Food Psych #152: How to Make Peace with Photos of Yourself with Lindley Ashline

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Body-positive photographer Lindley Ashline joins to talk about the power of representation, the process of breaking fashion rules for people in larger bodies, how the diet industry uses aspirational marketing to lure us in and keep us hooked, Lindley’s journey to her career in photography for diverse bodies, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about whether it’s appropriate to talk to diet-recovery clients about choosing “whole” foods. 

Lindley Ashline is a professional photographer in Seattle, WA, who specializes in body positive portraits of people of all sizes, genders, orientations, ability levels, and ethnicities, not just the ones whose bodies are likely to be seen in magazines and advertisements. Lindley takes a judgment-free approach to her photographic subjects, with little to no retouching.

She created RepresentationMatters.me in 2016 as a response to (and rejection of) the airbrushed, normative, too-perfect stock photography available on the big mainstream stock sites. The images available on the site focus on representing people who are fat, of color, and/or part of the LGBTQIAP+ community.

Representation Matters gives small business owners a way to represent the real bodies and lives of their customers in their marketing and on websites and social media. It contains Lindley's own photography as well as photos and illustrations from a growing number of contributors, making diverse and body positive artwork accessible and affordable while paying contributors a living wage. 

Find thousands of high-quality diverse stock images and free monthly photos over at Lindley's site, RepresentationMatters.me.

 

We Discuss:

  • Lindley’s relationship with food, including how her family’s class status and her sensitivity to certain flavors and textures impacted it
     
  • Her journey to finding intuitive eating and learning how to create boundaries
     
  • How she avoided so much of the diet culture messaging while growing up
     
  • Lindley’s experience of body shame
     
  • Her struggle during puberty to find plus-size clothes
     
  • Dieting as a class marker and indicator of wealth, and how Lindley aspired to dieting due to the class status she felt that it indicated
     
  • The diet industry’s use of aspirational marketing
     
  • Lindley’s experience with weight stigma and fatphobia at the doctor’s office
     
  • The trajectory of “failing” a diet or “falling off the wagon”
     
  • How being in a relationship with an intuitive eater can help us on our own recovery journey
     
  • How the Fatshionista community on LiveJournal helped Lindley embrace fat acceptance and fashion
     
  • The process of breaking fashion rules for people in larger bodies
     
  • Lindley’s process of coming to body acceptance, and how self-photography played a role
     
  • How the heritage of body positivity affected Lindley’s relationship with her body
     
  • Lindley’s journey to her career in photography for diverse bodies
     
  • The complex issue of choice feminism
     
  • Lindley’s boudoir photoshoots, and how she balances accessing mainstream beauty standards with rejecting fatphobia and extreme photoshopping
     
  • The ways in which photos lie about our true, holistic appearance, and how to move away from focusing on the flaws that we see in photographs of ourselves
     
  • The ongoing process and internal dialogue of body peace
     
  • Lindley’s work with LGBTQ+ folks, and her efforts to make her work a safe place for people of all identities
     
  • The birth of Representation Matters stock photos, and how Lindley has used the platform to reject mainstream stock tropes
     
  • The power of representation

 

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 is “The Wellness Diet” a new form of diet culture? What’s the deal with “whole foods?” What are the issues with the current food industry? Are there class implications for demonizing “processed foods?” Why is gentle nutrition at the very end of the intuitive eating process?


(Resources Mentioned: Intuitive Eating, 3rd ed. by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, Food Psych Podcast Episode #127, Intuitive Eating Fundamentals)

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Food Psych #151: Emotional Eating and Diet Culture with Judith Matz

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Anti-diet therapist and author Judith Matz joins us to talk about shifting the focus of emotional eating toward the underlying deprivation and diet mentality, why turning to food to meet emotional needs isn’t an “eating problem” but a “soothing problem,” how diet culture and marginalization rob us of the ability to meet our needs, why Health at Every Size and intuitive eating are better approaches for true health, Judith’s work teaching other therapists about weight stigma, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to frame public health efforts to change the built environment in a way that doesn’t stigmatize people in larger bodies.

Judith is the co-author of two books on the topics of eating and weight struggles.

Beyond a Shadow of a Diet: The Comprehensive Guide to Treating Binge Eating Disorder, Compulsive Eating and Emotional Overeating has been called “the new bible” on this topic for professionals. The Diet Survivor’s Handbook: 60 Lessons in Eating, Acceptance and Self-Care was a #1 bestseller on Amazon and a favorite resource for therapists to use with clients. She is also the author of Amanda’s Big Dream, a children’s book that helps kids to pursue their dreams – at any size!

Judith has a private practice in Skokie, IL, where she focuses her work with clients who want to get off the diet/binge rollercoaster and learn to feel at home in their bodies. Through her individual counseling, groups, workshops, presentations and books, Judith has helped thousands of people to develop self-care skills that increase physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing without a focus on the pursuit of weight loss. Through educational programs, she is dedicated to helping people end the preoccupation with food and weight and to fighting weight stigma.

Judith is a popular speaker at national conferences and descriptions of her work have appeared in the media including the New York Times, LA Times, Allure, Fitness, Self, Shape, Today’s Dietitian, Diabetes Self-Management, Psychotherapy Networker, NBC News Chicago, Huffington Post Live, and she appears in the documentary America The Beautiful 2. Find her online at JudithMatz.com.

 

WE DISCUSS:

  • Judith’s relationship with food growing up, including how intuitive it was when she was young, and how that changed with the introduction of body comparisons and commentary from peers

  • Recognizing the connection between restriction and binging

  • Judith’s experience with weight gain, weight cycling, and the restrict-binge cycle

  • How thin privilege shielded Judith from some of the negative impact of diet culture

  • The ways in which we can make children resilient against fatphobia and body shaming

  • The bonding experience of dieting and the toxicity of weight-related compliments

  • How many of us are complicit in diet culture even when we don’t realize it

  • The Weight Watchers announcement about their free program for teens, and why it’s unethical to be pushing intentional weight loss onto impressionable young kids

  • Why Health at Every Size is a better approach for true health

  • The shame attached to the diet-binge cycle and the inevitable weight regain

  • Judith’s professional work in mental health and therapy, and her experience working in a diet-centric program

  • Why eating behaviors aren’t all about the psychology, and why intuitive eating needs to be factored into the healing process for people struggling with binge eating

  • The ways in which physical deprivation, rather than emotional eating, drives binge behaviors

  • Why we need to suss out the influence of the diet mentality on our food choices before we ask questions about whether or not we’re emotionally eating

  • Judith’s work teaching other therapists about weight stigma, and how professionals who continue to perpetuate the diet-centric paradigm are complicit in the oppression of people in larger bodies

  • The problem with assumptions about eating behavior based on body size

  • Shifting the focus of emotional eating from being an “eating problem” to being a “soothing problem”

  • Utilizing compassion on our journey to find new coping mechanisms, and why we can always use food as an emotional coping skill

  • Shifting from being in control to being in charge

  • How leaving behind dieting and shifting to intuitive eating can decrease anxiety and allow ourselves the space to take care of ourselves through depression and other stressors

  • The ways in which diet culture and marginalization rob us of the ability to meet our needs

  • How marginalization and food insecurity affects our relationship with food and our ability to heal, and how the restrict-binge cycle becomes protective and adaptive in this situation

  • The grief process of letting go of dieting

  • The negative health outcomes related to weight cycling and weight stigma, and the health benefits of intuitive eating

  • Judith’s efforts to integrate Health at Every Size and social justice into her therapeutic practice

  • The positive and negative implications of social media, and how diet culture has gotten more aggressive while resources have become more abundant

  • Why diet culture is The Life Thief, and how it robs people of meaningful conversations

 

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 support health for everyone and support increased access to health-promoting variables without resorting to fatphobia? Are there ways to sneak weight-incisive language into public health research? How can changes in the unit environment improve people’s health, regardless of body size? Are there ways in which individuals can develop a compulsive, extreme relationship to exercise or food commonly thought of as “healthy?” How does cultural familiarity with certain foods affect people’s ability to interact with these foods? What research is out there about weight stigma and health disparity related to social inequities?

(Resources Mentioned: "Weight Science: Evaluating the evidence for a paradigm shift” by Linda Bacon and Lucy Aphramor, Linda Bacon and their Food Psych Podcast episode, Lucy Aphramor and her Food Psych Podcast episode, "Weighed down by stigma: How weight-based social identity threat contributes to weight gain and poor health,” Journal of Social Issues, Vol 70, Number 2)

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Food Psych #150: Disordered Eating & Gender Identity with Sand Chang

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Psychologist and trans-health educator Sand Chang joins us to talk about the complex experience of body acceptance for trans folks, the intersections of trans advocacy and Health at Every Size work, the growing body of research around trans folks and eating disorders, the shape-shifting nature of fatphobia and diet culture, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how food restrictions to try to cure acne can exacerbate an eating disorder.

Dr. Sand Chang is a Chinese American clinical psychologist, educator, and writer based in Oakland, CA. Sand identifies as queer, nonbinary, and genderfluid and uses they, them pronouns.

