eating disorders

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.

Sign up for the Fat Activism Conference here!

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 "7STRATEGIES" 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:

  • 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 #118: How to Stop Fighting Food & Your Body with Isabel Foxen Duke

Isabel Foxen Duke

Isabel Foxen Duke is back! The anti-diet coach and emotional eating expert returns for the THIRD time to share more about why we fight food and how to stop, why Isabel wants to destigmatize emotional eating, the problems with healthism, how the human desire for control runs deep within many of our decisions, how to handle triggers as a recovered person, her exploration of diet literature dating back to the 60s, her continued efforts to unpack her own privilege and social biases as a professional in the field of food and body image, and so much more. PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and eating disorder recovery.

Isabel Foxen Duke helps women stop fighting food. After struggling with binge-eating for most of her life, and trying to overcome emotional eating and binge-eating through various approaches to food—Isabel finally discovered that these attempts to control her food and her body, were at the root of the problem itself. She now teaches women struggling with binge-eating how to do the very thing they're most afraid of, and the very thing they need to do to recover: let go. Grab her free video training series, Stop Fighting Food, to learn more about her work.

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 "7STRATEGIES" 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:

  • How emotional eating is connected to diet culture, restriction, and fatphobia

  • Binge eating as a protective action against food deprivation

  • Set-point theory, Health at Every Size, and why the emotional eating narrative doesn’t make sense

  • The desire for control over body size

  • The general human need for existential safety, and the ways in which people try to achieve that through attempts at controlling different aspects of life

  • Relationship anxiety

  • Breaking down cultural expectations and social biases

  • The issue with aspirational images on social media

  • Using social media to promote internal acceptance of body diversity

  • Finding beauty in different bodies

  • Capitalism, hierarchies, and surviving a competitive society

  • Separating yourself from diet-mentality thoughts

  • The importance of claiming space and setting boundaries

  • Spiritual materialism and Buddhist practices

  • Unpacking privilege and tolerating when you’ve done harm

  • Dealing with real-world triggers using harm reduction techniques and stigma resistance

  • Healthism, body policing, and orthorexic tendencies

  • The inevitability of chronic illness

  • Measuring the stress and costs associated with our choices versus the potential gains

  • Redefining health

  • The “hunger and fullness” diet vs intuitive eating

  • Navigating digestive discomfort, chronic illness, and medical restrictions within diet culture and intuitive eating

 

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 navigate intuitive eating when we have health issues, such as IBS, without falling into orthorexic or negative eating behaviors? Is there a way to reduce the anxiety that surrounds consuming certain foods? Can we promote restriction in the name of health while also pursuing eating disorder recovery?

*This episode originally identified Lauren Dear within the Listener Question of the Week Resources and identified her as a gastroenterologist. She is actually a registered dietitian, and mention of her has been removed to avoid misidentification.

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Food Psych #116: Self-Care and Diet Recovery with Jenna Hollenstein

Jenna Hollenstein

Fellow intuitive eating coach and non-diet dietitian Jenna Hollenstein discusses food as self-care, why people fall into disordered eating and alcoholism as coping mechanisms, the connection between dieting and religion, how to tolerate discomfort, the role of diet culture in keeping social progress for happening, how to set boundaries and limits, how to practice self-compassion, and a whole lot more. PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about how to teach and practice fitness from a Health at Every Size perspective!

Jenna Hollenstein, MS, RDN, CDN, is a non-diet dietitian who helps people struggling with chronic dieting, disordered eating, and eating disorders. She uses a combination of Intuitive Eating, mindfulness techniques, and meditation to help her clients move toward greater peace, health, and wellness.

Jenna is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and a Certified Dietitian Nutritionist in New York State. She has a Bachelors degree in Nutrition from Penn State and a Masters degree in Nutrition from Tufts University. She's a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, an Open Heart Project meditation guide, and a meditation guide in the Shambhala tradition.

She co-teaches the Open Heart Project Meditation Instructor Training, an intensive 9-week online course to teach dietitians, therapists, coaches, and yoga teachers how to establish their own meditation practice and then to share the technique responsibly and skillfully with their clients, patients, and students.

Jenna is the author of Understanding Dietary Supplements, a handy guide to the evaluation and use of vitamins, minerals, herbs, and botanicals for both consumers and clinicians, and more recently the memoir Drinking to Distraction. She is currently writing a book about how Buddhist teachings and meditation can change the way we relate to food, eating, and our bodies. Find her online at eat2love.com.

 

We Discuss:

  • Jenna’s relationship with food growing up, including the pathologization of pleasure

  • Food as self-care

  • Seeking the middle ground rather than functioning in the extremes

  • Alcoholism as a self-medicating tool

  • The meandering path to finding peace, healing, and safety in a chaotic world

  • Disordered eating and eating disorders as coping mechanisms

  • The connection between dieting and religion

  • Tolerating discomfort

  • Diet culture’s role in keeping social progress down

  • Jenna’s studies in Buddhism, meditation, and learning how to relate differently to suffering

  • Integrating non-reactivity learned through meditation with disordered eating urges

  • Trusting the structure within us rather than needing outward structure to make sense of our lives

  • Finding the value in not fitting in

  • Vulnerability

  • Self-disclosure of eating disorder recovery and the drive to help others with our experiences

  • Setting boundaries and limits

  • Creating an enlightened society

  • The difficulties of fostering self-compassion

  • Discipline in the Buddhist perspective

  • The “honeymoon phase” in intuitive eating

  • Unconditional permission with our thoughts

  • "The Second Arrow"

 

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 can fitness professionals best support their clients who are practicing Health at Every Size? What other things do we need to look out for in the fitness world, other than avoiding talking about calories or thinness and focusing on non-weight benefits of movement?

