I thought I’d share a piece of my life that is and has been very important to me, my dietitian. Every Wednesday, I go to my dietitian and discus my food and body woes. In a way, she’s a lot like a therapist. If your familiar with eating disorder treatment, you’re probably well aware that a dietitian (as well as a therapist) is a very important component for recovery.
But dietitians are not just for eating disorder patients. I figured people with weight issues on all ends of the spectrum (overweight and underweight) see dietitians, but I asked my own dietitian today about her other clients. Most indeed have eating disorders and either need to loose or gain weight, but some clients have certain medical conditions like gout, cancer, polycystic ovarian syndrome, or diabetes. Whether or not you have an eating disorder, I dont see the harm in having a consultation with a dietitian. I think many people simply don’t know or have myths built up in their heads from rumors or online research about nutrition. Even I, who sadly thanks to my eating disorder, have become a “nutrition expert”, need the true voice of nutritional voice of reason to put things in perspective. If you DO have an eating disorder, dietitians can make or break you. When I say “break”, I mean they can worsen your disordered behaviors or thoughts.
For example, my very first dietitian did just that. First off, she told me my weight every time. Idiot. She knew very well I was on the verge of anorexia. She also had me calculate my caloric intake. At fourteen, I honestly didn’t know much about calories but she made me calculate it for her everyday and this made my disorder way worse and more OCD than you can imagine. Another mess up, she taught me really stupid “tricks” in order to get rid of my food fears like blotting pizza or defatting peanut butter (which sounds like an oxymoron, right?). Ugh…she ruined me!
I stopped seeing her after a few months, and I didn’t want to see another dietitian again.
When I was 18, I met my current dietitian. I was rail thin and urged by my therapist as the time to see a dietitian again. I was very skeptical since my first dietitian basically fed my eating disorder (pun intended). But as you can see, she’s still my dietitian and I truly owe a lot of my recovery to her.
So if you do want to see a dietitian, for whatever reason, I think its crucial you find a GREAT one. Not an OK one, you need one that truly understands you and your goals. I’ve had about seven therapists (and I’m not kidding) before I finally found one that worked whom I see now (who I know reads this blog and if your reading this….know that I think your the best therapist I ever had!). But I’ve only had one other dietitian (when I was in my treatment center), besides the nut case I had at fourteen. Anyhow, I love my dietitian now. She loves me like a daughter, which means a lot to me since loosing my own mother at thirteen. She went to visit me when I was in treatment which was about an hour and a half drive from Los Angeles. Most importantly, she kicks my ass, refutes all the BS theories my eating disorder will conjure up, and I know she wants my recovery just as much as I do.
So in this case, my dietitian totally saved my life and helped me. Even if you just want to eat healthy, doing your own research is fine and all, but reading lots of books and doing online research will probably hurt you more than hinder you. I’ve noticed many bloggers are convinced they have concocted THE best diet for themselves. But the reality is, most of them aren’t doctors and they fail to realize there is no “perfect” diet. However, I think if you can afford it, go see an experienced registered dietitian. Most are unbiased when it comes to diets. Unless they wrote or created some sort of fad diet (cough, atkins, cough, zone, cough, fat flush), they will pretty much have a balanced and healthy approach to eating. The role of the dietitian isn’t just to tell you what to eat. My dietitian certainly does not do that with me anymore. Everybody will have a different purpose for a dietitian. Mine is mainly to help me sort out my energy towards food and my body. She checks my weight (without me seeing!) so I don’t loose to much and so I dont have to weigh myself and obsess about it. And although not all dietitans do this, my particular dietitian is somewhat of a life coach. She’s very wise and experienced (in practice for over twenty five years), and it doesn’t hurt that she’s over fifty and looks like she’s in her thirties so I know she takes care of herself. I’ve had friends with eating disorders whose dietitians were obese (great way to get emaciated girls to get excited about weight gain!) My roommate’s former dietitian was still anorexic and actually left to get treatment herself while seeing my roommate as a client! So yeah, make sure the dietitians practice what they preach. Once again, I think everybody, disordered or not, would benefit from a consultation with a GOOD dietitian. So that being said, choose your dietitian wisely. I hope you find someone as incredible as mine. I apologize this post is lengthy and not that funny, but I really felt compelled to write about the importance of a dietitian after my session today. Because right when it ended, my dietitian gave me a big hug and said, “You know I love you!?”. It wasn’t even a hard session, it actually went well, maybe she was proud of me, I’m not sure, but it made my thankful that she helped me love me too.
Sorry no recipe today, Yoga school kept me out of the kitchen.
And thanks SO much everybody for the vacation suggestions! keep em coming here.
Also, dont forget the tortilla giveaway! I find it funny I even do giveaways buts its a cool way to see my “silent” commenters and to give people free stuff, always down with that!