If you didn’t do what you do professionally, what other job or field would you have pursued, and why?
If I hadn’t ended up in science, I would have been an artist for sure. I didn’t discover design until really my last year of undergrad, and I think if I had found art earlier, things would probably look quite a lot different in my life right now. I have no regrets but still maintain that sometime in the future, art/design of some kind will be my next career. I’m excited for whenever that happens, but also happy to be doing what I’m doing at this point in my life.
Just for fun, tell us something most people don’t know about you!
I grew up on a farm in Southwest Minnesota and spent most of my childhood hanging out with our cattle and riding around in tractors with my dad.
Where do you work?
I work part-time at a local orthopedic center in the Twin Cities as a part of our Women’s Sports Medicine program, where I see a wide spectrum of active girls and women and some men as well. I also have a small private practice a few days a week where I see clients for mostly disordered eating and women’s health/hormone issues with a bit of sports nutrition as well.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
I really enjoy having the privilege to spend such quality time with my clients and to hear and meet them where they’re at. It’s so neat to build trusting relationships with people and to provide them the space to share and be vulnerable with what they are going through or working toward.
Why eating disorders treatment? What drives you?
I think one of the reasons I have been drawn to working with eating disorders is because of my own experience personally. I developed anorexia when I was in high school but was never formally diagnosed. I never received “actual” treatment, likely in part due to the fact that I was in such a rural area, and in part because I wanted to deny it/hide it/act like everything was fine. And I think I honestly did think I was fine, not only then, but for so many years afterward. I wish I would have had access to a treatment team when I was a teenager, and wish I knew then what I know now re: food, nutrition, health, movement, exercise, etc. etc. I really think it is this experience that drives me to try and give others a different experience, or to help them to understand and find recovery from their eating disorder/disordered eating/unhealthy patterns with sport and exercise. I don’t want anyone to go through what I did and want to be a part of creating the change and providing resources for those who do struggle with eating disorders.
Who are your favorite social media influencers in the non-diet, recovery, body liberation space?
- Amelia Boone, a world-class endurance athlete and has been super open and honest about her journey with her eating disorder and treatment/recovery
- Christy Harrison and her podcast, Food Psych
- Heather Caplan, with her podcast, RD Realtalk, and her non-profit, Lane 9 Project
- Anna Sweeny and her incredible Instagram account
- Cara Harbstreet, who can always be found fighting the good fight for Intuitive Eating and Health at Every Size on Twitter
- I will also never get tired of hearing Dr. Jennifer Gaudiani speak on any/all podcasts about the realities and dangerous physical manifestations of eating disorders
What are your favorite books and resources that have made a difference in the way you work?
What is one non-diet, Intuitive Eating, or Health at Every Size® pearl of wisdom you’d like to share?
One of the most difficult things to re-learn in doing the work to heal and find recovery from an eating disorder is that our bodies can be trusted and they are trying to protect and take care of us. And I think it’s only in realizing this, that we can truly allow ourselves to begin to hear, trust, and respond to our bodies with care and compassion, and to truly live the full lives we’re meant to live.