Food Psych #116: Self-Care and Diet Recovery with Jenna Hollenstein

Jenna Hollenstein

Fellow intuitive eating coach and non-diet dietitian Jenna Hollenstein discusses food as self-care, why people fall into disordered eating and alcoholism as coping mechanisms, the connection between dieting and religion, how to tolerate discomfort, the role of diet culture in keeping social progress for happening, how to set boundaries and limits, how to practice self-compassion, and a whole lot more. PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about how to teach and practice fitness from a Health at Every Size perspective!

Jenna Hollenstein, MS, RDN, CDN, is a non-diet dietitian who helps people struggling with chronic dieting, disordered eating, and eating disorders. She uses a combination of Intuitive Eating, mindfulness techniques, and meditation to help her clients move toward greater peace, health, and wellness.

Jenna is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and a Certified Dietitian Nutritionist in New York State. She has a Bachelors degree in Nutrition from Penn State and a Masters degree in Nutrition from Tufts University. She's a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, an Open Heart Project meditation guide, and a meditation guide in the Shambhala tradition.

She co-teaches the Open Heart Project Meditation Instructor Training, an intensive 9-week online course to teach dietitians, therapists, coaches, and yoga teachers how to establish their own meditation practice and then to share the technique responsibly and skillfully with their clients, patients, and students.

Jenna is the author of Understanding Dietary Supplements, a handy guide to the evaluation and use of vitamins, minerals, herbs, and botanicals for both consumers and clinicians, and more recently the memoir Drinking to Distraction. She is currently writing a book about how Buddhist teachings and meditation can change the way we relate to food, eating, and our bodies. Find her online at


We Discuss:

  • Jenna’s relationship with food growing up, including the pathologization of pleasure

  • Food as self-care

  • Seeking the middle ground rather than functioning in the extremes

  • Alcoholism as a self-medicating tool

  • The meandering path to finding peace, healing, and safety in a chaotic world

  • Disordered eating and eating disorders as coping mechanisms

  • The connection between dieting and religion

  • Tolerating discomfort

  • Diet culture’s role in keeping social progress down

  • Jenna’s studies in Buddhism, meditation, and learning how to relate differently to suffering

  • Integrating non-reactivity learned through meditation with disordered eating urges

  • Trusting the structure within us rather than needing outward structure to make sense of our lives

  • Finding the value in not fitting in

  • Vulnerability

  • Self-disclosure of eating disorder recovery and the drive to help others with our experiences

  • Setting boundaries and limits

  • Creating an enlightened society

  • The difficulties of fostering self-compassion

  • Discipline in the Buddhist perspective

  • The “honeymoon phase” in intuitive eating

  • Unconditional permission with our thoughts

  • "The Second Arrow"


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 can fitness professionals best support their clients who are practicing Health at Every Size? What other things do we need to look out for in the fitness world, other than avoiding talking about calories or thinness and focusing on non-weight benefits of movement?

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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

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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. 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,,, Huffington Post, Vogue Australia,, 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 or

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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 #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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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

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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

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!

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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 #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, 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 #86: Body Positivity & Social Justice with Dianne Bondy

Dianne Bondy - Yoga Teacher & Body Image Activist

Yoga teacher and body-positive activist Dianne Bondy shares how a body-shaming father led her to develop an eating disorder in childhood and adolescence, how yoga helped in her recovery, why the yoga industry needs to be more welcoming of all bodies, why body positivity is a social justice issue, and lots more! 

Dianne Bondy is a celebrated yoga teacher, social justice activist and leading voice of the Yoga For All movement. Her inclusive view of yoga asana and philosophy inspires and empowers thousands of followers around the world – regardless of their shape, size, ethnicity, or level of ability.

