Do you feel compelled to “transform your body” with the new year? Have you been feeling bombarded with ads about changing your diet or your lifestyle? What can you do to maintain a sustainable and healthy relationship between your mind and body? In this podcast episode, Dr. Cristina Castagnini speaks about body liberation with Chrissy King.


Chrissy King is a writer, speaker, educator, and former strength coach with a passion for creating a diverse and inclusive wellness industry. She is also the author of The Body Liberation Project. Through her work, Chrissy empowers individuals to stop shrinking, start taking up space, and use their energy to create their specific magic in the world. With degrees in social justice and sociology from Marquette University, Chrissy merges her passion for social justice with her passion for wellness to inspire members of the fitness industry to create spaces that allow individuals from all backgrounds to feel seen, welcomed, affirmed, and celebrated.

Visit Chrissy's website and connect on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


  • The value of compassionately self-questioning
  • A desire for control
  • Surround yourself with the right materials
  • Chrissy’s advice to listeners

The value of compassionately self-questioning

People are inundated with marketing, ads, and social media constantly - most people on a daily basis and for many times a day. It’s evident that the more you see these things, the more they become normalized to you, and you may end up wanting them or wanting to buy them. Chrissy recommends compassionately questioning yourself when you want to do something, and checking whether it is something that you specifically want because it aligns with your values, or if it’s maybe just a passing fad that’s influencing you.
Are we compassionately self-questioning why we want the things that we think we want? As it pertains to our bodies, because so much of it is in general just conditioning and programming that we’re receiving from diet culture [because] it’s everywhere, and so it’s oftentimes hard to distinguish [if] I want to [change my body] because I somehow think it’s going to make me healthier, or do I think that’s just the thing I’m supposed to do? (Chrissy King)
Health is different at every size, so if you are striving for health it doesn't necessarily mean striving for a smaller or thinner body. People with smaller bodies can be more unhealthy than people with bigger bodies, so it’s not a true comparison to always compare weight with health.

A desire for control

Sometimes people feel a desire to lose weight or to change their bodies somehow because they experience unease, stress, or anxiety in the rest of their lives and they want to feel in control of something. So, they begin to hyperfocus on their exercise or eating as a maladaptive coping technique to feel as if they are in control of their reality when in fact they are just damaging their body.
Weight loss is in a lot of ways the low-hanging fruit when maybe other things in our lives, we don’t feel like we have control over them or they aren’t going the way we want them to go, and we [say], “Well, I can control my body … this is the thing I can control”, and diet culture also teaches us that everything will be better when we lose weight, we’ll be happier … Which is not true! You’re the same person with the same issues, you’re just in a smaller body. (Chrissy King)
For Chrissy when she was in the throes of diet culture, all of her energy went into maintaining or thinking about how her body looked. It might have been something that she thought she could have controlled, but for many people, it ends up taking control of you.
When we stop being so distracted by appearances, we can really use our creative energy for other things. (Chrissy King)

Surround yourself with the right materials

If you are feeling overwhelmed by all the anti-diet marketing and information, be intentional about removing it from your circle of influence as much as possible, and replace it with things that resonate with you. Listen to podcasts, read books, and follow people on social media who inspire you and who align with your values instead of just following the crowd and whatever everyone else is saying or doing.
As much as we can, [we should] manage what we are consuming … Especially on platforms like Instagram, view and follow people [who inspire you], or even try to spend less time on social media I think can be really helpful … It’s not like you can avoid it wherever you go but you can manage it … and follow people who are anti-diet. (Chrissy King)
Remember that there are so many ways that you can work on goals that are around health and feeling good in your body that are not centered around weight-related goals.

Chrissy’s advice to listeners

The most important thing is to cultivate a compassionate relationship with ourselves since you are always with you. Learn how to talk to yourself with patience, love, and compassion, as you would to a loved one.



  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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