Surviving Weight Stigma and Thriving in Spite of It with Ragen Chastain | #68

Oct 20, 2020

Image text reads, "Surviving Weight Stigma and Thriving in Spite of It with Ragen Chastain | #68" over a group of fat, femme-presenting people holding scales and giving them the finger

Click here to access a written transcript of this episode.

We live in a fatphobic world that was designed to be difficult for fat folx to navigate. This harsh reality will not change until we all collectively address our learned bias against fat folx and work to destroy the systems that rely on weight stigma.

Simultaneously, fat folx still need practical coping strategies and tools to survive this unjust system and thrive in spite of it. While individual solutions to systemic oppression are not enough, they do have their place in the overall picture. Fat activist Ragen Chastain offers tips in this episode to help fat folx deal with weight stigma in healthcare, employment, dating, and on the internet. 

We discussed:

  • Ragen’s work as a public speaker and her athletic accomplishments.
  • Medical weight stigma and what fat folx have to deal with in healthcare settings.
  • Ways that fat folx can have more agency over their experiences at the doctor’s office.
  • Ragen’s philosophy of “more privilege, more work.”
  • Asking doctors to document treatment refusals in your chart.
  • Coping strategies for career-based fatphobia.
  • Different decisions fat folx can make for themselves when it comes to fatphobia in dating.
  • Where tolerance falls short in how we’re treating other people and being treated.
  • Navigating fatphobia while dating.
  • Remembering that you can’t control the outcomes of your activism.
  • How the world is specifically curated to leave fat folx out and deny them representation.
  • How Ragen cultivates courage in an unfair world.
  • Ragen’s choice to not define health and wellness for herself at all.

Mentioned in This Episode

Featured in This Episode

A headshot of Ragenwearing a black top, cast in soft lighting against a gray backdrop

Ragen Chastain (she/her) is a speaker, writer, Certified Health Coach, and thought leader in the fields of Body Image, Health at Every Size, Weight Stigma in Healthcare, Weight Stigma in Eating Disorders Treatment, and Corporate Wellness. Ragen has brought her captivating mix of humor and hard facts to diverse stages, including Google Headquarters, CalTech, and The American Diabetes Care and Educator’s Conference, is the author of the blog, danceswithfat, and the book, Fat: The Owner’s Manual, the editor of the anthology, The Politics of Size, as well as being frequently featured as an expert in print, radio, television, and documentary film. Ragen is a three-time national dance champion and two-time marathoner who holds the Guinness World Record for Heaviest Woman to Complete a Marathon, and she co-founded the Fit Fatties Forum. She lives in L.A. with her fiancée, Julianne, and their two adorable dogs, and is currently training for an Iron-distance triathlon. You can learn more about Ragen on her website, Instagram, YouTube channel, and Twitter.

Did you benefit from this episode? You can show your appreciation by supporting Ragen’s work. Consider signing up for Ragen’s blog membership program and share this episode with anyone who you think could benefit from Ragen’s work.

Take a Deeper Dive into Redefining Health & Wellness

  • All episodes are available to listen to on a variety of podcast players, including Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Spotify.
  • Join the conversation with host Shohreh Davoodi on Instagram and Facebook, and access exclusive podcast content on Patreon.
  • Sign up for Shohreh's email newsletter to be one of the first to hear about new episodes and announcements.

How To Support the Podcast

Each episode of the Redefining Health & Wellness podcast is carefully crafted with you, the listener, in mind. If you appreciate the podcast and what you're learning from it, there are multiple ways to invest in and support it so I can continue to put out episodes for months and years to come.

1. Join my Patreon.
Patreon is a way for badass people like you to stand with and celebrate the creators you love (like me!). While becoming a patron is primarily a declaration that you believe in the content I'm already putting out, you'll also get extra perks for joining, such as podcast exclusives and Q&A recordings. Learn more and sign up here.

2. Leave a tip.
Can't commit to ongoing contributions right now? Consider leaving a tip through Paypal, Venmo, or the Cash app:

Venmo: @shohrehdavoodi
Cash App:$ShohrehDavoodi

3. Subscribe, rate & review, and share.
Subscribing to the podcast is the best way to make sure you never miss an episode, and ratings and reviews help other people who could benefit from the podcast's content to actually find it. Click HERE to subscribe in Apple Podcasts, and then scroll down to "Ratings and Reviews", and click where it says "Write A Review" to submit one. And if you're enjoying the podcast overall or specific episodes in particular, don't hesitate to share with the people in your life or give a shout-out on social media.

Newest Podcast Episodes:


Hi, I’m Shohreh! I’m a weight-inclusive wellness coach on a mission to help you give diet culture the finger so you can eat, move, and live guilt-free.

3 ways I can help

To learn more about how we can work together, choose an option below.

Check out the blog

If you enjoy the Redefining Health & Wellness podcast, you may also like what’s on the blog.