Your weight is not a disease
Nutrition is important. Good nutrition is important. Health is important. You know what’s not important? Weight.
Weight is often a symptom. Of lifestyle. Of disordered eating. Of genetics. Of illness. Of anything. You know what it is not? The same for everyone. You cannot, I repeat, you cannot judge someone’s health by their weight.
Healthy people come in all shapes and sizes, and colors, and genders, and sexual orientations. But really, you cannot look at person and judge their health. You cannot tell a person that weight loss will solve any medical issue they may be having. So many patients with Type 2 diabetes go into bariatric surgery hoping that it will cure their diabetes- you know what doesn’t always happen? Curing your diabetes.
For quite a while, I was struggling with how I would act as a dietitian who believes so strongly in Health at Every Size and is so strongly anti-diet. But, one day, it came to me. If a disease state can be treated with medical nutrition therapy, then great. A goal of that therapy should be to help control the disease progression. You know what it shouldn’t be? To lose weight. You can encourage a patient or client with elevated cholesterol to avoid saturated fats and make choices to eat more unsaturated fats and higher fiber options. But weight loss should not even be a passing thought in your head. You can tell a diabetic patient how important it is to manage blood sugar levels and to maintain a steady carb intake, but weight loss should never ever be a goal. If a person has not been honoring their internal hunger cues- we have no idea what their body will do once those cues are honored.
And it doesn’t matter.
Maybe I became a dietitian in order to manage my eating disorder. To find a cure for what I considered at the time, the disease of being overweight. But I found something so much better. I am not in the business of putting someone on a diet or telling someone to fix their physical body. I am in the business of helping people heal their relationship with food and become strong individuals with a healthy relationship to food.
And that is exactly what I am going to do…. Stay tuned.