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Diet Culture & Extreme Religion

Welcome to Grace and Space, a weekly newsletter from the Deconstructing Mamas Podcast! GRACE for who you have been, are now and SPACE for who you are becoming and will be!

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In most extreme, fundamentalist religions, we are taught that the body is evil, needs to be judged and controlled. This leads to disconnection from our body and, at the same time, some odd obsession with perfecting it. We believe that connecting to our body and caring for it is paramount in our journey to heal from toxic, extreme religion and the intertwining of diet culture. We welcome our guest this week and cannot wait to share her with you. Here is just a glimmer of what you are going to get.

Top 10 bits of life advice, learned from our guest this week, Trisha Wilkerson, a former pastor's wife (the now defunct Mars Hill Church...yes THAT one), mom, author and nutrition coach...

1. If you want a life partner, choose someone that has good & patient soul to suffer alongside. Life is beautiful pain.

2. Know your limits, honor and advocate for them. It’s ok, limits change.

3. Let go. Anything that makes your heart race with fear and anxiety—work hard to lean into that and learn to let go.

4. Get serious about tending to your health. It’s actually really powerful and not at all selfish to make your health your most important effort, attention, and strategy.

5. Listen. To others outside your box. We won’t grow if we surround our selves with people like us.

6. Honor both stories: the good and the bad. Grieve the losses and rejoice when you see the precious. There’s always dark and light in every story.

7. Ask for help. Practice this as often as you can. It’s authentic humanity. We need each other.

8. Live your senses. Be in your body. Smell. Hear. Touch. Taste. See.

9. Make compassionate curiosity your main relationship style. Loved ones will feel nurtured.

10. Hold yourSELF: Your story, your soul, your mind, your body. Believe you are truly loved. You are precious. Expanding on the tending to your health one (#4), here is what Trisha has to say...

Instead of criticizing your body, imagine being compassionate towards your already good body.

It’s common to look at your body and judge it, compare it, and wish it were different somehow. What if instead of feeling and behaving as if you didn’t to change your body—you embraced it with acceptance and appreciation? With kindness?

Making peace with your body doesn’t mean neglecting it. Making peace includes active stewardship and nurture. We feed it, nourish it, and exercise because we like our bodies and want to take good care rather than behave out of a “fix it bc it’s broken” posture.

Your body is a place for your care and compassion. Give gentle, peaceful, & kind love to it. One last thing from Trisha, and why we have this weird, gorgeous tree as our image of the week... Recovery: the path away from something that you realize was unhealthy for you & the path toward health.

I’ve been recovering from religious trauma these past several years & it’s tough.

This specific tree is a family favorite: I recently stood here pondering about how I feel (like this tree) sometimes and increasingly more as healing roots me to love and goodness.

Recovery can stir feelings of regret and sorrow because there’s a deeper acknowledgment of the years, relationships, and memories spent aligned with the behavior or beliefs. This grief is part of the healing. I’m learning self-awareness, acceptance, and love more in this as I allow space and mystery to permeate my heart. Helping others heal is a gift and keeps me honest on my own healing journey.

Love grounds, heals—and roots me to goodness. This recovery, this deeper ground feels precious and sacred.


This Week on the Podcast:

“Self-discovery is the goal. Self-compassion is the vibe." (Trisha Wilkerson) We start off Season Five with Trisha Wilkerson as our guest this week on the podcast. And it's really good! Trisha is a deconstructing mama, author, former pastor's wife turned certified Nutrition Coach. She works with individuals and groups, guiding a behavioral change process towards increasing overall wellness. Her style is wholeheartedness, with curiosity and gentle challenges.

Trisha's journey in Transformation, Healing, and Holistic Wellness began in the Church, where she learned to listen and love. 25 years in the Evangelical Church taught me much about walking with brokenness and pain and learning how to heal. She learned how to lead people, counsel, write, and coach. But along the way, she began to discover uncomfortable truths about extreme religion and the trauma that results from the disconnection from our bodies and, in all honesty, disconnection from ourselves. She also researched the way diet culture and extreme religion are intertwined and how we can untangle the harmful messages of judgment and shame and move into a space of compassionate curiosity and deep connection with our bodies. On this episode, our fascinating conversation leads us into the murky waters of diet culture and how extreme religion was the perfect space for all the harmful messages surrounding the body and the constant striving for perfection. We also discover new ways of engaging with food, our "already good" bodies and the recovery of souls along the way. This time around, we find out, not what we need to be teaching our kids about faith, God and themselves, but what what they have to teach us. Trisha is kind, gentle and passionate and views journeying with others now as such an adventure– with not one destination! Embracing mystery has emboldened her to be curious and love people with more gentleness and dignity. Advocating for people has meant that she step into their stories with them and together seek change for their individual growth and healing. And pretty soon, she will have a book out called "Already Good" How Diet Culture and Religion Exploit Our Desires For Worthiness. Not sure about you, but we can't wait to get it. You can find the Trisha in these spaces: Instagram: @trisharwilkerson

Website (her Wellness Coaching practice):



Latest News:

Join our private PATREON group. For as little as $3/month, you will get lots of extras from Lizz and Esther, including deeper discussions about topics on the podcast, first dibs on knowing about future exciting projects and perhaps some special deals exclusive to those projects and our NEW QUARTERLY ZOOM DISCUSSION GROUP where we dive lots deeper into the things we need to sort out with parenting and deconstructing.

We have a really FUN GOAL we are setting for this community by the beginning of Season 5, coming up on March 5th, which is tomorrow!!!

We are trying to get to 73 PATREONS before that point. "WHY 73?" you ask!

Lizz's birthday is July 3. 7/3. So it feels like a lovely number of people. Plus, there's something in the Bible about 7 being the number of perfection and 3 being the number of wholeness. So WHY NOT??? We still love the Bible, right? Well, at least in this case, we do!! (winky face)

Head to this LINK to join us! You won't regret it! And plus, the reality is that you will help us keep the lights on over here at Deconstructing Mamas. We really really want to! Thank you in advance!


Resource Alert:


Can't wait until Tuesday and need just a little snippet from our podcast episode that's coming up on Tuesday, March 5.


One last thing. We want to remind you that we are so glad you are here. We wouldn't be the same without you. You will always find GRACE for where you've been and who you are now, and SPACE for who you are becoming and will be.

Carry on, our new-found friends. Welcome to the twisty-windy, full -of-adventure faith path that's laid out before us all. Love,

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