food insecurity

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 #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!

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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 #105: Body-Acceptance Secrets with Jessamyn Stanley

Jessamyn Stanley - Body-positive yoga

Jessamyn Stanley, acclaimed yoga teacher and body-acceptance advocate, joins us to discuss overcoming decades of dieting, healing from oppressive beauty standards, learning to accept her size and stop pursuing weight loss, the "yoga-industrial complex" vs. real yoga, her new book Every Body Yoga, being an Instagram sensation, navigating people's expectations of her as a yoga teacher, and lots more!

Jessamyn Stanley is the author of Every Body Yoga, as well as an internationally recognized yoga teacher, award-winning Instagram star (@mynameisjessamyn), and body-positive advocate. She has been profiled by a wide range of media, including Good Morning America, TIME, New York, Glamour, Shape, People, Essence, Lenny Letter, and many others. When she’s not on the road teaching, she lives in Durham, North Carolina. Visit her online at JessamynStanley.com, on Twitter at @JessNotJazz, and on Facebook at MyNameIsJessamyn.

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:

  • Jessamyn’s relationship with food growing up, including experiencing food scarcity

  • Coping with family stress and engaging in emotional eating

  • The impact of yoga on Jessamyn’s relationship with food and her body

  • Self-taught intuitive eating

  • Non-judgmental body awareness

  • Veganism, yoga, and classism

  • Trauma and eating disorder awareness in yoga practice

  • The intersections of capitalism and diet culture

  • The perils of pursuing weight loss

  • Educating children about Health at Every Size and body positivity

  • The intersections of fatphobia and racism

  • Challenging the urge for assimilation

  • The benefits of sharing our struggles publicly

  • The role of photography in Jessamyn’s body image journey

  • Self-compassion vs. shame and self-judgment

  • The yoga-industrial complex

  • The spiritual component of classical yoga practice

  • Size diversity in yoga

 

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

Sumner Brooks RD

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

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

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

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We Discuss:

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

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

  • Sumner’s experience with emotional eating

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

  • The '90s fat-free craze

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

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

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

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

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

  • How intimate relationships are impacted by disordered eating behaviors

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

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

  • Therapy for eating disorders

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

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

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

  • Making peace with and honoring physical hunger

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

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

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

  • The connection between healthism and disordered eating

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

 

Resources Mentioned

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

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Food Psych #87: How to Trust Your Intuition about Food with Daxle Collier

Daxle Collier - Intuitive Eating Coach

Intuitive eating coach Daxle Collier shares how food insecurity affected her relationship with food, how a series of health problems led her down the path of restrictive dieting, how she got back in touch with her intuition, why perfectionism around food is so destructive, and lots more.

Daxle Collier is an intuitive eating coach who helps people heal their relationship with food and create an authentic self-care practice. She offers remote coaching, online courses, and local San Francisco Bay Area workshops.

Daxle blogs about intuitive eating, mindful eating, self-care, joyful movement, stress reduction, and the process of change. Her work is rooted in mindfulness, self-compassion, and the HAES principles.

She holds a masters in health education with specialization in nutrition from John F. Kennedy University, and has also completed Intuitive Eating Counselor Certification, Training and Supervision with Evelyn Tribole and Coach Training with Linda Bark of Wisdom of the Whole Coaching Academy. Find her online at DaxleCollier.com, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

 

We Discuss:

  • Daxle’s relationship with food growing up, which included having a mother who was a chronic dieter, an early intuitive relationship with food despite surrounding influences, and an eventual tumultuous relationship with food that began in her teenage years

  • How Daxle used food and exercise to rebel and to fit in with her friends at school

  • Daxle’s experience with food when she transitioned to college, including exploring vegetarianism and trying to learn how to cook and buy groceries for herself with limited means

  • Medical issues that cropped up for Daxle, which created a complicated relationship with Western medicine and eventually influenced her to explore alternative and holistic health

  • Daxle’s education in “functional nutrition,” including experimenting with the Paleo diet and eventually realizing that this diet was worsening her health

  • The ways in which American culture encourages suffering around our health

  • The danger of experimenting on ourselves with nutrition, and how easy it is to convince ourselves that certain food choices are the “magic bullet” to health, even when we are experiencing the opposite

