We’re continuing our book club series with another conversation with the very first Balanced Black Girl guest, Chrissy King.
In celebration of Chrissy’s new book The Body Liberation Project, we have an honest, vulnerable conversation about what body liberation is and how we can work towards it individually and collectively. We also talk about reading and writing as an act of self-care.
Chrissy King is a writer, speaker, former strength coach, and educator with a passion for creating a diverse and inclusive wellness industry. She empowers individuals to stop shrinking, start taking up space, and use their energy to create their specific magic in the world.
Episode 180 Topics:
- What diet culture is and what it entails
- How food is for pleasure, not just fuel
- The myth that Black women and girls don’t struggle with body image
- The intersection of racism and diet culture
- The difference between body liberation and body positivity
- Reading and writing as an act of self-care
Episode 180 Resources:
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- Clay | Organize your digital connections with Clay. Clay is offering a free 60-day trial to Balanced Black Girl listeners at clay.earth/partners/balanced.
Episode 180 Transcript:
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I'm your host and it is book club march on the podcast right now.
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So each week we're talking to black authors on their book release dates to add some inspiration
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to your reading list.
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Last week we talked to Clarkesha Kent about her new memoir, Fat Off, Fat On.
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And this week we're joined by my friend Chrissy King, author of the Body Liberation Project,
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which is now available. is available today because this episode is being released on the book launch date.
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Chrissy is a writer, speaker, former strength coach, and educator with a passion for creating
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a diverse and inclusive wellness industry. She empowers individuals to stop shrinking,
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start taking up space, and use their energy to create their specific magic in the world.
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Chrissy merges her passion for social justice with her passion for fitness to inspire members
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of the wellness industry to create spaces that allow individuals from all backgrounds
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to feel seen, welcomed, affirmed, and celebrated. So this will be Chrissy's third time on the podcast.
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I always love having her and today's conversation is no exception. We talk about what body liberation
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is and how we can work towards it individually and collectively. We also talk about reading and
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writing as an act of self-care. So let's welcome Chrissy back to the podcast.
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Welcome back to the show. It is always a pleasure to have you.
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Oh, my gosh. Thank you for having me.
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I feel so honored to be back again. This is such a treat. Yes, it's a treat for me.
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So, for our listeners who may be new to the Balanced Black Girl universe,
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you may not know that Chrissy is a really big part of the start of the show
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because Chrissy was my very first guest ever,
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first person I ever interviewed, first person I ever featured on the podcast,
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also one of the first people that I told about the podcast because I don't know if it was like the spirit of Beyonce's self-titled,
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but when I was working on the podcast, I didn't like announce it or tell people or build anticipation.
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I just like dropped it. So I didn't really tell people when I was working on it.
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So Chrissy was like one of the first people I told, first people that I featured.
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And so it always feels like a nice little homecoming to have you back.
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Oh, thank you. I still, every time I think about the fact that I was your first guest,
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It feels like a lifetime ago and also it feels like it was just yesterday at the same time.
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Right. I mean, it's been kind of both because… Yes.
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I mean, just talking about everything that's happened between your episodes,
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when you first came on the show, it was the fall of 2018. I believe that year you had left your
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full-time job and you were ramping up more in fitness, ramping up more in writing. Fast forward
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to the last time you were here in 2021, I think you've just gotten your book deal. And you had
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talked to us a little bit about that process of really how you manifested that. And now here we
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are in 2023 and the book is here. Oh my gosh, that is so wild. You're right. I have goosebumps
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thinking about that. But yes, everything you just said is so accurate. And wow. Yeah, this is like
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full circle. Oh my gosh, this is so great. I'm just honored that we're here and we get to like
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be a part of all of these amazing milestones for you.
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And thank you for continuing to support me along the way. This is amazing.
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Oh my goodness, of course. Well, first of all, I have to congratulate you because today...
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When the episode is coming out is your book launch day. It is. It's my birthday. Thank you. It's my book birthday and I am so excited. It feels like,
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you know, with a book and publishing is such a long time coming. So for it to actually be here
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today, I'm just so excited and I'm very like thrilled for it to be in the world. Yeah. It
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feels very surreal. Yes, absolutely. I mean, this is something that's been such a long time
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coming and to see this beautiful labor of love that you've been pouring into for so long out in the world has to be an
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Amazing feeling it is it's so it's it's amazing. I'm so excited for it. We got to celebrate
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Yeah, oh my gosh I know like literally I feel like there's just there's just like so many exciting things happening
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And so I'm just trying to like sit with it all be present like enjoy it be present and like just really savor the moment,
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Absolutely. That's just the best way to go about it.
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So I'd love to get more into the book and into a lot of what you share in this book,
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The Body Liberation Project. First, I just want to say I appreciate how open and vulnerable you
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were in sharing so many elements of your own story in this book because that is not easy to do,
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especially for something that is really, I don't know if sensitive is the right word,
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but our relationships with our bodies and how we feel about our bodies and how our bodies move
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through the world is a really complex topic and we all have had really complex experiences with
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that. So you sharing your experiences kind of welcome us into the story that you're sharing
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and these concepts that you're kind of helping us connect the dots with was really, really.
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One of the things that really stuck out to me as you were talking about your experiences
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with body image is how you started fixating on it at a young age, which is equal parts,
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I think, heartbreaking and also relatable because I think for so many people, especially
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women, we become very aware of our bodies at a young age.
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One of the things that you said in the book was that you didn't necessarily have comments
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from family members or people about your body or about weight, but you were still able to
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fixate on those things.
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And for a lot of people, I think they probably do also get comments at a young age, which
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then also perpetuates a cycle.
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But even if you don't, I think it just goes to show how aware we are and how pervasive
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the messaging is around bodies and the narrow views of what have been acceptable for bodies
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are and how perceptive, especially children, are for that.
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Why do you think that is? Why do you think that we're able to pick up on these messages even if they aren't explicitly
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stated to us?
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Yes. And you said so many things that are so important because I think for a lot of people listening
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to this, there's a high likelihood that they did grow up in households where people commented
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on their bodies very young or they heard parents talking about their own diet or weight issues.
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And so that's like an easy way to pick up on it.
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I don't have memories of that, but I do have like at a very early age feeling like there
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was something wrong with my body. And I think there was a combination of things.
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It was environmental.
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You know, I talked about in the book that I went to a private school, there was only
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like three black kids there, my brother and my sister.
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And so, you know, I was also like five, eight in the third grades.
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I was surrounded by, I just looked othered all the time.
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I looked much taller, much bigger. I wasn't blonde and I was black.
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And so I think I was really hyper aware of the way I was different at a very early age.
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I think that played a role in it. But a lot of studies show that like kids as young as six to eight are already thinking
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about their bodies, thinking about losing weight, thinking about wanting to be skinny.
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And I think it's just, unfortunately, we, it's just everywhere.
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I really say, I often say like white supremacy is the air we breathe.
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And also believe that the way that we talk about bodies, especially the bodies of women, is almost the same.
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It is like very common discussion to talk about weight, to talk about dieting.
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It's almost like small talk, right? You just hear it everywhere.
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And so even for young kids, I think, especially with the age of the internet, kids are on
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the internet, they're on TikTok, they're on social media at very young ages, and that
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marketing is everywhere.
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And there was recently a TikTok, I don't know if you saw this last, but it's like this little
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two-year-old girl and she's like talking to her parent about how she doesn't want to be a fat adult
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when she grows up. Yes. She wants, did you see that? Yeah. She wants to be a skinny adult and then
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the mom is like, well, who's the fat adult? And she like gives her the shady look, which I'm going
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to say the look was really funny because she's two and I'm like, is she like, she's an old soul in a
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two-year-old's body. But what I really took away from the video is that someone that appears to be
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like, yeah, two or three years old is already saying that she doesn't want to be in a larger body when when she gets older.
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And so I just think that messaging that we see and that we are submersed in is everywhere.
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And unfortunately, none of us can escape that even at a very young age.
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That's so true. Honestly, that was the first thing that I thought of when I saw that video.
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And I know a lot of the reactions to it have been like, funny, your kids have no filter.
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But the first thing I thought of is why...
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Why does this little girl already think that being in a larger body is bad?
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And it's already something that she doesn't want. How does she even know what that means?
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Exactly. Like how does a two-year-old have that idea in their mind already?
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And yes, a lot of the commentary around it was funny because, yes,
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like kids have no filter.
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All those things are true. Yeah.
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But yeah, it goes back to the reality of if this is a conversation that a two-year-old's having,
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where is that child going to be when they're 10 years old or 18 years old or 20 years old?
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It's really interesting because I think in turn, and we'll probably get into this conversation a
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little bit more, but when we think about body positivity, especially over the last couple of
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years, it's become really popular, really commercialized and trendy almost, right?
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But when we really step back, when we have honest conversations about it, speaking of TikTok,
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then I see the popularization of Ozempig and buckle fat removal, all these trends. And it's like,
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well, how much of the body positivity space is really moving us forward towards body acceptance
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and body liberation and how much of it has unfortunately just become very commercialized
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and trendy. Absolutely. I feel like things are just being invented to try to make us insecure.
