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.

 

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)

 

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?

 

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.

 

Food Psych #132: Diet-Culture Recovery, Body Trust, and Plus-Size Representation with Meredith Noble

Meredith Noble

Certified Body Trust Provider and life coach Meredith Noble comes on the show this week to talk about how intuitive eating becomes intuitive living, the importance of finding a Health at Every Size, fat-positive community for finding body acceptance, the problem with diet culture and how it’s embedded within the medical community, giving ourselves space to feel our feelings, and much more! PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about how to get started with this podcast.

Meredith Noble is a Certified Body Trust® Provider and life coach who helps plus-size people find food and body peace. Her practice combines Health at Every Size®, Body Trust® and intuitive eating philosophies with feminism and fat acceptance. With her compassion and expertise, her clients learn how to feel more comfortable in their skin, be at ease around food, and leave toxic diet culture behind. Find her online at GenerousPlan.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:

  • Meredith’s relationship with food growing up, including the limitations put on candy and learning about dieting and food restriction from a young age

  • Bingeing and overeating in response to the scarcity mentality

  • Puberty, weight gain, and how Meredith’s relationship with her body was integrated into her relationship with food

  • The social experience of shopping, the struggles of being plus size at a young age, and burgeoning body dissatisfaction

  • How the endorsement of weight loss efforts and restrictive diets from medical professionals feeds into disordered eating

  • Meredith’s experience with Weight Watchers, including the idea of community and support around dieting

  • The effect of doctor authority, and remembering that medical professionals are influenced by diet culture as much as the rest of us

  • Shame and isolation around bingeing and emotional eating

  • Feeling out of control around food

  • How effective the victim blaming of the diet industry is

  • The investments we make into diet culture

  • How important community is in the Health at Every Size, body acceptance, disordered-eating recovery journey

  • Meredith’s transition into the “clean eating” world

  • Meredith’s stepping stones to the Health at Every Size paradigm

  • The importance of mental readiness to integrate the Health at Every Size, size acceptance movement

  • Food insecurity as a risk factor for eating disorders

  • Acknowledging our privilege and embracing intersectionality

  • Learning about emotional restriction, giving up on the pursuit of weight loss, and embracing intuitive eating

  • Finding body acceptance through finding a fat-positive community

  • The parallels between compassion and body respect

  • Meredith’s experience of being hyperaware of her body, and how being surrounded by other people in larger bodies allowed her to no longer by hyper-vigilant

  • Creating diet-culture-free spaces, both online and in-person

  • Balancing being aware of your body in order to heal it with forgetting about your body in order to embody healing

  • Intuitive eating, how the mental effort required to tap into your inner wisdom decreases over time, rooting out the diet mentality with our food behaviors, and how body image factors into healing our relationship with food

  • Giving yourself space to feel your feelings and grieve the thin ideal

  • Somatic experiencing techniques, feeling emotions through the body, and working with a therapist to find healing

  • Meredith and Christy’s professional transitions into Health at Every Size work

  • How intuitive eating spills into intuitive living

 

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

Where does a Food-Psych-Podcast newbie start? Are there some Food Psych episodes that are helpful to return to in order to give us an anti-diet refresher and to remind us how diet culture embodies “The Life Thief” role? How has the podcast evolved since its inception in 2013?

(Resources Mentioned: Food Psych Podcast Episode #127 with Ashley Seruya, Food Psych Podcast Episode #106 with Ijeoma Oluo, Food Psych Podcast Episode #121 with Emily Contois, Food Psych Podcast Episode #99 with Lindy West, Food Psych Podcast Episode #94 with Alan Levinovitz, Isabel Foxen Duke’s first Food Psych episode, Katie Dalebout’s first Food Psych episode, and gain access to Season One of Food Psych Podcast with a Food Psych Premium Membership here!)

 

Food Psych #131: How to Reclaim Pleasure In Food and Your Body with Substantia Jones

Substantia Jones

Activist and photographer Substantia Jones joins us to discuss recovery from chronic dieting, taking pleasure in food, using photography to find body love, the patriarchy’s influence on beauty ideals, the role of romantic relationships in our body image journey, the power of the diet industry, coping with hatred and online trolls, and much more! PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about how to deal with fatphobic “workplace wellness” programs.

