Katherine Metzelaar MSN, RDN, CD
As a registered dietitian and nutrition therapist, I am passionate about helping you to repair your relationship with food and your body, free from perfectionism, fear and shame. Why? Because I suffered for so long in silence, as you may be, and I want differently for you.
I have always played the role of the good girl, a well-behaved people pleaser that wanted to perfect everything I did. I wanted to do things right and thought this would help me to achieve happiness and protect me from pain.
And while I had a normative relationship with food growing up, I was not immune to the effects of living in a dieting culture and living with a family who dieted constantly, surrounded by women who hated their bodies. Diet culture was fertile ground and I was primed for it.
It wasn’t until the summer after freshman year of college when things with my relationship with food started to take a sharp turn. Enter my first diet. My disordered eating behaviors increased with frequency. I became obsessed with shrinking my body, with food and exercise, and with being small.
This continued on throughout college and beyond, and I was fraught with long days and nights of bingeing until uncomfortable, of avoiding social situations, of fixating on more diets and more weight loss “solutions”. This went on for many years and my chronic dieting, disordered eating and overexercising continued. I then went through many years of battling Orthorexia where I had a hyper-fixation and paralyzing fear and anxiety around the quality of the foods I consumed, which also extended into my environment too.
My own disordered eating, perfectionism, and desire to want to have the answers is what inspired me to go to graduate school to study nutrition. I experienced a lot of shame, secrecy, and confusion while I was there, but it was also the place where I started confronting what I previously believed was my reality and when I finally got the help I needed all along. This started my path of healing and questioning the system. It was hard for some time to imagine stepping into a place where there are no rules and no concrete answers. I was letting go of one of the only things that felt stable and true to me. But, my inner guidance kept telling me that there had to be another way.
For some time after finishing school and recovering, I worked for a health company, but was deeply unhappy. While my role was to “make people healthier using data as the guide and support” I knew because of my own experience and journey with food that what really needed to be addressed were my clients struggles, pain, discomfort and frustration in their body and with their relationship with food.
We are complex beings, with needs and wants and desires, and our relationship with food and body has a story, an origin, and a history that needs to be heard, unpacked and explored. I know from experience that no amount of information or data will meet that need or help you make long-term changes. In fact, with more data and more information, you often experience fear, helplessness and unsustainable rule-following.
BRAVESPACE NUTRITION: A PRIVATE PRACTICE
I started my private practice to offer nutrition therapy to you. You may be struggling with your relationship with food, feel confused about what you “should” be eating, have a history of dieting, counted calories so often that you can just look at a food and know what its nutrition content is, or have so many food rules that it makes it challenging to eat without fear or in company. You are tired of trying to get it right, trying to perfect it and tired of blaming yourself for not succeeding. Together, we will create more flexibility and freedom, giving you the tools to decrease your fear of food.
I believe that you inherently possess the wisdom and strength to make changes in your life related to food and body image and because of this I take a deeply personal approach that is client-centered; translation: there is no "one size fits all". Through learning how to practice intuitive eating, self-compassion, self-care and mindfulness, I will help you learn the crucial steps that are part of healing your relationship with food and your body because I want you to experience life’s abundance of pleasure free from the constant pursuit of getting nutrition or your body size “right” or perfect.
I founded Bravespace Nutrition so that I can help you to feel a sense of freedom from food rules and create peace with your body. I specialize in Intuitive Eating, Mindfulness-Based Eating Awareness and Health At Every Size and I am excited to support you along your journey!