Dianne contributes to Yoga International, Do You Yoga, and Elephant Journal. She is featured and profiled in International media outlets: The Guardian, Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan, People and more. She is a spokesperson for diversity in yoga and yoga for larger bodies, as seen in her work with Pennington’s, Gaiam, and the Yoga & Body Image Coalition. Her work is published in the books Yoga and Body Image, and Yes Yoga Has Curves. Find her online at and

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We Discuss:

  • Dianne’s relationship with food growing up, including a contentious relationship with her father that twisted food into a negative experience, and her exposure to eating disorder treatment in the early 1980s

  • How pervasive the messaging is around women’s bodies, and how we are frequently told we are not good enough

  • Dianne’s conflicts around being a yogi and someone in recovery from an eating disorder in relation to vegansim and vegetarianism

  • The ways in which yoga can feel dogmatic and triggering when practiced in a diet framework

  • Why we must put self-care, self-love, and our own needs first when certain ideologies may put our recovery or safety in jeopardy

  • Why the classic aesthetic of yoga (white, able-bodied, thin, woman) is so damaging to those who do not fit within the cultural ideal

  • Diet culture’s sneaky hiding places, and the ways in which the diet mentality is just a product of the capitalist machine

  • The pervasiveness of fatphobia within the medical community

  • The importance of educating people on Health at Every Size and true body positivity

  • Dianne’s a-ha moment in her eating disorder recovery, including the big part that yoga played in recovery

  • Dianne’s journey to find yoga for all bodies

  • The co-option of the body positivity movement, how frustrating it is to live in a world that tries to bar all bodies from healing practices such as yoga, and the ways in which we can use true body positivity to fight against the diet mentality

  • The ways in which diet culture acts as tool of the patriarchy and limits women in their political and cultural power

  • Dianne’s vision for the downfall of the diet industry, and the amazing work being done in the social justice community to push back against diet culture

  • The power in embracing self-love and self-healing

  • Why social media is helping in the fight against diet culture

  • Body positivity and size acceptance as a social and political movement, and how pushback indicates progress

  • HAES as a civil rights movement

  • Dianne’s experience with the 2016 U.S. election as a Canadian

  • Millennial hate, the impact of Baby Boomer policy, and the ways in which the American experience has paved the way for a hateful, bigoted ideology

  • The impossibility of the young, white beauty ideal and its oppressive impacts

  • Oppression, white supremacy, and the ways in which the world is simultaneously changing and regressing


Resources Mentioned

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Food Psych #85: How to Escape Diet Prison with Anne-Sophie Reinhardt

Anne-Sophie Reinhardt - Escape Diet Prison

Anti-diet coach Anne-Sophie Reinhardt shares why she turned to food for comfort in childhood, how she quickly spiraled from dieting to an eating disorder in adolescence, why "willpower" isn't actually a good thing, how she discovered the body-postive movement and healed her relationship with food, why trauma is such a trigger for disordered eating behaviors, and lots more. 

Anne-Sophie Reinhardt is an anti-diet coach and body confidence expert who wants you to know one thing: your weight does NOT determine your worth. A firm believer that you don’t (and shouldn’t) have to wait to start living because of your weight, Anne-Sophie works with women around the globe to help them escape diet prison and make eating fun again (because life is a lot more delicious when food doesn’t rule your life). 

Now a Certified Eating Psychology Coach and Martha Beck Life Coach, Anne-Sophie struggled with disordered eating, yo-yo dieting and bingeing and purging for over 14 years. After a serious health scare, Anne-Sophie entered recovery and launched her own recovery-focused blog, later named one of the Best 25 Personal Growth Blogs 2015 by the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. Since then, she’s helped countless clients write new rules around food, self love, body image and life in general and has shared her revolutionary anti-diet message in top publications like She Takes on the World, Tiny Buddha and Huffington Post.

And when Anne-Sophie’s not helping clients fall madly in love with their own bodies (and lives) you’ll likely find her enjoying her own by devouring a delicious book, swimming with adorable her son, savoring a massive ice cream cone (sans guilt) or (most likely) catching up on old episodes of Grey’s Anatomy. Join her Escape Diet Prison Tribe and her free Facebook group.