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Food Psych #115: Anti-Diet Beauty and Sexuality with Melissa A. Fabello

Melissa Fabello

Melissa Fabello returns! The activist and scholar shares why dieting and restriction reduce our sex drive, how beauty can be reimagined and reclaimed, how the need for affection and intimacy differs from the need for sex, what "skin hunger" is all about, why the Netflix movie To the Bone is so problematic and triggering, how she navigates complex issues in feminism, and a whole lot more! PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about how co-occurring mental-health issues can affect people's hunger and fullness cues.

Melissa A. Fabello is a body acceptance and eating disorder activist, scholar in the field of sexology, and Jurassic Park enthusiast based in Philadelphia, PA. Currently, Melissa works as a Managing Editor of Everyday Feminism, the largest independent feminist media website in the world, and is a doctoral candidate in Widener University’s Human Sexuality Studies program, where her research focuses on how women with anorexia nervosa experience skin hunger. You can contact her through her website and follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @fyeahmfabello.

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 "7STRATEGIES" 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:

  • Melissa’s career and life trajectory the last two years

  • The intersections of disordered eating/eating disorders, sexuality, and food

  • Melissa’s experience in her doctoral program in human sexuality, and the general taboos we have around discussing sex

  • The five circles of sexuality

  • Skin hunger: the extent to which we crave non-sexual touch (also known as touch nurturance)

  • Sexuality, sex drive, touch, and skin hunger in people with anorexia

  • Loneliness and being in an environment devoid of physical touch

  • Sexual patterns in relation to eating disorder behavior

  • Fatphobia, weight stigma, and internalized weight bias in relation to sexuality

  • How body image impacts sexuality

  • Pleasure and embodied experiences

  • The overlaps between body acceptance and body positivity

  • The sociocultural influences that impact how we see the world

  • The limitations with eating disorder diagnosis criteria in a diet culture world

  • Restriction as a coping mechanism

  • How American beauty standards spread through media

  • Engaging in the pursuit of beauty outside of the patriarchy

  • Breaking down the nuances in choice feminism and autonomy

  • Femme phobia, misogyny, and the negative ways we treat femininity

  • To the Bone, eating disorder media, and the problem with consistently showing one type of eating disorder experience

 

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 navigate intuitive eating with mental health conditions that interfere with our ability to listen to our internal cues around food, such as OCD? How do we challenge our disordered voices and open ourselves up to the intuitive ones instead? What does nutritional rehabilitation look like?

(Resources Mentioned: Intuitive Eating, 3rd ed., by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch)

 

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Food Psych #114: How to Smash Diet Culture with Self-Compassion with Louise Adams

Louise Adams

Psychologist and author Louise Adams discusses why the Health at Every Size approach is essential in treating disordered eating, the problems with the "obesity epidemic" rhetoric, how trauma and body neglect shaped her relationship with food at a young age, why self-compassion is an essential antidote to shame, how to move from a deprivation mindset to an intuitive mindset with unconditional permission to eat, how to set firm and compassionate boundaries, and lots more. PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about how to handle feeling like you need to lose weight to manage a health condition, and how to stop judging yourself for eating "too much."

Louise is an Australian clinical psychologist, author, podcaster, trainer, and speaker. She owns Treat Yourself Well Sydney, a specialist psychology clinic for weight-inclusive health and wellbeing. Louise founded UNTRAPPED, an online diet recovery program, and hosts the All Fired Up! Podcast, where she meets with experts from around the world to debrief, rage, and unpack the (often misguided) messages we’re given about weight, food, exercise, and health.

Louise has a special interest and expertise in weight struggles, eating disorders, and body image. Her practice is rooted in the HAES principles of equitable support for people of all shapes and sizes. Louise’s life goal is to dismantle the prison of diet culture and emancipate people to appreciate compassionate, joyful, relaxed relationships with food, movement, and their bodies.

Louise has published two books. The Non-Diet Approach Guidebook for Psychologists and Counsellors (2014, co-authored with Fiona Willer, APD) is a manual for health professionals. Her latest book, Mindful Moments (2016) is for the general public, a practical guide to applying self-compassion for people who are time poor.

Louise is a member of the Australian Psychological Society (APS), a member of the Clinical College of the APS, and treasurer of HAES Australia.

In addition to everything else, Louise runs non-diet training workshops for other health professionals. She regularly speaks to the media on all issues health related, and has experience on radio, print and television. Read more about Louise at untrapped.com.au.

