Food Psych #105: Body-Acceptance Secrets with Jessamyn Stanley

Jessamyn Stanley - Body-positive yoga

Jessamyn Stanley, acclaimed yoga teacher and body-acceptance advocate, joins us to discuss overcoming decades of dieting, healing from oppressive beauty standards, learning to accept her size and stop pursuing weight loss, the "yoga-industrial complex" vs. real yoga, her new book Every Body Yoga, being an Instagram sensation, navigating people's expectations of her as a yoga teacher, and lots more!

Jessamyn Stanley is the author of Every Body Yoga, as well as an internationally recognized yoga teacher, award-winning Instagram star (@mynameisjessamyn), and body-positive advocate. She has been profiled by a wide range of media, including Good Morning America, TIME, New York, Glamour, Shape, People, Essence, Lenny Letter, and many others. When she’s not on the road teaching, she lives in Durham, North Carolina. Visit her online at, on Twitter @JessNotJazz, and on Facebook at MyNameIsJessamyn.

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We Discuss:

  • Jessamyn’s relationship with food growing up, including experiencing food scarcity

  • Coping with family stress and engaging in emotional eating

  • The impact of yoga on Jessamyn’s relationship with food and her body

  • Self-taught intuitive eating

  • Non-judgmental body awareness

  • Veganism, yoga, and classism

  • Trauma and eating disorder awareness in yoga practice

  • The intersections of capitalism and diet culture

  • The perils of pursuing weight loss

  • Educating children about Health at Every Size and body positivity

  • The intersections of fatphobia and racism

  • Challenging the urge for assimilation

  • The benefits of sharing our struggles publicly

  • The role of photography in Jessamyn’s body image journey

  • Self-compassion vs. shame and self-judgment

  • The yoga-industrial complex

  • The spiritual component of classical yoga practice

  • Size diversity in yoga


Resources Mentioned

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Food Psych #104: How to Make Peace with Food & Feelings with Anita Johnston

Anita Johnston

Psychotherapist and author Anita Johnston shares how learning to feel and honor your feelings can help you heal from food issues, why she had a very unusual relationship with food growing up, how beauty ideals for women have remained oppressive over time even if they change slightly, why being intuitive and able to read people is both a liability and a gift, why it's important to have both boundaries and flexibility, the role of storytelling and metaphor in eating recovery, and lots more!

Anita Johnston, Ph.D, CEDS, is a clinical psychologist and certified eating disorder specialist. She is the author of Eating in the Light of the Moon, which has been published in six languages, and the co-creator of the Light of the Moon Café, an interactive e-course and online “workbook” for Eating in the Light of the Moon. Dr. Johnston has been working in the field of women’s issues and eating difficulties for over three decades. She founded the Anorexia & Bulimia Center of Hawaii in 1982 and the first Eating Disorders IOP in the country, ‘Ai Pono, in Honolulu in 2001. She is currently Clinical Director of ‘Ai Pono Maui, an Eating Disorders Residential Treatment Program on the island of Maui. She provides online individual consultations, and conducts workshops and professional trainings around the world, using metaphor and storytelling along with her training as a clinical psychologist, to address the complex issues that underlie struggles with eating, weight, and body image.

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We Discuss:

  • Anita’s relationship with food growing up, including her experience growing up in Guam and not knowing what dieting was until she got older

  • Diet culture, the thin ideal, and the “Twiggy” obsession in the early 70s

  • Anita’s experience in the Miss Universe pageant

  • Cultural differences in the beauty ideal

  • The limitations of the current body-positive movement re: age and body type

  • Matrilineal culture, matriarchy, and patriarchy

  • Anita’s educational journey

  • Applying meaning to our experiences

  • Feminism and women’s cultural issues

  • The Emperor’s New Clothes

  • Perceiving the nuance and the falsehoods in our culture

  • Why eating disorders have adaptive functions

  • Food as metaphor

  • The value of community support on this intuitive eating, non-diet journey

  • Setting boundaries and creating limits

  • Creating inner parents for comfort and protection

  • Compassionate curiosity

  • The metaphor of the feminine and masculine archetypes

  • Finding balance between the parts of our personalities


Resources Mentioned:


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Food Psych #103: Social Justice and Racism in the Body-Positive Movement with Gloria Lucas

Gloria Lucas, founder of Nalgona Positivity Pride

Body-acceptance activist Gloria Lucas (Nalgona Positivity Pride) shares why she created an organization devoted to helping people of color heal from diet culture, why the traditional medical model of eating disorder recovery didn't work for her, the role of trauma in her disordered eating, how intersectional feminism helped in her healing, why the mainstream body-positive movement isn't meeting the needs of people of color and other marginalized groups, the role of historical trauma in creating and maintaining body shame, and lots more!

Gloria is the founder and director of Nalgona Positivity Pride, a xicana-indigenous body-positive project that focuses on eating disorders awareness and cultural affirmation. She is a frequent lecturer across the country covering topics such as the connection of historical trauma and disordered eating. Gloria’s work has been featured at the Huffington Post, Univision, Bitch Magazine, and The Body is not an Apology. She lives in Los Angeles, CA where she is an active entrepreneur and eating disorders support group organizer. Find her on Instagram at @nalgonapositivitypride and on Tumblr @nalgonapride.

