Ep 0 – Welcome to Fat Girl Finds Love!

This is my first epispode! 

Just a fat girl who found love in a world that hates fat people. People started asking me how I did it. This is my story.


This idea feels like it has been years in the making.  Here is where you can learn all about me, Briana Cavanaugh. why I’m doing this podcast and what we have in store. I have wanted to write a blog or something about how I went from being wracked with trauma and only dating and falling in love with addicts and people who were cruel and abusive to me, to having a great stable love life, personal life work and family life.  I’m not saying I’m perfect, but what I have done is heal a lot of trauma, clean up a lot of mess and find a lot of happiness through a whole lot of mess and pleasure.   And people ask me a lot how I did it. I’m not sure I have all the answers but I’ve done a lot of things and some of them have even worked. I thought you might want to know.

Show Notes – Welcome to Fat Girl Finds Love

Meet Your Hostess Briana Cavanaugh!

This is an interview by Dalia Kinsey of School Nutrition, Dietician podcast of Briana Cavanaugh, hostess of Fat Girl Finds Love.

Dalia will be a frequent guest and occasional co-host! She’s awesome! We do an interview of Dalia a bit later in the series, but her bio and links are included here so you can find her if you need her!

In this episode we talk about:

Dalia lives in Georgia and Briana lives in California! So we are now bi-coastal!

-My vital stats

-Age, race, identities

-Why do we use the word fat?

-Finding my fat identity

-Going to NOLOSE for the first time and what it felt like to spend time with fat people

-How sex positive spaces are not fat positive and what does that actually mean?

-being able to get more voices heard and get my work around relationships, love sex, and relationships

– Do they want fat people there?

– The Racist origins of dieting

– “Fearing the black body, the racial origins of fatphobia” by Sabrina Strings on The Nod: https://gimletmedia.com/shows/the-nod/o2hwbb

-“if you’re going to do something that’s not the patriarchy, what are you going to do.

– Hanne Blank’s “Big, Big Love” book

– You get to have choice about your relationship.

-“ it’s time that we have the lives that we want to live now.”

– How are we having pleasure in our lives now? Pleasure is a game changer. As soon as you have enough pleasure everything changes. 

Dalia Kinsey is a School Nutrition Specialist and Health at Every Size Registered Dietitian on a mission to make health accessible to all by encouraging body respect and joyful movement.

Dalia worked in public health for years prior to moving to K-12 where she manages special diets, menu planning, social media, and nutrition education for a medium sized district in middle Georgia.

She created the School Nutrition Dietitian podcast to serve as a one stop shop for best practices and inspiration for professionals in school food service.  She uses her platform to not only capture the wisdom of veteran employees, but to stress the importance of offering students evidenced based nutrition education, untainted by diet culture.

You can follow Dalia on IG, FB, or LinkedIn:

Insta: https://www.instagram.com/schoolnutritionrd/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/daliakinsey/

TRANSCRIPT No fatshaming for the holidays

[00:00:00]Briana Cavanaugh: [00:00:22] hello everyone.  so it’s Briana Cavanaugh and today I’m going to do an episode about holidays, food, fat shaming. Um, and the holidays. I know I said holidays twice. So I have been noticing that there is a. Um, I believe the, it’s an actual metric fuck ton of fat shaming around the holidays. I don’t know if it’s ever happened to you that some relative says something stupid.

[00:00:57] Um, something about dieting, something about [00:01:00] food, something that makes you feel bad about who you are.  and I just want to say that’s not, that’s not okay. And take a stand in this episode and give you some resources about how to deal with fat shaming and people being generally shitty about, , their weird body stuff and diets and sizeism, et cetera, ableism around the holidays.

[00:01:22] I hope this helps. So I went looking for a definition of fat shaming, and I found one on, on Wikipedia. And I thought it was very ironic. And before I read it to you, I’m gonna tell you a little bit about, what the irony, as some of you will recognize it immediately.  They, we use the words overweight or obese.

[00:01:42] And so obese is a path, a pathologizing word, meaning it’s, it’s, uh, it’s medicalizing it’s saying it’s, it’s saying there is something wrong with you. And overweight is a word that people use when they assume that there is a good weight or a right weight to be. Um, both of those [00:02:00] are, um, are, are essentially fat shaming words.

