I'm the 'expert'. I look, behave, and think perfect when it comes to my fitness, weight, and food choices and intake.
I have all the knowledge and the ability and that makes it SO much easier for me to look, behave, and think in ALL the right ways in order to eat right, exercise properly, and look amazing at ALL times.
Isn't that right?
I don't look perfect. I don't think things through properly and make all the right choices ALL the time.
I'm just like you. I struggle, too.
I admit that having knowledge about foods, nutrition, metabolism, and having an understanding of the many related aspects of fitness, such as exercise physiology and stress management -- DOES help to make me more AWARE of what I need to do to make best choices. And it DOES motivate me to really and truly LIVE my knowledge. Not because I KNOW IT ALL -- but because I feel so incredibly privileged to have had the chance to study all of this and to learn the TRUTH of foods, nutrition, metabolism, physiology, patho-physiology, stress management (all of which is EVER-evolving and new, exciting, helpful stuff being discovered all the time). It has really been a dream come true and a lifesaver for me in managing my own struggle with obesity and poor fitness, THUS, I DO feel a very serious responsibility to live out this TRUTH -- for myself AND as an example to others. Especially during these days when obesity AND poor fitness have escalated to such epidemic proportions.
We NEED dedicated LEADERS to help get the GOOD NEWS and the TRUTH out -- about how to become lean, healthy, and fit.
I take my role as one of those LEADERS very very seriously.
But for me, a person who has spent a good deal of my life being obese -- my childhood, adolescence, early adulthood -- it STILL is an enormous challenge to consistently apply all the knowledge, all the techniques, all the action that is required to STAY trim and fit AND to force myself to get back on track when I relapse.
YES, I relapse! Not often, mind you -- but, being the 'EXPERT' -- when I relapse, it's DEVASTATING! Firstly, to myself, and certainly to my clients and to the world, in general. Recently, a 'relapse' happened to me as a result of losing my beloved Mom not too long ago. This brought up all kinds of weight and food issues as well as the profound grief I found (and find) myself experiencing, and I just succumbed -- plain and simple. Fortunately, I believe, BECAUSE I was (and AM) in such good health BECAUSE of living YEARS of healthy choices -- in my dietary intake, my exercise habits, my sleep habits, and stress management -- I've not slid to the point of no return. But, I haven't found it THIS difficult to STAY on track with my healthy lifestyle in a LONG time -- perhaps, since I FIRST started to LIVE the TRUTH of FOOD, EXERCISE, and MY BODY -- years ago -- in graduate school.
I am VERY hard on myself. That's the problem. IT IS PRECISELY BECAUSE I have the knowledge and the understanding that it hits me that much harder that I am FAILING.
AND, more importantly -- WHO DO I GO TO WHEN I NEED HELP?
Right now, it is no one.
When I was working in university hospital settings and , subsequently, research departments of universities, I had good friends who were MDs and nurses, epidemiologists, and 'fitness' academics -- experts who ALSO knew 'alot' about health and disease, exercise, foods and nutrition, metabolism, -- but they were obese or overweight or ALSO struggling with their OWN body fitness. I helped them. As the nutritionist, I had that extra 'helping', if you will, and pardon the food reference, of the knowledge about foods, recipes, healthy shopping and cooking, and eating, in general. With this type of information plus the commitment to exercise more -- both cardio- and muscle-strengthening -- we ALL succeeded. I monitored them and THEY monitored me! Being a dietitian and nutritionist really does BOMBARD you with FOOD CUES all day long and IF you, yourself, have or have HAD struggles/issues with food, weight, body image, poor fitness, etc -- IF YOU DON'T have a way to keep YOU motivated, BALANCED in mind and body, and MONITORED -- it can overtake you -- particularly when you are at a vulnerable point in your life. For me, incorporating daily, moderate to strenuous exercise into my life, and the support of mutually struggling,yet understanding PEERS were the blessings I needed to keep me on track.
Since life for me has evolved into mainly being in private practice, I don't have that peer comraderie on a daily basis anymore. I have friends who I can talk to, but I always end up answering all their questions about foods, nutrition, how they need to get fit, etc. and counseling and motivating THEM. And because to them, I still LOOK 'fine', they don't take it seriously if I say I'm struggling.
I also don't feel comfortable going to the local GPs, personal trainers, or even, counselors of any kind -- as this may affect my own credibility and perception of excellence, effectiveness in my profession.
I am an extremely self-motivated, self-starting person, so every day is a new and wondrous beginning for me. But, when I need that extra 'helping' of support when the moments come when I find myself 'slipping' -- I'm a bit lost right now.
Any other 'experts' out there -- I would appreciate ANY suggestions:
WHO DO YOU GO TO when YOU are struggling?