Diet culture is everywhere. Although we can change our social media feeds, ditch those silly magazines at the check-out stand and make friendships that foster our own ideas about health, the office space is still one zone where diets, food choices, workout challenges, and the like are discussed like a right of passage.
Today I’m joined by Shreen El Masry from Be You Be Free, and we’re diving into how to navigate the diet culture mindfield at work. In today’s episode we discuss:
Why women continue to discuss these diet/fitspo topicsHow you can calmly guide the conversation elsewhereWays to protect your mental health from diet culture in the workplacePlus we both chat through our own personal eating disorder history, what we’ve learned from intuitive eating and why we advocate for mindful exercise
Speaker Background – Shreen El Masry
Welcome Shreen! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hi, my name is Shreen and I am an HAES/ Body Positive Personal Trainer and Certified Intuitive Eating Counsellor. I am the owner of Be You Be Free a body positive health and wellbeing community based in Sydney.
Be You Be Free is a supportive and non-judgmental community for all women that is based around fun and sustainable health and wellbeing behaviours such as self-care, intuitive eating, body respect, fun movement, connection, work-life balance and mindfulness amongst others.
In your own words, please describe your own body image, eating, and exercise journey. Where are you at with it now?
Nine years ago, I was diagnosed with an eating disorder, depression and anxiety. It all started with when I was asked to be a Bridesmaid for my friend’s wedding in the UK. I had already spent many years on diets, but the pressure of being a bridesmaid plus an upcoming move to Australia, was just too much, and it was the diet that led me to an eating disorder.
I started and long and hard road to recovery, and it was during this journey that ,along with counselling, I found Health at Every Size, Intuitive Eating and other wellbeing behaviours such as mindfulness, self-care and connection that led me to a full recovery.
Once I recovered all I wanted to do was help others going through what I did, or ultimately stop them going through it which inspired me to set up Be You Be Free, go back to university and train as a personal trainer and certified intuitive eating counsellor.
Now I am in the best place I have ever been. Becoming pregnant was probably the final turning point for me. It took me 2 years to get pregnant because of the damage dieting had done. Watching my body grow this human being is incredible and it really does give you a new found respect for your body. Your body also tells you exactly what it needs when it is pregnant, and I feel I am more in touch with my body now then I have ever been before. It’s an amazing experience and I am incredibly grateful.
What are you passionate about at work and in your own personal life?
I am really passionate about promoting a positive body image and helping women break free from diet culture, so they so they can spend their time on the things that matter to them the most and live their lives the way they are meant to. I am also passionate in helping women have fun with movement and break the stigma that exercise needs to be hard work. We have a lot of fun in our sessions with dance offs and hula hooping! In my personal life, my family and friends come first. They are my number one priority. I also love picnics, bush walks and travelling to new places.
Links & Resources
For further help and guidance with your body image journey,
This free 20-page resource is a jam-packed with practical tips, journal activities, and actionable advice you can use straight away to help you make peace with your body and feel better when you’re having one of those ‘blah’ days.