Photo-activist Substantia Jones created, manages, and is sole photographer for the fat acceptance campaign, The Adipositivity Project. The website, which just celebrated its 10th anniversary, hosts a diverse and growing collection of hundreds of her photographs of fat people of all genders, mostly women, mostly nude. She describes the project as “feminism, fuckyouism, and fat.”

The mission of Jones’ work is to combat sizeist bigotry and weight-related misinformation, to promote recognition of an individual’s body autonomy, and to encourage critical thinking and enlightened discussion of body politics. Jones lectures in schools and universities (with slideshow!), but her work is done primarily with photography, subverting this tool commonly used in promoting body shame, and using it instead to demystify the fat body and give it the respect and visibility too often denied it by the media and popular culture. The message is to love your body, and to allow others to love their own.

Her photography has been featured globally in books, magazines, and news outlets, and has been exhibited in galleries and museums internationally. She is a happily fat woman who lives in New York City and quotes Monty Python a lot. Maybe too much. Find her online at adipositivity.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:

  • Substantia’s relationship with food growing up, including struggling with picky eating and gaining access to highly palatable foods like sweets

  • Substantia’s experience in her developing body, including her reaction to being sexualized at a young age and learning about the thin ideal, and how that led to chronic dieting

  • The effect of diet pills, and the dangers of using them

  • The science of intentional weight loss and weight cycling

  • How effective the diet industry is at blaming the victim and encouraging repeat business

  • Holding compassion for those who choose to lose weight

  • The need for fat acceptance on a global, societal, and systemic level

  • The power and money behind diet culture

  • Patriarchy’s influence on beauty ideals and body image

  • The effect of body hatred on sexual development

  • How positive romantic relationships can help us to move towards body neutrality and body love

  • Substantia’s use of photography on her body image journey, and how positive depictions of fat bodies can foster fat acceptance on a cultural level

  • Body preferences and biases

  • Shifting the focus of The Adipositivity Project from changing the opinion of fat people in the culture at large to using it to help fat people make peace with their bodies

  • The process of finding “adiposers” for The Adipositivity Project

  • The issue of internet trolls, online fat hatred, and threats of violence

  • Charlottesville, and the ways in which different oppressions compound and relate to one another

  • Coping with voices of hate and the power of "fuck-you-ism"

  • The pleasure aspect of eating, and it’s role in recovery from disordered eating

  • Reclaiming your relationship with food and body through anger

 

Resources Mentioned

 

Listener Question of the Week

What do we do if our workplace is buying into diet culture through wellness programs? How do we assert our desire to not be weighed? Is there a way to challenge the program at the administrative level, or to get around it through working with doctors? How does discrimination factor into these programs? Can Health at Every Size research bolster our position? Does diet culture affect even those who consider themselves to be recovered? How does “planting the seed” work?

 

Food Psych #130: How to Fight Fatphobia in Woke Spaces with Melissa Toler

Melissa Toler

Anti-diet educator and writer Melissa Toler comes on the show this week to talk fatphobia in woke spaces, why social justice needs to be a cornerstone of the body acceptance movement, the social determinants of health and the effect of discrimination on wellness, addressing diet culture on a systemic level rather than just a personal one, and much more! PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about how to handle weight gain and hormonal issues that seemingly came out of nowhere.

Melissa Toler is a speaker, writer, and educator. Her work encourages people to make the connection between our culture's oppressive beauty standards and our personal struggle with self-acceptance. She has written extensively on diet culture and the toll it takes on our lives and humanity. Her goal is to help people unlearn harmful messages and behaviors from years of chronic dieting. Melissa also has a background as a pharmacist and certified wellness coach. Find her online at melissatoler.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:

  • Melissa’s business changes since her last guest appearance on the show, including why she abandoned the health and wellness coaching sphere

  • Healthism and the diet mentality in the nutrition and dietetics community

  • Why Christy avoids writing publicly about gentle nutrition

  • How the most marginalized folks get left out of the Health at Every Size conversation

  • Why social justice needs to be a cornerstone of the body acceptance movement

  • Calling out fatphobia in social justice spaces

  • The definition of “woke”

  • Internalized fatphobia and diet culture

  • Social determinants of health and the impact of discrimination on wellness

  • The effect of weight stigma on health and the flaws in the current weight research

  • The myth of the “obesity epidemic”

  • Why it’s important to address diet culture on a systemic level, rather than just an individual one

