Have people ever complimented you on weight loss after you’ve been ill? How does diet culture permeate different aspects of everyday life? What does your version of health and happiness look like, and will you protect it from the false beliefs of others? In this podcast episode, Dr. Cristina Castagnini speaks about unveiling diet culture in everyday life and within yourself with Edward Miskie.


Newly published author of Cancer, Musical Theatre, & Other Chronic Illnesses, NYC-based author, actor, and digital creator Edward Miskie is celebrating his 10-year cancer-free anniversary of a rare, aggressive Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Visit Edward Miskie's website and connect on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.


  • Diet culture in theatre
  • Edward’s journey through cancer
  • It takes time
  • “It’s all a lie”

Diet culture in theatre

The false and damaging beliefs of diet culture are pervading different aspects of society.
There’s a huge expectation on these kids to perform but then also look a particular way and it’s almost like, God, you can’t have both and be healthy at the same time. (Edward Miskie)
Dancers and performers are expected to perform their hearts out at multiple shows a week while not eating a lot to look a certain way. Over time, it damages their body, as well as their mental and emotional well-being.

Edward’s journey through cancer

When he was 24, he found a lump under his arm. It was misdiagnosed, and later it further developed into a bigger issue.
At that point at 25, looking back, of course, I was in the best shape of my life, I looked great … and going to the hospital and having that completely ironed out … really screws with you. (Edward Miskie)
The cancer treatment and subsequent recovery had massive changes in Edward’s physical health.
I never, in my entire life, received more compliments on the way that I looked than when I did when I was fresh out of the hospital [after cancer]. (Edward Miskie)
By diet culture beauty standards, Edward looked “great”, but he had been suffering near death for a year and was just getting his life back together again.

It takes time

If you have struggled with an eating disorder – or you currently are – recovery is possible and you can reach full recovery. However, sometimes those thoughts will be present. They may come up occasionally, but they hold no power over you. Notice them, and let them go.

“It’s all a lie”

Diet culture and the modeling industry are all lies. They are a collection of false beliefs and twisted science that are geared toward brewing insecurities in you so that you purchase their products and buy into their systems. They are not real, and they are not true, and you do not have to live your life by their standards – at all!
I worked in the fashion industry for like four seconds and those models look absolutely nothing like that without makeup on. Most of them are kind of not that pretty without being completely done up, and it’s all a lie. All of it. (Edward Miskie)
Do not let how you look become more important than your health, because that is backward. Do what makes you happy. As long as you’re healthy, it doesn’t matter how it looks, just that you are fulfilled, capable, and healthy.



  I am a licensed Psychologist and Certified Eating Disorder Specialist. While I may have over 20 years of clinical experience, what I also have is the experience of having been a patient who had an eating disorder as well. One thing that I never had during all of my treatment was someone who could look me in the eye and honestly say to me "hey, I've been there. I understand". Going through treatment for an eating disorder is one of the hardest and scariest things to do. I remember being asked to do things that scared me. Things I now know ultimately helped me to get better. But, at the time, I had serious doubts and fears about it. If even one of my providers had been able to tell me "I know it's scary, but I had to go through that part too. Here's what will probably happen...." then perhaps I would not have gone in and out of treatment so many times. My own experience ultimately led me to specialize in treating eating disorders. I wanted to be the therapist I never had; the one who "got it". I will be giving you my perspective and information as an expert and clinician who has been treating patients for over 2 decades. But don't just take my word for it...keep listening to hear the truly informative insights and knowledge guest experts have to share. I am so happy you are here!


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