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We Discuss:

  • Louise’s relationship with food growing up, including not being attracted to food at a young age due in part to  struggling with misophonia

  • The impact of body trauma and body neglect on body image and body growth

  • Body policing

  • Diet culture

  • Relationships and body image

  • Feminism and criminal justice

  • Social justice and psychology

  • The importance of the broader context when grappling with individual struggles

  • Fatphobia in eating disorder treatment

  • Why BMI is an ineffective means of measuring health

  • Eating disorder recovery

  • The “obesity epidemic”

  • Critical thinking and weight science

  • Health at Every Size, the non-diet approach, and intuitive eating

  • Shame recovery

  • Restriction and rebound binge eating

  • Mindful eating and joyful eating

  • Self-compassion

  • Trauma and self-soothing with food (AKA emotional eating as a coping mechanism)

  • Deprivation vs unconditional permission to eat

  • Pleasure and satisfaction

  • Self-care

  • Mindful awareness and non-judgmental awareness

  • Setting firm and compassionate boundaries

  • The anti-diet community

 

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

Do we need to lose weight to manage other health conditions? What exactly is a Health at Every Size approach to health? How do we eat intuitively and give ourselves unconditional permission while also being conscious of our holistic wellness? Is it possible that we’re eating too much on our intuitive eating journey?

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Food Psych #111: How to Reignite Your Creative Spark with Maggie Ritnour

Maggie Ritnour

Art therapist and Health at Every Size counselor Maggie Ritnour shares how she was introduced to body comparisons and disordered eating in the dance world, how depression and grief led her to restrict her eating, how art and writing helped get her through that difficult period, why art therapy is an important tool in recovery from disordered eating, how it feels to find our authentic voice, how to embrace our imperfections and face our fears, how to push back against diet culture, and lots more! PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about how to best voice your disagreement with fatphobic content in the media.

Maggie Ritnour is licensed mental health counselor and licensed creative arts therapist. She began studying art in high school, and then received her BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York. She obtained her masters of psychology from Antioch University Seattle in 2009. She has experience using art as therapy in work with children, adolescents and adults in hospital settings since 2000.

Maggie is a humanistic therapist who approaches her clients using a multi-cultural framework and trauma-informed lens. She is wholeheartedly committed to the Health At Every Size philosophy. She believes when people get in touch with their own creative voice they often find therapy in the confidence of learning a new language, the ability to speak with their art and listen with their eyes.

Maggie is also a certified Irish dance teacher; she loves to teach and dance as much as possible. She incorporates her knowledge of body movement with her therapeutic understanding of people. Maggie is passionate about using art and mindful body awareness in her work and life. Find her online at rootsarttherapy.nyc.

Ask your questions about intuitive eating, Health at Every Size, body acceptance, or eating disorder recovery for a chance to have them answered on the podcast!

 

We Discuss:

  • Maggie’s relationship with food growing up, including the connection between food and love

  • Food and social connection

  • Vegetarianism

  • Body comparisons, disordered eating, and the dance world

  • Depression, grief, and the desire for food control

  • The financial component of food choice

  • Learning basic life skills like cooking

  • Maggie’s experience in therapy

  • Art, writing, and catharsis

  • Intuitive cooking

  • Art therapy and eating disorders

  • Finding our authentic voice

  • Embracing imperfections and facing fears

  • Learning sustainable coping mechanisms

  • Building confidence vs perfectionism

  • Finding comfort, connection, and trust in relationships and in ourselves

  • The process of art and the process of recovery

  • The inner critic, shame, and empathy

  • Food rules, healthism, and diet culture

  • The gray area of eating disorder recovery

  • Finding efficiency, self-awareness, and competence through practice of therapeutic skills

 

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Food Psych #109: Body Acceptance and Disability with Anna Sweeney

Anna Sweeney

Fellow Health at Every Size RD Anna Sweeney shares how having a disability has affected her relationship with food and her body, how she's come to terms with the identity of being a disabled person, why anti-diet work is about social justice and equality for *all* bodies (not just those that are considered socially acceptable), why having a loved one with an eating disorder can bring up conflicting emotions, how diet culture permeates mainstream healthcare including eating disorder treatment, and lots more. PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about the early stages of intuitive eating!

Anna Sweeney, MS, RD, LDN, CEDRD is a Certified Eating Disorder Registered Dietitian, who provides nutrition care using a non-diet, Intuitive Eating, and Health at Every Size paradigm. Anna is an expert in providing care for individuals struggling with eating disorders, disordered eating, and body image concerns. Over the last decade, she has served in a supervisory role at multiple eating disorder treatment centers, and currently holds the position of National Director of Nutrition Services for Monte Nido.

Anna is also the owner of Whole Life Nutrition Counseling in Concord, MA, where she works exclusively with clients with eating disorders, disordered eating, or an interest in intuitive eating. Anna is passionate about nutrition, balance and wellness and works to empower her clients to trust their own body wisdom. Find her online at wholelifeRD.com.

 

We discuss:

  • How you can submit your questions for inclusion in the podcast, and today’s question from a listener named Gracie

  • Anna’s intuitive relationship with food growing up

  • The difficult transition of moving from the Midwest to the East Coast

  • Why the transition into puberty causes so much angst about weight and food

  • Anna's journey of getting diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), and how it changed her relationships and feelings about herself and her body

  • Anna’s introduction to nutrition and her interest in eating disorders

  • The limitations of traditional dietetics training on eating disorders and body image issues

  • Why most dietitians start out as part of diet culture

  • Opportunities to do a different type of nutritional counseling

  • Why unlearning is more important than learning when it comes to relating to food

  • Anna's experiment of following a particular diet to treat her MS, and how it affected her relationship with food

  • Why the field of eating disorders needs to do a better job of acknowledging disability and including all bodies 

  • Anna's decision to embrace her identity as a disabled person and speak publicly about disability rights

  • How you can find Anna’s survey for body image and eating disorder treatment professionals

 

Resources Mentioned

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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 :)

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

 

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

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 #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

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 #104: How to Make Peace with Food & Feelings with Anita Johnston

Anita Johnston

Psychotherapist and author Anita Johnston shares how learning to feel and honor your feelings can help you heal from food issues, why she had a very unusual relationship with food growing up, how beauty ideals for women have remained oppressive over time even if they change slightly, why being intuitive and able to read people is both a liability and a gift, why it's important to have both boundaries and flexibility, the role of storytelling and metaphor in eating recovery, and lots more!