  • How the varying levels of fatphobia impact the individual and the culture

  • Similarities between fat activism and other social justice movements

  • The struggles of addressing size-based discrimination in mainstream activism

  • The hierarchy of bodies, and its roots in racism and classism

  • Diet culture’s influence in the medical community

  • Recognizing the financial incentive of the diet industry

  • Seeking out anti-diet conversations

  • Tapping back into our own intuition around all things, not just food and body, through various means including writing

  • Looking for real solutions and a supportive community to survive in our oppressive world

  • Finding value in making mistakes, embracing continual learning, and moving past the fear of screwing up

 

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 restriction lead to intense health issues? Are there ways we might be subtly restricting or dieting, even if we think we’re eating intuitively? Does fear of weight gain indicate that we might be eating in a way to suppress our body size? What are the various ways that our bodies guard against weight loss? How do we engage in movement without falling into the diet mentality? What if I ease up on the restrained eating, and end up face-first in the cookie jar? How can working with a skilled therapist or health professional help guide us through these food peace struggles?

(Resources Mentioned: Food Psych Episode #127: Intuitive Eating & Health At Every Size FAQs with Ashley Seruya & Christy Harrison, Intuitive Eating Certified Counselors Directory, HAES Community Registry)

 

Food Psych #129: Health at Every Size and Eating Disorder Recovery with Kristie Amadio

Kristie Amadio

Activist and recovery coach Kristie Amadio joins us this week to discuss why disordered-eating professionals need to shift to a Health at Every Size paradigm, why it’s important to advocate for FULL recovery, the effect of internalized fatphobia on our relationship with food and our bodies, how to support people in all stages of treatment, body dysmorphia, eradicating weight stigma in the medical community, and much more! PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about intuitive eating with an autoimmune disease.

‘RecoverED’ activist Kristie Amadio is the founder of Recovered Living, providing practical online eating disorder recovery coaching and support.

With a 14-year history of an eating disorder, Kristie sought treatment in three different countries before finding peace with food and her body. This unique experience led to the creation of putting video calling platforms to creative use, and was the driving force behind the birth of Recovered Living.

This heartfelt journey of being comfortable in her own skin has led to an effervescent passion about the notion of being ‘fully recovered’ as opposed to ‘in recovery’.

Described as empathic, quirky, and refreshingly honest, Kristie is a qualified therapist in Australia and New Zealand and a certified Eating Psychology Coach in America. She has a rich history of being an elite athlete, an outdoor instructor, and has helped individuals all over the world in their journeys towards ‘Recovered’.

Kristie embraces a non-diet and health at every size approach and is a true advocate for being free in your own skin. Find her online at recoveredliving.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:

  • Kristie’s relationship with food growing up, including learning about how certain foods were “good” or “bad,” and being taught about food-based morality

  • The effect of body comparisons

  • Kristie’s experience being a weightlifting athlete, and how it contributed to her eating disorder development

  • The effect of internalized fatphobia on disordered eating

  • The widespread nature of diet culture, specifically its permeation in Australian culture

  • America’s influences on widespread global media

  • The rationale behind weight classes

  • The myth around weight control, the truth about set-point weight theory, and the cost of maintaining intentional weight loss

  • Kristie’s experience with a high-functioning eating disorder

  • Being drawn to nutrition and food careers due to a disordered relationship with food

  • Christy’s experience in her nutrition and dietetics education, and the seeds of Health at Every Size that she observed in the curriculum

  • Learning about the social determinants of health, and understanding how environmental influences affect people’s health

  • The importance of eradicating weight stigma in the medical community

  • Kristie and Christy’s process of embracing the HAES paradigm in eating-disorder treatment and turning their back on the fatphobic medical model

  • Embracing a model of true and lasting recovery

  • Kristie’s experience with body dysmorphia

  • Learning how to take the emphasis off the body

  • Kristie’s drive for evidence and research around HAES and intuitive eating

  • The cult of diet culture

  • How important and revolutionary it is to spread the anti-diet message

  • Why diet culture is a life thief

  • The challenge and timeline of recovery

  • Finding the motivation to change, and finding the value in suffering and ultimately recovery from disordered eating

  • The required ongoing work of unlearning weight bias and body shame to find full recovery

  • Navigating body image within diet culture, and embracing body acceptance and fat acceptance

