Disclaimer: this post may not go over well with my Registered Dietitian colleagues.
It’s nearly mid-January and one can’t help but hear the word diet everywhere. Every TV commercial, magazine and fitness-based company is hell bent on getting you on a diet that will change your life (and get you “skinny”) right NOW!! This way of thinking bothers me tremendously.
I am a dietitian that hates the word diet. The word is part of my professional title but in my personal opinion, diet implies restriction, deprivation, punishment and all sorts of negativity. Diet is usually closely followed up by the word “skinny” which is a word I’d love to be struck from the English language – it screams unhealthy to me.
How is it that a life-sustaining activity that must be done multiple times a day (ideally), has the word “die” in it?
I just can’t link the word “die” to what I choose to do for a living. I’m a food and nutrition professional and for the record: I love food, I love to eat and I do NOT diet. I don’t recommend diets to my clients.
I used to diet. My life revolved around everything I ate (or didn’t eat), how much I exercised (or didn’t exercise) and what I could or couldn’t eat. I was “skinny” and miserable. When I became a dietitian, I changed my life.
My nutrition philosophy is that we eat not only to sustain life but as part of our lifestyle. The way we eat is linked to the way we live our lives: good, bad and indifferent. Our pattern of intake is dependent upon our individual processing of mind, body, and emotion.
Being a dietitian isn’t simply coming up with a food plan for someone and telling them to follow it. The internet, magazines, books and a number of different weight loss companies can provide a plethora of diet plans that can give someone exactly the answer they want but not necessarily something they need.
In order to make changes to achieve optimal health, there needs to be an intrinsic reason to make that change. I believe my role as a dietitian is to help someone find that reason and be a guide through education and support.
I don’t believe that being healthy is all about ultra-organic or mega-vitamins, it’s about finding balance. As a nutrition professional, I can tell you that it’s not about a diet, it’s about a life.
Next, I’ll tell you how I feel about bathroom scales.