healthism

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 :)

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We Discuss:

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

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

  • Fatphobia in the medical community and medical research

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

  • The dangers of weight-loss surgery

  • Health insurance complications for those in fat bodies

  • Issues with the peer reviewed weight research out there

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • The “good fatty, bad fatty” dichotomy

  • Healthism

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

  • The impact of systemic oppression on seeking and receiving healthcare

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

  • The problem with promoting weight loss within eating disorder recovery

  • Ragen’s work on the Fat Activism Conference

 

Resources Mentioned

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

 

Listener Question of the Week

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

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

Isabel Foxen Duke

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

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

Grab Christy's free guide, 7 simple strategies for finding peace and freedom with food, to start your intuitive eating journey. You can also text "7STRATEGIES" to the phone number 44222 to get it on the go :)

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

 

We Discuss:

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

  • Binge eating as a protective action against food deprivation

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

  • The desire for control over body size

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

  • Relationship anxiety

  • Breaking down cultural expectations and social biases

  • The issue with aspirational images on social media

  • Using social media to promote internal acceptance of body diversity

  • Finding beauty in different bodies

  • Capitalism, hierarchies, and surviving a competitive society

  • Separating yourself from diet-mentality thoughts

  • The importance of claiming space and setting boundaries

  • Spiritual materialism and Buddhist practices

  • Unpacking privilege and tolerating when you’ve done harm

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

  • Healthism, body policing, and orthorexic tendencies

  • The inevitability of chronic illness

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

  • Redefining health

  • The “hunger and fullness” diet vs intuitive eating

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

 

Resources Mentioned

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

 

Listener Question of the Week

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

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

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

Maggie Ritnour

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

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

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

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

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

 

We Discuss:

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

  • Food and social connection

  • Vegetarianism

  • Body comparisons, disordered eating, and the dance world

  • Depression, grief, and the desire for food control

  • The financial component of food choice

  • Learning basic life skills like cooking

  • Maggie’s experience in therapy

  • Art, writing, and catharsis

  • Intuitive cooking

  • Art therapy and eating disorders

  • Finding our authentic voice

  • Embracing imperfections and facing fears

  • Learning sustainable coping mechanisms

  • Building confidence vs perfectionism

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

  • The process of art and the process of recovery

  • The inner critic, shame, and empathy

  • Food rules, healthism, and diet culture

  • The gray area of eating disorder recovery

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

 

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Food Psych #110: How to Heal from Food Shame with Casey Berglund

Casey Berglund

Yoga teacher and fellow Health at Every Size dietitian Casey Berglund shares how she overcame restriction and food shame, how she went from having an intuitive relationship with food as a child to trying to manipulate her body size, why yoga was exactly what she needed to break through perfectionism, why she started thinking outside the box in her career, why it's dangerous to approach intuitive eating with a diet mentality, how to navigate diet culture as a professional in the body-acceptance field, and lots more. PLUS, Christy shares some insider insight into nutrition journalism, and answers a listener question about how to handle when a doctor tells you to lose weight "for your health."

Casey Berglund is a registered dietitian, yoga teacher, and media spokesperson who believes all people deserve to feel free in their relationship with food and confident in their bodies, so they have more energy for the important things in life. She owns Worthy and Well Inc., where she inspires smart and soulful women to ditch the all-or-none and eat for fuel, flavour, and fun. Get involved by claiming your free 15-minute Yoga Intro video and checking out Yoga for Mindful Eating and Living at worthyandwell.com.

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

 

We Discuss:

  • Casey’s relationship with food growing up, including her experience farming and gardening

  • The transition from curiosity about nutrition to control and restriction

  • Body comparisons

  • The media’s role in diet culture

  • Perfectionism

  • The need for culture-wide education on disordered eating, the diet mentality, and Health at Every Size

  • The impact of food deprivation on strength and athleticism

  • Discomfort with weight gain, body changes in eating disorder recovery, and finding body acceptance

  • Casey’s and Christy’s experiences in nutrition classes

  • Healthism and orthorexia

  • The feeling of “not enough”

  • Yoga’s role in Casey’s and Christy’s healing journeys, including its potentially triggering aspects such as lack of body diversity and the “clean eating” or vegan trends

  • Restrictive nutrition trends (Paleo, raw food diets, Whole30, juicing)

  • Navigating intuitive eating and self-care-driven health choices

  • Casey’s experience doing her yoga teacher training

  • Combining mindfulness practices and nutrition counseling

  • Health at Every Size and responsible research

  • BMI, the so-called “obesity epidemic,” and fearmongering within nutrition and health journalism

  • The ethical problems with encouraging intentional weight loss

  • Evolving from a weight-management paradigm to an anti-diet paradigm as a dietitian or health professional

  • The need for community and connection

 

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

Kylie Mitchell

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

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

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We Discuss:

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

  • Body trust and the pregnancy experience

  • Eating disorders and disordered eating as coping mechanisms

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

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

  • Disordered eating within the nutrition and dietetics field

  • The spectrum of eating behavior

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

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

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

  • “Healthy” food blogging and orthorexia

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

  • Breaking down the morality around food choices

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

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

  • Body dissatisfaction, fatphobia, and finding body acceptance

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

 

Resources Mentioned

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

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

Sumner Brooks RD

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

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

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

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We Discuss:

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

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

  • Sumner’s experience with emotional eating

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

  • The '90s fat-free craze

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

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

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

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

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

  • How intimate relationships are impacted by disordered eating behaviors

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

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

  • Therapy for eating disorders

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

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

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

  • Making peace with and honoring physical hunger

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

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

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

  • The connection between healthism and disordered eating

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

 

Resources Mentioned

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

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

Julie Duffy Dillon - Rebecca Scritchfield - Food Psych

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

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

Rebecca Scritchfield is a well-being coach, registered dietitian nutritionist, certified health and fitness specialist and author of the book, Body Kindness, which Publisher’s Weekly calls “a rousing guide to better health.” Through her weight-neutral mindfulness-based counseling practice, she helps people create a better life with workable goals that fit individual interests. She is the co-founder of Dietitians for Body Confidence, a website and free bi-monthly e-mail dedicated to shared learning among dietitians and future RDNs to improve body image in people they serve. Rebecca has influenced millions through her writing, Body Kindness Podcast, and appearances in over 100 media outlets including NBC Nightly News, CNN, the Today show, the Washington Post, O Magazine, Health, Shape, and many others. She lives in Washington, D.C., where she was recently recognized as one of ten “Supermom” entrepreneurs in the Nation’s Capital. Find her online at RebeccaScritchfield.com, and don't miss her previous episode of Food Psych!

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

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We Discuss:

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

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

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

  • The biological and psychological impacts of dieting and restriction

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

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

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

  • Fear mongering around food

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Action items for #ChangeTheGame and dismantling diet culture

 

Resources Mentioned:

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Food Psych #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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