yoga

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

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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 DanaFalsetti.com.

 

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 #140: How to Heal from Over-Exercise & Find Joyful Movement with Jessi Haggerty

Jessi Haggerty

Anti-diet dietitian and personal trainer Jessi Haggerty joins us to discuss how to make the transition from instrumental exercise into joyful movement, why it’s so important to have a trauma-informed approach to movement, ableism in the fitness world, the shape-shifting nature of diet culture, embracing a Health at Every Size paradigm, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to deal with the desire to change a particular body part.

Jessi Haggerty is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, and Certified Personal Trainer with a private practice in Somerville, MA. She specializes in treating people struggling with eating disorders and disordered eating using using a customized, therapeutic, non-diet approach that combines nutrition and movement therapy, and also offers virtual recovery coaching.

In addition to her practice, Jessi has a podcast called the BodyLove Project where she hosts conversations about intuitive eating and body acceptance, with a special interest in how eating disorders and body dissatisfaction intersect with other tough-to-talk-about subject such as addiction, trauma, and postpartum. Despite the heavy topics, the BodyLove Project is about how to come out the other side, and live an authentic, embodied life.

Most recently, Jessi has launched an online workshop series for personal trainers, called Nutrition & Body Image Coaching Skills; How to Help Without Harming. This series is designed to empower trainers to coach from a HAES perspective, screen for eating disorders and disordered eating, and refer clients to a higher level of care when necessary. Find her online at JessiHaggerty.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:

  • Jessi’s relationship with food growing up, including being exposed to diet foods at a young age, and becoming preoccupied with dieting and weight loss early in life

  • The effect of watching our parents struggle with weight gain

  • How important it is for health professionals to acknowledge their own disordered reasons for pursuing dietetics

  • The problem with making weight loss and health the responsibility of the individual, rather than acknowledging the systemic factors that influence these outcomes

  • The initial safety and community that can be found in diet culture, and ultimately what diet culture takes from you

  • Strategies for breaking down the stereotypes surrounding dietetics as a Health at Every Size practitioner

  • Jessi’s experience being a personal trainer at 17, her attempts at body manipulation through exercise

  • Jessi’s eventual exploration of physical therapy and personal training as a path to recovery, joy, and healing, rather than punishment

  • Practicing and marketing your business as a Health-at-Every-Size, anti-diet personal trainer

  • How to engage with movement as someone struggling with an eating disorder or wading into eating disorder recovery

  • How to find joyful movement, and using yoga as a baseline to explore boundaries around exercise

  • The ways in which fitness tech takes us out of our body and into our heads, and how that interferes with embodiment

  • The importance of safety when exploring whether or not movement is right for you, and prioritizing a trauma-informed movement practice

  • The issue of mirrors in exercise studios

  • Ableism in the fitness and exercise world, how to work with different abilities in the personal-training sector, and the need to question typical gym marketing on the basis of gender, size, ability, race, etc

  • Respecting everyone’s body’s abilities within movement practice, giving options for people in differently-abled bodies, and making room to modify for all different bodies

  • How our body image can be affected by our movement ability, especially when our ability changes over time

  • Jessi’s work as a nutritionist, and her efforts to eradicate diet culture from the personal training profession

  • How to navigate sports nutrition as an anti-diet dietitian

  • The shape-shifting nature of diet culture

 

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

Is cosmetic surgery a better alternative to dieting? How do we love a body part that feels unlovable? Are there some strategies out there to help us appreciate different kinds of bodies?

(Resources Mentioned: Jes Baker’s Food Psych Podcast episode, Sarah Harry’s Food Psych Podcast episode, Lisa DuBreuil’s Food Psych Podcast episode, Jes Baker’s Instagram guide, Meredith Noble’s Instagram guide, The Body is Not An Apology, Sonya Renee Taylor’s Food Psych Podcast episode, Everyday Feminism, The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf)

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Food Psych #138: Body Peace, Fat Acceptance, and Yoga for All Bodies with Sarah Harry

Sarah Harry

Psychotherapist and yoga instructor Sarah Harry joins us to discuss how to handle fatphobia in the family, the most important step in her journey to body peace, how diet culture drives eating disorders, weight stigma in the fashion industry, the complications of weight-loss surgery, the role of yoga in diet-culture recovery, moving from body-positive activism to fat activism, avoiding burnout as a clinician, and lots more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how intuitive eating can help end the restrict-binge cycle.

Sarah Harry is one of Australia’s leading Body Image and Eating Disorder specialists. Her roles in this field are varied and she offers a unique perspective as an experienced Clinician, Lecturer, Researcher, Yoga Teacher and Author. She is the co-director of Body Positive Australia alongside the amazing Fiona Sutherland.

Sarah was the first yogi in Australia to offer yoga for bigger bodies. She has practised yoga for more than 20 years and has been running specialist classes and retreats for the last few years all over Australia.

Sarah has more than 15 years’ experience counselling individuals and groups with all kinds of eating and body image issues, she has worked in the public and private sectors, lectures at universities and has just published her first book Fat Yoga - Yoga for All Bodies. Find her online at FatYoga.com.au or BodyPositiveAustralia.com.au.

