Holistic Practitioner Spotlight with Traci S. Malone, Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist and How She Addresses Weight Cycling
We are speaking with Traci Malone,MHS, RD/LDN on the topic of disordered eating
Tell Us a Story About a Patient with Repeated Unsuccessful Weight Management & How You Helped
I have worked with many clients over my 16 years in practice who have struggled with chronic dieting, weight cycling (repeated weight loss and regain), and the development of disordered eating behaviors.
I am currently working with “Ann” a woman in her mid-50s who began dieting as a young adolescent. Having been in a larger body than many of her peers, there was constant focus on her body. Food restriction was encouraged by her parents in an attempt to control her weight. The focus on dieting, restricting foods, and participating in exercise (often not enjoyed) continued throughout her teen years and into her 20s, 30s,40s and 50s.
The physical and emotional toll continued throughout her life as she was forced to handle deprivation, hunger, rebound overeating, binge eating, guilt, and shame, all of which consistently fueled a vicious cycle of weight loss and weight regain, with deepening disordered beliefs about food, eating, and her body.
My client came to me to move away from the exhausting diet and weight loss/gain roller coaster ride. Her goal was to develop a positive and calm relationship with food and her body, and to practice becoming an Intuitive Eater.
What had the patient/client tried before seeking you out?
My client had tried many commercial weight loss programs, including WW (formerly Weight Watchers), Atkins, South Beach, and others. She received recommendations from many medical providers to lose weight which unfortunately included just minimal guidance on how to do it. They offered much in the way, however, of scare tactics about all the potential negative health outcomes from being in a larger body.
How did you arrive at your course of treatment?
After educating about Intuitive Eating and moving away from restrictive eating, my client decided she wanted to pursue a new health journey and learn how to take care of herself, nourish her body, enjoy food, and engage in behaviors that she understood would produce a sense of well-being.
A couple of tools I utilized in setting the scene were the Food Rules Measure and the Intuitive Eating Assessment. Both of these tools provided information about where my client’s strongest rules persisted that were influencing disordered eating behaviors and identified areas within the Intuitive Eating framework that needed more targeted treatment. They showed my client had many deeply rooted beliefs about dieting and weight loss and behaviors that were influencing strong disordered eating behaviors.
What modalities or therapies did you implement and what was the outcome of the services you provided?
I incorporate Motivational Interviewing (MI) counseling skills to uncover intentions and plans that resonate with my client and are realistic for her unique life. I also utilize principals of Cognitive Behavioral Treatment (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) within my nutrition therapy process.
Ann and I have been working together for 4 months. She has made considerable progress in allowing herself to eat a wider variety of foods and truly enjoy eating. She continues to practice developing and strengthening her Intuitive Eating skills. I anticipate Ann will need ongoing support for close to a year, and beyond that may benefit from less frequent “check-ins” for accountability and support.
Why and When Did You Choose the Holistic Path?
I have chosen to provide Nutrition Therapy within the holistic framework of Intuitive Eating because it honors a person where they are at. It also doesn’t set unrealistic goals and expectations based on an external diet plan, book, or any other guide created by someone else, but rather creates a unique treatment plan that is founded in compassion, empowerment, and confidence building. This is reflected in my own personal health journey where I focus on behaviors that provide a sense of calm, empowerment, and overall emotional and physical wellness.
What Lessons Have Your Work and Personal Experiences Taught You?
My work with hundreds of clients over the years has helped me discover that restrictive rule based nutrition therapy is not helpful for most people. Rather, creating powerful lasting behaviors comes from openness, inclusion, and allowing all foods to fit into one’s life.
I have become a more patient, reflective, open-minded, and compassionate practitioner over the years in practice and I am so grateful to have learned Intuitive Eating and thoroughly enjoy helping others learn this powerful paradigm.
I have been practicing as a Registered and Licensed Dietitian since 2003 and have experience in public health, clinical nutrition, and teaching.
Certified LEAP Therapist
Oxford Biomedical Technologies, Inc
North Carolina Board of Dietetics and Nutrition
Commission of Dietetic Registration
I currently manage a private practice and provide nutrition guidance to adults, children, adolescents, and families and specialize in disordered eating, body weight concerns, food sensitivities, diabetes, and heart disease.
My treatment philosophy incorporates a non-diet health first approach and includes the principals of Intuitive Eating. I am currently working on my Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor certification.
Traci S. Malone, MHS, RD/LDN
Traci Malone Nutrition
Asheville, NC United States
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