RD Journey Update: The waiting game.

Hello & happy Saturday!!  I hope your life has been more exciting than mine lately.  As most of you know, I finished my dietetic internship 2-weeks ago, yesterday.  What have I been up to?  Well, lots of studying and getting cozy with my Jean Inman exam study guide.

Boring… and frustrating.  I feel I’m ready to take the RD exam, but right now, I’m playing the waiting game.  I have to wait until I receive the email from CDR saying that I’m approved to test.  So, until I get that verification statement to test, I’ll just be going nuts over here.  lol  I swear, waiting is the WORST.  

I even had a dream about the RD exam the other night!  Crazy.  I’ve also become obsessed with constantly checking my email.  I’m hoping next week will be the week that it arrives!  Cross your fingers for me! 😉

New Insight

Hey there!  So… I’ve been a tad bit quiet on here lately, & there’s a reason.  I’ve been trying to sort myself out & have been absorbed in my own thoughts (as well as studying for the RD exam).  BUT, I think I’m finally ready to talk about some things I’ve learned in general – & about myself.  It’s kinda heavy, so you may want to grab a coffee & get comfy.

Ok, so where to start… doing my dietetic internship elective rotation at an eating disorder facility has been completely eye-opening for me.  I’m completely blown away & amazed at how many people are afraid of food & struggle with an unhealthy food relationship.

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I am not too proud to admit that I’m above struggling with a healthy relationship with food.  I’ve hinted at my struggles in the past – if you’ve read my ‘About Me’ section, you’ll know I was a member of the clean plate club and had the childhood nicknames of “Hoover” and the “Sugar Monster”.  Does that speak normal to you?  I’m not saying I have an ED or anything, & have never been diagnosed with an eating disorder.  What I AM saying is that I have a disordered eating pattern & have had a poor relationship with food in the past.

Observing the ED patients has really opened up my eyes to some of my past behaviors and thoughts about food – & my body.  A healthy relationship with food stems & is built from loving your body.  I don’t love my body – not completely yet.  I honestly can’t recall ever loving it, even when I lost all that weight way back when… I still struggled with my own image & saw a heavy girl in the mirror.  I hope to change that though.

I’ve tried SO many diets & workouts in the past to lose weight & then fight to keep the weight off.  I’ve done Atkins, calorie counting, paleo, primal, Whole 30, vegetarianism (for 1 year), keto… & you know what I realized?  These are all forms of restricting food.  Dieting.  I didn’t trust my body to keep weight off, so I restricted food whether it be by following this trendy “diet”, or altering what I ate, or eliminating a macronutrient.  I’m not saying I starved myself, but I probably counted calories religiously for the LONGEST amount of time – because it ‘kept me in check’ & made sure I didn’t overeat & gain weight.  I’d usually aim for anywhere from 1600-1750ish per day, which most likely was NOT enough for my body & not what my body wanted.  I’d most often end up going over in calories & then just feeling crappy about myself.  It was a vicious cycle.  It’s a cycle I’m breaking.  I’m getting off the diet train!! NO MORE dieting!!!

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I’ve mentioned previously, I’ve been reading some self-love books & working on loving myself & what my body is capable of & has done for me.  I’m working on being kind to myself.  I’m trying out meditating & being more mindful in general.  I’m also reading the book “Healthy at Every Size” & “Intuitive Eating“, which have both been very helpful.

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you probably have noticed my eating patterns have shifted.  I’m eating what my body is telling me it wants – trying to eat intuitively & mindfully.  I’m not putting foods off limits since that only creates more desire for them.  After a bit, these foods will no longer be appealing & I’ll gravitate back towards my much healthier ways.  I just need to make peace with these foods I’ve demonized for so long & to not eliminate any food groups because it’s supposedly healthier to not eat _____.  I’m not saying it’s not justified for some people – I still agree we’re all unique individuals.  Some of us also have allergies/intolerances/food preferences that we don’t like to eat certain things – & that’s ok!

Am I going to gain some weight?  Probably.  I’m pretty sure I have, but I’m not weighing myself.  It’s a learning curve & I need to get back in touch with my body & my own hunger & satiety cues.  They’ve been suppressed for so very long since I relied on a number of calories I had left to eat, or the time of day to tell me I should eat.  I wasn’t listening to the most important thing – my own body!!  I’m sure my body weight will even out to it’s preferred & set weight with time & as I learn to trust it.

