In this episode Registered Dietitians Dalina Soto and Melissa Landry discuss healthism with Patrilie Hernandez. We discuss the common refrain “I’m all for body positivity, but what about health?” – where it comes from and why concerns about health are so often the last hurdle when it comes to food freedom and body liberation.

You’ll learn practical steps to pursue health (authentically to your values – Patrilie shares interesting ideas about why health and productivity are so connected) and improve body image, as well as consider ways to change the culture around you that equates your health to your worth.

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Follow our guest on Instagram: @the_bodylib_advocate

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Connect with Melissa on Instagram: @no.more.guilt

Connect with Dalina on Instagram: @your.latina.nutritionist

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This episode was sponsored by No More Guilt with Melissa Landry. Reminder that though we are dietitians, we’re not *YOUR* dietitian. Podcasts don’t constitute treatment. If you have concerns about your dieting behaviors, seek out guidance from a medical or mental health professional. And if you’re looking for the process, support, and focus you need to live life without food guilt apply for a coaching program from today’s sponsor. No More Guilt with Melissa Landry is currently enrolling clients into 1:1 programs, group programs, and, recently added a do-it-yourself learning format: the Ex-Dieter’s Guide to No More Guilt.

what is healthism? with patrilie hernandez, MS transcript

Dalina Soto  0:02  
Hola hola chulas
Melissa Landry  0:04  
Hi there. We are experts in intuitive eating for on again off again chronic dieters, and we are here to help you take the guilt and stress out of eating so you can become the first in your family to break the diet cycle, just like we are in our families.
Dalina Soto  0:19  
We want you to be who you are without food guilt. Be sure
Melissa Landry  0:22  
Be sure to follow us on Instagram. No more guilt for Melissa and your Latina nutritionist for Dalina.
Dalina Soto  0:29  
Are you ready? Let's break the diet cycle.
Melissa Landry  0:32  
Hey, it's me Melissa. Before we start, I want to let you know that this episode is brought to you by no more guilt with Melissa Landry. What you're about to listen to is not a professional coaching or counseling session. Each episode is a one time conversation meant for educational purposes. Look for dieticians. But we're not your dietician. Remember that podcasts don't constitute treatment. If you have concerns about your dieting behaviors, seek out guidance from a medical or mental health professional. And if you're looking for the process, support and focus you need to live life without food guilt apply for a coaching program from today's sponsor, me. I'm currently enrolling clients into one to one programs, group programs and I recently added a do it yourself format the X dieters guide to no more guilt. Apply for a program at Melissa Landry I hope to meet you soon.
Dalina Soto  1:19  
One more thing to less we know how hard you are working to break the diet cycle out there. We appreciate that work. Because we know every single one of you who breaks a diet cycle is making a world where inclusive and safe for others to do the same. It's personal, we get it. That's probably why you're listening to a podcast, it's private and at your own pace. That's why if you've ever found benefit from this podcast, we want you to review and rate us there are more people like you who want the same benefit. Helping our podcasts get found by women like you is the best way to help us further our mission to break the diet cycle. We literally couldn't do it without you. Will you review us after you listen to this episode. Thanks chula.
Melissa Landry  2:09  
What about health? But what about health? But what about health? This is the question we always hear on our pages when we're working with clients. The moment you find food freedom, you get really excited about what that could mean Right, like not be guilty about food all the time. But pretty shortly after that the fears start to roll in. And for a lot of people they can get past maybe some than ideal they have or aesthetics that they have. But health is a big concern, of course, right? We all want to live happy lives to be able to keep up with our family and friends and explore the world. And so we brought in Patrillie today, who is an advocate who understands body liberation, and works at both individual level at least that's where she started, and at a systemic level to push back on a force called Health ism. So without further ado, we're going to explain what health ism is, how it might have impacted your individual relationship to food and your body. And we're gonna hopefully give you some tangible tips that you can use for yourself and maybe the world around you so we can change the culture that caused it in the first place. Today we have Patrillie Hernandez on to talk a little bit about health, and why it is important to not see that as something that should dictate your worth. We're going to talk a little bit about how ideas of health can block you in healing your relationship with food. I'm so thrilled to have you as a guest, would you introduce yourself to our audience. And then we can talk a bit more about this topic.
Patrilie  3:38  
Yes, of course I can. Thank you so much, Melissa. And thank you both for having me on here. I have had the opportunity and the pleasure of listening to podcast episodes before and thank you for inviting me and I'm super glad that we could have a conversation together today. Us too.