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We Discuss:

  • Gloria’s relationship with food growing up, including her experience with binge eating disorder and bulimia

  • The role of depression, trauma, poverty, family instability, and violence in the development of disordered eating

  • Eating disorders as both emotional regulation and self-punishment

  • The impact of hypersexualization on body image

  • Religion, sexuality, and shame

  • Feminism, diet culture, and eating disorders

  • The lack of representation of people of color in eating-disorder treatment and the body-positive movement

  • Recovery versus healing

  • Harm reduction and eating disorders

  • The limitations of the current eating-disorder-recovery model, especially for people of color

  • Nalgona Positivity Pride and decolonizing eating disorder treatment

  • The need for more people of color (POC) as treatment providers

  • Racism, privilege, discrimination, and the white-supremacist beauty ideal

  • Intersectional identity and oppression

  • The privilege that comes from being in a "plus-size" body versus a "fat" body that faces systemic oppression

  • Health trolling

  • The impact of family on body image and disordered eating

  • Food insecurity, food scarcity, and binge eating

  • Historical trauma, intergenerational trauma, and systemic oppression

  • Capitalism, mass incarceration, and current political rhetoric

  • The limitations of the current body-positivity movement for POC and people who don’t conform to the status quo

  • Bodily autonomy

  • Rejecting the expectation of beauty


Resources Mentioned

Food Psych #102: How to Handle Body Changes with Lindsay Stenovec

Lindsay Stenovec

Health at Every Size dietitian Lindsay Stenovec shares why different life stages can be so triggering for food and body issues, how pregnancy and the postpartum period can affect our relationships with food, why we need to prioritize self-care for its own sake, why reflecting on your values and what you want out of life is so important for recovery from dieting and disordered eating, how she came to connect the concept of Health at Every Size with her interpretation of intuitive eating, how to navigate choices about self-presentation within the context of feminism, and lots more!

Lindsay Stenovec is an established leader in the field of nutrition for women and families. She owns a private practice in San Diego, CA, called Nutrition Instincts®, where she and her associate dietitian provide nutrition counseling in the areas of eating disorders, intuitive eating, prenatal and postpartum wellness and family feeding coaching. Health at Every Size® is integrated into every area of her and her team’s work. In 2015, she founded The Nurtured Mama®, a body positive movement for moms and moms-to-be that cultivates body confidence, self-care and a healthy relationship with food, one mama at a time. Lindsay is also an adjunct faculty professor for a local San Diego community college, on the Wellness Advisory Panel for a children's food company and speaks regularly to professionals and parents on the topics of eating disorders, child feeding, maternal self-care, pregnancy and eating disorders and postpartum wellness. Lindsay lives in San Diego with her husband and 2-year old son. Find her online at

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We Discuss:

  • Puberty, anxiety, and the emersion of body shame

  • Lindsay’s experience with competitive and body-conscious sports like gymnastics

  • The feminine beauty ideal

  • The trans experience with eating disorders, body dysphoria, and body dysmorphia

  • Patriarchy, feminism, and critically thinking about our life choices

  • Preparing for the deep, profound changes that come with motherhood

  • The ways in which weight gain protects individuals going through menopause

  • The contradictions of being a mother alongside dealing with food issues and chronic dieting

  • Lindsay’s food and body struggles during her transition into college

  • The experience of being a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)

  • The lack of intuitive eating education in dietetics programs

  • The arbitrary nature of calorie counts and serving sizes

  • Lindsay’s transition into work as an intuitive eating professional

  • The connection between intuitive eating and Health at Every Size

  • Diet culture, weight bias, and fatphobia

  • Body image struggles, disordered eating, and eating disorders during pregnancy and the postpartum period

  • The importance of embodiment during times of body change

  • Size acceptance

  • Vulnerability and community in the body peace and anti-diet journeys


Resources Mentioned


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Food Psych #101: How to Honor Your True Hungers with Rachel Estapa

Rachel Estapa.jpg

Size-acceptance speaker and yoga teacher Rachel Estapa discusses how being a larger-bodied child led to early experiences of shame and dieting, why a lack of plus-size clothing options exacerbated her body hatred, why diet culture's promise to "fix" us is so alluring, how an acute illness led to an unexpected truce with her body, why rediscovering her loves and desires was essential to her recovery from dieting, how the practice of yoga helped show her the path to liberation, how she's navigating the transition from blogger to coach and teacher, why running a recovery-oriented business can be so challenging, and lots more!

Rachel Estapa, founder of More to Love®, is a certified life coach, certified Kripalu Yoga teacher, writer, speaker and social entrepreneur who educates and supports plus size people on approaches to positive body image and wellness, enabling all bodies to lead more empowered lives. Find her online at

Grab Christy's new free guide, 7 simple strategies for finding peace and freedom with food. You can also text "FOODPSYCH" to the phone number 44222 to get it on the go!

