eating disorders

Food Psych #164: How to Make Peace with Your Belly with Rachel Cole

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Body-acceptance coach Rachel Cole returns to discuss why pathologizing our bellies is so harmful, how diet culture infiltrates the world of pregnancy and postpartum, how our bellies protect us during menopause, how Rachel has navigated nutrition and her relationship with food while being pregnant, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about whether it’s possible to be a vegan intuitive eater.

Rachel Cole is a certified life coach, celebrated teacher, and women’s empowerment expert. She has spent 15 years guiding women to identify, understand and feed their truest hungers – at and away from the table. As an eating disorder survivor herself, Rachel speaks with great wisdom, sensitivity, and authority about what it takes to live as a well-fed woman in the modern world. Find her online at RachelWCole.com.

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We Discuss:

  • What Rachel has been up to since her first guest appearance on Food Psych, including her new venture into podcasting

  • Our relationship with our bellies, and how that relationship can change if we experience pregnancy

  • The Wellness Diet, and why pathologizing our bellies harms us

  • Menopause, weight gain, and the need for support for individuals in this stage of life

  • How Rachel protected herself from diet culture during her pregnancy, including the complex issue of being weighed during pregnancy

  • Making integrative decisions, including how Rachel has navigated nutrition and her relationship with food while being pregnant

  • Holistic self-care, including the importance of adjusting to circumstances and embracing pleasure

  • Acknowledging that we can’t do everything and learning how to listen to your inner wisdom to guide you towards the actionable items that matter the most

  • The Pregnancy Industrial complex and the ways in which it mirrors diet culture

  • How diet culture infiltrates the pregnancy community and online pregnancy hubs

  • The healing we can find in accessing real life stories around recovery or pregnancy

  • The parallels between eating disorder recovery and grappling with body changes during pregnancy

  • Shifting our thinking around body changes from something that is shameful to something that is disorienting instead

  • The exhaustion of conformity and how we can cast aside the need to conform

  • How the fight against our bodies is a way that those in power attempt to distract us from the injustice going on around us

  • The power of adolescent outrage in disrupting the status quo and the role of anger in recovery

 

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 can we make food choices, such as veganism, while recovering from disordered eating? Can we be a vegan and eat intuitively? How do we make ethical food choices while also putting ourselves first? Can we incorporate certain styles of eating into our lives without it becoming disordered?

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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.

We're brought to you today by The Splendid Table Podcast, the show for curious cooks and eaters!

 

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 #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 #146: Binge Eating Recovery & Intuitive Exercise with Kristy Fassio

Kristy Fassio

Certified Body Trust Provider and Health at Every Size personal trainer Kristy Fassio joins us to talk about the restrict-binge cycle and binge eating disorder; how to make fitness work for people in larger bodies; why diet culture is The Life Thief and how it steals our power, freedom, and joy; how restriction feeds into emotional eating; and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to refute arguments in favor of a particular diet.

Kristy Fassio is a mom, AFAA certified personal trainer, and a certified Body Trust Provider. When she’s not planning her next Disney vacation, she can be found working on her Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, tending to the small menagerie of animals that live on her 10 acres, telling women their bodies are not broken or driving her kids to dance lessons. She believes movement should be joyful, life should be lived wholeheartedly, and that self-care is inescapable. Find her online at KristyFassio.com.

Start sleeping ahead of the curve with Casper. Get $50 toward select mattresses by visiting Casper.com/PSYCH and using the code PSYCH at checkout. That’s Casper.com/PSYCH, offer code PSYCH for $50 off your mattress purchase. Terms and conditions apply.

Ready to learn how to cook, make movies, and more from the masters? MasterClass has launched the All-Access Pass – a thoughtful gift for the home cooks or lifelong learners in your life. Food Psych listeners can get the All Access Pass at MasterClass.com/FOODPSYCH.

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:

  • Kristy’s relationship with food growing up, including how the messages around food began to change during puberty

  • How Kristy’s larger body size affected her perception of movement, food, and body image

  • Kristy’s experience with the restrict-binge cycle and binge eating disorder

  • How diet culture tricks us into thinking our hunger and fullness cues are broken

  • The power and love in asking for what we need

  • Kristy’s discovery of other people who struggled with emotional and binge eating, and how helpful it was in her recovery process

  • Kristy’s journey from hitting diet rock bottom, to discovering intuitive eating and eventually coming to a place of body acceptance

  • Dismantling weight bias and embracing a Health at Every Size paradigm in our professional lives

  • How diet culture normalizes disordered eating

  • Welcoming movement and food back into our life in a way that’s nourishing rather than punishing

  • How to make fitness work for people in larger bodies, and how ableism seeps into movement practices

  • Kristy’s process of shifting her exercise classes to a more inclusive experience

  • How people connect and bond over diet talk and food restriction

  • Why diet culture is The Life Thief, and how it steals our power, freedom, and joy

  • Kristy’s journey to embrace a social justice lens on body and food, fat activism, Health at Every Size, and fat liberation

  • The value and power in community and in being seen

  • Kristy’s career change from movement work to therapy, and the work she wants to do in the binge eating disorder community and fat advocacy

  • The need to break down our own fatphobic beliefs within the eating disorder field and outside of it

  • How restriction feeds into emotional eating

  • Embracing the fact that recovery is a flexible and effortful process, and that every day won’t feel perfect

  • Raising kids in a fat-positive, anti-diet environment

 

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’s the deal with intermittent fasting? Is intermittent fasting an intuitive choice, or is it a gateway to disordered eating? What’s the research in support of intermittent fasting?

(Resources Mentioned: *Trigger warning, mention of weight/calorie numbers and specific dieting behaviors* Intermittent fasting interventions for treatment of overweight and obesity in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis, Weight Science: Evaluating the Evidence for a Paradigm Shift)

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Food Psych #145: Diet Culture and Hidden Anorexia with Rachel Millner

Rachel Millner

Health at Every Size psychologist and Body Trust Provider Rachel Millner joins us to discuss how diet culture masks anorexia, why it’s so important for everyone in our society to address our own weight bias, the power of community in breaking free from diet culture, the role of clinicians as activists, how we can spread the Health at Every Size message and plant seeds for change, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about dealing with anger toward a parent who constantly pushed diets on you in childhood.

