You’ve decided you going to try something new, you’re going to eat right and eat healthily and you’re going to embrace this new life! It’s summer after all and all you want to do is fit into that damn bikini.

But then you have a donut or some ice cream and you declare a war on yourself. Well now you’ve gone and screwed up the plan, you may as well just give up now…

Punishment and so much guilt wash over you, all of a sudden you find yourself in self-sabotage mode. Most of the time you don’t even realize you’re doing it, and it’s very difficult to snap out of it.

I feel you, I know exactly what it’s like and I understand the struggle. This is why I am so excited to be talking to a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist. Dr. Cristina Castagnini is a real doctor who really recovered from an eating disorder and today we talk about the real struggles women face with food, body image, and weight and what we can do to get out of that downward spiral and look at food for what it really is.

Meet Dr. Cristina Castagnini

Dr. Cristina is a licensed psychologist and is recognized as a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist. After overcoming her own struggles with having an eating disorder, it was always her dream to focus solely on helping women overcome their struggles with food and body image and to achieve a balanced life.

She now sees patients in her own practice and spreads information and awareness about eating disorders and body image struggles through her podcast, Behind The Bite.

Visit her private practice website and podcast website and connect on Instagram.

Listen to her podcast and sign up for her free course.

In This Podcast


  • Food is fuel
  • Kick the rules to the sidewalk
  • Learn your hunger cues
  • How to get to a good place with food

Food is fuel

There is no such thing as “bad” or “good” food. Food is food and is fuel: it is what we feed our body to give us energy and to maintain our immune systems and bodily functions.

Within that, there are certain foods that may be more or less helpful, but there is no external category that divides food into good or bad, only people do that.

Fuel and nutrition. That is all [that] the purpose of food is. [People] made it into a moral thing, like “if you eat this then you’re bad and if you eat this you’re good”. (Dr. Cristina Castagnini)

People tend to crave the foods that they deprive themselves of, and in that way dividing food into the “good” and “bad” camps can actually lead to someone worsening their eating habits. If you view a donut as a neutral entity then it loses its appeal to you as a forbidden item.

Kick the rules to the sidewalk

The imaginary rules that you have laid out, or have been told to use, can damage you. When you forbid yourself to eat something, you may want it more, which may lead to binging or fantasizing about that particular food item.

When you can view food and fuel without being morally categorized, you can eat the foods that you want from a place of health and from a place of satisfaction: these two avenues do not have to be in conflict with one another.

Learn your hunger cues

If you have been in a cycle of starving yourself or withholding food for so long that you are now unsure whether you are simply feeling hungry, or are actually hungry and your body needs food, it can be difficult to learn those hunger cues.

[Experiment] with your body at this point. What I like to say is [that] you want to feel better emotionally and physically after you’re done eating than you [did] before. (Dr. Cristina Castagnini)

Have hunger cue training wheels: try eating something small every two to three hours and notice how your body feels before and after eating. How do you feel? How does your body feel? Do you feel satisfied physically but want to eat more emotionally?

Noticing these small cues and slowing down can help you to get to know your body better.

How to get to a good place with food

You know you are in a good place with your relationship to food when:

  • You do not think about food after you have eaten and are satisfied,
  • Diets do not interest you,
  • You do not constantly bodycheck in the mirror after eating,
  • You do not punish yourself for having eaten – or not eat – something specific,
  • You do not use exercise as punishment for something that you did – or did not – eat, and
  • You can enjoy your food from a perspective of nourishment and satisfaction.

Useful links:

Meet Veronica Cisneros

Veronica Cisneros | Empowered And Unapologetic PodcastI’m a licensed therapist and women walk into my office every day stressed and disconnected. As a mom of three daughters, I want my girls to know who they are and feel confident about their future. I can’t think of a better way to help other women than by demonstrating an empowered and unapologetic life.

So I started  Empowered and Unapologetic to be a safe space for women to be vulnerable and change their lives for the better before she ever needs to see a therapist.

Whether you listen to the podcast, join the free Facebook communityjoin the VIP community, or attend our annual retreat,  you’re in the right place. Let’s do this together!

Thanks for listening!

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Empowered and Unapologetic is part of the Practice of the Practice Podcast Network, a network of podcasts seeking to help you thrive, imperfectly. To hear other podcasts like the Bomb Mom Podcast, Imperfect Thriving, or Beta Male Revolution, go to