Failure and fear
“How can you expect me to stay on this diet?” She had hardly sat down when the complaints started. “I have to tell you that I have not been strict about avoiding sugar at all. I have a very sweet tooth.” The accusing tone in her voice had changed to one which said, “Do not ask me to comply.” Her body language came across in a powerful defensive way; it would be very difficult to talk to her about anything, it seemed.
“Besides the food, how have you been?” I asked.
“Oh! I am always tired. This diet of yours is terrible. I have never felt so flat. When I play sport I find it hard to keep going.” Her eyes flitted from me to the wall above my head.
“Tell me what you are eating, please” , I insisted.
“Well, if I get a chance in the morning I just grab a cereal, at lunchtime I have some Avo. Then at night I’ll try to have fish. I really can’t stick to this diet any longer.” She kept on repeating.
In the gentlest tone I could muster, I said, “Have you read the recommendations on the diet sheet?” “Of course!” she replied.
“Well, nowhere to my knowledge are you recommended to eat what you are telling me you are eating. No wonder you are lacking energy. Very clearly you are encouraged to have oats, or mealie-meal, or Maltabela porridge for breakfast, with honey, unsalted butter and ground raw seeds and raw nuts. Further, you should enjoy a few fruits mid-morning or mid-afternoon. Otherwise, almonds and dates can also be had as a snack. RyeVita, ricecakes, Provita with cottage cheese, tomato and Avo also makes a good mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack. All of this is on the diet sheet. Lunch and supper should consist of fish, chicken, lamb, soya, brown rice, vegetables, salads, etc. Nowhere are you recommended to have an Avo for lunch!” With this I looked at her with an obvious incredulous look which said, “If you had listened and had heard, you would not have been so ridiculous to think that you are following a healthy eating plan when you do not even know what is printed on the handout you left with 6 weeks ago!”