food scarcity

Food Psych #154: The Truth About Recovery with Jes Baker

Jes Baker

Body-liberation activist and author Jes Baker joins to talk about her new book, Landwhale; the value in all kinds of coping mechanisms and why we need to stop demonizing so-called “emotional eating;” the transmission of body negativity, body dysmorphia, and chronic dieting through family members; the difference between intellectually understanding HAES and actually integrating its practices into our lives and recovery journeys; and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to deal with family members commenting on your snack choices, and whether intuitive eating really requires us to eat entirely without distractions.   

JES BAKER is a positive, progressive, and magnificently irreverent force to be reckoned with in the realm of self-love advocacy and mental health. She believes in the importance of body autonomy, hard conversations, strong coffee, and even stronger language.

When not writing, Jes spends her time speaking around the world, working with plus size clothing companies, organizing body liberation events, taking pictures in her underwear and attempting to convince her cats that they like to wear bow ties. Find her online at


We Discuss:

  • Jes’s process of writing her new book, Landwhale, and how it was different from writing her first book, Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls

  • The idea that our thoughts and opinions are always evolving

  • Jes’s realization that she wasn’t a fat child, and that she internalized body shame that wasn’t hers

  • How poverty created an environment of food scarcity for Jes growing up

  • The transmission of body negativity, body dysmorphia, and chronic dieting through family members

  • The negative messages Jes received about her body throughout her childhood

  • Jes’s process of finding Health at Every Size and intuitive eating, and healing her relationship with food and her body

  • The difference between intellectually understanding HAES and actually integrating its practices into our lives and recovery journeys

  • Understanding that HAES, intuitive eating, and healing take time, and that the process of coming to them is not linear

  • The value in all kinds of coping mechanisms, and why we need to move away from thinking of some coping techniques as “good” and some as “bad”

  • Why food is a beneficial coping mechanism, how universally powerful food is, and the healing that comes with embracing the pleasure of food instead of demonizing “emotional eating”

  • The pendulum between Dietland and Donutland, and how in the beginning of the process of letting go of dieting, our food choices are often reactionary choices to rebel against diet culture

  • Jes’ process of trying to find Discernment, and her goal of trying to move away from reactionary choices around food

  • Dietland vs diet culture, and why we need to support individuals but destroy the system

  • Jes’s move away from the concept of body love and toward the idea of body liberation, and why it’s important not to switch out one obsession for another

  • The value in moving away from beauty standards altogether rather than trying to make room for more diversity within the existing standard

  • The power of visibility and representation

  • Jes’s relationship with exercise and movement, and her journey to trying to find fun, healing, exciting, safe forms of 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.


Listener Question of the Week

How can we challenge the food police, especially when we have people in our lives who act as the food police? How can we communicate with our family about our food struggles and help them to understand why you need conversation free of diet talk? What does it look like to set boundaries--and reinforce them? Is there something wrong with distraction during eating? How does The Wellness Diet reinforce this idea that we should only eat without distractions? Can distraction actually help us find recovery? How can embracing pleasure help us to defeat The Life Thief?

(Resources Mentioned: Evelyn Tribole’s Food Psych Podcast episode, Intuitive Eating, 3rd ed. by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, my online course)

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