HAES

Food Psych #163: How to Unlearn Diet Culture's Rules with April Quioh

April

TV writer and She’s All Fat podcast co-host April K. Quioh joins us to talk about how intersectional feminism and sociology helped her to finally let go of dieting and embrace her body size, why we need to challenge fatphobia and fight for it to be considered a valid form of discrimination, why it’s important to unlearn the diet-culture rules we’ve internalized around food and our bodies, the historical roots of diet culture, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to know if you're ready to start re-learning intuitive eating.

April K. Quioh is a comedy writer and podcast host from Minneapolis, Minnesota. She writes about fun stuff like popular culture, love, and blackness and has worked on television shows on Comedy Central, YouTubeRed, and Netflix. She has perfect skin and is a lawful good. She currently co-hosts and produces She's All Fat, a podcast about body positivity and intersectional feminism. Find her online at ShesAllFatPod.com.

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We Discuss:

  • April’s relationship with food growing up, including her experience with going on diets with her family and exploring the different kinds of beauty ideals she was exposed to

  • April’s process of breaking free from dieting, reconnecting with her internal cues, and her feelings around intuitive eating

  • Why it’s important to unlearn the diet-culture rules we’ve internalized around food and our bodies

  • How intersectional feminism and sociology helped April to finally let go of dieting and embrace fat acceptance and body positivity

  • The role of body-positive Instagram bloggers in her journey to body acceptance

  • April’s experience with internal and external body shame

  • Why we need to extend compassion to parents who pass diet culture along to their children

  • The historical roots of diet culture, and how race plays a role in our body expectations

  • April’s exploration of storytelling, how she found her passion for writing, and her professional journey to television writing in Los Angeles

  • Fatphobia and discrimination in the entertainment industry, and the ways in which April has had to navigate calling out weight stigma and racism in professional settings

  • Why we need to shame people who are fat-shamers

  • The power in calling out injustice on a public platform

  • How to talk to the people in our lives about Health at Every Size and weight-based discrimination, and why we need to remember that our time and our mental health is more important than trying to change the minds of people who aren’t open to hearing alternative viewpoints

  • Why fatness does not equate to health status, and why people have such a visceral reaction being told that people at every size can pursue and embody health

  • Why we need to challenge fatphobia and fight for it to be considered a valid form of discrimination

  • The birth of the She’s All Fat Podcast and the value in sharing our trauma with the world

 

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 know when we’re ready for intuitive eating? Is working with an intuitive eating therapist or nutrition coach a good path for intuitive eating support? How does deprivation play a role in bingeing and feelings of overeating? Does the current representation of eating disorders hold us back from finding recovery? Why do we turn to food to soothe or emotions, and how can we stop?

(Resources Mentioned: Certified Intuitive Eating Counselors Directory, Judith Matz’s Food Psych Podcast episode, Isabel Foxen Duke’s first Food Psych Podcast episode, Intuitive Eating Fundamentals online course)

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Food Psych #160: How to Fight Healthism and Embrace Body Positivity with Elizabeth Scott

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Psychotherapist and co-founder of The Body Positive Elizabeth Scott joins us to talk about the problems with concern trolling and healthism, why it’s helpful to be vulnerable when defending the Health at Every Size paradigm, the process of unlearning diet culture and oppression, why dietitians are in the best position to support body acceptance, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how healthcare practitioners can unlearn everything they’ve been taught about weight and make peace with food and their bodies.

Elizabeth Scott, LCSW, is a San Francisco Bay Area psychotherapist who has been helping people learn to love their bodies and lead happier, more productive lives for more than 25 years. In 1996 Elizabeth co-founded The Body Positive, a nonprofit organization that builds grassroots, peer leadership programs to prevent eating disorders and other forms of self-harm. As Director of Training, Elizabeth instructs treatment professionals, educators, and students to use the Be Body Positive prevention model to promote resilience against body image problems and eating disorders. Find her online at TheBodyPositive.org.

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We Discuss:

  • Elizabeth’s relationship with food growing up, including experiencing food in abundance during her childhood

  • The role of feminism and dance in Elizabeth’s understanding of her body and the development of her body image

  • The different factors that support embodiment, the definition of “healthy embodiment,” and the current research around embodiment

  • How valuable just one positive influence can be on embodiment and body image

  • The power in the adolescent development of autonomy, and how we can harness it to further the anti-diet message

  • Elizabeth’s professional path, including her training in social work, what led her to work with eating disorders, body hatred, and embodiment, and how she discovered intuitive eating and Health at Every Size

  • The story of the birth of The Body Positive, and the model of peer-led change

  • How we can prevent the co-option of the body-positive movement

  • The history of body positivity, and its roots in fat activism, feminism, and Health at Every Size

