intuitive eating

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 #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 #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 #183: How The Wellness Diet Harms Your Health with Katherine Zavodni

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Eating-disorders dietitian Katherine Zavodni shares her own experience with chronic illness and The Wellness Diet, how it ultimately led her to embrace a Health At Every Size® approach in her work, why the popular narrative of personal responsibility in diet and wellness culture is harmful, what to do when others are stuck in diet mentality, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to stop obsessing over getting “enough” exercise.

Katherine Zavodni is a registered dietitian in private practice in Salt Lake City, UT. She is a certified eating-disorders dietitian and specializes in child and family feeding concerns, intuitive eating and Health At Every Size in addition to nutrition therapy for disordered eating. She is passionate about non-diet work and particularly about a non-diet approach to school nutrition education, and is working on developing a curriculum to teach food and nutrition within a positive, age-appropriate framework. Find her online at KZNutrition.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:

  • How going through puberty earlier than her peers affected Katherine’s relationship with her body growing up

  • Fatphobic messaging in children’s media

  • Chronic illness, medications, and how they can affect weight

  • How diets often get the “credit” for weight loss outcomes, despite many confounding factors

  • What motivated Katherine to embrace a Health At Every Size, non-diet approach to her work

  • Why the popular narrative of personal responsibility in health and wellness is actually causing harm

  • The multiple therapies that Katherine tried to manage her chronic inflammatory condition

  • The lack of evidence behind applied kinesiology

  • Why it’s common to blame ourselves when diets and treatments don’t work

  • Elimination diets, and how they’re ineffective or harmful for most people

  • Shame within diet and wellness culture

  • The pressure on people with chronic illness to find a therapy that “works”

  • How the internet has accelerated the spread of The Wellness Diet

  • The similarities and connections between diet culture and wellness culture

  • How health and wellness messaging often comes from people with privilege

  • Katherine’s work in eating-disorder recovery

  • Taking off the “expert hat” as a helping professional

  • Why it’s important to respect body autonomy even when others are dieting

  • Being conscious of your influence on others, particularly for helping professionals

  • Turning inward instead of looking outside in regards to self-care

  • Intuitive eating, and how it often gets turned into another diet

 

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 stop obsessing over getting “enough” exercise, or making weight loss the main motivator? What are some of the ways that diet culture influences our relationship with exercise? What are some of the consequences of both systemic and internalized fatphobia? How can we become more conscious of our motivations for movement? How can our relationship with movement affect our relationship with food?

(Resources Mentioned:

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Food Psych #182: Fitness Culture, Hypothalamic Amenorrhea, and Why Health Is Not an Obligation with Cara Harbstreet

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Non-diet dietitian Cara Harbstreet joins us to discuss hypothalamic amenorrhea and the lack of adequate care in conventional and alternative health, the normalization of diet-culture thoughts and behaviors in collegiate athletics and dietetics education, why thin privilege and other privileges don’t necessarily protect a person from internalizing body shame, why you don’t have to engage in or value movement or health, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about whether weight loss is necessary for conception and pregnancy.

Cara Harbstreet is a Kansas City-based non-diet dietitian. She's the owner of Street Smart Nutrition, a food blog that celebrates fearlessly nourishing meals and explores food-related topics. She's also the founder of Libre Connections, a digital platform that connects clients to HAES-informed dietitians for virtual coaching services. Her mission is to provide greater access to the support so many of us need for our healing journeys to take place, as well as providing opportunities for dietitians who aspire to work in this area. She is passionate about advocating for change both within and beyond the dietetics profession. Cara is an active volunteer for multiple professional organizations and recently authored a cookbook, The Pescetarian Cookbook: The Essential Kitchen Companion, to promote a more realistic and simple approach to home cooking for health and happiness. When not occupied with work, she can usually be found checking out the local food scene, spending time outdoors, or experimenting in the kitchen. Find her online at LibreConnections.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

We Discuss:

  • How Cara’s parents’ emphasis on family meals positively influenced her relationship with food growing up

  • Thin privilege, and how it and other privileges don’t necessarily protect a person from internalizing body shame

  • The normalization of diet culture in collegiate athletics, and how this affected Cara’s relationship with her body

  • How over-exercising affected her athletic performance and overall health

  • Hypothalamic amenorrhea (HA) (aka missing periods), and her experience of being misdiagnosed with PCOS

  • The lack of competent care from conventional and alternative health practitioners when it comes to menstrual and hormonal issues

  • How “fear talk” associated with some medical diagnoses perpetuates diet culture

  • How diet culture skews our view of how much food or activity is “normal”

  • Dietetics education, and how it reinforces diet mentality and behaviors

  • Cara’s experience working at a weight-loss camp for children

  • One of her key strategies to help recover from diet mentality

  • What helped her push diet culture away and start to heal her relationship with food and her body

