weight stigma

Food Psych #120: Secrets to Intuitive Eating & Life Beyond Dieting with Lindsey Averill

Lindsey Averill

Lindsey Averill, writer, activist, and film maker, comes on the show this week to discuss the release of her new movie, “Fattitude,” how she found intuitive eating and discovered body acceptance, the issue of weight discrimination and size bias in media and the medical community, her work in body image, the problem with mainstream body positivity, and more! PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about binge eating and navigating trigger foods in recovery.

Lindsey Averill is many things - a filmmaker, an academic, a writer, an activist, an aspiring novelist, a sake and sushi lover, a notorious trashy television watcher, an odd beauty secret keeper, an amazing dancer... really, the list is endless.  

Lindsey completed her M.F.A in Writing from Emerson College and is A.B.D in the Comparative Studies Ph.D. Program at Florida Atlantic University. The focus of Lindsey’s research is feminism, fat civil rights and the representation of fat bodies in popular culture. Since 2005 Lindsey has worked as a college professor teaching women’s studies, literature and writing courses.

In her spare time, Lindsey writes stuff for lots of cool media outlets, like CNN, xojane, Time.com, The Huffington Post, Alternet, Refinery29, Bustle and the up and coming women’s lifestyle magazine, Muses and Visionaries. Lindsey’s also written academic stuff where she speaks to feminism – or a lack thereof in young adult novels – like Twilight and the Hunger Games.  

Basically, Lindsey is one of those public intellectual types, who has dedicated her life to ending the hateful relationships people have with their bodies and changing the national conversation about body image so that it focuses on effect the very real issues of bias and systemic prejudice. Find her online at FattitudetheMovie.com.

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:

  • Lindsey’s relationship with food growing up, including the urge to diet at a young age

  • The invisibility of anorexia and restrictive tendencies in fat bodies

  • Fatphobia in the medical community and the double standard in care

  • Lindsey’s exploration into fat studies and weightism, and unearthing fat activism

  • The myths surrounding the thin ideal

  • Body changes and romantic relationships

  • Current medical opinions and myths about body weight and pregnancy, and the potential influences of diet culture on pregnancy cravings

  • Navigating intuitive eating and nutrition

  • Finding joyful movement

  • Coping with weight gain in intuitive eating and embracing body acceptance

  • Exploring the joy and pleasure in food

  • Normalizing all kinds of food and overcoming bingeing behaviors

  • Lindsey’s work in media, and her exploration of the representations of women and body image

  • Body image issues among all populations and life stages

  • Watering down body positivity, and ignoring its roots in fat activism

  • Weight-based discrimination and systemic prejudice

  • Lindsey and Viri’s project, "Fattitude"

  • The importance and impact of media representation on internalized weight stigma

 

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 handle bingeing? Are there foods that we will always have bingeing tendencies with? What if we experience binge eating in a smaller body? Are there ways we can increase satisfaction throughout the day to prevent binges in the first place?

(Resources Mentioned: Christy’s private coaching, Christy’s Intuitive Eating Fundamentals online course, and the Certified Intuitive Eating Counselors Directory)

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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 :)

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

 

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 #117: How to Practice Health at Every Size with Deb Burgard

Deb Burgard

This week we’re talking with Deb Burgard, one of the founders of the Health at Every Size movement. The psychotherapist, author and activist discusses weight stigma in the healthcare system, pursuing joyful movement, size oppression and the exclusion of fat bodies from eating disorder treatment, her discovery of fat activism and feminism, how to find joy and healing, and much more! PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about how to keep yourself nourished in a stressful work situation.

Deb Burgard, PhD, FAED, specializes in body image, eating, sexuality, health, and relationship concerns. She has helped bring into the world the Health at Every Size model, the www.BodyPositive.com website, Great Shape: The First Fitness Guide for Large Women, and numerous book chapters and research articles. An activist and an internationally known speaker trying to change the forces that create oppression and barriers to health, she trains clinicians to integrate social justice concerns into their treatment models. She can be spotted at conferences hula hooping, and dancing in the pool, as her overarching goal is to bring back recess for all. Find her online at BodyPositive.com and on Twitter at @BodyPositivePhD.

