Support the Pod

Listen & Subscribe

Listen on Google Podcasts

056: The Dangers of Diet Culture with Brandy O’Neill

Hello! Welcome to episode 56 of I’d Rather Stay In. This week, we are joined again by our friend Brandy (@nutmegnanny) to talk all about the dangers of diet culture, fatphobia, the wellness industry, and the privilege that fuels those things.

Quick links

Podcast: Maintenance Phase

Podcast: The Dream

Oberweis home delivery

Movie: Over the Moon

Episode transcript

Welcome to I’d rather stay in with your hosts Megan Myers and Stephie Predmore. This week, we’re chatting about diet culture with our guest, Brandy O’Neill. We also tackle fat phobia, the wellness industry and the privilege that ties it all together. Stay tuned. Hi, Megan.


How are you surviving?

I it’s been kind of a day here at my house. I think it’s just um, you know, it’s been many months.

It’s been many moons, as some might say, being in my house with my children.

And everybody working from home and doing school from home and all of the outside stress from the country being a hot ass mess says there’s a lot going on. There is kind of a lot. Yeah, a lot happening right now. Mm hmm. Yeah, I feel that I feel that it’s, it has felt, I mean, what we’re like heading towards a year of this bullshit. So it’s fine. Everything is fine.

It’s weird, because I kind of like sometimes it’s almost like I forget that all of this is happening. Mm hmm.

Just like forget that before. A little bit. It’s kind of just like, well, this is just life. And this is what we’ve always done, right? I have a hard time when I watch TV or movies. And they like act normal. Or there’s like a bunch of people packed into a small space or they’re like hugging strangers. And I get this, like, don’t do that. And then I’m like, Oh, no, that that. That’s a normal quote.


Yeah. It’s weird. It’s definitely trippy.

Mm hmm.

So the idea of just let’s just like getting on an airplane and going to a place and just like getting off the plane and wandering around. Like, those are things that we used to just do. So weird.

Yeah. And I’m really confused by the people who are just doing it. And it that would be a really long tangent for this episode. So let’s move on. Well,

we’ll walk down that road some other time. But in the meantime, I’m not saying that we are trying to completely ruin everyone’s New Year’s resolutions with our episode last week about minimalism and then this week’s episode, but maybe we are you guys can decide that for yourself. But every year January rolls around and we are bombarded with ads about diet products, social media influencers are discussing their weight loss secrets. And you know, you’ll even see posts from friends about how this is the year that they are going to finally drop the weight. But is this diet rhetoric more harmful that it is helpful?

To explore this topic, we’ve invited back our friend Brandy O’Neill, you know her as our favorite plant lady. But she also has a lot to say on the topic of diet culture. And we are excited to dive into this with her. Brandy. Welcome

back. Hi, you beautiful ladies. I’m so excited to be here. I have my tea and my water. And I’m just like, told art to to go put some headphones in so you can’t hear me working because that makes me anxious.

Last time we talked, you had just like moved into your house and you were standing while we recorded.

No, I was still I was still in our teeny tiny apartment. That’s


it was 600 and some square feet. So all I gotta say is I’m so glad that the pandemic waited at least a month. I mean, I don’t want it to be here at all. But at least it waited a month because I don’t know if we would still be married.

I feel that so to that end, you were here in January of 2020. And to teach us everything we needed to know about being good plant ladies. Be sure to check out Episode 16 for that. But tell our listeners a little bit about what you have been up to since then. It’s been a year

so we got our new house. Yay. I am still not fully unpacked and honestly, I doubt I ever will be I don’t know why I keep telling myself like not this time brandy. You’re really gonna get it together. I like like if you saw my office, it’s like 75% of the wave there. And it may stay this way for a while until I have some sort of like really motivated friend to come make me do it.

We’ve lived in our house for five years and there are definitely still things that are not unpacked. So

God this way I love you because you’re just like me,

and we were very similar and but now that Megan is in town and she’s much better organizing than I am we actually have a date next week for her to come get my ass organized. I’m afraid I’m scared, but it’s fine. It’ll be fine.

After all the craziness. Megan, you can come and help me get my ass together because excellent. I really I have so many cute things that are just hanging out in boxes so I needed to get on the wall. But yeah, so I’m in my house kind of trying to unpack. I got a new cat because that’s what you do. So cute.

She is really cute cashew. I love cashew.

Yeah. Oh, I have another one. It’s Midge I’ve made now you haven’t seen any pictures of her. I know. It’s a secret. Like I just had a secret baby.

I remember last year though, it was at the time last year where it was like we’re not kidding another cat. And we’re all like, Ah ha ha ha now you have another cat was amazing.

So we we lost her old girl. But that was expected. She was very old. She lived a very, very good life. And I was just checking out pet finder, I wasn’t really going to find a cat.

But as you do

as you do, when you damn well know you’re gonna get a cat. And I saw her little picture and she’s also ch which is like a neurological condition that Cashew has. And we went and met her and she’s just the sweetest she’d like suckles on your shirt all the time. And I mean, she’s also a total disaster, but we love her.

I mean, that’s par for the course in your house. So she also wobbly. She’s wobbly. Yep.

Yep, she’s a little. They’re both very mild. But I adore it. Like it’s, I love them. They’re just the sweetest little kitties.

Okay, I want to talk about cats the entire time. But that’s what we’re here for.


I would totally just be like, let’s just talk about our pets today. So

I would like to be scheduled for that for that episode.

