I have the great honor of receiving the designation “Top 35 Healthy Weight Blogs” by Green Mountain at Fox Run. Green Mountain is sponsoring Health Weight Week 2014 and I’m thrilled to be a part of it. “Healthy Weight Week encourages people – especially women – to improve health habits in lasting ways by eating well without dieting, living actively, and feeling good about themselves and others.” If you’re interested, check out their schedule of events here.
When Green Mountain reached out to me, they suggested I write a blog in response to the question “what does a healthy weight mean to you.” Before I answer that question, I’d like to take the chance to back up and talk a little about my road as a dietitian. People often wonder how I got to where I am now- doing the crazy, draining, but IMMENSELY fulfilling work that is recovery from yo-yo dieting and eating disorders. I’m considered to be a very non-traditional dietitian, which I take pride in.
When I was in high school my Uncle asked me if I knew what I wanted to study in college. I knew that I loved science and people but was stumped because I knew I couldn’t handle medical school nor did I have the stomach for nursing. That’s when my Uncle, who has type I diabetes suggested I become a dietitian. He described working with his dietitian and I thought it sound like an awesome profession- food, science, and people. Three things I loved! So I took myself over to the public library and checked out a book on Registered Dietitians (that makes me sound quite old, but I really did do this). I pursued a four year degree in nutrition and dietetics and truthfully disliked a lot of the nutrition curriculum. As I began my post-graduate internship I had less of an idea of what I wanted to do than when I had started my education. It wasn’t until I participated in a 3 week rotation at a residential eating disorder facility that I thought- now THIS has potential. I loved that the work was multi-disciplinary, it was challenging, and it felt meaningful. It was at that time that I was introduced to the book “Intuitive Eating” and there was no going back. From there I began studying in graduate school and on my own, the interplay between psychology and eating. There was my match and what had been missing in my education the first several years.
I feel in my heart that I am meant to help people establish a healthy relationship with food and their bodies. And I believe that through that process my clients (including me!) become healthier not only physically, but in EVERY other aspect of their lives. As their relationships with their bodies and food improves, so does their mental, relational, and emotional lives. My work is incredibly hard at times but it is also a pleasure taking part in that process.
So what does a healthy body weight mean to me? I don’t know that I can capture it completely but here are some of my thoughts:
- A healthy weight is determined by healthy behaviors not the scale and not the wish to weigh a certain number.
- A healthy weight requires body trust- allowing your body to be where it is meant to be without mistreating it, but caring for it very well.
- A healthy weight will never come at the expense of your emotional and psychological health. It will support every other aspect of your life.
- A healthy weight requires self-compassion, rather than self-criticism and self-loathing.
- A healthy weight will probably not look like the cultural ideals established by the media.
So, I’d like to offer the same question to those reading this blog post. What does a healthy weight mean to YOU?