EFTROU Season 2 Episode 1 is 1 hour, 33 minutes, and 08 seconds long. (1:33:08)
[0:00 Music Plays]
Chavonne (C): Hello there! I’m Chavonne McClay (she/her).
Jenn (J): And I’m Jenn Jackson (she/her).
C: This is Season 2 of Embodiment for the Rest of Us. A podcast series exploring topics within the intersections that exist in fat liberation!
J: In this show, we interview professionals and those with lived experience alike to learn how they are affecting radical change and how we can all make this world a safer and more welcoming place for those living in larger bodies and those historically marginalized who should be centered, listened to, and supported.
C: Captions and content warnings are provided in the show notes for each episode, including specific time stamps, so that you can skip triggering content any time that feels supportive to you!
J: This podcast is a representation of our co-host and guest experiences and may not be reflective of yours. These conversations are not medical advice, and are not a substitute for mental health or nutrition support.
C: In addition, the conversations held here are not exhaustive in scope or depth. These topics, these perspectives are not complete and are always in process. These are just highlights! Just like posts on social media or any other podcast, this is just a glimpse.
J: We are always interested in any feedback on this process if something needs to be addressed. You can email us at email@example.com And now for today’s episode!
J: Hello and welcome to the second season of the Embodiment For The Rest of Us podcast. Yay!!!
C: Yay! [laughs]
J: Welcome back, thanks for being here!
C: Welcome back! [laughs] After our incredible adventure learning and unlearning through embodiment journey stories in season one, we knew we wanted to explore even more nuanced depth and distinction. I love how we grow together, you and I–
J: Me, too!
C: [laughs] as we stay open as we stay open and willing to unlearn something that really stood out to me about our first season is, in addition to being committed to social justice, being more vocal about it in both podcasts that I do, in the work that I do, and just in my conversations with everyone, including you.
J: Umm yes, uhm, it feels, that feels good to hear you say and my brain and body just echoed that with you. As you were saying, uhm, open and willing to learn learning and unlearning, I was just thinking about leaning in to where it’s going in a social justice direction through actions that build on themselves is not easy. And, and it’s also a challenge that I am ready to lovingly do with you all. So that’s what was sticking out for me.
C: I feel the exact same way.
J: And I love thinking about the full content and context of season one as we’re sitting here and something that really stood out to me, as we– just looking back and also throughout, during the process of it, is when we started the interviews, especially, umm, that each person brought their own distinctions about language. Umm, and I want to do more of that. It’s a lot like uhm, the energy and the drive of social justice and wanting to do it more openly. It’s also calling things in or out more openly. It’s renaming things as they feel important in order to reclaim them and, and also because so many people that we will be talking to this season support other people. Really, thinking about, umm, the choice of language that can be used in supporting other people, each other, being in community and communication as human beings and see where that takes us. To challenge that, I would consider that an uncomfortable place in some ways, because language can be such a weapon. Uhm, language can be, uhm, so powerful for an individual who can harness language for something. And it can also be confusing, subvert, and these other sorts of things and just make things clear, like when I think of calling and call out. It’s like, how can we make this distinct? Can we make it clear? In whatever way we can, in these, in the short, in terms of the scheme of these interviews and really having the intention matched the impact to something else that’s sitting with me. I feel like I have a lot to learn in that area and a lot I want to explore in that area. It feels important to say that not like over here. I know all the language things, but more like I know there’s a lot to be done by most of us in this area and it just feels…to be able to have that conversation about embodiment feels pretty amazing actually. Uhm, just like talking about embodiment journeys, I’m like wow. I’m so honored just to be in this space having these conversations and so to really talk about language and think about that, umm, especially as human beings, language being so important to our nervous systems, to our emotional regulation to our decision making. I mean everything and also noticing what’s around us. I, I guess the last thing I’ll say about this is, it’s also the direction of things, is really important. The difference between race and racism. Who is doing the action of racism, right? People who look like me. But that feels really too important to ignore.
C: Yeah, you’ve mentioned directionality quite a few times in our interviews, and I always appreciate that focus. It’s not something I always think of, so I really appreciate that something that you said calling it and calling out. I think a big focus for me in, in this podcast and kind of the larger scope of everything, being more open to being called in or called out, not shielding myself from that discomfort. I think it’s, I think it’s pretty human for people to want to do that, but being really intentional about being open to that. If that makes sense.
J: It does, yeah.
C: This is a really big focus.
J: Openness not just to getting it. There’s something to unlearn but actually doing it.
C: Absolutely correct, yeah.
J: Being called in or being called out is never going to be comfortable, that’s not really the point exactly, right? To tone police ourselves and calling someone in or out or asking other people to do that for us, right? That’s not really calling in or calling out. That’s something else. I don’t know that I have a name for that right now, but I know that, that’s not what that intention was.
C: Yeah. Oh I’m gonna try to figure out what that word is later. [laughs]
J: I don’t, I don’t know what that word is now that we’re in this language intentionality and distinction part. I don’t know what a word review would be for that.
J: But I think this is, actually brings up an important point. We don’t have to know the right words for things right away. It’s OK to take time with things. In listening to us in the podcast, because I did listen to every episode, I can also catch myself, I notice that, like I don’t always have the word for something. Sometimes I think, uhm, not just in a polyvagal theory way, in a semantics way, but just honoring the body in general, without getting specific in those ways, uhm, some things live in us, in language that’s not verbal, right? It’s not how we speak, and I actually mean that too. We give people the benefit of the doubt and ourselves the benefit of the doubt by talking about what we really mean. It’s OK to say something like this might sound really harsh, but it feels really important to say, right? You can still do a call in or call out versus being like I’m so sorry and I don’t want to say this to you and I don’t even know how you’re going to receive it and, right? All this, like, backpedaling kind of stuff that can happen, especially with a lot of recent events where it’s very much like…
J: Infighting and making private fights public and lots of things which has its place. It, for sure when things just become something we all know that always has its place. Uhm, just thinking about the body ’cause bodies are going to body and there’s a lot of wisdom in the body. It’s OK to sit with what the body is saying to us when we need to, sometimes we need to be disconnected from our bodies in the call in call out conversation in order to process it later. That’s normal, that’s OK. Uhm, sometimes the only thoughts we can have, because we realize it’s a new thing, we have to think about is, I don’t know and that’s totally valid, too. It’s something that I actually, I tell other people a lot, and I wish I told myself more is that, I don’t know, is a valid answer. Yeah, and, and also coming up with something in the moment is OK, too, and you don’t have to agree with yourself later because it was very much in the moment while being called in or out, so some grace and space around that might be how I would like to summarize what I just said maybe or how I was feeling.
C: I love both of those words. Grace and space. I really, like, that’s definitely very necessary.
J: Did that seem clear?
C: Yes, I liked it.
J: Thank you.
C: That was awesome.
J: I was, like, I’m talking a lot about intentional language, so it feels. [laughs]
C: [laughs] Well, I think talking about language requires a lot of language.
J: [laughs] Yeah, yeah it does. It felt very layered. That’s a great point. Thanks for that.
C: Yes, exactly, precisely, precisely, yeah. You’re great.
C: I love that. In ending our last season we explored questions that we asked our guests. What do you think about doing that with each other now about things coming up for this season?
J: Oh, I love that and I love this. It sounds great.
C: Let’s do it. OK, how is embodiment as a pleasure practice a way of opening our minds and selves to something different?Do you find that normalizing these dynamic explorations that are often suppressed or repressed take on new meanings about embodiment?
J: Yeah, uhm. This was a hard question to ask someone on our second season because it also means that we have to face it too. Pleasure is a complicated thing to talk about. There are structures and systems in place, particularly if you’re socialized as female that it is not OK to have pleasure. And so from a very young age, if not from the earliest ages, for all of us, the structures and systems and dynamics and language and hidden signals and all of that. I mean body signals, not hidden signals, body language. I couldn’t think of that, body language, umm, tells us that it’s not OK. The responses and reactions we get say it’s not OK, so it feels like this topic is exclusively unlearning, or at least that’s how I relate to it. Unlearning that it’s not OK to have pleasure. Oh, that feels like a strange way to say it, so learning that just because I learned that it wasn’t normal, right? That we don’t do that here, that it’s it…it wasn’t really, like, named as a sin in my life, but definitely in lots and lots of conversations around me like on the periphery of my life and. And so I, I felt very suppressed in this way to think about a word from this question. Uhm, so just like with anything else that I’m unlearning, I feel like it needs new exploration, new contexts, uhm, the book Pleasure Activism has meant a lot to me. We talked about that in one of our, we’re going to, we’re going to talk about that in one of our interviews.
C: Oh yeah.
J: And also, you know, there’s a lot of structures and systems that are even trying to help this, that still don’t necessarily steer us in a particular direction, and I think that sometimes this kind of unlearning, ’cause it’s everywhere and it’s very harsh can sometimes use some direction in unlearning, that’s why Pleasure Activism came to mind. I also love the phrasing in this, of dynamic exploration. Pleasure is not a one time thing. It’s not the same every time. It doesn’t show up in our body in the same ways, it doesn’t, In other words, it doesn’t feel the same. Uh, we don’t anticipate it the same, right? The context really matters, and, and so it may feel really hard to explore. I have found it very hard to explore. Uhm, and mostly get the giggles about it on a pretty regular basis.
