Hi! I’m Natalie Thompson, a non-dieting Accredited Practising Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviours to help improve health whilst nurturing relationships with food and body.
I believe there is a better way to care for yourself and it does not involve dieting or changing your body.
Your relationship with food and body is one of the most important relationships you will ever have. When your food and body are respected, most areas of nutrition fall into place and improvements in health (and other aspects of life) are seen.
This work looks different between individuals, but the end result is equally inspiring and mind-blowing.
Do you feel shame and guilt around food or with eating?
These are signs your food relationship needs work, for the sake of your self-esteem and body image.
I am not your average APD. After years working in the community as a clinical dietitian, I was touched by how (what I thought was) the ‘simple things in life’, such as the how to eat, was often a struggle for my clients regardless of what their health concern was, which had a negative effect on their relationships they had with their food and body and negatively affected their health and well-being.
These experiences helped me to see the bigger picture of nutrition, for what it is and the importance of compassion and self-care, as the keys to improving nutrition and health. I have nutrition counselled and health coached many clients through their mindset issues and barriers to change.
My Food Philosophy:
- The non-diet/Health At Every Size®1 approach improves relationships with food.
- Food, eating and nutrition aren’t meant to be complicated.
- Food is for nourishment and also enjoyment.
- No one food or nutrient is the problem or needs to be restricted (allergies/intolerances excepted).
- Moderation/balance comes from reconnecting to your internal body cues.
- Positive language and an open mind towards food and your body are essential for health.
This Blog Is For You If:
- you care about your health,
- you want to improve your nutrition and health,
- you are confused/have questions about food and nutrition,
- food doesn’t play a balanced role in your life,
- you focus on your weight as a goal,
- you have a poor relationship with food and/or body image or if you want to get off the dieting not so merry-go-round.
The Change I Want For You Is To:
- know when you need individualised advice from an APD about your food and nutrition,
- bring awareness and mindfulness to your dietary behaviours,
- discover the joy of eating
- find peace with your food and body,
- shift your focus from weight and food rules (‘dieting’) and focus on your health and sustainable eating and lifestyle behaviours,
- use positive/appropriate language when talking about food, nutrition, lifestyle and body image.
To empower people to stop the struggle with food and their bodies so they can live a joyful and healthy life with purpose.
To inspire people to nurture their relationships with food and body so they can live a happy and healthy life. I do this with weight-neutral coaching and medical nutrition therapy with a focus on the nutrition counselling for sustainable behavioural change.
After graduating with a Masters of Nutrition and Dietetics and Bachelor of Human Nutrition, I worked in clinical dietetics in the community and in residential aged care with a non-government organisation servicing the older adult and disabled population and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. I also worked in my own private practice.
I have a strong interest in client-centred non-diet approach, health coaching and motivational interviewing to assist with weight and body image concerns.
I can also help with preventing, treating and improving chronic diseases/health conditions with individualised evidenced-based medical nutrition therapy:
- Such as heart disease, diabetes, bowel issues, degenerative diseases, cancer, malnutrition, aged care, egg and cow’s milk protein allergies.
When I’m not seeing clients or blogging, I am chasing after my 2 young boys, creating sewing or crocheting masterpieces, learning Japanese, reconnecting with my love of ballet and generally staying active in the great outdoors with friends and family.
The Changes You See When You Work With Me
1. You will be able to reconnect with your internal body cues i.e. appetite which nourishes you.
The benefit is you will know how to eat.
2. You will stop obsessing over food which improves your relationship with food. The benefit is you will know what to eat.
3. You will have the confidence and mindset to eat well. The benefit is no more second-guessing yourself.
4. You will find the joy in eating and make peace with your body. The benefit is you will improve your relationship with food and your body.
5. If you have children, you will become a confident and positive role model for your children. The benefit is you will continue to nurture your child(ren)’s relationship with food and body, which positively impacts all aspects of life.
The benefits of the above are improved health.
