social justice

Food Psych #158: How to Heal from Weight Stigma with Kathleen Bishop

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Health at Every Size therapist Kathleen Bishop shares how the trauma of dieting gets passed from one generation to the next, how to mourn the loss of the life that diet culture stole from you, ways to start recovering from internalized weight stigma, the connection between substance use disorders and eating disorders, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to accept your changing body and stop beating yourself up for not being the same size you were 10 years ago.

Kathleen A. Bishop from San José, California. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor and Relapse Prevention Specialist. In private practice, she specializes in Eating and Substance Use Disorders. and she works at a non-profit providing Intensive Outpatient Treatment to clients with Substance Use Disorder and cooccurring mental health conditions like anxiety, depression or Eating Disorders. Kathleen, who is also a body positive size diversity activist who promotes Health At Every Size (HAES) principles to end stigma and mistreatment that is associated with weight, has overcome her own body image obsessions and she shares her great insights with us! Find her online at BodyPeaceLiberation.com.

Enrollment for my latest Master Your Anti-Diet Message live webinar is open now! Register this week for early bird pricing.


We Discuss:

  • Kathleen’s relationship with food growing up, including her exposure to diet foods at a young age and her experience watching her mother weight cycle and diet her whole life

  • Intergenerational trauma, including how watching our parents chronically suffer due to diet culture can impact us in adulthood, and even in later generations

  • Kathleen’s experience with various eating disorders, including bulimia, and how it intersects with her alcohol use

  • The connection between substance abuse and eating disorders

  • The pros and cons of Overeaters Anonymous, including how it gives us a supportive community but also encourages restriction

  • How seductive the short-term results from our very first diet can be

  • Kathleen’s experience with weight cycling

  • Why our bodies push us towards food and prevent weight loss in times of deprivation

  • Kathleen’s career trajectory, and how she found her drive to better her life

  • The social aspect of diet culture, and the lure of social connection through the diet mentality

  • Kathleen’s discovery of intuitive eating and Health at Every Size

  • How intuitive eating becomes intuitive living, including how we learn to set boundaries and the ways in which we reclaim our time and energy when we leave dieting behind for good

  • Why grieving is an important part of the process from healing from diet culture

  • The ways in which Health at Every Size can spark our fire around advocacy and social justice

  • How to confront our privilege and unlearn our personal biases

  • Kathleen’s experience with EMDR therapy and trauma-informed care, why processing trauma is essential for mental wellbeing, and how EMDR therapy can help with body image concerns

  • Body image and weight stigma as trauma, and how we can recover from internalized weight stigma

  • The power in changing our clothing and rejecting clothing rules

  • How to embrace body diversity and different kinds of beauty

  • How to see the sneaky iterations of diet culture for what they really are, and how the diet industry and the gastric bypass surgery industry tries to keep us hooked

  • Why weight loss surgery is so harmful, and why we need to change the culture rather than our bodies

  • The growth of the Health at Every Size community


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 accept our changing body with age or the changing of circumstances? What are some strategies that we can use when we begin to feel nostalgic for your old body? Is the desire to change our bodies really about our body, or is it about something bigger? How can we meet our needs without resorting to weight loss efforts?

(Resources Mentioned: Food Psych Podcast episode 154 and 151)

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Food Psych #156: Breaking Free from Diet Culture with Joy Cox

Joy Cox.jpg

Researcher and activist Joy Cox joins us to talk about how we can fight back against internalized weight stigma and body shame, how intersecting identities can affect body image, why refusing to conform to cultural and societal expectations can help change the world, the racist roots of diet culture and why fighting it is an important part of creating a more inclusive society, the problems with framing larger body size as “obesity” and labeling it a disease, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about intuitive eating for athletes.

Joy is current doctoral candidate and self-professed fatty in the Department of Communication at Rutgers University using her dissertation to study the impacts of identity and social change within the Fat Liberation Movement. Through interviews and content analysis, Joy has been able to unearth answers to questions around member identification, micro and macro discourse, and political action outcomes for movement members. When not conducting research, Joy serves as the Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion team for ASDAH, and hosts her own podcast, Fresh Out the Cocoon, which highlights the lived experiences of Black fat women. She is an avid lover of justice and a fierce defender of those who cannot defend themselves. Find her on Instagram.

 

We Discuss:

  • Joy’s relationship with food growing up, including how coming from a black family created a culture of community and celebration around food, and how her family instilled a sense of body acceptance and body diversity from a young age

  • Joy’s process of learning self-advocacy and facing body shame from her doctor at a young age

  • The role of race in the development of Joy’s body image, and how her intersectional identities placed pressure on her to adhere to diet culture

  • Joy’s experience with weight stigma and medical fatphobia

  • The toxic nature of weight-loss related compliments

  • Joy’s experience going to culinary school, how it contributed to yo-yo dieting, and her struggle navigating the male-dominated restaurant industry

  • The pressure that Joy felt to stay at her suppressed weight and to maintain her extreme weight loss

  • Joy’s move to go back to university in West Virginia, and her realization that there was systemic oppression around her and affecting her experience

  • Joy’s experience with the Atkins diet, and how it reinforced her desire to be in a smaller body

  • Joy’s re-discovery of joyful movement

  • How so-called “obesity” being categorized as a disease led to Joy’s exposure to Health at Every Size and fat liberation

