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Good things come to those who wait Print

4 Lessons I learned from parenting that apply to wellness

By Andrea Holwegner, Health Stand Nutrition Consulting Inc.

baby

On July 8th, 2010 I gave birth to a handsome little boy which my husband Mike and I named Saul. We chose the name Saul because we liked the Latin meaning of his name which was “strength.” Little did we know the meaning of his name would really ring true in a way we didn’t anticipate. Saul started his journey into this world as an emergency C-section, then had jaundice and then surprised us by testing out the strength of his lungs because he is colic. As new parents we knew that babies cry, but nothing can prepare you for the painful, sustained cries of a colicky baby. We spent many agonizing hours holding our little man and doing laps around our house trying to calm him. Thank goodness we also had the help of our parents to take turns holding him. One day Saul cried uncontrollably for seven hours and it brought me to my knees. I remember thinking that this was so much harder than I expected and that I wasn’t strong enough to get through this. I wondered if I was cut out to be a mother. I missed my old peaceful and independent life. All the resources I read about colic said that it would get better by 3 months. After week four, this seemed like an eternity.

Just when you think you can’t manage another day, and have tried every strategy possible, at eight weeks things started to shift. Something helped. Whatever it was, I celebrated the windows of time where Saul wasn’t crying. Recently in the one morning after I fed Saul and he was sitting on my lap peacefully, he smiled at me for the very first time. That smile melted my heart and allowed me to feel like everything we had endured was worthwhile.

While you may not be able to relate to my experience directly, chances are you have faced some significant challenges in your life. My experience with Saul has reminded me of some important lessons about lifestyle change:

  1. Be patient and stick it out. Whatever change you are hoping for is going to take time. If you are trying to reduce your cholesterol it takes at least 3 months of lifestyle changes to have it show up in your blood work. If you are trying to lose weight keep in mind that a healthy amount of weight loss is 1/2 to 1 pound per week. The diet industry will make you feel like a failure if you have only lost a few pounds per month but in reality this is perfect progress for most people. Just because you are progressing slow and steady doesn’t mean you are failing.
  2. Change is messy. Often we have a stepwise plan and vision about how change will progress and forget that while we are making changes, life happens. You could be trying to cook more healthy meals at home and feel frustrated that you are throwing out a drawer full of fresh produce because your schedule was so busy with work commitments you didn’t have time to get to them. You may decide to give up on your goal entirely or instead why not look at your calendar and attain your goal two days out of seven days this week. Go easy on yourself and remember that each time something doesn’t go well you are not starting at square one again, instead you have just learned something important to help support yourself for success.
  3. Enlist support. Positive energy is contagious. You need to surround yourself by inspiring positive people that will be your cheerleaders when the going gets tough. If your goal is to get more active take a hard look at the people that you surround yourself with in your free time. Are they helping you or harming you with this goal?
  4. Good things come to those who wait. Working hard for something often makes you appreciate it that much more. When you have had to work to change something in your life you won’t take it for granted, instead you will be filled with an abundant sense of gratitude for all that you have.

Thanks for reading!

Andrea Holwegner
“The Chocoholic Dietitian”

Share your comments and similar experiences here on my blog: www.healthstandnutrition.com/blog/

