(240) 670-4675 CONTACT US
Empowered Eating Input: Clothes You Feel Comfortable In

Empowered Eating Input: Clothes You Feel Comfortable In

By Alex Raymond, RD, LD and Caroline Best ( student intern) Happy fall! The holidays are one of my favorite times of year. I love snuggling into a blanket and sipping on hot chocolate (or a chocolate peppermint latte).  I was thinking about the change in weather and how this typically follows a changing the clothes in your closet as well. I’m personally a HUGE fan of fall and winter clothing. Even though I don’t like the cold, I do love wearing sweaters. And it got me thinking about how important it is to wear clothes that truly make you feel comfortable. Think about your favorite clothing item for a second. Mine is a really comfortable sweater that is incredibly fuzzy.  Pulling it out of my closet makes me so excited. Which means I am SO happy the weather is started to get a bit chillier. I can finally wear it 🙂 But, in diet culture, we’re taught that it’s important to fit into smaller clothing. And that after a certain point, it’s bad to grow out of clothing. How many of us have kept jeans from a period of time when we were smaller? Perhaps they were our favorite pair of jeans. And we keep them in hopes of eventually being able to fit into them again. Even though they are uncomfortable to wear as our bodies are now, we wouldn’t imagine ever throwing them out. Why? In diet culture, it’s a symbol of success to shrink your body to fit into those jeans again. And it’s so easy for us to fall for that. I get it. It...
Empowered Activity and Exercise

Empowered Activity and Exercise

By Caroline Best (student intern) and Alex Raymond, RD,LD. My fun fact about myself during first week of class icebreakers is that I play on Virginia Tech women’s ultimate frisbee team ( a second fun fact is that I absolutely hate icebreakers). I’m met with a range of responses from “cool” to “is that like the disc golf thing?”.  Ultimate is sort of a mix between soccer and football played with a disc. My first semester of college a friend brought me to a practice, the girls seemed cool and I was a nervous freshman who wanted to make friends so I decided to try it. Now here we are four years later. This brings me to my topic for the post: the way society addresses the role exercise is “supposed” to play in our lives and how screwed up these messages are. I brought up ultimate to introduce this topic because the idea for this blog popped into my head after my team’s  tournament a few weeks ago. The theme of the tournament was building women’s ultimate and it was such a fun weekend.  There was lots of team bonding , running around on a beautiful fall day, working on skills, and badass women playing ultimate.Only on the drive home did I realize “I am so sore,  I didn’t realize how much work my body did this weekend!   I had been enjoying myself so much I actually forgot I was moving my body differently that I normally do AND THIS IS HOW SOCIETY SHOULD LEARN TO APPROACH EXERCISE. Exercise is very much portrayed as a necessary chore...
Empowered Eating: Book Suggestions for Recovery

Empowered Eating: Book Suggestions for Recovery

By Alex Raymond, LD, RD. When I think of Fall, I think of apple cider, flannel, and using the weather growing colder as an excuse to stay in and read. I was thinking about what to write about for this week,and I realized that I haven’t actually been reading a ton lately. Which is a bummer because I really enjoy a nice book! Back in either 2016 or 2017 (honestly I can’t remember!) I made it my New Year’s Goal (which I actually started in March of that year lol) to read a book a month. It was the only New Year’s Resolution that I ever stuck with. The past year has just gotten so busy for me and I feel like I have been reading less often, but more volume. For example, the only times I’m actually able to read is when I’m on vacation. In Thailand, I read 4 books. In Budapest, I read 3. It always feels so great to get lost in a book! Especially a thriller, which if you take a look at my bookshelf, those are literally the only books I own… Besides of course some body positive/non-diet/others-along-this-same-line books. Which is actually the topic of this blog. I feel like there have been so many amazing books out lately on my “to read” list and some that I’ve read that everyone should know about 🙂 1. Land Whale: On Turning Insults Into Nicknames, Why Body Image Is Hard, and How Diets Can Kiss My Ass by Jes Baker I actually have not read this, but it’s totally on my “to read” list. I have...
Q and A: Body Image Discussion with a Dietitian