  • The power of research and literature in fighting against fatphobia and weight stigma

  • Why we need to move away from beauty standards and cultural norms

  • How Joy’s intersecting identities of being a black and being a woman and being fat informs her research and doctoral work

  • Why not conforming to cultural and societal expectations is a political act

  • The structural ways in which society excludes people in marginalized bodies

  • What it means to truly be committed to diversity and inclusion

  • Joy’s research into organization communication styles and how they perpetuate structural inequality

  • The ways in which society minimizes the trauma we as a culture inflict on larger bodies

  • Why shame and personal responsibility don’t lead to long-term change

  • Navigating the struggles around fat acceptance

  • The racist roots of diet culture, and why studying history is so important in the fight for social justice

  • How we can combat internalized fatphobia and other internalized oppressions through education and visibility

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 combine intuitive eating with competitive sports? What does intuitive eating tell us about “healthy” vs “unhealthy” foods? How does diet culture sever the connection between our brain and our bodies? What does “health” even mean? How do we recognize and break down the diet mentality? Are there ways to alleviate compulsive behaviors around movement?
 

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Food Psych #151: Emotional Eating and Diet Culture with Judith Matz

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Anti-diet therapist and author Judith Matz joins us to talk about shifting the focus of emotional eating toward the underlying deprivation and diet mentality, why turning to food to meet emotional needs isn’t an “eating problem” but a “soothing problem,” how diet culture and marginalization rob us of the ability to meet our needs, why Health at Every Size and intuitive eating are better approaches for true health, Judith’s work teaching other therapists about weight stigma, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to frame public health efforts to change the built environment in a way that doesn’t stigmatize people in larger bodies.

Judith is the co-author of two books on the topics of eating and weight struggles.

Beyond a Shadow of a Diet: The Comprehensive Guide to Treating Binge Eating Disorder, Compulsive Eating and Emotional Overeating has been called “the new bible” on this topic for professionals. The Diet Survivor’s Handbook: 60 Lessons in Eating, Acceptance and Self-Care was a #1 bestseller on Amazon and a favorite resource for therapists to use with clients. She is also the author of Amanda’s Big Dream, a children’s book that helps kids to pursue their dreams – at any size!

Judith has a private practice in Skokie, IL, where she focuses her work with clients who want to get off the diet/binge rollercoaster and learn to feel at home in their bodies. Through her individual counseling, groups, workshops, presentations and books, Judith has helped thousands of people to develop self-care skills that increase physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing without a focus on the pursuit of weight loss. Through educational programs, she is dedicated to helping people end the preoccupation with food and weight and to fighting weight stigma.

Judith is a popular speaker at national conferences and descriptions of her work have appeared in the media including the New York Times, LA Times, Allure, Fitness, Self, Shape, Today’s Dietitian, Diabetes Self-Management, Psychotherapy Networker, NBC News Chicago, Huffington Post Live, and she appears in the documentary America The Beautiful 2. Find her online at JudithMatz.com.

 

WE DISCUSS:

  • Judith’s relationship with food growing up, including how intuitive it was when she was young, and how that changed with the introduction of body comparisons and commentary from peers

  • Recognizing the connection between restriction and binging

  • Judith’s experience with weight gain, weight cycling, and the restrict-binge cycle

  • How thin privilege shielded Judith from some of the negative impact of diet culture

  • The ways in which we can make children resilient against fatphobia and body shaming

  • The bonding experience of dieting and the toxicity of weight-related compliments

  • How many of us are complicit in diet culture even when we don’t realize it

  • The Weight Watchers announcement about their free program for teens, and why it’s unethical to be pushing intentional weight loss onto impressionable young kids

  • Why Health at Every Size is a better approach for true health

  • The shame attached to the diet-binge cycle and the inevitable weight regain

  • Judith’s professional work in mental health and therapy, and her experience working in a diet-centric program

  • Why eating behaviors aren’t all about the psychology, and why intuitive eating needs to be factored into the healing process for people struggling with binge eating

  • The ways in which physical deprivation, rather than emotional eating, drives binge behaviors

  • Why we need to suss out the influence of the diet mentality on our food choices before we ask questions about whether or not we’re emotionally eating

  • Judith’s work teaching other therapists about weight stigma, and how professionals who continue to perpetuate the diet-centric paradigm are complicit in the oppression of people in larger bodies

  • The problem with assumptions about eating behavior based on body size

  • Shifting the focus of emotional eating from being an “eating problem” to being a “soothing problem”

  • Utilizing compassion on our journey to find new coping mechanisms, and why we can always use food as an emotional coping skill

  • Shifting from being in control to being in charge

  • How leaving behind dieting and shifting to intuitive eating can decrease anxiety and allow ourselves the space to take care of ourselves through depression and other stressors

  • The ways in which diet culture and marginalization rob us of the ability to meet our needs

  • How marginalization and food insecurity affects our relationship with food and our ability to heal, and how the restrict-binge cycle becomes protective and adaptive in this situation

  • The grief process of letting go of dieting

  • The negative health outcomes related to weight cycling and weight stigma, and the health benefits of intuitive eating

  • Judith’s efforts to integrate Health at Every Size and social justice into her therapeutic practice

  • The positive and negative implications of social media, and how diet culture has gotten more aggressive while resources have become more abundant

  • Why diet culture is The Life Thief, and how it robs people of meaningful conversations

 

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 support health for everyone and support increased access to health-promoting variables without resorting to fatphobia? Are there ways to sneak weight-incisive language into public health research? How can changes in the unit environment improve people’s health, regardless of body size? Are there ways in which individuals can develop a compulsive, extreme relationship to exercise or food commonly thought of as “healthy?” How does cultural familiarity with certain foods affect people’s ability to interact with these foods? What research is out there about weight stigma and health disparity related to social inequities?

