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.
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
Some of the links below are affiliate links. Affiliates or not, we only recommend products and services that align with our values.
Melissa Toler’s first Food Psych Podcast episode
“We Need to Put an End to Fatphobia in Woke Spaces” by Melissa Toler
“The 3 Levels of Fatphobia” by Virgie Tovar
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My online course, Intuitive Eating Fundamentals, which includes monthly listener Q&A podcasts and access to my private Facebook support group
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)
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