Wednesday, January 27, 2010

What if your your dietitian is fat?

About a year ago I was having a conversation with one of my friends, also a nutritionist, about how we both wanted to lose a few pounds and get in better shape before we finished school because we felt that as healthcare professionals it is important for us to practice what we preach and project the right image. Another classmate, trying to be helpful but actually was kind of insulting by telling me that I was better off as I was because overweight people would be less likely to trust someone who was super skinny because they would feel I wouldn't know what they were going through. Just like a hairdresser with bad hair, or a personal trainer who is out of shape, I think people in the health industry should be an advertisement for their services before they ever open their mouths.

Lately I have been noticing a lot of people who are health and fitness professionals who clearly are struggling with their own health. For example, yesterday I went to an all day workshop on Renal dietetics put on by the dietitians at a major dialysis center in Seattle. It was a great workshop and they were all very knowledgeable about what they do, but I couldn't help but notice several of the dietitians were overweight, one of whom was bordering on obese. Last year when my school was reviewed by a committee of dietitians from the ADA the lead dietitian was one of the largest women I've ever seen. Then, today I went and toured a new gym near my house and the very sweet man who showed me around was enormous-- probably 6'6 and over 300lbs.

I have long struggled to keep my weight under control and while there is a bitchy part of my brain that snaps to judgment of these people (I will admit it!) my heart breaks for them-- it is a sign of our broken healthcare and food system that even the people who are highly educated in health can't seem to follow their own advice (myself included sometimes!)

In fact, the reason I went to check out this new gym is that I can't seem to make myself go to the gym lately-- I'm hoping that a change in scenery and a less crowded facility might get me more inspired to show up more regularly-- so maybe I can start following my own advice!

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