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HealthNotDiets Digest, Issue 31, 2018

July 29 - August 4, 2018

As always, if you like what you read here, please support the original author by liking/sharing/following/up-voting/subscribing directly to their feed.

Happy reading!


Articles and Blogs

I Help Manage My Chronic Illness With My Diet, but Don't You Dare Call It 'Clean Eating'
by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

“I get wanting to have less pain and more energy. But I don't want to be saved from my body, and, like many sick and disabled people, I'm focused less on an idea of waiting for a cure and more on wanting to live well in the body I have.”

Self-Compassion Lessons: Why teens, more than ever, need to learn to be kind - to themselves
by Sarah Lindenfeld Hall

“Teaching teens self compassion, whether they're dealing with mental health issues or not, directly addresses their feelings that they aren't "good enough" or "worthy."”

How AMC's 'Dietland' is finally helping me heal a 20-year battle with my body
by Lindsay Wolf
“If you had told me as a teen that I’d grow up to be my happiest self in a plus-size body, I would never have believed it. But that’s exactly what happened. Becoming the very size I had feared most of my life surprisingly set me free.”

What the Skin-Acceptance Movement Means for People With Conditions Like Mine
by Kaleigh Fasanella

“Who knows, maybe someday my kids will look at me, rash and all, and not see a “mutant” or a “monster” [and]....just see a human being with skin...not "imperfect," "flawed," or "damaged" skin. Just skin.”

The book that had redefined my outlook on sexism
by Jane Caro

“feminism is actually a fight by one half of the population to be taken seriously by the other half.”

Too Fat for Fitness? Lessons From a Plus-Size Athlete
by Ragen Chastain

“I decided to stop waiting for a thin body to show up and take the body I had out for a spin. It was the best decision I've ever made.”

Eliminating Cervical Cancer: The amazing story of the HPV vaccine
by Gid M-K
“Before the vaccine, 1 in 4 women had cancer-causing HPV. Ten years later, that number had gone down to 1 in 100. ....The effect is so enormous that it appears that cervical cancer may be totally eliminated in Australia within our lifetimes.”

I Don't Hike to Lose Weight. I Hike Because I Love It.
by Jenny Bruso
“I’m outside because I want to enjoy the outdoors, revere nature, and appreciate the gift of my body taking me places. I choose hiking over the gym to get away from diet and fitness culture.”

Woman uses obituary to advocate against fat shaming in medical profession
via Canadian Press

“There is evidence to suggest that people avoid the healthcare system for all kinds of reasons, one of them being the stigma and shame they encounter, and in some cases that could be really harmful to their health”


Diet Books as Utopian Manifestos: A Conversation with Adrienne Rose Bitar

by Emily Contois

“I began to think of diet books both like literary fiction and self-help, reading them as myth, manual, and manifesto. They provide rich material for the imagination”

CW: some weight centrism


How to Talk to Your Daughter About Her Body

by Sam Koppelkam

“Remind your daughter that the best thing she can do with her body is to use it to mobilize her beautiful soul.”


How To Actually Respond When People Say Bad Things About Their Bodies

by Melissa Kravitz

“When we realize these messages are not coming from sources that are encouraging us to be healthy, but...are sources that are trying to control and confine us...forcing us to look a certain way, making us feel less valuable...we can begin to overcome them”


What Kim Kardashian squealing about being skinny on Instagram can tell us about neoliberalism and patriarchy

by Eleanor Higgins

“To be clear, young viewers aren’t stupid [but] when they are bombarded constantly by messages that the body is a project to be laboured over throughout every age, it can’t help but colonise one’s mind.”


The dark side of Instagram influencers

by Michelle Andrews

“While health professionals would want people to lead healthier lives, they are very clear there is a difference between sharing an image of a healthy salad, and branding yourself as a portal of information about specific illness.”


Health At Every Size: The expert-led movement that says it's fine to be fat

by Kimberly Gillan

“There's a lot of blame & self-blame [in weight gain]...We help people unpack that & recognise that it's dieting that causes weight regain...rather than any moral failing...We help people accept themselves the way they are & connect to their life values"


This Is My “After” Body

by Ragen Chastain

“This is my before body. This is my after body. This is my only body, and I will love it, care for it, give it my full-throated support, and wield it as a beautiful, unbreakable weapon against fatphobia.”


