Series 38: For the Love of You | Episode 02
Your Body is YOU with Dr. Hillary McBride
This series, For the Love of You, is allowing us to open a door to ourselves, encouraging us to show ourselves kindness and truly embrace how we can care for ourselves In a world that has told us, specifically women, that we should put ourselves last. And when it comes to our bodies, we’ve had a host of misinformation that tells us that our bodies are to be restricted and that we should disconnect from what our bodies need, because our needs will be at cross purposes with what our culture wants.
Dr. Hillary McBride is here to debunk all that mess and wants us to lovingly reunite with our bodies because our bodies are not just a hindrance that gets in the way of us being loved. She emphasizes the integral connection between our bodies and who we are–and that we should show our total person respect, because at the end of the day–our bodies are keeping us alive. Our bodies are where pleasure, joy, connection, experiences of fulfillment, and desire happens. The truth is, the body is always working for our good–and she tells us all the ways it is–even the ways we might *feel*our body is betraying us. Hillary is one of our best people–she’s been on the podcast multiple times and has spoken into so many moments for us over the last few years–dipping in right when we needed her. A psychologist and researcher, her work lands at the intersection of spirituality and mental health, trauma, body image and eating disorders, embodiment, and feminist psychology. And to top it off, Hillary is also inspiring generations of women to look at their bodies as She, not just the “thing” that carries their brain around each day. Hillary uncovers the truth that we haven’t been supported to have a dialogue with ourselves that is compassionate and that so often our bodies are seen as “a problem” or a root for our distrust. She gently reminds us: our various physiological responses to life are NOT proof that our bodies are bad and can’t be trusted–it’s really our bodies just saying, “Please let me care for you. Please trust me.”
Content warning: This episode talks about hard topics including eating disorders and sex. Listener discretion is advised, content may not be suitable for young audiences.
Hey everybody, Jen Hatmaker here, welcome to the show. Right now we are in a series called For the Love of You. I want to qualify that, like I constantly do in this series, which is by saying, I don’t mean that in a silly way. We just really thought as a team about developing a series where we really explored the different ways that you as a person matter in the world. So we have compiled this team of incredible experts, the best in the biz, to walk us through these facets of ourselves that collectively tend to become so broken and so corrupted and we’re just wondering if we can begin to build a roadmap home.
That’s what this series is about. Now, having said that, if you’re in my world, you know that for the past few years, I have taken a pretty serious deep dive into what it actually means to exist within my own body and honor her desires and her needs and yes, her. Because she needs love. She needs care and kindness and nourishment and all the things that I routinely withheld for many, many years. And for what? How did treating my body irresponsibly help me? What did it give me? Nothing. My body is the single greatest detriment to a beautiful life. Did that deliver at all? It didn’t. I can tell you this, having logged a good five years here, there is something so unbelievably magical about loving and existing in our bodies, while treating them with incredible care and respect.
Now, I will say upfront, this has not been an easy journey for me. For me, this meant unlearning a ton of toxic narratives that I’ve been ingesting since I was a kid, right? Same for you. We all got the same story. For me, this was a road filled with blocks and bumps and bruises and forward progress, and then backward progress and I needed help to clear the way. I don’t know how many times I have said this publicly. I can’t even count how many times I have referenced her. I have highlighted her work. I have taken her exact words and put them inside my own books, my own podcasts, my own community language with you. Because Dr. Hillary McBride, who we have on the show today, was probably my most shining star.
For me, what was a new conversation, definitely a new way to learn and live. She has inspired me in every way and literally changed the way I think. So I can’t wait to share this conversation with you. This is one of those episodes and I always know it right when I finish, I actually know it right in the middle of it, but I knew, right when this episode just wrapped a second ago, that every single word has value today. There’s not a wasted word, not one, not a wasted sentence. Because, if you’re new to Hillary, you’ll see. She’s wonderfully gentle. She’s so good at what she does and her way of being in the world is so lovely. Let me tell you a little bit more about her just in case you’re new, because she has been on the show today. She’s a returning guest.
Dr. McBride, by the way, got her fancy doctorate in the intervening time from the first episode that I had her on to this one. So now she’s fancy. She’s a doctor now, you guys, and she’s a registered psychologist. She’s based in British Columbia up in Canada. Her work has been recognized by the American Psychological Association and the Canadian Psychological Association.
She completed her PhD in Counseling Psychology from the University of British Columbia. And she recently won the Young Investigators Award for her research contributions so early in her academic career. Her work in private practice and teaching and research includes absolute expertise in what I would even consider pioneering research, at the intersections of spirituality and mental health, trauma, body image, eating disorders, embodiment and feminist psychology. You can see why I love her. That’s all my stuff.
That’s everything I love. Her first book, Mothers, Daughters, and Body Image: Learning to Love Ourselves as We Are, was published in 2017. There is no way that I quoted less than 5,000 words of that in Fierce, in my last book. Those of you who read Fierce, I have this whole chapter on bodies and its center point is Hilary’s work. I told her at the end of the show today, I’m like, “I’ll never, ever stop referencing you.” The degree to which I do that is just a hair under plagiarism, but I always credit her. So everybody calm down. Okay. Hillary is a senior editor of the textbook called Embodiment and Eating Disorders: Theory, Research, Prevention, and Treatment which was published in 2018.
Her next book is called The Wisdom of Your Body: Finding Healing, Wholeness, and Connection through Embodied Living. It comes out in October and I’m actually going to have her on an IG Live, so you all be watching for that. We will absolutely unpack what she is offering us in that book. I told her, and I’ve said this many times, the greatest compliment that I can give Hilary’s work is that the very second I finish reading it, I want to put it in the hands of my daughters.
Hilary is the host of Other People’s Problems, which is a podcast about therapy and mental health and per her reporting, the great loves of her life are her husband, her brand new baby daughter, the ocean and chai tea. It’s not a bad list and she’s the love of my life. So there’s that. I am so happy if you’re new to her, that you’re going to get introduced to Hilary’s work today. We talk about sex, we talk about hunger, we talk about what do we do when we are disconnected from our bodies and we’ve believed that lie? How do we get started? It’s all in here.
Then you’re going to want to share this with every woman that you love, your sisters, your best friends, definitely your daughters. I’m so glad to bring you my conversation with the incredible, the stunning Dr. Hillary McBride.
Books & Resources Mentioned in This Episode
The Wisdom of Your Body: Finding Healing, Wholeness, and Connection through Embodied Living
by Dr. Hillary McBride
Mothers, Daughters, and Body Image: Learning to Love Ourselves as We Are
by Dr. Hillary McBride
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Thanks for listening to the For the Love Podcast!
XO – Team Jen