chronic dieting

Food Psych #155: Diet Culture in the "Natural" Health Field with Sarah Thompson

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Certified Body Trust Provider and Health at Every Size recovery coach and consultant Sarah Thompson joins us to talk about the barriers she faced to getting an eating disorder diagnosis, the ways in which diet culture has infiltrated naturopathy and Chinese medicine, the lack of Health at Every Size education in healthcare programs, the false connection that diet culture makes between larger bodies and being unhealthy, weight bias in “food addiction” theory, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about whether bingeing on fruits and vegetables is a sign of orthorexia.

Sarah Thompson is an eating disorder recovery coach, consultant, and writer based in Portland, Oregon and transplanted from Akron, Ohio. Her writing focuses on a wide range of philosophies - Body Trust®, Health at Every Size®, Intuitive Eating, Fat Liberation, eating disorder recovery, and more. She seeks to share what she has experienced and learned from her own discovery and journey with body liberation. Sarah definitely does not have all the answers, but she’s super excited to share what she has learned so far.

Even while Sarah is fat, female, and queer, she recognizes that being a working-class, white, and cis gender woman has afforded her many privileges. She strives to listen and learn from experiences that differ from hers.

Outside of her professional work, Sarah is an ice cream connoisseur, Grey’s Anatomy expert, avid movie buff, and lover of dogs, cats, horses, and ducks. Find her online at ResilientFatGoddess.com.

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We Discuss:

  • Sarah’s relationship with food growing up, including being body shamed at a young age and learning that her size was connected to the food she ate

  • Her experience with sneaking food, and how she learned to not feel shameful for those actions later in life

  • Her experience with formal dieting programs and weight loss, and her path from disordered eating into an eating disorder

  • How objectification and sexualization played a role in her body shame

  • Sarah’s experience with the restrict-binge-cycle, and the pros and cons of her experience with Overeaters Anonymous

  • The barriers she faced to getting an eating disorder diagnosis, including the “food addiction” model of Overeaters Anonymous and weight bias

  • The false connection that diet culture makes between larger body size and being unhealthy

  • The value in harm-reduction techniques for food-behavior struggles

  • Sarah’s experience in the naturopathic community and the Chinese-medicine community, and the ways in which it fueled her disordered eating and chronic dieting

  • Sarah’s exploration of body-positive social media accounts

  • The historical roots of Whole30, paleo, and The Wellness Diet in naturopathic medicine

  • Sarah’s experience with weight-based microaggressions, and her journey to learning how to set boundaries around diet talk and weight-loss talk

  • The healthism and diet culture embedded in the “natural” wellness field and the healthcare system in general

  • The ways in which diet culture has influenced Chinese medicine and naturopathy, despite their roots in body trust

  • Sarah’s use of acupuncture to manage mental health struggles, and the ways in which she’s felt unsafe in her body over the years

  • The lack of Health at Every Size education in healthcare programs, and the inherent weight stigma that is often taught

  • The role of trauma in health issues, and how it often is ignored in favor of food-focused and weight-focused solutions

  • Why the naturopathic community might be more open to HAES and the anti-diet paradigm than Western medicine

  • Sarah’s path to coming out of chronic dieting and disordered eating and transitioning into a non-diet, intuitive-eating approach

  • Why we don’t need to cut out food groups to alleviate allergies or digestive issues, and the different treatments that are out there aside from dietary changes

  • How to weigh whether or not changes in your eating are worth it, mentally and physically

  • What “holistic” health really means, and why we need to consider discrimination and systemic issues

     

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

What does it mean if we start bingeing on fruits or vegetables? Can an eating disorder turn into orthorexia in recovery? How does deprivation contribute to bingeing? Do we need to investigate why we’re cutting out certain foods, even if we have ethical or environmental concerns around certain foods?