Anita Johnston, Ph.D, CEDS, is a clinical psychologist and certified eating disorder specialist. She is the author of Eating in the Light of the Moon, which has been published in six languages, and the co-creator of the Light of the Moon Café, an interactive e-course and online “workbook” for Eating in the Light of the Moon. Dr. Johnston has been working in the field of women’s issues and eating difficulties for over three decades. She founded the Anorexia & Bulimia Center of Hawaii in 1982 and the first Eating Disorders IOP in the country, ‘Ai Pono, in Honolulu in 2001. She is currently Clinical Director of ‘Ai Pono Maui, an Eating Disorders Residential Treatment Program on the island of Maui. She provides online individual consultations, and conducts workshops and professional trainings around the world, using metaphor and storytelling along with her training as a clinical psychologist, to address the complex issues that underlie struggles with eating, weight, and body image. Get her free Soul Hunger video series to learn more about her approach.

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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:

  • Anita’s relationship with food growing up, including her experience growing up in Guam and not knowing what dieting was until she got older

  • Diet culture, the thin ideal, and the “Twiggy” obsession in the early 70s

  • Anita’s experience in the Miss Universe pageant

  • Cultural differences in the beauty ideal

  • The limitations of the current body-positive movement re: age and body type

  • Matrilineal culture, matriarchy, and patriarchy

  • Anita’s educational journey

  • Applying meaning to our experiences

  • Feminism and women’s cultural issues

  • The Emperor’s New Clothes

  • Perceiving the nuance and the falsehoods in our culture

  • Why eating disorders have adaptive functions

  • Food as metaphor

  • The value of community support on this intuitive eating, non-diet journey

  • Setting boundaries and creating limits

  • Creating inner parents for comfort and protection

  • Compassionate curiosity

  • The metaphor of the feminine and masculine archetypes

  • Finding balance between the parts of our personalities

 

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.

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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 #102: How to Handle Body Changes, Pregnancy, & Postpartum Issues with Lindsay Stenovec

Lindsay Stenovec

Health at Every Size dietitian Lindsay Stenovec shares why different life stages can be so triggering for food and body issues, how pregnancy and the postpartum period can affect our relationships with food, why we need to prioritize self-care for its own sake, why reflecting on your values and what you want out of life is so important for recovery from dieting and disordered eating, how she came to connect the concept of Health at Every Size with her interpretation of intuitive eating, how to navigate choices about self-presentation within the context of feminism, and lots more!

Lindsay Stenovec is an established leader in the field of nutrition for women and families. She owns a private practice in San Diego, CA, called Nutrition Instincts®, where she and her associate dietitian provide nutrition counseling in the areas of eating disorders, intuitive eating, prenatal and postpartum wellness and family feeding coaching. Health at Every Size® is integrated into every area of her and her team’s work. In 2015, she founded The Nurtured Mama®, a body positive movement for moms and moms-to-be that cultivates body confidence, self-care and a healthy relationship with food, one mama at a time. Lindsay is also an adjunct faculty professor for a local San Diego community college, on the Wellness Advisory Panel for a children's food company and speaks regularly to professionals and parents on the topics of eating disorders, child feeding, maternal self-care, pregnancy and eating disorders and postpartum wellness. Lindsay lives in San Diego with her husband and 2-year old son. Find her online at NutritionInstincts.com.

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We Discuss:

  • Puberty, anxiety, and the emergence of body shame

  • Lindsay’s experience with competitive and body-conscious sports like gymnastics

  • The feminine beauty ideal

  • The trans experience with eating disorders, body dysphoria, and body dysmorphia

  • Patriarchy, feminism, and critically thinking about our life choices

  • Preparing for the deep, profound changes that come with motherhood

  • The ways in which weight gain protects individuals going through menopause

  • The contradictions of being a mother alongside dealing with food issues and chronic dieting

  • Lindsay’s food and body struggles during her transition into college

  • The experience of being a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)

  • The lack of intuitive eating education in dietetics programs

  • The arbitrary nature of calorie counts and serving sizes

  • Lindsay’s transition into work as an intuitive eating professional

  • The connection between intuitive eating and Health at Every Size

  • Diet culture, weight bias, and fatphobia

  • Body image struggles, disordered eating, and eating disorders during pregnancy and the postpartum period

  • The importance of embodiment during times of body change

  • Size acceptance

  • Vulnerability and community in the body peace and anti-diet journeys

 

Resources Mentioned

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Food Psych #101: How to Honor Your True Hungers & Find Body Acceptance with Rachel Estapa

Rachel Estapa.jpg

Size-acceptance advocate and yoga teacher Rachel Estapa discusses how being a larger-bodied child led to early experiences of shame and dieting, why diet culture's promise to "fix" us is so alluring, the connection between physical and emotional hungers,  why rediscovering her loves and desires in life was essential to her recovery from dieting, how the practice of yoga helped show her the path to liberation, and lots more!

