Food Psych #161: Self-Compassion and Boundaries with Dana Falsetti


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


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 #149: The Truth About Binge Eating with Amy Pershing


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

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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 #137: How to Navigate Diet Culture with Evette Dionne

Evette Dionne

Writer and editor Evette Dionne joins us to talk about how to fight fatphobia and advocate for yourself in healthcare settings, how to navigate difficult conversations and challenge weight stigma in close relationships, why the body-positive movement needs to be intersectional, how oppression is learned and can be unlearned, why it’s important to acknowledge our privilege, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to deal with friends and family who are stuck in diet culture.

Evette Dionne is a Black Feminist culture writer, editor, and scholar. Presently, she’s the senior editor at Bitch Media and regularly contributes stories about race, size, gender, and popular culture to Teen Vogue, The Guardian, Cosmopolitan, the New York Times, Refinery29, Harper's Bazaar, MIC, and other print and digital publications. Find her online at

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:

  • Evette’s relationship with food growing up, including connecting food with family and love

  • Evette’s experience with food and body shaming from authority figures

  • Fatphobic school environments, Evette’s experience with harassment, and how it led to the development of agoraphobia

  • Evette’s transition into the workforce and obtaining her GED, and her experience with food policing from a manager

  • Navigating food choices with newfound independence

  • The pressure on college students to avoid weight gain

  • The connection between emotional eating and restriction, and using food as a coping mechanism

  • The traumatizing effect of weight concerns

  • The threshold of acceptable fatness

  • Medical fatphobia, weight stigma in healthcare, and the need for self-advocacy at the doctor (refusing to be weighed, asking for pillows at the gynecologist, and insisting that any specialist tests are pushed to the yearly physical)

  • Fat shaming getting in the way of proper medical care for people in larger bodies

  • Compassion and Health at Every Size as effective intervention strategies

  • Patriarchy, sexism, racism, ableism, and why the body-positive movement must be feminist, political, and intersectional

  • The radical origins of body positivity in fat acceptance and the need to push for a more equitable world

  • Empowerment vs activism and the need for systemic change

  • Learning and unlearning our own oppression, building the body of knowledge around us so we can fight back, and learning how to have these difficult conversations in order to challenge someone’s fatphobia within close relationships

  • Giving people the space to grow while also barring yourself against toxic relationships

  • How we are all complicit in this culture that makes it unsafe for marginalized bodies

  • The problem with staying in the comfortable stage of the body-positive journey

  • Moving away from black-and-white thinking

  • Acknowledging privilege, moving beyond shame, and grappling with feeling defensive


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 create distance between ourselves and diet culture? What do we do it diet talk is permeating your relationships with friends and family? Is there a way to push people towards anti-diet ideas before they’re ready? How does “planting seeds” work? Can New Year's’ Resolutions fit into this distancing process? How do we make our boundaries around diet talk clear to those around you?

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