It’s been two years since my graduation as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and I am due to renew my certification. I find myself procrastinating and I had to delve into my psyche to understand why I was delaying the renewal of an occupation I really enjoy.
You see, though I present a tough exterior (at least I like to pretend to), I have a bleeding heart. I struggle with acute empathy. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I worry about the world. About people. About doing the right thing, at all times. So it makes me vulnerable.
I’m vulnerable to harsh critics, unfounded or not, because I long for kindness and positiveness. When someone told me I wasn’t giving a good image as a nutritionist, because I have weight to lose, my heart bled.
My first response was… well, more on that later. This statement on my appearance propelled me into a spin. Was it true? Crudely said, was I too fat to be a nutritionist? Does my outside appearance undo all my health efforts that are paying off on the inside?
Trolls on the world wide web are one thing: strangers hiding behind keyboards, emboldened by their anonymity to spew their bitter ugliness on people bent on helping others can be dismissed because their cowardliness is overt. But having someone close declare such an opinion felt like a thousand paper cuts. It’s been three months and I’m still spinning.
It takes daily reminders to boost my self confidence: I am more than the sum of my parts, I am a strong woman, I have overcome so much. On and on and on…
Then I remember where I started. Unhealthy, struggling, truly overweight with no end to gaining, depressed, badly sleeping, with no solution from doctors who could only offer drugs for depression and sleep, which I refused because deep inside, I knew it wasn’t the right solution.
It took me a lot of strength – not only physical, but mental also – to keep searching until I learned that all the conventional wisdom advice in nutrition got me where I was: sick, overweight and desperate. Eating grains, too many carbohydrates, and counting calories did not serve me well.
Once I started my real food journey, I honed my comprehension of human nutrition through conferences and finally going back to school at fifty. My health turned around. It is my truest pleasure to help others with my knowledge.
But it doesn’t mean that it’s over: actually, at my age, it’s only the beginning. Aging gracefully, aging without the usual diseases (diabetes, heart disease, dementia, cancer), is an everyday goal.
When my heart bleeds a little remembering that harsh critic, I keep going back to my deep felt response. Would you like to know what I said?
I responded that the people who come to see me as a nutritionist see me as a deeply empathetic woman, who’s there to share knowledge and wisdom and help them and thus, they see me as a beautiful human being.
I responded that such a judgement upon me revealed how ugly her/his soul had become.
I responded how hard my journey has been: how hormone dysregulation made weight loss difficult, how my genetics predisposed me to obesity, how childhood abuse had skewed my self confidence growing up.
And lastly, I responded that instead of trying to tear me down with such a statement, the right thing would be to raise me up to new levels.
So today, I stopped spinning. I am going forward to renew my certification.
Thanks for reading.
P.S.: Have I ever touched your life with some nutritional advice? Please let me know, help heal my wounded heart.