Absolutely. We need to make it happen. So brandy, can you share with us about your relationship to diet culture and how it has affected your life

when I was in about the first or second grade is when I started to gain weight. Other than that, I looked like your society based normal child like I was thin. I was little. So I started gaining weight. It wasn’t a thyroid problem. So everyone’s like it must be a thyroid problem. It was not my parents first put me on Weight Watchers when I was in third grade, which I think would make me around. I was going to figure this out like eight ish eight years old. Which I think is probably your my first really big dive into the whole diet culture thing. I mean, I was three I was allowed to have a shake for breakfast for lunch. I was allowed to eat weightwatchers brand cheese puffs or pretzels with a half a sandwich. And then for dinner, I had to eat a frozen meal. And they were not great. I mean, I don’t think they’re great now, but they’re way better than they were at that point in time when they been weightwatchers. Yeah, they

I mean frozen meals in general were pretty bad and the 80s and early 90s.

I mean, I vividly remember like loving when it was my night to do dishes because I could sneak food like hoping that everyone didn’t eat all the dinner. And it’s not like I grew up in some mean, I grew up like lower middle class, but like, wasn’t that my parents couldn’t feed me it’s that they thought that this was what I needed. And it wasn’t.

And you wanted to eat something besides Weight Watchers brand pretzels. Yeah, I

wanted to eat my mom’s macaroni and cheese I so like I have a very vivid memory. Like I remember being in the kitchen eating while everyone’s eating my mom’s mac and cheese, my favorite meal. I was eating some weird globby microwave thing. And I remember thinking like this is going to be so great because tonight’s my dish night and I can eat all of like, the crust and on cheese and noodles on the side of the dish,

which is the best part.

And then my stepdad who I will say my stepdad is a jerk. He was like, I soaked the dish that you couldn’t have anything to like try to eat.

I wish you could see my face right now.

And I think about this and I’m like, I was eight, eight who talks to an eight year old like that. I mean, he did, but that’s a that’s a whole other subject. So, because of that, like I’ve just always had a very weird relationship with my body. Obviously, it was I was going to be overweight, I wasn’t going to wake up. I wasn’t going to be a fairy princess. I wasn’t going to pray to God to wake up to look like someone else. Like this is who I was. So then I started learning to try to make it work for me. I got my sense of humor work on the self deprecating humor because, hey, if I’m really funny, and people like me, they’re not going to be mean to me and if I can make a joke About what I look like, they can’t make that joke back to me. You know, which evolves into an adult having a weird relationship with food, you know, I’m an emotional eater. I lack self esteem at time, at times. And I think, I think honestly, it’s not just diet, culture or diet, or you know, any of that. I think part of it too is mental health. I think I need to learn. Well, I, I am in the process of learning, I go to therapy, but I think working on your mental health can help you achieve a happiness in a way that being thin or thinking that you want to be thin, whatever do

right, because there’s lots of thin people that are desperately unhappy.

Right and and, and the other beef that I have with diet culture is that it pushes like guilt and fear over the everything that we’re consuming whether it be like it’s our food, is it organic? Is it good enough? Is it healthy enough? Is it rainbowy? Enough? To what type of exercises are you doing? Are you are you do you own a peloton? Do you jog on the street? Do you still do sweating to the oldies, like it takes all of that and it punishes us with our food and our exercise. Instead of letting us realize that food and exercise are things to help our body. It’s self care, it’s things that we should do because we love our body. Not things that we do because we hate ourselves.

Right? It’s not like you’re you don’t need to you shouldn’t have to exercise to earn your food. Exactly. And and food also drives me crazy when people say that something is like sinful. Yes. Or like a guilty pleasure food like no, it’s food. It’s you should just be able to eat your food.

Yeah, like I should be able to eat food whenever I want. And I don’t need to explain to you why. I want to have a hamburger today and a salad tomorrow. Like I do the things I do because I want to not because someone is trying to tell me what is best for me, based on whatever weird asked philosophy they’re, you know, they’re trying to peddle.

Right? Yeah, you get to enjoy your mom’s homemade mac and cheese without anybody making you feel like shit about it. Exactly.


let’s talk about the wellness industry for a bit because it’s a whole, it’s a whole thing. And I think it really feeds off of fear and fat phobia.

Yeah, I get so incredibly frustrated at the entire basis of the wellness industry. First of all, I think that people hear the term wellness industry and they think like, Mom and Pop vitamin Shoppe like, no, it’s a $4.5 trillion industry. Like, it’s not, it is not some hippie dippie like, I just want you to like, take your vitamins, man, like no, no, no, no, no, no, this is a well marketed well oiled machine making $4.5 trillion, which is a crap ton of money. Basically, based on the idea that if you try hard enough you can become a perfect which does not exist example of health. And you know, this industry is literally everything from the supplements to yoga studios to to gyms to make up to 75% of what MLM is are selling. Like, it’s literally everything. And it’s just, it’s overwhelming at times, it’s thrown in your face, all of the time. And, you know, the fat phobia, part of it is people don’t like fat bodies. And I’m not saying that, like, you know, I know there’s gonna people be like, not me, I love fat bodies, like, Listen, people basically don’t like fat bodies, they fear it. They fear it on other people, they fear it on themselves. And it’s what the industry like the wellness industry literally thrives off of so I wrote a little note to myself to tell a story about like, like, I think of Lizzo a lot because random which comes on like Tick Tock all the time, too. But she puts on a bikini and people are like, Oh, that’s disgusting. Some people. And it’s like people are annoyed that she has the audacity to do something that she just wants to do. How dare she Exactly. And it’s, it’s literally no one’s job to make you feel comfortable. So if you have an issue with seeing someone in a bikini that looks different than what you look like or what you think is standard, like they don’t need to change that to make you feel better. And that’s a huge one for me because I think that people do Understand sometimes why they have reactions like sometimes you need to sit down and figure out why something bothers you so much, instead of immediately reacting or immediately defending why you feel the way you do sit down on packet. Why? Why does it make you feel so uncomfortable? And like, you know, because people hate fat bodies, and diet culture is like hell yeah. Like that’s something we can use. It’s literally just a cycle that like goes around in a circle. Mm hmm.

