Food Psych #167: Food, Sex, and Body Liberation with Kimberly Dark

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Sociology professor, writer, and performer Kimberly Dark joins us to discuss the connections between our relationship with food and our relationship with sex, the harms of “medically supervised” diets, how to view diet culture through a critical lens, how food can help connect us with our inner wisdom, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to stop calorie counting and worrying about weight gain when transitioning to intuitive eating.

Kimberly Dark is a writer, professor and raconteur, working to reveal the hidden architecture of everyday life one clever essay, poem, and story at a time. She uses humor, surprise and intimacy to help audiences discover their influences, and reclaim their power as social creators. Kimberly teaches in Sociology at CSU, San Marcos along with writing and theatre courses for Cal State Summer Arts. She also facilitates experiential retreats in Hawaii for Conscious Practitioners - examining how our own embodiment and social relationships influence how we work with others in helping professions and Yoga is for Every Body retreats for all.

Kimberly Dark has written award-winning plays, taught and performed for a wide range of audiences in various countries over the past two decades. She is the author of Love and Errors, a book of poetry and Co-Editor of the anthology Ways of Being in Teaching. Her novel, The Daddies is forthcoming in 2018. Her essays appear in popular online publications, such as Everyday Feminism, and Ravishly. Kimberly's storytelling performances and interactive lectures make big, complex ideas relatable at campuses, conferences, companies, and anywhere people seek startling revelations and positive change. Learn more at KimberlyDark.com

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We Discuss:

  • Kimberly’s relationship with food as a child in a larger body

  • How fatphobia is normalized in our society

  • Receiving praise for weight loss while struggling with an eating disorder

  • The harms of “medically supervised” diets

  • What started her recovery from disordered eating

  • Bingeing as our body’s way of responding to restriction

  • How Kimberly used her trauma history to help with her recovery

  • The connections between food and sex

  • Engaging critically with diet culture

  • Kimberly’s unique career as a sociology professor and performer

  • Autoethnography, the practice of writing about the self in order to understand the culture

  • The institution of academia, and how it silences certain types of knowledge

  • Our bodies as a site of knowledge

  • Conventional research, and how it imposes intellectual knowledge instead of considering lived experiences

  • The role of patriarchy in diet culture

  • Food as a vehicle to attune to the body’s inner wisdom

  • The performative element of wellness culture, and how it relates to sexuality

  • Social media and selfie culture

  • The emotional labor of creating content

  • The body as part of the visual narrative

 

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 unlearn the food rules and calorie counting from the diet mentality when trying to eat intuitively? How can we separate ourselves from our eating-disorder thoughts? How do we stop worrying about weight gain? What are some steps we can take to overcome internalized oppression from diet culture? Where can we get support when we’re at the beginning of eating disorder recovery?

(Resources Mentioned: Kylie Mitchell’s Food Psych Podcast episode, Intuitive Eating Fundamentals online course, Certified Intuitive Eating Counselors Directory)

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Food Psych #166: How to Resist Diet Culture & Build Community with Lilia Graue

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Eating-disorders specialist and Certified Body Trust® Provider Dr. Lilia Graue joins us to discuss letting go of perfectionism, the importance of community in body acceptance and overcoming shame, diet culture as a form of trauma, why working toward societal change is just as important as individual recovery, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how the Health At Every Size® framework addresses the notion of an “obesity epidemic.” 

Lilia Graue, MD, LMFT, is an eating disorders specialist and clinical supervisor; mindfulness, compassion and mindful eating instructor; and Certified Body Trust® Provider. With 18 years of clinical experience, she is intimately familiar with bodies and minds and our healing processes, and how we relate to, nourish and take care of ourselves and our bodies in ways that bring us closer to wholeness, radical presence, fierce embodiment and joy.

Lilia practices at the intersection of different healing modalities, centering lived experience and the body as a source of knowing. Her own life experiences with developmental and complex trauma, depression, anxiety, chronic pain, and a healing journey through psychotherapy and mind-body practices, have shaped her approach. Her practice is trauma informed, and rooted in intersectional feminism. She is Mexican and provides services in both English and Spanish.

Lilia loves working with providers navigating the challenges of advocating bravely for body liberation, embodiment and freedom from performative health who wish to cultivate and honor boundaries that allow for their self-care and replenishing empathy and compassion. 
Lilia is an avid amateur cook, baker, and foodie. She and her partner share their home with their beloved cats, Thomas and Ziggy. Find her online at fiercelyembodied.com.

This episode is brought to you by Casper. Get $50 toward select mattresses by visiting casper.com/foodpsych and using the code FOODPSYCH at checkout.

This episode is also brought to you by TomboyX. Go to tomboyx.com/foodpsych and check out their special bundles and pack pricing. Food Psych listeners will also get an extra 15% off with the code FOODPSYCH!

You can also get my Master Your Anti-Diet Message course in Spanish thanks to today’s guest, Lilia Graue! Just go to christyharrison.com/spanish to learn more and sign up.

