The Wellness Dilemma

I’m frustrated to date by my level of progress in my wellness routine.

I’ve been on my new weight lifting routine at the gym for three and a half weeks now, and I continue to watch what I eat and to maintain my vegan regime. However, the scale has been persistently stubborn. I have barely lost two pounds.

Most everyone I’ve spoken to about this: the trainers at the gym, and others, have said don’t look at the scale because you will likely lose inches with a weight lifting program, rather than pounds.

Okay, but what if I want to lose inches AND pounds? (Hint: I do want to lose inches and pounds!)

I decided that it might be a good idea to see a nutritionist to assist me with my eating plan. I went online and searched for holistic nutritionists, figuring that a holistic nutritionist would know about supplements, vegan dietary requirements and the like.

Today I had a free consultation with the holistic nutritionist I found online. I was so discouraged when I left the consultation, I am unsure what I’m going to do next.

I filled out an extensive health questionnaire, which asked me about my eating habits, the supplements I was taking, what kind of exercise I do, what my goals were, etc. I filled all that out before the appointment.

In the conversation today, I found out that this person, who bills themselves as a holistic nutritionist, tells me that they do not know about supplements nor do they have any way to comment on supplements as part of my diet. Moreover, this person said, and I quote, “I couldn’t be vegan because I couldn’t eat beans everyday.” I replied, “I don’t eat beans everyday.” Then the person said, “well, there aren’t many sources of protein left…” and then they went on to try and convince me that maybe I should try eating chicken because that’s “more pleasurable”! (Seriously, wtf?)

As if all that wasn’t bad enough, and that’s pretty bad, this person said “I’m not a fitness coach, so I won’t have any suggestions about your exercise routine.” Fair enough, but when I asked about how my exercise routine would factor into my eating plan, I was told that as long as I was doing exercise, that was good enough for them to know.

HUH? How the heck is a nutritionist going to come up with a viable eating plan for me if they don’t know HOW MUCH EXERCISE I AM DOING??


That experience was TOTALLY disheartening. If you have a disease, the doctors know what to do and health insurance covers it. If you have a cavity, the dentist knows what to do and dental insurance covers it. BUT, if you are WELL … if you are healthy, and want to maintain your health, or maybe improve it … then you are completely on your own. Good luck with all of the contradictory information too.

Based on this person’s comments today, I’d need to assemble a health team to deal with my wellness program. I should hire a nutritionist, a supplement expert, a personal trainer, and probably a damn secretary for keeping all these appointments straight.

Yes, I am frustrated; frustrated by my desire to be healthier than I am today, without a clear path on how I can achieve that.

More research will follow, no doubt. There’s still hope I can achieve the goals I’ve set for myself … even if I have to carve my own path through this wellness wilderness.

2 Responses

  1. Carol, I am in Canada so I am not 100% sure that this applies to you, but I believe you wanted a dietician and went to a nutritionist instead. A dietician has a degree, is knowledgable about anatomy and physiology, and is often employed by a hospital or medical centre. A nutritionist a lot of the time is pretty much anyone–there’s no specific credentials you need to have to call yourself that. Here’s an explanation of the difference:

    You could probably ask your doctor to refer you to a dietician. Your insurance might even cover it. I went to one years back for about 6 months and she helped me a lot.

    Please don’t give up. The help you are seeking is out there!

    • Hi Rebecca,

      Actually I think what I am looking for is a Naturopathic Doctor. That’s someone who is actually trained as a doctor, PLUS they are also trained in detail on supplements, diet and nutrition, and a variety of other alternative therapies.

      I have been poking around and may have found one that I can see. She and I had an excellent conversation on the phone today, and she spent time asking me questions and being patient. I couldn’t believe, first of all, that she answered her own phone, and second, that she took about 20 minutes to talk to me on the phone without knowing me. She asked great questions, and even suggested a few things I need to do to get clarity – for myself – about what I’d achieve by seeing a naturopath since, as she said herself after I explained what I’m doing, that I’m already doing “a lot of things right.” (Very encouraging, incidentally!)

      Unfortunately though, in most states in the United States, Naturopathic Doctors are not permitted to be officially licensed to practice as naturopaths. In only 17 states they are, but that does not include New York (and therefore New York City.) HOWEVER, there are practicing naturopathic doctors in NYC, but it means that any visits are not covered by traditional insurance.

      You know – I don’t care. I want to work with a health advocate that knows me, takes time to understand my full health picture, and can advise me based on a complete picture of where I am today and what I want to achieve.

      THANK YOU for your kind words and encouraging support!

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