Ever listen to how kids and teens speak about their bodies? Have you overheard kids teasing a person because how their body looks? Wonder how young people already know those crappy diet rules? Let’s be a part of the culture change to give access to Food Peace™ to all bodies! Listen to the latest Love Food Podcast as I give my top 5 ways to promote Food Peace in the classroom.
thirdwheelED is a social media advocacy platform that raises awareness of eating disorders in LGBTQ+ communities. Started by a queer couple whose writing addresses the intersectionality of eating disorders and body image, including gender dysphoria; a queer identity; trauma; and gender identity and expression, CJ and OJ provide a dual perspective of eating disorder recovery through the lens of a nonbinary person in recovery and of a nontraditional family carer, who just happens to also be a registered dietitian! CJ and OJ would love to work with eating disorder professionals on cultivating inclusive treatment for eating disorders in LGBTQ+ communities and are available to discuss training, webinars, and speaking engagements. You can follow them on instagram, facebook, and twitter @thirdwheeled or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This episode’s Dear Food letter:
Since I was diagnosed with an eating disorder over 4 years ago, our relationship went from one of anger and neglect, to one of cautious optimism. Over years of intensive work, I have slowly regained trust in both you, as well as my body’s ability to use you. Rather that defining your existence by calories, weights, and other numbers, I now see you something to be valued in your entirety. I enjoy you in social events and gatherings, as well as on my own. I’m not longer shackled by the rules that I thought I needed in order to be safe. While I am still learning to appreciate the body you gave me, I have fallen head over heels in love with the life you have allowed me to live. I never would have believed that our relationship could evolve into what it is today, and for that, I am grateful.
My question, Food, is how do I talk about you with others? I’m thinking specifically, with regards to my work. I currently work as a reading specialist at a school for kids with learning differences. My students seem to have a lot of questions about food. They comment on what they are eating as well as what I am eating. Since my work is all one-on-one, I have a lot of time to address their concerns head-on. I only have 7 students per year, and I get to know them very well. They are in middle school and high school. I want to let them know, Food, that you are safe and can be enjoyed. They don’t need to fear you like I used to. However, I don’t want to go against messages their parents’ may be sending them. If their parents tell them certain foods are off-limits, I feel like I can’t say otherwise. I tread a fine line as an educator between teaching my students what I think is true, and going against messages they may be receiving at home. Further, because this issue is so near to my heart, I find myself struggle when I hear my students agonizing over food choices. I want to help them, but I’m not sure if I would be overstepping. I don’t want to cross that boundary, especially because I do know that I have emotional investmentment, and somewhat biased opinion on the topic. I also recognize that I’m not always 100% equipped to talk about you, and I need to protect my own well-being.
I guess my question for you is, to what degree can and should I bring my knowledge of food peace to my role as an educator? How can I talk about you in a way that feels comfortable to me and does not overstep boundaries?
Teaching and learning
- 6 Keys To Food Peace™️ blog post
- The Best Podcasts to Help Your Relationship with Food from Popsugar
- Julie Dillon RD blog
- Link to subscribe to the Love Food’s Food Peace Syllabus.
- Eating Disorder Dietitians
Do you have a complicated relationship with food? I want to help! Send your Dear Food letter to LoveFoodPodcast@gmail.com.