intentional weight loss

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, 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.

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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

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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 #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

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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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