The So-Called "Experts"
I’ve been a Weight Watcher for over 10 years now. In fact that’s just since the 2nd time I became a member, in September of 1999. The first time was somewhere in 1991 or 1992, I don’t remember exactly. Back then I thought I was Lady Lardo and I only had 25lbs to lose.
Since 1999 I have learned a lot about food. Or at least I’m interested in learning about food. There are tons of experts out there. There’s a “way of eating” out there for every day of month if not year. So many different “diets”, plans, programs. To be totally honest with you, I never really tried any other “diet” than Weight Watchers because frankly I last like 2 hours and then I’m fed up. I don’t understand restricting yourself from the things that you like. If you like them, there should be a way to incorporate them into your life. This is why I don’t agree with plans like Atkins, because I don’t WANT to not eat pasta, rice or potatoes for however long the induction is. I want to eat what I want to eat and think about other things like variation, portion size, good fat vs. bad fat, that sort of thing.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; I am NOT Dutch and yet I am NOT totally American either. The way I eat is probably a combination of two cultures. One thing I have to say (again) – I do not want to eat loads of bread because I do not feel satisfied with bread. The Dutch love their bread for breakfast and for lunch. That’s fine for them. It’s NOT fine for me. If you detect a tone of resistance in my blogging voice you are not wrong, it is there.
You probably remember that several weeks ago I tried to eat “Dutch”. And I was hungry. Really hungry. Why should I be hungry? (No, it wasn’t thirst either and I drink plenty of water during the day).
I don’t like to eat a lot of sugar. I think this is a pretty healthy habit to have. Do I eat sugar on occasion? Yes, I do. I’m not going to lie or pretend that I am something I am not. The Dutch like to eat sweet things on their bread. Jams, honey, syrup, even chopped up strawberries with sugar on top. A favourite is hagelslag, which is chocolate or fruit “flavoured” sprinkles. I don’t really want to eat a Sugar Sandwich. It spikes my sugar up to the Heavens and then I’m hungry again a half an hour later.
I don’t eat a lot of cheese. There are two reasons for this. 1) It’s a trigger food and 2) I have some issues with lactose; I’m not completely intolerant, but sometimes I don’t feel really well afterwards. So why should I eat cheese??? The Dutch love their cheese. Trust me there is good reason for this – the cheese is absolutely divine here. I could eat a wheel of cheese in one sitting if you presented it to me. Really.
Yoghurt on the other hand I can stomach which is great because I absolutely love yoghurt. I could even eat it more than once a day. After the advice I got yesterday, maybe I should.
So, how does one go about eating and living a healthy lifestyle in Cheese and Bread land?
I go by what I like, portion control and fitting everything into my Weight Watchers plan, 29 points a day. I make sure I eat all my fruits and veggies (it doesn’t always work, but during the work week I’m pretty structured). I eat the dairy products that I can eat without binging or feeling sick. I eat good fats. I eat lean meats. Seafood – good oil fish and shrimp usually.
What difference does it really make if I eat 100g of rice or pasta or 3 slices of bread, truly?
Well according to the “expert” I spoke to yesterday, my lunches are much too heavy. I should eat BREAD with various toppings – CHEESE, tomato, sandwich spreads.
He asked me “where are your dairy products?” (I gave him my food diary from last week) Um. Right in front of you? Yoghurt at breakfast, 1 coffee with steamed milk per day, cottage cheese? Is that not enough?
Eggs – I apparently eat too many eggs. I shouldn’t eat an egg in the morning, I should eat CRACKERS. And I should never drink my black coffee on an empty stomach. I have been doing this for 20 years, I can not imagine what sort of difference this will make, but OK, I will eat before I drink coffee.
I should eat more vegetables, he said. So. I guess 300 – 400g at lunch time is not enough? I should eat fruit as my snacks. An apple. OK. An apple when hungry actually makes me feel even more ravenous.
Oh and I don’t work out nearly enough. I have to do a minimum of 2.5 hours a week. That cycling I do back and forth to the station? That doesn’t count. That’s just “normal” daily movement. I have to do 2.5 hours of hard work exercise.
He gave me a list of foods I should eat for my age and to assist in losing weight. I didn’t really go to the dietitian to go on a diet! I went for some non-food related advice. I want to know – is my travel, commute, too-long days and too-short nights standing in the way from losing weight?
This is the second dietitian I have been to that has given me the same standard advice. They are NOT open to other cultures. They are NOT listening. They are NOT open the fact that maybe eating bread and cheese doesn’t work for everyone.
I will try this guys list of foods to eat for the next two weeks. I will take his advice to exercise more. I will not drink my coffee on an empty stomach. I have another appointment with him on the 31st of May. If he still won’t listen to me, then I’m going to check with my doctor if I can go to a different dietitian (one not at the gym, but at the medical centre around the corner from me) and keep trying until someone will listen to me and actually ask me RELEVANT questions and give me ADVICE that fits ME and not every other person in this country.
If it’s not already apparent, I am so very frustrated. And to top it off, I ate my crackers this morning (with filet americain; it’s on his list) before my coffee at 5.20 this morning; as I’m writing this it’s now 8am and I am absolutely ravenous. But what’s new, eh?