{Ep.012} Julie Duffy Dillon on the Word "Fat"

In this episode I talk to Julie Duffy Dillon. Julie is a registered dietitian and food behavior expert who wants to help you enjoy eating again. She combines her specialized nutrition therapy with her training as a mental health counselor to promote food and body peace. Julie owns a North Carolina group nutrition therapy practice helping individuals, families, and health care providers treat and prevent disordered eating and promote positive body image. She is also the host of the weekly podcast, Love Food. You can find out more about her and ways to experience Food Peace at JulieDillonRD.com and find her on Facebook, Instagram (@FoodPeaceDietitian), and Twitter (@EatingPermitRD).

Fed up with creating short-term diet plans for patients, Julie began questioning the idea of dieting altogether and decided it was time to take a different approach. This meant going against the mainstream belief that weight loss results in improved health and instead giving her clients permission to feel good in their skin just they way they are right now. Through her Health at Every Size (HAES) and weight neutral approach, Julie helps her clients experience health without dieting.

About halfway through our conversation I noted that Julie was referring to some clients as a “person in a larger body” or a “person in a fat body.” Consistent with her approach, Julie believes individuals should not be defined solely by the way their body looks. In an ideal world the word “fat” would be neutral descriptor and the stigma associated with words such as “obese” and “overweight” would be nonexistent.

Unfortunately, size discrimination is dominant in our culture, and the word “fat” has a negative association. But, we have the power to change how we use the word. Having fat on your body is not bad. It’s not good. It’s just what is. Julie emphasizes that this is not something we need to hide from our children either; your child can be fat and beautiful. Fat is not something that needs to be fixed, but rather viewed through a different lens. We need to armor our children with tools to view their body in more positive light, regardless of size, shape, or weight. 


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