J: Uhm, uh, my partner and I have a love language of laughter and humor in, in keeping things light and fun about topics that can be weird and a lot of pressure and, and I don’t just mean the pleasure of something like sex, I mean like from food. I mean getting the thing that you wanted and asked for, like, generally speaking, uhm is a really hard thing. Like why are you doing that? You shouldn’t ask for the things you want, do you really need that? These are like the kind of responses that we get and talking about pleasure and I just want to burn that shit down honestly. I’m also thinking of Belly of the Beast right now in this moment.
J: A book whose theme is, come burn this down with me. That’s really the theme of that. Like if I was to take a theme that’s sitting with me in this moment about this. Uhm, so if we’re going to open our minds and selves and not feel repressed or suppressed by ourselves and by other people, UM, unlearning in any way that’s fun, feels really important for a topic like pleasure, that it doesn’t feel like an obligation or additional stress or something, we have to anticipate with a lot of anxiety, so that means we have to get to know ourselves and what we need and want and who does that bring up a lot of feelings in my person. Uhm, it’s a hard question to answer. So earlier I said I don’t know is a valid answer. I like my primary answer here. [laughs] My sister, early on in the pandemic, umm, really had me, prompted me to explore, even using a label for myself, and I’m pretty sure I said it in the last season in the podcast, but now I can’t remember which is demisexual, right?
C: You did, yeah.
J: Needing context and emotion and connection to be able to have intimacy, forms of pleasure, uhm, but I’ve also been realizing that I actually need that to feel safe in a lot of situations.And it’s something that my body continues reminding me of. How would I… I…I have a thought in my head and I’m having trouble phrasing it. I’ll try. That is, uhm, I feel like I, I don’t want to be labeled ever. It feels like a cage or a container. Uhm, but labeling something as I need certain context to understand why it feels like something, this thing for me has become really important to me, and it really feels centered around pleasure. So not only do I want to open my mind and myself, but I feel like the conversation itself opens my mind and myself. So it’s super reciprocal in that way, and this is me saying from like I feel like a little baby about pleasure and like my own exploration. But I guess that’s what’s sitting there for me. Uhm, I feel a lot about it now [laughs] and I don’t always know how to feel about how I feel might be, how I summarize where I’m sitting. And how about you?
C: Sorry, that was a beautiful answer. I totally was with you the whole way, so it didn’t feel like you were anywhere, I just followed you, I’ve…
J: Oh, thanks.
C: I love it… think it’s a, it’s a…it makes sense if it’s a kind of a burgeoning thing to explore, because like you said, for those were socialized as female. We’re told not…we’re, we’re even not explicitly told…there’s a lot of urging to not explore that aspect of ourselves. That really makes a lot of sense, absolutely. And I, I, I’m interested in how a label can be something that you immediately buck against, but also, but it’s also helpful at the same time that dynamic is really, really interesting to me.
J: Oh, oh, I like you wanna hear more?
J: Oh, oh, got it. Got it.
C: Only if you want to, of course.
J: I was like, oh it is interesting.
C: Which is the reason I’m saying is because there will be an interview that we talk about in the future with Kimber Stevenson and the desire…
J: Love you, Kymber! [laughs]
C: Hi, Kymber! You’re amazing! [laughs] And we talked a lot about my desire to have labels on things and how that’s, that can be a part of white supremacy culture, right? So I’m just wondering if that’s why you’re bucking against it, even if it felt helpful at the same time, I guess that’s where, where I’m interested in that dynamic.
J: Oh, that’s a great question. That is not how I meant it, but also I think that’s an important layer here too.
J: Uhm, I don’t like labels put on me by other people. So if we’re leaning in, like, uh, what is white supremacist direction? It’s forcing labels onto other people and sometimes structures and systems.
C: I got, gotcha, OK.
J: Even though I’m a white person myself, are putting, shoving those labels down my throat, labels down my throat too, uhm, uh, some labels that were coming to mind is like calling me a perfectionist, or an overachiever, or other things that never sit in a really similar place.
J: As I can’t have pleasure.
C: I, I see.
J: Like dismissing me, right? Like you don’t need that. You’re, you’re doing good in the school category. You don’t need that. You’re doing fine on your own, are ways in which I’ve been dismissed about my own pleasure before.
C: I see.
J: And so I didn’t have words or language or even really truly notice it at the time. Thank you, therapy! And uhm, even labels that are used against us in harmful directions and ways those labels can be reinterpreted if they’re helpful. Uhm…
C: Like fat.
J: Yeah, like, to, to make something feel more neutral in your life. I’m trying to make pleasure more neutral, right? It’s really seen as negative behind closed doors in the control of a particular aspect of a relationship. One person, uhm, uh, who’s allowed to have the power. So in that way very much, much, I feel like it does come against all kinds of supremacy, but particularly white supremacy that there is a right way to do things. And if you’re not doing it. you’re very, very bad. This is, this is actually really making me think about this. Umm, reclaim does not feel like the right word here. There’s something bigger than that, and I don’t know what that word would be. So interesting that I can’t go with words today! That in, trying to… say what?
C: I blame the pollen. [laughs]
J: Oh yeah. [laughs] Allergies, umm, very much. I was bragging to Chavonne last week, dear listeners, that I had no allergy symptoms and now I have absolutely all of them. You can’t hear it yet because it’s way up in my sinus, is that, it’s going to make its way down, but it’s giving me a little brain tension. [laughs]
J: Uhm, that, stuck on this word reclaim, so I’ll just use it for now. Uhm, even acknowledging that doesn’t quite feel like the right word, that. So something like demisexual. This exploration that I was talking about the label itself. I’m like, well I don’t know. And I don’t always feel that way. So labels feel strange when you’re being a person and this is very supremacist. You have to be the same way all the time. Why are you different this time? That wanting to be a dynamic person means that a label is not always going to feel right, but I think that’s just an important part of exploring the label and, and the other words that I’m saying, like, I need kind of emotional regulation and to feel connected in these other things feel more important. Meaning the label itself, so it also the exploration makes the label feel less like someone else is more like mine, and also that I’m not attached to it somehow. Did I answer your question?
C: You did, thank you for that clarification, I really appreciate that. [laughs]
J: Okay. And I, I really appreciate that. You know, I was talking about my own experience, but I think it’s really important to like ground ourselves with, umm, not just because of how much privilege I have, but also because there are people who are kept from their pleasure in much more significant ways than I am.
J: Like the basics of the pleasure of sleep and a life without stress and constant, right?
C: Absolutely. Umm, I really appreciated that. Yeah, I need to keep that in mind as well, thank you, I appreciate that.
J: Of course, yes. Thank you for the question. And, and how about you? How about you and this question?
C: Sure, so I was raised in a strict religious home, so it was definitely suppressed and repressed, the dynamic explorations of pleasure. You know, thinking of, when you were talking, I was thinking of the seven deadly sins. I’m not gonna go through all of them, but like the idea of gluttony and the idea of sloth. Uhm, is greed one? I don’t know. [laughs] Yeah, maybe?
J: [laughs] I’m think so. I’m not great, I’m terrible at this game, so sorry if that was wrong.
C: No. [laughs] I’m just going to go with it. It’s the idea of gluttony and the idea of sloth and you know if you’re doing too much of any of these seven deadly sins or whatever they are, then you’re bad. You’re not, like, close to holiness or whatever. And so I think that as an adult you know I, umm, haven’t lived with my parents for quite some time. Oh my God, 20 years, yeah. It’s my 20 year high school reunion this year, I don’t want to think about that. [laughs]
J: Mine was last year. [laughs] it’s this maybe 20 year high school reunion.
C: I…kind of moving away from that, that culture, that family culture means that I’m able to explore those, those things. I’m giving myself permission to explore those things. All those sensual in types, in terms not just sexual but like senses, right? So like what feels good on my body. What feels good to smell like, feels good to taste? Et cetera, et cetera. What sounds do I like? It, it’s, it’s been, I think that is true embodiment for me, is, is that sensual practice for me. So what feels good? I mean, there’s also internal and mental health stuff, but I’m thinking of the, the external embodiment for me. What…do my clothes fit comfortably? Do you know I get to be in contact with water that’s more than just, like…more, more than just cleaning myself, you know, like that kind of stuff to me that’s how embodiment has been a pleasure practice.
J: Ooh, ooh man that was so good and that reminds me of our conversation with Sheila from last season and also our conversation with Denise from last season who both really talked about the interaction of our bodies with the environment around them. A key part of embodiment, uhm, in being able to access things for and about and with ourselves. Yes, and as you were just saying that I was kind of like rubbing my arm and just thinking about I’m like, Oh yeah, it does like tactile things. Feel nice things that taste good and well and like a match. Not having my eyes feel like they’re burning right out of their sockets like they are today with allergies. That’s nice. [laughs]
C: [laughs] Right?
