Ch Ch Ch Changes…

I have been singing the illustrious David Bowie song, “Changes,” while simmering over this month’s newsletter.

Fall has always signaled a time for transition and change for me. Something about the start of a new school year, even though I’m no longer in school, lives in my bones. I get re-energized to refocus and reprioritize my goals and projects. I know many of you are forced by covid to find a new rhythm in the wake of many stressful changes not of your choosing. I hope you have a couple of moments to catch your breath and find the ground beneath your feet.

I am anxiously excited to share with you some substantive changes I have been making to my business over the past year. While issues related to inequity within the eating disorders field have been near and dear to my heart since I started my practice back in 2009, I did not really start to wrestle with the specific issue of racial inequality from a professional lens until the past couple of years. And, regretfully, I did not begin to take meaningful action on these issues until this year. Yes, I too have been far behind in waking up to my role in creating meaningful change in my professional life.

I wrote about this briefly, for the first time, in June of this year. While I received numerous private messages of appreciation for my thoughts, I also had the highest unsubscribe rate EVER in the nearly 12 years that I’ve been writing newsletters. While this was disappointing, I feel clear about being in alignment with my values and pursuing work that lights my fire.

So in that spirit of fires being lit, I wanted to share with you the anti-oppression work that I have been up to the past several months. I do not share this for approval-seeking or to center myself as a “good person” who is doing “good work.” In fact, without the encouragement of some people I really trust, I probably wouldn’t share it at all. I share it to demonstrate that actions mean more than words. I share it to encourage others who might not realize the power for good that lives inside of them. I share it to fuel the engine for positive change.

Over the past several months, I have been working with Ayana Habtemariam, a Black dietitian and consultant, whose thoughtful and clear guidance has given me the clarity and direction I’ve needed to better center my business around creating equity within the field of eating disorders. Through this partnership, I have identified 9 key domains to move my work towards racial equity within the field of eating disorders. I have summarized this work in my Anti-Oppression Statement. I consider this a working document that will evolve and change over time.

There is no one right way to be a human who contributes to the world in positive and meaningful ways. I wouldn’t expect your work to look anything like mine. But we all have work to do. I’m sending you strength and hope to find your own path to building a more equitable world.