We chatted to Simone de Pinho about her journey with registered dietitian Michelle McDermott.
Why did you decide to see a dietitian? (the before story)
I have been a yo-yo dieter all my life. I struggled with my weight from the time that I became aware that weight means something in the world. I have lost a considerable amount of weight often but always put it back on as I failed to stay consistent.
The reason that I went to Michelle, which is the reason that I always start, is because I became so uncomfortably large that my only option was to lose weight. Sometimes I wished that I had a medical reason to lose weight (it might have pushed me to be more motivated) but my health has generally not been a factor.
Tell us about your journey with the dietitian?
Michelle is not like other dietitians. Her approach is one of realism, when all I strived for was perfection.
Michelle helped me realise that my excess weight was a result of emotional eating – although this could sound obvious to someone else, I only realised this when I would go to weekly sessions, see weight gain on the scale and then cry while Michelle tried to console me and give me the motivation I needed. How Michelle didn’t fire me during those weeks, months, years, I have no idea!
I think Michelle now knows me so well that she can see when I am motivated and when I am slipping. Michelle also gives the most amazing advice just when I need it.
I also want to mention that my boyfriend and I see Michelle together. I can see how Michelle’s approach to a man differs to that of a woman and that is a testament to her experience and the wealth of knowledge that she holds! Our sessions are always fun (especially when we know we have stuck to our plan) and Michelle always gives us great feedback and measures all sorts of other things (such as body fat, water retention and metabolic calorie rate).
Tell us about your results / successes?
Most (if not all) of my over eating stems from emotional eating. This is something that I have researched over and over in an effort to understand it. I am successful with my plan when I remember to focus on eating healthily and within my plan. I am unsuccessful when I let me emotions overwhelm me and my brain literally doesn’t engage. Binge eating cannot be stopped no matter how much my brain tries to see the logic!!
I first started seeing Michelle in October 2014 and lost about 30kg’s from October 2014 to September 2015. I then started falling off the wagon and during 2016 and 2017 put all the weight that I had lost (plus an additional 10 kg) back on. In January 2018 Michelle put me on a strict medical weight loss program using meal replacements and I have lost 18.4kg’s in approximately 3 months.
What was the hardest part of the journey?
Definitely maintaining the weight loss! The hardest part of the weight loss journey is not losing the weight, it’s about maintaining a healthy lifestyle and being consistent, after you have reached your “goal weight”.
The other difficult part is to actually start – for me it’s all about getting my mind right. Learning how to self-motivate has been a journey and is still a journey.
What are the top three tips you can share?
• Stay consistent
• Have treats but make sure you get back on your plan immediately afterwards
• Exercise is key to ensuring that your mindset is correct
What the dietitian says
Simone has been a dedicated patient and is a true example of how you can do things when your mind is in the right place. We have worked together to find a plan that works for her and all I did was provide the tools and the guidance – Simone did all the hard work after that and is achieving wonderful results. Starting on any new plan needs clear guidance, goal setting and tools to make it work within your lifestyle so that the changes made can be sustained long term.
This is what a dietitian would aim to achieve with a patient as well as offer encouragement and ways to make easy sustained changes to reach the health and nutrition goals of the patient.
Congratulations and well done to Simone – a few more steps to go!
To find a registered dietitian in your area, visit the ADSA website.