mindfulness

Food Psych #157: The Truth About Weight Science with Fiona Willer

Fiona Willer nice pic.jpg

Anti-diet dietitian Fiona Willer joins to talk about why we need to be critical of current weight research, how the Health at Every Size paradigm can go viral, why weight-inclusive work is a life-saving endeavor, how fatphobia and weight stigma prevent compassionate medical care for people in larger bodies, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to adjust to a different culture’s eating times when studying abroad.

Fiona Willer, AdvAPD, is the author of 'The Non-Diet Approach Guidebook for Dietitians', and co-author of 'The Non-Diet Approach Guidebook for Psychologists and Counsellors'. Her business, Health, Not Diets, provides online and face-to-face training and workshops for health professionals in the non-diet approach. Fiona's background includes clinical dietetics, private practice and university lecturing in nutrition and dietetics. She is currently conducting PhD research into HAES ® use in dietetics. As an advocacy leader in this field, she represented Australia in contributing to the HAES graduate curriculum for the Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH), and has been an invited speaker at DAA, SDA, ANZAED, DC events and presented at a variety of academic conferences Fiona is a proud member of the DAA, current Vice-President International of ASDAH, and executive member of HAES Australia. Find her online at FionaWiller.com, UnpackingWeightScience.com, and HealthNotDiets.com.
 

We Discuss:

  • Fiona’s relationship with food and her body growing up, including how negative body messaging infiltrated her life during adolescence

  • Fiona’s experience of feeding her family and her children

  • Why diet culture is The Life Thief, and Christy’s process writing her book and exploring the different ways diet culture stole moments from her throughout her life

  • Fiona’s exploration of “clean eating” and vegetarianism, as well as her struggles with binge eating

  • Fiona’s experience pursuing a naturopathy degree, and how she eventually ended up pursuing dietetics instead

  • Fiona’s move to a Health at Every Size perspective, and the problem with current weight science

  • Fiona’s work as a lecturer at universities, and her goal to inject weight-inclusive approaches into dietetics education

  • How rewarding it is to share a message that we ourselves desperately needed to hear when we were stuck in diet culture 

  • How Fiona discovered mindful eating, and how mindfulness helped guide her to recovery

  • Fiona’s PhD journey, how she has showed her supervisors the HAES perspective, the ways in which combining her research with the psychology discipline has allowed her more room to practice in an anti-diet way, and her current HAES research

  • Why Health at Every Size is like an iPhone, and the ways in which the HAES message is spread virally and virtually

  • The generational differences in accepting diversity, and the fear of loss that looms over professionals who stick to the diet paradigm

  • The things that need to be done to create a size-inclusive society, and the money that can be made for creating access for diverse bodies

  • How fatphobia and weight stigma stand in the way of compassionate medical care for people in larger bodies

  • Fiona’s work on unpacking weight science, and why we need to be critical of current weight research

  • Why weight-inclusive work is a life-saving endeavor, and the ways in which weight stigma negatively affects the healthcare experience of people in larger bodies

  • How to introduce a HAES perspective to practitioners who are reticent to embrace it

  • Why we need to move away from black-and-white thinking

 

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 adjust to new settings and food schedules when we’re in recovery from disordered eating? What do I do if I’m thinking about food constantly?
 

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Food Psych #125: Healing Your Relationship with Food & Overcoming Disordered Eating with Lisa Pearl

Lisa Pearl

Health at Every Size dietitian Lisa Pearl joins us to discuss breaking down internalized weight bias, how we relate to food and our bodies, fighting back against diet culture, the importance of a HAES approach to eating disorder treatment, body image and finding self-compassion, and so much more! PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about letting go of the weight-loss ideal.

As an undergraduate, Lisa double majored in biology and nutrition. Her postgraduate studies have included clinical nutrition, expressive movement therapy, fellowships in adolescent medicine, nutrition support and psychiatry, and executive coaching.

Lisa began her work as an eating disorder specialist more than 30 years ago at Children’s Hospital in Boston. During her tenure at Children’s Hospital, she worked with a team to seek new and better advances in treatment for eating disorders. With their support, she was able to incorporate many new treatment ideas including behavioral therapy groups, family meals and parent groups, expressive movement therapy and yoga, and a mindful eating program. Lisa has been an advocate for HAES throughout her career.

While at Children’s Hospital she received national recognition for demonstrating the need for a multidisciplinary team approach to the treatment of eating disorders and for her work with the Joint Commission for Hospital Accreditation to improve patient care through the inclusion of nutrition therapy for eating disorders.

Through the years Lisa has continued to push the envelope of innovation with presentations at local and national conferences. She has worked as a consultant for MIT, Harvard University, Boston Ballet, and numerous independent and public schools for prevention, education, and treatment of eating disorders. She has written health curriculums and protocols for numerous public and private organizations. Lisa has directed internships and provided mentoring for dietetic, social work, and medical students. She has served on the Board of Directors for Anorexia, Bulimia Care, Feeding Ourselves, and MEDA.

Lisa has received the ADA’s Recognized Dietitian of the Year Award and the Governor’s Commendation for Excellence in Public Service. In 2012, she was honored at MEDA's Annual Gala.

Lisa has volunteered as a community organizer for City Year and Habitat for Humanity as well as working on school boards, and various community efforts to bring awareness to human rights.

Most recently, Lisa is spearheading a new graduate program at Simmons College for clinicians who would like to work in the treatment of eating disorders. This program will provide dietitians with the opportunity to receive both academic training as well as internship opportunities. Connect with Lisa online to learn more about her private practice, CNC360, and her other work.