Rachel Estapa, founder of More to Love®, is a certified life coach, certified Kripalu Yoga teacher, writer, speaker and social entrepreneur who educates and supports plus size people on approaches to positive body image and wellness, enabling all bodies to lead more empowered lives. Find her online at MoreToLoveWithRachel.com.

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We Discuss:

  • Rachel’s relationship with food growing up, including associating food with love and family

  • Body shame in relation to food choices

  • Separating the critical voice from the true inner voice of compassion

  • The line between educating others and preserving our own body-positive journey

  • Reconnecting to body trust

  • How intuitive eating leads to intuitive living

  • Creating a loving relationship with the past

  • Rachel’s first experience with a nutritionist

  • The importance of access to plus-size clothing options

  • Rachel's Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) diagnosis

  • The connection between physical hunger and emotional hunger

  • Rediscovering satisfaction with food and movement on the intuitive eating journey

  • The impact of patriarchy and misogyny on femme socialization

  • Yoga, eating disorder recovery, and embodiment

  • Reconnecting with and accepting emotions

  • Eating as an intimate act

  • Food as a part of our relationships and human connection

  • Navigating and pushing back against diet culture and the diet mentality

  • Rachel’s reasons for creating More to Love

  • Finding everlasting, honest, and individual body acceptance

  • The intersection of mystery and science

  • Tolerating constant change and growth

  • The trouble with deriving self-worth from external factors

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Food Psych #100: How the Body-Positive Movement Could Do Better with Virgie Tovar

Virgie Tovar

Virgie Tovar returns for our 100th episode! The inimitable fat-acceptance activist shares what she's been up to in the 2 years since she first appeared on Food Psych (episode #45), why you can't be body-positive and actively pursue weight loss at the same time, how the history of the body-positive movement left it open for misinterpretation, why fat acceptance and body liberation are better terms for what we really want than body positivity, how people with thin privilege can help the movement for fat liberation (and how that helps *everyone*), how her relationship with sex has changed as a result of some big changes in her life, why "The American Dream" can be so oppressive and why stepping out of it has been so liberating for her, and lots more!

Virgie Tovar is an author, activist, and one of the nation's leading experts and lecturers on fat discrimination and body image. She is the founder of Babecamp, a 4-week online course designed to help those who are ready to break up with diet culture, and she started the hashtag campaign #LoseHateNotWeight. Find her online at VirgieTovar.com.

Get $50 off Babecamp Summer Session June 5-30, a 4-week online course lovingly designed by body image expert Virgie Tovar for women who are ready to break up with diet culture and take up their rightful place in the babe pantheon. Just click on the yellow "flashsale" button at www.virgietovar.com/babecamp.html!

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!

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We Discuss:

  • Virgie’s latest projects, including Babecamp, her online course that helps women break up with diet culture

  • Embracing body jiggle

  • Looking at diet culture and fatphobia through the lens of feminism

  • The problem with the shift of fat liberation and fat acceptance to mainstream body positivity

  • How the origin of the body image conversation lies in feminist and queer politics

  • The issues with “choice feminism”

  • How to have compassion for those pursuing weight loss while also calling bullshit

  • Fatphobia in eating disorder recovery

  • The importance of believing and listening to fat people about their experiences of oppression

  • The fear of letting go of the thin ideal, diet culture, and the diet mentality

  • How to find our own authentic happiness in spite of cultural ideals

  • Intuitive eating and liberating our relationship with food

  • The formula for healing

  • The path from intellectualism to embodiment

  • Self-trust

  • Sexual exploration and liberation

  • How to honor your genuine desires instead of merely following a narrative  

  • Trauma and sexual pleasure

  • Creating space for transformation

  • Self-compassion and acceptance as the keys to healing

 

Resources Mentioned

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Food Psych #99: How to Fight Diet Culture & Find Fat Acceptance with Lindy West

Lindy West

Lindy West, author of the book Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman, shares how she became a fat-acceptance activist, the roles that feminism and body-positive imagery played in helping her reject diet culture, her experience of finding love in a larger body, how thin allies to the fat-acceptance movement can help, how she's improved her relationship with food and what she's still working on, and lots more!

Lindy West is a Seattle-based writer, editor, and performer whose work focuses on pop culture, social justice, humor, and body image. She’s currently a culture writer for GQ magazine and a weekly columnist at The Guardian, as well as the founder and editor of I Believe You | It’s Not your Fault, an advice blog for teens. In 2015 she wrote and recorded a story for “This American Life” about confronting an Internet troll who impersonated her dead father and was half of the duo who initiated #shoutyourabortion, which landed her on the cover of The New York Times. She was named one of “Internet’s Most Fascinating 2015” by Cosmopolitan.com. Find her online at LindyWest.net, and pick up her book Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman wherever books are sold.

Grab my 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!

