Struggling with accepting your body size? You want to be healthy, but you’ve tried so many diets over and over and nothing works. You’re sick of the assumptions people make about you because you don’t fit the “norm” of what bodies should look like. Plus, you are just OVER what friends, family, co-workers, and even medical professionals say about your body and what you should and shouldn’t eat. It’s so challenging to navigate the messages we receive about our bodies and the food we eat. Especially in San Diego, where there’s such a focus on health, wellness, and appearance that it sometimes feels impossible to take a different perspective. Well, I have a WONDERFUL resource in San Diego Eating Disorder Dietitian Amy Ornelas, RDN, Certified Eating Disorder Registered Dietitian (CEDRD). She wholeheartedly embraces the Health at Every Size (HAES) and intuitive eating approaches, and she loves working with people struggling with body shame and fighting diet culture that’s so pervasive in San Diego and elsewhere. Enjoy getting to know her!
Why did you choose to become an eating disorder specialist in San Diego?
I knew going into college that this was what I wanted to do. I struggled with an eating disorder as a teen and so really wanted to be able to help in this way.
What kind of treatment do you provide?
I provide individual nutrition counseling, groups, and family nutrition therapy to address the food and body image dynamics in the family system. I am also a trained yoga teacher, so I weave aspects of yoga philosophy and mindful movement into my practice as well.
Do you only work with eating disorders?
YES! 99% of the time... I do see non-ED patient on occasion but I treat them with the same non-diet and HAES philosophies as my ED patients 🙂
How long have you been working with eating disorders overall, and how long have you been in San Diego?
I've worked pretty much exclusively with eating disorders since 2006, and I've been in San Diego since 2000. I moved here for college and never left!
Who are your favorite types of clients to work with?
I love eating disorders of all kinds, but I particularly have a soft spot in my heart for people who have grown up with a lot of body shame and diet culture. I love working with people who have been told that their bodies and their drives for food were "wrong"~ I love working to heal that in people!
What happens during a first appointment with you?
I conduct a thorough assessment of eating behaviors and beliefs. I also provide education pertaining to the person's particular struggles, and we develop a treatment plan together for moving forward. I am open to answering any questions, too!
I know that you support the HAES approach. Could you talk a little about that approach and how it plays into your work with people recovering from eating disorders?
I am absolutely HAES~ driven and passionate. I work hard to help people see that weight and body size are NOT the goals of treatment, and I love talking with patients about culture, family history, and all of the things that shape the ideals around "appropriate" body weight. I love teaching my patients that they are SPIRITS living inside BODIES, not the other way around!!! I also LOVE debunking the health/weight paradigm and work hard with patients and their medical providers to try to give patients a more weight-inclusive experience all around.
What do you wish people knew about getting treatment for eating disorders?
That eating disorders are unbelievably misunderstood, and that even chronic dieting and body distress falls into the camp of "disordered.” People do not have to live that way!!!
How can people learn more and contact you?
Share one fun fact about you that most people don’t know.
I lived on a boat for three years with my four sons and my husband until about two years ago! It was FUUUUN but so stressful, so here we are back in a cozy house 🙂
Thank you so much for sharing about what you do and how you help people recover from eating disorders in San Diego!
Thaaaaaank you for reaching out and for this opportunity Marianne!
Hey everyone, I really appreciate you reading my blog! Have a wonderful day. :)
If you are struggling to find eating disorder treatment in San Diego, give me a call for your free 15-minute phone consultation at (858) 699-3754, and I will help you get where you need to be!