I was in Melbourne to attend the Australia & New Zealand Academy for Eating Disorders’ annual conference.
I knew it’ll be a worthwhile trip because of the great line-up of presenters but O H M Y goodness, it was mind-blowing!
This was the theme for the conference.
Providing a safe and brave space to hold conversations about eating disorders, stigma, body image and concerns. Within clinicians.
Yep, the clinians.
It challenged us, clinicians, who ‘treat’ eating disorders.
It made us re-think and re-evaluate our own potential and/or unconscious biases, beliefs and ego.
It takes a lot of courage to speak up in front of a large group of ‘experts’. But the presenters did just that. They stood up tall and strong, opened up about their own experience and called for much needed change in the way we view, process, and proceed eating disorder therapy.
I don’t know how many times I pinched my hand to stop myself from crying.
The Health At Every Size, Non-Diet gang
This conference was a great time to catch up with so many of the HAES, Non-Diet super women. We all work in this field because we see the injustice, the stigma, the powerplay, the oppression… and we want to make a difference. We want our clients to recover, heal, and develop a positive relationship with their body and eating.
Additional Happy (Work) Hour
I only visit Melbourne maybe once a year on average.
So when I’m there I’ve got a lot of things I want to do., But I can’t chop myself into two’s and three’s so I have a difficult time prioritising things.
At the end, dance-related work becomes my priority.
So for this trip I had the pleasure of filming interviews and stories with Dancers Life Support, which will be utilised for dancers in Japan, and doing a Dance Nutrition for Health Professionals mini-workshop with the amazing crews at Performance Medicine.
Private Time too!
Those of you who know me would know that I’m BIG on self-care.
I love my work and I love spending time educating myself and others, but I also cannot live without the “me” times.
So in the spare times I visited some galleries, laneways, cafes, restaurants and gardens and immersed myself in whatever I felt like in that moment.
So what do I take home from this trip?
Many, many things.
But most importantly, valuing each and every lived experience and voices; seeing the patient not the number; and constantly reflecting on my own practice to always give the best for my clients and students.