Rachel Millner, Psy.D., CEDS is a licensed psychologist and certified eating disorder specialist. She sees adults with all forms of eating disorders and disordered eating and those wanting to break out of diet culture in her private practice, and treats children and adolescents with eating disorders as part of the Eating Disorder Assessment and Treatment Program at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Dr. Millner is a certified Body Trust(r) provider. She practices from a Health at Every Size(r), fat positive, weight inclusive perspective. Find her online at RachelMillner.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:

  • Rachel’s relationship with food growing up, including how being raised in a Jewish family resulted in internalizing mixed messages about food being abundant but off-limits

  • How food messaging changes based on body size

  • Rachel’s experience with sneaking food in order to avoid being shamed about her food choices

  • The problem with blaming the individual for health outcomes or body shape, and the role of diet culture in our understanding of health

  • Rachel’s struggles with the binge-restrict cycle

  • How hard it is to integrate body acceptance into our lives even if we intellectually understand and agree with fat acceptance

  • The power of community in breaking free from diet culture

  • The trajectory of Rachel’s eating disorder, including how being in a smaller body allowed her to get the help she needed

  • Why we need to shift away from treating bodies, and move towards treating symptoms

  • How pervasive fatphobia is in the medical field

  • Higher-weight anorexia, and the need for health professionals to break down and engage with their own weight bias

  • How to find a Health at Every Size, fat-positive healthcare

  • Rachel’s path to recovery, including the role of therapy and self-care, and how she set boundaries her family during that time

  • Rachel’s professional trajectory, including how she became more involved in the fat activist community

  • The role of clinicians as activists and the power in trusting your message

  • How valuable age is, both professionally and personally

  • How we can spread the Health at Every Size message, plant seeds for change, give space for people to have their own journey, and let go of the goal of perfection

 

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 forgive the people in our life that taught us diet culture, especially when those people were our family? Is anger a helpful emotion in this process? How has the wellness industry been co-opted by the diet mentality? Are our parents at fault for putting us at diets when we were young? How do we tell the people who put us on those diets about the Health at Every Size perspective?

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Food Psych #143: Body Politics & Anti-Diet Activism with Maria Paredes

Maria Paredes

Health at Every Size psychotherapist Maria Paredes joins us to talk about how diet culture and the diet industry target the most marginalized folks, why activism is an important part of helping people heal from food issues, embracing the gray areas in recovery, the “recovered” vs “recovering” debate, remembering that there’s no way to do intuitive eating perfectly, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about someone’s partner’s smaller body triggering the diet mentality in them.

Dr. Maria Paredes is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Clinical Supervisor, Certified Eating Disorders Specialist & approved IAEDP supervisor, and owner of Three Birds Counseling & Clinical Supervision in Greensboro, NC. She helps rad women and men make peace with food and with their bodies, and live fuller lives, free from negative thinking, fear of food, and body hate. She believes ALL bodies have worth and that ALL individuals deserve to enjoy food, move in ways that feel joyful, treat their bodies with kindness and gentleness, and experience authentic connection with themselves and others. Maria recognizes that this healing must occur within the individual therapeutic relationship as well as within the larger, cultural environment, and thus embraces the role of advocacy and activism. She also works with individuals experiencing anxiety, infertility/pregnancy loss, and PCOS. Maria teaches courses in UNC-G’s Counseling department and provides clinical supervision and training to new professionals working toward their licensure as therapists or dietitians. Maria is Mom to 3 young girls and hopes that they will grow up to experience the wonder and power of all their bodies have to offer, without believing they must shrink themselves. Find her online at ThreeBirdsCounseling.com.

Grab Christy's free guide, 7 simple strategies for finding peace and freedom with food, to start your intuitive eating journey.

 

We Discuss:

  • Maria’s relationship with food growing up, including learning about “good” vs “bad” foods, associating food with family time, and being pushed to eat past fullness

  • Maria’s experience with purging and disordered eating, and the complex relationship that behavior had with trauma and relief

  • The various ways that all-or-nothing thinking and behavior showed up in other areas of Maria’s life

  • Intergenerational trauma, how our parent’s upbringing affects our relationship with food, and the ways in which deprivation can show up in our lives outside of diet culture

  • The conflicting messages Maria received around her religious upbringing

  • Embracing the gray, and remembering that there’s no way to do intuitive eating perfectly

  • #MeToo, feminism, and making space for people to speak out

  • Oprah and the insidious nature of diet culture even in the face of success

  • How diet culture and the diet industry targets the most marginalized folks

  • Maria’s experience growing up in Westchester County, noticing the extreme focus on appearance, and the relief in moving elsewhere

  • What led Maria to seek out counseling as a profession, and the ways in which the therapeutic relationship is valuable for both clinician and client

  • The recovered vs recovering debate, Maria’s experience recovering within diet culture, and knowing how to pick our battles

  • Maria’s experience getting diagnosed with PCOS, the lack of education around proper management and care, and why we shouldn’t be prescribing weight loss

  • Weight bias within various health-provider fields, and the prolific nature of advice based on diet culture rather than research

  • The value in staying curious, and the scary parts of turning your back on the weight management paradigm

  • Christy’s experience spreading the intuitive eating and Health at Every Size messaging

  • The role of “activist therapists” in the healing process, and thinking about the individual vs the collective

  • Revisiting the word "victim," and the importance of naming things for what they are

  • Having empathy for people who do engage in internalized oppression, and the privilege of escaping that oppression

  • The potential oppressive nature of intuitive eating, and the privilege embedded in being able to find full recovery

  • Maria’s experience raising daughters in our current cultural climate, modeling body neutrality, and trusting that they’ll be resilient through the struggle

 

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 our partner triggers the diet mentality in us? Are there resources out there for those of us feeling that way? How much does the thin ideal contribute to this struggle?

(Resources Mentioned: Lindy West’s article, Rachel Wiley’s spoken word piece, Dawn Serra’s Food Psych Podcast episode, Caleb Luna’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 #138: Body Peace, Fat Acceptance, and Yoga for All Bodies with Sarah Harry

Sarah Harry

Psychotherapist and yoga instructor Sarah Harry joins us to discuss how to handle fatphobia in the family, the most important step in her journey to body peace, how diet culture drives eating disorders, weight stigma in the fashion industry, the complications of weight-loss surgery, the role of yoga in diet-culture recovery, moving from body-positive activism to fat activism, avoiding burnout as a clinician, and lots more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how intuitive eating can help end the restrict-binge cycle.

