An Apology

An Apology

I’m back! It’s been over 4 months since I last shared here and I have to say I’m so thankful for that break.  I appreciate y’all sticking with me during my blogging silence, but can’t wait to get back to sharing, ranting and creating conversation in this space.  In my time off from blogging, I’ve done a lot of growing, learning and reading. I immersed myself in ANTI-DIET culture and am now a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor.  In the coming months, you’ll be seeing a lot more on Intuitive Eating and Health at Every Size here, but today I want to start with an apology.  I’m sorry for the things I’ve said, done and recommended when I myself was caught up in diet culture.  You see…dietitians aren’t immune to some of the influences of the media and popular culture. Our education and experience as “nutrition experts” was supposed to empower us to help others, but too often I think it functions to fuel diet rules and restrictions. 

Looking back, I cringe thinking about how many times I told people to ask for a to-go box immediately upon ordering at a restaurant, sending the message that they should ignore hunger and fullness cues and only eat half a meal.  I can’t tell you how many times I suggested someone brush their teeth right after dinner to avoid sweets or eating more. Eek. Worst of all, I would recommend clients pass up the warm bread baskets at restaurants! Do you know how delicious fresh bread (with butter) is?!

But when you know better, you do better. And now I know not only that diets don’t work but that there is another way, so I want to spread that message.  I want consumers to recognize (and truly believe) that the diets are failing them, not the other way around. I want other dietitians to be willing and open to look beyond their training and become non-diet, weight-inclusive practitioners. So here I am, spreading the word and apologizing for not getting on board sooner.

If you’ve seen the words “anti-diet”  and thought, what the heck is that?, you’re not alone. As a dietitian, it’s a given that we prescribe diets–right? WRONG.

The first (though not necessarily most important) principle of Intuitive Eating is Rejecting the Diet Mentality. For many of us, dieting has simply become a way of life and it’s tough to remember what it’s like to NOT focus on weight management or controlling our food intake in one way or another. It does seem as though the tide is shifting and people are starting to recognize that diets simply don’t work. However, diet culture is still flourishing, especially with companies maneuvering around the term “diet” and re-branding their programs as sustainable, “lifestyle changes”.

If you’ve gotten to the point of being frustrated, angry, annoyed or just plain sick of diet culture, welcome to the club! Learning to tune into your body and rediscover true health is not easy. It’s not a simple switch. But it’s possible. Here are my top 3 tips for ditching diet culture and getting started on your intuitive eating journey:

  1. Unfollow and stop supporting people who are engaging in or pushing diet culture. Their messages are what normalizes dieting and tricks you into believing you should be on a diet.  Some telltale signs to look for: before-and-after photos and posts about Whole 30/Shakeology/Macro Counting, etc. As soon as I see one of these things in my social media feeds, I hit unfollow! 
  2. Do not engage in conversations that involve negative body talk, fat phobia, food shaming, etc. You may even have become immune to these types of conversations by now, but try to start paying closer attention…The woman at work who is talking about how “fat” she feels after missing a few days at the gym, your friend you’re out to dinner with who says she is going to be “good” and only order a salad. You don’t need to “correct” these comments/statements, as the person may not be ready to hear it, but you can choose not to engage.
  3. Let go of judgement. In order to change a thought or behavior, we must first be aware of it, so noticing your tendencies to lean into diet culture or participate in the above conversations is key. Pay close attention, but be gentle with yourself–no need to judge, belittle or beat yourself up.

Ready to work on this? I’m here to help and so are lots of other anti-diet dietitians. Check out my resources page for a few of my fave fellow IE/HAES dietitian friends.

RD Real Talk Round Table

Also, if you happen to be an RD, Dietetic Intern or nutrition student who wants to learn more about the Anti-Diet Approach, don’t miss the first RD Real Talk Round Table event (affiliate link), hosted by Heather Caplan.  I’m honored to be participating, along with Christy Harrison, Anne Mauney and Robyn Nohling. You can sign up to attend a live discussion or purchase the recording and listen in later. Early Bird Pricing ends TOMORROW, so register now!

Happy Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day 2017!

Happy Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day 2017!

Happy Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day! Celebrated on March 8th, during National Nutrition Month, today is a day to honor the work of Registered Dietitians out there working to make the world a healthier, happier place.  

Last year on RDN Day, I shared some of my favorite posts from dietitian bloggers. This year, I’m back to spread the nutrition blogger love again, plus add in some podcasts hosted by dietitians. First, check out my most popular nutrition posts from the past year: Shakeo-ing My HeadSharing My Meal Prep Secrets and Not Ready to Ditch The Scale? Here Are Some Things You Can Do.

I have a few more fun ones coming at ya this month in honor of National Nutriton Month, but for now let’s showcase some of my colleagues. This roundup includes my fave dietitians who are out there keeping it real, navigating the murky waters of the nutrition field and helping people find their happiest, healthiest selves. 

Must-Read Blog Posts

Here’s Why Losing Weight Isn’t About Willpower by Abby Langer 

It’s Time To Talk About (Women’s) Locker Room Talk via Kelly Jones 

You Are More Than A Meal Plan via Hummusapien

Why I Don’t Have A Before & After Shot from Cara Harbstreet

Your Body Can Process Everything…It’s Your Mind That Gets In The Way via Kylie at ImmaEatThat

Also from Kylie: A letter from non-diet mentality Kylie to diet-mentality Kylie

Why Weight Loss Won’t Keep You Healthy from Rebecca at Nourish Nutrition Co (also this post!)

Intuitive Eating Is For Everyone from Rachael Hartley (don’t miss all of her Wellness Wednesday posts)

What is Body Positivity? by Emily Fonnesbeck

Why I Hate the Term Clean Eating from Sarah at BucketListTummy

4 Ideas to Let Go Of If You’re Struggling with Losing Weight & Loving Yourself via Corinne Dobbas

Healthy Isn’t Static via Robyn, The Real Life RD

Podcasts hosted by RDs:

RD Real Talk with Heather Caplan (episode 2 is with yours truly!)

Food Psych with Christy Harrison

Body Kindness with Rebecca Scritchfield

Love, Food with Julie Duffy Dillon

Sound Bites with Melissa Joy Dobbins

Nutrition Matters with Paige Smathers

Be sure to follow all of these amazing ladies on social media (just noticed they are all bad ass women in the nutrition field) and reach out to say Happy RDN Day! Also, the RDN Day image above is from Eat Healthy Designs, a lifestyle brand of stationary and apparel run by Registered Dietitians, so check them out!

This dietitian is celebrating by taking the evening OFF and getting a massage! Cheers!