“Learning to love your body in a capitalist society is like trying to dry yourself in the ocean. We need a socio-economic, political, societal change. So there will be a whole generation where no one learns that you have to be thin in order to deserve respect and happiness.”
The process of healing our relationship with food and body is one of unlearning and learning. We need to unlearn all of the lies we have been told about food, body size, dieting, and weight loss attempts. We need to unlearn the blame and shame we have been taught to put on our own bodies for not fitting what society has told us they need to fit. We learn about the possibility of freedom and liberation that we were never told about. We learn about the process of healing that recognizes that our bodies were never the problem. We learn about the power of community and about the hard and freeing path of walking away from diet culture. There is liberation waiting for us on the other side.
“It is important to name what you are buried in.”
-Hilary Kinary, MS, LPC
The paradigm shift from a weight focused approach to one focused on weight inclusivity and fat liberation is a significant one for most people. We have all been impacted by diet culture and have been taught that if we are not able to lose weight and keep it off we are to blame. Dana Sturtevant and Hilary Kinavey of Be Nourished point out that “most of us have been indoctrinated into a dieting culture before we could consent.” It is no surprise then, that most people who come to see me want to lose weight. Many have been dieting and weight cycling for years. Many have never heard that there is another path available. I turn to Health at Every Size(R), fat liberation, Body Trust(R), social justice, trauma informed care, non-dieting, and intuitive eating to introduce my clients to a different lens.
In this practice we believe:
- Weight is not an indicator of health
- Pursuing health is not a moral obligation
- Dismantling systems of oppression is part of our responsibility as therapists
- Centering those most marginalized helps all of us
- While weight stigma harms all of us, it harms the fattest bodies the most
- Recognizing and naming our privilege is important
- The relationship between therapist and client is central
- That all coping is rooted in wisdom
- That therapy is a collaboration
- That any focus on weight loss is harmful and unethical
- You cannot tell if, or what kind, of eating disorder someone has by the size of their body
Whether you are new to this paradigm, or have been doing healing work within this paradigm for many years, I am honored to go on your journey with you.