[00:02:04] So putting those in the definition of fat shaming, I thought was hilarious. Not in a, you know, in an ironic way. So, um, let me read you the definition of fat shaming from Wikipedia, and then we’ll talk a little bit about fat shaming. I’m going to give you some references or resources. Um, some tips. And then I’m going to let you be on your way.

[00:02:28] I’m going to try to make this, my idea was to make this one a little bit shorter so that you can get to using the resources and kind of consume the content, um, rather than it being an hour you can like get into it, get the, get the resources you need and kind of get out. So. The Wikipedia definition is, it’s as anti-fat bias refers to the prejudicial assumption of personality characteristics based on an assessment of a person as being overweight or obese.

[00:02:56] Those are the words I was mentioning. It’s also known as fat shaming. [00:03:00] A fat activists allege anti-fat bias can be found in many facets of society and blame the media for the pervasiveness of this phenomenon. And this is also ironic because it assumes like this is clearly a definition that is not pro fat, right?

[00:03:16] It’s like  they allege as thought it’s not a real thing. And those of us who live in fat bodies know that anti-fat bias is fucking everywhere. So, um. I just thought it was very like, funny and ironic. So fat shaming really refers to the idea that, that people are prejudiced against fat people, right? That’s essentially when we’re talking about bias or fatphobia, um, they’re prejudice against fat people.

[00:03:43] So they met medicalize and pathologize us, um, and assume all sorts of. Bullshit, um, and have all sorts of demeaning qualities associated with being fat, like all the stereotypes about lazy and sloppy. And they, you know, we sit around and eat [00:04:00] donuts all day and don’t exercise. And they use those reasons. Those stereotypes to deny us services, um, deny us healthcare. But really what it comes down to you as a blaming us for anything and everything that happens to us as fat, people. From lack of healthcare, um, to not being able to sit in chairs to poverty, lack of jobs, um, you know, social stuff. There’s all kinds of things that go into this.

[00:04:27] And, um, yeah, it’s not cool. Basically, it’s not cool. So all of those places where you’re thinking, “Oh my gosh, is this, are people doing this because I’m, I’m fat?” The answer is yes. Yes.

[00:04:45] And in some places it’s illegal. In San Francisco and in Santa Cruz, there’s the two way places that I’m clear about. It’s illegal to discriminate against people because of their size, just like it’s illegal to discriminate against people because of their gender or their [00:05:00] sexuality or their, the color of their skin, et cetera,. In some places it’s a protected status.

[00:05:06] I’m not everywhere, but it’s, it’s, I am hoping and praying that this is up and coming because it seems to be, um, when I first knew about it was just San Francisco and I was like, that’s awesome. And now it’s in Santa Cruz as well. I don’t know if that was, I don’t know the history of that, but that’s pretty cool.

[00:05:24] So I posit. I am taking a stand for that you shouldn’t have to deal with fat phobia, especially at the holidays, especially the people who claim to love you, especially with your family, especially, um, anywhere ever. So I wanted to bring you some resources

[00:05:40] I’m going to give you some, you know, synopsis and then. Uh, the links will be in the show notes, so you can just pop in to the show notes and click on links and get, get what you need. Highly recommend

[00:06:00] [00:05:59] So, and if you have questions or you want to talk more about fatphobia, you want to get some support, um, come and join our Facebook group. So we have an extraordinary podcast Facebook group, and there’s a link to that in the show notes. So one of the people who’s writing, I noticed as I read through all these different things I’m loving, is Ragen cast.

[00:06:21] Kassteen. Chastin, um, has done a bunch of stuff around holidays and fatphobia and I was like, thrilled to find this. So I decided to do this episode because one of her songs came across my, um, my desk and I was like, this is bad ass. So the song was, is called, ” hark, hark, hark the chairs.” It, and it’s like, um, one of my favorite is a take off of one of my favorite christmas songs, and it’s all about, um, armless chairs.

[00:06:53] And I was like, this is awesome. So the, there’s a link to that. There’s actually a link to this whole [00:07:00] series of, of, um, songs that she and her friend Janet did, including a song called “my body rocks.” Um, “don’t give me judgment for Christmas,” which is a takeoff on, I’m getting nothing for Christmas and “no one cares about your diet.”

[00:07:15] So, um. I laughed. I like felt uplifted by these songs. They delighted me and I think everyone should have them, including you. So hop over. I mean, you know, if you’re listening to this and the app, it’s right below. If you’re listening to us on a webpage, you know the, the show notes are right there. Go and, and listen to them and giggle and enjoy and upvote them and love on Reagan for doing this work.

