Rank #1: Pregnancy
Diet culture has a nasty habit of targeting women at vulnerable times in their lives, and this is particularly evident in pregnancy and birth. This week on All Fired Up!, I am venting with the incredible Hilary Kinavey and Dana Sturtevant from Be Nourished, who bravely walked into a medical conference and called out the rampant weight stigma which is hurting pregnant women. This is a not to be missed episode, how women in larger bodies are being treated by the medical profession is just NOT OK. Women are being told that their vagina is “too fat to give birth”, that they won’t live to see their babies grow up, that they need to lose weight! The fact is, most women in larger bodies have healthy pregnancies and births, but are having the bejeezus scared out of them with some seriously odious threats. Reclaiming your body and your power is possible. It’s time to take your body sovereignty back!!
- Hilary and Dana, anti-diet health professionals from Be Nourished, are utterly fired up about the never ending pressure that diet culture puts on women at vulnerable times of our lives, particularly with regards to fertility, pregnancy, and birth.
- They were invited to speak at a conference where they could talk about body positivity and managing risk in pregnancy. Whilst an awesome and much needed topic, they were the only speakers to talk about weight stigma.
- In the medical community there is some acknowledgment that weight stigma impacts health, but the vast majority of professionals are seeing weight stigma as a barrier to losing weight, which is just not reflective of a deep understanding of these issues.
- Stigma itself affects health, greatly, and this is not being researched nearly enough.
- Multiple sources of oppression intersect in pregnancy. Women are of course oppressed in general in a patriarchal society. Women of colour, and women in larger bodies who are of colour, suffer the most from these structural oppressions.
- Women who experience stigma can have a harder time giving birth, because of the stigma, not their weight alone.
- The history of gynaecology is implicitly racist and sexist. Early experiments in gynaecology were performed on Black women without anaesthetic, as it was believed they could not feel pain as much as white women.
- although we own the bodies that are giving birth, we are often told that we are ‘not qualified’ to make choices about our births.
- The concept of ‘weathering’ is when multiple levels of stigma impact on our bodies.
- Serena Williams’ experience of birth is reflective of this impact of stigma and the inherent disregard for women’s agency in pregnancy and birth.
- Higher rates of caesarian sections occur in women with higher BMI’s. But why? How much of this is due to the belief that as a woman in a larger body, you can’t deliver safely?
- This idea of ‘colouring’ - that when we internalise weight stigma, it colours our decisions and choices.
- The midwifery model is to view birth as an event, not an emergency.
- The vast majority of women in larger bodies have successful pregnancies and births. And if something goes wrong, this can be managed most of the time.
- The actual risks of complications in birth are being exaggerated by statistical buggery.
- Women are facing systemic discrimination in the area of birth. Women are often told they can’t give birth in their local hospital, in rural & remote Australia they are being flown to hospitals in capital cities. Imagine the impact of this. We are so vulnerable at this time and we need our support networks.
- Physicians are frequently scaring women and telling them that their weight means they are automatically a high risk pregnancy. This is because many health professionals receive training which views a larger body as a problem or a risk factor.
- If we believe we are not capable of a birth, this will reflect on outcomes.
- Once women pick up the idea that the medical professionals will judge their bodies, they will avoid pregnancies in order to avoid judgement, or choose to avoid medical care altogether.
- Society is messed up and your body is not, medical providers have been given a biased education.
- It is ok to grill your health professionals in order to assure that you are safe.
- If you do have a complication during birth, it doesn’t mean you’re a bad person or a bad mother.
- Find out more about Hilary & Dana at Be Nourished
- Watch the Being Serena Documentary
- Nothing dear, you’re not qualified!
- The article about risks of birth defects in larger women and how statistical buggery is being used to inflate the risk.
- Fantastic article about how the medical community fat shames mums. This is the one where the woman was told her vagina was ‘too fat’ to give birth. And the awesome comment from Dr Shah.
- The Australian study on weight bias in maternity care.
- Awesome FB group for ‘plus size pregnancy’
- Help with diabetes through a weight inclusive lens - Megrette Fletcher
Mar 21 2019
Rank #2: Weight Loss Surgery
My guest this week is the incredible Lisa Du Breuil, a social worker who specialises in helping people who have developed addictions and eating disorders following weight loss surgery. Lisa is also very across the issue of weight bias and how this impacts everything: people's likelihood of getting surgery, the types of research questions we're asking, and even the conclusions we're drawing from research. Lisa is totally incensed about the research on weight loss surgery - because most of the research is piss poor quality. And a LOT of information is being left out. We know that many people get into trouble after their surgery, but their voices are missing from the scientific journals. Lisa's also pretty pissed about the level of information people tend to get before surgery (spoiler alert - most people are not informed about all of the risks before they have the operation). In this episode, Lisa & I dissect the long term research on weight loss surgery outcomes, and discuss what we do know...and what we don't yet know. We also talk through some of the often overlooked but serious issues people can develop after the weight loss honeymoon is over. If you or someone you love is considering this surgery, please listen to this episode first!