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We Discuss:

  • Lindy’s relationship with food growing up, including being active as a kid, and the impact of being in larger body

  • Pursuing weight loss at a young age

  • The normalization of diet culture

  • How disordered eating behavior is encouraged and applauded in larger-bodied people

  • The Health at Every Size movement's impact on eating disorder diagnosis and recovery

  • Eating in public as a fat person

  • Food and pleasure

  • Living in a food-obsessed world that paradoxically subscribes to the thin ideal

  • Lindy’s experiences with fat-shaming and discrimination 

  • Natural weight fluctuation, set-point theory, and size diversity

  • Weight bias in the medical community

  • Thin privilege and the importance of thin allies in the fat acceptance movement

  • Lindy’s experience embracing fat as an identity

  • How the wedding-industrial complex is rooted in diet culture and the diet mentality

  • Body positivity, fat acceptance, feminism, and social justice

  • Bodily autonomy and making the body political

  • The systemic oppression of fat bodies

  • The impact of fat stigma and fatphobia on health

  • Lindy’s experiences with sex, dating, and love while fat

  • Fighting for body positivity for bodies of all sizes

 

Resources Mentioned:

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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

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Food Psych #96: How to Trust Your Body & Honor Its Wisdom with Tracy Brown

Tracy Brown RD

Fellow Health at Every Size dietitian Tracy Brown shares why she started dieting and fighting her body in adolescence, how restriction quickly spiraled into an eating disorder, why difficulty with setting boundaries played into her relationship with food, how she found her way to recovery and started down the path to becoming a dietitian, how she began to tune in to her body's wisdom and practice intuitive eating, why she dove into practicing from a Health at Every Size paradigm, and lots more. She also leads us in a special meditation for helping reconnect to your body!

Tracy Brown is a somatic nutrition therapist, registered dietitian, and attuned eating coach in private practice providing in-person, phone and online counseling since 2006. Tracy works with people on a soul level because she believes not wanting to be in the body is a way of protecting oneself, so her work is about nourishing the nervous system to feel safe enough to feel emotion and actually heal. She specializes in the treatment of eating disorders and eating problems for both adults and children, as well as issues related to overextending the body, including adrenal fatigue, hormone issues, PCOS and gut health.

Tracy routinely teaches intuitive eating workshops and disordered-eating-related talks throughout Florida, including at the University of Florida and Santa Fe College in Gainesville, FL; Flager College; and Florida Gulf Coast University in Ft Myers. She is also the guest Nutrition Therapist for Feast, an online intuitive eating program run by past Food Psych guest Rachel Cole. Tracy has appeared on many podcasts discussing topics including intuitive eating, trauma healing, positive body image, and recovery.

She believes that healing food and weight concerns is really about deciding to embrace our humanity in the diverse and amazing bodies we have. Living and feeling fully with courage and being dedicated to the fullest expression of who we are is the point. Learn more about Tracy and her work at TracyBrownRD.com.

This episode is brought to you by Plum Deluxe, a Fair Trade tea company that's committed to fostering mindfulness, compassion, and community. 

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We Discuss:

  • Tracy’s relationship with food growing up, including a childhood that included farming and exposure to sports at an early age

  • Tracy’s experience with subliminal messages about “acceptable” body size

  • The emotions attached to the dieting experience

  • How dating and socializing impacted Tracy’s ideas of perfection and her understanding of what is valued in our society

  • Tracy’s first experience with a diet and the resulting spiral into disordered eating, restriction, obsessive exercise, and anorexia

  • How eating disorders can be used to create boundaries around us and isolate us from the world

  • Rape culture and consent in the context of bodily autonomy

  • The relationship between eating disorders and control

  • Tracy’s journey through early eating disorder recovery and her introduction to intuitive eating

  • Tracy’s experience in college studying dietetics and nutrition, including studying with the knowledge that she would be following an anti-diet path once she received her degree

  • The impact of deprivation on the restrict-binge cycle

  • How the diet mentality and mental restriction impact the ability to break the binge cycle

  • Tracy’s trials and tribulations trying to find a job in dietetics, and her eventual first supervision under the guidance of an intuitive eating practitioner

  • Tracy’s experience with self-experimentation in learning her own hunger and fullness

  • The role of therapy in eating disorder recovery and intuitive eating

  • Tracy’s transition into private practice and Health at Every Size work, including her frustration with the diet model in mainstream dietetics

  • The challenge that HAES clinicians face in making space for their client’s mourning process around letting go of weight loss

  • Letting go of the instinct to fix problems rather than feel problems

  • How diet culture and fatphobia impact people of all sizes

  • The role of the HAES, body-positive community in supporting people when they doubt the truth about diet culture

  • How nonlinear the recovery and intuitive eating process can be

  • The judgment and moral values we attach to food behaviors

  • Tracy’s use of somatics and meditation to support eating disorder recovery, body acceptance, and inner wisdom

  • How to prepare clients for the diet culture of the outside world and create boundaries around their own process

  • How meditation can help ground the body, center the self, and foster self-compassion

  • How to have gratitude for coping mechanisms that no longer serve us

 

Resources Mentioned

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Food Psych #95: How to Share Your Anti-Diet Journey with Katie Dalebout

Katie Dalebout

Fellow body-positive podcaster and coach Katie Dalebout joins me to celebrate Food Psych's 4-year anniversary! We discuss how Katie's first appearance in episode 34 changed the direction of the podcast, how her recovery from orthorexia led her toward Health at Every Size and away from her original wellness-focused business, how she discovered her interests and passions beyond food and health, why it's so important to consider potential triggers when telling your recovery story, how to share responsibly on social media, and lots more!

