Raising the Red Flag About Eating Disorders in Midlife with Val Schonberg RD
In this episode, I’ve invited nutritionist Val Schonberg, RD, to join me on the podcast to discuss the complicated factors that are contributing to this growing public health crisis. We talk about the toxic default programming about body types that we’re fed from a young age. We’ll also share examples of the unintentional but constant affirmation we give women when they lose weight that only perpetuates the problem.
Here’s the thing more people need to know: It’s not the desire for weight loss that’s the problem. The problem lies in the unrealistic expectations we place on bodies to conform, and when we use weight as a proxy for health. This episode will help you start to explore the areas of nutrition where you can take control and begin to trust that being confident in your own skin is within your reach.
In this episode, you’ll learn:
- The lack of information surrounding eating disorders in the medical community
- Why there is a unique urgency to “fix the eating habits” in midlife
- The long-term effects of dieting on your neurobiology
- What aspects of food you can control without compromising your health
- Why we need to be collectively committed to lowering the bar when making nutrition-based goals
Jenn Huber 00:02
Hi and welcome to the midlife feast the podcast for women who are hungry for more in this season of life. I'm your host, Dr. Jenn Selena Huber. Come to my table. Listen and learn from me. Trusted guests, experts in women's health and interviews with women just like you. Each episode brings to the table juicy conversations designed to help you feast on midlife. Hi there, welcome to this week's episode of the midlife feast.
My guest this week is Val Schoenberg, who is a Atlanta based dietitian, who not only has experience in midlife and menopause, she's also a sports dietitian, and has a special interest in training and working with eating disorders. And like me, she has some concerns around the lack of support from the, you know, general medical, and also even just nutrition community recognizing that we are seeing an increase in eating disorders for women in midlife and menopause. And that, you know, there are changes in the brain and our body that may actually be a window of vulnerability, not unlike what we see in younger girls and boys as well in their teen years.
And so I think you'll enjoy this conversation where we talk about kind of some of the problems that we see. But we also bring it back to what do you do when you're 45 or 55? And have spent your whole life dieting and still feel like you're battling this body image dissatisfaction? How do you move away from that in a way that feels good. So have a listen, enjoy the conversation. And as always, I love to hear your feedback. Hi, Val, welcome to the midlife feast.
Val Schonberg 01:47
Hello, Jen, I'm thrilled to be here with you.
Jenn Huber 01:51
So I was really excited to invite you on to the podcast and was even more excited when you accepted because, like me, you're a dietitian, and you are also Nam certified. So you're certified by the North American menopause society. But you also have this really interesting kind of professional intersection with work that you do with eating disorders and all stages of life. But as we'll talk about, you know, you're spending a little bit more time working with people in midlife. And this conversation is very topical, because anybody who has been paying attention to some of the research or maybe has seen things that I think both you and I have shared, there actually is data emerging that there may be an increased risk for eating disorders, both new and recurring, as women come into perimenopause, and menopause, and probably even for a period of time after that. So what can you tell us and the listeners a little bit about that? Why does that happen? You know, I
Val Schonberg 02:51
think we're trying to understand that when you look at the different literature, in terms of from the eating disorder, space, like understanding the development of eating disorders is complex to begin with, at any age, right? Like we talk about a bio psychosocial model of the development of eating disorders. So there's not just one causation, but many, many factors that bring into fact, a person's biological predisposition, certainly socio cultural factors. And, and then some psychological factors of like, you know, personality traits, and some of those kinds of factors.
So oftentimes, a lot of the research around eating disorders has focused on that puberty, that vulnerable time of, you know, identity development, as well as potentially hormonal shifts, some of those factors. And what has been more underserved is understanding how we're seeing an increased prevalence of disordered eating and eating disorders among midlife women. And there's actually many overlaps and parallels between those two times in a woman's life. So one group of researchers has coined the term Peri menopausal eating disorder, right? Because it is a vulnerable time of where those hormones are fluctuating and, you know, kind of wildly fluctuating in many cases, and how that mimics puberty.
