Food Psych #203: Healing from Orthorexia and The Wellness Diet with Katherine Metzelaar

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Season 6 finale! Fellow anti-diet dietitian and certified intuitive eating counselor Katherine Metzelaar joins us to discuss orthorexia within the health-and-wellness field, the cultural shift that made it seem cool to eliminate foods, mourning the loss of community and connection when you stop dieting, why growing up with a peaceful relationship with food doesn’t guarantee a lifetime of immunity against diet culture, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to deal with physical discomfort like thigh chafing and waistbands digging into your belly. 

Katherine Metzelaar, MSN, RDN, CD is a Seattle-based Dietitian and Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor who is passionate about inclusive healthcare for all bodies. She is the owner and founder of Bravespace Nutrition, a private nutrition practice that helps women, both virtually and in-person, to create peace with food and their body free from rules, dieting, and perfectionism. Through the use of a client-centered, therapeutic, non-diet approach, she helps women and womxn to recover from disordered eating, eating disorders, and body image challenges. In addition to her practice, Katherine is the founder of Body Image Badass: Compassion, Connection, Embodiment, a body-acceptance group that works to create community and a safer space for women to talk about the challenges of what in means to exist in a world that seeks to control and oppress women’s bodies via dieting and body-shaming. When not at work, you can find her checking out the local foodie scene, dancing salsa, and in the pursuit of finding the best latte in town. Find her online at www.bravespacenutrition.com.

We Discuss:

  • How participating in sports can nurture your relationship with food

  • Why Katherine told herself at a very young age that she would never go on a diet and how that changed when she went to college

  • Katherine’s struggle with orthorexia

  • Katherine and Christy’s shared experience of finding connection with other women through dieting

  • How connecting over diets builds a conditional sense of belonging, and how that changes when you stop dieting

  • Mourning the loss of community, connection, and identity when you move away from diets

  • Why growing up with a peaceful relationship with food doesn’t guarantee a lifetime of immunity against diet culture

  • The cultural shift that made it seem cool to eliminate foods

  • The link between perfectionism and idealizing diets

  • Katherine’s formal nutrition education that helped her liberalize her relationship with food

  • Orthorexia within the health-and-wellness field, particularly naturopathic medicine 

  • How The Wellness Diet fails to consider the reality of food insecurity 

  • The importance of making intuitive eating more inclusive to people struggling with food insecurity

  • The surprising ways people responded to Christy’s post about inflammation

  • Taking diet culture out of how we understand “wellness” 

  • The privilege of being able to interpret and critique health and nutrition research

  • The financial burden of training to be a dietitian 

  • Working in a fatphobic environment while practicing as a Health at Every Size® provider

  • Katherine’s new YouTube channel that will further spread the anti-diet message

 

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 I merge the two desires of having freedom with food and wanting to change my body’s size? How does diet culture affect the way you want to change your body’s size? Can you permanently shrink your body? How can you better tolerate the physical discomfort that may occur with weight changes? How does internalized fatphobia affect the way you want to change your body?

Resources Mentioned:

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Food Psych #202: How to Find Love at Every Size with Krista Niles

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Couples therapist and plus-size dating coach Krista Niles joins us to discuss statistics and misconceptions about body size and romantic relationships, how to navigate dating after being in a relationship with someone who says cruel things about your body, great strategies for creating a dating profile, what to do if you’re struggling to find a therapist, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to cope when you’re surrounded by people who buy in to diet culture. 

Krista Niles, couples therapist and dating coach, created the Curvy Cupid Course in 2016 to help women of all sizes start writing their love stories. Krista is a strong believer in the transformative power of love, and experienced firsthand the stuckness, discouragement, and hopelessness that can accompany dating as a plus-size woman. Through the Curvy Cupid Course, she teaches a step-by-step intentional approach to dating that encourages perseverance and nurtures confidence skills -- even within a deeply flawed system of fatphobia and poorly-designed dating apps. Find her online at CurvyCupidCourse.com.

We Discuss:

  • Why food was viewed as dangerous in Krista’s family

  • How food deprivation creates a sense of “addiction” to food, even though food itself is not addictive

  • How Krista discovered the anti-diet approach to food and body

  • How Christy was misdiagnosed with PCOS

  • Krista’s experience with a rapid change in weight coincidentally after starting to make peace with food, and how it affected her relationship with her body

  • Krista’s diagnosis of PCOS

  • How insulin resistance affects hunger and movement

  • Why the goal of intuitive eating is never weight loss

  • The trauma of dieting

  • The importance of changing who you follow on social media 

  • The isolation that Krista felt being fat-positive without having a sense of community support

  • The challenges of dating while living in a larger body

  • How Krista’s experience as a therapist and personal experiences shaped the way she created her Curvy Cupid Course

  • Size acceptance in the queer dating community

  • Statistics and misconceptions about body size, dating, and marriage

  • The surprising percentage of straight men who don’t care about body size

  • How fatphobia affects dating, especially for fat women

  • How your mindset influences the way you date

  • How to navigate the dating world after being in a relationship with someone who says cruel things about your body

  • What to do if you’re struggling to find a therapist

  • Body-positive tips for creating a dating profile

 

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 strategies for coping when you are surrounded by people who are immersed in diet culture? Who are your anti-diet supporters? How can you call out diet culture in those moments? How can you connect with the anti-diet community online? What can you do after being around people who trigger you? How can you respond to diet-y comments with a different perspective? How can you set boundaries around discussing triggering topics related to food, body, and movement?

Resources Mentioned:

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Food Psych #201: The Path Back to Intuitive Eating with Devinia Noel

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Psychotherapist and fellow certified intuitive eating counselor Devinia Noel joins us to discuss how her work as a therapist influenced her own process of re-learning intuitive eating, why using food as a coping skill isn’t a bad thing, how diet culture creates shame, the need for diversity among intuitive-eating counselors, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about what to do if you get a diagnosis of pre-diabetes.

Devinia Noel is a cognitive-behavioural psychotherapist and certified intuitive eating counsellor. She believes in a health at every size paradigm and a weight-neutral approach. Her mission is to create a safe diverse intersectional space for all individuals to develop peace with food and their bodies. Devinia is passionate about making non-diet spaces more diverse by sharing her experiences as a black woman previously trapped by diet culture. She also works in the community as a cognitive behavioural psychotherapist helping people with a wide range of problems including depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and disordered eating. Her experience of implementing self-care and self-compassion, inspires her to encourage clients to implement these practices. When Devinia has free time, she can be found baking, lifting weights and spending time with family and friends. Find her online at DeviniaNoel.com.

We Discuss:

  • How Devinia’s relationship with food changed as she grew up, including the role of experiencing puberty and comments from family members

  • Why using food as a coping skill isn’t a bad thing

  • The pain and shame of living in diet culture

  • How to introduce intuitive eating to our families

  • Having compassion for our younger selves who were trapped in diet culture

  • The process of re-learning intuitive eating

  • How Devinia’s work as a therapist influenced her personal path toward intuitive eating

  • Weight stigma in the public-health field

  • What it’s like to be a black woman working in the anti-diet space

  • The need for more diversity among intuitive eating professionals

  • Vulnerability and navigating social media

  • The challenges and rewards of setting boundaries

  • The importance of self-care for activists

 

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

As someone living in a larger body, will my diagnosis of being prediabetic push me back towards having an eating disorder? Are there any HAES resources for people who are prediabetic? Is prediabetes a real diagnosis? Does prediabetes lead to diabetes for most people? How can healing my relationship with food help my blood sugar levels? Should I cut out carbs? Will healing my relationship with food also heal my physical symptoms?