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We Discuss:

  • Rachel’s relationship with food growing up, including associating food with love and family
  • Body shame in relation to food choices

  • Separating the critical voice from the true inner voice of compassion

  • The line between educating others and preserving our own body-positive journey

  • Reconnecting to body trust

  • How intuitive eating leads to intuitive living

  • Creating a loving relationship with the past

  • Rachel’s first experience with a nutritionist

  • The importance of access to plus-size clothing options

  • Rachel's Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) diagnosis

  • The connection between physical hunger and emotional hunger

  • Rediscovering satisfaction with food and movement on the intuitive eating journey

  • The impact of patriarchy and misogyny on femme socialization

  • Yoga, eating disorder recovery, and embodiment

  • Reconnecting with and accepting emotions

  • Eating as an intimate act

  • Food as a part of our relationships and human connection

  • Navigating and pushing back against diet culture and the diet mentality

  • Rachel’s reasons for creating More to Love

  • Finding everlasting, honest, and individual body acceptance

  • The intersection of mystery and science

  • Tolerating constant change and growth

  • The trouble with deriving self-worth from external factors


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Food Psych #100: How the Body-Positive Movement Could Do Better with Virgie Tovar

Virgie Tovar

Virgie Tovar returns for our 100th episode! The inimitable fat-acceptance activist shares what she's been up to in the 2 years since she first appeared on Food Psych (episode #45), why you can't be body-positive and actively pursue weight loss at the same time, how the history of the body-positive movement left it open for misinterpretation, why fat acceptance and body liberation are better terms for what we really want than body positivity, how people with thin privilege can help the movement for fat liberation (and how that helps *everyone*), how her relationship with sex has changed as a result of some big changes in her life, why "The American Dream" can be so oppressive and why stepping out of it has been so liberating for her, and lots more!

Virgie Tovar is an author, activist, and one of the nation's leading experts and lecturers on fat discrimination and body image. She is the founder of Babecamp, a 4-week online course designed to help those who are ready to break up with diet culture, and she started the hashtag campaign #LoseHateNotWeight. 

Get $50 off Babecamp Summer Session June 5-30, a 4-week online course lovingly designed by body image expert Virgie Tovar for women who are ready to break up with diet culture and take up their rightful place in the babe pantheon. Just click on the yellow "flashsale" button at!

Grab Christy's new free guide, 7 simple strategies for finding peace and freedom with food. You can also text "FOODPSYCH" to the phone number 44222 to get it on the go!

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We Discuss:

  • Virgie’s latest projects, including Babecamp, her online course that helps women break up with diet culture
  • Embracing body jiggle

  • Looking at diet culture and fatphobia through the lens of feminism

  • The problem with the shift of fat liberation and fat acceptance to mainstream body positivity

  • How the origin of the body image conversation lies in feminist and queer politics

  • The issues with “choice feminism”

  • How to have compassion for those pursuing weight loss while also calling bullshit

  • Fatphobia in eating disorder recovery

  • The importance of believing and listening to fat people about their experiences of oppression

  • The fear of letting go of the thin ideal, diet culture, and the diet mentality

  • How to find our own authentic happiness in spite of cultural ideals

  • Intuitive eating and liberating our relationship with food

  • The formula for healing

  • The path from intellectualism to embodiment

  • Self-trust

  • Sexual exploration and liberation

  • How to honor your genuine desires instead of merely following a narrative  

  • Trauma and sexual pleasure

  • Creating space for transformation

  • Self-compassion and acceptance as the keys to healing


Resources Mentioned

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Food Psych #99: How to Fight Diet Culture & Find Fat Acceptance with Lindy West

Lindy West

Lindy West, author of the book Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman, shares how she became a fat-acceptance activist, the roles that feminism and body-positive imagery played in helping her reject diet culture, her experience of finding love in a larger body, how thin allies to the fat-acceptance movement can help, how she's improved her relationship with food and what she's still working on, and lots more!

Lindy West is a Seattle-based writer, editor, and performer whose work focuses on pop culture, social justice, humor, and body image. She’s currently a culture writer for GQ magazine and a weekly columnist at The Guardian, as well as the founder and editor of I Believe You | It’s Not your Fault, an advice blog for teens. In 2015 she wrote and recorded a story for “This American Life” about confronting an Internet troll who impersonated her dead father and was half of the duo who initiated #shoutyourabortion, which landed her on the cover of The New York Times. She was named one of “Internet’s Most Fascinating 2015” by Find her online at, and pick up her book Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman wherever books are sold.

Grab my new free guide, 7 simple strategies for finding peace and freedom with food. You can also text "FOODPSYCH" to the phone number 44222 to get it on the go!

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We Discuss:

  • Lindy’s relationship with food growing up, including being active as a kid, and the impact of being in larger body

  • Pursuing weight loss at a young age

  • The normalization of diet culture

  • How disordered eating behavior is encouraged and applauded in larger-bodied people

  • The Health at Every Size movement's impact on eating disorder diagnosis and recovery

  • Eating in public as a fat person

  • Food and pleasure

  • Living in a food-obsessed world that paradoxically subscribes to the thin ideal

  • Lindy’s experiences with fat-shaming and discrimination 

  • Natural weight fluctuation, set-point theory, and size diversity

  • Weight bias in the medical community

  • Thin privilege and the importance of thin allies in the fat acceptance movement

  • Lindy’s experience embracing fat as an identity

  • How the wedding-industrial complex is rooted in diet culture and the diet mentality

  • Body positivity, fat acceptance, feminism, and social justice

  • Bodily autonomy and making the body political

  • The systemic oppression of fat bodies

  • The impact of fat stigma and fatphobia on health

  • Lindy’s experiences with sex, dating, and love while fat

  • Fighting for body positivity for bodies of all sizes


Resources Mentioned:


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Food Psych #98: How to Rediscover the Joy in Food and Movement with Kylie Mitchell

Kylie Mitchell


Food blogger and fellow anti-diet dietitian Kylie Mitchell shares how she overcame dieting, disordered eating, and compulsive exercise; why she wanted to start a food blog that celebrates food and eschews the orthorexic messages of other "wellness" blogs; the insidious ways in which diet culture is woven into the fabric of how we talk about food and health; why non-diet approaches like Health at Every Size and intuitive eating are important for *everyone* of *every* body size; how she improved her relationship with movement and let go of compulsive exercise; what the transition from an eating disorder into intuitive eating looks like; and lots more!