And it's also at a time in a woman's life where identity is changing their life changes, kind of the who, who am I now, like, my kids have left a lot of stress, stress has an action on the brain centers. And then there's this pressure to, you know, be thin fit in, you know, push against aging, as well as some public health messages that say, Oh, you shouldn't gain weight, you know, do all costs don't gain any weight. And so all of those factors together can really be a perfect storm. for the development of an eating disorder for a midlife woman at a time in her life, when actually she needs to be really focused on optimizing her nutrition to, you know, kind of work against, you know, or reduce the risk of some of the diseases of aging.
Jenn Huber 05:17
Yeah, that's it. That's a great summary. I know that one of the things that surprised me, as someone who you know, is, is a recovered clinician, and certainly was, I've described my experience kind of, after my eating disorder as living in wellness culture, with the blessing of, you know, the integrative and alternative world, as you know, I really was able to justify my disordered eating as wellness.
And what I see in my practice, and kind of in my work, and the conversations that I have with people, is that when you know, a lot of people live in that space, a lot of people find a safe place to kind of hide their disordered eating, believing that they're doing the right thing by their health, that they're, you know, they're getting the right support, when in fact, it's, it's not helping them to make decisions about foods that are supporting their health.
And then when they get to midlife, and they hit this perfect storm of hormonal changes, and our, our brain is a reproductive organ. And it also doesn't like having these wild swings in estrogen and progesterone, that it can really feel like your crash landing into that really tumultuous teenage period, again, not just with body image, but with mood, and just how you, you know, this identity crisis. And I see I see an urgency about it that I think even outpaces what we see in in adolescence, but I could be wrong about that. That's just my experience, but there's a real urgency of like, if I don't do something about this now, meaning how they feel about their bodies and their relationship with food, that they feel like it's it's never going to be quote unquote, fixed. It's, it's that
Val Schonberg 07:05
there's so many pieces to that. Yeah. Um, so I, I think there's, we have to bring in the whole point of dieting though, too, right? So when I often see women who are coming to me to age 55, or 60, with that sense of urgency, like, I really need to lose this weight for once and for all, or, quote, unquote, my old tricks don't work anymore. It really is kind of that begs the question of what what were the old tricks, right. And so when you look at whether it started in puberty, or college years, or whatever age that someone had distress, or felt like they needed to get control, and they use dieting, as a way to, you know, fix their body feel better, right?
And then how that there's so many complexities to that, on the one hand, it does do some things to the dopamine reward system, and then you lose weight. And then you get acceptance and feedback from the environment that okay, you're a better person because you lost weight. And then women just keep in that cycle as they go through those years, right? Because we know the research around dieting is that most people who diet and lose weight you know, gain that weight back. So there's at some point where the body has become very, very brilliant at protecting us against this, you know, cycle that we're, we're thinking is a healthy, okay thing to do, but it actually has some significant consequences. So when women come to see me in those, those, you know, the Eat well, even the 40s, but say 50s, and then we start unpacking, like how you've been dieting for 2030 years. Right?
So that takes a toll on your body, that takes a toll on your neurobiology. And so even if that person isn't necessarily, you know, diagnosed with an eating disorder, like anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa or binge eating disorder, there's this really disordered relationship with food and their body. And it becomes tricky to unravel that, right because it almost becomes part of a belief system as this is what I have to do, to feel better, to manage my anxiety to manage my stress to know who I am. And so to let that go is very complicated.
And it's doable. I mean, I've I've definitely that's what I love in my work is working with these women. This is just my ideal population, because there's oftentimes that way, there's a different way that I can live my life, like you know, whether it's through intuitive eating or you know, some body image healing work, or helping them recognize this body dissatisfaction You know, how does that serve you? When you look at your values and all these other things you care about in life? I do feel like midlife women are just a wonderful population to work with. But too often I see that there's really just bad information that's been given.
