Normally for the New Year I recycle a blog post I wrote back in 2015 about “resolutions” vs. “intentions.” And go on about why I dislike the word resolution because it can perpetuate a more black and white thinking. But this year, I just wasn’t inspired to re-post and recycle that one. I wanted to write a different post but when I write I need a spark of inspiration. That inspiration finally hit this week and it brought me back to my favorite Dietitian phrase- Everything in Moderation.
I think most everyone (unless you are new) knows that I’m a Registered Dietitian. I work with clients for family meal planning, to sports nutrition, to basic education. My passion though is helping those diagnosed with eating disorders, disordered eating patterns and dieters. I help to educate and empower to break free from the diet culture and help to re-define a new relationship with food, body, and self. I’ve been working in this capacity for a few years (yikes more like 5 years now), but a few months ago I ventured into new office space that’s more conducive for nutrition therapy. The first thing I put up in my office was the cliché- Everything in Moderation. I chuckled putting this up because it’s the Dietitian’s motto and boy does it totally annoy people! I did it on purpose (hehehe insert devilish laugh). See, many people are searching for that magic solution to losing weight and want to be told what to do and what to eat. I can’t tell you the number of times, over the last 15+ years as a Dietitian, that I’ve been asked that. Too many to count. I used to indulge them until it just didn’t sit right with me anymore. I realized I was being utilized as a Diet. Yes, the word diet is in my title, “Dietitian,” but it’s the last thing I want to do for your health and wellbeing. Dieting is the act of restricting the amount and/or type of food you eat in order to lose weight. It demonizes a food, food group, or macronutrients and ignores hunger/fullness cues and take the pleasure out of eating. Instead of setting you up for failure, complete with a whole onslaught of emotions, I’d rather dig into the root cause of the “why”, and teach you nutrition skills for long term success. I use this cliché when speaking with people to get their brains thinking on a high level and a different perspective. If diets worked, then why are new ones continuously coming out? Hmm…think about it.
Did you know…
According to the research, those who dieted moderately were 5x more likely to develop an eating disorder, and those who practiced extreme restriction were 18x more likely to develop an eating disorder than those who did not diet.
95% of all dieters will regain their lost weight in 1-5 years.
An estimated 3% of gym-goers have a destructive relationship with exercise. Some studies have found that number may be even higher, including a 2008 Paris study that found that up to 42% of gym-goers have a destructive relationship with exercise
There is a strong link between exercise compulsion and various forms of eating disorders
I post the statistics because many times disordered eating has occurred because the pendulum has swung too far. The balance with nutrition isn’t there any longer. I know I’m speaking to the gym crowd, so think about balance in your workouts. If you push yourself too hard week after week, you’re moving towards an extreme. The risk? Burn out may occur or injury. Balance. Moderation. Compassion. In my opinion, true wellness means taking care of your body and mind in equal measure.
When we came to CFS 5 years ago, Nick as a coach, and me in CrossFit Express (bootcamp style), we found a gym that made us feel welcomed, supported, and celebrated- just as we were. No expectations to look a certain way, go faster, go stronger, go harder. It was refreshing to find a gym that supported our goals AND spoke about rest days and to the message of listen to your body. I found a place where my nutrition philosophy married up with CrossFit! I found my tribe! This very belief is why I supported Nick to take over ownership. We believed in creating a place where we, CFS, could become the best hour of someone’s day. CFS is a place that celebrates every body, shape, and size. We celebrate every skill level and fitness ability and capability. We do this because we believe in health for the long run. And to stay on this train we call health, you’ve got to have fun and find enjoyment. The same goes for nutrition! It’s the balance of knowledge and goals but with flexibility and self-compassion. It’s understanding you may have a plan but being able to ditch that plan if need be without guilt. Strive for that RX button, but if you aren’t feeling it or had a tough day, or maybe the RX button isn’t for you (me, that one is all me) it’s ok! It’s doesn’t mean you are less deserving or worthy. If you want a piece of pizza, go for it! It’s not going to make or break you. Pizza 2 days in a row with a side of a cookie? You betcha! I love left-overs and while you’re at it, ENJOY it guilt free. Have I made my point about Everything in Moderation? If you want to stay risk free from the slippery slope of disordered eating, injury free in the workouts, think about longevity and sustainability. The key to success in health and wellness balance. It’s enjoying what you do, what you eat, and who you are with!
National Eating Disorder Assocation www.neda.com
Golden, N. H., Schneider, M., & Wood, C. (2016). Preventing Obesity and Eating Disorders in Adolescents. Pediatrics, 138(3). doi:10.1542/peds.2016-1649
Grodstein, F., Levine, R., Spencer, T., Colditz, G. A., &Stampfer, M. J. (1996). Three-year follow-up of participants in a commercial weight loss program: Can you keep it off? Archives of Internal Medicine 156(12), 1302.
Neumark-Sztainer D., Haines, J., Wall, M., & Eisenberg, M. ( 2007). Why does dieting predict weight gain in adolescents? Findings from project EAT-II: a 5-year longitudinal study. Journal of the American Dietetic Associatio, 107(3), 448-55