Melissa Landry  3:55  
Us too. So tell us a little bit about your work so we can introduce our listeners to you and what you're really about.
Patrilie  4:01  
Of course or course my name is patrolling My pronouns are she and they I am aware of many hats. I feel I have worked in public health, nutrition food in some way or another for almost 15 years. I'm dating myself, but you know, I would consider myself first and foremost a public advocate. I do a lot of work around policy, policy analysis, policy implementation. I have a background as an educator, I dabble in some activism. I do program and project management around nutrition and health and I am also the founder of embody lib, which is a community and platform that aims to be in solidarity with people to global maturity as they move towards reclaiming their health and well being. I have a background in nutrition with a focus on nutrition education, as well as As an academic and professional background in cultural anthropology, so I leverage both man's apology backgrounds, my nutrition degree, and my extensive experience in public health. And I work with a variety of stakeholders in the health and wellness and, and educational settings, on, you know, basically working with them to move towards weight inclusive and multi dimensional frameworks that improve community wellbeing. So I work very much from an institutional level. So I'm not a coach or a nutritionist, don't don't really do one on one, coaching, counseling with clients of patients, like I think maybe other people you've had on your podcast or the work that you do, I really work on a systems institutional level, to bring about change that that hopefully make, you know, the health provider, the healthcare world, a little bit more inclusive, compassionate. And I think with a lot more integrity for people of diverse backgrounds,
Melissa Landry  6:01  
I love this. And this is why you are here today, because a lot of what we talk on this podcast, and I think what brings a lot of people into their interests with intuitive eating in this work is like, I need me me, I am struggling with this issue in my life. I am struggling with my relationship with food, my body image is difficult. Negative. It's important, you know, you people are important. Same for you. Oh, yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And so many times we start there, but little by little we learn the reason we end up there is the institutional stuff that has impacted us. So that's why we asked you to be on here. Because one of the things Dalina and I are both really passionate about is helping people first and foremost, kind of be like one less person that's suffering with this in the world. But then from there, how do we think about these systems that harmed us so that they stop harming people? That would be such a win? 
Patrilie  6:53  
Absolutely, and the whole goal with everybody lib, right. And I talked about this a lot when I was first forming the organization that you know, when us as individuals, we work to dismantle and deconstruct our own internalized oppressive narratives, right, that are largely due to external systems, whether they're rooted in sis hetero patriarchy, white supremacy, colonialism, other facets of, of like, systemic oppression, we are better equipped to kind of stand up and stand together to confront and address these larger systems of oppression, right, that keep us all collectively marginalized, keep us all collectively oppressed. So starting with the individual, I think is incredibly important, right? Because that's where it starts, like you have to start recognizing how these systems impact you and, and keep you from thriving at your fullest potential. Right? And when enough and and when enough of us are free of this, right? I think it makes it easier to come together to organize and to burn down, dismantle whatever, the system that has hurt us and harmed us for so long,
Melissa Landry  8:06  
we have to get faster at smelling What stinks, you know what I mean? Like, I see this, I think I think about this with you know, being a woman and thinking about how what my mom and her generation might have thought was appropriate behavior via man toward a woman. And what I think is appropriate behavior is like probably night and day. And this goes for any intersection you have that just happens to be the one I have. And so it's important, we listen to other people's points of views, because sometimes we can't smell what stinks, when it's not happening to us. So there's so many layers to this.
Patrilie  8:39  
Yeah, and, and I think so many of us, right, have so many pieces of our identity, right? That kind of play into this power dynamic. So, no one person's lived experience is just one dimensional, right? Every aspect of our identity can either be marginalized by this bigger system at hand, more benefits from this bigger system at hand, right? So all of us in some way, have some sort of power to leverage those aspects of our identity, right, that do benefit from, from the system to be able to work to address it, tear it down and build something where all of us strive no matter what our different identities are.
Dalina Soto  9:17  
I think that you know, something that I always think about and I think we've talked about this too on the podcast is that like, two truths can be true like you can like sometimes we we get so stuck in black and white thinking that sometimes we can even see the nuance and a lot of these systemic issues that are keeping us you know, in like this cult like control almost. And some people are like well, you're trying to steal away who I was like, I feel like I hear a lot of that when people are like pushing back against racism and like issues. There's always like But I grew up this way and there's nothing wrong with how I grew up, right like but it's like you could have grown up in this scenario or like knowing Get these beliefs to be true to you. But they can also be harmful to other people. And then you now can dismantle that so that we can create a world that is better for everyone, right? Like when people say, like, thin privilege is in the thing, or like, you know, whatever, like, there's just so much. And I'm like, Oh, my brain does not work like that. So like, to me, it's like really hard to understand what people just can't see the whole thing.