(Resources Mentioned: HAESCommunity.com, NEDA.org, IntuitiveEating.org)

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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 #139: The Truth About Weight-Loss Surgery & "Food Addiction" with Lisa DuBreuil

Lisa DuBreuil

Social worker and fat activist Lisa DuBreuil joins us to discuss weight loss surgery and its unexpected side effects, what the research really says about this surgery, how it affects people's body image, what the science really says about so-called "food addiction," the intersection of substance abuse and weight-loss surgery, her own journey to recovery from diet culture, how she became a Health at Every Size clinician, how to handle clients seeking weight loss surgery when you’re a weight-inclusive professional, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to make the case for Health at Every Size to skeptics.

Lisa DuBreuil, LICSW is a mom, wife, fat activist, and clinical social worker. Since 2003 she has been a psychotherapist doing individual and group work in an outpatient hospital-based clinic, treating people with co-occurring substance use disorders and eating disorders and more recently people with new-onset SUDs and compulsions following weight loss surgery. She also has a private practice in Salem Massachusetts where she treats people diagnosed with binge eating disorder and people dealing with various problems following weight loss surgery. Lisa helps people live peacefully in their bodies by improving self-care skills and teaching how to navigate our challenging body culture. Contact her at LisaJDuBreuil@gmail.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 :)

 

We Discuss:

  • Lisa’s relationship with food growing up, including her self-consciousness about her size and weight from a young age

  • The historical and geographical roots of the Health at Every Size movement and fat acceptance

  • How diets evolve and the ways in which different foods become demonized

  • The need for compassion for those who transmitted diet culture to us as children

  • Lisa’s experience with body shame, and the ways in which people of all sizes harbor body loathing and internalized weight stigma

  • How chronic dieting can develop into binge eating disorder

  • The long road to gentle nutrition and joyful movement in the intuitive eating process

  • Lisa’s discovery of the Health at Every Size movement, and how it helped her find lasting eating disorder recovery

  • Lisa’s experience as a therapist working with clients struggling with trauma and eating disorders, and her eventual path to becoming a social worker and program director

  • The connection between eating disorders and substance abuse, and the ways in which they are both coping strategies

  • Lisa’s experience working with clients with weight loss surgery

  • Why “food addiction” is different from addiction to substances, including the effect of habituation

  • The difficult side effects and disillusionment of weight loss surgery, including malnutrition and continued body dissatisfaction

  • How internalized fatphobia pushes folks towards weight loss surgeries and is correlated with many of the poor health outcomes often blamed on body size

  • The ways in which internalized weight stigma makes it harder for people to pursue self care

  • The lack of research around long-term outcomes for weight loss surgery

  • Body autonomy, and how to work with clients that are making decisions counter to our personal opinions

  • How intersecting oppressions affect the decisions we make

  • The stress of change, and the need for extra support even in the face of positive outcomes

 

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

What do I do if I’m trying to spread the Health at Every Size message to professionals in the health promotion field? What research is out there to support the HAES paradigm? How does weight stigma factor into health?

(Resources Mentioned: Linda Bacon’s Food Psych Podcast episode, Lucy Aphramor’s Food Psych Podcast episode, "Weight science: evaluating the evidence for a paradigm shift" by Linda Bacon and Lucy Aphramor, Deb Burgard’s Food Psych Podcast episode, “The Weight-Inclusive versus Weight-Normative Approach to Health: Evaluating the Evidence for Prioritizing Well-Being over Weight Loss” by Deb Burgard et. al., Ragen Chastain’s first and second Food Psych Podcast episodes, Ragen’s Dances With Fat blog)

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Food Psych #133: Healing from Weight Stigma and Diet Culture with Kai Hibbard, "Biggest Loser" Contestant Turned Anti-Diet Activist

Kai Hibbard

Past Biggest Loser contestant and current anti-diet trailblazer Kai Hibbard joins us this week to talk about the negative effect of weight bias and stigma on larger-bodied folks, her journey from disordered eating to Health at Every Size activist, the social determinants of health and her desire to change the face of public health, the power of anger in our anti-diet journeys, and so much more! PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about how ethical food choices and rejecting diet culture can coexist.

