GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A West Michigan woman has gained a large following on social media by fighting back against restricting and obsession around food and exercise. Her platform: No food rules.

“Having no food rules goes against everything that we have been taught for so long,” Colleen Christensen said.

Bucking the diet trend and bringing others along with her is a full-time job for Christensen, a registered dietician.

“I never expected this to be my career, but it makes so much sense,” she said.

As someone who struggled with diet culture and living up to her own food rules, Christensen now preaches intuitive eating.

“You can eat the cookie and not have to worry about it. The more normal that became for me, the more I realized, ‘Wow, I wish I had somebody to help me figure this out,'” she said.

With 293,000 followers on Instagram, Christensen sends her No Food Rules message from her kitchen in Grand Rapids out into the world.

“I love talking about this topic, which it can feel like a really heavy topic,” she said. “A lot of people are pretty opinionated so I always like to do it with a little humor and always make it enjoyable content to consume.”

She’s plays the devil’s advocate through a character she calls “Food Rules Felicia.” She explained the food rules that Felicia talks about are the same conversations people are having with themselves and with friends and family.

“Talking about your struggles with food, it can feel like such a taboo topic. So when you can add a little humor and just understanding (that) I’m not alone in this, we can all work through it together, I just think that’s so powerful,” Christensen said.

In her online group the SociEATy, members receive encouragement, ideas and support and are able to connect with others along their no food rules journey.

“We spent decades being seeped in diet culture and trying to shrink our bodies at all costs,” she said. “We’re not going to be able to undo that overnight.”

Christensen admitted she has what she calls “thin privilege” because she is in good shape but she said that’s part of the SociEATy: people of all shapes and sizes coming together.

“Rather than trying to fit a size or a weight, focusing on how you feel honestly. That creates an intrinsic motivation: You want to do more of that; that felt good,” she said. “My goal is to always just to share what I have learned along the way and it’s really started to resonate with other people.”

Along with sharing her Sunday grocery shopping trips and favorite recipes, Christensen is taking the diet out of diet culture one Instagram post at a time.

“I think there’s something so powerful when you feel so seen by this and I’m not the only one struggling,” she said.

Having no food rules doesn’t mean it’s OK to eat the whole package of cookies. Rather, it’s about listening to your body, gentle nutrition and joyful movement — all things Christensen talks about in her Instagram stories.