I think I think it’s interesting here is that we’re having this come to Jesus moment about this. For when it comes to racism, right? Yeah. You know, with the Floyd, with Floyd’s murder last year, and everything that happened after that, like we’re having a real moment of like, what does it mean to be anti racist? Was it What does it mean to really dig deep and look at ourselves and look at how we react to other people. But yet, we’re not there with what with diet culture, and the wellness industry, and fat phobia, and any of this stuff. And I think that we’re also not there with disabilities. I think that fat phobia and ableism are things that we’re just like, not our society is not ready to.

It’s kind of like worse, they’re still kind of okay with it. Right.


I understand that it’s like overwhelming sometimes to to make changes, especially when stuff is like so ingrained in you. And there are things that you might say that you don’t even realize could be offensive to someone else. So my big thing of 2020 was trying to use less ablest language, which is really hard because you say things all the time that are ablest and you don’t realize it and like, whatever you you, you move on, you learn you grow, you change. But like I find that people still think it’s totally cool. To pretend that they’re concerned with your health when it comes to your weight. And like, you don’t get to have an opinion based on other people’s health based on the way they look. And like That’s just it. Like that’s a sentence. You don’t get to think that you are some sort of savior by coming up to a fat person being like, did you know that those french fries you were eating contain a lot of calories? Like bitch Shut up. I want to eat french fries.

Who doesn’t?

You don’t get to talk to me about anything. Like I’m sorry. Like, that’s the thing that annoys me the most is this fake concerned with health because you wouldn’t do the same to a skinny person. He wouldn’t walk up to someone who was thin who was eating french fries. In fact, you’d probably be like, Oh my gosh, it’s good to eat and french fries. Like, why is it okay for a skinny person to eat an entire pizza, but a fat person is allowed to have a slice without being like, did you know that has a lot of calories?

No, thanks. That’s the first time I’ve heard that in my life. Thank you for telling me oh my gosh, this is brand new information. Exactly.

But no, I mean, it’s just it’s, it’s it’s also fairly classes, like the way that diet culture kind of like ingrains itself. Like, let’s take a look at anytime you you know, you want to talk about what your best supplements are your best everything. It’s like fancy, fancy, expensive, expensive. And people are like, Don’t you want to do the best thing for your health? I do. But if I can’t pay my rent, I can’t buy your expensive vitamins. Like Don’t try to guilt me into doing things just because you’re thinking it’s the best like, just because you have the money to to do something, and you have the money to do this. It doesn’t mean that everyone else does. Right?

I think it comes down to the same thing with like, when people are like, Oh, if you if you just cooked from home, you would like be so much healthier. It’d be so much better for your whole family and you’re like, you know what, some people don’t have the money because cooking at home is expensive.

And it takes time

and it takes time that you might not have jobs and it’s cheaper to go buy a fucking burger. Right?

Well, you know, I always say like, people are like, you know, buying organic food isn’t that expensive. I’m like, Alright, let’s say you have $10 to feed yourself for a week. Are you gonna buy 10 $1 pot pies, which is a pretty round out meal or you can go buy some organic broccoli and a couple of apples and maybe some bread. Like you’re not going to go buy some That’s gonna feed you for two days when you can buy 10 pot pies. Right? Like, you know, and I get it that can be a whole other issue based on, you know, are people making enough money in the world look like. But that is a problem that we have. So you can’t push your your views and say to someone, you’re not doing the best you can do because you don’t agree with me and you don’t want to do the same things I do. I’m sorry. But like, some people can’t afford to live the way that you do.

It’s also it’s such a systemic issue. It’s just yet another systemic problem. And we’re not willing to look at the root of

so much of it. So I just the one thing that I think I need to get out because it just bugs me so much. Is this concept of natural, the concept of natural being better for you that Western medicine is bad? You know, big pharma is bad. Look how much money they make? Yeah, well, the wellness industry makes $4.5 trillion, too. So again, it’s your it’s not some mom and pop organization here. Like that’s a well oiled machine. And I think that people get on this. I think a lot of people have issues with control. So the diet is the one thing that they can control. And I think it leads to like obsession, it leads to unhealthy views about food and medicine, and like natural remedies can be great. And they likely worked very well for the time that they were popular. But further research and medication sometimes shows that that’s like not really the case now, like maybe it worked well in 1850. But now it’s 2021. And we have medicine that can help you a hell of a lot better.

Right? I get this a lot because I have an autoimmune disease. And I am on some like pretty strong medications that literally keep me alive. They keep my colon from rupturing, which would kill me. That’s not that’s not an exaggeration. And there’s a lot of like, Oh, well, if you just did this, and you just cut out gluten and you just did. You took this supplement and blah, blah, blah, you wouldn’t have to be on the Remicade anymore. I’m like you don’t know that. Like, mind your own business.