Kai was first cast into the spotlight through her participation in, and subsequent denunciation of the weight loss game show The Biggest Loser. Going through the program, she realized the negative impact the show had, not only on her own life, but on society in general. Vowing to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. Kai has fought, often as the lone voice, against unrealistic and damaging message in the media regarding our bodies in general. Over time that struggle has been featured in countless magazines and newscasts, both domestically and internationally, ranging from The Huffington Post, Time Magazine, Good Morning America, ABC News, CBS News, E!, Star Magazine, US Weekly, People, TMZ, The NY Times, The NY Post, Inside Edition, Redbook, Access Hollywood, FoxNews,The Globe, Jezebel, Huffington Post Live and Upworthy, where Kai's honest, straight forward approach to her own story never fails to shine through. Find her online at KaiHibbard.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.

 

We Discuss:

  • Kai’s relationship with food growing up, including learning body comparisons and weight preoccupation from a young age

  • The connection between trauma, sexual assault, and disordered eating

  • Kai’s experience going to Weight Watchers at a young age, as well as how much she was bullied over her body size

  • Changing beauty ideals based on geographic location

  • How rare it is to find a non-diet community in our diet-culture world

  • How diet culture and body hatred embed themselves into femme bonding experiences

  • Setting boundaries and dealing with loved ones who are still stuck in diet culture

  • Kai’s experience as an aerobics instructor, how it influenced her eating habits, and her eventual struggle with rapid weight gain

  • The fitness competition community and how it sparks disordered eating

  • The current state of plus-size fashion

  • Kai’s experience on The Biggest Loser, including the restrictive eating styles the show promoted

  • How money and the diet industry motivates diet culture

  • Fatphobia’s influence on weight research and in the medical community

  • Social determinants of health, how weight stigma affects the ability of people in larger to get proper medical care, and the need for a paradigm shift in public health

  • Christy’s shift from the worrying about the obesity epidemic to the Health at Every Size paradigm

  • Kai’s doctoral work on social justice and public health

  • How internalized fatphobia can affect our professional work

  • Kai’s intervention, and how her family and friends helped push her towards recovery

  • Kai’s ups and downs in recovery, including how joining the Army influenced her food and body journey

  • Kai’s struggle to get her rheumatoid arthritis diagnosed due to her body size, and her experience with chronic illness

  • Embracing your right to proper medical care, no matter your size

  • The power of anger in sustaining our anti-diet truth

  • Realizing the societal influences that lead us to body hatred and disordered eating

  • Using our personal tools, skill sets, and privilege to fight against diet culture at large and uplift the voices of marginalized folks

  • Kai’s professional aspirations and future ambitions

 

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

Can ethical food choices fit in with out intuitive eating journey? How does diet culture sneak its way into certain styles of eating? Are there some ways to check in with ourselves about our food choices that feels practical? How do we know when to prioritize our own needs over others? Do we need to heal our relationship with food before we can dive into ethical food restriction? What do we do if an eating style is part of our identity? Are there some ways to set boundaries around ourselves to protect us from the communities that promote certain ethical styles of eating?


(Resources Mentioned: Intuitive Eating Fundamentals)

*Note: Kai incorrectly attributed a quote by Alice Walker to Audre Lorde in the audio of this episode. "The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any," was spoken by Alice Walker.

 

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Food Psych #131: How to Reclaim Pleasure In Food and Your Body with Substantia Jones

Substantia Jones

Activist and photographer Substantia Jones joins us to discuss recovery from chronic dieting, taking pleasure in food, using photography to find body love, the patriarchy’s influence on beauty ideals, the role of romantic relationships in our body image journey, the power of the diet industry, coping with hatred and online trolls, and much more! PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about how to deal with fatphobic “workplace wellness” programs.

Photo-activist Substantia Jones created, manages, and is sole photographer for the fat acceptance campaign, The Adipositivity Project. The website, which just celebrated its 10th anniversary, hosts a diverse and growing collection of hundreds of her photographs of fat people of all genders, mostly women, mostly nude. She describes the project as “feminism, fuckyouism, and fat.”

