15 episodes

Exploring food and body image issues, eating disorders, disordered eating and chronic dieting from a Health at Every Size, Fat-Positive and Intuitive Eating framework.

It's Just a Cookie Marielle Berg

    • Mental Health

Exploring food and body image issues, eating disorders, disordered eating and chronic dieting from a Health at Every Size, Fat-Positive and Intuitive Eating framework.

    #15: Mindful Eating with Camerin Ross

    #15: Mindful Eating with Camerin Ross

    Today I’m talking with Camerin Ross about her journey with letting go of dieting, accepting her body, and embracing mindful eating and Health at Every Size®. Among other things, we talk about how these changes impacted some of her relationships.
    Camerin has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and is a licensed facilitator for Am I Hungry? ® Mindful Eating programs. She also completed her coach training with MentorCoach® LLC and is currently finishing the Be Nourished, Body Trust® Provider training. Camerin works from a non-diet, Health At Every Size® framework, which respects intersectional dimensions of diversity, including size, shape, and weight. Her integrative coaching model is designed to empower and support her clients in reaching their goals. Camerin works individually and facilitates groups by telephone and online video conferencing around the globe.
     
    For full show notes and resources, visit the website.

    • 39 min
    #14: Let’s NOT Talk About Your Diet with Marcella Raimondo, PhD, MPH

    #14: Let’s NOT Talk About Your Diet with Marcella Raimondo, PhD, MPH

    This week I’m talking with Marcella Raimondo, a psychologist in Oakland, California who has been working in the field of multicultural issues in eating disorders for nearly 25 years. She has recovered herself from anorexia nervosa over 20 years ago.
    We have a high energy exchange about living in a world where certain foods, like sugar and dairy, are highly demonized. We also talk about how frustrating it is to be around folks who constantly want to talk about how much better they feel now that they’ve eliminated “x” food from their diet. Marcella talks about how often she is the only person in her client’s lives who are telling them that it is ok to do things like eating ice cream in public. We also talk de-stigmatizing eating for emotional reasons and how to deal with diet or “health” talk (which is often a stand-in for diet talk) with friends and family.
    Marcella trains in Kajukenbo at Hand to Hand Self Defense Center in Oakland. She holds a first degree black belt and enjoys the exploratory path her training gives her. Her recovery and her martial arts training inspires her dedication to multicultural body nurturance and community celebration.
    Show Highlights
    The recovery process is about removing layer after layer We live in a world that keeps a disordered eating mindset pretty intact Letting the fantasy go that one day your body will be smaller leads to liberation and relief, although society will continue to tell you that something is wrong with your body “I am addicted to sugar,” is such a common thing she hears  Even if someone is eating an adequate amount of food, many times there is no enjoyment (it’s still very diet-y, or someone may stick to “safe” foods) Your body and mind respond to what feels like deprivation Getting curious about how food helps with emotions We all eat emotionally and always will Colonization made indigenous food “bad” and the colonizer’s food “good” Using the word “crap” to describe someone’s food is problematic when that may be what’s accessible, affordable, and familiar to them If someone keeps talking about how they good they feel if they’ve cut out a certain food it doesn’t sound like liberation  When people are depriving themselves of what they really want and need social approval for all the hard work they are doing All the negativity and energy behind processed food is classist: for some folks, this is their food Putting children on diets sets them up for a lifetime of a problematic relationship to their body Thin privilege allowed Marcella to experiment with different foods in her recovery without experiencing backlash from others Recognizing her own privilege in recovery which makes the road so much easier Links & Resources
    For more information about Marcella's trainings, go to marcellaedtraining.com Gloria Lucas, Nalgona Positivity Pride ASDAH