J: Like the eye drops that I have, right here, which I’m showing to Chavonne on the camera, which I’m totally…
C: I use that, too! They’re for my dry eye, though. [laughs]
J: They’re amazing. It’s biology. It’s going to be such an amazing pleasurable feeling. Oh, I’m really gonna take that and think about that because I’m, just realized just like in listening to you, I was like, there is something so beautiful and these simple things that you’re talking about that I feel like I need constant reminders about my brain goes to such big things really fast. Uhm, that feels really important. I got a lot out of that, yes, thanks.
C: I also think, I also wanted to say that my sexual identity is, you know, being able to tap into that as an adult as a, you know, as a woman who someone you know felt, someone feminised, I’m sorry, someone socialized as female has been a journey to because like you said, where especially in my house you were that is not something that you indulge in. Most of the time, it’s definitely before you get married and then in marriage in very particular ways. [laughs] And clearly you know, and so being able to not, you know, ascribe to that has been an embodiment practice for me as well. Just feeling, just figuring out what feels good to me in a sexual way as well.
J: Yes, you know this actually brings up a sort of core memory for me, which I am going to say, uhm, Dad, if you’re listening, I’m gonna talk about you. I don’t think my dad’s ever gonna listen to this podcast, But I’m going to talk about him because I think this is really important. This…it’s like, you know, it was a very subvert conversation, not spoken like really assumed, but there’s like, like 1 clear example I can think of. I think I was somewhere in the early part of high school and I was sitting down to watch Interview with the Vampire for the first time with my dad. And a scene comes on where they’ve like brought, these vampires have brought women of the night to come and like they can get blood from them and this…I can’t remember which one. If it’s the Brad Pitt vampire or the Tom Cruise vampire, I actually can’t remember, I’m pretty sure it’s the Tom Cruise vampire. Anyway, he sinks his teeth into a woman’s breasts which are held up in a he–in a corset, like they’re just practically up to her chin. [laughs] It’s very in–the shot is from above. It’s extremely obvious. Uhm, and he pauses it and he tells me to get out and I’m like what? And he’s like, get out, even a boob being present, a breast being present in a movie about vampires, completely actually nonsexual in that particular moment, he couldn’t handle it. So now I’m almost 40. And for maybe the last threeish years he’s been able to handle watching such a movie with me and I’ve seen many movies with my dad. He always worked in a place where I live just by coincidence. We used to go to the movies weekly, umm, and we just managed to avoid and I think he did it, really intentionally managed to avoid these kinds of moves like a sex scene. I’m pretty sure that he wouldn’t be able to do that, uhm, but it really told me that it was wrong. That I didn’t get what was going on and and that I couldn’t watch it with my dad. Which is strange how we just kept watching movies and that never came up again like because that kind of scene never came up. Uhm, I’m not sure he remembers that nut for me it was like, OK, I guess I will be watching this. It was a founding, yeah, kind of movie with my dad. And if I think it also felt like it was wrong for me to not think that was a big deal. Like I didn’t understand why it was a big deal. I, I think I get it now, but I don’t think I got, like, it was a big deal. Just as you were talking about in your family, how it’s not allowed, right, not talked about but not allowed. I’m sure to think of, like, any example like that ’cause it felt like it really resonated. And then I was like no. And then I really remembered, I haven’t thought about that in a long time. So even like the pleasure of watching a movie, that’s a form of escape knowing it’s like real between everyone in the room. But it’s, like, could make people really uncomfortable.
C: Mm-hmm absolutely. I’m going to have to think about that.
J: Yeah, I’m, I’m gonna have to think about that, too, because I’m actually wondering if I avoid things myself while watching TV. Like if this somehow still has a place in my life, I’d have to think about or movies, I don’t know. I don’t know, that feels like a newer thing for me to kind of think about, but it felt OK to say right now. How did it feel to listen to it?
C: Like I said, I loved it. No, I think it’s great.
J: A very strong memory all of a sudden. I’m also just, like, a little bit of mourning for younger us that we had to feel, like we didn’t get something or that it wasn’t OK to have this instinct for pleasure, as every human being does, uhm, that’s just a hard thing.
J: Also recognizing that some people are not allowed to feel it on a basic level. Through food insecurity and other really big hard thi–abuse, things in their life. I was just, I’m just kind of sitting in a spot about that.
C: Yeah, it makes it a little sad too.
J: Yeah. So pleasure can have humor, and sadness is something I’m really getting in what we’ve shared so far, yeah. And those are things to be open to, I think, because they feel real.
C: They are, yeah. I agree, yeah.
J: Uhm, and I totally made this into a downer and now we can go on to the next question. [laughs]
C: I don’t–[laughs]
J: I could feel the somber energy take over.
C: Womp womp. I’m gonna call it a thinker. It wasn’t a downer. It was a, a thunker. [laughs]
J: Uh, thinker oh, I appreciate that reframe. [laughs] Okay, I like that. I think it definitely feels like a thinker.
C: Yeah, it’s like, I’m going to sit with that for a minute right now.
J: OK, good .For a second. I was like, I think I sucked the air out of the room. [laughs] No, I, I like that, I like that.
C: [laughs] That’s amazing.
J: Okay, let’s do another one. I’m loving this. I’m loving the thinker.
C: [laughs] Me, too, I’m having a great time.
J: How can we tune into the nuances of our lived experience through coping, recovery, aging, chronic illness and pain, mental health needs and just being a human being with a body?
C: Ah, this is intense.
J: It’s a very big question.
C: This is very big, it’s very intense. It’s very timely, I think, so I’m going to get a bit real. So I’ve been really struggling with some internalized fatphobia, some internalized ableism, and I think that this podcast and just kind of the way I live my life in general and therapy so much therapy has been really helpful. Thank you, therapy!
J: Thank you, therapy!
C: I just had it this morning and it was just what I needed. I think it’s been really helpful in tuning in to those, those just, some of the aspects that you asked the question about. But I think we can tune into it by some of those things. Umm, therapy, umm, practicing embodiment or devotion. You know, doing your embodiment devotion, whatever term feels best for you. Seeking support. I think that…one of the, umm…a guest that we had, Michelle Phillips, talked a lot about grief and I think that that’s part of the tuning in. So I’ve been struggling with some not terrible pain issues, but I’ve been moving my body a bit more which has led to some pain issues and kind of dealing with the grief of, my body isn’t, doesn’t move the way it used to. You know, when I was 20 whatever, of course it doesn’t! 19, whatever. Of course it doesn’t. Umm, coming to terms with the fact that I probably will have to be on an antidepressant for the rest of my life after trying for the last time to wean, there’s been some grief around that, but there’s also some joy, and the fact that I’ve decided to support my body and support my life in that way. So, so I think tuning in is when I think of the, the, the term tuning and I think of, well, attunement, obviously, but just being still, uhm, sitting with our lived experience and I want to say embracing it. I don’t know if that’s the right term, but at least acknowledging it, acknowledging the changes for your needs, your struggles. And I think that’s a huge part of embodiment for me. I don’t know if that answered the question, but, that’s kind of where I am right now.
J: It did no, it did.
J: And something really interesting was happening over here for me. I was like yes, yes yes. Yes, to like everything. I’m also, I want to say openly, I’m also feeling internalized fat phobia and ableism related to my body right now. Mostly because my medical team has decided to make me think those thoughts. Uh, yeah. Trying to banish them takes some work when they’ve been reinvited in without my permission. Uhm and as you were talking about tuning in and stillness and attunement. My brain kind of said yeah and tuning out and discernment and etting the body do the moving. So I’ll explain myself, but I was sitting with those things like I’m, I’m not great at tuning out historically. I just, like, sit in something until I’m so overwhelmed that my body doesn’t have a choice anymore and now it has tuned out and then it turned. You know, it takes me with it, right? And I end up in the very disassociated place. Umm, and attunement is exhausting to my nervous system sometimes. I’m like, oh, why do I have to be attuned? [laughs] Right? Soon as I don’t want to be attuned, so being able to discern when I want to be attuned and when I don’t. We’ve talked about this with several guests in Season 2 so far. Uhm, which is like intentionally, uhm, checking out, being distracted, getting numb, uhm, in ways that are not harmful to ourselves, an important distinction difficult to navigate through. So it’s OK if it’s not perfect and you have to learn about that, or I have to learn about that or we do. Umm, but that stillness doesn’t feel like a possibility for my neurodivergent nervous system. It’s something that I’m mourning and thinking about and like, wow. Maybe just my stillness is not what that word implies and something that I have been doing a lot of therapy about. Thank you, therapy, again!
C: Thank you, therapy!
J: But, umm, really sitting with that. What I’m notice I, I’m not doing things to, and/or with my body. My body is still up to stuff. And so it’s feeling like tuning out, having discernment about that is actually inviting a connection with my body. I’m not sure if this makes sense outside of my head or not, ’cause it’s very much something I’m feeling. I’m trying to put words to…
C: No, I can absolutely, yeah.
J: It’s it’s just feeling really important to get that. I don’t always have to be doing tuning in or doing attunement or doing, coping, doing recovery, just the things that are here. Aging in a particular way, even if it’s trying not to age in a particular way, there’s still a trying, an acknowledging my own chronic illnesses. And my own chronic pain feels like an important aspect of this also. And you were talking about quality of life. Things like what is the quality of life that you want and what actually supports that?
C: Yeah, yeah.
