Episode 83: How Body Liberation Frees Us from Diet Culture with Guest Kent Thomas

This week David interviews Kent Thomas, a social worker that focuses on body liberation coaching in Tacoma, WA. In this podcast David and Kent discuss difficult questions and thought provoking ideas around food, eating disorders, and body liberation. David asks Kent what body liberation is; They discuss queerness and Christianity, body shaming in the gay community, toxic masculinity, control, healthism, and homophobia and fatphobia in the church.

Kent is kind enough to talk about his personal experiences with all of these topics. He shares how growing up in a church that idealized the thin, straight, white man and living with a juvenile seizure disorder ushered him toward wanting to control his body. He wanted to “fit in”, which led him to developing disordered eating early on. After coming out as gay he continued to want to restrict and control what he ate, to try and uphold the really intense body standards prevalent in the guy community. Kent sought treatment and was diagnosed with an eating disorder in his 20s. As he shares his own body liberation journey with us it is evident that his career is centered around helping people with some of the same struggles he has navigated through in life. As the interview continues Kent talks about a question that helped him center himself: “do I want to center myself and my needs or do I want to center others views of me?”.

There is so much great content in this podcast! David and Kent continue the conversation talking about health fears and obsessions with health markers, as well as men and eating disorders. Kent shares his One Small Bite to body liberation, he even gives us a bonus bite, lol. 1) Ponder where their ideas, beliefs, or rules about their body (and food) come from and who that serves. 2) focus on desire and what you want. Both of these tips promote what David has continued to say regularly throughout his 83 podcast episodes, stay curious!

A Little About Kent
Kent Thomas, MSW is a social worker who focuses on body liberation coaching and is passionate about helping others find freedom and a greater sense of home in their bodies. He received his BA in Psychology from Western Washington University and Master of Social Work degree from the University of Washington, Tacoma. As a gay man, Kent is especially passionate about helping queer men heal and create a fat positive and inclusive gay community. In addition to Body Liberation Coaching, Kent is a community organizer who advocates for queer inclusion in religious spaces and helps individuals tell their stories and heal from religious trauma.

Kent’s Links and Resources
Kent Thomas MSW
Instagram @KentThomasMSW

Episode Extras
Episode 16: How Hyper-masculinity is Ruining More Than Just Our Health with Co-host Patrick Bryant

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