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Lovely radicals! Let me bring some sunshine into your lives:
In today’s episode of the “Life. Unrestricted.” podcast, I talk to Fiona Sutherland from Melbourne, Australia. Fiona is the Director of “Body Positive Australia” which offers therapy, yoga and retreats to the community and also of “The Mindful Dietitian” which offers mindfulness and client-centered practice, training opportunities and information, specifically to dietitians worldwide.

Fiona is a specialist in Eating Disorders (mostly Binge Eating Disorder), eating behavior and body image. Fiona has recently been appointed to the Australia & New Zealand Academy of Eating Disorders Board, where she aims to strengthen the voice for ED recovery and Health at Every Size. She is a professional kid-wrangler (of two boys, aged 5 & 7) and she is currently half-way through her yoga teacher training. She is passionate about how we can help everyone – in every body! – live in peace within this very brainwashed diet-culture.
You will hear Fiona share:
– Why she thinks it’s never worth to sacrifice birthday cake to a thinness-dream
– What makes scales the worst device to have around
– What she loves to do to scales and what she promises to do if I smash my elliptical
– Why compulsive exercise can cost us the experience of actually truly fulfilled needs
– How she proves why you, me and everyone else is inherently worthy; without pursuing our ideas of perfection (i.e. the need to be busy, the need to pursue weight-loss, the need to be fit, etc.)
– What she learned about bodies when she was a kid
– Why she describes her experience as a child as “thin-xiety”
– How her mother’s dieting behavior bewildered her
– What traumatic memories she has of the time when she went to weight-loss group with her mother
– How her sister got treated for being in a larger body
– Why all of these experiences made her angry enough to DO something about the toxicity of diet-culture
– How we get tricked by society’s messages about weight and weight-loss that “there is a magic bullet” and how this sets us up for falling into the trap that everything “can be fixed almost instantly”
– Why food-restriction and any attempts at dieting are so harmful and have ZERO to do with health
– Why our internalized diet-mentality and weight-obsession can burn a whole into our self-worth
– Why any sort of diet-recovery, be it for lifelong dieters, disordered eaters or people with eating disorders, is a slow process with lots of tiny steps
– Why our belief that we master recovery success either instantly or just not try it at all is coming from the voice of the eating disorder
– What little steps could look like, in terms of eating or exercising
– Why our judgment of our behaviors (emotional eating, for example) is what creates the real problem and how we can start to become more observing and less judgmental about ourselves
– What the key element is to a smoother recovery process
– How she would raise ME if I had been her child (and what her goals are for her own children)
– What her top tips are to avoid passing our body image struggles on to our children
– What “The Body Positive Australia”’s mission is and what kind of services they offer
– How they help make dietitians and other health professionals aware of the long-term harm of dieting and of weight-discrimination
– Why her business partner’s “Fat Yoga” classes are taking off like crazy
– What they continuously do to change the harmful paradigm of weight-loss-idealization and diet-culture…

… And so much more!

Here’s the link to Fiona’s website:

Check out “The Body Positive Australia” website:

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1 Comment on LU 028: Fiona Sutherland – Goodbye, scale! Time for positivity with food, weight and body image.

    2017-02-04 at 9:35 PM (6 years ago)

    Thank you Meret and Fiona for a profoundly healing podcast. I, like most other mothers struggling to recover from eating disorders, carry profound fear about the potential harm the presence of the illness might have on our children. It’s a worry largely endorsed and amplified in the treatment community, where I have been told countless times that I should essentially get over the disorder, because to not is to willingly chose to pass this along to my daughter. It’s impossible not take this in without argument, and internalize a guilt and shame so powerful that no one wants to speak of it. Fiona, your list of what a parent does to help their children build strong and safe relationships with food and their bodies gave me permission — for the first time — to believe that I can actually be a good mother and still be struggling to fully recover, that one does not negate the other. I recognized my own parenting in that list, and breathed a huge huge sigh of relief. Thank you both enormously for being voices of compassion.