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  • Writer's pictureDieting From The Inside Out

Divorcing Diet Culture and Living A Limitless Life with Toni Marinucci | DFIO Ep.269

About Today’s Episode:

In today's episode, I am talking to my friend—and bestselling author—Toni. I was actually on Toni's podcast, Tips with Toni, recently and I knew I had to bring her on here so I could introduce her, her content, and her book to you guys.

We talk a lot about her book in this episode, but at the end of the day, this episode is about being able to step away and get out of the trap of diet culture.

If all you've ever known is being in a constant state of "it's never good enough" or "I've always got to be losing more weight," it's hard to break that cycle.

That's what we get into today: how to get out of it, how to change your entire relationship with diet and exercise, and how to change your relationship with food and yourself.

I know you guys are going to love this one!


02:12 Sponsors

05:58 About Toni

26:14 Letting Go

Transcript (Click to expand)

About Toni:

Toni grew up overweight, was teased about her weight, and—as early as 9 years old—she had the goal of weight loss.

As Toni grew up, she was active and pretty athletic, but overweight. She began increasing the amount she exercised and restricting her food intake, eating as little as a single orange during the day.

This overly restrictive, exercise-heavy approach failed her. Toni would struggle to be consistent and would binge on the weekends.

Toni’s struggles continued for a long time—even after she went to school to become a registered dietitian. As she learned more about nutrition, she became obsessed with only eating foods she considered to be ‘healthy’.

Over the years, Toni learned to stop focusing on how food made her look and started focusing on how food made her feel and her mentality surrounding food.

Today, Toni teaches other women how to find balance in life and how to enjoy foods.

Both Toni and Jared agree that having weight or fat loss goals and aesthetic goals are fine, but those goals need intrinsic motivation because, as Jared points out: “intrinsic leads to extrinsic.”

Realizing What Doesn’t Work:

Jared often finds that people often come to him after having always done crazy diet culture stuff…

…and then when they start doing the inner work, they realize that their goals are different—they don’t need to weigh so little.

Toni finds that this tends to be the case with most of her clients, as well.

Toni doesn’t want to rob anyone of their process and recognizes that sometimes people have to go through certain things before they are ready to try things another way.

She can tell you that Optavia, keto, or any other extreme diet isn’t going to be the solution, but some people have to go through the experience of those things first-hand.

Both Toni and Jared are very upfront with potential clients that the diet culture extremes are not something that they do and that their programs are different—you'll learn to stop caring about the scale, you’ll build habits, etc.

Toni wants clients who are ready to fully commit to the process of changing, who know that the extremes don’t work—but she recognizes that, unfortunately, some people have to go through a lot before they are ready for a coach like Jared or herself.

Jared and Toni find that those who go in full force are the ones who get results.

Once Upon A Diet:

Before her book was a book, it was a TED Talk.

This TED Talk came about after she had applied several times with no traction.

Originally, Toni just wanted to talk about healthy habits, but she was getting nowhere and was finding herself frustrated with how often she was hearing from clients about all the diet-hopping they had done.

Toni realized that it took her a long time to understand that extreme diets didn’t work and that she needed to give a little grace to the women out there struggling with diet culture—comparing it to her experience with relationships.

Toni had, historically, gotten into serious relationships with men who she ended up taking care of, who didn’t treat her well. This sparked the idea for her eventual TED Talk and then her book.

In the book, she talks more about her story, client journeys, and gives tips going through the steps of not only changing, but also analyzing where you are at in life and being introspective.

She draws the comparison between dieting and relationships and teaches readers that there are many ways to be happy and healthy—neither of which depends on a number on a scale or your relationship status.

Letting Go:

Jared often has clients who are hanging on to a number on the scale and the old extreme way they lost weight before. He talks with them about divorcing those past diets that are no longer serving them and letting go of that old baseline.

Toni states that it’s wild what we allow and accept in our lives and that that’s why introspection is so important.

She says, “Just because you always did things one way doesn’t mean you have to keep doing that. If you’re not changing you’re not growing, but you get to choose and you get to decide.”

Toni believes that how you view your body has nothing to do with the way it looks, but everything to do with how you choose to see it.

She knows that if a person can understand that, they can change their lives.

It starts with how you talk to yourself and how you see yourself.

If you see limits, you’ll live a limited life.

Jared points out that if someone is willing to discount a little bit of progress, they’ll discount their entire transformation—a massive transformation is made up of thousands of micro-wins.

Emotional Addiction:

Jared finds that people get addicted to certain emotions—like always wanting more—and constantly find that they’re “not good enough.”

Toni sees this type of thing all the time and says that every transformation starts from your mind—you have to change your phrasing:

You get to.

It’s not you have to, or you should

You GET to.

Shifting your mindset will transform your world.

Where to Start:

Though everyone is different, Toni says that it’s generally good to start with your mindset. Focus on the habit that will produce the outcome, rather than the outcome itself.

Think about who you want to be and how that person behaves.

If you want to work out in the morning but constantly tell yourself you’re not a morning person, you have to change that narrative.

Affirmations alone will not do it, you have to back it up with your actions.

When you get a clear idea of who you want to be, your actions can start to follow—you will still have to put the work in, but you can start gaining momentum.

Toni also says you cannot wait for motivation. Motivation comes and goes and relying on it will only lead to being inconsistent.

It’s important to be truly honest with yourself. Toni finds that a lot of people will be both physically and mentally deprived.

When someone is physically deprived they may be undereating or not getting enough nutrients, whereas a person who is mentally deprived may not be allowing themselves foods they enjoy.

Generally, when someone is both physically and mentally deprived, Toni recommends they start with the physical because physical change will start to change their mentality.

For example, if you are not eating enough during the day and find yourself binging at night, you should try to focus on eating three balanced meals throughout the day so you can start physically feeling better.

Toni says you have to remember that every choice that you make has an effect—which has a reaction.

You have to take things slowly, though, because if you try to change everything all at once, you’ll burn out and struggle with consistency.

Jared finds that people often try to take on too much and end up just freezing.

If you are concerned about things being too slow, remember that the slow way is actually the fast way, Toni says.

It’s better to take a year to lose weight and really transform than it is to keep struggling the same way you have been for decades—always having another 10 lbs to lose.

Jared often finds that those who want to lose weight the fastest struggle the longest.

Why So Many Fail:

Toni believes that it is very much an issue of mindset and that we are often told for our entire lives that we need to change. This leads to people trying to follow things that aren’t designed for them, not considering their lifestyle.

The more you love your decisions the less you need others to love them.

She says you have to understand that your way will not look like anyone else’s way.

Jared points out that we often struggle with weight loss in ways that we don’t struggle in any other area of our life.

People will say they are an “all-or-nothing person” in weight loss and will skip a workout because they can’t get the whole 60 minutes in, but they don’t quit their job because they are running 15 minutes late.

Toni believes that it comes down to control.

Food is one of the things people have control over—what they eat or don’t eat.

She emphasizes that it’s important to continually grow and that a person who believes they have it all figured out will start regressing.

Coaching, she finds, helps people stop getting in their own way. Just having someone to give you a different perspective can be immensely helpful.

What Toni Is Currently Working On/Excited About:

Toni is working on a small, in-person body image healing workshop and she hopes to host larger retreats in the future.

Her goal is to bring women together and get them to feel supported and more comfortable in their bodies.


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Post-Production by: David Margittai | In Post Media

© 2023 Jared Hamilton



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