The truth is, this one thing would have changed my life

posted by 
Naomi Finkelstein
April 8, 2017

I was a chubby kid.

I remember walking home from school one day with two boys from my class during a Chicago winter. The boys walked side by side on the icy sidewalk, and I walked next to them on the crunchy, snowy ground. Ross looked at me with a smirk on his lips and said, “Naomi, why does the ice break when you walk on it, but not when we walk on it?” My cheeks flushed hot against the cold air as Ben came to my defense, “It’s because we’re walking on ice and she’s walking on snow. Plus, she’s taller than us.”

I had a crush on Ben.

There are a few isolated incidents like that one that I can remember from my elementary years where I was made to feel "othered" because of my size, but none stands out as strongly as the time my mom brought me to see a dietitian.

I didn’t know she was a dietitian until later - I was just told we were going to see a new doctor, with no further explanation. This woman instructed me to keep a food diary of everything that I ate for a week. When I came back for our next session, she took out a red pen and circled all the sweets, telling me that I should avoid those foods.

Sound familiar?

There it was again - the hot flush of my full cheeks. I felt there was something very wrong with me, and no one was there to come to my defense. I started eating in secret as soon as I was old enough to be left alone at home, but after this, those behaviors drastically increased, along with other disordered eating habits.

I am certain that if my dietitian had been able to attend a Be Body Positive Professional Training, she would have known how to actually help me, rather than making things so much worse.

Whether you’re a dietitian, therapist, physical trainer, yoga instructor, or other professional, you’re reading this because you already know that helping people who suffer from body dissatisfaction or food issues is a challenging, complex task. From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you for doing all you can to arm yourself with the tools and knowledge you need to truly support your clients and the people in your life.

To express my gratitude, I’d like to share a video from our vault with you about intuitive self-care.

This is one of the many videos you will have access to once you hold the license for our Be Body Positive curriculum, each of which comes with thought-provoking discussion questions to share with your clients. It’s just a taste of what we offer, but I hope you find it useful.

I started incorporating The Body Positive's work into my life in 2014, and although I can't erase the pain I endured as a young girl, my life has definitely been transformed. 

The 10-year-old girl inside of me beams with love and gratitude for the hard work you do each day.

Learn more about our May 12-13 Be Body Positive Professional Training. We'd love to see you there!

Naomi Finkelstein
Naomi is a Chicago-raised Jill-of-all-trades. She has over a decade of experience working in education and has worked professionally as an actor, writer, yoga instructor, and artist. She started volunteering with The Body Positive in 2014 and is now the proud Director of Programs and Communications, spreading the message of self-love far and wide. You can learn more about her and check out her artwork on Etsy at UniqueBeautyDesigns.
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