Sarah Harry is one of Australia’s leading Body Image and Eating Disorder specialists. Her roles in this field are varied and she offers a unique perspective as an experienced Clinician, Lecturer, Researcher, Yoga Teacher and Author. She is the co-director of Body Positive Australia alongside the amazing Fiona Sutherland.

Sarah was the first yogi in Australia to offer yoga for bigger bodies. She has practised yoga for more than 20 years and has been running specialist classes and retreats for the last few years all over Australia.

Sarah has more than 15 years’ experience counselling individuals and groups with all kinds of eating and body image issues, she has worked in the public and private sectors, lectures at universities and has just published her first book Fat Yoga - Yoga for All Bodies. Find her online at FatYoga.com.au or BodyPositiveAustralia.com.au.

Give your wardrobe an upgrade with MM.LaFleur by going to MMBento.com. Use the code PSYCH at checkout and MM.LaFleur will donate 10% of profits to GlobalGiving.

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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:

  • Sarah’s relationship with food growing up, including how the thin ideal contributes to a disordered relationship with food

  • Food and body policing, including Sarah’s first diet and the rules around what she was and wasn’t allowed to wear

  • Navigating diet culture in the family

  • How we as a culture connect lovability to body size

  • Sarah’s shame around her lap band surgery

  • How diet culture and a job in fashion contributed to her eating disorder

  • Confronting the myth that eating disorders have a certain body type

  • Sarah’s experience seeking out recovery, including the most important ingredient in getting started on the path to making peace with food and her body

  • How recovery led her to go back to school for counseling and become an eating disorder clinician, and her discovery of yoga

  • Sarah’s winding path to becoming a yoga teacher focused on liberating all bodies

  • Sarah’s work with Fiona Sutherland and her practice of body peace

  • Body image, body acceptance, body shame, and the ways in which body dissatisfaction transcends body size

  • The difference between body positivity and fat activism

  • The various levels of fatphobia, including the interpersonal, the intrapersonal, and the internalized

  • How therapy has helped Sarah to heal and maintain her recovery and mental health, and the importance of therapy in general

  • How to support people through mental health struggles, and navigating the care-taking role

  • The power of supervision in professional development and support

  • How often people who are attracted to helping professions are those who have grappled with these issues themselves, and how important it is to manage our own recovery before venturing into working in the field

  • The power in sharing your recovery story

  • Navigating body acceptance and body image work, and understanding that it’s not a perfect experience

  • The malleable nature of health, and why it’s more important to pursue self-care and health behaviors that work for you than the idea of “perfect health”

  • How chronic pain and chronic illness can fit into our personal definitions of health

  • The ways in which health has become a new manifestation of diet culture and privilege

  • The myth of the “golden ticket,” and how various industries attempt to sell us products that promise happiness and a perfect life

  • Respecting everyone’s journey to Health at Every Size

  • How Health at Every Size and anti-diet work is spreading in Australia and the US

  • Sarah’s experience with lap band surgery, how it affected her body image journey and her eating disorder recovery, the dangerous side effects, and the importance of doing body image work after folks have found recovery

  • Sarah’s process of learning to eat intuitively and letting go of weight loss

  • Sarah’s experience embracing the public persona of her fat-acceptance work

  • Why diet culture is The Life Thief and how it shape-shifts in this new age of wellness

  • Prioritizing self-care, and the embracing the right to do nothing

 

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 manage binges during the intuitive eating process? Can intuitive eating eliminate binges completely? How does self-compassion support our recovery journey? What’s the biological processes that contribute to binge behaviors (AKA The Restriction Pendulum)? How can working with an intuitive eating dietitian help us to heal our food behaviors?

(Resources Mentioned: Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor Directory)

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Food Psych #136: Mental Health, Intuitive Eating, and Postpartum Body Image with Stefani Reinold

Stefani Reinold

Psychiatrist and body-acceptance advocate Stefani Reinold joins us to discuss weight stigma in the medical field, how to handle the body-image issues that emerge in pregnancy and postpartum, why accepting your body is so hard in appearance-focused environments, her experience in Christy's Intuitive Eating Fundamentals course, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to let go of restriction and accept your body size.

Stefani Reinold is a Psychiatrist, mother of two, and women’s mental health advocate. She completed her psychiatry residency training at George Washington University in Washington, DC. While at GWU, she trained in the renown Five Trimesters Clinic specializing in perinatal mental health, infertility and loss. She has presented nationally and internationally on the topics of eating disorders, body dissatisfaction and body image in pregnancy and postpartum. She is an advocate for Health at Every Size and anti-diet clinical practices in the medical field. Her most recent passion project is “Not the Typical Mom,” a blog, podcast and community about the not so typical, but all too common issues of motherhood and encourages mom to escape the stereotypes and banish mom guilt. Find her online at StefaniReinoldMD.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 :)

Manage your wedding registry with Zola! Receive a $50 credit towards your registry by going to zola.com/psych.

Ready to learn how to cook, make movies, and more from the masters? Just in time for the holidays, MasterClass has launched the All-Access Pass – a thoughtful gift for the home cooks or lifelong learners in your life. Get it at MasterClass.com/FOODPSYCH.

Give your wardrobe an upgrade with MM.LaFleur by going to MMBento.com. Use the code PSYCH at checkout and MM.LaFleur will donate 10% of profits to GlobalGiving.

 

We Discuss:

  • Stefani’s relationship with food growing up, including experiencing food in abundance, being preoccupied with her body in childhood, and the introduction of food scarcity due to financial restrictions

  • How gymnastics affected Stefani’s body image and relationship with food

  • Equating self worth with appearance, and the pressure on femme folks to strive for the beauty ideal over intellectual pursuits

  • Stefani’s experience with an eating disorder, and the ways in which colleges and Greek life are breeding grounds for disordered eating

  • How eating disorder awareness events can often encourage disordered eating rather than encourage recovery

  • The consequences of mental health stigma and the effect of untreated mental illness

  • How romantic relationships can help our body perceptions, promote recovery, and encourage unconditional acceptance of self

  • Stefani’s experience with body preoccupation in relation to pregnancy and fertility

  • Stefani’s exploration of intuitive eating, the discovery of different Health at Every Size professionals, and her experience with Intuitive Eating Fundamentals

  • Letting go of the weight loss goal

  • The dire consequences of healthism and weight stigma, and the problems with bariatric surgery

