For a while, I was feeling a little lost and burned out in my career. I didn’t completely know why. I always loved the study of nutrition, since my childhood, and it was always a passion of mine. So, when I started to feel lost, it made me feel a little guilty.
I love helping others on their own health journey. I have worked in a variety of settings—hospitals, cardiopulmonary rehab (where I met my man), weight management, and dialysis. I know God had me in every position I have worked in to gain invaluable experience, and to meet some great people. I would not be who I am today if not for these experiences.
Before I was hired in my most current job, there were hints here and there that helped me later realize why I felt burned out. There was something about just telling people what to eat that felt off to me. I often felt like people expected me to be the “food police,” which I never agreed with. I loved incorporating tips on mindset, and approaching eating in a different way (not just following rules), but time constraints did not always allow me to dig as deep as I wanted to. Eating encompasses so much more than food.
When I worked in a previous position, we received training on motivational interviewing. This wasn’t new to me, but it was a more in depth training than I received before. Motivational interviewing focuses on letting clients/patients be in the driver’s seat, and you serve as a guide. This was an approach to counseling I agreed with 100%. This felt right to me. You should be in the driver’s seat when it comes to your health. As a healthcare provider, we are there to provide support.
Shortly after, I started working in long term care. It was a breath of fresh air. The focus, most of the time, is encouraging our elderly friends to eat adequately while dealing with decreased hunger cues, diminished taste sensations, swallowing issues, mental impairment, etc. For this reason, they are given a more liberalized diet to prevent weight loss which is common in this population. When I first started, I actually thought to myself “I get to make people happy with food,” which told me a lot about why I felt unhappy before. Then, I thought “I should always get to make people happy with food, no matter what I do—food is meant to make us happy!” I never, ever, wanted to be viewed as the “food police.”
I read Intuitive Eating about a year ago and I realized it was exactly what I was looking for, and I didn’t know I was looking for it. It took all the things I had been feeling and put it into words; principles to apply in my own life as well as how I practice. I knew I wanted to do private practice. The vision for it started to slowly transform. I felt completely revived in my career and hopeful about my future in it.
I previously shared my disordered eating and exercise history in a previous post. Even though I was set free from the disordered behaviors, I still felt this need to keep my weight “controlled,” which caused anxiety at times. The principles of Intuitive Eating, and everything else I have learned since, helped me let go of this anxiety and truly live free.
Intuitive Eating is not to be viewed as rigid rules—the whole point of Intuitive Eating is to let go of the rigidity and tune in to our bodies. The principles are meant to be embraced with flexibility, and self-compassion/grace. It is also a process, a process that takes time. There are moments you may not be able to “perfectly follow” the principles, and that is ok. Intuitive Eating isn’t a new concept—we were born knowing how to eat intuitively. The more eating rules we picked up, the less trust we placed on our bodies’ natural cues. Intuitive Eating is all about restoring this connection. Read more about Intuitive Eating here.Follow me on social media: