Can I Have Another Snack?
Can I Have Another Snack?
10: Nourishing Embodiment with Katie Greenall

10: Nourishing Embodiment with Katie Greenall

Season Finale!

Alright folks, here it is! The final episode of Season 1 of the Can I Have Another Snack? podcast (keep an eye out for Season 2 in the new year!) - and we’re ending with a bang! This week I’m chatting to Katie Greenall, theatre maker, writer, and performer of the award-winning autobiographical solo show ‘Fatty Fat Fat’. We speak all about Embodiment and disconnection from our body, and discuss how we can handle a funky body image day. They also give us the inside scoop on their upcoming show ‘Blubber’.

Find out more about Katie here.

Follow her work on Instagram here.

Follow Laura on Instagram here.

Here’s the transcript in full:

Katie: I've had like lots of us have, or on the, on the road to having, I hope, this sort of glass-shattering moment where you are like, Oh, I can live in my body, in my case, in my fat, queer body and be happy. Those things can coexist. I do not have to change the other thing in order to be happy. And I mean, happy in the fullest of sense. I mean, successful in whatever successful looks like, loved, cared for, fed, cherished, admired, like whatever that looks like. And, and that can change. And for the first sort of two decades of my life, I did not realise that I could be fat and any of those things.


Laura: Hey, and welcome to the Can I Have Another Snack podcast where I'm asking my guests who or what they're nourishing right now and who or what is nourishing them. I'm Laura Thomas, an anti-diet registered nutritionist, and author of the Can I Have Another Snack? newsletter.

Today I'm sharing the last episode of Season One of the Can I Have Another Snack? podcast. I’ll be back in January with ten brand-new episodes with some incredible guests. And in the meantime you can follow along on the Can I Have Another Snack? Substack where I’m gonna be sharing some really cool features over the holiday period including my emo kid Christmas playlist, an anti-diet gift guide, and some guest holiday pieces from Kristen Scher and Virgie Tovar. You’re not going to want to miss them, they’re seriously great and I can’t wait to share them with you. So make sure that you’re signed up to receive those posts at

Alright team, I am so pumped to introduce you to today's guest. Katie Greenall is someone whose work I've followed for a long time, and I'm really excited for you to hear this conversation.

For those of you who don't know Katie, they are a facilitator, theatre maker and writer living in London. She makes autobiographical work that often explores fatness, queerness, and community alongside making work with young people and communities across London. Previously, Katie performed her award-winning autobiographical solo show, Fatty, Fat, Fat and is currently developing their new show Blubber, which we're gonna talk about in this episode. We're also gonna talk about embodiment and feeling disconnected from our bodies, and how Katie handles a funky body image day. 

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Alright, team, let's get to our last guest of the season, Katie Greenall.


Laura: All right, Katie, can you tell us who or what you are nourishing right now?

Katie: I love this question. I would like to think that especially this week, I am nourishing myself. I am really trying to form some new habits this week. I've had a bit of a, I'd say a few big few months of lots of different things, particularly work-wise. And so this week I'm really focusing on building some new habits and just like getting my shit together a little bit.

And so, I've really been finding that really nourishing for me. Uh, so I would say top of the list, I'm nourishing myself. That isn't usually the case. That's usually, if I'm being really honest and reflective, that self and nourishment is usually much further down. But I'm really kind of stepping into that this week, which is why having this conversation with you feels like really beautifully timed because, um, yeah, I genuinely for the first time in a long time feel like I'm doing some nourishing of myself.

Laura: It sounds like that's kind of unfamiliar to you.

Katie: Hmm. Yeah.

Laura: I guess I have two questions on that. Like one is what, you know, what is difficult about that for you usually, secondly, you know, what is that, that self nourishment looking like for you at the moment.

Katie: I think it's difficult for a number of reasons. It's difficult because, one, I work a lot, um, So a big part of my job is facilitating and holding space for other people. Um, predominantly that's working with young people in different theater settings. Like I run lots of young companies, I work in schools, or with other, in other community settings.

So like my literal job is holding space for other people, um, maybe similarly to yourself, uh, or in a, kinda, in a very different way. But that idea of, of a big part of what I do is holding and hopefully nourishing other people, nourishing artists or, um, yeah, like young people, to be able to achieve what they want to achieve, to access new skills and stuff like that.

