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Advocating for Yourself at The Doctor’s Office

Advocating for Yourself at The Doctor’s Office

By Alex Raymond, RD, LD The majority of health professionals do not have eating disorder knowledge and do not align themselves with Health at Every Size (HAES) © values. Although there is a huge movement and a huge anti-diet community, we still have a lot of work to do. HAES-centered providers, including myself, do a ton of advocating on behalf of their clients. Which is just so important. One of my goals as an eating disorder, anti-diet dietitian is to teach my clients how they can advocate for themselves if I can’t be there. As much as I LOVE my clients, my end goal is to help them so they don’t need me anymore, which is totally bittersweet 🙂 . Advocacy is especially important in a physician’s office. I am speaking generally here, but, many doctors are not well-versed in EDs and HAES. It can be extremely difficult to find a doctor who “gets it.” This blog is about how you can advocate for yourself in a doctor’s office when the topic on weight comes up. This blog was inspired by a recent trip to my ob/gyn. She commented I gained weight since our last visit and seemed concerned about it. She proceeded to say it was “fine” though because my “BMI is normal.” At the moment I could place myself in some of my client’s shoes who have had doctors comment on weight in the past. I followed up our appointment with a note (you can read it at the bottom of this blog as well as on my instagram… follow me at @empoweredeatingrd !!). Read on to...
Family Workshop: Supporting Your Loved One with an Eating Disorder

Family Workshop: Supporting Your Loved One with an Eating Disorder

By Alex Raymond When your loved one is struggling with an eating disorder, it’s very possible to experience a wide range of emotions, including sadness, confusion, guilt, fear, frustration and helplessness. You might not know how to help them. You might be so confused  as to why your loved one might not want to seek professional help. It might be frustrating that it feels like they don’t want to  not “listen” to what the dietitian or therapist is saying. Or you might wonder why they just can’t eat or stop eating. You might even feel guilty and wondering if you played a role in the development of the eating disorder. As eating disorder dietitians, part of our job is to not only support our clients through their journey, but to also support their parents and other loved ones in navigating their own struggles. Sometimes that means we meet with our clients’ loved ones at the end of the session one on one.  Or it means we have a “family session,” involving loved ones and our clients. We truly believe that in most situations loved ones can be our clients’ greatest support. It does require a bit of learning and education for parents, friends, partners…etc. Just as their own loved ones are learning about the disease and how it plays a role in their own lives. On May 11th, 2019, Bobbi and I will be presenting to families and loved ones of those who are struggling with eating disorders (EDs). More details at the bottom of this blog! Again, we believe that caregivers can be the greatest allies in someone’s...
Unlearn diet culture this National “Nutrition” Month

Unlearn diet culture this National “Nutrition” Month

By Alex Raymond, RD, LD. Did you know, March is National Nutrition Month or NNM for short. The theme this year is “Eat Right, Live Right, Feel Right.” I first saw that and 2 things went through my mind… OMG what bullshit…. Well, sounds pretty on point for the culture we live in today.   As an anti-diet dietitian, I have a slightly (okay, very) different take on nutrition than what we hear in our everyday lives. The messages we get from the media, celebrities, instagram stars and even many health professionals can actually be harmful to our overall physical and emotional wellbeing.   Let me start out by describing a bit of what I believe “nutrition” actually means.  Firstly, I follow a Health at Every Size © (HAES) and intuitive eating framework with my clients. I believe I should be supporting my clients in improving their relationship with food and body. Not shaming them about what they eat, how much they eat, and how their bodies look. HAES and intuitive eating are evidence based. So providers who practice this way, including myself, are not making these things up. “Nutrition” actually has very little to do with WHAT we eat. Per the dictionary, nutrition is defined as “the process of providing or obtaining the food necessary for health and growth.” Interesting… I don’t see kale smoothies, quinoa black bean cookies or cauliflower pizza crust anywhere in there…   There’s a lot of layers to nutrition. But at its very core, it’s about nourishment AND enjoyment. It’s about providing your body with the fuel it needs to survive. We all...
The Truth About Body Positivity and How it Fits Into Eating Disorder Recovery

The Truth About Body Positivity and How it Fits Into Eating Disorder Recovery

By Alex Raymond, RDN, LDN What is body positivity? Body positivity is a buzzword these days. People seem to be latching on to the idea of loving and appreciating their bodies. People post #bopo pics all the time. And while this may seem like a positive thing, unfortunately, much of the true meaning of “body positivity” is lost in mainstream social media. Body positivity is actually a social justice movement to give voices to those individuals in marginalized bodies. It’s rooted in the belief that ALL bodies are GOOD bodies. Including, but not limited to… fat bodies, disabled bodies, trans people, bodies of different races/ethnicities. And everyone deserves to find a place of body peace and respect for themselves. This is separate from having a “positive body image” and/or loving/liking the way your body looks. The body positive movement is so much more than aesthetics. It’s about existing in a world and being treated humanely regardless of how your body looks. Individuals who live in marginalized bodies have done so much work starting and continuing the body positive movement. And the problem is, well, privileged women. Honestly, like myself, white, cis, smaller bodied…etc. Have, most likely unintentionally, made it into something it’s not. I can understand why it happened. Who doesn’t like the idea of “body positivity”? But now, the voices of people who have started the movement are diluted, due to the other “body positive” noise that’s out there. Body Positivity vs. “Positive Body Image” I was inspired to write this blog after reading Lauren Newman’s (aka gofeedyourself_) instagram post on body positivity vs. positive body image. I...
Love Your Body Month: Our Favorite Resources for Body Love and Positivity

Love Your Body Month: Our Favorite Resources for Body Love and Positivity

By Alex Raymond, RD,LD and Rebecca Foss, Intern.  It’s that time of year—a time for red and pink hearts and flowers, but did you also know that the month of sending love to others with Valentine wishes is also a month to celebrate and love your own body? February is Love Your Body Month and it’s a great time to celebrate your body. Like I always say, “you don’t have to love your body in order to respect it.” So, it’s okay if you take this month to learn how to appreciate your body, even if you don’t get to a place of “body love.” It’s okay to  redefine what “love your body month” means to you and your recovery. Maybe you spend this month starting to explore body image with your treatment team. You might read articles about the body positive movement. Maybe it means you learn how to “love your body” aside from physical attributes. Maybe love your body month isn’t for you. And you have to stay off of social media for a bit to reset. Please remember… “Loving your body” also means we remember and accept that our bodies do not define our worth. It means that no matter what shape or size, we are worthy of love and belonging. We start to believe our bodies are “good” even if we don’t like how they look or our bodies don’t do the things we want them to do. All bodies are good bodies.   To celebrate Love Your Body Month right, we’ve compiled a list of some great resources for you to come back to throughout...

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