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But I didn't know what buckle fat was until- I did not know that until- Everyone started getting it removed. I'm like- I'm like, what are we removing?
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Right. I'm like, we're just making up things to be insecure about at this point. Because what does
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that even mean? Exactly. And I think though that is also what's so insidious about diet culture
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is that when we as a society are trying to move forward and change the narratives that
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we have about our bodies, we have to always remember or I always remind people that the
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diet industry, although Bucklefab, move on, that's probably not, that's like the beauty
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industry I guess, but all of the industries, it doesn't really matter. Just the diet industry
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alone is a $72 billion industry. So it's like the job of the diet industry is to continuously
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convince us that there is something wrong with us because then we will keep spending
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more money to fix those things, right?
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So there's always going to be a new trend.
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There's always going to be a new thing that we need to do because that's how they keep
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us trapped or that's how they desire to keep us trapped.
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Yeah, absolutely. Can we, you mentioned diet culture dish now.
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Can we talk a little bit more about what diet culture is and what it entails?
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Because I think a lot of us are probably still champions of diet culture in a lot of ways
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and participate but don't fully even.
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Understand that that's what we're doing. Absolutely. So we're talking about diet culture.
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We're basically talking about a system of beliefs that promotes thinness as the ideal
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or thinness as the picture of health.
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The idea that living in a thinner body is healthier, that it's better, that it's more attractive.
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When we're thinking about diet culture, it also demonizes food, encourages us to restrict
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large portions of our food preferences or to completely not eat certain foods. It also
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encourages over-exercising for the purpose of shrinking our bodies, making ourselves smaller.
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Diet culture is really expansive and talking about what you just said about not realizing
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sometimes how we're participating. I think this whole culture of health and wellness in general
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can really lean into diet culture. This idea that I'm doing these things because I want to be
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be healthier, I'm eliminating certain things from my diet, because in the name of health
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and this whole culture of even orthorexia, which is like this intense focus on healthiness
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as a lifestyle, is really just like diet culture and this idea that I'm doing this because
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I'm caring about myself and really so much of it is rooted really in this desire to keep
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our bodies looking a certain way.
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Oh, 100%. And I think it can also be a desire to have control over something if we feel like we
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don't have control elsewhere.
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100%. I talk about that in the book, in fact, because I think for a lot of us, when we're feeling
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out of control in some area of our lives, it's really easy to struggle with body image
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and or desire to go on a diet or desire to lose weight because that feels like something that we can control.
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And I can say for myself, the times I've struggled the most with diet culture or the most with
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like yo-yo dieting is when there was some other big thing happening in my life that
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I wasn't actually ready to address yet. And so I'm like, okay, I'm going to address how I look.
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I can control that.
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I know what to do to fix that. And that feels easier than doing like healing work and the things I actually probably need
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to be addressing.
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And so yes, our bodies become something that we can control and maintain.
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I can relate to that so much in my own experiences when I have definitely had unhealthy eating
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relationships with food and exercise. During that season, it was 100% just because I hated my job
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and I was having a hard time finding a new one. And so I just was trying to control every other
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variable of my life outside of work and so like fitness and what I ate happened to be the thing.
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When really I just needed a new job and when I got a new job, I calmed down.
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You're like, oh, okay, this is fine. And I mean, I think it's also super common,
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like after going through a breakup, right? And a lot of people, I talk about this a little bit in
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the book too, this idea of a revenge body, but I think it's even more so than that. It's this like,
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I am feeling out of sorts emotionally about going through a really challenging time in
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terms of a relationship or a breakup. And also like it's celebrated as like, I'm taking care
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of myself. I'm doing, I'm on a self-care, self-healing journey. I'm going to eat better.
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I'm going to exercise better. And those things by themselves aren't inherently bad. Exercising
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isn't bad. I'm never going to say that. Eating in a way that nourishes your body isn't bad,
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but most of the time it's rooted in this desire to change the way we look. And that is going to
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somehow heal the pain we're feeling from the relationship or make us feel external validation
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versus like, oh, I actually need to sit with these really hard feelings of feeling heartbroken or
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or feeling like I've been wronged or been through this traumatic situation.
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Oh, 100%. It's so true. I think we tend to take a lot of things out on our bodies
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that have nothing to do with our bodies.
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Yes, that is so true.
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And I think it's part of our shared humanity, not unfortunately,
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but I think that we've all experienced that at some point.
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And so it's definitely part of our humanity, but also it's like when I'm feeling those things
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or when I'm like in that place, I always am also like to remind myself of like how incredible my body is
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and like how much it's gotten me through.
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And that when I'm thinking about how am I treating myself with care and love
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is really reminding myself like what is my body actually asking for?
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What does my body actually need? Not those automatic things that, you know,
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my mind wants to tell me it needs. It's like, how can I actually be kind to my body?
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How can I actually be compassionate?
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How can I actually show the things that it truly desires, not the things that I think I should do.
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Yes, yes. That's such a good question that I think we can all reflect on at different points,
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especially if we're maybe not feeling as good in our bodies or we're having a hard time listening to our bodies.
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Because I think that's often what it is, is that we're unable to listen to our bodies.
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Yeah, and I think we I totally agree. I also think.
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You know, another unfortunate side effect of diet culture is that it's told us that we can't trust
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our bodies. And so we've lost touch with like, even I remember when I was like really deep in
00:16:09.273 --> 00:16:14.036
the throes of diet culture, like I literally ate based on what someone told me to eat.
00:16:14.313 --> 00:16:19.513
It had nothing to do with what I liked. It had nothing to do with what I thought my body needed.
00:16:19.513 --> 00:16:23.433
It was like someone, someone else tell me what's the right thing to do to look the way I want to
00:16:23.433 --> 00:16:28.073
look and I'm going to eat that regardless. And I remember spending like years of my life eating
00:16:28.073 --> 00:16:33.113
food that I actually hated. I remember I had this, she wasn't even a nutritionist. She was
00:16:33.113 --> 00:16:37.593
a trainer that gave out nutrition plans, which is completely legal by the way. But she gave me this
00:16:37.593 --> 00:16:41.353
nutrition plan and I was supposed to eat the same dinner literally for the entire month.
00:16:41.466 --> 00:16:46.588
And it was one of the things I ate for dinner after my workout was whitefish, which I hate.
00:16:46.873 --> 00:16:52.953
But it had to be plain, like salt pepper and very, very generic. And I was supposed to eat broccoli.
00:16:53.637 --> 00:16:57.673
And white rice. And here's the real kicker. I was supposed to eat a tablespoon of honey.
00:16:57.673 --> 00:17:01.593
Don't even know why I was supposed to eat this, like no explanation. And I didn't ask. I was just
00:17:01.593 --> 00:17:06.633
like, yes, make me skinny. I'll do whatever. And the reality is I hated this meal to the fact,
00:17:06.633 --> 00:17:09.673
to the point that like it almost made me want to throw up every night when I thought about what I
00:17:09.673 --> 00:17:14.793
had to eat for dinner, but I did it religiously. And so I say a lot to say is that when we are
00:17:14.793 --> 00:17:18.633
looking to other people for the answers all the time, especially as it pertains to our bodies,
00:17:18.726 --> 00:17:24.553
we lose that self-trust and that intuition about what our bodies are capable of for one, but also
00:17:24.553 --> 00:17:30.253
So how to even know what we want and what we desire and how to treat ourselves.
00:17:30.253 --> 00:17:33.508
We just lose that intuitive ability to trust ourselves.
00:17:33.833 --> 00:17:40.233
Yeah, we do. And we miss out on so much, whether that's missing out on a meal that you would actually
00:17:40.233 --> 00:17:44.993
enjoy or social interactions because you're nervous about.
00:17:45.643 --> 00:17:50.613
What to eat or what's gonna be there. I know I've definitely been in that situation before
00:17:50.613 --> 00:17:54.373
and I think about all the things that I probably missed out on or didn't fully enjoy
00:17:54.373 --> 00:17:59.213
because I was worried about the workout the next day or what food to eat.
00:17:59.213 --> 00:18:03.332
And it's, when you reflect back on it, it's like, it's not worth it.
00:18:03.673 --> 00:18:08.491
It's not worth it. You wanna just live and do what you enjoy and experience what you enjoy.
00:18:09.173 --> 00:18:13.133
Oh my gosh, I have stories for days, Les, of all the, similar to you,
00:18:13.133 --> 00:18:16.836
of all the things that I skipped out on or I missed out on or the anxiety I had
00:18:16.893 --> 00:18:18.825
because I was worried about those things.
00:18:18.933 --> 00:18:23.613
And I think too another part of diet culture is this like belief system that food is fuel, right?
00:18:23.613 --> 00:18:26.792
Like we hear that all the time in the toxic fitness culture.
00:18:26.893 --> 00:18:29.466
And of course food is fuel, yes, because it fuels our bodies,
00:18:29.533 --> 00:18:34.084
but like food is so much more than that, right? Food is like how we share and express our love.
