perfectionism

Food Psych #203: Healing from Orthorexia and The Wellness Diet with Katherine Metzelaar

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Season 6 finale! Fellow anti-diet dietitian and certified intuitive eating counselor Katherine Metzelaar joins us to discuss orthorexia within the health-and-wellness field, the cultural shift that made it seem cool to eliminate foods, mourning the loss of community and connection when you stop dieting, why growing up with a peaceful relationship with food doesn’t guarantee a lifetime of immunity against diet culture, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to deal with physical discomfort like thigh chafing and waistbands digging into your belly. 

Katherine Metzelaar, MSN, RDN, CD is a Seattle-based Dietitian and Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor who is passionate about inclusive healthcare for all bodies. She is the owner and founder of Bravespace Nutrition, a private nutrition practice that helps women, both virtually and in-person, to create peace with food and their body free from rules, dieting, and perfectionism. Through the use of a client-centered, therapeutic, non-diet approach, she helps women and womxn to recover from disordered eating, eating disorders, and body image challenges. In addition to her practice, Katherine is the founder of Body Image Badass: Compassion, Connection, Embodiment, a body-acceptance group that works to create community and a safer space for women to talk about the challenges of what in means to exist in a world that seeks to control and oppress women’s bodies via dieting and body-shaming. When not at work, you can find her checking out the local foodie scene, dancing salsa, and in the pursuit of finding the best latte in town. Find her online at www.bravespacenutrition.com.

We Discuss:

  • How participating in sports can nurture your relationship with food

  • Why Katherine told herself at a very young age that she would never go on a diet and how that changed when she went to college

  • Katherine’s struggle with orthorexia

  • Katherine and Christy’s shared experience of finding connection with other women through dieting

  • How connecting over diets builds a conditional sense of belonging, and how that changes when you stop dieting

  • Mourning the loss of community, connection, and identity when you move away from diets

  • Why growing up with a peaceful relationship with food doesn’t guarantee a lifetime of immunity against diet culture

  • The cultural shift that made it seem cool to eliminate foods

  • The link between perfectionism and idealizing diets

  • Katherine’s formal nutrition education that helped her liberalize her relationship with food

  • Orthorexia within the health-and-wellness field, particularly naturopathic medicine 

  • How The Wellness Diet fails to consider the reality of food insecurity 

  • The importance of making intuitive eating more inclusive to people struggling with food insecurity

  • The surprising ways people responded to Christy’s post about inflammation

  • Taking diet culture out of how we understand “wellness” 

  • The privilege of being able to interpret and critique health and nutrition research

  • The financial burden of training to be a dietitian 

  • Working in a fatphobic environment while practicing as a Health at Every Size® provider

  • Katherine’s new YouTube channel that will further spread the anti-diet message

 

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 do I merge the two desires of having freedom with food and wanting to change my body’s size? How does diet culture affect the way you want to change your body’s size? Can you permanently shrink your body? How can you better tolerate the physical discomfort that may occur with weight changes? How does internalized fatphobia affect the way you want to change your body?

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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