orthorexia

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

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

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

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

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

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

We Discuss:

  • The lineage of dieting in Lauren’s family

  • Her different experiences with dieting

  • What helped her overcome dieting and disordered eating

  • What motivated her to become an eating-disorders psychologist

  • Psychodynamic therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)

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

  • How CBT is often co-opted for weight loss

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

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

  • Family-based treatment (FBT)

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

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

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

  • Why diagnostic criteria for eating disorders can be problematic

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

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

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

  • Ellyn Satter’s Division of Responsibility (DoR)

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

  • Early signs of disordered eating in children

  • FBT as an early intervention for disordered eating in kids

  • How eating disorders are often missed in sports and healthcare

  • The problem with “childhood obesity” interventions

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

 

Resources Mentioned

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

Listener Question of the Week

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

(Resources Mentioned:

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

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

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

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

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

We Discuss:

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

  • How her weight loss was normalized as “healthy”

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

  • How Robyn’s eating disorder evolved throughout college

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

  • Michael Pollan and the “real food” movement

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

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

  • What sparked Robyn’s interest in hormonal health

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

  • The prevalence of disordered eating in the dietetics field

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

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

  • How diet culture affects our hormonal health

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

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

  • Stress, cortisol, and their effects on hormonal health

  • How The Wellness Diet is actually making us sicker

  • Diet culture in conventional and alternative healthcare

  • Why diets and food rules can be appealing

  • How disordered eating clouds our intuition

  • Robyn’s experiences with pregnancy and breastfeeding

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

  • Intuitive eating, and how it can benefit reproductive health

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

  • What it would take to shift fertility medicine toward HAES

  • Robyn’s course for health professionals

 

Resources Mentioned

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

Listener Question of the Week

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

(Resources Mentioned:

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

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

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

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

We Discuss:

  • Kelly’s fraught relationship with food growing up

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

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

  • The links between diet culture and patriarchy

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

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

  • Why adolescence is a good time to introduce systemic analysis

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

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

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

  • Signs of a cultural shift toward increased fat acceptance

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

  • The “contagious” nature of cultural change

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Why money and resources are important in divesting from FLEB

  • The parallels between the traumas of diet culture and poverty

  • Abundance, and its role in healing from diet culture

  • Creativity and ingenuity as survival tools

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

  • Media and resources as a form of community

  • Kelly’s work with SheEO

  • The difference between how women and men spend their income

  • Understanding and healing our relationship with money

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

 

Resources Mentioned

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

Listener Question of the Week

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

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

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

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

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

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 contributed to Colleen’s multifaceted relationship with food growing up

  • The insidious nature of wellness culture

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

  • How diet culture keeps disordered eating under the radar

  • Why eating-disorder diagnoses are often problematic

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

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

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

  • Bamboo as an analogy for eating-disorder recovery

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

  • The problem with Whole30 and other “wellness” diets

  • Orthorexia, and the need for more research and awareness

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

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

  • Privilege and oppression in clean eating and diet culture

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Resources Mentioned

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

Listener Question of the Week

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

(Resources Mentioned:

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