Through her blog, podcasts, videos, and courses, Katie Dalebout curates inspired wisdom that guides people to go deep and sift through the thoughts clouding their minds. She’s a contributor to Hello Giggles, Refinery29, and MindBodyGreen, and in 2013 launched the weekly podcast Let It Out (formerly The Wellness Wonderland), which attracted wellness and lifestyle celebrities such as Gabrielle Bernstein, Tara Stiles, and Joe Cross in its first few episodes. She’s the author of the Amazon best-selling book Let It Out: A Journey Through Journaling (Hay House, 2016). She helps people develop a positive body image by embracing their creativity and personality outside of their physicality, and she’s on a mission to share journaling tools that invoke deeper authenticity and self-awareness. Find her online at KatieDalebout.com.

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We Discuss:

  • The four-year anniversary of Food Psych, including its evolution into a 100% body-positive philosophy, and Katie’s role in defining some of Food Psych’s themes

  • How Katie and Christy became friends through podcasting, as well as the early days of Food Psych

  • Katie’s “coming out” process with her eating disorder

  • Christy’s first exploration of Health at Every Size, including how the eating disorder recovery world and collaborating with Isabel Foxen Duke really brought her into the fold both in her practice and her podcast

  • Katie’s experience listening to Isabel Foxen Duke’s episode of Food Psych, including the vulnerability that the episode brought out in Isabel’s story

  • The importance of exploring our relationships with food growing up, and how this question helps us establish that we are not alone in these food and body struggles

  • The problem with eating disorder memoirs, including balancing storytelling with potentially triggering information

  • The normalization of diet culture

  • How our stages of recovery, understanding of disordered eating, and awareness of triggers evolves over time

  • Katie’s podcast, Let it Out, and the transformation it has undergone with Katie’s own journey through eating disorder recovery

  • Seeking out hobbies apart from food, the body, and wellness

  • How disordered eating can shape our lives and career trajectories

  • Responsibly sharing on social media, including representing a balanced life rather than just the highlights or the “healthy” parts

  • The issue with social media “branding,” including getting stuck in certain food and lifestyle labels

  • How eating styles can become a part of our identity

  • The potentially damaging influence of people we admire in the social media realm

  • The peace that comes from living your life in an intuitive way rather than a diet-mentality way

  • How the diet industry is beginning to co-opt not just wellness and nutrition, but intuitive eating and body positivity

  • Creating boundaries and taking a stand against diet culture

  • The importance of tapping into anger and humor in this social justice movement

  • How the body-positive movement and anti-diet movement fit in the larger socio-cultural context of our current political situation

  • Striking the balance between curating a compassionate social media feed and ensuring that we don’t forget that the HAES, body-positive bubble in which we reside isn't how the rest of the world functions

 

Resources Mentioned

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Food Psych #93: The Truth about Dieting & Health at Every Size with Rebecca Scritchfield & Julie Duffy Dillon

Julie Duffy Dillon - Rebecca Scritchfield - Food Psych

Fellow body-positive RDs Rebecca Scritchfield and Julie Duffy Dillon return for a special episode in honor of NEDA Week and National Nutrition Month! We discuss our new joint campaign #ChangeTheGame, why the nutrition field often plays right into diet culture, why we need to stop prescribing one thing to people with diagnosed eating disorders and another thing to the rest of the population, how dieting messes with your mind, and lots more!

Julie Duffy Dillon is a food behavior expert who helps people enjoy eating again. Award winning with her progressive approach, Julie was featured in TLC’s documentary My Big Fat Fabulous Life. Julie has an active blog on JulieDillonRD.com and a weekly Food Peace Newsletter. Listen to her weekly body positive, diet free, and health promoting podcast Love, Food where she answers listener letters about their complicated relationship with food. Julie received her BS in Nutrition from Ohio University and MS in Mental Health Counseling from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. As a registered and licensed dietitian in North Carolina, she founded BirdHouse Nutrition Therapy a group practice passionate about helping individuals and families recover from eating disorders and PCOS. As a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist (CEDRD), she also supervises dietitians to be eating disorder specialists. Don't miss Julie's previous appearance on Food Psych!  

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 don't miss her previous episode of Food Psych!

How are you changing the game on diet culture? Share your anti-diet victories with us using the hashtag #ChangeTheGame on your favorite social media platform!  

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We Discuss:

  • How Rebecca came up with #ChangetheGame, including the realization that dieting is a game, and that we can change the game by refusing to play

  • The resources that are “game changers,” such as Health at Every Size by Linda Bacon or Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch

  • How diet culture permeates our lives, and the ways in which diets can directly lead to eating disorder development

  • The biological and psychological impacts of dieting and restriction

  • The seduction of diets, including the fantasy of the life weight loss will bring you

  • How diets set us up to “fail,” and are made to keep us trapped in never-ending weight cycling

  • The consumer culture of dieting, including the way marketing and advertisements target insecurity to sell products

  • Fear mongering around food

  • The role nutritionists and dietitians have in healing the world’s relationship with food

  • Pleasure and food, including the need for pleasure in nutrition and the inevitable result of balance and variety when we approach food with pleasure and compassion

  • National Nutrition Month, including the subtle diet message embedded within this year’s campaign