  • Being aware of the shape-shifting nature of diet culture

  • Kristie’s process of embracing joyful movement through a recovered mindset

  • Kristie’s professional experience working with clients to work on the practical components for recovery, and her new company, Recovered Living

  • The limitations of the current American insurance model in eating disorder recovery, and how important it is to remember that eating disorders don’t have a size

  • The need for more eating disorder support for male-identified individuals

 

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 we want to do intuitive eating, but we have a chronic illness? Are dietary changes necessary for autoimmune issues? Do I need to avoid gluten even if I don’t have celiac disease? Is taking medication to manage a disease an indication of failure? How do we find weight-neutral care for autoimmune conditions? Can intuitive eating help manage some chronic issues? What are the caveats and dangers of trying this method too early?

(Resources Mentioned: Paige Smathers, Alan Levinovitz’s Food Psych Podcast episode)

 

Food Psych #128: How to Transition to a Non-Diet Paradigm with Haley Goodrich

Haley Goodrich

Fellow entrepreneur and anti-diet dietitian Haley Goodrich joins us this week to discuss her path from disordered eating to intuitive eating, how she opened her own Health at Every Size dietetics practice, the challenges of transitioning to a completely weight-neutral paradigm and the value of mentorship in this process, overcoming her anxiety and the role that anxiety played in her eating behaviors, how to practice as a recovered clinician, getting comfortable setting boundaries, and much more! PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about bingeing in recovery from restrictive eating.

Haley is the founder and CEO of INSPIRD Nutrition, where she specializes in intuitive eating, disordered eating, and eating disorder recovery from a Health At Every Size perspective. She is currently pursuing her Certified Eating Disorder Registered Dietitian (CEDRD) Certification. In addition to her full-time private practice she is also the co-founder of INSPIRD to SEEK, a community-based learning experience designed to mentor and guide nutrition entrepreneurs to build amazing businesses. Find her online at inspirdnutrition.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:

  • Haley’s relationship with food growing up, including having a wonderful family relationship with breakfast and having agency in the kitchen from a young age

  • Haley’s first experience with body insecurity and size comparisons in middle school

  • Anxiety disorder, how it affected Haley’s education, and the effect of mental health stigma

  • The common motivation behind pursuing dietetics education, and how often people in the nutrition and food fields struggle with the idea of “perfect” eating

  • Haley’s experience with over-exercising and restriction

  • Haley’s exposure to intuitive eating, and how it helped her toward the path of healing

  • The value of therapy in the recovery process

  • Opening a private practice to spread the intuitive eating, Health at Every Size message

  • The importance of mentorship in health and wellness training, and how it can help the healthcare community transition out of the diet culture model

  • Thin privilege, how it protects some from shame around food and body, and the privilege it gives you in eating disorder recovery

  • Trying to toe the line between a weight-neutral perspective and holding onto the weight loss paradigm

  • Transitioning into a full, non-diet, weight-inclusive practice

  • Overcoming the fear of criticism

  • Understanding struggle as an opportunity to learn, and ultimately to help others heal from that very same struggle down the road

  • The diet culture embedded in some of the content within the self-acceptance community

  • Feeling confident in our new definition of health, and finding ways to navigate the diet-culture world as an anti-diet advocate

  • The intentional structure of the original Intuitive Eating book, and the importance of not using the principles of gentle nutrition and feeling your hunger/fullness as excuses for restriction

  • How to root out the diet mentality in your marketing material and still make money without promising weight loss

  • Bridging the personal and the professional, learning the art of self-disclosure, and practicing as a recovered clinician

  • The value in clinical supervision

  • Assessing your readiness to work in the disordered eating field, and choosing to work with the population that lights your fire

  • Avoiding burnout by seeking out self-care and setting boundaries

 

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 meal plans make us feel restricted? Are there other ways to make sure we’re eating enough throughout the day? How do we handle overeating or bingeing in recovery from a restrictive eating disorder? Is there a way to reconnect to our body trust, and to get back in touch with our hunger and fullness signals? Can mild restriction still lead to feelings of deprivation and, ultimately, binge eating? What are the prolonged consequences of restriction?

