Do Dietitians Encourage Curiosity or Inflict Judgement?
Have you ever wondered what it is like to work with a Dietitian? Do you think we are the food police or that when we arrive to a party, you need to hide the cookies (because we instantly go into food judgment mode)? Or do you imagine that if you were to schedule an appointment with us... it is a time for all food confessions and we will waive our daunting finger at you in disgust?
First let me tell you... please do not hide the cookies. I love cookies :) And any experienced Dietitian would never do any such thing. Before we go further on this.... let's unwrap this a bit by starting with a few term definitions...
Registered Dietitian: A food and nutrition expert who has completed a minimum of a bachelor’s degree at a US regionally accredited university or college and course work accredited or approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, completed an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program at a health-care facility, community agency, or a foodservice corporation or combined with undergraduate or graduate studies, passed a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), and completes continuing professional educational requirements to maintain registration.
Encourage: To give support, confidence, or hope to (someone).
Curiosity: a strong desire to know or learn something.
Inflict: cause (something unpleasant or painful) to be suffered by someone or something.
Judgment: To form a critical opinion of.
Ok... so now that we are thinking of these words in the same context. What do you think?
Sadly, I have heard countless stories where people felt that they were judged by dietitians, trainers, medical professionals, family, etc, etc, etc. And here is the reality... You know what YOUR body needs (when you're tuned in) and it is really not anyone else's business how you choose to treat and nourish your body.
So what do Dietitians do? And how can I help?
While I can tell you what foods are carbohydrates, fats, proteins and what foods are recommended for what disease; I cannot even count how many times I have heard clients say... "I know what to do, I just need help doing it". So here is where I come in... I encourage you to get curious, support you listening to your body, promote you respecting your current body, and help you dial into the how and even the why.
What does working with me look like?
I lead with an empathic heart....because I have been there. I feel you. I understand you.
On an initial meeting.... we will always start with getting to know you, your desires, and your goals. I will also review your medical history to ensure I have that information and able to take that into account when offering guided suggestions.
Then we break it down to achievable small intuitive steps and start. I will tell you.... it is not as simple as "just tell me what to eat". It will be more about the steps of moving you from feeling out of control, not trusting yourself, and feeling disgusted when you look in the mirror to.... not only feeling in charge of choices but also confident, calm, and curious yourself. As well as, trusting yourself and not only respecting your body, but eventually loving your body and loving your food.
As you can imagine, this is not an overnight transformation. It takes time, trial and error, and ultimately curiosity and openness to live a way you have never lived before.
Can you imagine going to a party with a huge spread of foods and just feeling complete joy with the experience and being free from thinking about what foods are there and if they are good or bad? This is what I hope for for everyone...spread the word! Dietitians DO encourage curiosity and we DO NOT inflict judgement.