[The Decolonizing Medicine Podcast S01E06. Original release date October 20, 2021.]
Jamee: Mabuhay! You are listening to The Decolonizing Medicine Podcast. We will be exploring the intersection of decolonization and healing work with Black and Brown practitioners involved in a variety of modalities. I'm your host Jamee Pineda coming to you from Piscataway territory otherwise known as Baltimore, Maryland. My ancestry is mostly Tagalog and some Chinoy, but I was raised here on Turtle Island. I am also a queer non-binary trans person and a practitioner of Hilot and Chinese medicine. I've got a couple quick announcements for October. I will be starting a QTBIPOC 5 Phase Qi Gong series again on October 30th through December 18th. That is one hour a week every Saturday between those two dates from 11 a.m to 12 p.m Eastern Standard Time. I'm also going to be taking a break from one-on-one sessions in October, but per request my books are open for November. So just check out the link in the show notes if you're interested in scheduling with me. Don't forget there are captioned episodes available on YouTube. For more info on my offerings or to sign up for my email list you can visit linktr.ee/jameepinedahealingarts. My guest for today is Tiana Dodson. Tiana is a fat body liberation coach and facilitator who's out to destroy the belief that you have to be skinny to be happy and healthy, lovable, or worthy. Through her work with the Fat Freedom programs, she guides people feminine-of-center to reconnect with their bodies, destigmatize fatness, and learn about the harms of health being a measure of worth all while finding how they can live their best fat lives
Jamee: Hi, Tiana!
Tiana: Oh my God, hi Jamee!
Jamee: How are you doing today?
Tiana: I am - I'm just like so excited! I'm so excited!
Jamee: I love talking to you!
Jamee: I think last time we talked I was in my kitchen you were like watching me like make a sandwich or something.
Tiana: You were making dumplings and I was insanely jealous.
Jamee: Oh that's right! I was making dumplings
Tiana: Insanely jealous.
Jamee: So Tiana right now is is not located near Baltimore, where I am.
Jamee: They're actually-she's actually in France. So it was a Zoom call-
Jamee: We were just chatting
Jamee: In the kitchen pretending like we were hanging out in-person.
Tiana: Because, honestly, if I was anywhere near Baltimore I would have been in a vehicle on my way to eat dumplings.
Jamee: Dumplings are the best.
Tiana: I would've just, like, knocked at your door like, "Hey, hey you didn't invite me, but I'm here."
Jamee: Yes. I missed that. I miss hanging out with like other BIPOC where we're just chilling with food. It's the best.
Tiana: It is.
Jamee: It's really the best. Ugh!
Tiana: It is.
Jamee: Well, I have a lot of really exciting questions to ask you today. Are you ready? Yay?
Tiana: I'm ready, I'm ready, I'm ready. So ready.
Jamee: You're so ready. Um okay, so my first question is what exactly is a body liberation coach and facilitator? Like, what is your job?
Tiana: I'm sorry for laughing, but it's funny because like in my head I was like, "Ooh, ooh that's a good question!" um, you know? and and like and like not like not like good question like like people say good question let me answer it because you just teed me off to like sound really intelligent. No, like good question like what, what, what do I actually do? So first and foremost it's a made up thing. I made it up. I made it up completely. There's no certification out there for body liberation coaching. I'm sorry. So at the base, I'm a health coach actually. I've come a long way from my background as a mechanical engineer, but um this is definitely much more me which is really great. I'm happy to have found that, but yeah. So I started my life as a healthcare-or I started my coaching life as a health coach and wasn't satisfied with what I was finding there because it was really a world that was preaching things that I had heard pretty much my whole life that somehow stopped ringing true. So I went on this whole experience, this quest to find what actually was true for me. Through that what I found was the health at every size and fat acceptance movements. As a fat person who has a really long history of dieting and body shame and body hatred, this was an amazing place to arrive and experience. I, for the first time, was like oh my goodness this answers a lot of questions for me and really makes me feel like there's so many things that are so possible that I was told before this were completely impossible for me because of the kind of body that I had. So I've continued to go on this journey and realize that like, for example, intersectionality exists and so that was something that was eye-opening to me to find out that like you know fat acceptance has like roots in feminism and there's also like just all kinds of things where justice and liberation and finding freedom for all kinds of people and all kinds of bodies come together. I started calling myself a fat health coach but the word "health" started to get complicated for me because I started to realize that health itself is very much more complex than what we are normally talking about when we do talk about health. I got rid of all of that together because I realized that body liberation is a thing and what we should be doing, or what I should be doing at least with my work, is finding ways to liberate ourselves from oppressive conditioning that get us to this place where we are shamed of feeling ashamed of who we are because of how we show up in the world, because of what our bodies look like, because of what our bodies can do or do not do. That's what I do as a body liberation coach and facilitator. I'm helping people based on my own lived experience to find their way toward a place where they can feel like they're in partnership with their own bodies and hopefully find ways to live their best fat lives.
