Nutritionist, Take 1

I had my first appointment with “my” nutritionist last Thursday.  First of all, it’s still quite weird that I have one of those.  Throw in the psychiatrist my counselor is trying to convince me to see and you’ve got something that looks a little like a “treatment team.”  Which means I might have something that looks a little like an “eating disorder.”

I’m just a little screwy about food, right?  Right.  No eating disorder here.  Moving on.

I digress.  I walked in super anxious, which was written all over my face and body language.  (Body language which she mocked.  Score one nutritionist.)  We talked about the source of the anxiety, which boiled down to – You’re going to make me eat and get fatter!  Evil nutritionist! We also talked about the fact that I was perfectly aware that this was the crazy brain talking.  (She called this the “unhealthy voice” as opposed to the “healthy voice.”  I apparently am not allowed to call myself crazy here either.  Score two nutritionist. )

And then, down to business. What I assume is typical “first visit” stuff.

Age? Twenty-four

Height? Five Sevenish.

Do you know what you weigh? I laugh at this question, explain that I was supposed to be giving up the scale for Lent, which met with less than success.  Maybe you weren’t ready to give it up yet, she says.  Then tells me that for Lent, she tries to add something instead of taking something away.  That this year, she is going out of her way every day to do something nice for someone.  (Score three nutritionist.)

And then we start to walk through my history with my body and food.

How did you feel about your body in elementary school?  Do you remember? I admit I don’t.  I was always a really thin kid, mention this.  But don’t mention the fact that I was wearing a bra by fourth grade, that my body was developing earlier than my friends’, that this was a source of both pride and discomfort.

Statistics would suggest that this is important.  If I had an eating disorder.  Which I don’t.  I’m just a little screwy about food, right?  Right.  No eating disorder here.

When did you start restricting? Middle school.  Just a little.  What meals did you skip? Lunch, I say…and breakfast, now that I think about it.

Do you remember family meals? I don’t.  I know we ate together, that dinner was as a family at least three or four nights a week.   The other few nights we were left to fend for ourselves.  I learned to make macaroni and cheese from a box at age 10.  I was a terrible cook.

We keep talking through the hell that was high school and I give a fairly accurate weight history, year by year.  I mention that I have struggled with depression since middle school, but did not go on medication until my senior year of college.  She is shocked by this.

How did you go that long without being on medication? I laugh.  I self-medicated, of course.  And we talk about the alcohol, the increased restriction, the self-injury, the prescription drugs.  Clever, she says when I explain how I managed these things.

How was college?  Do you remember what you weighed? Do I remember?  I think I can give you a weight for almost every moment of college – I practically lived on the scale. And so we go through year by year and I tell her my weight and the utter abuse I subjected my body to.

It’s a miracle I graduated.  It’s an even bigger miracle that I graduated with honors.

(But to be honest, the miracle is that I survived.)

What is your heaviest weight? I tell her.

When was that? Last August.

So you’ve lost a lot of weight in the last six months? It is more of a statement than a question and I shrug.  Yeah, I guess.

We talk about what I eat, what I don’t, the other ways I use to control my weight this time around.  She is straight-forward and matter-of-fact without being judgmental.  It seems that she is the type who will point out the discrepancies and fallacies in my “logical” thinking and let me figure out how ridiculous I’m being.  (Score four and five nutritionist.)

So even if I’m not entirely convinced that I need this (though a road trip this past weekend is making me more aware of how desperately I DO need this) – I’m going back this week.

In the meantime, I have a questionnaire to fill out, which I’ve been trying to do for days, but which makes me feel a little crazy every time I have to answer a question.  The first page was fine – it is titled “Client History” – but at the top of the second page, a header:  “Eating Disorders:  Time for Change.”

Well, that’s just silly, I think.  I think this woman has gotten the wrong assumption from our time together.  I’m just a little screwy about food, right?  Right.  No eating disorder here.

Do you know what you weigh? I laugh at this question, explain that I was supposed to be giving up the scale for Lent, which met with less than success.  Maybe you weren’t ready to give it up yet, she says.  Then tells me that for Lent, she tries to add something instead of taking something away.  That this year, she is going out of her way every day to do something nice for someone.  (Score three nutritionist.)

And then we start to walk through my history with my body and food.

How did you feel about your body in elementary school?  Do you remember? I admit I don’t.  I was always a really thin kid, mention this.  But don’t mention the fact that I was wearing a bra by fourth grade, that my body was developing earlier than my friends’, that this was a source of both pride and discomfort.

Statistics would suggest that this is important.  If I had an eating disorder.  Which I don’t.  I’m just a little screwy about food, right?  Right.  No eating disorder here.

When did you start restricting? Middle school.  Just a little.  What meals did you skip? Lunch, I say…and breakfast, now that I think about it.

Do you remember family meals? I don’t.  I know we ate together, that dinner was as a family at least three or four nights a week.   The other few nights we were left to fend for ourselves.  I learned to make macaroni and cheese from a box at age 10.  I was a terrible cook.

We keep talking through the hell that was high school and I give a fairly accurate weight history, year by year.  I mention that I have struggled with depression since middle school, but did not go on medication until my senior year of college.  She is shocked by this.

How did you go that long without being on medication? I laugh.  I self-medicated, of course.  And we talk about the alcohol, the increased restriction, the self-injury, the prescription drugs.  Clever, she says when I explain how I managed these things.

How was college?  Do you remember what you weighed? Do I remember?  I think I can give you a weight for almost every moment of college – I practically lived on the scale. And so we go through year by year and I tell her my weight and the utter abuse I subjected my body to.

It’s a miracle I graduated.  It’s an even bigger miracle that I graduated with honors.

But to be honest, the miracle is that I survived.

What is your heaviest weight? I tell her.

When was that? Last August.

So you’ve lost a lot of weight in the last six months? It is more of a statement than a question and I shrug.  Yeah, I guess.

We talk about what I eat, what I don’t, the other ways I use to control my weight this time around.  She is straight-forward and matter-of-fact without being judgmental.  It seems that she is the type who will point out the discrepancies and fallacies in my “logical” thinking and let me figure out how ridiculous I’m being.  (Score four and five nutritionist.)

So even if I’m not entirely convinced that I need this (though a road trip this past weekend is making me more aware of how desperately I DO need this) – I’m going back this week.

In the meantime, I have a questionnaire to fill out, which I’ve been trying to do for days, but which makes me feel a little crazy every time I have to answer a question.  The first page was fine – it is titled “Client History” – but at the top of the second page, a header:  “Eating Disorders:  Time for Change.”

Well, that’s just silly, I think.  I think this woman has gotten the wrong assumption from our time together.  I’m just a little screwy about food, right?  Right.  No eating disorder here.

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One thought on “Nutritionist, Take 1

  1. I’m glad you’ve found someone who sounds like they’re 1) onto your game 2) helpful, knowledgable, and supportive. Keep us posted.

    PS-You are a really good writer.

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