Let’s Talk About Fatphobia and Eating Disorders

I had the honor being a guest on the Recovery Bites podcast with Karin Lewis.

We talked about:

  • Navigating in a society designed to exclude, shame, and oppress people on the basis of shared characteristics or identities.
  • Medical weight stigma in regards to diagnosis, care, and treatment options.
  • Nurturing the parts of self that question authority and challenge the narrative.
  • The ways in which diet culture, dieting, and fatphobia perpetuate eating disorders and can make full recovery feel impossible.
  • The value and need for trust between client and provider.
  • How fat activism aims to dismantle diet culture and fatphobia in the community so that people of every size have equal opportunity to fully recover.
  • Strategies one can use to stand up for themself and advocate for equal healthcare and education of health practitioners.
  • The dangers of weight-loss interventions and weight loss surgery.
  • Challenging the beliefs that add to the oppression of fat people and moving into thoughts and actions that support body liberation for those of all sizes.

You can check it out here (and while you’re there, check out all the episodes!)


When Good Friends Do Bad Diets

As the New Year comes around, the diet industry is doing everything it can to convince all of us to make another (ultimately doomed) weight loss attempt. Even when we aren’t fooled, often our nearest and dearest are still riding the diet roller coaster. And typically that means that they want to talk about it – anywhere and everywhere – in ways that can be anything from annoying to harmful. In this workshop we’ll talk about options for dealing with this in all the scenarios that we may find ourselves in.

Details and Registration: https://danceswithfat.org/monthly-online-workshops/
*This workshop is free for DancesWithFat members

Did You Like It? If you appreciate the work that I do, you can support my ability to do more of it with a one-time tip or by becoming a member. (Members get special deals on fat-positive stuff, a monthly e-mail keeping them up to date on the work their membership supports, and the ability to ask me questions that I answer in a members-only monthly Q&A Video!)

Like this blog?  Here’s more stuff you might like:

Wellness for All Bodies Program:A simple, step-by-step, super efficient guide to setting and reaching your health goals from a weight-neutral perspective.  This program can be used by individuals, or by groups, including as a workplace wellness program!

Price: $25.00 ($10 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Non-members Click here for all the details and to register!
Body Love Obstacle Course

This e-course that includes coaching videos, a study guide, and an ebook with the tools you need to create a rock-solid relationship with your body. Our relationships with our bodies don’t happen in a vacuum, so just learning to see our beauty isn’t going to cut it. The world throws obstacles in our way – obstacles that aren’t our fault, but become our problem. Over the course of this program, Ragen Chastain, Jeanette DePatie, and six incredible guest coaches will teach you practical, realistic, proven strategies to go above, around, and through the obstacles that the world puts in front of you when it comes to living an amazing life in the body you have now.
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($79.00 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Love It! 234 Inspirations And Activities to Help You Love Your Body
This is filled with thoughtful advice from the authors Jeanette DePatie, Ragen Chastain, and Pia Sciavo-Campo as well as dozens of other notable names from the body love movement, the book is lovingly illustrated with diverse drawings from size-positive artist Toni Tails.
Price: $9.99 softcover, $7.99 Kindle, ($6.95 + free shipping for DancesWithFat Members)

Book Me!  I’d love to speak to your organization (and I can do it remotely!) You can get more information here or just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org!

6 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About Fatphobia and Eating Disorders

  1. Ooh, this was great! So many good points!

    “Why am I taking all this risk for no reward?”

    THIS. I simply cannot wrap my brain around the apparently unshakable mainstream belief it’s worth it for me to risk my life, health, and/or quality of life for the potential “reward” of looking more socially acceptable.

    “She said it again. ‘I couldn’t stand to look at you.'” “I asked your coach, and he said I could talk to you.” “She put her finger in my face.” “…what people think it’s okay to tell you when you’re fat. They think it’s fine and helpful and they think of themselves as this special truth-teller.”

    And again with the fatphobes’ belief that fatties have inferior minds. It’s not just that we’ve never heard fat is bad and that clothes and activities that don’t merit a second look in thin people are scandalous and shameful for us… it’s that won’t be able to understand these galaxy-brain revelations unless they explain them like they’re talking to a small, unruly, inattentive child, with lots of force and repetition. It’s a presumption of authority and superiority the fatphobe has done nothing to earn and would never expect from another thin person.

    “I don’t think dieting is likely to be ineffectual. I KNOW it.”

    Exactly. So many fatphobes are convinced beyond any chance of reason that fat people are fat because we’ve never tried to diet, or we “dieted” for a month and couldn’t hack it because we loved [insert their favorite “bad” food here] too much to resist its allure; namely, that we’re too lazy, greedy, stubborn, and enthralled by TEH FURBIDDN FEWD to “seriously try.” When the truth out here in the real world is that most of us have functionally never been off a diet, and that’s where we’re coming from when we say diets do not make us thin, not even “reasonable” diets that are euphemistically called health journeys or obesity counseling or lifestyle changes. We aren’t speculating about something we haven’t tried. We’re discussing real-world experiences with something we have.

    “I’m not sure there’s such a thing as informed consent surrounding this surgery.”

    I agree. When one party has this much power over the other, consent becomes tricky at best. I’m with you when you say bodily autonomy means people are allowed to have bariatric surgery if they want it, but I also don’t think the power imbalance between the fat patients and the thin surgeons gets anywhere near the attention or interrogation it should, and I don’t think enough is being done to mitigate the effects of that power imbalance.

    “They were worried, not that fat people would die, but that fat people would present a risk to thin people.”

    Yeah, that’s victim blaming on steroids. You’re no longer “just” blaming a target of abuse and neglect for their own abuse and neglect; you’re now also blaming them for the splash damage.

    Loved the podcast!

  2. I had written a post some along the lines of this. Nobody really paid it any attention. Except for 1 lady who said it was misleading.

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