On this episode of the Plan Simple Meals Podcast, I’m really excited to talk with Nicola Salmon, a fat-positive fertility coach about weight and health. So often we equate thinner bodies or lower weight with health, which can have a terrible impact on people, especially women.
Nicola was diagnosed with PCOS and was told early in life that she wouldn’t be able to have kids. The protocol was to lose weight, which put her into a yoyo of dieting and weight loss and gain. After a traumatic experience, she turned to acupuncture. As she did so, she made other tweaks in her life. It turned out she got pregnant more easily than expected and wondered if other people had a similar experience—and how she could help.
We talk about how healthcare professionals can be misinformed and harmful when it comes to women’s weight and health, whether it is pregnancy-related or life in general. More importantly, we talk about practical steps you can take to make healthcare visits less triggering—things like not getting weighed unless there is a specific need to know your weight, asking about other options besides focusing on weight loss.
We talk about:
- The racial background of fat-shaming
- The importance of health-promoting behaviors vs. weight loss
- Diversity and accessibility issues related to weight
- The problem with BMI
- Teaching kids to embrace difference in bodies and about consent for their own bodies
- Being kind and gentle to yourself and being in the body you are in
Nicola is a fat-positive and feminist fertility coach and author of “Fat and Fertile”. She advocates for change in how fat people are treated whilst accessing help with their fertility. Nicola supports fat people who want to get pregnant using her unique FAT+ve fertility framework to find their own version of health without diets, advocate for their bodies, relearn how to trust their body and believe in their ability to get pregnant in their current body.
- Instagram @fatpositivefertility
Doable Changes from this episode:
- STOP WEIGHING YOURSELF. Weighing yourself has no real benefit and can set you up. If you are in the habit of weighing yourself, see what happens if you stop.
- ADVOCATE FOR YOURSELF. Take a different approach with your healthcare provider. Tell them you don’t want to be weighed (unless there is a specific reason, for example getting anaesthesia). If they simply tell you to work on weight loss, ask for other treatment options. What would they recommend to other patients? Push for the treatment that feels right to you.
- HELP KIDS EMBRACE BODY DIFFERENCE. Talk about body diversity. Model how you want your kids to engage with people of all body shapes and sizes. Stop criticizing your own body or talking about what you want to change. Talk about what your body can do instead of what it looks like.