Resources Mentioned:

  • Article about how the diagnosis of prediabetes is influenced by the pharmaceutical industry (CW: “O-words” and other diet-culture language)

  • Christy’s list of Health at Every Size providers

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Food Psych #200: How Diet Culture Harms the Gay Community with Jeff Iovannone

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Activist and scholar Jeff Iovannone joins us to discuss diet culture and harmful body standards in the gay community, how oppression and the AIDS crisis shaped the “normate gay” aesthetic, why every body is a Pride body, how to create a gay men’s body-liberation movement, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about fatphobia in eating-disorder treatment programs.

Jeff Iovannone is an activist-scholar, writer, and researcher from Buffalo, New York who specializes in gender and LGBTQ studies. He is the creator of the blog Queer History for the People, writes a bi-weekly column--entitled Talk Queerly--on LGBTQ culture and politics for the web magazine Th-Ink Queerly, and is a founding member of Body Liberated Buffalo, a volunteer-run activist and advocacy organization that works for body liberation in Western New York. Find him online at medium.com/@jeffry.iovannone.

We Discuss:

  • Jeff’s relationship with food growing up, including being stigmatized for his weight at a young age

  • The mixed messages he received about food growing up in an Italian-American family where food was love but fatphobia was rampant

  • Why coming out as gay and finding gay community didn’t lead to the acceptance he was hoping for

  • How the gay community has its own hierarchy of bodies

  • Body standards and ideals as they relate to gay culture, and the concept of “gay-fat”  

  • How diet culture influences the oppression of the gay community

  • How the historical oppression of gay people helped shape gay culture’s body ideals

  • How the AIDS epidemic further influenced the aesthetic in the gay community

  • The development of what Jeff calls the “normate gay”

  • The morality of being gay as it relates to the morality of control, appetite, and food

  • How femininity and masculinity affect the way we experience diet culture

  • How diet culture prevents the gay community from working together towards liberation

  • Why desire is a social and political issue  

  • The manifestation of toxic masculinity in gay culture, and how it’s related to diet culture

  • Why Jeff started moving away from diet culture and The Wellness Diet

  • How capitalism and marketing techniques target the gay community via diet culture

  • How to change Pride month so it doesn’t center corporate Pride celebrations

  • Why every body is a Pride body

 

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

People make eating disorder recovery sound so easy, so why can’t I recover after three years of consistent treatment? Is my fatphobic treatment team slowing down my recovery? Why do eating disorder providers treat people in larger bodies differently than those in smaller bodies? Is fatphobic eating disorder treatment common? Are there any Health at Every Size treatment options for people that need a higher level of care?

Resources Mentioned:

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Food Psych #199: PCOS and Food Peace with Julie Duffy Dillon

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Fat-positive dietitian Julie Duffy Dillon joins us to discuss common misconceptions about managing polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), how weight stigma harms people with PCOS, why you shouldn’t believe the hype about certain foods causing inflammation, the connection between PCOS and binge eating, the importance of considering that PCOS occurs in people of all genders, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about the problems with a particular multi-level-marketing diet and the concept of “accountability” in the fitness world.

Julie Duffy Dillon is a Fat Positive Dietitian, Eating Disorder Specialist, and Food Behavior Expert who partners with people along their Food Peace journey. Julie began specializing in treating Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome in 2005 after noticing the connection with weight bias and eating disorders. She sought training on the physiology and endocrinology from pioneering experts willing to not focus on weight loss and diets to treat the complicated condition. This insight has provided people with PCOS to advocate for their physical and emotional health without torturing themselves with diets.

Julie hosts the weekly podcast Love Food. It is a Dear Abby show for those with eating concerns hoping to rewrite their fate. Listeners pen a letter to food outlining their complicated relationship. Julie and sometimes a guest discuss solutions before Food writes back.

She speaks around the country about anti-diet approaches to PCOS while running a group practice in Greensboro North Carolina. She was the featured expert dietitian and PCOS expert on TLC's documentary My Big Fat Fabulous Life. Find her online at JulieDillonRD.com.

We Discuss:

  • The effects of weight stigma in polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) management and support

  • PCOS and My Big Fat Fabulous Life

  • Common misconceptions about PCOS management

  • The psychological consequences of PCOS

  • Julie’s practice-based evidence of PCOS management

  • Research on PCOS and weight

  • The updated evidence-based guidelines for PCOS management

  • The role of omega-3 supplementation for people with PCOS

  • Inflammation as it relates to PCOS

  • Why inflammation and “anti-inflammatory diets” are the latest bogus diet trend

  • Falsely blaming weight for medical conditions

  • The effects of weight cycling on health

  • Carbohydrate cravings among people with PCOS

  • High insulin levels in people with PCOS and what that means

  • Research on binge eating and PCOS

  • Christy’s experience with a misdiagnosis of PCOS

  • How sexism affects PCOS support from healthcare providers

  • Current research that may change the way PCOS is diagnosed

  • The importance of considering that PCOS occurs in people of all genders

  • Why it is important to have gender-affirming care for all health conditions, including PCOS

 

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 is your opinion on programs like Beach Body, and should I stop using and paying for them? Why does this program make you feel bad about yourself? Why is it important to give yourself permission to walk away from programs like this? How is this program different from a diet? How is the concept of accountability related to diet culture? How is movement different from exercise? How are the business practices of these types of program unethical? How are these businesses harmful to the coaches and clients of these programs?

(Resources Mentioned:

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Food Psych #198: Preventing Disordered Eating in the Next Generation with Lauren Muhlheim, Psychologist and Eating-Disorder Specialist

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Eating-disorders psychologist Lauren Muhlheim joins us to discuss how we can model a peaceful relationship with food for the kids in our lives, the problem with “childhood obesity” interventions, how some eating-disorder-treatment methods are being co-opted for weight loss, the rise of orthorexia, weight bias in medicine and the eating-disorders field, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about the Biggest Loser reboot and shares the official description that will be on the book jacket of her upcoming book, Anti-Diet: Reclaim Your Time, Money, Well-Being, and Happiness Through Intuitive Eating.

Lauren Muhlheim, Psy.D., FAED, CEDS is a psychologist, certified eating disorder specialist (CEDS), and IAEDP (International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals) - approved supervisor who provides evidence-based treatment for eating disorders in the outpatient setting. She directs Eating Disorder Therapy LA in Los Angeles and is able to provide teletherapy in California and New York. She provides cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for adults and family-based treatment (FBT) for adolescents and adheres to Health at Every Size® principles. She is certified in FBT by the Training Institute for Child and Adolescent Eating Disorders.

Dr. Muhlheim is the author of When Your Teen Has an Eating Disorder: Practical Strategies to Help Your Teen Overcome Anorexia, Bulimia, and Binge Eating, published by New Harbinger Publications in September, 2018. This book is an FBT-based book for parents who are helping adolescents with eating disorders.

Dr. Muhlheim is active in several professional organizations. Dr Muhlheim is the Eating Disorders Expert for Verywell (formerly About.com) and is Clinical Director of the Eating Disorder Information website, Mirror-Mirror Eating Disorders. She presents nationally to parents, professionals, and trainees. She is active on social media and in eating disorder advocacy efforts. Find her online at EatingDisorderTherapyLA.com

Christy’s upcoming book, Anti-Diet: Reclaim Your Time, Money, Well-Being, and Happiness Through Intuitive Eating is NOW AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER! Be one of the first to get a copy of the book and help spread the anti-diet message to more people when you pre-order at christyharrison.com/book.