00:18:34.219 --> 00:18:36.893
Food is experiences, food is a part of our culture.
00:18:37.154 --> 00:18:41.773
Like food is supposed to be pleasurable. Like all those things are true.
00:18:41.773 --> 00:18:46.013
And I read this thing on Instagram the other day And I really remember, I wish I remember who said it,
00:18:46.013 --> 00:18:49.244
because this was not my original thought. It was like either a therapist or a nutritionist.
00:18:49.493 --> 00:18:54.693
And they said that if we treated, treating food as only fuel,
00:18:54.693 --> 00:19:00.373
and like this is the only purpose for it, would be the same as treating sex only for reproduction.
00:19:00.373 --> 00:19:03.733
Right, like we only engaged in sex for reproductive purposes, not for pleasure.
00:19:03.733 --> 00:19:06.453
That is the same as us saying that food is only for fuel.
00:19:06.453 --> 00:19:10.993
And I was like, oh my gosh, yes. Right? That's a great analogy.
00:19:10.993 --> 00:19:15.486
I'm like, that's a perfect analogy. Like food is supposed to be pleasurable and enjoyable.
00:19:15.613 --> 00:19:22.653
And to your point, like life is supposed to be lived. And also life is really short and not to be morbid,
00:19:22.653 --> 00:19:25.673
but I always try to remember that we don't know, like nothing's promised.
00:19:25.673 --> 00:19:27.404
We don't know how much time we have.
00:19:27.653 --> 00:19:31.953
And at the end of our lives on our deathbed, I don't think the things that we're gonna thinking about
00:19:31.953 --> 00:19:38.441
is like, remember that, you know, summer in 2016, I had flat abs, I was looking the best, I looked so great.
00:19:38.573 --> 00:19:43.733
Like that is not the thing we're gonna be thinking of. we are going to be, and nor are our loved ones going to remember us in that way.
00:19:43.733 --> 00:19:47.693
We're going to be thinking about the memories we shared, the love that we shared,
00:19:47.693 --> 00:19:49.293
the experiences that we had together.
00:19:49.694 --> 00:19:54.053
And I think the more that we can remind ourselves of that, the easier it is to
00:19:54.093 --> 00:19:59.696
let go of diaculture, to really break up with diaculture and to lean into like liberation.
00:20:00.213 --> 00:20:07.853
Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. I love that emphasis on having the experiences we want to have in creating
00:20:07.853 --> 00:20:12.853
memories because how we look is so unimportant.
00:20:12.853 --> 00:20:15.493
And I think that sometimes we...
00:20:16.296 --> 00:20:25.406
Can really be very critical of when our bodies evolve. How many people want to wear the clothes they wore when they were younger,
00:20:25.892 --> 00:20:31.446
had the body they had when they were a teenager or before they had a baby or whatever,
00:20:31.606 --> 00:20:33.724
and it's like we're not those people anymore.
00:20:34.046 --> 00:20:42.898
That's literally not, you are no longer that person and being firmly rooted in who you are and where you are now,
00:20:43.366 --> 00:20:49.703
is just, it's critical if you're gonna be happy and present and sane.
00:20:50.054 --> 00:20:55.386
And you're 100% right, Les, and that's so important because I think two things.
00:20:55.386 --> 00:21:00.486
Number one is like we are gonna have a hundred different or more different iterations of our body throughout our lifetime.
00:21:00.486 --> 00:21:04.486
Like bodies change. That is literally what they're designed to do, right?
00:21:04.486 --> 00:21:10.086
But then somehow we get to this point where we're like, okay, this is the body I like and I want it to just stay this way.
00:21:10.319 --> 00:21:14.986
And the reality is we can't control that and it's not meant to stay one way like truly
00:21:14.986 --> 00:21:19.806
isn't and you talked about wanting to be the same way you were in high school.
00:21:19.806 --> 00:21:25.786
And I remember for the longest time, I had these pair of jeans that were in my mind was
00:21:25.786 --> 00:21:27.963
like the idea of when I was the right size.
00:21:28.086 --> 00:21:30.483
But I got these jeans when I was like 17, right?
00:21:31.195 --> 00:21:36.308
But well into my 20s, I kept yo-yo dieting to get myself back into those jeans.
00:21:36.526 --> 00:21:41.223
And I kept those jeans because those were the indicator of when I was in the right body.
00:21:41.446 --> 00:21:46.535
And then finally, when I was working through all of my trauma with my body image and really
00:21:46.806 --> 00:21:52.566
working to heal and repair that, I had this realization that it's like, I am now 27.
00:21:52.566 --> 00:21:57.126
Why am I trying to wear jeans when I was 17? And some people, maybe they can.
00:21:57.126 --> 00:21:59.846
That was not my story and my body was not supposed to be...
00:22:00.065 --> 00:22:05.421
My grown ass 27-year-old body was not meant to fit in my 17-year-old jeans.
00:22:06.286 --> 00:22:10.186
So going back to your point is like our body goes through all these amazing, you know,
00:22:10.481 --> 00:22:14.506
some of us birth children, like some of us, we do all these amazing things in life and
00:22:14.506 --> 00:22:17.331
we go through all these different variations and iterations of life.
00:22:17.466 --> 00:22:22.826
It would be so sad to be stuck in this place of like, I want to go back to this other version of myself.
00:22:22.826 --> 00:22:26.226
Instead of being able to say like, wow, my body is so amazing because it's taking me
00:22:26.226 --> 00:22:30.106
through all these different things in life and it's still here and it's thriving and
00:22:30.106 --> 00:22:32.815
like being able to appreciate it in every iteration.
00:22:33.066 --> 00:22:35.066
00:22:35.714 --> 00:22:43.786
I would also love to talk about body image, particularly conversations around body image for black women.
00:22:43.786 --> 00:22:50.226
You touch on this in the book, almost this misconception that black women and girls don't
00:22:50.226 --> 00:22:56.506
struggle with body image or don't either have eating disorders or disordered habits
00:22:56.506 --> 00:23:01.289
because the face of what we often see in terms of people talking about body image or maybe
00:23:01.546 --> 00:23:02.973
having disordered habits.
00:23:03.693 --> 00:23:08.523
It's usually not us and how that can affect things like people getting the treatment they
00:23:08.523 --> 00:23:11.403
need and the help that they need.
00:23:11.403 --> 00:23:17.963
Can we talk a little bit about why our concerns and struggles in that area are minimized and
00:23:17.963 --> 00:23:23.381
what we can do to ensure that that doesn't happen and so that we get the care we need?
00:23:23.543 --> 00:23:30.003
Absolutely. So I think the short answer to why our issues and concerns are minimized goes back to racism
00:23:30.003 --> 00:23:31.683
and white supremacy, right?
00:23:31.683 --> 00:23:39.623
And so unfortunately, when we're talking about healthcare and medical practitioners, so many
00:23:39.623 --> 00:23:44.203
of those individuals have not worked through their own implicit biases, right?
00:23:44.203 --> 00:23:49.442
And so they're projecting the things that they, their own biases onto us as we like are seeking help.
00:23:49.643 --> 00:23:55.483
Also, I think as you already stated, like the face of eating disorders are like white women, right?
00:23:55.483 --> 00:24:03.403
White young girls and thin body, especially people, right? So even people in larger bodies can absolutely have eating disorders, but because they're
00:24:03.403 --> 00:24:07.363
in a large body, it's seen as like they can't have an eating disorder because they're not
00:24:07.363 --> 00:24:09.323
skinny and that's just not the truth.
00:24:09.323 --> 00:24:13.923
Right. But again, these are the biases that people have, but really has a very harmful impact
00:24:13.923 --> 00:24:15.900
on people getting the treatment that they need.
00:24:16.188 --> 00:24:21.123
I think also, unfortunately in the black community and I'm making this as my experience, right?
00:24:21.123 --> 00:24:22.607
Everyone will have their own experience.
00:24:22.763 --> 00:24:27.643
But my experience is that when I've had conversations, especially with like family around just like
00:24:27.643 --> 00:24:32.043
eating disorders around like body image issues. It's been like, that's like a white girl thing,
00:24:32.043 --> 00:24:37.563
right? Like I have had like people in my life not even take that seriously as an issue that
00:24:37.563 --> 00:24:43.243
black women deal with. And that's simply just not true. And I think the more we make those kind of
00:24:43.243 --> 00:24:47.643
stereotypes and don't take these conversations seriously, the more harmful the impact is for
00:24:47.643 --> 00:24:52.283
black, for all black people. But black women is, as I'm talking to, is my experience that are dealing
00:24:52.283 --> 00:24:56.523
with body image issues that even would feel comfortable going forward and asking for help
00:24:56.523 --> 00:25:00.443
because they feel like maybe that's something they shouldn't be struggling with, because it's not
00:25:00.443 --> 00:25:06.283
normalized as an experience that yes, all women, black women, brown women are having these issues
00:25:06.283 --> 00:25:12.123
as well. And so I think when it comes to getting the help we need is the same as like getting the
00:25:12.123 --> 00:25:16.203
help we need when we're facing medical issues, we have to really advocate for ourselves.