(Resources Mentioned: "Weight Science: Evaluating the evidence for a paradigm shift” by Linda Bacon and Lucy Aphramor, Linda Bacon and their Food Psych Podcast episode, Lucy Aphramor and her Food Psych Podcast episode, "Weighed down by stigma: How weight-based social identity threat contributes to weight gain and poor health,” Journal of Social Issues, Vol 70, Number 2)

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Food Psych #146: Binge Eating Recovery & Intuitive Exercise with Kristy Fassio

Kristy Fassio

Certified Body Trust Provider and Health at Every Size personal trainer Kristy Fassio joins us to talk about the restrict-binge cycle and binge eating disorder; how to make fitness work for people in larger bodies; why diet culture is The Life Thief and how it steals our power, freedom, and joy; how restriction feeds into emotional eating; and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to refute arguments in favor of a particular diet.

Kristy Fassio is a mom, AFAA certified personal trainer, and a certified Body Trust Provider. When she’s not planning her next Disney vacation, she can be found working on her Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, tending to the small menagerie of animals that live on her 10 acres, telling women their bodies are not broken or driving her kids to dance lessons. She believes movement should be joyful, life should be lived wholeheartedly, and that self-care is inescapable. Find her online at KristyFassio.com.

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Ready to learn how to cook, make movies, and more from the masters? MasterClass has launched the All-Access Pass – a thoughtful gift for the home cooks or lifelong learners in your life. Food Psych listeners can get the All Access Pass at MasterClass.com/FOODPSYCH.

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:

  • Kristy’s relationship with food growing up, including how the messages around food began to change during puberty

  • How Kristy’s larger body size affected her perception of movement, food, and body image

  • Kristy’s experience with the restrict-binge cycle and binge eating disorder

  • How diet culture tricks us into thinking our hunger and fullness cues are broken

  • The power and love in asking for what we need

  • Kristy’s discovery of other people who struggled with emotional and binge eating, and how helpful it was in her recovery process

  • Kristy’s journey from hitting diet rock bottom, to discovering intuitive eating and eventually coming to a place of body acceptance

  • Dismantling weight bias and embracing a Health at Every Size paradigm in our professional lives

  • How diet culture normalizes disordered eating

  • Welcoming movement and food back into our life in a way that’s nourishing rather than punishing

  • How to make fitness work for people in larger bodies, and how ableism seeps into movement practices

  • Kristy’s process of shifting her exercise classes to a more inclusive experience

  • How people connect and bond over diet talk and food restriction

  • Why diet culture is The Life Thief, and how it steals our power, freedom, and joy

  • Kristy’s journey to embrace a social justice lens on body and food, fat activism, Health at Every Size, and fat liberation

  • The value and power in community and in being seen

  • Kristy’s career change from movement work to therapy, and the work she wants to do in the binge eating disorder community and fat advocacy

  • The need to break down our own fatphobic beliefs within the eating disorder field and outside of it

  • How restriction feeds into emotional eating

  • Embracing the fact that recovery is a flexible and effortful process, and that every day won’t feel perfect

  • Raising kids in a fat-positive, anti-diet environment

 

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

What’s the deal with intermittent fasting? Is intermittent fasting an intuitive choice, or is it a gateway to disordered eating? What’s the research in support of intermittent fasting?

(Resources Mentioned: *Trigger warning, mention of weight/calorie numbers and specific dieting behaviors* Intermittent fasting interventions for treatment of overweight and obesity in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis, Weight Science: Evaluating the Evidence for a Paradigm Shift)

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Food Psych #135: Body Respect, Weight-Inclusive Care, and Health at Every Size with Lucy Aphramor

Lucy Aphramor

Lucy Aphramor, anti-diet dietitian and co-author (with Linda Bacon) of Body Respect, joins us to talk about Health at Every Size, why we need to be weight-inclusive instead of just weight-neutral, the social determinants of health, the importance of having a trauma-informed focus as a healthcare provider, her struggles with body image in the context of gender identity and sexuality, the importance of prioritizing emotional safety, and so much more! PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about how to handle arguments that stopping emotional eating automatically leads to weight loss.

Lucy Aphramor is an award-winning radical dietitian and critically acclaimed performance poet aka The Naked Dietitian. She practises the weight-equitable approach Well Now that advocates health-gain and body respect for all. Her co-authored book Body Respect, written with Linda Bacon, explores many of the key concepts of Well Now. She subsequently developed Well Now theory to be compassion-centered, trauma-informed and justice-enhancing. Lucy is interested in starting conversations that build a fairer world--and the role of story in this--and co-founded Dietitians for Social Justice with Fiona Clarke. Find her online at LucyAphramor.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 :)

12/20 is the LAST day to get Christy's newest online course for fellow health & wellness pros, Master Your Anti-Diet Message! Grab it now at christyharrison.com/message.