Sand currently divides their time between working at Stanford University’s counseling center, Northern California Kaiser Permanente Transgender Services, and a private practice specializing in trans health, relationships and sexuality, trauma, EMDR, eating disorders, and addictions. As a psychotherapist, trainer, and advocate, Sand is invested in healing and empowerment within marginalized communities and disrupting systems of oppression.

Sand co-authored the 2015 APA Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Clients and is the past Chair of the APA Committee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity. They regularly present at conferences and provide trainings on a wide number of topics for health care systems, educators, and organizations. Sand’s upcoming book, A Clinician’s Guide to Gender-Affirming Care: Working with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Clients, which they co-authored with their colleagues Drs. lore dickey and Anneliese Singh, will be published by New Harbinger in late 2018.

Outside of their professional work, Sand is a dancer, avid foodie, punster, and pug enthusiast. They live in Oakland, CA with their pug Zelda Sesame. Find them online at SandChang.com.

 


WE DISCUSS:

  • Sand’s relationship with food growing up, including how their Chinese-American heritage influenced how they related to food

  • Sand’s first exposure to diet culture and fatphobia, including how unconscious and covert diet mentality was while they were growing up

  • How being involved in dance negatively influenced Sand’s body image

  • Sand’s experience with an eating disorder and over-exercise, and how trauma and coping played a role in the development of their disordered behaviors

  • How positive feedback from weight loss egged on Sand’s disordered relationship with food and the issue with body appraisals

  • Sand’s process of seeking recovery, including the ways in which healthcare practitioners both help and harm individuals attempting to heal

  • How weight bias prevents folks from getting the proper care for their eating disorder

  • Sand’s discovery of size acceptance and fat liberation, and struggling with applying body acceptance to our own bodies

  • Trans healthcare and body image, including the fatphobia and binaries embedded in queer communities and body norms within the trans community

  • Sand’s experience discovering their gender non-conforming identity

  • The growing body of research around trans folks and eating disorders

  • How the minority stress around being misgendered feeds into disordered eating

  • The current limitations within the healthcare field around trans identity and barriers to care for trans folks

  • Gender dysphoria vs body dysmorphia

  • The limitations of the current DSM mental-health diagnoses for eating disorders and for the trans experience

  • The complex experience of body acceptance for trans folks

  • The intersections of trans advocacy and anti-diet, Health at Every Size work

  • Why gender-affirming surgery isn’t a cosmetic surgery and why it saves lives

  • Sand’s experience finding their way back to inclusive eating disorder work

  • The need for the HAES movement and eating disorder work to become more intersectional and move away from the gender binary

  • “White feminism” vs intersectional feminism

  • Sand’s experience with orthorexia, how their experience navigating their gender identity within the healthcare system reinforced their disordered experience, and their path to breaking out of diet culture for good

  • Sand’s path to finding intuitive eating, joyful movement, and body acceptance

  • How diet culture keeps up in the limbo period between disordered and recovered

  • Moving away from the perfectionism around the idea of recovery

  • The positive and negative takeaways from Sand’s time in Overeaters Anonymous

  • How valuable it is to have a community by your side during healing

 

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

Can eating in certain ways and cutting out certain foods help cure cystic acne? What are the dangers of trying to heal our skin through food restriction? Can disordered eating contribute to hormonal acne issues?

(Resources Mentioned: Dr. Steven Bratman’s work on orthorexia, Julie Duffy Dillon’s anti-diet resources for PCOS, the Certified Intuitive Eating Counselors Directory, the Health at Every Size Registry)

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Food Psych #149: The Truth About Binge Eating with Amy Pershing

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Anti-diet therapist and Binge Eating Disorder expert Amy Pershing joins us to discuss how our fatphobic culture hinders eating disorder recovery, how diet culture steals our personal power, the healing that can be found in getting angry, the role of restriction and trauma in binge eating, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about quick ways for primary-care providers to talk to patients about intuitive eating and HAES.

Amy Pershing LMSW, ACSW is the Clinical Director of the Center for Eating Disorders (CED) in Ann Arbor. In 1993, she developed “Bodywise™,” a comprehensive treatment program to serve a growing population of clients coming to the center with binge eating disorder (BED). In 2008, Pershing and Chevese Turner, CEO and founder of Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA), joined forces to found Pershing Turner Consulting LLC which offers training to clinicians treating BED nationwide.

Pershing has pioneered an integrated approach based on almost 30 years of clinical experience. Her approach is strengths-based, incorporating Internal Family Systems, mindfulness strategies, Self Compassion interventions, and a range of somatic trauma techniques. Her approach also integrates intuitive eating and movement and a “health at every size” philosophy. Pershing offers two- and three-day Intensives for those in recovery, as well as “Hungerwise™,” a 10-week program for ending chronic dieting and weight cycling offered jointly with with St. Joseph Mercy Health System in Michigan.

Pershing lectures internationally and writes extensively on the treatment of BED and her own recovery journey for both professional and lay communities. She has been featured on numerous radio and television programs speaking about BED treatment and recovery, relapse prevention, weight stigma, and mindful eating and movement. She is the winner of BEDA's Pioneer in Clinical Advocacy ward. Pershing has also served on a variety of professional boards and is the Past Chair of the Binge Eating Disorder Association. Her book, published by Taylor and Francis, will be out in late summer 2018. She maintains a clinical practice in Ann Arbor. Find her online at TheBodyWiseProgram.com.

Ready to learn how to cook, make movies, and more from the masters? MasterClass has launched the All-Access Pass – a thoughtful gift for the home cooks or lifelong learners in your life. Food Psych listeners can get the All Access Pass at MasterClass.com/FOODPSYCH.

 

We Discuss:

  • Amy’s relationship with food growing up, including learning conflicting narratives related to food

  • The ways in which parents try to shield their children from fatphobia and weight stigma

  • The many different iterations of diet culture over the years

  • Amy’s experience with restriction and hunger, and internalizing the moralization of food and the virtue in being hungry

  • Amy’s discovery of intuitive eating, and why food preoccupation is an inevitable side effect of restriction

  • Why foods with quick energy are most desireable in times of deprivation, and the role of pleasure and joy and eating

  • Diet culture’s message of personal responsibility and blaming the victim

  • How body shame and the thin ideal feeds into diet culture

  • Diet culture’s shift from aesthetics and the beauty ideal to health and “clean eating”

  • The classism embedded within the moralization of food

  • The seduction of the thin ideal, including the messages around desirability and love

  • Amy’s experience with weight stigma

  • How our fatphobic culture hinders eating disorder recovery

  • The value in weight-inclusive communities and the Health at Every Size message

  • The intersection between body image and self-compassion

  • Amy’s experience with the restrict-binge cycle and Overeaters Anonymous, and how she eventually reached out for help and support in her path towards recovery

  • The soothing effect of food, and understanding that food behaviors are often more about coping than about willpower

  • Amy’s training in trauma, and learning that our body will push us towards survival

  • How feminism, gender studies, and learning about the trauma of weight stigma informed Amy’s professional path

  • The power of shame and trauma narratives

  • How we attach moral value to movement, and how Amy embraced joyful movement

  • The power in throwing food and movement rules out the window in the recovery process

  • How Amy’s clients and colleagues have taught her to appreciate beauty in new ways

  • The value, healing, and power that comes with getting angry at the systems that oppress us

  • How diet culture steals our personal power, and how moving away from diet culture allows us to take that power back and put it towards more beneficial pursuits

  • Amy’s process of finding organic structure around movement and food

  • Why we need to focus on self-care, not self-control

  • The other ways in which the beauty ideal oppresses those around us

 

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 primary care providers give compassionate care around intuitive eating and Health at Every Size? What are some ways that physicians can promote an anti-diet perspective when they only have a short amount of time with each patient? How does weight stigma and chronic stress put individuals at risk for health conditions that are often blamed on a larger body size? How do referrals play a role in helping people break free from diet culture?

(Resources Mentioned: Body Respect by Linda Bacon and Lucy Aphramor, Intuitive Eating, 3rd ed. by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch)

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Food Psych #148: Disability and Diet Culture with Rebekah Taussig

Rebekah Taussig

Disability-rights advocate and writer Rebekah Taussig joins us to talk about why body positivity needs to be a radical and intersectional movement, the connection between body acceptance and disability rights, the many ways in which diet culture has infiltrated disability culture and affects people in disabled bodies, embracing all the emotions that surface when doing anti-oppression work, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about quick ways to respond when a friend says something diet-y or body-shaming.  

