Food Psych #84: Body Kindness Secrets with Rebecca Scritchfield

 Rebecca Scritchfield - Body Kindness

Fellow Health at Every Size dietitian Rebecca Scritchfield shares how her family's identity as "emotional eaters" led to their embrace of diet culture, how childhood poverty and food insecurity affected her relationship with food, how she finally discovered the anti-diet movement after starting to work as a dietitian, how she developed the idea for her new book, Body Kindness, why the concept of kindness is so essential in relating to your body, why weight loss isn't a path to health, and lots more! 

Rebecca Scritchfield is a well-being coach, registered dietitian nutritionist, certified health and fitness specialist and author of the book, Body Kindness, which Publisher’s Weekly calls “a rousing guide to better health.” Through her weight-neutral mindfulness-based counseling practice, she helps people create a better life with workable goals that fit individual interests.

She is the co-founder of Dietitians for Body Confidence, a website and free bi-monthly e-mail dedicated to shared learning among dietitians and future RDNs to improve body image in people they serve.

Rebecca has influenced millions through her writing, Body Kindness Podcast, and appearances in over 100 media outlets including NBC Nightly News, CNN, the Today show, the Washington Post, O Magazine, Health, Shape, and many others. She lives in Washington, D.C., where she was recently recognized as one of ten “Supermom” entrepreneurs in the Nation’s Capital. Find her online at RebeccaScritchfield.com, and get her book for 25% off from 12/27-1/31 using offer code KIND. 

RDs and RDs-to-be: Please be sure to sign the HAES petition that Christy mentions in this episode!

 

We Discuss:

  • Rebecca’s relationship to food growing up, including her experience with food insecurity and the impacts of culture and a family environment of diet culture

  • The ways in which food instills fear by enforcing the idea that we must be “good”

  • How dangerous it can be to encourage the idea that our value lies in our appearance

  • The impact parents, especially mothers, can have on body image and the ways in which children learn diet culture and diet behavior from watching their parents

  • The impact diet culture, fat phobia, and judgment based on appearance have on negative body image, self-esteem, mental health, eating disorder susceptibility, and even suicide risk

  • How the intuitive eating, HAES movement is about so much more than the individual, and the ways in which it is a social justice movement and how it must be embraced by the medical community to make lasting change in our healthcare system

  • The moral implications of fat bias

  • How dangerous it is to blame the individual for body size rather than considering genetics, socioeconomics, access to food choice, individual microbiome, and so many other factors

  • The cultural obsession we have with appearance and the importance of digging underneath that desire and getting to the root of what we are really trying to accomplish if we are to make any headway in letting go

  • How our bodies can become a shield for perceived inadequacy, especially because of the cultural image we have of people who are accepted and loved by society

  • How representation in the media can shift our view of who is deserving of love and success

  • The importance of building a body positive support network and cultivating a space free from body shame

  • Rebecca’s view on self-love and self-acceptance, including making space for negative body thoughts

  • Rebecca’s shift from diet culture to HAES and intuitive eating, including her experience watching clients give up on dieting while blaming themselves, noticing the connection between dieting and disordered eating, and embracing the concept of size diversity

  • How many dietitians come to the profession looking to fix their own relationships to food and wind up perpetuating fat phobia, diet culture, deprivation, and food and body shame

  • Christy’s journey through HAES, including confronting her own size bias and embracing size diversity in totality

  • Rebecca’s issue with pathologizing obesity within the medical model

  • The importance of having a wellness culture that embraces all aspects of health, including mental health and creating a family-focused prevention strategy

  • How to be self-compassionate about mistakes we make during our personal journeys through HAES

  • The HAES, intuitive eating future for dietetics education and the nutrition field

  • Rebecca’s new book, Body Kindness, which aims to help guide you through becoming the person you want to be and explores the concept of “spiraling up”

  • How to deal with the conflicting ideas of body kindness and the desire for weight loss

  • The importance of creating boundaries around yourself in your emerging body positivity and understanding that it’s not your job to teach everyone else about body acceptance and HAES

  • How to ensure that you don’t get sucked back into diet culture under the guise of body positivity and intuitive eating

  • The difficulty of the publishing world and how it promotes diet culture rather than assists in breaking it down

 

Resources Mentioned