I unintentionally suffered from disordered eating as a result of dieting to lose weight that I didn’t need to lose in the first place.
Along this personal journey, I’ve learned to appreciate my body’s internal hunger and fullness cues and to give myself permission to enjoy “good” and “bad” foods. I’m thankful for learning about Ellyn Satter’s Division of Responsibility in raising my children to become competent eaters.
My personal journey of dieting started in high school as a result of wanting to lose weight that I didn’t need to lose in the ‘80s, the height of the dieting craze. I thought and was told that dieting was the answer. I tried many of the commercial diet programs. Now I know these diet programs were contributing to my disordered eating behaviors such as restriction followed by overeating, sneaking food, often times thinking about food and personal weight fluctuations.
I received my BS in Dietetics from UW Madison and attained Registered Dietitian (RD) status after an internship and passing the national dietetics exam. My dietetics degree did not help my disordered eating behaviors. In fact, my degree seemed to feed into my disordered eating.
After college, I reconsidered many of my core dietetics beliefs after joining a program that helped me listen to my hunger and fullness cues. The freedom I felt lead me to a strong desire to help others in their journey to peace with food and eating with a goal to give my clients permission to stop dieting and eat foods they enjoy.
I’ve spent 20 years raising four kids to become competent eaters by applying Ellyn Satter’s Division of Responsibility (DOR). This philosophy says children should be given a variety of options, should not be controlled with such common good intentioned tactics of ‘just one more bite or ‘eat your vegetables first and then dessert’ and it allows them to indirectly self regulate at a young age.
I am often asked if my family eats healthy after people learn that I’m a dietitian. I’m happy to inform them that we are not afraid of sugar or any other culturally forbidden food and that all foods are permitted in our house. It seems that people are looking for a simple answer for how to eat perfectly and the truth is that nutrition science is complex but eating doesn’t have to be.
My family has permission to eat foods they enjoy.
My work experience for the past 10 years includes…
• Partial Hospitalization (PHP)
• Intensive outpatient (IOP)
My treatment experience involves working with all eating disorder diagnosis and with all age groups from adolescents to adults including:
• Anorexia Nervosa
• Bulimia Nervosa
• Binge Eating Disorder
• Otherwise Specified Feeding and Eating Disorders
My training is in the How to Eat (HTE) method for treating The Dieting Casualty (TDC) through The Ellyn Satter Institute. The How to Eat (HTE) method provides focused eating exercises designed to stabilize eating while becoming a competent eater. This transition may happen after eating disorder treatment and in transition out of the dieting mind set. I have also been trained and certified in Intuitive Eating.
My memberships include:
• AND Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
• WAND Wisconsin Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
• IADEP International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals
• IFEDD International Federation of Eating Disorder Dietitians
Continuing education is a passion and a requirement to maintaining my status as a Registered Dietitian. My continuing education focuses on eating disorder recovery. Mentoring is a priority for me and I have received supervision from Jessica Setnick, MS, RD, CEDRD-S, Jennifer Harris, RDN, LN CEDRD, Evelyn Tribole, MS, RDN, CEDRD-s, and Cristen Harris, PhD, RDN, CSSD, CD, CEP, FAND.
My current status is working towards becoming a CEDRD (Certified Eating Disorder Registered Dietitian).