"A-ha" Moment Not Needed

Posted on June 11, 2010

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Wanted to share these experiences with you from this past Wednesday. Here it goes. . .

Situation #1

As my profile indicates, I am a Registered Dietitian. I have the pleasure of working with the community on an outpatient basis which can be both frustrating and rewarding at once. I received a call yesterday from someone seeking nutrition counseling for weight loss. Not an unusual request; what made it different was the desperation in the voice. This person sounded so desperate to gain control of his/her weight, it sounded like an emergency call. This person sounded as if they had reached bottom and was screaming as loud as possible for help. I was moved by the call. I can help this client and I know he/she will be successful because although I struggle with my weight, I am good at what I do and have a good track record with clients.

I digress.

What struck me about the call is that I am not in that same, desperate place. I really, really want to lose weight but I’m not desperate. I feel as if I’ve reached bottom several times but I’m not screaming for help. So now I am left to wonder what’s in it for me. Doesn’t that sound so Jillian Michaels? What benefit do I derive from remaining fat? I’m not going to over-analyze the situation but I am curious about me.

Situation #2

After work, I head to Wal-mart and choose a cashier. The people in line in front of me were obese. I mean morbidly obese. The whole family: mom, dad, 3 teenage girls. Their cart was full so it appeared to be a re-stocking type of grocery trip. And let me tell you. . . that cart contained only crap. Yes, I judged. I am a judger but what’s the saying? “When you point a finger there are three fingers pointing back at you?” Close enough. . you know where I’m going.

Back to the cart: there’s cake, packages of brownies, bags chips, bottles of soda and all the packaged, full-of-sodium-and-fat entrees you could imagine. Not a fresh fruit or vegetable in sight. I looked at my cart: water, high fructose corn syrup free whole wheat bread, low carb 6″ tortilas and a pack of gum. Then I chuckled. Almost laughed out loud.

In all honesty, I have never eaten even half of the items I saw in the ‘obese’ cart but here I am overweight (very likely obese based on my BMI) and judging others because of their food choices.

So went my second weight loss reminder: it’s all about portion sizes. You can get fat on ‘healthy’ foods. Trust me on this one. Hello? All foods have calories.

There are other consequences besides weight gain to consistently eating sodium-, fat- and calorie-laden foods but the crux of weight loss remains the same: calories in versus calories out.

So those three fingers pointed back at me. I am fat because of I’ve been eating out of control. I abuse food.

Next steps?

I may not be desperate to lose weight and I may not have actually reached bottom yet but I don’t have to wait until I get there. If eating the right amounts of food and exercising daily have to be mechanical actions then that’s what I have to do. There doesn’t need to be an ‘a-ha’ moment flooded with emotion for me to get my butt in gear. There are a lot of things I do consistently not because I want to but because I have to or there are consequences: like my job.

So, it’s my job to lose weight and get healthy. It’s that simple.

Slowly moving to the mark,

– Kareen, RD

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