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Food Psych #162: Self-Esteem and Diet Recovery with Victoria Welsby


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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