Transmuting trauma through food and body stories

 

“How can we live well?”

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’.

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.

Some key questions include: how can we heal personally and collectively? What can we do as dietitians, counsellors, fitness/healthcare and socialcare professionals to truly improve public health? How does my whiteness show up in my work? Where does white supremacy fit into all this?

“How can we live well, now, all ways?”

Connected to this, Well Now, helps us make sense of our food and body stories by taking account of how our circumstances and histories shape how we feel and think. It helps practitioners link self-care with social justice in meaningful ways in our therapeutic conversations. This means understanding our own biases and it means understanding how trauma impacts eating, behaviours, self-worth and wellbeing.

I offer training on various aspects of Well Now, from nutrition education to the deep theory of understanding and undoing white supremacy. Plus I offer personal counselling and coaching appointments by zoom.

You can find me on stage too! I perform social action poetry as The Naked Dietitian.

Whether you want to build a fairer society, make sense of your eating, finish a brilliant PhD, grow in self-compassion or improve your clinic’s outcomes, if any of this puts words to something you’ve been searching for I’d love to hear from you. 

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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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Food for Thought Dinner Plate