Rachel_BL-Headshot_2.jpg

Hi, I'm Rachel.

If you're new here, let me introduce myself and the podcast.

I'm a life coach and teacher helping women to have a deeper trust in their hungers — both at and away from the table.  In college, like so many women, I had an eating disorder and through my recovery, I discovered Health at Every Size, fat activism, and Intuitive Eating. All that means is I stopped believing in the idea that humans need to fit into a certain size, that our size is a determinant of our well-being, that our well-being is just about our physical self, that entire systems and industries exist to profit from making us spend our lives obsessing over food and our bodies, and most importantly, we can actually trust our bodies to figure out what to weigh and what to eat.

In late 2017 my husband and I discovered that we were pregnant with our first child and I found myself with a new question: why are the only times we celebrate the belly when it belongs to a chubby baby, an adult with six-pack abs, or a thinner-bodied pregnant woman?

Even before my belly began to expand I was aware that I was likely facing two common rights of passages in our culture: the celebration of my pregnant belly and the shaming of my postpartum belly. Something about this didn't add up and it got me thinking about the broad range of experiences women have with their bellies throughout their lives in a body (and belly)-toxic world.

So I set out to have a series of conversations with wise women about their bellies and how we all might find greater ease at the center of it all. These conversations make up The Belly Love podcast. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

This is a capsule podcast—just 10 episodes start to finish.

In no way could these episodes capture every belly perspective or topic but I did try to offer a range and hopefully you find something that helps you on your journey.

In addition to the podcast, I've created a powerful Belly Love guided meditation and digital workbook to support listeners in going deeper and exploring their own personal belly journeys. Both are available at the bottom of this page. Check them out!

 
 
 
 
 
 
BL-Background_2-41.jpg

The Episodes

 
 
 
 
 

Episode 1

Belly Activism and the War on Stomachs with fat activist Marilyn Wann


In this episode legendary fat activist Marilyn Wann joins me to talk about:

  • Fat (belly) activism

  • Taking down weight hierarchies

  • The problems with stomach amputation (a.k.a. gastric bypass surgery)


Marilyn Wann's website

Fat?So!

 
 

 
 

Episode 2

My Belly Journey and How I'm Preparing for Postpartum Body Changes


In this episode, I share my own belly journey and what practices were supportive during my pregnancy and in preparing for postpartum belly changes.

 
 

 
 

Episode 3

Belly Acceptance and Joyful Movement with Melissa Toler


In this episode speaker, writer, and educator Melissa Toler and I talk about:

  • Reclaiming movement and fitness from diet culture

  • What the flat stomach ideal represents

  • Redefining health beyond weight or muscle tone

  • The non-linear path of body (and belly) acceptance and giving up dieting


Melissa Toler's website

 
 

 
 

Episode 4

When Fat Bellies Get Mistaken for Pregnant Bellies with Hilary Kinavey


In this episode licensed professional counselor and co-founder of Be Nourished Hilary Kinavey joins me to talk about:

  • How bellies are pathologized

  • Connecting (or not) to our belly through our family lineage

  • Being with the unknown of how your body will change

  • What to do when someone mistakes your fat belly for a pregnant belly

  • How small-bellied allies can support bigger-bellied humans


Be Nourished's website

Hilary's article On Being Asked If You Are Pregnant

 
 

 
 

Episode 5

Living with (and Dressing) a Fat Belly in a Belly Judging World with Jes Baker


In this episode body liberation author and speaker Jes Baker joins me to talk about:

  • Making bellies visible in plus-size fashion

  • Dressing with a Visible Belly Outline (VBO)

  • Dealing with body judgment from other people

  • The difference between body positivity and body liberation

  • The inherent vulnerability of our bellies


Jes Baker's Website


Jes's Books:

Landwhale: On Turning Insults Into Nicknames, Why Body Image Is Hard, and How Diets Can Kiss My Ass

Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls: A Handbook for Unapologetic Living

 
 

 
 

Episode 6

Belly Dancing, Embodiment, and Menopause with Bronwyn Simons


In this episode artist, astrologer, writer, belly dancer and co-founder of the Vivid Menopause Program Bronwyn Simons joins me to talk about:

