Warning: truth bombs ahead.
OK, so I will be honest with you, I am not a big fan of the “My Story” pages on websites. They all seem to follow the same formula and as a result don’t seem authentic to me. Particularly when the writer’s intention is to sell a one-size-fits-all wellness program based on the results they personally experienced. But who want’s one-size-fits-all when our health needs, food preferences and lifestyle are all different?
But there is a belief myth going around that Nutritionists and Dietitians are the Food Police who just send their clients away with handouts. Oh, and that we are all in bed with food companies and as a result prescribe highly processed foods to everyone. Well you aint gonna find any of that here (and truth be told you are not likely to find that is the case with many of my colleagues!). And since you ARE here (and possibly shopping around for someone to work with!) I thought I might as well tell you a bit about me to see if we are a good fit.
I say that because I know what it is like to work with health professionals that Just. Don’t. Get. It. I’ve been told my chronic pain will be fixed if I lose weight (News Flash: it didn’t) and I have been told that I must be doing well because I didn’t come into the Specialist’s office in a wheelchair (OK firstly WHAT? And secondly, while yes that is true, thank you Mr. Specialist for totally invalidating what I AM going through). But I have worked with some fantastic health professionals who took the time to listen to me, didn’t dismiss my experiences and worked on a plan of attack WITH ME that met me where I was at. So I know how important that relationship is and can promise you I take the latter approach.
I am also one of those 95% of people for whom dieting and the diet mentality hasn’t worked. I have tried a few things in the past, the most memorable being personal training. I was told to count my macronutrients (i.e. my carbs, protein and fat); a strategy which made no sense to me and the red flag should have been when the PT couldn’t explain how they worked either. And can I tell you that restricting my food to lose weight like that was a living hell. I literally became a different person. I was so angry and exhausted all the time. Needless to say that way of living was not sustainable and the weight came back, plus a few extra kgs to say thanks for messing with my body’s metabolism which was perfectly happy the way it was. So of course I felt like rubbish when the kilos crept back on and there were those awkward ‘elephant in the room’ encounters with people who had previously gushed over my weight loss who now didn’t know how to deal with me. Which just added to my body discomfort. Sadly, instead of focussing on how my cardiovascular fitness was improving or how my body was getting stronger so that carrying the shopping wasn’t so difficult, the focus was all about the weight. Would my body and how I feel about it be different today if I had have done the training purely for the fun of it and for the health benefits building muscle brings? Eh who knows? But, knowing what I know now about a diet mentality and weight driven focus towards health, I am fairly confident the advice I was given and the way I approached things back then have most likely done more damage than good.
So basically, I DO get it.
The difference is, I now have the knowledge and the tools to nourish my body with food that it tells me it wants and needs. I don’t view food and exercise as a means to control weight – they have much richer, more fulfilling roles in my life.
And I would love to help you reach that same place (or a place that works for you).
Five fast facts about me:
- I am not a picture perfect Dietitian. My life doesn’t consist of tuna salads and green smoothies. You can check out my #foodiereality over on Instagram
- I actually don’t really enjoy cooking and I find meal planning such a drainer. If you find meal planning a chore too, I am sure we would make great friends!
- My favourite way to work up a sweat is to see some live music
- I don’t like wine (hopefully that is not a deal breaker!)
- When I grow up I am going to be a crazy cat lady
Want the formal, fussy professional bio?
About Nina Mills
Nutritionist & Dietitian
Nina Mills is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and Accredited Nutritionist. She holds a Master of Dietetics, Master of Human Nutrition, Graduate Certificate in Health Promotion and Bachelor of Health Sciences. She has also completed a Certificate III in Business Administration and is Prince2 Foundation certified. With a keen interest in a client-centred approach to nutrition and dietetics she has gone on to do extensive additional training in the Non-Diet Approach and the areas of body image, Binge Eating Disorder and eating competence.