fat activism

Food Psych #162: Self-Esteem and Diet Recovery with Victoria Welsby

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Body-image activist Victoria Welsby joins us to discuss the connection between self-esteem and intuitive eating, how to heal from trauma related to food and body, fighting back against internalized fatphobia and body shame, setting compassionate boundaries, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to dissuade kids when they begin to subscribe to diet culture and body shaming.

Victoria is a body image activist, confidence expert, Adjunct Professor at UBC and TEDx speaker. She went from being homeless, abused with self esteem that was achingly low into the courageous fat activist and change maker she is today. Victoria helps people fall in love with themselves and is dedicated to changing the way society views fat bodies. Find her online at BamPowLife.com, and join her free webinar "The 4 Steps I Took to Go from Meek and Mild to Courageous and Confident" (my affiliate link).

 

We Discuss:

  • Victoria’s relationship with food growing up, including how food insecurity, diet culture, alcoholism, and fatphobia affected how she related to food and her body

  • Victoria’s experience with restriction, over-exercising, bingeing, and other disordered eating patterns

  • Victoria’s struggle with negative self-esteem, an abusive relationship, and homelessness

  • The feeling of being out of control around food, and how that is often an indication that we aren’t eating enough on a consistent basis

  • The cultural associations we make with fat, and how media representation reinforces our belief that fat is bad

  • Fatphobia in children’s programming, and the challenge of parenting in a body-positive way

  • The importance of being able to rely on our gut instincts, and how positive self-esteem promotes our ability to listen to our intuition

  • How intuitive eating can lead to intuitive living

  • Victoria’s process to find healing from the trauma she experienced, how therapy helped her to break down her own internalized fatphobia, and how fat representation and fat activism lifted her out of her self-hatred

  • Navigating re-learning everything about food, our bodies, and what we deserve

  • Victoria’s experience with EMDR, how it helped her to break down her fear and shame around food and her body, and how she created a space to help her feel safe around food

  • How to set boundaries around food and diet culture with the people that you love, and how someone’s reaction to you setting a boundary can clue you in on the safety of those relationships

  • The process of finding the right partner, and how processing our own trauma can help us move past difficult patterns in relationships

 

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 raise kids to be resilient against diet culture and body shame? Can a child’s natural rebellious energy help spark curiosity about anti-diet work? Is there a way to explain to kids that certain thoughts keep us down, but others help us to flourish? How much power is there in planting a seed for change? What are some resources for raising body-positive children?

(Resources Mentioned: Elizabeth Scott’s Food Psych Podcast episode, Intuitive Eating, 3rd ed. by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, Your Child’s Weight: Helping Without Harming by Ellyn Satter, and Ellyn Satter’s work)

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

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

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

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We Discuss:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • The problem with concern trolling and healthism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • What we gain when we leave dieting behind
     

Resources Mentioned

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

Listener Question of the Week

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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We Discuss:

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

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

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

  • The role of food insecurity in weight gain and hunger

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

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

  • The effects of dieting on weight gain and weight cycling

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • The problems with the National Weight Registry data


Resources Mentioned

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


Listener Question of the Week

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

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Food Psych #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.

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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:

  • 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 #142: Breaking Free from Fatphobia & Gender Norms with Caleb Luna

Caleb Luna

Writer and fat activist Caleb Luna joins us to talk about how gender identity intersects with fatness, how to tolerate the desire for weight loss, navigating food choices as a form of self-care rather than deprivation and restriction, why representation matters, the effect of internalized fatphobia within the family, breaking out of the gender binary, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about navigating thin privilege while living in a smaller body.

Caleb Luna is a writer, activist, teacher, performer, fat babe and Ph.D. student at the University of California, Berkeley, where their current project focuses on the relationship between bodies and discourse. They have also explored the intersections of fatness, desire, white supremacy and colonialism from a queer of color lens. You can find more of their writing on Black Girl Dangerous, Everyday Feminism and The Body Is Not An Apology. Find them on Twitter at @tummyfuq.

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

 

We Discuss:

  • Caleb’s relationship with food growing up, including learning to associate food with comfort and experiencing anxiety around their body size

  • Caleb’s experience visiting a nutritionist at a young age, and learning to equate body size with health

  • The effect of internalized fatphobia within the family and the intergenerational transition of fatphobia

  • Caleb’s relationship with their father, and how his addiction shaped Caleb’s childhood and understanding of coping skills

  • Media representations that expose thin privilege and weight bias

  • The evolution of and history of the Food Psych Podcast

  • Caleb’s discovery of fat acceptance and fat activism, and how it helped them to strip away the shame around their eating habits

  • The stress of eating in public as a person in a large body, the judgment around hunger, and making peace with our basic needs

  • The cultural desire to erase fat bodies

  • Caleb’s experience dissociating from their body as a form of safety

  • Navigating food choices as a form of self-care rather than deprivation and restriction

  • The value of community in the recovery process, and the importance of seeing people in fat bodies enjoying their lives

  • Why representation matters, especially for non-white, non-cisgender fat folks

  • Caleb’s romantic and sexual experience, and discovering that their body was attractive and desirable, rather than something to “settle” for

