Yes, I just quoted T.I. I do that from time to time.
I was disturbed when I first started my practice by the fact that none of my clients seemed to want to align with my nutrition philosophy. The one I keep tucked away in the darkest corner of my little soul. The one I sometimes share with clients who seem like they are ready to be enlightened, or those who actually don’t come to me for weight management (imagine!).
It’s a bit shameful, actually. I can manipulate your weight. Easy. It’s really just science – and remember, I’m a scientist! (MS, Science. B.A., selling my UF season football tickets, pocketing the cash, heading straight to Forever 21). But to change your philosophy and relationship with food is a delicate art.
I’m torn between being thrilled and also reluctant to tell you that you, yes you, can eat WHATEVER YOU WANT. WHENEVER YOU WANT. I hereby wave my magical dietitian wand (covered in dog hair, as are most of my possessions) and lift the decades of guilt and revulsion towards carbohydrates you harbor and tell you to eat a damn croissant.
It’s like this: when you come to my office – sad, desperate, out of control, feeling like food owns you, stress eating, binge eating, settling for easy and non-nourishing foods – I can’t actually tell you about my REAL way of eating/nutrition philosophy. You’re not ready for it. You’re not THERE, mentally. It’s like me inviting you aboard my nutrition yacht of happiness and then flinging you overboard without a life raft and trilling, “SWIM, MY LITTLE ESSENCE FISH! PADDLE AWAY! YOU GOT THIS!”
I have to first gift you a life vest (a “meal plan” – ugh. We dietitians hate these. They are so NOT intuitive. More on this in a minute). THEN, I can snip it off you with my magical dietitian scissors, and you’ll discover you actually knew how to swim all along.
Dietitians and enlightened eaters already know this. We view food as YAY not NAY (as in, we are excited to eat, we don’t dread eating because we don’t trust ourselves). So much of this “food crazy” I always talk about is what we have been CONDITIONED to THINK and FEEL about food. Step back from your “food crazy” thoughts. Step into – eat what you like.
It’s REALLY hard to describe in a blog post (my PR peeps say I need to keep these short and sweet or they become “TLDR” – look that phrase up!), but know this: try abandoning your anxieties, fears, and in general, all THOUGHTS around food. Read “Intuitive Eating.” Read “French Women Don’t Get Fat.” Eat what you want. Be honest with yourself, your hunger, and your needs. Once you let any thought in the way, that’s where you’ll slip up.
BRB – going to eat an almond croissant. BECAUSE I CAN.