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  • We live in a society that is obsessed with weight and thinness as markers of health, moral superiority. Everything from how we eat to whether or not we exercise becomes a barometer of our worth and value in this world.

    From the time we are very young we are taught about “healthy” and “unhealthy” food and that being fat is bad. In fact, being called “fat” is considered a insult. I’m sure many of you think it’s rude to call someone fat.

    The medical community scares us with “obesity is a disease”, the “obesity epidemic” and lots of scary statistics on how being fat will kill you (it won’t).

    How many diets have you been on? Why do you think they haven’t worked? I bet you think it was your fault.

    Did you know that over 30 years of research has shown that 95% of dieters fail to keep their weight off? Most regain it within 2-5 years and some gain back even more than they lost.

    You didnt fail, the DIET did and it is supposed to because a)your body is amazing and it is protecting you b)diet companies KNOW you will fail and then try again. That is why it is  a $75 billion industry.

    I am inviting you to reject all of these ideas  you have about health and what your body “should” be. Instead of hating, rejecting, being ashamed of and then trying to shrink your body, why not truly honor your healthy by learning to ACCEPT IT and RESPECT it?

    This is really important for those of you who are raising kids as well.

    I welcome you to engage with me in a discussion about diet culture, weight stigma, fat phobia and body image. We will discuss what HEALTH really is and how we can take care of it.

     

     

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    Keepsmiling
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    How do I know when it is time to seek help?

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    Rachel Tuchman
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    You can seek help at any point. You don’t need to wait until you are in a crisis and you shouldn’t wait.

    A prevention rather than intervention approach is really critical for mental health.

    question

    I am aware that a large number of children within our community visit a dietician or nutrionist for weight loss.  Is this recommended for young children and younger teens when they are moderately overweight rather then obese or should the focus be more generally on healthy eating and  growth spurts to even the weight out?

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    Rachel Tuchman
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    Before I answer your question what is “overweight”? Over WHAT weight? Bodies come in all shapes and sizes and the term overweight seems to insinuate that there is one ideal weight. There’s not.

    Also, the term obese is a term that was invented by the BMI and it’s completely arbitrary especially because the classification of what is considered “obese” is has changed over the years.

    The word alone is stigmatizing as it means “having eaten until fat.” That being said, let’s use the words fat or bigger body.

    Now, a child can be in a bigger body and have no health issues. Weight is not an indicator of health. If there are issues that have come up in blood work you should advocate for your child and ask how these would be dealt with for a child in a smaller body.

    If there are nutrition concerns that need to be addressed then this should be done but a child should NEVER be taken to see a dietitian or nutritionist. If there are concerns, the parents should go by themselves to a Health At Every Size RD and discuss how they can implement a more positive and health promoting environment for EVERYONE in the home.

    A child should never be single out due to his or her size and they should NEVER be put on on a diet.

    The American Academy of pediatrics has warned argue the dangers of putting children on diets.

    Instead of teaching dieting, teach your child to listen to and honor their internal cues. Our bodies are built to know how to feed themselves. Get them involved in the kitchen and let them help plan meals. Learn about the division of responsibility by Ellyn Satter. Get active as a family and NEVER DISCUSS WEIGHT WITH THEM.

    Thanks for getting this topic off the ground Rachel!

    Thanks for shedding light on such an important topic fraught with misunderstandings & confusion.

    Looking forward to seeing where the conversation goes.

     

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    Rachel Tuchman
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    Thank you ?

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    undecided
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    Thank you so much for this topic!

    I’m wondering though-you say accept and respect your body, as opposed to trying to shrink it/diet/etc-part of respecting it means taking care of it properly, and that can mean saying no to when you want to eat unhealthy foods/for reasons other than physical hunger.

    Is there a place, then, for eating unhealthy things or for eating just because you want to, despite not being hungry- neither of those seem to be respecting your body-? Or is saying “i accept that my body/mind wants xyz but because I respect it, I’m not going to eat it” just an extension of diet culture hiding under a facade of being healthy? What about emotional hunger vs physical hunger? Isn’t it better to try to figure out what’s causing the former rather than trying to physically feed it?

     

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    Rachel Tuchman
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    We eat for so many more reasons than nutrition. Eating is a physical and emotional experience. Emotional eating gets a bad rap but emotions are very much a part of eating.

    We eat at happy times and sad times; holidays, celebrations, family get togethers, milestones etc. Food has the power to give us love, comfort (hence “comfort food”), and build memories.

    The “health” of food is totally subjective. It’s about so much more than the nutritional content. Sometimes the “healthy” choice the food that we’ve been told is bad for us. Enjoying ice cream with your kids on a hot day, having that birthday cake at your birthday party, enjoying the cookies your little ones baked excitedly for you etc.

    There was an interesting study that showed that people who enjoyed their food actually got more nutritional benefits eating “less nutrient dense” (Thai food) food than people who were eating “healthier” food (salad) and not enjoying it.

    Our mind and our body are very much connected and work together. When we feel stressed we can be eating the “healthiest” diet and still not be honoring our health.

    When we allow ourselves to truly listen to our bodies we make it possible to nourish ourselves in the most authentically healthy ways.

     

     

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