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

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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