The mission of Jones’ work is to combat sizeist bigotry and weight-related misinformation, to promote recognition of an individual’s body autonomy, and to encourage critical thinking and enlightened discussion of body politics. Jones lectures in schools and universities (with slideshow!), but her work is done primarily with photography, subverting this tool commonly used in promoting body shame, and using it instead to demystify the fat body and give it the respect and visibility too often denied it by the media and popular culture. The message is to love your body, and to allow others to love their own.

Her photography has been featured globally in books, magazines, and news outlets, and has been exhibited in galleries and museums internationally. She is a happily fat woman who lives in New York City and quotes Monty Python a lot. Maybe too much. Find her online at adipositivity.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.

 

We Discuss:

  • Substantia’s relationship with food growing up, including struggling with picky eating and gaining access to highly palatable foods like sweets

  • Substantia’s experience in her developing body, including her reaction to being sexualized at a young age and learning about the thin ideal, and how that led to chronic dieting

  • The effect of diet pills, and the dangers of using them

  • The science of intentional weight loss and weight cycling

  • How effective the diet industry is at blaming the victim and encouraging repeat business

  • Holding compassion for those who choose to lose weight

  • The need for fat acceptance on a global, societal, and systemic level

  • The power and money behind diet culture

  • Patriarchy’s influence on beauty ideals and body image

  • The effect of body hatred on sexual development

  • How positive romantic relationships can help us to move towards body neutrality and body love

  • Substantia’s use of photography on her body image journey, and how positive depictions of fat bodies can foster fat acceptance on a cultural level

  • Body preferences and biases

  • Shifting the focus of The Adipositivity Project from changing the opinion of fat people in the culture at large to using it to help fat people make peace with their bodies

  • The process of finding “adiposers” for The Adipositivity Project

  • The issue of internet trolls, online fat hatred, and threats of violence

  • Charlottesville, and the ways in which different oppressions compound and relate to one another

  • Coping with voices of hate and the power of "fuck-you-ism"

  • The pleasure aspect of eating, and it’s role in recovery from disordered eating

  • Reclaiming your relationship with food and body through anger

 

Resources Mentioned

 

Listener Question of the Week

What do we do if our workplace is buying into diet culture through wellness programs? How do we assert our desire to not be weighed? Is there a way to challenge the program at the administrative level, or to get around it through working with doctors? How does discrimination factor into these programs? Can Health at Every Size research bolster our position? Does diet culture affect even those who consider themselves to be recovered? How does “planting the seed” work?

 

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Food Psych #130: How to Fight Fatphobia in Woke Spaces with Melissa Toler

Melissa Toler

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.

 

We Discuss:

  • 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

 

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

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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Food Psych #128: How to Transition to a Non-Diet Paradigm with Haley Goodrich

Haley Goodrich

Fellow entrepreneur and anti-diet dietitian Haley Goodrich joins us this week to discuss her path from disordered eating to intuitive eating, how she opened her own Health at Every Size dietetics practice, the challenges of transitioning to a completely weight-neutral paradigm and the value of mentorship in this process, overcoming her anxiety and the role that anxiety played in her eating behaviors, how to practice as a recovered clinician, getting comfortable setting boundaries, and much more! PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about bingeing in recovery from restrictive eating.

Haley is the founder and CEO of INSPIRD Nutrition, where she specializes in intuitive eating, disordered eating, and eating disorder recovery from a Health At Every Size perspective. She is currently pursuing her Certified Eating Disorder Registered Dietitian (CEDRD) Certification. In addition to her full-time private practice she is also the co-founder of INSPIRD to SEEK, a community-based learning experience designed to mentor and guide nutrition entrepreneurs to build amazing businesses. Find her online at inspirdnutrition.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.

