It was so popular last year that we decided to do it again! Join us this holiday season as we introduce you to twelve of our favourite podcasts in the 12 Days of Podmas.
If you’ve ever rolled your eyes at a celebrity shilling diet pills on Instagram, gritted your teeth when a friend told you they were on a juicing cleanse or wondered where Gwenyth Paltrow finds her outlandish wellness tips on Goop, Maintenance Phase is the podcast for you.
Hosted by journalist Michael Hobbes (You’re Wrong About) and writer Aubrey Gordon (often published as ‘Your Fat Friend’), Maintenance Phase takes a deep dive into topics related to wellness, weight loss and fatphobia, fully debunking the bizarre health trends and polarizing figures within. With only a year of episodes behind them, Maintenance Phase has already covered topics like why the Body Mass Index (BMI) is nonsense, what the Master Cleanse is actually doing to your body, and how the ever-present Weight Watchers has tried to adapt to the body-positive movement.
READ MORE: The Podquisition – 12 Days of Podmas
The podcast isn’t school, though. While you will get sources and references abound – the hosts are self-proclaimed “methodology queens,” after all – the show is funny and engaging. Michael and Aubrey have jovial personalities and strong senses of humour, and a great talent for finding the most unlikely surprises in their deep dives. For example: did you know the celery juice craze came from a celebrity medium who claims a ghost gave him the recipe? Or that snake oil actually worked, and the grifters just started selling an imposter recipe?
Celebrity influencers and wellness gurus also get brought under the microscope. Gwenyth Paltrow has had a few shout-outs (naturally), although I am still waiting for a dedicated series on everything Goop has done. Other celebrities scrutinized include American politician Marianne Williamson, Dr. Oz, Oprah (multiple times!) and Rachel Hollis. Celebrity diet books have also been covered, from the troubling Ed McMahon, who suggests a lot of whiskey and steak, to the delightful Angela Lansbury, who encourages seniors to keep their sex lives active.
One thing about Maintenance Phase that makes it stand out from other wellness-critical podcasts is the lived experience of the hosts. Michael talks about growing up with a dieting mom who stocked the cabinets with sugar-free snacks, whilst Aubrey shares her experiences navigating the world as a fat person and how her relationship with her body changes over time. The hosts give space to one another to share and unpack their feelings within each topic, and as a result the podcast will go from impactful to insightful to hilarious all in the span of one episode.
You can listen to Maintenance Phase on various platforms.