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Rising Stars: Meet Allison Aron

Today we’d like to introduce you to Allison Aron.

Hi Allison, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I am originally from Connecticut and moved out to Pasadena in 2018 to do my Dietetic Internship with California State University San Bernardino. Since high school, I knew I wanted to study nutrition and then become a dietitian. I think my interest in nutrition started as many others do and was rooted in an unhealthy, disordered relationship with food and to seek control. As I continued to explore and heal my relationship with food and my body image my desire to become a dietitian changed from wanting to seek control with food and nutrition to help others to heal their relationship with food and feel less anxious and stuck in negative body image/intrusive thoughts. My first job after passing my dietetic internship was at Bright Road Recovery, an Eating Disorder treatment center in Claremont, Ca. I learned so much and grew exponentially as a provider while being there. In 2020 I moved back home to New Haven, Connecticut where I was able to continue working with Bright Road virtually. I then moved on to work as an Inpatient Dietitian at Yale New Haven Health System, and a residential dietitian at the Institute of Living, the oldest psychiatric hospital in the country. In 2021 I started my private practice with a focus on wanting to work with people struggling with eating disorders and eating disorder recovery. I continue to see patients virtually around the Inland Empire who are struggling with eating disorders and work with them on improving their relationship with food, body image, empowering them to push themselves outside of their comfort zone and get in touch with their authentic selves.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Absolutely not. After college, I took a year to be a FoodCorps AmeriCorps Service member and really struggled with pushing myself outside of my comfort zone. I didn’t get into the dietetic internship during the first round and that felt really discouraging. The process to becoming a dietitian is very gatekeeper-ish and just to get to the point of applying to an internship there requires a lot of privilege. The internship is also unpaid so I had to rely on my significant other to financially support both of us. The process of starting a business is also quite vulnerable with having enough confidence in yourself to believe you have worthy services to offer and also reach out to people to get the word out. Just the confidence piece alone is something I am still struggling with and have to continue exploring and unpack.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I am a registered dietitian with a special interest in working with people who struggle with eating disorders, disordered eating, and those who are looking to improve their relationship with food. I practice from Health At Every Size and Intuitive Eating frameworks. I work to help people feel empowered with listening to their own internal cues and building trust with their body to nourish themselves in a way that feels good and encourages body autonomy. Being a HAES aligned dietitian means that I am intentional about making a space that feeling inclusive and nondiscriminatory towards people in larger bodies. Helping people use self-compassion when healing their body image and food behaviors can help break the cycle of shame, guilt, and judgment. I also strive to create a space where patients can bring up confusing messages they see on social media or the internet about nutrition information and provide education/work through misinformation to cultivate a stronger sense of confidence with making food choices. I am most proud of helping people find self-compassion and kindness towards themselves. And I am also proud of trying to give myself some kindness when learning new skills as well as putting myself out there when my default has always been to make myself small.

Where do you see things going in the next 5-10 years?
I see in the next 5-10 years more training and opportunities for providers to get education about Health At Every Size and weight-inclusive health care. I also see a continuation of the discussion around how stigmatization of larger bodies is rooted in racism. I hope to see the people who have the most visibility in this field are the people who we are trying to have equity for: BIPOC people in larger bodies.

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