Jamee: Ah! I love it. I'm wondering if you can go into more detail about how your identities as a fat, queer, biracial, Black and Chamorro parent inform your work.
Tiana: Ooh, ooh! That's a deep question and yes, yes they do. So like um yeah, I guess we'll start with being biracial. Being biracial has been really hard for me because I'm Black and Chamorro. So for those who don't know, Chamorro is the indigenous the the indigenous people of Guam. My mom is from Guam and Guam is a colonized place courtesy of the United States this time because we've been formally colonized by the Spanish and the Japanese. And uh yeah, so like the challenge for me has, like, because I'm not visibly Black. I'm also not visibly Chamorro. So if I show up in a space like nobody's like, "Hey! I know exactly what you are because of how you look." And so because of that I've always had trouble fitting in. Because I've had lots of people look at me on, you know from whichever side of my my identity, if they're Black people or if they're Chamorro people, and be told that I'm not Black enough or I'm not Chamorro enough. I've always been in this very uncomfortable place where I call like I'm sitting on the fence and it's a terrible place to be because in some ways, well it's not actually a terrible place, but it can feel like a terrible place to be because you just really don't feel like you belong, you know? And so like that really informed a lot of my experiences growing up where it's just like I was never Black enough to hang out with Black kids and be completely comfortable. I was never Chamorro enough to hang out with the Chamorro kids and be comfortable. I was always kind of like this weird person who sort of was there, but never really fit. On top of that, a generous helping of the fact that my body didn't fit physically because I was fat and then underneath all of it, just like under-girding all of that discomfort, was the fact that I was queer and didn't realize it. So, um, all of these things, like just being chronically uncomfortable with group dynamics, have helped me be really compassionate for people who exist in difference. That has given me the ability to like-I suppose in some ways imagine myself in someone else's shoes because I sort of feel like I'm never really wearing the same shoe on each foot. I think that's been very powerful for me because just being able to have that compassion, right, I know so deeply and intimately what it's like to be not part of a thing that I can project that and use that to understand why someone would be acting out of their trauma response to not belonging. And so having a child has really, has really challenged a lot of that because, um, you think you know some things about yourself and you think that you really have your shit together and then a small version of yourself comes into the world and it challenges all of it. Small people, oh my god, small people take you through all your all your shit. You have to revisit all of your old traumas all of the things that happened in your childhood. You're thinking about that time when you were six and the dog chased you and you were really scared and how excited you were, not excited, but how relieved you felt when your mom came out with the broom and chased the dog away, you know? And then have to hold that in one hand while also in the other hand recognizing that this person who so fiercely defended you at this young age also as the person who gave you these complexes about who you are because they didn't have capacity to hold your full complexity because of who they were and what they were experiencing in their whole life, you know, at the time. And so, like, having, being a parent and having a kid is like an amazing responsibility because you are now in charge, somehow, of a human being and nobody's prepared for that. I don't care how many classes or books or whatever, like, you're not prepared for that. Nobody is and so you just have to do the best that you can to not reproduce the shit that you know harmed you and try to do something different, hopefully not harming this person you've created. It's just this constant push and pull between the past and the possible future and these things are really what fuel my work. This ability to be compassionate, this desire to break the chains of intergenerational trauma, and to pass something forward into the future that is going to make real positive change, that tension is where my work lives.
Jamee: I appreciate you.
Tiana: Oh that's sounded really good.
