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

Bevin

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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