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Give your wardrobe an upgrade with MM.LaFleur by going to MMBento.com. Use the code PSYCH at checkout and MM.LaFleur will donate 10% of profits to GlobalGiving.

 

We Discuss:

  • Lucy’s relationship with food growing up, including her transition into an orthorexic and anorexic style of eating and movement, and her struggle with IBS

  • Lucy’s experience as a nationally ranked runner, and the current problem with fitspo

  • How coping mechanisms can serve a larger purpose, even if they’re destructive in the end

  • The effect of trauma on our eating behaviors

  • Lucy’s experience finding a feminist therapist, and how they helped her heal

  • The experience of healing from an eating disorder versus healing our body image

  • Gender identity and sexuality, the idea of identity resilience, and understanding our core sense of self worth in our body image journey

  • The value in naming our experience

  • Lucy’s discovery of her queer identity, and how poetry helped her to discover it

  • Lucy’s model of “eating distress discovery,” and the different philosophies surrounding recovery

  • How social oppression affects our mental health struggles

  • Lucy’s experience training as a dietitian, and the ways in which dietetics education reinforce disordered eating

  • Lucy’s experience working in the mental health system, and the ways in which it opened her eyes to social justice

  • Social determinants of health, and Lucy’s process of finding a weight-neutral paradigm that considered trauma’s impact on wellness

  • Finding Health at Every Size, and Lucy’s approach of “Well Now”

  • Weight inclusive vs weight neutral, and the healthism embedded within neutrality

  • Lucy’s and Christy’s experiences finding communities to hold their ideas and exploration

  • Guiding clients away from weight loss and to intuitive eating, and exploring the role of restriction and dieting in someone’s life

  • Helping people to identify and meet their needs and desires

  • The importance of prioritizing psychic and emotional safety

  • Centering health behaviors vs social determinants of health in discussions about Health at Every Size, and grappling with the definition of HAES

 

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

Does stopping emotional eating lead to weight loss? Is intuitive eating a path to weight loss?

(Resources Mentioned: Food Psych Podcast Episode #127)

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Food Psych #134: Disordered-Eating Recovery & Body-Positive Power with Megan Jayne Crabbe of @bodyposipanda

Megan Jayne Crabbe

Megan Jayne Crabbe, creator of the @bodyposipanda Instagram movement and author of the new book Body Positive Power, joins us to discuss why we need to ensure the most marginalized groups are included in body positivity, how we can root out healthism in body-positive communities, how diet culture promotes disordered eating, her experience in eating disorder treatment, the need to expand our view of mental health and holistic wellness, exploring perfectionism and all-or-nothing-thinking, and so much more! PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about what the “health” in “Health at Every Size” really means.

Meet Megan Jayne Crabbe, the rainbow-haired creator of Bodyposipanda. She's an anorexia survivor, anti-diet enthusiast, and believer in fat acceptance and intersectional body positivity. Since starting an Instagram account in 2014 to chronicle her own recovery and body acceptance journey, her following has grown to over 850,000. Her bestselling debut book, Body Positive Power is an exploration of the ways we've been taught to hate our bodies, a middle finger to the diet industry, and an uplifting call to arms for anyone who's ever struggled to accept their body. It's been called life saving, game changing, and awe inspiring. When Megan isn't promoting body positivity, she can probably be found in her pjs talking to her dogs, or eating cheese. Find her online at BodyPosiPanda.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 online course for fellow health & wellness pros, Master Your Anti-Diet Message, at christyharrison.com/message.

Ready to learn how to cook, make movies, and more from the masters? Just in time for the holidays, MasterClass has launched the All-Access Pass – a thoughtful gift for the home cooks or lifelong learners in your life. Food Psych listeners can get the All Access Pass at MasterClass.com/FOODPSYCH.

Give your wardrobe an upgrade with MM.LaFleur by going to MMBento.com. Use the code PSYCH at checkout and MM.LaFleur will donate 10% of profits to GlobalGiving.

 

We Discuss:

  • Megan’s relationship with food, including going from having an intuitive relationship with food to learning about the calories-in-calories-out model

  • The effect of being weighed at school, and the increasing messages around body and food in school systems

  • How perfectionism feeds into disordered eating

  • Using the label of “health” to hide disordered-eating behaviors

  • Experiencing body judgement and body shame as a child

  • How weight loss compliments can encourage restriction

  • Megan’s experience with anorexia, and how her relationship with food became a way to to control anxiety

  • The ways in which diet culture promotes eating disorders

  • The problem with all-or-nothing thinking

  • The importance of including mental health in our conversations around true holistic health

  • Weight bias and eating disorder diagnosis

  • Megan’s negative experience with classic eating disorder treatment, including how much emphasis was placed on the physical body rather than the mental health aspects

  • How diet culture contributes to relapse

  • Megan’s experience with the classic restrict-binge cycle, and how our society demonizes bingeing behaviors

  • The consequences of “clean eating”

  • Megan’s experience finding body positivity and intuitive eating, and rooting out the rest of her disordered behaviors

  • Allowing recovery to take the time that it needs, the ways in which we do the best we can to heal, and how revisiting old wounds is sometimes the only way to process trauma

