feminism

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 :)

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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 #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 #113: How to Cultivate Radical Body Love with Sonya Renee Taylor

Sonya Renee Taylor

Writer and activist Sonya Renee Taylor joins us to discuss why we need more radical body love in the world, how to deal with weight gain and weight stigma while learning intuitive eating, what mainstream body positivity gets wrong, why understanding oppression and intersecting identities is the key to creating a world that's *truly* body-positive, how to navigate diet culture as a body-acceptance activist, how to begin to untangle internalized oppression, and lots more. PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about how to tell the difference between self-care and orthorexic thinking.

Sonya Renee Taylor is the Founder and Radical Executive Officer of The Body is Not An Apology, a digital media and education company committed to radical self-love and body empowerment as the foundational tool for social justice and global transformation. TBINAA.com reaches over 1 million people each month in 140 countries with their articles and content focused on the intersection of bodies, personal transformation and social justice. Sonya is also an International award winning Performance Poet, Activist, speaker, and transformational leader whose work continues to have global reach. She has appeared across the US, New Zealand, Australia, England, Scotland, Sweden, Germany, Canada and the Netherlands. Sonya and her work has been seen, heard and read on HBO, BET, MTV, TV One, NPR, PBS, CNN, Oxygen Network, The New York Times, New York Magazine, MSNBC.com, Today.com, Huffington Post, Vogue Australia, Shape.com, Ms. Magazine and many more. She has shared stages with such luminaries as Carrie Mae Weems, Theaster Gates, Harry Belafonte, Dr. Cornell West, Hilary Rodham Clinton, the late Amiri Baraka and numerous others. Sonya continues to perform, speak and facilitate workshops globally. Visit her at www.sonya-renee.com or www.thebodyisnotanapology.com.

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We Discuss:

  • Sonya’s relationship with food growing up, including growing up in the Midwest in an African American family

  • Diet culture and body expectations

  • The communal nature of dieting and disordered eating

  • Body as currency and feminine value

  • Body image in relation to life circumstances

  • All-or-nothing behavior

  • Performance poetry

  • Body politics

  • Health at Every Size

  • The process of paradigm shifts

  • Shame, body judgment, and finding body peace

  • The role of community in body autonomy and body acceptance

  • Intersectional feminism

  • Being black in America, internalized racism, white supremacy, and the white beauty ideal

  • Social justice

  • Mainstream body positivity and the capitalist co-optation of the movement

  • Radical body love

  • Unpacking personal bias

  • Dealing with weight gain and grappling with weight stigma during the intuitive eating process

  • Awakening to oppression

  • Living in diet culture and navigating this body-negative world as anti-diet, body acceptance activists

 

Resources Mentioned

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

  • FAT!SO? by Marilyn Wann

  • Submit your questions for a chance to have them answered on the podcast!

  • My online course, Intuitive Eating Fundamentals, which includes listener Q&As and access to my private Facebook support group. (Get in there now because the price goes up on August 1st!)

  • Leave a rating and review and subscribe on iTunes!

 

Listener Question of the Week

How do we eat intuitively while also keeping our nutritional wellness in mind, but without falling back into orthorexic-type eating? How does privilege impact our perceptions of, and ability to, obtain “health?” How do we approach health in a true holistic way, including our emotional, social, and mental health? How do we differentiate between self-care and self-control?

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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.

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

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

We Discuss:

  • 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

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

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

Gloria Lucas, founder of Nalgona Positivity Pride

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

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

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

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

 

We Discuss:

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

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

  • Eating disorders as both emotional regulation and self-punishment

  • The impact of hypersexualization on body image

  • Religion, sexuality, and shame

  • Feminism, diet culture, and eating disorders

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

  • Recovery versus healing

  • Harm reduction and eating disorders

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

  • Nalgona Positivity Pride and decolonizing eating disorder treatment

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

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

  • Intersectional identity and oppression

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

  • Health trolling

  • The impact of family on body image and disordered eating

  • Food insecurity, food scarcity, and binge eating

  • Historical trauma, intergenerational trauma, and systemic oppression

  • Capitalism, mass incarceration, and current political rhetoric

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

  • Bodily autonomy

  • Rejecting the expectation of beauty

 

Resources Mentioned

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Food Psych #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.

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:

  • 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.

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:

  • 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!

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

Sumner Brooks RD

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

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

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We Discuss:

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

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

  • Sumner’s experience with emotional eating

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

  • The '90s fat-free craze

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

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

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

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

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

  • How intimate relationships are impacted by disordered eating behaviors

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

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

  • Therapy for eating disorders

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

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

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

  • Making peace with and honoring physical hunger

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

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

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

  • The connection between healthism and disordered eating

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

 

Resources Mentioned

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Food Psych #90: Raising Kids with Body Trust and Intuitive Eating with Hilary Kinavey of Be Nourished

Hilary Kinavey

Psychotherapist and HAES activist Hilary Kinavey shares her history of chronic dieting, the role of feminism in her recovery, how she helps her kids develop a healthy relationship with food, how romantic relationships affected her body image, why there need to be more body-positive role models for navigating aging and body changes throughout life, and lots more!  

Hilary Kinavey, MS, LPC, is a licensed professional counselor and cofounder of Be Nourished, LLC. Her work encourages movement toward a radically compassionate model of healing to address internalized body shame and associated patterns of chronic dieting and disordered eating. She is the co-creator of Body Trust™ Wellness, a Certified Daring Way™ facilitator-candidate, and a transformational workshop leader. Hilary is a popular speaker on topics such as Health at Every Size®, intuitive eating, and body respect in health care communities, and a regular contributor to the Huffington Post. Find her online at BeNourished.org.

