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5 Things I Want You to Know About HAES

5 Things I Want You to Know About HAES

HAES: Health At Every Size By Dana Magee, RD, LD, CLT Health At Every Size (HAES) is a movement that is based on HEALTH as opposed to WEIGHT.  I see the truth in this movement EVERYDAY when I see my clients making healthy lifestyle changes that include feeding themselves well, cooking for themselves, moving their body in ways they enjoy, prioritizing sleep and practicing stress management tools.   Unfortunately, HAES is met with a lot of pushback from those that do not understand it. My goal in this blog is to explain HAES to those that are open to a new mindset for what being healthy means.    1. Why do I believe in HAES? In our dieting culture the message “thinner is better” is played on repeat. I would argue that the message can also take the form “thinner is healthier”. Even more concerning, the dieting culture proclaims that achieving thinness is desirable by any means necessary.   This is dangerous and irresponsible.  The restriction and unhealthy behaviors around dieting can actually put the person at greater health risk.  Health at Every Size is a movement that separates the fusion between size and health.  HAES reorganizes our priorities and puts health at the top of the list (where it should be) and takes the focus on weight loss out of the picture.   What is health? Health is determined by the quality of the food you eat, regular and pleasurable movement, stress management and sleep hygiene.  When those ducks are in a row that is when we see improvement in chronic disease states, regardless as to whether weight has...
Resources Round-Up Favorite Blog Posts

Resources Round-Up Favorite Blog Posts

Resources for Eating Disorder Recovery Compiled by Alex Raymond RD, LD and Caroline Best, Empowered Eating Intern. Our clients are always looking for inspiration and new resources.  Here are some of our favorite eating disorder blogs. Julie Duffy Dillon, RD Julie Duffy Dillon is a nutrition therapist who addresses some very important topics. Her blog, is full of wonderful posts that are a mix of popular nutrition topics and body positivity and other fabulous resources. She writes without judgement and has the mindset of a REBEL dietitian, encouraging a healthy, enjoyable, lifelong relationship with food over short-term dieting. We love her finding food peace motto. Favorite Eating Disorder Resources Here are a few of her posts we liked: The great thing about this post is that Julie recognized that as someone who has never suffered from PCOS, she would need help writing a blog series on it. She brought in a nutrition grad who studies PCOS and also suffers from it to contribute. The article explains the definition of PCOS, describes the common physiological symptoms, and discusses how nutrition and PCOS are intertwined. The post does a great job of breaking down lots of health and nutrition information in a very readable and quick article. Check out her whole series, each addressing a separate component of PCOS and nutrition. Julie’s weekly articles include relevant nutrition topics, including this discussion of the recent New York Times article on the popular weight loss show, The Biggest Loser, and how most participants tend to gain back most of the weight they lost. Check out how she ties in a fun pop culture...
The Binge Eating Disorder (BED) Cycle

The Binge Eating Disorder (BED) Cycle

Banish the Scale By Dana Magee, RD, LD “Within a diet and thin-focused culture, the focus has been on weight loss as the goal. This ‘treatment’ is often promoted by well-intentioned friends, family, and professionals. But with binge eating, dieting is a causal factor in the development of binge eating disorder. So it’s essential for treatment to provide alternatives to dieting for improving health and body image. In fact, weight loss as a goal of treatment—as opposed to goals of improved self-care–can be damaging to the process of recovery.” ~Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA)   How to Stop the Dieting Cycle In order to see the effect the scale may have on your nutrition behaviors, body image, and self esteem take some time to answer the following: How long have you been watching the scale?  What is the frequency in which you weigh yourself? Remember “Nothing changes if nothing changes”. Journal about how you feel when the scale shows a decrease in weight. Journal about how you feel when the scale shows an increase in weight. What are the pros of daily weighing? What are the cons of daily weighing? Use the questions above to evaluate if weighing yourself often is bringing you CLOSER to your health goals or if it may be bringing your FURTHER away from your health goals.  Try to identify feelings associated with weighting such as guilt, shame, accomplishment, anxiety, relief, pride, excitement, disappointment. Beyond a Shadow of a Diet Here are some interesting points made about the use of scales in the treatment of Binge Eating Disorder as stated by one of my favorite books: Beyond a Shadow of a...
Letting Go Of Perfection

