This week we’re bringing you a guest post from a friend of ours, Jill Corleone. Educated at New York University, she is a Registered Dietician/Nutritionist with over a decade of experience publishing thousands of pieces on outlets like the Huffington Post, livestrong.com, and ehow.com about maintaining a balanced, healthy approach to our eating habits. As we settle deeper into our MOJO lifestyle of yoga and healthy habits, we come to see how everything we eat is fuel for our bodies, minds, and spirits. The more balanced our meals and our relationship with food, the more balanced we become as individuals in the rest of our lives. Jill has a wonderful perspective on healthy body image and developing a balanced relationship with our food, and we’re so excited to introduce her to you. Here on the blog you can read about Jill and get to know her a bit. Then, be sure to have a listen to this week’s episode of The MOJO Show to hear our conversation with her.
So this is supposed to be an introduction of me to you, MOJO Yoga Mob. Be open, they said, share, make it personal. Write about why you became a nutritionist, they said.
Well, that is personal and I'm not sure if I'm ready to open myself up completely, at least not yet. So, I'll start slow and peel the layers as I go.
When I was about 14 my mom took me to the doctor for my annual school physical. I knew I was a little heavy, but this doctor made me feel pretty shitty (is it OK to swear here?) about it. I begged my mom to buy Slim Fast for me. I was determined to lose the weight. I weighed about 140 pounds, which today doesn't seem all that bad, in my opinion. So at 14 I'm drinking one shake for breakfast, another for lunch and a sensible dinner. But you know what, the drink really didn't fill me up. I was soooo hungry. I started reading food labels and calorie counting books and figured I could eat real food that contained about the same amount of calories as Slim Fast and feel more satisfied. I became obsessed with calories and started to calculate the calories in everything, including the recipes in my mother's Country Living magazines. I loved it!
I also lost a lot of weight. By the time the new school year started I was down 10 pounds, and another 10 pounds by the time the homecoming dance rolled around. This was working and I was excited. By Christmas I had lost 35 pounds. By February, I had lost a grand total of about 50 pounds, and at 5'4" I weighed 90 pounds. And I maintained that weight for almost 5 years. Now, if you know anything about height and weight ratios, you may realize that 90 pounds at 5'4' isn't very healthy. My Slim Fast diet had turned into an illness, which is where things get personal.
Even though I had figured out how to eat more with real food and lose weight, I was still hungry, all the time. And unhappy, which may not surprise you too much considering I weighed only 90 pounds. I wanted to know how to eat, not gain weight and not be so hungry. And, this, is how I became interested in the field of nutrition. I figured professors at college would be able to tell me how to eat, stay thin and not be so hungry all the time. There you have it, I became a nutritionist for totally selfish reasons.
But college didn't teach me how to eat and not be hungry all the time. Nor did my internship, which was one of the toughest years of my life and one I often equate to hazing in a fraternity. In fact, I gained 40 pounds during my internship year.
Nope, it took me nearly 20+ years to figure out how to eat, stay thin and not be so hungry. You want to know my secret? I stopped obsessing about food. I was living to eat, and thought about food all the time. I love to eat, don't get me wrong, but I now view it as fuel: eating to live. I'm not perfect. I still have my struggles and sometimes turn to food when I'm feeling sad or stressed. But now I have other outlets...like yoga and books.
I'm excited to join the MOJO Yoga family and look forward to learning more about all of you. Peace, Jill.
So, you can learn more about Jill and get some of her tips for keeping our eating habits healthy and balanced in this week’s episode of The MOJO Show in the player at the top of this post. Let us know if you have any questions for Jill in the comments below. And be sure to check out Jill on Facebook by clicking here.