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Nutrition Articles  ›  Healthy Habits

'A Registered Dietitian Changed My Life'

How She Changed the Way I Viewed Food--and Everything Else

-- By Jennipher Walters, Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor
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This RD blew me away. Her tactics included therapy as well as education. She asked me a series of questions—not about what I ate or how much—but rather, how I felt. Was I hungry when eating? Full? Did I eat at normal times? Did I taste the food? Was I upset? I always knew deep down that I was eating out of emotion or severe fatigue, but it never dawned on me that I rarely listened to my hunger or honored it. In fact, I often ignored my hunger completely and ate on a very strict schedule where hunger and fullness weren't even factors.

When it came to hunger, my body and mind were completely out of whack. In fact, my RD told me that I didn't know what hunger was at all. So, under my RD's care, I started a hunger log where I checked in every hour to see on a scale of 1 to 10 how hungry or full I was. My goal was to eat when I was a 6 or 7 and stop when I was at a 7 or 8 on the full scale. At the onset, I thought this would be pretty easy to do, but it took me weeks to figure out what the numbers meant to me and my belly. Figuring out how hungry was "too hungry," and how full was "too full" or "not full enough" were things that I had to relearn. My RD was also brilliant at getting to refocus my life on what really mattered instead of calories and my imperfections. She even helped me schedule off days from working out and helped me to see that spending too many hours in the gym was doing more harm than good.

On my wedding day, a few months after our sessions began, I felt more confident and beautiful than I ever had. I now have the tools to recognize when I'm becoming out of balance with my workouts and my eating, and I have coping mechanisms to better deal with these things (just stopping and breathing does wonders!). I still slip up from time to time, but I don't beat myself up about it. I focus on being healthy, happy and as balanced as I can be. And then the rest just works itself out. Below are a few others things I learned during the process that can help you on your journey.
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About The Author

Jennipher Walters Jennipher Walters
Jenn is the CEO and co-founder of the healthy living websites FitBottomeGirls.com, FitBottomedMamas.com and FitBottomedEats.com. A certified personal trainer, health coach and group exercise instructor, she also holds an MA in health journalism and is the author of The Fit Bottomed Girls Anti-Diet book (Random House, 2014).

See all of Jenn's articles.

Member Comments

  • I have gone to see an RD a couple of times because I have celiac disease. I was amazed at the quality teaching tactics she used to help me think about food and my choices. I also highly recommend going to see an RD. - 2/1/2014 8:07:07 AM
  • Thank you so much for this. I read this and said "Oh goodness, this is me!" This has really helped me into thinking I should make an appointment with a RD. - 9/4/2013 4:49:25 PM
  • Loved the article. - 8/14/2013 3:50:10 PM
  • I have Neuropathy & was told that if I lost weight maybe it would go away. Therefore, my Neuropathy Specialist referred me to a dietician. I have been seeing her for awhile now. I go about every 3 months & get weighed in & we talk. I have learned so much from her - things I have never even thought of before! She is wonderful! I agree that if you've never seen a dietician I would highly recommend it if you are someone who is trying to lose weight & want to learn more about the process & yourself! - 6/14/2013 9:50:56 AM
  • ENTHRIVE
    Thank you for sharing your story Jenn. RDs can help with many issues indeed, but especially with disordered eating. - 6/12/2013 2:27:46 PM
  • Great points in this article! I explored the idea of becoming an RD but the schooling just won't work for me so I'm going to school to be a Health Coach. I will not have as much schooling as an RD in the science background, but will still be able to help people become healthier using coaching techniques and helping them figure out their own way. - 1/6/2013 7:01:50 PM
  • SADANVAS
    Great article! I may need to find a registered dietician. Hopefully one as good as yours! - 8/1/2012 5:22:20 PM
  • I really enjoyed this article. - 8/1/2012 8:53:18 AM
  • I've been fortunate to have been surrounded by a number of really smart people in my weigh loss journey, but I have used so many of the tips and skills from my RD. She is a saint!! - 7/30/2012 9:29:59 AM
  • MHUNKA1
    how do you know if a certain RD wont actually make your condition worse? That is what I am worried about. - 5/9/2012 8:05:47 PM
  • I wish I had known this when I went to see a dietician. I went along and was very discouraged to be talking with an excessively thin and disapproving person who made no attempt to help me, her approach was to tell me stuff I already knew, not to help me to incorporate new ways of thinking and acting around food. If I had known I might find a dietitian such as you describe, I would have persisted. - 8/17/2011 4:20:21 PM
  • JIMMIESOPH
    Excellent advise - when I think of all the hours I have spent beating myself up over food - my weight is not the most important thing any more. Balance and being happy and content - is. - 7/16/2011 2:16:51 PM
  • Very interesting article. I did meet with an RD after I started SP and she was so impressed with the way our Nutrition Trackers work, she took info from me so she could recommend SP to her clients. She just told me to keep up the good work. - 5/20/2011 10:01:01 PM
  • If you have a HY VEE near you they have RD for free or a very small cost . They have diabetic classes and many others. Good article. - 5/17/2011 10:00:05 AM