Every year, March 15 is Dietitian's Day in Canada. A day to celebrate the positive work dietitians do in communities all over the country. For years, while I was a student, I couldn't wait to become a dietitian so I could be celebrated on this day. I thought nothing would bring me more pride and joy than holding this title.
However, when I became a dietitian, I was actually questioning my role in this profession (you can read more here). After seeing how this field can be very focussed on weight and food rules, I didn't know where I fit in as a weight-inclusive, non-diet dietitian. I underwent a lot of soul searching to understand if this was still what I wanted to do. In the end, I decided to put my 4+ years of studies to use. I started my first job as a dietitian in a community health centre and completely loved it. While it was challenging, I eventually found a way to integrate my own values into the work I do with clients. This way, I could do what I loved without compromising my ethics.
My work is difficult. It takes a lot out of me. From fighting diet culture to smashing the patriarchy, being a social-justice-non-diet-weight-inclusive dietitian is HARD. However, I wouldn't change it for anything in the world. Doing this work gives me hope. It gives me a sense of purpose. It allows me to connect with people. It allows me to walk with them in their struggles. And that, friends, is just about the most fulfilling thing I've ever experienced.
Today, I can truly say I am proud. Proud of the work I do to end dieting, disordered eating and weight obsession. Proud of my ability to shower others in compassion and allow them to take space. Proud to be a DIETITIAN. One that is quite different from her peers, sure, but one that is passionate and confident.
I love my career!