Jamee: Well it was really good. It didn't just sound really good. I'm sitting with the complexity of having to hold multiple realities at once, to hold compassion and protection right next to violence that is like inflicted within families, but also related to colonization and internalizing outside violence as well.
Jamee: Ugh, that's the work, right? To heal ourselves in such a way that we don't perpetuate it, but then also realizing that the trauma doesn't evaporate. You don't just heal it and be done.
Jamee: So anyways, that brings us very nicely into the next question. How do you see colonization influencing our relationship to our bodies, to fatness, and to health?
Tiana: Hm, oh that's a big question.
Jamee: I'm just gonna only ask you gigantic questions. Only gigantic questions!
Tiana: I suppose I signed up for it. Ah, yeah! Oh my gosh, um, colonization. Ugh, colonization is deep. To be perfectly honest colonization is something that was not really on my radar until relatively recently and it's one of these things that when you're finally - when you finally read a definition or someone drops that piece of knowledge on you it connects the dots so nicely that all of these little pieces, little places of discomfort, these little questions that you've been living in, these little cognitive dissonances that you've noticed as you've grown up and experienced things, you're like what is this? Something is not right here, but I don't know what it is. And then somebody gives you a term and it just slots right in and now the electricity is on and all the lights turn on is what colonization - like coming to realize what colonization is, it did that for me. I'm so excited and also depressed by it. So this gigantic question, it's a gigantic question, and if we think back to the olden days, whatever that looks like in your mind, there are stories that we have been told that corpulence large bodies were praised. We see this in like like the most um the the story that stands out most in my mind is, I'm not exactly sure what island it is, but one of the Pacific islands, they praised people who had large bodies because they were the physical embodiment of abundance. It was a wonderful thing that you could be fat because it meant that you had enough to eat. It meant that you had some luxury in your life and that you could manage to get so large. I like this story in a way because it does give us a positive spin on fatness from like, you know, "before", whatever that means. But also when we're telling this story, it also still has sort of a healthist spin to it insofar as it's kind of also saying that like, you know, these people have been afforded to eat themselves fat. It plays into a lot of myths of what we tell ourselves today that fat people are fat because they have chosen to be that way, you know? They ate themselves there and, you know, you're fat because you're lazy and you eat too much. Sometimes that can be true, but the fact of the matter is that there's a lot of reasons that people are fat. One of them being it's just a part of the natural spectrum of human difference physically and others can be much more complicated than that, but that's also like sort of, I don't know, it's a complicated story for me. What you will hear, dear listener, is there are no easy answers. Everything that I talk about is complicated because it's true. There's no easy answer. Nothing is straightforward and nothing is simple. And so like, you know, fast forward to the idea that fatness was in in Europe, you know, because the Europeans had like these fleshy, look at these big old fleshy people in these in these, uh, these paintings. And so somebody who's praised for this is Peter Paul Rubens, the painter. The fact of the matter is the "Rubenesque" personage that was being painted, you look at that you see the Venus de Milo. So this very famous painting, you know, this white woman, with all the hair, modestly covering her bits in a clam shell, just gigantic clam shell? She is fleshy, you know? She's got a thicker hip. She's got a thicker thigh,a little poochy belly, but the fact of the matter is is that she's not fat. She's not fat. She's what we would say, um, she's what I would say is a relatively fat person, not an absolutely fat person. That difference is really, um - for example, the Kardashian clan. Khloe is "the fat Kardashian". She is considered fat because she's the larger bodied one and the rest of them are these little wispy twigs. But if Khloe goes out of her home, her family home, and like walks around in the neighborhood or amongst a group of people pre-pandemic, Khloe's no longer fat. Khloe wouldn't be considered fat in a doctor's office. Khloe wouldn't be subjected to, you know, fatphobia in a medical setting. But an absolute fat person is someone who will be considered fat no matter where they are, no matter what they're doing, and no matter who is observing them. Also the other thing about an absolute fat person is an absolute fat person is someone who also has access issues because of fatness. Khloe Kardashian doesn't have those. I'm off in the weeds, but the fact of the matter is is that colonization really impacts our bodies and our relationships to our bodies because it has taken us away from our innate body knowing. That innate body knowing is that relationship that we have with ourselves where we can understand what our bodies need. We can hear the signals that we are hungry, that we want to eat such a thing, you know, and we can respond to that in kind without having to think about, like, "is that good for me?" or "I don't know I've already had, you know, 20 points worth of this today", or, you know, you don't have to think about like "ah there's too much fat there". These are not things that innately we think about. This is not what your body is communicating to you. These are these messages that are being given to us. That's the whole project of colonization is to take us away from our natural state, to take us away from where our connection to community and land is. Colonization is about like taking us, removing us, from that and then working, like, turning us into a product to produce and nothing more. Above board, that was ridiculous.
