Body Image Issues
Ever since I was a child, I had a strong passion for helping people and creating a lasting impact. When it came time to choose my career, I looked at my surroundings to see which area I would like to help people with. I was a teenager at the time, and I didn’t have to look that far to see that nutrition has strongly affected the lives of my friends as well as myself. People always seemed to be preoccupied with weight. I had some friends who had eating disorders, and I saw how much of a challenge it was for them to overcome it and to develop a healthy relationship with food and with their bodies. For myself, I had to deal with body image issues of my own. It was ingrained in my mind that in order to stay healthy, there was a specific number one must reach on the scale. There were times I would be mocked because of my food choices and how much I ate, which would leave me feeling guilty. I would feel embarrassed about my weight and my body. I heard that going to the gym can help with weight loss, so I naturally signed up for a gym membership. After each elliptical session, I would always check the number of calories I burnt. When eating, I would count calories. Whenever I would eat “junk food” on the weekends, I would feel guilty and think to myself “diet starts tomorrow”.
Why I chose a career as a Dietitian
I decided to pursue a degree in Dietetics, since I saw that food and weight seemed to preoccupy the minds of myself as well as many people around me. I saw that so many people needed help with their nutrition and weight, and if I am good at it, I will be able to help many people. Eventually, I was able to heal my relationship with food and my body. It was during my degree that my mindset shifted from weight and calories to health, nutrition and body positivity. During my dietetic internships, as I worked with various population groups, I became interested in working in preventative nutrition, using nutrition as a vehicle to protect people’s health and to prevent the onset of chronic diseases.
After graduating from McGill, working as a dietitian and working with various population groups, I saw two main areas which I wanted to help people with: preventing the onset of chronic diseases AND promoting a non-diet approach to healthful nutrition, in order to promote a positive body image and to prevent people being too preoccupied with their weight, body and calories. This particularly resonates with me, since this is something I dealt with as a teenager, and I would like to help people heal their relationship with food and their bodies.
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