fat acceptance

Food Psych #120: Secrets to Intuitive Eating & Life Beyond Dieting with Lindsey Averill

Lindsey Averill

Lindsey Averill, writer, activist, and film maker, comes on the show this week to discuss the release of her new movie, “Fattitude,” how she found intuitive eating and discovered body acceptance, the issue of weight discrimination and size bias in media and the medical community, her work in body image, the problem with mainstream body positivity, and more! PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about binge eating and navigating trigger foods in recovery.

Lindsey Averill is many things - a filmmaker, an academic, a writer, an activist, an aspiring novelist, a sake and sushi lover, a notorious trashy television watcher, an odd beauty secret keeper, an amazing dancer... really, the list is endless.  

Lindsey completed her M.F.A in Writing from Emerson College and is A.B.D in the Comparative Studies Ph.D. Program at Florida Atlantic University. The focus of Lindsey’s research is feminism, fat civil rights and the representation of fat bodies in popular culture. Since 2005 Lindsey has worked as a college professor teaching women’s studies, literature and writing courses.

In her spare time, Lindsey writes stuff for lots of cool media outlets, like CNN, xojane, Time.com, The Huffington Post, Alternet, Refinery29, Bustle and the up and coming women’s lifestyle magazine, Muses and Visionaries. Lindsey’s also written academic stuff where she speaks to feminism – or a lack thereof in young adult novels – like Twilight and the Hunger Games.  

Basically, Lindsey is one of those public intellectual types, who has dedicated her life to ending the hateful relationships people have with their bodies and changing the national conversation about body image so that it focuses on effect the very real issues of bias and systemic prejudice. Find her online at FattitudetheMovie.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 "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:

  • Lindsey’s relationship with food growing up, including the urge to diet at a young age

  • The invisibility of anorexia and restrictive tendencies in fat bodies

  • Fatphobia in the medical community and the double standard in care

  • Lindsey’s exploration into fat studies and weightism, and unearthing fat activism

  • The myths surrounding the thin ideal

  • Body changes and romantic relationships

  • Current medical opinions and myths about body weight and pregnancy, and the potential influences of diet culture on pregnancy cravings

  • Navigating intuitive eating and nutrition

  • Finding joyful movement

  • Coping with weight gain in intuitive eating and embracing body acceptance

  • Exploring the joy and pleasure in food

  • Normalizing all kinds of food and overcoming bingeing behaviors

  • Lindsey’s work in media, and her exploration of the representations of women and body image

  • Body image issues among all populations and life stages

  • Watering down body positivity, and ignoring its roots in fat activism

  • Weight-based discrimination and systemic prejudice

  • Lindsey and Viri’s project, "Fattitude"

  • The importance and impact of media representation on internalized weight stigma

 

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 handle bingeing? Are there foods that we will always have bingeing tendencies with? What if we experience binge eating in a smaller body? Are there ways we can increase satisfaction throughout the day to prevent binges in the first place?

(Resources Mentioned: Christy’s private coaching, Christy’s Intuitive Eating Fundamentals online course, and the Certified Intuitive Eating Counselors Directory)

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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 #117: How to Practice Health at Every Size with Deb Burgard

Deb Burgard

This week we’re talking with Deb Burgard, one of the founders of the Health at Every Size movement. The psychotherapist, author and activist discusses weight stigma in the healthcare system, pursuing joyful movement, size oppression and the exclusion of fat bodies from eating disorder treatment, her discovery of fat activism and feminism, how to find joy and healing, and much more! PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about how to keep yourself nourished in a stressful work situation.

Deb Burgard, PhD, FAED, specializes in body image, eating, sexuality, health, and relationship concerns. She has helped bring into the world the Health at Every Size model, the www.BodyPositive.com website, Great Shape: The First Fitness Guide for Large Women, and numerous book chapters and research articles. An activist and an internationally known speaker trying to change the forces that create oppression and barriers to health, she trains clinicians to integrate social justice concerns into their treatment models. She can be spotted at conferences hula hooping, and dancing in the pool, as her overarching goal is to bring back recess for all. Find her online at BodyPositive.com and on Twitter at @BodyPositivePhD.

