Author: Chelsea Caito, RD
I remember my professor telling my classmates and I during dietetic school, “The only thing you need to remember for weight loss is calories in, vs. calories out. It’s a simple math equation.” Tell my patients to follow a low-fat, low calorie diet, and my job is done. Got it. While this sounded easy, something didn’t quite add up. I myself was following a low calorie, low fat diet, yet I was 22 pounds heavier than I am now, (yes, 22 pounds!) and I was a sugar addict. I couldn’t stay away from sugar and bread, frequently indulging in private. After all, I was a Registered Dietitian; I am supposed to be the epitome of perfect health, right? Wrong. When I was doing my dietetic internship, I felt like a two-faced fraud. I would counsel my patients to manage their blood sugar and then stand in line at the cafeteria to get two warm cookies and a diet Dr. Pepper.
After I graduated college, I hit my breaking point. My weight was going up, and I felt like crap. I remember getting my old college notes out, trying to find an answer. I didn’t find the answer until I let go of what I thought to be the truth. I did some research, and let go of the “calories-in vs. calories-out” mantra. Believe me, I got some weird looks from my family when I asked for REAL butter on my steak and vegetables. I began focusing on eating real foods, lots of healthy fats and vegetables, and focused LESS on calories. Trust me, this didn’t happen overnight. In fact, it took several months to break my 20-year old habit of milk and cereal for breakfast. Slowly but surely, my cravings and deep desires for bread vanished. While I use to pride myself on knowing how many calories were in any given serving, I now could care less.
Today, I feel in control of my food, weight, and health. Sometimes my patients will tell me, “You don’t understand how hard this is. You have always been thin!” I do understand. I understand how it feels to be uncomfortable and embarrassed with your weight. I understand how it feels when everything you thought to be true, was false. And I understand how it feels to be addicted to sugar.
What mantra is holding you back? Is there something that you've been doing that isn't quite working? Success comes when we begin to let go of old beliefs, fears and ideas that aren't serving you. Share your thoughts in the comment section below!