intuitive eating

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

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

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

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We Discuss:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Resources Mentioned

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

Listener Question of the Week

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

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Food Psych #163: How to Unlearn Diet Culture's Rules with April Quioh

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TV writer and She’s All Fat podcast co-host April K. Quioh joins us to talk about how intersectional feminism and sociology helped her to finally let go of dieting and embrace her body size, why we need to challenge fatphobia and fight for it to be considered a valid form of discrimination, why it’s important to unlearn the diet-culture rules we’ve internalized around food and our bodies, the historical roots of diet culture, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to know if you're ready to start re-learning intuitive eating.

April K. Quioh is a comedy writer and podcast host from Minneapolis, Minnesota. She writes about fun stuff like popular culture, love, and blackness and has worked on television shows on Comedy Central, YouTubeRed, and Netflix. She has perfect skin and is a lawful good. She currently co-hosts and produces She's All Fat, a podcast about body positivity and intersectional feminism. Find her online at ShesAllFatPod.com.

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We Discuss:

  • April’s relationship with food growing up, including her experience with going on diets with her family and exploring the different kinds of beauty ideals she was exposed to

  • April’s process of breaking free from dieting, reconnecting with her internal cues, and her feelings around intuitive eating

  • Why it’s important to unlearn the diet-culture rules we’ve internalized around food and our bodies

  • How intersectional feminism and sociology helped April to finally let go of dieting and embrace fat acceptance and body positivity

  • The role of body-positive Instagram bloggers in her journey to body acceptance

  • April’s experience with internal and external body shame

  • Why we need to extend compassion to parents who pass diet culture along to their children

  • The historical roots of diet culture, and how race plays a role in our body expectations

  • April’s exploration of storytelling, how she found her passion for writing, and her professional journey to television writing in Los Angeles

  • Fatphobia and discrimination in the entertainment industry, and the ways in which April has had to navigate calling out weight stigma and racism in professional settings

  • Why we need to shame people who are fat-shamers

  • The power in calling out injustice on a public platform

  • How to talk to the people in our lives about Health at Every Size and weight-based discrimination, and why we need to remember that our time and our mental health is more important than trying to change the minds of people who aren’t open to hearing alternative viewpoints

  • Why fatness does not equate to health status, and why people have such a visceral reaction being told that people at every size can pursue and embody health

  • Why we need to challenge fatphobia and fight for it to be considered a valid form of discrimination

  • The birth of the She’s All Fat Podcast and the value in sharing our trauma with the world

 

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 know when we’re ready for intuitive eating? Is working with an intuitive eating therapist or nutrition coach a good path for intuitive eating support? How does deprivation play a role in bingeing and feelings of overeating? Does the current representation of eating disorders hold us back from finding recovery? Why do we turn to food to soothe or emotions, and how can we stop?

(Resources Mentioned: Certified Intuitive Eating Counselors Directory, Judith Matz’s Food Psych Podcast episode, Isabel Foxen Duke’s first Food Psych Podcast episode, Intuitive Eating Fundamentals online course)

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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 #161: Self-Compassion and Boundaries with Dana Falsetti

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Dana Falsetti—a yoga teacher, Instagram star (@nolatrees), and fellow podcast host dedicated to body liberation—shares how she found her yoga practice and the role it played in her body-acceptance journey, why setting boundaries is so important for healing from diet culture, the importance of self-compassion, why “doing no harm” doesn’t mean cutting out food groups, how she overcame her struggles with binge eating disorder, how diet culture shows up in the yoga community, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to deal with a doctor’s advice to reduce cholesterol without derailing your intuitive eating abilities.

Dana Falsetti is an advocate for women who want to find the confidence to live their lives more fully. More than just a bold yoga practitioner, Dana is seeking to enlighten others of the path she is forging in her own spiritual progress, while helping them navigate the uncertain route to self-growth and inner discovery. Originally known for her strength in yoga, Dana now uses her platform to inspire critical thinking, self-awareness, authentic living and confidence across multiple modalities, including her public speaking engagements, written pieces, international yoga workshops, brand new podcast and more. Truly a thought-leader in the inspiration space, Dana has cultivated a devoted and active following on social media. In 2017, Dana won the Shorty Award, recognizing excellence in social media, in the Health and Wellness category, and has been included on numerous lists of “most inspiring.” She aims to inspire others by being herself, constantly progressing towards her own truths. Find her online at DanaFalsetti.com.

