I bring two key perspectives to my work as a registered dietitian
- providing nutrition care in a weight neutral way
- finding ways to care for the planet alongside our efforts to nourish our bodies
You don’t have to change your body shape to improve your health
Why weight neutral?
It’s time to de-center weight from its central place in the discussion of nutrition, health and wellbeing. I am proud to provide a weight neutral space where we can broaden our definition of success as you pursue improved health and wellbeing.
For a long time in healthcare BMI (Body Mass Index) and other measures of determining “ideal” weight have been used to tell people that they are overweight and at higher risk for a variety of diseases. These measures have left us believing that:
- we can use weight as a short hand for assessing health
- anyone with a BMI over “normal” needs to lose weight to be healthy
- getting to a “normal” BMI is everyone’s goal
- weight loss is achievable for everyone (easy, just burn more calories than you take in – right?)
However, we when closely examine both the BMI and the entire culture of diet/weight loss we live in, we can see that:
- you can’t know someone’s health status just by looking at or weighing them
- bodies come in a lot of different shapes and sizes
- “healthy” does not have just one shape and size
- there are lots of factors affecting what we weigh (not just how many calories we eat and burn)
We can also see that keeping the focus on weight (and weight loss specifically) as the primary target for improving health can be unhelpful (at best) and, for many people, can even be harmful. It is both unrealistic and unhealthy to expect everyone to get their body to a “normal” BMI.
Are you ready for a fresh perspective on health and wellness? Let’s work together to help you nourish your body, be at peace with food, improve your health and feel good in your body.
Let’s have a more nuanced discussion about health!
Nourish our bodies + care for our earth
We live on a beautiful and amazing planet. I come alive when I spend time in nature, and I am in awe of how much life is sustained on this planet. As I have been doing more noticing of all of the different plant and animal life around me, I am truly delighted by the beauty and diversity.
It is so important to me that we do all that we can to help make sure that this planet can continue to sustain as much human, plant and animal life as possible.
As we have worked to constantly improve our human lives here on this planet, is has often come at the detriment of fellow humans as well as animals and plants. As we realize this fact and work to reverse the damages done, we can see that there is work to be done on so many different fronts — and our food system is one of the key areas. While there is a lot of work to be done at the system level, there are also things that we as individuals can do and the more of us that do them, the greater the affect can be.
In a session with me we can incorporate sustainable and planet friendly food choices as we work together to help you to nourish your body. The good news is that there is a lot of overlap between caring for ourselves and caring for our planet!
You talk about being “weight neutral”, does that mean you are against losing weight?
No, I am not against weight loss. I am all for body autonomy and recognize that people will want to lose weight for various reasons (health, looks, to “feel more like themselves” again), and it’s not wrong to want to lose weight.
However, I fully recognize all of the harm that dieting and the diet industry are able to inflict on the physical and mental health of people. And I want to see weight loss de-centered from its place as the primary goal/tool for improving health.
What I am interested in doing though my practice is making space for celebrating non-weight based successes on the path toward better health and wellbeing. I also want to be a safe place for people in larger bodies to discuss nutrition and health without weight being forced on them as the main focus.
It is also important to me to help us have a better understanding when it comes to weight and weight loss. Here a few of the things I like to keep in mind:
➡️ Weight loss is not the only way to improve health
➡️ Weight loss is not as easy as it is often made out to be (way more complex than calories in/calories out)
➡️ Getting your body weight to an “ideal” weight or a “normal” BMI might not actually be healthy for you – bodies come in a variety of sizes and we shouldn’t all be held to one simplistic size standard
But Amy, I want to lose weight. Can you help me lose weight?
I hear you! Maybe you have a vision for how you want your body to look, or maybe you used to weigh less and you felt better at that weight. I totally understand the desire and it’s not bad to want to feel better and like the way you look. However, sessions with me are a chance to have a more nuanced discussion — to not just look at weight and weight loss as the only marker of success.
Sometimes people will do the all of the “right steps” to lose weight and it will work for them. Others will do the same steps and won’t lose any weight, or might even gain weight. Weight loss is not as simple as it is often made out to be and we can’t manipulate our body shapes as easily as we are led to believe.
In a session with me we can discuss your goals for helping improving your wellbeing, improving your health and feeling good in your body. As you take action on the goals we discuss, you might see a change in your weight, but I cannot predict (let alone guarantee!) exactly what it will be.