I spoke with Jess Sprengle, a therapist specializing in eating disorders, about treating eating disorders from a weight-inclusive lens, the difference between disordered eating and an eating disorder, before and after photos in recovery, body image, and more.
Jess’s personal experiences with having and recovering from an eating disorder have informed her practice today, and she works from a Health At Every Size (HAES) lens. She recognizes that eating disorders don’t have one “look,” and that the stereotype that they do is harmful to many.
Jess believes that by focusing on behaviors, decentering body size, and employing radical self-love, people suffering from eating disorders can improve their relationships with food and their bodies.
- Jess’s eating disorder history and experiences with recovery which led her to become a therapist who specializes in eating disorders.
- The different kinds of eating disorders, and how Jess believes that no matter what label you put on an eating disorder, they are all, at their core, a coping mechanism and way to deal with the world.
- The difference between disordered eating and eating disorders, and how the two are on a continuum.
- Some of the risk factors that can lead to eating disorders.
- How what we often think of as the “look” of an eating disorder is not only inaccurate but also harmful to those who are trying to get treatment and don’t fit that mold.
- What people who think they might have an eating disorder can do to start getting the help they need.
- Some of the differences between eating disorder clinicians working from a Health At Every Size (HAES)-lens and those who are not.
- The use of social media in the eating disorder recovery community, and Jess’s belief that posting before and after photos is harmful.
- Other ways people can tell their eating disorder stories outside of traditional before and after photos that decenter their bodies in the narrative.
- The concept of radical self-love introduced in The Body Is Not An Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor and how wonderful of a resource the book is.
- What Jess is feeling cranky about these days and her hilarious weekly Instagram feature, Meme Monday.
- How Jess defines health and wellness for herself at this moment in her life, including going to therapy and keeping her mental health in an ideal place.
Mentioned in this Episode:
- Project HEAL
- The Alliance
- The Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH) website
- The Body Is Not An Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor
- The organization, The Body Is Not An Apology
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Featured on this Episode:
Jess Sprengle is a licensed professional counselor, cat parent, and polka dot enthusiast in Austin, TX, where she owns and operates a private practice specializing in the care and treatment of folx with eating disorders, disordered eating, and body image disturbances. She is a champion of freedom, justice, and liberation for all people and all bodies. She likes being a professional pain in the ass, but always with a lot of love and a lot of curse words. You can find Jess on her website, Instagram, and Twitter.
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