  • How to balance setting boundaries and holding compassion for others

  • Megan’s experience becoming a body-positive Instagram celebrity

  • Using our own healing experience to help others through their own struggle

  • Megan’s experience coming to recognize her own privilege, and using her voice to make sure the most marginalized voices are heard

  • How fatphobia affects body image

  • Shifting to a systemic perspective, rather than an individualistic one, and recognizing the victimization of diet culture

  • Megan’s experience of diet culture as The Life Thief, and her process of learning how to be unapologetically herself

  • The intersections of diet culture and patriarchy, including how women and femmes are socialized

  • The #MeToo campaign

  • Healthism, ableism, and why the body positivity movement needs to include people regardless of health status

  • Thin privilege, and understanding the role of people in thin bodies in the body-positive movement

 

Resources Mentioned

Some of the links below are affiliate links. Affiliates or not, we only recommend products and services that align with our values.

  • Alan Levinovitz’s Food Psych Podcast episode

  • Body Positive Power by Megan Jayne Crabbe

  • Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls by Jes Baker

  • Submit your questions for a chance to have them answered on the podcast!

  • My online course, Intuitive Eating Fundamentals, which includes monthly listener Q&A podcasts and access to my private Facebook support group

  • Learn more about our gift certificates at christyharrison.com/gift

  • Ready to learn how to cook, make movies, and more from the masters? Just in time for the holidays, MasterClass has launched the All-Access Pass – a thoughtful gift for the home cooks or lifelong learners in your life. Food Psych listeners can get the All Access Pass at MasterClass.com/FOODPSYCH.

  • Give your wardrobe an upgrade with MM.LaFleur by going to MMBento.com. Use the code PSYCH at checkout and MM.LaFleur will donate 10% of profits to GlobalGiving.

 

Listener Question of the Week

What does the “health” part of “Health at Every Size” really mean? How does wellbeing and self-care fit into HAES? Does HAES mean I’m healthy at whatever size I am now, no matter what? What’s the best way to go about trying to find a HAES-friendly provider in eating disorder recovery?

(Resources Mentioned: the listener question in Food Psych Podcast Episode #128, NEDA’s Find Treatment Tool and Helpline, HAES Community Registry)

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Food Psych #133: Healing from Weight Stigma and Diet Culture with Kai Hibbard, "Biggest Loser" Contestant Turned Anti-Diet Activist

Kai Hibbard

Past Biggest Loser contestant and current anti-diet trailblazer Kai Hibbard joins us this week to talk about the negative effect of weight bias and stigma on larger-bodied folks, her journey from disordered eating to Health at Every Size activist, the social determinants of health and her desire to change the face of public health, the power of anger in our anti-diet journeys, and so much more! PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about how ethical food choices and rejecting diet culture can coexist.

Kai was first cast into the spotlight through her participation in, and subsequent denunciation of the weight loss game show The Biggest Loser. Going through the program, she realized the negative impact the show had, not only on her own life, but on society in general. Vowing to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. Kai has fought, often as the lone voice, against unrealistic and damaging message in the media regarding our bodies in general. Over time that struggle has been featured in countless magazines and newscasts, both domestically and internationally, ranging from The Huffington Post, Time Magazine, Good Morning America, ABC News, CBS News, E!, Star Magazine, US Weekly, People, TMZ, The NY Times, The NY Post, Inside Edition, Redbook, Access Hollywood, FoxNews,The Globe, Jezebel, Huffington Post Live and Upworthy, where Kai's honest, straight forward approach to her own story never fails to shine through. Find her online at KaiHibbard.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:

  • Kai’s relationship with food growing up, including learning body comparisons and weight preoccupation from a young age

  • The connection between trauma, sexual assault, and disordered eating

  • Kai’s experience going to Weight Watchers at a young age, as well as how much she was bullied over her body size

  • Changing beauty ideals based on geographic location

  • How rare it is to find a non-diet community in our diet-culture world

  • How diet culture and body hatred embed themselves into femme bonding experiences

  • Setting boundaries and dealing with loved ones who are still stuck in diet culture

  • Kai’s experience as an aerobics instructor, how it influenced her eating habits, and her eventual struggle with rapid weight gain

  • The fitness competition community and how it sparks disordered eating

  • The current state of plus-size fashion

  • Kai’s experience on The Biggest Loser, including the restrictive eating styles the show promoted

  • How money and the diet industry motivates diet culture

  • Fatphobia’s influence on weight research and in the medical community

  • Social determinants of health, how weight stigma affects the ability of people in larger to get proper medical care, and the need for a paradigm shift in public health

  • Christy’s shift from the worrying about the obesity epidemic to the Health at Every Size paradigm

  • Kai’s doctoral work on social justice and public health

  • How internalized fatphobia can affect our professional work

  • Kai’s intervention, and how her family and friends helped push her towards recovery

  • Kai’s ups and downs in recovery, including how joining the Army influenced her food and body journey

  • Kai’s struggle to get her rheumatoid arthritis diagnosed due to her body size, and her experience with chronic illness

  • Embracing your right to proper medical care, no matter your size

  • The power of anger in sustaining our anti-diet truth

  • Realizing the societal influences that lead us to body hatred and disordered eating

  • Using our personal tools, skill sets, and privilege to fight against diet culture at large and uplift the voices of marginalized folks

  • Kai’s professional aspirations and future ambitions

 

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

Can ethical food choices fit in with out intuitive eating journey? How does diet culture sneak its way into certain styles of eating? Are there some ways to check in with ourselves about our food choices that feels practical? How do we know when to prioritize our own needs over others? Do we need to heal our relationship with food before we can dive into ethical food restriction? What do we do if an eating style is part of our identity? Are there some ways to set boundaries around ourselves to protect us from the communities that promote certain ethical styles of eating?


