How To Mentally Prepare To Work With A Nutritionist After Diet Culture

Categories Wellness

I will never forget the conversation. The moment. The impact it had on younger me the first time I was required to sit with a nutritionist. To be honest, I didn’t handle it well when I was pulled aside in middle school and the word “obesity” was dropped. 

Fear. Anger. Confusion. All of the emotions that can be overwhelming at any age gathered together to create this moment of terror. And the idea that it could be something different – better, more supportive, useful, done with love & compassion – was no where on my radar. 

As an adult, there’s so much more I understand now. How the way I was raised to view nutrition wasn’t healthy. How there’s so much that our body tries to tell us but our brain has conditioned us to ignore. So when I finally broke down a few months ago realizing that there was something more going on I needed major help with, I knew that it was time to deal with my fear. No matter how much I might not want to.

how to work with a nutritionist

If you’ve been around the blog a bit, you’ll know I’ve shared about overcoming overeating, learning to love my body, as well as how to stop hating yourself because you hate your body.

We’re big on emotions around these parts. But what I could have never anticipated when I started working with a nutritionist would be the things I would need to heal. So, let’s talk about what’s come up for me, how I’m currently managing things as a work in progress, and what you might need to know before signing up to work with a nutritionist after a lifetime of diet culture.

Why I Decided To Work With A Nutritionist?

I’ve spent the last few years really diving into mindset work. To understand the beliefs that are driving my life and giving myself the space to reframe anything that doesn’t serve me. But at certain point, you can only do so much when your body has needs on a cellular level that aren’t being met. And mine was desperately seeking help.

My mind felt like no matter what I did there was always a cap on my happiness. I felt like I had a food mentality that didn’t really serve me. And I knew, maybe not initially, that wellness culture had replaced diet culture for me and my body needed someone else’s perspective on what healthy looked like on the inside.

Finding The Right Nutritionist

I’ve been blessed over the years to always find the right person when I need them. And I fully trusted my gut with my decision. I will be sharing more details on who I’m working with after a few more months but I do feel like the process upfront was something I was pleasantly surprised by so I needed to share.

We have this “understanding” if you will of how we believe our body handles things. But it doesn’t mean it’s the best way for us to do so. The right nutritionist is going to look at ALL the angles. Your family history, trauma, health history, hormonal history along with your coping mechanisms, current diet, and presenting issues. 

Ideally, they are going to look deeper into your health in ways that might be new to you. Ex. my nutritionist includes a hair tissue mineral analysis that analyzes your body’s intake and interaction over the last few months. They also often do stool tests to get a better picture of bacteria issues as well as other hidden things. And let me tell you, it reveals A LOT.

Setting Boundaries With Your Nutritionist

We will chat more about mentally preparing to work with a nutritionist in a moment. But I think it’s important to know upfront that just because they suggest something doesn’t mean you have to do it that way. 

I started this year with a really strong intention to change my relationship with food and to truly create a space for intuitive eating. But also to deepen my intuitive health choices. This allowed me to say, at least initially, that I wasn’t comfortable with calorie tracking or using myfitnesspal. 

I didn’t want the pressure of feeling like I was tracking every little thing but I was happy to start a food journal to help give a better understanding to where I could make changes based on my results. The nutritionist you’re working with should want to help you find a way to make changes that allow you to feel supported by your diet & lifestyle.

How To Mentally Prepare To Work With A Nutritionist After Diet Culture

In my brain, I’ve collected a lot of rules over the years. Some of them helpful, some of them just too blatantly in my face it feels like how could it not be true if EVERYONE is talking about it and some of them that I need to toss out the window because WTF.

Before I sign on to work with anyone, whether it’s my team (for WSS), partnering with friends, or hiring a coach, I always set the intention that they want the best for me. They are here to help me and support me with their very best skills. And whatever they are suggesting comes from only the best space.

I do this so that whenever something comes up that I find triggering, I can take a beat to process it, assess my needs, and go from there. This can be a bit of a minefield when you’re asking for help in an area where you’ve previously felt like you’ve had no power or voice.

Like a therapist, it takes time to build trust with your nutritionist. Are they hearing your needs? Are they able to find a way to help you feel supported even with a lot of information coming at you? Do you feel like you can build a healthy relationship with food even while needing to make adjustments or keep a closer eye on what you eat?

It’s okay to say no. Also, it’s okay to say maybe this needs to be something you do in conjunction with talking with a licensed mental health professional.

Give Yourself Space For The Learning Curve

Truthfully, I’m still working this out. But I think this comes with anyone new you’re introducing to help you. You have to adjust to allowing them to help while also being honest about what you need. My nutritionist is rather hands-off but available if I need her. And someone I will probably lean on more over the next few weeks as I’m able to fully embrace all the protocols we’re implementing.

It can take some time to understand how you work with someone when it comes to food without the sole goal of weight loss being at the center. But being able to say you’re not okay and making it a point to check in once a week is a good place to start.

 

Affirmations For Working With A Nutritionist & Healing

I am supported in healing my body.

My nutritionist only wants the best for me.

I get to have a healthy relationship with food. Always.

My body is guiding me to the best foods for me.

I am open to new food guidance that supports me.

I am nourished. I am loved. I am free.

If you’re looking to start this journey for yourself, it’s worth asking around and taking some time to consider what kind of relationship you might want with a nutritionist. Also, there are MULTIPLE ways to work with one at all different financial levels. I really wanted the deeper testing side to things for the first phase but I will likely switch to someone different in a few months to take a different targeted approach. 

Insurance might have options (there are always ads on tiktok talking about this). Of course, there are the boutique agencies (my current choice). But companies like Signos that focus on helping you navigate how your blood sugar and food intake might be impacting your body/energy/etc also come with access to a nutritionist. 

I’ll be sure to share more as I experiment and work with different people so make sure you’re subscribed to the newsletter so you don’t miss a thing. Feel free to leave any questions below or come find me on Instagram. Until next time. Xoxo, Savvy

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