Patrilie  10:23  
I mean, binary thinking, right, binary thinking does a couple of things. So I talk a lot about binary systems, because they are so integral to upholding the power that very few people actually in this world have, right. That's why I say that my goal is to reclaim health and well being for the global majority, because I don't use the word minority, because in fact, we are not minorities, we are the majority of the people that occupy this earth. And there is a small group of people that are dictating how bodies how health, how nutrition should look like. So hierarchies, this kind of binary thinking, this or that this is at the top, this is in the bottom, this is very much an agent of white supremacy. And so looking at issues, while you know, rejecting this binary, has been incredibly important part of my body liberation journey, my journey as I explore gender and my sexuality as a queer person, where you know, thinking in these binaries, yes, to to an extent they help humans kind of organize information, right? I'm putting on my anthropologist hat. This helps us identify what is safe, what is not. But at the same time, right? Because there are so many of us having this collective experience having these kinds of binary systems of thinking, what it does, it just upholds the elite, right, like it upholds the power structure. So yeah, thank you, thank you for bringing that because looking at issues with a level of nuance, with the level of complexity that they deserve, I think helps us really get to to the root of what is the root of what is marginalizing us, right? What is marginalizing the most marginalized, so we can focus on their liberation? And then in turn, it frees all of us.
Melissa Landry  12:16  
It's, it's interesting to think about this, because I think when people hear the term white supremacy, and I'll say this as a white person, your gut reaction is like, Ooh, Oh, God, what have I done? Right? There's a lot, there's a lot of guilt and shame that can come up within that. And my hope today is we have had this conversation, we can frame it, just like you're saying, truly, like, there's this. There's a hierarchy that exists. Absolutely. Whether whether you've experienced it or not, it is there.
Patrilie  12:43  
And it's, and it's very much tied to our history. Right. And, you know, when I say things like white supremacy, almost everybody benefits from, from white supremacy, right, that I identify as a multiracial Person of the, of the Puerto Rican diaspora. But half of my ancestry is rooted in white European settlers, that came to the island, right. And so because of that, my family lineage, right has benefited from these systems, right? It doesn't mean that because you benefit from white supremacy, that you have all of the power in the world, right? Like, it doesn't mean that But recognizing the system for what it is, allows us to be more thoughtful in how we participate in it, right? And how we can divest it from it, in order to create something that all of us can thrive in, and can be in community with. So a lot of what I talk about, right, I don't talk about individuals, right? I talk about systems and white supremacy is an ideology, it is a system, it is not a person or group of individuals.
Melissa Landry  13:48  
That's helpful going into this now, for any listener, that's kind of like, oh, no, you know, this is being able to work with those feelings internally empowers you to actually think about what we're meant to talk about today, which is health ism. And I want now to talk about health ism, as it lives inside of this, like white supremacy framework. Because the way I always learned about it or thought about it is that folks who are quote, healthy, and who look what we perceive healthy to look like, get certain privileges and advantages in our society. How do you define health ism? What does it mean to you?
Patrilie  14:26  
So I follow a definition that was already defined, right? And so there was this sociologist, his name was Robert Crawford, and he established a really great definition in the 1980s. And so he used health ism as a way to critique right of how much especially during the 1980s right where we really saw this pivot in the public health sphere, where you saw a higher investment in funding you saw more national attention was being paid to different chronic diseases like Heart disease, diabetes, towards the end of the 1980s, you saw the emergence of the HIV AIDS epidemic. And then during the beginning of that time, right is when you really saw the diet industry really, really take off and become super popular. So he was wary of that, right? He, he was wary that all this investment in being healthy was actually right, was was was turning into healthy meaning, a responsibility to seem healthy to others. Right. And so he defined health ism as, quote, the preoccupation with personal health as the primary, often the primary focus for the definition of achievement of well being goal, which is to be attained primarily through the modification of lifestyle behaviors. And so what health is, um, he he, so his critique was as, as everything that that was happening in the public health sphere during that time, that health was just really flattened, right, like it was flattened across entire populations from this kind of dynamic, multifaceted issue, right, that, that that that has many dimensions into something that was just that just amount of just to just personal responsibility. And so I feel that, since that time, right, health ism has really increased, and was so prevalent in not only the public health spaces, but you'll see in the health and wellness movements, right that have emerged from that time period. And now we're What 2022 folks are just starting to realize, again, Oh, crap, we focus all this on personal responsibility, but health outcomes for people haven't really turned out better. So now they're reverting back to weight. What are what are social determinants of health? And that I think, is a way to kind of backtrack on this kind of healthiest agenda that has been so prominent in public health spaces, and in the health and wellness field for for about 40 years.
