Some people work with a nutritionist because they want to hand over all responsibility for their eating to someone else. I get it - there’s so much conflicting advice out there, and it almost feels like thinking about food is a task you want to get off your To Do list. So what do you do? Delegate it to someone else, of course!
Food can be scary. It can be an emotional topic. A lot of us harbor deep-rooted issues about food and eating which stem from our childhood or adolescence. But here’s hard truth number one: if I take on *all* of the responsibility for your eating habits, you’re never going to be able to make food-related decisions independently. I’m there to advise and support for sure, but it’s vital for a client to be actively engaged and involved in the decision-making process if the change they seek is going to be sustainable.
Let me give you a scenario: say I give you a very prescriptive meal plan and exercise regime. It insists on three meals a day, absolutely no snacking and very strict rules around certain food groups. One miserable Monday you come home from work. Let’s say you’ve had a day and a half, you’re stressed, hungry and the refrigerator is empty. Prescriptive meal plan says it’s a workout followed by roasted chicken and veg, but your body is screaming for pizza and wine.
What happens? A binge happens, that’s what. You have the pizza, the wine and more besides. And who’s to blame? Well, in that scenario, it would be pretty understandable if the client laid some blame on me. Why? Well, I’ve set you up to fail by giving you a rule-heavy program with very little wriggle room. It doesn’t recognise the fact that Monday is your sh*tty day at work or that you go to the grocery store on a Tuesday.
Making all of the decisions is actually pretty problematic for me; I feel like it doesn’t give you any of the power or respect you need - and deserve.
You are you - different to everyone else with a unique routine and set of experiences behind you. A cookie cutter program is worse than lazy - it’s ineffective. What works for me won’t necessarily work for you - and for a lifestyle to work, it has to be something you can live with. Forever. That’s why - NEWSFLASH - diets don’t work.
If I tell you exactly what to eat and when to eat it, then you're a robot - and a miserable one too. I don't want that. I want you to feel empowered and I want you to own your decisions, even if that decision is to eat a piece of cake or have a slice of pizza. Own it, take accountability for it, accept it and move the hell on. No shame, no guilt. We’re often so messed up about our eating habits that it can take some time to reach true, mindful autonomy - but with someone else telling you what and when to eat, you’ll never be fully comfortable around food.
There’s no ‘right’ way or ‘wrong’ way to eat. If you think like that - and lots of inoffensive so-called healthy eating pans or lifestyles are actually diets hiding behind fluffier language - you’ll never break free from that toxic, unhealthy restriction - binge - guilt cycle. I want you to be able to navigate your own lifelong health journey yourself. And crucially, I want you to be able to make decisions without me.