Rebekah Taussig is a Kansas City writer and teacher with her PhD in Creative Nonfiction and Disability Studies. She is interested in the powerful connection between the stories we tell and the world we live in, from physical spaces and economic opportunities to social roles and interpersonal relationships. Her writing contributes to the collective narratives being told about disability in our culture -- empowering, mundane, wild, heart-breaking, exhilarating, ordinary stories of her life lived through a paralyzed body. Find her online at RebekahTaussig.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 :)
 

We Discuss:

  • Rebekah’s relationship with food growing up, including internalizing body and size preferences

  • How Rebekah’s disability influenced her relationship with her body

  • The various ways we cope with body shame

  • Rebekah’s experience with marrying young, and the ways in which our culture perpetuates the false narrative that romantic love will complete us

  • The physical repercussions of emotional pain

  • Rejecting self-objectification and embracing the fact that we are more than our bodies

  • The role of therapy and disability studies in Rebekah’s journey through embodied healing

  • The connection between body acceptance, body positivity, body liberation, and disability rights

  • The power in being a part of bigger movements like #MeToo, eating disorder recovery, and disability advocacy

  • Rebekah’s PhD work in disability studies and creative non-fiction

  • How our ideas about what does and doesn’t qualify as a “normal body” and the “ideal body” are constructed

  • Rebekah’s journey to embracing her voice as a writer in the disability community, including the positive impact of internet communities

  • Rebekah’s exploration of self-photography, and how it changed the way she experienced her body image

  • How Rebekah made the bridge between body positivity and disability rights, specifically around how both movements work to dismantle the narratives we’ve been told about our bodies

  • Why body positivity needs to be a radical and intersectional movement

  • How transformative joyful eating can be in our relationship with our bodies

  • Why diet culture is The Life Thief

  • Diet culture’s infiltration of the disabled experience, including how some people push diets on disabled folks in order to “cure” their bodies

  • The assumptions placed on disabled bodies, and Health at Every Size implications for disabled folks

  • How thin privilege can validate certain voices over others in the fat-liberation space

  • Embracing all the emotions that surface when doing anti-oppression work

  • Rebekah’s experience teaching young adults disability rights

 

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 spread the Health at Every Size, anti-diet message to people we don’t know so well? Are there some quick phrases we can use to retort the diet mentality that comes up in everyday life?

(Resources Mentioned: Food Psych Episode #127 and #31.5)

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Food Psych #147: Why Nobody Needs "Weight Management" with Jennifer Rollin

Jennifer Rollin

Health at Every Size therapist Jennifer Rollin joins us to talk about dispelling eating disorder myths, why weight stigma in the eating disorder field is harmful, how Health at Every Size work contributed to healing Jennifer’s body image and breaking down her learned fatphobia, the problem with the idea of “weight management,” and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to handle it when a significant other’s family comments on your weight.

Jennifer Rollin, MSW, LCSW-C is a therapist in private practice in Rockville, Maryland, eating disorder and body image specialist, and expert writer and speaker. She is passionate about helping people to find freedom from eating disorders and body-hatred. Jennifer has completed certificates in CBT-E for Eating Disorders, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and is a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor. She is a member of The Junior Board of Directors for The National Eating Disorders Association. Her articles have reached thousands of people through media including The Huffington Post and Psychology Today. She offers eating disorder therapy in Rockville, Maryland and eating disorder recovery coaching to people worldwide. Find her online at JenniferRollin.com.

Ready to learn how to cook, make movies, and more from the masters? MasterClass has launched the All-Access Pass – a thoughtful gift for the home cooks or lifelong learners in your life. Food Psych listeners can get the All Access Pass at MasterClass.com/FOODPSYCH.

Start sleeping ahead of the curve with Casper. Get $50 toward select mattresses by visiting Casper.com/PSYCH and using the code PSYCH at checkout. That’s Casper.com/PSYCH, offer code PSYCH for $50 off your mattress purchase. Terms and conditions apply.

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 :)

 

We Discuss:

  • Jennifer’s relationship with food growing up, including how growing up with a mother who was a dietitian taught her food rules and diet culture at a young age

  • The beginning of Jennifer’s body image struggles, including the role of comparisons

  • How gender plays into body policing

  • Jennifer’s first forays into dieting, and how that eventually led to an eating disorder

  • The roles of isolation and rigidity in disordered eating

  • Why diet culture is The Life Thief

  • How restriction around food leads to obsession around food, including our professional career tracks and hobbies

  • Dispelling eating disorder myths, and what drew Jennifer to the therapy field

  • Jennifer’s discovery of Health at Every Size work, and how it contributed to healing her body image and breaking down her internalized and learned fatphobia

  • Why weight stigma in the eating disorder field and general medical field is harmful

  • The need for evidence-based work in eating disorder treatment

  • How important it is for providers to understand their own size bias and disordered behaviors around food

  • Why it’s necessary to hold compassion for our past selves and our previous weight-centric paradigms

  • The value in finding a Health at Every Size community, and Jennifer’s efforts to create the HAES Therapists and Nutritionists Facebook group

  • The problem with the concept of “weight management”

  • How important social connection is to our overall health

  • The ways in which control over food often hides the desire for control in other areas of our lives

  • Why our body size is really out of our control, and why that’s okay

  • How important it is to work with trained professionals in your recovery and in order to help you identify diet culture thoughts in your life

  • Feeling gratitude for our struggles

 

Resources Mentioned

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

  • Minnesota Starvation Experiment

  • Project Implicit (resource for implicit bias tests, including weight bias)

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

  • My online course, Intuitive Eating Fundamentals, which includes monthly listener Q&A podcasts and access to my private Facebook support group

  • Ready to learn how to cook, make movies, and more from the masters? MasterClass has launched the All-Access Pass – a thoughtful gift for the home cooks or lifelong learners in your life. Food Psych listeners can get the All Access Pass at MasterClass.com/FOODPSYCH.

  • Start sleeping ahead of the curve with Casper. Get $50 toward select mattresses by visiting Casper.com/PSYCH and using the code PSYCH at checkout. That’s Casper.com/PSYCH, offer code PSYCH for $50 off your mattress purchase. Terms and conditions apply.

 

Listener Question of the Week

What do we do when people around us make fatphobic comments about our bodies? How do we set boundaries around what language is and isn’t okay for us? How do we react when our partner’s family participates in this fatphobic language and weight bias and talks about our bodies?

(Resources Mentioned: Rachel Millner’s Food Psych Podcast episode)

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Food Psych #146: Binge Eating Recovery & Intuitive Exercise with Kristy Fassio

Kristy Fassio

Certified Body Trust Provider and Health at Every Size personal trainer Kristy Fassio joins us to talk about the restrict-binge cycle and binge eating disorder; how to make fitness work for people in larger bodies; why diet culture is The Life Thief and how it steals our power, freedom, and joy; how restriction feeds into emotional eating; and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to refute arguments in favor of a particular diet.

Kristy Fassio is a mom, AFAA certified personal trainer, and a certified Body Trust Provider. When she’s not planning her next Disney vacation, she can be found working on her Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, tending to the small menagerie of animals that live on her 10 acres, telling women their bodies are not broken or driving her kids to dance lessons. She believes movement should be joyful, life should be lived wholeheartedly, and that self-care is inescapable. Find her online at KristyFassio.com.

Start sleeping ahead of the curve with Casper. Get $50 toward select mattresses by visiting Casper.com/PSYCH and using the code PSYCH at checkout. That’s Casper.com/PSYCH, offer code PSYCH for $50 off your mattress purchase. Terms and conditions apply.

Ready to learn how to cook, make movies, and more from the masters? MasterClass has launched the All-Access Pass – a thoughtful gift for the home cooks or lifelong learners in your life. Food Psych listeners can get the All Access Pass at MasterClass.com/FOODPSYCH.

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 :)


 

We Discuss:

  • Kristy’s relationship with food growing up, including how the messages around food began to change during puberty

  • How Kristy’s larger body size affected her perception of movement, food, and body image

  • Kristy’s experience with the restrict-binge cycle and binge eating disorder

  • How diet culture tricks us into thinking our hunger and fullness cues are broken

  • The power and love in asking for what we need

  • Kristy’s discovery of other people who struggled with emotional and binge eating, and how helpful it was in her recovery process

  • Kristy’s journey from hitting diet rock bottom, to discovering intuitive eating and eventually coming to a place of body acceptance

  • Dismantling weight bias and embracing a Health at Every Size paradigm in our professional lives

  • How diet culture normalizes disordered eating

  • Welcoming movement and food back into our life in a way that’s nourishing rather than punishing

  • How to make fitness work for people in larger bodies, and how ableism seeps into movement practices

  • Kristy’s process of shifting her exercise classes to a more inclusive experience

  • How people connect and bond over diet talk and food restriction

  • Why diet culture is The Life Thief, and how it steals our power, freedom, and joy

  • Kristy’s journey to embrace a social justice lens on body and food, fat activism, Health at Every Size, and fat liberation

  • The value and power in community and in being seen

  • Kristy’s career change from movement work to therapy, and the work she wants to do in the binge eating disorder community and fat advocacy

  • The need to break down our own fatphobic beliefs within the eating disorder field and outside of it

  • How restriction feeds into emotional eating

  • Embracing the fact that recovery is a flexible and effortful process, and that every day won’t feel perfect

  • Raising kids in a fat-positive, anti-diet environment

 

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

What’s the deal with intermittent fasting? Is intermittent fasting an intuitive choice, or is it a gateway to disordered eating? What’s the research in support of intermittent fasting?

(Resources Mentioned: *Trigger warning, mention of weight/calorie numbers and specific dieting behaviors* Intermittent fasting interventions for treatment of overweight and obesity in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis, Weight Science: Evaluating the Evidence for a Paradigm Shift)

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Food Psych #145: Diet Culture and Hidden Anorexia with Rachel Millner

Rachel Millner

Health at Every Size psychologist and Body Trust Provider Rachel Millner joins us to discuss how diet culture masks anorexia, why it’s so important for everyone in our society to address our own weight bias, the power of community in breaking free from diet culture, the role of clinicians as activists, how we can spread the Health at Every Size message and plant seeds for change, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about dealing with anger toward a parent who constantly pushed diets on you in childhood.

