intersectionality

Food Psych #148: Disability and Diet Culture with Rebekah Taussig

Rebekah+Taussig.jpg

Disability-rights advocate and writer Rebekah Taussig joins us to talk about why body positivity needs to be a radical and intersectional movement, the connection between body acceptance and disability rights, the many ways in which diet culture has infiltrated disability culture and affects people in disabled bodies, embracing all the emotions that surface when doing anti-oppression work, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about quick ways to respond when a friend says something diet-y or body-shaming.  

Rebekah Taussig is a Kansas City writer and teacher with her PhD in Creative Nonfiction and Disability Studies. She is interested in the powerful connection between the stories we tell and the world we live in, from physical spaces and economic opportunities to social roles and interpersonal relationships. Her writing contributes to the collective narratives being told about disability in our culture -- empowering, mundane, wild, heart-breaking, exhilarating, ordinary stories of her life lived through a paralyzed body. Find her online at RebekahTaussig.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:

  • Rebekah’s relationship with food growing up, including internalizing body and size preferences

  • How Rebekah’s disability influenced her relationship with her body

  • The various ways we cope with body shame

  • Rebekah’s experience with marrying young, and the ways in which our culture perpetuates the false narrative that romantic love will complete us

  • The physical repercussions of emotional pain

  • Rejecting self-objectification and embracing the fact that we are more than our bodies

  • The role of therapy and disability studies in Rebekah’s journey through embodied healing

  • The connection between body acceptance, body positivity, body liberation, and disability rights

  • The power in being a part of bigger movements like #MeToo, eating disorder recovery, and disability advocacy

  • Rebekah’s PhD work in disability studies and creative non-fiction

  • How our ideas about what does and doesn’t qualify as a “normal body” and the “ideal body” are constructed

  • Rebekah’s journey to embracing her voice as a writer in the disability community, including the positive impact of internet communities

  • Rebekah’s exploration of self-photography, and how it changed the way she experienced her body image

  • How Rebekah made the bridge between body positivity and disability rights, specifically around how both movements work to dismantle the narratives we’ve been told about our bodies

  • Why body positivity needs to be a radical and intersectional movement

  • How transformative joyful eating can be in our relationship with our bodies

  • Why diet culture is The Life Thief

  • Diet culture’s infiltration of the disabled experience, including how some people push diets on disabled folks in order to “cure” their bodies

  • The assumptions placed on disabled bodies, and Health at Every Size implications for disabled folks

  • How thin privilege can validate certain voices over others in the fat-liberation space

  • Embracing all the emotions that surface when doing anti-oppression work

  • Rebekah’s experience teaching young adults disability rights

 

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 spread the Health at Every Size, anti-diet message to people we don’t know so well? Are there some quick phrases we can use to retort the diet mentality that comes up in everyday life?

(Resources Mentioned: Food Psych Episode #127 and #31.5)

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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 #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 #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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