 

We Discuss:

  • Dana’s relationship with food growing up, including how her parent’s divorce, puberty, and more contributed to the development of binge eating disorder

  • How Dana’s body size contributed to her disordered relationship with food and the fatphobia she experienced at the doctors, at school, and within her family

  • Why we need to give ourselves a break, ask for help, and stop carrying such heavy burdens

  • How Dana found her yoga practice and the role it played in her healing journey

  • The spectrum of disordered eating, and how we navigate triggers and challenges

  • The struggle that children who are thrown into adult roles face, and the overall struggle for kids to find their identity within a world that tells them who they have to be

  • The role of external shaming and body policing in the development of body image

  • How diet culture and internalized weight stigma guides our body shame

  • Why diet culture is The Life Thief, and the different ways that it steals parts of our lives from us

  • Dana’s experience with intuitive eating, and how she came to a peaceful relationship with food

  • Why there’s no such thing as good or bad coping mechanisms, and why an eating disorder might be protective in individuals who have struggled with intense trauma

  • Dana’s practice of constant forgiveness and compassion in order to combat shame

  • The diet culture that resides within the yoga community, and how it often hides behind wellness

  • How important setting boundaries is in guarding ourselves from diet culture, how self-worth gives us permission to set those boundaries, and why setting boundaries allows us to release anger

  • Recognizing the difference between helping and supporting

  • The process of learning how to show up for ourselves

  • Dana’s advice about how to get past the idea that yoga isn’t for everyone, and how to adapt the practice to make yoga accessible for all

  • How important it is to tune into our inner wisdom and intuition around our bodies

  • The concept of ahimsa, and why “doing no harm” doesn’t mean that we have to follow a vegan lifestyle

  • The capitalist elements wrapped up in the current yoga culture

  • Dana’s struggle with lawsuits within the yoga community, and how it propelled her to create her own content and make a cost-effective and fully accessible yoga resource

 

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 honor our intuition around food if we’re trying to manage food-related illnesses or conditions? Do we need to change our diet if we have high cholesterol? What is the conventional wisdom around high cholesterol? How much value should we place in current nutritional studies? Can restriction and rules around food contribute to issues with our holistic health?

(Resources Mentioned: Alan Levinovitz’s Food Psych Podcast episode)

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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 #158: How to Heal from Weight Stigma with Kathleen Bishop

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Health at Every Size therapist Kathleen Bishop shares how the trauma of dieting gets passed from one generation to the next, how to mourn the loss of the life that diet culture stole from you, ways to start recovering from internalized weight stigma, the connection between substance use disorders and eating disorders, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to accept your changing body and stop beating yourself up for not being the same size you were 10 years ago.

Kathleen A. Bishop from San José, California. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor and Relapse Prevention Specialist. In private practice, she specializes in Eating and Substance Use Disorders. and she works at a non-profit providing Intensive Outpatient Treatment to clients with Substance Use Disorder and cooccurring mental health conditions like anxiety, depression or Eating Disorders. Kathleen, who is also a body positive size diversity activist who promotes Health At Every Size (HAES) principles to end stigma and mistreatment that is associated with weight, has overcome her own body image obsessions and she shares her great insights with us! Find her online at BodyPeaceLiberation.com.

Enrollment for my latest Master Your Anti-Diet Message live webinar is open now! Register this week for early bird pricing.


We Discuss:

  • Kathleen’s relationship with food growing up, including her exposure to diet foods at a young age and her experience watching her mother weight cycle and diet her whole life

  • Intergenerational trauma, including how watching our parents chronically suffer due to diet culture can impact us in adulthood, and even in later generations

  • Kathleen’s experience with various eating disorders, including bulimia, and how it intersects with her alcohol use

  • The connection between substance abuse and eating disorders

  • The pros and cons of Overeaters Anonymous, including how it gives us a supportive community but also encourages restriction

  • How seductive the short-term results from our very first diet can be

  • Kathleen’s experience with weight cycling

  • Why our bodies push us towards food and prevent weight loss in times of deprivation

  • Kathleen’s career trajectory, and how she found her drive to better her life

  • The social aspect of diet culture, and the lure of social connection through the diet mentality

