Fat talk

There’s a really rich and wide-ranging conversation about bodies, food, culture, power, gender, and anti-fat bias over at Ten Percent Happier thanks to Virginia Sole-Smith and her new book, Fat Talk: Parenting In The Age Of Diet Culture

Don’t miss it if you have a body or feed a body or even more importantly, want the small humans in your life to grow up with a good relationship to food and their bodies.

There are so many smart moments to shout out, but highlights for me included:

🍳 The wonderful work of Evelyn Tribole on intuitive eating

🍿 A sociological and historical look at how body size (and race and gender) correlates to power 

🌮 Why you shouldn’t force your kid to eat five more bites of cucumber (aka teaching consent and a sense of internalized bodily trust!)

🥗 Why finding a way to move your body that gives you joy (and that you don’t dread) is way more sustainable than forcing yourself to do a workout you hate

🍝 Why the word “fat” shouldn’t be a slur — and how it can/should be reclaimed in the same way “queer” has been

I’ve been following and appreciating Sole-Smith’s work for years. Her 2018 book, The Eating Instinct: Food Culture, Body Image, and Guilt In America was a smart, thoughtful read (although I admittedly didn’t agree with her on everything), and it’s definitely worth adding to your list.

While you’re at it, check out Aubrey Gordon’s 2020 book, too: What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Fat. I love listening to Aubrey’s podcast Maintenance Phase and super appreciate her voice on social justice as related to anti-fatness, bodies of all sizes, health, power, and calling bullshit on much of “wellness culture.” 

January can be such a shitty time for cultivating body acceptance and/or body neutrality, as there’s so much cultural noise out there telling people to control, regulate, Botox, manipulate, and shrink their bodies in service of the new year.

So it’s a great chance to counter the narrative. Just borrowed both of these from the library on my Libby app.

Your turn! 

You Are Your Own Best Teacher

I’ve been re-reading Tricia Hersey’s recent book Rest Is Resistance: A Manifesto, and loving her emphasis on Womanist and Black liberation theologies.

This line jumped out at me today. ✨

It’s a version of something I often say in yoga class: Remember that you are your own best teacher, and you know your body better than anyone else. So take what I say with a grain of salt, and trust your own deep knowing as you move through your practice.

Did you grow up learning this sense of embodied trust in your own faith tradition? 🥴 Reclaiming it can be super hard for those of us who didn’t. (Ahem, Christianity.)

But that’s why I love the yogic (and Black Womanist, and ecofeminist) traditions. They cultivate that sense of inherent bodily goodness; of radical wholeness; of the fact that our bodies are wise and holy and strong, just as they are.

Grateful for theologians like Hersey who are spreading this powerful wisdom on a global scale. 🪷