Jenn Huber 10:18
Oh, yeah, I completely agree. I often talk about it as default programming, you know, we often grow up in, you know, family units, you know, either chosen or that we're born into, you know, we grew up with these family units, where we're often exposed to diet talk, you know, negative talk about bodies, whether it's, you know, not even related to, to us, but you know, a lot of people have experiences of watching parents or siblings or aunts or uncles be in and out of the diet cycle. You know, most of the time, you know, I've seen some really heartbreaking statistics that, you know, kids by the age of six are afraid of being in a larger body, that they already know that that's, that that's a quote unquote, bad thing.
So, you know, when people spend their whole life dieting, and then, you know, are confronted with, Okay, well, I was sold this bill of goods, I was promised this thing that I could have if I put in the work and did the time. And now you're telling me that that actually isn't true for most people that we can't achieve that than ideal just by diet and exercise. There's a lot of grief there. There's grief, there's anger, and I really see people go through those stages of grieving, you know, denial thing. Well, that can't be true, this can't be true, there must be a way there must be something else that I can do.
And then anger, you know, having never heard a lot of these statistics, you know, when people find out that most intentional efforts to lose weight, are not going to be successful in the long term. And as we're learning may actually have side effects that make weight regain more likely, you know, they're really angry. But then there's also so much confusion, because it's still not comfortable to be in this body. So it feels like this impossible thing of you're damned if you're doing you're damned if you don't. So I think it's why all of these messages just kind of like crash land into midlife, where we have this experience of decades of dieting, that isn't working.
But we also have this message that you alluded to, you know, from public health, saying, Oh, but now it's more important than ever to make sure that you're quote unquote, healthy. So what are some of the what are some of the ways that you kind of help people to navigate that, like, if somebody is, you know, listening to this podcast? And is nodding their head saying, yes, that's exactly how I feel? Where should they start? Where is like, a safe place for them to think about? Okay, how do I start to, to get out of this Riptide and really kind of find a way that's going to help me to feel safe and comfortable in the body that I'm in?
Val Schonberg 12:56
Well, it definitely starts with some education, right? Because, and that's what I would encourage people to follow you on Instagram, I think you do like a beautiful job of educating. There are some, you know, very weight inclusive providers that are trying to get this message out that you've kind of been brainwashed to believe this idea. And it's not correct. And you know, that, like women are brilliant, right? Like we have this instinct, we know when things don't feel right or line up. And so it's now giving women this other piece of information that says, that actually isn't true. Like, yes, there's a lot of advertising on top of public health messages that say, you should be afraid of gaining weight. And then we know women are afraid of gaining weight, like that's well documented in research. And like you just pointed out, sadly, this is happening earlier and earlier in a person's lifespan, which is heartbreaking to me, right?
Like they're getting this sometimes in a health class in school that talks about, you know, the fear of being in a certain BMI, which is horrible information. And so then you have these younger individuals who are like, Okay, well, I'm going to be a responsible person, and do what I need to and eat healthy. And then they become kind of a risk factor for, you know, an eating disorder development. And so we see this happening for midlife women. So it really does start from a place of, hey, this is this is true in that diets don't work. Here's why they don't work. Here's what you can do to take care of your health. So we can do like a health focused approach, and then come back because I mean, a lot of women at this age you do start to care about your bones. My teenagers don't. The teenage clients really are like, yeah, that's, that's forever, I'm fine.
But you know, when you come into midlife, you are seeing the reality of the diseases of cancer risk and And so you're wearing more sunscreen, or you're, you know, taking care of your health, you're focused on, you know, fiber containing foods, your cardiovascular risk factors getting in, hopefully for your mammograms or for, you know, early detection of breast cancer, but it's also educating women about osteoporosis, because I find that osteoporosis is this silent disease, right? We never know when you have it. And so that can be an element of, hey, you know, I hear you that you're really uncomfortable in your body.