(Resources Mentioned: Intuitive Eating Fundamentals)

*Note: Kai incorrectly attributed a quote by Alice Walker to Audre Lorde in the audio of this episode. "The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any," was spoken by Alice Walker.

 

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Food Psych #130: How to Fight Fatphobia in Woke Spaces with Melissa Toler

Melissa Toler

Anti-diet educator and writer Melissa Toler comes on the show this week to talk fatphobia in woke spaces, why social justice needs to be a cornerstone of the body acceptance movement, the social determinants of health and the effect of discrimination on wellness, addressing diet culture on a systemic level rather than just a personal one, and much more! PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about how to handle weight gain and hormonal issues that seemingly came out of nowhere.

Melissa Toler is a speaker, writer, and educator. Her work encourages people to make the connection between our culture's oppressive beauty standards and our personal struggle with self-acceptance. She has written extensively on diet culture and the toll it takes on our lives and humanity. Her goal is to help people unlearn harmful messages and behaviors from years of chronic dieting. Melissa also has a background as a pharmacist and certified wellness coach. Find her online at melissatoler.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:

  • Melissa’s business changes since her last guest appearance on the show, including why she abandoned the health and wellness coaching sphere

  • Healthism and the diet mentality in the nutrition and dietetics community

  • Why Christy avoids writing publicly about gentle nutrition

  • How the most marginalized folks get left out of the Health at Every Size conversation

  • Why social justice needs to be a cornerstone of the body acceptance movement

  • Calling out fatphobia in social justice spaces

  • The definition of “woke”

  • Internalized fatphobia and diet culture

  • Social determinants of health and the impact of discrimination on wellness

  • The effect of weight stigma on health and the flaws in the current weight research

  • The myth of the “obesity epidemic”

  • Why it’s important to address diet culture on a systemic level, rather than just an individual one

  • How the varying levels of fatphobia impact the individual and the culture

  • Similarities between fat activism and other social justice movements

  • The struggles of addressing size-based discrimination in mainstream activism

  • The hierarchy of bodies, and its roots in racism and classism

  • Diet culture’s influence in the medical community

  • Recognizing the financial incentive of the diet industry

  • Seeking out anti-diet conversations

  • Tapping back into our own intuition around all things, not just food and body, through various means including writing

  • Looking for real solutions and a supportive community to survive in our oppressive world

  • Finding value in making mistakes, embracing continual learning, and moving past the fear of screwing up

 

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

Can restriction lead to intense health issues? Are there ways we might be subtly restricting or dieting, even if we think we’re eating intuitively? Does fear of weight gain indicate that we might be eating in a way to suppress our body size? What are the various ways that our bodies guard against weight loss? How do we engage in movement without falling into the diet mentality? What if I ease up on the restrained eating, and end up face-first in the cookie jar? How can working with a skilled therapist or health professional help guide us through these food peace struggles?

(Resources Mentioned: Food Psych Episode #127: Intuitive Eating & Health At Every Size FAQs with Ashley Seruya & Christy Harrison, Intuitive Eating Certified Counselors Directory, HAES Community Registry)

 

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Food Psych #127: Intuitive Eating & Health At Every Size FAQs with Ashley Seruya & Christy Harrison

Ashley Seruya & Christy Harrison

This week is a very special edition of Food Psych! Rather than having a new guest on, I felt it was time to have an episode devoted to laying out the concepts and perspectives that we talk about every single week. This episode is ideal for newcomers to the Food Psych crew, for you to come back to when you’re struggling to remain true to the tenets of Health at Every Size and intuitive eating in this diet-culture world, and for you to share with friends and family who need an overview of the philosophy.

My Administrative and Community Manager, Ashley Seruya, joins me this week to pose some burning questions that get to the heart of what this podcast, and the anti-diet movement, is all about. Ashley is a current MSW student at Fordham University and a fellow anti-diet activist and body liberation advocate. She’s passionate about Health at Every Size and recovery, and hopes to one day combine her training in writing, social work, intuitive eating, Health at Every Size, and more to help the world recover from diet culture at large. Keep up with her work through her Instagram, where she shares posts about her beloved pets, self-care, eating disorder recovery, mental health, and more!

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:

  • What is intuitive eating?

    • The 10 principles of intuitive eating, and the connection between intuitive eating and eating disorder recovery

    • Why gentle nutrition comes at the END of the intuitive eating process, and why rejecting the diet mentality is the FIRST principle

    • The role of an intuitive eating coach and counselor

    • How mental health and self-care play a role in the intuitive eating journey

    • The role of diet culture in disordered eating

    • Recovery as a nonlinear process

  • What is Health at Every Size (HAES)?