Nov 25 2017
Rank #3: Not Only Should We Glorify Obesity, We Must Celebrate It! - with Sarah Harry
This week on All Fired Up, we waded into the media sh**storm which erupted after a Sports Illustrated bikini show dared to put models who looked like MOST WOMEN on the catwalk. Hysterical headlines urged the madness to stop, as seeing actual people is apparently GLORIFYING OBESITY, according to the head of the Australian Medical Association. I spoke to the incredible Sarah Harry, fat activist and owner of one of these unglorified bodies, to get her take on the situation. Our take? - Glorify, Glorify, CELEBRATE, and push back on ridiculous messages like these!
Sep 01 2017
Rank #4: Water Fasting
Straight from the pits of hell is diet culture’s latest trend, water fasting! People are actually PAYING MONEY to go to ‘treatment centres’ to be professionally starved for weeks on end. My guest this week is Sarah Barnitt, a listener from Chicago who is OUTRAGED that this ridiculous trend is taking hold all over the USA - water fasting! The worst part is this practice is being promoted by Instagram Influencers like the “Balanced Blonde,” who is apparently ‘recovered’ from orthorexia but needs to be cured of her many illnesses by starving herself. Join us down the rabbit hole of extreme self delusion, as we investigate these disturbing trends.
Jun 15 2018
Rank #5: Diabetes
This week on All Fired Up! my guest is the incredible dietitian, diabetes expert & mindful eating pioneer Megrette Fletcher. She has had a GUTFUL of how diet culture is dumbing down diabetes, especially this idea that weight loss is the answer to everything! Don’t miss a fabulous deep dive into all things insulin resistant. Learn what diabetes really is, how gloriously complex it is, and how you can take a completely non-diet approach to looking after it! It really is possible to eat what you love and love what you eat with diabetes!
Aug 11 2018
Rank #6: The Keto Diet
It’s the 50th episode of All Fired Up! and we are delving into the Keto Diet craze!! Join me and my fabulous guest Jessi Haggerty, RD and nutritionist, as we set the record straight on all of this ketosis nonsense. As Keto fever sweeps the planet, we really need to stick on our critical thinking hats. Just what is ketosis, and why is everyone trying to do it? Is it really the answer to life, the universe, and everything, or is it just another fad? (Spoiler alert: the answer begins with the letter F).
- Urgent call for action - In Sydney and Melbourne, the “Fast Track to Health” trial is about to kick off, and researchers are planning to subject adolescents to a starvation diet for an entire year. Please sign the petition to get this stopped!
- Jessi Haggerty, RD and nutritionist, has had a gutful of all of the ‘hot diets’ around in January. She has a special pet hate for the Whole 30, which she talked about on her podcast recently. The sister diet to the Whole 30 is the Keto diet! Keto is THE hot diet right now.
- Jessi wrote a great blog on this topic - a Dietitian’s take on the Keto diet - which is really awesome. Jessi’s intern did a lot of the writing and heavy lifting for this blog, so a shout out to her.
- The Keto diet has taken the low carb movement to the next level. It’s not like going low carb/high fat is new - we saw it in the 90’s with the Atkins diet. Well, the Keto diet is Atkins 2.0, but it’s even harsher than Atkins!
- Keto started as a medical solution for children with epilepsy. Paediatric dietitians help kids with epilepsy follow a very high fat, medium protein & very low carbohydrate diet. Dietitians typically recommend that 40-50% of our intake be carbohydrate based, on a keto diet this goes way down to about 5%. The primary reason for doing this for kids is seizure prevention. It is an extreme measure that is only used when the medications don’t work. Because doctors and parents know how difficult it is to stick to such an extreme diet. But this is a last ditch effort in a very difficult situation. And for these kids, the keto intervention only works about 50% of the time. The mechanism of why this type of intervention might work to reduce epileptic seizures is unclear.
- Somehow, this diet was adopted by the mainstream as a way to lose weight. Go figure!
- Some people talk about using Keto for disease management, but overwhelmingly people are using it as a weight loss/fat loss tool.