And whether it's grieving the loss of the thin ideal or challenging the health provider that told you that you should lose that 10 pounds that you gained, like, that's actually not grounded in good science. But here's, so we can provide that evidence and say, a good way to focus is let's make sure we have adequate energy intake, you know, good protein intake, whatever that looks like, balanced nutrition and pleasure with food and eating as well. And so as women then reclaim that, then it's making sure that they're getting that message in all of their other circles, right? Because they can come see you, and they can come see me. And then they go back to their social circles, like those, those people you're talking to are crazy.
Like, of course, you know, just go do this diet, like this work great for me, you know, that kind of messaging or some of those pieces. So I think it starts with education, I think it's really adapting an understanding a weight inclusive approach, focusing on your health over anything else, and then getting some support around that body image for body dissatisfaction. Because I do a lot of work with that, in that space to, like, what do I do with this, I don't feel comfortable in my body, my clothes don't fit, I've had to go buy new clothes, I'm really sad that these clothes I used to really like don't fit me anymore. And then that's colliding with so many other changes in life.
Sometimes relationship changes, kids leaving all this stuff. And so it's very, I give a approach. It's very compassionate, and really focused on the individual. So it is not a bad thing for a woman to come in and say, but I still want to lose weight. Like I know, I know. And let's just talk about that. Let's let's hear from that part of you that really yearns to lose weight or be in a smaller body. And let's just see, what can you control? What can we do to still not compromise our health in any way? Because of that urge, our sense of urgency for that?
Jenn Huber 17:38
Yeah, no, I completely agree. And I think, you know, when it comes to that, working through that feeling of but I still want to lose weight, I really give people permission to to say, like, I'm not asking you to stop desiring weight loss. I'm not, I want you to see that responding to it with dieting and restriction hasn't worked. And you have decades of life experience to prove that. And that the desire for weight loss may continue to crop up because of the culture that we live in.
But if we can change how you respond to it, if we can, you know, have that self compassionate response, if we can work towards a weight neutral approach with, you know, not just your own self talk, but with your health care providers, and really surround you with the support that you need to feel good in your body, it will really change your experience of how you respond. And you know, you'll have that flexibility and that resiliency and that self compassionate response, and it won't feel as urgent when those thoughts and feelings come up. And that kind of you know, it's it's not easy. I make it sound like it's a step by step process. But as you know, and as anyone listening knows, it really does take practice.
And I love that you're working in a space because there I don't think that there are enough of us, I don't think that there are enough nutrition professionals who really have that understanding of what it's like in midlife, because we do have all of these other changes happening, and that we do have to factor that in to how we respond to others and also ourselves.
Val Schonberg 19:13
Well, and if I can piggyback that I think it's a really important issue because I know that you probably have clinicians that also listen to your podcast, but to recognize when I go to medical conferences, related to men, menopause, specifically, eating disorders might show up as a bullet point in 30 hours worth of presentations. It's not a presentation. It's not something that's been talked about. It's still very weight centric, like you know, women need to lose weight to prevent disease kind of messaging, so clinicians or gynecologist, some of our health providers that our clients are going to or not getting this information necessarily and then
And to be, you know, respectful to the eating disorder community, but still, you know, in the Academy of eating disorders did a wonderful plenary on midlife eating disorders at their conference last year. But we often don't even see this topic presented at eating disorder conferences. And then this isn't even taking into account sports nutrition. And my background is also as a sports dietitian. And so just really understanding that some of the messaging
I'm seeing from the sports world with midlife is well just lift more weight, like that's what you need to do, like just just lift weight. And I agree, like strength training is super important. It's, it's an important intervention for managing aging and sarcopenia and keeping the muscle healthy. But there's a subliminal message of we'll do this, and then you'll get that body you want, then you'll look the way you think. And it's, it's really care, we have to be careful with this messaging. Because what I it goes back to what I said at the start, the reality of the pressure on midlife women is greater today than I would say, ever. And I can say that as a 58 year old woman that I see it, I'm in it, I get it. But it is it is something as clinicians we need to be pretty aware of.