J: What is the quality of life that you and your body are able to do? What’s the gap between that and what you want in the morning that’s involved in that, umm, allows you to be a human being with a body, so I think something I’m really getting is this entire question and your answer are sitting with me. All of the little pieces, parts of this are sitting with me, uhm. It feels like there is no one right answer to this question, right?
C: Yeah, yeah.
J: We had very different answers. I imagine each of us have very different answers. Our guests this season have had incredibly different answers. And that’s just sitting to me is really important that there isn’t an answer. That’s a pigeonhole that we have all the answers to choose from, and that feels really important in our relationships with our body because for our body to try to force us to do something in a particular way wouldn’t work. So why are we trying to force it in the other way? Something my therapist says to me, which I don’t know if I’ve ever told you, Chavonne? Uhm, but this is…it’s like, Jen, this is going to be harsh, but I need you to hear it. I’m like OK. And it’s, you’re not that special.
C: You said that just last, in the last month with Kymber.
J: Did we? Oh, Did we? I think that’s when I was just told that honestly.
J: So that wasn’t that long ago. It’s still stinging.
J: Yeah, it is. And it’s also like a really wonderfully refreshing wake up call. Yeah, I love it though. Call in, call out, for either of us [laughs]. Umm, saying that I am not the exception to coping and compassion and recovery and discernment and attunement. And just like everything, umm, I think being in a helping profession myself, I am willing to give myself an exception all the time in service of other people and I don’t want to be doing that at the expense of myself. So yes, I’m repeating myself and that’s ’cause it feels really important to me. So…
C: It is. [laughs]
J: And also no one ever said anything like that to me and I took it.
C: Right? [laughs]
J: In my whole life. [laughs] So I’m turning 40 later this year. Actually, just a little bit, like just a couple months after this episode will come out, and I’ve never let anyone talk to me like that. And I was, like, immediate, like, yes, of course, right. It was just the right moment and all of that. And I think that can be a really beautiful part of embodiment and inviting each other into our experiences about it is we can tune into something right at the moment we need to hear it. So I guess I’m sounding woo now, but it feels that there’s just timing of things, cosmic timing, call it whatever kind of timing you want. It just doesn’t feel like a coincidence.
C: Yeah, I don’t think it is. Yeah, yeah, I think…it was, it was woo woo as it is. I love it. It’s, it was what you needed in that moment. So the universe decided you need–it was time to give you like–yes, universe higher power, whatever you call it, whatever you need or whatever…
J: Yeah, I often use the universe.
C: Because, umm, something, whatever works for you, the listener. It’s what resonates, but it’s whatever resonates, yeah? Take universe to be what you needed to be, yeah. I’m giggling. I was giggling when you’re saying that stillness doesn’t work for you. I’m…in my head, I was like well, it doesn’t work for me either. [laughs] Like I, I like to think that I can sit still. When I was thinking of this mental health stuff that’s been going on for me, if I had sat down earlier, I would have known that something was wrong. Something was…maybe not wrong, but something was feeling off kilter for me. So maybe I said it that way ’cause I’m trying. I challenged myself to give myself more stillness. I’m not great at it. Umm, my therapist was on for season one and we very clearly, like she very clearly was like you don’t do meditation and I don’t. [laughs] I like to pretend. I mean I do it like once every three weeks or it’s not a practice. But if I sit more, I’m telling myself I will be able to tune it more, but I’m trying to make that more of my practice right now.
J: Oh, and I really get that too. I do know that I can be still in certain contexts, but my brain has to get what it needs in those contexts. And meditation isn’t going to cut it for me like 99% of the time. Sitting on a bench at a park in nature in the spring, which I have done a lot over the last month. It’s been beautiful here and I’ve had no allergy consequences, so I’ve done it a lot!
C: Right. It’s so beautiful right now.
J: Uhm, there’s a lot to pay attention to and, and so that, that feels still well. Also, like my nervous system, getting what it needs. Uhm, I really am into that and I love a walking meditation, I love it. I’m like, what can I be active doing? I’m trying to do that.
C: It’s my absolute favorite. That and washing dishes for me.
J: Yeah, it’s a kind of still walking actually feels like a kind of stillness to my body, so like I just feel a particular type of way while I’m walking and when I’m done walking.
C: That’s a really great point.
J: I imagine it feels like maybe something close to when someone else has found, like, a deep meditative state, like, I feel like I’ve worked through an incredible number of things with my body being engaged in that process. So maybe stillness just looks different for each person. Like maybe it really is. I’m taking that on as you, as you said that ’cause it, it feels important to acknowledge, right? And I know I’m a good listener.
C: You are!
J: We talked about that in season one and, and that’s a form of stillness. So I need to give myself more credit. I’m not that special. I can be still. So there it goes.
C: Oh, but you’re so special too. [laughs]
J: Thank you.
C: But now I want–it feels very permissive for you to say that ’cause I was like, I should be sitting. So maybe just walking is what I need instead of, like, trying to fit into this, like, meditation box. My sister is like the best meditator and she can like, just do it. And I’m, like, I don’t even, I don’t understand. [laughs] But maybe that’s just not me. Good for her! But I just can’t do it.
J: Yeah, oh, that’s a great point. So yeah, yeah yeah, yeah. Social comparison, especially of people we know really well, makes us think that we should do it another person’s way. It’s so natural, such a survival thing.
C: Right, yeah.
J: It’s so, like, built into our very beings and to pull away from that does not feel comfortable, but doing our own thing is important, giving ourselves what we need is important.
C: Right, yeah. Right, yeah?
J: Whatever “stillness” is, I’m just going to put it in quotes ’cause actually it still feels really nice, but I’m just gonna put it in focus here.
C: I like it. Ooh, this is fun! Should we go up to the next thing ’cause this one is big?
J: Yeah, yeah.
C: What embodiment practices do you recommend for folks moving through grief and toward liberation? What does your broken heart need?
J: Ooh, that last question got me right in the gut. Or the heart, somewhere in my body. Made me immediately emotional, even though I knew this question was coming.
J: We had a conversation with Michelle Phillips about this that, like, blew my mind and has changed the way I think about a lot of things. I cannot wait for everyone to get to listen to that.
J: Something that I’m sitting with is that grief comes in waves. Nice, really untidy, unpredictable waves. It’s not like some sort of, oh look at the waves coming at me in the, in the sunset. It’s like, crash! Oh, a couple quiet ones, right? Crash! From an angle, right? Like, it’s, like, uh, the wildest waves. I can actually think of a beach in California. When I lived in California. It’s just like, this..it’s actually really dangerous. Every time I’ve gone an ambulance has been called.
C: Oh no! [laughs]
J: Not for me, but like around me. Same every single time I go to this beach, right? So it’s a wild beach situation. That’s how grief feels. And so we often try to come up with neat and tidy practices for how to come up with a holding space for grief. Doing something about grief, letting grief be right. It’s very neat and tidy. But after that conversation and something I’m really sitting with and will continue to sit with is like what if our responses aren’t so neat and tidy, what if we can give ourselves space to come up with what we need. So pretty similar to my last answer, I guess. Uhm, like what if even liberation can come in waves? First of all, human beings need breaks. You can’t just do one giant wave and pretend like it never breaks on the other side, right, because you don’t give yourself breaks. I also think that grief, because of how entangled it is, with so many parts of our inner and outer world, it could feel like it has an incredible sense of urgency. To shove it down to get it out of the way very specifically and, and I think just thinking of space and grace, so I’m probably going to be saying these themes today. I guess that seems to be what I’m doing. Uhm, space and grace feels really important. What if the urgency was removed? What if we can have space and grace?
C: Hmm. Wow.
J: I’m just gonna leave it there because it’s a challenge to keep it there, but it feels like the right thing. So how about you?
C: I love that. I, I totally agree with that. It is a challenge but it feels really necessary. So I really loved this episode. I, I love this process as you know. I love this podcast, but this one, I well, I learned something new from every episode, but this one I feel has really been sticking with me since we met with them. Maybe February, maybe January, I’m not sure when we recorded the actual interview. Michelle Phillips gives this list, but I said in the interview I don’t want to hear it. [laughs] I don’t want to do this, but it was amazing and I’m not going to go into the whole thing ’cause I don’t need to do it right now because I want you to listen to the episode. [laugh] But uhm, sitting and asking, what does my broken heart need? So I’ve been doing that and I know when I started, I guess when we recorded, last year. I don’t know, I thought that the theme for 2022 was going to be rest and I think it’s grief more than anything. Umm, it is a lot of allowing myself to be still and feel grief. I guess it’s rest and grief, I don’t know, but I think that my embodiment practices is that, that, that’s sitting and asking what does my broken heart need? That–the practice of actually giving yourself what you, what you hear, what you say. Denise Friedman in season one talked about the, you know, the dichotomy of grief and gratitude. So I think it’s a lot like what you said, Jenn. There’s–it comes, grief is in waves. I think the gratitude is right after it. It’s like the, I don’t know oceans [laughs], but like there’s the wave and it’s like what comes right after. It’s like I can, like, see a, a mini wave coming right after each big grief wave. So I think for practices for me when it comes to grief, it’s sitting in…I don’t want to say wallowing in my grief, but sitting with my grief. Walking with my group ’cause I don’t really sit. [laughs] I’m walking with my grief and allowing the gratitude to come in when it, when it does come in, not forcing it, just kind of riding that wave. I think we live in a, in a society of toxic positivity and sometimes I don’t always feel grateful for that grief, but often it pops up in different ways that I didn’t expect. So I think that’s the biggest embodiment practice for me. It’s just le grief exist ’cause grief is a, is an emotion that we don’t talk about a lot. Grief and loss. And it’s something that we push down quickly as a society, are encouraged to push down quickly. I mean, bereavement is 3 days if you work for some place, you know a typical place in this country. Nobody grieves in three days, like what the fuck is that? Like that’s not, but also clearly we, it’s not a concept that we take on very readily in the United States.
