I've never enjoyed the restrictiveness of putting people on diets to lose weight.
What? Am I even a real Dietitian? What is wrong with me?
In my private practice I am faced daily with the expectation that this is what I am going to do. Put people on a diet. Restrict them to help them lose weight. Cut them back on their eating. Be their (nice but nevertheless) food police.
Knowing that a person may have battled weight all their lives and wants a fix now, doesn’t make the prospect sit any easier with me. It’s not in my nature to deprive people of the joy that food and eating brings and it conflicts with my very core as a former hospital-based Dietitian focused on nourishing people.
So here goes. Confession time. If you want a Dietitian to put you on a diet, write you a meal plan and make you count calories to lose weight, I am not the right Dietitian for you. I've done all of that before but I don't think I can do it anymore.
Perhaps this is business suicide. (Though I trust that discerning readers know there is so much more to being a Dietitian than managing people's weight concern. See the 'How I can Help' page if you need a refresher ;))
But here’s the thing. Weight loss diets don’t work. It doesn’t matter which diet you choose to think of. Low carb, no carb, high protein, low fat, high fat, soup diets, clean-eating, paleo, counting macros, even general 'healthy eating' blah blah. In the end if you are ‘on a diet’ it will fail to give what it promises. Sooner or later. Millions of people on diets can’t be stuffing them up, or be failing because of a lack of willpower. No. Something is very wrong with the diet messages that we have been delivering. Yet the Diet industry is booming and obesity rates are rising.
There has to be a better way.
So I've started working with a new framework. It goes by a number of names - The Non-Diet Approach, Intuitive Eating, Health at Every Size. It is evidence-based, flexible, it cuts to the core of why you eat the way you do and in doing so teaches you how to tune into your own body and nourish it as nature intended. You no longer have to constantly think about the correct food or amount to eat, and you can enjoy food rather than seeing it as the enemy. And I love it because I can help you to learn to nourish yourself again, physically and emotionally.
The bad news? It takes time to learn and you won't lose weight fast. You might not lose it at all if you're not meant to. Shocking I know. But is that worse than the misery of dieting, losing weight then regaining it (and likely more)? Which you will do. I can just about guarantee that.
If any of this resonates, feel free to drop me an email or call and have a chat about whether this approach is right for you. It’s not for everyone, but if you’ve tried all the rest, are caught in the dieting/weight loss/weight regain cycle, or just want to learn to eat intuitively for your health, it might be worth considering.
Where does one start their very first true blog?
I don’t really know. I actually despise the words blog, blogger and blogging, now I come to think of it. There’s something almost lavatorian about them (I don’t think that’s a word, but neither was blog not that long ago). This whole blogging thing is not something I ever saw as relevant to me until my (usually) very insightful daughter suggested otherwise, well before my website came to be.
I’m by no means old, but the stuff my teenage children do with technology makes me feel ancient. Blogging is for them and their generation, not me. Maybe that’s why I’ve instead called this “Thoughts of the Week”. Of course in the menu it’s ‘blog’ - but that’s just so people think I’m with the program and have a clue. Really I don’t.
I write an annual New Year letter. It’s my homage to the humble Christmas card. December is chaos in our family - probably no more than any one else’s December but it always feels worse when it’s yours. I like order and organisation. Overfilling the schedule sends me into a flat spin.
On the flip side, I love the opportunity to connect meaningfully with the family and friends that inevitably have been neglected during the year. Unfortunately for me (and in truth probably the recipients), hastily written Christmas cards are an impossibility. So one year I made the brave (OK maybe that’s a stretch) decision to stop writing them, simply because it was another thing I ‘had’ to do to get ready for Christmas. And it had stopped being enjoyable. I was genuinely concerned that I would be seen as rude but I decided I would put my own needs and the family’s sanity first and do it anyway.
So it was replaced with my New Year letter. I write it on holidays, in the car, while I’m camping, wherever the whim and the time finds me. And now I look forward to the opportunity to reflect on the year that has passed, rather than dreading fitting in yet another societally pressured task to achieve before Christmas.
So what’s the point?
I guess my first thought is - ‘Thoughts of the Week’ is a perfect opportunity to direct my writing to a new and unsuspecting audience.
OK in all seriousness, like my New Year letter, what it really is, is an opportunity to connect meaningfully with people. Most importantly those who are considering or already receive my services as a Dietitian. I feel as though there has to be some value in knowing a little about the person you are choosing or thinking of choosing to share your personal food story with in a consultation room.
People bring so much of themselves and lay it bare during their Dietitian appointments. Exhausted mothers of babies suffering severe reflux whose marriages are at breaking point; the desperation of people who have fought a life long battle with themselves and their weight and don’t know where to turn next; those who have to plan their day to day life around where the closest toilet is because their gut is reliably unreliable; parents who have to judge each of their child’s meals by how much carb to count so they can bolus their next insulin dose, and can’t just get on with nourishing their little person like the rest of us. And so it goes on.
I feel like you deserve something more meaningful than just the dietary advice you are looking for. And hopefully here you will find it, if you want it. Or you can just ignore it. No judgement here. So come join me in my food world beyond the doors of Nourishing You and we’ll see where this goes.
PS (in this day and age is it still relevant to PS? I don’t know…) - As an aside I’m writing this whilst flying over our wide brown land, northeast of Broken Hill in outback NSW on a clear blue sky day. Eating a lamb and minted pea pie, no less. Which is actually really yummy and the perfect, not too huge, size. I’m not a massive lamb-eating fan, but the beautiful meaty texture, lamb and mint sauce flavours and hints of rosemary genuinely take me back to Sunday roasts at home with the family when I was a little girl with no thoughts about food beyond the joy of eating it. Mum always makes the best roast and here it is in a little package on a plane. Great memories in an instant, like an old song that transports you to another place in time. Yep that's the magic of food. And to top it off, made in Australia, served by Qantas. Nice job guys.
Anyway…the land here is literally flat, rusty brown and interspersed with corrugations in the colour, housing dried up waterways, sparse scrubby grey-black bush and what I think may be massive white salt lakes. I’ve never seen this part of Australia. I’m travelling under very sad circumstances to farewell an inspirational woman, but I am a wanderer at heart and can’t help but appreciate the new experience. I’m sure she would have marvelled at this landscape more than once in her time too. So this one’s for you Kristina Mackey.