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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...
Tips for Family Mealtime

Tips for Family Mealtime

By Bobbi Boteler, RD, LD, CEDRD. I had the opportunity to speak at my children’s PTA this past month. Many parents were inquiring about “healthy meals and snacks” that are family friendly.  I was honored they thought of me as their guide. I took this as an opportunity to further educate parents and teachers on Health at Every Size, Ellyn Satter’s Division of Responsibility with Feeding, along with some of the curriculum changes we have been working on behind the scenes with the county.   I wanted to preface my talk with a gentle reminder to parents that there is no “perfect” when it comes to feeding your family.   I feel there is so much unspoken pressure on especially moms, to have a picture-perfect, Pinterest-ready, meal on the table more often than not.  As a mom of 3 who works part time and doesn’t find cooking at all thrilling, this is not my reality most days. I pulled a Brene Brown and showed some vulnerability, sharing about a time my husband fed my three kids chips with ketchup on paper plates for breakfast one Saturday morning while I was at work.  I wanted to die, but after I pulled myself together, I reminded myself they were safe, being fed preferred, familiar food and they were all sitting down at the meal together. What exactly is our job as parents anyways?  Ellyn Satter lays this out for us beautifully with her Division of Responsibility.  Parents have certain jobs in the feeding process and children likewise. For Parents, our jobs include WHAT we are feeding our children, WHEN in the...
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...
From the Outside: Empowered Dining

From the Outside: Empowered Dining

Empowered Dining: Meal Support for Eating Disorder Recovery Our student intern Maya Jefferson, writes about her experience attending Empowered Dining, our meal support program. A safe space: that is the goal of therapy, nutritional counseling and meal support for recovery. Empowered Dining is an amazing program that we offer in our Greenbelt and Columbia offices for those in recovery of an eating disorder or disordered eating. Led by Registered Dietitian Alex Raymond, Empowered Dining occurs twice a month and allows for much needed support and interaction during mealtime. I was fortunate enough to attend this previous Empowered Dining and was able to see the importance of building friendships in recovery from the outside, as an intern, but also related it to my own past recovery, and the meal support I attended during those years. We started with some casual conversation about our week and one rose and thorn that occurred. Right away, we allowed the room to become a safe space. A place where we could share something that occurred during our week that was not exciting or helpful, something that made us anxious or mad or sad, and something that made us human. At the same time, we shared a rose of the week, something that occurred that made us smile or laugh and happy despite the negative event. Next came dinner. Creating the safe space during mealtime was important for all of us in the room as we continued casual discussion and tried to add positivity to the food we were eating, focusing on each other’s company and not the emotions that were arising. After eating however...

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