J: Yes, yeah, who can tell how they even feel in three days?
J: That made me mad.
C: Yeah, yeah.
J: OK, that was very powerful. I don’t want to touch that one either. [laughs] Apparently I’m feeling really protective about your feelings about grief.
C: I–yeah, I agree. [laughs]
J: You know, I always say tough and tender. It really feels, like, big emphasis on the tough when it comes to grief and, and, so I don’t even want to be another person trying to choose what tender is. I just want to let you get to choose that. That’s feeling, umm…
C: Right? Yeah, I feel, I guess I feel protective of yours because we all grieve in different ways. So I’m like, I’m not going to define anything differently for you. So what grief looks like for me is not what grief looks like for you. Just for, like, everyone. So maybe that’s fine.
J: Oh, so that feels very safe and secure to me from thinking about discernment, I should just like announce this is one of my favorite words, I think I probably–
C: Yeah, you know, it’s one of mine too.
J: –already have, but like it really is, yeah, so much action and content in the letters in one word. I mean, there’s just a lot there. Umm, it also feels like grief can have space for people we trust to discern for us, because some of the lowest moments of grief we cannot make choices for ourselves. It happens. We feel completely detached, uhm, so just like acknowledging that right now, I’m not feeling in a low state of grief at this time, even though I’m always grieving things, especially things related to my body and embodiment and how I’m treated. Umm, that I don’t need anyone to discern for me right now, and it also feels I know, for example, Chavonne, that I could say I need some discernment and you’d be like, what do you need? [laughs]
C: Right, and you would do the same for me. [laughs]
J: I know that we could have that. Yeah, of course! And I know that we could have that conversation, so that’s also sitting there, in wanting to, like, this urge that I have to, like, protect your grief and space. But also an invitation that when we need someone else is discernment, uhm, that we have someone to have those conversations with or some ones.
C: Yeah, that’s incredibly useful.
J: That’s what we get kept from us. I’m sorry, did I talk over you?
C: I’m sorry. No, go ahead. [laughs]
J: I, I was saying that something that’s kept from us by not acknowledging grief and doing that so urgent shove it down part is what we kind of keep each other, from each other in a way.
C: Yeah, absolutely. I completely agree. Oof!
J: Yeah, and that’s really resonating in my body. A lot, like a lot of, a lot of sensations happening in my body. Oof is a good word for the sensations happening in my entire chest area, like deep in there. Uhm, OK, so Speaking of oof.
C: Big old oof.
J: Yeah, so uhm, we started recording this season at the very end of 2021. So, and we recorded at least half of our season, if not the bulk of our season, before some pretty major things happened in the letters and organizations and with people who are really supposed to be holding a space like we’re trying to hold. And, and so we want to talk about it openly. And also I’m, I’ll speak for myself. I’m really feeling that I don’t want to give too much centered space to the people who have done harm. I just want to make sure that we acknowledge it. How does that feel for you?
C: I think that’s really important because of the space that this podcast exist in. I think it’s, it’s really yeah, necessary.
J: OK. OK, so this is a question we do ask and we talked about it at the end of season one. So, like, if you were listening to these back to back, like we just talked about it. Uhm, uh, what is your take on Intuitive Eating and/or Health At Every Size? Where do they fall short? Especially considering what has happened recently, umm, with the author of the Health At Every Size book, uhm, compared to the origins of Health At Every Size and the harm of Black, Brown, Indigenous and People of Color. In other words, the global majority. Thank you, Alishia McCullough, for this, that phrasing. And, and I say Intuitive Eating along with this because it’s the most popular of the Health At Every Size aligned “modalities”.
C: Big questions. Ugh, yeah. [laughs]
J: We will put in the show notes whatever the latest is when this comes out, so there’s some context here, if you’re like, what are we talking about? But I’m still sitting in a place that it feels like these people have spoken for themselves and I’m still seeing the person who’s done harm centered in some spaces, and that’s feeling really yucky to me. So it’s April 2022 right now and it’s been over a month since that happened, and this person is being defended and centered and it feels just gross. So I acknowledge my anger, so I probably sound like I have a monotone right now [laughs]. Uhm, how does this question feel for you? How does it feel for me to ask it and what’s on your mind?
C: It feels–I’m glad you asked it. Like I said, the–this is what our podcast is about, right? So I think not only that, I think it’s important to speak on it. It would feel disingenuous if we were just like, hey, we are going to do another interview and we’re not going to discuss what happens, so I appreciate that. Uhm oh, it’s so shitty. Everything is so shitty. So, yeah…[laughs]
J: Yeah, yeah. Speaking of oof. [laughs]
C: That’s like my only reaction to this. I mean, it’s not my only, it’s just what has been happening lately, probably because of the way that this author is still being centered and defended six weeks or something later like that. Yeah, something like that. So I think that I don’t know where to start.
J: I think that’s all right. Me neither, that sounds valid.
C: You can jump in at any time ’cause I just feel like I’m circling the drain [aughs]. Umm…I feel like I…I think it’s…first of all, what I said in our closing episode for season one, I’ll say again, I think that they’re a great place to start, but they fall short. Uhm, I think that there is a large amount of privilege that is expected and utilized, I guess, in terms of things like Intuitive Eating and Health At Every Size that are just, it’s expected that you can buy the food that you want to eat. It’s expected that you can spend the time cooking it, that you’re not, you know, working three jobs to support whoever or whatever. So, so I think there’s a lot of privilege within it. I think that what I said before, and I still believe, is that Health At Every Size does a better job of pushing forward the narrative. [sighs] I appreciate it, ASDAH’s response to this whole kind of…this reckoning, I guess. That’s the word I’ve been using a lot. I truly forgot that Lindo Bacon was not the originator of this. I think that they did, and I’m not going to center them too much, but I think that they did a great job in centering themselves, as the…them self, rather, as the founder of this movement. I saw some old Twitter, like some old tweet. I can’t even talk, I don’t use Twitter. [laughs] Some old tweet. It’s like—some old Twitter. [laughs] I sound like I’m like 90 years old.
J: So my grandfather used to say The Google and that reminds me.
C: The Google. [laughs] Say Google.
J: Or my favorite, Net Flick.
[Both laugh] Me or my favorite Netflix.
J: Sorry, I interrupted.
C: No, I loved it. Some little tweet where they…or maybe it was Facebook. After all that, I don’t think it was Twitter.
J: We, we laugh to cope just so you know while listening.
C: Yeah, something on Facebook about how they were the founder of it or they wrote the book on it or something like that. And like obviously they were benefiting from that misconception of many people as well. So that’s shitty. I think that the infighting has been really hard, really hard to be present for. I understand why some of these things happened. It’s…I also understand why some of them were made public, but it just feels really unfortunate. It feels like a lot of, what about me-ism right now? That’s kind of what I’m getting from it.
J: Yes! OK, OK yeah.
C: That’s where I’m gonna stop for now. I think I have more, but nothing is coming up in my head, but I will probably have more as we’re speaking, so go ahead. [laughs]
J: No, that was great and you know, I–there are no letters, not IE, not HAES. There are no letters that get to decide for someone else what they need and can we try these things on and see if they work? Yeah, just like with any modality, that’s true. Uhm, this reckoning. Love that word. It was really reminding me of our conversation with Shelby Gordon, who’s the first person we interviewed after this thing went public. All of– I’m just, I’m gesturing to the air, everyone. This, uhm, and how it’s about time that we have a really open conversation about the origin of things and who’s causing harm. Like that’s, like, the angry part of it. Like, yes, it’s time because there’s been a lot of harm done, you know? And also, uhm, I could see how we might double down on some of these letters or other letters. People are going to seek safety and security and letters. They feel super safe. Uhm, so there’s still going to be more harm, so it’s really thinking about like the next time that there’s harm. What are we going to do the next time that there’s harm by a thin white person? What are thin white people gonna do? I am a white person. What am I going to do? Because the harm is exclusively coming in that direction, coming from that direction. And speaking of directionality, uhm, you know, I think I mentioned in our talking with Kymber, which I’ll mention also here is, I always think of the social determinants of health. They were, at the beginning of the pandemic, there were some public health talks that were really like having a reckoning with public health in general, and I was very much there for that since that’s my masters degree and it feels like I did an incredible amount of harm with that. Right? Always trying to not do any of that anymore, but like the field was having, like, a reckoning with itself. And there was a speaker who was, like, they’re not the social determinants of health. That’s not what they determine. That’s what they prevent. That’s what they harm. That’s what–they get in the way of. Umm, and so it’s also making me think about the direction here and what’s in the way. Uhm, it’s people who are the most listened to naturally because of white supremacist notions that are buried deep inside all of us, they are the ones who are listened to and upheld. And the originators of the work–I’ll make sure we put in the show notes here an amazing resource from ASDAH about the entire history of Health At Every Size, right? Decades and decades, some of them before the birth of Linda Bacon. That’s really important, right?