  • How the diet industry no longer wants to be associated with restriction but rather with health, and how the nutrition industry is implicitly associated with diets

  • How to change a dietitian’s approach to getting people to eat a more balanced diet

  • The importance of interpreting health data in the context of food insecurity, economic inequality, diet history, and social stigma

  • The all-or-nothing, orthorexic-type nutrition information currently being touted by nutritionists and the media alike, and how to combat it with a more flexible approach

  • The need for an intuitive eating, HAES, size-inclusive shift in the dietetics profession, and for the disordered eating within the profession to be addressed

  • The issue of sizeism in the nutrition world, specifically in dietetics education, and the need for more size diversity

  • Weight concerns and the need to shift away from weight-focused wellness to a self-care driven model

  • Letting go of trying to control our bodies, and letting go of diet culture altogether in order to find true happiness

  • Action items for #ChangeTheGame and dismantling diet culture

 

Resources Mentioned:

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Food Psych #92: How to Break Free from Body Shame & Dieting with Fiona Sutherland

Fiona Sutherland

Fellow Health at Every Size dietitian Fiona Sutherland joins us to discuss our bodies' intuitive wisdom about food and nourishment, how diet culture cuts us off from that wisdom and how to reclaim it, why she almost quit dietetics and how she ultimately found her way to the anti-diet movement, why we need what she calls "radical nourishment" to heal from diet culture, the importance of taking pleasure in food, how she's working to bring the Health at Every Size approach into training for dietitians, and lots more!

Fiona Sutherland is an Accredited Practising Dietitian & Nutritionist from Melbourne, Australia. She is Director of Body Positive Australia & The Mindful Dietitian, specialising in Mindful Eating, Eating Disorders, eating behaviour and body image from a Health At Every Size and Non Diet Approach. She is also a Sports Dietitian, consulting for The Australian Ballet. Fiona is passionate about supporting people & communities heal their relationship with food and body, and is an advocate for bringing Non Diet Approach training into Universities throughout Australia. Find her at TheMindfulDietitian.com.au and BodyPositiveAustralia.com.au.

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We Discuss:

  • Fiona’s relationship with food and her body growing up, including learning about the moralization around food and that certain bodies were considered “better” than others (also known as size discrimination, weight bias, and fat phobia)

  • Fiona’s experience with thin privilege, including her own internalization of diet culture

  • The protective elements of thin privilege, including potentially avoiding the disordered eating or diet path due to fewer societal expectations to “control” weight gain

  • Fiona’s experience being the older sibling of someone living in a larger body

  • The natural, intuitive wisdom that our body is born with and the ways in which diet culture drives that wisdom out and promotes disconnection

  • How diet culture and diet mentality language seep into our vocabulary to the point that it is normalized and unchecked

  • The normalization of dieting and the ways in which it is unquestioned even by those whose core values don’t jive with diet culture

  • The morality attached to body size

  • How historical parallels to many other civil rights issues are mimicked within the size diversity, anti-diet movement

  • The importance of finding our voices and our radical values within the body activism sphere

  • Fiona’s concept of radical nourishment, including honoring our hunger, fulfilling our needs outside of food, and encouraging our desire for pleasure

  • Fiona and Christy’s experiences with clients involved in 12-step programs and struggling with other substance addictions while also dealing with an eating disorder, as well as the abstinence model in relation to food

  • The addiction model in relation to food, including the lack of definitive research and the integral consideration of guilt and restriction that leads to bingeing and feeling out of control

  • The perception of control and holding things tightly versus holding things gently

  • Giving yourself space for compassion for when food choices end up making our bodies feel uncomfortable and for when we are attempting to let go of food rules

  • Fiona’s experience with gymnastics, and how her coach helped her and her team avoid body criticism

  • How to cultivate care and connection to your body through its many changes throughout life, including the specific female experiences of postpartum, puberty, and menopause

  • Fiona’s evolving experience as a practicing dietitian, including the value in all dietitians understanding their own experience and learning from their clients

  • Fiona’s experience in dietetics school and her continuing education, including her tendency to question her education and the lack of Health at Every Size and coaching education within the program

  • Fiona’s experience taking time off to teach outdoor education to young children, along with the practical education it gave her in lived experience and the human condition

  • Fiona’s first dietetics job at a weight loss clinic, her introduction to a non-diet approach and intuitive eating and her subsequent rebellion within her weight-loss-centric job, and her eventual transition into eating disorder work and sports nutrition

  • Fiona’s later work in dietetics, including a focus on teaching dietetics students about eating disorders and HAES, working with ballerinas on eating disorder prevention, and working with athletes on body image concerns post-career

  • How major life changes impact how we feel about our bodies

  • The ways in which we can practice HAES through stealth, and how that may allow us to make a difference in spaces that need the message the most

  • The importance of exposing dietitian students to HAES education and showing them that there is another approach

  • Fiona’s experience with her mindfulness practice, including how it transformed her client work and her expansion into the mindfulness world professionally

  • Christy and Fiona’s journey finding a community within the dietetics world through eating disorder work and HAES

  • How important it is to make room for making mistakes, whether it’s as a professional or within your personal intuitive eating journey

  • Yoga and the body positive movement, and the ways in which some yoga practices can be nourishing and others can perpetuate the same diet-centric movement practices

 

Resources Mentioned:

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