I think that we’ve gotten really obsessed with this old fashioned. Like we become romanticized by the past. Oh, if you just did this and listen, like we just all live like we did when we were cave people, everything would be better. It probably wouldn’t. First of all, what would our lifespan have been like that? Also,

we’d all be dead already. Yeah, we don’t need, the three of us would be gone.

Stop romanticizing the past like world, you’re allowed to exist. Like I understand that there are issues in this world with medication, I understand that there’s an opioid crisis. And again, that’s another tangent I could go off on. But like, for the most part, I feel like we’ve made some pretty good advances that have kept us around like, you’re old enough to be yammering on your mouth about like what we should be eating, like, Just be happy that they had vaccinations that you could be that old. Right? Like everyone who quickly forgets things when they disappear.

Right? Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Yeah. I mean, Megan and I were we talked about being hippies all the time. And we’re all for like, there’s definitely things that we are all for. But there’s also I also don’t understand people that are just like, Oh, well, Western medicine and Big Pharma. Yeah. Are there problems with Big Pharma quote, unquote, yeah, absolutely. But there’s also a lot of things about Western medicine that keeps us alive.

I just want to point out that 90% of these people, I mean, I’m not going to say all because I know it’s not true. But like, if push came to shove, and they needed their Western medicine help, their acids are going to be in the ER,


Mm hmm. Like you’re having a heart attack, you’re going to the ER not going to your natural path. So she can be like, just sing into this bowl.

I have a I have a I have a very long lot of rants about home births that follow a lot of the same.


I Yeah. Can we not? Can we not go back to when women died in childbirth? It’s fine. Okay. Whatever. Again, more, more as for another time, but right. Yeah.

So we’re talking about like the class levels and with the wellness culture, but then also like, how do you view the whole wellness industry of judging of other cultures like I’m specifically thinking of, like I just, you know, moved from Texas and the food down in Texas is, you know, not with keeping With a wellness, culture and diet and everything.

So the biggest one that I think about is like I, I kind of have a lot of like beef with veganism and it’s, it’s my issue with the vegan This is I’m going to touch base on that, because this is how I like correlated you. So, you know, I’ll see tons of vegans on online, they’re just like, Oh my gosh, how could you kill an animal, oh my gosh, each array, eat the rainbow bah, bah, bah, bah, bah. And they like have zero consideration for the fact that there is entire groups of people. And indigenous is a great example that use me and animal products in an ethical and sustainable way. And they don’t need to change their culture to fit with your weird diet culture that says, This is the best way to live life. Like No, I have decided, and like, I know I’m a white woman, but I feel like it comes from an awful lot of white women, telling other people how they should live their life. And, and like it’s a, it’s a literal privilege to live somewhere where they where they ship fresh produce year round. And people don’t even consider that. They don’t even consider that there are there are places in the US that don’t have the ability to have fresh products like, like I live in a wealthy County, I live near a lot of really nice grocery stores, I can pretty much get whatever I want. But there are people that do not live like that. And we choose to pretend that it like doesn’t exist. While we’re still saying that, like our way of living is the best way. And if you can’t do it, you’re not trying hard enough. Right? And it’s like, you definitely have the way that you have the right to live your life however the heck you want. But you should admit that it’s a privilege to be able to do that. You should admit that because you have the money to live the way that you want. And I think about that a lot with veganism because now I know there’s always a debate like eating vegan isn’t expensive. Look how cheap rice and beans are. Like, I get that rice and beans are cheap. But like, you just you don’t you don’t get to comment on how other people choose to live their life, especially when it comes to cultures, like you said, like, food is ingrained in so many cultures. And they don’t need to change that just because all of a sudden you’ve deemed it not okay. Because that’s not what you want to do. So now other people shouldn’t do that.

Well, and even, like, let’s, let’s say, okay, rice and beans are really cheap. But that’s not the quote like aesthetic that you see. And we because we talked about this on last week’s episode, we talked about minimalism, and how, you know, the way that influencers portray minimalism is very much has to fit with a certain aesthetic. And that aesthetic comes with a lot of privilege. And I see this as being very, very similar. Like you don’t see people online talking about their vegan lifestyle, and they’re like, and I eat mostly rice and beans, because it’s what I can afford, and what I can get and what I can get. It’s like, Oh, yes, and here and then I, I’ve got my, like you said, my rainbow of vegetables. And also, I had so much time that I was able to make a colorful bento box for my child’s lunchbox, it’s all vegan, and I cut the cucumbers into the shape of flowers. And then I used raspberries as the center of the flower. And I had all of this time leftover to do this after making my vegan dinner like

and I and I made my own nut cheese and

and the other thing that like makes me so angry is that the people that say all this, they’re all like, get me my vegetables and there’s no animal animals are being harmed. I’m not going to kill my animals, but they don’t think like suffering is something that you can’t get away with from food. Because most food is either picked by people being paid slave labor, wage, slave wages, children working in mines, children doing chocolate, like the chocolate plantations, all of this stuff is happening around the world, half the people that you want to build a wall to keep out of the people that pick your food, but you don’t give a shit because like that’s not the point that you don’t want to talk about that part. You just don’t kill animals, like are humans also not suffering for your for your choices? Right like it just makes me angry because people don’t want to and I get this is a lot of sort of side tangents. But you have to think about all of these things. If you’re going to tell me that I’m not sure Trying hard enough, and that the best way for me to live is the way that you choose to live. But yet you don’t think about all these other things like I’m sorry, I have no respect for you.

