We already know that normal people can do and say very things that are very triggering for people with eating disorders or prone to them. One would hope that nutrition professionals had more balance and sensitivity. But it isn’t always like that, and they can do a lot of harm.
I was dumbfounded when my friend Veera shared this incident in her instagram stories, and I want to share her experience with you so, if you encounter a nutritionist like that, you don’t panic or let her words affect you. On the opposite, just like her, you have to 1) rationalize things and know what the objective truth is and 2) take it with humor!
It’s such a huge danger and sadness that there are people like that nutritionist ruining her patients’ relationship with their bodies and food. That’s why we have to learn to be mentally strong and to tell apart good professionals from quacks.
I’ve been fortunate enough to find a great nutritionist, and Veera too, so if something doesn’t fit the first few times you go to a consultation, or you two just don’t click (as what happened to me with my first nutritionist), do yourself a favor and change. Look for someone who’s evidence based, who doesn’t promote a restrictive and obsessive perspective, who doesn’t stigmatize weights, who doesn’t make you feel uncomfortable and who treats you as people, not as numbers.
Without further ado, here’s the video!
Since it’s in Spanish, here’s the translation:
Ok so I went to this nutritionist/endocrinologist/monster. I went in and she said the scale wasn’t working (although she’d later weigh me). From the moment I entered this woman’s consulting room, she was all like: “She has class 2 obesity!”. So she skipped overweight and class 1 obesity, and directly said class 2 obesity. So we asked: “Obesity? What?”. But she kept insisting, class 2 obesity, class 2 obesity, blah, blah, blah… And I was like, come on, I never ever buy —and I don’t mean to brag or anything, I just don’t— my clothes in plus size stores, I’ve always been able to buy my clothes in normal stores like H&M, Zara, etc.
Of course I know I’ve never been a thin girl, but neither obese. Sometimes I’d get close to overweight or just a little over that number, but not more. So when she told me I had class 2 obesity, that I had to be careful because the next step was morbid obesity… I was like, excuse me, when I look down I can see my feet. No, just no.
Now I laugh about it, but it’s actually super serious, I mean, it’s such a serious subject. So I ended up feeling quite bad that day, my mother was shocked, I was shocked and quite disturbed, and my father like, that woman is crazy, ok you might have to lose weight but she’s crazy! And it crossed my mind not to follow that diet, I didn’t know whether it could gave me an eating disorder, either by restricting or bingeing. I told my best friend and we ended up laughing about how nonsense the situation is, because it just wasn’t real, it just wasn’t.
But I did think a lot about the fact that if that woman saw me as someone with almost morbid obesity, when there wasn’t even class 1 obesity, or class 2 overweight… And I thought about those people who’re really going through serious eating disorders such as anorexia, or binge, maybe out of anxiety or whatever… And if her words were practically inciting me to stop eating, or maybe to overeat because of an all-or-nothing mindset…
Would she tell a person who really has anorexia, whose weight is below healthy, to keep like that because that’s the good thing? Since she’s telling me I’m a morbid obese and have to lose lots and lots and lots of weight…
And she also told me that my ideal weight would be the one I weighed when I was 10, without being overweight and being one head shorter… Mmm… what do you want me to say, I can’t weigh the same than when I was 10, no, because my body’s changed, I’ve grown up —I know I’m short, but I’ve grown up!— and… you know, just no.
A good nutritionist
Well, I started to follow her diet, but I wasn’t very compliant at all. And then, the following year I went to another endocrinologist, of whom we’d heard very good opinions, and she’s so good, and she’s the one I’m currently seeing. I’m telling you all of this precisely because I’ve been to the endocrinologist this week and I’ve remembered this “anecdote”, this episode in my life, and I thought it could be interesting for you.
So, the first time I went to see this new endocrinologist, first of all she weighed me, as is right and proper, measured my height, as is right and proper, calculated my BMI and all those things and… sent me to have my blood tested. She didn’t put me on a diet straightaway, but first she wanted to see my blood test results. And after that blood test, she gave me a diet that was accurate for my individual results.
And I’m very happy with her and how we’re making progress. And well, we told her about the episode with the previous endocrinologist and she was shocked and said: “Who told you that?”. But I didn’t remember her name, and you know, I don’t even want to remember that woman. And that was it.
Right now I’m doing well, I’ve lost weight, but for the sake of health! I only go on diets for my health. And by the way, being on a diet doesn’t mean to stop eating, but to learn how to eat right, the right amounts, without starving yourself. So I’m fine now. In case anybody is interested, I wear a 38 [Spanish size] in Stradivarius. I say the brand so you can get a sense, but I don’t really care about the size number anyway. I almost always wear baggy t-shirts because I like them, and I dress as I fancy.
So, if you go to any endocrinologist, nutritionist… please don’t let them tell you bullshit as it happened to me, because it can have such a negative impact… I’m quite mentally strong, but I was on the verge of stopping eating and I thought I was super fat, when it turned out I just needed to lose a bit of weight to stop being overweight (not obese!). So that’s my story… How crazy!
If you want to contact her to tell her something or ask her about her experience, her instagram account is @veerimoji.