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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. You can also text "7STRATEGIES" to the phone number 44222 to get it on the go :)

 

We Discuss:

  • Sarah’s relationship with food growing up, including how the thin ideal contributes to a disordered relationship with food

  • Food and body policing, including Sarah’s first diet and the rules around what she was and wasn’t allowed to wear

  • Navigating diet culture in the family

  • How we as a culture connect lovability to body size

  • Sarah’s shame around her lap band surgery

  • How diet culture and a job in fashion contributed to her eating disorder

  • Confronting the myth that eating disorders have a certain body type

  • Sarah’s experience seeking out recovery, including the most important ingredient in getting started on the path to making peace with food and her body

  • How recovery led her to go back to school for counseling and become an eating disorder clinician, and her discovery of yoga

  • Sarah’s winding path to becoming a yoga teacher focused on liberating all bodies

  • Sarah’s work with Fiona Sutherland and her practice of body peace

  • Body image, body acceptance, body shame, and the ways in which body dissatisfaction transcends body size

  • The difference between body positivity and fat activism

  • The various levels of fatphobia, including the interpersonal, the intrapersonal, and the internalized

  • How therapy has helped Sarah to heal and maintain her recovery and mental health, and the importance of therapy in general

  • How to support people through mental health struggles, and navigating the care-taking role

  • The power of supervision in professional development and support

  • How often people who are attracted to helping professions are those who have grappled with these issues themselves, and how important it is to manage our own recovery before venturing into working in the field

  • The power in sharing your recovery story

  • Navigating body acceptance and body image work, and understanding that it’s not a perfect experience

  • The malleable nature of health, and why it’s more important to pursue self-care and health behaviors that work for you than the idea of “perfect health”

  • How chronic pain and chronic illness can fit into our personal definitions of health

  • The ways in which health has become a new manifestation of diet culture and privilege

  • The myth of the “golden ticket,” and how various industries attempt to sell us products that promise happiness and a perfect life

  • Respecting everyone’s journey to Health at Every Size

  • How Health at Every Size and anti-diet work is spreading in Australia and the US

  • Sarah’s experience with lap band surgery, how it affected her body image journey and her eating disorder recovery, the dangerous side effects, and the importance of doing body image work after folks have found recovery

  • Sarah’s process of learning to eat intuitively and letting go of weight loss

  • Sarah’s experience embracing the public persona of her fat-acceptance work

  • Why diet culture is The Life Thief and how it shape-shifts in this new age of wellness

  • Prioritizing self-care, and the embracing the right to do nothing

 

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 manage binges during the intuitive eating process? Can intuitive eating eliminate binges completely? How does self-compassion support our recovery journey? What’s the biological processes that contribute to binge behaviors (AKA The Restriction Pendulum)? How can working with an intuitive eating dietitian help us to heal our food behaviors?

(Resources Mentioned: Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor Directory)

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Food Psych #124: How to Let Go of Weight-Loss Efforts & Embrace Intuitive Eating with Amber Karnes

Amber Karnes

Amber Karnes of Body Positive Yoga joins us to talk about her journey from disordered eating to intuitive eating, embracing a Health at Every Size mentality, why accessible yoga is a social justice issue, why community is such an important part of this anti-diet work, the process of mourning the thin ideal and embracing internal growth regardless of body size, how the visibility and representation of larger bodies influenced her own body image process, and so much more! PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about how to train for a career helping other people heal from diet culture.

Amber Karnes is a ruckus maker, RYT-200 yoga asana teacher, creator of Body Positive Yoga, and a lifelong student of her body. In Amber’s retreats, classes and workshops, students of all shapes and sizes will find tips, tricks, and modifications to make yoga asana work for their body type. She emphasizes safe alignment and mindful transitions, and guides each student to honor the body they bring to the mat today, while being empowered to learn about the body’s intelligence and power. She serves on the Yoga and Body Image Coalition and seeks to further the message of inclusivity, self-acceptance, consent, agency, body positivity, and accessibility for all on and off the mat. She blogs at bodypositiveyoga.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 :)

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

 

We Discuss:

  • Amber’s relationship with food growing up

  • Amber’s experience having a non-triggering childhood, but still being unable to escape the societal implications of diet culture

  • Disordered eating as a coping mechanism for anxiety

  • Body image issues during puberty, including encountering street harassment and experiencing the male gaze and self-objectification

  • Embodiment and childhood

  • Patriarchy’s impact on disembodiment

  • Amber’s experience with binge eating disorder

  • Amber’s exploration of yoga and embodiment, including navigating the yoga world in a larger body

  • Breaking down internalized fatphobia and embracing body acceptance and fat acceptance

  • The normalization of body shame, body hatred, and diet culture

  • Diet talk as a destructive bonding ritual for femme folk

  • Finding nourishing community spaces with other Health at Every Size, intuitive eating folks

  • The myths attached to weight loss

  • The importance of fat visibility and representation, and how transformative plus size fashion and cultivating your social media images can be in the journey of self acceptance

  • Unlearning patriarchy, white supremacy, diet culture, and privilege

  • Discovering Health at Every Size and intuitive eating through eating disorder recovery

  • Mourning the thin ideal

  • The disordered, life-consuming efforts required to maintain intentional weight loss, and why diet culture is a life thief

  • Achieving personal growth in ways separate from weight loss

  • The birth of Body Positive Yoga, and the freedom and challenges of starting your own business

  • Consent and agency found through yoga

  • Barriers to access, the importance of intersectionality, confronting privilege, and doing social justice work in yoga practice

 

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 are some of the paths to helping others in their relationship with food and their body? What are the pros and cons of pursuing a traditional dietetics degree? How can continuing education help with Health at Every Size, intuitive eating training?

(Resources Mentioned: Marci Evans’ Food Psych Podcast episode, Daxle Collier’s Food Psych Podcast episode, Courageous Living Coaching Certification, Coaches Training Institute, Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor Program, Evelyn Tribole’s Food Psych Podcast episode, Elyse Resch’s Food Psych Podcast episode, Be Nourished, Hilary Kinavey’s Food Psych Podcast episode, Dana Sturtevant’s Food Psych Podcast episode)

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