Rachel Millner, Psy.D., CEDS is a licensed psychologist and certified eating disorder specialist. She sees adults with all forms of eating disorders and disordered eating and those wanting to break out of diet culture in her private practice, and treats children and adolescents with eating disorders as part of the Eating Disorder Assessment and Treatment Program at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Dr. Millner is a certified Body Trust(r) provider. She practices from a Health at Every Size(r), fat positive, weight inclusive perspective. Find her online at RachelMillner.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 :)

 

We Discuss:

  • Rachel’s relationship with food growing up, including how being raised in a Jewish family resulted in internalizing mixed messages about food being abundant but off-limits

  • How food messaging changes based on body size

  • Rachel’s experience with sneaking food in order to avoid being shamed about her food choices

  • The problem with blaming the individual for health outcomes or body shape, and the role of diet culture in our understanding of health

  • Rachel’s struggles with the binge-restrict cycle

  • How hard it is to integrate body acceptance into our lives even if we intellectually understand and agree with fat acceptance

  • The power of community in breaking free from diet culture

  • The trajectory of Rachel’s eating disorder, including how being in a smaller body allowed her to get the help she needed

  • Why we need to shift away from treating bodies, and move towards treating symptoms

  • How pervasive fatphobia is in the medical field

  • Higher-weight anorexia, and the need for health professionals to break down and engage with their own weight bias

  • How to find a Health at Every Size, fat-positive healthcare

  • Rachel’s path to recovery, including the role of therapy and self-care, and how she set boundaries her family during that time

  • Rachel’s professional trajectory, including how she became more involved in the fat activist community

  • The role of clinicians as activists and the power in trusting your message

  • How valuable age is, both professionally and personally

  • How we can spread the Health at Every Size message, plant seeds for change, give space for people to have their own journey, and let go of the goal of perfection

 

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 forgive the people in our life that taught us diet culture, especially when those people were our family? Is anger a helpful emotion in this process? How has the wellness industry been co-opted by the diet mentality? Are our parents at fault for putting us at diets when we were young? How do we tell the people who put us on those diets about the Health at Every Size perspective?

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Food Psych #144: Body-Image Resilience with Lindsay & Lexie Kite

Lindsay and Lexie Kite

Body image researchers and Beauty Redefined co-founders Lindsay and Lexie Kite join us to talk about diet culture as “The Life Thief” and how self-objectification operates in a similar way, overcoming body shame, building body-image resilience, how feminism has informed Lindsay and Lexie’s work, why body positivity and body image work are social justice issues, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about whether it's possible to stop the binge-restrict cycle while living in poverty.

Beauty Redefined, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to promoting positive body image online and in live speaking events, is run by identical twins Lexie Kite, Ph.D. and Lindsay Kite, Ph.D. Since establishing Beauty Redefined in 2009, Lexie and Lindsay have become leading experts in the work of body image resilience through research-backed online education available on their website, social media, and through speaking events to tens of thousands across the US. While many well-intentioned people promote positive body image from the basis of helping women realize and embrace their beauty, Beauty Redefined changes the conversation about body image by telling girls and women they are MORE than beautiful. Lexie and Lindsay assert positive body image is about feeling positively toward your body overall, not just what it looks like. The Beauty Redefined mantra is: “Women are more than just bodies. See more. Be more.” This expanded definition of positive body image provides the foundation for their overall mission to promote body image resilience, or the ability to become stronger *because* of the difficulties and shame women experience in their bodies, not *in spite of* those things.Through both research and personal experiences, Beauty Redefined works to arm girls and women with the tools to become resilient in the face of objectification and unreal ideals about female bodies. Find them online at BeautyRedefined.org.

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 :)

 

We Discuss:

  • Lindsay and Lexie’s relationship with food growing up, including learning about the thin ideal through media representation, being pushed to crash dieting, and moralizing food choices

  • How sports and competitive swimming affected their relationship with their bodies

  • Objectification and self-objectification, including Lindsay and Lexie’s PhD work in the field

  • Diet culture as “The Life Thief,” and how self-objectification operates in a similar way

  • How our personal healing and pain can help others down the line

  • Lindsay and Lexie’s work in body-image resilience and disrupting comfort zones

  • How Lindsay and Lexie’s college courses in journalism and media informed their understanding of body image

  • Overcoming body shame, and the profound effect of planting seeds

  • The truth that weight loss doesn’t improve body image

  • How to shift our value away from body size and towards our accomplishments, viewing the body as an instrument rather than an ornament, and moving towards an internal sense of self-worth

  • The shape-shifting nature of diet culture

  • Why body positivity and body image work are social justice issues

  • How feminism has informed Lindsay and Lexie’s work and research, the process of embracing the label of “feminist,” and the problem with choice feminism

  • Acknowledging that body hatred isn’t size-specific

  • How focusing on the beauty ideal steals our power in the political landscape

  • Lindsay and Lexie’s explanation of self-objectification theory, body-image resilience, and body-image disruptions

 

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 we heal from disordered eating and utilize the tools of intuitive eating if we live in poverty and don’t have access to an abundance of food? What are some of the ways that intuitive eating is a classist form of recovery?

(Resources Mentioned: FeedingAmerica.org, Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs)

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Food Psych #143: Body Politics & Anti-Diet Activism with Maria Paredes

Maria Paredes

Health at Every Size psychotherapist Maria Paredes joins us to talk about how diet culture and the diet industry target the most marginalized folks, why activism is an important part of helping people heal from food issues, embracing the gray areas in recovery, the “recovered” vs “recovering” debate, remembering that there’s no way to do intuitive eating perfectly, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about someone’s partner’s smaller body triggering the diet mentality in them.

Dr. Maria Paredes is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Clinical Supervisor, Certified Eating Disorders Specialist & approved IAEDP supervisor, and owner of Three Birds Counseling & Clinical Supervision in Greensboro, NC. She helps rad women and men make peace with food and with their bodies, and live fuller lives, free from negative thinking, fear of food, and body hate. She believes ALL bodies have worth and that ALL individuals deserve to enjoy food, move in ways that feel joyful, treat their bodies with kindness and gentleness, and experience authentic connection with themselves and others. Maria recognizes that this healing must occur within the individual therapeutic relationship as well as within the larger, cultural environment, and thus embraces the role of advocacy and activism. She also works with individuals experiencing anxiety, infertility/pregnancy loss, and PCOS. Maria teaches courses in UNC-G’s Counseling department and provides clinical supervision and training to new professionals working toward their licensure as therapists or dietitians. Maria is Mom to 3 young girls and hopes that they will grow up to experience the wonder and power of all their bodies have to offer, without believing they must shrink themselves. Find her online at ThreeBirdsCounseling.com.

Grab Christy's free guide, 7 simple strategies for finding peace and freedom with food, to start your intuitive eating journey.

 

We Discuss:

  • Maria’s relationship with food growing up, including learning about “good” vs “bad” foods, associating food with family time, and being pushed to eat past fullness

  • Maria’s experience with purging and disordered eating, and the complex relationship that behavior had with trauma and relief

  • The various ways that all-or-nothing thinking and behavior showed up in other areas of Maria’s life

  • Intergenerational trauma, how our parent’s upbringing affects our relationship with food, and the ways in which deprivation can show up in our lives outside of diet culture

  • The conflicting messages Maria received around her religious upbringing

  • Embracing the gray, and remembering that there’s no way to do intuitive eating perfectly

  • #MeToo, feminism, and making space for people to speak out

  • Oprah and the insidious nature of diet culture even in the face of success

  • How diet culture and the diet industry targets the most marginalized folks

  • Maria’s experience growing up in Westchester County, noticing the extreme focus on appearance, and the relief in moving elsewhere

  • What led Maria to seek out counseling as a profession, and the ways in which the therapeutic relationship is valuable for both clinician and client

  • The recovered vs recovering debate, Maria’s experience recovering within diet culture, and knowing how to pick our battles

  • Maria’s experience getting diagnosed with PCOS, the lack of education around proper management and care, and why we shouldn’t be prescribing weight loss

  • Weight bias within various health-provider fields, and the prolific nature of advice based on diet culture rather than research

  • The value in staying curious, and the scary parts of turning your back on the weight management paradigm

  • Christy’s experience spreading the intuitive eating and Health at Every Size messaging

  • The role of “activist therapists” in the healing process, and thinking about the individual vs the collective

  • Revisiting the word "victim," and the importance of naming things for what they are

  • Having empathy for people who do engage in internalized oppression, and the privilege of escaping that oppression

  • The potential oppressive nature of intuitive eating, and the privilege embedded in being able to find full recovery

  • Maria’s experience raising daughters in our current cultural climate, modeling body neutrality, and trusting that they’ll be resilient through the struggle

 

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

What do we do if our partner triggers the diet mentality in us? Are there resources out there for those of us feeling that way? How much does the thin ideal contribute to this struggle?