  • Stefani’s experience in her public health education, and how focused it was on the “obesity epidemic”

  • Thin privilege and learning to see the weight bias in the world

  • The need to consider mental health when considering holistic health status, and the higher value we place on body size than on quality of life

  • Taking mental health medication and how to discuss potential weight gain from the medication with clients

  • The demonization of Western medicine

  • Weighing side effects of “natural” remedies vs Western medicine

  • The problem with “clean eating” and “natural food” detoxes

  • Navigating out of the honeymoon phase in intuitive eating and finding food neutrality

  • Why gentle nutrition and balance in eating choice is at the end of the intuitive eating journey

  • How diet culture steals our time and our energy

 

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 face the fear of weight gain? Is there a way to break free from restrictive eating, internalized fatphobia, and tying our self worth up in our body size? What is the impact of diversifying our social media feed? What is the meaning behind weight gain for us as individuals? Would our food choices be different if they came from a place of desire rather than control? How does reflecting on diet culture as The Life Thief help us liberate ourselves from dieting?

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Food Psych #135: Body Respect, Weight-Inclusive Care, and Health at Every Size with Lucy Aphramor

Lucy Aphramor

Lucy Aphramor, anti-diet dietitian and co-author (with Linda Bacon) of Body Respect, joins us to talk about Health at Every Size, why we need to be weight-inclusive instead of just weight-neutral, the social determinants of health, the importance of having a trauma-informed focus as a healthcare provider, her struggles with body image in the context of gender identity and sexuality, the importance of prioritizing emotional safety, and so much more! PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about how to handle arguments that stopping emotional eating automatically leads to weight loss.

Lucy Aphramor is an award-winning radical dietitian and critically acclaimed performance poet aka The Naked Dietitian. She practises the weight-equitable approach Well Now that advocates health-gain and body respect for all. Her co-authored book Body Respect, written with Linda Bacon, explores many of the key concepts of Well Now. She subsequently developed Well Now theory to be compassion-centered, trauma-informed and justice-enhancing. Lucy is interested in starting conversations that build a fairer world--and the role of story in this--and co-founded Dietitians for Social Justice with Fiona Clarke. Find her online at LucyAphramor.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 :)

12/20 is the LAST day to get Christy's newest online course for fellow health & wellness pros, Master Your Anti-Diet Message! Grab it now at christyharrison.com/message.

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Give your wardrobe an upgrade with MM.LaFleur by going to MMBento.com. Use the code PSYCH at checkout and MM.LaFleur will donate 10% of profits to GlobalGiving.

 

We Discuss:

  • Lucy’s relationship with food growing up, including her transition into an orthorexic and anorexic style of eating and movement, and her struggle with IBS

  • Lucy’s experience as a nationally ranked runner, and the current problem with fitspo

  • How coping mechanisms can serve a larger purpose, even if they’re destructive in the end

  • The effect of trauma on our eating behaviors

  • Lucy’s experience finding a feminist therapist, and how they helped her heal

  • The experience of healing from an eating disorder versus healing our body image

  • Gender identity and sexuality, the idea of identity resilience, and understanding our core sense of self worth in our body image journey

  • The value in naming our experience

  • Lucy’s discovery of her queer identity, and how poetry helped her to discover it

  • Lucy’s model of “eating distress discovery,” and the different philosophies surrounding recovery

  • How social oppression affects our mental health struggles

  • Lucy’s experience training as a dietitian, and the ways in which dietetics education reinforce disordered eating

  • Lucy’s experience working in the mental health system, and the ways in which it opened her eyes to social justice

  • Social determinants of health, and Lucy’s process of finding a weight-neutral paradigm that considered trauma’s impact on wellness

  • Finding Health at Every Size, and Lucy’s approach of “Well Now”

  • Weight inclusive vs weight neutral, and the healthism embedded within neutrality

  • Lucy’s and Christy’s experiences finding communities to hold their ideas and exploration

  • Guiding clients away from weight loss and to intuitive eating, and exploring the role of restriction and dieting in someone’s life

  • Helping people to identify and meet their needs and desires

  • The importance of prioritizing psychic and emotional safety

  • Centering health behaviors vs social determinants of health in discussions about Health at Every Size, and grappling with the definition of HAES

 

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

Does stopping emotional eating lead to weight loss? Is intuitive eating a path to weight loss?

(Resources Mentioned: Food Psych Podcast Episode #127)

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Food Psych #134: Disordered-Eating Recovery & Body-Positive Power with Megan Jayne Crabbe of @bodyposipanda

Megan Jayne Crabbe

Megan Jayne Crabbe, creator of the @bodyposipanda Instagram movement and author of the new book Body Positive Power, joins us to discuss why we need to ensure the most marginalized groups are included in body positivity, how we can root out healthism in body-positive communities, how diet culture promotes disordered eating, her experience in eating disorder treatment, the need to expand our view of mental health and holistic wellness, exploring perfectionism and all-or-nothing-thinking, and so much more! PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about what the “health” in “Health at Every Size” really means.

Meet Megan Jayne Crabbe, the rainbow-haired creator of Bodyposipanda. She's an anorexia survivor, anti-diet enthusiast, and believer in fat acceptance and intersectional body positivity. Since starting an Instagram account in 2014 to chronicle her own recovery and body acceptance journey, her following has grown to over 850,000. Her bestselling debut book, Body Positive Power is an exploration of the ways we've been taught to hate our bodies, a middle finger to the diet industry, and an uplifting call to arms for anyone who's ever struggled to accept their body. It's been called life saving, game changing, and awe inspiring. When Megan isn't promoting body positivity, she can probably be found in her pjs talking to her dogs, or eating cheese. Find her online at BodyPosiPanda.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 online course for fellow health & wellness pros, Master Your Anti-Diet Message, at christyharrison.com/message.

Ready to learn how to cook, make movies, and more from the masters? Just in time for the holidays, MasterClass has launched the All-Access Pass – a thoughtful gift for the home cooks or lifelong learners in your life. Food Psych listeners can get the All Access Pass at MasterClass.com/FOODPSYCH.

Give your wardrobe an upgrade with MM.LaFleur by going to MMBento.com. Use the code PSYCH at checkout and MM.LaFleur will donate 10% of profits to GlobalGiving.

