Interns don’t go way…

Until they do (two weeks later).

My brother sent a text awhile back asking how I was doing. I told him I was pretty exhausted from being busy and having an intern. He said, “Haha. Are they annoying?”

I said, “Nope. They just don’t go away.

They don’t. They’re ALWAYS there. It can be pretty tiring giving background before a client comes in, discussing the client after, giving background on the next and then seeing another client and repeating that cycle 4-6 times. I’ve gotten better at balancing it. I go for walks by myself, leave them to work on a project while I run an errand and once I said, “I’m going to take a nap.” And that’s precisely what I did while my intern did who knows what (I think she was working on a project but didn’t care, TBH).

While it’s tiring, IT’S SO WORTH IT. I have them read Body Respect before they start, answer questions I ask clients and take the weight implicit bias on weight questionnaire. For many of them, it’s their first real exposure to Health at Every Size®. I get to blow their fucking minds and I love it. I have them for two weeks. My goal isn’t to have them memorize important labs or eating disorder diagnoses. My goal after blowing their minds is to show them how to break up with “being professional” and be a real person, a REAL, authentic person to clients. We weren’t taught that in school. I’ve told each intern that they are free to write about their experience for this here blog o’ mine. I have a couple others on deck but am waiting to get photos with them because I want my clients reading to remember who is who.

THANK YOU TO MY CLIENTS. Thank you for trusting me enough to bring in interns. I always say that I wouldn’t be the RD I am if I didn’t get to sit in on sessions when I started and now these interns get to say the same thing. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I love you all.

Kendra was a real treat. She did some invaluable work for the non profit I’m trying to start. Like, seriously, I’m SO thankful for her help. Also, she laughed at my jokes and sarcasm so obviously, I enjoyed her.

To Amy and her clients: Thank you for opening my eyes.
“Nutrition Sciences” is the degree I needed to become a dietitian. Nutrition classes taught me
how to determine a person’s nutrition needs, analyze nutrients to plan menus, use foods to
help treat diseases, manage food service operations, help our communities with nutrition, and
so much more. In school, everything seemed so cut and dry: If you do this thing, then you
get that result. Calories in, calories out. Science.
What nutrition classes DIDN’T teach me is that the rules aren’t always true. Nutrition classes
didn’t teach me how much damage believing in those rules can do to a person’s health, sense
of worth, and the way they experience the world around them. They didn’t teach me how
believing that these rules are universally true inflicts a sense of failure and shame for everyone at some point in their lives.
Something inside of me has never felt right about telling people what to eat because people
usually only want to be told what to eat when they want to lose weight. After spending
two weeks with Amy and her clients, I understand why that has never felt right. I saw each of
Amy’s clients as a brave, brilliant, and vulnerable individual in pursuit of uncovering their true self. I was impressed with the courage it took for them to look inward at parts of themselves they despised… and to share it with another person… in front of a random intern!
While I was continually impressed with her clients, I was also continually heart broken. These
wonderful human beings felt so much shame and failure. Because they live in a society where
people are taught to believe the nutrition rules and that having a certain type of body is a sign of success. If they could only see themselves the way I saw them, they would know the kind of courage they have is exactly what this world needs: authentic individuals who can speak their mind and share their truth.
My experience with Amy has changed how I see, hear, and communicate with others. It has also inspired me to look within and be courageous and vulnerable just like Amy and her clients, both as a human and as a future dietitian.
To Amy and her clients: Thank you for opening my eyes.

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