Life is an education

By Jane Sylvestre, RD - 9/28/2016

What I have learned over the years

I was meant to be a dietitian.  When I was 17, I took a test to help me find a career and two options came up:  a gift shop owner and a dietitian.  Go figure?  I still was not convinced.  I went to Assumption College in Worcester, undecided until I took a Nutrition course.  I had to transfer schools because Nutrition was not an option at Assumption.  I transferred to UMASS, Amherst where I started my course of study in Nutrition.  At the same time, I was running Cross Country at UMASS, which was a Division One school.  Everyone except me was on scholarship and I was the only walk-on on the team.  I would not have considered myself overweight, but our coach privately took me into her office and explained that if I wanted to compete with the best of them, I would have to lose weight.  At that point, I was desperate and wanted so much to fit in and be part of the team.  I did the Slimfast thing, the starvation thing and ran so much that I made myself sick.  I was doing all this as I was learning how to eat properly and not practicing it myself.  I felt terrible in so many ways.  I finally decided to quit the Cross Country team and focus on getting myself healthy again.  I ran again for enjoyment which is why I think I am still running today. 

I graduated from UMASS with a Bachelor degree in Nutrition in 1992 and received my Master’s degree from Texas Woman’s University in 1995.  At that time, I was still running for enjoyment.  I worked as a Clinical Dietitian for many, many years.  I worked as an Outpatient Dietitian and coordinated Nutrition programs at different hospitals.  I also worked part time, when my children were born, under a grant in RI, where I taught Nutrition to students from kindergarten through 12th grade.  I eventually ended up working at Norwood hospital as an Outpatient Dietitian when my children were old enough that I could go back to a regular work schedule.  That is how I ended up meeting Adam and working in his office.  I’ve been here 8 years now. 

I continually try to stay abreast of the latest Nutrition research.  I find that many of my patients are well versed in Nutrition as well.  I have mentioned this before, but Nutrition is a science based on research and research is always changing.  That means recommendations are always changing.  I am making suggestions now that I would never have suggested years ago.  I am currently in the process of obtaining my Level 2 Certificate in Obesity through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  That is the highest level of certification available in the field of Nutrition for obesity management.  As much as I have read and stayed on top of the research, I am learning so much new information through this course.  I look forward to sharing all of this with you through Nutrition classes and our one on one sessions.   I’ll even write a future blog on everything new I learned once I complete the course!  Oh- one more thing- I’m still running.

The greatest thing I learned from taking this recent course is that there is always more to learn.   Despite all my years of Nutrition education, there is still so much more to learn!  I know all of you have read about and tried so many different weight loss strategies.  Weight loss is tough and the body fights back soooo hard.  Nothing seems to work and people get bigger and bigger and bigger.   Surgery is actually one of the solutions that actually works for weight loss and weight maintenance.  My job is to make sure you get the Nutrition you need and lose weight in a healthy way.  In terms of exercise, throughout all these years, I have learned that we do what we enjoy doing.  I am still running.

I encourage you to learn all you can about Nutrition by coming to appointments, going to Support Groups and attending Nutrition classes.  The more you know and the more you stay on top of what needs to be done, the more successful you will be.  Also, find an activity you enjoy.  It could be anything from shooting baskets, to going bowling or even just walking.  If you enjoy it, you will be more likely to maintain your commitment to the activity.  Never let anyone pressure you to do an activity that doesn’t feel good to you.  If you have multiple activities you like, feel free to mix it up!  Eventually you will like more activities and they will start to feel better as the weight comes off!

I look forward to seeing you in the office soon to hear your stories or at my FREE and intensive “Healthy Eating Program” which is Wednesday, October 5 from 7-8:30 pm.

Get in touch!

(508) 668-4400
info@massweightloss.com

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