  • Daxle’s journey to intuitive eating, including her experience doing the counselor training with Evelyn Tribole

  • How being in the Health at Every Size bubble can make us forget that intuitive eating and HAES aren’t the norm in the medical community and our culture as a whole

  • The ways in which learning about mindfulness, self-compassion, and intuition outside of our relationships to food can open us up to the world of intuitive eating

  • How important it is to break down our ideas and assumptions about foods in relation to the diet mentality before we jump into intuitive eating so that we can experience foods in an untainted, non-diet-centric way

  • Daxle’s job as a wellness coach, which does not include telling people what to eat

  • Why intuitive eating is not the “hunger and fullness” diet

  • How to not turn self-care into self-punishment

  • Daxle’s experience with peer support and how her classmates helped facilitate her journey through intuitive eating

  • Daxle’s emergence into the professional world as a health coach, including how she started her own business, and how difficult it can be to market in a world dominated by diet culture

  • The struggles of intuitive eating and letting go of weight loss in our fat-phobic, health-centric society

  • The problem with encouraging the idea that individual health is a personal responsibility, rather than considering the influences and social-justice issues that impact individual health

  • Daxle’s current relationship with food and her body, including the peace she’s found and the social media cleansing she has had to do

  • The question of body love versus body acceptance, especially in the face of chronic pain or disability, and choosing body trust over body hate

  • The systemic issues that create health problems

  • Daxle’s dream of intuitive eating and HAES eventually being the norm rather than progressive


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Food Psych #84: Body Kindness Secrets with Rebecca Scritchfield

Rebecca Scritchfield - Body Kindness

Fellow Health at Every Size dietitian Rebecca Scritchfield shares how her family's identity as "emotional eaters" led to their embrace of diet culture, how childhood poverty and food insecurity affected her relationship with food, how she finally discovered the anti-diet movement after starting to work as a dietitian, how she developed the idea for her new book, Body Kindness, why the concept of kindness is so essential in relating to your body, why weight loss isn't a path to health, and lots more! 

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 get her book for 25% off from 12/27-1/31 using offer code KIND. 

RDs and RDs-to-be: Please be sure to sign the HAES petition that Christy mentions in this episode!

 

We Discuss:

  • Rebecca’s relationship to food growing up, including her experience with food insecurity and the impacts of culture and a family environment of diet culture

  • The ways in which food instills fear by enforcing the idea that we must be “good”

  • How dangerous it can be to encourage the idea that our value lies in our appearance

  • The impact parents, especially mothers, can have on body image and the ways in which children learn diet culture and diet behavior from watching their parents

  • The impact diet culture, fat phobia, and judgment based on appearance have on negative body image, self-esteem, mental health, eating disorder susceptibility, and even suicide risk

  • How the intuitive eating, HAES movement is about so much more than the individual, and the ways in which it is a social justice movement and how it must be embraced by the medical community to make lasting change in our healthcare system

  • The moral implications of fat bias

  • How dangerous it is to blame the individual for body size rather than considering genetics, socioeconomics, access to food choice, individual microbiome, and so many other factors

  • The cultural obsession we have with appearance and the importance of digging underneath that desire and getting to the root of what we are really trying to accomplish if we are to make any headway in letting go

  • How our bodies can become a shield for perceived inadequacy, especially because of the cultural image we have of people who are accepted and loved by society

  • How representation in the media can shift our view of who is deserving of love and success

  • The importance of building a body positive support network and cultivating a space free from body shame

  • Rebecca’s view on self-love and self-acceptance, including making space for negative body thoughts

  • Rebecca’s shift from diet culture to HAES and intuitive eating, including her experience watching clients give up on dieting while blaming themselves, noticing the connection between dieting and disordered eating, and embracing the concept of size diversity

  • How many dietitians come to the profession looking to fix their own relationships to food and wind up perpetuating fat phobia, diet culture, deprivation, and food and body shame

  • Christy’s journey through HAES, including confronting her own size bias and embracing size diversity in totality

  • Rebecca’s issue with pathologizing obesity within the medical model

  • The importance of having a wellness culture that embraces all aspects of health, including mental health and creating a family-focused prevention strategy

  • How to be self-compassionate about mistakes we make during our personal journeys through HAES