We Discuss:

  • The lineage of dieting in Lauren’s family

  • Her different experiences with dieting

  • What helped her overcome dieting and disordered eating

  • What motivated her to become an eating-disorders psychologist

  • Psychodynamic therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)

  • Enhanced cognitive-behavioral therapy for eating disorders (CBT-E)

  • How CBT is often co-opted for weight loss

  • Adopting a weight-inclusive approach in the weight-centric healthcare field

  • Lauren’s different roles throughout her career as a psychologist, including starting the Shanghai International Mental Health Association

  • Family-based treatment (FBT)

  • Weight bias and diet mentality in the eating-disorders field

  • Goal weights in eating-disorder recovery, and the problem with setting them too low

  • Parents gaining weight and recovering from diet culture when helping their child recover from an eating disorder

  • Why diagnostic criteria for eating disorders can be problematic

  • Orthorexia, and how our culture has contributed to its development as an eating disorder

  • Health At Every Size as a treatment framework for eating-disorder recovery

  • How parents, especially those who are in eating-disorder recovery, can model a more peaceful relationship with food for their children

  • Ellyn Satter’s Division of Responsibility (DoR)

  • Why DoR doesn’t work for kids with eating disorders

  • Early signs of disordered eating in children

  • FBT as an early intervention for disordered eating in kids

  • How eating disorders are often missed in sports and healthcare

  • The problem with “childhood obesity” interventions

  • Lauren’s book, When Your Teen Has an Eating Disorder: Practical Strategies to Help Your Teen Overcome Anorexia, Bulimia, and Binge Eating

 

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 is Christy and the Health At Every Size community saying about the return of The Biggest Loser? What were some of the harmful outcomes of the show? How does The Biggest Loser uphold The Wellness Diet? What makes The Wellness Diet so harmful? Why are there doubts that The Biggest Loser reboot won’t be different from the original version? What are some ways that people can speak out against this show?

(Resources Mentioned:

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Food Psych #197: Hormones, Disordered Eating, and How The Wellness Diet Harms Your Health with Robyn Nohling

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Nurse practitioner and fellow HAES dietitian Robyn Nohling joins us to discuss her experiences with disordered eating and hypothalamic amenorrhea (HA), how diet culture wreaks havoc on our hormones, why doing less may actually be better for our health, how The Wellness Diet is making us sicker, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to navigate intuitive eating with diabetes.

Robyn’s own health journey has been the catalyst to her career focused on counseling, nursing, mentoring, and teaching in the field of women's health and eating disorders. As a Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner and Registered Dietitian, Robyn specializes in hormone & reproductive health along with eating disorders and disordered eating. She uses a weight-inclusive and non-diet approach and firmly believes health goes far beyond your plate and exercise routine. Alongside her private practice, blog and inpatient NP position, Robyn opened an online learning center in 2017 to both educate other practitioners and empower women to advocate for their own health and healing.

In both her RD and NP practices, Robyn works through the Intuitive Eating and Health At Every Size® framework. She is a member of and involved in several women's health and eating disorder organizations including the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals, Nurse Practitioners in Women's Health, and the International Federation of Eating Disorder Dietitians.

When she's not working with women or behind the screen, she enjoys exploring Boston and the northeast with her husband and baby boy, traveling despite her fear of flying, cooking new recipes, hosting others in her home and experiencing the food scene wherever she might be. Robyn loves connecting on social media. Follow her on Instagram and Pinterest, join The Real Life Facebook community, and check out her blog, The Real Life RD.

We Discuss:

  • How Robyn’s relationship with food and her body started shifting in high school

  • How her weight loss was normalized as “healthy”

  • Hormonal and menstrual concerns, and how they are often overlooked

  • How Robyn’s eating disorder evolved throughout college

  • “Ideal body weight,” and why it is bullshit

  • Michael Pollan and the “real food” movement

  • The links between Michael Pollan’s work, fatphobia, and orthorexia

  • Alcohol, and its role in Robyn’s eating disorder

  • What sparked Robyn’s interest in hormonal health

  • Her and Christy’s experiences with hypothalamic amenorrhea (HA), and the lack of support they received

  • The prevalence of disordered eating in the dietetics field

  • Why Robyn feels nursing school was a “healing experience” for her

  • How she got her period back after missing it for 10 years

  • How diet culture affects our hormonal health

  • “Sick thyroid” syndrome, and how restriction can affect thyroid function

  • The lack of evidence for cutting out gluten and dairy for autoimmune conditions

  • Stress, cortisol, and their effects on hormonal health

  • How The Wellness Diet is actually making us sicker

  • Diet culture in conventional and alternative healthcare

  • Why diets and food rules can be appealing

  • How disordered eating clouds our intuition

  • Robyn’s experiences with pregnancy and breastfeeding

  • The harmful messages regarding body size for people who are pregnant or postpartum

  • Intuitive eating, and how it can benefit reproductive health

  • The need for more research on HAES®, healthcare, and fertility

  • What it would take to shift fertility medicine toward HAES

  • Robyn’s course for health professionals

 

Resources Mentioned

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

Listener Question of the Week

How can a person with diabetes or another chronic condition navigate intuitive eating? What can make intuitive eating particularly difficult for someone with type 1 diabetes? What is the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and not having diabetes? What are some intuitive eating skills that can apply for people with diabetes? Why is it important to make peace with all foods in diabetes? Why is it OK for people with diabetes to sometimes have blood sugars outside of the “normal” range?

(Resources Mentioned:

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Food Psych #196: Diet Culture’s Racist Roots with Sabrina Strings

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Sociologist and author Sabrina Strings joins us to discuss her new book, Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fat Phobia; the history of how “race science” led to the development of diet culture; the many problems with using weight as a measure of health; how culture influences science; and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to tell the difference between diet-culture rules and intuitive observations about foods that help us feel our best.

Sabrina Strings is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Irvine, and a former Berkeley Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Sociology and the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley. Her work has appeared in the Journal of Women in Culture and Society, The Feminist Wire, and Feminist Media Studies. Find her online at uci.academia.edu/SabrinaStrings.

This episode is brought to you by Poshmark, the fun and simple way to buy and sell fashion, including lots of plus-sized options. Download the free app and enter invite code FOODPSYCH for $5 off your first purchase.

We Discuss:

  • How Sabrina’s grandmother influenced her relationship with food growing up, as well as her current sociology work

  • What is considered a “desirable” black body

  • Her decision to become vegetarian, and now pescatarian

  • The role of cooking in her and Christy’s relationships with food

  • Sabrina’s grandmother’s reaction to diet culture

  • The life-and-death situation that inspired Sabrina’s graduate studies

  • The problems with conflating weight and health

  • Her experience with fatphobia in the medical system, despite being within the “normal” BMI range

  • How weight stigma in healthcare worsens health

  • Her book, Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fat Phobia

  • Why BMI continues to be used as a measure of health, despite evidence proving otherwise

  • Weight research, and its ties to the weight-loss industry

  • The racist roots of diet culture

  • The history of “race science”

  • The links between “race science”, politics, and capitalist interests

  • Why science is not completely objective

  • How culture influences science

  • Spreading the Health At Every Size® message to the mainstream medical community and education

  • The need for cultural competency in healthcare

  • The increasing acceptance of HAES® and anti-diet work

  • The role of religion in the establishment of diet culture

  • The coded ways we talk about race

  • How the racist origins of fatphobia affect white women, too

  • Intersectionality, and how racism reinforces other oppressive hierarchies

  • Why all body ideals are unattainable

  • How beauty is both empowering and oppressive

 

Resources Mentioned

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

Listener Question of the Week

How can someone tell the difference between a diet-culture food rule, and what makes their body feel their best? How can someone figure out how much to eat without restricting, and also without eating too much so that they don’t feel well? What are some of the ways that diet culture can co-opt intuitive eating? Can our physical symptoms always be traced back to what and how much we eat? What are some other potential reasons why a “large” nighttime snack might leave someone feeling tired the next day? Where might diet mentality be showing up in self-judgments of eating “large” amounts of food? What are some coded words that diet culture uses to mean “fat” and reinforce fatphobia? How can internalized fatphobia and diet-culture beliefs contribute to struggles with intuitive eating? What are some of the subtle differences between unconditional and conditional permission to eat? Why is it normal to eat to the point of discomfort in the early stages of intuitive eating?