 

We Discuss:

  • Lilia’s complex relationship with food as a child

  • Growing up with, and eating around, family members that had mental health concerns

  • How being a competitive swimmer while going through puberty affected her relationship with food and with her body

  • The interrelationship between depression and disordered eating

  • Fatphobia and healthism in the medical field

  • How performative health can actually push people into a disordered relationship with food and body

  • The role of privilege in intuitive eating and recovery

  • Being more connected to food through eating and cooking with our hands

  • Sensory issues, and how they can affect a person’s eating preferences and relationship with food

  • Incorporating gentle nutrition without falling back into the diet mentality

  • Yoga, meditation, and mindful eating

  • Attuning to our body’s own needs instead of trying to be “normal”

  • Learning from our mistakes in our intuitive eating practice

  • The role of trauma in our relationship with food

  • Diet culture as a form of trauma

  • Why intuitive eating and mindful eating are about more than our relationship with food

  • How our societal ideals are causing harm to non-conforming bodies

  • The importance of community in body acceptance and overcoming shame

  • White supremacy and the mythic norm

  • Why it’s typical for people with a history of trauma to become caretakers

  • Connection through embodiment and vulnerability

  • Moving past black-and-white terms in eating disorder recovery

  • Living with and resisting diet culture at the same time

  • Finding community in your recovery journey

  • The difficulty of translating concepts across cultures, and the need for local communities within different cultures

  • How diet culture has co-opted mindful eating

  • Why we need to work toward societal change along with individual recovery

  • Lilia’s current projects as a medical provider and mindful eating teacher

 

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 does Health At Every Size® fit in with research that shows that we are becoming heavier as a population? Is HAES® concerned with “obesity” prevention? If HAES views that there is nothing wrong with being in a larger body, and that there is no effective way to lose weight, does it matter what causes some bodies to be larger than others? How can “obesity” prevention potentially be harmful? What other changes have happened at the same time as our population increasing in weight? What are some resources where I can continue to learn about HAES?

(Resources Mentioned: Misclassification of cardiometabolic health when using body mass index categories in NHANES 2005-2012, Perceived Weight Discrimination and 10-Year Risk of Allostatic Load Among US Adults, Weight Science: Evaluating the Evidence for a Paradigm Shift, What’s Wrong with Fat? by Abigail Saguy, Medicare’s Search for Effective Obesity Treatments: Diets Are Not the Answer)

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Food Psych #165: Joyful Movement and Body Liberation with Bevin Branlandingham

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Season 6 premiere! Body-liberation activist and Fat Kid Dance Party founder Bevin Branlandingham joins us to discuss her journey from a difficult childhood to finding body liberation, the role of joyful movement in self-acceptance, what inspired her to leave a career in the legal field to become a dance aerobics instructor, her ongoing practices of self-love and self-compassion, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to know whether you’re meant for a career helping people with recovery.

A childhood of bullying because of her weight kept Bevin off the dance floor. When she found body liberation activism, the idea that all bodies are worthy of love no matter what, it changed her life. She ha been reclaiming dance floors ever since! Teaching, performing and writing about body liberation for over fifteen years, Bevin identifies as a thought leader in the body positive, body liberation, and fat acceptance movements. She is an AFAA certified group exercise instructor and developed Fat Kid Dance Party (For ALL Sizes to Heal from Body Oppression) to help other folks learn to love their bodies, embrace their awkwardness, and open up to self care! Find her online at queerfatfemme.com.

This episode is brought to you by Mother Dirt. Plant the seeds of your well-being and nurture your nature with gentle skincare products at motherdirt.com. Use the code FOODPSYCH to get 20% off and free shipping!

If you’re not using LinkedIn for your hiring needs, you’re missing out! Go to LinkedIn.com/FOODPSYCH to get a $50 credit towards your first job post. Terms and conditions apply.

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.

 

We Discuss:

  • How growing up with a single parent led Bevin to be independent from a young age

  • The factors that can contribute to a larger body size

  • The problem with the “obesity epidemic” narrative

  • The toxic effect of weight stigma on children, including Bevin’s own struggles with fatphobia and other trauma

  • How she was embedded in diet culture from a young age

  • How “failing” at dieting led her to body liberation and fat acceptance

  • The role of dance aerobics, romantic relationships, and community in body acceptance

  • Why commenting on a person’s weight loss is a “non-pliment”

  • How losing weight while eating intuitively can be confusing and triggering

  • Body currency, and how our society buys into ageism and ablism

  • Learning about the body liberation and fat activism movements through being a drag king

  • Why Bevin uses the term “body liberation”

  • How thin people can participate in the body liberation movement

  • Giving people an opportunity as opposed to telling them to “stop” doing something, as a call-in versus a call-out

  • Separating ourselves from our thoughts and examining whether they are helpful or unhelpful

  • How self love is an ongoing practice, not a destination

  • How learning about body acceptance and self-compassion helped Bevin manage her irritable bowel syndrome

  • Why the “honeymoon phase” is sometimes necessary in healing our relationship with food

  • Relearning the practices of self-care and self-compassion

  • Different forms of gentle and joyful movement, and their role in Bevin’s body liberation and self-acceptance

  • What inspired her to leave a career in law to become a dance aerobics instructor

  • How Los Angeles is home to an upstart fat activism community, next to thin-obsessed Hollywood

  • What motivates us in our work to liberate others from diet culture

  • Bevin’s current project, Fat Kid Dance Party, and other examples of joyful 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.

  • 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

  • Femmecast, Bevin’s former podcast

  • Fat!So? By Marilyn Wann

  • Marilyn Wann’s work

  • Originals by Adam Grant

  • Fat Kid Dance Party and Facebook page

  • Bevin (Queer Fat Femme) on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

  • This episode is brought to you by Mother Dirt. Plant the seeds of your well-being and nurture your nature with gentle skincare products at motherdirt.com. Use the code FOODPSYCH to get 20% off and free shipping.

  • If you’re not using LinkedIn for your hiring needs, you’re missing out! Go to LinkedIn.com/FOODPSYCH to get a $50 credit towards your first job post. Terms and conditions apply.

  • 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.

     

Listener Question of the Week

How do we know whether a career in helping others in recovery is right for us, especially when we’ve struggled with disordered eating ourselves? What are the signs that we are fully recovered, as opposed to actively recovering? Can we help others when we are still recovering? What is the role of privilege in eating disorder recovery? What are some ways that you can see what a career in eating disorder recovery is like without going back to school? What are some of the concerns with training to become a dietitian?

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