Jamee: Haha! Not ridiculous at all. What I'm hearing is that part of what colonization does is it disrupts what you would call inherent bodily knowing-
Tiana: Yeah Jamee: And replaces it with thin supremacy, with ideals of of white bodies, and certain kinds of ways that we are allowed to take up space so that even as BIPOC we will police ourselves even though these aren't necessarily our ancestral values
Tiana: No, exactly
Jamee: Or our ancestral relationships to bodies
Jamee: Because colonization fucks with our heads
Tiana: That's right
Jamee: It fucks with our value systems.
Tiana: No, that's completely right because, you know, I'm reading Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fatphobia right now, written by Sabrina Strings. And this book is talking about the intersection and creation of anti-fatness and anti-Blackness. Um it's, it's hard. It's hard to read it. It's really hard to read it partially because it's dry, but for the most part because it's so emotionally activating to understand how I have spent so much time in my life feeling negatively about myself because some random white dudes with money sitting around hanging out with other random white dudes with money just decided what beauty is, and the fact that they need to have more stuff so they need to subjugate the bodies of people that don't look like them, and it's infuriating. It's infuriating, um, and so like I - one of the things that was really interesting to read was how they say things like, you know, Africans are lazy because, you know, they're not producing. They're not farming. They're not, they're not doing the things we do. Look at how lazy they are. They just eat all day and lay around. If you look at that with a different lens, what's actually happening is the African people are in tune with their land, with their environment. They're not really farming because the land is plentiful and they can take what the land produces so they don't have to go out there and hook up, uh you know um, hook up a team of oxen to a plow, and plow some gigantic field, and then sow seeds and irrigate, and all that stuff because their land is plentiful. They have time to do other things. They're not trying to subjugate the land or force the land to do things that the land itself is not naturally doing. They're just living with it, going with it, doing, hunting, gathering, you know, with what is available to them versus trying to create over and above. They didn't live capitalistic lives where they were trying to get profit and growth, you know? So it's like with the lens of like from where the Africans, where the indigenous peoples are from, they're living in accordance to what is already around them versus this more European "civilized" way of thinking which is no, you have to get up early and you have to work and you have to force everything to bend to your will and do what you want it to do. It's a really different way of thinking about things and it's very violent and very harmful.
Jamee: It's like a macro representation of just a simple discussion of consent
Tiana: Oh god, yes.
Jamee: And permission and like, you know, being in harmony with your environment and the other entities around you, human or not human.
Tiana: That's right.
Jamee: If you are loving this podcast consider heading over to patreon.com/jameepinedahealingarts. Patrons receive a wide array of benefits including exclusive course content and rituals on Hilot and Chinese medicine. You can also review and like us on Apple Podcasts and share episodes with your friends and family. Thanks so much everyone for your support.
Jamee: I want to switch gears just a little bit and talk about how much I love your podcast,
by the way.
Jamee: [Laughing] I love your podcast and I was listening - the last episode I listened to was the one about vegetables
Tiana: Oh my
Jamee: And I just, I really, I really liked how you talk about it because that's how I talk about it with a lot of my patients, too. And I'd love to get into a little discussion about your ideas around perfectionism and purity and how that affects how we eat and how we diet.
