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Episode 94: Ari Pence (she/her), Family Medicine Physician, talks destigmatizing disordered eating and body image in healthcare

Hi Navigators! Today, Catherine and Francis welcome Ari Pence to the podcast. Ari is a Family Medicine Physician, practicing full-spectrum family medicine, including obstetrical and delivery care. She is passionate about destigmatizing and providing excellent for patients struggling with eating disorders, prenatal and postpartum mood disorders, or addiction. She also has completed advanced training in Integrative Medicine through the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine. In this episode, Ari dissects how language, active listening, and provider education are critical means to closing the gap and stigma many patients with eating disorders, disordered eating, and body image concerns experience when visiting a medical provider. She outlines how physicians can more effectively talk about body image and disordered eating with patients, starting with creating an accountable space to address these topics, particularly with adolescents, and includes asking for consent to even begin the conversation. On the topic of weight, Dr. Pence argues that it is on the healthcare provider – not the patient – to address weight stigma and offer a space where weighing someone doesn’t necessarily have to happen (there are certain circumstances where it may be needed). Ari brings a fresh, patient-centered perspective to medical practice, and speaks with passion, intellect, and care. We are so grateful for her time and energy – it was such a pleasure!

Episode 93: Domenica Feraud (she/her) is an actor, writer, and first-generation Ecuadorian sharing her experience with disordered eating

Hi Navigators! Catherine and Francis are excited to welcome Domenica Feraud, a first-generation Ecuadorian writer and actor from New York City, on the podcast to share her journey with disordered eating, body image dissatisfaction, and recovery. Pieces of that journey made its way into a play she wrote — titled RINSE, REPEAT — focusing on a family’s experience after the daughter returns home from inpatient treatment. RINSE, REPEAT, which Domenica also starred in, premiered at the Signature Theatre in 2019 and was a New York Times Critic’s Pick. Through her writing and her own lived experience, Domenica shares the experience of an immigrant trying to assimilate to unrealistic body standards of the United States, how misogyny teaches people to perceive women as “too much”, and how her own mother continues to grow and change as Domenica’s recovery continues. Currently, she is working on a collection of essays unpacking the role that popular culture plays in our conditioning. It was truly wonderful having this brilliant, vulnerable person on the podcast, and we hope you find connection as we did!

CW: eating disorders, eating disorder behaviors, conversations about race and gender, body image perception and dissatisfaction, food, weight, misogyny, diet culture, predation

Special Digest: It's the Podcast's Two Year Anniversary!

June 1st is the podcast’s two year anniversary! Catherine and Francis take a moment to reflect on what it’s been like hosting this podcast, thanking guests and listeners, and sharing their thoughts on what’s next. This podcast is a place to listen, learn, engage, connect, and relate, and none of it is possible without the vulnerability and courage of our guests and, of course, without the amazing Navigators who tune in regularly to be a part of this journey and bring forth their own vulnerable selves. Thank you a million times – we’re incredibly grateful! Tune in for the rest of season two (continuing this Saturday with an incredible interview) and for what’s next in season three!

Episode 92: Jillian Rigert (she/hers) discusses eating disorders and identity, arrival fallacy, imposter syndrome, motivation, and recovery

Hi Navigators! We have a remarkable guest to introduce to you all today. Jillian Rigert, DMD, MD, joins Catherine and Francis to explore an array of topics, including Jillian’s experience with an eating disorder and her recovery. She shares her relationship with anorexia nervosa as it relates to her identity, and how psychological and cognitive distortions and conditions like arrival fallacy, imposter syndrome, confirmation bias, and burnout all impacted her journey – both in difficult and uplifting ways. Jillian is a current trainee in Martha Beck’s Wayfinder Life Coach Program, and has formal training in dentistry, medicine, and oral medicine. She is an Air Force Veteran, research fellow in Radiation Oncology, blogger and buddying activist on topics including anti-diet culture and eating disorder recovery. She brings these experiences to this platform in profound and insightful ways. And as a bonus, she introduces us all to her dog Reece! We hope there are pieces in this conversation which feel relatable and comforting, and of course, we thank Jillian for her time, energy, and intellect. Enjoy!

CW: eating disorders, eating disorder recovery, eating disorder behaviors, suicidal ideation, discussion about weight-stigma and BMI, weight bias, military culture, medical bias and culture

Episode 91: Kimberly Spencer (she/her), award-winning author, best-selling author, motivation speaker, business owner, survivor

Hi Navigators! Welcome to episode 91, a conversation with Kimberly Spencer, an award-winning author, high performance coach, Amazon best-selling author, international motivation speaker, and owner of Crown Yourself. She is also in recovery from an eating disorder. Kimberly joins Catherine and Francis to discuss how a challenging household growing up and a history of trauma led to the development of an eating disorder, and through physical movement and challenging the normative negative talk about body image, she shaped her recovery path. Towards the end of the discussion — with immense vulnerability — Kim reminds listeners that what has happened to someone does not have to be their entire life story, and people can create their narratives; and that reaching out can save lives. We were so grateful for her time and energy, and hope you give this conversation a listen.

CW: eating disorders, eating disorders behaviors, alcohol and substance use, body image dissatisfaction, dieting, childhood trauma, sexual abuse, suicidal ideation

Listener’s note: in the digest, Francis recalls a story about author Mark Sullivan, who wrote “Beneath the Scarlett Sky”. Francis admittedly got some of the details incorrect, and you can learn more about Mark’s story here: https://jessicasreadingroom.com/a-conversation-with-mark-sullivan/

Episode 90: Christy Maloney (she/hers), a registered dietitian, talks intuitive eating, food neutrality, joyful movement, and more!