 

We Discuss:

  • Haley’s relationship with food growing up, including having a wonderful family relationship with breakfast and having agency in the kitchen from a young age

  • Haley’s first experience with body insecurity and size comparisons in middle school

  • Anxiety disorder, how it affected Haley’s education, and the effect of mental health stigma

  • The common motivation behind pursuing dietetics education, and how often people in the nutrition and food fields struggle with the idea of “perfect” eating

  • Haley’s experience with over-exercising and restriction

  • Haley’s exposure to intuitive eating, and how it helped her toward the path of healing

  • The value of therapy in the recovery process

  • Opening a private practice to spread the intuitive eating, Health at Every Size message

  • The importance of mentorship in health and wellness training, and how it can help the healthcare community transition out of the diet culture model

  • Thin privilege, how it protects some from shame around food and body, and the privilege it gives you in eating disorder recovery

  • Trying to toe the line between a weight-neutral perspective and holding onto the weight loss paradigm

  • Transitioning into a full, non-diet, weight-inclusive practice

  • Overcoming the fear of criticism

  • Understanding struggle as an opportunity to learn, and ultimately to help others heal from that very same struggle down the road

  • The diet culture embedded in some of the content within the self-acceptance community

  • Feeling confident in our new definition of health, and finding ways to navigate the diet-culture world as an anti-diet advocate

  • The intentional structure of the original Intuitive Eating book, and the importance of not using the principles of gentle nutrition and feeling your hunger/fullness as excuses for restriction

  • How to root out the diet mentality in your marketing material and still make money without promising weight loss

  • Bridging the personal and the professional, learning the art of self-disclosure, and practicing as a recovered clinician

  • The value in clinical supervision

  • Assessing your readiness to work in the disordered eating field, and choosing to work with the population that lights your fire

  • Avoiding burnout by seeking out self-care and setting boundaries

 

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

What do we do if meal plans make us feel restricted? Are there other ways to make sure we’re eating enough throughout the day? How do we handle overeating or bingeing in recovery from a restrictive eating disorder? Is there a way to reconnect to our body trust, and to get back in touch with our hunger and fullness signals? Can mild restriction still lead to feelings of deprivation and, ultimately, binge eating? What are the prolonged consequences of restriction?

(Resources Mentioned: Food Psych Episode #127: Intuitive Eating & Health At Every Size FAQs with Ashley Seruya & Christy Harrison, Evelyn Tribole’s Food Psych Podcast episode)

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Food Psych #127: Intuitive Eating & Health At Every Size FAQs with Ashley Seruya & Christy Harrison

Ashley Seruya & Christy Harrison

This week is a very special edition of Food Psych! Rather than having a new guest on, I felt it was time to have an episode devoted to laying out the concepts and perspectives that we talk about every single week. This episode is ideal for newcomers to the Food Psych crew, for you to come back to when you’re struggling to remain true to the tenets of Health at Every Size and intuitive eating in this diet-culture world, and for you to share with friends and family who need an overview of the philosophy.

My Administrative and Community Manager, Ashley Seruya, joins me this week to pose some burning questions that get to the heart of what this podcast, and the anti-diet movement, is all about. Ashley is a current MSW student at Fordham University and a fellow anti-diet activist and body liberation advocate. She’s passionate about Health at Every Size and recovery, and hopes to one day combine her training in writing, social work, intuitive eating, Health at Every Size, and more to help the world recover from diet culture at large. Keep up with her work through her Instagram, where she shares posts about her beloved pets, self-care, eating disorder recovery, mental health, and more!

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 :)

 

We Discuss:

  • What is intuitive eating?

    • The 10 principles of intuitive eating, and the connection between intuitive eating and eating disorder recovery

    • Why gentle nutrition comes at the END of the intuitive eating process, and why rejecting the diet mentality is the FIRST principle

    • The role of an intuitive eating coach and counselor

    • How mental health and self-care play a role in the intuitive eating journey

    • The role of diet culture in disordered eating

    • Recovery as a nonlinear process

  • What is Health at Every Size (HAES)?