(Resources Mentioned: Food Psych Episode #127: Intuitive Eating & Health At Every Size FAQs with Ashley Seruya & Christy Harrison, Evelyn Tribole’s Food Psych Podcast episode)

Food Psych #127: Intuitive Eating & Health At Every Size FAQs with Ashley Seruya & Christy Harrison

Ashley Seruya & Christy Harrison

This week is a very special edition of Food Psych! Rather than having a new guest on, I felt it was time to have an episode devoted to laying out the concepts and perspectives that we talk about every single week. This episode is ideal for newcomers to the Food Psych crew, for you to come back to when you’re struggling to remain true to the tenets of Health at Every Size and intuitive eating in this diet-culture world, and for you to share with friends and family who need an overview of the philosophy.

My Administrative and Community Manager, Ashley Seruya, joins me this week to pose some burning questions that get to the heart of what this podcast, and the anti-diet movement, is all about. Ashley is a current MSW student at Fordham University and a fellow anti-diet activist and body liberation advocate. She’s passionate about Health at Every Size and recovery, and hopes to one day combine her training in writing, social work, intuitive eating, Health at Every Size, and more to help the world recover from diet culture at large. Keep up with her work through her Instagram, where she shares posts about her beloved pets, self-care, eating disorder recovery, mental health, and more!

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:

  • What is intuitive eating?

    • The 10 principles of intuitive eating, and the connection between intuitive eating and eating disorder recovery

    • Why gentle nutrition comes at the END of the intuitive eating process, and why rejecting the diet mentality is the FIRST principle

    • The role of an intuitive eating coach and counselor

    • How mental health and self-care play a role in the intuitive eating journey

    • The role of diet culture in disordered eating

    • Recovery as a nonlinear process

  • What is Health at Every Size (HAES)?

    • The weight-neutral approach

    • The truth about intentional weight loss

    • The cost of sustaining intentional weight loss

    • Set-point weight theory, the famine response, and breaking down weight science

    • The history of HAES and the non-diet approach

    • Fat activism and the fat acceptance movement

    • How HAES incorporates intuitive eating, joyful movement, and self-care

    • The importance of size diversity in the HAES movement and embracing the genetic determination of body size

    • The caveat of HAES with eating disorder recovery and weight restoration

  • What's the connection between eating disorder recovery, chronic dieting, Health at Every Size, and intuitive eating?

    • The path of eating disorder recovery to intuitive eating

    • The spectrum of eating behaviors, from full blown eating disorders to disordered eating and chronic dieting

    • Diagnosis criteria and the prevalence of undiagnosed disordered eating

    • The importance of a weight-neutral, Health at Every Size approach to recovery

    • Risk factors of orthorexia

    • Why we don’t have a moral obligation to pursue health, and varying limitations to achieving health

  • I have an eating disorder. Can I do intuitive eating?

    • Which principles of intuitive eating we can practice while in eating disorder recovery

    • Why we need to avoid the hunger and fullness parts of intuitive eating while in recovery

    • The concept of nutritional rehabilitation

    • The relationship between emotional eating and disordered eating, and the importance of not demonizing emotional eating as a coping mechanism

    • Why gentle nutrition and joyful movement should wait toward the very end of the process

    • The importance of working with an eating disorder dietitian with HAES and intuitive eating training in the recovery process

  • I'm gaining weight. Am I doing intuitive eating wrong? How do I cope?

    • The difference between body acceptance, body respect, body trust, body positivity, and body love

    • Letting go of internalized weight stigma and body shame

  • How can I trust my body if every time I try to listen to it I end up face-first in a tub of ice cream?

    • The impact of restriction and deprivation on food behaviors, including food insecurity

    • Biological need for increased dietary intake, including during puberty

    • The effect of shame in feeling out of control around food and binge eating

    • Gender identity and struggling with trans issues and body image

    • Understanding that body trust is a process

    • Breaking down the concept of food addiction

  • How can I eat whatever I want if I'm concerned for my health? You're a nutritionist, so shouldn't you be telling me to eat fruits and vegetables?

    • Mental health, discrimination and stigma, and social situations that determine our health status regardless of nutrition (AKA social determinants of health)

    • The shapeshifting nature of diet culture

    • Diet culture’s effect on the medical model, weight science, and dietetics education

    • An intuitive eating counselor’s role in telling people what to eat

  • How do I make sure I don't turn intuitive eating into a diet?

    • How to avoid the hunger and fullness diet

    • How to recognize and root out subtle diet mentality

    • Using self-compassion to get you through the unlearning process

  • What if I'm "too" fat? Is there a threshold where Health at Every Size doesn't apply anymore?

