empathy

Food Psych #179: How to Avoid Falling for The Wellness Diet This New Year with Colleen Reichmann

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Anti-diet therapist Colleen Reichmann joins us to discuss how to keep from falling prey to diet culture, the problem with Whole30 and other forms of The Wellness Diet, why true well-being is about so much more than food and movement, a quick way to tell if your “lifestyle change” is really a diet, why eating-disorder diagnoses are often problematic, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to handle envy for people who seem to be “successfully managing” their weight.

Dr. Colleen Reichmann is a licensed clinical psychologist, practicing in Williamsburg, VA. She works in her private practice, Wildflower Therapy, and is a staff psychologist at the College of William and Mary. She is recovered from an eating disorder, and this experience sparked her passion for spreading knowledge and awareness that recovery is possible. She is now an eating disorders specialist, and has worked at various treatment facilities including University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro Center for Eating Disorder Care, and The Center for Eating Disorders at Sheppard Pratt. She is an advocate for intersectional feminism, body liberation, fat acceptance, and Health At Every Size. She speaks at national and regional eating disorder conferences, and writes about body image and eating disorders for MORELove Project, Project HEAL, The Mighty, Recovery Warriors, Adios Barbie, and more. Find her online at ColleenReichmann.com.

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We Discuss:

  • The different factors that contributed to Colleen’s multifaceted relationship with food growing up

  • The insidious nature of wellness culture

  • Colleen’s foray into dieting, and eventually her eating disorder

  • How diet culture keeps disordered eating under the radar

  • Why eating-disorder diagnoses are often problematic

  • The importance of receiving treatment even when diagnostic criteria are not met

  • The power of empathy and validation, and how feeling invalidated triggered Christy further into her eating disorder

  • How Colleen’s college experience intensified her eating disorder, and the restrictive culture at some college campuses

  • Bamboo as an analogy for eating-disorder recovery

  • How Colleen’s eating disorder morphed to a “wellness” focus in graduate school

  • The problem with Whole30 and other “wellness” diets

  • Orthorexia, and the need for more research and awareness

  • The Wellness Diet, how it is really the modern incarnation of diet culture, and why it’s so problematic

  • How wellness culture capitalizes on people’s fears of illness and death

  • Privilege and oppression in clean eating and diet culture

  • Christy’s upcoming book, and how it traces the history of diet culture

  • A quick way to tell whether your lifestyle change is really a diet

  • How true well-being is about so much more than food and movement

  • How Colleen recovered from her eating disorder, and why she works in eating disorder recovery today

  • Health At Every Size®, and why it is crucial in eating-disorder treatment and recovery

  • Diet culture and fatphobia in eating-disorder treatment, and how it gets in the way of full recovery

  • Why it’s important for clinicians to work through their own biases in order to provide ethical eating-disorder treatment

 

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 we give up the envy of those who seem to be able to stay at a lower weight through dieting and restriction? How can we give up the feelings of failure for not being able to stay at a lower weight? What is some of the research that shows the high failure rates of diets? What is likely happening when people are able to maintain a lower weight? What is thin privilege, and how is it related to other forms of privilege like male privilege or white privilege?

(Resources Mentioned:

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Food Psych #169: The Truth About Fitness Culture and "Clean Eating" with Christine Yoshida

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Mental health counselor and Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor Christine Yoshida joins us to discuss how fitness culture affected her relationship with food, how she broke free and restored her relationship with her body, why diet mentality and “clean eating” can make health problems worse, how young children can be influenced by diet culture, using empathy and connection to spread the anti-diet message, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to handle black-and-white thinking in eating-disorder recovery.

Christine Yoshida, MS, NCC, maintains a private counseling practice in Vancouver, Washington (north of Portland, Oregon). Christine is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, NASM certified personal trainer, and she is also currently in the process of completing a program to obtain her Eating Disorder Certificate. Her practice focuses on assisting teens and adults dealing with eating disorders and disordered eating. She is a practitioner and advocate of Intuitive Eating, Body Respect, and Health at Every Size.

While Christine loves working with and helping young children in a school setting (she has been an elementary counselor since 2007) she has an unwavering passion for helping all people struggling with body insecurity, poor relationships with food, eating disorders, chronic dieting, and over-exercising. Christine strives to help her clients overcome and unlearn the harmful messages and artificial standards created by the diet and fitness culture.

Away from work, Christine lives in Portland with her husband and two cute but troublemaking young children, Lucy and Matthew! Find her online at ChristineYoshida.com.

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We Discuss:

  • Growing up with access to enough food even in poverty

  • How having privilege shielded Christine from many diet culture messages, and helped her to have an intuitive relationship with food as a child and adolescent

  • How fitness culture affected her relationship with food and her body

  • Going on her first diet, and how it quickly spiraled into disordered eating

  • Having health concerns dismissed or misdiagnosed due to being in a “normal weight range”

  • Wellness culture, and how even health providers can take advantage of genuine health concerns and feed into the diet mentality

  • “Clean eating,” and how it can actually trigger health problems

  • Remembering that healthcare providers are people too, and can be struggling with diet culture themselves

  • The prevalence of digestive issues in people with disordered eating

  • How we’re rarely taught to trust our intuition and inner wisdom throughout our lives

  • How dieting lures us by making us feel temporarily powerful and accomplished

  • Becoming pregnant, and how that helped Christine become more intuitive with her eating

  • The various forms of diets in disguise within fitness culture

  • Seeing the harms of a weight-centric model through her clients, and working to create a career and life that’s better aligned with her values

  • Having self-compassion for having worked within diet culture in the past, and also having compassion for people who are still in it

  • Learning about intuitive eating and Health At Every Size® for the first time

  • Why getting support can be important in integrating the concepts of intuitive eating into your life

  • How intuitive eating becomes easier over time

  • How diet mentality can be passed on to young children by parents and teachers

  • Fighting against diet culture messaging in subtle ways

  • Using empathy and connection to spread the anti-diet message

  • Christine’s private practice, and how that is different from her work as a school counselor

 

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

  • Health At Every Size, by Linda Bacon, and their Food Psych Podcast episode

  • Intuitive Eating, 3rd Ed., by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, and their Food Psych Podcast episodes (Evelyn’s episode, and Elyse’s episode)

  • Julie Bowman’s work

  • Katharine Jeffcoat’s work

  • Elizabeth Scott’s Food Psych Podcast episode

  • Hilary Kinavey’s work through Be Nourished, and her Food Psych Podcast episode

  • Christine on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

  • Save money with Paribus! Paribus monitors online retailers to make sure that you get the best price, and will even help you get compensated if your shipment arrives late. Head to GetParibus.com to sign up.

  • If you’re a smoker who is trying to quit, get the support you need through a unique, three-pronged approach with a Zero Quit Kit. Save $50 on your first month by visiting QuitWithZero.com/FoodPsych.

     

Listener Question of the Week

How do we handle black-and-white thinking in eating-disorder recovery? Can all-or-nothing thinking be a good thing? How are disordered eating, diet culture, and black-and-white thinking linked? What are some helpful first steps when someone is ready for eating-disorder recovery? Why might researching eating disorders be unhelpful in the early stages of recovery? What are some resources that can be helpful for recovery, and how do we know when we’ve found them? Do the anti-diet and Health At Every Size® communities engage in black-and-white thinking around weight stigma?

(Resources Mentioned: Health At Every Size® Community, Certified Intuitive Eating Counselors directory)

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