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Food Psych #195: Why Fatphobia Hurts All of Us with Sofie Hagen

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Comedian, author, and fellow podcaster Sofie Hagen joins us to discuss her new book, Happy Fat; how fatphobia affects people of all sizes; why health isn’t a matter of individual responsibility (and why framing it as one is oppressive); how science often gets twisted by diet culture and the media, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to define “health” outside of diet culture.

Sofie Hagen is a stand-up comedian, author, podcaster, fat activist and blogger. A modern legend in her native Denmark, Sofie burst onto the British comedy scene by winning Best Newcomer at Edinburgh Festival 2015. Her 2016 follow-up, Shimmer Shatter, was a second total sell-out, which followed again with another sellout show in 2017, Dead Baby Frog. Sofie has spoken to millions as host of her successful Made of Human podcast, as well as Secret Dinosaur Cult and Comedians Telling Stuff. Her first book, Happy Fat, is published in the UK by 4th Estate on May 2, 2019. Find her online at SofieHagen.com.

We Discuss:

  • The many factors that contributed to Sofie’s negative relationship with food growing up

  • Why fat people are resilient, not weak

  • The different levels of fatphobia, and how they relate to thin privilege

  • The discomfort of acknowledging our privileges and biases

  • How we all have a role to play in social justice

  • Sofie’s history of depression and binge-eating disorder

  • Sofie’s and Christy’s experiences in therapy

  • Why the “individual responsibility” narrative is oppressive

  • How body positivity has been co-opted by diet culture

  • Sofie’s rebellious nature as a child

  • How she was introduced to feminism and body liberation

  • Her new book, and what it was like to share it with people around her

  • Responding to people who are indifferent or opposed to body liberation

  • The parallels between The Wellness Diet and how Hitler talked about health

  • The history of diet culture and weight stigma

  • Fatphobia in progressive spaces

  • Why fat jokes are cheap and harmful forms of comedy

  • How fatphobia affects everyone

  • Jes Baker’s body currency theory

  • How diet culture and American culture reinforce the harmful belief that we all can be “above average”

  • Science and research, and how it’s often twisted by diet culture and media

  • Corporate sponsorship of “o-word” research

 

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 is “health” defined in the Health At Every Size® paradigm? How are fitness level and health related? Is it possible to be healthy without being fit? What is the difference between “having health” and “being healthy?” What is the difference between diet culture’s and HAES®’s versions of health? Is it possible to be fit and not in good health? Can people with chronic conditions have health? What are some of the factors that contribute to a person’s health? What are social determinants of health, and how much do they contribute to health?

(Resources Mentioned:

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Food Psych #194: The Truth About Weight-Loss "Success Stories" with Carrie Dennett

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Fellow anti-diet dietitian, certified intuitive eating counselor, and journalist Carrie Dennett joins us to discuss her experiences with “successful” dieting and being part of the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR), why she ultimately stopped dieting and embraced Health At Every Size®, the many problems with the NWCR, why the vast majority of intentional weight-loss efforts fail, how weight stigma affects people of all sizes, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about whether to expect weight loss with intuitive eating.

Carrie Dennett is a Pacific Northwest-based registered dietitian, Certified Intuitive Eating counselor, journalist, author and blogger. She writes a weekly nutrition column for The Seattle Times and contributes regularly to The Washington Post. Carrie is the author of Healthy For (Your) Life: A Holistic Approach to Optimal Wellness, which blends intuitive and mindful eating with a non-diet approach, current nutrition science, and a lot of nutrition myth-busting—principles she also brings to her virtual private practice. She is a second-career dietitian who worked as a newspaper journalist for many years before earning her Master of Public Health in nutritional sciences from the University of Washington. Find her online at NutritionByCarrie.com.

We Discuss:

  • The positive and negative aspects of Carrie’s relationship with food, body, and physical activity growing up

  • How easily children can pick up on diet-culture messaging

  • The harmful effects of weight shaming

  • Carrie’s early experiences with dieting, and how that led to years of yo-yo dieting

  • What made her decide to become a dietitian

  • Her experience with, and criticisms of, the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR)

  • The history of the NWCR

  • The research on the failure rate of diets

  • The problem with the siloing of research

  • What motivated Carrie to give up on dieting

  • Paradigm straddling in the dietetics field

  • How learning about the social determinants of health helped to shift Carrie and Christy’s thinking about health

  • How Health At Every Size® is becoming more incorporated in dietetics training and practice

  • Self-compassion, and its role in examining our own biases and dietetics practice

  • Why it’s important to fight against societal weight stigma, not just internalized weight stigma

  • Why social justice is an important but overlooked part of dietetics practice

  • Privilege, and how it can affect our relationship with diet culture

  • How privilege doesn’t provide complete protection from diet culture and body hatred

  • Weight stigma, and how it affects people of all sizes

 

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 weight loss possible with intuitive eating? How does diet culture condition us to desire a smaller body? Why do some people have a smaller body than others? What is “thin privilege”? Why is it important to acknowledge size diversity? Why is diet culture a Life Thief?

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Food Psych #193: Feminism, Marketing, and Breaking Free from Diet Culture with Kelly Diels

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Writer and feminist marketing consultant Kelly Diels joins us to discuss the links between diet culture, patriarchy, and anti-feminist marketing practices (aka The Female Lifestyle Empowerment Brand); the role of abundance in healing from diet culture; how to reclaim your life from The Life Thief; understanding and healing our relationship with money; and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about what to do if you’re one of those weight-loss “success stories” who’s actually just in the throes of disordered eating.

Kelly Diels (she/her) is a writer and feminist marketing consultant. She writes about a phenomenon that she calls "The Female Lifestyle Empowerment Brand," which she does not think is a good thing for women or our world. Kelly believes, instead, that we are culture makers and can create the culture we want to live in, right now. Kelly is also the Director of Marketing and Communications for SheEO (all opinions are her own). Find her writing and online workshops at KellyDiels.com.

This episode is brought to you by Poshmark, the fun and simple way to buy and sell fashion, including lots of plus-sized options. Download the free app and enter invite code FOODPSYCH for $5 off your first purchase.

We Discuss:

  • Kelly’s fraught relationship with food growing up

  • The societal messages about femininity that contributed to her eating disorder as a teenager

  • Kelly and Christy’s experiences as outspoken children growing up

  • The links between diet culture and patriarchy

  • Why adolescence is a high-risk time for eating disorders, especially for femme-identifying teens

  • How breaking free from diet culture has changed Kelly’s parenting

  • Why adolescence is a good time to introduce systemic analysis

  • The role of the Health At Every Size® and fat acceptance movements in Kelly’s recovery from anorexia and bulimia

  • Taking your life back from The Life Thief that is diet culture

  • How experiencing fatphobia can give people a heightened ability to recognize systemic oppression

  • Signs of a cultural shift toward increased fat acceptance

  • Community, including virtual communities, and their importance in recovering from diet culture

  • The “contagious” nature of cultural change

  • How Kelly was introduced to feminism, and how it helped her recover from the trauma of sexual abuse

  • The many anti-feminist practices in marketing today, and how it led her to her current work as a feminist marketing consultant

  • The meaning behind her motto, “We are the culture makers”

  • Why our friends and family can influence us more than big brands

  • The Female Lifestyle Empowerment Brand (FLEB) and how to divest from it

  • The men’s-rights activist lineage behind many FLEB marketing techniques

  • Why money and resources are important in divesting from FLEB

  • The parallels between the traumas of diet culture and poverty

  • Abundance, and its role in healing from diet culture

  • Creativity and ingenuity as survival tools

  • The creativity inherent in many of the coping mechanisms that are demonized by our society, such as binge eating and addiction

  • Media and resources as a form of community

  • Kelly’s work with SheEO

  • The difference between how women and men spend their income

  • Understanding and healing our relationship with money

  • The importance of having money and resources for survival, especially for marginalized people

 

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

Where does the “95-98% of diets fail” statistic come from? Is it true that of the small percentage of people who are able to maintain long-term weight loss, most are struggling with some form of disordered eating? What is the true meaning of “body positivity?” How can a person be happier in a larger body when they know that they are engaging in unhealthy habits that are contributing to weight gain? What does Health At Every Size actually entail? How is HAES a holistic approach? Why are higher body weights generally considered unhealthy? What are some factors that could lead to people in larger bodies having more negative health outcomes? Why is it important to recover from disordered eating? How can weight stigma and other forms of discrimination contribute to poor health? Are there any health conditions that can only be managed with weight loss?

