When we first meet, we will talk about what your hopes are for our collaboration. We will discuss your past and current relationship with food and movement, as well as your family of origen’s relationship with food, body, and movement. Your current eating and physical activity patterns will be discussed: what is working for you and what do you feel is not working for you anymore? We will also discuss pertinent medical history and any labs/tests you have. Before the first appointment, I will send you some paperwork to fill out that will help streamline the session. In this paperwork, you can upload any pertinent labs, medical records, etc, if applicable. If time allows, we’ll begin to work on your goals.
The Health at Every Size® (HAES) philosophy stems from a respect for the individual and their lived experience. It embraces a weight-inclusive approach, which means the focus is on behaviors, not on the vilification of body size. In the current medical model, weight is used as a measure of health. The HAES approach takes the holistic view that a person’s experiences, relationships with not just food, movement, and body, but also with the people in their lives and with their environment are all factors in one’s health. We will work together to unravel the factors that influence your current relationship with food and movement and find out what your food and movement “personality” can look like and how to implement that in your life.
Intuitive Movement is body movement that stems from a space of inner joy and desire to experience life with your physical body. This is a departure from our culture’s view of “exercise” as a means of “punishing” the body into “submission” for all the “terrible” food you eat. Body movement was never meant to be punitive. We will first disentangle body movement from weight, punishment, guilt, or shame. We will work together to explore your “movement personality” and build a repertoire of movement that 1) you are able to do, 2) increases your energy, 3) you look forward to doing, and 4) brings joy to your life and an appreciation of your body. This will mean different movement for different people and will also mean different activities on different days/ weeks/ years. Your movement personality can and should evolve and change with time. I often work with post-collegiate athletes who don’t know what to do when they aren’t on a team anymore. This is when we can work to find what feels good and find new and fun ways to move your body or perhaps renew your relationship with your sport in a different way!
In our current diet-obsessed culture, we lose touch with our individual wants and needs when it comes to feeding ourselves. Food becomes all-encompassing and a source of guilt and shame or a punishment and a form of indictment on the body. We will explore what your individual body wants and needs. This can involve addressing any “good food/ bad food” mentality, developing an “all-foods-fit” approach to destigmatize food. This will allow your body’s wants and needs to guide you to food that is truly nourishing, as opposed to having a sense of deprivation drive food choices. When deprivation drives food choices, this can lead to behaviors such as binge or compulsive overeating, followed by dieting or restriction which then leads right back to overeating. When working together, you will learn how to not engage in this destructive cycle and establish a relationship with food that truly nourishes you in body, mind, and spirit.
Exercise dependence can often appear as part of an unhealthy relationship with the body. I always say to my clients that any body movement is great as long as:
1.You are able to eat enough to support your level of activity
2.You can rest when tired or even injure
3.You are still able to have a fulfilling social life and are able to meet life obligation
4.You are able to move your body in a way that honors it as opposed to punishes it
5.You move your body because it feels good, not to punish it because you, society, and/ or the current medical model deem it “wrong.”
When I work with athletes and eating disorders, we will work together to get you back to your sport and learn how to appropriately fuel. We work to disentangle your sport from the eating disorder and explore your relationship with both food, sport,and body movement in general.
Too often, movement of the body is distorted into a punitive measure to “force” the body to change. This approach to body movement often leads people to ultimately avoid it, as it is associated with physical pain, fatigue, shame, and guilt. When someone is doing anything from the perspective of being somehow “wrong” or “not enough,” they won’t do it for long or at least they won’t do it consistently. This is where the concept of Intuitive Movement comes in. We will work to find what your “movement personality” is and find what brings you joy and appreciation for your body.
A Registered Dietitian/ Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RD or RDN) has been certified by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). To be certified, one must have at least a Bachelor-level education (I have a Masters in Nutritional Science), have completed a didactic program of study and internship hours, passed the registration exam, abide by a strict code of ethics, and complete regular continuing education as approved by CDR. A nutritionist is an unregulated term and therefore anyone can call themselves a nutritionist. A nutritionist might have completed an weekend-long online course and read fitness blogs/ articles online for their continuing education or might have a PhD in Nutrition. There are no requirements to abide by any code of ethics or keep current on relevant continuing education. Having a provider with the RD/RDN credential ensures you are working with someone who is appropriately educated, keeps current, and will not sell you things or provide services that are out-of-scope.
I am not contracted with any insurance providers, but can provide a monthly superbill you can use to submit to your insurance company for possible reimbursement.