Tears of Desperation
She sat there in tears, desperately trying to explain how she was TRYING to lose weight. She had been struggling with obesity for years and wanted so badly to be healthy and at a normal weight. She was sticking to her calorie-controlled diet but the scale wasn’t dropping fast enough, and if she was being honest, she was so hungry and constantly thinking about food. She felt miserable. She left the office feeling hopeless and my heart broke for her. I believed her.
The woman I was working alongside turned to me and said, “she’s not telling the truth, you know. She says she’s sticking to the diet but I guarantee she’s sneaking more food than she is telling us.”
“Oh” I said. That’s about all I could muster. I didn’t really know what to think. I was a dietitian student, after all. Maybe our patient just needed some more willpower?
That experience changed my path
Little did I know it at the time, but that experience changed me. There was a seed that was planted in that moment that would shape my interests, research, and ultimately, who I wanted to help in this world. That day in the office, I saw myself in that woman’s eyes. Even though I wasn’t “category: obese”, I had struggled with my own weight and felt the same things she was talking about.
What was really going on?
I couldn’t stop the questions in my brain. For years my brain would think through things like:
- Why can some people effortlessly push dessert away and not feel the urge to keep eating
- Why do I eat less (and attempts at healthier) than my friends, but yet I am the one who struggles with weight?
- Why do some people go out to dinner, and 1 hour later, feel hungry again?
- Why does reducing calorie intake make some people feel exhausted, cranky, and starving?
- Why do some people gain 10+ pounds a year despite trying to diet, while others eat whatever they want and stay the same?
- Is energy imbalance (calories in vs. calories out) really the ONLY reason why people gain weight?
- Why when some of us try to lose weight by counting calories, do our food cravings SKYROCKET?
- Do people with weight struggles (myself included) simply lack willpower? That’s the message I’ve been given.
- WHAT IS GOING ON!?
It’s not a calorie problem, it’s a hormone imbalance problem
Now we’ve come full circle. After dietitian school, then years of counseling clients 1:1, leading me to research, podcasts, books, more clinical experience, trial and error on myself, and teaching others through my Best You Plan, I know that for those of us who struggle with our weight (I’m not talking you gained a few pounds and would like to lose it, I’m talking overweight and obesity) we are up against hormonal imbalances in our body. Hormones our powerful. They are the drivers of hunger and obesity.
The insulin and leptin connection
Hormones, namely insulin and leptin, are at the center of the struggle. If we can start using nutrition therapies that target the hormonal imbalances, then guess what? We can start to control our hunger and our metabolisms.
Want to learn more? Stay tuned for part II by signing up for my newsletter.