Yes, I Care
The other day, I mentioned my blood pressure and that I had a plan for dealing with it. So…I have started. My insurance plan allows me a couple of appointments each year with a nutritionist and my doctor’s office has a nutritionist on staff, so I called on Tuesday to make an appointment. Of course, I was expecting to have to wait a couple of weeks for my appointment and was satisfied with that as it would give me time to prepare. But…nope, they had an appointment on Thursday afternoon, so I had two whole days to gather my courage and go.
The Nutritionist was actually very nice…she seemed very genuine and not at all judgmental…Which is good, because though I had steeled myself to the fact that I was going to have to be forthright with her…I was just burning with shame at the idea. First, she and I chatted a bit over my intake form…I said on my form that I wanted to talk about nutrition for slow weight loss and also in relation to my IBS. I think we actually talked more about the IBS and my other stomach issues and the list of foods I have compiled that I cannot eat because of my stomach than actual weight loss nutrition…Which was fine by me.
However, we did talk about my previous weight loss and I described to her how I had exceptional difficulty after I had lost a lot of weight because my brain hadn’t caught up with my body. For example, you know how when you walk by big store windows, you catch your reflection in the window? When dh and I would walk downtown (this was pre-social anxiety when I could go out in public) I didn’t recognize the person I saw in my reflection…It was creepy and disturbing. Another example is when I attended an outdoor skills camp for women that same summer…I had my picture taken several times as part of the group of women attending the camp. When I looked at the pictures, I was not able to find myself in the pictures…I even knew where to look because I knew where I had been standing…but I was not at all able to pick myself out. I never was quite able to get my brain to acclimate to my new body. (I did not mention to her my other big issue, which was that I felt totally unsafe and uncomfortable with my new body especially as men started treating me very differently.) She said that that kind of body dysmorphia can occur when one has rapid weight loss like I did.
In terms of weight loss nutrition…The nutritionist talked to me about what I thought the best way would be to keep track of food and servings…And asked what I thought about a calorie counting kinda thing. I told her that I find calorie counting to be very tedious, but also that I tend to get very obsessive about it when I have to get into the minutia of calorie counting and wasn’t real keen on the idea (and I mean like overboard obsessiveness/perfectionism which controls every meal, every bite of food and every thought about food). And much to my surprise…she was fine with that. As in, she said, that she didn’t recommend calorie counting for people who get obsessive about it. Honestly, this was an incredible relief for me…calorie counting has been a big barrier for me…If I can do it another way, without calorie counting, I could maybe handle it. We talked about measuring portions (easy peasy!) and keeping track of food that way.
Long story short, I go back next week for a second appointment where we will get into the nitty-gritty of a weight loss meal plan and also talk more about the supplements I take so I can get the max benefit from them. (She was somewhat astounded that although I take a vitamin D supplement and have done so for a few years, my vitamin D level is still pretty low.)
And as to my minimal insurance coverage for these appointments, she can take care of that too! We discussed my emotional eating habits, and evidently emotional eating counts as an eating disorder. She said to me, “I can request more sessions based on you having an eating disorder. But it will be added to your medical records, are you okay with that?” I almost laughed out loud…Ummm…yeah…my problem list in my medical records? Adding “Eating Disorder” will be the least of it! Anyway, I told her that it was not an issue to have it on my records.
However, in all seriousness, I think it is an appropriate label… I certainly have maladaptive eating patterns/habits which I have long considered to be a kind of a disorder.
I Will Like You if You Are Genuine
Okay, one last thing to add to this verbose blog post…When I was thinking about the Nutritionist and the word “genuine” popped to mind to describe her, I realized something. I would use the word “genuine” to describe the Art Therapist too. And that’s what made me immediately like him. And I also realize that my PNP has that same genuineness. I like my support people to be no-pretenses, no subterfuge, no weirdness…just genuine. I realize I am very lucky to have found such people.