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All Food is Good. All Eating Serves a Purpose.

All Food is Good. All Eating Serves a Purpose.

Recently, I was at a dinner party where as the hostess cleared the dishes from the main meal, she proclaimed, “There is a good dessert, and a bad dessert.”

I was confused – if she was so concerned about how her dessert tasted or turned out, why bother serving it?

As it turns out, the “good” dessert was fruit, and the “bad” dessert was donuts.

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Intuitive Eating: I’ve Ditched the Diet Mentality, Now What?

Intuitive Eating: I’ve Ditched the Diet Mentality, Now What?

Rejecting the Diet Mentality is the first of the 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating, and arguably the most important and most difficult one to adopt in the journey to becoming an intuitive eater. We are constantly surrounded by oft well-intentioned messages that teach us that thinner is better, or that our weight is a proxy of our health or lifestyle habits. It’s no surprise then, that many intuitive eating and Health At Every Size practitioners invest a lot of time and energy in breaking down these myths.

But what happens after you finally get it? What if you see that weight loss is statistically improbable, that dieting is associated with weight gain and that it’s crucial to let go of the weight loss dream in order to truly heal? What if you’re truly ready to focus on your health, and not the number on the scale, the measuring tape or the clothing tag?

What’s next?

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Body Positivity? HAES? What It All Means (To Me, At Least)

Body Positivity? HAES? What It All Means (To Me, At Least)

A few months ago, I declared that I was no longer going to help people lose weight. Since then, I’ve been diving deeper into the world of body positivity, Intuitive Eating and Health At Every Size® (HAES®), with the help of podcasts, blogs, articles and colleagues.

Many of these concepts are becoming more popular, which is great, but in some cases are being co-opted for purposes that run counter to these philosophies. *cough*weight loss*cough*

I thought that I would define these terms as I understand them, so that I can better articulate how I have transitioned my practice (and you can better understand what you’re getting into if you decide to work with me.)

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Why It’s So Hard (And So Crucial) to Let Go of the Weight Loss Dream

Why It’s So Hard (And So Crucial) to Let Go of the Weight Loss Dream

Let me start by saying that there is nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight. There is a $60 billion industry that feeds off of (and into) our insecurities with our body and our weight, so we’re constantly bombarded with these marketing messages. We also live in a culture that conflates weight and health, and places morality on body size. No wonder it feels like trying to lose weight is the “right” thing to do!

However, to truly heal our relationship with food and our bodies, letting go of the desire to lose weight is crucial. In many cases, our desire to lose weight or change our bodies is what got us here in the first place – obsessing over calories, points and/or macros, feeling guilt and shame whenever we eat a “bad” food, letting the scale dictate our mood, weight cycling, etc. This same desire is also what’s going to keep us from moving forward and making progress.

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3 Weight Loss & Dieting Truths No One is Telling You

3 Weight Loss & Dieting Truths No One is Telling You

Have you “fallen off the wagon” and gained all the weight back yet again?
Are you looking for the one secret that will help you get the weight off once and for all?
Have you tried every diet under the sun and clicked through just to say, “What does a skinny dietitian like you know that I don’t?”

Well, I don’t think I have exactly what you’re looking for.

Whether it’s because of looks or “health”, we live in a culture obsessed with thinness. Our fear of being fat affects everyone – fat people are told that they need to lose weight in any way possible in order to be fully accepted, while thin people are told that they need to avoid becoming fat in any way possible in order to continue to be fully accepted.

I started my private practice with a focus on weight management (I mean, that’s what dietitians are supposed to do, right?) and have also worked with many people pre- and post-bariatric surgery over the past 4½ years. It is this experience that has motivated me to move toward a non-diet, Health At Every Size approach, and I want to share some truths about weight loss and dieting that our mainstream, weight-focused culture is not telling you.
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What This Non-Diet Dietitian Took Away from the Canadian Obesity Network National Summit

What This Non-Diet Dietitian Took Away from the Canadian Obesity Network National Summit

Last month, I attended the 5th annual Canadian Obesity Network (CON) National Summit. The three days—plus full day of pre-summit workshops—were packed with information and networking, and I went to bed every day exhausted. I took lots of notes that I still need to review and analyze, but here are some of my personal takeaways from the conference.
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Two Truths & A Lie: Intuitive Eating Edition

Two Truths & A Lie: Intuitive Eating Edition

Have you heard of the game Two Truths and a Lie? Snoop & Martha have played it, but they reversed it and did two lies and a truth. Basically, it’s a party game where you share three statements about yourself – two of the statements are true, and one of them is not; everyone else has to guess which one is a lie.

I thought it’d be fun to get to know our new friend, Intuitive Eating, a little better by playing the same game. Ready? Here are the three statements:

  • Intuitive Eating will help you get to your healthy weight.
  • Intuitive Eating doesn’t always come naturally.
  • Intuitive eaters only eat when they’re hungry, and stop when they’re full.

Got your answer? Read on and see if you’re right!

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Why I’m Retiring the 80/20 Rule

Why I’m Retiring the 80/20 Rule

The 80/20 Rule is a popular phrase for dietitians, alongside “everything in moderation” and “fill half your plate with vegetables”. The idea is that you want to eat healthy 80% of the time, and allow yourself to eat less healthy 20% of the time.

I have used the 80/20 Rule for years, and in a culture that can be very “black and white” or “all or nothing” when it comes to food and nutrition, the spirit of and intention behind the 80/20 Rule is a good one: you don’t have to be perfect in order to be healthy. In fact, it is often the pursuit of perfection that leads to an obsession with numbers, distorted body image and disordered eating.

So, what is my problem with this seemingly sensible statement?

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Liked Embrace? You’ll LOVE These Body Positive Resources

Liked Embrace? You’ll LOVE These Body Positive Resources

Last week, I saw the documentary Embrace with some of my fellow dietitians. It was the perfect girls’ night in, and we all resonated with Taryn Brumfitt’s empowering message.

My original intention was to share a list of all the resources that I could think of to help you dive a little deeper into the world of body positivity and size acceptance. I quickly realized that the list would be LONG, and there’s so much out there that I haven’t taken the time to explore myself.

Instead, here is a short list of some of the resources that have impacted me the most on my own journey, as I transition from weight management specialist to anti-diet, body positive coach.
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4 Steps to Health (That Have Nothing to do With Weight)

4 Steps to Health (That Have Nothing to do With Weight)

Updated March 22, 2017

In May 2016, I shared an article on Facebook that left me pretty unimpressed.

While I agree that “Get a checkup” is a good start, here is how I would’ve written the rest of the four steps to health.

You don't need to lose #weight to get #healthy. Start here instead. Click To Tweet

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