Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Seeking Professional Help : A Dietitian's Plan

Buckle in, friends ... it's gonna be a long one!

Last time I posted about my "Bad Romance" with food. Although I've been working very hard, like many of you, for the past few years, I recently decided I needed to seek out more professional help. SO...I asked my regular doctor what I should do. Enter : The Dietitian. For the sake of my horrible spelling and being way too repetitive with the word "dietitian," I'll call her by her first name, Jane.

I'm not gonna lie, I was nervous (read: super insecure) about seeing Jane. What if she thought I was hopeless? What if she was secretly judging me as lazy? WHAT IF SHE WAS PRETTY? I can't handle someone super pretty and fit telling me how to eat. How silly is that? Anyway, she comes into the office and is pretty. Very. Immediately I'm thrust back into high school survival mode of being the funny fat chick. She can see right through me.

"You don't have to feel uncomfortable. I know this has been a long battle for you, and I'm simply here to help you try some different approaches to food. I'm not here to lecture you," she says with a smile and a warm hand on my knee. And so the appointment started. I won't bore you with every word said, but I'll recap below. For any of you considering seeing a dietitian, I really recommend it. I felt so much more confident with my choices just by having a professional steer me in the right direction. Here's what we talked about ...

  • What I'm Working With: a basically non-functioning metabolism. I've had test after test after test on anything and everything. My past weight loss experience goes something like this : Emily eats 1,000 cals a day and works out in a variety of methods 5x a week for at least an hour each time. Emily loses .2 lbs that week. See what I mean? Non-functioning. Past doctors and health professionals have backed me up on this one. I need to be on some kind of regulated medication to help my body function normally, or I would literally kill myself trying to lose weight.
  • Past Medication: Over a year ago, I was taking a drug called Phentermine, which is basically a glorified amphetamine. I was desperate, and it's what my doctor told me to do. It helped me lose weight (about a normal 2lbs a week) and have more energy. Little did I know that it was screwing with my hormones and rendering my IUD less effective. I became pregnant as a result (well, that and sex helped too ;) and went off medication.

I explained all this to Jane, as she reviewed my files. We chatted for a long time about the stem of my eating problems, and what I thought did and did not work about my last try with Phentermine. I told her I didn't like putting that strong of a chemical into my body, I didn't like the way it messed with my emotions, but I did like what it did for my health. This time around, I want to focus on my relationship with food, not just losing weight. This is where Jane gets super excited. We chat about weighing food, protein, sugars, glycemic index, lotsofbigwordsican'tpronounce. After a long list of routes, this is officially my PLAN for the next 30 days. At that point, we'll re-group and see what is working.

  • Medication: Jane and I decided to go the natural route with my medication. I'm taking a natural occurring (in the human body) hormone "booster" of sorts that helps regulate your Hypothalamus. Medical mumbo-jumbo aside, the bottom line is that it helps my body do what it should be doing already. My body processes foods more accurately (as in storing vs burning fat) and my appetite is regulated. This has been a tremendous help already. Since the purpose of this medication is to help bring my body back to center permanently after a few rounds, obviously I will stop losing weight with just this alone. Which is why the next component is so important
  • Food: I am now an official FOOD WEIGHER! I never thought I would get excited about weighing out my food, but I love it. I can't stress enough how important this aspect of my life is now. I never realized how much I was simply overeating! This really warrants a blog post of it's own. At any rate, I have a prescribed amount of protein (3.5 oz) per meal, two fruit servings per day, and basically unlimited amounts of certain veggies. Jane's main goal is to help my body get rid of processed foods (goodbye cheese!), most sugars, and starchy foods.

The result? I've lost 14lbs since I started this plan. Jane informed me that the weight may come off fast for the first week or so because I'm drastically cutting my calories and levels of everything. I'm sure some of you can relate to that ... the first time you make big change to your food/exercise the weight seems to melt off! Then comes the hard part : every week after that.

It's all very technical, and I will be posting more in depth on each of these as questions from you come in. I'm very excited about this new journey I'm on! It really makes me wish I had majored in Nutrition Science in college. Our bodies work in amazing ways that I never even considered! Thanks for working through this entry with me, I know it's a bit boring ;)

Much Love,

Current Stats
Highest Weight : 310
Weight b4 Plan: 285.0
Current Weight: 271.8

*everything in this post should not substitute any doctor's advice for you. Please consult with your own medical professional before starting any plan or diet. Thank you!*


  1. Wow, sounds like the dietician is really helping you! We had one come in for a group program at work once, but I always wondered if it would be more helpful one-on-one. Congrats on the loss and can't wait to hear more about what you learn.

  2. That is SO awesome!!! I'm glad you posted this for us, it was very informative. I learned very quickly when I started WW that I had to weigh and measure my food. It's very important. Good luck, I'll be cheering you on!!

  3. I've yet to become a food weigher-- good for you! Wow, I am SO IMPRESSED at your dedication and FOURTEEN POUND LOSS! Holy cow!! Amazing. You're so right about "every week after that," though. It's fabulous to be motivated and see results in the beginning, but it's so hard to expect that every week.

    I actually have lost 2 pounds since I started my goal of working out 3x a week, though. GO US! :D

  4. P.S. I had to LOL at the "WAS SHE PRETTY?" part. Oh my god, that's SOOOO something I am constantly thinking!

  5. Thank you everyone! Like I said, I'm sure I'll be breaking this down and talking more about it in the weeks to come :) I SO appriciate the support!

    Mezz - YOU ARE AMAZING! WHOOT! 2 lbs!

  6. Weighing or measuring food has always helped me in the past - when I really do it and stick with it. However, I never seem to be able to do it for more than a couple weeks before I get too lazy or just sick of being hungry...How are you sticking with it?

    When you say get rid of processed foods does that mean you're cutting out carbs (other than fruit) too?

  7. Sam - Thanks for the comment and questions! I am, hands down, the laziest person ever. So I was a little nervous about weighing food all the time. What I do to help that ... I do it all in one day. I buy all the protien i'll need for the week, grill it up, package it up, put in fridge. DONE. That way i'm only "using" the scale once a week and I don't have to think about it again. Then it's just grab and go! I'm still hungry sometimes, and that is definitely the hardest part. I can tell though that my body is becoming used to these regular sizes.

    Processed foods - for now, I don't eat ANY carbs other than fruit. *insert grimmace* I'm a huge pasta and bread person, so this is HARD. Once I'm in "maintence mode" I can slowy add those in, but I'm going to try to stick with whole grains.

    Otherwise, I mean basically anything like ... cookies, crackers, chicken nuggets, spaghetti o's... anything that isn't from a garden or an animal is pretty much of limits. It sounds bad, but it's really not horrible!

  8. That's so awesome! I've been toying with the idea of going to see a dietician (or someone) and reading this is a definite help.
    I LOVE the high school analogy. That's how I feel when I even begin to think about asking my doctor to recommend someone!
    Congratulations on the 14 lbs down! YAY YAYAY!!

  9. Emily I have been out of the BTL loop for a a bit but so glad to find your blog. What an exciting journey you are on and I it is so amazing all of the wonderful insights you received from Jane. You sound happy and enthusiastic about what lies ahead for you. I can't wait to hear more.

    I hope your daughter is healthy and happy.

  10. Above and beyond having a kick ass week weight loss wise, I'm so glad that Jane is helping you with a great foundation. I've been on the fence about getting that kind of help. I don't want to be judged by a pretty skinny chick either! But after reading your story I'm going to do it! Thanks for sharing.


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