News & Blog

Weight Stigma Awareness Week, 2020

Weight Stigma Awareness Week, 2020

September 30, 2020

I met Kiera in 2018 on a trip with ‘The Hunger Project’. On a bus in rural Uganda, we spoke about her work as a psychologist empowering people of all body shapes and sizes.

Coronavirus: Our Practice Policy

Coronavirus: Our Practice Policy

March 9, 2020

Until we receive clearer directions, CFIH is adopting a “better to be safe than sorry approach”. Please support us in our efforts to reduce the spread of Coronavirus.

International Women’s Day: Our Message

International Women’s Day: Our Message

March 8, 2020

On International Women’s Day, we passionately strike the #EachforEqual pose. To us, this pose symbolises equality, compassionate boundaries, allyship, and the disruption of destructive gender-based cycles.

Exercise and eating disorders

Exercise and eating disorders

February 20, 2020

In an interview with Hack on Triple J, CFIH Psychologist, Ashleigh Olive, proposed a number of red flags that can help to identify someone with or at risk of an eating disorder.

How accurate are nutrition information panels?

How accurate are nutrition information panels?

October 2, 2018

Diet-culture loves numbers – we’re sold the idea that we can achieve tight and calculated control over food and our bodies through counting, tracking, weighing and measuring.

5 ways to shut down diet-talk in the office

5 ways to shut down diet-talk in the office

August 15, 2018

Office diet-talk can be relentless, triggering and difficult to avoid. If 8 hours of carb, keto and cleanse commentary is making you want to ride your wheelie chair down the fire escape, here’s a few ideas for you: Excuse yourself and walk away. After a few smoke-bomb moments they’ll start to get the picture you’re … Read More

When Intuitive Eating Becomes Another Diet..

When Intuitive Eating Becomes Another Diet..

July 23, 2018

Being surrounded by a diet-obsessed culture full of rights and wrongs, dos and don’ts, can make it hard to adjust to a totally new concept in which there is no “right way”. When developing the skills of an intuitive eater, one can become stuck in thinking that they can only eat when they are hungry, … Read More

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At CFIH, we appreciate how difficult the recovery process is and that treatment completion is no easy feat. Which is exactly why we want to celebrate this success with you.  
 
The team have thought long and hard about how we might acknowledge and celebrate your treatment success with you when it occurs. Some of the ideas that have been put forward include:
 - Treatment completion certificates 
- A recovery mural that you can take a photo of yourself in front of  
 - A recovery wall that you leave behind your wisdom/encouragement for those following in your footsteps 
 - A bell in the waiting room that gets rung at the conclusion of your final session  

These are just our ideas but the bottom line is, it isn’t our treatment. It’s your treatment and so we invite you to share your ideas and suggestions as to how you would like your recovery celebrated. 

Please share ideas in the comments below. At the end of the week, all your ideas will be collated and shared on social media in a post for everyone to vote on. Happy brainstorming!!
It’s a month of celebrations this month at CFIH!!! Today we celebrated 1 year of working with Vera. Vera’s story with CFIH started long before 2019 however...

Vera first stumbled across CFIH on social media in late 2017. Living at the time in Switzerland, she set a goal to move her and her family back to Australia and to work within a team like ours. In February 2019, she saw that we opened a clinic at the Sunshine Coast & sent through her application for a role in our new clinic. 

Vera’s journey from that point through to her commencement date has been filled with challenges and set backs.. starting with her being stood up for her first interview (🙈🙈🙈). When Vera did finally get an interview and a job offer, sold her house, uprooted her family, put her pets through quarantine, and arrived in Australia, AHPRA (our regulatory body) made her reapply for her registration and sit a language assessment - a process which delayed her start date by 6 months.

When Vera had finally jumped through all the hoops necessary and permitted to practise as a psychologist once more in Australia, COVID hit and her dream of working as a psychologist at the Sunny Coast was further delayed. Undeterred and still committed to her dream, Vera commuted to Brisbane to consult from our clinic in Kelvin Grove until business as usual resumed at the Sunshine Coast.

Vera now consults between the two clinics and as of January 2021, she will work solely as a psychologist at CFIH’s Sunshine Coast clinic: a dream that has been years in the making and taken incredible determination and grit to make a reality. We share Vera’s story not only to celebrate this achievement and milestone but because we think her story of overcoming adversity to achieve a seemingly-impossible dream is one that many of you can relate to (and hopefully be inspired by). 

Please join us all in congratulating Vera on what she has overcome to be here with us today and for inspiring us all to preserve with our dreams, even when the going is tough.
If you knew that in congratulating someone on their weight loss that you were ultimately saying:
“Congratulations for depriving yourself of nutrition to the point of losing your hair and your menstrual cycle...” or
“Congratulations on missing every meaningful social event for the past 3 months...” or 
“Congratulations on throwing up every third meal you’ve eaten...” or 
“Congratulations on exercising for hours on end, in place of attending to your responsibilities as a mother and/or an employee...”