Right? If they’re gonna tell you that you’re not trying hard enough because you don’t have your peloton and you’re not eating, your keto diet or your vegan diet or your paleo diet or your whatever diet is the diet of the moment. You have to look at all of again, all of this the systems that feed into the into the issues.

Yeah, but you would just be so healthy if you sprouted your keen wha which also has its own problems because it is taking food away from indigenous cultures in Peru. But no, okay,

I was literally just gonna say that Megan, like the the chemo is a fantastic example of wellness trends that literally drive up the prices of like staple ingredients for people who have depended on it literally their entire life. And now they can no longer afford the food that they have grown up eating. Because all of a sudden it’s popular.

And they have to ship it out. And

yeah, and or, and then American farms start picking it up and then their farms are decimated. It’s like this giant cycle of these poor people who now can no longer eat it because we need to have a bunch of key while bowls topped with roasted rainbow vegetables. Like it’s it’s annoying. And it’s it’s irritating that people don’t think about that stuff either. Because that is all that all of this stuff is happening. In conjunction with just I don’t know, now I’m just rambling. But the world is going to explode. I don’t know.

I mean, I actually don’t doubt that. So you’re not you’re not wrong brandy.

No worries world is ending Welcome to my podcast.

We are we are literally the GIF of the dog in the house. It’s on fire, drinking his coffee saying everything is fine. That is that’s us right now,


So pivoting a little bit. You all we as we were talking in preparation for this podcast, you said how you’re really interested in the body neutral movement. So I’d love to hear more about what that means both in general, but also for you specifically,

is so in general. So the first time I heard about it was actually from my best friend who said she was learning more about the body neutral movement. And I was like, oh, like, what is that. And I started looking into it. And I really liked what it was saying. Because it basically is that it’s you’re allowed to exist without thinking of your body all of the time, one way or another. It’s like a morally neutral thing. You it definitely doesn’t want you to think negative about your body, but you don’t have to love it. You don’t have to be like I embrace every curve. And I am the most beautiful woman, like you’re allowed to just exist and be like, yeah, this is my body. And you can and it focuses more on what your body does for you instead of the way that your body looks. And because when you’re focusing on the bait with the way that your body looks, it’s basically to try to meet some sort of societal standard, you know, like, Am I do I have a thick enough? Ask But absolutely, you know, stomach and my waist is that, you know, I wear a corset to keep my waist the size of a soda can but my boobs are as big as watermelons like, Do I look perfect yet. And instead of trying to fit your body, but it’s more about just being like, yeah, my body, it got me up today, I walked to the mailbox, it kept me going. Like, it’s just more about being morally neutral to yourself. Like it’s just a it’s just a neutral thing. You don’t gotta love it. You don’t you don’t want to hate it. But you don’t have to obsess over it.

I think that’s a really good way to think about why people should actually exercise because it’s more if we’re talking about health, in general, but it would be like, if I want to exercise it’s to allow my body to do more things.

Yeah, so I just want to tell you, I was in it. I’m in I’m in a group that has helped me a lot with a lot of different things. And someone brought up the topic and they said, intentionally losing weight as fat phobic. And I was like, Oh, no, it’s not. I didn’t say that. Because Because I have learned quickly you don’t want to speak in this group unless you really know what you’re talking about. A group where I sit back and I and I learned and I listen a lot. But the thing that she then later explained was you can want your body to be stronger. You can want your body to be able to climb to the top of the stairs without losing your breath. You can want to train for a marathon and absolutely none of them have to do with losing weight. And instead of obsessing about saying I need to lose 10 pounds, what do you need to lose? 10 pounds for Because you just don’t want to be fat. And if the If your answer is yes, and that is fat phobic like that is fat and like you can be fat and be fat phobic you you know if your idea is that you want to wait 120 pounds, why do you want to weigh 120 pounds, I just do it looks good on the scale. But that’s a fat phobic thought that’s something that’s been ingrained in you. It doesn’t mean you’re a horrible person, it just means like that is a fat phobic thought that is in your brain. So work more for your body on what you want it to do versus the number that you want to see.

I really like this too, again, as someone that does have an autoimmune disease, and also has endometriosis. Like, I definitely have days where I am frustrated with my body. And because I there are things like I can’t necessarily do, or there’s just days where I’m in pain. And that’s just how it is. And so I like this idea of just feeling kind of morally neutral about your body. Like, I don’t have to sit there and be like, I didn’t pay but I love my body, I can just be like, Look, I it got me out of bed this morning, is I was able to take care of my daughter today. And that’s fine.

And I think that’s a great way because I feel like the I feel like the reason that it’s body. Body culture is like so diet culture is so toxic is that we are obsessed with things. We’re trying to control every small thing. And sometimes we have to just accept that. We don’t get to change everything. Like we don’t get to be an ultimate control. Some days, you’re so tired, you can’t move and that’s okay. Your body still is able to get you to the kitchen to get a glass of water, your body’s still able to to hold down your medication. Like you said, you just you don’t have to be obsessed over it all the time. You don’t have to constantly be thinking like, is this gonna kill me? Did I eat an organic peach? Or was it an organic? Am I gonna die now? Like just exist? exist slowly exist? Stop thinking that everything you do is going to kill you. I mean, it will. But like,

spoiler, spoiler alert, you got everyone die, all die.