And so often when I get that, a lot of that work happens in evenings and at weekends. And so just stuff like eating meals and going to bed and having any sense of routine, which is something that is really important to me, just gets pushed further and further and down the list. And the more, you know, it was just definitely not revolutionary, but like the more tired you get, the more you feel like you're, it's harder and harder to keep hold of any of those things. So that's one thing. I think secondly is that I've been taught I shouldn't be taking care of myself. That like I, that me and my fat body don't deserve care. And sometimes that is really hard to challenge. Sometimes it's really hard to have the extra energy or capacity to be like, Oh, not only am I gonna give myself the care or the nourishment, Which I think is such a beautiful word, but not, not only am I going to do that, but I'm also, that takes energy in itself. I also have to take the next level of energy, which is to do that in spite of a structure that is trying to stop me from doing that. And so it's really hard and I've spent a long time knowing that, now I've come to realise, understand more about fat liberation and the capitalist structure and diet culture and all of those things, the more I've realised I can't and don't want to go back to having, having those thought cycles. Sometimes I don't have the power or the capacity or the strength to, to challenge them. And so I exist in this sort of no man's land instead. And so yeah, it feels really nice to be able to have the capacity, and time and resource to be able to kind of apply that nourishment to to myself.

Laura: Yeah, that's a really, um, there's something quite striking in what you've just said, you know, and I think a lot of us experience this from time to time, like intellectually understanding that we are being oppressed by systems that, you know, that don't care about our lives or don't care about our wellbeing, that only find value in us if we are producing and conforming and looking a certain way and et cetera, et cetera. And, and, and, you know, wanting to, you know, placing value in rejecting those systems. And also there's still being a huge barrier to overcome to access self care, to access self nourishment, to care for ourselves and, and sort of, I don't know, I'm just imagining this kind of liminal space, this no man's land that you were talking about, and I find that a lot of us probably feel stuck in that place quite often.

Katie: Yeah, because there's a real resistance, like I'm, I'm resistant to regressing into this, this space that I, you know, I've had like lots of us have, or on the, on the road to having, I hope, this sort of glass shattering moment where you are like, Oh, I can live in my body, in my case, in my fat queer body and be happy. Those things can coexist. I do not have to change the other thing in order to be happy. And I mean, happy in the fullest of sense. I mean, successful in whatever successful looks like, loved, cared for, fed, cherished, admired, like whatever that looks like. And, and that can change. And for the first sort of two decades of my life, I did not realise that I could be fat and any of those things.

Laura: Yeah.

Katie: I'd have glimmers of it and then be like, but it was so hard to hold onto, and I thought the only way that I could hold onto them more was, was to not be fat anymore.

Laura: Yeah.

Katie: And so I just, I utterly refute. I completely resist, going back to thinking like that. And so I would much rather sit in this no man's land space. But that being said, it's really difficult and it's meant that I have felt increasingly disconnected to my body in a way because I am reframing it as something that like, doesn't define my existence, or doesn't define my ability to achieve happiness or success or love or any of those things. The multitude of those. But I can't always work out how to achieve them. And so it's really challenging. And so it's felt like it's easier to sort of build some space between me and my body, rather than live that under fear of going back to a place that I don't wanna.

Laura: Yeah. So many little, little threads that I want to tug on there. I suppose what I'm thinking about is just this, like the energy required to subvert the system and just say, No, I'm out When still existing and living within those structures, within the, those confines and, and all of the, you know, I suppose what we're talking to is this idea that yes, we can cognitively understand anti-fat bias or racism or capitalism or whatever structure that we're, we're naming, which they're all the same thing really. Let, let's face it, um, that, that, that is the issue, but still not, you know, we still need resources to be able to survive in those systems. And, you know, if we, you know, the less access we have to those resources, the harder our lives are. And so, you know, we can yeah, label something as anti-fat bias, but it still doesn't stop the system from, you know, perpetrating anti-fat bias whenever we need to go to the doctor or buy clothes or fly in an airplane or just, you know, walk down the street.

Katie: And I think, you know, there is also a huge privilege in being able to decide when or when I do or don't want to engage with my body. And obviously sometimes I don't have a choice, um, often when then someone else enters my space and, um, Kind of those micro-aggressions or macro-aggressions, either from other people or structure, whether that's like societal structure or like the physical parameters of my space i.e. When I can't help but feel an arm of the chair digging into my side. Like, there are sometimes where I can't help but be faced with that. But I think, you know, it is a privilege to be able in my day to day life, to the moments when I can, to be able to choose whether or not I want to engage with my, with those things each, each day.

And I, and I don't take that for granted. I don't necessarily find it easy, but I, I don't, I don't take those for granted. And that was because I am white and, middle class and, not disabled, and, and multitude of other things. But, um, it's really difficult and I guess when I'm making work about my body, I'm opting in to engage with it. And think that's probably why making work about my body is so important to me because I think it's a way for me to opt in and to also in like, to a great extent. I mean, it could definitely be better, but like I've also been paid to do it um, you know, I'm being paid for the labor of, of opting in to engage with those things, as I say, not a lot. And certainly I'm not being paid for every moment that I'm like going through that. But that's why I think it's really important when I'm making work about my body that, that I do make work about my body because otherwise, I, I wonder how much of my life I would just not, not feel embodied.

