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Westwind Eating Disorder Recovery Centre - About Food & Weight

What about food and eating?
In your initial individual nutrition session, you will establish an individualized meal plan collaboratively with the dietitian. Each subsequent session will allow you opportunity to review the meal plan and make changes at your own pace, until you reach the goal of normalized eating. You will never be forced to eat something you don’t want, and no punishment or consequence will be enforced if you stray from your meal plan. We understand that entering treatment is not a guarantee that recovery slip-ups will not occur. If this should occur, we encourage you to use your individual sessions with the counsellors and dietitian to address the thoughts that contributed to this choice, in order to gain insight and skills for addressing the thoughts in the future.

How does Westwind define normal eating?
Westwind believes that all foods fit in normal healthy eating. The steps you will take in your meal plan will be to help you gain freedom from food restriction, restraint from “fear foods,” engaging in any compensation behaviors like purging or exercising, food rules, and labelling foods as good or bad. You will work towards incorporating three meals and snacks into each day, and eating with variety, flexibility and according to your likes / dislikes. There are no “diet” or fat free foods allowed at Westwind, in order to preserve a safe recovery environment for all clients.

Does Westwind accept vegetarians and vegans?
Westwind accepts clients who are vegetarian and vegan. It will be important during treatment to access these choices and help you identify/confirm your own values vs the eating disorders values in regards to all food choices, including the choice to practice vegetarianism and veganism.

How do meals and snacks work?
Breakfast, lunches and snacks are prepared independently by each client. Groceries are purchased multiple times each week, and you will have the opportunity to request foods you need for your individualized meal plan. A staff is present at each meal time for support. At the beginning of each week, the dietitian runs a meal planning group where clients contribute ideas to plan supper meals for the upcoming week. The goal is for all clients in the group to share the common supper meal. Clients have the opportunity to take turns helping prepare supper meals, and support staff are available to give assistance as requested.

What about challenge foods and restaurant outings?
Food challenges and restaurant outings can be planned with the dietitian as you feel ready. These can be completed independently or with a staff.

Will there be weight goals set for me?
Westwind does not set specific weight goals for clients, rather we strive to help you gain trust that your body will reach its natural set point weight range by practicing normal eating. Everyone has a natural set point weight range that their body strives for and desires to be. Healthy bodies comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. When you begin recovery, your body may be above, below or within your natural set point range. No one can know exactly where your body weight is meant to be, except for your body!

Will I use the scale?
Westwind encourages clients to use the scale every 1-2 weeks during the recovery process. You will never be forced to get on the scale or know your weight. Most people in recovery have fears about how improved eating and progress in recovery will affect their weight. Being aware of your weight during recovery can help challenge these fears and de-power the eating disorder.