compulsive exercise

Food Psych #119: How to Fight Back Against Weight Stigma with Ragen Chastain

Ragen Chastain

Ragen Chastain, the fabulous fat-acceptance activist, writer, and speaker, returns to dig into the dangers of weight-loss surgery, navigating the healthcare system as a fat person, the problem with the current weight science and fatphobia within the medical community, why weight loss interventions can’t coexist with eating disorder recovery programs, and so much more. PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about how to deal with a friend who might have an issue with overexercise and body control.

Ragen Chastain is an internationally recognized thought leader in the fields of self-esteem, body image, Health at Every Size, and corporate wellness. She is a sought after speaker on the college, corporate, and conference circuits who has set the stage on fire everywhere from Google Headquarters to Cal Tech to the New England/New York College Health Association. She is the author of the blog DanceswithFat.org, the book Fat: The Owner's Manual, editor of the Praeger Anthology "The Politics of Size," serves on the Editorial Board for Fat Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Body Weight and Society, and frequently gives expert commentary on radio, television and in print. Ragen is a featured interviewee in the documentaries America the Beautiful 2 - The Thin Commandments, and A Stage for Size. She is an ACE Certified Health Coach, champion dancer and marathoner. She lives in Los Angeles with her partner and their adorable dogs and is training for her first IRONMAN triathlon.

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We Discuss:

  • The false narrative that weight loss cures issues with mobility, strength, and stamina

  • The truth about pursuing intentional weight loss, for health reasons or otherwise, and how it almost always results in weight regain

  • Fatphobia in the medical community and medical research

  • The “obesity epidemic,” and the impact of weight stigma, discrimination, and dieting/weight cycling on creating the environment for larger bodies

  • The dangers of weight-loss surgery

  • Health insurance complications for those in fat bodies

  • Issues with the peer reviewed weight research out there

  • The difference between medical care for fat bodies vs thin bodies

  • Changing the biases and preconceptions of medical professionals about fat people

  • Barriers to health that aren’t often discussed, such as racism and oppression

  • The definition of health, and how ableist the concept of health is

  • The healthcare costs of the National Football League and other professional sports players

  • Ragen’s experiencing training for her IRONMAN triathlon and her experience as a fat athlete

  • The “good fatty, bad fatty” dichotomy

  • Healthism

  • Considering mental health, stigma, neurodiversity, and varied communication styles in navigating the healthcare system

  • The impact of systemic oppression on seeking and receiving healthcare

  • How mainstream body positivity is a watered-down version of the fat acceptance movement

  • The problem with promoting weight loss within eating disorder recovery

  • Ragen’s work on the Fat Activism Conference

 

Resources Mentioned

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

 

Listener Question of the Week

How do we cope when the people that surround us are grappling with internalized fatphobia, and are allowing their internal biases to negatively impact a valuable relationship? How does gender identity fit into body preoccupation? What do we do when the people we love are engaging in problematic behaviors, like over exercising? How do we use our own experience to help others to recognize their dangerous behaviors, while also making sure that we stay safe?

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Food Psych #112: Body Liberation and Difficult Conversations with Jes Baker

Jes Baker

Jes Baker, body-liberation activist and author of the book Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls, discusses her continuing process of recovery from trauma related to food, eating, and fatphobia; why talking about trauma is so important; why she uses the term "body liberation" instead of "body positivity" or "fat acceptance"; why we need to have more nuanced conversations about people's body-liberation journeys instead of reflexively shunning celebrities who've had weight-loss surgery; how the experience of being "small-fat" differs from the experience of being in a larger fat body; why the mainstreaming of body positivity has been so problematic; and lots more. PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about starting movement again after a history of compulsive exercise.

Jes Baker is a Tucson blogger and author who is on a mission to turn our society's concept of beauty on its oppressive head as she knows for a FACT that every person in this world is worthy of respect and feeling valued regardless of their size, shape, shade, sex, ability, gender, age or health records. She preaches the importance of body autonomy, ALL CAPS, self-love, mental health, strong coffee, and even stronger language. Find her online at themilitantbaker.com.

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We Discuss:

  • Jes’s relationship with food growing up, including her experience with food scarcity and never learning how to eat “normally”

  • The trauma of living in diet culture

  • Why body trust is so challenging after prolonged deprivation

  • Removing fatphobia and weight stigma from medical practice

  • Intuitive eating, body love, and Health at Every Size as concepts vs. practice

  • The deprivation mindset

  • Compassion

  • Trauma recovery and theory

  • Roxane Gay’s new book, Hunger

  • Weight loss surgery

  • Holding the diet industry accountable

  • Body autonomy

  • Patriarchy, the beauty ideal, and choice feminism

  • Radicalism vs. mainstream movements

  • Lisa Frank BoPo

  • Body positivity vs. body liberation

  • Dealing with weight gain

  • Reactionary conversations

  • Therapy vs. community healing

  • The pros and cons of internet communities

  • The consequences of mainstreaming body love

  • Body currency

  • Body acceptance and body neutrality

  • Ableism

  • Jes’s experience writing her second book

 

Resources Mentioned

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

 

Listener Question of the Week

How do we engage in intuitive movement and fitness without triggering old diet-mentality thoughts? Is it possible to the gym or do gym-type activities without being inundated with diet culture? What are some non-gym forms of movement?