Laura: But it, it's, it's so interesting, like I, I was just thinking as you were talking here about this idea of, you know, no man's land, being in this liminal space with your body and, like it sounds as though for you disconnection, disembodiment is, is a choice almost. And, or maybe that's not quite the right way of, of framing it, cuz I think that's maybe too simplistic a way to describe it. But really what I'm trying to get at is that oftentimes disembodiment and, uh, disconnection, dissociation are, are labeled or framed as this really negative really, you know, maladaptive is the, the word that we would use like in in the body image lingo, right? Like from an academic perspective, Right. But what I'm hearing from you is that it's a survival mechanism. It's a coping mechanism.

Katie: Yeah, a hundred percent. And, I think about choice is really interesting. Cause like I definitely don't think it's active choice. I don't get off each day and go, or each week and go like, I'm choosing to

Laura: Disembody. Yeah. Yeah.

Katie: Um, there's clearly something is, like something within me is making that choice or something that's happening to me.

But yeah, it's a hundred percent a survival technique but it's not necessarily one I'm ashamed of. I think I'm, most days I am proud of my fat body and I'm proud that I'm surviving in it. I am proud that I am still fat in spite of it all, that I'm honouring what my body needs and how it wants to exist in this moment. And I will like, whatever it is that I have to do in order to maintain that in a way that like, makes it make sense for me is something that, I'm not going lean away from. And I, and I think I begin to touch on this a bit in, in the show that I'm in the process of making at the moment, Blubber, which is like, I think towards the end of the process of making my last show Fatty, Fat, Fat, I was saying the same thing, you know, as is the nature of things when you perform something a lot or you talk about something a lot or, repeat yourself a lot. I was taking up the same space over and over again, or having the same conversations with journalists or audiences. But I was saying all the right things, but I wasn't, I wasn't connecting to them in the same way. And that's what this show, what Blubber's kind of came rooted in, is finding a way to try and feel more embodied, um, trying to feel more connected to a body that I've, that I'm proud to exist in, I think. And I'm proud to, to nourish and I'm proud to take care of, and I'm proud that still exists. And so it feels, I really want to feel connected to it. In a tangible way.

Headshot of Katie Greenall, wearing a pink turtleneck jumper, standing against a blank wall
Katie Greenall - writer, theatre maker & performer

Laura: I just wanna take a step back for a second for people who maybe aren't familiar with your previous show, Fatty, Fat, Fat, could you maybe just like give a just a very quick synopsis and then just so we can contextualise this conversation versus what you were talking about in that show.

Katie: Totally. So, Fatty Fat Fat was my first solo autobiographical show. I started making it in 2018 after I just graduated from drama school. Kind of came out of, uh, frustration that lots of people in big bodies who work in the kind of entertainment, theatre, performing arts industry come against, which is like, I wasn't fat enough in inverted commas to be the fat girl in inverted commas um, or thin enough to be the normal girl in inverted commas. And so sort of, there was no castings, there was no jobs, there was, I was the fat, funny friend, etc, etc. And so it came out of, of a want to make work, but not seeing myself or stories or people like me really, um, reflected or, or being cast for. So Fatty Fat Fat was a show based on a series of anecdotes from my life where my relationship with my body changed because of other people's interactions with it.

So they span from the age of 5 to 22. And they were micro-aggressions, um, generally either from family, friends or strangers that kind of, yeah, informed my relationship with my body and those were intersected with more kind of poetic movement moments that were rooted in where I was at in that process, present day. And also some kind of interactive moments that were talking about the wider fat liberation and fat acceptance movement. It was my coming out as being fat, I'd never called myself fat before I made that show. It was very much fat activism 1 0 1, and it's, you know, doesn't take away from my pride in that show. But it was time to leave it behind and, and Blubber really picks up from there.

Laura: And I wanted to, so I, yeah, I just thought it would be helpful to give that kind of background what that show was versus this, this new show where it, it feels like a, Yeah, like you said before, trying to feel more connected to your body whilst, as we described before, living in systems that want that, you know, benefit from you being disconnected and disembodied. So I'm curious to know and I, I wonder if this kind of connects into this question of, of nourishment that we were talking about at the beginning and, and finding ways to nourish yourself, and that even in and of itself, being subversive as a fat person. What does embodiment mean to you? What does it look like? What does it feel like? You know, like, like we said before, sometimes it's held up as being this, this gold standard way of being in your body. Right? But I don't know that that's necessarily always true, and, and so I'm, I'm curious to hear from you. Yeah. Just tell me all your thoughts on embodiment.