Dalina Soto  17:05  
Yeah, and you know, what that makes me think of like how the ABS everything was sugar free and fat free. And like, this is where all of these like, kind of like scare, public health campaigns, they were like, super scary started coming out. And that's why like, I often think about the fact that like, again, public health campaigns just generalize so much, again, without looking at the individual. And it's like, everybody should be fat free. Everybody should be sugar free. And it's like, really? Like, how does? How does how does that make sense? And also, if we look at the data, none of that has done anything for anybody's health is anything?
Patrilie  17:43  
Yeah, actually. being reactionary, I think was incredibly reactionary response, the public health sphere, I think, because there was such a massive investment around that time, people were collecting more data, right. So that's when they start collecting metrics, around more more metrics around things like blood pressure, yeah, like it once the levels, weight, BMI, things like that, that really started become becoming more enforced during the 70s 80s, which I think, you know, laid the groundwork for a lot of these kinds of movements, you saw in media, in, you know, fitness spaces around the notion that health was primarily a personal responsibility that it was 100% in your hands, and that if you didn't meet this definition of health, then you were responsible, then then then you were a moral failure. You know, prior to that there was some investment, right around things like meal programs around things like Medicare, Medicaid, but in the 1980s, which I think coincided a lot with the administration during that time, really focused on the issue of health, being public responsible for being a personal responsibility, and being a means of being more productive to society, which meant that it would have that the country as a whole would have a better economy, more people would be working, more people would be working longer hours, right. So I think you really saw that narrative pushed around that time, which you didn't really see before that.
Melissa Landry  19:15  
It's so interesting. And that's something that we think about this idea of reclaiming and liberation. A lot of times you'll see people in our space, ask people how they define health, like, if you're, I think of like, athletes, right? Like how they define health is very different the way I define health because their endgame is their game. They want to be the best for a very short window in their lifecycle and achieve that, and so they're gonna make decisions based on that. What are your definitions for what's your end game? You're allowed to have a different end game than the one that was presented to you.
Patrilie  19:50  
Absolutely. Absolutely.
Dalina Soto  19:52  
And I also you know, this also prompted me to think I heard you say things like able to see and like blood work. And, again, a lot of that like we Have these numbers, and some of them have ranges? And some of them do not. And I feel like sometimes when we don't have those ranges people get so stuck. Like I literally had someone told me yesterday that they are border that they are borderline pre diabetic. And I was like, how is that? Me? Me like I don't really understand how you can be borderline pre diabetic because like, our blood sugars, like we have blood sugars for a reason, there are a number and like, also, we don't even have an actual definition still, like doctors still function on like two different definitions for diabetes right now and for pre diabetes. So how can someone be borderline? That is normal blood sugar?
Patrilie  20:41  
Like that's pre pre diabetic? Like didn't you know like, that's true? Yeah. And I think people forget that the Western biomedical model, right, using these metrics as a measure of health is pretty new, like the fifth the past 50 years or so. And so very much like we see the information is changing, we see that our built environment is changing. So these biometric markers, right to say that they are and will forever be the gold standard. I don't think that's true, because it's still kind of new, we're learning more information about the human body every day medicine, right? It's ever evolving, we have greater access, right, we have greater access to information, where a lot of these studies that were initially done right to establish what the gold standard measurements, they didn't have access to the same diverse populations that that we have now. So this is still I think it's incredible, right? That, that we have been able to use science to develop these markers that can track health over a period of time. And, and I think that those could be so valuable. But I think at the same time, you need to recognize that there are a lot of shortcomings that are systemic, that are cultural, that are that that are environmental, that keep us from saying, Oh, this is never going to change, or this is 100%, how it needs to be for everybody.
Melissa Landry  22:02  
And coming back to that binary like we want and like No, am I good health are my bad health, we want that label. But what we're talking about with these metrics is like, they're as good as they can be for now. Right. And they are data points that are not more or less important than other data points to include your lived experience and how you, you know, experience joy and satisfaction and connection in the world around you. And so I think that is something that a lot of our clients work toward, it's not easy, because everything that you see in the media, when you go to the doctor's office is going to try to snap you back to that binary. And I think that's the work is, is developing that inner self talk or, you know, that connection with your values that helps you navigate it, because it it's really, really hard. It's really hard.