[00:07:38] Awesome. So I also just put together some tips. So if you’re going home for the holidays or other places, and not, might not be awesome for your mental health or that are fat phobic. Here are some tips that I’ve come up with to help.

[00:07:53] Um, first of all. The thing that I started doing right away when I realized that this was an issue is have friends [00:08:00] on standby. Before you head home,

[00:08:02] set up a text thread or some, you know, tag some folks that you can call if something happens. Um, having backup can help a lot. So many that you can text me like this bitch, right? Um, who can, you know, have your back, get on the phone with you, give you snappy retorts um, for your, you know. Weird, fat phobic uncle.

[00:08:25] Um, then you know, somebody has your back.

[00:08:27] My second tip for you is prepare your remarks. Come up with, um, practice like come up with and practice a couple of snappy or just not so snappy retorts of things that you can say if someone says something. Right? And there’s a, I put a link, um, I put a link to some other, other places to get some ideas about what to say exactly, but you know, somebody says something, you know, you can just say, it’s not okay to talk to me like that.

[00:08:56] I’m not available to talk to you about my body. Um, and so on. [00:09:00] So you could just straight up say, but it helps. It really, really helps to practice an advance and just look in the mirror and say. “It’s not okay to talk to me that way,” or “I don’t talk about diets,” right. “I don’t want to talk. I don’t want to hear about your weird food thing.”

[00:09:15] Um. Right. So my third, my third tip is set the stage. So, um, now that you’ve practiced a couple of these phrases, um, if you know that certain people are gonna say stuff, let them, or the people around them or the people around you know that that’s not okay in a well-placed, that’s not okay. I don’t talk about diet.

[00:09:34] You know, diet talk. Um, I don’t talk about weight loss. I’m not interested in weight loss. Keep your opinions about my body to yourself. Um, can do wonders, you know, just saying, Hey, if you, you know, if you continue to talk about this, I’m not going to stick around. Or if they have come into your house, if you continue to talk about this, I’m going to ask you to leave.

[00:09:54] Um, it’s very powerful. Right. Cause people will know that you’re serious and then it’s okay to [00:10:00] ask people to leave or to leave a situation where people are being fat phobic.  it’s abusive anyway, but especially once you set a boundary, if they’re, you know, gaslighting you and they’re like, “ha ha ha, no, this is just funny.

[00:10:11] Why can’t you take a joke ?”That’s gaslighting, right? If you set a boundary, you can leave. It’s okay. It’s okay to not spend time with people who treat you like shit.

[00:10:22] That’s all there is to it.

[00:10:24] And I know that that’s complicated because I have a complicated family and I’ve been basically spending my whole adult life how to have boundaries with the people who are related to me, who I love, or who say that they love me, and who either don’t behave that way or don’t behave that way consistently, or who are just very caught up in diet culture.

[00:10:44] And you know, there’s a way that it’s sort of not their fault because they were raised in this, but like there’s enough information out there that people should really get that. Like it’s not cool to talk about diet stuff. It’s just not cool. It’s none of your business. Anything about my body, right? [00:11:00] It’s not cool.

[00:11:01] So, um, uh, Ragen also wrote a great article. “Here’s how to not ruin the holidays for, for fat folks”. And there’s a link to that. So a few of the tips that I thought were really good. Um, the first one is don’t give weight loss or health gifts. Like, don’t give people gym memberships. Don’t give people coupons for, you know, diet food.

[00:11:22] Right? Um, don’t do it. It’s not nice. Especially if you, if that’s not something they’re interested in, right? It’s like, it is very similar to giving a bottle of booze to your sober alcoholic family members. Like if they’re an AA and they don’t want the booze, like it’s not cool to do that. And this is. It’s not exactly the same, but if someone has said they don’t want it, it’s a, it’s a violation of their boundaries.

[00:11:47] Okay. I’m a second tip that I thought was really great. Like I thought she did a really good job on this was there’ll be the food police. There’s no need to monitor, comment on, concern yourself in any way with fat [00:12:00] peoples or any people’s free choices, uh, parties, holiday dinners, or, you know, ever. And then there’s this great line in her article.

[00:12:08] I really recommend going and reading this article. It says, “if we need the food, police will call PI one one.” I thought it was cute. Um, don’t give people the fat shaming cards or gifts. Right?  Anything that comments on people’s bodies or, you know, makes fun of bodies. It’s not okay . And if you’re the one doing the gift giving, if you’re, you know, a thin person or your cotton diet culture, don’t put your fat, family and friends in the position to have to decide whether to cut you off or not because you’re being abusive.