- Like any weight loss diet, keto has major downsides. Restriction like this is not fun for people, and can lead to disturbed eating patterns and even eating disorders. Metabolic disturbance is also a serious consequence of dieting.
- How on earth did this diet get so popular! It’s really big in gym culture in Australia - it’s just so popular.
- We just keep going for fewer and fewer carbs - what’s next!
- There is a difference between ketoacidosis and ketosis. Ketoacidosis can happen if you are diabetic and your blood sugars get very low. Ketosis is when your body doesn’t have enough sugar in your system to keep everything running efficiently, so your liver creates ketones to keep your body going. Ketones are your bodys’ ‘back up’ mechanism which makes sure you can survive, and find food again. Ketones are not your bodys preferred source of energy, they are a back up system to take care of you when you don’t have enough carbohydrates.
- ...And this is being sold as a ‘healthy diet’ for people!?
- We literally hear people bang on about ketosis as if it is a superior way of living.
- Just because our body can use alternative sources of fuel, doesn’t mean that we should or need to be aiming for it! You’re just putting stress on the body in the name of weight loss.
- What is the impact on the brain of starving it of glucose and carbohydrates? Brains love these!
- Jessi’s blog post brought the ire of people who have tried Keto and say that it has ‘worked for them’. Jessi challenges them - what do you mean by ‘worked’ - (it’s going to mean weight loss!).
- A lot of people told Jessi that it helped lower their blood sugar levels. Which if course will happen, because you’re not eating any carbohydrates!
- Fiona Willer talks about the concept of ‘metabolic austerity’, where when your body is really deprived of food, it isn’t even well enough to be sick…It doesn’t mean that the underlying health condition has improved, it’s just being suppressed.
- For every negative response to her blog, Jessi got 10 messages from people who said the Keto diet had major side effects - they couldn’t think clearly, couldn’t concentrate in classes etc. It chips away at you little by little.
- Of course, not being able to poo is a problem because not enough fibre! This is a big deal!
- People are voluntarily not pooing? No thanks!
- Plus, the bad breath thing. It’s a side effect of the ketones having that specific smell. Gross!
- Keto diets have become so popular in Australia, that in some rural and remote areas the pharmacies have sold out of urine strips, so people with actual health condition can’t monitor themselves. Because gym dudes want to check they’re in ketosis!
- To be so obsessed with wee and to forget all about poo, doesn’t seem right to me.
- This diet is so unsustainable. Getting and staying in ketosis is really difficult. A lot of people who are doing this are torturing themselves and not even getting into this ‘glorified state’. It’s a lot of work for very little benefit. We have no solid research that this diet is helpful at all, aside from the evidence for kids with epilepsy. We don’t even do this treatment for adults with epilepsy.
- The research is only short term. And we know from 70 years of weight research that weight loss is likely to be temporary only, and the impact on metabolism is quite scary potentially.
- Although Jessi wrote the blog a while ago, she is still getting comments! One comment said that Jessi is “drowning in carb-tard cognitive dissonance”! WTF!
- The Keto people are a bit us and them - what is a carb-tard! If they’re saying there is something wrong with people’s brains because they eat carbs - that’s the pot calling the kettle black!
- If this diet makes you feel restricted and you’re struggling, it’s probably not for you. If it works for you, that doesn’t mean that the entire body of science is wrong. If the majority of people aren’t doing well, that means something - go elsewhere! Selling this as if there is no risk is the real cognitive dissonance.
- Won’t it be nice when we can go back to the high carb fads again! There will always be a fad to talk about.
- Louise tells her story about being scammed out of $300 with a ‘keto ultra diet’ pill!
- There is a lot of privilege involved in selling ketosis. It’s paying a lot of money to starve yourself.
- If you are tempted to diet, take a step back and ask yourself - what is the problem I am trying to solve here? Is there even a problem? A lot of the time, nothing is wrong. And these weight loss ‘solutions’ create a whole world of problems. And take a close look at the science. And always go non diet!!!
Feb 20 2019
Rank #7: Weight Watchers You're Not Fooling Anyone
The biggest weight loss company in the world are in a flurry of re-branding, busily trying to distract us from their nefarious origins as the purveyor of countless diet casualties with sparkly, on trend 'health' talk. But underneath all the glitter is EXACTLY the same shit: Weight Watchers is absolutely all about weight loss (and regain, of course, so you'll stay dependent on them). This week I spoke with fierce and fabulous Zoe Nicholson from The Moderation Movement, who beautifully illustrates in NO uncertain terms how Weight Watchers are spruiking messages of health whilst blithely continuing to focus on appearance - and sneaking in subliminal weight loss messaging along the way. The fact is, it doesn't matter HOW Oprah is looking at the Emmys, dressing up diet prison and calling it 'a structure we can live in' is a stinky, underhanded thing to do. #buggeroffweightwatchers
Nov 02 2017
Rank #8: Fitspo? Hell No!
