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  • Writer's picturePaige Smathers

Of Course You've Changed

Hi everyone. Long time no talk. I’ve been incredibly busy over the last few months. It’s been an exciting time for me professionally and for my business. Over the last few months, I’ve rebranded my business, hired a registered dietitian to work with me, spoke at the Utah Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Annual Meeting about intuitive eating and Health at Every Size, hosted my first ever in-person workshop on mindful eating, put on a webinar about a dietitian’s role in addiction recovery and released a 10-week curriculum for dietitians to implement in the substance use disorders treatment setting for weekly nutrition education groups. Phew, it's been busy!

But I wanted to get back to blogging and back to connecting to all of you through writing.

Lately, I’ve seen a big shift in the way we’re talking about food and bodies in our culture at large. Sure, the typical diet-y rhetoric is still going strong, but there’s definitely a wave of folks speaking out about the dangers of dieting and standing strong in messages of compassion toward ourselves and toward bodies of all sizes. I’m so happy to see this shift and so glad that people are feeling safe to explore a weight inclusive approach to health and nutrition! It really warms my heart.

I’m also seeing folks who have shifted their opinions from a more diet-focus to an approach that aligns with Health at Every Size receiving backlash from their followers who are upset that they’ve changed their stance or approach to food and eating. And, for some, it seems that this shift has even created anger about the shift.

Here’s my two cents on this topic of changing your mind about how you approach food, health, eating and nutrition.

OF COURSE YOU’VE CHANGED YOUR MIND. Of course you’ve evolved. Of course you are talking about these things differently today than you were a year ago. Of course you are a better clinician now than you were when you started.

I struggled to even understand why this could ever be a bad thing. And, I struggle to understand why anyone would be upset that people change their mind or alter their approach. To me, this is essential to providing ethical, evidence-based care. When you know better, you do better, just like Maya Angelou said.

I personally believe that you can’t do the work of sitting with people who are in the midst of a deep struggle with food and body image and not change. I change and learn every single day that I do this work. Every day I learn a little more about how to be a bit more sensitive. I learn about how to be more effective in communicating nutrition messaging that’s helpful, not harmful. I learn a little more about what it’s like to live in different skin. And, to me, that’s powerful, important work that changes you.

So, if you’ve ever been the brunt of someone angry that you’ve changed your approach to nutrition and health, whether you’re a lay person or a clinician, my response is: of course you have. And, that’s a good thing. And, that’s something you’ll continue to do, and so will I because we’re committed to continuing to learn and grow.

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