Updated: Sep 7, 2020

I am a human and have experienced lots of challenges with food just like everyone else.

When I was young I was a nightmare, fussy eater. I was quite happy to spend hours at the dining table just to avoid eating a vegetable. I remember feeding them to siblings, hiding them and even squishing them under the place-mat when my parents weren't looking just to get out of eating them. I was persistent.  Over time I slowly started to increase my food repertoire and even started to like some vegetables. It took time and lots of different strategies but I now enjoy nearly all foods (still working on cauliflower). ​ I, like most young women, have dieted. I did it based on this completely unfounded idea that thinner is better. Despite being in the healthy weight range according to my BMI for my entire life, I like most women, have copped criticism about my body. From blatant statements like "you look fat" to subtle slaps in the face like "you would look better if you were thinner". I, like most people, took this criticism, turned it into body hate and went on diets.  I followed ridiculous food rules that didn't honor my body and slowly became more and more disconnected (e.g. detoxing, quitting sugar, gluten-free). I was unhappy and spent so much brain time thinking about the foods I shouldn't be eating and about all the people out there who could follow the rules that I couldn't. I would tell myself things like "I've stuffed up my diet today, I'll start again tomorrow" or "I was bad because I ate __ food". It was this confusion and disconnect that I saw in myself and those around me that led me to become a dietitian. It was the most valuable experience and I now know that I will never ever diet again. What I wanted in that period of my life was for someone to tell me that health (physical, emotional, psychological) is more than just weight, now I get to be the person who does that.  ​ When I started to learn more about food I also gained this passion for food politics. Food politics are really the factors that that influence your choices but are outside of your control. I am also a food scientist which means that if you want to know why an apple turns brown when you take a bite out of it, I'm your girl! Despite the challenges I've faced, I really love food and am an avid veggie grower and chicken parent.  I love the way that foods connect us and way peoples eyes light up when they talk about foods that are important to them. It doesn't matter how different we all may seem, we all speak the language of food!

Belinda Jones

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