Katie: On embodiment. I think the short answer is I don't know what embodiment looks like to me. I think what I'm trying to work out, um, is the shortest and simplest answer. I think that embodiment can look like lots of things. So there is a version of embodiment for me that is being on stage right, I am acutely aware of everything that me and my body are doing that, especially as a solo performer that it is, I'm responsible for everything that's happening in this space. I'm like, whatever I do or say is queuing the next light or sound. I'm having a relationship to the audience. Yeah, they might be looking around the room, but like they've paid money to be there, to be there and watch me, or listen, and so like those moments, I am aware of everything. Like you learn, and like actors training about like this duality, you have to have a sort of outward eye but also an inward eye. So like which is where like, you know, practices like method acting and stuff like that become where you are like fully character all the time become a little dangerous.

Um, and so yeah, my training is very much thinking about like, and what I kind of continue to pass on when I'm working with other artists is like working both ways. So, Yes, I'm saying the lines and I'm in my character, but also I'm inside, I'm thinking, Oh, am I connecting to my diaphragm? Can someone hear me? Someone's just dropped a prop over there and I need to make sure I move that out of the way before the big dance number, or whatever it is. You've got to have this duality. And so there's something about embodiment in that moment where you're like, I need to be aware not only of everything that's happening to me, around me, but also what's happening inside of me. And, and I'm really responsible for, for that. And obviously I have team that I definitely couldn't do without the team that work alongside me. But in those moments, you know, you couldn't, can't help but feel embodied. And so for me, that's why live performance is so important rather than working in film or TV or recorded media is, is because that aliveness makes me feel alive in a way that I don't necessarily know how to replicate in other, in other spaces, which comes with other things because it also is terrifying, incredibly anxiety inducing and complicated. And so it's not just as easy as standing up and being like, Here we go. But there are moments of that where you kind, when you're able to move through the fear, and you're not doing the show for the first time or something. You're like, I'm here, I'm feeling this, I'm doing this, and we're doing it together And that feels exciting.

Laura: There's something, I mean, I've, I've seen both shows and there is something very like visceral and immersive about your performances. Like you're in this relationship with the audience, you're having this dialogue, this conversation with them, and I think, yeah, the word that you used, was it like, did you say vital? Vitality?

Katie: Yeah.

Laura: Yeah. You can perceive that from sitting in the audience. So yeah, I can, I can see how that, that that is a moment of, of connection and that's something that I took from Blubber. We were kind of talking about this off mic before that, and, and I don't know that this is necessarily how you were framing things, but, but it's certainly how I interpreted the show was that there is not this big like crescendo moment where you like, make peace with your body and then it's just like, you know, happily ever after, from, from there on out, that there was this real sense of, of moments of joy and comfort and connection in our bodies. And I'm gonna ask you about one of them in just a second. But, um, yeah, like that they were just kind of like peppered all over the place. Almost if we, we go back to that analogy that you used before, where you moved from that no man's land, where your body just kind of almost doesn't exist in a, in a way to being fully immersed and in your body and connected to it in this really positive and vital way.

Katie: Yeah, I think that's such a lovely way of putting it. And, and the show doesn't crescendo in the same way. We, we spent a long time thinking about that in development we were like, Oh, where does the crescendo happen? Cause when I initially wrote it, it had about four ones rather than big one. And I think, um, It's a separate conversation to be had about like Western storytelling and what we, what that's, where that's rooted in and, and, and why we feel we need that and blah, blah, blah. That is for a separate, a separate conversation. But I really hear you. And the show has those kind of pockets of, of joy and reflection in amongst stuff that's really knotty and difficult. I think there's something for me in, Fatty Fat Fat ends with the line, I want my body back. Right? And so I sort of imagine that Blubber picks up going, Okay, here you go, imagining someone is going, All right, well there you are, here's the keys, what are you gonna do about it? Like, what happens now? And, and I think that's why this conversation about knowing's life is really pertinent to me because it's like, cool, if someone puts me in the driver's seat of my own body, do I even know where the pedals are anymore? I really know what all the buttons do? Do I know what feels good or what doesn't? Like okay, so yeah, I've got the keys, but how do I take control? How do I drive on the open road with all, Like, how do I make it feel like convertible, uh, with my, you know, the sea air in my hair? Singing to a song. Like driving isn't like that. You might get pockets of that, but other times you're stuck in a traffic jam or you can't start, or you need maintenance, or it's just like you're using it from, gets from A to B.

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Laura: Yeah,

Katie: And I, and I think Blubber is a little bit about reflecting on my body as a vehicle and the times where it works and it feels like it's mine and it feels like I'm in it and I'm, I'm driving it. And other times where it feels like I'm, I'm still learning what it can do and, and what feels safe and, and all of those things sit within the structure of whether or not they're possible or impossible, or I'm allowed in inverted commas or not allowed or, you know, all of those things then have a context that sits around them.