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:

  • Deb’s relationship with food growing up, including observing dieting from a young age

  • Deb’s introduction to fat activism

  • Limitations on women’s sexuality in the context of feminism

  • Social justice and the origins of intersectionality

  • Lived experience vs. theoretical understanding

  • Identity and oppression of fat bodies

  • Weight stigma in the feminist community

  • Size diversity as a biological given

  • The thin ideal and the pathologization of fat

  • Fatphobia in the queer and gay community

  • Deb’s studies in dance and how it opened her up to body acceptance, radical body love, and fat acceptance

  • Movement, exercise, and fat bodies, including finding weight-neutral spaces for intuitive movement

  • Deb’s work in intuitive eating

  • Breaking down the binary with food and movement

  • Historical and personal trauma from dieting

  • Giving strength to the intuitive voices rather than the disordered ones

  • The levels of interpersonal discussion

  • The shutting down of emotionality in favor of capitalism

  • Coping with internal pain

  • The current problem with access to recovery and healthcare services

  • The history of the Health at Every Size movement

  • Fatphobia and weight stigma in eating disorder treatment and the healthcare system

  • Anorexia in larger bodies

  • Fat oppression and resilience

  • The lack of individual representation of fat bodies

  • The joy, healing, and energy found in human connection

 

Resources Mentioned

 

Listener Question of the Week

How do we make sure we’re eating enough when we have work or life situations that get in the way of nourishing ourselves? What are the best ways to eat consistently in order to stave off bingeing in challenging meal-time circumstances? How do we advocate for ourselves in these kinds of situations?

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Food Psych #115: Anti-Diet Beauty and Sexuality with Melissa A. Fabello

Melissa Fabello

Melissa Fabello returns! The activist and scholar shares why dieting and restriction reduce our sex drive, how beauty can be reimagined and reclaimed, how the need for affection and intimacy differs from the need for sex, what "skin hunger" is all about, why the Netflix movie To the Bone is so problematic and triggering, how she navigates complex issues in feminism, and a whole lot more! PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about how co-occurring mental-health issues can affect people's hunger and fullness cues.

Melissa A. Fabello is a body acceptance and eating disorder activist, scholar in the field of sexology, and Jurassic Park enthusiast based in Philadelphia, PA. Currently, Melissa works as a Managing Editor of Everyday Feminism, the largest independent feminist media website in the world, and is a doctoral candidate in Widener University’s Human Sexuality Studies program, where her research focuses on how women with anorexia nervosa experience skin hunger. You can contact her through her website and follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @fyeahmfabello.

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:

  • Melissa’s career and life trajectory the last two years

  • The intersections of disordered eating/eating disorders, sexuality, and food

  • Melissa’s experience in her doctoral program in human sexuality, and the general taboos we have around discussing sex

  • The five circles of sexuality

  • Skin hunger: the extent to which we crave non-sexual touch (also known as touch nurturance)

  • Sexuality, sex drive, touch, and skin hunger in people with anorexia

  • Loneliness and being in an environment devoid of physical touch

  • Sexual patterns in relation to eating disorder behavior

  • Fatphobia, weight stigma, and internalized weight bias in relation to sexuality

  • How body image impacts sexuality

  • Pleasure and embodied experiences

  • The overlaps between body acceptance and body positivity

  • The sociocultural influences that impact how we see the world

  • The limitations with eating disorder diagnosis criteria in a diet culture world

  • Restriction as a coping mechanism

  • How American beauty standards spread through media

  • Engaging in the pursuit of beauty outside of the patriarchy

  • Breaking down the nuances in choice feminism and autonomy

  • Femme phobia, misogyny, and the negative ways we treat femininity

  • To the Bone, eating disorder media, and the problem with consistently showing one type of eating disorder experience

 

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 with mental health conditions that interfere with our ability to listen to our internal cues around food, such as OCD? How do we challenge our disordered voices and open ourselves up to the intuitive ones instead? What does nutritional rehabilitation look like?

(Resources Mentioned: Intuitive Eating, 3rd ed., by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch)

 

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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 untrapped.com.au.

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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. TBINAA.com 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, MSNBC.com, Today.com, Huffington Post, Vogue Australia, Shape.com, 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 www.sonya-renee.com or www.thebodyisnotanapology.com.

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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 #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.

Submit your questions for a chance to have them answered on the podcast!

 

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.

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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!

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

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 #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 NutritionInstincts.com.