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We Discuss:

  • Hilary’s relationship to food growing up, including navigating conflicting messages around food and her body

  • The relationship between feminism, dieting, and diet culture, and the way in which diets are marketed as a means of power and control to powerful women

  • Hilary’s diagnosis of PCOS, and how it impacted her relationship with food and her body

  • The natural health and naturopathic perspective, and the ways many of the natural health recommendations are just more diets in disguise

  • How when we heal our relationship with food we can approach health from a place of self-care rather than self-control

  • The current medical model that equates weight and health, and the need for Health at Every Size education within the medical community

  • How irresponsible and unethical it is to suggest weight loss for health when the research shows that it is nearly impossible to maintain, and how fuzzy the research on “obesity” even is

  • The ways in which letting go of dieting and moving to intuitive eating can trigger a mourning process

  • How our culture yearns for authenticity and human connection, how dieting prevents this connection, and how the HAES and body-positive community allows room for authenticity and letting go of shame

  • How powerful it can be when we let go of dieting, find our voices, and find our power

  • Hilary’s introduction to intuitive eating, including her experience with a therapist who helped her reconnect with food and her body

  • Hilary’s shifting relationship with her family due to her own identity within the anti-diet movement versus their identity within diet culture

  • The difficulty of engaging with people who are still indoctrinated in diet culture when you yourself have emerged from the dynamic

  • A parent’s role in the development of a child’s body image, including the importance of not commenting on bodies in any capacity around children in order to foster positive or neutral body image

  • Raising children in a body-neutral environment, and how to navigate teaching children HAES while also dealing with differing perspectives in other institutions such as school

  • Interfering as a parent in schools that teach potentially triggering behavior in the name of health

  • The eating competence model and Ellyn Satter’s work

  • Relationships and body image, including the realization that the connection with our partner has little to do with the way our bodies look

  • Hilary’s relationship with her body during and after pregnancy, including her difficulty reclaiming her sexuality

  • The need for female role models who exemplify unabashed ownership of their own body, especially in terms of unapologetic sexuality within female aging

  • Hilary’s experience as a mother and businessowner, and how her relationship with her body and herself has been challenged

  • How “letting go” is a lifelong process, from eating disorders to business dynamics

  • The importance of moving out of our heads and into our bodies

  • The concept of body trust, and the need for clinicians to be trained in body trust for eating disorder recovery and letting go of chronic dieting

 

Resources Mentioned

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Food Psych #81: How to Honor Your Body and Recover from Disordered Eating with Rachel Cole

Rachel Cole - Body Image & Eating Disorder Recovery Coach

Body image coach Rachel Cole shares why we lose touch with our bodies in times of distress, how to start coming back into embodiment, why the 2016 election has caused so much pain for people struggling with food and body issues, how she recovered from eating disorders and embraced body positivity, why feminism and social justice are so integral to making peace with food and your body, and lots more!

“True body positivity is a political movement.” [Click to Tweet]

Rachel Cole is a certified life coach, celebrated teacher, and women’s empowerment expert. She has spent ten years guiding women to identify, understand and feed their truest hungers – at and away from the table. As an eating disorder survivor herself, Rachel speaks with great wisdom, sensitivity, and authority about what it takes to live as a well-fed woman in the modern world. She has traveled across the United States and internationally speaking and teaching to sold-out gatherings of women on how they too can find ease and fulfillment in their lives simply by honoring their own hungers. Rachel holds a Masters Degree in Holistic Health Education and is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach. Find her online at RachelWCole.com, and read her full blog post, "Stay."

 

We Discuss:

  • The importance of body politics in the body image discussion, including some of the systemic issues that feed into our relationships to our bodies

  • The value in staying present in our bodies when we are faced with difficult feelings, including eating disorder thoughts

  • The struggles many of us face with embodiment, including the reasons we leave our bodies in times of distress and how living in the body of a woman can be particularly difficult

  • How objectification takes agency away from those of us trying to experience embodiment

  • Ways in which we can engage in purposeful embodiment in a curious, non-judgmental way

  • The importance of balancing self-care with intentional engagement

  • How confusing it can be as a person in a helping profession during this turbulent cultural period, and the difficulty of watching clients engage with their own oppression

  • Rachel’s relationship with food and her body growing up, including her eating disorder history and how important getting angry at the systemic issues that feed into eating disorder development was in finding her eating disorder recovery

  • How a parent’s relationship with food and their bodies can impact their children's body image and relationship with food

  • The double-edged sword of exposing diet culture and diving into the body-positive world, including the pro of deprogramming our minds from the diet mindset, but the con of seeing fat shaming, negative body talk, and disordered eating everywhere we go

  • How important it is to remember that the honeymoon phase of intuitive eating eventually ends, and that getting back in touch with our hunger and fullness cues is a long, difficult, but integral part of the eating disorder recovery process

  • The ways in which letting go of weight management is such a big step towards intuitive eating and true eating disorder recovery

  • Rachel’s experience in graduate school, including her transition into orthorexia

  • How seemingly innocuous comments from peers can feed into our perception of ourselves as “healthy” eaters, and can continue to push us towards disordered eating

  • The difficulty of navigating our own relationships with food in relation to other people's behaviors around food, and dealing with the silent judgment when everyone around you is engaging in a restrictive lifestyle

  • Rachel’s journey to her role as life coach focusing on HAES, intuitive eating, and eating disorder recovery

  • The deep need in the nutrition community for more HAES voices

 

"If you can mess it up, it's a diet." [Click to Tweet]

Resources Mentioned

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

Lauren Ezell Minear - Healing Trauma & Learning Intuitive Exercise

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

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

 

We Discuss:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Resources Mentioned

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

 

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