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

Join the Food Psych Facebook group to connect with fellow listeners around the world!

 

We Discuss:

  • Lisa’s introduction to relational theory, and how that introduced her to the idea that we have a relationship with food and with our bodies

  • The need for a shift to Health at Every Size, body diversity, size acceptance, and body positivity

  • Lisa’s relationship with food growing up, including learning the myth that nutrition can cure all ills

  • The detrimental effect of gymnastics on Lisa’s body image

  • How family trauma can impact our relationship with food and our bodies

  • Lisa’s exploration of the dietetics field

  • The demonization of Western medicine in favor of natural methods

  • Uncovering intuitive eating and mindfulness as a path to eating disorder recovery

  • How important community and mentorship is to the Health at Every Size, body liberation, intuitive eating movements

  • Lisa’s experience restructuring an eating disorder treatment center and introducing a multidisciplinary team approach

  • Persevering through diet culture, and how far the Health at Every Size movement has come

  • How fat acceptance and Health at Every Size fit into eating disorder treatment

  • The ways in which shame immobilizes and paralyzes people from living their life

  • Internalized weight bias and fatphobia in the eating disorder community

  • Finding body acceptance and self-care without weight loss

  • The protective quality of disordered eating

  • Compassion as a healing technique

  • The sociological elements of chronic dieting and disordered eating

  • Developing new programing for dietitians that is Health at Every Size, size-acceptance focused

  • Finding your voice and community in the body liberation movement

  • The importance of self-compassion and casting aside shame in the unlearning process

  • Learning from our mistakes

 

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 handle weight gain, and get past the weight loss ideal? Are there certain life events that are particularly triggering in terms of body image? What’s the deal with the wedding industrial complex, and how does it reinforce patriarchy and the thin ideal? What do we do if we don’t want to be weighed at the doctor’s office? What’s the cost of maintaining restrictive weight loss? (Resources Mentioned: Amber Karnes’ Food Psych Podcast episode, Glenys Oyston’s Food Psych Podcast episode)

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Food Psych #122: How Anger Can Help in Diet Recovery and Body Acceptance with Carmen Cool

Carmen Cool

Anti-diet psychotherapist and Health at Every Size advocate Carmen Cool joins to talk about embracing anger against diet culture and the patriarchy, how to give yourself permission to engage in health-promoting behaviors for non-diet reasons, why intersectional feminism was so integral to her eating disorder recovery, the perceived hierarchy of disordered eating behaviors, her experience training health professionals in a weight-inclusive model, the social determinants of health and issues of access, and much more! PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about dealing with nighttime binges.

Carmen is a psychotherapist, educator, speaker, and a cupcake connoisseur. In addition to being a therapist for 17 years, she has started and run a nonprofit, created youth programs, and speaks internationally on Health At Every Size ®, feminism and eating disorders, and weight stigma.

Her work is focused on dismantling diet culture, healing our relationship to food and body, and supporting the next generation of body positive leaders. She is the immediate past Board President of the Association for Size Diversity and Health, was named “Most Inspiring Individual” in Boulder, Colorado and was the recipient of the Excellence in Eating Disorder Advocacy Award in Washington, DC.

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

Join the Food Psych Facebook group to connect with fellow listeners around the world!

 

We Discuss:

  • Carmen’s relationship with food growing up, including her experience with diet culture at a young age

  • Food as a source of comfort

  • Carmen’s experience with binge eating disorder, including sneaking food

  • Preoccupation with weight gain, and looking to diets and restriction as the answer

  • The toxic nature of body-related compliments due to weight loss

  • Carmen’s transition from dieting into bulimia

  • How food and body obsession take over our time and brain space

  • Carmen’s experience in an eating disorder treatment center

  • The impact of feminism and therapy in eating disorder recovery

  • How mainstream the diet/binge cycle has become

  • The intersection of weight stigma and eating disorders

  • Carmen’s experience having an eating disorder alongside her sister’s struggle with anorexia

  • The privilege that those with anorexia have vs other eating disorders

  • Carmen’s introduction to Health at Every Size and fat acceptance

  • Putting together the personal and the political

  • Intersectional feminism’s impact on the body acceptance, fat acceptance, and eating disorder recovery movements

  • Rejecting body ideals and embracing anger at the patriarchy

  • Why diet culture is a life thief

  • Making peace with food and movement choices previously associated with diet culture

  • Carmen’s introduction to mindfulness, intuitive eating, and body work through massage therapy

  • Self-care, non-judgmental awareness and observation, self-compassion, and an attitude of curiosity

  • Going from eating disorder recovery to intuitive living

  • The problem with weight loss models in eating disorder treatment

  • The need for weight-inclusive care

  • The influence of social determinants of health, the accessibility of intuitive eating and joyful movement, and the issue of healthism

  • Carmen’s work with health professionals to bring them into a weight-inclusive model

  • Making space for planting seeds of change while also not being overly invested in everyone’s individual process

 

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 deal with nighttime bingeing, especially if we’re already trying our best to eat enough throughout the day? Can we guide ourselves through these food and body struggles using our own intuition? How does emotional eating, food insecurity, deprivation, diet culture, and more contribute to bingeing behaviors? What are some ways we can experiment with an evening snack to stave off nighttime eating? Is the diet mentality still reinforcing subtle restriction, leading to ravenous hunger?

(Resources Mentioned: Isabel Foxen Duke’s second and third Food Psych Podcast episodes on emotional eating)

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