  • Kathleen’s discovery of intuitive eating and Health at Every Size

  • How intuitive eating becomes intuitive living, including how we learn to set boundaries and the ways in which we reclaim our time and energy when we leave dieting behind for good

  • Why grieving is an important part of the process from healing from diet culture

  • The ways in which Health at Every Size can spark our fire around advocacy and social justice

  • How to confront our privilege and unlearn our personal biases

  • Kathleen’s experience with EMDR therapy and trauma-informed care, why processing trauma is essential for mental wellbeing, and how EMDR therapy can help with body image concerns

  • Body image and weight stigma as trauma, and how we can recover from internalized weight stigma

  • The power in changing our clothing and rejecting clothing rules

  • How to embrace body diversity and different kinds of beauty

  • How to see the sneaky iterations of diet culture for what they really are, and how the diet industry and the gastric bypass surgery industry tries to keep us hooked

  • Why weight loss surgery is so harmful, and why we need to change the culture rather than our bodies

  • The growth of the Health at Every Size community


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 accept our changing body with age or the changing of circumstances? What are some strategies that we can use when we begin to feel nostalgic for your old body? Is the desire to change our bodies really about our body, or is it about something bigger? How can we meet our needs without resorting to weight loss efforts?

(Resources Mentioned: Food Psych Podcast episode 154 and 151)

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Food Psych #156: Breaking Free from Diet Culture with Joy Cox

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Researcher and activist Joy Cox joins us to talk about how we can fight back against internalized weight stigma and body shame, how intersecting identities can affect body image, why refusing to conform to cultural and societal expectations can help change the world, the racist roots of diet culture and why fighting it is an important part of creating a more inclusive society, the problems with framing larger body size as “obesity” and labeling it a disease, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about intuitive eating for athletes.

Joy is current doctoral candidate and self-professed fatty in the Department of Communication at Rutgers University using her dissertation to study the impacts of identity and social change within the Fat Liberation Movement. Through interviews and content analysis, Joy has been able to unearth answers to questions around member identification, micro and macro discourse, and political action outcomes for movement members. When not conducting research, Joy serves as the Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion team for ASDAH, and hosts her own podcast, Fresh Out the Cocoon, which highlights the lived experiences of Black fat women. She is an avid lover of justice and a fierce defender of those who cannot defend themselves. Find her on Instagram.

 

We Discuss:

  • Joy’s relationship with food growing up, including how coming from a black family created a culture of community and celebration around food, and how her family instilled a sense of body acceptance and body diversity from a young age

  • Joy’s process of learning self-advocacy and facing body shame from her doctor at a young age

  • The role of race in the development of Joy’s body image, and how her intersectional identities placed pressure on her to adhere to diet culture

  • Joy’s experience with weight stigma and medical fatphobia

  • The toxic nature of weight-loss related compliments

  • Joy’s experience going to culinary school, how it contributed to yo-yo dieting, and her struggle navigating the male-dominated restaurant industry

  • The pressure that Joy felt to stay at her suppressed weight and to maintain her extreme weight loss

  • Joy’s move to go back to university in West Virginia, and her realization that there was systemic oppression around her and affecting her experience

  • Joy’s experience with the Atkins diet, and how it reinforced her desire to be in a smaller body

  • Joy’s re-discovery of joyful movement

  • How so-called “obesity” being categorized as a disease led to Joy’s exposure to Health at Every Size and fat liberation

  • The power of research and literature in fighting against fatphobia and weight stigma

  • Why we need to move away from beauty standards and cultural norms

  • How Joy’s intersecting identities of being a black and being a woman and being fat informs her research and doctoral work

  • Why not conforming to cultural and societal expectations is a political act

  • The structural ways in which society excludes people in marginalized bodies

  • What it means to truly be committed to diversity and inclusion

  • Joy’s research into organization communication styles and how they perpetuate structural inequality

  • The ways in which society minimizes the trauma we as a culture inflict on larger bodies

  • Why shame and personal responsibility don’t lead to long-term change

  • Navigating the struggles around fat acceptance

  • The racist roots of diet culture, and why studying history is so important in the fight for social justice

  • How we can combat internalized fatphobia and other internalized oppressions through education and visibility

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 combine intuitive eating with competitive sports? What does intuitive eating tell us about “healthy” vs “unhealthy” foods? How does diet culture sever the connection between our brain and our bodies? What does “health” even mean? How do we recognize and break down the diet mentality? Are there ways to alleviate compulsive behaviors around movement?
 