But I read like What a life must you lead, if you’re constantly so anxious that you are surrounding yourself with podcasts and books all day talking about how everything is going to kill you like, chill out, just chill out, you’re gonna have to take a breather every once in a while. And this is where I think the whole mental health thing comes in. Like, I think that a lot of people tell you to take my supplements do this, you’ll feel better. And I think that people need to really go more down the mental health angle than diet angle. But that could also be an entirely a whole other podcast.

I mean, I’m sure there’s, you know, certain people who like, need certain supplements, like iron or whatever, that would actually make them feel better. Yeah, certain reasons. But also like, that’s not what people are peddling out there. They’re like, you have to take what I can’t even think of what is next now ashwagandha or some shit like that, like,

Well, yeah. Or they’ll say like, Well, you know, if you do this, you know, if you you know, take our magnesium supplements, you’ll have a clearer mind and your muscles won’t hurt as much well, also, maybe you just need to drink water. I don’t know, where maybe we have like a real problem that you should get adjusted, but like or maybe you just have a mental health problem like depression and your brain is foggy because you’re depressed. Like, these are things that people I think it’s easier for people to fall on diet culture than it is like mental health because no one wants to talk about mental health.

Yeah, and I think it’s, it’s like, it’s a meme. It’s when people you know, go on their diet journey, quote, unquote, like it’s supposed to be, you know, inspiring. You’re so you’re really doing a good job. And everyone is so excited for you. And they if you say I’m on my mental health journey, they’re like, Oh, yeah.

Crazy. Yeah.

I mean, we talked about this a lot, too. But

I was gonna say to the whole concept of people getting weight loss surgery, and they think that they’re going to be immediately happier, and that they’re going to have no issues with food, the second that they’re thin and spoiler alert, none of that is true. Because your issues with food were probably rooted in your mental, something, you know, mentally versus just being overweight, like, versus just being that you don’t have any self control. And like it’s situated Like that run like you need to do. If you want to do both. If you want to make your body stronger, you need to make your mind stronger. Yeah,

I think about this so much raising a daughter, like and I mean, I think that is I think that it’s super critical for boys to like Meghan’s raising two boys. And I think that that diet culture and the wellness industry, and all of all of these things affect boys as much as they do girls in maybe slightly different ways. But just I think about this so much now as a parent, and even though she’s not even a year old, like, how am I modeling my relationship with food? How am I what are the what language Am I using? Like just all of these things? Because I just, I feel like, I don’t I don’t want her to feel like you did as an eight year old.

I mean, and I think it’s, I think it’s great that you’re even thinking about that, because I think 30 years ago, most moms didn’t have a concept that every time they didn’t understand that every time they looked at themselves, and they were like, I’m fat, I don’t look good. Like mommy’s putting on some pounds. Like all of those things are little tiny nuggets that are ingrained inside of your brain.

Yeah, I will say I will say fuck all day long in front of my child. I will I do not like to say the word fat. Like, yeah, yeah, like, because I saw it. I don’t know. Like To me that is it’s a super. Like I I just don’t I don’t even like to be like, Huh, cats getting a little fat. Although the cat is getting a little fat. And yes, the dog is getting a little fat because eatin takes one bite of her food and then hands the second bite down to the dog. But let him live His glory. Right there like living their best lives. But even still, I’m like, I don’t know. Like, maybe I’m overthinking it was stuff like that. But there’s just it’s, I just I get in my head sometimes. And I’m like, I just I don’t I don’t want her to ever doubt that. Her body is great no matter what size it ends up being.

Yeah, I’m glad that you brought up the fact that I have boys. And it’s still a problem because it absolutely is. It’s a problem in my house. Because my 13 year olds actually he is very concerned about gaining too much weight. And it’s it’s not something that he should be remotely thinking about. I have to like force him to eat food. Actually, it’s kind of sad. It’s on the opposite the opposite end there. But it’s he doesn’t. I hope he doesn’t get that any of that from us. But I know like he’s in middle school, and middle schools are really rough. And that’s the kind of thing that they see they see. Especially because he sees you know, the girls worrying about that. And so I’m sure the guys still it’s happening for them too. Right? He doesn’t talk about it, but it’s there.

I mean, society definitely, like even if you’re doing the best you can do at home, like society is going to pressure people, kids and adults in any you know, as well. But I think like having a good home base and being like, no, like, you can have days where you might be a little frustrated with your body, but like, you don’t get to hate it. And you don’t get to call yourself fat because you ate a piece of cake. Like, all of that is it’s I think as long as you’re keeping that in mind, which it sounds like you’re like, that’s great, like, as long as you’re not putting your eight year old on fucking weightwatchers like you’re golden.


sorry, I’m not gonna want to say the F word.

was fine. We’ve only said it like 15 times already.

Sometimes I just speak and then I’m like, oh, what did I say?

So before we talk about joy, I want to ask a couple more questions from you. So first, as someone who has really directly been harmed by diet, culture and fat phobia, what are a couple seemingly innocuous things that people say or do that you would love for them to not anymore? And then secondly, if a listener is struggling right now, as a result of diet culture, what piece of advice would you give to them?

So the thing that I always say is people have done this to me a lot, and I’ve witnessed it to other people who are overweight people really, you would be so pretty if you just lost weight. Like your face was really pretty. First of all, I know I’m pretty like you don’t have to tell me. And I’m not being smug. I’m actually a pretty person.

