LGBTQ

Food Psych #153: Healing Body Dysmorphia & Dating While Plus-Size with Sophia Carter-Kahn

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Writer and “She’s All Fat” podcast co-host Sophia Carter-Kahn joins us to talk about her path from extreme dieting to intuitive eating, how dating interacts with fatphobia and weight bias, overcoming body shame and body dysmorphia, how parents are influenced by diet culture and healthism, why we need to think about weight stigma as an important variable in terms of health, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about using meal plans in eating disorder recovery.

Sophia Carter-Kahn is a writer and podcaster based in Los Angeles, California. Along with April K. Quioh, Sophie is the co-host, -producer, and -creator of She's All Fat, the podcast for body positivity, radical self love, and chill vibes only. Sophia and April created She's All Fat to tell the stories of fat women and femmes. They discuss everything from pop culture to strategies to approaching tough conversations with family and friends, all through the lens of fat positivity. She's All Fat has listeners all over the world, and will have its first live show at the end of April at Flyover Fest in Iowa.

As a freelance writer and editor, Sophia is interested in obscure history, weird literature, queer culture, and media. You can find more of her writing on her website, or sign up for her TinyLetter for weekly dispatches of curated reading from around the internet.

 

We Discuss:

  • Sophia’s relationship with food growing up, including experiencing body shaming and food shaming from the doctor at a young age

  • Her first experiences with dieting and disordered eating, and how restriction led to bingeing

  • How parents are influenced by diet culture and healthism, and how current parents have more resources to guide their children to body positivity, Health at Every Size, and intuitive eating

  • Sophia’s experience at Weight Watchers, and how the program taught her more creative ways to engage in disordered eating

  • Disordered eating versus eating disorders, and how the current DSM options are limiting in terms of eating experiences

  • The pervasive nature of fatphobia, including medical fatphobia

  • Why we need to think about weight stigma as an important variable in terms of health rather than just assuming that a larger body size equates to an unhealthy body

  • Health outcomes as a product of intuitive eating versus chronic dieting

  • Sophia’s path from extreme dieting to intuitive eating, healing her relationship with food, body positivity, and body acceptance

  • How dating interacts with fatphobia and weight bias, and how Sophia learned to accept her body through online dating

  • The power in validation from our romantic and sexual partners

  • Overcoming body shame and body dysmorphia

  • Sophia’s experience finding her sexuality and queer identity within her fat identity

  • Casting aside beauty standards and turning our back on the beauty ideal

  • Ageism, and the power in aging women

  • Ableism, and why we need to start thinking differently about bodies with disabilities

  • How to determine who is ready to hear the social justice, HAES, body-positive message

  • The power in setting boundaries, both interpersonally and within ourselves, and grappling with negative self-talk

  • The value in helping others feel less alone, why representation matters, and how it helps to overcome shame

  • Sophia’s podcast, She’s All Fat, and the fun of talking about popular culture from a fat perspective

 

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 meal plans fit into eating disorder recovery? Are meal plans necessary for full recovery? What does recovery look like for people who don’t have or can’t afford formal treatment? Why is it so important to eradicate weight bias within treatment programs?

(Resources Mentioned: Rachel Cole’s Food Psych Podcast episode)

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Food Psych #152: How to Make Peace with Photos of Yourself with Lindley Ashline

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Body-positive photographer Lindley Ashline joins to talk about the power of representation, the process of breaking fashion rules for people in larger bodies, how the diet industry uses aspirational marketing to lure us in and keep us hooked, Lindley’s journey to her career in photography for diverse bodies, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about whether it’s appropriate to talk to diet-recovery clients about choosing “whole” foods. 

Lindley Ashline is a professional photographer in Seattle, WA, who specializes in body positive portraits of people of all sizes, genders, orientations, ability levels, and ethnicities, not just the ones whose bodies are likely to be seen in magazines and advertisements. Lindley takes a judgment-free approach to her photographic subjects, with little to no retouching.

She created RepresentationMatters.me in 2016 as a response to (and rejection of) the airbrushed, normative, too-perfect stock photography available on the big mainstream stock sites. The images available on the site focus on representing people who are fat, of color, and/or part of the LGBTQIAP+ community.

Representation Matters gives small business owners a way to represent the real bodies and lives of their customers in their marketing and on websites and social media. It contains Lindley's own photography as well as photos and illustrations from a growing number of contributors, making diverse and body positive artwork accessible and affordable while paying contributors a living wage. 

Find thousands of high-quality diverse stock images and free monthly photos over at Lindley's site, RepresentationMatters.me.

 

We Discuss:

  • Lindley’s relationship with food, including how her family’s class status and her sensitivity to certain flavors and textures impacted it

  • Her journey to finding intuitive eating and learning how to create boundaries

  • How she avoided so much of the diet culture messaging while growing up

  • Lindley’s experience of body shame

  • Her struggle during puberty to find plus-size clothes

  • Dieting as a class marker and indicator of wealth, and how Lindley aspired to dieting due to the class status she felt that it indicated

  • The diet industry’s use of aspirational marketing

  • Lindley’s experience with weight stigma and fatphobia at the doctor’s office

  • The trajectory of “failing” a diet or “falling off the wagon”

  • How being in a relationship with an intuitive eater can help us on our own recovery journey

  • How the Fatshionista community on LiveJournal helped Lindley embrace fat acceptance and fashion

  • The process of breaking fashion rules for people in larger bodies

  • Lindley’s process of coming to body acceptance, and how self-photography played a role

  • How the heritage of body positivity affected Lindley’s relationship with her body

  • Lindley’s journey to her career in photography for diverse bodies

  • The complex issue of choice feminism

  • Lindley’s boudoir photoshoots, and how she balances accessing mainstream beauty standards with rejecting fatphobia and extreme photoshopping

  • The ways in which photos lie about our true, holistic appearance, and how to move away from focusing on the flaws that we see in photographs of ourselves

  • The ongoing process and internal dialogue of body peace

  • Lindley’s work with LGBTQ+ folks, and her efforts to make her work a safe place for people of all identities

  • The birth of Representation Matters stock photos, and how Lindley has used the platform to reject mainstream stock tropes

  • The power of representation

 

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 is “The Wellness Diet” a new form of diet culture? What’s the deal with “whole foods?” What are the issues with the current food industry? Are there class implications for demonizing “processed foods?” Why is gentle nutrition at the very end of the intuitive eating process?


(Resources Mentioned: Intuitive Eating, 3rd ed. by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, Food Psych Podcast Episode #127, Intuitive Eating Fundamentals)

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