My Disaster Visiting a Nutritionist
One of Yasmin's class mates said to her, "You have a fat Mummy". Bear in mind that these are 6/7 year olds and it was a boy who said it. Yep, it's ghastly that the judging begins right here at such a young age. Yasmin mentioned it in one of those car conversations that you have with your kid and it took my breath away. I swallowed the lump in my throat, composed myself and, with a big effort at sounding casually interested asked, "What did you say"? She was scared to say anything in case he told the teacher of her and she got into trouble!! Blood was pouring out of my eyes as I encouraged her not to feel bad.
So, not only does she have the oldest Mummy in her class, she now also has a fat Mummy!!!! The judgement starts early and it is at about 6 years old that girls start to feel inferior. I've had some mild concerns that Yasmin does not feel the effects of having the oldest Mummy in her class, but had not yet considered she might be taunted for having a fat Mummy.
Now, before you jump to my defence with protestations about the child/parents, I believe we cannot change other people but we can certainly change how we react to things. Instead of bleating about how unfair it is, I decided to use it to help me, as a trigger to control when I know I am over-indulging.
I am overweight (for my personal comfort), not as fit as I was and I've been unsuccessfully, trying to do something about it for about 7 years. On the NHS charts my current BMI just tips into the 'overweight' category. (I am not saying that BMI is a good measure, just using it for reference). More importantly, I don't fit my clothes and don't feel great at this weight. I am 55, with a few auto-immune diseases and with a 7 year old daughter. I want to be around and mobile and healthy, when she is in her 20's and 30's. So, I know I have to take some action or, it is yet another thing on my wish-list! Overall I eat pretty healthily, though have a much too friendly relationship with grape juice (!) and crisps, nuts (yes, they are healthy until you hoover up half a pound of them without even thinking) and mint choc chip ice-cream... If it is in the house!
I kept seeing that Elle McPherson was seeing an ah-may-zing nutritionist and was endorsing Welleco supplements (little did I know that Elle is a shareholder in the business that she is advertising). Now I know, I mean I reeeeally know, that celebrities are paid huuuuge sums, to sell product, services, concepts etc. And yet, I still got suckered in! Pause... Beats self around the head...
I couldn't see Elle's personal nutritionist because she is uber important and very busy. She only comes to the UK, once every 4-6 weeks for a matter of days. The Assistant kept telling me that I should see her No2 - 'they work so closely together that it is just as good, honestly'. I made the appointment.
I met No2 for a consultation and she is a lovely lady. I explained my very complicated medical issues, some fairly recent. She asked about my diet and agreed it was generally pretty healthy (I'd taken photographs of some of my meals). It suddenly got a bit rushed and she said she had another appointment booked. She did not discuss my diet and what I should or should/not be doing going forward. Instead she focussed on the supplements I should be taking. It was all about the supplements. When she took me down to the receptionist to pay, she placed all the supplements on the desk told me to tell my doctor I was taking them and took off, while I was left to pay the £350 bill. WTF! Can you believe that someone who is as confident as me, felt too embarrassed to question this? I was too embarrassed to say "NO!" in this Harley St Clinic, where I imagined, everyone walks away thinking what a good deal it was.
I did not feel good about these things specifically:
- She did not discuss my diet and not one single change was mentioned. We are supposed to be getting our nutrients from our diet as a first port of call.
- She told me to buy the supplements and despite my challenging medical issues, told me to take the supplements and then tell the doctor to make sure it was all ok. It would have been more professional the other way round - e.g. I recommend this but check with your doctor and if he is OK with it, come back and get these supplements.
- A review of my diet that was not discussed, was sent in an email a couple of days later.
My Take-Aways are this:
- Don't be seduced by celebrities, especially when they have shares or partnership in what they are endorsing.
- Recognise that genetics pay a big part in body shape. Mmmm, let me think...Elle The Body as she is fondly known!
- Think twice if you are being loaded up with supplements, as the answer to your nutritional needs. Your actual food should be the first point of call
- If you have medical issues and especially if you are on medication, definitely check with your doctor before you buy supplements
- If you eliminate anything from your diet e.g. bread & pasta or alcohol or chocolate, you will lose weight. You don't really need a nutritionist to tell you that.
- Remember that nutritionists are not doctors, generally, though they may be qualified and have a lot of experience
- Good nutrition for good health always comes back to; eat more of the good stuff, eat less of the not so good stuff and move more. It is all about discipline and consistency.
So, when I watched the video of Caroline Hirons, interviewing Ian Marber I wanted to shout a big Hallelujah! Here is a combination of common sense and nutritional knowledge, presented in a digestible way.
So, if you are thinking of embarking on any nutritional or dietary regime, that eliminates anything; if you are thinking of following a financially benefited celebrity or, one who 'swears by' juice of lemon leaf, drunk every 97 minutes and only from a pink Versace straw, while wearing one of their own brand bikini's on a Mustique beach; if you are thinking you can supplement your way to good health or thinness; if like me, you are still looking for the slim-and-healthy-magic-pill.
Note to shamers: Please don't judge me for wanting to lose weight, it is my choice for my health. The brilliant thing about women supporting women, is that we respect each other's choices.