Circle Contributors

For almost two decades now, I have been very fortunate to work among many amazing clinicians, researchers, allied health practitioners, and advocates who share my passion for emotional eating, compulsive eating, and binge eating disorder education and recovery.

I am pleased to call attention to their talents, accomplishments, and ongoing contributions to the A Weigh Out Members’ Circle. I hope you’ll get to know them, too. Please read about us below.

Ellen Shuman


Curriculum Vita

ellen_shuman_headshot_80Ellen Shuman, Founder & Coach

I am the founder and principal coach of A Weigh Out Life Coaching.

Since 1997, I have been coaching people who struggle with emotional, compulsive, and/or binge eating who wish to develop healthier ways to manage emotions that drive overeating. Since I coach by phone, I work with people who live anywhere in the world. (Through WellCentered Life Coaching, I also take on a limited number of people who do not have eating issues and would benefit from learning and mastering these same emotional management tools and skills.)

In 1993, I started Acoria ; an outpatient eating disorder treatment program in Cincinnati, Ohio, specializing in the treatment of emotional eating, compulsive eating, Bulimia, and Binge Eating Disorder (BED).

Since founding Acoria and A Weigh Out, my responsibilities have included binge eating disorder research, program development, design and facilitation of workshops, teleseminars, professional trainings, management of day-to-day operation, and client intake— individual and group coaching with an emphasis on emotional regulation skill training, coupled with a health-focused approach. I offers free educational teleclasses to people who want access to the very latest research and effective recovery techniques.

I am also in recovery from a binge eating disorder, which started for me in childhood, long before we knew this disorder existed. Today, I know this subject inside and out!

Since 2011, I have served as President of BEDA; the Binge Eating Disorder Association…and in 2002 I co-founded the Academy for Eating Disorders “Health at Every Size” SIG, serving as co-chair for 10 years. I can be contacted at and 513-321-4242.

Linda BaconDr. Linda Bacon is a professor, researcher, author, and consultant. She is committed to educating people on the scientific evidence that underlies our understanding of weight. She combines her academic expertise and clinical experience to help people make connections between scientific research and practical application. She supports individuals in appreciating their bodies and developing nourishing and enjoyable health habits. She also provides health professionals and organizations with the education and tools to support their clients’ journey. Dr. Bacon has multi-disciplinary training, including graduate degrees in physiology (specializing in nutrition), psychology, and exercise science. Dr. Bacon is the author of the 2010 book, Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight,

mary_boggiano_headshot_80Mary Boggiano, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University Of Alabama at Birmingham. She obtained her Ph.D. in Psychology at the UT El Paso and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Univ. of Cincinnati Medical College.  She specializes in the behavioral neuroscience of eating disorders (EDS) and obesity.  Her animal models of binge-eating are used internationally by academics and pharmaceutical companies to develop new drug therapies, identify brain and endocrine mediators of binge-eating, and investigated predisposing genes. Mary battled bulimia as a teen and young adult.  Her recovery process has helped guide her animal research which has found that dieting, stress, environmental cues, and palatable food can change the brain’s control of not only food intake, but food preferences, reward, and mood.  She also developed a rat model that promises to tease out the genetic differences between susceptibility to binge-eating and to development of obesity with and without binge-eating.  By finding striking parallels of binge-like behavior in rats, some human binge behaviors once chalked up to higher cognitive processes are now being viewed as more reflexive biological responses.  She is active in peer support groups for eating disorders and is currently working on a multi-center study of anorexia nervosa aimed at identifying the genes underlying this deadly disorder.  She and Ellen Shuman have published survey work highlighting the chaotic nature of binge-eating and underlying motivations.  Her research has been funded by NIH and she was the first to receive a research award from the Natl. Eating Disorders Association. Dr. Mary Boggiano can be reached at


 deb_burgard_headshot_80Deb Burgard, Ph.D. is a psychologist specializing in eating disorders, sexuality, and relationships. She is one of the founders of the Health at Every Size (HAES) approach, and creator of

Dr. Burgard has been exploring the topic of women and their appetites since 1980. Deeply interested in both stigma and body image, and how people change culture and find a way to cherish the bodies they were taught to demonize, she uses these lessons in her clinical work with people suffering from various forms of body estrangement. She also is an engaging speaker, educator, and consultant.

Her research asks, what allows fat women to maintain their self-esteem and sense of empowerment in a world that deems them “out of control” and asks them to suppress their weight? What helps people of all sizes develop sustainable health practices that last?

