pleasure

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

RachelCole.jpg

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 #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 #131: How to Reclaim Pleasure In Food and Your Body with Substantia Jones

Substantia Jones

Activist and photographer Substantia Jones joins us to discuss recovery from chronic dieting, taking pleasure in food, using photography to find body love, the patriarchy’s influence on beauty ideals, the role of romantic relationships in our body image journey, the power of the diet industry, coping with hatred and online trolls, and much more! PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about how to deal with fatphobic “workplace wellness” programs.

Photo-activist Substantia Jones created, manages, and is sole photographer for the fat acceptance campaign, The Adipositivity Project. The website, which just celebrated its 10th anniversary, hosts a diverse and growing collection of hundreds of her photographs of fat people of all genders, mostly women, mostly nude. She describes the project as “feminism, fuckyouism, and fat.”

The mission of Jones’ work is to combat sizeist bigotry and weight-related misinformation, to promote recognition of an individual’s body autonomy, and to encourage critical thinking and enlightened discussion of body politics. Jones lectures in schools and universities (with slideshow!), but her work is done primarily with photography, subverting this tool commonly used in promoting body shame, and using it instead to demystify the fat body and give it the respect and visibility too often denied it by the media and popular culture. The message is to love your body, and to allow others to love their own.

Her photography has been featured globally in books, magazines, and news outlets, and has been exhibited in galleries and museums internationally. She is a happily fat woman who lives in New York City and quotes Monty Python a lot. Maybe too much. Find her online at adipositivity.com.

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

Get Christy's BRAND NEW online course for fellow health & wellness pros, Master Your Anti-Diet Message, at christyharrison.com/message.

 

We Discuss:

  • Substantia’s relationship with food growing up, including struggling with picky eating and gaining access to highly palatable foods like sweets

  • Substantia’s experience in her developing body, including her reaction to being sexualized at a young age and learning about the thin ideal, and how that led to chronic dieting

  • The effect of diet pills, and the dangers of using them

  • The science of intentional weight loss and weight cycling

  • How effective the diet industry is at blaming the victim and encouraging repeat business

  • Holding compassion for those who choose to lose weight

  • The need for fat acceptance on a global, societal, and systemic level

  • The power and money behind diet culture

  • Patriarchy’s influence on beauty ideals and body image

  • The effect of body hatred on sexual development

  • How positive romantic relationships can help us to move towards body neutrality and body love

  • Substantia’s use of photography on her body image journey, and how positive depictions of fat bodies can foster fat acceptance on a cultural level

  • Body preferences and biases

  • Shifting the focus of The Adipositivity Project from changing the opinion of fat people in the culture at large to using it to help fat people make peace with their bodies

  • The process of finding “adiposers” for The Adipositivity Project

  • The issue of internet trolls, online fat hatred, and threats of violence

  • Charlottesville, and the ways in which different oppressions compound and relate to one another

  • Coping with voices of hate and the power of "fuck-you-ism"

  • The pleasure aspect of eating, and it’s role in recovery from disordered eating

  • Reclaiming your relationship with food and body through anger

 

Resources Mentioned

 

Listener Question of the Week

What do we do if our workplace is buying into diet culture through wellness programs? How do we assert our desire to not be weighed? Is there a way to challenge the program at the administrative level, or to get around it through working with doctors? How does discrimination factor into these programs? Can Health at Every Size research bolster our position? Does diet culture affect even those who consider themselves to be recovered? How does “planting the seed” work?

 

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