00:25:17.044 --> 00:25:23.723
Because unfortunately, racism exists and it has such a negative impact sometimes on the care that
00:25:23.723 --> 00:25:29.723
that we receive. So really having to advocate hard for ourselves, which is so unfair, right?
00:25:29.723 --> 00:25:33.163
It's so unfair that to be in a position where you're struggling with something and then
00:25:33.163 --> 00:25:37.903
also have to be like really extra, be the advocate for yourself to make sure you get
00:25:37.903 --> 00:25:41.359
the help that you need is super challenging.
00:25:41.629 --> 00:25:48.763
Yeah, definitely. And I think too, an additional layer to challenge there. And I don't think
00:25:48.763 --> 00:25:51.486
that all medical care providers are like this.
00:25:51.828 --> 00:25:56.638
But I do think in the area of medicine, there can also be a lot of fat phobia and still a lot of
00:25:56.638 --> 00:26:02.558
emphasis on things like BMI or not taking people's health concerns seriously because of their weight.
00:26:03.126 --> 00:26:13.848
And that probably doesn't help. No, it does not help. And you are 100% right. Like BMI, we know that the BMI scale is inherently racist, right? Like that's a pretty
00:26:14.158 --> 00:26:20.238
common knowledge at this point, but it is still widely used. And it causes so many problems,
00:26:20.238 --> 00:26:23.858
because again, you go to your healthcare provider and you're talking about a particular issue
00:26:23.858 --> 00:26:27.738
that you're having, whether it be a rough body image or eating, disordered eating habits
00:26:27.738 --> 00:26:30.826
or all these things, or it be about another medical issue. And the first thing people.
00:26:31.285 --> 00:26:34.818
Unfortunately, the first thing a lot of doctors say is you just need to lose weight, right?
00:26:34.818 --> 00:26:39.418
And that's where the conversation ends. And a lot of times that is not the, most of the
00:26:39.418 --> 00:26:42.258
time, right? That's not the issue. There's something underlying, there's something way
00:26:42.258 --> 00:26:46.698
more going on. And even like, you know, going back to this conversation of Ozempic, you
00:26:46.698 --> 00:26:50.892
know, on the TikTok, you know, rabbit hole that I've gone on.
00:26:51.178 --> 00:26:58.658
It's so easy to do. So it's so easy to do. But there is this woman talking about her experience with Ozempic
00:26:58.658 --> 00:27:03.598
and she said she had a bad experience in the end, but she said that she literally went
00:27:03.598 --> 00:27:09.278
to her doctor to say, I'm really struggling with like negative eating habits. I'm struggling
00:27:09.278 --> 00:27:14.178
with disordered eating habits. I feel really out of control. I feel like I need some help.
00:27:14.178 --> 00:27:17.918
And the doctor was like, oh, no problem, prescribed the Mozambique, right?
00:27:17.918 --> 00:27:22.058
And didn't ask any other questions. And again, this person ended up having a very bad experience with it.
00:27:22.310 --> 00:27:25.938
But the person was like, I went there because I needed some type of help because I was really
00:27:25.938 --> 00:27:28.450
struggling with this disorder eating patterns.
00:27:28.618 --> 00:27:34.031
And they just described me a weight loss pill. And that never got at the root of my issues. Right.
00:27:34.218 --> 00:27:37.018
And potentially could have just created more issues depending on what happened.
00:27:37.018 --> 00:27:41.224
And it did, yes. Yes. And in the end, it created more issues for the person.
00:27:41.378 --> 00:27:45.458
And so that's what we're speaking to, right? It's like you go to the doctor like, oh, you need to lose weight.
00:27:45.458 --> 00:27:48.219
Let me fix this thing for you and send you on your way.
00:27:48.718 --> 00:27:49.998
00:27:50.730 --> 00:27:56.620
Because even as we were just talking about sometimes just getting up and being able to
00:27:56.620 --> 00:28:00.660
advocate for yourself and get the appointment and jump through the hoops and do all of those
00:28:00.660 --> 00:28:05.860
things is already so hard that to do it and then be met with that, which is so common,
00:28:05.860 --> 00:28:11.607
especially for our community to often be met with that and not get the care we need, just,
00:28:12.060 --> 00:28:12.813
00:28:13.101 --> 00:28:17.780
Yeah. And I think it's also discouraging because it's like, okay, maybe it doesn't even feel
00:28:17.780 --> 00:28:18.780
like it's worth it sometimes, right?
00:28:18.780 --> 00:28:23.607
Right. I'm already struggling, I'm dealing with this, and now I have to do all this emotional
00:28:23.660 --> 00:28:31.420
labor just to try to get the help that I need. When you're met with opposition, sometimes it's just like, okay, I don't have the capacity
00:28:31.420 --> 00:28:32.888
to deal with this.
00:28:33.338 --> 00:28:39.220
Right. Exactly. We've talked about these two things separately, but I would love to talk a little bit more
00:28:39.220 --> 00:28:45.420
about the intersection of racism and diet culture.
00:28:45.420 --> 00:28:50.200
I think maybe on the surface for a lot of folks who may not be thinking about it, those
00:28:50.200 --> 00:28:57.040
things may seem totally different, but they intersect in a lot of ways.
00:28:57.040 --> 00:29:03.080
I feel like you of all people just explain it so beautifully, the ways that they intersect.
00:29:03.080 --> 00:29:06.493
Me talk a little bit more about the overlap between those two things.
00:29:06.943 --> 00:29:14.568
Absolutely. There's so much interlock between diet culture and racism and fat phobia. I
00:29:14.793 --> 00:29:19.353
already explained like diet culture is like basically this culture that idealizes and
00:29:19.353 --> 00:29:24.213
worships thinness, right, as a way of being. And so when we think about even this idea
00:29:24.213 --> 00:29:28.793
of thinness, this idea of thinness is white supremacy and going back to slavery. And
00:29:28.793 --> 00:29:32.313
I always say before we even think about that, if we look back in time, there are so many
00:29:32.313 --> 00:29:37.033
periods in history in which living in a larger body was seen as a positive thing. It was
00:29:37.033 --> 00:29:42.433
a symbol of wealth, a symbol of status. So it's like, where along the lines do we decide
00:29:42.433 --> 00:29:48.753
that that's a bad thing? And it really goes back to slavery, actually. Dr. Sabrina Strings
00:29:48.753 --> 00:29:52.433
has an amazing book called Fearing the Black Body, in which she explains this in so much
00:29:52.433 --> 00:29:57.673
detail, much better than I do. And her work around this is amazing. But essentially, when
00:29:57.673 --> 00:30:03.433
And we're going back to the inception of slavery and this need to create a racial hierarchy,
00:30:03.433 --> 00:30:04.433
00:30:04.433 --> 00:30:10.193
In which black people were not as high on the racial hierarchy.
00:30:10.193 --> 00:30:16.594
And so black enslaved people in larger bodies had different body types.
00:30:16.893 --> 00:30:22.633
That became this idea that being in a larger body, being fat was connected with laziness
00:30:22.797 --> 00:30:27.753
or not being smart, or not being motivated, not being educated, all of these things.
00:30:27.753 --> 00:30:30.893
And so during that time period, when we're creating this system of white supremacy in
00:30:30.893 --> 00:30:35.833
which white people are at the top of the hierarchy, you want to be anything except for like the
00:30:35.833 --> 00:30:37.253
people who are at the bottom, right?
00:30:37.253 --> 00:30:43.313
And so this is where this idea that being in a smaller, petite, thin body was the ideal standard.
00:30:43.763 --> 00:30:48.733
And so that really formed the basis of how we got to this place in which a thinness was
00:30:48.733 --> 00:30:54.133
the ideal and fat is a bad thing. So the ties of fatness is inherently anti-black.
00:30:54.133 --> 00:30:56.069
It's rooted in racism, white supremacy.
00:30:56.293 --> 00:31:00.893
And whether we know that history or not, that's the truth of how we got to where we are today.
00:31:00.893 --> 00:31:02.373
And those standards have never changed.
00:31:02.373 --> 00:31:08.413
And so when we think about diet culture, again, we're unlearning any narrative in our lives, right?
00:31:08.413 --> 00:31:12.973
And we're trying to unlearn things. When we start to realize the inception of a lot of these things and we realize that
00:31:13.020 --> 00:31:17.973
those things are inherently racist, are inherently anti-black, it's like that's when we have
00:31:17.973 --> 00:31:25.253
to say, okay, I need to also unlearn all of these ideas and decolonize my mind about bodies,
00:31:25.253 --> 00:31:28.413
decolonize my mind about all the things that I thought I knew.
00:31:28.413 --> 00:31:33.733
And so so much of this work also always goes back to the practice of unlearning and dismantling
00:31:33.733 --> 00:31:38.493
white supremacy in our lives, because white supremacy has really literally rigged havoc
00:31:38.493 --> 00:31:40.213
on every area of our lives.