  • Fat discrimination in the queer community

  • How higher education enabled Caleb to feel affirmed and validated in their identity

  • The healing work of therapy, fostering non-judgmental self-awareness, developing skills to change the way we interact with others, and embracing self-compassion

  • How Caleb’s gender identity intersects with their fatness, and breaking out of the gender binary

  • Smaller fat bodies vs larger fat bodies, understanding thin privilege as a spectrum, and different intersections with fatness that compound oppression and marginalization

  • Caleb’s advice on how to tolerate the desire for weight loss, and the ways in which the desire for weight loss is a response to trauma

  • Scrutinizing who benefits from white, cisgender, colonized beauty standards

  • How our values can guide us towards self-care

  • Caleb’s PhD project, including how categorizing individuals contributes to disconnection between all humans

 

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 exactly is “thin privilege?” How do we participate in the fat liberation movement if we’re in smaller bodies? What are the real-life consequences of weight stigma?

(Resources Mentioned: Sarah Harry’s Food Psych Podcast episode and Lisa DuBreuil’s Food Psych Podcast episode)

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Food Psych #141: Pleasure, Sex, and Body Acceptance with Dawn Serra

Dawn Serra

Body-positive sex coach and fellow podcast host Dawn Serra joins us to talk about the social currency that comes with dieting and pursuing weight loss, her work in sexuality and how it intersects with fat activism, body image struggles within sexual experiences, how weight discrimination affects people in larger bodies, thin privilege, the good-fatty/bad-fatty dichotomy, cultivating curiosity with food and pleasure, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about gender dysphoria and disordered eating.

Sex is a social skill. Dawn Serra speaks it, writes it, teaches it, and she helps you learn how to develop it. Committed to ending sexual and bodily shame, Dawn is the creator and host of the weekly podcast, Sex Gets Real as well as the radical online summit, Explore More. In addition to working one-on-one with clients around pleasure, desire, and connection, she also lectures at colleges and universities on sex, relationships, and body politics. It's not all work though! In her downtime, Dawn can be found making up absurd games with her husband or reading a great book with her cats. Find her online at DawnSerra.com.

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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. 

 

We Discuss:

  • Dawn’s relationship with food growing up, including how body comparisons played into policing her food choices

  • The pervasive nature of fatphobic messaging, including within the family unit

  • Dawn’s experience as being viewed as strong and powerful in her body in the context of sports, but also getting policed for being “too large”

  • The effect of watching someone be completely intuitive with foods when we ourselves are disordered with food

  • Why gentle nutrition needs to be left to the end of the intuitive eating process, and the importance of rooting out the diet mentality in our eating behaviors

  • Giving ourselves time to unlearn diet culture, and being compassionate enough to be patient

  • Oprah, and the pros and cons of her influence on the world

  • The disordered process of deliberately not honoring our hunger

  • The social currency that comes with dieting and pursuing weight loss, especially when you’re in a larger body

  • Dawn’s experience being the “clean-eating fat person,” and the good-fatty/bad-fatty dichotomy

  • The myths behind the idea of “willpower,” and the truth of the restrict-binge cycle

  • How weight discrimination affects people in larger bodies, the experience of thin privilege, and the seduction of social acceptance that we’re told comes with being in a small body

  • Dawn’s experience finding community in the fat activist and fat acceptance movement, and how healing it is to find a space to share the emotional trauma of existing in a marginalized body

  • Weight stigma and size bias in the medical community

  • Using anger and compassion to fuel our own healing

  • Dawn’s professional journey, how she came to work as a sex therapist, and how her work intersects with fat activism

  • Dawn’s status as a sexual assault survivor, how that has affected her work, and the current #MeToo campaign

  • Navigating consent and boundaries within sexual experiences and experiences with food and our bodies

  • Accessing pleasure and practicing embodiment, and what it means to say yes

  • The connection between sexual exploration and food exploration

  • How to navigate body acceptance within sexual experience

  • Cultivating curiosity in order to make space for healing and pleasure

  • Challenging the cultural story around sexual-romantic relationships

  • Practicing holding two opposite truths together, opening up to vulnerability, and the value of pushing through discomfort

 

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 may gender expression play into our desire to change our bodies? Does gender dysphoria complicate eating disorder recovery? What are the resources out there for trans folks struggling with disordered eating?

 

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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.

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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 #137: How to Navigate Diet Culture with Evette Dionne

Evette Dionne

Writer and editor Evette Dionne joins us to talk about how to fight fatphobia and advocate for yourself in healthcare settings, how to navigate difficult conversations and challenge weight stigma in close relationships, why the body-positive movement needs to be intersectional, how oppression is learned and can be unlearned, why it’s important to acknowledge our privilege, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to deal with friends and family who are stuck in diet culture.