(Resources Mentioned (TW for all research papers mentioned for specific weight numbers, o-words, fatphobic language, and/or description of disordered eating behaviors):

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Food Psych #192: Why We Can’t Fight Weight Stigma While Also Advocating for Weight Loss with Jeffrey Hunger

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Social psychologist and weight-stigma researcher Jeffrey Hunger joins us to discuss why we can’t fight weight stigma while also advocating for weight loss, how “wellness” has been co-opted by diet culture (aka The Wellness Diet), why we need to do more than just tell people “diets don’t work,” the role of critical thinking in taking down diet culture, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to handle cravings for sugar and “processed” foods after a restrictive Wellness Diet.

Jeffrey Hunger, PhD, is currently a postdoctoral scholar in Health Psychology at UCLA and will be joining the Miami University as an assistant professor in Psychology this fall. He received his Bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Minnesota, Master’s degree in psychological research from CSU Fullerton, and PhD in Psychological and Brain Sciences from UC Santa Barbara. As a social and health psychologist, Dr. Hunger is interested in using insights from psychology to understand and ultimately improve the health of stigmatized groups, including heavier individuals, and racial and sexual minorities. Dr. Hunger’s research is published in top outlets across psychology, public health, and medicine, and has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, NPR, and more. To learn more about him and his work, please visit JeffreyHunger.com.

This episode is brought to you by Poshmark, the fun and simple way to buy and sell fashion (including many plus-sized options!) Get $5 off your first purchase when you sign up with the invite code FOODPSYCH.

We Discuss:

  • The classist dynamics of the “whole food” movement

  • The barriers for working class families to meet current “healthy eating” recommendations

  • How family meals can support a positive relationship with food

  • Diet culture and pressures to be thin within the gay community

  • What initially informed Jeffrey’s current perspectives on weight and health

  • Why we need to do more than just tell people “diets don’t work”

  • How the concept of wellness has been co-opted to mean weight loss

  • Why so many people are attracted to The Wellness Diet

  • Mindfulness practice as an analogy for adopting intuitive eating

  • Stereotype threat, and how it connects to weight stigma

  • How diet culture and weight stigma show up even in weight stigma research

  • Why you can’t truly be anti-weight-stigma while advocating for weight loss

  • The evolution of Jeffrey’s framing of his own work

  • How intentional weight loss is like gay conversion therapy, and why both are harmful

  • Why the framing of weight is important outside of research (i.e. public policy)

  • How everyone deserves dignity and respect

  • How diet culture promotes the moralization of weight and body size

  • Why a multi-pronged approach is necessary to tackle weight stigma

  • Representation, and how it can help fight stigma

  • Why it’s important to name diet culture vs. diets/dieting

  • How Jeffrey and Christy are working to reject diet culture

  • Why you don’t need to be “perfect” to take down diet culture

  • Critical thinking, and its role in toppling the hierarchy of diet culture

  • Health vs. healthism

  • Weight Stigma Conference, and the interdisciplinary nature of the weight stigma field

 

Resources Mentioned

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

Listener Question of the Week

How can a person trust their intuition when it keeps on craving sugar and “processed foods?” What are some popular phrases and ideas that are espoused by The Wellness Diet? Why is it normal to crave sugar, carbohydrates, and energy-dense foods after a period of restriction? What does “balanced eating” really mean, or look like? What is the “restriction pendulum,” and how is it related to the “honeymoon phase?” What does an intuitive relationship with food look like? How can a vegan diet get in the way of eating-disorder recovery? What are some ways to contribute to animal welfare causes without following a vegan diet?

Resources Mentioned:

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Food Psych #191: Stopping a Lifetime of Dieting with Savala Trepczynski

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Writer and social-justice lawyer Savala Trepczynski joins us to discuss how she stopped a lifetime of dieting and started decolonizing her relationship with food, why pathologizing emotional eating is problematic, how fatphobia shows up even in social-justice-oriented communities, why there’s so little legal protection for discrimination based on body size, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about food planning for long hiking trips and how calorie counting can contribute to bingeing.

Savala Trepczynski is a writer, teacher, and social justice attorney. She is the Executive Director of the Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice at UC Berkeley School of Law, convening scholars, activists, lawyers, and community members at the best public law school in the country to tackle social justice problems.

Savala and her writing about race, gender, bodies and culture have been featured in/on NPR, Forbes, Bust, The Nation, Detroit Free Press, San Francisco Chronicle, and more. She is a regular keynote speaker and panelist on social justice issues, including body-based bias, implicit bias, structural racism, and understanding Whiteness.

She has practiced law in San Francisco and Detroit, MI, and was a law clerk in the Obama Administration’s Office of White House Counsel, where she focused on constitutional law. Before becoming a lawyer, Trepczynski worked at the Studio Museum in Harlem and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, Italy.

She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her partner and child. Find her online at SavalaT.com.

We Discuss:

  • How Savala started dieting at a very young age

  • Generational fatphobia

  • How bodies can be viewed differently by different cultures

  • Savala’s journey to “diet rock bottom,” and how she started to “decolonize” her relationship with food

  • How it’s common to circle around intuitive eating before being fully ready

  • How intuitive eating is often twisted in the service of diet culture

  • Why viewing fatness as a problem is so harmful

  • Eating as a coping mechanism, and how it is pathologized by diet culture

  • The history of the problematization of emotional eating

  • The connections between racism and fatphobia

  • Social media, and its pros and cons

  • How body liberation has helped Savala be a better parent

  • Ellyn Satter’s Division of Responsibility model

  • Creating a diet-free zone for children

  • Diet culture as The Life Thief

  • The power of community in breaking down oppressive systems

  • Fatphobia in woke spaces

  • How different forms of oppression are all connected

  • Savala’s experiences with oppression in her work as a lawyer

  • Why there is little legal protection for discrimination based on body size

  • The compounding nature of marginalized identities

 

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 it possible to food plan for long trips in a way that binge eating can be avoided? Why might a person still binge despite ensuring that they’re having a certain amount of calories worth of food? How does diet culture reinforce deprivation and bingeing? What are some ways that a person can prevent bingeing during/after a long hiking trip? What are some next steps for someone who still keeps binge-eating after allowing themselves more food? How might diet culture and disordered eating influence a person’s career choice?

(Resources Mentioned:

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Food Psych #190: Why Intuitive Eating Is NOT a Diet with Caroline Dooner

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Fellow author and podcaster Caroline Dooner returns! We discuss her new book, The F*ck It Diet: Eating Should Be Easy, why mental deprivation is just as much of a problem as physical deprivation, why people often treat intuitive eating as another diet (and why it’s not), the essential role of rest in healing our relationship with movement, why focusing on fullness can be problematic, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about whether a certain model of treatment for binge-eating disorder is actually making the problem worse.