Why I Love Helping Women Find Joy in Eating and Make Peace With Food and Body
Hi! I am Natalie Thompson, a non-dieting APD. I want to share my story with you and how I got here today.
Before I started this non-dieting journey I was working under the traditional weight focus paradigm. To be honest, it never really felt good to me being in this place.
I never felt comfortable with being the weight centered dietitian that I was taught at university.
In practice, I was there every step of the way with my clients seeing how the typical approach affected their well-being, particularly mental health.
What stood out to me was how people fixated on the numbers on the scales and how they could not control these numbers, particularly in the long term. I also remember the celebrations, disappointment and the drastic motivation changes in response to the number on the scales, the food and body judgement and self-inflicted rules.
I am thankful for having been in this uncomfortable place early in my career as it made me get clear on what my dietetic purpose is.
When I think back to when I was younger, it makes sense to me why I was so uncomfortable with the traditional approach. I grew up dancing. My love was ballet. So my body was always on show. I understood many of the insecurities my dancing friends had and I also felt this at times. I saw firsthand how potentially damaging this focus on a body could become. I witnessed disordered eating, eating disorders, food and body shaming. This was really hard for me to see. Thankfully for me and my friends, we had the best dance teacher who accommodated everybody and made us all feel special and unique. It really did make all the difference!!
I have been lucky not to have dieted, but thinking back I can see how I experienced some disorder thoughts, feeling around food and my body during a time when I was not fully aware of the messages society sends us.
So I feel I have lived it. I believe these experiences have shaped the dietitian and person I am today.
The AHA moment or turning point in my career was when I attended a wonderful workshop in 2010. The workshop was held by Dr Rick Kausman, a Melbourne-based medical doctor, who is recognised as the Australian pioneer of the person-centred approach to wellbeing and healthy weight management.
Dr Rick inspired me to be different to do what feels right to me (which is of course reflected in the research). From that moment on, my dietetic practise dramatically changed and I became more health-focused.
During this time of transition in my practice, I underwent a lot of up up-skilling. I experienced some internal and external conflicts along the way, which I believe was purely out of fear of the unfamiliar.
Another massive practise shift occurred during my time on maternity leave, where I had the opportunity to take a step back, do some major reflection, and cement this non-dieting approach 100%. This time to breathe and renew was the best thing for me as when I was working full time I found it hard to implement the non-dieting strategies. It was around this time that I decided to get into the online space as I was craving contact with other non-dieting dietitians and health professionals support and mentoring and also as a means of networking and professional development. I’m 8 months into this journey and it’s been a very steep learning curve which I can’t see slowing down anytime soon.
I first got into this space because of ‘pseudo-scientists’/ ‘wellness experts’ and I wanted a way to clear up the misinformation. My focus has shifted away from competing and comparing myself to others. As I know I can’t control what’s going on out there.
I am now focused on what my ideal client wants and needs and actually help more people in my unique way.
So today, I am here helping people find the joy in eating and peace with their body whilst focusing on the important things in their life, who want to reconnect with your internal body cues to improve their relationship with your food and body AND overcome their confidence and mindset issues associated with food and their body to make lasting change.
I do what I do, as it lights me up. I’ve realised when I get goosebumps during my work (my clients hear about this!), it’s a sign that a transformation of some kind is taking place within my client. I love witnessing this. It truly inspires me. This work definitely goes both ways.
So this is my story about my observation growing up in the dance space, the struggles as a new dietitian and how overcame them to get to a compassionate place where I am inspiring people to trust themselves and overcome their food and their body issues. So this is why I do what I do and I love it!
Connect with me. I’ll show you that changing your dietary and lifestyle behaviours will have a positive effect on your health and quality of life.
I’d love to help you non-diet and improve your relationship with food and your body whilst focusing on the important things in your life.
 Health At Every Size and HAES are registered trademarks of the Association for Size Diversity and Health and used with permission.