00:31:40.213 --> 00:31:45.053
And I think especially when it comes to bodies, what we can say is like, or we can think about
00:31:45.053 --> 00:31:49.533
the fact that like, of course, white supremacy hurt some of us more than others. Those of
00:31:49.533 --> 00:31:53.993
us in black and brown bodies are definitely the most hurt by white supremacy, but it also
00:31:53.993 --> 00:31:57.653
hurts white folks too, right? Because white folks are also struggling with their bodies
00:31:57.653 --> 00:32:00.768
based on a system that they created, even if they don't know that.
00:32:00.973 --> 00:32:06.305
Yeah, that's right. I think the TikTok almond mom content is a….
00:32:06.764 --> 00:32:16.854
Prime example of that and people's children showing how they're impacted by that behavior. Yes, absolutely.
00:32:16.854 --> 00:32:22.734
It's like when we hear people say things, like, why do you have to bring race into it?
00:32:22.734 --> 00:32:23.715
Because it's in everything.
00:32:23.805 --> 00:32:27.534
It's always so funny to me when people are like, why do you have to bring race into this?
00:32:27.534 --> 00:32:30.944
Like, y'all created this system. We didn't ask for that. That too.
00:32:31.277 --> 00:32:37.534
That too. Y'all are the creators of this and we have to talk about it because it's a part of our identity
00:32:37.867 --> 00:32:41.614
and it's part of the way that we exist in the world and it has a real impact on the way we
00:32:41.846 --> 00:32:47.134
experience the world. Exactly. The way we all experience the world. Now, also, I have a theory
00:32:47.134 --> 00:32:52.334
that people who have issues when those things are talked about only have an issue when it comes to
00:32:52.621 --> 00:32:58.414
talking about dismantling it, but in continuing to uphold the beliefs that are to their advantage.
00:32:58.414 --> 00:33:01.606
I mean, they can continue on with that all day long, but.
00:33:02.146 --> 00:33:06.254
Absolutely. And I think this is again, not to get too off topic, but this is one of the
00:33:06.254 --> 00:33:11.294
problems with white feminism, right? It's like, oh, we want to dismantle the patriarchy.
00:33:11.967 --> 00:33:16.734
Because that focuses on men and male perspective, which is true, dismantle the patriarchy, but the
00:33:16.734 --> 00:33:21.854
patriarchy is a result of white supremacy. So let's focus on dismantling white supremacy
00:33:21.854 --> 00:33:26.414
because then as a white woman, you are also part of the problem. You are also responsible
00:33:26.414 --> 00:33:31.534
over dismantling, it's not just pointing to other people. It's like, oh, me, how am I also part of
00:33:31.610 --> 00:33:37.854
dismantling the system? Right. Absolutely. I think as the fact that we're all parts of the system,
00:33:37.854 --> 00:33:41.134
means we all have a responsibility to dismantle it in different ways.
00:33:41.729 --> 00:33:47.854
Every single one of us. And I say that too for myself as a black woman. I'm always uncovering
00:33:47.854 --> 00:33:52.306
anti-blackness that's showing up in my life, right? Because I'm not immune because I was socialized
00:33:52.387 --> 00:33:57.534
in a white supremacist society as well, an anti-black society. So I also have to do the
00:33:57.534 --> 00:34:03.454
work of dismantling and unlearning those things in my life and being like willing to go there
00:34:03.454 --> 00:34:07.614
with myself about the ideology they have that don't really serve us all.
00:34:08.276 --> 00:34:15.214
Yeah, absolutely. I feel the same way and am often confronting myself with the same things
00:34:15.214 --> 00:34:19.187
and acknowledging and confronting so many of the privileges that I have.
00:34:19.250 --> 00:34:22.634
Yes, absolutely. All the time. Yeah. so much of this.
00:34:23.283 --> 00:34:30.413
It's very real. So body liberation is really at the center of what you do. It's obviously also
00:34:30.413 --> 00:34:36.893
the title of the book. I would love to talk about the difference between body liberation and body
00:34:36.976 --> 00:34:41.293
positivity. Can we get into that? Yes, I would love to get into that.
00:34:42.493 --> 00:34:48.093
So much to say on this topic. So I'll start with body positivity. And I think body positivity,
00:34:48.093 --> 00:34:56.253
essentially, it's just the belief system that all bodies, regardless of size, gender, skin color,
00:34:56.253 --> 00:35:02.093
race, ethnicity, all those things, all bodies are deserving and worthy of respect, appreciation and
00:35:02.093 --> 00:35:07.453
gratitude, and that we should all be able to love our bodies, all the things. And I think that.
00:35:08.150 --> 00:35:13.363
Body positivity is a really great introduction to thinking about our body in a different way.
00:35:13.669 --> 00:35:19.693
So I think it's super important. However, caveat here is that the body positivity space
00:35:19.693 --> 00:35:25.053
is really started and founded by that black and brown women as a space to celebrate themselves
00:35:25.165 --> 00:35:30.173
because we didn't see ourselves represented in mainstream or mainstream ideas of beauty or beauty
00:35:30.173 --> 00:35:35.933
standards. And so that was really the creation of the movement. And, you know, as I spoke to a little
00:35:35.933 --> 00:35:41.853
bit earlier, it has definitely become a little bit commercialized, a little bit co-opted,
00:35:41.853 --> 00:35:48.093
a little bit popularized by people who weren't necessarily created to be the center of the
00:35:48.093 --> 00:35:52.586
movement, right? So unfortunately, it's been co-opted by a lot of thin white women who
00:35:52.694 --> 00:35:58.413
are, you know, taking pictures in the mirror, holding a little bit of belly fat or showcasing
00:35:58.413 --> 00:36:04.493
their stretch marks and saying, hashtag body positivity. I still love myself. And I know
00:36:04.493 --> 00:36:08.973
I think it's really important to just say that they're, you know, everybody, I think
00:36:08.973 --> 00:36:12.238
There is space for everyone to be a part of the movement, but I think it's really important
00:36:12.513 --> 00:36:13.021
00:36:13.543 --> 00:36:17.288
When you're taking up too much space and something that you weren't created to be the center of.
00:36:17.553 --> 00:36:22.033
And I think it's also really important to know that there's a big difference between,
00:36:22.194 --> 00:36:28.113
I have a personal body image issue, which all of us have issues like, yes, but that's very different
00:36:28.113 --> 00:36:32.513
from living in a body that is systemically oppressed because of the way it looks. Right.
00:36:32.513 --> 00:36:35.953
And so we get those two things conflated sometimes. And so it's like, yes, you could have
00:36:35.953 --> 00:36:42.193
have, you know, stretch marks that you don't like and be struggling to like embrace all
00:36:42.193 --> 00:36:47.433
parts of yourself. Yes. And also that is very different from living in a black body or a
00:36:47.433 --> 00:36:51.793
trans body or a fat body and facing systemic oppression because of your body. Right. Yeah.
00:36:52.273 --> 00:36:57.993
I think the body positivity movement has lost some of its by no fault of people who created
00:36:57.993 --> 00:37:02.593
it, but has lost some of its focus on the social justice aspect, which is like, are
00:37:02.593 --> 00:37:06.513
Are we centering the people who are the most marginalized among us?
00:37:06.513 --> 00:37:11.233
And I think also it's become very hyper-focused on this idea of self-love, right?
00:37:11.233 --> 00:37:15.830
You just love your body and just appreciate your body and listen, I'm a self-love advocate.
00:37:15.893 --> 00:37:18.813
I think falling in love with yourself is the greatest love story of all time.
00:37:18.813 --> 00:37:19.971
I constantly say that.
00:37:20.513 --> 00:37:24.793
However, it's also important to acknowledge that it doesn't matter how much a person
00:37:24.793 --> 00:37:28.993
loves themselves, that doesn't save them from experiencing harm in the world.
00:37:28.993 --> 00:37:32.553
And so we have to also acknowledge, we have to go farther than just saying, I love myself
00:37:32.553 --> 00:37:37.153
It has to be okay and how are we working to dismantle systems so that all of us can exist
00:37:37.153 --> 00:37:39.848
in the world freely and safe in our skin, right?
00:37:40.373 --> 00:37:45.713
So I think that's really important. So I love the body positivity space though as a space to introduce us to thinking about
00:37:45.713 --> 00:37:49.435
our bodies differently and then I think we have to take the conversation a little bit further.
00:37:49.813 --> 00:37:53.324
I love the way you framed that, that it's like it's a good start. It's a step.
00:37:53.747 --> 00:37:57.997
And then we got to take more steps. Yes. It's a journey, right?
00:37:57.997 --> 00:38:04.557
So we're going to stay on the journey. And then when I talk about body liberation, there's so many things to say about body
00:38:04.557 --> 00:38:05.557
00:38:06.134 --> 00:38:10.557
For me, one of the things about body liberation is understanding that at our essence and our
00:38:10.734 --> 00:38:15.117
core, our bodies truly are just the shell that we exist in.
00:38:15.117 --> 00:38:19.997
It is truly just the thing that is allowing us to have this human experience.
