gender binary

Food Psych #150: Disordered Eating & Gender Identity with Sand Chang

SandChang.jpeg

Psychologist and trans-health educator Sand Chang joins us to talk about the complex experience of body acceptance for trans folks, the intersections of trans advocacy and Health at Every Size work, the growing body of research around trans folks and eating disorders, the shape-shifting nature of fatphobia and diet culture, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how food restrictions to try to cure acne can exacerbate an eating disorder.

Dr. Sand Chang is a Chinese American clinical psychologist, educator, and writer based in Oakland, CA. Sand identifies as queer, nonbinary, and genderfluid and uses they, them pronouns.

Sand currently divides their time between working at Stanford University’s counseling center, Northern California Kaiser Permanente Transgender Services, and a private practice specializing in trans health, relationships and sexuality, trauma, EMDR, eating disorders, and addictions. As a psychotherapist, trainer, and advocate, Sand is invested in healing and empowerment within marginalized communities and disrupting systems of oppression.

Sand co-authored the 2015 APA Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Clients and is the past Chair of the APA Committee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity. They regularly present at conferences and provide trainings on a wide number of topics for health care systems, educators, and organizations. Sand’s upcoming book, A Clinician’s Guide to Gender-Affirming Care: Working with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Clients, which they co-authored with their colleagues Drs. lore dickey and Anneliese Singh, will be published by New Harbinger in late 2018.

Outside of their professional work, Sand is a dancer, avid foodie, punster, and pug enthusiast. They live in Oakland, CA with their pug Zelda Sesame. Find them online at SandChang.com.

 


WE DISCUSS:

  • Sand’s relationship with food growing up, including how their Chinese-American heritage influenced how they related to food

  • Sand’s first exposure to diet culture and fatphobia, including how unconscious and covert diet mentality was while they were growing up

  • How being involved in dance negatively influenced Sand’s body image

  • Sand’s experience with an eating disorder and over-exercise, and how trauma and coping played a role in the development of their disordered behaviors

  • How positive feedback from weight loss egged on Sand’s disordered relationship with food and the issue with body appraisals

  • Sand’s process of seeking recovery, including the ways in which healthcare practitioners both help and harm individuals attempting to heal

  • How weight bias prevents folks from getting the proper care for their eating disorder

  • Sand’s discovery of size acceptance and fat liberation, and struggling with applying body acceptance to our own bodies

  • Trans healthcare and body image, including the fatphobia and binaries embedded in queer communities and body norms within the trans community

  • Sand’s experience discovering their gender non-conforming identity

  • The growing body of research around trans folks and eating disorders

  • How the minority stress around being misgendered feeds into disordered eating

  • The current limitations within the healthcare field around trans identity and barriers to care for trans folks

  • Gender dysphoria vs body dysmorphia

  • The limitations of the current DSM mental-health diagnoses for eating disorders and for the trans experience

  • The complex experience of body acceptance for trans folks

  • The intersections of trans advocacy and anti-diet, Health at Every Size work

  • Why gender-affirming surgery isn’t a cosmetic surgery and why it saves lives

  • Sand’s experience finding their way back to inclusive eating disorder work

  • The need for the HAES movement and eating disorder work to become more intersectional and move away from the gender binary

  • “White feminism” vs intersectional feminism

  • Sand’s experience with orthorexia, how their experience navigating their gender identity within the healthcare system reinforced their disordered experience, and their path to breaking out of diet culture for good

  • Sand’s path to finding intuitive eating, joyful movement, and body acceptance

  • How diet culture keeps up in the limbo period between disordered and recovered

  • Moving away from the perfectionism around the idea of recovery

  • The positive and negative takeaways from Sand’s time in Overeaters Anonymous

  • How valuable it is to have a community by your side during healing

 

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 eating in certain ways and cutting out certain foods help cure cystic acne? What are the dangers of trying to heal our skin through food restriction? Can disordered eating contribute to hormonal acne issues?

(Resources Mentioned: Dr. Steven Bratman’s work on orthorexia, Julie Duffy Dillon’s anti-diet resources for PCOS, the Certified Intuitive Eating Counselors Directory, the Health at Every Size Registry)

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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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