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Resources for Being a HAES Ally

Resources for Being a HAES Ally

A few weeks ago, a negative article shaming Nike for using plus sized mannequins circulated around. There was a lot of backlash on most of the HAES©   friendly social media accounts I follow. People were rightfully upset that Nike was being shamed for this. This response wasn’t surprising to me to see within the HAES circle. But what was pleasantly surprising to me was that I saw lots of people from other circles; friends, family, acquaintances, etc. who were just as openly appalled by the post that shamed Nike.  There was the article was fatphobic. And it promoted really damaging messages that society tends to promote, such as a fat woman working out because she enjoys it rather than to lose weight is “wrong”. The idea that there’s a way to look “fit” or “healthy” is restrictive, damaging, and outright wrong. But I think some good came out of the article, regarding the magnitude of the backlash. I think it shows that while there’s obviously lots of work to do, that people are starting to be more accepting of body diversity, and there’s more rejection of body shaming. The purpose of this blog post is to provide information on how you can play a role with this progress. Like I said earlier, there’s still lots of work to be done to make being inclusive of all bodies the norm, and every bit helps.    I recognize I’m writing this resource post as someone who has thin privilege, and its so, so important that if you’re a thin ally to not take over/define movements that aren’t about you. The...
Amazing Accounts to Follow this Summer

Amazing Accounts to Follow this Summer

By Caroline Best  Last Summer I went on a social media break for a week, and completely stayed off all of my accounts. To be honest, it made a big difference in my mood. I noticed my day-to-day state was happier and more relaxed.  I’ve thought a lot about why I had such a strong reaction to doing something so simple.   Social media can be a positive thing in moderation. It’s a great way to keep up with loved ones and see interesting/inspiring things. However, social media (especially a lot of it at once) can be pretty toxic if we’re not careful.  People tend to post what I call “highlight reel” pictures. Or photos where they’re out doing fun things, looking great, surrounded by friends, ect. Seeing enough of these photos can play on very natural human insecurities. There’s a lot of research being done right now on how this can affect mental health. This constant exposure to everyone’s highlights makes us feel like we need to “keep up”.  And this can have a draining effect. We have an earlier post that talks a lot about how to combat this ( link). However, this post has to do with social media in the summer and some amazing accounts to follow. Social media in the summertime can be especially toxic because of “summer body” culture. There’s a lot of absurd (and dangerous) messages about how to “look best”  for the summertime and focusing on getting a “swimsuit body”. We’re all constantly exposed to marketing  trying to convince us to try to mold ourselves to narrow and often unattainable beauty...
Disordered Eating to Intuitive Eating: Supporting your clients in repairing their relationship with food

Disordered Eating to Intuitive Eating: Supporting your clients in repairing their relationship with food

Alex Raymond and Allie Hosier What Diet Culture Teaches Us “You have forgotten what you really like to eat and instead eat what you think you “should” eat.” ― Evelyn Tribole, Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works Diet culture has manipulated our brains to make us believe that our body size defines our self-worth. We’re taught (by diet culture) that someone who consumes green juices, perfectly pictured smoothie bowls and avocado toast should win some kind of morality award. Our culture idolizes people in certain (smaller) bodies. And discriminates against other (larger) bodies. We’re taught to feel guilty about eating certain foods and to criticize our bodies and what we eat. The fact of the matter is, food is FOOD! Food is fuel for our bodies. Food  makes sure that we can live, grow, and flourish. I’ve written other posts about diet culture, so I encourage you to check our March’s post about Unlearning Diet Culture. Effects of Diet Culture “Dieting may cause stress or make the dieter more vulnerable to its effects. Independent of body weight itself, dieting is correlated with feelings of failure, lowered self-esteem, and social anxiety.” ― Evelyn Tribole, Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works One huge effect of diet culture is well dieting. People begin to feel unworthy in their bodies and we start to make the connection between food and body image. We think, well if I can just change my food intake a bit, that will help me to get the body I want, and then, I’ll feel better about myself. And who doesn’t want to feel better about themselves?!...
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...

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