I want to clear up some confusion. I may be wrong, but I have a feeling a lot of people are still slightly confused about what I do as a dietitian and a body empowerment coach. And I get it. It can be totally confusing, especially since most of my dietitian colleagues work in a totally different way than I do.
One of the main reasons I feel the need to get real clear with you today is because, quite frankly, I’m tired of getting the *blank stare* when I tell people that I’m a dietitian but I DON’T provide my clients with a diet.
If I could see you right now, you’re probably giving me the *blank stare* too.
But hold tight, and keep reading, because by the end of this post, you’ll totally get it (blank stare removed).
Since the start of my career (about 25 years ago, and way before the holistic, body positive, self-care movements were conceived into the mainstream) I knew there was more to true health and wellbeing than just food. I knew deep down that the challenges people faced with their food and body issues weren’t only about how much food they ate, what foods they ate (or didn’t eat) and how much (or little) they exercised.
I knew this because of my own struggles with food and body, and the fact that I had all the knowledge in the world (it seemed), and I still struggled to heal myself, I knew there was more to it than just diet and exercise. Calories in, calories out just wasn’t working for me.
And you may be feeling the same way too.
Maybe you’ve lost and gained weight more times than you’d like to admit. Or you’ve been on every diet known to man. Or you own a library of exercise DVD’s that have collected a lot of dust over the years.
Whatever your backstory, I venture to guess that the antiquated theory of “calories in, calories out” just isn’t working in your favor. I also venture to guess that dieting has always felt restrictive for you; something that you had to always stay on top of. And when you didn’t, the weight stayed on top of YOU.
Not a good feeling whatsoever.
One thing I always noticed throughout my own journey of discovery and healing is that I lost the most weight when I wasn’t paying attention to it.
It was when my focus and energy were on other things that were fulfilling and gratifying that I had less time to pay attention to dieting because I was filling myself up in other ways and I didn’t need food to do that.
So this is why I don’t give out diets and meal plans to my clients. Because what I really want the most for you is a life that is full-filled. What brings me pure joy is seeing a woman who is living a life she loves. It literally brings me tears of joy.
I tell people that my job is to help you get your LIFE back. And if losing weight and getting back on track with eating healthy and moving your body more often is part of that, as it should be, then we’ll work on that. But you don’t necessarily need a “diet” to do that, especially if you’d dieted many times before and you already know WHAT to do.
So what does it really mean to “Get Your Life Back”?
Getting your life back means you:
- Recognize EVERYTHING is food: Healthy relationships, a fulfilling career, regular physical activity, and a solid spiritual practice are all essential forms of nourishment. When these “primary foods” are balanced, food becomes secondary.
- Start listening to your body: When you’re focused on following a diet or a specific meal plan that was created as a “one size fits all” blueprint, you’re ignoring your unique individuality. Listening to your body will allow you to learn what’s best for you.
- Get moving in a way that you love: Do what you love and you’ll keep on doing it. It’s just that simple. Most exercise routines are grueling and put you into the “no pain, no gain” mindset which isn’t the way to maintain a long-tern, healthy relationship with your body and exercise. Find something you love to do, and keep it going.
- Don’t just feed your body, fuel your spirit: This can only be done when you decide that YOU are your most precious commodity. Then you focus on doing only those things that make you feel good. Daily.
My belief is that diets put us into a mindset of restriction, obsessive-compulsive behavior, and leads us away from what’s really important in our lives. And I believe when you live your life based on the foundation of the “Fruits of the Spirit” (love, joy, peace, forbearance [moderation], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control), you’ll forever have everything you need.
So what do you think? How can you start to “Get Your Life Back” based on the 4 principles above? Let’s talk about it in the comments below.