  • Why the term “body positive” still has value for the community, and how we can embrace radical body-positive work

  • How race, gender, sexuality, and more ties in with body positivity

  • The ways in which we can confront our fears and take responsibility for them

  • Diet culture, the thin ideal, and the supposed hierarchy of bodies

  • The problem with concern trolling and healthism

  • Why we need to talk about trauma, sizeism, and emotion, and be vulnerable when defending Health at Every Size, intuitive eating, and size diversity

  • How to promote improved self-care, and why shame is an ineffective strategy

  • Why dietitians are in a great position to support body acceptance, food autonomy, and body trust, and ultimately change the culture

  • The process of unlearning diet culture and oppression, and why we need to put gentle nutrition on the back burner in our journey towards healing our relationship with food

  • How to fight back against the scare tactics that are often presented to people about their health

  • Why we need to have self-compassion if we’ve promoted dieting in the past

  • The promising data coming out of the work at The Body Positive, and what they’ve seen produce lasting improvement in body esteem and self worth

  • Why changing our relationship with food and our bodies takes time

  • What we gain when we leave dieting behind
     

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 seek out health in a non-diet way? Why are the terms “overweight” and “obese” stigmatizing? What is the science behind weight stigma, and how does weight discrimination affect health? How do we respond to concern trolling? Why do we need to be critical of people

(Resources Mentioned: “Moralized Health-Related Persuasion Undermines Social Cohesion” by Susanne Täuber, “Weight Science: Evaluating the Evidence for a Paradigm Shift” by Linda Bacon and Lucy Aphramor, Linda Bacon’s Food Psych Podcast episode, Lucy Aphramor’s Food Psych Podcast episode, “Perceived Weight Discrimination and 10-Year Risk of Allostatic Load Among US Adults.” by M. Vadiveloo and J. Mattei, “Is intuitive eating the same as flexible dietary control? Their links to each other and well-being could provide an answer.” by T.L. Tylka, R.M. Calogero, and S. Daníelsdóttir, Deb Burgard’s Food Psych Podcast episode, Jes Baker’s first and second Food Psych Podcast episodes, and my Intuitive Eating Fundamentals online course)

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Food Psych #159: How Diet Culture Harms Your Health with Joanne Ikeda

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Pioneering Health at Every Size dietitian Joanne Ikeda joins us to discuss the history of the HAES movement, how the dietetics field and the role of the dietitian has changed over time, the effects of dieting on weight gain and weight cycling, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about the food industry and diet soda.

Joanne Ikeda has been a trailblazer in the development of the Health at Every Size® paradigm and the fight against weight stigma. As founding co-director of the Center for Weight and Health in the College of Natural Resources at UC Berkeley, Ikeda has been a leader in efforts to refine approaches to childhood wellness at the local, state and national levels. She is author or coauthor of research publications as well as pamphlets, books, and training kits designed to help health professionals, paraprofessionals and parents instill healthy eating habits and encourage physical activity in children and adolescents. Her most recent effort involves empowering community coalitions to change local environments so they are more supportive of healthy lifestyles in families. She is dedicated to protecting children from becoming casualties in the “war on obesity” by promoting a Health at Every Size approach.

She has also conducted extensive community collaborative research on the food habits and dietary quality of California’s low-income, immigrant and ethnic populations. Her findings are used to develop culturally sensitive and relevant educational programs for these groups, which have included Hmong families in the Central Valley; Vietnamese-American communities in Northern and Southern California; Native Americans in rural areas; and African American women in urban areas of the state.

Ikeda has served as president of the 8,000-member California Dietetic Association. She has chaired the American Dietetic Association’s Nutrition Education for the Public Practice Group and more recently chaired the pediatric subunit of the Weight Management Practice Group. She helped establish the Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH), and served as its secretary for two years. She recently finished a 3-year term as President of the Society for Nutrition Education & Behavior. She has been active on many advisory boards and committees and received numerous awards and honors, including the Society of Nutrition Education Weight Realities Achievement Award; the Ethel Austin Martin Nutrition Education Distinguished Lecturer Award from South Dakota State University; the University of California Outreach Award for service to minority communities; and more.

In 2003, Ikeda received the Community Awareness Award from the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA) for her dissemination of the message of size acceptance. In 2008, NAAFA gave Ikeda its highest honor for her efforts towards ending size discrimination. She is also the primary author of NAAFA’s Child Advocacy Toolkit.  

She retired from the University of California, Berkeley, on January 1, 2007, and has been awarded the title of Nutritionist Emeritus. She currently is the Nutrition Consultant for the Cartoon Network, and a nutrition expert for ABC News and NAAFA.