    • The weight-neutral approach

    • The truth about intentional weight loss

    • The cost of sustaining intentional weight loss

    • Set-point weight theory, the famine response, and breaking down weight science

    • The history of HAES and the non-diet approach

    • Fat activism and the fat acceptance movement

    • How HAES incorporates intuitive eating, joyful movement, and self-care

    • The importance of size diversity in the HAES movement and embracing the genetic determination of body size

    • The caveat of HAES with eating disorder recovery and weight restoration

  • What's the connection between eating disorder recovery, chronic dieting, Health at Every Size, and intuitive eating?

    • The path of eating disorder recovery to intuitive eating

    • The spectrum of eating behaviors, from full blown eating disorders to disordered eating and chronic dieting

    • Diagnosis criteria and the prevalence of undiagnosed disordered eating

    • The importance of a weight-neutral, Health at Every Size approach to recovery

    • Risk factors of orthorexia

    • Why we don’t have a moral obligation to pursue health, and varying limitations to achieving health

  • I have an eating disorder. Can I do intuitive eating?

    • Which principles of intuitive eating we can practice while in eating disorder recovery

    • Why we need to avoid the hunger and fullness parts of intuitive eating while in recovery

    • The concept of nutritional rehabilitation

    • The relationship between emotional eating and disordered eating, and the importance of not demonizing emotional eating as a coping mechanism

    • Why gentle nutrition and joyful movement should wait toward the very end of the process

    • The importance of working with an eating disorder dietitian with HAES and intuitive eating training in the recovery process

  • I'm gaining weight. Am I doing intuitive eating wrong? How do I cope?

    • The difference between body acceptance, body respect, body trust, body positivity, and body love

    • Letting go of internalized weight stigma and body shame

  • How can I trust my body if every time I try to listen to it I end up face-first in a tub of ice cream?

    • The impact of restriction and deprivation on food behaviors, including food insecurity

    • Biological need for increased dietary intake, including during puberty

    • The effect of shame in feeling out of control around food and binge eating

    • Gender identity and struggling with trans issues and body image

    • Understanding that body trust is a process

    • Breaking down the concept of food addiction

  • How can I eat whatever I want if I'm concerned for my health? You're a nutritionist, so shouldn't you be telling me to eat fruits and vegetables?

    • Mental health, discrimination and stigma, and social situations that determine our health status regardless of nutrition (AKA social determinants of health)

    • The shapeshifting nature of diet culture

    • Diet culture’s effect on the medical model, weight science, and dietetics education

    • An intuitive eating counselor’s role in telling people what to eat

  • How do I make sure I don't turn intuitive eating into a diet?

    • How to avoid the hunger and fullness diet

    • How to recognize and root out subtle diet mentality

    • Using self-compassion to get you through the unlearning process

  • What if I'm "too" fat? Is there a threshold where Health at Every Size doesn't apply anymore?

    • Weight stigma’s influence on health status

    • Fatphobia’s effect on internalized weight stigma

    • Stigma resistance and resiliency

    • The effect of weight cycling on health outcomes

  • Aren't you worried you're promoting “obesity”?

    • The many issues with the term “obesity,” the “obesity epidemic,” and pathologizing larger bodies

    • The truth of size diversity

    • Fat acceptance and reclaiming the word “fat”

    • The genetic and environmental influences on body size

    • Finding the joy in life no matter your size

    • Discovering body acceptance and making room for all people to love their bodies

  • As a person in a smaller body, why are you so vocal about fat acceptance?

    • Thin privilege, and using our privilege to speak out for those more marginalized (AKA becoming thin allies)

    • The universality of body shame

    • The influence of weight stigma on eating disorders

    • The parallels of the fat acceptance movement to other social justice movements

  • Rapid fire

    • What is healthism?

    • What is diet culture?

    • What is fatphobia?

    • What is body liberation? And why have you decided to use body liberation instead of body positivity?

    • Why is body liberation/body positivity a social justice movement? (including fatphobia in woke spaces)

    • How does intersectional feminism and femme empowerment factor into all of this? (including the trans experience and grappling with the patriarchy)

 

Resources Mentioned

Some of the links below are affiliate links. Affiliates or not, we only recommend products and services that align with our values.

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Food Psych #126: How to Reject Diet-Culture Marketing with Kaila Prins

Kaila Prins

Anti-diet activist and marketing pro Kaila Prins joins us this week to break down the role of marketing in diet culture, the complex ways we consume triggering material, the importance of embracing social justice in the body positivity movement, how she transitioned from her own eating disorder recovery to thinking critically about diet culture, how our personal brand can quickly overtake our personhood, the dangers of working as a coach when you’re still going through your own recovery, and much more! PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about how intuitive eating can help with feelings of overeating as opposed to restriction.

