Why a perfectionist mindset won't help your weight loss or health goals

Rebecca is wearing a black shirt, standing on the beach holding her daughter
I felt torn. I wanted to celebrate food, but my body wasn't acceptable.

Episode 8. Do you ever feel the pressure to keep pushing toward perfection? Does your drive for achievement leave you feeling disconnected from your body and your true purpose in life?

Dr. Rebecca Sorenson is a former competitive athlete whose pursuit of the ideal swimmer body while striving to be a perfect student left her feeling disconnected from her body and created a disordered relationship with food and exercise.

In this podcast episode, Rebecca describes how at 16 years old, stress, food restriction, sleep deprivation, and over-exercising created the perfect storm to break her previously healthy relationship with food.

The pressure to keep over-achieving as an athlete, student, and seeking the ideal female body brought Rebecca to diet-rock-bottom. Her healing journey included grounding herself (literally) as an organic farmer, a yoga teacher, and an avid hiker.

After years of connecting with food from the ground up and finding a supportive romantic partner, Rebecca was able to savor food and her body again.

Dr. Rebecca Sornson is a naturopathic physician and co-founder of Hearth Natural Medicine along with her husband, Joshua Kraetsch.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Health Psychology, Rebecca worked as an organic farmer, a massage therapist, a farm-to-table cooking class instructor, and helped run a summer camp for teenagers. Through these adventures, Rebecca's respect and interest in individuals' healing journeys grew and deepened.

She completed her doctorate in naturopathic medicine at Bastyr University. While in school, she co-authored a research study on the microbiome of organic farmers. She has had advanced training in herbal medicine, craniosacral therapy, visceral manipulation, infant craniosacral therapy, biofeedback, yoga therapy, and whole foods nutrition.

Her specialty is treating people from an ecosystem perspective which means investigating how food, lifestyle, stress, psychological health, and spiritual health may all be playing a role in a person's wellbeing. Rebecca is also an avid cook and herbalist and relies heavily on food and plants for medicinal support.

If you're getting burned out by trying to do all the things and be everything to everybody, this episode is for you!

Listen to the show here and learn about...

  • The foundations of health from a holistic perspective.

  • How getting less than 7 hours of sleep will increase your hunger hormone (ghrelin) and decrease your fullness signals (leptin)

  • How chronic stress from the pursuit of perfection, dieting, and over-exercising can cause dysregulation of your body's needs (think soothing emotions with food + making up for food restriction)

  • Hear how the vis mediatrix naturae - the healing power of nature can help restore your ability to savor food and body

  • And why finding "your person" and having a healthy, supportive romantic relationship can help decrease body shame and increase body peace.

To learn more about Rebecca's work, visit Hearth Natural Medicine

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Resources mentioned in the show include...

Health At Every Size by Dr. Lindo (formerly Linda) Bacon

Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole RDN CEDRD and Elyse Resch RDN CEDRD

Come as you Are by Dr. Emily Nagoski

Burnout by Nagoski Sisters

The Joy of Movement by Kelly McGonigal