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We Discuss:

  • Joanne’s relationship with food growing up, including her lack of cooking skills as a college student

  • How the dietetics career and the role of the dietitian has changed over time

  • Joanne’s experience with old-school weight-loss groups and developing weight-loss programs, and her realization that the weight-loss paradigm is ineffective

  • The role of food insecurity in weight gain and hunger

  • Joanne’s exploration of weight science, and her discovery that health is not dependent on weight

  • How the fat-acceptance movement opened Joanne’s eyes to the realities of weight stigma

  • The effects of dieting on weight gain and weight cycling

  • Joanne’s experience getting her research published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association

  • The creation of the Health at Every Size principles and guidelines, and the reticence of the current dietetics community to embrace HAES

  • Why there isn’t enough HAES research out there, and why we need to fund more HAES projects

  • The value in and importance of weight stigma research and the negative impacts of long-term weight cycling

  • Why the calories-in-calories-out model is ludicrous

  • Why individuals are so invested in diet culture, and why we as a culture resist embracing a weight-inclusive perspective

  • What a weight-inclusive, fat-accepting world would look like

  • The problems with the National Weight Registry data


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 find a balance between knowing that the food industry is problematic, but not falling down the disordered-eating-rabbit-hole by demonizing foods? How does diet soda tie in with disordered eating? What role does restriction play in feeling out of control around high-sugar or high-carb foods?

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Food Psych #157: The Truth About Weight Science with Fiona Willer

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Anti-diet dietitian Fiona Willer joins to talk about why we need to be critical of current weight research, how the Health at Every Size paradigm can go viral, why weight-inclusive work is a life-saving endeavor, how fatphobia and weight stigma prevent compassionate medical care for people in larger bodies, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to adjust to a different culture’s eating times when studying abroad.

Fiona Willer, AdvAPD, is the author of 'The Non-Diet Approach Guidebook for Dietitians', and co-author of 'The Non-Diet Approach Guidebook for Psychologists and Counsellors'. Her business, Health, Not Diets, provides online and face-to-face training and workshops for health professionals in the non-diet approach. Fiona's background includes clinical dietetics, private practice and university lecturing in nutrition and dietetics. She is currently conducting PhD research into HAES ® use in dietetics. As an advocacy leader in this field, she represented Australia in contributing to the HAES graduate curriculum for the Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH), and has been an invited speaker at DAA, SDA, ANZAED, DC events and presented at a variety of academic conferences Fiona is a proud member of the DAA, current Vice-President International of ASDAH, and executive member of HAES Australia. Find her online at FionaWiller.com, UnpackingWeightScience.com, and HealthNotDiets.com.
 

We Discuss:

  • Fiona’s relationship with food and her body growing up, including how negative body messaging infiltrated her life during adolescence

  • Fiona’s experience of feeding her family and her children

  • Why diet culture is The Life Thief, and Christy’s process writing her book and exploring the different ways diet culture stole moments from her throughout her life

  • Fiona’s exploration of “clean eating” and vegetarianism, as well as her struggles with binge eating

  • Fiona’s experience pursuing a naturopathy degree, and how she eventually ended up pursuing dietetics instead

  • Fiona’s move to a Health at Every Size perspective, and the problem with current weight science

  • Fiona’s work as a lecturer at universities, and her goal to inject weight-inclusive approaches into dietetics education

  • How rewarding it is to share a message that we ourselves desperately needed to hear when we were stuck in diet culture 

  • How Fiona discovered mindful eating, and how mindfulness helped guide her to recovery

  • Fiona’s PhD journey, how she has showed her supervisors the HAES perspective, the ways in which combining her research with the psychology discipline has allowed her more room to practice in an anti-diet way, and her current HAES research

  • Why Health at Every Size is like an iPhone, and the ways in which the HAES message is spread virally and virtually

  • The generational differences in accepting diversity, and the fear of loss that looms over professionals who stick to the diet paradigm

  • The things that need to be done to create a size-inclusive society, and the money that can be made for creating access for diverse bodies

  • How fatphobia and weight stigma stand in the way of compassionate medical care for people in larger bodies

  • Fiona’s work on unpacking weight science, and why we need to be critical of current weight research

  • Why weight-inclusive work is a life-saving endeavor, and the ways in which weight stigma negatively affects the healthcare experience of people in larger bodies

  • How to introduce a HAES perspective to practitioners who are reticent to embrace it

  • Why we need to move away from black-and-white thinking

 

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 adjust to new settings and food schedules when we’re in recovery from disordered eating? What do I do if I’m thinking about food constantly?
 

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Food Psych #151: Emotional Eating and Diet Culture with Judith Matz

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Anti-diet therapist and author Judith Matz joins us to talk about shifting the focus of emotional eating toward the underlying deprivation and diet mentality, why turning to food to meet emotional needs isn’t an “eating problem” but a “soothing problem,” how diet culture and marginalization rob us of the ability to meet our needs, why Health at Every Size and intuitive eating are better approaches for true health, Judith’s work teaching other therapists about weight stigma, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to frame public health efforts to change the built environment in a way that doesn’t stigmatize people in larger bodies.