Are you ready to ditch the diet mentality & to trust your own body?!  Can you relate?

I’m DONE!!!

Yep, you read that title right – I’m officially DONE with my dietetic internship!!!  My last day was Friday, April 15th – DONE!!!!

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Oh, wait… ok, no party time YET.  I haven’t forgotten that I have that big, stressful thing looming over my head – called the RD exam.  It’s one more hurdle that I have to jump over before I can finally make my dream of becoming an RD a reality.

Honestly, it still hasn’t really set in yet that I’m DONE with my dietetic internship!  Nearly 8 months of no pay, working full-time, plus having to pay so much money for that opportunity to do it all – wow.  Yes, it’s been a long, hard road, but as they always say – “nothing worth doing is ever easy” – and this was worth doing.

I’ve met some great people during my dietetic internship and have learned quite a bit, as well as had some great experiences (& some difficult ones) along the way!

Now, I just need to focus on studying for that RD exam because I am officially an unemployed (although well-educated) bum nutrition nerd!  haha

Dietetic Internship – One WEEK Left!!

Hey there!  Just in case you didn’t see the post title – I am down to my FINAL week of my dietetic internship!!!  Only 7 days remain between me and completion of my internship – and between me and the infamous RD exam.  No worries, though, I’m studying for that bad boy as we speak.  I have a whole study plan made up and am on top of it. 😉

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It’s been a very long, hard road, but I can finally see the end – and my dream of becoming an RD is definitely within reach.  Hard to believe that I am finally almost there!!

So besides long days of working at my internship site and studying at night, let me fill you in on what I’ve been learning/doing lately…

I’m still at the ED clinic for my last week, but I also spend a little bit of time each week doing corporate wellness stuff at an area business, which has been interesting and enjoyable.  I could see this as something I could possibly do in the future.

During the week I usually spend a few long days at my site, especially on IOP group days, observing the clients that I’m able to.  I sometimes participate with the IOP group girls (teen girls) in their nutrition group and we play a nutrition-based game, where I learn a lot about how they think and feel about food, which has been really educational and enlightening for me.  I also usually help cook the group meal for the IOP group, along with the other intern, then serve and eat the meal with the girls and clean up, making for a later evening by the time I get home.

Overall, I really am enjoying my rotation and learning about eating disorders.  I enjoy spending time with the girls, which are a really sweet, great group!  I also have really come to realize that self-love is the entire foundation of having a healthy relationship with food and good mental health, along with mindful eating.  Love yourself and the rest will follow.

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So will I pursue a career in working with eating disorders?  Probably not at this time.  While I enjoy working in this specialty of dietetics, I don’t feel that it’s the right fit for me at this point in time.  It’s a lot to handle mentally, and you really have to have your A game down when working with the clients.  It’s very counseling heavy and takes a real finesse, which is something I may be up for in the future, but not currently.  Down the road several years, well, who knows?!

Once I finish and get my RD I will probably search for a clinical inpatient and/or outpatient position in a hospital.  I REALLY enjoyed my clinical rotation and feel that it suited me well, so crossing my fingers that I’ll find something.

If you’re a dietetic intern or RD, feel free to chime in on what you prefer to work with specialty-wise!  I’d love to hear from you!

It’s Match Day! Congrats New Interns!

As you saw by the heading – it’s dietetic internship Match Day once again!!  I would like to congratulate all of the new interns that just found out at 6pm today that they’ve got an internship match!!!  Woohooo!!!!  

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I remember the feeling well, since after all, it’s only been a year ago for me!  I was fortunate to get my first choice, & here I am – now only 2-weeks out from finishing my internship!!!!  Hard to believe!!

So like I said above – only 2 WEEKS of my dietetic internship are left!!!  Sorry, I just had to say it again because – woah.

I’m currently studying my butt off & making my Inman study guide my new BFF, as well as my Hess & Hunt guide, & the MedPrep online practice quizes.  Woof.

Once again, congrats to all you new interns out there!!  Yay!!!  #rd2be

Did you match??  If you’re a new intern, please shout it loud & proud!!!