And every time you're looking at some of these recommendations, you know, read a lot of new read the information of a recent article just came out in the menopause journal, which I read the article and then I was looking through the menopause journal, like when's the last time they talked about eating disorders? Hardly ever, right? Like it's really not talked about, even in the clinical circles. And if you look at like the prevalence rates that are cited for eating disorders in midlife, it's about three and a half percent. And if you compare that, to the risk of breast cancer is about 1.5% in women at the age of 40. So is a no disrespect for breast cancer. I mean, we are all very, like, you know, alert and vigilant, we, you know, we want to be healthy. But it's interesting, right, that we do have a prevalence for the development of eating disorders, the midlife or redevelopment of eating disorders. And, and it just hardly gets addressed in these big medical conferences, or certainly in podcasts or, you know, in public spaces.
Jenn Huber 22:22
Yeah, and I mean, the danger of that is in those clinical encounters. So I'll share one, obviously, you know, anonymously that was recently told to me, of someone who, you know, was talking to their primary care provider about, you know, was essentially kind of recognizing that some of her thoughts and behaviors around food weren't healthy, and were distressing. And she was starting to worry about it.
And when she brought this up with her health care provider, her health care provider said, Well, if you're worried about developing an eating disorder, we only worry about that if you get too skinny. And she is looking for a new provider, but was kind of like, okay, so because I'm in a larger body, it's okay, if I have an eating disorder. And I think that really describes how many clinicians still think that the risks of the eating disorder only happen when your BMI is below 18.
You know, when we're talking about the cardiac risk factors and those kinds of things, but the risk factors are to our mental health. That is why it is I think, a public health crisis, you know, in many ways is that it's the effect on our mental health, that we that needs to be front and center, not the end effect of an eating disorder, which might be those cardiac abnormalities. Right. And that's where I think the education on the clinical side needs to happen is that, you know, we need to recognize that the ongoing chronic stress of trying to lose weight thinking about food all the time worrying about your body is a public health crisis, I think.
Val Schonberg 24:01
Yeah. And certainly an education opportunity, right, because we see this, even when we look at, say, our pediatric literature and our adolescent literature with eating disorders have what is described as a typical anorexia, right, which is okay, you don't fit the DSM five criteria for anorexia nervosa based on your body size, right, because that's one of the criteria, but we have individuals and normal or larger bodies, who meet all the criteria for anorexia, and it's so missed even in the pediatric environment.
And so I agree that that is similar in the midlife environment that well unless you book like you have an eating disorder, then you probably are fine, you're healthy or healthy weighted, and this is really a problem as well because if women you know, potentially lose a significant amount of weight, whatever That might mean, they're often praised for that, you know, even if it's unintentional, I find and I've seen, you know, in my personal family experience as well as professionally, where it doesn't get questioned, like good for you, you know, Oh, does that feel good?
Yes, I have a flatter stomach, I feel really good about it. And then there are many case studies that talk about how that was an undiagnosed cancer or something that, you know, over time, we figure out what was contributing to that weight loss journey. And, and so our culture as a whole is so weight centric and fat phobic that we, we don't even do correct diagnosis or screening at that health care level. So yes, I think it's an important opportunity for, for prevention, for education. And, you know, to just continue to talk about it and raise awareness.
Jenn Huber 25:56
Yeah. And I think both of us really just want people to know that you can actually have a conversation about food and health and nutrition, that is still intentional, we can still talk about food. You know, when we talk about having a non diet approach, it just means that we're not pursuing intentional weight loss, we can still talk to you and support you in eating more vegetables, and getting more fiber and eating more protein.