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Food Psych #155: Diet Culture in the "Natural" Health Field with Sarah Thompson

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Certified Body Trust Provider and Health at Every Size recovery coach and consultant Sarah Thompson joins us to talk about the barriers she faced to getting an eating disorder diagnosis, the ways in which diet culture has infiltrated naturopathy and Chinese medicine, the lack of Health at Every Size education in healthcare programs, the false connection that diet culture makes between larger bodies and being unhealthy, weight bias in “food addiction” theory, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about whether bingeing on fruits and vegetables is a sign of orthorexia.

Sarah Thompson is an eating disorder recovery coach, consultant, and writer based in Portland, Oregon and transplanted from Akron, Ohio. Her writing focuses on a wide range of philosophies - Body Trust®, Health at Every Size®, Intuitive Eating, Fat Liberation, eating disorder recovery, and more. She seeks to share what she has experienced and learned from her own discovery and journey with body liberation. Sarah definitely does not have all the answers, but she’s super excited to share what she has learned so far.

Even while Sarah is fat, female, and queer, she recognizes that being a working-class, white, and cis gender woman has afforded her many privileges. She strives to listen and learn from experiences that differ from hers.

Outside of her professional work, Sarah is an ice cream connoisseur, Grey’s Anatomy expert, avid movie buff, and lover of dogs, cats, horses, and ducks. Find her online at ResilientFatGoddess.com.

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We Discuss:

  • Sarah’s relationship with food growing up, including being body shamed at a young age and learning that her size was connected to the food she ate

  • Her experience with sneaking food, and how she learned to not feel shameful for those actions later in life

  • Her experience with formal dieting programs and weight loss, and her path from disordered eating into an eating disorder

  • How objectification and sexualization played a role in her body shame

  • Sarah’s experience with the restrict-binge-cycle, and the pros and cons of her experience with Overeaters Anonymous

  • The barriers she faced to getting an eating disorder diagnosis, including the “food addiction” model of Overeaters Anonymous and weight bias

  • The false connection that diet culture makes between larger body size and being unhealthy

  • The value in harm-reduction techniques for food-behavior struggles

  • Sarah’s experience in the naturopathic community and the Chinese-medicine community, and the ways in which it fueled her disordered eating and chronic dieting

  • Sarah’s exploration of body-positive social media accounts

  • The historical roots of Whole30, paleo, and The Wellness Diet in naturopathic medicine

  • Sarah’s experience with weight-based microaggressions, and her journey to learning how to set boundaries around diet talk and weight-loss talk

  • The healthism and diet culture embedded in the “natural” wellness field and the healthcare system in general

  • The ways in which diet culture has influenced Chinese medicine and naturopathy, despite their roots in body trust

  • Sarah’s use of acupuncture to manage mental health struggles, and the ways in which she’s felt unsafe in her body over the years

  • The lack of Health at Every Size education in healthcare programs, and the inherent weight stigma that is often taught

  • The role of trauma in health issues, and how it often is ignored in favor of food-focused and weight-focused solutions

  • Why the naturopathic community might be more open to HAES and the anti-diet paradigm than Western medicine

  • Sarah’s path to coming out of chronic dieting and disordered eating and transitioning into a non-diet, intuitive-eating approach

  • Why we don’t need to cut out food groups to alleviate allergies or digestive issues, and the different treatments that are out there aside from dietary changes

  • How to weigh whether or not changes in your eating are worth it, mentally and physically

  • What “holistic” health really means, and why we need to consider discrimination and systemic issues

     

Resources Mentioned

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

 

Listener Question of the Week

What does it mean if we start bingeing on fruits or vegetables? Can an eating disorder turn into orthorexia in recovery? How does deprivation contribute to bingeing? Do we need to investigate why we’re cutting out certain foods, even if we have ethical or environmental concerns around certain foods?

(Resources Mentioned: HAESCommunity.com, NEDA.org, IntuitiveEating.org)

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Food Psych #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 TheMilitantBaker.com.