  • Her experience with the “honeymoon phase” of intuitive eating

  • Why she credits some of her business success to intuitive eating

  • Exploring other forms of movement after her collegiate athletic career

  • Giving ourselves permission to not engage in physical activity

  • Why you don’t owe anybody your health, even if it is something that you value

  • How participating in The Wellness Diet is a form of privilege

  • A quick litmus test to see whether an activity is right for you

 

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

Can weight loss help regulate hormones and increase fertility? Is it possible to try to lose weight without relapsing into eating disorder behaviors? What are some ways that the eating disorder voice or diet culture messaging can show up for people? What is harmful about intentional weight loss? What is likely behind difficulties with conceiving for people in larger bodies and why don’t we hear about them? What is hypothalamic amenorrhea (HA) and what are some of its risk factors? What can a person do instead to help increase their chances of conception?

Resources Mentioned

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Food Psych #181: How to "Just Eat It" and Break Free from Diet Culture with Laura Thomas

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Intuitive eating counselor and author Laura Thomas joins us to discuss the problems with The Wellness Diet, why subtle levels of weight stigma are so hard to pinpoint and eradicate, why "emotional eating" and turning to food for comfort are falsely demonized in diet culture, why people in the nutrition field often struggle in their own relationships with food, her new book Just Eat It, and lots more. Plus, Christy answers a listener question about whether the 12-step model works for food issues.

Laura Thomas, PhD is an AfN Registered Nutritionist and Certified Intuitive Eating Counsellor specialising in intuitive eating, mindful eating, weight-inclusive and non-diet nutrition. She has a BSc in Health Sciences from the University of Aberdeen, a PhD in Nutritional Sciences from Texas A&M University, and completed her post-doctoral research at Cornell University in behavior change. She is the host of Don’t Salt My Game podcast and was the Nutritionist for the 2017 BBC1 documentary Mind Over Marathon. She established the London Centre for Intuitive Eating in 2017 to help clients and train clinicians in Intuitive Eating. Her first book, Just Eat It: How intuitive eating can help you get your shit together around food was published this month by Bluebird Books. Find her online at LauraThomasPhD.co.uk.

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:

  • How Laura’s difficult family life mirrored her complicated relationship with food and her body

  • Why it’s normal for people, especially children, to turn to food for comfort

  • The factors that reinforced Laura’s disordered eating

  • How we were introduced to Health At Every Size®, and why it can be difficult for people to embrace the paradigm

  • Why people in the nutrition field often struggle in their own relationships with food

  • Our experiences with The Wellness Diet, and what helped us realize that it’s actually diet culture in disguise

  • How a lot of “anti-wellness” work is still rooted in diet culture

  • Christy’s FNCE debate, and the response from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

  • The problem with how the “obesity”-industrial complex is trying to combat weight stigma

  • Our gratitude for the pioneers of the HAES® movement and the difficult work that many continue to do

  • Privilege, and how it interplays with HAES work and activism

  • Microaggressions, and how they affect people in marginalized bodies

  • Why subtle levels of weight stigma are so hard to pinpoint and eradicate

  • Why the “o-word” and labeling larger body size as a disease is problematic

  • Laura’s experiences of weight stigma in nutrition academia

  • Her book, Just Eat It: How intuitive eating can help you get your shit together around food

  • The oppressive nature of diet culture, and why liberation is important

  • How Trump embodies patriarchy

 

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

Does the 12-step model work for food issues? What is the difference between addiction to alcohol and substances and addiction to food? Is the feeling that food has addictive qualities the same as food addiction? What is the role of restriction and deprivation in the addictive qualities of food? What is The Restriction Pendulum? Is it possible to be “starving” without looking emaciated? What do physical and psychological starvation look like? How can intuitive eating stop The Restriction Pendulum? Why doesn’t the abstinence model work with food issues? How does the 12-step model reinforce diet culture? What is the problem with food-addiction research? What is the role of pleasure in human life?

Resources Mentioned

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Food Psych #180: Body Policing, Social Class, and Diet Culture with Sonalee Rashatwar

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Anti-diet social worker and sex therapist Sonalee Rashatwar joins us to discuss body policing, the non-consensual nature of dieting for many kids, how body size gets treated as a marker of class status and cultural assimilation, how gender identity changes people’s relationships with food, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about whether there are any reasons to focus on fullness other than fatphobia, and whether a particular statement in the book Intuitive Eating is fatphobic.