Tiana: Oh, that's good. So, um, I'm glad that you've listened to my podcast because I feel like on my podcast I'm definitely more articulate, but, um yeah, so I feel like, oh my. Okay, dieting is terrible just, this is my thesis, but ultimately the thing about dieting is that it number one, it takes you out of yourself because it takes you away from that innate knowing of what your body wants and needs and it imposes upon you this external set of rules: what to eat, how to eat, when to eat, how much. It doesn't matter if your stomach or your body is going, "ooh this doesn't feel good" or "oh, this is not enough" or any of that. It doesn't matter because the diet says this is what you do. And something that, if you have ever dieted, something you will know very intimately is the slip. When you just like get to that point and you can't deal anymore and you get that bag of chips and you open it and instead of doing what the diet wants you to do which is weigh it and portion it and then put it, you know, in its own separate little container, and then go sit down and then eat it with your left hand because if you eat it with your non-dominant hand it's going to be awkward and you're going to eat less, this is what dieting says, ridiculous, you're going to eat the whole bag because you are having a snap back from the deprivation. You're responding to the deprivation. You can't take it anymore. So what ends up happening is we then, us dieters, go, "You know what I messed up. I made a mistake. I guess I'm just gonna go and eat all the things." So, that's what you do for however long it takes for you to get back to diet land and go, "Oh no! I need to start again." Generally it's Monday morning. On Monday morning you go, "I'm gonna do it right this time. I'm gonna fix it. I'm gonna be good." And this is purity culture: either or, good or bad. If you're not following the rules then you're bad. If you slipped up one time you're bad. And, oh god, it's so terrible. It's so terrible because it doesn't give you any space to be a human being. It has you in this place where you have to always be planning ahead. And there's nothing really wrong with planning ahead. I think it's great to be prepared. That's fantastic. However, when you have to obsess about what you're gonna eat, when you're gonna eat it, "Ooh somebody's birthday's coming up. What am I gonna do?", you have to have a whole plan? That's no fun. That's the problem with these binaries, with sitting where we can only have one or the other. Life is not about one or the other. Life is super complex and life is always fucking messy. So when we're always thinking about the binaries, we're robbing ourselves of the rich experience of life. We're hurting ourselves along the way because there's no space for just experience.
Jamee: And it takes you out of trusting your own feelings, trusting your intuition, trusting your body's response to it.
Jamee: Such a weird compartmentalized way to interact with something that should be nourishing us, that shouldn't be linear.
Tiana: Truly. And it's also assuming that every day is exactly the same.
Tiana: You know that every day you will need 2,200 calories to run the machine which is your body when in fact, on some days, you need more because you're doing more, because you're stressed, because you're having emotional ups and downs, you need more. And on other days you're relaxed and you're chill and you're not doing much of anything. You're just hanging out and watching Netflix. Those days you might need less and then some days you just feel really good and you're surrounded by amazing people or just having a having an experience that feels nice and so you're celebrating. That's a completely different experience. So we're not giving ourselves space for the fluctuation of life.
Jamee: Hmmm, yeah and truly everything does everything does fluctuate. I mean seasonally things fluctuate. No creature in nature is limiting themselves in this way. It's unnatural-
Jamee: To limit yourself, to deprive yourself
Jamee: In like such a fabricated way.
Jamee: And for folks who are facing multiple kinds of oppression the relationship that we might have to our health being another source of just control kind of freaks me out a little bit, you know?
Jamee: A lot of us don't need to be controlled more.
Tiana: Truly and I also realized that dieting is really intoxicating for people because dieting gives you the illusion that you have control over your body because it's the narrative that all the diet culture and diet industry is giving us. They're like oh, you know, you you have control over what goes in your mouth. You have control over how much you move. You have control over these things. And we go yes, yes I can't control my job. I can't control my children. I can't control my partner. My parents are driving me nuts. I can't control society, but I can meticulously weigh and portion this food and make sure that I chew one time for every tooth in my mouth, you know? I can control that and so like that-
Jamee: Is that a thing?!
Tiana: It's a thing! It's a thing! Dieting is amazing.
Jamee: With the teeth and counting?!
Tiana: It's amazing. Yes!
Jamee: Oh my god!
Tiana: Absolutely, absolutely. Yeah so, I mean, that's the thing about dieting. It's ridiculous. Some of these, some of these rules are ridiculous and they seem just completely wild when you start to like really look at them and what they mean, but people live and die by these rules because some people really need that feeling, that "I have control over something", you know? And that's something that actually tips a lot of people over into eating disorders because that's one thing they can control. They have control over maybe not what shows up on their plate, but how much they consume or how much they do not consume. It's terrible.
