Dieticians, body image, intuitive eating & set point.
Yesterday I spent the day at the Duchossois Center for Advanced Medicine meeting with a Celiac dietician through the Center for Digestive Diseases at the University of Chicago (wow, that’s a lot of important sounding words). This was a big appointment for me because I had only ever seen one dietician and that RD focused on pediatrics and also wasn’t very helpful or encouraging at all.
My appointment yesterday was amazing, refreshing and was the first doctor I have seen in a while that gave me hope for the future. I had a list of questions & concerns and she answered all of them with respect + knowledge. One of my concerns was the amount of weight I had gained in the past four years. I have been following an intense & restrictive diet (for health reasons & numerous food sensitivities) since August and I had lost some weight but the number on the scale had leveled out at about 175.
I asked about that number… if there could be something else going on, if there were more foods I should remove from my diet, if I should just starve myself, etc. The rest of the conversation shocked me and honestly, it really changed my mindset about weight, body image & all of the physical issues I had been battling for years.
She reviewed my current eating plan, my supplements, my routine and told me my weight is exactly where it is supposed to be. She told me that I had most likely reached my set point weight.
According to research, your set point is a range of 10-20 pounds where your body is at it’s natural ability to function. Genes and your biological makeup help to determine your set point also taking in numerous factors throughout different periods of your life (ex. if a woman is pregnant her set point might shift to reflect that). In basic terms are bodies naturally have the power to regulate & maintain hunger, digestion and metabolism – however, each individual person will have a different set point weight that best allows the body to naturally regulate these things.
(if you want to learn more visit: https://www.mirror-mirror.org/set.tm )
Right Where I Need to Be
My dietician explained set point to me and I felt a wave of relief. She was telling me that I am exactly where I need to be. My healthy lifestyle has allowed my body to morph into the size and shape it naturally wants to be. I was thinking about this whole conversation while driving home and it honestly made me emotional. For the past four years (especially this past year), I was looking at my clean diet and wondering why the heck I wasn’t losing weight. A flood of thoughts and concerns would burden me.. do I just need to stop eating all together? Do I add a weight loss diet into my routine? What? How? Why?
Practicing a healthy balanced lifestyle is super easy… eat if you are hungry, stop eating when you are full, drink plenty of water, nourish your body with a balanced & colorful diet. It is really that simple. The problem is that we have been conditioned by the media, society and even medical professionals that all bodies need to fit into this “one size fits all” box when it reality, that is the farthest thing from the truth.
This entire appointment with my dietician challenged my personal beliefs about my body, the size I “needed” to get to, the amount of weight I “had” to lose, etc. It was overwhelming to hear that aside from my health issues, my weight, my body, my size is right where it needs to be. I’m not sure what made me so emotional when I spent time processing this but it made an impact on me.
This Is Me.
The reality is that my set point weight is higher than what society deems as “beautiful”, my body is bigger than the average woman, I take up more physical space than the supermodels walking the runway. This is who I am. This is how my body was designed and there is NOTHING wrong with that. This is me. A mix of my mom, my dad and beautifully crafted by the Creator.
sending peace & love – kendall
AMAZING FEMINIST BOOKS & RESOURCES:
- Full Frontal Feminism by Jessica Valenti
- Girls & Sex by Peggy Orenstein
- Beyond Beautiful by Anuschka Rees
- Intuitive Eating by Elyse Resch & Evelyn Tribole
- The Fuck It Diet by Caroline Dooner