  • Belly embodiment and living from the inside out (rather than the outside in)

  • The healing power of belly dancing and other movement practices

  • Redefining what it means to <em>feel</em> sexy and sensual in our body

  • Practical tips for navigating belly and body changes in menopause


Bronwyn Simons's Website

 
 

 
 

Episode 7

Diastasis Recti and Belly Acceptance with Ariana Pritchett


In this episode strategist and mom Ariana joins me to talk about:

  • What diastasis recti is

  • How to navigate recovery from diastasis recti -- especially when the medical community fails you

  • The importance of talking about pregnancy and birth-related body trauma


Follow Ariana on Instagram

Flight Design Co. Website

 
 

 
 

Episode 8

Menopause and Belly Fat with Dr. Margo Maine


In this episode, clinical psychologist and eating disorder specialist Dr. Margo Maine joins me to talk about:

  • How our culture's toxic focus on women's bellies is really about disempowerment

  • Why women's belly fat actually isn't "the worst kind of fat"

  • The health-supporting reasons behind gaining belly fat in menopause


Margo Maine's Website


Margo's Books:

Body Wars: Making Peace with Women's Bodies

The Body Myth: Adult Women and the Pressure to be Perfect

Pursuing Perfection: Eating Disorders, Body Myths, and Women at Midlife and Beyond

 
 

 
 

Episode 9

Postpartum Belly Changes and Eating Disorder Recovery with Carla Korn


In this episode, psychotherapist and eating disorder specialist Carla Korn joins me to talk about:

  • Going through pregnancy and postpartum when you've recovered from an eating disorder

  • Postpartum belly changes and shame

  • The non-linear path of body acceptance

  • Practical tips for working with critical body thoughts


Carla Korn's Website

 
 

 
 

Episode 10

Making Belly Peace and Embodying the Divine with Ivy Felicia


In this episode body relationship coach Ivy Felicia joins me to talk about:

  • Making peace with your belly (even if you don't love it)

  • The myth that black women don't struggle with poor body image

  • How a connection to the divine can help on the journey to body acceptance

  • How to navigate anger and body-blame when you have a chronic illness


Ivy Felicia's Website

 
 
 
 
 
 
What Listeners are Saying

 

  • ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑
    “This work is important and informative. I've blown through these episodes quickly just to hear other women's stories about how they aren't afraid of their bellies.”
  • ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑
    “I’ve been on a body liberation and anti-diet journey for several years now, and I’ve heard things articulated here, in just the right way, that they landed anew for me and led to aha’s. Thank you Rachel! I’m blown away after only a couple episodes.”
  • ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑
    “I’m 8 months post-partum and these episodes are all so fantastic. But honestly I’m most excited about the discussions on menopause! I’m sharing with all the women I love who are at that age…for the first time in my life I’m hearing convo that paints menopause as a positive and exciting transition in life.”
  • ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑
    “Absolutely love this podcast. So what I was looking for and needed to hear right now!!”

 
 
 
 
 
BL-Background_3.jpg

What's next on your belly journey? 

I imagine that after listening to even just one of the Belly Love podcast episodes you might be left swirling with questions and thoughts about your own relationship to your belly.

So as not to leave you hanging I have prepared these two next steps to support you in digging a bit deeper: a digital workbook and a guided meditation. In tandem, these resources give you a safe container to have a look around your past, present, and future belly experience.

 
 
BL-Workbook.png
 

Inside the digital workbook, you'll receive: 

  • Advice from experts on topics such as how to move towards belly acceptance, how to grieve the belly you used to (or never) have, what's worked for them in making peace with their bellies, how to move past sticky old belly stories, and more.

  • LOTS of powerful writing and multimedia exercises facilitate your belly exploration, healing, and active learning.

  • A robust resource list of belly loving articles to read and experts to follow

The guided meditation is 15-minutes long and provides a safe container to drop into your real lived experience of your belly with presence and curiosity. The meditation is designed to be practiced

The Belly Love podcast episodes are free and the digital workbook and meditation bundle are available to purchase for $25. 

 
BL-Background-Footer-25.jpg