(Resources Mentioned: Lindy West’s article, Rachel Wiley’s spoken word piece, Dawn Serra’s Food Psych Podcast episode, Caleb Luna’s Food Psych Podcast episode)

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Food Psych #142: Breaking Free from Fatphobia & Gender Norms with Caleb Luna

Caleb Luna

Writer and fat activist Caleb Luna joins us to talk about how gender identity intersects with fatness, how to tolerate the desire for weight loss, navigating food choices as a form of self-care rather than deprivation and restriction, why representation matters, the effect of internalized fatphobia within the family, breaking out of the gender binary, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about navigating thin privilege while living in a smaller body.

Caleb Luna is a writer, activist, teacher, performer, fat babe and Ph.D. student at the University of California, Berkeley, where their current project focuses on the relationship between bodies and discourse. They have also explored the intersections of fatness, desire, white supremacy and colonialism from a queer of color lens. You can find more of their writing on Black Girl Dangerous, Everyday Feminism and The Body Is Not An Apology. Find them on Twitter at @tummyfuq.

Grab Christy's free guide, 7 simple strategies for finding peace and freedom with food, to start your intuitive eating journey.

 

We Discuss:

  • Caleb’s relationship with food growing up, including learning to associate food with comfort and experiencing anxiety around their body size

  • Caleb’s experience visiting a nutritionist at a young age, and learning to equate body size with health

  • The effect of internalized fatphobia within the family and the intergenerational transition of fatphobia

  • Caleb’s relationship with their father, and how his addiction shaped Caleb’s childhood and understanding of coping skills

  • Media representations that expose thin privilege and weight bias

  • The evolution of and history of the Food Psych Podcast

  • Caleb’s discovery of fat acceptance and fat activism, and how it helped them to strip away the shame around their eating habits

  • The stress of eating in public as a person in a large body, the judgment around hunger, and making peace with our basic needs

  • The cultural desire to erase fat bodies

  • Caleb’s experience dissociating from their body as a form of safety

  • Navigating food choices as a form of self-care rather than deprivation and restriction

  • The value of community in the recovery process, and the importance of seeing people in fat bodies enjoying their lives

  • Why representation matters, especially for non-white, non-cisgender fat folks

  • Caleb’s romantic and sexual experience, and discovering that their body was attractive and desirable, rather than something to “settle” for

  • Fat discrimination in the queer community

  • How higher education enabled Caleb to feel affirmed and validated in their identity

  • The healing work of therapy, fostering non-judgmental self-awareness, developing skills to change the way we interact with others, and embracing self-compassion

  • How Caleb’s gender identity intersects with their fatness, and breaking out of the gender binary

  • Smaller fat bodies vs larger fat bodies, understanding thin privilege as a spectrum, and different intersections with fatness that compound oppression and marginalization

  • Caleb’s advice on how to tolerate the desire for weight loss, and the ways in which the desire for weight loss is a response to trauma

  • Scrutinizing who benefits from white, cisgender, colonized beauty standards

  • How our values can guide us towards self-care

  • Caleb’s PhD project, including how categorizing individuals contributes to disconnection between all humans

 

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

What exactly is “thin privilege?” How do we participate in the fat liberation movement if we’re in smaller bodies? What are the real-life consequences of weight stigma?

(Resources Mentioned: Sarah Harry’s Food Psych Podcast episode and Lisa DuBreuil’s Food Psych Podcast episode)

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Food Psych #141: Pleasure, Sex, and Body Acceptance with Dawn Serra

Dawn Serra

Body-positive sex coach and fellow podcast host Dawn Serra joins us to talk about the social currency that comes with dieting and pursuing weight loss, her work in sexuality and how it intersects with fat activism, body image struggles within sexual experiences, how weight discrimination affects people in larger bodies, thin privilege, the good-fatty/bad-fatty dichotomy, cultivating curiosity with food and pleasure, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about gender dysphoria and disordered eating.

Sex is a social skill. Dawn Serra speaks it, writes it, teaches it, and she helps you learn how to develop it. Committed to ending sexual and bodily shame, Dawn is the creator and host of the weekly podcast, Sex Gets Real as well as the radical online summit, Explore More. In addition to working one-on-one with clients around pleasure, desire, and connection, she also lectures at colleges and universities on sex, relationships, and body politics. It's not all work though! In her downtime, Dawn can be found making up absurd games with her husband or reading a great book with her cats. Find her online at DawnSerra.com.

Head to warbyparker.com/psych to order your free Home Try-On’s today! That’s warbyparker.com/psych.

Grab Christy's free guide, 7 simple strategies for finding peace and freedom with food, to start your intuitive eating journey. 

 

We Discuss:

  • Dawn’s relationship with food growing up, including how body comparisons played into policing her food choices

  • The pervasive nature of fatphobic messaging, including within the family unit

  • Dawn’s experience as being viewed as strong and powerful in her body in the context of sports, but also getting policed for being “too large”

  • The effect of watching someone be completely intuitive with foods when we ourselves are disordered with food

  • Why gentle nutrition needs to be left to the end of the intuitive eating process, and the importance of rooting out the diet mentality in our eating behaviors

  • Giving ourselves time to unlearn diet culture, and being compassionate enough to be patient

  • Oprah, and the pros and cons of her influence on the world

  • The disordered process of deliberately not honoring our hunger

  • The social currency that comes with dieting and pursuing weight loss, especially when you’re in a larger body

  • Dawn’s experience being the “clean-eating fat person,” and the good-fatty/bad-fatty dichotomy

  • The myths behind the idea of “willpower,” and the truth of the restrict-binge cycle

  • How weight discrimination affects people in larger bodies, the experience of thin privilege, and the seduction of social acceptance that we’re told comes with being in a small body

  • Dawn’s experience finding community in the fat activist and fat acceptance movement, and how healing it is to find a space to share the emotional trauma of existing in a marginalized body

  • Weight stigma and size bias in the medical community

  • Using anger and compassion to fuel our own healing

  • Dawn’s professional journey, how she came to work as a sex therapist, and how her work intersects with fat activism

  • Dawn’s status as a sexual assault survivor, how that has affected her work, and the current #MeToo campaign

  • Navigating consent and boundaries within sexual experiences and experiences with food and our bodies

  • Accessing pleasure and practicing embodiment, and what it means to say yes

  • The connection between sexual exploration and food exploration

  • How to navigate body acceptance within sexual experience

  • Cultivating curiosity in order to make space for healing and pleasure

  • Challenging the cultural story around sexual-romantic relationships

  • Practicing holding two opposite truths together, opening up to vulnerability, and the value of pushing through discomfort

 

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 may gender expression play into our desire to change our bodies? Does gender dysphoria complicate eating disorder recovery? What are the resources out there for trans folks struggling with disordered eating?

 

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Food Psych #140: How to Heal from Over-Exercise & Find Joyful Movement with Jessi Haggerty

Jessi Haggerty

Anti-diet dietitian and personal trainer Jessi Haggerty joins us to discuss how to make the transition from instrumental exercise into joyful movement, why it’s so important to have a trauma-informed approach to movement, ableism in the fitness world, the shape-shifting nature of diet culture, embracing a Health at Every Size paradigm, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to deal with the desire to change a particular body part.

Jessi Haggerty is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, and Certified Personal Trainer with a private practice in Somerville, MA. She specializes in treating people struggling with eating disorders and disordered eating using using a customized, therapeutic, non-diet approach that combines nutrition and movement therapy, and also offers virtual recovery coaching.

In addition to her practice, Jessi has a podcast called the BodyLove Project where she hosts conversations about intuitive eating and body acceptance, with a special interest in how eating disorders and body dissatisfaction intersect with other tough-to-talk-about subject such as addiction, trauma, and postpartum. Despite the heavy topics, the BodyLove Project is about how to come out the other side, and live an authentic, embodied life.

Most recently, Jessi has launched an online workshop series for personal trainers, called Nutrition & Body Image Coaching Skills; How to Help Without Harming. This series is designed to empower trainers to coach from a HAES perspective, screen for eating disorders and disordered eating, and refer clients to a higher level of care when necessary. Find her online at JessiHaggerty.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 :)

 

We Discuss:

  • Jessi’s relationship with food growing up, including being exposed to diet foods at a young age, and becoming preoccupied with dieting and weight loss early in life

  • The effect of watching our parents struggle with weight gain

  • How important it is for health professionals to acknowledge their own disordered reasons for pursuing dietetics

  • The problem with making weight loss and health the responsibility of the individual, rather than acknowledging the systemic factors that influence these outcomes

  • The initial safety and community that can be found in diet culture, and ultimately what diet culture takes from you

  • Strategies for breaking down the stereotypes surrounding dietetics as a Health at Every Size practitioner

  • Jessi’s experience being a personal trainer at 17, her attempts at body manipulation through exercise

  • Jessi’s eventual exploration of physical therapy and personal training as a path to recovery, joy, and healing, rather than punishment

  • Practicing and marketing your business as a Health-at-Every-Size, anti-diet personal trainer

  • How to engage with movement as someone struggling with an eating disorder or wading into eating disorder recovery

  • How to find joyful movement, and using yoga as a baseline to explore boundaries around exercise

  • The ways in which fitness tech takes us out of our body and into our heads, and how that interferes with embodiment

  • The importance of safety when exploring whether or not movement is right for you, and prioritizing a trauma-informed movement practice

  • The issue of mirrors in exercise studios

  • Ableism in the fitness and exercise world, how to work with different abilities in the personal-training sector, and the need to question typical gym marketing on the basis of gender, size, ability, race, etc

  • Respecting everyone’s body’s abilities within movement practice, giving options for people in differently-abled bodies, and making room to modify for all different bodies

  • How our body image can be affected by our movement ability, especially when our ability changes over time

  • Jessi’s work as a nutritionist, and her efforts to eradicate diet culture from the personal training profession

  • How to navigate sports nutrition as an anti-diet dietitian

  • The shape-shifting nature of diet culture

 

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

Is cosmetic surgery a better alternative to dieting? How do we love a body part that feels unlovable? Are there some strategies out there to help us appreciate different kinds of bodies?

