Today’s blog is a little bit of a change of pace from my usual running talk. If you’ve been following me for a long time, you might remember my former blog handle – “The Keeping It Real Dietitian”. After realizing that my blogs tended to focus more on running than being a dietitian, I became “RD on the Run”. The thing is, there hasn’t been a whole lot of “RD” featured lately, and I’ve recently been inspired to bring that back.
You see, your “RD on the Run” spent the past two days at the Michigan Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Annual Conference in Bay City, MI. My colleagues and I listened and engaged with speakers on all sorts of topics related to our field and many messages resonated with me. I know I was not alone in feeling fired up about doing more for my patients and more for my career.
The conference started with Jon Robison, PhD, MS, MA’s keynote address: Health at Every Size: Helping People Make Peace With Their Bodies and Their Food. I actually had attended an in person seminar with Dr. Robison early in my career and his message was inspiring. Later that afternoon I attended his breakout session that focused not just on weight, dieting and nutrition but what health means for every “body”. My favorite part was watching the video “Poodle Science” – if you have a spare 3 minutes, it’s definitely worth a watch. Health at Every Size is something that I have felt very strongly about throughout my career and it is something that I sometimes feel at battle with being a bariatric dietitian. But that is another topic for another day.
Other topics that were covered in the sessions that I attended included nutrition management of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and the role of the low FODMAP diet, our role as dietitians in ethics, fueling youth athletes, nutrition focused physical exam, how local universities are helping to solve food insecurity on a local, national and global level and diabetes education and care. The topics at this year’s conference had a good degree of variety but also had similar central themes. Almost every speaker mentioned individualizing care, being weight neutral and emphasizing eating REAL food. All of the sessions that I attended will help me to be a more well-rounded dietitian and will benefit my clients.
Two of the presentations that I have not mentioned yet were the ones that really stood out and struck a chord with me. The first was our general session on Thursday, “I am a Registered Dietitian, Now What? Creating a Passionate Conversation About Your Career” presented by Anne Elizabeth Cundiff, RD, LD, LSC, FAND and the other was a breakout session from this afternoon, “Getting Discovered on a Budget: Out-of-the-Box Ideas to Market Your Service and Expertise for Free” presented by Kati Mora, MS, RDN. Both presentations talked about finding your passion, your purpose – defining who you are as a dietitian and what is most important to you. Once you’ve got your idea, the presenters then gave us ideas of how to get our message out to the world, with great emphasis on social media.
I love what I do as a bariatric dietitian. I am very enthusiastic about the clients that I care for and the team that I am a part of. And as you are all very aware, my other passion is running. As a dietitian, I prefer a “health at every size” approach (even though some may argue that being a bariatric dietitian is not compatible with HAES, and I don’t entirely disagree, but that’s another topic for another blog) and I feel that same way about running. I believe that healthy eating isn’t just about fuel and nutrients, as Dr. Robison discussed, but also about how food makes you feel. Similarly I believe that running isn’t just exercise, but for many is a stress relief, a way to bond with others… huh, interesting parallels between my two biggest interests, right?
Enter this blog. My way of bringing my two passions – dietetics and running – together in one place. I’ve focused for a long time on running, I think because it is easier and also less likely to be scrutinized, and that’s something I want to alter. I want to show you guys more about the other big part of my life. So be on the lookout for more “RD” in my “RD on the Run” posts – and feel free to let me know what you might be interested in hearing about! Just like Anne Elizabeth RD, I really enjoy conversations and learning about people, and it is a whole lot easier to do that when we find some common interests.
I’m so looking forward to more purposeful posts about my passions, and I hope that you are too.