Food Psych #76: "Healthy" Eating vs. Competent Eating with Dana Sturtevant

Dana Sturtevant of Be Nourished

Dana Sturtevant—co-founder of the Be Nourished wellness center in Portland, OR—shares how her desire to be thinner manifested as a child, how a vegetarian friend introduced her to the idea of nutrition, how she began her career as a dietitian in the traditional "weight management" paradigm, what drew her to the Health at Every Size approach, and lots more! 

Dana Sturtevant, MS, RD, is a trainer, mentor, Kripalu Yoga teacher, and dietitian specializing in Health at Every Size® and intuitive eating. She is the cofounder of Be Nourished, a revolutionary business helping people heal body dissatisfaction and reclaim body trust. Dana loves incorporating mindfulness and self-compassion practices into her work. A member of the International Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers, Dana has facilitated more than 300 workshops throughout the United States for health care providers looking to enhance their skills in behavior-change counseling. Her work has been featured in the Huffington Post. Find her online at benourished.org

 

We Discuss:

  • Dana’s relationship with food growing up, including the birth of consciousness related to beauty standards and her first experience with body shame and self-restriction

  • How the restrictive messages around food and beliefs about the body reach young children in insidious ways

  • Why food control is a method of emotional coping, rather than just about controlling the body

  • The complicated relationship that women in particular have with their bodies when they enter adulthood, and how the mental energy surrounding body control makes it that much harder for young women to discover their identity

  • Female sexuality, the double standard for women, and the drive to be wanted for our bodies

  • The intersections of feminism and eating disorders, and the impacts of patriarchy on both men and women

  • How the diet industry is shifting, pushing the healthy ideal and changing the focus to the untapped male market

  • The difficulty of addressing orthorexia in dietetics and nutrition practice due to the conflation of health and size

  • Navigating intuitive eating from Dana’s young adulthood and into her current practice, including the concept of pleasure versus nutrition and the introduction of mindfulness

  • Dana’s introduction to nutrition, which began as an exploration into a vegetarian lifestyle

  • Intentionally incorporating the ethics related to food choice while also holding onto strong recovery, and how to make food choices from a place of groundedness versus shame

  • How our reputation and identity can often be heavily tied to our food choices

  • Dana’s transition from weight management to Health at Every Size (HAES) and intuitive eating

  • The ways helpful practices, such as mindfulness and intuitive eating, get co-opted by diet culture and are turned into weight loss and weight management programs

  • How deprivation and restriction can be entirely mental and not seem to manifest in behaviors, but can still bounce back into responsive bingeing behaviors

  • The difference between feeling full and feeling satisfied

  • Nutrition’s place in intuitive eating, including how to make nutrition your ally rather than your opponent in your recovery

  • The work that needs to be done to unlearn weight bias and diet culture

 

Resources Mentioned

 

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