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

Rachel Millner

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

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

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

 

We Discuss:

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

  • How food messaging changes based on body size

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

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

  • Rachel’s struggles with the binge-restrict cycle

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

  • The power of community in breaking free from diet culture

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

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

  • How pervasive fatphobia is in the medical field

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

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

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

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

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

  • How valuable age is, both professionally and personally

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

 

Resources Mentioned

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Listener Question of the Week

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

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