We're just not making the number on the scale, the goal, which I think is, you know, a lot of people will when they start to explore intuitive eating, or this non diet approach or like, so I kind of just have to give up, right? Is that what you're saying? That's like, Well, no, you just have to change the goalpost. If you want to feel good in your body, and you want to feel healthy, and you want to be able to climb the stairs, when you're 80 We can help you do that with food, at least in part, not on its own, obviously, you know, but if you have been making weight loss, the proxy for health and you know, hanging everything or hinging everything on, I won't feel good in my body until I feel good about the number that I'm at, then you're probably going to feel like you're stuck in that for a really long time. That's the hamster wheel.
Because losing weight doesn't protect you from a negative self image. And you know, your body image shouldn't be driving your self esteem bus in it when it's when we have a healthy relationship with our body. Right? So yeah,
Val Schonberg 27:23
you don't have to be on a diet to eat healthy. So you know, that might be your experience, like there is this like categories of food, right? That's all the food labeling behaviors, and helping people recognize like you can choose what you might associate as a healthy meal. And that's okay, but then you can also go have a burger and fries, if that sounds good. But yes, I agree. Like I think some of the ideas that individuals get about what intuitive eating or even health and every size means is very distorted, right?
It's kind of like, oh, well, it doesn't matter, doesn't matter what I eat. And it's like, well, you missed chapter 10, of the intuitive eating, which is about gentle nutrition and the importance of, you know, finding, you know, this balance of, yeah, we want to honor and take care of our body and be kind to our body with good nutrition. We know that eating fruits and vegetables, and lean protein, and fish and all these important things help our brain like it helps us function. But it doesn't have to be so black and white. And that's really what diet culture has promoted. And so then it's almost like, well, if we're not going to do it perfect, correct and right, then I guess we just throw caution to the wind. And we don't care about our bodies, it's like that is actually not anywhere in any of that messaging. And I'm constantly doing correction with individuals, because they get that idea that I just, I just don't need to worry about what I'm eating.
First of all, I don't think you should worry about your eating at all. And I do think that it's okay to prioritize your health and prioritize nutritious foods, but then that even like, then we have to debunk a bunch of food rules, right? Like this foods bad that foods fatty me if you go through Google, you'll find every food is bad for you in one way or the other. So there's a lot of reclaiming some very nutritious foods that are also delicious.
Jenn Huber 29:20
Yeah, absolutely. And I love talking about food. I mean, it's why both both both of us probably became dietitians is that we had a real genuine interest in it. And you know, when people say, Well, I want to, I want to eat, quote unquote, healthy. And I don't know how to do that. If I'm not following a diet, it's usually because they're only eating healthy, quote, unquote, when they're on a diet and when they're off their diet. They're eating unhealthy or bad. And so being able to say that, you know, like, there's a whole range of healthy, you know, and as I've even said to my kids, when we're on a road trip, if we're all starving and our My priority, I always joke that when we're traveling, the priority is to keep the kids fed and watered. That's my only goal. And if that means that we stop at McDonald's because it's close and accessible, and we can get there when we when we're hungry, then that's the best choice for us in that moment, right?
Like, there's no judgment there and feeding yourself, it needs to be adequate. I'm always telling people lower the bar. Like, if we needed to eat perfectly, most of us wouldn't be here having this conversation because the species wouldn't have survived. We are a highly adaptable, resilient species. And we need regular deposits of nutrition, but it doesn't need to be perfect. And I think that when people can expand their view through intuitive eating, and you know, on dieting, this their belief system around food, it just makes it obvious that it's actually not that hard. Like, it shouldn't be something you have to think about all the time. And if it is, then that might be a reason to talk to someone because it shouldn't have to be something that you worry about and think about and plan and are constantly checking and unchecking. As to whether you're doing it right or not.
Val Schonberg 31:08
Yeah, just use freedom, right? Like just finding that freedom from being able to live your life and not have to think about food and eating all the time. And that is one of the kind of a previous question you asked, like, one of the important areas that I focus on with individuals is what would you be doing if you weren't worrying about food in your weight? Like, I see so many women putting their life on hold until they get to a certain weight look a certain way. And that includes staying out of pictures, like the element of you know, where we have social media and selfie generations and a lot of pictures going on. i It makes me sad when women are avoiding being in the picture, or doing a lot of body tracking and criticizing about their bodies in the picture versus that is, I don't know, I have a whole wall of family pictures over the generations.