Sonalee Rashatwar (she/they) is a licensed clinical social worker, sex therapist, community organizer, and public speaker based out of New Jersey. They are paid for their labor as a sexual assault counselor with specialties in ethnic identity development, sexual trauma, general sexuality or gender issues, and fat identity or body image issues. She is a sought after speaker on topics related to fat trauma, sexual colonization, reproductive freedom, consent culture, race as a body image issue, and unlearning diet culture. Her fame hit an all time high when she was featured on Breitbart in March 2018 for naming thinness as a white supremacist beauty ideal. In additional to her paid labor, they organize with two South Asian collectives around creating healing spaces for radical youth political education. As a nonbinary bisexual superfat donut queen, Sonalee brings their whole vulnerable self to all of her work and does not attempt to live within artificial boundaries of professionalism. Her spirit breathes for black, brown, and indigenous liberation. Find them online at SonaleeR.com.

We Discuss:

  • Sonalee’s relationship with food and her body growing up in an Indian-Hindu family in New Jersey

  • How patriarchy affects how we view our fathers

  • Dieting as a form of cultural and racial assimilation

  • How different social classes experience and uphold diet culture and other forms of oppression

  • The caste system in Indian communities

  • Healing from sexual trauma

  • Reclaiming agency in sex

  • Body policing based on gender presentation and size, and Sonalee’s experiences of this in her family and relationships

  • What helped her to resist pressure to have weight-loss surgery

  • Capitalism, and how it contributes to oppression

  • What disability justice can teach us about activism

  • How Sonalee’s size affects their ability and access

  • The medical model vs. social model of disability

  • How they are rebuilding their relationship with their parents

  • Setting and enforcing boundaries in our relationships

  • What fatness and being fat means to her

  • Our bodies as heirlooms

 

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

If you take away the fatphobia, why does the book Intuitive Eating emphasize that eating past fullness is something that ought to be avoided? How can chronic conditions, particularly ones that affect the digestive system, change how fullness is perceived? Why do some people consistently eat past fullness? What is The Restriction Pendulum?

Resources Mentioned

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Food Psych #178: The Truth About High-Weight Anorexia with Erin Harrop

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Weight-stigma researcher Erin Harrop joins us to discuss how anorexia is treated (or not) in people of different sizes, how diet culture and weight stigma influence treatment and recovery for disordered eating, the problem with the “atypical” anorexia label, how improving eating-disorder treatment in people with larger bodies can benefit everyone, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about what to do if you develop binge eating in recovery from restrictive eating behaviors.

Erin Harrop received her B.S. and MSW from the University of Washington, where she is currently a fourth-year doctoral student in social welfare. Her research interests concern eating disorders, substance abuse, and weight stigma. She sees weight-based discrimination as a critical, and often ignored, social justice issue, and her research agenda seeks to address this limitation by focusing on the systemic factors of weight stigma which impact the illness journeys of eating disorder patients. She employs an interpretive, critical feminist theory and anti-oppression lens to her work, as well as an explicit Health at Every Size® approach to the promotion of health behaviors. Her research is informed by her clinical experience as a medical social worker at Seattle Children’s Hospital, where she has worked for the past five years. Erin recently was funded for two NIH TL1 Translational Research Training grants for her dissertation research with women who have atypical anorexia. Erin is also active in the student group, SWAG (Sizeism, Weightism Advocacy Group), which she co-founded in 2012. Find her online at facebook.com/erin.harrop.3

From now until New Year’s, we’re offering gift subscriptions to the Intuitive Eating Fundamentals course. It’s the perfect gift for someone looking for anti-diet inspiration, or put it on your wishlist so that others know to get it for you. For more information, visit christyharrison.com/gift.

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:

  • “Intuitive cooking,” and how it helped to bring experimentation and joy to Erin’s relationship with food

  • Gendered messages around food

  • Diet culture, and how it steals our pleasure from food

  • Learning to trust our body’s desires for different foods

  • How diet culture and The Wellness Diet can twist our expectations of intuitive eating

  • The Restriction Pendulum

  • The role of Health At Every Size®, fat activism, and intuitive eating in Erin’s eating-disorder-recovery journey

  • Pushing beyond the “Recovery Diet”

  • How diet mentality and weight stigma amongst eating-disorder clinicians and treatment centers can hinder people’s recovery

  • Erin’s personal experiences in treatment as someone with anorexia in a lower-weight and higher-weight body

  • Why improving eating-disorder treatment for people in higher-weight bodies would improve treatment for everyone

  • Erin’s research on how anorexia is treated (or not) in people of different sizes

  • The reliance on weight in anorexia diagnoses, and how that is causing harm

  • How restriction, not weight loss or low weight, leads to the medical complications associated with anorexia

  • The delays and gaps in eating-disorder care

  • How our own biases can affect eating-disorder treatment and recovery

  • Why we shouldn’t make assumptions when people say that they’ve “restricted” or “binged”

  • How diet culture blurs the line between normal eating and disordered eating

  • Why we need to validate people’s problematic experiences with food

 

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. From now until New Year’s, we’re offering gift subscriptions! It’s the perfect gift for someone looking for anti-diet inspiration, or put it on your wishlist so that others know to get it for you. For more information, visit christyharrison.com/gift.

