Kali Gray on body positivity, mindful eating and living counter-culturally

“Life’s too short to worry about the size of your thighs or the calories in a latte.”

Kali Gray

Is there a link between the rise in consumerism, the endless advertising messages that assault us thousands of times a day and the increase in body image issues? According to today’s guest, the answer is a resounding yes.

I’m so excited to bring you today’s episode because it brings yet another perspective to this season’s conversations on what it is to live a slower life and the myriad ways we can apply the ideas of slow.

Today I chat with Kali Gray, a body confidence expert and a “non diet” dietician who focuses her work on helping people heal their relationship with their bodies and their food.

In this episode we discuss the the relationship between food security and body image issues, while also looking at the crossover between my work in slow living and Kali’s work in reframing our perspective on food, self-care, self-worth and the food we eat.

So much of what Kali teaches is centred on self-compassion and self-care, and how those things can help us to heal those relationships, which is where I think it most closely links with slow living. In order to learn self-compassion and self-care (particularly in a world that profits from our self-loathing) we first need to slow down and pay attention.

Pay attention to the stories we tell ourselves about our bodies and the role food has in our lives, pay attention to the way media messaging, advertising and social media are keeping us in a negative relationship with ourselves, and pay attention to how we feel when we start making changes to our thoughts, habits and actions.

Kali also turns the interview tables around on me towards the end of the episode, which sparks a conversation on how all of these changes take time, and no matter how well-versed we are in consumerism, health, wellness, body image and food, there’s always going to be part of us that requires a little extra love and empathy.

Questions featured in this episode:

  1. Why do you think so many of us have a broken relationship with food and our bodies?
  2. Capitalism and consumerism are both linked to our dissatisfaction with ourselves and our bodies. How do you encourage people to recognise that and make changes so that we get to decide what is good and right for us individually?
  3. It’s counter-cultural to teach and encourage people to love themselves and accept themselves as they are, particularly in the face of a society that teaches us to find fault in our bodies from a very young age. Is that something that comes naturally to you?
  4. We both encourage people to ask the question WHY? Why do we do what we do? Why do we buy what we buy? Why do we eat what we eat? Do you find that once we begin to uncover that why, it becomes simpler to start making changes?
  5. As a process, this asking why and digging deep is uncomfortable. How do you encourage people to accept that this is outside their comfort zone and move through regardless?
  6. You highlight mindful eating as a way to begin to heal our relationship with food, but what actually is it to eat more mindfully?
  7. How can we begin to eat more mindfully? What’s the first step?
  8. There is this beautiful undercurrent of awe in all you do, and that means you frame your work in the idea that every body, right now, as it is, is a miracle. What is the reaction from people when you ask them to pay attention to the miracle of their body? Particularly if they have grown up not knowing how to like their bodies?
  9. Young kids have no issues with accepting their bodies as they are, but as they get closer to puberty this changes, and suddenly they’re seeing all that’s wrong with them. Why do you think this happens?
  10. What can we do to help ourselves and our kids move through that?


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Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

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