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:

  • Deb’s relationship with food growing up, including observing dieting from a young age

  • Deb’s introduction to fat activism

  • Limitations on women’s sexuality in the context of feminism

  • Social justice and the origins of intersectionality

  • Lived experience vs. theoretical understanding

  • Identity and oppression of fat bodies

  • Weight stigma in the feminist community

  • Size diversity as a biological given

  • The thin ideal and the pathologization of fat

  • Fatphobia in the queer and gay community

  • Deb’s studies in dance and how it opened her up to body acceptance, radical body love, and fat acceptance

  • Movement, exercise, and fat bodies, including finding weight-neutral spaces for intuitive movement

  • Deb’s work in intuitive eating

  • Breaking down the binary with food and movement

  • Historical and personal trauma from dieting

  • Giving strength to the intuitive voices rather than the disordered ones

  • The levels of interpersonal discussion

  • The shutting down of emotionality in favor of capitalism

  • Coping with internal pain

  • The current problem with access to recovery and healthcare services

  • The history of the Health at Every Size movement

  • Fatphobia and weight stigma in eating disorder treatment and the healthcare system

  • Anorexia in larger bodies

  • Fat oppression and resilience

  • The lack of individual representation of fat bodies

  • The joy, healing, and energy found in human connection

 

Resources Mentioned

 

Listener Question of the Week

How do we make sure we’re eating enough when we have work or life situations that get in the way of nourishing ourselves? What are the best ways to eat consistently in order to stave off bingeing in challenging meal-time circumstances? How do we advocate for ourselves in these kinds of situations?

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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 #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 #106: How to Stop Pursuing Weight Loss with Ijeoma Oluo

Ijeoma Oluo

Writer and activist Ijeoma Oluo shares why she gave up the pursuit of weight loss even though she had "succeeded" at dieting, how she stepped away from the scale and made peace with her size, why body acceptance is a journey and not a destination, how to help kids develop peaceful relationships with their bodies, why worrying about your weight robs you of your life, why we need to stop obsessing about our bodies, how food insecurity affects people's relationships with food, and lots more.

Ijeoma Oluo is a Seattle-based Writer, Speaker and Internet Yeller. Her work on race, feminism,
and other social issues has been featured in The Guardian, The Stranger, The Washington Post, TIME Magazine, and more. She is the Editor at Large at The Establishment. Her book, So You Want To Talk About Race, will be published in early 2018 with Seal Press. You can find her yelling on Twitter at @ijeomaoluo, and on her website at IjeomaOluo.com.

Fellow health pros: Sign up for the EDRDpro Symposium to learn about treating disordered eating from 15 experts in the field, including Christy!

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:

  • Ijeoma’s relationship with food growing up, including her experience with food insecurity

  • The issues with food access for low-income people

  • Food hoarding as a response to deprivation

  • The impact of sexual assault on our eating behaviors

  • The invisibility of fat bodies and the privileges of thin bodies

  • The myth that weight loss is the cure to all ills

  • Size discrimination

  • Systemic injustice

  • The impact of weight loss surgery on a person’s self-image

  • The impossibility of the beauty ideal

  • Body image in relation to the scale

  • Body acceptance as a continuous process

  • Appreciating our body for its part in achieving our life accomplishments

  • Honoring our true selves

  • Finding an individualized, *truly* holistic approach to health

  • Body positivity vs. body neutrality

  • A child’s experience with their body pre-diet culture

  • Fatphobia in the medical community and in schools

  • How to shield kids from the diet mentality

  • The BMI obsession and the “childhood obesity” bogeyman

  • Thinking critically about messages we receive from authority figures

  • The need for doctors to be trained in Health at Every Size

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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!

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

 

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

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 #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!

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

 

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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