“We, as a culture, have been outsourcing our body’s own intuition about food and movement to someone else.”
Nutrition is complicated and nuanced. Every year it seems like there’s a new diet, a new fad ‘guaranteed’ to help you lose weight. Every day we see ads telling us what we should look like, even if we haven’t looked like that for years. Maybe you have found yourself wondering where you can find helpful information and advice for yourself and not someone else.
If so, you need not look any further than CEWT’s upcoming Healthy at Every Size course.
Wellness for You, Not Your Neighbor
Natalie Monney, the instructor for the course and the one quoted at the start of the article, has long been passionate about nutrition. After her kids moved out, she decided to do something with that passion and enrolled in the Nutritional Therapy Association’s course to become a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner.
Throughout the process she discovered a few things. First, nutrition was much more complex than we are often led to believe; what might work for one person may not work for another. Additionally—because of the mixed and often misleading messages people are bombarded with regularly—disordered eating and eating disorders were unfortunately commonplace and often went unaddressed.
Through her training and experience, Natalie decided she wanted “to become part of the solution by helping people make peace with food and their bodies, and not to further perpetuate the problem by helping people stay stuck within the walls of diet and wellness culture.”
Her course is designed to help you find what works best for you, rather than relying on advice that is generalized. While nutrition is a focus of the course, it is more about finding an approach to overall wellness and will also include sleep optimization, stress management, mindset and environmental toxins, and exercise.
Natalie recognizes that sometimes, even when you eat right and exercise, your overall weight might not change. This is normal, she assures. “The truth is, there is no one perfect diet for all humans, we are all different and have different needs. I want to help people figure that out. To teach them how to listen to their own body again.”
The ultimate goal is to feel as good and as healthy as you can possibly feel. This is achieved through paying attention to what your body is telling you and addressing your individual needs. Being able to make peace with food is the first step to nutrition.
Healthy at Every Size
Over the past century or so, great strides have been made in the field of nutrition. More is known about vitamins and minerals, proteins, carbohydrates and fats than ever before. As Natalie acknowledges, however, with all this new information has come confusion. What is the ideal diet? Is there even one? What body weight should you be and how do you get there?
The deluge of information has hidden the greatest indicator of our health, our own body. Focusing on diets and exercise in order to achieve an ‘ideal’ weight and body image, Natalie argues, is what has led to the epidemic of eating disorders and disordered eating so many people face nowadays.
As Natalie puts it, “Not only is [the belief that we are all supposed to look a certain way] not true, but it is not even possible. Diet and exercise is a very small part of what actually makes us look the way we do.” Despite this, many people do all they can to conform to this ideal body image, a path that often leads to disordered eating and unhealthy habits.
In short, your body knows what it needs and listening to it is the most important thing you can do for your overall health and wellness. This may not lead you to fit the idealized sense of what people should look like and that’s ok. What matters is if you feel healthy and are at peace with what you eat.
Natalie’s hope is that through the course, she can “shed light on the dangers of some common dieting practices, help people figure out what works best for them, and [help them] finally make peace with food and their bodies so they can live the rest of their lives free from the confines of diet culture.”
If you are looking to learn more about nutrition and wellness, check out the registration page for the Healthy at Every Size course, found here. Additionally, be sure to check CEWT’s podcast episode where we sat down and talked with Natalie about nutrition and the course.