    • 43 min
    #13: Directing a Fat Dance Troupe with Matilda St. John, MFT 

    #13: Directing a Fat Dance Troupe with Matilda St. John, MFT 

    This week I’m talking to Matilda St. John, the Director of Big Moves, an organization dedicated to getting people of all sizes into the dance studio and up on stage. Big Moves is based in the San Francisco Bay Area and welcomes dancers of all experience levels. When she’s not dancing, Matilda practices psychotherapy in Oakland, CA.
    Matilda talks about her early love of dance as well as the body-shaming she received as a young dancer. In college, she stumbled upon fat positive zines that blew her world open. As an adult, she found her way back to dance, and reconnected with a sense of joy and play, with a dance troupe dedicated to larger-sized dancers. In this episode, she talks about all this as well as the unique rewards and challenges of being a fat dancer.
    Show Highlights:
    Matilda’s dream was to grow up and be on Solid Gold Her ballet teacher pulled her parents aside and told them that she was too big to do ballet when she 8 or 9 How she was actively discouraged from dancing as a little girl Her body was a point of contention when she was infant  Both her parents were chronic dieters  She was aware of calories for as long as she can remember Attending fat camp when she was 9 Struggling with a restrictive eating disorder in her teen years How she stopped dancing in the years when she had the most restrictive eating disorder How she found fat acceptance zines in a women’s book store  Getting exposed to Big Moves, a fat dance troupe that started as the Phat Fly Girls When they dance in more mainstream shows, other dancers backstage assume they are not dancers or don’t know how to warm up There is a way that the members of Big Moves are kind of fat poster children because they are very active There is also a level of surprise, such as “How are you so big when you are moving so much?” How folks in her therapy practice feel like unenlightened feminists for their internalized fatphobia Old psychoanalytic idea that fat people are all about oral identification  
    Links & Resources:
    Matilda’s therapy practice Big Moves Solid Gold Nomi Lamm Marilyn Wann Fat Girl Zine Shadow on a Tight Rope: Writings by Women on Fat Oppression  National Dance Week in the Bay Area Cupcake and Muffintops NoLose

    • 42 min
    #12: Diet and Wellness Plans are the New Religion with Alan Levinovitz, Ph.D.

    #12: Diet and Wellness Plans are the New Religion with Alan Levinovitz, Ph.D.

    Today I’m talking with Alan Levinovitz, Ph.D., about the surprising connection between current wellness and dieting trends and religion. Alan is an associate professor of religious studies at James Madison University, where he specializes in Chinese philosophy and the intersection of religion and science. His first book, The Gluten Lie, explores modern food fears as religious taboos. He is currently working on another book, Natural, that explains how we turn nature into God.
     
    Alan talks about how religion offers a way to deal with suffering: why it happens, how to avoid it and how to fix it. He compares this narrative to the prevailing narrative that infuses diet and wellness culture which promises to heal all manner of physical and emotional suffering.
     
    Show Highlights:
    Halo Top ice cream implies that there is something holy about not consuming calories which is tied up with denial of the body, a deeply religious theme The new secular saints are diet, wellness, and fitness gurus The sphere of religion’s authority is shrinking so we look to other authoritative sources like science to tell us how to avoid suffering People really want food to make them holy and pure although today we use the language of “optimizing” oneself The word holistic has been corrupted by health gurus  Most lifestyle changes that claim to be holistic are not holistic at all as they are only about the body No one knows why we suffer and die Some kind of narrative helps explain the randomness of suffering and death It’s not just that you should moderate sugar, according to current diet and wellness trends, but eliminate all sugar, which echos religious and purity taboos Dietary taboos can be a way to both distance ourselves from certain communities and to form new communities  It’s a really powerful thing to feel like you know something that other people don’t People need narratives and metaphorical shorthands to deal with everyday life Be wary whenever someone promises you a hidden, secret solution that no one else knows about Treating the scale like an oracle - you step on the scale and it tells you how good you are Ancient Taoist texts promised that if you followed a particular diet, you would have clear skin, you would live forever and you would be able to teleport, which is not much different from the promises that current day diet and wellness culture make (without the teleporting!)  
    Links & Resources:
    The Gluten Lie: And Other Myths About What You Eat by Alan Levonvitz, Ph.D. Natural: How Faith in Nature's Goodness Leads to Harmful Fads, Unjust Laws, and Flawed Science by Alan Levonvitz, Ph.D. Biologist Stephen Gould Paul Rozin