Caroline is the creator of The F*ck It Diet, where she teaches chronic dieters how to heal their relationship with food and weight. Caroline recently released her first book, The F*ck It Diet: Eating Should Be Easy. Find her online right here.

This episode is brought to you by Katie Dalebout’s let [a podcast] out course. If you’ve ever wanted to start a podcast, this workshop, which features interviews with over 100 podcasters (including Christy,) will help you learn the ins-and-outs of podcasting, so that you can focus on crafting your own unique content. To learn more and sign up, visit LetAPodcastOut.club, and use promo code FOODPSYCH for $25 off at checkout.

We Discuss:

  • What Caroline calls “F*ck It Diet 2.0”: her two-year commitment to resting and rejecting unrealistic societal pressures in other areas of her life, not just around food and body

  • Trust, and its role in recovering from diet culture

  • How Caroline initially interpreted intuitive eating as another diet, and how she stopped

  • Embodiment, and its importance in healing our relationship with food and body size

  • How various traumas, including diet culture, can disconnect us from our bodies

  • Recovery as a non-linear process, and how that can make it difficult

  • How yoga can be helpful and harmful in healing our relationship with food and our bodies

  • Our culture’s fear of feeling and honoring unpleasant feelings and emotions

  • Yoga nidra

  • Rest as a form of basic self-care

  • Over-exercising, and how it is reinforced by diet culture

  • Why it’s understandable for intuitive eating to feel “impossible”

  • The changes that Caroline has experienced in her relationship with food

  • Why focusing on fullness can be problematic

  • How quickly diet culture robs us of our innate ability to eat intuitively

  • Mental deprivation, and how it can affect our relationship with food in the same way as physical deprivation

  • Why intuitive eating is possible for anyone, and why it’s NOT another diet

  • Deprivation in people with larger bodies

  • Caroline’s book, The F*ck It Diet: Eating Should Be Easy (TW: weight and calorie numbers, and "o-words")

  • The “nocebo” effect

  • Diet food, and its role as a tool 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

Should people be given the option to choose non-weight-inclusive treatment options for binge eating disorder? What is wrong with referring to intuitive eating as “healthy living”? How has diet culture twisted otherwise weight-inclusive therapies? What are the risks of intentional weight loss? How does offering intentional weight loss as a treatment option promote diet culture? Why doesn’t Christy debate folks who promote diet culture on the podcast? Why should eating-disorder treatment centers be free from diet-culture influences and messaging? What are some next steps for eating-disorder clinicians who want to move away from weight-centric messaging in their work?

(Resources Mentioned:

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Food Psych #189: False Pictures of Health with Tiffany Roe

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Mental-health counselor and fellow podcaster Tiffany Roe joins us to discuss how diet culture paints false pictures of what health and eating disorders “look like”; the connections between religion, shame, diet culture, and eating-disorder recovery; why we need to fight fatphobia in the eating-disorder-treatment field; the importance of learning to sit with feelings of distress and discomfort; why even therapists have internalized stigma about mental illness and treatment, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how navigating emotional eating fits into the intuitive eating process.

Tiffany Roe is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor, psychology teacher, speaker, podcast host, & the owner of Mindful Counseling in Orem, Utah. She passionately helps her clients remember they are enough. Tiffany has focused her career on treatment for women navigating disordered eating, poor body image, poor relationships with themselves and food, anxiety, life transitions, and low self-worth. Tiffany personally survived an eating disorder and has been fully recovered for over 12 years. She passionately works to dismantle diet culture and feels called to work with women and to help them find their true purpose and self-worth. Tiffany believes you can love yourself, your mind, your body, and your relationship with food.

She attended Argosy University where she graduated with honors and received her Master of Arts degree in Mental Health Counseling in 2011. She received her Bachelor degree in Sociology from Brigham Young University in 2008. Tiffany is an award-winning teacher & speaker. She taught psychology courses in the Behavioral Sciences Department for Utah Valley University from 2012-2017. Tiffany regularly speaks for community events, workshops, and retreats. She wants to change the mental health game and make therapy accessible and cool. Find her online at TiffanyRoe.com.

This episode is brought to you by Ori, a new clothing brand that makes cute, comfortable, and modern pieces specifically designed to fit larger bodies. Head over to WearOri.com/Psych for an exclusive 15% discount for Food Psych® listeners.

This episode is also brought to you today by Katie Dalebout’s let [a podcast] out course. If you’ve ever wanted to start a podcast, this workshop, which features interviews with over 100 podcasters (including Christy,) will help you learn the ins-and-outs of podcasting, so that you can focus on crafting your own unique content. To learn more and sign up, visit LetAPodcastOut.club, and use promo code FOODPSYCH for $25 off at checkout. Sign up before March 21, 2019 to receive an additional $75 off the course.

We Discuss:

  • How growing up in a large family steeped in diet culture affected her relationship with food and with her body

  • The factors that led to her eating disorder

  • How disordered eating is often normalized or ignored because of stereotypes of what eating disorders “look like”

  • Why people who are diet culture’s “picture of health” are often secretly struggling

  • How moving to another country as a Mormon missionary exacerbated her eating disorder

  • How recovery changed her relationship with her faith and identity

  • The connections between shame, religion, and diet culture

  • Post-traumatic growth

  • Intuitive eating, and its role in eating-disorder recovery

  • What inspired Tiffany and Christy to work with eating disorders

  • Why we need to fight fatphobia in eating-disorder treatment and dietetic training

  • The importance of recognizing our own biases

  • Being open to being called out/in and educated

  • Why it’s essential for helping professionals to be aware of social justice and systems of oppression

  • Healthism in healthcare institutions

  • Sitting with our shame and discomfort in growth and recovery

  • Mental-health stigma amongst therapists

  • Tiffany’s work to break down the stigma around mental illness and treatment

  • Vulnerability, and arriving at a place where it feels safe to share personal information and experiences

  • Trust in eating-disorder recovery and intuitive eating

  • Tiffany’s podcast, Therapy Thoughts

 

Resources Mentioned

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

  • Be Nourished, and Food Psych® episodes with co-founders Dana Sturtevant and Hilary Kinavey

  • Therapy Thoughts podcast

  • Tiffany’s website, counseling practice, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

  • This episode is brought to you by Ori, a new clothing brand that makes cute, comfortable, and modern pieces specifically designed to fit larger bodies. Head over to WearOri.com/Psych for an exclusive 15% discount for Food Psych® listeners.

  • This episode is also brought to you today by Katie Dalebout’s let [a podcast] out course. If you’ve ever wanted to start a podcast, this workshop, which features interviews with over 100 podcasters (including Christy,) will help you learn the ins-and-outs of podcasting, so that you can focus on crafting your own unique content. To learn more and sign up, visit LetAPodcastOut.club, and use promo code FOODPSYCH for $25 off at checkout. Sign up before March 21, 2019 to receive an additional $75 off the course.

     

Listener Question of the Week

Given that emotional eating is normal, does the intuitive eating principle “Honor Your Feelings Without Using Food” still apply? What truly drives what we call “emotional eating?” Is it possible to turn to food for comfort without a background of dieting or deprivation? Why is simply replacing emotional eating with other coping mechanisms usually not effective? What are the first steps that a person take to recover from disordered eating? What are some coping mechanisms that a person can use in addition to emotional eating? What are some ways to reframe the idea of emotional eating?

(Resources Mentioned:

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Food Psych #188: How to Improve Treatment for Disordered Eating with Marcella Raimondo

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Eating-disorders psychologist Marcella Raimondo joins us to discuss how to improve disordered-eating treatment for people who don’t fit diet culture’s idea of what an ED “looks like,” how eating disorders can affect our career choices, why more representation of marginalized identities benefits everyone, how fatphobia was born out of racist beliefs about body size, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to handle the fact that there are hateful corners of the internet devoted to tearing down the fat-acceptance movement.

