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

The Conjuring Up Courage logo, a photo of Ragen, and the words, "Surviving Weight Stigma and Thriving in Spite of It with Ragen Chastain Episode #68"

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 Ragen wearing 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.

Share the love!  

Subscribe to

The Queer Agenda

The Queer Agenda is a newsletter dedicated to uplifting LGBTQIA+ folks (where our accomplices benefit too) by sharing thoughtful tools, strategies, advice, and encouragement to help us heal and come home to ourselves. It’s equal parts warm hug, gentle kick in the ass, and queer magic.