I am a Health at Every Size dietitian. I believe that we can not tell someone's health by their weight. I believe we should enjoy food and eat intuitively. I believe that exercise should be enjoyed and not for the sole purpose of weight loss. How did I get here? Because this is not really the norm in my profession.
I started to really question weight and health when I was in my early 20's. I was having severe abdominal pain, swelling in my lower right side of stomach and frequent trips to the bathroom. After many doctors visits, trips to emergency room and generally feeling awful-I was finally diagnosed with Crohn's Disease. During one such emerg visit I asked about the possibility of it being Crohn's as my grandmother had it. A nurse said to me " no your weight is too high- people with Crohn's are very skinny when they are sick". Hmph... Well she was wrong. Yes my weight was not significantly below "normal weight" but it was below my normal.
A diagnosis I was handed a list of foods I was no longer allowed to eat and given a set of food rules to follow. This I called "The No List". It made me unhappy and made me crave all the foods I was not allowed. A life without fruit and salad and anything that contained fibre made me very sad.
Fast forward a few years and I was in my dietetic internship. I had a rotation with an RD that put a lot of emphasis on scale weight as well as restricting calories to lose weight. It didn't feel right to me. I had had my health judged incorrectly by my weight and I had learned first hand what "The No List" feels like. I was really questioning whether I was on the correct career path. The I had a rotation in eating disorders and my mind was blown. Even though it wasn't quite intuitive eating it was not restrictive-it was about nourishing your body and your mind and I felt like I had found my place.
Fast forward a few more years and I read "Intuitive Eating" by Evelyn Tribole and Elise Resch and "Health at Every Size" by Linda Bacon and I felt like I found home. This is how I can help. And now I want to share it with whoever wants to listen- or read. This is me. This is what I believe and how I got here. I want to end diet culture. I want people to grow up nourishing their bodies. And I want us all to be free of that internal dialogue that we will be ... good enough, smart enough, pretty enough...when we weigh a certain number.
I am enough right now. And I will continue to be unapologetically me.
You be unapologetically you....