I often struggle when first seeing a new client who no longer can stand living in the emotional roller coaster and turmoil that is diet culture, but does not know where/how to start to embrace the 'Health at Every Size' and non diet principles. More importantly , they don't even realise that this is even a possibility.
It has taken me hundreds of hours (literally) of listening to podcasts, reading, webinars and attending professional development days to see how diet culture manipulates, oppresses and takes away a person's ability to be their true, authentic self. I hear it from my clients who are living it. I emotionally identify with them and so desperately want them to see what I can see.
My struggle as a dietitian is: How do I get this information across in a first appointment....a limited time that will often bring up so much hurt and tears that the bigger picture of why those hurt and tears are there can not be adequately discussed due to the immediate pain and distress that brings this person in front of me. I hear you. I have been there.
So, I have been spending time thinking about this. What are the things that have helped me? Where have my 'aha' or 'lightbulb' moments been? What are the podcasts / articles/ books / resources that have really influenced my way of looking at the world, both from my own perspective, and the bigger picture. What can you read/listen to, think about in order to break free from diet culture?
So, this is my list...the things that just get you started. I will add to this as things come up.
My Book recommendations:
Tip: If you don't have a lot of time to sit and read, then download ebooks to listen to as you drive / walk / commute / clean the house / lie on the couch with your eyes closed etc
Intuitive Eating -3rd edition (Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch):
To learn how to trust your body and eat in a way that nourishes without guilt, Intuitive Eating is IT. There are that many 'aha' and 'OMG' moments as you read this you will get why it has transformed lives.
Body of Truth (Harriet Brown) and Body Respect (Linda Bacon And Lucy Aphramor):
These shine a light on the Bull S#!T that we have been fed and made to believe about our bodies, and also what the science around weight loss actually says (hint...diets do not lead to long term weight loss and better health). If you don't want to purchase them, check our your local library (ask to get them in if they don't have them already).
Just Eat It - How intuitive eating can help you get your shit together around food ( Laura Thomas PhD)
If you have listened to Laura's podcast 'Don't Salt My Game' and just love it, this book with all it's wisdom, touching on so many aspects that help with recovery from disordered eating will absolutely not disappoint!
Body Kindness (Rebecca Scritchfield) and Mindful Moment (Louise Adams):
In recovering from diet culture, disordered eating or really just trying to be the best version of yourself that you can be, these two books are all about self compassion and looking after yourself (because this is what you deserve). Self compassion and shame resilience are also 2 of the key factors in helping to overcome eating disorders.......such an important concept / pearl of wisdom to embrace.
Self Compassion (Kristen Neff)
While this book is amazing, if you first want to gain some insight into self compassion and how it can help, click below.
Eat Like An Athlete (Simone Austin Advance Sports Dietitian)
Perhaps I am biased because Simone and I met in our first year of University, studied the next 5 years together to become dietitians and have remained great friends, but she has a really down to earth, non-diet approach in her way of talking to athletes. Whether you are an older person looking to be more active, would like to improve your performance at the Sunday morning Park Run, have children involved in sports but want them to learn to eat without diet culture interfering, or are a more serious athlete, this book translates the science into practical day to day tips and information.
Anti-Diet: Reclaim Your Time, Money, Well Being and Happiness Through INTUITIVE EATING (Christy Harrison MPH RD)
The most current Anti Diet book at the time of updating this blog (Feb 2020), Christy has really captured and pieced together in one book the background, evidence, concepts and systems that have contributed to current diet culture, and how you can reject the current weight stigmatising paradigm, and move towards body acceptance and intuitive eating.
My Podcast Episode Recommendations:
There are sooooo many incredible podcasts and corresponding episodes to help surround you in the "HAES bubble". The more you listen, the more you know You Are Not Alone.
My strategy and useful tip that allows you to immerse yourself in this bubble and listen to more episodes more quickly is to listen to podcasts at 1.5 x speed!! People may sound a bit high pitched at first, but you get use to it:) Why not 2.0 x speed?? My brain wasn't able to cope...but yours might!
To get to know the Principles of Intuitive Eating either listen to Laura Thomas's podcast Don't Salt My Game Episode #85 (already linked to in a previous blog) on 'What the eff is the deal with Intuitive Eating?'
Or for a more in-depth discussion, go to:
RD Real Talk - Starting on 2/1/18, each of the 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating are discussed with a number of guests in a 1hour episode for each principle.
If you are wondering what on earth is Health At Every Size, check out Christy Harrison's Food Psych episode 127: Intuitive Eating & Health At Every Size FAQ's or the ASDAH website (Association for Size Diversity and Health). Her 4 part series (215 - 218 and then 219 corresponding to the release of her book Anti Diet (see below), are great listens also. I would start with 219, then go back to 215).
Other Podcasts that are on my 'subscribed' list and are there to be an amazing support if you decide to get angry about diet culture, and want to give the middle finger to everything that it represents, then have a listen to:
All Fired Up - Louise Adams
Body Kindness - Rebecca Scritchfield
Do No Harm - DeAun Nelson (* particularly for Health Professionals )
Don't Salt My Game - Laura Thomas
ED Matters - Gurze/Salucore
EveryBody Podcast - Daria Matza
Food Psych - Christy Harrison
Finding Body Freedom - Caitlin Croteau
Nutrition Matters - Paige Smathers
Love Food - Julie Duffy Dillon
PCOS and Food Peace - Julie Duffy Dillon
Real Health Radio - Seven Health
The BodyLove Project - Jessie Haggerty
Wondering what diet culture is?
A couple of useful websites to start with:_
https://self-compassion.org (in particular some meditation exercises from below)
What about the evidence?_
The Weight Inclusive versus Weight Normative Approach to Health: Evaluating the Evidence for Prioritizing Well-Being over Weight Loss
Weight Science: Evaluating the Evidence for a Paradigm Shift
Analysing 9 Years of data from UK General Practice records shows the unlikelihood of current strategies leading to a 5% weight loss, and even less likelihood that it will be kept off at the 2-5 year mark .
The Association For Size Diversity And Health (ASDAH) Journal Articles Page
Obesity Stigma: Important Considerations for Public Health
Looking forward to hearing what you think
(Last update Feb 2020)
My favourite podcasts, blog posts and articles.......