Food Psych #124: How to Let Go of Weight-Loss Efforts & Embrace Intuitive Eating with Amber Karnes

Amber Karnes

Amber Karnes of Body Positive Yoga joins us to talk about her journey from disordered eating to intuitive eating, embracing a Health at Every Size mentality, why accessible yoga is a social justice issue, why community is such an important part of this anti-diet work, the process of mourning the thin ideal and embracing internal growth regardless of body size, how the visibility and representation of larger bodies influenced her own body image process, and so much more! PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about how to train for a career helping other people heal from diet culture.

Amber Karnes is a ruckus maker, RYT-200 yoga asana teacher, creator of Body Positive Yoga, and a lifelong student of her body. In Amber’s retreats, classes and workshops, students of all shapes and sizes will find tips, tricks, and modifications to make yoga asana work for their body type. She emphasizes safe alignment and mindful transitions, and guides each student to honor the body they bring to the mat today, while being empowered to learn about the body’s intelligence and power. She serves on the Yoga and Body Image Coalition and seeks to further the message of inclusivity, self-acceptance, consent, agency, body positivity, and accessibility for all on and off the mat. She blogs at

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:

  • Amber’s relationship with food growing up

  • Amber’s experience having a non-triggering childhood, but still being unable to escape the societal implications of diet culture

  • Disordered eating as a coping mechanism for anxiety

  • Body image issues during puberty, including encountering street harassment and experiencing the male gaze and self-objectification

  • Embodiment and childhood

  • Patriarchy’s impact on disembodiment

  • Amber’s experience with binge eating disorder

  • Amber’s exploration of yoga and embodiment, including navigating the yoga world in a larger body

  • Breaking down internalized fatphobia and embracing body acceptance and fat acceptance

  • The normalization of body shame, body hatred, and diet culture

  • Diet talk as a destructive bonding ritual for femme folk

  • Finding nourishing community spaces with other Health at Every Size, intuitive eating folks

  • The myths attached to weight loss

  • The importance of fat visibility and representation, and how transformative plus size fashion and cultivating your social media images can be in the journey of self acceptance

  • Unlearning patriarchy, white supremacy, diet culture, and privilege

  • Discovering Health at Every Size and intuitive eating through eating disorder recovery

  • Mourning the thin ideal

  • The disordered, life-consuming efforts required to maintain intentional weight loss, and why diet culture is a life thief

  • Achieving personal growth in ways separate from weight loss

  • The birth of Body Positive Yoga, and the freedom and challenges of starting your own business

  • Consent and agency found through yoga

  • Barriers to access, the importance of intersectionality, confronting privilege, and doing social justice work in yoga practice


Resources Mentioned

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Listener Question of the Week

What are some of the paths to helping others in their relationship with food and their body? What are the pros and cons of pursuing a traditional dietetics degree? How can continuing education help with Health at Every Size, intuitive eating training?

(Resources Mentioned: Marci Evans’ Food Psych Podcast episode, Daxle Collier’s Food Psych Podcast episode, Courageous Living Coaching Certification, Coaches Training Institute, Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor Program, Evelyn Tribole’s Food Psych Podcast episode, Elyse Resch’s Food Psych Podcast episode, Be Nourished, Hilary Kinavey’s Food Psych Podcast episode, Dana Sturtevant’s Food Psych Podcast episode)

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