Laura: I think it's so important to speak to the messiness, the stickiness, how complicated it is to have a body, because I feel otherwise we, we fall into the trap of presenting binaries around our bodies, like either love your body and always be completely grateful. You know, I've spoken a lot on this series in particular around having a baby and how we're presented with these that very either or options of like, well be grateful cuz your body did this miraculous thing. Right? Or, change your body and get it, you know, get your pre-baby body back or, you know, so these really, like, I want more options than that to, to feel about my body. And I want to have those moments of joy and connection and comfort in my body. And I also want to scream when I'm having those really difficult days in my body and feeling the, the clout of all of those systems that, that really crush us in a metaphorical sense.

Katie: Yeah, totally. And I, and I think, I thought for a long time, particularly with Fatty Fat Fat and maybe less so with Blubber, but I think it's, if anything, it's just got deeper, is that like I thought I couldn't make a show about fatness until I was, until I loved my body, until I'd reached that absolute nirvana, um, and I was completely at peace and could run around naked and do a back flip and everyone see all my, you know warts and all and I'd be like, Oh, I don't care. And I thought I couldn't make a show about fatness until I'd felt like that, because I thought it was either where I was currently at or that space and there was nowhere in between.

And it was when I kind of realised that there could be some spectrum of that that, that I realised that kind of allowed me to get myself permission to make, to make the work. And, and if anything, Blubber has just got deeper and messier in the complexities of that. And it's really difficult.

And I remember we had a time in, uh, the development of the show earlier in the year, in January. We were doing some movement work and I felt really challenged by something and got quite emotional after we'd just done an exercise in the room and we were reflecting on it. And, and I remember sort of sharing with the team that like, I just felt really ugly, I felt like my body didn't look nice and I was having, you know, I'm making something, you know, It was an exercise. It was, it was nothing, like, we were just trying something out and, and I, and I suddenly became really aware of like, why did that find so difficult? Because I, I was like, Oh, Cause I'm, I'm emphasising things that I, that I don't want to, or I'm, I'm feeling, I'm feeling the, the ugliness of, of my body, not because it's fat, just because I'm putting myself in weird positions.

I'm screwing myself up. I'm, I'm folding all my chins in, all in on themselves. And like, and like some, some days that stuff doesn't bother you. But like in that moment I was just like, it's all very well, like sharing a lot of yourself with an audience, but then sharing something with a room full of strangers that like is not a version of yourself that you would show it, you would want to show anyone. How, how do we hold those things? How do we hold that messiness and ugliness that we all hold, but in my body it means something so different. And me sharing that and giving that to you means something really different. And that was a really useful learning for me and just being like, Oh, that is a limit. I mean, we've always thought about that whenever we've been making work, but like there is a limit of things that, that I'm comfortable doing without putting myself in danger.

Laura: Mm-hmm. Wow. Yeah. There's so much to think about there. And I suppose as, as you were talking about all of those parts of yourself that we're taught to conceal and hide and push down, and as, all I was thinking about is just this idea that those are all things that we've been taught to feel shame about.

Shame, shame, shame, shame, shame. If your body looks, you know, if you have double chins or triple chins or you know, if, if, if you don't, you know, if you turn side on and you have a belly or all of these things, we only ever see these like flat one dimensional representations of bodies that have been, you know, through layers and layers and layers of modification that it's so shocking, it's so shocking to see a real body. In all three dimensions to taking up space. And that shouldn't be shocking, but what I'm hearing you say is that there's something really, really unsafe about, you know, putting your body in those positions.

Katie: Because I think there's still stuff that I'm unlearning about, like palatable fatness and being, you know, there's so many people that have said it, you know, say it far more articulately than I will or can about like the, you know, good fatties and bad fatties and how we can navigate the cultures that exist and the, and the barriers in society by demonstrating that we can be feminine or beautiful or graceful or healthy or educated or whatever it is in order to kind of overcompensate, for this like big glaringly obvious thing, which is my fat body and or, or fat bodies generally. And I think there was something that I learned in that moment about like how, how deeply that goes still. And, you know, I don't mind making a fool of myself. I don't mind showing bits of myself in a way that maybe you know, 2, 3, 4, 5 years ago, I might have had more of a challenge with. I don't mind exposing myself. There's some video content in the show, which is like really zoomed in, uh, bits of my body where you see like my bitten fingernails or my, I've got lovely skin, I'm very lucky, but I always get a series of spots underneath one, my right. You know, it's just like, and those things are blown up really big for an audience to make it, you know, because my whole, to show my whole body can be a universe, right? And I don't think a version of me before that, before would've been able to cope with that.

And there are things that I'm, that I'm willing to find the imperfections now. I'm willing to share those with the audience. But I'm, I think there is something about like, you know, that initially Blubber came from this idea of wanting to feel beautiful. I don't think I've ever felt beautiful. I still don't.

