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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...
REBEL Dieting at Cookouts

REBEL Dieting at Cookouts

How to Eat Healthy at Cookouts Here at Empowered Eating we often get a lot of questions and requests for tips surrounding navigating food during the holiday season around November and December, but what about the summer holidays? As REBEL’s we want you to enjoy these times and enjoy food at the same time. Often the summer holidays come in the form of cookouts, camping and BBQ feasts which can come with some challenges. Here are some tips when enjoying the 4th of July, Memorial Day, graduation parties, Father’s Day, and Labor Day. 1. What time do the festivities begin? Many times it is not as typical meal times such as late afternoon or early evening. I suggest eating breakfast lunch and snacks as you typically would as if it were just a regular day. This way when the feast begins you haven’t saved up your hunger and enter starving. This situation may end up in eating quickly and beyond fullness. 2. Survey the scene. Is it buffet style on a long table? Is it a sit down meal with appetizers? Whatever the case take a plate and put on there your favorites skip over things you have all the time or don’t particularly care for. Keep balance in mind by picking at least one protein, vegetable, fruit, and grain or starch. Proteins: Typically at cookouts you will find hotdogs, hamburgers, ribs, or chicken. If you love multiple options can you split with someone so you can get a taste of everything? Burgers and hotdogs do not have to be bun-less, unless you don’t like buns! Vegetable: There is...
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...
Advocating for Yourself at The Doctor’s Office

Advocating for Yourself at The Doctor’s Office

Health at Every Size 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.   Read on to learn more about how you can advocate for yourself at a doctor’s (or other health care provider’s) office. I would like to preface the rest of this post...
Family Workshop: Supporting Your Loved One with an Eating Disorder

Family Workshop: Supporting Your Loved One with an Eating Disorder

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. We 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 recovery journey. But, many loved ones might not know...
Unlearn diet culture this National “Nutrition” Month

Unlearn diet culture this National “Nutrition” Month

Unlearn diet culture 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 gotta eat...
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