Would you still be saying “congratulations”?
Sometime in 2013, Kate agreed to accompany Kiera on a road trip to Toowoomba to meet Dr Rick Kausman and learn more about supporting people to achieve the life they wanted for themselves without dieting. During the car ride there and back, the 2 chatted excitedly about the dream they shared of dietitians and psychologists working alongside one another to optimise health & happiness using a weight neutral approach. 

The following year, Kiera open a private practice with this very vision in mind. Before the clinic had even been named ‘Centre for Integrative Health’, Kate joined the practice and the adventure continued. 

Six years later, the dream of a clinic in which professionals from different disciplines worked alongside one another in a collaborative manner and using a weight neutral framework to support individuals in living the lives they envisaged for themselves has very much come true. 

Given her wholehearted belief in the vision of “a world for everyBODY” long before the conception of CFIH, Kate has since been appointed the ‘custodian of our vision’ and seeks to ensure that CFIH’s focus and strategies always align with the vision that CFIH was created to achieve. 

Please join us in congratulating Kate on 6 years with us as well as the role she has played in CFIH practitioners being able to do the work that they are so passionate about and in CFIH clients receiving the support that they so greatly benefit from. 

Thank you, Kate, for your role in making CFIH what it is today, for bringing a dream to life, and for your ongoing investment in and commitment to our team, our clients & our vision. May the adventure continue for many years to come, Team CFIH
I STRONGLY believe that pineapple belongs on pizza, chocolate DOES NOT go in the fridge, speed signs are merely a suggestion, and there is no such thing as a "right way" to hang toilet paper rolls on their holders. In saying that, I am open to passionately debating such topics, and then admitting my defeat or agreeing to a "agree to disagree" truce. 

Except when it comes to topics concerning the respect and support of individual choices that cause no harm to anyone else and challenging those which do. I will not "agree to disagree" on topics that collude with sexism, racism, homophobia, or weight centricity (to name a few).  These are not topics of opinion. They are topics of oppression. Oppression is not a topic for debate.
Now I know it’s not as easy as this but hear me out! 

At CFIH, we often meet individuals whom have struggled with concerns about eating and their weight/shape for their entire lives. They come to therapy seeking to make peace with their bodies and with food. However, they are often reluctant to give up the dream of attaining (or maintaining) a smaller body. 

When unpacking this reluctance with people, I’ve often learned that my suggestion to “abandon dieting” or “give up on this harmful pursuit of weight loss” is often interpreted as “abandon your dream of feeling good about yourself” and “give up on the hope of being treated by others the way you wish to be treated”. When we understand that dieting and weight loss has been a means of attaining a sense of self esteem and confidence, of having satisfactory relationships, and feeling happy & content, it makes perfect sense that someone would resist such changes. 

Many of us can probably relate to becoming fixated on some external change to solve an internal problem at some stage or another. However, the message that “if you just lost weight...” is a particularly pervasive one that starts early - especially for young girls whom are experiencing weight-base bullying by their peers.

In their efforts to protect their daughters from the anguish of being bullied and  ostracised by their peers, many well-meaning parents suggest, encourage, and support young girls to diet and lose weight. The implicit message behind such responses being, “If you change yourself, people will like you and not cause harm to you”. Or, in other words “They are mistreating you because there is something wrong with you”. The role of such messages in a society that continues to experience alarming rates of domestic violence, sexual abuse, and victim- blaming, is a topic for another conversation. 

The conversation I want to start today is how we empower young women to be assertive instead of submissive, to set boundaries rather than appease aggressors, to surround themselves by people who build them up and to walk away from those who bring them down. In other words, to teach young women from an early age to obtain the type of life and relationships they want to have without shrinking or abandoning themselves - without falling victim to the diet industry.
I recently wrapped up treatment with an adolescent boy who presented with Anorexia Nervosa. During our final session in which we were reviewing his journey from the onset of the illness until now, I raised the topic of 'insight'. My client made an incredibly valid but chilling point that has stuck with me - one which I believe we as a society need to consider if we are going to be effective in reducing the rates of eating disorders and their related conditions.

“I see now that I lacked insight into how unwell I was", my client admitted. "In saying that however, it was really confusing time for me in which I was receiving a lot of conflicting information". My client went on to recount, "One Sunday afternoon I was at a family BBQ in which an adult male whom I look up to approached me enthusiastically and said 'DUDEEE! You're looking SO good!'. The following day I was admitted to hospital and diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa. The doctors said I could have died".

I would like to say that these stories are few and far between but the sad reality is that we hear them quite a lot. Over the past decade, society has placed increasingly more unrealistic demands on what it means to "look good" or to "be fit". The male ideal has become increasingly leaner and more muscular - making it increasingly more unattainable and leading to increasingly more people engaging in unhealthy behaviours in their efforts to obtain it. 

If we are going to be effective in reducing the rates of body-image issues (along with the anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, suicidality, and interpersonal issues associated with them) we need an overhaul of the ideals we uphold and the expectations we set for ourselves and one another.