Why I Am a Dietitian

Two months ago I wrote a post for the lovely Guiltless Gals on my work as a dietitian.  You can read the original article on their website and follow them on Twitter @Iamguiltless.

 

I love food, therefore I am a Registered Dietitian.

Sounds ironic?  Believe me, it isn’t.

Many people think that dietitians are food police, going around judging people by what is on their plate or in their grocery cart.  Others think we take all the joy out of life by forbidding burgers and prescribing carrot sticks. Couldn’t be further from the truth.

I’m a dietitian because I recognize that food is powerful.  It can help make the body strong, healthy, and durable, or it can weaken the organs and promote sickness and infection.  It can be the setting for many a social gathering, or it can be the focus of a solitary binge.  It can be a pleasure at each meal and snack, or it can be an emotional nightmare.  Food is powerful.

Many of us don’t know what to do with food.  It’s a sort of love-hate relationship that causes daily turmoil.  What should I eat? When should I eat? How much should I eat? We feel guilty for our food choices, and think that it is our social duty to hate our own bodies.  We think that shaming ourselves with help us eat better, exercise more, and feel great. Yes, we’ve gone mad.

I am a dietitian because I want people to rediscover a love for food and themselves. It is possible to have a healthy relationship with ice cream and an “imperfect” body.  Common beliefs and cultural norms are harming us; I want to undo the damage and help people overcome disordered eating, reverse chronic disease, and become their own best friend.

The next time an image of a critical, food dictator comes to mind when you think of a dietitian, replace that image with one of someone who truly cares about you and the health of your mind and body.  We really do!

Why I Am a Dietitian

Foraging on the Radio

Why I Am a Dietitian

Foraging: Fresh Food at Your Fingertips

Newer post

There are 19 comments

  1. Karen

    There is kindness in your words, something that is not always associated with our profession. I have been a dietitian for 30 years and I am reluctant to tell people what I do fo living, because dietitian are “known” to be judgemental of what people eat and what they weigh. In many case, I found this to be true. Try being a “fat” dietitian and see how you are treated by our profession. Keep being kind.

  2. michaela

    Thank you all for your kind words! I really think that as dietitians we have such potential to open up to people a new world in which there is no fear or shame around food or weight. Let’s not pass up this opportunity…

  3. Amanda

    Thank you for this post, Michaela. This is exactly how I feel about the role of a dietitian. Yet from what I’ve seen during my dietetic internship, I would understand why dietitians would be perceived as judgemental, too thin, kale-and-quinoa-pushing food police! Reading this was encouraging.

  4. Bean Bytes 33

    […] item i’ve ever found Stop instagramming your perfect life Every day i’m parentin’ Why I am a dietitian Stop lying to yourself: how to change the voice in your head Things I would tell my younger […]

Post a comment