Kylie Mitchell is a Registered Dietitian with a Masters of Public Health. She is the founder of the food/lifestyle blog, which she started six years ago in an effort to stop disordered eating and help people fall back in love with a healthful relationship with food and their body. Kylie works to promote positive body image, intuitive eating and Health at Every Size. Kylie also specializes in creative recipe development and high-res food photography. When not behind the computer or camera, Kylie works as an eating disorder dietitian. Kylie lives in Houston, TX with her husband and puppy, where she likes to over-share on Instagram.

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We Discuss:

  • Kylie’s relationship with food growing up, including living in a household obsessed with dieting and the thin ideal

  • Body trust and the pregnancy experience

  • Eating disorders and disordered eating as coping mechanisms

  • Kylie’s experience with restriction, binge eating, and overexercising to compensate for bingeing behavior

  • The lack of Health at Every Size and intuitive eating instruction in dietetics and nutrition education

  • Disordered eating within the nutrition and dietetics field

  • The spectrum of eating behavior

  • Diet culture, the diet mentality, and how our world perpetuates disordered eating

  • The importance of non-diet, intuitive eating, and HAES resources in recovery from eating disorders and diet culture

  • Kylie’s work on her blog, how it started from a disordered and obsessional place, and how it eventually became a place of healing and recovery

  • “Healthy” food blogging and orthorexia

  • The responsibility that all dietitians have to show that all foods fit and the ways in which they often fall short

  • Breaking down the morality around food choices

  • Making peace with movement and finding a body-positive, weight-neutral movement practice

  • The role of yoga in Kylie’s eating disorder recovery and finding embodiment

  • Body dissatisfaction, fatphobia, and finding body acceptance

  • Navigating relationships in recovery and seeking outside support when we need it


Resources Mentioned:

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Food Psych #97: The Life-Changing Magic of Intuitive Eating with Sumner Brooks

Sumner Brooks RD

Body-positive dietitian Sumner Brooks shares why she started bingeing at a young age, how she finally healed her relationship with food through intuitive eating, how diet culture convinces us we're "not good enough," why emotional eating is related to restriction, why it's so important (and difficult) to accept and honor your hunger, how conventional nutrition education leads us astray, and lots more!  

Sumner Brooks is a registered dietitian nutritionist specializing in eating disorders and a Certified Intuitive Eating counselor. She's the producer of the EDRDpro Symposium for professionals, She's also the co-author of the non-diet guidebook Savvy Girl: A Guide to Eating, a short 4 hour-read for women of all ages based on the Intuitive Eating philosophy. Sumner also works at a gastroenterology specialty clinic in Portland, Oregon where she utilizes a non-diet approach to treat patients struggling with digestive concerns and eating disorders. Out of the office she's found soaking up time with her 2 year old daughter and getting outdoors in the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Sign up for her EDRDpro Symposium for webinars with 15 experts on intuitive eating and Health at Every Size (including Christy!).   

This episode is brought to you by Plum Deluxe, a Fair Trade tea company that's committed to fostering mindfulness, compassion, and community. Check out their great selection of teas, and help support the podcast with every purchase!

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We Discuss:

  • Sumner’s disordered relationship with food from a young age that included bingeing and overeating

  • How food insecurity can impact the way we relate to food

  • Sumner’s experience with emotional eating

  • Coping with the need for more variety and “fun” foods in a restrictive household

  • The '90s fat-free craze

  • Sumner’s struggle to satisfy her hunger as a young athlete

  • How social pressure from our peers can influence and increase disordered eating behavior

  • The ways in which magazines and advertising perpetuate the overwhelming feeling of never being “enough,” and push us to chase the beauty ideal

  • How self-hate and negative body image can act as precursors to eating disorders

  • The role of feminism and body positivity in eating disorder recovery

  • How intimate relationships are impacted by disordered eating behaviors

  • Sumner’s experience with various eating disorders, including the restrict-binge cycle and compulsive exercise

  • The role of depression, loneliness, and stress in eating behavior

  • Therapy for eating disorders

  • Sumner’s experience as a dietitian, and how it guided her own path to food peace and intuitive eating

  • How shame and guilt perpetuate binge eating and the restrict-binge cycle

  • The impact of struggling with biological hunger and emotional hunger simultaneously

  • Making peace with and honoring physical hunger

  • The problem with the calories-in-calories-out nutrition model

  • A dietitian’s role in eating disorder prevention and treatment

  • The Health at Every Size, non-diet approach to nutrition counseling

  • The connection between healthism and disordered eating

  • How to bring people into the intuitive eating, anti-diet, Health at Every Size world


Resources Mentioned


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Food Psych #96: How to Trust Your Body's Wisdom with Tracy Brown

Tracy Brown RD

Fellow Health at Every Size dietitian Tracy Brown shares why she started dieting and fighting her body in adolescence, how restriction quickly spiraled into an eating disorder, why difficulty with setting boundaries played into her relationship with food, how she found her way to recovery and started down the path to becoming a dietitian, how she began to tune in to her body's wisdom and practice intuitive eating, why she dove into practicing from a Health at Every Size paradigm, and lots more. She also leads us in a special meditation for helping reconnect to your body!