Marcella Raimondo, PhD, MPH is a passionate and spirited clinical trainer speaking from her heart on multicultural issues in eating disorders since 1995. Marcella is a licensed psychologist for Kaiser Permanente’s adult eating disorder clinic in Oakland and part of a regional leadership team. She runs her own practice in Oakland. She is also on the Board for Eating Disorders Recovery and Support (EDRS) as President, advisory board for Association of Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH,) Advisory Board for Nalgona Positivity Pride (NPP) and Board of Founders for About-Face. Marcella herself recovered from anorexia nervosa over 15 years ago. Her recovery and her martial arts training inspires her dedication to multicultural body nurturance and community celebration. Find her online at MarcellaEDTraining.com.

This episode is also brought to you by NurX, the game-changing company that’s here to make getting birth control easier. Visit nurx.com/foodpsych for a $20 credit, and you can get birth control delivered securely and confidentially to your door in less than a week.

We Discuss:

  • The mixed messages that Marcella received in adolescence about food as a way to connect to her heritage, while being aware of the changes in her body

  • Anti-fatness as a response to racism and trying to assimilate

  • The thoughts and emotions that pushed her to start dieting, and eventually fueled her eating disorder

  • What motivated her to pursue recovery

  • How eating disorders can affect our career choices

  • Her eating-disorder recovery experience

  • The effect of learning about the experiences of other women of color on her recovery

  • Privilege, and how it affects a person’s ability to access treatment

  • Why acknowledging eating disorders and disordered eating in marginalized identities helps everyone

  • Grassroots efforts to make eating-disorder treatment more accessible to everyone

  • Finding the balance as a small-business owner between making a living and offering accessible eating-disorder treatment

  • Fatphobia as a barrier to treatment and recovery

  • The many ways in which our current healthcare system is broken and harms marginalized folks

  • How martial arts and yoga can play a role in various parts of recovery

  • The importance of self-compassion and forgiveness

  • What drew Marcella into martial arts training, and how it affected her recovery and work today

 

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 advice is there for dealing with anti-fat discourse on the internet? What motivates people to be hateful toward larger-bodied people? Why do some people get defensive toward the idea of fat acceptance? What are some strategies to handle the fact that there are hateful corners of the internet devoted to tearing down fat acceptance and other forms of social justice? How does the structure of the internet itself uphold hateful rhetoric? What are some trusted resources for fat-positive information?

(Resources Mentioned:

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Food Psych #187: How to Make the World More Accessible for ALL Bodies with Alissa Sobo

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Software engineer and Ample co-founder Alissa Sobo joins us to discuss how being fat-shamed at the doctor’s office inspired her to create the Ample app, how to improve the accessibility of public spaces for people in ALL bodies, her journey through disordered eating and recovery, why business reviews are a form of education and advocacy, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about whether the principles of intuitive eating and Health At Every Size® still apply for older people.

Alissa is a software engineer and a cofounder of Ample, a review website, like Yelp, for rating doctors, services, and establishments on their accessibility and inclusiveness towards fat, trans, disabled, and BIPOC bodies. Ample has amassed over 700 reviews and recommendations across 10 countries since its beta launch in 2018. Alissa began the open-source, volunteer-led project in 2017 after experiencing fat shaming at the doctor during her pregnancies. While there were some nascent resources for finding fat friendly services at the time, she started Ample with the hope of improving these tools with up-to-date technologies, centralizing the information into one easy-to-find repository, and honoring the intersectional identities of communities. When she’s not coding, she can be found riding bikes and gardening with her family in Portland, OR. Find her online at IsItAmple.com.

Help us and our potential advertisers learn a little bit more about you. Visit podsurvey.com/foodpsych to take an anonymous survey, and you can enter to win a $100 Amazon gift card. Terms and conditions apply.

This episode is also brought to you by NurX, the game-changing company that’s here to make getting birth control easier. Visit nurx.com/foodpsych for a $20 credit, and you can get birth control delivered securely and confidentially to your door in less than a week.

We Discuss:

  • Alissa’s experiences growing up as a larger-bodied child

  • How her relationship with food and her body developed into an eating disorder

  • How she learned about Health At Every Size

  • How where we live can influence our relationship with food and our bodies

  • Body acceptance, and how it can look different for everyone

  • Her experience of being fat-shamed at the doctor’s office, and how it inspired her to start Ample

  • How creating the app helped her to learn more about accessibility

  • Why Ample is for all marginalized identities, not just larger bodies

  • The mechanics behind the app

  • Practical strategies for increasing accessibility, even when space and/or funds are limited

  • Advocating for ourselves, and the work that it can take to be comfortable doing so

 

Resources Mentioned

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

  • Virgie Tovar’s work, and her first, second, and third appearances on Food Psych®

  • Health At Every Size by Linda Bacon (and their Food Psych episode) (CW: Dr. Bacon no longer recommends the book Health At Every Size and instead directs people to their second book, Body Respect)

  • Hot & Heavy by Virgie Tovar

  • Shoog McDaniel’s work

  • The Ample app

  • Corissa Enneking’s work, and her Food Psych episode

  • Fat Friendly Docs

  • Ragen Chastain’s work, and her first and second appearances on Food Psych

  • Ample on Facebook and Instagram

  • Help us and our potential advertisers learn a little bit more about you. Visit podsurvey.com/foodpsych to take an anonymous survey, and you can enter to win a $100 Amazon gift card. Terms and conditions apply.

  • This episode is also brought to you by NurX, the game-changing company that’s here to make getting birth control easier. Visit nurx.com/foodpsych for a $20 credit, and you can get birth control delivered securely and confidentially to your door in less than a week.

     

Listener Question of the Week

Is there any point in Health At Every Size and/or intuitive eating where an older person with health concerns should consider weight loss? Is there an age limit to HAES and intuitive eating? What are the effects of dieting, or any intentional weight loss? What are the consequences of weight cycling and weight stigma? How can a person access healthcare that doesn’t involve weight cycling or weight stigma? What are some things you can prepare ahead of a doctor’s appointment?

(Resources Mentioned:

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Food Psych #186: How to Rebuild Trust in Your Body with Jenna Hollenstein

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Non-diet dietitian, certified intuitive eating counselor, and author Jenna Hollenstein returns to discuss her new book, Eat to Love: A Mindful Guide to Transforming Your Relationship with Food, Body, and Life, the role of self-compassion and non-judgment in recovery, how to rebuild trust in your body and inner wisdom, the importance of having enough, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about whether or not you need to cut out certain foods for Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

Jenna Hollenstein, MS, RDN, CDN, is a non-diet dietitian who helps people struggling with chronic dieting, disordered eating, and eating disorders. She uses a combination of Intuitive Eating, mindfulness techniques, and meditation to help her clients move toward greater peace, health, and wellness. Jenna’s private practice is located at 750 Lexington Avenue in New York City where she consults with clients in person and virtually.

Jenna is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) and a Certified Dietitian Nutritionist (CDN) in New York State. She has a Bachelors degree in Nutrition from Penn State, a Masters degree in Nutrition from Tufts University, is a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor and an Open Heart Project meditation guide. In 2018, Jenna joined the board of The Center for Mindful Eating.

Jenna is the author of Understanding Dietary Supplements, a handy guide to the evaluation and use of vitamins, minerals, herbs, and botanicals for both consumers and clinicians, and more recently the memoir Drinking to Distraction. Her third book, Eat to Love: A Mindful Guide to Transforming your Relationship with Food, Body, and Life, was released in January 2019. Find her online at Eat2Love.com.

This episode is brought to you by Blinkist, where thousands of non-fiction books are condensed into key takeaway information that you can read or listen to in just 15 minutes. Start your FREE 7-day trial by going to blinkist.com/foodpsych.

