It gives me great pleasure to work with others on their journey, to come alongside and strengthen what is already and always fundamentally available to each and every one of us. I see my work and experience and life as opportunities to bring more freedom, expression and vitality into the world. I do this mainly through working with people who struggle with issues around food – over-eating, poor hunger cues, binge-eating, etc. My expertise is working with people who have struggled, or are curious, confused, frustrated, or simply worn out about how their eating and food choices have impacted their lives.
As a former clinical dietitian, I was trained in and for years knew of only one way to “lose weight”, diet and exercise. Through my clinical experience, I was also faced with how this “scientific” and “dietary” information seemed insufficient, and also quite aggressive. I would be speaking with clients, and it felt as though I was offering them information, knowledge, but no understanding, no compassion and limited contextual information that would best support their needs and desired changes. The messages I kept hearing included:
Misaligned confidence: “Yes, I so want to make this change, and I’m worried I won’t have time or the energy to keep it going…I’m afraid I’ll just gain the weight back.” (fear based change making behaviour)
Poor self-view: “I just want to look acceptable/beautiful/skinny, so that I will finally be able to do what I want.” (waiting for external view of what is acceptable, what is lovable) (believing life is easier if I “fix” myself)
Misinformation: “I heard and read so much about this new diet or exercise routine and I really think it can help me” (a common misconception about what we read and what we think we need – or a disconnect from what our body really needs)
After years, countless efforts, much learning and finally understanding what is a “relationship with food” even means (this includes binge-eating, emotional eating, body-image issues, anti-feminist view of the diet industry, etc.) I finally understood how insufficient and helpless the “clinically accepted diet or weight-loss” methods are making individuals feel. So I went in search of different means of changing behaviours, understanding each individual person, bringing a more holistic view into the equation. This includes anything I could get my hands on, evidence-based practices, to complement and integrate my skills which were more aligned with the truth of what is truly needed in nutrition care:
- Completing a 6-month course and practice in Intuitive Eating (TM): evidence-based practice of learning that there is so much more depth and understanding to emotional eating, to binge-eating, and any other eating patterns that are hard to understand and move through.
- Over 200 hours of ongoing training in authentic dialogue/non-violent communication (NVC): a compassionate needs-based and mindbody connection way of being with oneself and others. Linking food patterns with needs, feelings, physical sensations, and connectedness as a whole.
- Continuing research on self-compassion and trauma as it relates to hunger and eating behaviours.
Overall, I continue to get more and more excited about the work I get to do and the privilege I have of witnessing people’s growth through self-awareness, compassion and deep understanding of who they are and what they need. A true honour.