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Growing Up Powerful: Tuning Into Yourself

Asha is experiencing changes in her body that make her self-conscious and frustrated. Dr. Diedrichs helps her recognize how we can honor, accept and nurture all the different cycles our bodies experience.

This podcast is a production of Rebel Girls. This episode was created in collaboration with Nike, and is based on the Body Confident Sport program.

This episode was narrated by Margaret Ying Drake as Asha, Imani Parks as Jestine, Dédé Davi as Coach, and Dr. Phillippa Diedrichs as herself. It was produced and directed by Deborah Goldstein, with Joy Smith and Haley Dapkus. Sound design and mixing by Mumble Media. It was written and edited by Abby Sher. Additional consulting by Dr. Phillippa Diedrichs. Our executive producers are Jes Wolfe and Joy Smith. Original theme music was composed and performed by Elettra Bargiacchi. A special thanks to the whole Rebel Girls team, who make this podcast possible! Until next time, staaaay rebel!

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[sounds of people cheering]

JESTINE: Woohoo! Welcome to Growing up Powerful with Rebel Girls! I’m Jestine.

ASHA (very tired-sounding): And I’m Asha.

JESTINE: And we’re two best friends trying to figure out this thing called life.

ASHA: Yup.

JESTINE: Which kinda looks like laying face down on the grass at the moment. Hey. What is up?

ASHA: I can’t. I’m done.

COACH: Asha, what’s going on? Do you want to do the 200 meter event or do you need to sit this one out?

ASHA: I think I need to sit it out.

COACH: Okay. Just find a shady spot and make sure to drink some water.


ASHA: Ugh. She hates me.


JESTINE: What are you talking about?

ASHA: You’re right. I hate myself and my body right now.

JESTINE: Hang on. I thought we were going to appreciate our bodies and ease up on the negative talk.

ASHA: Yeah. I’m trying to. But my period cramps are so bad. The only thing that feels good is laying here.

JESTINE: Yeah, I know that feeling.

ASHA: It’s like, each month I forget how yucky I’m gonna feel. And then…surprise!

JESTINE: Totally.

ASHA: Am I just being dramatic? I don’t know if I’m supposed to push through or if my body is literally going to break in half.

JESTINE: I don’t know either.


DR. PD: Hey girls!

JESTINE: Hey Dr. Diedrichs!

ASHA: (under her breath) No offense, but I hope she’s not going to tell me to appreciate my body right now.

DR. PD: Do you mind if I sit here for a moment?


DR. PD: I was supposed to put my fave sneakers on and walk home, but I need to just cool off first. This sun is exhausting.

JESTINE: Wait. The sun can make you tired?

DR. PD: Sure. Especially if you haven’t had enough water or electrolytes. Sometimes I get bad cramps too, just from being dehydrated.

JESTINE: (putting all this info together with what Asha said) Realllllly.

DR. PD: But it’s all right. That’s why I’m taking a little break before I head home. How are you both?

JESTINE: Well, now that you mention it…

ASHA: Okay, I know Jestine’s gonna say it if I don’t so…I was just complaining about having really bad period cramps. But maybe they’re dehydration cramps? Either way, I just feel ugh.

DR. PD: Oh dear.

ASHA: Every month I have at least one day where I feel this way. I don’t feel like running or moving. All I want to do is sleep.

DR. PD: Well, I’m so glad you’re taking the time to listen to your body and slow down, then.


ASHA: But I mean, is that what we’re supposed to do? Like, do I just have to spend one day every month doing nothing?

DR. PD: Hopefully, this won’t be forever. But truly, no matter what’s bothering you, the most important thing to do is respect, connect, and listen to our bodies.

JESTINE: Um, how do we do that?

DR. PD: Well, one of the tools I like to use is a three-step sense check.

JESTINE: Three-step what?

ASHA: That sounds like a dance move.

DR. PD: It’s actually a simple mindfulness technique that starts with taking three deep breaths. You want to join me?


DR. PD: Okay, so let’s begin with taking a deep breath in.

JESTINE/ASHA: [breathe in]

DR. PD: Very good, and now — exhale.

JESTINE/ASHA: [breathe out]

DR. PD: And breathe in….

JESTINE/ASHA: [breathe in]

DR. PD: …and exhale.

JESTINE/ASHA: [breathe out]

DR. PD: Great, and one last time: breathe in….

JESTINE/ASHA: [breathe in]

DR. PD: And exhale….!

JESTINE/ASHA: [breathe out]

DR. PD: Wonderful. Now, for step two, I scan my body from head to toe and just notice how it feels (e.g. tired, energized, sore, cold)…

ASHA: Definitely tired.

JESTINE: A little sore…

DR.PD: Fantastic. And step three! What can I do to feel more comfortable? Just a small change, like stretch my arms up or take a sip of water…

ASHA: Okay, actually stretching feels really good. Like, those twisty stretches where it feels like I’m wringing out my body like a sponge.

JESTINE: Oooh, yeah. I love that one. Also, sometimes if I just give myself a little hand massage, the whole world feels better.

ASHA: And water. I feel like I could drink a giant bottle of water right now.

DR PD: Sounds like you’re definitely thirsty.

ASHA: Haha. Yeah. Can I ask you another question about this listening to our body thing?

DR. PD: Of course!

ASHA: Okay. So, let’s say you’re running. Or doing any sport, really, and you feel really gross. How do you know when to push through and when to back off?


Think about how you might feel after, do you think you’ll feel better or worse physically and mentally if you push yourself.

Sometimes its hard to get going, but we end up feeling better once we’ve and more energized and happy after we’ve moved our bodies. Other times, we’ll feel even more tired and we might even hurt ourselves.

The more you practice listening to your body the easier it will get to give it what it needs.

JESTINE: Okay, I love this idea of listening to our bodies. But can you tell us how it works? Like, what are some ways our bodies “talk” to us?


  • Sensations like pain, pleasure, hunger, tiredness
  • Gut feelings, like tightness in our stomach, butterflies of excitement can also be cues about your emotions that are expressed through your body

ASHA: Ooooh, I like that. And are there maybe ways we can practice “listening” to our bodies more?


  • Practice the three-step sense check
  • Keep a journal, tracking how your body feels when you wake up, before you move, after you move and when you go to sleep.
  • Notice sensations, emotions, and your mood.

COACH: (blowing a whistle) All right, girls! Let’s head back to the locker room! Nice work out there today!

(softer) Hey Asha, you feeling any better?

ASHA: Sorta.

COACH: Well, please. Do what you need to do. Our bodies give us signs for a reason.

ASHA: Yeah, I guess I’m just learning that.

JESTINE: (to ASHA) Um…doesn’t sound like she “hates” you at all.

ASHA: Ha! Yeah, I guess I wasn’t listening to a lot of things.

JESTINE: Well, listen to this! Rebels, we’re so grateful you tuned in to our podcast.

ASHA: Oh, yeah! Is this our last episode?

JESTINE: It is for now.

ASHA: Oh! Well, thank you so much. It’s not always easy talking about this body stuff, but it’s much more fun when we get to do it with you.

JESTINE: Definitely. So please, keep tuning in to yourselves.

ASHA: Yes! Whether it’s making a Body Talk Free Zone, or three-step sense check…

JESTINE: Or blasting your favorite song and dancing your heart out…

(RG MUSIC starts building here)

ASHA: Until next time, keep aiming high…

JESTINE: Keep dreaming big…

ASHA: And staaaaaaay rebel!