Many of us who are/were obese probably sought out a nutritionist or our doctor at one point or another, to help us lose weight and/or get healthy. For sure, there are some out there that are really awesome and thoughtful and teachable. Teachable meaning they are willing to think outside their textbooks and past the standard diet dogma.
Unfortunately, the majority of them have the one size fits all mentality – they think all one has to do is portion control and exercise. They prescribe a high carb (because you know, ENERGY and supposedly nutrients), low fat (because you know, fat makes you fat) and high protein (because you know, protein).
I am a member of a semi popular group on FB – it has about 43,000 members. It’s a “healthy moms” type of group, so basically, the majority of the women are overweight and seeking help. There is a pretty good portion who are not like average women and they have six packs and they are almost cultish/hero worshippers of the group owner who wrote a book the group is based on. The other small portion are thin, but don’t have six packs but want a six pack. The group has a “resident expert nutritionist” who is the epitome of everything that is wrong with that profession. The advice she doles out is maddening- and she is not unique, unfortunately.
For one, she doesn’t believe in people enough to believe they can make changes for life and sustain them for life. She said to me, and I quote, “Unfortunately for so many they just cannot stay away from carbs and junk foods completely for a lifetime. ……..the majority of my patients are struggling with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, etc………Again I just don’t feel that the majority of the population can do so……” She doesn’t understand that it isn’t a matter of will power, that it is addiction. I asked her to explain why recovering alcoholics and drug addicts can manage to go a lifetime without ever using again. No reply. But I know why they can, because they got their minds right.
Two, she doesn’t understand that when referring to SAD (Standard American Diet) that it is referencing the typical high carb, low fat, moderate protein diet pushed by her profession, the government My Plate program and the food industry (which incidentally is ruled by carbs). She doesn’t understand that the “Western” diet is what references all the junk food, fast food, processed food that Americans typically eat. She thinks the two terms are synonymous. They are not. How does a so called expert not understand some of the most very basic information?
She is very much like the trainer at the gym that I encountered recently. She can’t see outside her textbooks like he couldn’t see past his charts. Don’t get me wrong, I believe that these people are sincere and want to see people succeed, but they don’t realize that they are part of the problem, that the reason their clients can’t stick to the plan they give them is because their clients true issues aren’t being addressed. I can’t tell you how frustrating it was at 260 pounds and after years and years of dieting attempts, to be told, “Just eat less and move more.” ARRRRGGGHHHHHH!!!!
Addiction is a powerful thing and if addicts were capable of moderation we would never get fat to begin with, we’d just portion control. Luckily, the mind is also a powerful thing and can be trained to think in new ways and create new thought pathways. I promise if you focus on changing your mind, the food part will come easy.
Getting our minds right is what makes this journey to health and weight loss possible. It isn’t just eating right and exercising – if we don’t have our mind right, sticking to those things is hard. If we know our why, and we can identify our triggers and eliminate them then we can succeed.