(Resources Mentioned: Jes Baker’s Food Psych Podcast episode, Sarah Harry’s Food Psych Podcast episode, Lisa DuBreuil’s Food Psych Podcast episode, Jes Baker’s Instagram guide, Meredith Noble’s Instagram guide, The Body is Not An Apology, Sonya Renee Taylor’s Food Psych Podcast episode, Everyday Feminism, The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf)

 

Food Psych #139: The Truth About Weight-Loss Surgery & "Food Addiction" with Lisa DuBreuil

Lisa DuBreuil

Social worker and fat activist Lisa DuBreuil joins us to discuss weight loss surgery and its unexpected side effects, what the research really says about this surgery, how it affects people's body image, what the science really says about so-called "food addiction," the intersection of substance abuse and weight-loss surgery, her own journey to recovery from diet culture, how she became a Health at Every Size clinician, how to handle clients seeking weight loss surgery when you’re a weight-inclusive professional, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to make the case for Health at Every Size to skeptics.

Lisa DuBreuil, LICSW is a mom, wife, fat activist, and clinical social worker. Since 2003 she has been a psychotherapist doing individual and group work in an outpatient hospital-based clinic, treating people with co-occurring substance use disorders and eating disorders and more recently people with new-onset SUDs and compulsions following weight loss surgery. She also has a private practice in Salem Massachusetts where she treats people diagnosed with binge eating disorder and people dealing with various problems following weight loss surgery. Lisa helps people live peacefully in their bodies by improving self-care skills and teaching how to navigate our challenging body culture. Contact her at LisaJDuBreuil@gmail.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 :)

 

We Discuss:

  • Lisa’s relationship with food growing up, including her self-consciousness about her size and weight from a young age

  • The historical and geographical roots of the Health at Every Size movement and fat acceptance

  • How diets evolve and the ways in which different foods become demonized

  • The need for compassion for those who transmitted diet culture to us as children

  • Lisa’s experience with body shame, and the ways in which people of all sizes harbor body loathing and internalized weight stigma

  • How chronic dieting can develop into binge eating disorder

  • The long road to gentle nutrition and joyful movement in the intuitive eating process

  • Lisa’s discovery of the Health at Every Size movement, and how it helped her find lasting eating disorder recovery

  • Lisa’s experience as a therapist working with clients struggling with trauma and eating disorders, and her eventual path to becoming a social worker and program director

  • The connection between eating disorders and substance abuse, and the ways in which they are both coping strategies

  • Lisa’s experience working with clients with weight loss surgery

  • Why “food addiction” is different from addiction to substances, including the effect of habituation

  • The difficult side effects and disillusionment of weight loss surgery, including malnutrition and continued body dissatisfaction

  • How internalized fatphobia pushes folks towards weight loss surgeries and is correlated with many of the poor health outcomes often blamed on body size

  • The ways in which internalized weight stigma makes it harder for people to pursue self care

  • The lack of research around long-term outcomes for weight loss surgery

  • Body autonomy, and how to work with clients that are making decisions counter to our personal opinions

  • How intersecting oppressions affect the decisions we make

  • The stress of change, and the need for extra support even in the face of positive outcomes

 

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

What do I do if I’m trying to spread the Health at Every Size message to professionals in the health promotion field? What research is out there to support the HAES paradigm? How does weight stigma factor into health?

(Resources Mentioned: Linda Bacon’s Food Psych Podcast episode, Lucy Aphramor’s Food Psych Podcast episode, "Weight science: evaluating the evidence for a paradigm shift" by Linda Bacon and Lucy Aphramor, Deb Burgard’s Food Psych Podcast episode, “The Weight-Inclusive versus Weight-Normative Approach to Health: Evaluating the Evidence for Prioritizing Well-Being over Weight Loss” by Deb Burgard et. al., Ragen Chastain’s first and second Food Psych Podcast episodes, Ragen’s Dances With Fat blog)

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Food Psych #138: Body Peace, Fat Acceptance, and Yoga for All Bodies with Sarah Harry

Sarah Harry

Psychotherapist and yoga instructor Sarah Harry joins us to discuss how to handle fatphobia in the family, the most important step in her journey to body peace, how diet culture drives eating disorders, weight stigma in the fashion industry, the complications of weight-loss surgery, the role of yoga in diet-culture recovery, moving from body-positive activism to fat activism, avoiding burnout as a clinician, and lots more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how intuitive eating can help end the restrict-binge cycle.

Sarah Harry is one of Australia’s leading Body Image and Eating Disorder specialists. Her roles in this field are varied and she offers a unique perspective as an experienced Clinician, Lecturer, Researcher, Yoga Teacher and Author. She is the co-director of Body Positive Australia alongside the amazing Fiona Sutherland.

Sarah was the first yogi in Australia to offer yoga for bigger bodies. She has practised yoga for more than 20 years and has been running specialist classes and retreats for the last few years all over Australia.

Sarah has more than 15 years’ experience counselling individuals and groups with all kinds of eating and body image issues, she has worked in the public and private sectors, lectures at universities and has just published her first book Fat Yoga - Yoga for All Bodies. Find her online at FatYoga.com.au or BodyPositiveAustralia.com.au.

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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 "7STRATEGIES" to the phone number 44222 to get it on the go :)

 

We Discuss:

  • Sarah’s relationship with food growing up, including how the thin ideal contributes to a disordered relationship with food

  • Food and body policing, including Sarah’s first diet and the rules around what she was and wasn’t allowed to wear

  • Navigating diet culture in the family

  • How we as a culture connect lovability to body size

  • Sarah’s shame around her lap band surgery

  • How diet culture and a job in fashion contributed to her eating disorder

  • Confronting the myth that eating disorders have a certain body type

  • Sarah’s experience seeking out recovery, including the most important ingredient in getting started on the path to making peace with food and her body

  • How recovery led her to go back to school for counseling and become an eating disorder clinician, and her discovery of yoga

  • Sarah’s winding path to becoming a yoga teacher focused on liberating all bodies

  • Sarah’s work with Fiona Sutherland and her practice of body peace

  • Body image, body acceptance, body shame, and the ways in which body dissatisfaction transcends body size

  • The difference between body positivity and fat activism

  • The various levels of fatphobia, including the interpersonal, the intrapersonal, and the internalized

  • How therapy has helped Sarah to heal and maintain her recovery and mental health, and the importance of therapy in general

  • How to support people through mental health struggles, and navigating the care-taking role

  • The power of supervision in professional development and support

  • How often people who are attracted to helping professions are those who have grappled with these issues themselves, and how important it is to manage our own recovery before venturing into working in the field

  • The power in sharing your recovery story

  • Navigating body acceptance and body image work, and understanding that it’s not a perfect experience

  • The malleable nature of health, and why it’s more important to pursue self-care and health behaviors that work for you than the idea of “perfect health”

  • How chronic pain and chronic illness can fit into our personal definitions of health

  • The ways in which health has become a new manifestation of diet culture and privilege

  • The myth of the “golden ticket,” and how various industries attempt to sell us products that promise happiness and a perfect life

  • Respecting everyone’s journey to Health at Every Size

  • How Health at Every Size and anti-diet work is spreading in Australia and the US

  • Sarah’s experience with lap band surgery, how it affected her body image journey and her eating disorder recovery, the dangerous side effects, and the importance of doing body image work after folks have found recovery

  • Sarah’s process of learning to eat intuitively and letting go of weight loss

  • Sarah’s experience embracing the public persona of her fat-acceptance work

  • Why diet culture is The Life Thief and how it shape-shifts in this new age of wellness

  • Prioritizing self-care, and the embracing the right to do nothing

 

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 manage binges during the intuitive eating process? Can intuitive eating eliminate binges completely? How does self-compassion support our recovery journey? What’s the biological processes that contribute to binge behaviors (AKA The Restriction Pendulum)? How can working with an intuitive eating dietitian help us to heal our food behaviors?

(Resources Mentioned: Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor Directory)

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Food Psych #137: How to Navigate Diet Culture with Evette Dionne

Evette Dionne

Writer and editor Evette Dionne joins us to talk about how to fight fatphobia and advocate for yourself in healthcare settings, how to navigate difficult conversations and challenge weight stigma in close relationships, why the body-positive movement needs to be intersectional, how oppression is learned and can be unlearned, why it’s important to acknowledge our privilege, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to deal with friends and family who are stuck in diet culture.