Patrilie  22:51  
And I think, right, like, I talked about this western kind of medical model of health, this is, this is a medical model, right? That is that is representative of a good size of the population, but we have an entire world of different cultures have different perspectives on what health is and how health is defined. So you know, one of the examples that I was thinking of is, so I mentioned, right, so I'm from Puerto Rico, there is a significant amount of my ancestry is European settler, but a significant amount of my ancestry is also like indigenous, and you know, thinking about the way that indigenous peoples in central South America, the Caribbean, which is a huge part of the Western world, right, the way that they perceive health and the way that their perspectives on health are so drastically different. Where the Western biomedical model, right, they really function with these with these binaries, right, you're you either have good you either have good cholesterol, you have bad cholesterol, your your blood sugar's are good, bad, etc. A lot of indigenous frameworks around health really talk about balance, they really talk about the balance of your different bodies, let's say right, that you have a physical body and you have a mental body and you have a spiritual body, right? And it's not about being good or bad or good, but it's about insurance, that all of those are imbalanced with each other and our imbalance with the world around you. Right? Like it's very closely tied to the land, it's very closely tied to nature. So, you know, thinking that these definitions of health only pertained to this, this and this, I think, is super limiting because people have the floor, because there are so many examples with people of the global majority that they define and they pursue health very differently.
Melissa Landry  24:41  
Balance is also not perfection, right? Like right, the word balance implies that it will fall out of out of balance, like many times when people that's like the word moderation, I think, right prolonged it's like not an endpoint. It's actually a dynamic experience. Exactly. That's dynamic. Yeah. For sure,
Dalina Soto  25:00  
that's so hard for people.
Melissa Landry  25:03  
I want to talk about a very common refrain that we hear, you can tell me if you've heard this one, when people say, I'm all for body positivity, but what about health? Have you heard this phrase? Of course, so So what about health? This refrain often holds our clients back in really deepening body acceptance and their intuitive eating work. And I think what we're saying now is like, that phrase represents us holding on to the health ism aspects that we might have experienced, like, maybe there is more of a departure from aesthetics or that type of intersection. So when you hear but what about health? Why do you think health is framed as an accomplishment? Why do we reward it? Why do people cling on to the health thing as they're going through their journeys?
Patrilie  25:56  
Well I could share start off by sharing a little bit with my experience. So a big part of this work that I've done with somebody live was started because I was diagnosed with with an eating disorder, in 2017. And when I entered treatment, in 2018, I found that my IOP, my intensive outpatient program, was really lacking so much in terms of, I think, one, a proper diagnosis of what my eating disorder was to catering to the different identities that maybe aren't, weren't seen or taken into consideration, right, I identify as fat. So it's a it's a neutral term, I am a queer person of color. I have an extensive background in nutrition, right? So so I felt that this program just wasn't while it was a great step into the world of recovery, it was not enough. And part of my whole disordered thinking and behaviors centered around achieving this pinnacle of health, right? Whether it was making my body size, like suppressing it as small as possible, which is not my natural body size. I'm just not naturally a small person. And also making sure that my that that when I went to the doctor, they could say, Okay, well, you're not skinny, but at least you're healthy, right? Meaning and looking back and really reflecting on that. Because I associated, being healthy, with validation in a society that would always find some way to marginalize me no matter what, because you see, all this information about like, LatinX communities have super high rates of type two diabetes are more likely to be you know, quote, unquote, obese, you have higher incidences of heart disease, etc, etc. So, you know, I knew by walking into doctors offices, because of who I was, they would always have this caveat, right? Like, oh, well, she is one of them. So, and by trying to obsess about being as healthy as possible, was my way to cope. And was was my way to say, well, not all of us, right. And so looking back then it was incredibly disordered. And it just showed me how my eating disorder and the way that it manifested was more than just something personal, right. It was definitely as a way for me to respond to bigger factors at play that were systemic.
Dalina Soto  28:25  
Yeah. And you know, as you're saying that it makes me think of the quid pro se series that are 29 Somos is doing right now. And they did like a whole series of how like, this is a simulation for us, like this is literally us assimilating because we want to fit in. And a lot of this. And this is something that it's crazy, because I literally had a conversation about this morning with with one of my clients. A lot of this is because I feel like also, there's so many things that are out of our control and our Latinx culture, like we've never been in control of our bodies as a as a whole, per se, because it's always been somebody telling us what to do. It's attached to like a lot of this purity culture. And so then we get here to another country, and then everybody looks different from us. I know you and I have had this conversation of like going to school and like being the only one that looked like us, and that everybody's like blond and blue eyed and like skinny and yeah, and
Patrilie  29:25  
it's always like, what are you? What are you like, where are you?