And I think I wanted to make a beautiful show so that some people would watch it and be like, Wow, you are beautiful because you made beautiful work. I've, I've been lots of other things. I am lots of other things, but that's just not something I don't that word specifically I don't think I've ever felt that sensation.

And so there was something in that moment of being like, I can be, I can not be that. I can be somewhere in the middle. I can go below the middle two. But I, like, I don't want to show all my deepest insecurities, difficulties, no matter how much I'm learning or challenging or understanding why I feel that way about myself.

But like no wants to share the worst stuff with an audience. And I don't think it's fair to an audience either.

Laura: I'm, I'm feeling quite emotional listening to you talk particularly about that, that sort of sequence that was projected up onto kind of this like really ethereal netty curtainy sort of situation because like I sitting in the audience found that completely breathtaking. That and the part where there's a lot of kind of like red light projected on you and it felt sort of like you were being held in this like womb. I don't know if that was the vibe you were going for.

Katie: Yeah, definitely womb like, because it's, that's sort of inside the body of a whale, so um, womb, internal, all of that sort of stuff. Definitely.

Laura: Yeah. Both of those things. Just, um, I don't know. There was something about that. Both of them felt very, very vulnerable, but there was something, so, I don't know that beautiful is the right word, because that feels kind of like that trivialises what it was.

Katie: And I think that's why the show is less about beauty now because, I think as we went on it, like actually what it was, was about feeling. And I think as someone that's been socialised as a woman, I've been taught that beauty is the ultimate goal. And or the antidote to my fatness. And like, like so many, people who live in fat bodies, I was, you know, told a lot growing up, you would be so beautiful if you weren't fat. And like, I, again, we don't, there's a not unique experiences and, and there's so many conversations that are, have been had and are being had about like, you know, beautiful being be able to coexist with fatness. And I, and I look at, I, I feel so lucky and grateful that I look at fat bodies, other people's fat bodies now, and I, and I think they are beautiful. But I never felt that in myself and, and really and in reflection, I think it's because I want to feel sensation. And I think it goes back to our previous conversation about embodiment and disembodiment, is I felt like I just wasn't feeling anything either in or around my body or within my body because I was like, feeling was such a big part of who I was. Feeling huge emotions is such a big part of me, particularly being an artist. And I think I was just like making so much space between me and my body that I wasn't feeling any of those things. And so it wasn't really about beauty, it was about feeling held or feeling something monumental or extraordinary or new or astonishing or even awful or trying or terrifying. But like between the onslaught of news, a pandemic, government crisis, a you know, everything else on top of experiencing the world in a, in a marginalised body that intersects different marginalisations, but obviously not all of them. You just, at some point there becomes a disconnect. And so, yeah, I really hear what you're saying about those things and I, and I see and agree with you. And so I think that's why the show wasn't about beauty anymore. It was about sensation, like just being able to feel and connect with something on my body.

Laura: Yeah. And, and, and I suppose what you're naming there is also dissociation disconnection. That can be really powerful, really useful. I mean, life saving survivals tools. And they have a cost. They come with this, this huge price, which is, you know, not being able to sense or feel or emote these, you know, these things that you know, to, to bring it back again to embodiment are really vital to you, you know, to feeling that aliveness, that connectedness, that humanness.

Katie: Totally. And also to go back to your kind of your first question, nourishment, because it also meant that I wasn't nourishing my body, um, because I was so disconnected from it or disembodied that I wasn't feeding it properly, I wasn't nourishing it in the things it consumed in the media, wasn't nourishing it in, in loads of different ways because, because I wasn't connected enough with it to be able to empathise or to be able to understand what, what it needed. And so I think these things are all, all so connected. Because without that, without that embodiment, it's really hard to make offers of meaningful nourishment. I can kind of know to go to bed or know to eat some toast, but like, or know not to spend 10 hours on TikTok. sometimes, I mean all of those things also their place

Laura: But, But yeah, all of those things can like spending 10 hours on TikTok can be nourishing sometimes when you need But I think what you're speaking to is like the fine tuning of that. And knowing when, Yeah, it's 10 hours in TikTok versus, No, actually I need to like get outside or talk to a, another human

Katie: Or go to sleep. Do you know what I mean? Like, know when to say no. Know what my boundaries are. I've been really thinking about something that, Candice Brathwaite said online, in some point in the last few months about like, laziness and idleness and I think as a fat person you are told you are lazy and I've been called lazy as long as I can remember. And so I'm doing a lot of work at the moment with myself about what are things that I truly believe and what are things that I am thinking, what are things truly exist and what things have I been told? And cuz sometimes they are the, like, those things kind can coexist.

And so there's the thing about laziness, I'm thinking at the moment. Cause I do think I'm naturally quite a lazy person. Like I could, I could easily sit on a sofa and, and not move for, for days. I, that's fine. Like I'm, I'm into it. I'm not, I'm not mad at, But part of me's like, is that true or is that just because I've been told that that's true.