Evette Dionne is a Black Feminist culture writer, editor, and scholar. Presently, she’s the senior editor at Bitch Media and regularly contributes stories about race, size, gender, and popular culture to Teen Vogue, The Guardian, Cosmopolitan, the New York Times, Refinery29, Harper's Bazaar, MIC, and other print and digital publications. Find her online at EvetteDionne.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 :)

Give your wardrobe an upgrade with MM.LaFleur by going to MMBento.com. Use the code PSYCH at checkout and MM.LaFleur will donate 10% of profits to GlobalGiving.

 

We Discuss:

  • Evette’s relationship with food growing up, including connecting food with family and love

  • Evette’s experience with food and body shaming from authority figures

  • Fatphobic school environments, Evette’s experience with harassment, and how it led to the development of agoraphobia

  • Evette’s transition into the workforce and obtaining her GED, and her experience with food policing from a manager

  • Navigating food choices with newfound independence

  • The pressure on college students to avoid weight gain

  • The connection between emotional eating and restriction, and using food as a coping mechanism

  • The traumatizing effect of weight concerns

  • The threshold of acceptable fatness

  • Medical fatphobia, weight stigma in healthcare, and the need for self-advocacy at the doctor (refusing to be weighed, asking for pillows at the gynecologist, and insisting that any specialist tests are pushed to the yearly physical)

  • Fat shaming getting in the way of proper medical care for people in larger bodies

  • Compassion and Health at Every Size as effective intervention strategies

  • Patriarchy, sexism, racism, ableism, and why the body-positive movement must be feminist, political, and intersectional

  • The radical origins of body positivity in fat acceptance and the need to push for a more equitable world

  • Empowerment vs activism and the need for systemic change

  • Learning and unlearning our own oppression, building the body of knowledge around us so we can fight back, and learning how to have these difficult conversations in order to challenge someone’s fatphobia within close relationships

  • Giving people the space to grow while also barring yourself against toxic relationships

  • How we are all complicit in this culture that makes it unsafe for marginalized bodies

  • The problem with staying in the comfortable stage of the body-positive journey

  • Moving away from black-and-white thinking

  • Acknowledging privilege, moving beyond shame, and grappling with feeling defensive

 

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 create distance between ourselves and diet culture? What do we do it diet talk is permeating your relationships with friends and family? Is there a way to push people towards anti-diet ideas before they’re ready? How does “planting seeds” work? Can New Year's’ Resolutions fit into this distancing process? How do we make our boundaries around diet talk clear to those around you?

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Food Psych #136: Mental Health, Intuitive Eating, and Postpartum Body Image with Stefani Reinold

Stefani Reinold

Psychiatrist and body-acceptance advocate Stefani Reinold joins us to discuss weight stigma in the medical field, how to handle the body-image issues that emerge in pregnancy and postpartum, why accepting your body is so hard in appearance-focused environments, her experience in Christy's Intuitive Eating Fundamentals course, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to let go of restriction and accept your body size.

Stefani Reinold is a Psychiatrist, mother of two, and women’s mental health advocate. She completed her psychiatry residency training at George Washington University in Washington, DC. While at GWU, she trained in the renown Five Trimesters Clinic specializing in perinatal mental health, infertility and loss. She has presented nationally and internationally on the topics of eating disorders, body dissatisfaction and body image in pregnancy and postpartum. She is an advocate for Health at Every Size and anti-diet clinical practices in the medical field. Her most recent passion project is “Not the Typical Mom,” a blog, podcast and community about the not so typical, but all too common issues of motherhood and encourages mom to escape the stereotypes and banish mom guilt. Find her online at StefaniReinoldMD.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 :)

Manage your wedding registry with Zola! Receive a $50 credit towards your registry by going to zola.com/psych.

Ready to learn how to cook, make movies, and more from the masters? Just in time for the holidays, MasterClass has launched the All-Access Pass – a thoughtful gift for the home cooks or lifelong learners in your life. Get it at MasterClass.com/FOODPSYCH.

Give your wardrobe an upgrade with MM.LaFleur by going to MMBento.com. Use the code PSYCH at checkout and MM.LaFleur will donate 10% of profits to GlobalGiving.

 

We Discuss:

  • Stefani’s relationship with food growing up, including experiencing food in abundance, being preoccupied with her body in childhood, and the introduction of food scarcity due to financial restrictions

  • How gymnastics affected Stefani’s body image and relationship with food

  • Equating self worth with appearance, and the pressure on femme folks to strive for the beauty ideal over intellectual pursuits

  • Stefani’s experience with an eating disorder, and the ways in which colleges and Greek life are breeding grounds for disordered eating

  • How eating disorder awareness events can often encourage disordered eating rather than encourage recovery

  • The consequences of mental health stigma and the effect of untreated mental illness

  • How romantic relationships can help our body perceptions, promote recovery, and encourage unconditional acceptance of self

  • Stefani’s experience with body preoccupation in relation to pregnancy and fertility

  • Stefani’s exploration of intuitive eating, the discovery of different Health at Every Size professionals, and her experience with Intuitive Eating Fundamentals

  • Letting go of the weight loss goal

  • The dire consequences of healthism and weight stigma, and the problems with bariatric surgery

  • Stefani’s experience in her public health education, and how focused it was on the “obesity epidemic”

  • Thin privilege and learning to see the weight bias in the world

  • The need to consider mental health when considering holistic health status, and the higher value we place on body size than on quality of life

  • Taking mental health medication and how to discuss potential weight gain from the medication with clients

  • The demonization of Western medicine

  • Weighing side effects of “natural” remedies vs Western medicine

  • The problem with “clean eating” and “natural food” detoxes

  • Navigating out of the honeymoon phase in intuitive eating and finding food neutrality

  • Why gentle nutrition and balance in eating choice is at the end of the intuitive eating journey

  • How diet culture steals our time and our energy

 

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 face the fear of weight gain? Is there a way to break free from restrictive eating, internalized fatphobia, and tying our self worth up in our body size? What is the impact of diversifying our social media feed? What is the meaning behind weight gain for us as individuals? Would our food choices be different if they came from a place of desire rather than control? How does reflecting on diet culture as The Life Thief help us liberate ourselves from dieting?

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Food Psych #135: Body Respect, Weight-Inclusive Care, and Health at Every Size with Lucy Aphramor

Lucy Aphramor

Lucy Aphramor, anti-diet dietitian and co-author (with Linda Bacon) of Body Respect, joins us to talk about Health at Every Size, why we need to be weight-inclusive instead of just weight-neutral, the social determinants of health, the importance of having a trauma-informed focus as a healthcare provider, her struggles with body image in the context of gender identity and sexuality, the importance of prioritizing emotional safety, and so much more! PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about how to handle arguments that stopping emotional eating automatically leads to weight loss.

Lucy Aphramor is an award-winning radical dietitian and critically acclaimed performance poet aka The Naked Dietitian. She practises the weight-equitable approach Well Now that advocates health-gain and body respect for all. Her co-authored book Body Respect, written with Linda Bacon, explores many of the key concepts of Well Now. She subsequently developed Well Now theory to be compassion-centered, trauma-informed and justice-enhancing. Lucy is interested in starting conversations that build a fairer world--and the role of story in this--and co-founded Dietitians for Social Justice with Fiona Clarke. Find her online at LucyAphramor.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 :)

12/20 is the LAST day to get Christy's newest online course for fellow health & wellness pros, Master Your Anti-Diet Message! Grab it now at christyharrison.com/message.

Share your stories with Storyworth! Get $20 off a subscription with our special URL, storyworth.com/psych.

Give your wardrobe an upgrade with MM.LaFleur by going to MMBento.com. Use the code PSYCH at checkout and MM.LaFleur will donate 10% of profits to GlobalGiving.

 

We Discuss:

  • Lucy’s relationship with food growing up, including her transition into an orthorexic and anorexic style of eating and movement, and her struggle with IBS

  • Lucy’s experience as a nationally ranked runner, and the current problem with fitspo

  • How coping mechanisms can serve a larger purpose, even if they’re destructive in the end

  • The effect of trauma on our eating behaviors

  • Lucy’s experience finding a feminist therapist, and how they helped her heal

  • The experience of healing from an eating disorder versus healing our body image

  • Gender identity and sexuality, the idea of identity resilience, and understanding our core sense of self worth in our body image journey

  • The value in naming our experience

  • Lucy’s discovery of her queer identity, and how poetry helped her to discover it

  • Lucy’s model of “eating distress discovery,” and the different philosophies surrounding recovery

  • How social oppression affects our mental health struggles

  • Lucy’s experience training as a dietitian, and the ways in which dietetics education reinforce disordered eating

  • Lucy’s experience working in the mental health system, and the ways in which it opened her eyes to social justice

  • Social determinants of health, and Lucy’s process of finding a weight-neutral paradigm that considered trauma’s impact on wellness

  • Finding Health at Every Size, and Lucy’s approach of “Well Now”

  • Weight inclusive vs weight neutral, and the healthism embedded within neutrality

  • Lucy’s and Christy’s experiences finding communities to hold their ideas and exploration

  • Guiding clients away from weight loss and to intuitive eating, and exploring the role of restriction and dieting in someone’s life

  • Helping people to identify and meet their needs and desires

  • The importance of prioritizing psychic and emotional safety

  • Centering health behaviors vs social determinants of health in discussions about Health at Every Size, and grappling with the definition of HAES

 

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

Does stopping emotional eating lead to weight loss? Is intuitive eating a path to weight loss?