Success stories

"I am a psychologist in private practice and it is very important to me that my clients have the best care with other health care professionals. For that reason Health Stand Nutrition is my only source for exceptional Dietitians. Andrea and her team provide highly knowledgeable, compassionate, and real world support to my clients who require assistance with food lifestyle. I trust my clients to them and you would be in excellent hands making them part of your health care team."
Adele Fox, Psychologist
“This is the first time I feel satisfied; my cravings have diminished dramatically and I have a whole new relationship with food. I am eating guilt-free for the first time in my life. My energy has also dramatically increased and I feel great!
Rhonda Jenkins, Nutrition Counseling Client
“The Dieticians at Health Stand Nutrition help you to take action on the science behind eating well by making it practical, understandable, and fun. Their office is cozy and not at all clinical or intimidating. I felt like I was sitting down with a really smart, caring friend who wanted to help me make the best choices for my lifestyle and food preferences. Andrea and her team really are the best in the business.”
Marty Avery, Nutrition Counseling Client
“I have come to think of the program as a one stop shopping excursion for everything one needs to know about creating a joyous relationship with food and our bodies. In a single word, the course has gifted me with freedom from the punishing rigidity of disordered eating, old stories that never were true, and body dysmorphia that did nothing but make me lose sight of a body that has done everything I've asked, despite my careless dismissal of her needs. Now when I look in the mirror I find myself shifting from harsh criticism to gentle gratitude.”
Lynn Haley, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“I spent 3 hours when first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I learned more from my Dietitian about food in those 3 hours than I had learned in all the years of my life. I also love the newsletter, there is always something to learn.”
Peter Whitehead, Nutrition Counseling Client
“I didn’t realize how strong my “diet mentality” was, and all the rules I had in my head about food. I was in a cycle of reward/punish/binge/cringe. I booked with your business very reluctantly, on the repeated advice of my doctor, to get my slowly rising cholesterol levels in check. I thought I knew everything about food, and my behaviour with food, but I was definitely re-schooled. My weight is creeping down, I feel good about my diet, exercise, body image, and lifestyle.”
Amy Floyd, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Thanks Andrea for an amazing presentation, I have heard all positive remarks from attendees and the evaluations show the same sentiment. It is really gratifying when a speaker does their “homework” and weaves in our profession’s day to day challenges within their content, you did an awesome job of this! You truly took the “die” out of Dietician! Your information on healthy eating and simplifying how we can work towards this as we are all so busy really hit the mark. Andrea connects very well with her audience; she is energetic, funny, and very approachable.”
Carole Ann LaGrange, Transfusion Medicine Safety Officer

Event Planner for Laboratory Diagnostic Imaging Annual Event

I am a family physician who sees patients with a myriad of eating concerns – from wanting to know how to plan healthy meals for active families, to weight loss, to eating disorders, and so on. I cannot recommend the Health Stand team highly enough. I have worked with (and been to!) other Dieticians in the past and too often find that they just ask for food logs and make suggestions that are easily obtained online or in books. The Dieticians at Health Stand offer much more than just telling clients what they “should be eating.” In contrast, the team really does more of a counselling practice, and they work hard to help their clients learn more about why their eating habits may be off track and not optimal for them, as well as helping people to effect change at a deep level that, most importantly, is sustainable for lifetime health.”
Dr. Deb Putnam, Family Physician

Nutrition Counseling Client & Referring Physician

“I am a busy mom, with kids in high level sports, working full-time downtown, and running our home acreage outside the City. I now have the knowledge and tools I need to plan for and manage the chaos of meal planning.”
Gillian Gray, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“As a construction company, we select speakers who can relate to our industry and its employees. Andrea’s message was delivered with humor and empathy. She makes people feel as though they can make changes without leaving behind every favorite food. Andrea focused her presentation on healthy eating as a way to keep energy high throughout the day. This message and the way it was delivered resonated with our predominantly male, blue collar culture. I would highly recommend Andrea as a speaker for groups such as ours. She will get your message across without alienating anyone in your audience – which is a huge hurdle when trying to introduce a wellness program in the workplace!”
Stephanie Wood, HR and Safety Manager

Fisher Construction Group, Burlington, WA

I found my Dietitian warm, funny, and skilled at teaching nutrition concepts without the overwhelm. The general approach of each session was to mix science with emotion, which was exceedingly effective in helping me shift my perspective on food from one of anxiety to one of joy and curiosity.”
Erin Kronstedt, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Excellent presentation! What a refreshing change to have a speaker inspire rather than “lecture” about nutrition. Your captivating stories, tips and overall approach to healthy eating uplifts and puts people at ease. It was great to hear we don’t need to strive to be perfect eaters, and that small changes really can make a difference in how we feel and in our health. Thanks to Andrea, we have solutions to our everyday nutrition challenges that can actually work in real life!”
Tina Tamagi, Human Resources

ARC Resources Ltd.

“Had I not joined this course I would have struggled with no focus, low energy, and mindless eating. Andrea is an excellent teacher and motivator. This is not just a course, it is a nutrition club with mentorship, support, and connections with other people with similar situations.”
Lorri Lawrence, Pursuit of Healthiness online course participant

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