This week on All Fired Up I spoke with Jodie Meichelsen, exercise physiologist and Doctoral candidate (as well as one of our fierce UNTRAPPED guides) about the rage inducing world of Fitspiration. Kayla Itsines, queen of the Fitspo world, is wanting IN to the world of body positivity! She's sniffed out that feeling good about your body is the 'next big thing' and is now pretending that she's all about that. Sorry Kayla but NO. Body positivity exists to push BACK against messages like yours. Jodie and I talk about how statements like this from people who are still busily peddling images of physical perfection is gaslighting and confusing. Money is the motivation here, not social justice. In this enlightening episode, Jodie talks sense about the research on Fitspo and how it impacts our attitudes towards exercise and how it affects our mental health. We also talk about what genuine body positivity is, and how to find inspiration that genuinely supports our wellbeing.
Sep 08 2017
Rank #9: Sugar Hysteria
This week we’re All Fired Up on sugar! My incredible guest is Marci Evans, anti-diet dietitian, speaker, and eating disorders specialist. She’s had an absolute GUTFUL of the sugar hysteria gripping our planet, and is here to set the record straight! Is sugar addictive? Do we need to constantly police our intake? Why is Sarah Wilson’s hair so shiny? Has the world gone completely round the twist? Don’t miss this fabulous dose of sensible sugar talk!
Mar 29 2018
Rank #10: Inside Overeaters Anonymous
This week I gained an insider’s perspective of Overeater’s Anonymous (OA) with my courageous guest Halina Brooke. As an ex-member, she is livid and ready to vent her spleen about the goings on in this super secretive organisation. Just what is OA all about, and how helpful is it for people who seek their guidance? Is OA helping people to recover, or is it just trying to force people to be ‘better’ at disordered eating?
Apr 17 2018
Rank #11: Wake Up Weight Watchers With Rebecca Scritchfield
The latest ploy from Weight Watchers to capture our kids by offering ‘free’ memberships for teenagers has seen a MASSIVE and absolutely heartening backlash from a whole range of people. This week on All Fired Up! I was blessed to rant with Rebecca Scritchfield, anti-diet dietitian whose Washington Post article protesting against WW really helped to spur along the #WakeUpWeightWatchers campaign. Join us for an incredibly passionate and inspiring conversation about how strong and LOUD voices raised together can seriously change the world!
Feb 22 2018
Rank #12: How One White Guy Created The Thin Ballerina Ideal
This week I speak with anti-diet dietitian Fumi Somehara, who is all fired up about the thin ideal and how it impacts on the world of ballet. Fumi is passionate about all things dance, and her perspective on how the thin ideal came to dominate the ballet world is fascinating. She talks about Ballanchine, a very famous choreographer from the mid 19th century, who had an obvious preference for very thin dancers. Ballanchine also happened to be brilliant, and wildly popular, so much so that his body preferences became the only acceptable body type in classical ballet. Join us for an absolutely fascinating chat about a whole range of ideas: about how ballet is traditionally not just sexist, but classist and racist, how a few brave females have pushed back against these systems of oppression within ballet world, and how Fumi thinks that maybe, just maybe, the world of dance might eventually force the outside world to embrace body diversity!
Oct 26 2017
Rank #13: Reclaiming Your Body In Diet Culture
In this week’s episode of All Fired Up, I am honoured to rant with Tracy Brown, RD and somatic coach from Florida, USA. Tracy is fed up with diet culture and how it basically forces us to leave our bodies!! The physiological impact of diet culture is disembodiment, which is a huge barrier to compassionate self-care. When we listen to diet cultures’ ‘rules’ about what is an acceptable body, we swallow the idea that we can’t trust our bodies at all. Don’t miss this fascinating discussion about how utterly shitty it is to be taught this message, and hear some seriously awesome strategies to get back in and reclaim our glorious bodies! There is NOTHING wrong with our bodies, but something is SERIOUSLY wrong with diet culture!
