The Redesigning Wellness Podcast

074: Celebrating Health at Every Size with Laura McKibbin

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In this week’s episode of Redesigning Wellness, Jen sits down with Laura McKibbin, Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker with experience in the healing and prevention of eating disorders. She is the creator, speaker, and advocate of the “Food for Thought” pyramid as well as the Health at Every Size (HAES) movement. Both exhibit holistic and balanced ways to think about your overall health and wellbeing, rather than just measuring success by the number on the scale.

Tune in to hear more about HAES, an alternative approach to helping individuals who may experience challenges centered around weight, exercise, eating, and body image. Together, Jen and Laura also break down the differences between mindful eating and restrictive eating, and why one is a healthier and much more successful approach over the other. Be sure to listen until the very end! You’ll walk away with quite a few unique ways to weave HAES wellbeing strategies into your worksites.

Biggest Takeaways You Don’t Want to Miss:
  • We are causing harm through promoting restrictive dieting as a form of weight loss. Programs centered around eating less and moving more simply do not work.
  • Commercialism of beauty is still on the rise in our culture, which is leading to body image challenges for much of our population.
  • It is much more admirable to help people practice healthy eating, exercise, and engage in other holistic techniques to improve one’s whole self rather than to focus on restrictive diets.
Episode highlights: (with time stamps)
  • The difference between mindful eating and restrictive eating [9:04]
  • How Laura became involved in the HAES movement [12:00]
  • Top myths of Laura’s approach [20:25]
  • The meaning behind the “Food for Thought” pyramid [22:36]
  • What words are respectable to use with people of all sizes? [39:10]
  • Tactics to implement the HAES approach within the worksite [44:35]
Links mentioned in this episode:
Full Bio:

Laura received a BA in social work from Iowa State University and an MSW from St. Louis University, specializing in Health Systems/Mental Health. She is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker who has worked in a variety of health and mental health settings, including rural community mental health center, outpatient specialty clinic, hospital, employee wellness, EAP, and private practice. She has specialized in women’s health, including the gender-specific treatment of depression, anxiety, abuse and eating disorders.

She was a co-developer of the award winning employee wellness program, Kailo, located at Mercy Medical Center –North Iowa. Her work assisting employees with depression, domestic violence and eating and weight concerns has been published in several professional, peer-reviewed journals.

Laura served on the board of the NASW Iowa Chapter, including a term as President, and wrote exam questions as an Item Writer for the Association of Social Work Boards. Laura currently practices as a Hospice Social Worker for Allina Home and Community Services in Owatonna, MN. She also works as a speaker and consultant in the area of eating disorder prevention and the Health At Every Size® approach.

Laura lives in Southern Minnesota with her husband, Bob and their three dogs, Eleanor, Mattie and Edna.