Transmuting trauma through food and body stories
“How can we create a commonswell?”
My approach, Well Now, envisions a world where no-one is starved of food, company, dignity or security. This is about more than ‘being healthy’ as an individual.
In this world, people of all shapes, genders, ages, and identities are treated with respect. Creating this world means we need to alter our thoughts, habits and structures that get in the way of dignity, equity, compassion, and health-justice.
“How can we live well together in earth-honouring ways?”
In Well Now I use food and body stories as the entry point to some key questions, including: how can we heal personally and collectively? How does trauma impact eating, self-worth and wellbeing? What can we do as dietitians, counsellors, fitness/healthcare and social care professionals to truly improve public health? How does my whiteness show up in my work? Where does white supremacy fit into all this?
Any framing that is based in inter-connection and that values many ways of knowing can help us explore these questions. Well Now is one of these framings, but it’s not the only one. Something else with a different entry point might be better medicine for your learning andor healing just now. What are you called to?
If Well Now feels like a good fit I’d love to hear from you, whether that’s because you want support making sense of your eating, crafting a brilliant PhD, growing in self-compassion, ensuring your clinic is queer-safe, workshopping a draft policy, or to book a show . .
. . .you can find me on stage too! I perform social action poetry as The Naked Dietitian.
Why Well Now?
Imagine a world where no-one is starved of food, dignity, company or security. Where no-one wakes up ashamed of themselves, dreading their next binge or being insulted for what they look like. Where people from different social backgrounds have similar opportunities for meaningful lives and health inequalities are a thing of the past.
In this imagined world, everyone has access to food as a right and it is possible for everyone – including People of Colour/Black people, fat, queer, and disabled people, to go walking or wheeling without being shot at or ridiculed or missing a shift. Of course, access to food and activity are only one part of the health jigsaw, the rest belongs in policies that foster compassion, address climate justice and build a fairer world.
My work with Well Now as a dietitian and a social action poet is committed to realising this dream.
The linked problems of nutrition confusion, body shame, health injustice and planetary crisis won’t be solved by telling people what to eat and not eat, to diet or not diet, or love your body. It needs a practical response that addresses the deep roots of these problems, one that can be put into action straight away, and this is Well Now.
My poetry works as social action because it bears witness to lived experience, my own, and other people’s. The visibility, validation and sense-making are vital to collective action, and contribute to individual healing.
Change is possible. It starts with us deciding not to accept the ways things are and then figuring out what to do differently. In strategizing for deep transformation, I theorised Well Now, took to the stage as The Naked Dietitian and began to speak new truths.
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