Is eating still something that feels like a complicated task for you? Do you want to cultivate a more peaceful relationship with food and your body? Did you know that the problem is not really just about the food? In this podcast episode, Dr. Cristina Castagnini speaks about unapologetic eating with Alissa Rumsey.


Alissa Rumsey, MS, RD, CDN, CSCS (pronouns she/her/hers) is a registered dietitian, nutrition therapist, certified intuitive eating counselor, and the author of Unapologetic Eating: Make Peace With Food and Transform Your Life. Alissa is passionate about supporting people as they reclaim the space to eat and live, unapologetically.

She is the founder of Rumsey Nutrition Consulting, a weight-inclusive nutrition practice that offers virtual counseling, group programs, and online trainings to support people as they liberate themselves from dieting, cultivate a peaceful relationship with food and their bodies, and live a more authentic life. Her expertise has been featured in hundreds of media outlets and she speaks regularly at events, online trainings, and conferences around the country.

Visit Alissa's website and connect on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.


  • “Let go of fixing”
  • It’s about the food, but also not about the food!
  • Developing a better relationship with food
  • Alissa’s advice to listeners

“Let go of fixing”

The diet culture and industry have tried hard to get people to believe that things about their bodies need to be “fixed” to look a certain way or to be a certain size.  Unless there is a specific medical issue that someone wants to heal or treat or a harmful mindset that you want to change, you probably don’t need as much “fixing” as you think.  A lot of diet culture and orthorexia-type trends in social media get people to hyperfocus on “health” and that it looks a certain way when health can be found in all shapes and sizes. 
It’s been really powerful [in my practice] because it’s one of those things, when I was getting into this intuitive-eating work, I was like, “Oh! … I’m gonna help people be able to eat and not feel guilty”, which absolutely is a huge outcome of the work I do with people, and very quickly I realized that there are these other outcomes because food is the starting point … As people heal their relationship with food, it [positively] impacts all these other things in their lives. (Alissa Rumsey) 

It’s about the food, but also not about the food!

People think that if they struggle with eating, it’s only about the food and the eating habits, and that once they’re resolved then everything is all good.  However, it goes much deeper than that. It’s actually not about the food!
What presents as, “Oh, I have a problem with food or a problem with my body”, those are the symptoms, they aren’t actually the [whole] problem … What’s presenting as this problem with food or body image is really reflective of experiences that [you] have had … [with] the culture that we live in. (Alissa Rumsey)
Additionally, by working through the food lens with medical professionals and therapists, people reconnect with their body cues, they improve their body image, and elevate their mindset and mental health as well, leading to a full recovery and even a life change too. So it’s not just about the food, it’s about everything beneath it that leads someone to try to control food as a maladaptive coping mechanism for something else that is actually throwing them off kilter. 

Developing a better relationship with food

It’s worthwhile to work with a medical professional as well as a therapist to figure out which way of eating works best for you since you will have your own connection with your body, and you may need to reconnect with it.  This is one of the bases of intuitive eating. 
We’re all born with this inherent connection to our body and this ability to know what and how much we need, and yet, for a variety of reasons … For a lot of people it starts in childhood and for others in adulthood, we’re just so disconnected from that. So I think [it’s important] to allow people the space to be like, “What would that be like … to pay more attention to what feels good to me?” (Alissa Rumsey)
It is important to develop a relationship with your body where you are respecting it instead of trying to control it. 

Alissa’s advice to listeners 

There is hope! And there is so much freedom and liberation out there waiting for you on the journey to your recovery and the other side. 


BOOK | Alissa Rumsey - Unapologetic Eating: Make Peace With Food and Transform Your Life Visit Alissa's website and connect on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Binge Eating Disorder and Trauma with Expert Amy Pershing | EP 188 Visit and submit your comment via voice message! Sign up for the free Behind The Bite Course Practice of the Practice Network Email Dr. Cristina Castagnini:


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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