She is we are unbiased. Third Party she is very pretty bullish. Here’s

the thing. I don’t give a shit if you don’t like the way I look because I’m not attracted to you. If you don’t like me or like you stop, you’re not helping me. And if you if you say that someone like thinks I know I’m pretty they’ll be like, well, I’m just trying to tell you because your health and we’ve talked about this before again, I don’t need you to judge me on my health based on what you think based on your eyeballs. You’re not my doctor. I don’t I want to talk to you about my health, like leave me alone. And also, if you see a picture of me and I’m wearing like, you know, like, I have like a tankini top that I wear sometimes like high waisted it’s kind of like a bikini. People like you’re so brave. I’m not I’m just existing I’m existing like you You wouldn’t look at you know, you don’t look at a Victoria’s Secret model and be like you’re so brave. You’re so brave, bought a cute swimsuit and you’re like I look cute in the swimsuit by I’m literally existing I’m existing in life. You don’t have to tell me that I’m brave for being what fat enough to exist in a space in which is normally not seen by fat people like, doesn’t make me brave. That makes me someone who’s tired of being off to the side. And I think for listeners, it’s kind of the same advice like you’re you’re allowed to exist and take up space. You don’t have to make yourself tiny and small because you think that makes it better. Like you’re allowed to be confident you’re allowed to wear a bikini you’re allowed to have bad day, you’re allowed to eat french fries, you’re allowed to go for a run, you’re allowed to lay on your couch and watch new girl all day. Like you’re allowed to do all of those things. And no one can say shit to you.

That is literally what Stephie did today.

It was literally what I did today. Mental Health Day and I watched new girl in bed.

I didn’t know that but I feel like we’re just we shared some sort of brain lake. Nick is my ultimate love.

I you know what i like flip flop between him and Winston. Oh, Winston is Art’s favorite artist. My husband

Oh cute.

I just love him so much. He makes me laugh my ass off.

I love when he’s trying to do a prank. Yeah.

So good. Anyway, to you know, rabbit trail guys watch new girl. It’s

great. Yeah, it’s fantastic. You’ll love it.

Well, I think that’s, I think that’s great. Brandy, you are fantastic. We love you. And we thank you for coming on end and talking about this with us. It’s, I feel like we’re like, straight out the gate this year, like hitting some like kind of heavy topics. And I love when our guests are amazing. And help us tackle them. Well,

um, thank you for having me. I was super excited to talk about this because it’s been something that I’ve been talking about with my friends for a while. And also the tick tock algorithm like has me down. So they’re constantly showing me like anti diet culture things. And I’m always like, I don’t know who’s running the algorithm for Tick tock, but boy, do I want it to be in every aspect of my life because it First of all, it tells me things I didn’t know about myself. And it only shows me things I want to see.

That’s amazing. That’s amazing. The other social media platforms could exactly shut out. Have you listened? Have you ever heard of the podcast called maintenance phase?


you should listen to it. It is. So one of the hosts is also a co host on you’re wrong about which is one of my favorite podcasts. But he and his friend started this podcast called maintenance phase and they actually sort of like Mythbusters all of these sort of wellness industry things so there was a whole episode that they did about like the president fitness test or whatever from I hated that thing. hated the worst so terrible. They just put out one I haven’t listened to it yet. But they just put out an episode all about like Halo top ice cream, and stuff like that. So you should check it out. It’s really good.

I believe that the the other host is the lady who does your fat friends? Yes.

Yes, it is.

Yeah. On Twitter and Social. Oh,

yes. I know that.


I was gonna say that I I listened to a podcast. I listened to it the first time. A different subject, but then this was about. It’s called the dream and it was about the wellness industry, but mixing with multi level marketing, which I also thought was a very interesting topic. So that’s a good podcast recommendation, especially if you dislike both of those topics.

We love to listen to things that hate The things that we all say,

I know, I just want to point out by the way that even though I’m super interested in all this diet, culture and stuff, like toxic things live in my brain, and I’m still sometimes there are days where I don’t like myself and like, it’s a slow process of unlearning. So like, I am a petty bitch as well, as much as I try to tell people to like, you shouldn’t be mean to other people. Yeah, sometimes I have a gap session, and I know I shouldn’t. But you know,

I mean, we already talked about no one’s perfect. So there’s nobody out here who can’t say like, I love myself all the time. And I am 100% a good person. No one there are times I’m a literal trash monster. But like,

a little old trash monster more often than not, it’s fine.

And one of my podcasts, they heard like this thing that said, like, Let’s sit crooked and talk straight. Like that’s how I tried to try to live my life.

What’s bringing us joy?

That’s fabulous. That’s great. So all right, let’s round it out. Let’s let’s talk about what’s bringing us joy this week. Brandy, what’s up for you?

Um, all right, what is bringing me joy? Well, it’s really it’s it’s kind of pathetic little things. But I just signed up for this milk delivery service. And it literally makes me feel like I’m on a 1950. And I adore it. And it makes me so happy on Tuesday mornings when I go to check my little, like, the little cooler and I open it up and all my dairy products are there.

Oh my gosh, do they deliver it in a little in little glass jars? Yes.

Yes. My milk comes in glass jars, guys.

And you can you put the empty ones out? And they take out?

Yes, they do.

Oh my god, I’m sorry. I have to move to where Brandi lives because

they deliver it like overnight. So I’ll be I want a little man to come to my

house. Wait,

what is this service call? Oh, it’s like over wise and I think you probably have.

Oh my god, me too. They’re like out of Illinois.

