Monday, March 30, 2009

Tossing the Professional Help Thing

I woke up this morning at 6am with a feeling of hope that today would be the day that I get some serious help with my issues. A friend of mine had told me about a program that was being offered at a local medical center that provided free advice from a nutritionist for people who were obese as a part of a diabetes prevention program. I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to seek some help - and get a better idea and understanding to help me with my eating problems. She told me that the clinic opened at 7am - and that's the exact time I pulled into the parking lot. Luckily, there was hardly anyone there - as I had also made an appointment to meet with a psychology professor at 9am.

So, I walk thru the door of a nice little clinic, sign in, and take a seat. The room was covered in posters talking about healthy eating, exercising, etc. -but I couldn't help but notice the vending machine to my left filled with assortments of candy bars and chips.. and not a single healthy option to boot! This should of been my first sign that this may not go as I planned, but if that wasn't then the magazines thrown around the room covered with "Make Your Own Easter Chocolate Treats", and "Easter Cake Recipes Chocoholics Will Love" on the covers should of been. I only had to sit there a few moments when the door opened and a lady walked out and called my name. At this time, I almost laughed out loud. The woman that called my name must of been AT LEAST 300 lbs! I thought, surely, this is just a nurse or an assistant - something! But, no, this was the nutritionist that was going to give me advice about how to lose weight and make better eating choices. We went back to her office, and we introduced ourselves. She asked me why I was there - so I told her.. "I'm addicted to food, I'm fat, and I want to lose weight". The woman said "ok, I think I can help you with that" - and in my mind all I could think of was "really?? Then, no offense, but why are you so big?".

The whole process took about 30 minutes - and was really a complete waste of my time. She took my blood pressure, weighed me.. 265lbs, damn it!!...and then fed me the same crap that I've been fed by every dieting book and website out there. "Try to consume no more than 1600 calories a day, drink plenty of water, stay away from white sugars and flours, avoid red meat, people who are overweight run a higher risk of getting diabetes..blah, blah, blah". Thank goodness it was a free visit!! After she gave me the long spill I'd heard so many times before I came out with what was on my mind "not to be rude, but I've heard this all before - if it really was that simple, I'd be doing it....I was kind of hoping for a little more help, advice, something". Her response to me? LOL "well, you're right if it were that easy I wouldn't be overweight - but there really isn't anything else I can tell you" Great, huh?? So, after that complete failure of a visit, I could only hope that the short session I had scheduled with my psychology professor may go a little smoother.

At 9am, I arrive at my professor's office. She welcomes me in and asks me to explain a little better what it was I needed help with (I had already briefed her by email a few days ago). I explained my story, told her about the horrific meeting with the nutritionist (that she thought was hilarious by the way) and asked her if she had any advice. She asked me if I had been through any recent traumatic experiences, and I responded no - but I had gone through a nasty one when my eating problem first started. So, she asked, "well, are you under any kind of stress?"..Hmmm.. well, I'm a mother of 3 young children, a full time student taking 6 classes, I work part time at the college, I am an aspiring photographer - oh and softball season just started so I've also got to fit softball and baseball practices into my schedule... "nope, no stress - life is normal."

To make a really long 30 minutes short, she basically had some interesting things to say - but stuff that I kinda already knew. Things like, "this is a mental barrier that you have to overcome", and "just as if you were addicted to drugs, you really have to hit rock bottom in order to want to quit overeating", and my favorite "you have to stay away from the negative foods, and fill your life with positive foods" (that one was a new one for me..LOL). All in all, I can't really give her a hard time - but I'm not signing up for weekly sessions or anything. She's right - I really do have to hit rock bottom and stop making stupid mistakes and excuses. Steve (my fiance) has been telling me for months that if I stopped buying snack cakes, chocolates, chips, etc. then they wouldn't be there for me to eat. So, I've decided that this week I'm going to get rid of all the crap in my house - not by eating it, but either bringing it to work so that my co-workers can have it, or letting my kids eat it, or just throwing it away. It's almost the end of the month - so there's not that much stuff left to get rid of... I always do a large portion of my grocery shopping at the beginning of the month.

My professor did help me build a little plan - and it's doable - so we will see how it goes. The information and advice she gave me should of been something the nutritionist gave - but it just so happens that my professor is a fitness I kinda got a double bonus.

Here is her list of dos and don'ts:
  • When grocery shopping - make a list based on prepared and planned meals. Build a calendar designated what days will be designated for what meals - have back up meals ready in case of an unplanned event.
  • Try to plan meals that sound good and appetizing - dieters hate eating "rabbit food"....look for things like "Caribbean Spicy Fish" or "Pineapple juicy chicken". If you use recipes that lack the appealing name - name the dishes yourself.
  • Don't make a seperate meal plan for yourself and allow other household members to eat fatty, unhealthy foods - put them on the same meal plan!
  • There are tons of healthy snack options out there - there's not reason why you can't eat them. There are many tasty treats, such as the "100 calorie" options for things like snack cakes, chips, etc. and 1 of those a day should help calm a sweet tooth or salty binge.
  • Avoid "Fat Free" items - as they are usually loaded with sugar..which is just as bad. Look for "lite" options or "low calorie" options instead.
  • Lastly, if you like drinking coffee - drink coffee with no cream or sugar (or low calorie versions if needed), if you like soda - drink diet soda, if you don't like water - try a flavored water (low calorie)..but try to drink plenty of it.

I really liked the advice she gave with a lot of that stuff. She pointed out that I shouldn't be focusing on a diet, but more on a lifestyle change. It's not about cutting the pounds now, and then reverting back to my old ways - but finding something that fits, helps shed the pounds, and something I can live with to keep them off. So, this morning wasn't a complete failure - now it's back to myself and taking her pointers. Till next time. :)

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes you just need someone with the right perspective that isn't a so called 'professional'!


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