(206) What about health and intuitive eating?

Julie Dillon

Tags: weight cycling
(206) What about health and intuitive eating?

Does anti-diet mean anti-health? Does intuitive eating mean letting go of health? Moving away from diets is not neglecting the evidence, it is using it. It’s time to dive into how rejecting diets reunites us with health and dignified care.

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Dear Food,

My ideas surrounding you have always been related to health. Growing up in a larger body, with a mother who was a physician, had me constantly aware and ashamed of myself. For me, you were always supposed to be something I was conscious of. My own doctor would show me where I was on the growth curve, and constantly telling me that my BMI was unhealthy. These experiences were ingrained in me from a very early age. I was told “you burn more calories sitting up rather than laying down” when watching TV and only provided with “healthy” snacks, snacks that I never wanted. I was told to ignore my cravings and, instead, eat a handful of almonds. My mom and I were always dieting together, for the sake of “health”. This quest for health led me to nursing school, hoping to be able to heal my sickness and the sickness of others. This is when I was subconsciously introduced to medicalized fatphobia. The nutrition class I had to take encouraged us to count calories in and count calories out. This only encouraged my obsessive weight loss behavior, getting to a point where I was regularly consuming less than X calories a day and obsessively exercising X days a week. Now that I am in school to become a midwife and also pursuing food peace through intuitive eating, I am much more aware and disturbed by the medicalized fatphobia that I am supposed to take part in. Learning the formula for “ideal body weight” (a real thing that was taught to me in one of my classes), I am “supposed” to be X lbs, a weight I have NEVER reached even with my days of severe restriction. I am learning how to make sure the pregnant people I take care of aren’t gaining “too much weight” during their pregnancy and also how a lot of contraceptives are not designed for people in larger bodies. I desperately want to be a practitioner that lives outside the medicalized fatphobia, but I am worried that if I do, I will be shunned by my coworkers and superiors as a bad provider. I’m not sure how to reconcile my understanding of chronic health conditions that are supposedly related to larger bodies and also my desire to follow Health At Every Size principles.

Everyday Fighter of the System  

Show Notes:

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