And I, and I'm something that Candice has said recently online was like about how, um, sometimes the best way to take care of yourself is, is to challenge those instincts.

Laura: Mm.

Katie: Actually for me, some of the best ways I used to take care of myself, and I'm still trying to work out what that looks like in present day, was kind of before pandemic, um, before 2020, cause the pandemic's still happening. But, um, before 2020 anyway of like, some of the best ways I used to take care of myself was actually saying yes and going out and doing things rather than saying no and staying in.

Laura: Mm-hmm.

Katie: Because I have chronic FOMO and I love being busy, I love getting my en you know, I get my energy from other people.

I love living my life like that. And so there's a version of me now that's like, oh, is that still true? Or do I need to actually stay home and take care of myself or eat, not, you know, go to bed early or whatever, Or am I being lazy? And I, I, I'm really trying to connect with what is true about me. Um, and that's something I'm finding really difficult at the moment, but, I'm really trying to engage with, and I think, again, links to lots of things we've been talking about.

Laura: Yeah. Absolutely. And I love, I love that kind of distinction that you made. Like is this something, what, Tell me again what it was. Is this something I'm thinking?

Katie: Is this something I'm thinking I've been told or is true?

Laura: Yes. Okay. Yeah, and I think that that's such a, a helpful way of, of reframing some of those, those thoughts and beliefs that come to our mind. And I have, I have such a visceral reaction to the word lazy because I like firmly believe that that is just a social construct designed to make us feel bad about rest.

Well, on that note, the last question that I had for you, and, you know, given all of the complexities, um, you know, and the, the stuff that you're kind of really in process of, of figuring out at the moment, I would love to know who or what is nourishing you right now?

Katie: First of all, my housemate has bought me a really delicious pan aux raisin from the coffee shop up the road, and it is sitting in a paper bag behind the door.

Laura: It’s waiting for you,

Katie: behind me

Laura: Your stomach, grumbling stomach knows it's there, it’s ready.

Katie: That is the thing that is about to nourish me and, um, and she is just, um, being proud of that. I think, the things are nourishing me is routine, trying to find structure and routine in my life.

That's something that's really nourishing me at the moment. Something that is also nourishing me is really leaning into my deep love and interest in the Real Housewives, um, That is something that's deeply nourishing me at the moment. And being able to talk in depth with friends about that is really nourishing parts of me that I didn't know I needed.

Laura: Okay. And you will not be surprised to learn that this is not the first time that this, that this has come up podcast this season.

Katie: Wow.

Laura: So I talked to Clara Nosek, aka Your Dietician BFF. Had a great conversation. Highly recommend go back and listening to that. And her, the thing that's nourishing her right now is reality tv, but very specifically Housewives,

Katie: Great. So I'm a big reality fan, reality TV fan, but particularly Housewives. So, I could, like, even now, just the thought of being able about it, especially in a public forum is like really make me froth at the mouth. Um, some young people I work with, was working with, uh, like as the sort of present for the end of the project, they very sweetly got me a seal cuddly toy with some like gold hoop earrings and they um, called it the Real Housewife of Shepherd's Bush, which is where we were working together. So, yeah, that's something that's really nourishing me right now. Finding these pockets of sunlight. Um, hopefully if you are, if and when you're listening to this, you might be able to find one of those too, but I dunno, it seems like from behind you, you've got a lovely bit of sunshine, your side.

But yeah, there's some beautiful kind of sunlight pouring into my windows and I've got this sort of glitter ball

Laura: Is that what it is?

Katie: globe.

Laura: Oh, okay. I've seen these little like,

Katie: Pockets, Yeah. There's, so every now and then my living room, um, if the light is at the right angle, makes these sort of spots of light appear. And so all of those things feel really nourishing, I think for one of the first times in my recent life, like my work isn't nourishing me, uh, at the moment and like I'm looking to other things to hold that with me, and I think that's really exciting.

That doesn't mean. It's not satisfying or it's not, not doing what it needs to do or like, it just means it's not the sole focus of that, where that nourishment is coming from. And I feel really excited by the prospect of that and that feels quite new. And finally, I've got a, I'm going to see all being well, I'm going to see, um, Adele in Las Vegas next March. And

Laura: There was like a wry smile, and I was like, I'm desperate to know what it is.

Katie: So currently all roads lead to Vegas and that is deeply nourishing me, cuz it's like the end of the winter. It just feels, it's not so far away that it feels impossible, but it feels tangible, but enough time to get excited. So like that is also something me. So like,

Laura: focused, you're focused on getting there.

