National Eating Disorders Association

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Nutritionist Advice: To Follow or Not to Follow

So long story short I lost my mom in November and then had my son in December, and I’ve really been struggling with my ED. I had a major lapse in January and especially through February. Lately I haven’t been restricting or tallying numbers or weighing myself, but my eating habits have been just as awful—like I’ll forget to eat all day, then I’ll get overwhelmed in the evening and eat all my feelings at dinner. I’ve been trying to get back into pursuing the running goals that got put on hold by my pregnancy and obviously I need to be fueling appropriately, especially given I’m breastfeeding and my sleep quality is crap, as well. I have an extremist view on food and I’m really fighting to combat that. In addition to therapy I’ve sought the service of a sports nutritionist to kind of help me navigate my murky and messy relationship with food and eating. Thing is, he’s bent to high hell on axing dairy from my diet, a facet I said I’d be happy to reduce but not can completely since full-on cutting things is triggery for me. He said okay, we’ll incorporate it this week and start cutting next week. No one has ever had to fight me to get me to eat milk products, even when I’m in a lapsing state—they’re my favorite. I actively dislike nut milks and non-dairy milks—and seeing as how I’m not generally a picky eater and there’s little food I don’t like? That’s really saying something. One of the things I have always really disliked about supposed “healthy eating” is the bizarre fixation on nut milks (which, when you really break it down, are actually kind of garbage for you… so not only do they suck, but they don’t bring much to the table.) :P Something about promoting healing in my body has come up, but I don’t know. I’d just as soon not use the nut milk at all and focus on the rest of my goals sheet he’s given me, but a dairyless existence sounds sad and limited and actually has made me feel like crying. I know that sounds dumb, but to fix WHAT I eat isn’t what I wanted—I want to learn more about the intuitive side of eating, reading my body’s cues, how to strategically use food for fueling and recovery from hard efforts, find convenience and more nutrient-dense foods for daily consumption, etc. I might rephrase my goals to him and see where that takes us, since he’s very nice and understands that I don’t want to put foods into “good and bad” boxes anymore… but in the meantime I don’t know if I should continue at all. It just seems like everything is triggery and therapy isn’t enough anymore and I don’t know what to do now. Do I take some advice and leave other advice? It’s not like I’m a stranger to “healthy eating” so I’m not hearing anything I haven’t already learned about the basics of “optimal nutrition.” Attempted recovery from orthorexia as well as anorexia with binge-purge subtype in house, y’all. What a f*cking nightmare this whole thing is and has been. I have gotten to the point of truly resenting food and hating myself for never seeming to be able to get this sh*t together. I know this isn’t what my mom wanted or would want for me and it’s even stupider recalling that my sister is too sick to eat and just wasting away while I twiddle my thumbs like nyeh-nyeh I’m just over here being dumb. So I guess… now what, and do I just keep enjoying my dairy stuff while REFUSING to let myself forget to put gas in the tank and seeing what his goals for my nutrition otherwise are… or follow the plan to a T and hate my life and eating even more than I already do. XD (That sounds melodramatic, I don’t actually HATE-hate my life—I fully recognize that I have plenty to be thankful for and do give thanks each day.) Hope all’s well with everyone and sending love and good recovery vibes everybody’s way. <3

Put myself in your shoes..

The first thing that came to mind when you said this nutritionist told you to eliminate dairy is, "diet culture". Diet culture seems to embrace demonizing something or idolizing it as the cure-all. My second response was to tell him, "See ya later".
There are good dietitian/nutritionists out there that promote the, "all foods fit" mentality and the goals you are hoping to achieve including fueling your body properly for its tasks and intuitive eating.
Don't resent food, resent the societal messages that try to convince us to over-analyze food and its role in our life.
Like you said, dairy is delicious and good. Find a new person to work with on your diet.
I had such a good one for a while...
Best wishes and good luck.

Oh I appreciate this so much!

Oh I appreciate this so much!! <3 And RIGHT—like I hate saying it but that was where my mind went, too. >.< I keep being haunted by visions of the Instagram fit/diet culture that is so binary and judgmental in its food views… There’s a reason I’ve left social media. XD I’ll look into some other services—dude already has my money though so I’ll at least finish out the month while maintaining my boundaries to the best of my ability. I’m paying him—he should work for me, dangit! XD Thank you for replying and for being so kind. Hopefully I find a good nutrition person! Sending you lots of love and the hopes that all is well in your world. <3

I second JessieJake's message

Yeah, do not cut off dairy if you don't want, specially going cold turkey with your situation. I'm quite curious to know why he wanted you to cut off completely dairy in your diet if he knows your situation.

I'm glad to see you are taking this with a little bit of humor (at least by the way you express yourself xD). Yeah, I'd do that, if his services are already paid for the month yea continue until the end of it BUT ignoring his obsession with erasing dairy from the face of the earth xD.

Ahh social media.... connects you with a lot of people including a lot of toxic people. Been there too, took me quite some time but currently I axed social media to the strictly necessary minimum (my work includes social media) and I noticed the effects in me right away.

Sending good thoughts your way!

I feel that SO HARD about

I feel that SO HARD about social media… man, once I left it (like you minus work posts and the occasional oh hey here’s a major life update) my life has been noticeably better :-) I’m so glad to hear it’s improved your quality of life to be away from the cess pool that is social media as well! <3 dude. Toxicity just thrives in certain areas of the greater interbutts >.< I’m sorry you had to deal with any of it D:

Right, though??? I feel like if you’re going to become a nutritionist and in particular a sports nutritionist at least SOME study of eating disorders and disordered eating should be done! -_- Especially since professional athletes are at HUGE risk for developing EDs. I was surprised at how prevalent anorexia (and other restrictive type EDs) are among runners in particular… I knew about its high percentage in other sports like figure skating, gymnastics and etc. but running was a surprise to me. Why aren’t sports nutritionists clued into that then???? *SUPER IRRITATED FACE* Equally how does nutrition so frequently seem to end up tangled up in diet culture… someone needs to make some waves and changes in the nutrition world and ensure it’s securely separated from diet trends and fads and crap. :P Ain’t nobody got time for some lunatic spouting off about the supposed evils of dairy because they read it was bad somewhere on the Internet XD

Good news is I have at least felt perceptibly better following the cherry picked bits of his plan XD And learned some helpful pointers re: convenience which is huge with three kids, lol. So it’s thankfully not a total waste! XD

Thank you for commenting and expressing such kindness and support <3 I appreciate it so much!! I hope you’re doing well~ sending lots of love your way ^_^

How's it going?

I'd love to hear how this ends up for you.
There is a wellness group I used to love in my area. It seemed they were logical and anti-diet-culture. I went in for an assessment (this was before I knew I had an ed or believed I had one). I walked out of that first appointment which was with just some lady who really didn't have an extensive background or any nutrition education, with a huge list of what I had to stop eating (all the common items you hear of people removing from their diet), but without any medical workup or real explanation of why. Oh, but she did recommend many supplements I could conveniently buy from them. I never went back. I was so disappointed as I felt instead of seeing me that they were giving the same message to everyone that came in. Ugh.
It's hard when we go to an expert for help and then are doubtful of their advice. It really is true that we need to be our own best advocate. Trust our gut, and feel free to disagree - even with a a so-called expert. It's tiring, but looking and trying more than one solution seems to be so necessary.
Here's to being skeptical!