 

We Discuss:

  • Megan’s relationship with food, including going from having an intuitive relationship with food to learning about the calories-in-calories-out model

  • The effect of being weighed at school, and the increasing messages around body and food in school systems

  • How perfectionism feeds into disordered eating

  • Using the label of “health” to hide disordered-eating behaviors

  • Experiencing body judgement and body shame as a child

  • How weight loss compliments can encourage restriction

  • Megan’s experience with anorexia, and how her relationship with food became a way to to control anxiety

  • The ways in which diet culture promotes eating disorders

  • The problem with all-or-nothing thinking

  • The importance of including mental health in our conversations around true holistic health

  • Weight bias and eating disorder diagnosis

  • Megan’s negative experience with classic eating disorder treatment, including how much emphasis was placed on the physical body rather than the mental health aspects

  • How diet culture contributes to relapse

  • Megan’s experience with the classic restrict-binge cycle, and how our society demonizes bingeing behaviors

  • The consequences of “clean eating”

  • Megan’s experience finding body positivity and intuitive eating, and rooting out the rest of her disordered behaviors

  • Allowing recovery to take the time that it needs, the ways in which we do the best we can to heal, and how revisiting old wounds is sometimes the only way to process trauma

  • How to balance setting boundaries and holding compassion for others

  • Megan’s experience becoming a body-positive Instagram celebrity

  • Using our own healing experience to help others through their own struggle

  • Megan’s experience coming to recognize her own privilege, and using her voice to make sure the most marginalized voices are heard

  • How fatphobia affects body image

  • Shifting to a systemic perspective, rather than an individualistic one, and recognizing the victimization of diet culture

  • Megan’s experience of diet culture as The Life Thief, and her process of learning how to be unapologetically herself

  • The intersections of diet culture and patriarchy, including how women and femmes are socialized

  • The #MeToo campaign

  • Healthism, ableism, and why the body positivity movement needs to include people regardless of health status

  • Thin privilege, and understanding the role of people in thin bodies in the body-positive movement

 

Resources Mentioned

Some of the links below are affiliate links. Affiliates or not, we only recommend products and services that align with our values.

  • Alan Levinovitz’s Food Psych Podcast episode

  • Body Positive Power by Megan Jayne Crabbe

  • Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls by Jes Baker

  • Submit your questions for a chance to have them answered on the podcast!

  • My online course, Intuitive Eating Fundamentals, which includes monthly listener Q&A podcasts and access to my private Facebook support group

  • Learn more about our gift certificates at christyharrison.com/gift

  • Ready to learn how to cook, make movies, and more from the masters? Just in time for the holidays, MasterClass has launched the All-Access Pass – a thoughtful gift for the home cooks or lifelong learners in your life. Food Psych listeners can get the All Access Pass at MasterClass.com/FOODPSYCH.

  • Give your wardrobe an upgrade with MM.LaFleur by going to MMBento.com. Use the code PSYCH at checkout and MM.LaFleur will donate 10% of profits to GlobalGiving.

 

Listener Question of the Week

What does the “health” part of “Health at Every Size” really mean? How does wellbeing and self-care fit into HAES? Does HAES mean I’m healthy at whatever size I am now, no matter what? What’s the best way to go about trying to find a HAES-friendly provider in eating disorder recovery?

(Resources Mentioned: the listener question in Food Psych Podcast Episode #128, NEDA’s Find Treatment Tool and Helpline, HAES Community Registry)

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Food Psych #132: Diet-Culture Recovery, Body Trust, and Plus-Size Representation with Meredith Noble

Meredith Noble

Certified Body Trust Provider and life coach Meredith Noble comes on the show this week to talk about how intuitive eating becomes intuitive living, the importance of finding a Health at Every Size, fat-positive community for finding body acceptance, the problem with diet culture and how it’s embedded within the medical community, giving ourselves space to feel our feelings, and much more! PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about how to get started with this podcast.

Meredith Noble is a Certified Body Trust® Provider and life coach who helps plus-size people find food and body peace. Her practice combines Health at Every Size®, Body Trust® and intuitive eating philosophies with feminism and fat acceptance. With her compassion and expertise, her clients learn how to feel more comfortable in their skin, be at ease around food, and leave toxic diet culture behind. Find her online at GenerousPlan.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:

  • Meredith’s relationship with food growing up, including the limitations put on candy and learning about dieting and food restriction from a young age

  • Bingeing and overeating in response to the scarcity mentality

  • Puberty, weight gain, and how Meredith’s relationship with her body was integrated into her relationship with food

  • The social experience of shopping, the struggles of being plus size at a young age, and burgeoning body dissatisfaction

  • How the endorsement of weight loss efforts and restrictive diets from medical professionals feeds into disordered eating

  • Meredith’s experience with Weight Watchers, including the idea of community and support around dieting

  • The effect of doctor authority, and remembering that medical professionals are influenced by diet culture as much as the rest of us

  • Shame and isolation around bingeing and emotional eating

  • Feeling out of control around food

  • How effective the victim blaming of the diet industry is

  • The investments we make into diet culture

  • How important community is in the Health at Every Size, body acceptance, disordered-eating recovery journey

  • Meredith’s transition into the “clean eating” world

  • Meredith’s stepping stones to the Health at Every Size paradigm

  • The importance of mental readiness to integrate the Health at Every Size, size acceptance movement

  • Food insecurity as a risk factor for eating disorders

  • Acknowledging our privilege and embracing intersectionality

  • Learning about emotional restriction, giving up on the pursuit of weight loss, and embracing intuitive eating

  • Finding body acceptance through finding a fat-positive community

  • The parallels between compassion and body respect

  • Meredith’s experience of being hyperaware of her body, and how being surrounded by other people in larger bodies allowed her to no longer by hyper-vigilant

  • Creating diet-culture-free spaces, both online and in-person

  • Balancing being aware of your body in order to heal it with forgetting about your body in order to embody healing

  • Intuitive eating, how the mental effort required to tap into your inner wisdom decreases over time, rooting out the diet mentality with our food behaviors, and how body image factors into healing our relationship with food

  • Giving yourself space to feel your feelings and grieve the thin ideal

  • Somatic experiencing techniques, feeling emotions through the body, and working with a therapist to find healing

  • Meredith and Christy’s professional transitions into Health at Every Size work

  • How intuitive eating spills into intuitive living

 

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

Where does a Food-Psych-Podcast newbie start? Are there some Food Psych episodes that are helpful to return to in order to give us an anti-diet refresher and to remind us how diet culture embodies “The Life Thief” role? How has the podcast evolved since its inception in 2013?

