Chompian of the Month: Constance Weissmuller, MS, RDN
Written by Addie Martanovic on December 09, 2022
For the month of December, we're highlighting a new Chompian of the Month who inspires us through her work as a dietitian helping those who are recovering from eating disorders. This month you'll meet Constance Weissmuller (we call her Connie!) who we hope leaves you a bit inspired going into the holiday season.
Can you tell us about yourself - what you do, a bit about your story, etc.?
I'm a Registered Dietitian located in Denver, Colorado. I have a few parts of my job that all bring me joy in different ways. I teach Human Nutrition from a weight-neutral lens to Pre-Nursing Students at a local community college, own a private practice supporting mainly those in eating disorder recovery, and spend some time at Recovery Rack located at the Eating Disorder Foundation (EDF) of Denver. I started Recovery Rack - a weight inclusive, no cost boutique for those in eating disorder recovery- with the support of EDF earlier this fall. I saw a large need for a supportive space where individuals could find clothing that fits their here and now body and sense of style as they navigate recovery and the body changes that may come with it. Shopping is overwhelming, it's also costly. I wanted to break down a few barriers to make this experience even just a little easier. I hope to be able to expand Recovery Rack to other cities and states in the coming years!
What’s your best tip on how to stay positive?
Oh gosh. I think this is a loaded question! In the most basic sense, I believe gratitude helps with positivity. I love stopping and smelling the roses, feeling the breeze on my face, being aware of the safe and warm bed I have in my home, appreciating how my body works etc. I also am firmly against "toxic positivity". You know- the " time heals all wounds" or "it could be so much worse!" type of comments? I'm a big fan of allowing space for all our feelings whether they are negative or positive because that's real life. I work in a space where life is very hard for many of my clients and it's taught me a lot about holding space for it all. I'm also a deeply feeling human. I've learned to honor my feelings so I can actually process them and grow rather than just squish the hard feelings down and avoid them. Thanks therapy!
What’s your workout routine?
I absolutely adore my yoga studio and go to about 2 classes a week on average. I walk daily and ski and hike when I can- usually once a week depending on the season. Depending on what I'm feeling I may also take a dance class at a local studio - that always put a huge smile on my face! Living in Colorado is such a gift. Being outdoors is so helpful for my mental health.
How do you consider yourself a “game changer?”
I think I'm a game changer in the way I teach my students. I have two health science degrees and while teaching, I emulate the professors and clinicians I respected the most and learned the most from in my own education journey while also providing nutrition education from a weight neutral lens that I've learned/continue to learn in my clinical practice. Unfortunately, my class will likely be the only class in their entire education where my students hear about eating disorders, mental health, weight stigma (and how to provide ethical weight neutral care as future nurses), social determinants of health, and the issues we have in the US health system. It's a huge bummer to think about this but because of that, I provide my students with as many resources as I can for their continued education. I make sure they have links to the Association for Size Diversity and Health website, peer reviewed articles to share with clinical supervisors or colleagues, and mental health resources of their own. I know my students walk into the room with their own life experiences and they've maybe never had a professor validate their feelings, let them know that therapy is available on campus or help them connect to a local clinician for themselves or their children for nutrition counseling. I'm always a human before I'm a teacher or clinician and I believe that's a game changer.
What’s the best thing you do for your personal health everyday (mental or physical)?
Get outside! No matter the weather, I'm outside for a walk. It drastically improves my mental health and is great for feeling physically good too. I also make sure to eat enough. You can't expect your body and mind to work well if you aren't nourishing your body regularly and adequately.
What is your favorite Chomps product?
The Original Beef Stick!
How does Chomps fuel your lifestyle?
I always have one in my hiking backpack for a snack during or after my hike. It's nice to have a savory option amidst so many sweet options like granola bars, fruit, etc that are shelf-stable to have in a backpack.