She co-wrote Great Shape: The First Fitness Guide for Large Women in 1988, and has contributed to several major anthologies, including Feminist Perspectives on Eating Disorders, Effective Clinical Practice in the Treatment of Eating Disorders, and The Fat Studies Reader.

She is the co-chair of the Health at Every Size special interest group within the Academy for Eating Disorders and co-author of AED’s “Guidelines for Childhood Obesity Prevention Programs.”

She serves on the Public Policy Committee of the Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH) and the Advisory Board for the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA). Deb Burgard, PhD, Los Altos, CA 94022, 650-321-2606, Photo by

Judith Matz, LCSW Judith Matz, LCSW, is a therapist, speaker, consultant and the co-author of two groundbreaking books on the topics of eating and weight issues: The Diet Survivor’s Handbook: 60 Lessons in Eating, Acceptance and Self-Care (2006) and Beyond a Shadow of a Diet: The Therapist’s Guide to Treating Compulsive Eating (2004).

Judith is committed to helping people end the preoccupation with food and weight and has extensive experience the field of eating problems.  She is a dynamic speaker and frequent presenter at national conferences, and has been interviewed on topics related to dieting, overeating, emotional eating, binge eating disorder and body image by newspapers, traditional and online magazines, as well as national radio programs across the country.  In her first movie appearance, she was interviewed in the 2011 documentary America The Beautiful: The Thin Commandments.

Judith received her MSW from University of Michigan in 1980.  She has served as director of the Chicago Center for Overcoming Overeating since 1993, and has a private practice in Skokie, Illinois where she offers individual and group counseling, as well as workshops and professional consultation.  She can be reached at 847.267.1200 or Learn more about Judith and her books at .

Rita Nader HeinkenfeldRita Heikenfeld, CCP, CMH, is a certified culinary professional and certified modern herbalist, an educator, author, and has an award winning cable TV show “Love starts in the Kitchen”. She is a certified modern herbalist, specializing in the health aspects of culinary herbs and natural foods, a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals and has been certified as a Professional Instructor. Rita is also an adjunct professor at University of Cincinnati, Clermont. She is listed in Who’s Who in American Women and has an award winning syndicated weekly column in Community Press Newspapers. Rita is founding editor of and has a daily blog on She also cooks live on local TV in Cincinnati and is a presenter at many health venues and herbal seminars. She lives in the sticks outside of Batavia, Ohio with her family where they grow their own produce and herbs, heat with wood, and raise chickens for eggs. Rita’s herb garden has been featured in the nationally distributed Country Gardens magazine, a Better Homes and Gardens publication. Rita and Ellen Shuman are co-authors of a Sports Nutrition book for children, The Official Snack Guide for Beleaguered Sports Parents.

 Amy Tuttle, RD, LCSW and Karin Kratina, RD, PhD are committed to promoting self acceptance and body trust. As registered dietitians who have had to ignore much of what they learned in school, they believe that diets cause more problems than they solve.  Long-time advocates of Health at Every Size, they created the Nourishing Connections website to provide no-diet articles and resources including “Stay Attuned:  The E-zine for Nourishing Connections.”

Kratina_Karin_headshot_80Karin, a leader in the Health at Every Size movement, has degrees in nutrition, exercise physiology, and gender studies, as well as a PhD in symbolic anthropology.  She is an international speaker and the author of numerous books including Moving Away From Diets: Healing Eating Problems and Exercise Resistance. Karin is on the Advisory Boards for several organizations including Green Mountain at Fox Run and the National Eating Disorders Association.  With her associate, Tracy Brown, she works with individuals and families in her Gainesville, Florida private practice.


Tuttle_Amy_headshot_80Amy, a registered dietitian and licensed clinical social worker with advanced training in mindfulness meditation practices, works with individuals and families in her Philadelphia, Pennsylvania private practice.

She offers mindfulness-based no-diet groups and eating disorder prevention programs and has conducted no-diet programs for varied groups, including midlife women, children and their parents at the YMCA, and the men and women officers of the Philadelphia Police Department.

Karin and Amy look forward to sharing articles about overcoming deprivation-driven and emotional eating, enhancing self and size acceptance, and using mindfulness practices and attuned eating to manage food and weight.

Past guest contributors have included:

Robin Okun, LMSW & Amy Pershing, LMSW, ACSW



*Circle Contributors may change over time, as their own professional and personal schedules dictate.

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