  • Erin’s Facebook page and email

  • 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.

     

Listener Question of the Week

What can a person do if they’re still binge eating after they stop restricting their food? How can they accept their body while believing that they’ll gain weight eating so many calories? What are some less-obvious signs of disordered eating or thinking that can still lead to a feeling of deprivation? What’s the difference between physical and mental restriction? What’s the difference between diet culture and diet mentality? How are diet mentality and binge eating linked? Where can a person get support to overcome diet mentality and pursue eating-disorder recovery? How can a person tell whether they’re binge eating as a result of restriction or as a coping mechanism for difficult emotions? What are some ways that eating-disorder treatment can hinder recovery?

(Resources Mentioned: Anti-Diet, Health At Every Size, and Intuitive Eating Providers for Disordered-Eating Recovery, Food Psych® podcast episode 151 with Judith Matz)

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Food Psych #177: Intuitive Eating, Chronic Illness, and Breaking Free from The Wellness Diet with Linda Tucker

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Health At Every Size® health coach and certified intuitive eating counselor Linda Tucker joins us to discuss how dieting causes health problems even while purporting to solve them, how diet culture and its new guise as the Wellness Diet twist the definition of self-care and health, how intuitive eating can help with managing a chronic illness, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to handle the feeling that things were just *easier* in a smaller body.

Linda is a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor who incorporates Health at Every Size, body liberation, and intuitive living into her private coaching practice. Linda works through a truly holistic lens, meaning that ALL aspects of someones lived experience are examined. She has her own history of disordered eating and chronic illness and wants to raise awareness and release shame around both. Find her online at LindaTuckerCoaching.com.

Registration for my Master Your Anti-Diet Message course is open for a few more days! If you’re a fellow Health At Every Size practitioner who would like to learn how to refine your marketing messages so that they are aligned with HAES philosophy, sign up at christyharrison.com/message.

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 different factors that affected Linda’s relationship with food and her body growing up

  • Scarcity mentality, and how it played into her relationship with food

  • Struggling with body image despite having lots of privilege

  • Men and dieting

  • How fatphobia shows up in people with thin privilege

  • The toxicity of complimenting weight loss

  • Linda’s experience with diet pills and their side effects

  • Her personal journey with dieting, weight loss, and “wellness”

  • The tendency to give dieting the credit for weight loss and deny the harm that it can cause

  • Clean eating, and how it worsened her health and triggered or exacerbated chronic illness

  • Having compassion for people who are stuck in diet mentality

  • How diet culture and The Wellness Diet twist the definition of self-care and push us to blame ourselves for poor health

  • Isolation, and how it can make us susceptible to perfectionism and performing

  • Social media, and how it can perpetuate disordered thoughts and behaviors

  • Praising productivity, and how that can be problematic

  • What inspired Linda to start doing the work that she does today

  • How we sometimes use health and wellness goals to hide our true desire to lose weight

  • Diving into the meaning behind our wellness and weight goals

  • The contradictory messages from popular diet programs

  • Why intuitive eating alone isn’t enough for full recovery

  • Using the principles of intuitive eating, HAES®, and body liberation together

  • How Linda’s health concerns helped to solidify her belief in body liberation

  • Ableism, and its damaging messaging

  • The intersection of body liberation and chronic illness

  • The healing qualities of holding space versus offering solutions

  • How she uses self-care to manage her chronic health conditions

  • How our digestive system can carry a lot of tension

  • Why it’s important to oppose healthism

  • Acceptance and letting go, and how they can improve health

  • Being our “own client” first

 

Resources Mentioned

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

  • 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.

Listener Question of the Week

What if being in a smaller body was easier? How can a person reconcile the freedom of intuitive eating with mourning a thinner body? Any advice to make peace with my body and its limitations today? Can changes in body size be seen as neutral? Can we manage the changes associated with weight gain without losing weight? How do diet culture and weight stigma make it difficult to live in a larger body? How can we harness our anger in mourning a smaller body? What are some ways to help reframe the discomfort that is associated with a larger body, and practice self-care and self-compassion?

(Resources Mentioned: Food Psych® episodes #113 with Sonya Renée Taylor, #119 with Ragen Chastain, and #62)

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Food Psych #176: Confessions of a Former Weight-Loss-Surgery Dietitian with Vincci Tsui

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Anti-diet dietitian and certified intuitive eating counselor Vincci Tsui joins us to discuss weight loss surgery and its consequences on physical and mental health, her journey from working in bariatrics to specializing in intuitive eating and Health At Every Size®, how dietitians get caught up in The Wellness Diet, what thin privilege really means, disordered eating and how it interplays with bariatric surgery, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to deal with the fear of weight gain in recovery from an eating disorder.

