Sports Dietitians have a vast array of knowledge in the intersection of nutrition with sport, exercise, movement and performance. They have an in depth understanding of the nutrition and nourishment needs of individuals. Sports Dietitians also understand how complex and important movement can be in someone’s life, and what’s required in order to keep that moment healthy and sustainable.
“I have so much going on at home and work is intense. I’m trying to work on recovery, but I have too much on my plate right now,” my client told me during a recent session.
“So, when you have too much on your plate at work and home life, it feels too difficult to work on challenging the eating disorder?” I asked.
At Mind Body Well, our clinicians use a number of different therapeutic approaches when working with our clients. One of these approaches is Intuitive Eating.
So what is Intuitive Eating?
Whilst Intuitive Eating is currently receiving a lot of attention, the approach has actually been around for quite a while. It’s a mind-body health approach that was created by two registered Dietitians from the USA, Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, back in 1995.
I remember there being just one small mirror in my Grandparents house. It was a hand held vanity mirror, not especially ornate, more functional than decorative. I remember the mirror sat above the fireplace accumulating dust in the house where my Grandfather and Uncle lived. I would pick it up when I visited, play acting as I imagined my Grandmother holding it while she brushed her hair, turning one way, then the other. I don’t know if she ever did that, she died before I was born, but my sense of her with that mirror is so vivid that it feels real.
An Advanced Sports Dietitian has expertise helping athletes and very active people to utilise nutrition to enhance physical performance. This might mean assisting a marathon runner to figure out the fluid and carbohydrates they need to consume during a race, to helping a young gymnast figure out what food energises her before a morning training session, to assisting a busy mum to come up with quick breakfast ideas to allow her muscles to recover after an early morning exercise class.
I had a conversation last week with a client that went like this:
She – “I want to move to a country where Christmas is in the winter”.
Me – “Why’s that? You hoping for a White Christmas?”
She – “No. It’s because then I wouldn’t be trying to adjust to summer clothing, eat out more and socialise all at once. I could just put a big coat on and not give a ****”.
I was speaking with a client recently about some concerns she has with mindfulness. She told me she had attended a course on mindfulness, and during the program she had been repeatedly instructed by the teacher to ‘feel into her body’ – a common enough instruction used in meditation practice. She had some significant problems with this instruction though, and felt that the practice of mindfulness was just not for her - “Telling me to feel into my body, is like asking a blind man to have a look”, she said.
The term ’non-diet’ is one you will often see used by health professionals and advocates who encourage approaches to health and wellbeing that are contrary to popular messages promoting restrictive weight loss diets.
Many of the team at Mind Body Well were fortunate to be introduced to the non-diet world by Dr Rick Kausman, author of ‘If Not Dieting Then What?’ and one of the pioneers of the non-diet movement. The title of Rick’s book sums up well what many of our clients are asking…. “I’ve tried restrictive weight loss diets and they haven’t worked for me, so what now?”
I’m breaking up with you because you’re mean.
Sometimes you’re so nasty that you won’t even let me carry out a conversation with my friends. All I hear is your voice telling me I’m stupid, ugly, they don’t like me, they wish I wasn’t here.
You do that. You get in the way when I try to talk to people, and you’re always telling my I’m no good. You erode my confidence and steal my joy.
I’m just back from three amazing weeks holiday in Italy. Wow what a place! I totally fell in love with everything about the culture, food, people, landscape, history, art… so many wonderful things.
Of course being on holiday in any country offers only an observer view, but from the place of traveller there were a few things I noticed about the Italian attitude toward food that I loved – so I wanted to share them.
It seems everyone these days has something to say about nutrition. Eat this, don’t eat that, eat this with that in order to blah, blah, blah…..
With such a saturation of ‘advice’ about what to eat it can be difficult to find voices of wisdom amidst SO MUCH NOISE!
Sometimes he or she who speaks the loudest about nutrition is the one we’d be best not to listen to at all.
The beginning of the year is the time to put your health and wellbeing high on the agenda for the year ahead. If you’ve been considering Psychological Therapy to assist, and are unsure whether to give it a go, here are some signs that it may be time:
- Talking to your friends or family is no longer enough
How many times have you said to yourself “I’ll be happy when I… (insert here – lose weight, find a partner, get a new job, get what I want from my Mum etc)”?
For many of us its all-too familiar to find ourselves waiting on something within or around us to change so we can find greater self acceptance and life satisfaction. Too often we find ourselves waiting on a future event to pick us up and launch us to where we want to be, a kind of magical thinking which takes us out of the present moment and tells us in a whisper (or a shout) that “I’m not ok just as I am”. Ouch. That kind of attitude can really hurt.
Let me set the scene… there I am, pants off, hot wax hovering just above my legs… when the inevitable question comes from the beautician.
“So, what do you do?”
Honestly, sometimes I lie when I’m asked this question. If I’m not in the mood for a difficult conversation in my off-duty hours, sometimes I say I’m a teacher. After all I figure that’s only partly untrue.
But today I’m feeling ready for a conversation so I tell her… “I’m a Psychologist”.
Until recently meditation was considered a practice exclusive to gurus in caves and swamis on mountain tops. Now more mainstream than alternative, you’ll see meditation mentioned in even the most conservative of medical and psychological journals. Academics and researchers are increasingly interested in how meditation effects our thoughts, our behaviours, and even the very structure and function of our brains.
Have you noticed the natural tendency most of us have to exaggerate one negative experience amongst a whole bunch of positives? How we minimise a range of pleasant experiences at the expense of a more unpleasant one which occupies our full attention?
It turns out this tendency is actually hard wired into our brain as a legacy of our evolutionary development. Our brain is trained to look out for potential dangers or threats, with what Neuroscientists call the ‘Negativity Bias’.
I was shopping at my local Farmers Market last week when I saw a woman near me juggling her bags of shopping. Given she only had two hands and a lot of bags this was quite a task! She picked up the eggs she’d just bought, fumbled and then dropped the carton onto the ground, spilling eggs over the grass and cracking a few. I went to help her and what do you think was the first thing she said?
“Oh, I’m such an idiot!”
I helped her clean up the eggs and said something about how I often think I can carry more than I can.
I’ve been having a lot of conversations with people lately about self care.
As we approach the pointy end of the year it seems many people are holding their breath waiting for the big exhale on Boxing Day, hoping to spend time engaging in self care activities when the festive season has passed.
It’s surprising though that so many people talk about self care as if it’s something that’s a bit selfish, naughty, decadent, and belongs down the bottom of the ‘things to do’ list.
Is it just me noticing this, or is everyone actually talking about Mindfulness?
I bought a new car recently, and the sales person informed me “you need to be mindful of fuel economy when you drive long distances”. I heard Jamie Oliver on TV last night recommending we “be mindful not to add too much salt”. And my nail technician a couple of weeks ago when I was getting a manicure (yes, I know, groan), asked me to be mindful not to hit my wet nails against the inside of the nail dryer.