When some people find out that I am a dietitian, they are excited to share with me their latest diet, tell me how many pounds they have lost or ask me my thoughts on a particular supplement. I have been a dietitian for 2 years now and during this relatively short period of time I have grown, not only as a professional, but as a person. I have become a better listener, more empathetic. I am more patient (even though sometimes I am thinking, ‘Just shut up and eat it!’).
Today is Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day, a time to reflect on what being a dietitian means to me and thank all of the people in my life who have supported my career. I was always a straight-A student, but no lesson or textbook could prepare me for what the real world has offered. Sometimes I leave a client or group having more questions than them or feeling unsatisfied and obsessing over my answers. I have had days when I felt I have changed someone’s life for the better or made somebody’s day. I have had days when I have felt hopeless and defeated.
I have learned that being a ‘nutrition expert’ doesn’t mean that we have the right answers every time. Nutrition is an ever-evolving field and it is hard to keep up. What we dietitians are able to do is give you sound information and peace of mind that there is no one prescribed way to live and eat healthfully. Nutrition, diet and food are very personal. People have very strong thoughts, opinions and beliefs about what is right for their body, oftentimes based on the latest diet or study that the media is presently propagating. I am here to make sure that your eating patterns are positive, enabling you to live your life fully, and that you have a healthy relationship with food. Dietitians are a source of direction, motivation and support –key aspects that are often lacking when one sets out to lose weight or get fit.
Nutrition is a keystone in all of our lives and I am fortunate to be one of the many leaders bringing awareness to what it means to be healthy. Thank you to everyone who reads my articles, my clients and my colleagues for your feedback, support and continuing education.
I love what I do.