Vincci Tsui is a former bariatric dietitian turned Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor and Health At Every Size advocate. She is passionate about helping people find freedom in their relationship with food and with their body, so that they can worry less and get the most out of life. Ultimately, she is on a mission to prove that it is possible to improve health without focusing on weight.

Vincci takes a collaborative and compassionate approach to nutrition counselling and coaching that is rooted in HAES® and Intuitive Eating philosophy. She believes in helping clients learn to listen to their body and their inner wisdom when it comes to making decisions around food, eating and health. Aside from her private practice, Vincci serves as the Community & Content Manager for Food Psych® Programs Inc, and is the author of The Mindful Eating Workbook: Simple Practices for Nurturing a Positive Relationship with Food. Find her online at VincciTsui.com.

Early bird registration for my Master Your Anti-Diet Message course is open for a few more days! If you’re a fellow Health At Every Size practitioner who would like to learn how to refine your marketing messages so that they are aligned with HAES philosophy, sign up at christyharrison.com/message.

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

This episode is also 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:

  • How her different privileges helped to protect her relationship with food and body

  • Some of the food rules that she had growing up

  • Why so many people value “cleaning their plate”

  • Thin privilege, and how it can show up in our society

  • Why losing weight isn’t the answer to avoiding weight stigma

  • Why she pursued a career in dietetics

  • How becoming a dietitian changed her relationship with food

  • Diet culture, and how it can affect dietitians and nutrition advice

  • Her work with bariatric surgery patients

  • How current narratives around “obesity” actually helped her become a HAES practitioner

  • The Wellness Diet’s rhetoric, and how it shows up in “obesity” and bariatric care

  • What sparked her interest in HAES and intuitive eating

  • How she tried to introduce HAES concepts to people pursuing weight loss surgery

  • The Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH), and its position on bariatric surgery

  • Finding the middle ground between respecting body autonomy and holding the position that weight loss surgery is harmful

  • Complications that are associated with bariatric surgery, including strictures, nutrient deficiencies, and dumping syndrome

  • Disordered eating, and how it can interact with weight loss surgery

  • Why diagnostic criteria for eating disorders can sometimes be problematic

  • Eating disorders, and how they can get missed in diet culture

  • Nutrition recommendations post-bariatric surgery, and how they can affect a person’s relationship with food

  • How bariatric surgery is presented to patients, and how that can affect their mindset and expectations of the surgery

  • The consequences of bariatric surgery on physical and mental health

  • When bariatric surgery outcomes don’t meet expectations

  • HAES as an alternative to weight loss surgery

  • Finding her niche in HAES and intuitive eating

  • Attracting clients as a private practice dietitian

  • Vincci’s current and upcoming projects

  • The overlap between yoga, intuitive eating and mindful 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 if my set point weight is much higher than my current weight? How can I keep my fear of weight gain from getting in the way of my eating disorder recovery? Why is getting rid of the diet mentality and embracing Health At Every Size so important in eating disorder recovery? What are the risks of bulimia and other eating disorders to health? If higher weights don’t cause poor health, then what does? What are some strategies to help overcome internalized weight stigma? Why is it not recommended to jump into intuitive eating directly from an eating disorder? Where can I find support for eating disorder recovery? What if my finances are limited?

(Resources Mentioned: Intuitive Eating Fundamentals course, Food Psych® Podcast episode #172, Slides from Christy’s FNCE debate, Meredith Noble’s work and Food Psych® Podcast episode, Body Positive Instagram Accounts, Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor directory, Heidi Schauster’s work and Food Psych® Podcast episode, Jessi Haggerty’s work and Food Psych® Podcast episode, Haley Goodrich’s work and Food Psych® Podcast episode, Marci Evans’ work and latest Food Psych® Podcast episode, Project HEAL, Nalgona Positivity Pride)

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Food Psych #175: The Truth About Digestion and Gut Health with Marci Evans

Fellow anti-diet dietitian Marci Evans is back! We discuss the intersection of digestive disorders and eating disorders, the risks associated with elimination diets, the role of the gut microbiome in digestion and health, the importance of consistency in self-care and well-being, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about why she as a dietitian doesn’t advise people to shift their food choices to less-processed foods.

Marci is a Food and Body Image Healer™. She has dedicated her career to counseling, supervising, and teaching in the field of eating disorders. She is a Certified Eating Disorder Registered Dietitian and Supervisor, Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor and Certified ACSM personal trainer. In addition to her group private practice, Marci launched an online eating disorders training platform for dietitians in 2015 and co-directs a specialized eating disorders dietetic internship at Simmons College. She volunteers for a number of national eating disorder organizations and has spoken locally and internationally at numerous conferences and media outlets. She loves social media and you can find her on all outlets @MarciRD. Find her online at MarciRD.com.