(Resources Mentioned: Food Psych Podcast Episode #127 with Ashley Seruya, Food Psych Podcast Episode #106 with Ijeoma Oluo, Food Psych Podcast Episode #121 with Emily Contois, Food Psych Podcast Episode #99 with Lindy West, Food Psych Podcast Episode #94 with Alan Levinovitz, Isabel Foxen Duke’s first Food Psych episode, Katie Dalebout’s first Food Psych episode, and gain access to Season One of Food Psych Podcast with a Food Psych Premium Membership here!)

 

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Food Psych #129: Health at Every Size and Eating Disorder Recovery with Kristie Amadio

Kristie Amadio

Activist and recovery coach Kristie Amadio joins us this week to discuss why disordered-eating professionals need to shift to a Health at Every Size paradigm, why it’s important to advocate for FULL recovery, the effect of internalized fatphobia on our relationship with food and our bodies, how to support people in all stages of treatment, body dysmorphia, eradicating weight stigma in the medical community, and much more! PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about intuitive eating with an autoimmune disease.

‘RecoverED’ activist Kristie Amadio is the founder of Recovered Living, providing practical online eating disorder recovery coaching and support.

With a 14-year history of an eating disorder, Kristie sought treatment in three different countries before finding peace with food and her body. This unique experience led to the creation of putting video calling platforms to creative use, and was the driving force behind the birth of Recovered Living.

This heartfelt journey of being comfortable in her own skin has led to an effervescent passion about the notion of being ‘fully recovered’ as opposed to ‘in recovery’.

Described as empathic, quirky, and refreshingly honest, Kristie is a qualified therapist in Australia and New Zealand and a certified Eating Psychology Coach in America. She has a rich history of being an elite athlete, an outdoor instructor, and has helped individuals all over the world in their journeys towards ‘Recovered’.

Kristie embraces a non-diet and health at every size approach and is a true advocate for being free in your own skin. Find her online at recoveredliving.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:

  • Kristie’s relationship with food growing up, including learning about how certain foods were “good” or “bad,” and being taught about food-based morality

  • The effect of body comparisons

  • Kristie’s experience being a weightlifting athlete, and how it contributed to her eating disorder development

  • The effect of internalized fatphobia on disordered eating

  • The widespread nature of diet culture, specifically its permeation in Australian culture

  • America’s influences on widespread global media

  • The rationale behind weight classes

  • The myth around weight control, the truth about set-point weight theory, and the cost of maintaining intentional weight loss

  • Kristie’s experience with a high-functioning eating disorder

  • Being drawn to nutrition and food careers due to a disordered relationship with food

  • Christy’s experience in her nutrition and dietetics education, and the seeds of Health at Every Size that she observed in the curriculum

  • Learning about the social determinants of health, and understanding how environmental influences affect people’s health

  • The importance of eradicating weight stigma in the medical community

  • Kristie and Christy’s process of embracing the HAES paradigm in eating-disorder treatment and turning their back on the fatphobic medical model

  • Embracing a model of true and lasting recovery

  • Kristie’s experience with body dysmorphia

  • Learning how to take the emphasis off the body

  • Kristie’s drive for evidence and research around HAES and intuitive eating

  • The cult of diet culture

  • How important and revolutionary it is to spread the anti-diet message

  • Why diet culture is a life thief

  • The challenge and timeline of recovery

  • Finding the motivation to change, and finding the value in suffering and ultimately recovery from disordered eating

  • The required ongoing work of unlearning weight bias and body shame to find full recovery

  • Navigating body image within diet culture, and embracing body acceptance and fat acceptance

  • Being aware of the shape-shifting nature of diet culture

  • Kristie’s process of embracing joyful movement through a recovered mindset

  • Kristie’s professional experience working with clients to work on the practical components for recovery, and her new company, Recovered Living

  • The limitations of the current American insurance model in eating disorder recovery, and how important it is to remember that eating disorders don’t have a size

  • The need for more eating disorder support for male-identified individuals

 

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 we want to do intuitive eating, but we have a chronic illness? Are dietary changes necessary for autoimmune issues? Do I need to avoid gluten even if I don’t have celiac disease? Is taking medication to manage a disease an indication of failure? How do we find weight-neutral care for autoimmune conditions? Can intuitive eating help manage some chronic issues? What are the caveats and dangers of trying this method too early?

(Resources Mentioned: Paige Smathers, Alan Levinovitz’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

Some of the links below are affiliate links. Affiliates or not, we only recommend products and services that align with our values.

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Food Psych #126: How to Reject Diet-Culture Marketing with Kaila Prins

Kaila Prins

Anti-diet activist and marketing pro Kaila Prins joins us this week to break down the role of marketing in diet culture, the complex ways we consume triggering material, the importance of embracing social justice in the body positivity movement, how she transitioned from her own eating disorder recovery to thinking critically about diet culture, how our personal brand can quickly overtake our personhood, the dangers of working as a coach when you’re still going through your own recovery, and much more! PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about how intuitive eating can help with feelings of overeating as opposed to restriction.

Kaila Prins is a multifaceted, multi-passionate explorer of culture, performance, body image, and marketing. In other words: she has no idea what to call herself, because she does a lot. After recovering from orthorexia, anorexia, and an exercise addiction, Kaila began a career in marketing while moonlighting as a body image coach for recovering women. She is now a speaker on and writer of unpopular opinions about marketing psychology and behavioral economics in the context of body image and is the host of the forthcoming podcast, Your Body, Your Brand. In her “spare” time, she is known as burlesque dancer and drag artist DeeDeeQueen, and she teaches burlesque dance, storytelling, and theatre in San Jose, California. You can find her at performingwoman.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:

  • Kaila’s professional journey, from how transitioned into health coaching, to writing about eating disorder recovery and body image

  • The cultural forces that impact our behavior around food and body, AKA “diet culture”

  • Body image burnout

  • The pervasive nature of diet culture and the normalization of restriction, specifically through marketing

  • Kaila’s focus on marketing literacy, and how marketing targets those vulnerable to the diet mentality

  • Surreptitious marketing within body-liberation social media spaces

  • How to market ethically

  • The ways in which our own branding can influence our personal behaviors and decisions

  • Recognizing triggers and calling them out

  • The difficulty of having a public persona that’s attached to a certain kind of eating and living