Dalina Soto  29:28  
Yeah, or like, I wouldn't be told, like, you can't be Dominican. You're not dark enough. And I'm like, what? Like, How is this even a thing? And all of this, for many, is a form of assimilating to us being thrown into a whole different country, a whole different language, a whole different world. And that assimilation, plus a lot of those social determinants is what puts us at risk, right is what's putting us at this 40 You know, statistically speaking, I think I did a whole video about that. Just the other day. Yeah,
Patrilie  30:00  
I remember that. Like where someone just Yeah, that's a completely inaccurate statistic. But okay.
Dalina Soto  30:05  
Yeah. They said to me, they asked me, they're like, Why does 40? Why do 40% of the Latino population have diabetes in the United States? I was like, first of all, that 40% of the Latino population does not. And then I couldn't google it at that point. So like, afterwards, I went back, and then I was like, No, it's a 40% chance.
Patrilie  30:27  
Yeah, I think it's like 40% of those that are diagnosed with diabetes are of Latino Hispanic background, which there are so many other factors in the social determinants of health that cause that that are outside diet and exercise. Yeah.
Dalina Soto  30:40  
And like 20%. And then then I was looking at and then like the the rates of diagnoses in like Latin America is around 20%. So again, it's like, doesn't that make you think that maybe it's something wrong in this country? Like the disparity is that different? So yeah, it just, it makes me think I mean, I know we have a lot of these conversations, and Melissa and I, and maybe you?
Melissa Landry  31:04  
Well, I think it just strikes me how anyone who has any idea about another group of people, it serves you to ask yourself, Where did I learn that? Where did I hear that? paucity? Because often, even if your idea is correct, the origin or the causality of that information is not what you think it is. Or maybe it's even just out of thin air and stoked by bias, like, then we think about those numbers, right, and how sound bites I mean, Selena and I, we talked about this all the time being on social media, we're both about to pack our suitcases and leave it because more and more our communities are online communities are demanding 15 second sound bites, and our world is so complicated. And typically, when we hear this information, even at a doctor's office, they've got 15 minutes, everything is rapid, rapid, go, go go. They're trying to give you this massive amount of information very, very quickly. And we don't have time to process and unpack how that makes us feel. What triggers in our past that brings up and it just means a lot to do these long form podcasts where we can kind of even just scratch the surface on some of this to help you all live a little bit more in that complexity than maybe you have in the past.
Patrilie  32:22  
Yeah, and and to your point, right about this kind of general sense of urgency of time, we need all this information in you know, very short periods of time. And we need to cram as much information as possible, right, this all leads back to this kind of sense that human beings are supposed to be the sort of machines, right, we're just here to produce and produce and produce and produce and, and really not given the space or time to really set to really sit back. And so when we think about health, because I do work in the public health setting, the justification for why people need to be as healthy as possible, especially in a country like this, is because there isn't such a need. And there's such a commitment to productivity, that if people aren't as productive as possible, then what does that say to you as a good, quote, unquote, contributor to society, just really think about that narrative,
Melissa Landry  33:19  
right? And our worth, as individuals, our worth and sense of belonging, and our workplaces, and our families and our communities all get challenged, if we become unhealthy. So that's why we cling on tight, because it's his currency, it is its currency in our world.
Dalina Soto  33:36  
I say, you know, you know what this makes me think about this thinking from like, a cultural perspective, because y'all y'all know, this is wherever it goes. I'm not an anthropologist, but a part of me wants to go back and learn. I mean, I'm obsessed. But I also think about how like, the culture of individualism that is bred here, that that puts a big emphasis on being healthy to be able to work right, as opposed to like, in other countries, like when I think about like, our Latin X roots, and like how we're taught to care for the elder, how we're taught to once your takes a village, right? Yeah, yeah. Like, once your parents reach a certain age, like, you're supposed to take care of them. Like that is like, there comes a time in our life cycle, where they took care of us. So then now it's our turn to take care of them. And like, that's something that is like so ingrained in us, you know, and like, what are the running jokes is like, oh, you know, when people get older, it's like, I hope you're not gonna put me in a home like those white people. Kids do. You know,
Patrilie  34:35  
aging in the United States is one of my biggest fears because of that, because it's so individualistic and scary.
