Keeping It Real: A Day in the Life of an Eating Disorder Dietitian

I love my job.

Today I woke up to my annoying alarm at 6am, but I was okay with it because I knew I was on my way to the Inner Door Center®.  I rolled out of bed and got dressed – jeans and a button down shirt, because it’s Friday.  But really, I could probably wear jeans any day here… or even better, yoga pants!  In fact most of my coworkers do wear yoga pants, or cute skirts/dresses with leggings underneath, or jeans with hip looking high heels.  Here it doesn’t matter what you look like on the outside, what matters is what is on the inside.

Every Friday begins with a case consultation meeting.  The awesome multi-disciplinary team meets to discuss our current patients in the Reconnect with Food® program.  This is our chance to find out what the other therapists and practitioners are seeing in their one-on-one meetings with patients, and to see what we have missed if we’re only here once or twice a week (like me!).  It’s a great way to interact with each other and really get to know our patients.

After the meeting I usually start on social media for the center.  I’m in charge of updating the Inner Door Center® blog on WordPress, managing members of our group on LinkedIn, posting to Facebook and Twitter, and sending out blast e-mail updates about the center through Constant Contact.  From time to time I will also do some public relations for the center, so most of my day on Friday is spent working on the computer.

I usually have one or two patients scheduled on Fridays as well.  They are usually program clients that I am unable to see on Thursdays for whatever reason.  We have one-on-one sessions where we discuss their triumphs and struggles, and I give them the education and tools that they need to continue their success within the program related to food.

Thursdays are my busiest days, and my favorite days at the center.  I begin my day with one-on-one meetings – sometimes program clients, sometimes outpatient clients.  On Thursdays we make lunch for ourselves, so I sometimes help with the preparation of the meal if I’m not busy with clients.  I eat with the clients during lunch and when we are finished I begin my didactic nutrition class.  Each week the topic varies, but essentially we discuss the very basics of nutrition – what the different nutrients are that we need, and why we need them.  After class is finished we eat a snack together, and then typically I see one or two of the patients for their one-on-one follow up session.

Many people think that working with eating disorder clients must be really depressing.  And sometimes it is – it’s very hard to watch any human being suffer.  It can be frustrating even, when you want someone to change and help themselves so bad but they won’t.  That’s why we are here… to help when and if we can… because ultimately it is up to the patient.  And when the patient does succeed, when they do want change, and when they start to see changes within them – that is when my job is so rewarding!  Nothing makes me more proud than to hear one of my patients tell a new patient something about nutrition that they learned from me.  Or when a patient tries a food at lunch that they have struggled to eat in the past.  Working in this field you have the power to give someone their life back… and that is really why I love my job.


3 thoughts on “Keeping It Real: A Day in the Life of an Eating Disorder Dietitian

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