Proud2Bme | 5 Things to Consider Before Taking a Nutrition Class

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5 Things to Consider Before Taking a Nutrition Class

By Katrin Alyss--At the urging of both my therapist and my husband, I recently dropped a nutrition class. The main reason it was challenging for me was constantly hearing about the number of calories in the foods I was eating. My husband knew that I would head down the wrong road if I didn’t drop the class, so I dropped it before it got too bad. I may not have gotten a refund, but I put myself first and gave myself the gift of peace in knowing that I was honoring my recovery.

For others in recovery, here are five things to know prior to taking a nutrition class:

1. Calories will be discussed.

The discussion of calories scared me into not eating. In the two weeks that I was in the class, the instructor mentioned calories and looking on food labels to track how many calories you’re eating. She also mentioned that on the new labels, the calories were going to be bolded. I was thinking: if this keeps up, I won’t be able to eat anything and I will have a setback.

2. You could be asked to analyze your diet.

In the diet analysis section, you are supposed to log what you ate and how much you ate over a five-day period. This sort of tracking made me feel like I ate way too much, tempting me to restrict my food intake.

3. Physical activity and/or exercise might be tracked.

As for the physical activity and exercise section, there is a software program where you log how much you exercise. If the software didn’t feel that I exercised enough to balance out what I ate, it would tell me so—and that was an obvious trigger for me.

4. The class might focus on weight.

Here comes the major trigger: weight! A lot of us struggle to see ourselves as others see us. Much of the time, we see ourselves heavier than we really are. If the class focuses on weight, you should think twice prior to taking it. It is like waving a red cape at a bull and telling it not to charge.

5. You might be expected to manage your own weight.

A final potential trigger is weight management. In recovery, we are trying to get our bodies healthy and within a safe range. If we learn about weight management, we might return to the place of, “You aren’t really thin, are you?” or “The instructor thinks you are heavy, so you need to lose that weight!” This could be really detrimental to your recovery process.

If you are struggling with an eating disorder or are in recovery, please check with your treatment team prior to taking any nutrition classes. They know what is in your best interest and can help you plan accordingly. You deserve a positive, healthy college experience, and being mindful of the classes you sign up for is a major step in that direction. 

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Proud2Bme is an online community created by and for teens. We cover everything from fashion and beauty to news, culture, and entertainment—all with the goal of promoting positive body image and encouraging healthy attitudes about food and weight.

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