Tracy Brown is a somatic nutrition therapist, registered dietitian, and attuned eating coach in private practice providing in-person, phone and online counseling since 2006. Tracy works with people on a soul level because she believes not wanting to be in the body is a way of protecting oneself, so her work is about nourishing the nervous system to feel safe enough to feel emotion and actually heal. She specializes in the treatment of eating disorders and eating problems for both adults and children, as well as issues related to overextending the body, including adrenal fatigue, hormone issues, PCOS and gut health.

Tracy routinely teaches intuitive eating workshops and disordered-eating-related talks throughout Florida, including at the University of Florida and Santa Fe College in Gainesville, FL; Flager College; and Florida Gulf Coast University in Ft Myers. She is also the guest Nutrition Therapist for Feast, an online intuitive eating program run by past Food Psych guest Rachel Cole. Tracy has appeared on many podcasts discussing topics including intuitive eating, trauma healing, positive body image, and recovery.

She believes that healing food and weight concerns is really about deciding to embrace our humanity in the diverse and amazing bodies we have. Living and feeling fully with courage and being dedicated to the fullest expression of who we are is the point. Learn more about Tracy and her work at

This episode is brought to you by Plum Deluxe, a Fair Trade tea company that's committed to fostering mindfulness, compassion, and community. 

Join the new Food Psych Facebook group to connect with fellow listeners around the world!


We Discuss:

  • Tracy’s relationship with food growing up, including a childhood that included farming and exposure to sports at an early age

  • Tracy’s experience with subliminal messages about “acceptable” body size

  • The emotions attached to the dieting experience

  • How dating and socializing impacted Tracy’s ideas of perfection and her understanding of what is valued in our society

  • Tracy’s first experience with a diet and the resulting spiral into disordered eating, restriction, obsessive exercise, and anorexia

  • How eating disorders can be used to create boundaries around us and isolate us from the world

  • Rape culture and consent in the context of bodily autonomy

  • The relationship between eating disorders and control

  • Tracy’s journey through early eating disorder recovery and her introduction to intuitive eating

  • Tracy’s experience in college studying dietetics and nutrition, including studying with the knowledge that she would be following an anti-diet path once she received her degree

  • The impact of deprivation on the restrict-binge cycle

  • How the diet mentality and mental restriction impact the ability to break the binge cycle

  • Tracy’s trials and tribulations trying to find a job in dietetics, and her eventual first supervision under the guidance of an intuitive eating practitioner

  • Tracy’s experience with self-experimentation in learning her own hunger and fullness

  • The role of therapy in eating disorder recovery and intuitive eating

  • Tracy’s transition into private practice and Health at Every Size work, including her frustration with the diet model in mainstream dietetics

  • The challenge that HAES clinicians face in making space for their client’s mourning process around letting go of weight loss

  • Letting go of the instinct to fix problems rather than feel problems

  • How diet culture and fatphobia impact people of all sizes

  • The role of the HAES, body-positive community in supporting people when they doubt the truth about diet culture

  • How nonlinear the recovery and intuitive eating process can be

  • The judgment and moral values we attach to food behaviors

  • Tracy’s use of somatics and meditation to support eating disorder recovery, body acceptance, and inner wisdom

  • How to prepare clients for the diet culture of the outside world and create boundaries around their own process

  • How meditation can help ground the body, center the self, and foster self-compassion

  • How to have gratitude for coping mechanisms that no longer serve us


Resources Mentioned


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Food Psych #95: How to Share Your Anti-Diet Journey with Katie Dalebout

Katie Dalebout

Fellow body-positive podcaster and coach Katie Dalebout joins me to celebrate Food Psych's 4-year anniversary! We discuss how Katie's first appearance in episode 34 changed the direction of the podcast, how her recovery from orthorexia led her toward Health at Every Size and away from her original wellness-focused business, how she discovered her interests and passions beyond food and health, why it's so important to consider potential triggers when telling your recovery story, how to share responsibly on social media, and lots more!

Through her blog, podcasts, videos, and courses, Katie Dalebout curates inspired wisdom that guides people to go deep and sift through the thoughts clouding their minds. She’s a contributor to Hello Giggles, Refinery29, and MindBodyGreen, and in 2013 launched the weekly podcast Let It Out (formerly The Wellness Wonderland), which attracted wellness and lifestyle celebrities such as Gabrielle Bernstein, Tara Stiles, and Joe Cross in its first few episodes. She’s the author of the Amazon best-selling book Let It Out: A Journey Through Journaling (Hay House, 2016). She helps people develop a positive body image by embracing their creativity and personality outside of their physicality, and she’s on a mission to share journaling tools that invoke deeper authenticity and self-awareness. Find her online at

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We Discuss:

  • The four-year anniversary of Food Psych, including its evolution into a 100% body-positive philosophy, and Katie’s role in defining some of Food Psych’s themes

  • How Katie and Christy became friends through podcasting, as well as the early days of Food Psych

  • Katie’s “coming out” process with her eating disorder

  • Christy’s first exploration of Health at Every Size, including how the eating disorder recovery world and collaborating with Isabel Foxen Duke really brought her into the fold both in her practice and her podcast