Letting Go Of Perfection

What Does Perfection Mean to You? By Alex Raymond, RD, LD The topic of “perfection” has been coming up more often both in my sessions with clients and personally. It got me thinking about the idea of perfection—what it actually means and why it’s important. For me, perfection meant (maybe sometimes still means) doing everything right, whether in work or with family/friends, leaving little to no room for mistakes. Mistakes either meant that I wasn’t working hard enough or that I wasn’t good at what I was doing. Looking back on some conversations with clients, I’ve reflected on my own thoughts about perfection and how “perfect” isn’t always perfect. Here is what I’ve learned about “letting go” of perfection and how this idea can be used to support eating disorder recovery. 1. There is no such thing as “perfect” eating. Your ED wants you to think that you must eat a certain way to be “perfect.” There’s no such thing. It’s a construct that the eating disorder and society has created. Why should eating a certain food make you any less of an awesome person? Enjoying cake on your birthday doesn’t make you bad. Having French fries with your double bacon cheeseburger is okay. Making sure you have a few servings of fruits and veggies is important, but it’s also important to enjoy all the foods you love. Now, I do believe in a few concepts called mindful eating, intuitive eating and normal eating. I could go on for hours, but in summary, these concepts are all about truly enjoying food and being able to nourish your body with...
The Problem with Instagram Fitness Celebs

The Problem with Instagram Fitness Celebs

The Problem with Instagram Fitness Celebs By Alex Raymond, RD, LD My morning routine typically consists of me getting up at 5am, sipping on a cup of coffee and reading yesterday’s The Skimm (I would read today’s, but I get up too early and the latest version isn’t posted yet, lol). Then, I  often peruse Buzzfeed during this time. The other morning, I came across a Buzzfeed article about women on instagram who you should follow that will “inspire your health and fitness journey.” My first thought, accompanied by an eye roll, was “ugh, here we go.” I reminded myself, kindly, to be less judgmental about the article and try my hardest to read with an open mind. Here were the positives: The author included a diverse set of women (in terms of race, ethnicity, and body type too) The author did point out that she did not want to include the *typical* types of fitness accounts you see out there who promote unrealistic, stereotypical ideals for women (and I do commend the author for doing this) Many of the women do promote “body positivity” These women provide us with examples of various types of exercises, which can be helpful because it’s important to embrace all different kinds of movement.   Instagram Role Models? It really got me thinking about Instagram fitness “role models” and how these types of accounts have become particularly trendy. The whole idea of feeling good also subtly means looking good (even though it’s not outright stated). The whole idea of “strong is the new skinny.” And that it’s important to take care of yourself...
3 Self-Care Myths Debunked

3 Self-Care Myths Debunked

Self-Care: Common Misconceptions By Alex Raymond, RD, LD Do you have myths that need to be debunked? What does self-care mean to you? Before reading on, can you take a few minutes to think about this. Over the last few weeks, the theme of self-care has been coming up recently. I have had this conversation with many clients about the importance of self-care and how it can benefit eating disorder recovery. With talking with my clients, I’ve realized there are many misconceptions surrounding the idea of self-care. And of course, I’d like to debunk these myths and shed light on how beneficial taking time for yourself can actually be! 1) Self-care is selfish. I get it. It can feel very selfish to say “no” to a family member or friend and instead do something on your self-care list. If I am being honest, I have struggled with this one myself. I have always felt that if I have extra time on my hands, even if it’s just 20 minutes, and someone asks me for a favor, shouldn’t I help them out? I have been in situations where I have bent over backwards doing a favor for someone, and then it leaves tired, stressed and overwhelmed. In the end, I’m really not doing myself a favor. Remind yourself….. I remind myself of the expression: “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” What this means to me is if you are always giving to everyone else, but you neglect your own needs, then it’s going to be very difficult to be 100% when surrounded by your friends and family. Instead of...

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