Jamee: Yeah, that is terrible. So moving from that, let's talk about body liberation. How like with all of this shit that's happening with the with culture that is harmful and violent to lots of different kinds of bodies, how do you practice body liberation? And Tiana I'm wondering also
what changes have you noticed in this in the before times and then the pandemic times in
practicing body liberation?
Tiana: Okay. I'm gonna write that down.
Jamee: Only giant questions!
Tiana: Oh my goodness. Yes, okay. So body liberation is this like idyllic future where every body has the right, and the freedom, and the space to exist as it is. And it just, in my head I have like a picture of this very verdant field, very lush greenery, and deer just frolicking and jumping. You know, very Garden-of-Eden style sort of thing. But essentially the challenge of body liberation is that we're so far away from it. And so how do you work toward body liberation? How does one do? And considering that we live in such an oppressive world. Essentially what I have is a four-step framework for body liberation. Sounds easy. Sounds very, very simple, but it's a lot so let me tell you about it. Step one of my framework is education because you cannot fight against a system you know you do not understand so you have to figure out what is it? What is the system that is oppressing me in this way? What is diet culture? What is not diet culture? And that is something that you have to figure out and find out before you can start going I'm against it. Step two is reframing. In this step what you're doing is you are taking all of the conditioning, all of the stories that you have carried with you throughout your life that are determining how you do things and who you are and and all of the whys and you're interrogating them to figure out what is in here that actually if I look at it a little bit differently it can help propel me forward? Or what is in here that is just harmful that I need to learn how to stop. Step three, after you've done all of this rich education and internal work, is self-care and resilience building. What this step is about is about is about like getting your tool kit ready because you've got to go out into the world that hasn't changed much regardless of how much you have changed. You're going to be met with aggression. You're going to be met with challenges. It's going to be harmful and hurtful and you need to know how do you take care of yourself and continue making that happen. In addition, this step is requiring you to find community that's actually going to be caring for you, that you can give to, and that there's that like mutual aid and assistance because that's part of keeping you capable of doing this for the long haul. And then step four is advocacy. And in step four is how you learn to relate to those that will challenge you and attempt to harm you and ask for what you need. In that advocacy for yourself you are also advocating for others because every single time that you speak up and show up for yourself you're creating a ripple effect for anyone who comes behind you. So using this four-step framework is how I am practicing living my best fat life, finding the things that give me joy, and trying to give myself space, and the skills to deal with the things that do not. Before the pandemic I think that I was really thinking a lot more that this was a very individualized sort of thing where you really had to do a lot of work internally and then look externally after you had gotten your toolkit stacked, and your education in, and you're reframing together. But during the pandemic, I started to offer a support group, an introductory support group for body liberation called the Fat Freedom Foundation. It was just kind of a shot in the dark. I felt like it was something that I needed and I didn't realize that it was something that actually all of us needed because that community piece that I talked about to help us build resilience in Step Three, that's somehow one of the most important parts of body liberation because colonization has us chopped off and put into these little boxes where each and every one of us is an individual and we need to sit in this box and be as productive as we possibly can when in fact that's not how we're programmed as human beings. We're animals, we're communal, we're social, and we thrive in community. We need each other and that's-the pandemic had me realize through running this program, the Fat Freedom Foundation, that everybody is able to progress faster if we have a place where we can practice doing that love and also receiving that love. And now we nod at each other for five minutes.
Jamee: Yep, yep, yeah. Like, it's the pandemic. If you had any doubts that your your illness or your well-being wasn't connected to the community around you, um, I mean there's no denying how interconnected we are whether we want to be or not.
Tiana: That's right. That's right. That's right.
Jamee: Yeah. So I love, I love how much that is being revealed in the work that you're doing and that, like, that shift, I see that shift, too, from more individualized work to communal work. That is also, to me, an act of decolonization.
Tiana: Because I realized also, like I I'd like, like I've been doing one-on-one coaching in my business, pretty much since the beginning, because that's what I was told is what you're supposed to do. And what I realized through the pandemic is I'm enjoying that less and less and really really happier, so much happier, like and excited by working in groups.
Jamee: I hear that. I love, I love doing my QTBIPOC qi gong groups. I love working with BIPOC together. It's awesome.
