”It is the ethical responsibility of anyone working or studying within human health to acknowledge and critically reflect upon their weight bias, no matter how uncomfortable it feels to challenge one’s own level of privilege. Practicing without doing so is to practice negligently and infringes upon the rule of ‘first, do no harm’.”
I read this the other day on Instagram and it stuck with me.
And now, let me tell you a story:
I went to see my counselor the other day (yes, I see a counselor and I am not ashamed to say it) – and neither should you be. Sometimes we just need someone to talk to about life’s all ups and downs. When I say I’m gonna heal myself I do it from all different angles.
I’m getting off topic here – anyway…
I was talking about myself and my future profession and everything I said he wrote down on the big whiteboard – you know, so everything you say is really confronting – because it’s right in front of you in big black letters. – And that’s when you realize how stupid everything negative thing you say about yourself sounds.
I spoke, he wrote. One thing I said was ‘I don’t look the part’. He wrote it down, and I just looked at it. And the first thing that popped into my head was ‘Are you Freaking kidding me?!’, where did I get this from?
Here I am, advocating Health at Every Size and the non-diet approach and this is what I’ve got going on in my mind, still?! Why do I put my value into the way I look? Why do we put our value into the way we look?
My counselor asked me why I thought that way, and I said ‘well, if you look at all the instagramers who run a health page, they are SO thin (I bet you my mum is rolling her eyes no)! They have a six-pack, all of them! And most of them don’t even have the appropriate education or knowledge to be providing health advice, but still they do – and they get heard because they look the way they do!’
Let me just say, it’s okay to have a six-pack, it’s okay if you don’t. You are beautiful either way. But you know how easy it is to thing negatively about yourself? That was the situation I was in at that moment.
I thought that I wouldn’t get heard as a nutritionist just because I don’t have a six-pack. (This is what I seriously think sometimes, I’m embarrassed just writing it – but I need to do this (YOU ARE NOT ALONE!).
My counselor just looked at me and said:
‘Is that how you picture nutritionists? With a six-pack? I picture a scientist with a lab coat and glasses. Because it’s a science subject.’
Yeah, let’s face it, nutrition is the science of food so he does have a point.
From this I learnt that I’m gonna continue to work on myself and also motivate others to be proud of their body, no matter what they may look like. I work on this every single day, but I’ve come a long way in these last three year since I started to study.