bulimia

Food Psych #108: The Roots of the Body-Positive Movement with Connie Sobczak

Connie Sobczak

Body-image activist Connie Sobczak joins us to discuss recovering from diet culture and body dissatisfaction, her role in creating the concept of body positivity and how HAES and fat acceptance were integrated from the start, the pluses and minuses of the current body-positive movement, why calling it "body neutrality" might work better for some people, why BMI is BS, the beauty ideal and aging, and lots more!

Connie Sobczak is a mentor, writer, educator, and award-winning video producer. Her experience with an eating disorder in her teen years and the death of her sister Stephanie inspired her life’s work to create a world where all people are free to love their bodies. In 1996, Connie brought her vision to life when she created The Body Positive with Elizabeth Scott, LCSW.

Connie is the author of Embody: Learning to Love Your Unique Body (and quiet that critical voice!), a book in which she brings the Be Body Positive Model to life, and skillfully and lovingly reconnects readers to their authenticity and beauty. She is a leader of the movement to prevent eating problems and improve the self-image of youth and adults through her writing, workshops, videos, professional trainings, leadership programs, and speaking engagements.

A California native, Connie currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with her partner, Jim. Their daughter, Carmen, is her inspiration and her joy. Find Connie online at TheBodyPositive.org

Grab Christy's free guide, 7 simple strategies for finding peace and freedom with food, to start your intuitive eating journey. You can also text "FOODPSYCH" to the phone number 44222 to get it on the go :)

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We Discuss:

  • Connie’s relationship with food growing up, including the experience of being a picky eater at a young age

  • Diet culture and body dissatisfaction

  • Puberty and weight gain

  • The normalization of disordered eating behavior

  • Connie’s experience with bulimia

  • Intuitive eating

  • Determining cravings

  • Fear of pleasure

  • Doing body-positive work for the next generation

  • The power of anger in recovery

  • Touch and massage as a form of healing and emotional release

  • Her role in creating the concept of body positivity

  • Body positivity vs. body neutrality

  • Fat acceptance and Health at Every Size

  • Sitting with suffering

  • The beauty ideal and aging

  • Beauty vs prettiness

  • Appreciating mistakes

  • Meditation

  • Intuitive living

  • Embodiment

  • Finding balance through nutrition

  • The importance of cultural competency in health interventions

  • Debunking BMI

  • Bodily autonomy

  • Fatphobia from healthcare providers

 

Resources Mentioned

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Food Psych #107: From Disordered Eating to Health at Every Size with Heidi Schauster

Heidi Schauster

Fellow Health at Every Size dietitian Heidi Schauster shares how she overcame restriction and bingeing, why perfectionism fuels the fire of disordered eating, how intuitive eating leads to a peaceful relationship with food, what health professionals need to know about Health at Every Size, how to overcome self-judgment and speak more kindly to yourself, why the thin ideal is so damaging to people's health, and lots more!

Heidi Schauster, MS, RD, LDN is a nutrition therapist and registered dietitian with 20+ years of experience in the field of disordered eating. She is a nutrition counselor, writer, consultant, and clinical supervisor of other registered dietitians, based in the Greater Boston area. Heidi also publishes a seasonal blog called A Nourishing Word. Heidi feels called to assist clients and readers in improving their relationships with food and their bodies. Heidi also has a personal recovery history: she struggled with bulimia, food restriction, and binge-eating in her late teens and early twenties. Now that she is 45 and has been recovered for over two decades, she loves being in her body and in her life. Heidi is passionate about helping others get past obsessions with food, self-criticism, and negative body image. She uses Intuitive Eating principles, a Health at Every Size paradigm, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and mindfulness practices in her work. Heidi is also a life-long dancer, and dance has played a role in both her eating disorder history and her healing. Heidi encourages her clients, when they are ready, to discover conscious, mindful movement -- in order to fully embrace the joy of being connected to a well-nourished, well-cared for body and soul. Find her online at anourishingword.com.

Grab Christy's free guide, 7 simple strategies for finding peace and freedom with food, to start your intuitive eating journey. You can also text "FOODPSYCH" to the phone number 44222 to get it on the go! 

Join the Food Psych Facebook group to connect with fellow listeners around the world!

 

We Discuss:

  • Heidi’s relationship with food growing up, and how it changed along with her relationship to ballet and dance

  • Thin privilege

  • Body changes that came along with puberty

  • Binge eating disorder, restriction, and bulimia

  • The value of therapy in eating disorder recovery

  • Heidi’s studies in nutrition and psychology

  • Intuitive movement

  • Self-compassion vs self-judgment

  • Intuitive eating

  • Alternative coping mechanisms vs. emotional eating

  • Reacting to self-criticism

  • Raising daughters in diet culture

  • Heidi’s introduction to Health at Every Size and the body-positive movement

  • Body acceptance

  • Anti-diet activism

  • The HAES community in Boston, MA

  • Treatment of disordered eating from a HAES perspective

  • Fatphobia in the medical community

  • Disclosing our personal food peace and recovery stories while maintaining our own boundaries

  • Never-ending growth and lifelong learning

 

Resources Mentioned

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Food Psych #103: Social Justice and Racism in the Body-Positive Movement with Gloria Lucas

Gloria Lucas, founder of Nalgona Positivity Pride

Body-acceptance activist Gloria Lucas shares why she created an organization devoted to helping people of color heal from diet culture, why the traditional medical model of eating disorder recovery didn't work for her, the role of trauma in her disordered eating, how intersectional feminism helped in her healing, why the mainstream body-positive movement isn't meeting the needs of people of color and other marginalized groups, the role of historical trauma in creating and maintaining body shame, and lots more!

