Let’s Change the Conversation We Have About Weight Loss

Street signs decide on same old way or change choose new path and direction

Too often I hear people conversing with each other saying things like: “Look how fat I look”, “you shouldn’t eat that, it will give you cellulite”,”I hate the way I look”, “I am on a carb-free diet and I have lost 8 lbs in one week”, “I need to lose weight, I am so unhappy”. One of the most talked about topics among couples, families and friends is weight loss and body image. How depressing! There are so many beautiful things to talk about like fond memories, goals and dreams for the future!

What if we changed the conversation we had with others and ourselves about weight loss? What if instead, we were kinder to each other and spoke words and suggestions that were more loving such as “move your body and eat for nourishment, instead of “let’s go stuff our faces and then diet tomorrow.”

There is a massive negative culture around our physical appearance and looking sexy, thin and fit at all costs.
I am asking you to see yourself and those around you in a different light. See beneath the skin, through the eyes, into the soul of your friends, family and dearest to you, which ultimately is love and light.
Don’t encourage dieting and emphasis on the “physical body shape”. It weakens us and brings on a lot of anxiety and stress. We are all beautiful and we need to encourage those around us to see that beauty.
If you are surrounding yourself with “dieters” who have a very negative self image and are constantly talking about weight gain/loss, do yourself and them a favour and do these 3 things:
1. Stop your friends/family from talking negatively about themselves because it is not helping them in any way. It is actually moving them further away from reaching their goals.
2. Tell them to seek professional help (help with someone who sees weight loss as a lifestyle change not a “restrictive diet”)
3. Say to them, I will support you and I love you just as you are! Let’s go for a walk!

Further example of how to change the conversation:
Friend: “I am so fat, I need to go on a diet.”
You: “You need to stop saying that to yourself. You are beautiful inside and out. If you wish to be healthier in mind and body then I understand. A diet is not the answer. Make some lifestyle changes so that you can be happier. I know a great Naturopath (Dr. Jen) that helps people love and accept themselves as they make changes to their life and health.”

In my past, when I had an eating disorder, I was surrounded by people, friends, family and social media who fed my disorder and probably caused my distorted beliefs about food and my body. I wished so very much that someone could have taken me by the hand and looked into my eyes and said “STOP hurting and punishing yourself. Love and accept yourself just as you are. You are enough. You are a loving soul who has so much love and purpose in this life. I will show you how to love and nourish yourself so you may live a life of happiness, love and great health.” It did not happen exactly this way, but thankfully, I was guided in the right direction and I overcame my eating disorder. I have lived to share my experience and I have more passionate than ever to share my message with the world and all those people who want to lose weight but feel hopeless.

If you are struggling or you know someone who is struggling with weight or body image issues, let me be that person who takes your hand and shows you the way to love and great health! It really is the only way 😉

Your Friendly Naturopath,

profile picDr. Jen Cisternino, ND

242 Appelwood, Unit 3

Concord, On


[email protected]

What is your purpose? Are you living your potential?

spiritual-awakeningLet me ask you a question you probably don’t get asked everyday: “What is your purpose?”

Over the many years of practicing as a Naturopathic Doctor, I have been trained to ask my patients a lot of questions to ascertain how they feel and what they experience to help them solve their health problems. Some common questions I ask are:  “How many hours of sleep do you get a night? What do you eat each day? Do you experience anxiety? Do you have regular bowel movements?” etc…

As I delve into the spiritual realm and the deeper meaning of our existence, I have added this question to the list: “What is your purpose?”

This question is not always easy to answer. Most people will say, “I don’t know, I have never thought about it before.” Some will say, “My purpose is to be a mom and raise children to the best of my ability” or “to provide for my family” or “to help find a cure for cancer”, among many others. There is no wrong answer. How would you answer this question?

Go ahead and think about the reasons why you were born and what you were called to do? This is definitely a question for the soul so you may need to do some “soul searching”.

If this seems difficult, be patient with yourself. You need not answer right away. Instead, think about what you love doing. When are you at your happiest? When does your heart sing? What activity makes you forget about the world and your worries? For some, it can be painting, drawing, dancing or photography. For others, it is when they are helping other people or helping mother nature.  What is true for you? This can give you insight into your life’s purpose.

I will share with you two different patient interactions I had in regards to this question.  I had a patient tell me that other people were commenting on how good of a photographer she was. She captured the most beautiful moments in the lives of others. She was eloquent and gentle in her approach and it was valued by those around her. She herself loved taking pictures and even loved painting, but did not have the same confidence in herself.  She remained in a secretarial job that brought her no joy at all. This feeling made her hide her talents. This is an example of fear and low self confidence holding you back from exploring your talents.  I advised her not to deny her god given talents and to make strides to admire her work just as much as others did. “Keep practicing, doing and believing”, I suggested to her. Of course, this is the “ego” telling her that her work is not as good as others. When we listen to the “ego” we can easily become stuck in life and unhappy with what we do day to day. What do people tell you you are good at? This can be insight into your talents and gifts that can be shared with the world.

I will mention another story. Be cautious when solely looking to other people for admiration and positive feedback. It is important to not put too much emphasis on other people’s opinions of you and what you do.  A patient of mine came to see me feeling very depressed. She was an interior decorator and she loved her career choice. She did great work and always went over and above for her clients. Over the years, people made positive comments about her work, but also negative ones. Unfortunately, the negative comments stuck a little more and this is all she could think about. She started to have low self confidence and her passion soon became her nemesis. Negative comments made by others can be hurtful and they can prevent someone from fulfilling their life purpose. If you feel this way, then maybe you are being too sensitive to the opinion of others and are not being true to yourself. I advised that she spent some time appreciating and valuing her own work regardless of others’ opinion. I told her that she cannot please everyone and she must first please herself. If her work was done with authenticity and love then it is enough and she is enough. I always tell people to never take any negative comment personally, as most of the times, it is never about them, but instead an insecurity or ego driven thought of another person. I ask that if you are struggling with this, spend some time in deep reflection or seek help.

In this life, you are meant to blossom into more of who you really are not what others think of you or how the ego wants you to be. Finding your authentic nature feels good. When you “are in the flow” of your life,  you become healthier. You digest better, you lose weight, you sleep better and your emotions are that of joy and happiness.

As Dr. Wayne Dyer says, “Don’t die with your music still inside you.” Life is too short to do otherwise!

With Authenticity,

Dr. Jen~ Your Friendly Naturopath


[email protected]