Evette Dionne is a Black Feminist culture writer, editor, and scholar. Presently, she’s the senior editor at Bitch Media and regularly contributes stories about race, size, gender, and popular culture to Teen Vogue, The Guardian, Cosmopolitan, the New York Times, Refinery29, Harper's Bazaar, MIC, and other print and digital publications. Find her online at EvetteDionne.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 :)

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:

  • Evette’s relationship with food growing up, including connecting food with family and love

  • Evette’s experience with food and body shaming from authority figures

  • Fatphobic school environments, Evette’s experience with harassment, and how it led to the development of agoraphobia

  • Evette’s transition into the workforce and obtaining her GED, and her experience with food policing from a manager

  • Navigating food choices with newfound independence

  • The pressure on college students to avoid weight gain

  • The connection between emotional eating and restriction, and using food as a coping mechanism

  • The traumatizing effect of weight concerns

  • The threshold of acceptable fatness

  • Medical fatphobia, weight stigma in healthcare, and the need for self-advocacy at the doctor (refusing to be weighed, asking for pillows at the gynecologist, and insisting that any specialist tests are pushed to the yearly physical)

  • Fat shaming getting in the way of proper medical care for people in larger bodies

  • Compassion and Health at Every Size as effective intervention strategies

  • Patriarchy, sexism, racism, ableism, and why the body-positive movement must be feminist, political, and intersectional

  • The radical origins of body positivity in fat acceptance and the need to push for a more equitable world

  • Empowerment vs activism and the need for systemic change

  • Learning and unlearning our own oppression, building the body of knowledge around us so we can fight back, and learning how to have these difficult conversations in order to challenge someone’s fatphobia within close relationships

  • Giving people the space to grow while also barring yourself against toxic relationships

  • How we are all complicit in this culture that makes it unsafe for marginalized bodies

  • The problem with staying in the comfortable stage of the body-positive journey

  • Moving away from black-and-white thinking

  • Acknowledging privilege, moving beyond shame, and grappling with feeling defensive

 

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 create distance between ourselves and diet culture? What do we do it diet talk is permeating your relationships with friends and family? Is there a way to push people towards anti-diet ideas before they’re ready? How does “planting seeds” work? Can New Year's’ Resolutions fit into this distancing process? How do we make our boundaries around diet talk clear to those around you?

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

Melissa Toler

Anti-diet educator and writer Melissa Toler comes on the show this week to talk fatphobia in woke spaces, why social justice needs to be a cornerstone of the body acceptance movement, the social determinants of health and the effect of discrimination on wellness, addressing diet culture on a systemic level rather than just a personal one, and much more! PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about how to handle weight gain and hormonal issues that seemingly came out of nowhere.

Melissa Toler is a speaker, writer, and educator. Her work encourages people to make the connection between our culture's oppressive beauty standards and our personal struggle with self-acceptance. She has written extensively on diet culture and the toll it takes on our lives and humanity. Her goal is to help people unlearn harmful messages and behaviors from years of chronic dieting. Melissa also has a background as a pharmacist and certified wellness coach. Find her online at melissatoler.com.

Grab Christy's free guide, 7 simple strategies for finding peace and freedom with food, to start your intuitive eating journey. You can also text "7STRATEGIES" to the phone number 44222 to get it on the go :)

Get Christy's BRAND NEW online course for fellow health & wellness pros, Master Your Anti-Diet Message, at christyharrison.com/message.

 

We Discuss:

  • Melissa’s business changes since her last guest appearance on the show, including why she abandoned the health and wellness coaching sphere

  • Healthism and the diet mentality in the nutrition and dietetics community

  • Why Christy avoids writing publicly about gentle nutrition

  • How the most marginalized folks get left out of the Health at Every Size conversation

  • Why social justice needs to be a cornerstone of the body acceptance movement

  • Calling out fatphobia in social justice spaces

  • The definition of “woke”

  • Internalized fatphobia and diet culture

  • Social determinants of health and the impact of discrimination on wellness

  • The effect of weight stigma on health and the flaws in the current weight research

  • The myth of the “obesity epidemic”

  • Why it’s important to address diet culture on a systemic level, rather than just an individual one

  • How the varying levels of fatphobia impact the individual and the culture

  • Similarities between fat activism and other social justice movements

  • The struggles of addressing size-based discrimination in mainstream activism

  • The hierarchy of bodies, and its roots in racism and classism

  • Diet culture’s influence in the medical community

  • Recognizing the financial incentive of the diet industry

  • Seeking out anti-diet conversations

  • Tapping back into our own intuition around all things, not just food and body, through various means including writing

  • Looking for real solutions and a supportive community to survive in our oppressive world

  • Finding value in making mistakes, embracing continual learning, and moving past the fear of screwing up

 

Resources Mentioned

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

 

Listener Question of the Week

Can restriction lead to intense health issues? Are there ways we might be subtly restricting or dieting, even if we think we’re eating intuitively? Does fear of weight gain indicate that we might be eating in a way to suppress our body size? What are the various ways that our bodies guard against weight loss? How do we engage in movement without falling into the diet mentality? What if I ease up on the restrained eating, and end up face-first in the cookie jar? How can working with a skilled therapist or health professional help guide us through these food peace struggles?

(Resources Mentioned: Food Psych Episode #127: Intuitive Eating & Health At Every Size FAQs with Ashley Seruya & Christy Harrison, Intuitive Eating Certified Counselors Directory, HAES Community Registry)

 

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Food Psych #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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