  • Katie’s experience listening to Isabel Foxen Duke’s episode of Food Psych, including the vulnerability that the episode brought out in Isabel’s story

  • The importance of exploring our relationships with food growing up, and how this question helps us establish that we are not alone in these food and body struggles

  • The problem with eating disorder memoirs, including balancing storytelling with potentially triggering information

  • The normalization of diet culture

  • How our stages of recovery, understanding of disordered eating, and awareness of triggers evolves over time

  • Katie’s podcast, Let it Out, and the transformation it has undergone with Katie’s own journey through eating disorder recovery

  • Seeking out hobbies apart from food, the body, and wellness

  • How disordered eating can shape our lives and career trajectories

  • Responsibly sharing on social media, including representing a balanced life rather than just the highlights or the “healthy” parts

  • The issue with social media “branding,” including getting stuck in certain food and lifestyle labels

  • How eating styles can become a part of our identity

  • The potentially damaging influence of people we admire in the social media realm

  • The peace that comes from living your life in an intuitive way rather than a diet-mentality way

  • How the diet industry is beginning to co-opt not just wellness and nutrition, but intuitive eating and body positivity

  • Creating boundaries and taking a stand against diet culture

  • The importance of tapping into anger and humor in this social justice movement

  • How the body-positive movement and anti-diet movement fit in the larger socio-cultural context of our current political situation

  • Striking the balance between curating a compassionate social media feed and ensuring that we don’t forget that the HAES, body-positive bubble in which we reside isn't how the rest of the world functions


Resources Mentioned


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Food Psych #94: How to Leave the Religion of Dieting with Alan Levinovitz

Alan Levinovitz

Religious scholar and journalist Alan Levinovitz discusses how diet culture is like a religion, why so much modern nutrition advice is dangerous, why we need to think critically about restrictive eating practices, how suspicion of Western medicine can lead people to believe in harmful "miracle cures," why the "nocebo effect" is causing people to unnecessarily demonize particular foods, and lots more.     

Alan Levinovitz received his PhD in religion from the University of Chicago where he specialized in classical Chinese thought. He is now assistant professor of religious studies at James Madison University, where he teaches classes on religion, Chinese philosophy, and the connection between religion and medicine. His journalism focuses on the intersection of religion, science, and culture, and has appeared in The Atlantic, Wired, The Washington Post, Slate, Vox, and elsewhere. He is the author of The Gluten Lie: And Other Myths About What You Eat (mild trigger warning for frank discussion of diets and eating practices). Find him at James Madison University and on Twitter at @AlanLevinovitz.

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Food Psych #93: The Truth about Dieting & Health at Every Size with Rebecca Scritchfield & Julie Duffy Dillon

Julie Duffy Dillon - Rebecca Scritchfield - Food Psych

Fellow body-positive RDs Rebecca Scritchfield and Julie Duffy Dillon return for a special episode in honor of NEDA Week and National Nutrition Month! We discuss our new joint campaign #ChangeTheGame, why the nutrition field often plays right into diet culture, why we need to stop prescribing one thing to people with diagnosed eating disorders and another thing to the rest of the population, how dieting messes with your mind, and lots more!

Julie Duffy Dillon is a food behavior expert who helps people enjoy eating again. Award winning with her progressive approach, Julie was featured in TLC’s documentary My Big Fat Fabulous Life. Julie has an active blog on and a weekly Food Peace Newsletter. Listen to her weekly body positive, diet free, and health promoting podcast Love, Food where she answers listener letters about their complicated relationship with food. Julie received her BS in Nutrition from Ohio University and MS in Mental Health Counseling from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. As a registered and licensed dietitian in North Carolina, she founded BirdHouse Nutrition Therapy a group practice passionate about helping individuals and families recover from eating disorders and PCOS. As a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist (CEDRD), she also supervises dietitians to be eating disorder specialists. Don't miss Julie's previous appearance on Food Psych!  

Rebecca Scritchfield is a well-being coach, registered dietitian nutritionist, certified health and fitness specialist and author of the book, Body Kindness, which Publisher’s Weekly calls “a rousing guide to better health.” Through her weight-neutral mindfulness-based counseling practice, she helps people create a better life with workable goals that fit individual interests. She is the co-founder of Dietitians for Body Confidence, a website and free bi-monthly e-mail dedicated to shared learning among dietitians and future RDNs to improve body image in people they serve. Rebecca has influenced millions through her writing, Body Kindness podcast, and appearances in over 100 media outlets including NBC Nightly News, CNN, the Today show, the Washington Post, O Magazine, Health, Shape, and many others. She lives in Washington, D.C., where she was recently recognized as one of ten “Supermom” entrepreneurs in the Nation’s Capital. Find her online at, and don't miss her previous episode of Food Psych!

How are you changing the game on diet culture? Share your anti-diet victories with us using the hashtag #ChangeTheGame on your favorite social media platform!  

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Food Psych #92: How to Break Free from Body Shame with Fiona Sutherland

Fiona Sutherland

Fellow Health at Every Size dietitian Fiona Sutherland shares how early experiences helped her develop empathy for people struggling with weight stigma, why she almost quit dietetics and how she ultimately found her way to the anti-diet movement, why we need to take pleasure in food, how she's working to bring the Health at Every Size approach into training for dietitians, and lots more!

