Lovely radicals, how wonderful to have you back! In today's episode of the "Life. Unrestricted." podcast, I talk to Harriet Brown from Syracuse, New York. She is an award-winning author, a poet, magazine editor and professor at the S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, and she writes, researches and teaches about eating disorders and body image.
She has written for the New York Times Magazine, Psychology Today and many others. Her experience with having a daughter who suffered from anorexia inspired her to begin working as an advocate for better eating-disorders treatment. She is the author of several books, two of which I’d like to mention: The first is called "Brave Girl Eating" in which she writes about how they, as a family, fought against her daughter Kitty’s anorexia. And second, of course, the groundbreaking book called "The Body of Truth – How Science, History, and Culture Drive our Obsession with Weight and What We Can Do about it". The two of us forgot that this was a recorded conversation pretty quickly and I bet you can hear the passion in both our voices in this one. Listen in as Harriet tells us: – Why she felt unattractive and "too big" as a child already – What it was the set the stage for her quest for thinness – What it was that made her say "enough" and "I can’t do this anymore" – What happened in her first therapy session – Why she went back and worked with her therapist for 10 years after that, in spite of her initial resistance – What made see the logic behind a weight-neutral approach to health – Why she decided to write books on the subject of a weight-obsessed diet-world – What made her question some interpretations of studies – How she found out how hurtful our society’s fear of fat really is – How she found out how exaggerated the connection between weight and health really is – Why it can be very helpful to feel healthy anger when we find out how we have been deceived – Why it is that people are so resistant to this, and why they seem to want to stay stuck in their dieting efforts – Why those evasive three percent of people for whom dieting "supposedly works" are those who are sacrificing everything just to keep that weight off, and why even those people come to sanity (and their natural weight) eventually – How weight-suppression keeps us from living our lives fully and freely – How her daughter Kelly’s anorexia opened her eyes to the brutal truths of a diet-fixated culture – What her findings revealed about the tragedy of the BMI, the danger of weight-bias in the medical field, the effects of weight-stigma and the reason why everyone seems to have terrible body image these days – Why it is important to see the toxic mechanisms behind diet-culture and the diet industry and how this can help us stepping out of old beliefs – How to heal negative body image, let go of disordered eating, overcome food fears and end weight-obsession – Why it can be very exhausting and overwhelming to swim upstream in a diet- and thinness obsessed culture – How her life and her relationships and her marriage improved ever since she stopped dieting – What she teaches her students in her body image and weight-stigma lectures – What she wants every woman in the world to know... ... And so much more! Check out Harriet’s website and her books: www.harrietbrown.com
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