Whatever your intentions are for 2017, do they include kindness, laughter, taking risks, creativity or finding failure fascinating?
What I’m referring to here is seeing these intentions in relation to food and our bodies. When I see clients in my private practice I can tell where they are in a ‘stage of change’, but I also try to get them to focus on realistic intentions. Especially this time of year, I encourage my clients to use “intentions” instead of “resolutions.”
These two success stories illustrate how measuring intentions over a period of time enabled each client to reach their goals. Each of these women learned to practice kindness toward their bodies and food choices. They also were able to laugh at themselves and take risks with food. Using creative strategies and using ‘failures’ as a springboard, they made changes that were cemented into new life habits. Read on…
Over the course of a few short months, Robyn’s impact on my life has been extraordinary. My relationship with food has transformed. Through Robyn’s extensive knowledge, I have been educated to properly fuel and take care of my body as I compete as a Division I collegiate student-athlete.
Through her great care, I feel supported through every step of the process and I always know Robyn is at the other end of the phone or email. While traveling abroad, Robyn was available to me when needed and accommodated my schedule and specific questions concerning international food options. Understanding the mechanics of a healthy, well balanced diet allows me to feel good eating each meal. I feel empowered to fuel my body properly and I am so grateful for Robyn’s help. Achieving my goal weight in addition to a fresh mindset has transformed my outlook on all aspects of my life. The lessons I learned from Robyn will accompany me for the rest of my life.
During the month of April 2016, I believe I was at my emotional and psychological low point. I have been a bulimic (binge/purge) sufferer for many, many years. During my early teens I did it because everyone else was doing it. In my 20s and 30s my escape of choice was alcohol and binge/purging went to the back burner. In my early 40s, I was able to work with the wonderful folks at AA and I found recovery from alcoholism. I am happy to say that I am over 18 years sober.
However, psychological issues still were present, and the ugly relief of binge purging once again came to the forefront. For over 10 years I have suffered from this food crisis on a daily basis. There were days that I would eat and purge three or four times a day. I was living such a lie I would hide my purges in plastic containers in our backwoods. Unfortunately, my neighbors discovered my secret and brought it to my husband’s attention. I desperately needed some kind of serious help.
Luckily, through my spiritual program, I was able to admit that I needed more professional help. I found an eating disorder specialist in Concord, MA, Alice Rosen, MSEd, LMHC, who was able to help me with her wonderful “No-Diet and Self-Led Eating” program. With her incredible help and guidance, I was able to look at myself non-judgmentally, and was able to forgive and correct my attitude and outlook regarding food.
In the early stages of my journey I was deathly afraid of gaining weight and changing my outside appearance. I also believe I messed up my metabolism and digestive track, so really had no idea how to begin to eat in a “normal” manner. Ms. Rosen recommended that I see a nutritionist, Robyn Kievit.
Robyn was remarkably kind and accepting of me and my disordered way of eating. I worked as honestly as possible with both of these women, admitting all of my faults and negatives, completing food journals that were real and no longer “what I thought people wanted to see.” Best of all, I came to an understanding and acceptance of myself: flawed, yes, but also incredibly kind, compassionate, and needing to be real. I am very happy to report that I have not purged since the summer. This has freed my soul, mind and heart in such a manner that I can hardly recognize myself.
I realize that I did a lot of work by myself, but I am also so very grateful to these two incredibly open and real individuals who helped me on my personal journey. I feel blessed, loved, and certainly more real and I wish success to everyone who suffers from disordered eating issues.
I found working with Gretchen and Carol incredibly moving and their stories bring tingles to my skin. I hope they resonate with you!
My own intentions this year are to try to see more pieces of life through a beginner’s set of eyes, as in, eliminating fixed notions on my life. I also intend to recognize any failures as ‘fascinating’ – whether they’re in my professional life or on the tennis court! Finally, I intend to read and spend more time with my family and dear friends.
Here are some other January posts from registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) colleagues on intentions vs. resolutions: