dietitians

Food Psych #203: Healing from Orthorexia and The Wellness Diet with Katherine Metzelaar

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Season 6 finale! Fellow anti-diet dietitian and certified intuitive eating counselor Katherine Metzelaar joins us to discuss orthorexia within the health-and-wellness field, the cultural shift that made it seem cool to eliminate foods, mourning the loss of community and connection when you stop dieting, why growing up with a peaceful relationship with food doesn’t guarantee a lifetime of immunity against diet culture, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to deal with physical discomfort like thigh chafing and waistbands digging into your belly. 

Katherine Metzelaar, MSN, RDN, CD is a Seattle-based Dietitian and Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor who is passionate about inclusive healthcare for all bodies. She is the owner and founder of Bravespace Nutrition, a private nutrition practice that helps women, both virtually and in-person, to create peace with food and their body free from rules, dieting, and perfectionism. Through the use of a client-centered, therapeutic, non-diet approach, she helps women and womxn to recover from disordered eating, eating disorders, and body image challenges. In addition to her practice, Katherine is the founder of Body Image Badass: Compassion, Connection, Embodiment, a body-acceptance group that works to create community and a safer space for women to talk about the challenges of what in means to exist in a world that seeks to control and oppress women’s bodies via dieting and body-shaming. When not at work, you can find her checking out the local foodie scene, dancing salsa, and in the pursuit of finding the best latte in town. Find her online at www.bravespacenutrition.com.

We Discuss:

  • How participating in sports can nurture your relationship with food

  • Why Katherine told herself at a very young age that she would never go on a diet and how that changed when she went to college

  • Katherine’s struggle with orthorexia

  • Katherine and Christy’s shared experience of finding connection with other women through dieting

  • How connecting over diets builds a conditional sense of belonging, and how that changes when you stop dieting

  • Mourning the loss of community, connection, and identity when you move away from diets

  • Why growing up with a peaceful relationship with food doesn’t guarantee a lifetime of immunity against diet culture

  • The cultural shift that made it seem cool to eliminate foods

  • The link between perfectionism and idealizing diets

  • Katherine’s formal nutrition education that helped her liberalize her relationship with food

  • Orthorexia within the health-and-wellness field, particularly naturopathic medicine 

  • How The Wellness Diet fails to consider the reality of food insecurity 

  • The importance of making intuitive eating more inclusive to people struggling with food insecurity

  • The surprising ways people responded to Christy’s post about inflammation

  • Taking diet culture out of how we understand “wellness” 

  • The privilege of being able to interpret and critique health and nutrition research

  • The financial burden of training to be a dietitian 

  • Working in a fatphobic environment while practicing as a Health at Every Size® provider

  • Katherine’s new YouTube channel that will further spread the anti-diet message

 

Resources Mentioned

Some of the links below are affiliate links. Affiliates or not, we only recommend products and services that align with our values.

Listener Question of the Week

How do I merge the two desires of having freedom with food and wanting to change my body’s size? How does diet culture affect the way you want to change your body’s size? Can you permanently shrink your body? How can you better tolerate the physical discomfort that may occur with weight changes? How does internalized fatphobia affect the way you want to change your body?

Resources Mentioned:

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Food Psych #176: Confessions of a Former Weight-Loss-Surgery Dietitian with Vincci Tsui

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Anti-diet dietitian and certified intuitive eating counselor Vincci Tsui joins us to discuss weight loss surgery and its consequences on physical and mental health, her journey from working in bariatrics to specializing in intuitive eating and Health At Every Size®, how dietitians get caught up in The Wellness Diet, what thin privilege really means, disordered eating and how it interplays with bariatric surgery, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to deal with the fear of weight gain in recovery from an eating disorder.

Vincci Tsui is a former bariatric dietitian turned Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor and Health At Every Size advocate. She is passionate about helping people find freedom in their relationship with food and with their body, so that they can worry less and get the most out of life. Ultimately, she is on a mission to prove that it is possible to improve health without focusing on weight.

Vincci takes a collaborative and compassionate approach to nutrition counselling and coaching that is rooted in HAES® and Intuitive Eating philosophy. She believes in helping clients learn to listen to their body and their inner wisdom when it comes to making decisions around food, eating and health. Aside from her private practice, Vincci serves as the Community & Content Manager for Food Psych® Programs Inc, and is the author of The Mindful Eating Workbook: Simple Practices for Nurturing a Positive Relationship with Food. Find her online at VincciTsui.com.

Early bird registration for my Master Your Anti-Diet Message course is open for a few more days! If you’re a fellow Health At Every Size practitioner who would like to learn how to refine your marketing messages so that they are aligned with HAES philosophy, sign up at christyharrison.com/message.

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We Discuss:

  • How her different privileges helped to protect her relationship with food and body

  • Some of the food rules that she had growing up

  • Why so many people value “cleaning their plate”

  • Thin privilege, and how it can show up in our society

  • Why losing weight isn’t the answer to avoiding weight stigma

  • Why she pursued a career in dietetics

  • How becoming a dietitian changed her relationship with food

  • Diet culture, and how it can affect dietitians and nutrition advice

  • Her work with bariatric surgery patients

  • How current narratives around “obesity” actually helped her become a HAES practitioner

  • The Wellness Diet’s rhetoric, and how it shows up in “obesity” and bariatric care

  • What sparked her interest in HAES and intuitive eating

  • How she tried to introduce HAES concepts to people pursuing weight loss surgery

  • The Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH), and its position on bariatric surgery

  • Finding the middle ground between respecting body autonomy and holding the position that weight loss surgery is harmful

  • Complications that are associated with bariatric surgery, including strictures, nutrient deficiencies, and dumping syndrome

  • Disordered eating, and how it can interact with weight loss surgery

  • Why diagnostic criteria for eating disorders can sometimes be problematic

  • Eating disorders, and how they can get missed in diet culture

  • Nutrition recommendations post-bariatric surgery, and how they can affect a person’s relationship with food

  • How bariatric surgery is presented to patients, and how that can affect their mindset and expectations of the surgery

  • The consequences of bariatric surgery on physical and mental health

  • When bariatric surgery outcomes don’t meet expectations

  • HAES as an alternative to weight loss surgery

  • Finding her niche in HAES and intuitive eating

  • Attracting clients as a private practice dietitian

  • Vincci’s current and upcoming projects

  • The overlap between yoga, intuitive eating and mindful eating

 

Resources Mentioned

Some of the links below are affiliate links. Affiliates or not, we only recommend products and services that align with our values.

Listener Question of the Week

What if my set point weight is much higher than my current weight? How can I keep my fear of weight gain from getting in the way of my eating disorder recovery? Why is getting rid of the diet mentality and embracing Health At Every Size so important in eating disorder recovery? What are the risks of bulimia and other eating disorders to health? If higher weights don’t cause poor health, then what does? What are some strategies to help overcome internalized weight stigma? Why is it not recommended to jump into intuitive eating directly from an eating disorder? Where can I find support for eating disorder recovery? What if my finances are limited?

(Resources Mentioned: Intuitive Eating Fundamentals course, Food Psych® Podcast episode #172, Slides from Christy’s FNCE debate, Meredith Noble’s work and Food Psych® Podcast episode, Body Positive Instagram Accounts, Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor directory, Heidi Schauster’s work and Food Psych® Podcast episode, Jessi Haggerty’s work and Food Psych® Podcast episode, Haley Goodrich’s work and Food Psych® Podcast episode, Marci Evans’ work and latest Food Psych® Podcast episode, Project HEAL, Nalgona Positivity Pride)

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