Weight gain, bloating, and fatigue. These were the symptoms I was experiencing when I decided to get a referral to go see a dietician. There are many other reasons why people decide to take this step, whether it's obesity, PCOS, vegetarianism, and more.
This month, after I came back from vacation, I had gained about 11 pounds (which to me is surprising, because I felt like I didn't eat as much as I have in the past). I was about 20 pounds away from hitting 200 and that scared me. Knowing that diabetes, heart disease, and PCOS runs in my family, I decided to get checked out. Once I went for my appointment, I was shocked by what I learned and what I saw.
As soon as I walked into the office, I felt like I was in the correct place, at the correct time. There were magazines ranging from topics talking about diabetes to gluten-free lifestyles. They also had a small stand with samples of healthy foods such as oatmeal, hemp seeds, and sunflower butter. I didn't even know sunflower butter existed and that was something I was educated about on that day. I also saw complementary notebooks which contained information on portion sizes, goals & achievements, and medical terminology.
One thing that I would like to point out is that a week prior to my appointment, I had to keep a food journal to log in my meals. When I sat down with my dietician and began to talk about my food journal I was asked what I learned from keeping a food journal. I feel as if I learned that, for one, I don't make the best food choices, I didn't snack as much as before, and I saw how much I am willing to overeat.
I was asked if I was allergic to anything, what I usually eat on a daily basis, how much exercise I get in, and who does the food shopping and where.
Despite my poor eating habits, I did not feel judged nor guilty about expressing the truth of my eating habits or about my food choices. I felt like I was in a very accepting environment where the dietician is supposed to help you and see you achieve your health goals.
I also learned that my food choices were often boring and repetitive. I was suggested a website where I can find recipes that I eat at home without having to bore myself from eating. A little variety never hurt anybody.
I also learned that the way I prepare my foods has a lot to do with whether I succeed or fail in my healthy lifestyle. Marinating vegetables and grilling them makes a heck of a difference rather than boiling them with salt. You have to find your creative side when you're eating so that way you not only eat wisely but have fun.
I also learned that everything in moderation is key. I admitted to eating McDonald's a few times during the week and I was suggested to have my usual meal but, instead of soda, opt for water or sparkling water. I was never told to completely get rid of my McDonald's but rather to find a way that I can feel satisfied and still be smart.
In addition, I learned about my psychological aspect when it comes to food. I tend to feel very stressed and often moody when I don't eat. I also eat when I am bored, which is a no-no. As a homebody, I got ideas on what to do when I am home and bored, such as buying an adult coloring book, a canvas, and some paint, or even reading a book.
Being able to see a nutritionist helped me physically and psychologically. I feel like I have some sense of direction and now I feel like I can stick to some goals in my life. I recommend seeing a nutritionist if you feel like I did or if you'd like to see how your food choices are doing. You will be surprised by the many things you will learn in a place where everybody is willing to help you rather than judge you.