How Men Can Help Women in STEM: Shut Up, Sit Back and Listen

by Bastian Greshake Tzovaras

“take some steps back, listen to women who have all the unwanted experience in how STEM fails them, and learn how you can make a difference. Only then can you help the world of STEM to become a better place for all.”


The question women ask each other that speaks volumes

by Wendy Squires

“considering...close to 1 million people at this very moment are experiencing an eating disorder, this is not a trend it is a tragedy. So, damn those stupid Kardashian girls & every other woman who perpetuates the distorted belief that skinny is sexy”


On screen and in real life, we pathologize fatness, even as we pretend to accept it

by Ashley Csanady

“Our insatiable appetite for stories where characters are transformed when the weight falls off doesn't just fuel bullying and eating disorders: it creates a culture where fatness itself is the disease, blinding doctors to what lies beneath.”


Research &

Clinical Practice

8 RED FLAGS in Weight Loss Research: How to Spot Them and What They Mean
by Jon Robison
“while weight loss interventions may produce short term weight loss, long term weight regain is the norm, often beginning before programs have ended and even when the intervention is lengthy and intensive.”

“Our intervention study has clearly demonstrated that when exercise is carried out, people experience beneficial physiological and psychological effects independent of any effect on body weight."

King, Neil, et al. "Beneficial effects of exercise: shifting the focus from body weight to other markers of health." British journal of sports medicine (2009): bjsm-2009.

Stop Treating Eating Disorders Like Just Bad Habits
by Lisa Ferentz

“therapy has the greatest impact when I step away from the temptation to get into a power struggle and empower clients to do a large part of the healing work themselves.”

CW: discussion of eating disorders, childhood trauma and abuse


Soapbox & Shareables

Our fully registered Trademark at last!

The 'Non-Diet Approach' has now (finally!) been trademarked in Australia in the training and education sector. This means that clinicians and academics can continue to use and study the approach, but Health Not Diets is the only provider who can provide 'Non-Diet Approach' training for health professionals and academics. It's a long and expensive process to register a trademark, but as I've been providing this training since 2013 and literally wrote the book, it was important to be able to protect it from imitators and predatory training providers who have started to crop up now that more people are interested in body acceptance clinical practice. More interest is FANTASTIC but providers who say they're giving Non-Diet Approach training and then misrepresent it and claim it is for weight control is NOT fantastic. Please let me know if you see anyone else offering Non-Diet Approach training so I can investigate - thanks!


Like podcasts?

How about bite-sized podcasts that you can claim as professional development?!?

I've designed the Unpacking Weight Science Podcast to suit health professionals, health science students and anyone who wants to know more about human body weight, health outcomes, interpreting weight related research and the far ranging effects of weight bias.

Twice a month, my 20-30 minute podcasts unpack different elements of weight bias & stigma, weight research, BMI, health behaviours and weight neutral approaches. Paid subscribers (only $5/month!) get the podcast six months before everyone else, plus full show notes, reference list, self-test quiz and resource materials for use in practice. This equates to an hour of professional development each month :-)

Available for subscribers tomorrow is:

"Unboxing Wellness Marketing"

This episode I take you through some components of the science of human persuasion. As my following on Instagram grew I started getting approached by ‘health and wellness’ brands to spruik their products, and one lot even sent me some samples of their product to try – without asking if I wanted them! They came with a lovely letter and some product information, filled to the brim with reasons why their product should be in every home across the country. So I’m going to dissect their arguments for your listening pleasure and highlight the tricks used in wellness-food marketing to persuade us to open our wallets and our mouths for just about anything.

and instantly access 6 months of episodes before the rest of the world



Sydney Sept 27th and Melbourne Oct 19th BOOK NOW


Want these 'live'? Then follow me on Twitter (@FionaWiller), Facebook (@HealthNotDiets) and Instagram (@FionaWiller)

Want some training in the non-diet approach or unpacking weight science? Resources include books, courses, workshops and handouts: visit

See anything you think I'd like to share or comment about? Post in the comments below or email me at

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