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 TracyBrownRD.com.

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

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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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