Fiona Sutherland is an Accredited Practising Dietitian & Nutritionist from Melbourne, Australia. She is Director of Body Positive Australia & The Mindful Dietitian, specialising in Mindful Eating, Eating Disorders, eating behaviour and body image from a Health At Every Size and Non Diet Approach. She is also a Sports Dietitian, consulting for The Australian Ballet. Fiona is passionate about supporting people & communities heal their relationship with food and body, and is an advocate for bringing Non Diet Approach training into Universities throughout Australia. Find her at and

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Food Psych #91: Becoming an Anti-Diet Dietitian with Jennifer McGurk

Jennifer McGurk, anti-diet dietitian

Body-positive dietitian Jennifer McGurk shares her history of body shame and disordered eating, her journey to recovery, how her career evolved alongside her own relationship with food, why she's fighting to make Health at Every Size training part of the academic requirements for dietitians and other healthcare professionals, how pregnancy changed her relationship with her body, and lots more!

Jennifer McGurk, RDN, CDN, CDE, CEDRD is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist whose mission is to help people heal from diets, and find peace and balance with their food choices. She is the owner of Eat With Knowledge in Nyack, NY. She leads a team of dietitians who support the philosophy, “Feel fabulous about food!”

As a Certified Eating Disorders Registered Dietitian, Jennifer combines her expertise in medical nutrition therapy, psychology, and physiology to help clients understand their eating behaviors, and gain the insight needed to make positive changes for their health. She is an expert in the field of eating disorders and also supervises other Registered Dietitians.

Jennifer has created the business Pursuing Private Practice, along with authoring a book series of the same name, to help other healthcare professionals reach their goal of owning their own business. Pursuing Private Practice: 10 Steps to Start Your Own Business was released in January 2016, and Pursuing Private Practice: 10 Steps to Grow Your Own Business was released in April 2016. She is working on an e-course that will be out April 2017. Find her online at or, and be sure to sign her HAES petition!

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Food Psych #90: Building Body-Positive Families with Hilary Kinavey

Hilary Kinavey

Psychotherapist and HAES activist Hilary Kinavey shares her history of chronic dieting, the role of feminism in her recovery, how she helps her kids develop a healthy relationship with food, how romantic relationships affected her body image, why there need to be more body-positive role models for navigating aging and body changes throughout life, and lots more!  

Hilary Kinavey, MS, LPC, is a licensed professional counselor and cofounder of Be Nourished, LLC. Her work encourages movement toward a radically compassionate model of healing to address internalized body shame and associated patterns of chronic dieting and disordered eating. She is the co-creator of Body Trust™ Wellness, a Certified Daring Way™ facilitator-candidate, and a transformational workshop leader. Hilary is a popular speaker on topics such as Health at Every Size®, intuitive eating, and body respect in health care communities, and a regular contributor to the Huffington Post. Find her online at

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Food Psych #89: How to Heal Your Body Image with Vivienne McMaster

Vivienne McMaster.jpg

Body-positive photography coach Vivienne McMaster shares the joy she took in food as a child, how she got pulled into diet culture in adolescence, how food shame manifested at her family dinner table, how she used self-portraiture to heal her relationship with her body, why certain types of photos can be more harmful than helpful in recovery, and lots more!

Vivienne McMaster is a photographer, workshop leader and positive body image advocate from Vancouver, Canada. She who helps folks around the world see themselves with compassion through their own camera lens. Her photographs have been seen in such places as and The Huffington Post. The camera and self-portraiture helped her heal her own negative body image and she's now on a mission share these tools and help folks choose compassion over critique, one photo at a time. You can more about her at

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Food Psych #88: Why "the Perfect Body" Won't Make You Happy with Sarah Vance

Sarah Vance - Body Image Coach

Body image coach and registered nurse Sarah Vance shares how competitive bodybuilding triggered a disordered relationship with food and fitness, why getting praise for her looks and "healthy lifestyle" only led to unhappiness and pain, how she finally made peace with food and her body, why she now takes a Health at Every Size approach in her nursing practice, why body positivity is really a social justice movement, and lots more!

Sarah is a body image coach, host of the Reclaiming You Podcast, and founder of the Breaking Boundaries program. Through her writing, speaking, or personalized one on one coaching - she helps women all over the world ditch the diet mentality, body-hate, perfection, and self doubt while helping them cultivate a positive body image, self-love, and confidence to show up in the world as their most authentic self while knowing that who they are is enough. Find her online at, and grab your free taste of freedom HERE.

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Food Psych #87: How to Trust Your Intuition about Food with Daxle Collier

Daxle Collier - Intuitive Eating Coach

Intuitive eating coach Daxle Collier shares how food insecurity affected her relationship with food, how a series of health problems led her down the path of restrictive dieting, how she got back in touch with her intuition, why perfectionism around food is so destructive, and lots more.

Daxle Collier is an intuitive eating coach who helps people heal their relationship with food and create an authentic self-care practice. She offers remote coaching, online courses, and local San Francisco Bay Area workshops.

Daxle blogs about intuitive eating, mindful eating, self-care, joyful movement, stress reduction, and the process of change. Her work is rooted in mindfulness, self-compassion, and the HAES principles.

She holds a masters in health education with specialization in nutrition from John F. Kennedy University, and has also completed Intuitive Eating Counselor Certification, Training and Supervision with Evelyn Tribole and Coach Training with Linda Bark of Wisdom of the Whole Coaching Academy. Find her online at, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.