Q and A: Body Image Discussion with a Dietitian

By Alex Raymond, RD,LD. Question: I’m majoring in psychology at school and my hope is to work with eating disorders. I’m in a sorority and I already hear a lot of negative body image talk in the house as we try on clothes before heading out. I’d love to get advice on what I can say to counter my friends’ negative thoughts. I just want them to feel good about themselves, but I’m not sure how I can help them to not listen to the part of their mind that unnecessarily shames them! This question was actually sent to me by a past intern. I was emailing her back and forth about how school is going and wondering if she wanted to help us out with some social media projects. She originally went to school majoring in nutrition, but switched to psychology. When she sent me this question, I thought to myself, “wow, I’m sure there are so many other people who would benefit from hearing my answer… it’ll make an awesome blog.” So here we go. Let me first start out by saying that it’s very normal (and almost socially acceptable) to poke at your body and point out perceived flaws. I always think of that scene in Mean Girls when “The Plastics” are in front of Regina’s mirror body bashing, and Cady is over there like “uhh this is weird, we didn’t do this in Africa, wtf am I supposed to say here?” We are brought up in a culture that overly values physical appearance (especially for women). Women are defined by their bodies and there is...
Instagram and Mental Health

Instagram and Mental Health

By Caroline Best, Student Intern Instagram is such a huge part of our culture. There’s no way around it. I can guarantee you know at least one person with an account.  This popular app is used for photo sharing. Newsfeeds filled with photos from family, friends, peers, and even strangers.  Looking at pictures of people’s dinner, or dog, or a party seems fun, and definitely harmless. However, a new consideration with the rise of popularity with this app is how looking at these photos impacts our mental health. If you’re like me you scroll through your newsfeed before you go to bed (or when you wake up, or on your lunch break, ect.) almost daily. Checking social media accounts easily becomes part of a routine. I know I’ve definitely had uncomfortable feelings while doing this. Moments where I’m lying around doing absolutely nothing looking at photos where everyone looks fantastic and is out doing fun things in fun places.  And it doesn’t feel great. This sort of discomfort is a real and studied thing. Researchers at Concordia University in St. Paul, Minnesota found a direct connection between regular Instagram use and lowered self esteem/ body image in women in their teens. So let’s talk about WHY something seemingly harmless and even enjoyable – scrolling through Instagram for 10 minutes when you’re relaxing – can actually have such negative effects. Think about it- I know when I post a photo it’s the best photo from whatever event I’m sharing. The photo with the best lighting. Where I look like I’m having the most fun. I think many people follow this...
The Weight Inclusive Approach

The Weight Inclusive Approach

By Alex Raymond, RD,LD and Caroline Best, Student Intern I am an eating disorder (ED), non-diet dietitian. And I absolutely advocate for using the Weight Inclusive method of practice. What is this method? Why do  align myself with it?  Well, I became a dietitian to help people. I want to support individuals in feeling better about themselves. I want to support people’s food choices.  And to improve quality of life. Food these days has become so complicated, through all the latest diet trends and fads. So, I wanted to be that voice to help people find peace. I want people to free from the false messages that are often portrayed in not only the media, but also through health messages from a wide range of people, including health care professionals. Interestingly enough, there is a lack among the university nutrition programs of education surrounding Health at Every Size ® or HAES approach and weight inclusivity. Despite the research we have that discusses the consequences of weight stigma in our health care world, If you’re confused about all these terms, weight-inclusive, weight stigma, HAES…etc. I promise I will clear all this up for you in just a bit. If you are reading this, and have never heard about HAES or weight inclusivity. I would encourage you to read this with an open mind. In this article, I am offering a different outlook on how to approach health. I find that some are skeptical at first. But bear with me! I encourage you to be curious, ask questions, and read the research. I was inspired to write this blog after reading...

Subscribe to the Empowered Eating Newsletter!

Join our mailing list for recovery tips, special events and inspiration.

You have Successfully Subscribed!