Gloria is the founder and director of Nalgona Positivity Pride, a xicana-indigenous body-positive project that focuses on eating disorders awareness and cultural affirmation. She is a frequent lecturer across the country covering topics such as the connection of historical trauma and disordered eating. Gloria’s work has been featured at the Huffington Post, Univision, Bitch Magazine, and The Body is not an Apology. She lives in Los Angeles, CA where she is an active entrepreneur and eating disorders support group organizer. Find her on Instagram at @nalgonapositivitypride and on Tumblr at @nalgonapride.

Join the Food Psych Facebook group to connect with fellow listeners from around the world!

Grab Christy's new free guide, 7 simple strategies for finding peace and freedom with food. You can also text "FOODPSYCH" to the phone number 44222 to get it on the go!

 

We Discuss:

  • Gloria’s relationship with food growing up, including her experience with binge eating disorder and bulimia

  • The role of depression, trauma, poverty, family instability, and violence in the development of disordered eating

  • Eating disorders as both emotional regulation and self-punishment

  • The impact of hypersexualization on body image

  • Religion, sexuality, and shame

  • Feminism, diet culture, and eating disorders

  • The lack of representation of people of color in eating-disorder treatment and the body-positive movement

  • Recovery versus healing

  • Harm reduction and eating disorders

  • The limitations of the current eating-disorder-recovery model, especially for people of color

  • Nalgona Positivity Pride and decolonizing eating disorder treatment

  • The need for more people of color (POC) as treatment providers

  • Racism, privilege, discrimination, and the white-supremacist beauty ideal

  • Intersectional identity and oppression

  • The privilege that comes from being in a "plus-size" body versus a "fat" body that faces systemic oppression

  • Health trolling

  • The impact of family on body image and disordered eating

  • Food insecurity, food scarcity, and binge eating

  • Historical trauma, intergenerational trauma, and systemic oppression

  • Capitalism, mass incarceration, and current political rhetoric

  • The limitations of the current body-positivity movement for POC and people who don’t conform to the status quo

  • Bodily autonomy

  • Rejecting the expectation of beauty

 

Resources Mentioned

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Food Psych #78: Healing Trauma & Learning Intuitive Movement with Lauren Ezell Minear

Lauren Ezell Minear - Healing Trauma & Learning Intuitive Exercise

Therapist and yoga instructor Lauren Ezell Minear shares why embodiment is so important to healing from trauma, how feminism and yoga helped her recover from an eating disorder, how she's learned to listen to her body's cues for movement and rest, and lots more. Plus, Christy shares an aspect of her story publicly for the first time.

Lauren Ezell Minear is a psychotherapist and yoga instructor with a private practice in New York City. She specializes in the treatment of eating and body image problems from a feminist relational perspective grounded in mindfulness-based interventions. Lauren also offers integrative body image workshops and yoga therapy for anxiety, depression, exercise compulsion, and traumatic stress. She is the creator of InBodied Yoga®, a body-positive method of movement as self-care. Find her online at LaurenMinear.com.

 

We Discuss:

  • Christy’s reflections on the Be Nourished retreat, including the concept of body trust and experiencing the results of the 2016 Presidential election within a body-positive support network

  • How to heal from trauma of this kind, including holding space for all of our feelings and avoiding turning towards eating disorder behaviors and dieting for relief from the discomfort

  • Lauren’s relationship with food growing up, including the shift in weight related to puberty, her early understanding that women were “supposed” to be small, and the cultural expectations of women in the South

  • Lauren’s early experiences navigating her femininity, including the perception of having to make a choice between owning her power and intelligence, and being a “proper” feminine woman 

  • How perfectionism can feed into eating disorder behaviors, and Lauren’s first experience with restriction and the positive reinforcement that came with weight loss

  • Lauren’s journey from her own eating disorder, to navigating eating disorder recovery, to finally becoming a therapist who works with people struggling with eating disorders

  • The intervention that Lauren had early on in relation to her eating disorder recovery, including her supportive family and other concerned people in her life who took notice of her physical changes and overall anxiety

  • Lauren’s transition from restriction to bulimia in college after her first attempt at recovery, and her final steps toward true recovery when she moved to New York City and found the right therapist

  • How the constant pursuit of thinness and clean eating take energy away from important creativity and other professional and personal pursuits

  • The difficulty of exercise within eating disorder recovery, including Lauren and Christy’s positive and also sometimes triggering or negative experiences with yoga

  • The limiting framework of the current commercialized version of yoga, including the lack of ethnic and size diversity, and some of the yoga community’s limited and sometimes damaging ideas about food and the body rooted in diet culture

  • The importance of getting out of the way of our body’s natural drive to heal itself

  • Intuitive movement, including Lauren’s experience as a yoga teacher and her practice of yoga therapy, as well as how flexible intuitive movement really can be

  • The importance of giving the body rest after trauma, including Lauren’s experience using yoga to heal from trauma and her experience focusing on trauma as a psychotherapist

  • Christy’s experience with trauma therapy and PTSD, including how eating disorder recovery can cloud other things going on internally and the shame related to trauma that often prevents people from seeking treatment

  • How eating disorders often function as important coping mechanisms before people can learn new, healthy coping skills

  • The synthesizing of eating disorder recovery, yoga, feminism, size acceptance, body positivity, HAES, and so much more

  • Lauren’s experience in the social-work field and earning her yoga training certification, including how she came to a feminist relational perspective and embodiment

  • The difficulty of doing the body image work in the eating disorder recovery field, including the importance of clinicians doing their own body image and HAES work

 

Resources Mentioned

Some of the links below are affiliate links. Affiliates or not, we only recommend products and services that align with our values.

 

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