Be Yourself: A Nutrition Paradox

Written by Michael Reavis Jr., MS, RD, LDN

I want to start this blog by making one thing apparent. This is not “research-based,” I did not run a study when making this blog. The blog is completely observational from a dietitian who is passionate about food, health, helping people feel their best, and pays attention.

Be yourself, think back to the first time you heard this phrase. Maybe you were in school, maybe you were with a group of friends, or maybe it was your parents saying something to the point of ‘would you jump off a cliff if everyone else did it.’

We live in an age where being unique, being singular, an individual, special, and many other similar adjectives is what we strive for. We want to go against the grain, flip the script, and be ourselves, or at least in many aspects of life we do.

Yet, unlike other areas of our lives, in our health, nutrition, fitness, and well-being so much of what is told to us is the best thing you can do is be “like me,” “my fitness plan is the best,” “this diet is the best and unlike the rest,” a true homogeneity.

The point I am trying to make is that in my work and I would guess many dietitians practices, I see everyone trying to have the “same” nutrition or fitness to someone else they see, know, or look up to whether that be on a social media platform, TV, or locally. 

“I want to look like them”

“I wish I could be as fit as they are”

“I am trying their workout routine”

And so many other similar remarks. And although none of these goals, plans, or ideas on nutrition are inherently wrong, they are missing one key thing, you. 

Although there are nutrition principles that most/all dietitians agree on:

  • Eat more whole foods
  • Get extra servings of plants each day
  • Reduce added sugars and refined grains
  • Move more
  • Etc. 

There is no ONE diet or as I like to call it, nutritional lifestyle that we recommend. We first need to know you, the client we are working with. We want to help you build a healthy and happy nutritional lifestyle that fits your schedule, your routines, your day to day, your work, your preferences, and your learning style. 

Although there can be fantastic principles we can learn from others, we want to ensure we are able to apply them to your life. Starting off the new year I want us to ask the following question: What do I want out of my health?

After answering that question, set goals that are pertinent to the answer and that we can look to accomplish. 

Now, how will we accomplish this goal? Put your schedule and your plan into the schedule. If you are working a full time job and sometimes extra hours setting the goal of an hour and a half at the gym may be too much, maybe a 30 minute walk is what you need. Maybe you are a parent with kids at home and getting rid of every bad snack choice is unrealistic. Start by adding MORE high quality snacks into the household.

When you allow your nutrition to be as unique and individualized as you are, you allow for variance to come into your life such as holidays, changes in schedules, life events, etc. and still maintain your nutrition and life goals. When you are trying to be someone else, live their health, and their plan, when life gets in the way you will struggle or be unable to maintain that pattern. 


Because it is not yours. 

3 Comments on “Be Yourself: A Nutrition Paradox

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