Judith is the co-author of two books on the topics of eating and weight struggles.

Beyond a Shadow of a Diet: The Comprehensive Guide to Treating Binge Eating Disorder, Compulsive Eating and Emotional Overeating has been called “the new bible” on this topic for professionals. The Diet Survivor’s Handbook: 60 Lessons in Eating, Acceptance and Self-Care was a #1 bestseller on Amazon and a favorite resource for therapists to use with clients. She is also the author of Amanda’s Big Dream, a children’s book that helps kids to pursue their dreams – at any size!

Judith has a private practice in Skokie, IL, where she focuses her work with clients who want to get off the diet/binge rollercoaster and learn to feel at home in their bodies. Through her individual counseling, groups, workshops, presentations and books, Judith has helped thousands of people to develop self-care skills that increase physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing without a focus on the pursuit of weight loss. Through educational programs, she is dedicated to helping people end the preoccupation with food and weight and to fighting weight stigma.

Judith is a popular speaker at national conferences and descriptions of her work have appeared in the media including the New York Times, LA Times, Allure, Fitness, Self, Shape, Today’s Dietitian, Diabetes Self-Management, Psychotherapy Networker, NBC News Chicago, Huffington Post Live, and she appears in the documentary America The Beautiful 2. Find her online at JudithMatz.com.

 

WE DISCUSS:

  • Judith’s relationship with food growing up, including how intuitive it was when she was young, and how that changed with the introduction of body comparisons and commentary from peers

  • Recognizing the connection between restriction and binging

  • Judith’s experience with weight gain, weight cycling, and the restrict-binge cycle

  • How thin privilege shielded Judith from some of the negative impact of diet culture

  • The ways in which we can make children resilient against fatphobia and body shaming

  • The bonding experience of dieting and the toxicity of weight-related compliments

  • How many of us are complicit in diet culture even when we don’t realize it

  • The Weight Watchers announcement about their free program for teens, and why it’s unethical to be pushing intentional weight loss onto impressionable young kids

  • Why Health at Every Size is a better approach for true health

  • The shame attached to the diet-binge cycle and the inevitable weight regain

  • Judith’s professional work in mental health and therapy, and her experience working in a diet-centric program

  • Why eating behaviors aren’t all about the psychology, and why intuitive eating needs to be factored into the healing process for people struggling with binge eating

  • The ways in which physical deprivation, rather than emotional eating, drives binge behaviors

  • Why we need to suss out the influence of the diet mentality on our food choices before we ask questions about whether or not we’re emotionally eating

  • Judith’s work teaching other therapists about weight stigma, and how professionals who continue to perpetuate the diet-centric paradigm are complicit in the oppression of people in larger bodies

  • The problem with assumptions about eating behavior based on body size

  • Shifting the focus of emotional eating from being an “eating problem” to being a “soothing problem”

  • Utilizing compassion on our journey to find new coping mechanisms, and why we can always use food as an emotional coping skill

  • Shifting from being in control to being in charge

  • How leaving behind dieting and shifting to intuitive eating can decrease anxiety and allow ourselves the space to take care of ourselves through depression and other stressors

  • The ways in which diet culture and marginalization rob us of the ability to meet our needs

  • How marginalization and food insecurity affects our relationship with food and our ability to heal, and how the restrict-binge cycle becomes protective and adaptive in this situation

  • The grief process of letting go of dieting

  • The negative health outcomes related to weight cycling and weight stigma, and the health benefits of intuitive eating

  • Judith’s efforts to integrate Health at Every Size and social justice into her therapeutic practice

  • The positive and negative implications of social media, and how diet culture has gotten more aggressive while resources have become more abundant

  • Why diet culture is The Life Thief, and how it robs people of meaningful conversations

 

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 support health for everyone and support increased access to health-promoting variables without resorting to fatphobia? Are there ways to sneak weight-incisive language into public health research? How can changes in the unit environment improve people’s health, regardless of body size? Are there ways in which individuals can develop a compulsive, extreme relationship to exercise or food commonly thought of as “healthy?” How does cultural familiarity with certain foods affect people’s ability to interact with these foods? What research is out there about weight stigma and health disparity related to social inequities?

(Resources Mentioned: "Weight Science: Evaluating the evidence for a paradigm shift” by Linda Bacon and Lucy Aphramor, Linda Bacon and their Food Psych Podcast episode, Lucy Aphramor and her Food Psych Podcast episode, "Weighed down by stigma: How weight-based social identity threat contributes to weight gain and poor health,” Journal of Social Issues, Vol 70, Number 2)

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