C: Yeah, absolutely.
J: That kind of context. And also, there’s a lot of people who are hurting because of this situation where there’s the people who are publicly hurting, right? They’re, like, stuff is all out there for each other to see, and there’s a lot of people who are going to feel very confused. Who are not going to know what to do. They’re going to think this feels like, oh, I think I finally found an answer or something that’s not this other shit but maybe I didn’t. I think it’s a very confronting and confusing experience. That’s why I wish a lot of it hadn’t happened in public because.
J: Uhm, we don’t know what’s going to be harmful for other people from that conversation. Uh, we also can’t shield anyone from that conversation because it’s, it’s, listeners, I’m splatting at my screen. [laughs] There’s like a splat of that information and, right? It’s like slowly dripping down and we’re all like reading it as it goes down, right? The human brain loves drama. It loves to know about how other people aren’t doing so great at surviving and how we might do better at that, right? Uhm, we’re just like we can tune into that stuff so easily. Umm, and while this one has aired, and this is probably the last thing I’ll say about this. So there wasn’t a, I’m going to put “apology” in quotes. I just want everyone listening to know I have quotes in the air. Or maybe we should just be honest and say a non apology. Sorry for your feelings.
C: I’m sorry if your feelings were hurt.
J: Yeah right. A non apology, no accountability, no determination of what would be done differently to not cause continued harm. In fact, doubling down on certain types of harm, right? Just some bullshit. Uhm, so this remains unsettled, unresolved and it’s gonna be very interesting to me what happens next. As you said, I love ASDAH’s response. They’re going to talk about cancel culture and accountability pretty soon after we record this episode. I think it might be next week and, and those resources will be available later as ASDAH always does. There’s a June conference. Is it June 9th or 11th, whatever the Saturday is correct.
C: 11th, yeah.
J: So the 11th. Yeah, OK, I believe you between those days. [laughs] I never hit the date, right?
C: I hope that’s not a lie. It’s fine. [laughs]
J: It’s the second Saturday in June and whatever that date is, it’ll be all day. Uhm, well, they’re going to face these things head on. That was already planned for. That’s just a coincidence that that’s coming here pretty soon after this episode will air and you’ll be listening to us talk right now, but I think that’s really important to tune into because it’s people getting to speak for themselves. And it’s a lot of what is next. I’m here for that conversation, right? How can we be harm reductive together, how can we be in community with each other? Uhm, how can we do things towards collective liberation? How can we acknowledge the truth about the past, including who actually came up with things, not just who gets to be the face of it for a while, and we’re not paying attention, which I’m also very susceptible to. I didn’t know that originally either. And so that feels, that feels important. The looking ahead part. And I don’t want to feel like I’m dismissing anything like an incredible amount of anger and it still exists in this, the moment. And I guess I just have a limit for infighting, right? Just when people get nasty with each other that are on the same side. I think that’s my tapout moment for being very much engaged in the current moment, but it also feels very supportive to look ahead, so I’m kind of sitting in that space. I’m not sure how that feels, but that’s how I’m set up.
C: I’m exactly where you are. I had to tap out, at least being on social media for now. ‘Cause every time I get on, I’m like [groans] [laughs] Those are the sounds. So basically, I mean, at first I was all pulled into it, but now I’m like I can’t anymore, like even I’m tapped from that. Yeah, sorry, go ahead. It’s OK.
J: There’s a, there’s a collective experience with providers for eating disorders that ur clients were not doing, uh, OK. That’s a pretty big collective experience, and that’s what I mean about like no filters. Who sees the information? Because they’re all following us to not be in spaces that are hard and, and triggering and without warning. They’re not trying to be in that space, so they probably curated things so they didn’t have to be subjected to things without permission. So that’s really sitting in my head too, but that. That’s probably where my anger comes from.
C: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, and I think, I mean… I don’t want to…[laughs] I’m not tooting my own horn, but being a part of the movement in some tiny, small way for, I don’t know, almost a decade, even I was, like, what, like, what is happening to this, like what? Is this the right movement and I, I know, like, I know a lot more than like the newbie coming into it, so that feels really hurtful and really scary for people that I don’t know. Who are just saying, maybe I don’t need to diet ever again and then they come into this bullshit, like, that’s, I hate it. I really, really hate it, so yeah, it’s not very welcoming. It’s not very welcoming. You can get one post and be like what is going on here? And then you have to…then for me it’s like an hour later, I’m like OK. I’ve combed through things and I’m still, like, Oh my God that’s so much. So I think, I think it’s, I think neither of us said it, but I know we both know it, but I think it’s important to name. I think actually you did, I’m sorry. So naming the origins of HAES and you know that this was a fat activism movement before anything else, and that we are growing because of the labor, the unpaid labor of those living in Black, Brown and Indigenous and people, bodies, and people of color, bodies of people of color. OK, the global majority. I could have just said that, that would have been much faster. [laughs]
J: I also felt compelled to say the whole thing. [laughs]
C: That’s right. I think it’s, I think, I don’t know. I, I, I’m wondering what comes next ’cause unfortunately that’s just what happens and I hope that there’s a better response to it.
J: Yeah, uhm, something that’s actually considerate and I don’t mean people who were directly harmed, saying this harm happened to me. I mean, everything else that’s on top of and around that I want to make that super clear here.
C: Yes. For sure. Mm-hmm.
J: Because I’m about to say I want people to be more considerate and I don’t mean that about people who are harmed. I don’t mean to. I’m not trying to tone police people who are harmed, saying being more considerate of me. That’s not what I mean, uhm, I mean all the piling on and like the magnifying and the lack of nuance. And just like the constant like, never ending reinterpretation and update. I mean it’s exhausting. I mean this is something that we’re also in the habit of doing about, like, news that’s bad and things in the world. As a pandemic we do this and I don’t like any of it. Where it’s just, like, why are we overwhelming each other constantly? Why are we creating all this urgency when what we seem to need is space? We don’t consider that in each other or who might be listening or watching, and I wish we did more of that. I agree again, not the people harmed. I’m talking about all the other stuff.
C: Yeah, I agree.
J: I think that’s–
C: Yeah, I haven’t been on social media for–
J: I did not know that’s where I was gonna get–
C: Oh, I’m so sorry, no–
J: I like that. Talking over each other with enthusiasm, but I was going to say I didn’t know that’s where we were going to get to and that actually felt really cathartic with me to have this converse, for me to have this conversation with you because. I’ve just been sitting here stewing like, this sucks.
C: Yeah, yeah, and I didn’t know who I was, yes, honestly feeling protective of. And now I get it like why am I feeling protective, maybe, maybe, or indignant. I don’t know what the right term is but right now I–
J: Both, both.
C: But now I understand why it feels so, so so so icky. ‘Cause if I come into this as, like my 27 year old self, my 25 year old self, like I’m out, [laughs] like, I can’t like, I’m not going to deal with this right now, so yeah.
J: Well, that sounds protective.
C: Yeah and indignant, yeah. [laughs] And I was going to say something else and I forgot.
J: I’m so sorry.
C: It’s fine. I haven’t been on social media for, since, for like, for like, 2 weeks, like about that stuff. So I don’t even know what’s going on, but eventually I’ll, yeah, try to catch up, just to see what the hell we’re talking about. So yeah.
C: I think this segues really nicely to the next question. So how do you intend to center and send more compensation to those in marginalized spaces, many of whom provide the emotional labor of the fat activism movement.
J: Oh my gosh, I love this question. I love it so much. Uhm I love a chance to think about, am I doing enough? And I don’t mean as a perfectionist judgment. I mean, am I supporting people so that they know that I’m here? A couple of things come to mind, right? So we compensate people on our podcast for their time first and foremost, that feels incredibly important. I don’t want it to be unpaid here, too, and I know you feel the same and that’s felt really important to me.