    • The weight-neutral approach

    • The truth about intentional weight loss

    • The cost of sustaining intentional weight loss

    • Set-point weight theory, the famine response, and breaking down weight science

    • The history of HAES and the non-diet approach

    • Fat activism and the fat acceptance movement

    • How HAES incorporates intuitive eating, joyful movement, and self-care

    • The importance of size diversity in the HAES movement and embracing the genetic determination of body size

    • The caveat of HAES with eating disorder recovery and weight restoration

  • What's the connection between eating disorder recovery, chronic dieting, Health at Every Size, and intuitive eating?

    • The path of eating disorder recovery to intuitive eating

    • The spectrum of eating behaviors, from full blown eating disorders to disordered eating and chronic dieting

    • Diagnosis criteria and the prevalence of undiagnosed disordered eating

    • The importance of a weight-neutral, Health at Every Size approach to recovery

    • Risk factors of orthorexia

    • Why we don’t have a moral obligation to pursue health, and varying limitations to achieving health

  • I have an eating disorder. Can I do intuitive eating?

    • Which principles of intuitive eating we can practice while in eating disorder recovery

    • Why we need to avoid the hunger and fullness parts of intuitive eating while in recovery

    • The concept of nutritional rehabilitation

    • The relationship between emotional eating and disordered eating, and the importance of not demonizing emotional eating as a coping mechanism

    • Why gentle nutrition and joyful movement should wait toward the very end of the process

    • The importance of working with an eating disorder dietitian with HAES and intuitive eating training in the recovery process

  • I'm gaining weight. Am I doing intuitive eating wrong? How do I cope?

    • The difference between body acceptance, body respect, body trust, body positivity, and body love

    • Letting go of internalized weight stigma and body shame

  • How can I trust my body if every time I try to listen to it I end up face-first in a tub of ice cream?

    • The impact of restriction and deprivation on food behaviors, including food insecurity

    • Biological need for increased dietary intake, including during puberty

    • The effect of shame in feeling out of control around food and binge eating

    • Gender identity and struggling with trans issues and body image

    • Understanding that body trust is a process

    • Breaking down the concept of food addiction

  • How can I eat whatever I want if I'm concerned for my health? You're a nutritionist, so shouldn't you be telling me to eat fruits and vegetables?

    • Mental health, discrimination and stigma, and social situations that determine our health status regardless of nutrition (AKA social determinants of health)

    • The shapeshifting nature of diet culture

    • Diet culture’s effect on the medical model, weight science, and dietetics education

    • An intuitive eating counselor’s role in telling people what to eat

  • How do I make sure I don't turn intuitive eating into a diet?

    • How to avoid the hunger and fullness diet

    • How to recognize and root out subtle diet mentality

    • Using self-compassion to get you through the unlearning process

  • What if I'm "too" fat? Is there a threshold where Health at Every Size doesn't apply anymore?

    • Weight stigma’s influence on health status

    • Fatphobia’s effect on internalized weight stigma

    • Stigma resistance and resiliency

    • The effect of weight cycling on health outcomes

  • Aren't you worried you're promoting “obesity”?

    • The many issues with the term “obesity,” the “obesity epidemic,” and pathologizing larger bodies

    • The truth of size diversity

    • Fat acceptance and reclaiming the word “fat”

    • The genetic and environmental influences on body size

    • Finding the joy in life no matter your size

    • Discovering body acceptance and making room for all people to love their bodies

  • As a person in a smaller body, why are you so vocal about fat acceptance?

    • Thin privilege, and using our privilege to speak out for those more marginalized (AKA becoming thin allies)

    • The universality of body shame

    • The influence of weight stigma on eating disorders

    • The parallels of the fat acceptance movement to other social justice movements

  • Rapid fire

    • What is healthism?

    • What is diet culture?

    • What is fatphobia?

    • What is body liberation? And why have you decided to use body liberation instead of body positivity?

    • Why is body liberation/body positivity a social justice movement? (including fatphobia in woke spaces)

    • How does intersectional feminism and femme empowerment factor into all of this? (including the trans experience and grappling with the patriarchy)

 

Resources Mentioned

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