    • 46 min
    #11: 30 Years in the Size-Acceptance Movement with Jeanne Courtney, MFT

    #11: 30 Years in the Size-Acceptance Movement with Jeanne Courtney, MFT

    Today I’m talking with Jeanne Courtney, a psychotherapist in private practice in El Cerrito, California, specializing in LGBTQ issues, anxiety, depression and body image from a Health at Every Size® perspective. She’s the author of a paper published in the Journal of Lesbian Studies called Size Acceptance as a Grief Process: Observations from Psychotherapy with Lesbian Feminists.
    Jeanne was first introduced to the size acceptance movement over 30 years ago and we talk about what changes she has seen during that time. She also talks about how almost every woman who walks into her office, regardless of what brought them into therapy initially, eventually reveals some form of body shame. 
     
    Show Highlights:
     
    Her introduction in the size acceptance movement in the 1980’s How she was skeptical at first and then came to see how feminism intersected with body size Lesbian feminists led the way early on in the movement There is a body shame epidemic, rather than an obesity epidemic A nurse in an oncology department congratulated her dying wife on her weight loss that was due to cancer Intellectual insight around body oppression doesn’t necessarily lead to emotional change Size acceptance as a grief process; denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance Part of size acceptance is accepting that rampant size discrimination exists. Shifting anger at the self to anger at the world’s fatphobia The overlap between how fatness and queerness gets conceptualized The narrative that sexual orientation can be changed, or is indicative of emotional problems is similar to the discourse around fat bodies Disordered eating of all kinds isn’t always visible How under-eating always gets privileged  Body hatred messages being passed down from generation to generation How doctors get stumped when you ask them to explain the science of how exactly weight loss will help your health  
    Links & Resources: 
     
    Jeanne Courtney’s website
    Size Acceptance as a Grief Process

    • 40 min
    #10: Listening to Your Body with Charis Stiles, LCSW

    #10: Listening to Your Body with Charis Stiles, LCSW

    Today, Charis Stiles and I discuss how connecting to your body can be a portal to heal not just food and body image issues, but to heal all of your life. She uses somatic practices and re-parenting techniques to help her clients move through emotional and physical pain and leads us through a 3-minute affectionate breathing exercise about two-thirds of the way through this episode. You might want to be sitting down in a quiet place to get the full benefit from this loving practice!
     
    Charis Stiles, LCSW is a fat-positive therapist in the Bay Area, specializing her practice in Healthy at Every Size® (HAES), insecurity and self-worth issues, living with chronic illness, and gender identity. She graduated UC Berkeley with a Master's in Social Work, and has taught workshops and classes for San Jose State University, Bay Area Legal Aid Association, and SFSU Summer Institute on Sexuality, among others. In addition to her therapeutic practice, she is an energy worker (Reiki II Practitioner) and certified in expressive arts therapy. She lives in Oakland with her temperamental cat, Lenore, where she works towards collective (fat) liberation while growing strawberries on her balcony.    
    Show Highlights
    The challenges of living with chronic illness and pain Many people who deal with chronic illness are advised to restrict foods and how she helps them balance this tension How hard it is to tune into your body when you experience a lot of physical pain Using compassionate touch with yourself to self-soothe The power of naming the pain or discomfort in your body Knowing that emotional and physical sensations can be temporary Learning how to accept the diversity of our bodies  How it was for her working with a very thin therapist who had a real blind spot about fat oppression Her recognition that she might be the only person in someone’s life who is communicating a HAES® message The way her chronic illness helped her reconnect to her body How to use intuitive movement with emotions and pain Looking at the role of restriction in all areas of life Moving away from perfectionism  How she works with folks scared of getting or staying fat Externalizing fears around fatness What does your fear of fatness mean?(That no one will love me, that I will always be alone, that I won’t be worthy and respectful of good treatment?) Dieting can be a way of controlling difficult emotions How do you structure your life without that diet or exercise regime to structure yourself? What are the bigger longings that you have? Learning to take pleasure in life in all its forms  
    Links & Resources:
    Be Nourished Get on the waitlist for the Cookie Revolution course Charis Stiles Psychotherapy

    • 36 min

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