  • The HAES, intuitive eating future for dietetics education and the nutrition field

  • Rebecca’s new book, Body Kindness, which aims to help guide you through becoming the person you want to be and explores the concept of “spiraling up”

  • How to deal with the conflicting ideas of body kindness and the desire for weight loss

  • The importance of creating boundaries around yourself in your emerging body positivity and understanding that it’s not your job to teach everyone else about body acceptance and HAES

  • How to ensure that you don’t get sucked back into diet culture under the guise of body positivity and intuitive eating

  • The difficulty of the publishing world and how it promotes diet culture rather than assists in breaking it down

 

Resources Mentioned

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Food Psych #82: Intuitive Exercise & Overcoming Deprivation with Jonah Soolman

Jonah Soolman - Health at Every Size Dietitian

Fellow anti-diet dietitian Jonah Soolman discusses how being an athletic kid and being restricted from sugar led to a troubled relationship with food, how he learned to trust his body to guide his eating and exercise choices, why food insecurity can lead to a "clean-plate club" mentality, why it's essential for health professionals to adopt the principles of Health at Every Size and intuitive eating, and lots more! 

“What kinds of movements actually feel good for your body? What do you enjoy doing?” [Click to Tweet]

Jonah Soolman is a registered dietitian specializing in the treatment of eating disorders, disordered eating, and cardiometabolic conditions using a HAES perspective. He and his wife, Joanne, co-own Soolman Nutrition and Wellness LLC, a private practice where they offer individualized nutrition counseling, in Wellesley, Massachusetts, USA.

Most commonly, Jonah works with people who have tried numerous diets and are sick of seeing their weight temporarily drop only to inevitably rebound. Fed up with failing diets and being at war with food and their bodies, they come to Jonah because he offers the antithesis. By taking the focus off of weight and rules, he helps them to form a new and more peaceful relationship with food based on satisfaction, flexibility, and health.

When Jonah is not working, he enjoys getting outside and moving his body. In addition to time spent playing NCAA tennis, his proudest athletic achievements include riding his bicycle from Seattle to Boston for charity, running up Mount Washington on four separate occasions, and rebounding from multiple back surgeries to finish the Newport Marathon. Find him online at SoolmanNutrition.com.

 

We Discuss:

  • Jonah’s relationship with food growing up, including a feeling of restriction within the family and the disordered eating that developed for him and his brother as a result

  • The impact of food deprivation on eating disorder behaviors

  • How family food issues get passed down to later generations and impact our behavior around food in social situations, including the concept of “cleaning your plate”

  • Generational differences between how people relate to food, including the deprivation mindset of those who grew up during the Great Depression, as well as the ways in which people of all ages can be impacted in the long-term by deprivation

  • The many ways in which food scarcity can present itself, and how stocking up on foods can help fight the deprivation fear

  • The "honeymoon phase" of intuitive eating, the understandable fear that comes along with allowing foods that were previously off limits, and the eventual food peace and neutrality that comes with legalizing all foods

  • How the stigma against fat bodies is linked to disordered eating

  • The emotional attachments and associations we make with food

  • The experiences that led Jonah to develop some orthorexic tendencies, as well as his eventual career as a dietitian

  • Jonah’s introduction to Health At Every Size, beginning with the realization that athletes of all shapes and sizes were faster than he was while training for a marathon at a young age, as well as professors in his dietetic training who discussed size bias and the concept of “fat but fit”

  • Jonah’s journey into the personal training profession, including the eventual push to include intuitive movement into his philosophy

  • The shift from exercising for weight loss to moving your body for enjoyment, including the concept of intuitive exercise and the use of movement as self-care rather than self-punishment

  • Why comparison can feed our own unhappiness, and how important it is to remember that the person you are comparing yourself to may not be happy themselves

  • The importance of using a weight-neutral approach with intuitive eating, eating disorder recovery, and general nutrition

  • Jonah’s transition to an intuitive eating, body positive, HAES practice, including his realization that diets exacerbate eating disorders and that attempts at weight loss simply don’t work

  • The difficulty of being a HAES dietitian in a diet-driven world, including the difficult transition required by dietitians during early stages of their careers from a diet focus to an intuitive eating focus

 

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