Hi Navigators! The co-hosts are excited for you to hear from Christy Maloney, RD, LDN, CEDS-S, CPT, a dietitian who focuses her work on nutritional support and therapy for those experiencing eating disorders and disordered eating. This conversation covered topics ranging from the work a dietitian does as part of an eating disorder treatment team; to discovering what body and food neutrality is and how they can be applied in recovery; to understanding and utilizing joyful movement. Christy’s approach in our conversation was gentle, neutral, humorous, and nonjudgemental, and made us feel comfortable from the beginning. We were privileged to gain her insights and receive her energy. Have a listen and let us know what you think!

Episode 89: Molly Fennig (she/her) is a writer, published author, clinical psychology student, and passionate about eating disorder recovery

Hi Navigators! We’re joined today by Molly Fennig, the author of the award winning novel “Starvation”, a story about a wrestler with an eating disorder – a topic close to Francis’ heart! Molly, a Minnesota native, is also pursuing her PhD in clinical psychology at Washington University in St. Louis with a specialization in eating disorders. In this episode, Molly unpacks the intersection of anxiety and eating disorders, how she developed and inspired the character in her book, and what the future of clinical research holds. Outside of her passion for writing and mental health, Molly enjoys eating large quantities of chocolate and spending time with her mini goldendoodle, and trained therapy dog, Peach. Find out more about Molly at her website (mollyfennig.com), on Twitter (@mollyfennig) or on Facebook (mollyfennigauthor). Have a listen!

CW: eating disorders, eating disorder behaviors, maladaptive behaviors, eating disorder story telling

Episode 88: Andrew Walen (he/his), psychotherapist and founder of D.U.D.E. Mental Health, is back to talk about males with eating disorders

Hi Navigators! We’re excited to welcome back to the podcast Andrew Walen, a licensed clinical social worker, psychotherapist, mental health advocate, author, and public speaker. Andrew is an expert in the field of treating males with eating disorders, and recently opened a private practice called D.U.D.E. Mental Health, focused on supporting men break down the barriers which make seeking treatment scary. In this conversation, he discusses the latest research on muscle dysmorphia, the increase in performance enhancing drugs as a means to manipulate body aesthetic, how social media may influence perspective on body and self, and what surprised him the most about facilitating an all-male support group. We were grateful to have his expertise, insights, and vulnerability on the podcast. Enjoy the listen!

CW: eating disorders, eating disorder behaviors, body image dissatisfaction, difficult emotions

Episode 87: Judy Krasna (she/her),

Hi Navigators! We are joined today by Judy Krasna, Executive Director of F.E.A.S.T, a global community of parents, and those who support parents of individuals experiencing eating disorders. Judy Krasna is the mother of four, mother-in-law of two, and grandmother of three. She is a writer and an eating disorders parent advocate in Israel, where she lives. Judy has been an active volunteer in F.E.A.S.T. and in the Academy for Eating Disorders and is passionate about helping families of people with eating disorders, especially after her daughter Gavriella took her own life after a fierce and prolonged battle with anorexia. In this interview, Judy shares what it’s like to advocate for better treatment and care and describes ways caretakers can be an active part of the treatment team. She creates space to normalize the challenges, pain, and often negative thinking which caregivers and parents can experience with a child or dependent with an eating disorder, and exclaims that is okay to be afraid, nervous, angry, and hurt; and that there are resources — like F.E.A.S.T. — available to help manage these emotions, thoughts, and navigate the complex and often overwhelming eating disorder treatment space. We are grateful for her time, energy, vulnerability, and knowledge. Have a listen!

CW: suicidal ideation, suicide, eating disorders, eating disorder behaviors, self-harm behaviors, eating disorder treatment experiences

Episode 86: Simone Seitz (she/her) and Anna Lutz (she/her) from the CRCED talk eating disorders care during the pandemic

In this episode, Catherine and Francis were joined by Simone Seitz, Executive Director of the Carolina Resource Center for Eating Disorders (CRCED), and Anna Lutz, MPH, RD, LDN, CEDRD-S and CRCED board member. The discussion focused on the state of eating disorder care and accessing care, what barriers remain or have been created by the pandemic, and how to move forward as a community oriented towards helping those in need of support for their eating disorder experience. Simone shares what it has been like to navigate assisting and connecting resources to individuals and families seeking care for a loved one the last two years, and how the pandemic has changed the day-to-day operations for eating disorder non-profits. Anna speaks from the clinician’s perspective of areas of growth in treating individuals during a pandemic (telehealth!) and the barriers and limitations that remain. The message was clear, however: while there are still mountains to climb in terms of access to care, understanding bias within the medical community, combating fatphobia and weight-stigma, and creating more resources for individuals seeking care, there is a lot of progress being made and a lot of hope to improve upon the services that already exists. We were – and continue to be – so appreciative of the work Simone and Anna are doing in the eating disorder care space. If you live in or around North Carolina, reach out to CRCED. And if you live elsewhere, your state may have a similar resource center, or reach out to the National Eating Disorders Association for resources and a person to speak with. You deserve the care you feel you need!

CW: eating disorder behaviors, mention of suicidal ideation, mention of loss of life related to an eating disorder

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