  • The radicalization of veganism

  • Diet culture and profit as religion

  • The model of fear, uncertainty, and doubt in marketing

  • How to build an ethical body-positive business and brand

  • Eating disorder recovery vs Kaila’s model of discovery

  • The value in change

  • The damage in performing your trauma for the benefit of your brand

  • Finding true body acceptance and true recovery

  • Embracing the social justice aspects of body positivity and moving towards eradicating fatphobia and weight stigma

  • The propaganda of weight loss and politics

  • Body image and body shame in the 2016 Presidential election

  • The distinction between capitalism vs business endeavors, as well as the social justice issues embedded within capitalism

 

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 incorporate intuitive eating into our lives if we feel we are overeaters, rather than restrictors? How does mental restriction contribute to feelings of deprivation? How does the diet mentality contribute to subconscious restrictive eating (also known as restrained eating)? Does diet culture lead us to judge our eating as overeating, even when our eating is in response to biological need? How does pregnancy and postpartum impact our appetite and food needs? Can medication impact appetite and weight?

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Food Psych #125: Healing Your Relationship with Food & Overcoming Disordered Eating with Lisa Pearl

Lisa Pearl

Health at Every Size dietitian Lisa Pearl joins us to discuss breaking down internalized weight bias, how we relate to food and our bodies, fighting back against diet culture, the importance of a HAES approach to eating disorder treatment, body image and finding self-compassion, and so much more! PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about letting go of the weight-loss ideal.

As an undergraduate, Lisa double majored in biology and nutrition. Her postgraduate studies have included clinical nutrition, expressive movement therapy, fellowships in adolescent medicine, nutrition support and psychiatry, and executive coaching.

Lisa began her work as an eating disorder specialist more than 30 years ago at Children’s Hospital in Boston. During her tenure at Children’s Hospital, she worked with a team to seek new and better advances in treatment for eating disorders. With their support, she was able to incorporate many new treatment ideas including behavioral therapy groups, family meals and parent groups, expressive movement therapy and yoga, and a mindful eating program. Lisa has been an advocate for HAES throughout her career.

While at Children’s Hospital she received national recognition for demonstrating the need for a multidisciplinary team approach to the treatment of eating disorders and for her work with the Joint Commission for Hospital Accreditation to improve patient care through the inclusion of nutrition therapy for eating disorders.

Through the years Lisa has continued to push the envelope of innovation with presentations at local and national conferences. She has worked as a consultant for MIT, Harvard University, Boston Ballet, and numerous independent and public schools for prevention, education, and treatment of eating disorders. She has written health curriculums and protocols for numerous public and private organizations. Lisa has directed internships and provided mentoring for dietetic, social work, and medical students. She has served on the Board of Directors for Anorexia, Bulimia Care, Feeding Ourselves, and MEDA.

Lisa has received the ADA’s Recognized Dietitian of the Year Award and the Governor’s Commendation for Excellence in Public Service. In 2012, she was honored at MEDA's Annual Gala.

Lisa has volunteered as a community organizer for City Year and Habitat for Humanity as well as working on school boards, and various community efforts to bring awareness to human rights.

Most recently, Lisa is spearheading a new graduate program at Simmons College for clinicians who would like to work in the treatment of eating disorders. This program will provide dietitians with the opportunity to receive both academic training as well as internship opportunities. Connect with Lisa online to learn more about her private practice, CNC360, and her other work.

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 :)

Join the Food Psych Facebook group to connect with fellow listeners around the world!

 

We Discuss:

  • Lisa’s introduction to relational theory, and how that introduced her to the idea that we have a relationship with food and with our bodies

  • The need for a shift to Health at Every Size, body diversity, size acceptance, and body positivity

  • Lisa’s relationship with food growing up, including learning the myth that nutrition can cure all ills

  • The detrimental effect of gymnastics on Lisa’s body image

  • How family trauma can impact our relationship with food and our bodies

  • Lisa’s exploration of the dietetics field

  • The demonization of Western medicine in favor of natural methods

  • Uncovering intuitive eating and mindfulness as a path to eating disorder recovery

  • How important community and mentorship is to the Health at Every Size, body liberation, intuitive eating movements

  • Lisa’s experience restructuring an eating disorder treatment center and introducing a multidisciplinary team approach

  • Persevering through diet culture, and how far the Health at Every Size movement has come

  • How fat acceptance and Health at Every Size fit into eating disorder treatment

  • The ways in which shame immobilizes and paralyzes people from living their life

  • Internalized weight bias and fatphobia in the eating disorder community

  • Finding body acceptance and self-care without weight loss

  • The protective quality of disordered eating

  • Compassion as a healing technique

  • The sociological elements of chronic dieting and disordered eating

  • Developing new programing for dietitians that is Health at Every Size, size-acceptance focused

  • Finding your voice and community in the body liberation movement

  • The importance of self-compassion and casting aside shame in the unlearning process

  • Learning from our mistakes

 

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 handle weight gain, and get past the weight loss ideal? Are there certain life events that are particularly triggering in terms of body image? What’s the deal with the wedding industrial complex, and how does it reinforce patriarchy and the thin ideal? What do we do if we don’t want to be weighed at the doctor’s office? What’s the cost of maintaining restrictive weight loss? (Resources Mentioned: Amber Karnes’ Food Psych Podcast episode, Glenys Oyston’s Food Psych Podcast episode)

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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 bodypositiveyoga.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 :)

Join the Food Psych Facebook group to connect with fellow listeners around the world!

 

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

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 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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Food Psych #122: How Anger Can Help in Diet Recovery and Body Acceptance with Carmen Cool

Carmen Cool

Anti-diet psychotherapist and Health at Every Size advocate Carmen Cool joins to talk about embracing anger against diet culture and the patriarchy, how to give yourself permission to engage in health-promoting behaviors for non-diet reasons, why intersectional feminism was so integral to her eating disorder recovery, the perceived hierarchy of disordered eating behaviors, her experience training health professionals in a weight-inclusive model, the social determinants of health and issues of access, and much more! PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about dealing with nighttime binges.

Carmen is a psychotherapist, educator, speaker, and a cupcake connoisseur. In addition to being a therapist for 17 years, she has started and run a nonprofit, created youth programs, and speaks internationally on Health At Every Size ®, feminism and eating disorders, and weight stigma.

