mental illness

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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