And in my own family. I never look at previous pictures of my grandparents or anybody and think, oh my God, look at that, like what they should have taken better care of themselves. Like we don't we don't look at pictures that way. Right? We look at it from a historical perspective of that was this person like my grandma was this amazing, you know, pillar in our family. And that is what I want to help women reclaim, like, Who are you besides this body? Like get that back? We just have this. And it's been hijacked by for us, like I this is kind of the grandmother hypothesis, if you've kind of ever heard about that, which really is, you know, well, everybody puts all this fear in women that Well, boy, if you gain weight, or you have too much fat or this that the other thing, bad things are gonna happen to you. Well, let me tell you women still out live half the other part, you know, part of our population. And we thrive historically, when you look at hunter gatherer societies and the role of the grandmother in caretaking and providing for the family.
So there's something that has helped our bodies so that we do outlive beyond our reproductive years. So even though the ovaries just don't really want to, I don't have any more eggs to you know, that we need estrogen and progesterone for, but for some reason, we've adapted to living a long time, a long, healthy life and being productive. Compared to even other species, even chimpanzees don't live much beyond their reproductive years. So I think that's another message to come back to is when you get really caught up in the minutiae of some of the health stuff, come back to but we still outlive everybody. And you, you deserve to live your best life and be worthy and, you know, respected. And so I feel very, very strongly about that, that worries, stress part of women, about who are you and let's reclaim what we deserve.
Jenn Huber 34:13
I love that. And I think that that is the perfect place to kind of wrap up this conversation. But I really have loved talking to you. And I know that the listeners will love hearing what you have to say and I'm very happy to call you a colleague from a clap across the ocean, because I feel like we're definitely forging our own path professionally in the cell. As I always ask my guests, what do you think is the missing ingredient in midlife?
Val Schonberg 34:40
The missing ingredient in midlife, I think is just peace. You know, finding, finding what is peaceful for you. And you know that's been really important to me. That's been kind of something I've always come back to that What got me started in my private pack practice is just this passion for wanting individuals to have a peaceful relationship with food and their body. And because obviously, like your story says, I had a very dysregulated relationship with food in my body at a certain time in my life, and sadly, it, you know, really kind of hijacked some important years of my life. And so to find it, that I'm really, you know, passionate about helping people find it as well, because it'd be better to just deal with an extra 10 pounds or whatever it is, then to be battling this for the rest of your life and be 80 years old, on your deathbed wondering, why did I did I do that?
Jenn Huber 35:46
Yeah, absolutely. So if people want to learn from you, work with you, what's the best place for them to look? And we'll have all these links in the show notes, too.
Val Schonberg 35:57
Yeah, I mean, certainly my website, which is enlightened you nutrition.com. I do offer a hot topics group. It's a monthly group, kind of just a drop in opportunity. It's complimentary. I do a number of different topics. It helps people kind of get an idea of my approach, but also get some information about midlife and menopause and taking care of their bodies and their health. And then also on Instagram, trying to do a little better job on social media. I have a love hate relationship, as most people probably do with social media. But I really do care about sharing the message that you and I are talking about through that medium as well. And that's the SM Valerie dot Schoenberg rd, that you can find me there.
Jenn Huber 36:48
Awesome. And like I said, we'll have all those links in the show notes. Thank you so much, Val, and I look forward to having another chat which I'm sure we'll have at some point.
Val Schonberg 36:58
I love that. Thank you.
Jenn Huber 37:01
Thanks for tuning in to this week's episode of the midlife DCED for more non diet health hormone and general midlife support. Click the link in the show notes to learn how you can work and learn from me. And if you enjoyed this episode and found it helpful, please consider leaving a review or subscribing because it helps other women just like you find us and feel supported in midlife.
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