 

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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Food Psych #153: Healing Body Dysmorphia & Dating While Plus-Size with Sophia Carter-Kahn

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Writer and “She’s All Fat” podcast co-host Sophia Carter-Kahn joins us to talk about her path from extreme dieting to intuitive eating, how dating interacts with fatphobia and weight bias, overcoming body shame and body dysmorphia, how parents are influenced by diet culture and healthism, why we need to think about weight stigma as an important variable in terms of health, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about using meal plans in eating disorder recovery.

Sophia Carter-Kahn is a writer and podcaster based in Los Angeles, California. Along with April K. Quioh, Sophie is the co-host, -producer, and -creator of She's All Fat, the podcast for body positivity, radical self love, and chill vibes only. Sophia and April created She's All Fat to tell the stories of fat women and femmes. They discuss everything from pop culture to strategies to approaching tough conversations with family and friends, all through the lens of fat positivity. She's All Fat has listeners all over the world, and will have its first live show at the end of April at Flyover Fest in Iowa.

As a freelance writer and editor, Sophia is interested in obscure history, weird literature, queer culture, and media. You can find more of her writing on her website, or sign up for her TinyLetter for weekly dispatches of curated reading from around the internet.

 

We Discuss:

  • Sophia’s relationship with food growing up, including experiencing body shaming and food shaming from the doctor at a young age

  • Her first experiences with dieting and disordered eating, and how restriction led to bingeing

  • How parents are influenced by diet culture and healthism, and how current parents have more resources to guide their children to body positivity, Health at Every Size, and intuitive eating

  • Sophia’s experience at Weight Watchers, and how the program taught her more creative ways to engage in disordered eating

  • Disordered eating versus eating disorders, and how the current DSM options are limiting in terms of eating experiences

  • The pervasive nature of fatphobia, including medical fatphobia

  • Why we need to think about weight stigma as an important variable in terms of health rather than just assuming that a larger body size equates to an unhealthy body

  • Health outcomes as a product of intuitive eating versus chronic dieting

  • Sophia’s path from extreme dieting to intuitive eating, healing her relationship with food, body positivity, and body acceptance

  • How dating interacts with fatphobia and weight bias, and how Sophia learned to accept her body through online dating

  • The power in validation from our romantic and sexual partners

  • Overcoming body shame and body dysmorphia

  • Sophia’s experience finding her sexuality and queer identity within her fat identity

  • Casting aside beauty standards and turning our back on the beauty ideal

  • Ageism, and the power in aging women

  • Ableism, and why we need to start thinking differently about bodies with disabilities

  • How to determine who is ready to hear the social justice, HAES, body-positive message

  • The power in setting boundaries, both interpersonally and within ourselves, and grappling with negative self-talk

  • The value in helping others feel less alone, why representation matters, and how it helps to overcome shame

  • Sophia’s podcast, She’s All Fat, and the fun of talking about popular culture from a fat perspective

 

Resources Mentioned

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

 

Listener Question of the Week

How do meal plans fit into eating disorder recovery? Are meal plans necessary for full recovery? What does recovery look like for people who don’t have or can’t afford formal treatment? Why is it so important to eradicate weight bias within treatment programs?

(Resources Mentioned: Rachel Cole’s Food Psych Podcast episode)

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Food Psych #152: How to Make Peace with Photos of Yourself with Lindley Ashline

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Body-positive photographer Lindley Ashline joins to talk about the power of representation, the process of breaking fashion rules for people in larger bodies, how the diet industry uses aspirational marketing to lure us in and keep us hooked, Lindley’s journey to her career in photography for diverse bodies, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about whether it’s appropriate to talk to diet-recovery clients about choosing “whole” foods. 

Lindley Ashline is a professional photographer in Seattle, WA, who specializes in body positive portraits of people of all sizes, genders, orientations, ability levels, and ethnicities, not just the ones whose bodies are likely to be seen in magazines and advertisements. Lindley takes a judgment-free approach to her photographic subjects, with little to no retouching.

She created RepresentationMatters.me in 2016 as a response to (and rejection of) the airbrushed, normative, too-perfect stock photography available on the big mainstream stock sites. The images available on the site focus on representing people who are fat, of color, and/or part of the LGBTQIAP+ community.

Representation Matters gives small business owners a way to represent the real bodies and lives of their customers in their marketing and on websites and social media. It contains Lindley's own photography as well as photos and illustrations from a growing number of contributors, making diverse and body positive artwork accessible and affordable while paying contributors a living wage. 

