237- #1 Enemy to Intuitive Eating – Internalized Fatphobia

by | Apr 23, 2020 | 0 comments


In today’s episode, we’ll explore the #1 enemy to intuitive eating, internalized fatphobia

“You are so beautiful Stephanie! …. It’s ok for you to be bigger but not for me.”

Not that I hear this statement a lot when I meet women but most often when we have known each other for a bit.

This statement or something similar will be shared typically when my students are struggling with their journey in becoming an intuitive eater. These women try really hard but something is just not clicking. It’s like something is holding them back to fully engage with their internal nutritionist.

Internalized Fatphobia

What is holding them back is their own fear of fat. Their internalized weight stigma after years of being exposed to diet culture. Their own phobia of being fat; internalized fatphobia.

That’s the #1 enemy to their journey of becoming an intuitive eater.

And it’s normal. To some degree, completely expected considering the society in which we live in. Western societies are fatphobic societies. Modern societies are sizist societies laden with sizeism, the discrimination based upon a person’s body size.

We have been conditioned from a very early age to fear being fat. We’ve heard comments about people’s body size, our body has been commented on, we also commented on other people’s bodies; all along thinking this was “normal” behavior. To some degree, “justified”.

Until one day, you realize that you have become your own oppressor. You have bought so deeply in society sizeism that you have become your own abuser. It’s when you have convinced yourself that you do not deserve the same things, the same treatment that thin people get.

Intuitive Eating and Internalized fatphobia

When you live in a mind that is fatphobic, the fear of being fat will stump your ability to release food rules and experience food freedom. The fear of being fat is greater than the love for being free.

Intuitive Eating requires unconditional permission to eat. That’s the sticking point with internalized fatphobia. When your fear of being fat is greater than the love for being free, you will not give yourself full permission to eat. Point.

Working through your internalized fatphobia then becomes the next step in your journey.

Intuitive Eating: Teacher Body Size

The unspoken truth is the unconscious impact of your intuitive eating teacher’s/ therapist’s body size on your internalized fatphobia.

If you are in a large body and your teacher is in a small body, you may have an unconscious aspiration that intuitive eating will deliver a smaller body for you as it did for your intuitive eating leader.

In fact, many women who live with undetected internalized fatphobia will select their teacher/ therapist based on their body size. That choice will fuel their internalized fatphobia and keep them stuck in their intuitive eating journey.

“You can’t be what you can’t see”Victoria Welsby

In today’s episode, we welcome Victoria Welsby. Victoria is a world-leading expert on body image and confidence, TEDx speaker, and best-selling author. She went from being homeless, abused with self-esteem that was achingly low into the courageous fat activist and change maker she is today. Victoria helps people fall in love with themselves and is dedicated to shifting the way society views fat bodies.

What you’ll learn listening to this episode:

  • What is internalize fatphobia
  • Determine if you are fatphobic
  • What to do with fatphobic thoughts
  • The interplay between fatphobia and intuitive eating
  • The body size of your intuitive eating teacher influences your own fatphobia
  • Intersection between feminism & internalized fatphobia

Mentioned on the show:

Get Started –Intuitive Eating Guide

The Intuitive Eating Project

Fierce Fatty Podcast

Victoria Ted X Talk

Connect with our guest:





I’m Stephanie Dodier – Clinical Nutritionist, Intuitive Eating expert, host of the Going BeyondTheFood podcast, and Creator of the Going BeyondTheFood Method™️, which was born from my own journey with chronic dieting & body image and has since grown into a global movement.

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