Mar 03 2018
Rank #14: Obesity Inc. Has No Place At An Eating Disorders Conference
This week my guest is Nicole McDermid, social worker, eating disorder survivor, awesome person, and unapologetically living in a larger body. We met at the Australian & New Zealand Association for Eating Disorders (ANZAED) conference in Sydney a few weeks ago, and immediately bonded. In this episode we chat about weight bias in the eating disorders treatment community. You'd think that of all places, an eating disorders conference would be a safe place for people of all shapes and sizes, with an absence of weight focus. But the reality is the opposite! The worst part of the conference was the inclusion of Obesity Inc - literally, people who want to erase fat people entirely - and the apparent trend of firstly, treating people in larger bodies for eating disorders, and then promptly putting them straight back on a diet. What the hell?
Sep 28 2017
Rank #15: When #Fitspo Meets Multi Level Marketing: The Juice Plus Double Cross
This week on All Fired Up! We have DOUBLE the outrage, with 2 amazing guests! It’s an incredible story of how Katie Rowell, cross fitter and eating disorder survivor, became sucked into the dark underworld of gaslighting #Fitspo women who turned out to be much less concerned about her health and much more concerned about her ability to sell, sell, sell their crappy, expensive Juice Plus products! Seduced by the promise of “#no restriction,” Katie soon learned that their “gourmet Cleanse” was actually a one way ticket back into her eating disorder. It’s a harrowing story which needs to be heard. We then hear from Dr Tim Crowe, expert dietitian and sworn enemy of nutritional multi level marketing, who takes us through the slimy, devious, underhanded and frankly diabolical business practices of Juice Plus. This is a NOT to be missed episode!
Feb 16 2018
Rank #16: Size Matters with The Fat Therapist
This week I get totally ranty with Ashlee Bennett, AKA The Fat Therapist. Why aren't we talking about body size, weight bias, and how all of this impacts us in therapy? This is such an important topic and yet we seem to have no words. In this unmissable episode, we talk all about how body size really is A THING. We get into why it's important to check your privilege if you're a thin therapist, how therapists and health professionals working with people in larger bodies seriously need to unpack their own weight bias before working to help others. We also talk about how clients in larger bodies can approach this topic in an empowering and therapeutic way. Let's use therapy to bust diet culture wide open - not to support it!
Jan 25 2018
Rank #17: Women's Health and Weight Loss
This week I’m All Fired Up about weight loss & women’s health with Terrill Bruere, anti-diet dietitian and ladyparts expert. Terrill has HAD IT with the constant ‘lose weight & you’ll cure your PCOS/get pregnant/fix your hormones’ messages that women are barraged with in the world of women’s health. Terrill brilliantly and kindly unpacks just how complex conditions like polycystic ovarian syndrome are, and BLOWS UP some serious myths at the same time! If you are a woman, or if you know one, you NEED to hear this!!!
Jun 01 2018
Rank #18: The Inaugural Crappy Awards
Just what was the crappiest diet culture trend for 2017? Join us on the All Fired Up! podcast this week for our Inaugural Crappy Awards, as we hear from a sparkling array of past guests sharing their nominations for the Most Shitty Aspect of Diet Culture for #2017. BoPo hijacking, weight bias in health professionals, predatory weight loss programs, pretending a diet isn't actually a diet, even the mistreatment of parsnips - it's all here! Don't miss this excellent, rant-filled episode! And yes there's even a TOTALLY Crappy prize for the winner! Warning - this is a pretty sweary episode ! #sorry...notsorry
Jan 12 2018
Rank #19: Weight Loss For Millennials
This week we are SEETHING about the weight loss industry targeting millennials! My guest is anti-diet dietitian and 100% genuine millennial, Megan Bray from Food Mind & Body. She is being literally STALKED by a weight loss app called Noom, who are making all sorts of outlandish claims about their shitty product. Megan is also utterly FED UP with the rise of the ‘influencer’ and how her insta feed is now full of so-called health professionals spruiking everything from charcoal toothpaste to laxative tea. In my day (good old GenX), we used to KNOW when we were being advertised to. Now, the advertising is lurking EVERYWHERE and posing as our friend! Is this progress, or are we worse off now? Don’t miss this great rant!
May 18 2018
Rank #20: Psychology, Hypnosis & Weight Loss: The Facts
Don’t miss an utterly HYPNOTIC episode of All Fired Up! This week Fiona Willer is guest-hosting, interviewing an incensed Louise Adams about hypnosis, psychology, and weight loss. There are some seriously weird and inflated claims going around about hypnosis being the ‘Holy Grail’ for lasting weight loss, but wait til you hear what these outrageous claims are based on!! Here’s a clue – the 1980’s called, they want their dodgy data back! Before you or anyone you care about buy any hypnosis based weight loss products, please listen to this podcast, and save yourself the money!
Mar 22 2018