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Why I am not the food police

As a dietitian, I sometimes hold back telling people this because common reactions are …

“Oh gosh, you’d be horrified if I told you what I ate for breakfast. I was so bad.”

“So should I order these chips? I really want the chips, but I shouldn’t because they’re bad. What do you think, should I get the chips?”

“I really want to eat this piece of cake – please don’t judge me.”

I completely understand these comments – they were things I would have said in the past before I knew what I know now.

Which is why I became a dietitian … to:

  • show folks that they can eat without fearing judgement

  • remove food labels such as “good” or “bad” (I mean, unless a slice of cake robs a bank, how can it bad?)

  • dispel food myths and taking out the confusion of nutrition

  • empower people to reconnect with their bodies & build a healthy relationship with food from a place of kindness and mindfulness.

I practice from Health At Every Size® (HAES) and Not Diet Approach paradigms. This approach is used when working with adults who have weight concerns. Instead of focusing on weight-based outcomes, we focus on adopting other positive health thoughts and behaviours.

The Non Diet Approach is an evidence-based clinical approach underpinned by the HAES® values.

HAES® is a trademarked entity of the Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH) and exists to help people of all sizes find compassionate health care.

It is shaped by 5 principles:

Weight Inclusivity – this is about accepting that there are a myriad of body shapes and sizes and a person’s health is not exclusively determined by what they weigh on the scales. We do not and should not make it an illness to be living in a larger body if there is no illness present.

Health Enhancement – this is about social justice and making sure people of all sizes getting the right care at the right time.

Respectful Care – this is where we look at weight stigma, weight discrimination and weight bias, and acknowledge that a person’s environment such as social, race, gender, cultural, political and socioeconomic circumstances are drivers that can impact on weight and health.

Eating for Well Being – this is about working with a patient to promote flexible and individualised eating patterns based on hunger, satiety, nutritional needs and pleasure rather than being regulated with a restrictive eating plan that is focused on controlling weight.

Life Enhancing Movement – supporting people of all sizes and abilities to engage in joyful movement at the level of their choice.

A key outcome of the Non Diet Approach is to help folks to eat a wide array of foods to satisfaction and undertake regular, physical movement that is enjoyable. When we eat a varied diet, we have a much better chance of meeting our nutritional requirements.

So with that, my mission is to provide compassionate, weight inclusive care to help you to build a healthy, mindful relationship with food & body without focusing on weight.

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