00:38:19.997 --> 00:38:25.157
Also the understanding like at a deep visceral level that our bodies are inherently worthy.
00:38:25.157 --> 00:38:29.757
We are inherently worthy because we exist, not because of what we look like. So I truly
00:38:29.757 --> 00:38:33.957
believe on a deep level that our looks are the least interesting thing about us. And
00:38:33.957 --> 00:38:39.974
I also think that when we're talking about body liberation, it's also this understanding
00:38:40.082 --> 00:38:44.637
that the goal is not to be able to look in the mirror and love everything I see. Because
00:38:44.637 --> 00:38:48.777
that's just honestly, if I'm being truthful, that's not realistic. But it's being able
00:38:48.777 --> 00:38:51.657
to say, regardless of that, I know that I'm still worthy.
00:38:51.657 --> 00:38:56.577
Because again, that's just the thing. This thing, this vessel, is just allowing
00:38:56.577 --> 00:38:58.497
me to have this human experience.
00:38:58.497 --> 00:39:03.337
And so when we really lean into liberation, that word liberation is freedom, right?
00:39:03.337 --> 00:39:09.537
It really gives us the freedom to exist in our bodies, to be present, to experience, and to understand
00:39:09.537 --> 00:39:15.074
that our purpose and our work in this world has nothing to do with this vessel that we're residing in.
00:39:15.515 --> 00:39:22.257
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. That also made me think about what we were talking about earlier, just in allowing our
00:39:22.257 --> 00:39:24.417
bodies to change and evolve too.
00:39:24.417 --> 00:39:29.369
That's part of the danger of, I think, if we go so hard and like the, I love my body
00:39:29.522 --> 00:39:32.853
right now, but what happens in a few years when my body is a little bit different?
00:39:33.015 --> 00:39:37.642
Okay, I loved, I went so hard for that version, but what about the future version?
00:39:37.868 --> 00:39:40.577
I'm so glad you just said that because I talked about in the book that the other, the goal
00:39:40.577 --> 00:39:42.044
of liberation is to be able to say.
00:39:42.639 --> 00:39:48.169
I love my body and all of the iterations because there's always going to be another iteration.
00:39:48.814 --> 00:39:56.569
And that is the reality of living life. And again, it's like the sooner we can just accept that as
00:39:56.569 --> 00:40:04.489
a reality, the easier this all becomes. Yeah. So it sounds like body neutrality plays a really
00:40:04.489 --> 00:40:11.289
big role in our, at least individual body liberation. Yeah. And I think about the steps
00:40:11.289 --> 00:40:14.969
right towards liberation. So I feel like, yes, body positivity. And then we're going along on our
00:40:14.969 --> 00:40:19.529
journey. And we, a lot of us get to the body neutrality, which is super important because I
00:40:19.593 --> 00:40:24.489
think it's one of the things that I think is challenging for people in the body positivity
00:40:24.489 --> 00:40:28.969
space is like, if you were in the depths of despair about the way you look and someone is like,
00:40:28.969 --> 00:40:32.729
just look in the mirror and say these positive affirmations, I'm telling you that is not the
00:40:32.871 --> 00:40:39.369
thing that is going to set you free because oftentimes what happens is like, oh, I, everyone
00:40:39.369 --> 00:40:43.929
else is able to just do those affirmations that helps them, but I can't even do that.
00:40:43.929 --> 00:40:48.089
So now it's like another thing for me to feel like I'm failing at. And I think it's unrealistic
00:40:48.202 --> 00:40:52.757
for ourselves to expect ourselves to be able to just jump from hating my body to all of a sudden.
00:40:53.090 --> 00:40:57.231
Loving it or to feeling free in it. Like that is just too big of a jump for most of us. So
00:40:57.510 --> 00:41:02.409
we work towards this place of body neutrality, which in body neutrality is like, I'm not even
00:41:02.409 --> 00:41:06.169
looking in the mirror and saying, I love myself. I'm looking in the body in the mirror and saying,
00:41:06.306 --> 00:41:10.409
this is the body I exist in today. And that's just it. Right. And the goal is to, you know,
00:41:10.409 --> 00:41:14.169
hopefully not be able to make those disparaging comments about ourselves. And so there's those
00:41:14.169 --> 00:41:18.945
mean things that we sometimes say to ourselves and just say, okay, this is the body I exist in today.
00:41:19.269 --> 00:41:22.969
And, you know, going back to the other thing that you just pointed out about bodies changing is like,
00:41:22.969 --> 00:41:30.513
also, this hyper fixation on health is also based on this idea of control, right? Because if we eat.
00:41:30.889 --> 00:41:35.049
The right things, if we exercise right, we can control what happens with our body, not just
00:41:35.049 --> 00:41:40.329
physically, but also in terms of like illness and chronic illness, right? And so it's this idea of
00:41:40.329 --> 00:41:45.449
control. But the reality of all of this is that we really don't have control. And so this also.
00:41:46.329 --> 00:41:50.889
The important part of body liberation is also this acceptance that our bodies may not always
00:41:51.164 --> 00:41:55.369
operate the same way in terms of like its ability to move in certain ways. Like those things can
00:41:55.369 --> 00:42:01.609
all change too. And so if and when those things change, how are we able to still be at peace with
00:42:01.609 --> 00:42:04.560
ourselves and that's where liberation comes in.
00:42:04.866 --> 00:42:09.691
Yeah, yeah. I love that idea of being at peace.
00:42:10.129 --> 00:42:15.974
And I'm almost as you were talking was thinking about like our minds as a piece of real estate
00:42:16.154 --> 00:42:23.809
and almost as little real estate as thoughts about our bodies and how they look, the better.
00:42:23.809 --> 00:42:28.479
Like you want it to take up as little space as possible in either direction.
00:42:28.689 --> 00:42:33.574
I am shaking my head vigorously because yes, that's exactly it.
00:42:33.829 --> 00:42:36.130
The idea that our mind, our body is just taking up.
00:42:36.670 --> 00:42:41.920
So little space and it's so important because again, when I look back to the times I was
00:42:41.920 --> 00:42:47.158
hyper focused on exercise, I was hyper focused on nutrition, I was hyper focused on shrinking my body.
00:42:47.260 --> 00:42:51.240
I had no brain space left over to really create anything in the world.
00:42:51.240 --> 00:42:54.657
That was my, it drained all of my energy.
00:42:54.960 --> 00:42:58.807
The more I was able to free that up, the more I was able to create all these other amazing things in my life.
00:42:58.980 --> 00:43:03.280
I say this time and time again, I would not be doing the things I'm doing today if it
00:43:03.280 --> 00:43:08.320
for me repair my relationship with my body because I did not have the space to create anything.
00:43:09.151 --> 00:43:15.120
Outside of maintaining my body. Yes, I am aggressively shaking my head and something that
00:43:15.120 --> 00:43:22.720
I think about a lot, especially for black women, because we spend a lot of time and energy on a lot
00:43:22.720 --> 00:43:27.360
of things and I understand why we do and I'm not exempting myself from this. When I think about the
00:43:27.360 --> 00:43:31.971
amount of time I maintain my hair, an amount of time I spend freaking out so that I don't
00:43:32.340 --> 00:43:39.254
mess up my hair or spend time on this and spend time on that. I'm like, wow, if I were
00:43:39.326 --> 00:43:44.720
able to direct my energy elsewhere, if we all were able to direct our energy elsewhere,
00:43:44.720 --> 00:43:54.640
we would be moving mountains. Literally moving mountains, right? I spent eight hours getting my braids done on Sunday. So I relate to this very heavily, right? And
00:43:54.640 --> 00:43:59.920
I think, so I totally agree. And I think for all of us, I think about, and I talk about
00:43:59.920 --> 00:44:03.911
this in the book is like, once we free up this energy that we're spending about, you
00:44:04.140 --> 00:44:08.836
know, thinking about our bodies and obsessing about our bodies, when we free up that energy.
00:44:09.385 --> 00:44:17.160
Like think of all the things and the systems that millions of liberated people can create
00:44:17.160 --> 00:44:21.600
in the world when we have freed up our minds, right? That is also like what is so in cities
00:44:21.600 --> 00:44:27.650
about diet culture and the patriarchy, right? It's because it keeps us distracted. It keeps our energy drained.
00:44:27.759 --> 00:44:31.380
I just imagine a world in which we are all free and liberated and we are directing that
00:44:31.380 --> 00:44:36.068
energy to create massive change in the world in really positive and meaningful ways.
00:44:36.257 --> 00:44:38.714
I have chills. I would love to see it.
00:44:39.060 --> 00:44:46.213
Me too. I just think we all need to get free. That's it. Absolutely.
00:44:46.726 --> 00:44:54.108
What are some of your practices that you turn to to help you feel more liberated and free?
00:44:54.648 --> 00:44:59.464
Absolutely. Oh my gosh, this is such a great question. In terms of my body or just in life in general?
