Kristie Simmons knows that at the start of the new year, staying grounded in your eating disorder recovery and anti-diet work can be tough. She finds many of her clients are challenged by the triggers of weight- and body image-related New Year’s resolutions. With so many conflicting messages inundating us about eating and nutrition, it can be overwhelming to settle on the “right” approach. So it’s important to learn to trust your inner voice and wisdom.
In order to help clients the best way she can, Kristie takes an adaptive approach. She feels out whether an individual responds best to playfulness or firmness, humor or science—or a mix—and then she personalizes her therapeutic style accordingly. One of the most gratifying parts of her job is being able to introduce someone to food freedom when they’ve lived in a world of toxic diet culture their whole life. The relief and clarity that can come from this shift is beautiful to witness.
As a high school student, Kristie knew that she wanted to be a dietitian, but it wasn’t until her first job that she started on the path of helping clients heal from eating disorders. She had consulted on an eating disorder case at a children’s hospital, and it was such a powerful experience that she realized helping people repair their relationship with food, movement, and their body was her calling.
The most challenging part of her job is when a client recognizes the value of making positive changes, but isn’t ready to do the work, due to outside pressure, judgment, or fear. There are a lot of forces in the world that challenge an anti-diet, weight-inclusive approach to health. But she knows that healing is not linear, and sometimes what may on the surface seem like a step backward is actually an important moment in the wellness journey.
Living life with an eating disorder—with all of its restrictions and judgments—can have the effect of narrowing a person’s participation and presence in the world. Kristie sees eating disorder recovery as a way to open to more color and vibrance in life.
Are you ready to heal your relationship with food and your body? Get in touch today for a complimentary 15-minute intake call.