We Discuss:

  • Daxle’s relationship with food growing up, which included having a mother who was a chronic dieter, an early intuitive relationship with food despite surrounding influences, and an eventual tumultuous relationship with food that began in her teenage years

  • How Daxle used food and exercise to rebel and to fit in with her friends at school

  • Daxle’s experience with food when she transitioned to college, including exploring vegetarianism and trying to learn how to cook and buy groceries for herself with limited means

  • Medical issues that cropped up for Daxle, which created a complicated relationship with Western medicine and eventually influenced her to explore alternative and holistic health

  • Daxle’s education in “functional nutrition,” including experimenting with the Paleo diet and eventually realizing that this diet was worsening her health

  • The ways in which American culture encourages suffering around our health

  • The danger of experimenting on ourselves with nutrition, and how easy it is to convince ourselves that certain food choices are the “magic bullet” to health, even when we are experiencing the opposite

  • Daxle’s journey to intuitive eating, including her experience doing the counselor training with Evelyn Tribole

  • How being in the Health at Every Size bubble can make us forget that intuitive eating and HAES aren’t the norm in the medical community and our culture as a whole

  • The ways in which learning about mindfulness, self-compassion, and intuition outside of our relationships to food can open us up to the world of intuitive eating

  • How important it is to break down our ideas and assumptions about foods in relation to the diet mentality before we jump into intuitive eating so that we can experience foods in an untainted, non-diet-centric way

  • Daxle’s job as a wellness coach, which does not include telling people what to eat

  • Why intuitive eating is not the “hunger and fullness” diet

  • How to not turn self-care into self-punishment

  • Daxle’s experience with peer support and how her classmates helped facilitate her journey through intuitive eating

  • Daxle’s emergence into the professional world as a health coach, including how she started her own business, and how difficult it can be to market in a world dominated by diet culture

  • The struggles of intuitive eating and letting go of weight loss in our fat-phobic, health-centric society

  • The problem with encouraging the idea that individual health is a personal responsibility, rather than considering the influences and social-justice issues that impact individual health

  • Daxle’s current relationship with food and her body, including the peace she’s found and the social media cleansing she has had to do

  • The question of body love versus body acceptance, especially in the face of chronic pain or disability, and choosing body trust over body hate

  • The systemic issues that create health problems

  • Daxle’s dream of intuitive eating and HAES eventually being the norm rather than progressive

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Food Psych #86: Body Positivity & Social Justice with Dianne Bondy

Dianne Bondy - Yoga Teacher & Body Image Activist

Yoga teacher and body-positive activist Dianne Bondy shares how a body-shaming father led her to develop an eating disorder in childhood and adolescence, how yoga helped in her recovery, why the yoga industry needs to be more welcoming of all bodies, why body positivity is a social justice issue, and lots more! 

Dianne Bondy is a celebrated yoga teacher, social justice activist and leading voice of the Yoga For All movement. Her inclusive view of yoga asana and philosophy inspires and empowers thousands of followers around the world – regardless of their shape, size, ethnicity, or level of ability.

Dianne contributes to Yoga International, Do You Yoga, and Elephant Journal. She is featured and profiled in International media outlets: The Guardian, Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan, People and more. She is a spokesperson for diversity in yoga and yoga for larger bodies, as seen in her work with Pennington’s, Gaiam, and the Yoga & Body Image Coalition. Her work is published in the books Yoga and Body Image, and Yes Yoga Has Curves. Find her online at and

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We Discuss:

  • Dianne’s relationship with food growing up, including a contentious relationship with her father that twisted food into a negative experience, and her exposure to eating disorder treatment in the early 1980s

  • How pervasive the messaging is around women’s bodies, and how we are frequently told we are not good enough

  • Dianne’s conflicts around being a yogi and someone in recovery from an eating disorder in relation to vegansim and vegetarianism

  • The ways in which yoga can feel dogmatic and triggering when practiced in a diet framework

  • Why we must put self-care, self-love, and our own needs first when certain ideologies may put our recovery or safety in jeopardy

  • Why the classic aesthetic of yoga (white, able-bodied, thin, woman) is so damaging to those who do not fit within the cultural ideal

  • Diet culture’s sneaky hiding places, and the ways in which the diet mentality is just a product of the capitalist machine

  • The pervasiveness of fatphobia within the medical community

  • The importance of educating people on Health at Every Size and true body positivity

  • Dianne’s a-ha moment in her eating disorder recovery, including the big part that yoga played in recovery

  • Dianne’s journey to find yoga for all bodies

  • The co-option of the body positivity movement, how frustrating it is to live in a world that tries to bar all bodies from healing practices such as yoga, and the ways in which we can use true body positivity to fight against the diet mentality

  • The ways in which diet culture acts as tool of the patriarchy and limits women in their political and cultural power

  • Dianne’s vision for the downfall of the diet industry, and the amazing work being done in the social justice community to push back against diet culture

  • The power in embracing self-love and self-healing

  • Why social media is helping in the fight against diet culture

  • Body positivity and size acceptance as a social and political movement, and how pushback indicates progress

  • HAES as a civil rights movement

  • Dianne’s experience with the 2016 U.S. election as a Canadian

  • Millennial hate, the impact of Baby Boomer policy, and the ways in which the American experience has paved the way for a hateful, bigoted ideology

  • The impossibility of the young, white beauty ideal and its oppressive impacts

  • Oppression, white supremacy, and the ways in which the world is simultaneously changing and regressing


Resources Mentioned


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