00:44:59.798 --> 00:45:05.758
Both. Both. Okay. Whichever comes to mind first. So for my body, I think one of the things that has been so important for me over the
00:45:05.758 --> 00:45:11.558
years is leaning back into a movement practice that is based on joy and not on this desire
00:45:11.558 --> 00:45:17.398
to get my body in shape or demand my body to be a certain way. Because I love fitness,
00:45:17.398 --> 00:45:23.638
I love movement, I love a practice that's centered on movement. But part of being free
00:45:23.638 --> 00:45:28.389
and being liberated has, again, going back to like, what does my body want to do today?
00:45:28.678 --> 00:45:32.438
What does my body desire? And so I used to be, and we didn't even talk about this today,
00:45:32.438 --> 00:45:36.358
but I used to be in competitive powerlifting. This is when I was like really exercising
00:45:36.358 --> 00:45:41.758
obsessively and I would spend three hours in the gym like training. And it served me
00:45:41.758 --> 00:45:46.838
at that time, but I just don't, I don't want to be doing that anymore. You know, so I still
00:45:46.838 --> 00:45:51.438
a strain training, but it's like the 45 minutes. That's all I got for you. And it's great.
00:45:51.438 --> 00:45:53.958
And then some days I don't feel like strange training and I'm like, I want to just take
00:45:53.958 --> 00:45:56.449
a walk in the neighborhood and get fresh air.
00:45:56.678 --> 00:46:00.618
And some days I want to dance and some days I want to, you know, whatever.
00:46:00.932 --> 00:46:05.838
And just like really allowing myself to see movement as something that brings my life
00:46:05.838 --> 00:46:08.143
joy and to really lean into that.
00:46:09.038 --> 00:46:12.932
So that's been super liberating for me when I think about my relationship with food to
00:46:13.118 --> 00:46:19.118
really be in a place where I just eat food based on what my body desires and what I want
00:46:19.118 --> 00:46:24.218
to eat and what feels nourishing to me and to like really be again, feel like I'm connected
00:46:24.218 --> 00:46:29.578
to my body's desires and able to trust myself that has been so freeing and liberating.
00:46:29.578 --> 00:46:34.738
I talk about this story in the book, you know, going to Spain a few years ago with a group
00:46:34.738 --> 00:46:38.818
of people I didn't know and just realizing that moment, like how far my relationship
00:46:38.818 --> 00:46:43.138
had come with liberation because previously that would have like, as we already talked
00:46:43.138 --> 00:46:47.258
about, that would have really threw me off to like have to spend a week in another country
00:46:47.258 --> 00:46:51.182
with people I didn't know, not being able to control every single thing that I ate,
00:46:51.378 --> 00:46:54.540
that would have been a disaster. I probably wouldn't even gone to be honest. But when
00:46:54.858 --> 00:46:58.618
I went this time with these friends and it was just so beautiful because I was like having
00:46:58.618 --> 00:47:03.178
all this amazing food and drinking wine and like having just like the best of the best
00:47:03.178 --> 00:47:07.818
in terms of food and feeling so good about it. Just like really enjoying it and never
00:47:07.818 --> 00:47:11.138
having any moments of like, I'm eating too much, I'm overindulging, I got to exercise
00:47:11.138 --> 00:47:17.298
more. And like that in itself, like being in a place where you can just experience and
00:47:17.298 --> 00:47:22.978
share meals with people and not worry about those things is liberating. Like that is just,
00:47:22.978 --> 00:47:28.002
it's like, I don't even have the words to describe how good that feels to be able to to do that.
00:47:28.461 --> 00:47:35.911
So, that's been really important for me. I think on a personal note, things that have really been helping me liberate myself, and
00:47:35.911 --> 00:47:41.711
these are things I'm still working on, is number one, I would say is letting go of things
00:47:41.711 --> 00:47:45.431
that don't serve me anymore, letting go of people that don't serve me anymore, letting
00:47:45.431 --> 00:47:51.264
go of relationships that don't serve me anymore, and just being really firm in the fact that
00:47:51.336 --> 00:47:55.151
I am not willing to settle in any area of my life.
00:47:55.151 --> 00:47:59.671
And that as much as you love people, sometimes they cannot go on the journey with you.
00:47:59.671 --> 00:48:01.711
And that is a harsh reality.
00:48:01.711 --> 00:48:07.211
It's hard, right? Like letting go of relationships or letting go of situations that you care for or love
00:48:07.211 --> 00:48:12.591
deeply, but you know that it's just not aligned with who you are now is hard, but it's like
00:48:12.591 --> 00:48:15.111
one of the best practices that I've done for myself.
00:48:15.111 --> 00:48:18.871
And so that's the way that I have really stepped into personal liberation.
00:48:18.871 --> 00:48:25.671
And then I think the other thing I would say is the more sure I become of who I am, the
00:48:25.671 --> 00:48:31.511
more okay I am with people not liking me and or not understanding me.
00:48:31.511 --> 00:48:35.311
And I think about just decisions I've made over the past few years that even my family
00:48:35.311 --> 00:48:36.871
didn't always understand, right?
00:48:36.871 --> 00:48:40.951
Leaving a long-term partner who was a great person, moving across the country, leaving
00:48:40.951 --> 00:48:45.031
my corporate job, things that people didn't get, but I knew it's what I had to do for
00:48:45.031 --> 00:48:50.841
myself. And when I look back at those decisions and where I am now, it was exactly what I was supposed to do.
00:48:51.271 --> 00:48:57.502
And so it's like the more I trust my own intuition, the more I'm okay with people not understanding my decisions.
00:48:57.971 --> 00:49:04.931
And that is very liberating. 100. I mean, okay, so for those of you listening who may not know Chrissy, Chrissy is in her
00:49:04.931 --> 00:49:06.291
00:49:06.291 --> 00:49:11.911
Like I've never seen anything like manifestation the way you do it.
00:49:11.911 --> 00:49:14.611
It's been incredible to witness.
00:49:14.611 --> 00:49:20.731
To step into this iteration of your life as it is now because these are all intentions
00:49:20.731 --> 00:49:26.471
that you set and to see where you were before and where you are now and to have witnessed
00:49:26.471 --> 00:49:30.271
that journey has been incredible.
00:49:30.271 --> 00:49:31.271
00:49:31.828 --> 00:49:34.751
I mean, yes, thank you. I mean, Les is not wrong.
00:49:34.751 --> 00:49:40.344
I feel like I'm really great at manifesting, but I think so much of it has also been because,
00:49:40.794 --> 00:49:45.791
I have been able to master the skill of detaching from things.
00:49:45.791 --> 00:49:50.711
And not like in a, in a, in a deta, a healthy detachment from things.
00:49:50.711 --> 00:49:53.100
And that has really served me well. Yes.
00:49:53.758 --> 00:49:59.208
Well, thank you so much for just sharing those pieces of what's aided your liberation.
00:49:59.208 --> 00:50:03.804
Because I think that kind of helps us all get some ideas of ways that we can continue
00:50:04.155 --> 00:50:08.323
investing in our liberation. And the more of us that feel liberated, the more liberated we are
00:50:08.395 --> 00:50:10.168
as a collective. So thank you.
00:50:10.772 --> 00:50:11.208
00:50:12.488 --> 00:50:19.208
So one more thing before we wrap up today. The theme of this month on the podcast is book club.
00:50:19.208 --> 00:50:21.403
All month long, we're featuring authors.
00:50:21.592 --> 00:50:29.248
And I wanna talk about reading and writing and the relationship that you have with reading
00:50:29.248 --> 00:50:32.314
and writing and the role that those things play
00:50:32.539 --> 00:50:36.726
in your life, because you are a reader and a writer through and through.
00:50:36.851 --> 00:50:43.270
Why are reading and writing so important for you and how have those things aided in your liberation?
00:50:43.657 --> 00:50:46.848
Oh, I love this question. Also, I'm inspired by you, Les,
00:50:46.848 --> 00:50:51.848
because I'm like, Les stays with a book and I love it.
00:50:52.068 --> 00:50:54.948
Like also gives me so many good suggestions of what to read next.
00:50:54.948 --> 00:51:00.419
I'm like, okay, if I'm questioned, go to Les's page, she's gonna tell me what to read. So I love that.
00:51:00.628 --> 00:51:05.821
But in terms of what role reading and writing has played in my life, when I was a child,
00:51:05.893 --> 00:51:12.465
I spent all of my free time going to my local library to rent books and writing stories.
00:51:12.546 --> 00:51:20.188
And we used to have, I was home school for a really long time And I went to school in the third grade is like when I went to a traditional school.
00:51:20.188 --> 00:51:23.988
And in my third grade class, there was like always a reading contest every month.
00:51:23.988 --> 00:51:27.588
I'm like, oh, I this is my jam.
00:51:27.588 --> 00:51:34.868
I'm going to shine. Funny story. One of my best friends in third grade, we were, you know, it was a reading contest and
00:51:34.868 --> 00:51:36.149
it was like an individual contest.
00:51:36.268 --> 00:51:41.245
I this is how hardcore I was about reading and doing well at these contests.
00:51:41.468 --> 00:51:45.508
My friend, I was reading with her one day after school and she was flipping through
00:51:45.508 --> 00:51:47.492
pages way too fast and I was like...