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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 #99: How to Fight Diet Culture & Find Fat Acceptance with Lindy West

Lindy West

Lindy West, author of the book Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman, shares how she became a fat-acceptance activist, the roles that feminism and body-positive imagery played in helping her reject diet culture, her experience of finding love in a larger body, how thin allies to the fat-acceptance movement can help, how she's improved her relationship with food and what she's still working on, and lots more!

Lindy West is a Seattle-based writer, editor, and performer whose work focuses on pop culture, social justice, humor, and body image. She’s currently a culture writer for GQ magazine and a weekly columnist at The Guardian, as well as the founder and editor of I Believe You | It’s Not your Fault, an advice blog for teens. In 2015 she wrote and recorded a story for “This American Life” about confronting an Internet troll who impersonated her dead father and was half of the duo who initiated #shoutyourabortion, which landed her on the cover of The New York Times. She was named one of “Internet’s Most Fascinating 2015” by Cosmopolitan.com. Find her online at LindyWest.net, and pick up her book Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman wherever books are sold.

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We Discuss:

  • Lindy’s relationship with food growing up, including being active as a kid, and the impact of being in larger body

  • Pursuing weight loss at a young age

  • The normalization of diet culture

  • How disordered eating behavior is encouraged and applauded in larger-bodied people

  • The Health at Every Size movement's impact on eating disorder diagnosis and recovery

  • Eating in public as a fat person

  • Food and pleasure

  • Living in a food-obsessed world that paradoxically subscribes to the thin ideal

  • Lindy’s experiences with fat-shaming and discrimination 

  • Natural weight fluctuation, set-point theory, and size diversity

  • Weight bias in the medical community

  • Thin privilege and the importance of thin allies in the fat acceptance movement

  • Lindy’s experience embracing fat as an identity

  • How the wedding-industrial complex is rooted in diet culture and the diet mentality

  • Body positivity, fat acceptance, feminism, and social justice

  • Bodily autonomy and making the body political

  • The systemic oppression of fat bodies

  • The impact of fat stigma and fatphobia on health

  • Lindy’s experiences with sex, dating, and love while fat

  • Fighting for body positivity for bodies of all sizes

 

Resources Mentioned:

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Food Psych #92: How to Break Free from Body Shame & Dieting with Fiona Sutherland

Fiona Sutherland

Fellow Health at Every Size dietitian Fiona Sutherland joins us to discuss our bodies' intuitive wisdom about food and nourishment, how diet culture cuts us off from that wisdom and how to reclaim it, why she almost quit dietetics and how she ultimately found her way to the anti-diet movement, why we need what she calls "radical nourishment" to heal from diet culture, the importance of taking pleasure in food, how she's working to bring the Health at Every Size approach into training for dietitians, and lots more!

Fiona Sutherland is an Accredited Practising Dietitian & Nutritionist from Melbourne, Australia. She is Director of Body Positive Australia & The Mindful Dietitian, specialising in Mindful Eating, Eating Disorders, eating behaviour and body image from a Health At Every Size and Non Diet Approach. She is also a Sports Dietitian, consulting for The Australian Ballet. Fiona is passionate about supporting people & communities heal their relationship with food and body, and is an advocate for bringing Non Diet Approach training into Universities throughout Australia. Find her at TheMindfulDietitian.com.au and BodyPositiveAustralia.com.au.

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We Discuss:

  • Fiona’s relationship with food and her body growing up, including learning about the moralization around food and that certain bodies were considered “better” than others (also known as size discrimination, weight bias, and fat phobia)

  • Fiona’s experience with thin privilege, including her own internalization of diet culture

  • The protective elements of thin privilege, including potentially avoiding the disordered eating or diet path due to fewer societal expectations to “control” weight gain

  • Fiona’s experience being the older sibling of someone living in a larger body

  • The natural, intuitive wisdom that our body is born with and the ways in which diet culture drives that wisdom out and promotes disconnection

  • How diet culture and diet mentality language seep into our vocabulary to the point that it is normalized and unchecked

  • The normalization of dieting and the ways in which it is unquestioned even by those whose core values don’t jive with diet culture

  • The morality attached to body size

  • How historical parallels to many other civil rights issues are mimicked within the size diversity, anti-diet movement

  • The importance of finding our voices and our radical values within the body activism sphere

  • Fiona’s concept of radical nourishment, including honoring our hunger, fulfilling our needs outside of food, and encouraging our desire for pleasure