Find thousands of high-quality diverse stock images and free monthly photos over at Lindley's site, RepresentationMatters.me.

 

We Discuss:

  • Lindley’s relationship with food, including how her family’s class status and her sensitivity to certain flavors and textures impacted it

  • Her journey to finding intuitive eating and learning how to create boundaries

  • How she avoided so much of the diet culture messaging while growing up

  • Lindley’s experience of body shame

  • Her struggle during puberty to find plus-size clothes

  • Dieting as a class marker and indicator of wealth, and how Lindley aspired to dieting due to the class status she felt that it indicated

  • The diet industry’s use of aspirational marketing

  • Lindley’s experience with weight stigma and fatphobia at the doctor’s office

  • The trajectory of “failing” a diet or “falling off the wagon”

  • How being in a relationship with an intuitive eater can help us on our own recovery journey

  • How the Fatshionista community on LiveJournal helped Lindley embrace fat acceptance and fashion

  • The process of breaking fashion rules for people in larger bodies

  • Lindley’s process of coming to body acceptance, and how self-photography played a role

  • How the heritage of body positivity affected Lindley’s relationship with her body

  • Lindley’s journey to her career in photography for diverse bodies

  • The complex issue of choice feminism

  • Lindley’s boudoir photoshoots, and how she balances accessing mainstream beauty standards with rejecting fatphobia and extreme photoshopping

  • The ways in which photos lie about our true, holistic appearance, and how to move away from focusing on the flaws that we see in photographs of ourselves

  • The ongoing process and internal dialogue of body peace

  • Lindley’s work with LGBTQ+ folks, and her efforts to make her work a safe place for people of all identities

  • The birth of Representation Matters stock photos, and how Lindley has used the platform to reject mainstream stock tropes

  • The power of representation

 

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 is “The Wellness Diet” a new form of diet culture? What’s the deal with “whole foods?” What are the issues with the current food industry? Are there class implications for demonizing “processed foods?” Why is gentle nutrition at the very end of the intuitive eating process?


(Resources Mentioned: Intuitive Eating, 3rd ed. by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, Food Psych Podcast Episode #127, Intuitive Eating Fundamentals)

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Food Psych #151: Emotional Eating and Diet Culture with Judith Matz

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Anti-diet therapist and author Judith Matz joins us to talk about shifting the focus of emotional eating toward the underlying deprivation and diet mentality, why turning to food to meet emotional needs isn’t an “eating problem” but a “soothing problem,” how diet culture and marginalization rob us of the ability to meet our needs, why Health at Every Size and intuitive eating are better approaches for true health, Judith’s work teaching other therapists about weight stigma, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to frame public health efforts to change the built environment in a way that doesn’t stigmatize people in larger bodies.

Judith is the co-author of two books on the topics of eating and weight struggles.

Beyond a Shadow of a Diet: The Comprehensive Guide to Treating Binge Eating Disorder, Compulsive Eating and Emotional Overeating has been called “the new bible” on this topic for professionals. The Diet Survivor’s Handbook: 60 Lessons in Eating, Acceptance and Self-Care was a #1 bestseller on Amazon and a favorite resource for therapists to use with clients. She is also the author of Amanda’s Big Dream, a children’s book that helps kids to pursue their dreams – at any size!

Judith has a private practice in Skokie, IL, where she focuses her work with clients who want to get off the diet/binge rollercoaster and learn to feel at home in their bodies. Through her individual counseling, groups, workshops, presentations and books, Judith has helped thousands of people to develop self-care skills that increase physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing without a focus on the pursuit of weight loss. Through educational programs, she is dedicated to helping people end the preoccupation with food and weight and to fighting weight stigma.

Judith is a popular speaker at national conferences and descriptions of her work have appeared in the media including the New York Times, LA Times, Allure, Fitness, Self, Shape, Today’s Dietitian, Diabetes Self-Management, Psychotherapy Networker, NBC News Chicago, Huffington Post Live, and she appears in the documentary America The Beautiful 2. Find her online at JudithMatz.com.