We Discuss:

  • The ways in which diets are now marketed as “lifestyle changes,” which makes it that much harder to be aware of the diet mentality and to not get sucked back into diet culture

  • Anne-Sophie’s relationship to food growing up, including the feeling of unease around food from a young age and the ways in which she used food to feel in control of and cope with an abusive experience

  • The ways in which trauma can trigger eating disorders and disordered eating behaviors as a way to cope with difficult circumstances

  • The impact of Trump's abusive rhetoric towards women, and how triggering his words and sentiments can be to survivors of abuse

  • Anne-Sophie’s experience with feeling shame over the size of her body, and how that shame led to excessive exercise and food restriction

  • How positive reinforcement of extreme weight loss, especially by encouraging the concept of “willpower,” can push disordered eating into eating disorder territory

  • Anne-Sophie’s experience with anorexia, including her abandonment of all creative pursuits and hobbies in favor of an obsessive relationship with food and her body

  • Her first steps to find healing and recovery from her eating disorder, including her experience with therapy and in-patient treatment

  • The deep need for more education about eating disorders within the medical and clinical communities, including the life-threatening element of eating disorders and the understanding that eating disorders are severe in all cases whether or not they physically present as such

  • Why many families are in denial about the signs of an eating disorder, and why it's important to encourage the family not to dismiss these red-flag moments

  • Anne-Sophie’s first exposure to self-care in her recovery journey, and why it was essential to learn to value her body for things other than weight

  • Her experience with intensive therapy, and how it encouraged her to find her self-worth and explore the emotional components of her eating-disorder behaviors

  • The ways in which recovery opens us back up to our lives, including our creativity and valuable relationships

  • The importance of baby steps in recovery, and the reality that recovery is a struggle

  • Anne-Sophie’s use of gratitude and journaling to bolster her recovery

  • Anne-Sophie’s experience getting pregnant, the challenges that came along with that weight gain, and the ultimately fulfilling experience of having a body healthy enough to create a life

  • The important development of body trust in eating disorder recovery to support intuitive eating

  • How watching a child’s relationship with food and movement, which is filled with ease, can have a profound impact on how we view our own relationships to food and movement

  • Anne-Sophie’s transition to being an anti-diet coach, including how she began with blogging and podcasting her journey and then eventually made her way her way getting her certifications in coaching

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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, 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 #74: The Truth About Emotional Eating with Isabel Foxen Duke

Isabel Foxen Duke - Emotional Eating - Stop Fighting Food

Isabel Foxen Duke returns! We discuss the #1 reason why people engage in emotional eating and bingeing, why reclaiming your right to eat emotionally might be a key to healing your relationship with food, why recommendations for weight loss are scientifically unsound, how the effort to control our food can transfer to other areas of life after eating disorder recovery, why meditation and spiritual practice is lifelong work, and lots more!

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.


We Discuss:

  • Why the concept of “emotional eating” is misleading, and why we really need to be focusing on diet culture instead

  • How moralizing food feeds into the diet mentality

  • The differences between binge eating and emotional eating

  • The role of fatphobia in food policing

  • Why we need to include body autonomy in our body positivity

  • How to shift making our choices from a place of self-control to making our choices from a place of self-care

  • Recognizing binge eating as a response to deprivation

  • Why deprivation isn’t always about the amount of food being eaten

  • An explanation of the “Last Supper Mentality,” and why it contributes to binge eating

  • The pervasive nature of diet culture, and why letting go of the diet mentality is so difficult in this diet culture

  • How we can reclaim the term “emotional eating,” and the importance of regarding it as a neutral coping strategy rather than moralizing it

  • The current research and theories on why we turn to food as a coping mechanism

  • Why “food addiction” and “emotional eating” wouldn’t exist without dieting

  • The value in giving up control for overall mental health

  • The ways in which food control has become the new religion

  • How obsession can transfer to different areas of our life, and why surrendering to the chaos and engaging in the spiritual process is continuous work

  • The power of saying no and setting your boundaries, and how our work around food bleeds into other aspects of our lives

  • The role of radical acceptance in recovery from disordered eating

  • The problem with the “Self-Compassion Diet” and the “Love-Yourself-Skinny Diet”

  • Why the desire to lose weight isn’t a problem, but the promise of weight loss is

  • How unethical promising weight loss is, and the need for evidence-based medicine in the health field

  • Isabel’s personal experience in in-patient recovery, and the multiple stages of recovery

  • Why body image work, body positivity, and body acceptance are essential to healing from eating disorders and chronic dieting

  • The truth that shame isn’t motivating, and the healing that can be found when we let go of body shame

  • How important it is to surround yourself with body-positive culture in the healing process

  • The different levels of body-image work

  • Refinery29’s new 67% Project, and why representation of plus-size women in mainstream media is profoundly important


Resources Mentioned

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