Venturing into my world…Dietitians are Not Perfectly Healthy!

Whenever you meet someone for the first time and they find out that you’re a dietitian, they’re first assumption – “ You eat greens all the time ” “ you live on fruit ” “ you never have burgers or chocolate do you?! ” and I actually find it quite amusing. My answers usually involve the following; I do not live like a rabbit, I love my desserts, I do have the occasional fast food meal and sometimes exercising is not a priority! Yes we are the ones that help guide you towards the “healthier” path but at times, it’s not easy for us either!

The reason for giving you a glimpse of what my habits are like as a dietitian is because I know and understand how hard it is to make lifestyle changes. I ,for example, have to gain a few Kgs due to some unintentional weight loss and believe it or not, it’s hard! Whether it’s being too busy, emotional/physical stress, work constraints and so on, trying to change is a challenge.

One thing that I find helpful is Pre-planning. Trying to plan my snacks and meals ahead always helps cut out the “having to think” factor of what you’ll eat. Whether you are trying to gain or lose weight, pre-planning your meals is always a good way to control your meal choices. One of my biggest problems recently is going for long hours without a meal and by the time I get home, I’d be too tired or sleepy to even move! Going shopping for healthy snacks to keep at my desk or in my bag has been a goal and so far so good!

In terms of exercise, I have really neglected that part for a while and a lot of reasons are to blame. However, I had to stop making excuses. Being active as a group is always a good way to motivate yourself since you have that support. Since I am not a person who enjoys being surrounded by machines, I’ve tried to look into activities that I enjoy and have also dragged friends with me. Even planning your days where you’ll engage in some sort of activity is a good start. (Yes I do carry a diary and plan my exercise days! Part of being a dietitian = overly organised pre-planner who has “to do list” post its everywhere!)

A big downfall as well is getting enough rest. Socialising is a BIG BIG BIG part of my life as I absolutely love being out and about with friends. Your social life could involve late nights followed by early mornings i.e. not enough sleep so you become the Grinch at work. Long nights drinking and eating where you end up with a stomach that is about to burst  then you quickly rush into bed to get some sleep. Try to have at least 3-4 days during your working week where it’s just about relaxing and having some “you” time. Aim for 7 hours of sleep some days. Say No to going out on a drinking fest midweek – your friends will still be there on the weekend! Bottom line is – our bodies need to rest, recharge and rejuvenate!

Another topic I wanted to touch up on is weighing yourself. Dr. Rick Kausman who is the author of a popular book was quoted the following and I thought it actually summarised what I wanted to say spot on : “Don’t get weighed down by the scales If we are above our most comfortable weight and we want to change this situation, it is vital to focus on our thinking, our eating and/or our physical activity, rather than concentrating on what is happening with changes to our weight. By looking after ourselves and our bodies in the best way we can, our weight/size will be the healthiest level that is possible for our own body type.” So the numbers that you see on your scales are not the sole indicator of your health. Focus on your attitude towards food, make positive changes and maintain them. Don’t get too caught up with the numbers.

So as a summary, whether it is trying to gain or lose weight or just to improve your habits, try to focus on the following – Pre-plan, Support, Treat your body well, Make good change and Maintain it!

Set small goals and work towards achieving them. If you do happen to have a setback, let it work to your advantage and learn from it! 1 step backwards – 3 steps forward!

1 Comment
  1. Thank you 🙂 I get reamed out for doing anything “unhealthy” when under the public eye – I hate it! No one is perfect, even RD’s. Or should I say, especially RD’s? 😉

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