    • Weight stigma’s influence on health status

    • Fatphobia’s effect on internalized weight stigma

    • Stigma resistance and resiliency

    • The effect of weight cycling on health outcomes

  • Aren't you worried you're promoting “obesity”?

    • The many issues with the term “obesity,” the “obesity epidemic,” and pathologizing larger bodies

    • The truth of size diversity

    • Fat acceptance and reclaiming the word “fat”

    • The genetic and environmental influences on body size

    • Finding the joy in life no matter your size

    • Discovering body acceptance and making room for all people to love their bodies

  • As a person in a smaller body, why are you so vocal about fat acceptance?

    • Thin privilege, and using our privilege to speak out for those more marginalized (AKA becoming thin allies)

    • The universality of body shame

    • The influence of weight stigma on eating disorders

    • The parallels of the fat acceptance movement to other social justice movements

  • Rapid fire

    • What is healthism?

    • What is diet culture?

    • What is fatphobia?

    • What is body liberation? And why have you decided to use body liberation instead of body positivity?

    • Why is body liberation/body positivity a social justice movement? (including fatphobia in woke spaces)

    • How does intersectional feminism and femme empowerment factor into all of this? (including the trans experience and grappling with the patriarchy)

 

Resources Mentioned

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

Food Psych #126: How to Reject Diet-Culture Marketing with Kaila Prins

Kaila Prins

Anti-diet activist and marketing pro Kaila Prins joins us this week to break down the role of marketing in diet culture, the complex ways we consume triggering material, the importance of embracing social justice in the body positivity movement, how she transitioned from her own eating disorder recovery to thinking critically about diet culture, how our personal brand can quickly overtake our personhood, the dangers of working as a coach when you’re still going through your own recovery, and much more! PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about how intuitive eating can help with feelings of overeating as opposed to restriction.

Kaila Prins is a multifaceted, multi-passionate explorer of culture, performance, body image, and marketing. In other words: she has no idea what to call herself, because she does a lot. After recovering from orthorexia, anorexia, and an exercise addiction, Kaila began a career in marketing while moonlighting as a body image coach for recovering women. She is now a speaker on and writer of unpopular opinions about marketing psychology and behavioral economics in the context of body image and is the host of the forthcoming podcast, Your Body, Your Brand. In her “spare” time, she is known as burlesque dancer and drag artist DeeDeeQueen, and she teaches burlesque dance, storytelling, and theatre in San Jose, California. You can find her at performingwoman.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:

  • Kaila’s professional journey, from how transitioned into health coaching, to writing about eating disorder recovery and body image

  • The cultural forces that impact our behavior around food and body, AKA “diet culture”

  • Body image burnout

  • The pervasive nature of diet culture and the normalization of restriction, specifically through marketing

  • Kaila’s focus on marketing literacy, and how marketing targets those vulnerable to the diet mentality

  • Surreptitious marketing within body-liberation social media spaces

  • How to market ethically

  • The ways in which our own branding can influence our personal behaviors and decisions

  • Recognizing triggers and calling them out

  • The difficulty of having a public persona that’s attached to a certain kind of eating and living

  • The radicalization of veganism

  • Diet culture and profit as religion

  • The model of fear, uncertainty, and doubt in marketing

  • How to build an ethical body-positive business and brand

  • Eating disorder recovery vs Kaila’s model of discovery

  • The value in change

  • The damage in performing your trauma for the benefit of your brand

  • Finding true body acceptance and true recovery

  • Embracing the social justice aspects of body positivity and moving towards eradicating fatphobia and weight stigma

  • The propaganda of weight loss and politics

  • Body image and body shame in the 2016 Presidential election

  • The distinction between capitalism vs business endeavors, as well as the social justice issues embedded within capitalism

 

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 incorporate intuitive eating into our lives if we feel we are overeaters, rather than restrictors? How does mental restriction contribute to feelings of deprivation? How does the diet mentality contribute to subconscious restrictive eating (also known as restrained eating)? Does diet culture lead us to judge our eating as overeating, even when our eating is in response to biological need? How does pregnancy and postpartum impact our appetite and food needs? Can medication impact appetite and weight?