 

WE DISCUSS:

  • Judith’s relationship with food growing up, including how intuitive it was when she was young, and how that changed with the introduction of body comparisons and commentary from peers

  • Recognizing the connection between restriction and binging

  • Judith’s experience with weight gain, weight cycling, and the restrict-binge cycle

  • How thin privilege shielded Judith from some of the negative impact of diet culture

  • The ways in which we can make children resilient against fatphobia and body shaming

  • The bonding experience of dieting and the toxicity of weight-related compliments

  • How many of us are complicit in diet culture even when we don’t realize it

  • The Weight Watchers announcement about their free program for teens, and why it’s unethical to be pushing intentional weight loss onto impressionable young kids

  • Why Health at Every Size is a better approach for true health

  • The shame attached to the diet-binge cycle and the inevitable weight regain

  • Judith’s professional work in mental health and therapy, and her experience working in a diet-centric program

  • Why eating behaviors aren’t all about the psychology, and why intuitive eating needs to be factored into the healing process for people struggling with binge eating

  • The ways in which physical deprivation, rather than emotional eating, drives binge behaviors

  • Why we need to suss out the influence of the diet mentality on our food choices before we ask questions about whether or not we’re emotionally eating

  • Judith’s work teaching other therapists about weight stigma, and how professionals who continue to perpetuate the diet-centric paradigm are complicit in the oppression of people in larger bodies

  • The problem with assumptions about eating behavior based on body size

  • Shifting the focus of emotional eating from being an “eating problem” to being a “soothing problem”

  • Utilizing compassion on our journey to find new coping mechanisms, and why we can always use food as an emotional coping skill

  • Shifting from being in control to being in charge

  • How leaving behind dieting and shifting to intuitive eating can decrease anxiety and allow ourselves the space to take care of ourselves through depression and other stressors

  • The ways in which diet culture and marginalization rob us of the ability to meet our needs

  • How marginalization and food insecurity affects our relationship with food and our ability to heal, and how the restrict-binge cycle becomes protective and adaptive in this situation

  • The grief process of letting go of dieting

  • The negative health outcomes related to weight cycling and weight stigma, and the health benefits of intuitive eating

  • Judith’s efforts to integrate Health at Every Size and social justice into her therapeutic practice

  • The positive and negative implications of social media, and how diet culture has gotten more aggressive while resources have become more abundant

  • Why diet culture is The Life Thief, and how it robs people of meaningful conversations

 

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 support health for everyone and support increased access to health-promoting variables without resorting to fatphobia? Are there ways to sneak weight-incisive language into public health research? How can changes in the unit environment improve people’s health, regardless of body size? Are there ways in which individuals can develop a compulsive, extreme relationship to exercise or food commonly thought of as “healthy?” How does cultural familiarity with certain foods affect people’s ability to interact with these foods? What research is out there about weight stigma and health disparity related to social inequities?

(Resources Mentioned: "Weight Science: Evaluating the evidence for a paradigm shift” by Linda Bacon and Lucy Aphramor, Linda Bacon and their Food Psych Podcast episode, Lucy Aphramor and her Food Psych Podcast episode, "Weighed down by stigma: How weight-based social identity threat contributes to weight gain and poor health,” Journal of Social Issues, Vol 70, Number 2)

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

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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 #149: The Truth About Binge Eating with Amy Pershing

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Anti-diet therapist and Binge Eating Disorder expert Amy Pershing joins us to discuss how our fatphobic culture hinders eating disorder recovery, how diet culture steals our personal power, the healing that can be found in getting angry, the role of restriction and trauma in binge eating, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about quick ways for primary-care providers to talk to patients about intuitive eating and HAES.

Amy Pershing LMSW, ACSW is the Clinical Director of the Center for Eating Disorders (CED) in Ann Arbor. In 1993, she developed “Bodywise™,” a comprehensive treatment program to serve a growing population of clients coming to the center with binge eating disorder (BED). In 2008, Pershing and Chevese Turner, CEO and founder of Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA), joined forces to found Pershing Turner Consulting LLC which offers training to clinicians treating BED nationwide.

Pershing has pioneered an integrated approach based on almost 30 years of clinical experience. Her approach is strengths-based, incorporating Internal Family Systems, mindfulness strategies, Self Compassion interventions, and a range of somatic trauma techniques. Her approach also integrates intuitive eating and movement and a “health at every size” philosophy. Pershing offers two- and three-day Intensives for those in recovery, as well as “Hungerwise™,” a 10-week program for ending chronic dieting and weight cycling offered jointly with with St. Joseph Mercy Health System in Michigan.