Kaila Prins is a multifaceted, multi-passionate explorer of culture, performance, body image, and marketing. In other words: she has no idea what to call herself, because she does a lot. After recovering from orthorexia, anorexia, and an exercise addiction, Kaila began a career in marketing while moonlighting as a body image coach for recovering women. She is now a speaker on and writer of unpopular opinions about marketing psychology and behavioral economics in the context of body image and is the host of the forthcoming podcast, Your Body, Your Brand. In her “spare” time, she is known as burlesque dancer and drag artist DeeDeeQueen, and she teaches burlesque dance, storytelling, and theatre in San Jose, California. You can find her at performingwoman.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 :)

 

We Discuss:

  • Kaila’s professional journey, from how transitioned into health coaching, to writing about eating disorder recovery and body image

  • The cultural forces that impact our behavior around food and body, AKA “diet culture”

  • Body image burnout

  • The pervasive nature of diet culture and the normalization of restriction, specifically through marketing

  • Kaila’s focus on marketing literacy, and how marketing targets those vulnerable to the diet mentality

  • Surreptitious marketing within body-liberation social media spaces

  • How to market ethically

  • The ways in which our own branding can influence our personal behaviors and decisions

  • Recognizing triggers and calling them out

  • The difficulty of having a public persona that’s attached to a certain kind of eating and living

  • The radicalization of veganism

  • Diet culture and profit as religion

  • The model of fear, uncertainty, and doubt in marketing

  • How to build an ethical body-positive business and brand

  • Eating disorder recovery vs Kaila’s model of discovery

  • The value in change

  • The damage in performing your trauma for the benefit of your brand

  • Finding true body acceptance and true recovery

  • Embracing the social justice aspects of body positivity and moving towards eradicating fatphobia and weight stigma

  • The propaganda of weight loss and politics

  • Body image and body shame in the 2016 Presidential election

  • The distinction between capitalism vs business endeavors, as well as the social justice issues embedded within capitalism

 

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 incorporate intuitive eating into our lives if we feel we are overeaters, rather than restrictors? How does mental restriction contribute to feelings of deprivation? How does the diet mentality contribute to subconscious restrictive eating (also known as restrained eating)? Does diet culture lead us to judge our eating as overeating, even when our eating is in response to biological need? How does pregnancy and postpartum impact our appetite and food needs? Can medication impact appetite and weight?

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Food Psych #121: The Truth About Diet Culture with Emily Contois

Emily Contois

Cultural historian Emily Contois joins us to talk about the history of diet culture, how women's political power increased the pressure on women and femmes to restrict their eating, the need for an intersectional approach to healthcare and food access, the religious undertones to our food behavior, gender roles in food, the body-image issues that men face in an industrialized patriarchal society, "dude food," and so much more! PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about intuitive eating in recovery from a restrictive eating disorder.

Emily Contois is the author of more than twenty academic articles, chapters, and reviews. Her dissertation, "The Dudification of Diet: Food Masculinities in Twenty-First-Century America," examines how media representations of food, cooking, and dieting construct and negotiate what it means to be "a real man" in the United States today. Her research has been referenced in The Huffington Post, Salon, The Globe and Mail, and NPR, among others. As a food writer, she has contributed to the Providence Journal, Nursing Clio, and Zester Daily.

Born in Australia and raised in the Big Sky Country of Montana, Emily spent a bit over a decade training in classical ballet before turning her attention to the study of food, health, and identities in American culture. Emily holds three master’s degrees—an MA in American Studies from Brown University, an MPH focused in Public Health Nutrition from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MLA in Gastronomy from Boston University, where she was a three-time recipient of the Julia Child Award. She is currently a PhD candidate in American Studies at Brown University, where she teaches courses in food studies, American studies, and gender studies.

Prior to her current research and teaching, Emily worked in the field of worksite wellness for five years. She now lives in Providence with her husband, Chris, and their rescue pup, Raven.

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:

  • Emily’s relationship with food growing up, including the influence of ballet and its impact on the development of her eating disorder

  • Emily’s scholarship in diet culture

  • Finding personhood through things other than food and body

  • How disordered eating and dieting is a cornerstone of American culture, and how it’s spread throughout the world via urbanization, capitalism, and consumer culture

  • The expectation of restraint vs the reality of a high consumer culture

  • The role of guilt in restriction and chronic dieting

  • Religious influences on our relationships with food, including the moralization of food and bodies

  • Classism and the idea of individual responsibility for health

  • Healthism

  • The historical context of diet culture, disordered eating behaviors, and restraint, and the impact of social change on these elements

  • The thin ideal and the history of restriction, including how the historical anxiety of masculinity and superhero media factors into this context

  • The incidence of eating disorders among trans folks and the impact of heteronormativity on body image

  • Women’s empowerment and feminism throughout the 20th century, and how it exists alongside reactionary oppression and increased dieting rhetoric

  • The emergence of nutrition science, calorie counting, and ready-made clothing

  • The evolution of beauty and the body ideal and how it relates to class status and racism

  • Fitspo and social media

  • Increasing body dissatisfaction for masculine folks

  • Performing masculinity and femininity and exploring gender roles

  • Emily’s work in “Dude Food” and her explorations of gendered marketing and media within the patriarchy

  • The difference between diet culture and weight loss for men vs diet culture and weight loss for women

  • Health at Every Size research, and the ways in which science is influenced by diet culture

  • Barriers to healthcare in fat bodies, including weight stigma

  • Hope for a world without diet culture

  • Intersectional feminism

 

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 engage with intuitive eating and reconnect with our hunger and fullness signals if we have a restrictive eating history? What are the other essential elements of doing intuitive eating in a sustainable way? How can we work on intuitive eating principles if we are still struggling with an active eating disorder? Can a meal plan be a bridge into intuitive eating? How do we challenge internalized fatphobia and fear of weight gain? How do we give voice to our compassionate inner voice?

(Resources Mentioned: Evelyn Tribole’s Food Psych Podcast episode, the Certified Intuitive Eating Counselors Directory, and the HAES Community)

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