Over the last nine years of practicing as a registered dietitian, I’ve helped hundreds of people in Philadelphia. I’ve been trusted with their hopes, and their personal stories; I’ve watched as they have both struggled and overcame. But in time, they have also gifted me with a keen understanding of what it truly means to lead a “healthy” lifestyle. Here are the five key takeaways I’ve learned.
1. Start where you’re at – not where you aspire to be.
All of us have goals, but we need to start from our current condition, not the one we hope to attain. You wouldn’t sign up for a marathon without first running a 5k. Your goals are within reach if you first acknowledge where you are. Life is not an Instagram feed and we’re not competing for “likes.” Try to be better than your baseline – not someone else’s. If you accept where you are, define where you want to be, and make intentional choices with your goals in mind, you will succeed.
2. Our relationship with food is multi-dimensional.
It’s not enough to look at our diet in order to determine what is necessary to lead a healthy life. In fact, our issues with food are very rarely issues about food. Rather, our relationship with food is based on a multitude of factors – everything from childhood trauma and personal experiences, to diagnosed illnesses, prescription medication, and self-esteem. Over the years, I have learned the importance in taking a holistic approach to health — spiritual, mental, and physical — for every client. Our overall health is made up of more than just what’s on our dinner plate.
3. Science-backed evidence is best.