Farrah Wigand has been a dietitian for 11 years and has specialized in adult weight management since 2011. Rather than a general urge to help people, Wigand has a more personal reason for choosing her career path.
â€œI had a sister who was an insulin dependent diabetic, and who was diagnosed when I was six years old. It was ingrained in our household. I also struggled through an eating disorder in high school and college. This career assisted me in getting myself better and recovered. Now I get to see life change every day, through people making changes that impact their lives. People can now walk, not use seat belt extenders, they can ride roller coasters and can drive a car. Itâ€™s hard work but attainable.â€
Why should someone come and see you today?
We are the experts in nutrition and in helping people make the right food choices. There is a lot of information out there, and in particular a lot of misinformation, and I think if you are meeting with a dietitian you are going to get what you need to follow. When you come to see us, our plan is going to be safe and responsible. We are going to have the clinical knowledge to be able to take into account any medical conditions that you may have as well.
How do you do what you do?
Initially Iâ€™m going to talk to the patient and see what their goal is. There is no sense in talking to someone unless they have some vision or goal. So my job is helping them meet that goal. So it may be assisting them in what foods to choose or in making behavioral changes, as well.
Whatâ€™s the biggest success that you have seen?
We work with patients who have had surgery and we work with ones who have not. This particular person came in and had a boot on her leg and was practically immobile. She followed our weight loss program and was a client of mine for two years and losing a total of 80 pounds and completing her first half marathon last year. She is doing excellent, in terms of maintenance.
Whatâ€™s the one thing that someone can do to make a positive change in their life, in regards to nutrition and diet?
Get up and move. In America we want everything fast, but we do a lot of sitting. So get up and move, whether itâ€™s taking the stairs, or parking farther away from the grocery store, or walking 10 minutes on your lunchbreak. One other thing I would say is resist society and completely resist the fast food industry. You have to do that in order to succeed. VT
For more information visit www.nortonhealthcare.com/nortonweightmanagementcenter