Weight-neutral educators are professionals that provide diabetes care. They are physicians, nurse practitioners, therapist, dietitians, pharmacists, exercise specialist and diabetes educators who understand that you are the focus, not your weight. They also believe that health and effective diabetes care are the goals, not weight loss.
Why see a weight-neutral educator? These individuals understand the endless push to weigh “X,” and the sense that you are never ‘good enough’ because you weigh ‘Y” amount. They hear your fears of being weighed and empathize with your fatigue about the typical conversation regarding how your health would be ‘better’ if you lost a few pounds.
How are weight-neutral educators different? They recognize diet culture, which allows them to challenge weight-biased research. Weight-neutral professionals are committed to treating everybody with diabetes, prediabetes, elevated blood sugar, and PCOS regardless of size.
Choosing to see a weight-neutral educator is a decision to look at your values. If you value health and sanity over what you weigh, then a weight-neutral educator worth seeking out and including in your diabetes team. Together, you can work on the behaviors you identify and wish to change. These can include many things, from medication adjustment, dietary change or how you cope with the stressful situations in life. Pausing as asking,
- What am I using as a force to change and to challenge myself?
- Is this force based in self-kindness and self-acceptance?
- Can I learn to be curious and discover what is hunger or fullness?
- How does food feel in my body?
- Do I need more support, guidance, ideas on how to be at peace with the struggles and joy in my life?
- Do I value changing my diet, or activity?
- Am I turning to food, alcohol, binge-watching TV to cope with life?
- Can I accept my diagnosis? What supports do I need for me to “be with” myself, and stop turning away from my basic human needs for care and wellness?
- Am I up to date on my learning about diabetes? Would learning more about this condition help me find answers and solutions?
- At this moment, what is this a productive place for me to spend my time and attention?
A weight-neutral educator digs deep into the unspoken reasons surrounding food, eating, and health. They put you, not a chart or a scale, in charge of how you will manage your blood sugar.
Here are some weight-neutral professionals and recommended resources to guide you.
Experiences Living in a Larger Body with Diabetes
- Jan Chait writes, “Nearly two years ago, I wrote a blog entry (“‘Fat and Lazy,’ or Type 2 Diabetes — Which Came First?”) telling about how I asked a local endocrinologist what he would tell me first if I were his patient. He then began to pontificate about how I needed to lose weight. Never once did he say he would help me get my blood glucose down. It’s not — as I assume many of us know from experience — an uncommon problem. But a health-centered program called Health at Every Size (HAES) would like to change that.”
Video – Kori Kosta RD Managing Diabetes with a Mindful Eating Approach
Handout -Am I Hungry? Simple Tips for Mindful Meal Planning Using the Diabetes Plate
- Does the non-diet approach make diabetes worse? Food Love, a podcast with Julie Duffy Dillion
- Dare not to diet, podcast with Aaron and Glenys dive deep into a discussion on non-diet, HAES-based care for diabetes with Megrette Fletcher, MEd, RD, CDE.
- The Center for Mindful Eating, offers a teleconference Diabetes Educator and co-author of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat with Diabetes will review research that shows how awareness can improve blood glucose control. This webinar also has a handout of additional resources.
- Diabetes Self-management looks at Intuitive Eating.
- Dances with Fat states, “The first question I always ask when someone blames a medical issue on my weight is “Do thin people get this thing?” The answer is always “yes” so my next question is then “How do you treat it in thin people?” I want to try that before I try a risky prescription that has a 95% failure rate (which is exactly what dieting is).”
- The benefits of Mindful Eating “Mindful practices like these will shift your attention from your environment and your thoughts to the present moment and to the food you are about to eat. This, in turn, might make you more aware of how hungry you are and how much (or how little) food it will take to satisfy that hunger.
- Mindful Eating and Diabetes – “Being “mindful” is a popular term these days. It means being present at the moment and giving your full attention to what you are doing right now. Mindful eating is slowing down and enjoying your food without eating too much. Many of us eat too much for different reasons other than hunger. “ from the University of Michigan
- 5 Tips on how mindful eating can help with blood sugar control. Diabetes Forecast
Services (programs, groups, classes)
- Internet-based care, Body Kindness via group class provided by Rebecca Scritchfield is a Washington DC-based Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Exercise Physiologist. Joining Rebecca is Glenys Oyston who is a Los Angeles-based Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.
- Self-paced learning Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating for Diabetes Online Class with Michelle May, M.D. and Megrette Fletcher, MEd, RD, CDEHave you been diagnosed with prediabetes or diabetes? Does managing your condition feel like an endless diet instead of a flexible, enjoyable, healthy lifestyle? Does your schedule, lifestyle, or location make it difficult for you to participate in diabetes education? Are you (way!) overdue for a diabetes management tune-up? Do you prefer to learn at your own pace in a setting that is familiar and comfortable? With this complete self-paced online program, you will learn how to manage your diabetes mindfully without rigid meal plans or punishing exercise.
- SECOND EDITION! Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat with Diabetes: A Mindful Eating Program for Thriving with Prediabetes or Diabetes builds on the Mindful Eating Cycle and other principles to help readers with prediabetes or diabetes reduce their anxiety about diabetes self-management. Even people with diabetes can eat what they love, using awareness and intention to guide them. Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat with Diabetes