[00:12:38] Like it’s just not cool. Right? And again, it’s okay to say ‘no’ to people. I think we’re very, very taught to be. Polite, right? And to not say anything and you don’t want to offend, you know, you’re weird aunt, and, but the truth is, it’s time that we learn to set boundaries. It doesn’t have to even be mean [00:13:00] to just have your own space, and say, I don’t want to talk about that. Right? And if you thought about it, like if somebody loses, lost their job, for example, and you started to talk about, and they said, I don’t want to talk about that though. The right thing is to say, okay, I respect that. I’m not going to talk to you about it. The end. It doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s cool.

[00:13:18] Right. And the other one that I really liked was, um, don’t engage in diet talk or negative body talk. It’s really the negative BodyTalk one that, that gets me. Um, this isn’t just about fat folks, but also for guests of any size or every size who might be dealing with eating disorders or guests who are interested in. guest. who are “not interested in conversations that are boring as hell.”

[00:13:41] but the, the idea is that people at every size struggle with, with food and eating disorders. Mmm. And you don’t want to be the one who is punishing yourself to look like a good dieting person, right? When the people are, when it makes the [00:14:00] people around you suffer.

[00:14:00] So just give it up. Enjoy your food. Eat what you want to eat. Don’t eat what you don’t want to eat. You know you, you can be on if you want to be on your diet, do it up, but do it up in a way that it doesn’t harm other people. Right. Okay. Um,  and then there was a related article, uh, dealing with family, friends and the food police.

[00:14:23] And I’ll put that, that article in here.

[00:14:25] And then there’s a, um, another article. This is sort of like a Roundup episode. There’s a article by Robin Raven on, um, hello giggles or six ways to deal with fat shaming during the holidays. Sort of someone who knows what it’s like. And so the, the basic message of this one, this post is no matter how or why anyone’s body looks the way it does, we deserve to be respected and treated with care.

[00:14:50] And I feel like that is really the message of this whole podcast is like, no matter what’s going on with your body, no matter what it looks like or how you’re feeling, or how much money you [00:15:00] make or whatever, you deserve to be treated with care. Mmm. And I recommend hopping over and taking a look at it, and it’s called “Six ways to deal with fat shaming during the holidays.”

[00:15:14] You, the underlying message here is you deserve to be treated with care. No matter what else has happened. Um, you deserve to be treated with care.

[00:15:23]my next tip, tip number five, would be to write down some body positive messages and take them with you. Uh, like, um, “I deserve to be treated with care.”

[00:15:33] You know, my body, there’s no wrong way to have a body. Right? I love my body. I just write them down on an index card. I actually do. This was a button. Bunch of things like my goals, um, things that I want to remember to tell myself. I put them on cards and put them in my wallet or in my pocket. And if I’m struggling, I, I take them out and I kind of shuffle through them or I put them in the notes of my, um, my iPhone, so that I can just look it up if I’m, if I’m [00:16:00] having a moment. you know, I put quotes and all kinds of stuff in there so that I can.

[00:16:03] I can take care of myself because it’s easy to slip up, slip up, and like be hard on yourself when everybody around you is like, Oh, I shouldn’t have that pie, or whatever. Their weird thing is, . So get your needs met, take care of yourself.

[00:16:17] And then our last tip, tip number six is come hang out with us in the Exxxxtraordinary community on Facebook.

[00:16:23] Come if you want to talk about this, if you’re looking for our support, you want to share support, you have support to give, come on and hang out with us in the extraordinary podcast. I wish you all the best possible holidays full of amazing peace. People, amazing people, delicious food, and a ton of ease and rest and restoration.

[00:16:45] All the best to you and your family and your friends, your children. Um, I, I wish you a really fantastic holiday season. Thank you so much for listening.


You can support the show for as little as $2 a month! I’d would love for you to come on this journey with us and be an active part of making the show happen. Support the show here on Patreon.

It would be stellar if you shared Exxxxtraordinary Podcast with your fellow podcasters on twitter. If this episode got you all fired up SUBSCRIBE wherever you get your podcasts! ONE CLICK!

Feedback + Community

You can ask your questions continue the conversation and meet your fellow Exxxxtraordinary Community members, by simply joining the Exxxxtralordinary Podcast Facebook Group!