My podcast is back, and you’re not gonna want to miss today’s episode!
I’m happy to announce that my summer podcast hiatus is over, and there will be new episodes of This Is (Not) About Your Body every Tuesday for the rest of the year– starting today!
My guest for today’s episode is Jeanette Thompson-Wessen (also known as @themindsetnutitionist on Instagram), who is a nutritionist and fat content creator, specializing in intuitive eating and body image coaching for folks in large bodies!
Many of you have requested more content on food, nutrition, and eating lately, and while I don’t often tackle those topics directly in my own content, I’m always on the lookout for experts in these areas whose work I align with!
That’s why I’m so excited to kickstart the rest of the 2023 season with this episode!
Diet culture and weight stigma creates a very tangled-up relationship between body image and food/eating for many people, and healing your relationship with food is often a big part of the body neutrality journey.
Typically this means giving up dieting and food rules in favor of something like Intuitive Eating.
Unfortunately however, I often finding myself cringing when I see people talking about and promoting intuitive eating online, because a lot of that content:
Comes from people with a lot of body privilege. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this information being promoted by someone with a lot of body privilege, but representation matters, and whether or not a person faces daily discrimination for their body size will most likely have an impact on their intuitive eating journey. So it’s unfortunate that the majority of folks with a lot of visibility around this topic are thin, white, and able-bodied cisgender women. But it goes beyond that, because a lot of those people seem to be totally unaware of their own body privilege, and how it influences their understanding of intuitive eating. This lack of understanding leads to a lot of folks missing the mark, giving bad advice, and causing more harm to folks with less body privilege.
Isn’t accessible, trauma informed, or inclusive. A person’s relationship to food–and therefore their journey to healing that relationship also— will be impacted by factors like income and class, accessibility, trauma, mental health, and neurodiversity. Ignoring these factors leads a lot of creators and providers to push an uninformed and exclusionary idea for how “food freedom” looks, and what it takes to get there.
Continues to uphold weight stigma. Whether it’s explicitly stated, or more subtly implied, a lot of folks who promote intuitive eating still uphold the anti-fat bias in their content and client work. Whether it’s marketing intuitive eating as an outright diet or weight loss tool, talking about how it can “cure” for people whose “block to weight loss” is emotional eating or binge eating, giving advice for how to be an intuitive eater without gaining “too much weight,” or suggesting that intuitive eating isn’t appropriate for people over a certain body size… all of it is dangerous and harmful.
Feels like just another way to moralize food and eating. A lot of folks feel liberated by their own intuitive eating experience, and they want to spread the word so everyone else can feel the same way. Unfortunately, this often means presenting intuitive eating as just one more “ideal,” so that many folks end up feeling like they’re failing (and experience more guilt and shame around eating) if their journey doesn’t look a certain way, or isn’t “perfect.”
All of that is why I was so excited to bring Jeanette Thompson-Wessen onto my podcast! Her take on intuitive eating is fantastically nuanced and accessible, trauma-informed, inclusive, and grounded in fat justice, fat liberation, fat futurism, and fat joy. (Yes: fat joy!)
After all, when you still believe a person’s body size means something about their character, health, morality, or worthiness*, the thought of giving up dieting, restricting, tracking, and rules around food is likely to feel more terrifying than liberating.
*Note: Be sure to check out my book BODY NEUTRAL to learn how to strip away this kind of meaning and association!
Today’s episode is for you if:
You want to heal your relationship with food, but find the idea of intuitive eating (or gaining weight) scary and upsetting.
You feel confused about what intuitive eating means or how it’s supposed to look, you don’t understand how it could be safe/healthy, or you disagree with some of the stuff you’ve read about it.
You’ve felt excluded from intuitive eating in some way, or feel like it won’t/can’t work for you. (For example: because you live in a fat body or you have ADHD.)
You find the topic of fatphobia—either inside yourself, or in the world—incredibly depressing, and you’re looking for a more hopeful and positive framework for it.
PS: I’m currently accepting new applications for 1:1 and Voxer-only coaching clients! If you’ve been waiting for a chance to work with me, or want guidance and support in healing your relationship to your body, weight, or food, apply here!