(Resources Mentioned: Food Psych Podcast Episode #127)

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Food Psych #134: Disordered-Eating Recovery & Body-Positive Power with Megan Jayne Crabbe of @bodyposipanda

Megan Jayne Crabbe

Megan Jayne Crabbe, creator of the @bodyposipanda Instagram movement and author of the new book Body Positive Power, joins us to discuss why we need to ensure the most marginalized groups are included in body positivity, how we can root out healthism in body-positive communities, how diet culture promotes disordered eating, her experience in eating disorder treatment, the need to expand our view of mental health and holistic wellness, exploring perfectionism and all-or-nothing-thinking, and so much more! PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about what the “health” in “Health at Every Size” really means.

Meet Megan Jayne Crabbe, the rainbow-haired creator of Bodyposipanda. She's an anorexia survivor, anti-diet enthusiast, and believer in fat acceptance and intersectional body positivity. Since starting an Instagram account in 2014 to chronicle her own recovery and body acceptance journey, her following has grown to over 850,000. Her bestselling debut book, Body Positive Power is an exploration of the ways we've been taught to hate our bodies, a middle finger to the diet industry, and an uplifting call to arms for anyone who's ever struggled to accept their body. It's been called life saving, game changing, and awe inspiring. When Megan isn't promoting body positivity, she can probably be found in her pjs talking to her dogs, or eating cheese. Find her online at BodyPosiPanda.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 :)

Get Christy's online course for fellow health & wellness pros, Master Your Anti-Diet Message, at christyharrison.com/message.

Ready to learn how to cook, make movies, and more from the masters? Just in time for the holidays, MasterClass has launched the All-Access Pass – a thoughtful gift for the home cooks or lifelong learners in your life. Food Psych listeners can get the All Access Pass at MasterClass.com/FOODPSYCH.

Give your wardrobe an upgrade with MM.LaFleur by going to MMBento.com. Use the code PSYCH at checkout and MM.LaFleur will donate 10% of profits to GlobalGiving.

 

We Discuss:

  • Megan’s relationship with food, including going from having an intuitive relationship with food to learning about the calories-in-calories-out model

  • The effect of being weighed at school, and the increasing messages around body and food in school systems

  • How perfectionism feeds into disordered eating

  • Using the label of “health” to hide disordered-eating behaviors

  • Experiencing body judgement and body shame as a child

  • How weight loss compliments can encourage restriction

  • Megan’s experience with anorexia, and how her relationship with food became a way to to control anxiety

  • The ways in which diet culture promotes eating disorders

  • The problem with all-or-nothing thinking

  • The importance of including mental health in our conversations around true holistic health

  • Weight bias and eating disorder diagnosis

  • Megan’s negative experience with classic eating disorder treatment, including how much emphasis was placed on the physical body rather than the mental health aspects

  • How diet culture contributes to relapse

  • Megan’s experience with the classic restrict-binge cycle, and how our society demonizes bingeing behaviors

  • The consequences of “clean eating”

  • Megan’s experience finding body positivity and intuitive eating, and rooting out the rest of her disordered behaviors

  • Allowing recovery to take the time that it needs, the ways in which we do the best we can to heal, and how revisiting old wounds is sometimes the only way to process trauma

  • How to balance setting boundaries and holding compassion for others

  • Megan’s experience becoming a body-positive Instagram celebrity

  • Using our own healing experience to help others through their own struggle

  • Megan’s experience coming to recognize her own privilege, and using her voice to make sure the most marginalized voices are heard

  • How fatphobia affects body image

  • Shifting to a systemic perspective, rather than an individualistic one, and recognizing the victimization of diet culture

  • Megan’s experience of diet culture as The Life Thief, and her process of learning how to be unapologetically herself

  • The intersections of diet culture and patriarchy, including how women and femmes are socialized

  • The #MeToo campaign

  • Healthism, ableism, and why the body positivity movement needs to include people regardless of health status

  • Thin privilege, and understanding the role of people in thin bodies in the body-positive movement

 

Resources Mentioned

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

  • Alan Levinovitz’s Food Psych Podcast episode

  • Body Positive Power by Megan Jayne Crabbe

  • Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls by Jes Baker

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

  • My online course, Intuitive Eating Fundamentals, which includes monthly listener Q&A podcasts and access to my private Facebook support group

  • Learn more about our gift certificates at christyharrison.com/gift

  • Ready to learn how to cook, make movies, and more from the masters? Just in time for the holidays, MasterClass has launched the All-Access Pass – a thoughtful gift for the home cooks or lifelong learners in your life. Food Psych listeners can get the All Access Pass at MasterClass.com/FOODPSYCH.

  • Give your wardrobe an upgrade with MM.LaFleur by going to MMBento.com. Use the code PSYCH at checkout and MM.LaFleur will donate 10% of profits to GlobalGiving.

 

Listener Question of the Week

What does the “health” part of “Health at Every Size” really mean? How does wellbeing and self-care fit into HAES? Does HAES mean I’m healthy at whatever size I am now, no matter what? What’s the best way to go about trying to find a HAES-friendly provider in eating disorder recovery?

(Resources Mentioned: the listener question in Food Psych Podcast Episode #128, NEDA’s Find Treatment Tool and Helpline, HAES Community Registry)

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Food Psych #133: Healing from Weight Stigma and Diet Culture with Kai Hibbard, "Biggest Loser" Contestant Turned Anti-Diet Activist

Kai Hibbard

Past Biggest Loser contestant and current anti-diet trailblazer Kai Hibbard joins us this week to talk about the negative effect of weight bias and stigma on larger-bodied folks, her journey from disordered eating to Health at Every Size activist, the social determinants of health and her desire to change the face of public health, the power of anger in our anti-diet journeys, and so much more! PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about how ethical food choices and rejecting diet culture can coexist.

Kai was first cast into the spotlight through her participation in, and subsequent denunciation of the weight loss game show The Biggest Loser. Going through the program, she realized the negative impact the show had, not only on her own life, but on society in general. Vowing to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. Kai has fought, often as the lone voice, against unrealistic and damaging message in the media regarding our bodies in general. Over time that struggle has been featured in countless magazines and newscasts, both domestically and internationally, ranging from The Huffington Post, Time Magazine, Good Morning America, ABC News, CBS News, E!, Star Magazine, US Weekly, People, TMZ, The NY Times, The NY Post, Inside Edition, Redbook, Access Hollywood, FoxNews,The Globe, Jezebel, Huffington Post Live and Upworthy, where Kai's honest, straight forward approach to her own story never fails to shine through. Find her online at KaiHibbard.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 :)

Get Christy's BRAND NEW online course for fellow health & wellness pros, Master Your Anti-Diet Message, at christyharrison.com/message.

 

We Discuss:

  • Kai’s relationship with food growing up, including learning body comparisons and weight preoccupation from a young age

  • The connection between trauma, sexual assault, and disordered eating

  • Kai’s experience going to Weight Watchers at a young age, as well as how much she was bullied over her body size

  • Changing beauty ideals based on geographic location

  • How rare it is to find a non-diet community in our diet-culture world

  • How diet culture and body hatred embed themselves into femme bonding experiences

  • Setting boundaries and dealing with loved ones who are still stuck in diet culture

  • Kai’s experience as an aerobics instructor, how it influenced her eating habits, and her eventual struggle with rapid weight gain

  • The fitness competition community and how it sparks disordered eating

  • The current state of plus-size fashion

  • Kai’s experience on The Biggest Loser, including the restrictive eating styles the show promoted

  • How money and the diet industry motivates diet culture

  • Fatphobia’s influence on weight research and in the medical community

  • Social determinants of health, how weight stigma affects the ability of people in larger to get proper medical care, and the need for a paradigm shift in public health

  • Christy’s shift from the worrying about the obesity epidemic to the Health at Every Size paradigm

  • Kai’s doctoral work on social justice and public health

  • How internalized fatphobia can affect our professional work

  • Kai’s intervention, and how her family and friends helped push her towards recovery

  • Kai’s ups and downs in recovery, including how joining the Army influenced her food and body journey

  • Kai’s struggle to get her rheumatoid arthritis diagnosed due to her body size, and her experience with chronic illness

  • Embracing your right to proper medical care, no matter your size

  • The power of anger in sustaining our anti-diet truth

  • Realizing the societal influences that lead us to body hatred and disordered eating

  • Using our personal tools, skill sets, and privilege to fight against diet culture at large and uplift the voices of marginalized folks

  • Kai’s professional aspirations and future ambitions

 

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

Can ethical food choices fit in with out intuitive eating journey? How does diet culture sneak its way into certain styles of eating? Are there some ways to check in with ourselves about our food choices that feels practical? How do we know when to prioritize our own needs over others? Do we need to heal our relationship with food before we can dive into ethical food restriction? What do we do if an eating style is part of our identity? Are there some ways to set boundaries around ourselves to protect us from the communities that promote certain ethical styles of eating?


(Resources Mentioned: Intuitive Eating Fundamentals)

*Note: Kai incorrectly attributed a quote by Alice Walker to Audre Lorde in the audio of this episode. "The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any," was spoken by Alice Walker.

 

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