Her work is focused on dismantling diet culture, healing our relationship to food and body, and supporting the next generation of body positive leaders. She is the immediate past Board President of the Association for Size Diversity and Health, was named “Most Inspiring Individual” in Boulder, Colorado and was the recipient of the Excellence in Eating Disorder Advocacy Award in Washington, DC.

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 :)

Join the Food Psych Facebook group to connect with fellow listeners around the world!

 

We Discuss:

  • Carmen’s relationship with food growing up, including her experience with diet culture at a young age

  • Food as a source of comfort

  • Carmen’s experience with binge eating disorder, including sneaking food

  • Preoccupation with weight gain, and looking to diets and restriction as the answer

  • The toxic nature of body-related compliments due to weight loss

  • Carmen’s transition from dieting into bulimia

  • How food and body obsession take over our time and brain space

  • Carmen’s experience in an eating disorder treatment center

  • The impact of feminism and therapy in eating disorder recovery

  • How mainstream the diet/binge cycle has become

  • The intersection of weight stigma and eating disorders

  • Carmen’s experience having an eating disorder alongside her sister’s struggle with anorexia

  • The privilege that those with anorexia have vs other eating disorders

  • Carmen’s introduction to Health at Every Size and fat acceptance

  • Putting together the personal and the political

  • Intersectional feminism’s impact on the body acceptance, fat acceptance, and eating disorder recovery movements

  • Rejecting body ideals and embracing anger at the patriarchy

  • Why diet culture is a life thief

  • Making peace with food and movement choices previously associated with diet culture

  • Carmen’s introduction to mindfulness, intuitive eating, and body work through massage therapy

  • Self-care, non-judgmental awareness and observation, self-compassion, and an attitude of curiosity

  • Going from eating disorder recovery to intuitive living

  • The problem with weight loss models in eating disorder treatment

  • The need for weight-inclusive care

  • The influence of social determinants of health, the accessibility of intuitive eating and joyful movement, and the issue of healthism

  • Carmen’s work with health professionals to bring them into a weight-inclusive model

  • Making space for planting seeds of change while also not being overly invested in everyone’s individual process

 

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 deal with nighttime bingeing, especially if we’re already trying our best to eat enough throughout the day? Can we guide ourselves through these food and body struggles using our own intuition? How does emotional eating, food insecurity, deprivation, diet culture, and more contribute to bingeing behaviors? What are some ways we can experiment with an evening snack to stave off nighttime eating? Is the diet mentality still reinforcing subtle restriction, leading to ravenous hunger?

(Resources Mentioned: Isabel Foxen Duke’s second and third Food Psych Podcast episodes on emotional eating)

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Food Psych #121: The Truth About Diet Culture with Emily Contois

Emily Contois

Cultural historian Emily Contois joins us to talk about the history of diet culture, how women's political power increased the pressure on women and femmes to restrict their eating, the need for an intersectional approach to healthcare and food access, the religious undertones to our food behavior, gender roles in food, the body-image issues that men face in an industrialized patriarchal society, "dude food," and so much more! PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about intuitive eating in recovery from a restrictive eating disorder.

Emily Contois is the author of more than twenty academic articles, chapters, and reviews. Her dissertation, "The Dudification of Diet: Food Masculinities in Twenty-First-Century America," examines how media representations of food, cooking, and dieting construct and negotiate what it means to be "a real man" in the United States today. Her research has been referenced in The Huffington Post, Salon, The Globe and Mail, and NPR, among others. As a food writer, she has contributed to the Providence Journal, Nursing Clio, and Zester Daily.

Born in Australia and raised in the Big Sky Country of Montana, Emily spent a bit over a decade training in classical ballet before turning her attention to the study of food, health, and identities in American culture. Emily holds three master’s degrees—an MA in American Studies from Brown University, an MPH focused in Public Health Nutrition from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MLA in Gastronomy from Boston University, where she was a three-time recipient of the Julia Child Award. She is currently a PhD candidate in American Studies at Brown University, where she teaches courses in food studies, American studies, and gender studies.

Prior to her current research and teaching, Emily worked in the field of worksite wellness for five years. She now lives in Providence with her husband, Chris, and their rescue pup, Raven.

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 :)

Join the Food Psych Facebook group to connect with fellow listeners around the world!

 

We Discuss:

  • Emily’s relationship with food growing up, including the influence of ballet and its impact on the development of her eating disorder

  • Emily’s scholarship in diet culture

  • Finding personhood through things other than food and body

  • How disordered eating and dieting is a cornerstone of American culture, and how it’s spread throughout the world via urbanization, capitalism, and consumer culture

  • The expectation of restraint vs the reality of a high consumer culture

  • The role of guilt in restriction and chronic dieting

  • Religious influences on our relationships with food, including the moralization of food and bodies

  • Classism and the idea of individual responsibility for health

  • Healthism

  • The historical context of diet culture, disordered eating behaviors, and restraint, and the impact of social change on these elements

  • The thin ideal and the history of restriction, including how the historical anxiety of masculinity and superhero media factors into this context

  • The incidence of eating disorders among trans folks and the impact of heteronormativity on body image

  • Women’s empowerment and feminism throughout the 20th century, and how it exists alongside reactionary oppression and increased dieting rhetoric

  • The emergence of nutrition science, calorie counting, and ready-made clothing

  • The evolution of beauty and the body ideal and how it relates to class status and racism

  • Fitspo and social media

  • Increasing body dissatisfaction for masculine folks

  • Performing masculinity and femininity and exploring gender roles

  • Emily’s work in “Dude Food” and her explorations of gendered marketing and media within the patriarchy

  • The difference between diet culture and weight loss for men vs diet culture and weight loss for women

  • Health at Every Size research, and the ways in which science is influenced by diet culture

  • Barriers to healthcare in fat bodies, including weight stigma

  • Hope for a world without diet culture

  • Intersectional feminism

 

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 engage with intuitive eating and reconnect with our hunger and fullness signals if we have a restrictive eating history? What are the other essential elements of doing intuitive eating in a sustainable way? How can we work on intuitive eating principles if we are still struggling with an active eating disorder? Can a meal plan be a bridge into intuitive eating? How do we challenge internalized fatphobia and fear of weight gain? How do we give voice to our compassionate inner voice?

(Resources Mentioned: Evelyn Tribole’s Food Psych Podcast episode, the Certified Intuitive Eating Counselors Directory, and the HAES Community)

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