INTRODUCTION: It is not uncommon for people to post their “before” pictures after they’ve reached their goal weight to show how much they’ve accomplished, but why on earth did I post pictures of myself when I was still obese and metabolically unwell? That’s a good question.
There’s a saying that “it is not the healthy who need a physician, but the sick” and while people will consult with Dietitian for many different reasons, those who are significantly overweight find it very difficult to take that first step when it is weight loss they’re seeking. Why?
People feel ashamed of being overweight or obese.
Oftentimes, overweight people feel that they are assumed to be undisciplined or lazy — that their condition is their own fault. They have heard over and over again that;
“If only they would eat less and move more they wouldn’t be so fat!”
“If only they ate ‘real food’ instead of ‘junk food’ they would be so much slimmer!”
If it were that simple, why would 1 in 4 Canadians (and 1 in 3 Americans) be obese?
Because it’s not that simple.
It’s been my experience that many overweight people and obese people often eat what has traditionally been thought of as a “healthy diet”; plenty of fruit and vegetables, low fat dairy products and only brown bread, rice and pasta and they feel frustrated and ashamed of being what is perceived as “a failure”.
Some have told me that sometimes their own healthcare providers have given them the impression that they must be being untruthful about what they’ve been eating because surely if they were eating the way they say, they would have been losing weight. In other words, they are not believed, or in stronger words, they are thought to be lying or at least incapable of accurately assessing how much they are ‘really’ eating.
Why would an overweight or obese person seek help in losing weight from a healthcare professional that views them as undisciplined, lazy or unrealistic about what they are eating?
Often people will try various diets that they read about online because no one will see them try and more importantly no one will see when they give up, feeling once again that they are ‘failures’.
I don’t think that overweight and obese people are failures. I believe many are doing what they’ve been told is the “right thing” but for different reasons. it is not working for them. My role as a Dietitian is to help people understand what isn’t working and to enable them to be successful — without judgement.
It is for just such people that I posted my “fat pictures” online before I started to lose weight!
I wanted people to see me as no different and certainly no better than they are, because I’m not. Sure, I have an undergraduate and graduate degree in nutrition, but I don’t get any “free passes” when it comes to losing weight and turning around my own metabolic health. I needed to do it just like everybody else.
I’ve lived each step of my weight loss and metabolic health recovery journey in public (logged under “A Dietitian’s Journey”) because I wanted people to experience in “real time” my frustrations and my victories. I wanted people to see that the path is not linear; that there are twists and turns and stalls, but yes it is possible to be successful. It just takes time and some dedicated work to get well and achieve a healthy body weight.
I look at it this way;
If it took me 20 years to become metabolically unhealthy and obese, what’s a couple of years to become metabolically healthy and normal weight?
Everyone’s weight loss and health restoration journey will be different.
There are no “magic bullets” or “super diets”— but there are different dietary and lifestyle options that can be pursued for success.
I can help.
If you would like to learn more about how I can help you or a family member achieve and maintain a healthy body weight and metabolic health, please send me a note using the Contact Me form located on the tab above.
To our good health!
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