This episode is also brought to you by NurX, the game-changing company that’s here to make getting birth control easier. Visit nurx.com/foodpsych for a $20 credit, and you can get birth control delivered securely and confidentially to your door in less than a week.

We Discuss:

  • Jenna’s process in writing her new book, Eat to Love: A Mindful Guide to Transforming your Relationship with Food, Body, and Life

  • What she’s learned from being a mother of a young child

  • The role of the “honeymoon phase” in intuitive eating

  • The “three objects, three poisons, and three seeds of virtue” in Buddhist philosophy, and how they can relate to our relationship with food and body

  • The benefits of learning to sit with our discomfort

  • Non-judgmental mindfulness, meditation, self-compassion, and their roles in recovery

  • The similarities between mindful eating and intuitive eating

  • The “fix-it” mentality of modern culture, and why it can be problematic

  • Diet culture and intuitive eating through a spiritual lens

  • Learning to rebuild trust in our body and inner wisdom

  • How intuitive eating and Buddhist philosophy overlap

  • How self-improvement is actually limiting us

  • Waking up to our inherent goodness

  • Self-esteem vs. self-compassion

  • Learning to accept fullness, satisfaction, and having enough

  • Using our values as our guiding principles

  • Asking ourselves what we really want

  • How conformity is sometimes necessary to keep us safe

  • Why the law of attraction is problematic

  • Unchecked privilege in health and wellness spaces

  • How different parts of our culture are responding to uncertainty in nutrition science

  • Embracing uncertainty and the unknown

 

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

Do I need to cut out certain foods to manage Hashimoto’s thyroiditis? How can a person with a history of disordered eating safely navigate the advice to restrict certain foods? What is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and how is it diagnosed? What is something to watch out for when working with an alternative or conventional healthcare practitioner? How can meeting with an endocrinologist help with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis? Why are so many sources promoting a “Hashimoto’s diet” despite the lack of evidence? Where do some of the claims for cutting out certain foods come from? What are some ways that a person can manage their Hashimoto’s, with or without medications? What is the “nocebo” effect?

(Resources Mentioned:

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Food Psych #185: How Diet Culture Hurts Your Relationships with Kristina Bruce

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Health At Every Size® life coach Kristina Bruce joins us to discuss how diet culture can affect relationships, how to find self-trust and self-acceptance in recovering from disordered eating, how diet culture shows up in spiritual communities, why health and well-being is about so much more than eating and exercise, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about weight stigma in the military.

Kristina Bruce is a Certified Integrative Life Coach and advocate of the Health at Every Size paradigm. Calling upon her education in health studies, sociology, yoga, meditation, and The Work of Byron Katie, Kristina works one-on-one with people to help them reconnect to their bodies and feel more trusting and accepting of themselves. Find her online at KristinaBruce.com.

This episode is brought to you by Poshmark, the fun and simple way to buy and sell fashion (including many plus-sized options!) Get $5 off your first purchase when you sign up with the invite code FOODPSYCH.

We Discuss:

  • Some of the covert diet culture messaging that Kristina received growing up, despite her parents avoiding overt diet talk

  • The evolution of diet culture, particularly over the last few decades

  • How Kristina’s relationship with her body changed from childhood to young adulthood

  • Yoga culture, and how it uses “spirituality” to reinforce The Wellness Diet

  • How relationships—particularly romantic relationships—can highlight and be affected by disordered relationships with food, exercise, and/or the body

  • What helped Kristina stop dieting and embrace Health At Every Size

  • Her experience of returning to dieting while in recovery

  • Diet culture in spiritual communities

  • Relearning self-trust, and why the “honeymoon phase” is sometimes necessary to get there

  • The body-soul connection

  • Self-acceptance, and its importance in recovery

  • Letting go of our inner critic

  • How relationships transform with recovery

  • Why health and well-being is about so much more than eating and exercise

 

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 it possible to challenge the BMI and body-size standards required by the military? How can a person choose between their health and their career? How can individuals advocate for systemic and institutional change? Why are some organizations and people quicker to adopt new ideas than others?

(Resources Mentioned:

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Food Psych #184: Why Diet Culture Is a Form of Oppression with Virgie Tovar

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Activist and author Virgie Tovar returns! We discuss her newest book, You Have the Right to Remain Fat; the intersections between fatphobia, sexism, and diet culture; how dieting is a form of oppression and assimilation; the influence of American history on diet culture; body liberation as a collective movement; and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to navigate the dating pool while working to accept your body and maintain your feminist values.

Virgie Tovar is the author of You Have the Right to Remain Fat and is one of the nation's leading experts and lecturers on fat discrimination and body image. She is the founder of Babecamp, a 4-week online course designed to help women who want to break up with diet culture. She started the hashtag campaign #LoseHateNotWeight and in 2018 gave a TedX talk on the origins of the campaign. She pens a weekly column called Take the Cake on Ravishly.com and is a contributor for Forbes.com. Tovar has been featured by Tech Insider, The New York Times, NPR, Al Jazeera and Self. Find her online at VirgieTovar.com.

This episode is brought to you by NurX, the game-changing company that’s here to make getting birth control easier. Visit nurx.com/foodpsych for a $20 credit, and you can get birth control delivered securely and confidentially to your door in less than a week.

This episode is also brought to you by Blinkist, where thousands of non-fiction books are condensed into key takeaway information that you can read or listen to in just 15 minutes. Start your FREE 7-day trial by going to blinkist.com/foodpsych.

We Discuss:

  • What Virgie has been up to since her last appearance on the podcast, including her new book, You Have the Right to Remain Fat and other writing projects

  • Diet culture as a barrier to feminism

  • How weight-neutral messaging is being co-opted to market weight loss

  • How fatphobia, sexism, and other forms of discrimination have not gone away, but have only become subtler and sneakier

  • Internalized inferiority, and what it looks like in our culture

  • The effort required to pinpoint subtle forms of marginalization

  • One strategy to help bring a different perspective to diet culture

  • The link between diet culture and fatphobia

  • The dietary reform movement of the 1800s as a precursor to present-day diet culture

  • Dieting as a form of oppression and assimilation

  • The National Fitness Test and its nationalist roots

  • Common narratives in American culture and history, and why they are problematic

  • Gaslighting, and how it shows up in the body-positive movement

  • Why body liberation is a social justice movement rather than an individual pursuit

  • What was lost when fat liberation morphed into body positivity

  • How seeking personal relief often brings people to anti-diet work

  • The link between internalized inferiority and unexamined privilege

  • Gentrifying vs. pupil energy

  • Why collective liberation is important

  • How separating ourselves from our thoughts can help with liberation

  • Virgie’s latest project, Camp Thunder Thighs

  • Her five principles/practices for meaningful change in our relationship with our bodies

 

Resources Mentioned

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

  • Virgie’s previous Food Psych® episodes #45 and #100

  • You Have the Right to Remain Fat

  • Sander Gilman’s work

  • James Baldwin’s work

  • Camp Thunder Thighs

  • Virgie’s website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

  • This episode is brought to you by NurX, the game-changing company that’s here to make getting birth control easier. Visit nurx.com/foodpsych for a $20 credit, and you can get birth control delivered securely and confidentially to your door in less than a week.

  • This episode is also brought to you by Blinkist, where thousands of non-fiction books are condensed into key takeaway information that you can read or listen to in just 15 minutes. Start your FREE 7-day trial by going to blinkist.com/foodpsych.

     

Listener Question of the Week

What are some tips for navigating the dating scene as a person in a larger body? How can a person stop feeling hurt by being rejected for their size? How does one reconcile their feminist critiques of dating culture with feelings of loneliness? How does dating culture reinforce patriarchal ideals? Why is it important to work on self-acceptance in the context of dating? What are some qualities to look for in a potential partner?

(Resources Mentioned:

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