Hi. I’m Amee. Amee Severson. I’m a Registered Dietitian.
And I’m a plus-sized one.
I’m bigger bodied.
I’m a different breed of dietitian. I teach and preach Health at Every Size and Intuitive Eating. I am a firm believer in trusting your body and learning to look at yourself with gratitude and respect.
So, you probably have some questions. What is Health at Every Size? What is Intuitive Eating? How can someone be healthy when they are fat? How did you decide to do this work?
Probably more too, but I’ll start slow. That’s a good thing about blogs. I can write as many as I want. I’ll let you now a bit about me.
So, like I said, I’m Amee. I’m a dietitian. I’m also big. I’ve spent my whole life going in and out of diets. I remember first being really concerned about my weight when I was in 4th grade. Feeling like I was bigger, like the number on the scale was too high. So, I started on a diet. I don’t remember what it was anymore, but I know it was the first of many. It was also the first of many trips to the doctor where I wouldn’t even get looked at without being told “you should probably not weigh this much”. I saw my first dietitian when I was about 13. My first medical professionally ordered calorie count. My obsession with measuring myself. And weighing myself. I tried that diet on and off for years. With some other ones I did with my mom. My whole family was either dieting themselves or trying to convince me to diet. And I did.
I had a short bout of eating pretty intuitively. This came right after a particularly nasty flare up of my lifelong IBS. I was really listening to my body and eating what made my body feel good. It was interesting. I didn’t know what I was doing, but I knew that I felt pretty decent. My family made worried comments at the time about my weight changes — because I wasn’t dieting, so why was my body changing? Then came the hardest time of my life.
I was 18 when my mom died. I was in a really dark place for a while. And listening to my body was the worst choice I could make. So, I didn’t. I shut out everything. And this is when things shifted from yo-yo dieting to binging. This is when my eating disorder really took hold. And still, my family was just “worried about my weight”. There were so many other things to worry about.
I lived with this for quite a while. I sought counseling. I researched. I self-diagnosed. And I self-treated with more diets and “lifestyle changes” and restriction. I also self-treated with deciding to become an RD. I started the program and had hopes that this would “fix me”. It would be the thing that finally did it and make me the right size! Nope.
After I completed my program, I found a therapist who helped me find Health at Every Size and Intuitive Eating. From that moment on, my future as a dietitian was destined for something else. Not what I originally had planned. I could no longer push for diets, be another voice telling people that they should change their body, that they are wrong. So, I decided to be the voice that I needed to hear. So, here I am today.
If you found this blog, you are probably looking for a dietitian’s advice, or diet plans, or maybe you know a bit about Health at Every Size (HAES) or Intuitive Eating and just love to learn more.
Just in case, here is a brief overview of my basic beliefs and philosophies.
Intuitive Eating. What is that?
Maybe you’ve heard of a version of it. I think it’s made the rounds a few times now.
Intuitive Eating is about learning to re-establish your connection to your own self. I might be an expert in nutrition, but I am not an expert in you. You are. Intuitive Eating is about helping you truly believe in that statement, helping you truly trust that your body is it’s own expert.
Intuitive Eating was coined by Elyse Resch and Evelyn Tribole — 2 dietitians that noticed that continually prescribing diets and intentional weight loss was more likely to cause weight gain and disordered eating. They found another way.
There are 10 principles to Intuitive Eating:
- Reject the Diet Mentality
- Honor Your Hunger
- Make Peace With Food
- Challenge the Food Police
- Respect Your Fullness
- Discover the Satisfaction Factor
- Honor Your Feelings
- Respect Your Body
- Exercise — Feel the Difference
- Honor Your Body with Gentle Nutrition
These principles pretty much each deserve their own post, so I’m not going into details here.
Health At Every Size is a concept founded by Dr. Linda Bacon and Lucy Aphramor. It is the evidence-based belief that health behaviors are more important to overall health than the size of the body itself. And that by modifying health behaviors and recognizing other contributors to health (like socioeconomic status, genetics, environment, etc), we are more likely to achieve favorable outcomes than just telling fat people to lose weight (ie weight stigma, something that deserves it’s own post as well).
This philosophy means that I will never predict what someone’s weight will do and will not prescribe a weight loss meal plan. Because I can’t guarantee anything, and we know that it is more likely to cause harm than any good whatsoever.
So, here is your first little taste of my work and my life.
I look forward to sharing more with you, both personally and professionally.