J: And also something like, “giving to charity” has been, like, sitting heavy on my heart for a very long time, like even considering Black Lives Matter, the larger organization, and the millions of dollars that didn’t go to anyone but the people who were in charge of that money, just like really doesn’t feel good about a topic that’s so important and continues to be so important. Like, some people didn’t get a house because of the way that that was handled, right? Like that really makes me upset. Uhm, so it’s like how can we make sure that our…? I’m thinking of money primarily here because it’s still a pandemic and that feels like that’s how I access people. I just want to say that openly I would probably have more to it other than this if I felt like we could access each other more safely, but it feels like supporting them and making sure they’re safe, right? Not, like, going up in their space is also an important thing and, and that is I would say Mutual Aid. So this is where people say this is what I need to get housing. This is what we need as a collective to be able to help each other in our community. It, it tends to be very local, uhm, although it doesn’t have to be, you can find mutual aid on the Internet about just about any topic, because there’s a lot of people who need support. Uhm and, that feels important, that I am in general supporting mutual aid, that just feels important. Uhm, and that’s often when a system or a structure has left someone without something they really need. It’s not a fault of their own, and by often I mean, like, we can say always when it comes to the fat activism movement that is paying. People who are doing… who’s where the idea came from and, and who are speaking on these topics. Not those that are co-opting the words, the actions, and the movement in general of other people. It feels important to distinguish that, and you know, one of the things about the situation we were just talking about, how things are visible is. It’s like super clear in that situation and it can feel scary to do that in other situations without knowing that kind of information. Like, am I supporting the person that I should be supporting in this moment? I also think we have to trust ourselves and our discernment and get that we will get better over time about this. Uhm, but it’s something to think about. Just like thinking about your social media feed and is it curated to only show you thin white people and their messaging? Do you even see requests for mutual aid? If you don’t, that tells me that you’re not following the people who provide the emotional labor of the fat activism movement, because I have no problem seeing mutual aid requests. Every single day I have no problem seeing that. I have created a budget for myself every week and I contribute as much as I can because it feels really important. Yeah, and when I say as much as I can for anyone listening, that’s whatever you decide. There is no right amount and I think that’s really important to say, a lot of these mutual aid requests will say like $1.00 or $5, like they really mean come at me. Everybody, like everyone, join in, like, this is a community effort, and I think that’s a really important way to engage. I feel like I called past me in about how I didn’t see a mutual aid before and I was just recognizing some growth in myself. So if there was a particular, like, tension since that was me talking to past me. Because I have learned that I made mistakes and I have learned that that’s not something that I’m like, I know what this is and I know what to do. I had to make sure that I stayed engaged long enough to learn that right and be humbled and be called in and called out, including by myself from the future about the past and now in the future.
C: I love that.
J: What do you think?
C: I think that answer is incredibly great and important, and I agree with you. This is why we compensate our podcast guests that, that’s first and foremost. Uhm, I love Patreon for this reason and ummm….
J: Mmm. Yes.
C: I really like…following, patronizing sounds weird, [laughs] but supporting. Supporting through Patreon feels really important to me and I agree with, I mean, I could have almost said exactly everything you said. There was a past me that definitely did not put my money where my mouth is and I’m making much more of an effort to do that.
J: Yeah. Me too.
C: Umm, Yeah, I…think that’s the biggest thing. This is not for that activism movement, but I have to say ’cause I know we both do it. I think it’s incredibly important to pay a land tax where you live.
C: So if you are willing to, if you’re able to, I’m going to take that, I’m going to stop with the virtue signaling. if it feels something, like it’s something important for you, there are ways to find out how to pay a monthly land tax. Not trying to virtue signal or tell people how to do this in a moral imperative way, but–
J: And we will–
C: This is important to me, I’ll just say that.
J: I’m so glad you brought that up. Uhm, I learned this from a Seattle organization where they do it in the Seattle area. It’s relatively new to the area where we are, which is the land of the Tiwa speaking people in Albuquerque, NM, right? It’s colonized land and just looking up and acknowledging where you sit as a colonizer did not sit well with me the whole time. So I was on a hunt.
C: Yes! [laughs]
J: It was hard. It was really, really hard to find.
C: Yes! I found it on your page! [laughs]
J: So ever since I found it, I, like, put it everywhere. I put it in every bio and that’s not again to virtue signal, because I want people to know that exists, ’cause it took me a really long time of searching. I was, like, why don’t we pay them? But I didn’t know who them would be in this situation, or were they asking for it? Or were people trying to funnel it to them? And was that a trustworthy source? It’s like, there was a lot to figure out. But these taxes go directly to people who have been disenfranchised from their land, right? Their land has been colonized and they have been pushed off it, and these are the descendants of those people, so it operates as a form of like a rent, right, that we compensate. I mean, it’s a small, It’s still a small thing. It’s a tiny little thing. Uhm, to pay this rent or land tax for being over here, but it feels important to acknowledge that happened and to keep acknowledging it happened by offering something.
C: Yes. And I never said thank you.
J: That feels really important. Thank you for saying that it and it is a form of mutual aid. They said help us, we’re not OK over here.
C: I remember finding it on…I don’t know why, I was looking at your bio. Probably because I needed to update my bio.
C: I was like, what did she write. I’m gonna, I’m gonna use some of this [laughs] and I was like, Oh my gosh, I’m so excited you found this ’cause I too had looked extensively and like could not find anything, so I’m really grateful for that. I think one thing…this isn’t exactly financial. This isn’t financial compensation, but I think it’s also really important if we are…I mean, I’m not active on social media, but I’m on, you know every once in a while. I am–I’m directing everything, I’m talking about everything I’m learning about to someone who deserves this compensation. Someone who’s done this work, someone I’m quoting, I think that’s the way to center those conversations too.
J: Yes yeah, uh re sharing information even if you can’t contribute something financially in that moment, has a lot of, umm…
J: Especially with the bullshitty nasty algorithms of things owned by what is it called now?
C: Meta or whatever.
J: [laughs] but that’s almost all of our social media totally so that that feels important to, and I don’t want to make…I, I focused on, I focused on compensation because that was the question and I don’t want to diminish amplifying messages so people that can contribute have the ability to do so.
J: Yeah, both of those feel really important.
C: They really, really do.
J: OK, so our last question of this intro episode.
C: We’re already dancing.
J: Woo! We love reading and we’re both on the Fat Girl Book Club podcast and we also interviewed Jenn Radke this season who is the host of that podcast. Oh, that’s where you saw my bio ’cause it was, you know, it shows her social media.
C: That’s what it was!
J: I included it in that.
C: That’s, that’s awesome.
J: So how do you feel that reading or bibliotherapy, a word that I love and I’m stealing from you [laughs], can help those moving towards embodiment or toward embodiment. What is a book you suggest everyone read about body liberation?
C: The hardest question there is, is the last one.
C: Umm, how long you got?
C: But I’m gonna start with the first question. I think that reading or bibliotherapy can really help those moving toward embodiment because I think that, first, books can be really accessible to some people in a way that other things might not be. There are public libraries, there are, like, I haven’t been to the public library in forever, but I use my library card to, like, get things on my Kindle or that kind of thing. So it’s, it’s really accessible that way. Umm, I think that some of us, you know, there’s certain people who learn better by reading. But what I really think it can do is especially in those memoirs. It can really help you see yourself. There’s so many out there that have been, you know, important to what I’ve learned about embodiment. Yeah, like your whole pile. [laughs]
J: I’m looking at my piles. [laughs]
C: Mine are on the other side of the computer. [laughs] And, and so I think that’s really helpful both in those memoirs and also books that just get really steeped in the theory. I love reading. I mean, I love, love, love, love it. I think that, at least for me, that is the best way for me to learn about anything, let alone embodiment. A book I would suggest. Oh, my.
J: Hardest part of this question.
C: Like, I have at least five that are popping up already and I said I was going to write this down and then didn’t. [laughs] First thought, uhm, Belly Of The Beast. Obviously, umm.
J: I concur.
C:Next, The Body Is Not An Apology, which I just read and reviewed on my own podcast.
J: I concur.
C: I’m trying to think of a memoir that really, umm, Unashamed, which I never told you I read, but, oh my Lord.
J: Right? Unashamed, yes, by lit–Leah Brown.
C: Leah Vernon. [laughs]
J: Yes, Leah Vernon! I don’t know what made me say Brown.
C: I don’t know. That one and then, OK, I don’t really have to have five, so those are the ones that are coming to mind. I think that there’s some lighter ones out there that are just really nice. Ah, that sounds so patronizing. But I mean, just like a little bit lighter, they’re easier to get into. They’re not as steeped in the theory. There aren’t as many kind of calls to action which some people may not be ready for.
J: Yeah, yeah, it can be intense to learn about new things and then also have a lot to do about it. Some of us need more time. I would be one of those people.
C: Yeah, same, same.
J: I started with all the lightest and fluffiest things I could find in the beginning of my exploration. About the word body image, which I actually don’t use, that, that phrase that much anymore, but I just needed lighter things because wow, when you look at the theory, it’s really hard to read.
C: Yes, totally. Same thing. Oh my gosh, it’s so much. And so one that’s coming to mind. But I, I’ve read it so long ago, I don’t actually know if it’s a lighter one, so I might be wrong. But Virgie Tovar’s book is coming to mind, You Have The Right To Remain Fat, but I actually don’t remember it might be deeper, I just can’t remember. It’s been that long. I also really liked Body Positive Power, but that was like 100 years ago and that’s very light. So that could be really fun too, so…
J: It is very light. And so is Sophie Hagen’s book, which is not coming to mind, the title right now.
C: Yes. Like Landwhale. No, that’s Jes Baker.
J: Yes! No, that’s Jes Baker. I like that book.
C: I like it, too.
J: As just a beginner, stick your toes into. Yeah, I can’t remember. We’ll put it in the show notes. [laughs]
C: It’s right there. Sophie Hagen. Farts. [laughs] It’s gonna come to mind. Farts.
J: I can’t see it right now, but if I did I’d be able to come up with the title. It’s over here back behind me. Oh, yes.