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We Discuss:

  • What Marci has been up to since she was last on the podcast

  • Christy’s upcoming book

  • How Marci became interested in digestive concerns in her work as an eating disorder dietitian

  • The risks associated with the low-FODMAP diet and other elimination diets

  • Alternative therapies to elimination diets

  • What defines a functional gut disorder

  • The overlap between eating disorders and functional gut disorders

  • The role of mental health in digestion

  • Why we shouldn’t dismiss psychosomatic symptoms

  • Whether eating disorders lead to functional gut disorders, or vice versa

  • The common risk factors between disordered eating and digestive issues

  • The mechanisms that lead to digestive concerns in eating disorders

  • Why symptoms can sometimes persist after recovery

  • How any disordered eating behaviors can contribute to gut symptoms

  • How dieting can lead to digestive concerns

  • The gut microbiome, and its role in digestion, weight, and health

  • Why it’s too early to draw many conclusions from gut microbiome research

  • The consequences of a restrictive diet

  • The limitations of nutrition and weight research

  • Anti-diet dietitians and medical nutrition therapy

  • Pelvic floor disorders, and how their symptoms can be similar to functional gut disorders

  • Why in many cases dietary interventions should be the last resort, not first-line care

  • The importance of consistency in self-care and well-being

  • Christy’s own experiences with digestive symptoms

  • Stress-management techniques, and how they can help calm gut symptoms

  • Body image and its intersection with digestive disorders

 

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 eat intuitively when you are choosing mostly highly-processed foods? Shouldn’t dietitians and health advisors be advising people to move away from fast food? How can you attune to your internal cues when there is so much external messaging associated with fast food and highly-processed foods? What does the science say about how our food environment and how it affects our eating habits? Why do we need to be skeptical of Brian Wansink’s research? What made his research so popular and widely cited? How can listening to our internal cues versus external cues change our eating habits? What is “gentle nutrition” in the context of intuitive eating? Why is gentle nutrition the last principle of intuitive eating? Why doesn’t Christy advise people to shift away from choosing fast food and highly-processed foods? What is the connection between food insecurity and disordered eating?

(Resources Mentioned: Food Psych® Podcast episode #127, Restrained Eating and Food Cues: Recent Findings and Conclusions, Food Insecurity and Eating Disorder Pathology - TW/CW for the last two resources for specific numbers and fatphobic language )

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Food Psych #174: How to Make Peace with Your Body in Pregnancy & Beyond with Angela Garbes

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Angela Garbes, author of Like a Mother: A Feminist Journey through the Science and Culture of Pregnancy, joins us to discuss how pregnancy changed her relationship with her body, how writing her book helped her develop greater body acceptance, how our society dismisses body diversity and encourages body hatred, the importance of self-compassion, the lack of diversity in science and medicine, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about whether eating dessert every day is a sign of “sugar addiction.”

Angela Garbes is a Seattle-based writer specializing in food, bodies, women’s health, and issues of racial equity and diversity. Garbes began writing for The Stranger in 2006, and became a staff writer in 2014. Her piece The More I Learn About Breast Milk, the More Amazed I Am is the publication’s most-read piece in its 24-year history, and the inspiration for her book, Like a Mother: A Feminist Journey through the Science and Culture of Pregnancy. Garbes is an experienced public speaker, frequent radio and podcast guest, and event moderator. She grew up in a food-obsessed, immigrant Filipino household and now lives in Seattle with her husband and two children. Find her online at AngelaGarbes.com.

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We Discuss:

  • How growing up in an immigrant Filipino household affected Angela’s relationship with food

  • How being a person of color influenced her relationship with her body

  • Some of the contradictory messaging around food and bodies in Filipino culture

  • Christy’s relationship with food and her body, and how her careers in journalism and dietetics helped her in her recovery

  • Pregnancy, and how it changed Angela’s relationship with her body

  • Realizing that the problem is not with our bodies, but with societal ideals

  • The judgment that often comes with parenting

  • Having generosity and compassion for ourselves and others

  • Acknowledging the strength it takes to survive and stay alive

  • Angela’s book, Like a Mother: A Feminist Journey through the Science and Culture of Pregnancy

  • Her path to becoming a food writer and author

  • How she almost had a career in public health and nutrition

  • Breastfeeding her daughter, and how it inspired her to write her popular piece, The More I Learn About Breast Milk, the More Amazed I Am

  • How the process of researching and writing her book helped her own body acceptance

  • Wishing that we’d heard more positive messaging around bodies growing up

  • Appreciating body diversity

  • Why Angela included parts of her own story and beliefs in her book

  • The lack of diversity in depictions of pregnancy

  • Our society’s policing of pregnant bodies

  • Intuitive eating in pregnancy

  • The surprising lack of evidence behind many of the recommendations for pregnancy

  • How intuitive eating can help with fertility

  • The non-inclusive history of science and medicine, and how that affects our understanding of bodies 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

Is having dessert every day a sign of “sugar addiction?” Am I not getting intuitive eating in some way? Is it possible to be addicted to sugar? How do diet culture and the Wellness Diet reinforce the idea of “sugar addiction?” Is it possible to eat sugar every day and still be healthy? What are some of the benefits of eating sugar? What is the difference between intuitive eating and the diet mentality? What does “unconditional permission” mean

(Resources Mentioned: Food Psych® Podcast episode #80 with Marci Evans, Food Psych® Podcast episode #139 with Lisa DuBreuil, Sugar Addiction: The State of the Science (TW: weight/BMI numbers), etc.)

