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

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

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

We Discuss:

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

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

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

  • How Christy was misdiagnosed with PCOS

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

  • Krista’s diagnosis of PCOS

  • How insulin resistance affects hunger and movement

  • Why the goal of intuitive eating is never weight loss

  • The trauma of dieting

  • The importance of changing who you follow on social media 

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

  • The challenges of dating while living in a larger body

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

  • Size acceptance in the queer dating community

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

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

  • How fatphobia affects dating, especially for fat women

  • How your mindset influences the way you date

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

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

  • Body-positive tips for creating a dating profile

 

Resources Mentioned

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

Listener Question of the Week

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

Resources Mentioned:

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Food Psych #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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