C: But I think, uh, something I really enjoyed that really felt really…I’m trying to narrow down to one. If there’s one book to read, I would probably say The Body Is Not An Apology. I think. Oh, but as soon as I said that I was, like, no! Belly of the Beast. [laughs] So I said that at the same time. [laughs] I don’t know, your turn. It’ll probably be five more before we’re done.
J: So those two books are probably my 2 number ones. I’m holding up Belly Of The Beast right now ’cause it’s the closest thing I had to me. Umm, because there’s so much to get out of each and every sentence.
J: And that just makes for a special book for both of those.
J: So Belly of the Beast, for like rage and burning it all to the ground and Body Is Not An Apology for mourning and grief and being like OK, but what do I need now? Both of those. So yeah, those two just echoing what you said. It’s rare that I start with any other two. A person who’s on our podcast this season, Joy Renee Cox. Fat Girls In Black Bodies.
C: Yes, yeah.
J: Especially to find community amongst the pages and for me a person who is not in that community to feel honored and humbled to get to read it. Umm, And really, uhm, present two things that I knew intellectually, but now I think I have a… I love the, I love reading and now I feel like I have a different sense of, like, I have the beginnings of what that might feel like in my person to be related and understanding. It was an honor to read, truly. And I would say my book of the moment, which I’m on a second read in a row is Fat and Queer: An Anthology of Queer and Trans Bodies and Lives. So it’s an edited version. There’s essays in here, uhm. Again, really similar to what I was just saying with Joy Cox, Doctor Joy Cox’s book is just… But I surprised myself how much I found myself in these pages I have a lot to think about. And also some things that I didn’t know about, heard about. I feel like I have unlearning to do. That’s why I’m reading it again. There were some really beautiful and poetic subtle things in some of the essays in here that I just hadn’t conceptualized, so I think that’s amazing. And Decolonizing Wellness by Dalia Kinsey, which is amazing.
C: I was going to bring it up! It’s my next book to read. I’m so excited.
J: Jenn Radke, who was our guest, loves talking about the worksheets that are in this book that you can do things at your own pace. I, I’m just really sitting with the way things are phrased. Language to me in this book, the way things are distinguished is very important. Speaking of directionality, umm, I loved this one for that, yeah. So I also didn’t summarize [laughs]. I just echoed yours and added some. We, so you’ll hear when we do it, this episode with Jenn, we, we all have lots of answers ’cause we all love to read.
C: So yeah, oh, I have a question. You didn’t answer: How reading or bibliotherapy can help those moving toward embodiment? You just got so excited about books.
J: Oh, oh, thank you, I just got so excited.
J: Uhm, I, like you, like to read my way into knowing something. Listening my way into knowing things takes me a lot longer like my brain doesn’t process it like that. Uhm, I use audiobooks sometimes for the first time through, but it’s not the same as reading, so I always try to get myself to read whenever I can. And my nervous system will have a different view about that sometimes, [laughs] but that’s always what I’m trying to do. It also feels like something I mentioned–in those books as it feels like you can connect with people. You have, like, visceral sensations in your body about what’s going on for someone else, because it’s like fully living in your imagination in that moment. Even though it’s about someone else, there’s just something very special about that. Umm,like there’s no like TV interview, even a podcast interview that would actually touch that for my brain. Things like podcasts and TV interviews and listening to things audibly are just over like an invitation for me to go read. That’s how they usually show up.
C: Totally, totally, totally, totally totally.
J: Uhm, and I’ve been in a lot of therapy for a lot of years and I love book recommendations from other people and this is like about any topic, even like a fantasy book. I always get something out of someone telling me to read something. Like always.
C: That’s exciting, OK, OK.
J: Uhm, the act of being able to talk with someone about something you have both read. Oh, that’s like that’s my shit. It is nice. I don’t know, I, I don’t know how to say that any other way. Yeah, it is my shit. [laughs] Is that a phrase? I don’t know if that’s right, but [laughs]
C: It’s mine, too. That’s my shit. Oh, totally. [laughs]
J: Uhm, yeah that, right there, it’s like, you know and something that comes kind of close is like a TV show that everyone is really into.
J: Like you and I might talk about, uhm, oh my God, they’ve all evaporated from my mind.
J: Succession, thank you, thank you. The Office. I know there are more, but that’s…
C: Twin Peaks.
J: It’s really like being in kind of community about those things, movies as well. Uhm, they become something that’s tangible to share about things that are important to each of us and there’s just some kind of resonance in that act that’s different than any other gift giving or receiving or reading on your own. Even like there’s just so I get a lot out of that, like a lot.
C: So I mentioned my next one I’m going to read What’s your next one that you’re going to read about body liberation, what’s your plan?
J: Uhm, I have always been meaning to read this. Uhm, being almost 40 uh, and coming to these ages and I have, I have a lot of people in my life who I have conversations about these things which is perimenopause and many paws? Menopause! Many paws [laughs].
C: Many paws! [laughs]
J: It’s called, it’s called, What Fresh Hell Is This?
C: Oh my God.
J: By Heather Corrina.
C: I love that, I love the title. I mean it’s an amazing, an amazing cover and title and subtitle.
J: Perimenopause, Menopause, Other Indignities and You. This has like emotional stuff. I’ve already flipped through it. It has emotional stuff. It has fact stuff, it has some context stuff. I mean, it’s just like pretty amazing, just like from a flip through I was like I cannot wait.
C: Ah, I love it.
J: This–I bought it because of the book title, but it’s been recommended to me many times. Uh, yeah.
C: Nice nice.
J: This is a hard topic to find books about as well, especially when they talk in a way that’s supportive of all bodies. Super, super rare.
C: Huh, it sounds fun. Nice. And I’m reading, uh, Decolonizing Wellness because it’s been on my Kindle forever now when I’m reading next. No, not really, since it came out last month [laughs] I bought it and I just haven’t gotten to it so I am looking forward to it. I love books. I could talk about this all the time.
J: Me too. Forever.
C: Forever and ever [laughs]
J: These are like my right now answers, so when this airs I’ll probably, which is just like a month from now, I’m probably gonna be, in less than a month, I’m gonna have different answers. Not for the first two, though I probably won’t change those.
C: Also the book is–oh my God, I’m so sorry. Yes, also the book is Happy Fat by Sophie Hagen. I had to look it up ‘cause it was gonna bother me if I didn’t know so now we know.
J: Yes, yes! I appreciate that. And she’s funny. She’s very funny.
C: She is. I laughed really hard. Sometimes I really enjoy being steeped in, you know, body neutrality stuff, but not having to, like, always read the heavy stuff. So it’s a nice, like, it’s really nice sometimes to do that so I appreciate that a lot. It’s like the cozy mystery instead of a procedural. [laughs]
J: Yes and all, you know, like exactly so yeah. [laughs] Yes, and I was, in saying all these books I’m talking about, I’m a multiple books at one time person. You can’t.
C: I can’t because I am shaking my head absolutely not.
J: And I do them at different times of day. For example, these books we’ve mentioned. I don’t read them at night. I can’t, I’ll wake up and I’ll be in, I’ll sit in the anger of something and stay up all night until it’s done [laughs] or I’ll sit in the confusion of something until it’s done. Like whatever I just, I do fantasy at night, like, like science fiction, fantasy, anything like that mysteries I know you love mysteries. Oh, I love fantasy.
C: Yeah, I do.
J: Uhm, those kinds of things that just give my brain a, uh, check out moment versus a tuning in right before I go to sleep. It’s really dysregulating for me so.
C: Yeah yeah. Usually I read a cozy, stodgy British mystery at the end of the night for sure. I guess I do do that. So I like will read a chapter of something heavy, or something that like has to do with the work that I do. And then I just get into like some stodgy British stuff I think that’s true. I love it.
J: Yeah, yeah. I will never get to the next thing if I start it at night like there’s like a certain cutoff like I actually go into my room at night and I’m by myself for hours. I, I have made this a practice in this pandemic. It’s been very important to me, but one of them is these kind of books cannot touch, that space not even allowed in my room.
C: Totally totally.
J: They’re in a different room. ‘Cause I’ll be all, I have to know, I wanna know! [laughs]
C: I love it.
J: I love this, too.
C: Are we done? [laughs]
J: We are.
C: This was so much fun. I’m really excited.
J: Yeah, it is. It always is. It’s so much. I know, even about hard topics that made us a little uncomfy sometimes.
C: I know! So good. I’m so excited for season 2 to come out throughout the sea–the rest of the year. I, I think we had some amazing interviews and uh, I definitely have been changed by a few of them, so I really, I really can’t wait for other people to hear it.
J and C: Yay!
J: Tune in! They’ll be coming out every two weeks. See you soon! Thank you!
C: Yay! Thank you! Bye!
J: Thank you for listening to season 2 of the Embodiment for the Rest of Us podcast. Episodes will be published every two weeks-ish (because let’s be real here) wherever you listen to podcasts.
C: You can also find the podcast at our website, embodimentfortherestofus.com and follow us on social media, on both Twitter @embodimentus
J: And on Instagram @embodimentfortherestofus We look forward to being with you again next time in conversation.