Dalina Soto  34:42  
And all of that, like, I feel like all of that plays into a lot of this health of them, right? Like you have to be strong enough, healthy enough to work till you're 65 and you can retire. It's like working at 65.
Patrilie  34:56  
And you got to pull yourself up by your bootstraps. Yes, yeah, right. Oh, Yeah, cuz there's no one else for you. There's no one else out there to help, you
Dalina Soto  35:03  
know, and it's so crazy. Oh, and then I think of like maternal health, and how that affects like a lot of this stuff that I see and like, like the just the, the baby world here in the US and so much y'all, it's all connected. It's all. I don't I can't I feel like my brain knows that. But then I don't you, you can help me find the site.
Melissa Landry  35:24  
Find that like the beautiful mind. All right, I want to talk about this idea of incremental ism, though. Because a lot of times when I get into these conversations, like academically, intellectually, so stimulating, emotionally, I feel despair. I feel like, what are we gonna do? And that is that is something that I think, is really challenging for people who are becoming more aware of these forces on their individual health. So, in past podcast episode, we've given you a lot of tools to work on your individual health, here, we're talking about the forces that may have led you to feel that way about yourself, you do a lot of this work, you know, what are some maybe like steps over the next five years, you could see happening to improve health ism in our society or in our healthcare system? I mean, you can take it to whatever level you feel would make sense, like, what would it look like shorter term? If we were to start to dismantle maybe not perfectly get there? Because this this whole thing we're talking about? This is big, this is bigger than all of us? Right? What would it look like to start? I don't know, pushing back on it in our day to day lives.
Patrilie  36:28  
So my thoughts are on health ism. And you know, how we work. So I think this is where I might differ, right, with some with some thought leaders, and either the fat liberationist framework or some other kind of radical, elaborate liberatory thought leaders in that, for me this concept of health ism, right? It is not a root cause, right? Health ism is just a belief system. It's a tool that is used to uphold all these root causes that keep us oppressed. So I personally think that divesting from health ism doesn't need to be as challenging, as you know, dismantling from systemic racism or from systemic fatphobia. Right, I think we can do the work personally within ourselves to decouple our worth from our health status. Right? Right. So me, I have a mental illness, I have a congenital disorder, no matter how skinny I am, no matter how much kale I eat, or all this, I will never meet the Western definition of healthy, but I am still worthy invalid. Right. So I think we can start doing that work on an individual level, on a broader level on a community level, right? Because we talked before that health is very much of a dynamic, right? Like, it's not a fixed concept. It can vary, right? cross culturally, across different types of contexts, right. So this concept of reclaiming our health and well being can happen within community, if we align ourselves with other people that are also invested in that journey to decouple their health from their worth, right. So I think by building community, I think by engaging in just I, I find education, I find learning, I feel, I find dialogue to be so powerful, and transformative. And so what I've been seeing the shift because I've really pivoted in my approach, it's been it'll be almost five years, and I have seen a shift on a, I don't know, want to, say, a systemic level, but at least within pretty large health and wellness spheres about what it means to reclaim to shift this to shift this narrative. And, and I think, you know, for the most part, it's been beneficial because more people are talking about things like fat phobia, they're talking about things, you know, like white supremacy, they're talking about things like they're talking about things like ableism. So all these conversations, all these dialogues, reading books, being really being educated, to be able to talk to someone in your community about this, I think sets the stage for transformative things to happen. A lot of the other part of my work when I'm not, you know, talking with people in my community or reading books, happens on the policy level, policy can be shifted on so many different tiers, right, like not just federal policy level like policy can occur, you know, within your own practice, within your own professional organization within your own nonprofit organization, within your own neighborhood, within your own town, within your own city within your own state, right policies occur in so many different spaces. And so by shifting policy starting small and then building their way because I think that you do see policy views change at the top level when you start at the base, right he'd like in the foundation. So yeah, so so so I think, you know, building a community building a strong community, through these different ways engaging in dialogue, because that's a better way to organize and make shifts to advocate for policy changes. And for bigger institutional changes.
Melissa Landry  40:18  
You're making me think of like even wellness policies inside organizations, like how much financial incentivization pays off bonuses, toking, you know, there's all these things that occur. That would be a very interesting thing, if anyone listening here it has that kind of power,
Patrilie  40:35  
like those wellness challenges, like, come on, like really, really, we're Mike, you should be in investing in people to be able to engage in their own health and wellness in their own pursuit for health and wellness. Without these wellness challenges that can really, you know, be super exclusive. And you know, they don't approach health and wellness with a lot of dignity, like people are just competing to see who could who could be the healthiest. Like, that's not helpful for this narrative either
Dalina Soto  41:04  
pay for a $25 gift card.