Tiana: Oh yes!
Jamee: So I want to, I want to give you a little bit of space to plug any programs or offerings that might be coming up for you in the near future. So this episode will come out on October 20th just to give you a little bit of a time frame. So yeah, what's coming up for you? How can people get a hold of you and find out more about what you're doing?
Tiana: Oh my goodness. Ah so um, if you want to get a hold of me one of the easiest ways to do it is to come check me out on Instagram. On Instagram I'm @iamtianadodson. T-i-a-n-a-d-o-d-s-o-n. You can also go to my website which is tianadodson.com. What I've got coming up in the near future: I'm building a course. I'm like so excited for myself.
Jamee: I'm excited for your course.
Tiana: Thank you it's - it's been this thing that I've been like, ah, you know it's really, it's very much like a birth. Like there has been a gestation of this thing because it started with Fat Freedom Foundation where I created this communal space of support and it's just been giving me so much joy. So Fat Freedom Foundation is also available if you're somebody who's looking for a place to be in community with other fat people who are just looking to be supportive and get supported around being a fat person in this world, then Fat Freedom Foundation is for you. We're meeting once a week right now on Saturdays for 90 minutes to hang out and just talk about the things that we have going on. So that space is available and I love it there, but growing out of Fat Freedom Foundation is the Fat Freedom Tool Kit. The Fat Freedom Tool Kit is my course that I'm building and it'll be launching October 28th. And basically what we're going to be doing in Fat Freedom Toolkit is like I was saying with my four-step framework um Step Three: Self-Care and Resilience Building is all about creating, you know, like, stocking this toolkit that's gonna help you go out into the world and live your best fat life and that's what we're doing there so the Fat Freedom Tool Kit is going to be a three month program where we're working through six skills. It is not an exhaustive list because there's so many skills that you need, but these six skills, I think are foundational and really important, that will help you be able to work toward body liberation for yourself and for others in a way that you can be better resourced and more resilient. So if you're interested in joining that get in touch with me via DM on Instagram or join my newsletter list from my website because, um yeah, I'm starting it with a pilot cohort. So this is the first time I'm running it and it's going to be a pretty small intimate space and I want to make sure that if you're going to join this and you're going to take this voyage with me that you're ready to go because it's not gonna be hardcore necessarily, but you need to be ready to do the work because this isn't gonna be like filling out a worksheet and keeping it moving. We're gonna be there to hold each other and really explore into and develop these skills.
Jamee: I love it. I love it. I love it. So last, but not least, every episode we always do a community shout out where I ask guests to highlight a community member or community group that's BIPOC that's doing really awesome work that we would like to just give them a little love, encourage people to redistribute funds or resources to. So Tiana is there anyone that you want to name today or any group that you'd love to to bring to our attention?
Tiana: Ooh okay. That's a heavy question because there's so many people who have come to mind, but top of mind right now is a good friend of mine Anuradha Kowtha of the Kowtha Constellation. Anuradha is out here in the world just working toward helping people and organizations decolonize their work and also like work toward post-capitalist possibilities, So Anuradha runs this great course with co-founder Mariah Helms called Sewing Post-Capitalist Seeds. I've been teaching in the course for the past couple of years and I'm actually taking it
this cohort because what they're doing in there is super awesome and I'm just like I mean not that I don't know not necessarily that I need to know the stuff, but also like I want to know the stuff and um like learning more about how to have a post-capitalist praxis and like why is super important and so that's what's going on in there. So yeah. Definitely give Anuradha a poke and check out Anuradha's work with the Kowtha Constellation because what's going on over there is amazing.
Jamee: Thank you so much. I loved our conversation today, Tiana. You're such a lovely guest. For folks who are listening I'll drop links to Anuradha and to Tiana's work in the show
notes so you all can check that out later.
Jamee: Thanks so much for being here.
Tiana: It was a pleasure and so excited that you had me.
Jamee: Maraming salamat for listening to The Decolonizing Medicine Podcast. Music is by Amber Ojeda, hed kandi, and Rocky Marciano. Big thanks to Laurenellen McCann, my sweetie and fabulous audio engineer, and all our listeners and supporters out there. If you want to find out more about my work head over to linkt.ree/jameepinedahealingarts.