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Her doctor categorized her as overweight when she was 5 years old. Her grandmother always introduced her as the “chubby one.” As an adult, she vacillates between moderation and binge-eating, restricting food some weeks, and gorging on cake and ice cream during others. “It’s only when my pants are nearly impossible to button that I force myself to lose weight,” writes the letter-writer who calls herself Body Negative. “And then the pattern starts all over again.”
The sinister cycle of dieting and binge-eating plagues many American women. Recently, a counter-movement called Body Positive has sprung up. The movement promotes fat acceptance and attempts to reverse body-shaming, no matter one’s size. But Body Negative is skeptical, writing, “I struggle with how to be body positive after years of being told it’s wrong to be my size and weight. Is there such a thing as unconditional body acceptance?”
Hilary Kinavey, M.S., L.P.C., and Dana Sturtevant, M.S., R.D., the co-owners of Be Nourished, join the Sugars on today’s episode to offer Body Negative and women like her some hope. Ms. Kinavey and Ms. Sturtevant present new definitions of health and discuss alternatives to the “dieting mind.” Ms. Kinavey explains that before body acceptance is achievable, “most of us who have experienced a lot of body shame … and weight stigma have healing work to do.”
Cheryl Strayed, one of the show’s hosts, discusses a photograph of herself in Vogue that was photoshopped. See the image here.
The Sugars Recommend
“The Beauty Myth,” by Naomi Wolf
“Hunger,” by Roxane Gay
“Intuitive Eating,” by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch
“10 Reasons Not to Focus on Your Weight in the New Year,” by Hilary Kinavey and Dana Sturtevant
New episodes of Dear Sugars are released weekly. Do you have a question for the Sugars? Email email@example.com.
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