My Nutritionist and I (part 1)
I recently started seeing a nutritionist (a word I can never seem to spell right the first time) to figure out my food issues. Someone needs to explain to me why some innocent looking edibles wage merciless wars on my stomach, leaving me weak and angry for being fooled yet again. I have also taken up baking this year and all the butter in my apple pies, banana muffins and chocolate chip cookies has left undesirable, very noticeable changes in my body. TMI? Bear with me.
Did you know that Kuwait has one of the fattest populations in this world (Johnny Rockets delivers. Oh and so does Krispy Kreme)? Therefore the country also has a scary number of health clinics and diet centers. They’re usually located in tall buildings between a cupcake store and a gym. And they tend to be quite expensive. I don’t get it. I am paying you…so you can tell me what I cannot eat?
Anyway, I decided to try our local clinic which recently added a nutritionist’s office to its many services (including the worst dental center). I didn’t realize I had to argue with the GP (and her friend who just sat in on my appointment without my permission) to get an appointment with the nutritionist. The two doctors sat there mocking me. “YOU want to go on a diet?” they leered, “why? How much do you weigh? You’re fine.” I tried to explain calmly that I wasn’t trying to lose weight but I do want to adopt a healthier lifestyle and needed help. They looked at each other and snickered. I really should have reported them. They refused to refer me to the nutritionist! I had to go back the following week to see a different GP and explain my problem. This doctor was understanding and I finally got my referral.
At this point, I was already losing heart but I pushed myself and got the necessary tests and a couple of weeks later went to my first appointment. It was promising. I was weighed, measured and poked — the last one’s a joke. I was given a diet plan, asked to keep a food journal, got healthy tips, and approximately 27 do’s and don’ts in addition to a follow-up two weeks later. It was all going even better than I expected! Until I attempted to follow the diet plan…
9 am: Homemade latte (skimmed milk + shot of espresso) + cereal bar (ok, so the cereal bar wasn’t part of the plan…but I was hungry and in a hurry before work)
12 pm: apple (YAY ME! I’m so losing weight!)
2:30 pm: lentil soup, salad, a small bowl of rice, a small piece of chicken and yogurt (wow that’s a lot of food, I thought to myself. And then I realized something. She said EITHER soup and salad OR chicken with rice followed by yogurt. Oops)
Then I got on the treadmill and did yoga for an hour to alleviate the guilt
8:30 pm: 2 slices of whole wheat toast spread with a little labnah and some vegetables.
Then I realized that following a diet was not easy. It was my first day and I had already messed up! I kept up my journal after that, consulting all the papers she gave me. I strayed off the healthy path a few times when lured with dessert (now I know why chocolate is ‘sinful’). But I went to the gym regularly, weighed myself obsessively and was generally pleased with my resolve and commitment.