A Note From Dr. Alexis Conason (She/Her/Hers)
As someone raised deep in diet culture, I grew up seeing dieting and overeating as the norm. I learned early on that bodies were enemies to be wrestled into submission through denial of pleasure. Food was a powerful force to be feared, one that could only be mastered through rigid control. If you faltered in that control, you risked being overcome and surrendering to temptation (aka french fries). It’s no wonder that my entire relationship with food and my body was characterized by conflict and shame for much of my life.
My belief in the holy grail of dieting was so strong that I decided to pursue a career in psychology with the intention of helping others lose weight. I studied psychological strategies to help people eat less and exercise more, did postdoctoral work in “obesity” research, trained at a bariatric weight loss surgery clinic, and eventually opened my business as a psychologist specializing in weight management.
Thankfully, about a year into my career, I was introduced to the concept of Health At Every Size. It was then that I had to confront the ugly truth: diets don’t work. Not only do they fail to deliver long term results, they also cause physical and mental harm.