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Lose the Rules and Become an Intuitive Eater Print

A success story about freedom from dieting and obsessing

I have always thought of myself as highly health aware when it comes to food. Throughout my teens and twenties, I did the odd diet here and there, but never thought of myself as a dieter. I am active, I go to the gym, run a few times a week and spend much of our leisure time riding bikes, hiking and other activities. I cook mostly whole foods and I watch very closely what I eat.

The problem was that there are things that I cannot have control over,  such as social events, parties etc. I would often pre-eat, so I could skip the food being served, or I would opt to not eat at all, but then I would arrive successful womanhome staving. And yet, with such a restricted, health focused diet, I could not seem to lose “the last 15 pounds”, something that I have struggled with my entire life. I measured my food, kept a food diary, weighed myself daily and every time I ate something it would affect my mood and I would then focus on exercise to mitigate the impact of the food I ate. I thought I was doing it right, yet all I think about every day is food and the stress of uncontrollable situations became too much for me. That is when I reached out for help.

I was very lucky to find Deb Lounsbury, with Health Stand Nutrition– she is absolutely awesome. I wasn’t sure what a Registered Dietician would do, but I figured they would simply help me figure out portion sizes and types based on my activities and perhaps they would identify how many times per week I could “food splurge” and still maintain or lose weight… and I’d be on my way.

Instead, Deb helped me realize that I had some (my husband would likely say many) obsessive ways, and bottom line: I was a dieter; even though I did not realize it. Deb and I talked about an approach called Intuitive Eating. This was a methodology where I would need to “lose the rules”; I could no longer write down my meals, count carbs or list portion size, or weigh myself. It seemed daunting at first but with Debs support and guidance, it was manageable.

Deb taught me how to eat intuitively. She promised that if I was open to this approach I could be free of my obsession with food and that one day I would eat when I am hungry and stop when I am full. She created a world where no food was off limits. She provided me with resources, assistance and support to help to learn to listen to my body.

I really had no idea how my old ways were impacting my life; I had created a world that revolved around food and I felt like I was in prison. I dreaded meals at other people’s homes and meals out to restaurants, where food that I had always deemed off limits were served. So the concept of Intuitive Eating seemed scary. If I allowed myself all these thing I have worked so hard to eliminate I feared that I would binge. But I don’t binge.  It surprised me.  I learned to savour food and if I don’t love the first bite, I don’t have a second.  No foods are off limits and I actually realized that I don’t love all sweets and dessert, I now only eat it if it will satisfy me.

Thanks to Deb and her work, I have increased energy, less mood swings, my clothes still fit and are even getting looser (but this isn’t even important anymore) and in fact my overall stress level has been reduced. I let go of the control and others can cook dinner in our house and I am ok with it. I can go to client lunches and industry events without fear of what they are serving. And the surprise is that I eat less overall and I am not hungry. I even eat bagels–amazing! (I thought I would never be allowed to ever eat a bagel again)

There are easy days and there are a few hard days. But even a hard day Intuitive Eating is easier than a hard day dieting… because its ok to eat on the run, have full fat cheesecake or drink that glass of wine. No more unsatisfying “diet” substituted. No longer depriving myself of food I like. All of this means I have less cravings and I eat less because I know I can have it again. I know that not eating “perfectly” is perfect and food will no longer impact my mood or affect my end goal, which is to be healthy. A huge weight has been lifted and I am so much happier. I can honestly say I will never diet again–what a freeing statement!

I really can’t say enough amazing things about Deb and what she did for me and for my family who have also benefited from the Intuitive Eating approach taught by Deb and Health Stand Nutrition.

Age 37
Jennifer Desilets

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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. They 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. Excellent teaching and motivation. 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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