Food Psych #122: How Anger Can Help in Diet Recovery and Body Acceptance with Carmen Cool

Carmen Cool

Anti-diet psychotherapist and Health at Every Size advocate Carmen Cool joins to talk about embracing anger against diet culture and the patriarchy, how to give yourself permission to engage in health-promoting behaviors for non-diet reasons, why intersectional feminism was so integral to her eating disorder recovery, the perceived hierarchy of disordered eating behaviors, her experience training health professionals in a weight-inclusive model, the social determinants of health and issues of access, and much more! PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about dealing with nighttime binges.

Carmen is a psychotherapist, educator, speaker, and a cupcake connoisseur. In addition to being a therapist for 17 years, she has started and run a nonprofit, created youth programs, and speaks internationally on Health At Every Size ®, feminism and eating disorders, and weight stigma.

Her work is focused on dismantling diet culture, healing our relationship to food and body, and supporting the next generation of body positive leaders. She is the immediate past Board President of the Association for Size Diversity and Health, was named “Most Inspiring Individual” in Boulder, Colorado and was the recipient of the Excellence in Eating Disorder Advocacy Award in Washington, DC.

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

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We Discuss:

  • Carmen’s relationship with food growing up, including her experience with diet culture at a young age

  • Food as a source of comfort

  • Carmen’s experience with binge eating disorder, including sneaking food

  • Preoccupation with weight gain, and looking to diets and restriction as the answer

  • The toxic nature of body-related compliments due to weight loss

  • Carmen’s transition from dieting into bulimia

  • How food and body obsession take over our time and brain space

  • Carmen’s experience in an eating disorder treatment center

  • The impact of feminism and therapy in eating disorder recovery

  • How mainstream the diet/binge cycle has become

  • The intersection of weight stigma and eating disorders

  • Carmen’s experience having an eating disorder alongside her sister’s struggle with anorexia

  • The privilege that those with anorexia have vs other eating disorders

  • Carmen’s introduction to Health at Every Size and fat acceptance

  • Putting together the personal and the political

  • Intersectional feminism’s impact on the body acceptance, fat acceptance, and eating disorder recovery movements

  • Rejecting body ideals and embracing anger at the patriarchy

  • Why diet culture is a life thief

  • Making peace with food and movement choices previously associated with diet culture

  • Carmen’s introduction to mindfulness, intuitive eating, and body work through massage therapy

  • Self-care, non-judgmental awareness and observation, self-compassion, and an attitude of curiosity

  • Going from eating disorder recovery to intuitive living

  • The problem with weight loss models in eating disorder treatment

  • The need for weight-inclusive care

  • The influence of social determinants of health, the accessibility of intuitive eating and joyful movement, and the issue of healthism

  • Carmen’s work with health professionals to bring them into a weight-inclusive model

  • Making space for planting seeds of change while also not being overly invested in everyone’s individual process

 

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 deal with nighttime bingeing, especially if we’re already trying our best to eat enough throughout the day? Can we guide ourselves through these food and body struggles using our own intuition? How does emotional eating, food insecurity, deprivation, diet culture, and more contribute to bingeing behaviors? What are some ways we can experiment with an evening snack to stave off nighttime eating? Is the diet mentality still reinforcing subtle restriction, leading to ravenous hunger?

(Resources Mentioned: Isabel Foxen Duke’s second and third Food Psych Podcast episodes on emotional eating)

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