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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 #201: The Path Back to Intuitive Eating with Devinia Noel

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Psychotherapist and fellow certified intuitive eating counselor Devinia Noel joins us to discuss how her work as a therapist influenced her own process of re-learning intuitive eating, why using food as a coping skill isn’t a bad thing, how diet culture creates shame, the need for diversity among intuitive-eating counselors, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about what to do if you get a diagnosis of pre-diabetes.

Devinia Noel is a cognitive-behavioural psychotherapist and certified intuitive eating counsellor. She believes in a health at every size paradigm and a weight-neutral approach. Her mission is to create a safe diverse intersectional space for all individuals to develop peace with food and their bodies. Devinia is passionate about making non-diet spaces more diverse by sharing her experiences as a black woman previously trapped by diet culture. She also works in the community as a cognitive behavioural psychotherapist helping people with a wide range of problems including depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and disordered eating. Her experience of implementing self-care and self-compassion, inspires her to encourage clients to implement these practices. When Devinia has free time, she can be found baking, lifting weights and spending time with family and friends. Find her online at DeviniaNoel.com.

We Discuss:

  • How Devinia’s relationship with food changed as she grew up, including the role of experiencing puberty and comments from family members

  • Why using food as a coping skill isn’t a bad thing

  • The pain and shame of living in diet culture

  • How to introduce intuitive eating to our families

  • Having compassion for our younger selves who were trapped in diet culture

  • The process of re-learning intuitive eating

  • How Devinia’s work as a therapist influenced her personal path toward intuitive eating

  • Weight stigma in the public-health field

  • What it’s like to be a black woman working in the anti-diet space

  • The need for more diversity among intuitive eating professionals

  • Vulnerability and navigating social media

  • The challenges and rewards of setting boundaries

  • The importance of self-care for activists

 

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

As someone living in a larger body, will my diagnosis of being prediabetic push me back towards having an eating disorder? Are there any HAES resources for people who are prediabetic? Is prediabetes a real diagnosis? Does prediabetes lead to diabetes for most people? How can healing my relationship with food help my blood sugar levels? Should I cut out carbs? Will healing my relationship with food also heal my physical symptoms?

Resources Mentioned:

  • Article about how the diagnosis of prediabetes is influenced by the pharmaceutical industry (CW: “O-words” and other diet-culture language)

  • Christy’s list of Health at Every Size providers

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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 #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 #167: Food, Sex, and Body Liberation with Kimberly Dark

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Sociology professor, writer, and performer Kimberly Dark joins us to discuss the connections between our relationship with food and our relationship with sex, the harms of “medically supervised” diets, how to view diet culture through a critical lens, how food can help connect us with our inner wisdom, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to stop calorie counting and worrying about weight gain when transitioning to intuitive eating.

Kimberly Dark is a writer, professor and raconteur, working to reveal the hidden architecture of everyday life one clever essay, poem, and story at a time. She uses humor, surprise and intimacy to help audiences discover their influences, and reclaim their power as social creators. Kimberly teaches in Sociology at CSU, San Marcos along with writing and theatre courses for Cal State Summer Arts. She also facilitates experiential retreats in Hawaii for Conscious Practitioners - examining how our own embodiment and social relationships influence how we work with others in helping professions and Yoga is for Every Body retreats for all.

Kimberly Dark has written award-winning plays, taught and performed for a wide range of audiences in various countries over the past two decades. She is the author of Love and Errors, a book of poetry and Co-Editor of the anthology Ways of Being in Teaching. Her novel, The Daddies is forthcoming in 2018. Her essays appear in popular online publications, such as Everyday Feminism, and Ravishly. Kimberly's storytelling performances and interactive lectures make big, complex ideas relatable at campuses, conferences, companies, and anywhere people seek startling revelations and positive change. Learn more at KimberlyDark.com

This episode is brought to you by LinkedIn, the better way to hire. Go to linkedin.com/foodpsych to get $50 off your first job post!

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We Discuss:

  • Kimberly’s relationship with food as a child in a larger body

  • How fatphobia is normalized in our society

  • Receiving praise for weight loss while struggling with an eating disorder

  • The harms of “medically supervised” diets

  • What started her recovery from disordered eating

  • Bingeing as our body’s way of responding to restriction

  • How Kimberly used her trauma history to help with her recovery

  • The connections between food and sex

  • Engaging critically with diet culture

  • Kimberly’s unique career as a sociology professor and performer

  • Autoethnography, the practice of writing about the self in order to understand the culture

  • The institution of academia, and how it silences certain types of knowledge

  • Our bodies as a site of knowledge

  • Conventional research, and how it imposes intellectual knowledge instead of considering lived experiences

  • The role of patriarchy in diet culture

  • Food as a vehicle to attune to the body’s inner wisdom

  • The performative element of wellness culture, and how it relates to sexuality

  • Social media and selfie culture

  • The emotional labor of creating content

  • The body as part of the visual narrative

 

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 we unlearn the food rules and calorie counting from the diet mentality when trying to eat intuitively? How can we separate ourselves from our eating-disorder thoughts? How do we stop worrying about weight gain? What are some steps we can take to overcome internalized oppression from diet culture? Where can we get support when we’re at the beginning of eating disorder recovery?

(Resources Mentioned: Kylie Mitchell’s Food Psych Podcast episode, Intuitive Eating Fundamentals online course, Certified Intuitive Eating Counselors Directory)

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