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Food Psych #173: How Diet Culture Steals Our True Culture with Melissa Carmona

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Health At Every Size® counselor Melissa Carmona joins us to discuss how her Colombian roots shaped her relationship with food and body, the role of discrimination and food insecurity in triggering her disordered eating, how diet culture took her away from her heritage, how to set boundaries with people who are less receptive to the HAES message, how she’s helping her young daughter preserve her natural intuitive eating skills, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to handle overeating after a period of food insecurity.

Melissa is a bilingual Clinical Mental Health Counselor in Greensboro and Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Her experience as a counselor includes helping people heal from eating disorders, trauma, depression, and anxiety. She works through a HAES® and Intuitive Eating lens, which has allowed her to view other aspects of our identities through that same lens as well.

Being the daughter of immigrants, growing up in Colombia (South America) and having Latinx roots are an essential part of what shaped who she is—including her personal beliefs, the route of her career, and the relationship with her body and food. It was in Colombia that she had her first exposure to mental illness and the stigma that comes with this as well.

The experience that she’s had in both the USA and Colombia is allowing her to reflect on the influence that culture has on the way we see and treat ourselves, and being able to acknowledge her privileges or lack thereof within these have also been a powerful awakening of how much control our cultures can have over any type of healing that needs to happen in our lives. Find her online at ThreeBirdsCounseling.com.

Tomorrow, November 6 is Election Day! This could the most important midterm elections in our lifetime, so make sure you have a plan on when and how you’re going to get out and vote. Visit Vote.org for general election information, including registering to vote, and VoteSaveAmerica.com to find out about events and rallies in your area.

We Discuss:

  • How her family’s Colombian roots influenced her relationship with food

  • Beauty pageants in Colombian culture, and how this affected her relationship with her body

  • The mixed messages that she received about food and body growing up

  • How the desire to fit in contributed to her eating disorder

  • The role of food insecurity in binge eating

  • The problem with restricting the types of food that can be purchased with food stamps

  • How dietitians and nutritionists cause harm when prescribing weight-loss diets

  • The importance of cultural awareness in healthcare

  • How her eating disorder stole her connection to her cultural background

  • Reconnecting with the pleasures of food in eating disorder recovery

  • The discrimination she faced when she moved to the US

  • The influence of oppressive patriarchal systems on diet culture

  • What led Melissa to her work as a counselor and in social justice

  • Helping clients navigate our current political climate

  • How Melissa’s work in Health At Every Size has influenced her own relationship with food

  • The sneaky, shape-shifting nature of diet culture

  • Seeing her young daughter naturally eat intuitively

  • Imagining what the world would be like without diet culture

  • Sharing the HAES message with her family members, and setting boundaries with those who are less receptive

  • Connecting with personal experience instead of science

  • The negative experiences that her family members have had with bariatric surgery

  • The difficult journey through diet culture to HAES

  • Recognizing a person’s worth beyond their size

  • Why we shouldn’t compliment people on weight loss

  • How we start receiving diet culture messaging at a very young age

  • Sharing the anti-diet messages we wish we had heard when we were younger

 

Resources Mentioned

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

  • Audre Lorde’s work

  • Maria Paredes’s work, and her Food Psych® Podcast episode

  • Gabriela Stein’s work

  • Nalgona Positivity Pride, and founder Gloria Lucas’s Food Psych® Podcast episode

  • Melissa on Facebook and Instagram

  • Tomorrow, November 6 is Election Day! This could the most important midterm elections in our lifetime, so make sure you have a plan on when and how you’re going to get out and vote. Visit Vote.org for general election information, including registering to vote, and VoteSaveAmerica.com to find out about events and rallies in your area.

     

Listener Question of the Week

How do I handle overeating after a period of food insecurity? What can the Minnesota Starvation Experiment teach us about the effects of deprivation? (CW/TW if you decide to look up the study.) How do diet culture and diet mentality affect our eating? What are the subtle ways that we might be experiencing deprivation, and how can we overcome that?