Katie: so there's, there's a real mix and I think variety is a spice of life. You know, I'm a freelancer. I'm, although I've just said all that stuff about routine and structure, like, I feel excited when I'm bouncing around and doing multiple different things. And so, trying to find that balance, um, feels exciting and, hopefully nourishing as well.

Laura: It's that, I don't know if this like speaks to your experience, but like I've seen a lot of people online and it like resonates with me as well. Like talk about that neurodivergent urge towards chaos, but needing routine and structure like the routine and structure being really helpful and useful, but being the exact opposite thing, like also feeling like suffocating at the same time.

Katie: Absolutely.

Laura: All right. Before we finish up this episode, I would love to know what you're snacking on. So it can be a literal snack if you want, although we've covered off the pan raises end, so check that box. But it can be a book, a podcast, a movie, a person, anything. So can you share what you're snacking on right now?

Katie: I am snacking on, Oh, there's so many things I could say. I had something in mind but I'm changing my mind. I am snacking on, I'm really trying to, I'm gonna go for like a literal thing I'm snacking on.

Laura: Go on.

Katie: And I'm really reaching back into, um, like childhood foods, the foods that maybe I didn't have growing up or, thought I couldn't. And, and so I'm really leaning into like the cheese string, the fruit winder, the penguin, the Frosty cereal bar. Those are my, like ones of choice, but also, Primula, the cheese

Laura: My God. Yeah. Yeah.

Katie: on Ritz crackers.

Laura: my God. Love Ritz

Katie: That is, that is like a real peak school time snack that we used to have at, like, at the end of term.

And so, yeah, it's, those are the things I'm stacking on at the moment, just like really trying to find that joy in those little snacks again. Those are the things that I'm loving.

Laura: so funny you say that cause I was just in Scotland last week and my friend and I bought a pick and mix and I do not remember the last time I bought a pick and mix and I was just like, chomping on these cola bottles, like the sour sweets. It was amazing. So yeah, I'm right there with you with the like, nostalgic, nostalgic foods.

Okay, so my thing is a book, I'm like halfway through reading it, which I'm always a bit like, can I really recommend a book when I'm not completely finished it? But like, I think I know enough to know that it's worth reading. And this is someone that I'm really hoping will come on the podcast next season, but, so the book is called Small Fires. And it's by Rebecca May Johnson. And she is the co-editor of Vittles, which is a great Substack. I really struggle to describe what it's about because basically throughout the course of the book, she cooks the same recipe over a thousand times. And she talks about, she talks about cooking and food through this, like political lens is kind of the only way that I can think, or like I can describe it. But she's talking about appetite and she's talking about how kind of, in the same way that you were talking about that, like duality between the artist and the audience.

She's talking about like this sort of reciprocal relationship between a recipe and the person that's cooking it and the food, and it's just such a, like, mind blowing way to think about food and cooking and it's just really cool. I, you just need to read it. Maybe I'll link to like, about review in the show notes, but Yeah, so it's called Small Fires by Rebecca May Johnson and it's just like, it would make a great Christmas present for someone.

So yeah, that's my snack. All right, Katie, tell us, tell the audience where they can find out more about you and your work.

Katie: so you can find out more about me and my work on, um, my Instagram or Twitter, which is @katie_greenall on both, um, or my website, which is Those are the best ways to find me.

Laura: Perfect. And I will obviously link to all of that in the show notes. And yeah, I have really, really enjoyed this conversation. It's felt really nourishing. And I'm really looking forward to seeing how Blubber sort of evolves in the direction that you take it in. And as soon as you know when and where that's gonna be, I will be sharing about it and let the audience know where they can come and see that show.

So, thank you so much for being here and being so candid and honest about your relationship with your body, your relationship with food, and yeah, just all the things that you've been thinking about. It's been really a great conversation. So thank you.

Katie: It's been a joy. Thank you so much for having me.


Laura Thomas: Thank you for listening to Season 1 of Can I Have Another Snack? If you’ve enjoyed these conversations, then please rate and review in iTunes and share these episodes with your friends. Can I Have Another Snack? is hosted by me, Laura Thomas, edited by Joeli Kelly, our funky artwork is by Caitlin Preyser. And the music is by Jason Barkhouse. Fiona Bray keeps me on track and makes sure this episode gets out every week. This season wouldn't be possible without your support so thank you for being here and valuing my work and I will catch you in January, when we’ll be back with a whole host of really cool guests exploring appetites, bodies, and identity. Talk to you then.

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Can I Have Another Snack?
Can I Have Another Snack?
Can I Have Another Snack? podcast is an exploration of appetite, identity, and bodies. We talk about how we feed ourselves and our kids (in all senses of the word!), and the ingredients we need to survive in diet culture. We’re sitting with the questions: who or what are we nurturing? And who or what is nurturing us? Hosted by Laura Thomas - anti-diet nutritionist and author of the Can I Have Another Snack? newsletter.