(Resources Mentioned: Curvy Yoga with Anna Guest-Jelley and Cody classes with Jessamyn Stanley and Dana Falsetti)

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Food Psych #98: How to Rediscover the Joy in Food and Movement with Kylie Mitchell

Kylie Mitchell

Food blogger and fellow anti-diet dietitian Kylie Mitchell shares how she overcame dieting, disordered eating, and compulsive exercise; why she wanted to start a food blog that celebrates food and eschews the orthorexic messages of other "wellness" blogs; the insidious ways in which diet culture is woven into the fabric of how we talk about food and health; why non-diet approaches like Health at Every Size and intuitive eating are important for *everyone* of *every* body size; how she improved her relationship with movement and let go of compulsive exercise; what the transition from an eating disorder into intuitive eating looks like; and lots more!

Kylie Mitchell is a Registered Dietitian with a Masters of Public Health. She is the founder of the food/lifestyle blog immaEATthat.com, which she started six years ago in an effort to stop disordered eating and help people fall back in love with a healthful relationship with food and their body. Kylie works to promote positive body image, intuitive eating and Health at Every Size. Kylie also specializes in creative recipe development and high-res food photography. When not behind the computer or camera, Kylie works as an eating disorder dietitian. Kylie lives in Houston, TX with her husband and puppy, where she likes to over-share on Instagram. Find her online at immaEATthat.com.

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We Discuss:

  • Kylie’s relationship with food growing up, including living in a household obsessed with dieting and the thin ideal

  • Body trust and the pregnancy experience

  • Eating disorders and disordered eating as coping mechanisms

  • Kylie’s experience with restriction, binge eating, and overexercising to compensate for bingeing behavior

  • The lack of Health at Every Size and intuitive eating instruction in dietetics and nutrition education

  • Disordered eating within the nutrition and dietetics field

  • The spectrum of eating behavior

  • Diet culture, the diet mentality, and how our world perpetuates disordered eating

  • The importance of non-diet, intuitive eating, and HAES resources in recovery from eating disorders and diet culture

  • Kylie’s work on her blog, how it started from a disordered and obsessional place, and how it eventually became a place of healing and recovery

  • “Healthy” food blogging and orthorexia

  • The responsibility that all dietitians have to show that all foods fit and the ways in which they often fall short

  • Breaking down the morality around food choices

  • Making peace with movement and finding a body-positive, weight-neutral movement practice

  • The role of yoga in Kylie’s eating disorder recovery and finding embodiment

  • Body dissatisfaction, fatphobia, and finding body acceptance

  • Navigating relationships in recovery and seeking outside support when we need it

 

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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Food Psych #97: The Life-Changing Magic of Intuitive Eating with Sumner Brooks

Sumner Brooks RD

Body-positive dietitian Sumner Brooks shares why she started bingeing at a young age, how she finally healed her relationship with food through intuitive eating, how diet culture convinces us we're "not good enough," why emotional eating is related to restriction, why it's so important (and difficult) to accept and honor your hunger, how conventional nutrition education leads us astray, and lots more!  

Sumner Brooks is a registered dietitian nutritionist specializing in eating disorders and a Certified Intuitive Eating counselor. She's the producer of the EDRDpro Symposium for professionals, She's also the co-author of the non-diet guidebook Savvy Girl: A Guide to Eating, a short 4 hour-read for women of all ages based on the Intuitive Eating philosophy. Sumner also works at a gastroenterology specialty clinic in Portland, Oregon where she utilizes a non-diet approach to treat patients struggling with digestive concerns and eating disorders. Out of the office she's found soaking up time with her 2 year old daughter and getting outdoors in the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Sign up for her EDRDpro Symposium for webinars with 15 experts on intuitive eating and Health at Every Size (including Christy!), and find her online at EattoLiveHappy.com.

This episode is brought to you by Plum Deluxe, a Fair Trade tea company that's committed to fostering mindfulness, compassion, and community. Check out their great selection of teas, and help support the podcast with every purchase!

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We Discuss:

  • Sumner’s disordered relationship with food from a young age that included bingeing and overeating

  • How food insecurity can impact the way we relate to food

  • Sumner’s experience with emotional eating

  • Coping with the need for more variety and “fun” foods in a restrictive household

  • The '90s fat-free craze

  • Sumner’s struggle to satisfy her hunger as a young athlete

  • How social pressure from our peers can influence and increase disordered eating behavior

  • The ways in which magazines and advertising perpetuate the overwhelming feeling of never being “enough,” and push us to chase the beauty ideal

  • How self-hate and negative body image can act as precursors to eating disorders

  • The role of feminism and body positivity in eating disorder recovery

  • How intimate relationships are impacted by disordered eating behaviors

  • Sumner’s experience with various eating disorders, including the restrict-binge cycle and compulsive exercise

  • The role of depression, loneliness, and stress in eating behavior

  • Therapy for eating disorders

  • Sumner’s experience as a dietitian, and how it guided her own path to food peace and intuitive eating

  • How shame and guilt perpetuate binge eating and the restrict-binge cycle

  • The impact of struggling with biological hunger and emotional hunger simultaneously

  • Making peace with and honoring physical hunger

  • The problem with the calories-in-calories-out nutrition model

  • A dietitian’s role in eating disorder prevention and treatment

  • The Health at Every Size, non-diet approach to nutrition counseling

  • The connection between healthism and disordered eating

  • How to bring people into the intuitive eating, anti-diet, Health at Every Size world

 

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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