Yeah, they’re out of Illinois and Wisconsin a thing. So like, so I get I have a little cooler that that sits on my front porch. And I set like, I have to do one order a month, which isn’t that hard. And you just like my delivery day is on Tuesday. So every Monday by 9pm I place an order. And then we deliver all of my deliciousness. And their ice cream is the best ice cream.

It’s like very good ice cream. Oh,

the guy came around handing out samples I was like listen, I don’t want what your salad and then he was like try our chocolate milk and I was like You jerk This is

amazing. Oh my God, God.

They delivered to my neighborhood on Mondays.

See? And I just want to point out that they they sell like a bunch of other stuff too. Like lots of dairy products milk. But they have this orange juice. It’s like Natalie’s organic or Natalie’s Oh, that’s really good. Oh,

I took a sip of it. I was like It’s like eating an orange.

I was I was suckered right on in but it makes me happy like, I just love it going out opening my little cooler like I love it.

That is Oh, I didn’t know that. Okay, I’m obsessed now they have yogurt and I didn’t know they had yogurt.

Yeah, I didn’t know this either. I mean because I know about oberweis because I live in Illinois and I’ve had oberweis ice cream before and they sell oberweis milk like enter grocery stores and stuff but I didn’t realize that they did like a to your door. Yep, delivery service and also with these other products like Greek yogurts and stuff like Yeah,

I got in this order. I got four pints of ice cream and eggs. Yes, I got eggs. I got some half and half I got sour cream. I get h&h bagels because they have them so it’s like galgut It’s so good. And I haven’t ordered this but I heard from my neighborhood someone said that they ordered a brown bag apple pie, which is like a thing and they said it was so good. They ordered another one and I was like there’s so many options.

I’m sold. I gotta try this cottage cheese. Oh my god, the baby eats so much cottage cheese. This

is bringing me joy. I’m so excited right now.

Like they’re totally gonna be like okay, so you got milk delivered to your porch that’s really joyful. And girl

you know who you’re talking to?

You know your audience. You’re talking to the right people here.

So adorable. My milk isn’t glass. Ah, I love it so much. Oh my gosh, that’s amazing. Megan I know that obviously this has just brought you some joy new joy prior to this revelation.

So this is like super nerdy and like business related and no one will understand except brandy will understand. I guess. I just finished converting all of my recipes to one single recipe card.

on your blog.

Yes, it was like hundreds of recipes. Like so many. I find I just did it all manually and it took forever. I just did like non non stop for like Like 10 days, and I’ll finish today, I was gonna bring that up in our intro conversation, but I was like, I bet that that’s gonna be her joy. And I don’t want to take that away from her at the end. It’s like a huge weight off my shoulders to have it done. No, I

mean, I’m still not done. I feel you.

It was it was a lot. I had all these plugins that I was able to delete it was, but also now I never want to look at my website again.

So he just stared at me.

over it cannot do it.

I tried to do things by like popularity. So I’m like, okay, the popular posts, but I shared something on Facebook the other day, and someone’s like, it’s not really like printer friendly. And I’m like, that’s because it’s not in the new recipe card. Dammit.

Yeah, that’s what I had to I was doing like all the really popular ones. And then I was like, Oh, crap. And now I need to like, because now this is my full time job. So now I need to like be sharing more responsibly and like, actually promoting my website. And I was like, Oh, look at all these like 10 year old posts that look really terrible.

Yeah, I feel you on that one. It’s

I’m constantly working on it. But congratulations. I’m jealous of you.

Definitely, what about you?

So over the weekend, I watched over the moon on Netflix. And it is so cute. It’s so cute. It is this little animated movie. The animations are beautiful. It does have music in it, which Eden loves anything with songs and music. So she really loved it. And the story is so sweet. Baby made me cry. Because there is, of course, like in the first like five minutes, the mom of the main character gets cancer and dies. And so then, like, but it’s all about the girl like dealing with her grief and all of that stuff. But it is so sweet. And it takes place in China. And so it talks all about, like the Moon Festival and like all of these things, and it’s just oh my god. I am not gonna lie to you, Eden and I watched it like three times and 24 hours. So good. 10 out of 10 recommend. It was so sweet. You have to watch it.

I have not watched it yet, but the kids watched it without me.

I did that I

think I don’t know

they were going to watch it. I’ll still like them if they didn’t like it, but I really enjoyed it.

I didn’t know it existed, but I will definitely take a look into it now.

Well, it’s funny because I don’t feel like people have like really been talking about it. Like I saw a couple things go around about it. And I posted in one of the Facebook groups that I’m in. I was like, why are we not talking about this movie more? And a bunch of people were like, Oh my gosh, yes. I love it so much. I watched it with my kids blah, blah. So yeah, I just don’t feel like it’s getting the, like recognition that it deserves because it is so cute.

I think maybe it was one movie that was going to be released in theaters, maybe then they had to move it just to Netflix only that might be because I remember seeing stuff about it like a long time ago. And then very like small things about it leading up to it. But it’s also like I follow Netflix on social media. So I that’s where I saw it.

Right? Yeah, but absolutely worth a watch. Very, very cute. So that’s bringing me joy.


We got we got dairy recipes and movies.

Next week’s episode

We got everything you need right here everything you need everything. So in keeping with our resolution topics this month, a common New Year’s resolution is to read more so we thought next week would be the perfect time to talk all about books.

We’ll be talking about some of our favorite books and why we love to read. Until then be sure to leave us a review on Apple podcast and listen to us on your favorite platform. You can also follow us on social media at irsipodcast or send us an email at we’d love to hear from our listeners.


Transcribed by

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.