  • Fiona and Christy’s experiences with clients involved in 12-step programs and struggling with other substance addictions while also dealing with an eating disorder, as well as the abstinence model in relation to food

  • The addiction model in relation to food, including the lack of definitive research and the integral consideration of guilt and restriction that leads to bingeing and feeling out of control

  • The perception of control and holding things tightly versus holding things gently

  • Giving yourself space for compassion for when food choices end up making our bodies feel uncomfortable and for when we are attempting to let go of food rules

  • Fiona’s experience with gymnastics, and how her coach helped her and her team avoid body criticism

  • How to cultivate care and connection to your body through its many changes throughout life, including the specific female experiences of postpartum, puberty, and menopause

  • Fiona’s evolving experience as a practicing dietitian, including the value in all dietitians understanding their own experience and learning from their clients

  • Fiona’s experience in dietetics school and her continuing education, including her tendency to question her education and the lack of Health at Every Size and coaching education within the program

  • Fiona’s experience taking time off to teach outdoor education to young children, along with the practical education it gave her in lived experience and the human condition

  • Fiona’s first dietetics job at a weight loss clinic, her introduction to a non-diet approach and intuitive eating and her subsequent rebellion within her weight-loss-centric job, and her eventual transition into eating disorder work and sports nutrition

  • Fiona’s later work in dietetics, including a focus on teaching dietetics students about eating disorders and HAES, working with ballerinas on eating disorder prevention, and working with athletes on body image concerns post-career

  • How major life changes impact how we feel about our bodies

  • The ways in which we can practice HAES through stealth, and how that may allow us to make a difference in spaces that need the message the most

  • The importance of exposing dietitian students to HAES education and showing them that there is another approach

  • Fiona’s experience with her mindfulness practice, including how it transformed her client work and her expansion into the mindfulness world professionally

  • Christy and Fiona’s journey finding a community within the dietetics world through eating disorder work and HAES

  • How important it is to make room for making mistakes, whether it’s as a professional or within your personal intuitive eating journey

  • Yoga and the body positive movement, and the ways in which some yoga practices can be nourishing and others can perpetuate the same diet-centric movement practices

 

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 #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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Food Psych #77: How to Handle Weight Stigma & Body Shame in the Family with Joanne Soolman

Joanne Levy Soolman - Health at Every Size Dietitian

Fellow Health at Every Size dietitian Joanne Soolman shares how weight stigma manifested in her family, how she overcame body shame and discovered Health at Every Size, how she handles having a sister who's a prominent Weight Watchers leader, and lots more!

Joanne Levy Soolman, MS, RD, LDN, is a registered dietitian and co-owner of Soolman Nutrition and Wellness, LLC located in Wellesley, MA. She and her husband Jonah, who is also a registered dietitian, provide outpatient nutrition counseling services for those in southeastern New England. Joanne got her BA in Psychology from Brown University and her MS in Nutrition and Health Promotion from Simmons College. Joanne specializes in nutrition counseling for individuals struggling with eating disorders and disordered eating. In addition to being a professional member of the Multiservice Eating Disorder Association, she is a proud member of the Association for Size Diversity and Health, promoting the principles of Health at Every Size®. Find her on her website at SoolmanNutrition.com.

 

We Discuss:

  • Joanne’s relationship with food growing up, including being taught the association of eating “too much” food with being fat, and discussions with her family regarding the thin ideal

  • How Joanne’s experiences at the doctor’s office as a young child fed into the obesity hysteria and a heavy focus on weight and food intake

  • The issues within the current medical model of weight regulation

  • Joanne’s first experience with a diet, including Slim Fast and beginning Jenny Craig during puberty, as well as Joanne’s first experience with disordered eating and restrictions and how the positive attention fed into the disordered patterns

  • The feeling of “failure” in relation to weight gain

  • Joanne’s journey to Health at Every Size 

  • How having a supportive partner can make such a difference in intuitive eating and body positivity

  • The difficulties doing body image work

  • The ways in which Joanne has navigated having a family member heavily involved in the pro-diet industry

  • How to let go of the weight-loss goal as a nutrition professional

  • The challenge of being involved with a family that subscribes to the diet mentality and the thin ideal while being a HAES dietitian

  • The future of the diet industry, and whether we will see a pro-HAES world soon

  • The pros and cons of HAES and body-positive activism, including internet trolls and fat phobia, as well as surprising acts of kindness

 

Resources Mentioned

 

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