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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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Food Psych #168: Gentle Nutrition vs. Diet-Culture Nutrition with Heidi Schauster

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Health At Every Size® dietitian, eating-disorders specialist, and author Heidi Schauster returns to discuss her new book, unlearning diet-culture messaging, connecting with our body’s inner wisdom, gentle nutrition as an act of self-care, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about what to do when it seems like your disordered eating behaviors have more to do with individual mental-health issues than with diet culture.

Heidi Schauster, MS, RDN, CEDRD-S is a nutrition therapist with over 20 years of experience in the field of eating disorders and emotional eating issues. She is a writer, consultant, and certified eating disorders registered dietitian, based in the Greater Boston area. Heidi is the founder of Nourishing Words Nutrition Therapy, facilitates the No Diet Book Clubs, and supervises other nutrition therapists in the field of eating disorders. She is the author of the new book Nourish: How to Heal Your Relationship with Food, Body, and Self. Heidi lives in Arlington, Massachusetts with her partner David and twin daughters, Ava and Kyla. Heidi and her family enjoy hiking, swimming, herb gardening, tea-making, storytelling, and professional stilt performing. Heidi enjoys most food that is lovingly and consciously prepared, especially if it’s followed by a dishwashing dance party. Find her online at ANourishingWord.com.

We Discuss:

  • Heidi’s new book, Nourish: How to Heal Your Relationship with Food, Body, and Self, and what inspired her to write it

  • Why I created my Intuitive Eating Fundamentals course

  • The different chapters within the book, which are based on how Heidi works with her clients

  • Becoming aware of our eating habits in a non-judgmental way

  • Creating a resource that presents nutrition in a non-triggering way

  • How she defines “nourishment,” and the concept of “nutrition common sense”

  • Why intuitive eating requires some planning

  • The role of intention in our relationship with food

  • The contrast between abundance and scarcity, and how they affect eating disorder recovery

  • How small changes in our eating habits can sometimes make a big difference in how we feel

  • Joyful movement and gentle nutrition as acts of self-care

  • Overcoming fears around food and carbohydrates

  • Unlearning the patterns of restriction from diet culture

  • What guides her work in nutrition counselling

  • Why gentle nutrition is often considered “advanced” intuitive eating

  • Connecting with our body’s wisdom through mindfulness practice

  • The benefits of recovering from diet culture, and what motivates our work in helping others in this process

  • Anger as part of the recovery journey

  • Arriving at a positive relationship with food

 

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 just easier to take aim at diet culture rather than focus on individual mental health? What if a person’s disordered eating behaviors have more to do with individual mental-health concerns as opposed to diet culture? Can recovery at the individual level happen without addressing diet culture and fatphobia? How can cultural factors affect individual mental-health concerns? Does binge eating always happen in response to restriction? What are some subtle ways that diet mentality might be showing up for me?

(Resources Mentioned: Intuitive Eating Fundamentals online course, Judith Matz’s Food Psych Podcast episode)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

We Discuss:

  • Lilia’s complex relationship with food as a child

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

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

  • The interrelationship between depression and disordered eating

  • Fatphobia and healthism in the medical field

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

  • The role of privilege in intuitive eating and recovery

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

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

  • Incorporating gentle nutrition without falling back into the diet mentality

  • Yoga, meditation, and mindful eating

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

  • Learning from our mistakes in our intuitive eating practice

  • The role of trauma in our relationship with food

  • Diet culture as a form of trauma

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

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

  • The importance of community in body acceptance and overcoming shame

  • White supremacy and the mythic norm

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

  • Connection through embodiment and vulnerability

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

  • Living with and resisting diet culture at the same time

  • Finding community in your recovery journey

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

  • How diet culture has co-opted mindful eating

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

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

 

Resources Mentioned

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

Listener Question of the Week

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ready to learn how to cook, make movies, and more from the masters? MasterClass has launched the All-Access Pass – a thoughtful gift for the home cooks or lifelong learners in your life. Food Psych listeners can get the All Access Pass at MasterClass.com/FOODPSYCH.

 

We Discuss:

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

  • The factors that can contribute to a larger body size

  • The problem with the “obesity epidemic” narrative

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Why Bevin uses the term “body liberation”

  • How thin people can participate in the body liberation movement

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Resources Mentioned

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

  • Submit your questions for a chance to have them answered on the podcast!

  • My online course, Intuitive Eating Fundamentals, which includes monthly listener Q&A podcasts and access to my private Facebook support group

  • Femmecast, Bevin’s former podcast

  • Fat!So? By Marilyn Wann

  • Marilyn Wann’s work

  • Originals by Adam Grant

  • Fat Kid Dance Party and Facebook page

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

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

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

  • Ready to learn how to cook, make movies, and more from the masters? MasterClass has launched the All-Access Pass – a thoughtful gift for the home cooks or lifelong learners in your life. Food Psych listeners can get the All Access Pass at MasterClass.com/FOODPSYCH.

     

Listener Question of the Week

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

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