Instagram

Virginia Sole-Smith on Facebook

Virginia Sole-Smith Newsletter

Virginia Sole-Smith Podcast on Instagram

Expectful — 1 Month Free Trial for MotherBirth Community Members









About Our Guest:

Virginia Sole-Smith is the author of The Eating Instinct: Food Culture, Body Image and Guilt in America. As a journalist, she has reported from kitchen tables and grocery stores, graduated from beauty school, and gone swimming in a mermaid’s tail. Her work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, Elle and many other publications. She’s also a contributing editor with Parents Magazine and co-host of the Comfort Food Podcast.

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