Pershing lectures internationally and writes extensively on the treatment of BED and her own recovery journey for both professional and lay communities. She has been featured on numerous radio and television programs speaking about BED treatment and recovery, relapse prevention, weight stigma, and mindful eating and movement. She is the winner of BEDA's Pioneer in Clinical Advocacy ward. Pershing has also served on a variety of professional boards and is the Past Chair of the Binge Eating Disorder Association. Her book, published by Taylor and Francis, will be out in late summer 2018. She maintains a clinical practice in Ann Arbor. Find her online at TheBodyWiseProgram.com.

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

 

We Discuss:

  • Amy’s relationship with food growing up, including learning conflicting narratives related to food

  • The ways in which parents try to shield their children from fatphobia and weight stigma

  • The many different iterations of diet culture over the years

  • Amy’s experience with restriction and hunger, and internalizing the moralization of food and the virtue in being hungry

  • Amy’s discovery of intuitive eating, and why food preoccupation is an inevitable side effect of restriction

  • Why foods with quick energy are most desireable in times of deprivation, and the role of pleasure and joy and eating

  • Diet culture’s message of personal responsibility and blaming the victim

  • How body shame and the thin ideal feeds into diet culture

  • Diet culture’s shift from aesthetics and the beauty ideal to health and “clean eating”

  • The classism embedded within the moralization of food

  • The seduction of the thin ideal, including the messages around desirability and love

  • Amy’s experience with weight stigma

  • How our fatphobic culture hinders eating disorder recovery

  • The value in weight-inclusive communities and the Health at Every Size message

  • The intersection between body image and self-compassion

  • Amy’s experience with the restrict-binge cycle and Overeaters Anonymous, and how she eventually reached out for help and support in her path towards recovery

  • The soothing effect of food, and understanding that food behaviors are often more about coping than about willpower

  • Amy’s training in trauma, and learning that our body will push us towards survival

  • How feminism, gender studies, and learning about the trauma of weight stigma informed Amy’s professional path

  • The power of shame and trauma narratives

  • How we attach moral value to movement, and how Amy embraced joyful movement

  • The power in throwing food and movement rules out the window in the recovery process

  • How Amy’s clients and colleagues have taught her to appreciate beauty in new ways

  • The value, healing, and power that comes with getting angry at the systems that oppress us

  • How diet culture steals our personal power, and how moving away from diet culture allows us to take that power back and put it towards more beneficial pursuits

  • Amy’s process of finding organic structure around movement and food

  • Why we need to focus on self-care, not self-control

  • The other ways in which the beauty ideal oppresses those around us

 

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 primary care providers give compassionate care around intuitive eating and Health at Every Size? What are some ways that physicians can promote an anti-diet perspective when they only have a short amount of time with each patient? How does weight stigma and chronic stress put individuals at risk for health conditions that are often blamed on a larger body size? How do referrals play a role in helping people break free from diet culture?

(Resources Mentioned: Body Respect by Linda Bacon and Lucy Aphramor, Intuitive Eating, 3rd ed. by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch)

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

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

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

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

 

We Discuss:

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

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

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

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

  • The conflicting messages Maria received around her religious upbringing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Resources Mentioned

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

 

Listener Question of the Week

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

(Resources Mentioned: Lindy West’s article, Rachel Wiley’s spoken word piece, Dawn Serra’s Food Psych Podcast episode, Caleb Luna’s Food Psych Podcast episode)

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

Stefani Reinold

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

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

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

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We Discuss:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Letting go of the weight loss goal

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

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

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

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

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

  • The demonization of Western medicine

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

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

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

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

  • How diet culture steals our time and our energy

 

Resources Mentioned

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

 

Listener Question of the Week

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

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

Lucy Aphramor

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

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

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

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

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

 

We Discuss:

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

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

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

  • The effect of trauma on our eating behaviors

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

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

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

  • The value in naming our experience

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

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

  • How social oppression affects our mental health struggles

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Helping people to identify and meet their needs and desires

  • The importance of prioritizing psychic and emotional safety

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

 

Resources Mentioned

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

 

Listener Question of the Week

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

(Resources Mentioned: Food Psych Podcast Episode #127)

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