00:51:48.077 --> 00:51:52.267
There's no way she's reading these pages. She's cheating. I turned her in, y'all.
00:51:52.267 --> 00:51:57.267
I went to the teacher the next day and snitched. Oh, my goodness.
00:51:57.267 --> 00:52:00.147
And I said, listen, I was watching her. She was flipping those pages.
00:52:00.147 --> 00:52:04.147
You just need to confront her. I told the teacher to just confront her because she's not being honest.
00:52:04.147 --> 00:52:07.147
And the teacher didn't. She started crying. She admitted that she was cheating.
00:52:07.147 --> 00:52:11.867
And I was like, I had to do it because I was a snitch, y'all. I was a snitch.
00:52:12.113 --> 00:52:13.867
Okay. I'm sorry.
00:52:14.751 --> 00:52:18.991
But I just picture like… I feel like if I were that teacher and a student came up and said that, I would have to like
00:52:19.087 --> 00:52:24.240
visibly conceal my laughter. I'm sure. Because to a third grader, that is very serious.
00:52:24.473 --> 00:52:29.227
Yes. But, you know, as adults, it's… I'm sure she laughed at it.
00:52:29.227 --> 00:52:30.514
I was like, confront her.
00:52:31.036 --> 00:52:32.727
She is going to break down. I was like, be the bad cop.
00:52:32.727 --> 00:52:37.227
Be the bad cop and she's going to just… and she broke down in tears.
00:52:37.227 --> 00:52:43.187
And I'm not… It was in my proudest moment, but that's how serious I was about beating and winning the contest.
00:52:43.187 --> 00:52:46.467
So, no, I've really always valued reading and writing.
00:52:46.745 --> 00:52:50.847
And I like, yeah, as a child, I was like, I'm gonna be a writer when I grow up.
00:52:50.847 --> 00:52:53.867
And then I went to college and I just thought like that wasn't practical.
00:52:53.867 --> 00:52:57.787
So I totally got away from writing. So, but reading has always been something
00:52:57.787 --> 00:52:59.947
that was so fundamental in my life.
00:52:59.947 --> 00:53:04.667
And I think I went through a stage in my 20s where I was like reading just like self-help books way too much.
00:53:04.667 --> 00:53:10.987
And I was like, what is this? What am I doing? And I remember 2019, I had a lot of things going on.
00:53:10.987 --> 00:53:15.147
My data just passed away unexpectedly. I needed like a relief from life.
00:53:15.147 --> 00:53:19.550
And I was like, oh, I should read a fiction book again. And I read an American marriage.
00:53:20.387 --> 00:53:25.187
It was beautiful, such a beautiful book. And that really brought me back to my space
00:53:25.187 --> 00:53:32.707
of like loving to read fiction as like self care and just like as entertainment, all the things.
00:53:32.707 --> 00:53:38.307
And so that really brought me back to like, oh, wow, I love reading stories so much.
00:53:38.307 --> 00:53:42.787
And then I started blogging again because I was like into the fitness world
00:53:42.787 --> 00:53:45.035
and that was what everyone was supposed to do.
00:53:45.227 --> 00:53:48.387
But I feel like all those things brought me back to like the thing that I love to do,
00:53:48.387 --> 00:53:53.254
which is reading and writing and 100% informs what I'm doing now.
00:53:53.387 --> 00:53:59.347
And I just love books. I love books, I love bookstores, I love libraries,
00:53:59.347 --> 00:54:06.595
I love words, I love learning, I love exploring. And I just think words are so beautiful. Yeah.
00:54:06.707 --> 00:54:13.727
And I just wanna like go back to this highlight it really quick how you had mentioned that you had wanted to be a writer, felt like,
00:54:13.727 --> 00:54:15.291
like, oh, it's not practical.
00:54:15.886 --> 00:54:20.136
But what are you now? But now, yeah, and that's the thing. It's like, again, a full-time writer.
00:54:20.136 --> 00:54:23.510
A full-time writer. It's such a full circle moment.
00:54:23.637 --> 00:54:30.176
And again, I just go back to this idea that I truly believe life is always leading us
00:54:30.176 --> 00:54:31.136
where we're supposed to go.
00:54:31.136 --> 00:54:35.656
We just follow that next step, follow that intuitive hit that we don't even understand.
00:54:35.656 --> 00:54:39.376
And it's slowly leading us back to where we were always meant to be.
00:54:39.376 --> 00:54:47.676
And also, I think, you know, always reminding myself that you can't actually like get off course from it.
00:54:47.676 --> 00:54:51.058
You can get off course from what you maybe are intended to do in this world, but you
00:54:51.456 --> 00:54:57.176
can't miss out on something, right? Like life always brings you back to what you were supposed to be doing.
00:54:57.431 --> 00:54:59.997
And I always remind myself it's like I'm not missing out on anything.
00:55:00.336 --> 00:55:06.487
I'm doing exactly what I'm supposed to be doing. And, and it is never I'm, I'm 37 years old.
00:55:06.622 --> 00:55:12.696
I moved across the country when I was 33. I completely changed courses and direction my life.
00:55:12.696 --> 00:55:19.056
And there's never an age at which it is too late to change directions, to start over, to do something new.
00:55:19.056 --> 00:55:21.980
Like there's just never a timeline for that.
00:55:22.259 --> 00:55:23.277
Like there's always time.
00:55:23.736 --> 00:55:31.865
That is a word. That is a whole word. I hope everybody lets that sink in a bit because it's so true.
00:55:32.256 --> 00:55:33.256
It's so true.
00:55:33.256 --> 00:55:37.616
All of those things are detours, but we're never actually off course.
00:55:37.616 --> 00:55:38.770
We can take the long way.
00:55:38.996 --> 00:55:42.910
Yes. We've got to make our way back around.
00:55:43.199 --> 00:55:47.457
But I'm also a big fan of the idea that we decide what's realistic for us.
00:55:48.196 --> 00:55:53.596
And when we decide what's realistic for us without outside influences, we would be amazed
00:55:53.596 --> 00:55:55.046
at where that can take us.
00:55:55.236 --> 00:55:57.368
Oh my gosh, I love that so much, yes.
00:55:57.872 --> 00:56:05.101
Yes. Well, Chrissy, thank you so much. As usual, amazing conversation with you.
00:56:05.371 --> 00:56:11.007
Congratulations again. Happy book launch day. Please let us know where we can get your new book,
00:56:11.205 --> 00:56:14.913
The Body Liberation Project, and how we can continue supporting you and your work.
00:56:15.571 --> 00:56:19.981
Absolutely. Thank you, Les, for having me. Every time I talk to you, it's like the most
00:56:19.981 --> 00:56:25.521
amazing conversations. I just really appreciate you. Yes, it's my book's birthday. So you
00:56:25.521 --> 00:56:32.421
can buy my book on my website, ChrissyKing.com backslash book or anywhere books are sold.
00:56:32.421 --> 00:56:38.581
You can pick it up and you can follow me on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. I'm all the
00:56:38.581 --> 00:56:43.100
same. I am Chrissy King and my website is ChrissyKing.com. And thank you. Thank you.
00:56:43.461 --> 00:56:47.661
Thank you guys, this was such an honor. Thank you so much for joining me.
00:56:47.661 --> 00:56:54.442
I loved our conversation today and I appreciate you.
00:56:54.741 --> 00:56:59.101
As I said earlier, I always love having Chrissy on the show and she was actually the very
00:56:59.101 --> 00:57:03.598
first person I ever interviewed for Balance Black Girl or interviewed at all.
00:57:03.761 --> 00:57:08.333
So definitely check out the past interviews we did with her to hear more of her story
00:57:08.405 --> 00:57:11.581
and make sure you check out the Body Liberation Project.
00:57:11.934 --> 00:57:17.443
It is such a beautiful and necessary book, and I'm so grateful that Chrissy brought it into the world.
00:57:17.981 --> 00:57:22.301
Head to the show notes for more information about today's episode, links to Chrissy's
00:57:22.301 --> 00:57:28.633
socials and her new book, The Body Liberation Project, and for some discount codes from our sponsors.
00:57:28.861 --> 00:57:34.359
This month, Allo Moves is sponsoring the podcast, offering a one-month free trial and 50% off
00:57:34.755 --> 00:57:39.688
a membership after the trial ends, using the code BALANCED, which is an amazing deal.
00:57:40.081 --> 00:57:46.061
So huge thanks to Alaa Moves for sponsoring the show, to Chrissy for joining us, and to you for listening.
00:57:47.115 --> 00:57:51.301
Next week, I'm joined by LaVon Briggs to celebrate the launch of her new book, Sensual
00:57:51.301 --> 00:57:58.801
Faith. And when I tell you our conversation with LaVon is nourishing, healing, affirming, it is a must.
00:57:59.187 --> 00:58:04.516
Listen, so you need to come back next Tuesday and tap in because it's that good.
00:58:04.721 --> 00:58:05.632
So I will see you next week.
00:58:06.000 --> 00:58:18.768
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