Food Psych #125: Healing Your Relationship with Food & Overcoming Disordered Eating with Lisa Pearl

Lisa Pearl

Health at Every Size dietitian Lisa Pearl joins us to discuss breaking down internalized weight bias, how we relate to food and our bodies, fighting back against diet culture, the importance of a HAES approach to eating disorder treatment, body image and finding self-compassion, and so much more! PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about letting go of the weight-loss ideal.

As an undergraduate, Lisa double majored in biology and nutrition. Her postgraduate studies have included clinical nutrition, expressive movement therapy, fellowships in adolescent medicine, nutrition support and psychiatry, and executive coaching.

Lisa began her work as an eating disorder specialist more than 30 years ago at Children’s Hospital in Boston. During her tenure at Children’s Hospital, she worked with a team to seek new and better advances in treatment for eating disorders. With their support, she was able to incorporate many new treatment ideas including behavioral therapy groups, family meals and parent groups, expressive movement therapy and yoga, and a mindful eating program. Lisa has been an advocate for HAES throughout her career.

While at Children’s Hospital she received national recognition for demonstrating the need for a multidisciplinary team approach to the treatment of eating disorders and for her work with the Joint Commission for Hospital Accreditation to improve patient care through the inclusion of nutrition therapy for eating disorders.

Through the years Lisa has continued to push the envelope of innovation with presentations at local and national conferences. She has worked as a consultant for MIT, Harvard University, Boston Ballet, and numerous independent and public schools for prevention, education, and treatment of eating disorders. She has written health curriculums and protocols for numerous public and private organizations. Lisa has directed internships and provided mentoring for dietetic, social work, and medical students. She has served on the Board of Directors for Anorexia, Bulimia Care, Feeding Ourselves, and MEDA.

Lisa has received the ADA’s Recognized Dietitian of the Year Award and the Governor’s Commendation for Excellence in Public Service. In 2012, she was honored at MEDA's Annual Gala.

Lisa has volunteered as a community organizer for City Year and Habitat for Humanity as well as working on school boards, and various community efforts to bring awareness to human rights.

Most recently, Lisa is spearheading a new graduate program at Simmons College for clinicians who would like to work in the treatment of eating disorders. This program will provide dietitians with the opportunity to receive both academic training as well as internship opportunities. Connect with Lisa online to learn more about her private practice, CNC360, and her other work.

Grab Christy's free guide, 7 simple strategies for finding peace and freedom with food, to start your intuitive eating journey. You can also text "7STRATEGIES" to the phone number 44222 to get it on the go :)

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

 

We Discuss:

  • Lisa’s introduction to relational theory, and how that introduced her to the idea that we have a relationship with food and with our bodies

  • The need for a shift to Health at Every Size, body diversity, size acceptance, and body positivity

  • Lisa’s relationship with food growing up, including learning the myth that nutrition can cure all ills

  • The detrimental effect of gymnastics on Lisa’s body image

  • How family trauma can impact our relationship with food and our bodies

  • Lisa’s exploration of the dietetics field

  • The demonization of Western medicine in favor of natural methods

  • Uncovering intuitive eating and mindfulness as a path to eating disorder recovery

  • How important community and mentorship is to the Health at Every Size, body liberation, intuitive eating movements

  • Lisa’s experience restructuring an eating disorder treatment center and introducing a multidisciplinary team approach

  • Persevering through diet culture, and how far the Health at Every Size movement has come

  • How fat acceptance and Health at Every Size fit into eating disorder treatment

  • The ways in which shame immobilizes and paralyzes people from living their life

  • Internalized weight bias and fatphobia in the eating disorder community

  • Finding body acceptance and self-care without weight loss

  • The protective quality of disordered eating

  • Compassion as a healing technique

  • The sociological elements of chronic dieting and disordered eating

  • Developing new programing for dietitians that is Health at Every Size, size-acceptance focused

  • Finding your voice and community in the body liberation movement

  • The importance of self-compassion and casting aside shame in the unlearning process

  • Learning from our mistakes

 

Resources Mentioned

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

 

Listener Question of the Week

How do we handle weight gain, and get past the weight loss ideal? Are there certain life events that are particularly triggering in terms of body image? What’s the deal with the wedding industrial complex, and how does it reinforce patriarchy and the thin ideal? What do we do if we don’t want to be weighed at the doctor’s office? What’s the cost of maintaining restrictive weight loss? (Resources Mentioned: Amber Karnes’ Food Psych Podcast episode, Glenys Oyston’s Food Psych Podcast episode)