Melissa Landry  41:06  
Yeah, exactly. My sister, oh, my gosh, she used to tell me about these challenges. And they'd be like, do you want to come in and talk at the challenge? Oh, no.
Dalina Soto  41:16  
No, it's a while I had to run a lot of these challenges, y'all. I've had to do this. And it's just like a state of, you know, it just kind of like makes me think of like, just how, like, I want to change, you know, in my own world, and the people that work for me, like, I think it all starts with like companies, you know, also doing things like this, right? Like, I all you know, Zebrina Stephanie's, you know, all the the women that work for me know that, like, my goal is to have a company where they can have the ability to live a life and not work full time. Like we don't do 40 hours like you have a limited PTO. You can go do what you need to do and live your life I know that you're doing your job, right. Like I wouldn't be able to provide a livable wage, and not have to like live like work unlimited amounts of hours. Like I want to be able to travel have your life have kids, big take care of yourself like this. It's a company I wish I would have had, right? Absolutely, I was and now I'm building my business and that's the company that I am aspiring to be and little by little, I'm able to do that. But like these are the changes that we can do sometimes at our own personal levels. Like if you have a company if you have a say if you could do something like that, like you can change that way because there's so much more than just physical health like you said like that mental health that spiritual health and working 40 hours we can't do that. Yeah. Yeah, it's all mean to do that was like abolish the five day workweek. I have dishes to do flip out my sink and
Melissa Landry  42:45  
laundry and errands. My least favorite thing. Well, yeah,
Patrilie  42:51  
I mean, what like, what would it look like to divest from health ism, in your own business practice company through culture and climate work, right? Building a Culture and Climate where the people that work there are able to thrive as whole people will be right and not just for you ordered not just to pump out more products come out more profit, right? What does it look like to shift? I think that's a great way to challenge health ism.
Melissa Landry  43:21  
Or even some self regulation. Like if it's 10 o'clock and something's making you anxious, maybe you don't slack, someone about that at 10 o'clock at night, you put that in your anxiety journal and wait till the next day. Anyone who has been on these connected tools, I still work in a company like that. Our urgency, right? Like, yes, my mind now is your problem. Like even if you don't own a company and you're building a company, you will improve your health by learning to self regulate those anxious feelings, and you will improve the health of the world around you like you can start by making a difference just in the way you act which is empowering.
Dalina Soto  43:57  
On a final note, my email signature says I am a mom, I run a business and I'm on the East Coast. Answering your message after 5pm Exactly. See you tomorrow and I don't work on the weekends.
Patrilie  44:11  
Boundaries are a great way to challenge health ism. I love that. Yes,
I got to you are so amazing.
Melissa Landry  44:18  
I just love the way you have all this like Renaissance understanding from all these different viewpoints. Your ability to bring them all together for us was so valuable. I can't thank you enough for your time. Can you tell our listeners where to find you if they're interested in following your work? Sure.
Patrilie  44:34  
I have a website it is embody I am on Instagram. My Instagram handle is the body live advocate. It's the underscore body lib BODY LIB underscore advocate. I am on Twitter sometimes. But the best way to reach me is either through my website, you can email me and you can also look at upcoming of So I have on my Instagram, but I also have a mailing list. So you can join my mailing list, where I'll send you my newsletter, upcoming speaking engagements, presentations, I do a lot of events, with different universities, with nonprofit organizations, companies, all about a variety of body liberation topics, in addition to one on one, Professional Consulting, and organizational consulting, as well. So if you check out my my website, you can get connected to all of that information as more and more and reach out to me if you ever want to connect.
Melissa Landry  45:32  
Amazing, thanks so much for sharing your perspective. Take good care, everybody, we'll see you bye.
 One of the first things that I do with clients is sit back and interview them to say, what does health mean to you? And I think in this episode, we saw how important that question really is. Because if we don't do it will always be at the service of what other people want for our health. So I hope this episode inspired you to maybe step back and think about what health means to you. And if you have that definition in hand, and you're going Well that sounds lovely, but I have no idea where to start. I want you to head over to my page, no dot more dot guilt. You can head straight to that Lincoln bio, and you can find the application for one to one coaching, or check out other offers that are available now. When we work together, I'm going to show you how to take this step by step working toward the health behaviors that you so wish that you could have without all the food guilt and body shame. We thank you for being here and for being who you are.
Dalina Soto  46:35  
Peace love and break the diet cycle.
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