Eating disorders exist on a continuum, with a clinical diagnosis such as Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, and Binge Eating Disorder on one end, and thoughts and behaviours that can lead to an eating disorder such as poor self esteem, low body image, use of diet pills, and yo yo dieting, on the other end.
Myths and misconceptions surrounding eating disorders and disordered eating thoughts and behaviours are rampant in our society. Unfortunately, this increases the stigma for those in need of support, and enforces the denial that most often accompanies an eating disorder to some degree.
The reality is, as women, most of us have experienced some sort of disordered eating thoughts and behaviours. 97-98 percent of women are unhappy with their bodies. If a woman is not on a diet, and feels good about her body she is considered statistically abnormal in Canada!
Eating disorders also affect men. Currently, 1 out of every 10 patients with Anorexia Nervosa is a male. In the past, for men the disorder often focused on strong versus week, rather than thin versus fat, however this is is changing as the thin ideal of beauty portrayed and perpetuated in the media has shifted.
Sadly, it has become socially acceptable to talk bad about our own bodies, and others', restrict our food, and judge our self worth by the number on the scale.
From February 2006 through March 2012, I was employed at an eating disorder support and resource centre where I learned a tremendous amount about eating disorders. This valuable experience, my education in holistic nutrition, and my personal journey, has provided me a unique perspective in supporting those seeking to heal their relationship with food, and their bodies.
Eating disorders are not about food. The eating disorder is generally in place because it is a (unhealthy) coping skill for dealing with the underlying factors and stresses in an individual's life. For this reason, focusing on food alone is not ideal. Nutrition & Wellness sessions are an important piece of the healing or recovery process.
Whether you have a clinical diagnosis and are in recovery, or find yourself somewhere along the continuum and are seeking help, you may find my approach helpful.
As mentioned above, recovering from a clinical eating disorder usually involves a team approach.
The nutrition piece often involves dietary advice based on Canada's Food Guide and calories. My approach is much different, focusing on the quality of food to build a strong foundation, addressing underlying deficiencies, demonstrating sensitivity to triggers, and developing intuitive and mindful eating when appropriate. Each individual is unique, and what I bring to your sessions will vary based on your needs.