Saturday, June 4, 2011


I attended a workshop this week on nutrition and emotional health. I was curious about it from both a nutritional perspective and a lifestyle perspective. The entire arena of nutrition and natural medicine has grabbed hold of my attention and simply will not let go! I haven't found passion for a pursuit of knowledge like this since I was in my teens. Needless to say I was very hungry for information and seeking to continue the forward momentum and inspiration that has been fueling my pursuit of healthfulness the past couple of months.
I'm sad to report that it was a very disheartening experience. I'm not sure what I expected exactly, but I know that I hoped to walk away feeling empowered and inspired. I have been looking into a few different diploma programs in pursuit of beginning a career in the nutritional consulting field with an emphasis on using food as medicine. I hoped that this workshop would give me further insight into the profession by listening to a professional that was speaking about exactly that. Unfortunately, the facilitator of the workshop was not a very encouraging or empowering speaker. She assumed everyone there ate "garbage from McDonalds" and had coffee and doughnuts for breakfast. She also assumed that everyone in attendance was there because they were clinically depressed. Neither of these things were a prerequisite for attending, I might add. She was very disrespectful to participants in front of the whole group by cutting them down and being sarcastic. Overall, she seemed like a very unhappy person and didn't appear to practice what she was preaching about.
After walking out of the classroom feeling very upset I decided that I had to find the learning in the situation. I asked myself, why was I meant to attend this workshop? what did I learn today?
Answers came to me quite quickly. I learned first hand how vulnerable people are when they are seeking knowledge and understanding about how to better care for their bodies. We only get one body, which means we really only have one shot at doing our best to take care of it. I also realized what kind of person I would like to be in the role of nutritional consultant. I want to have my clients feel excited, empowered and encouraged. I want them to feel like they have a plethora of opportunities in front of them when it comes to self care and nutrition. I want them to feel like they can make changes and that every little change makes a difference. I learned that I will not condemn certain foods when teaching about nutrition. I don't think it is helpful to simply say something is garbage and produce guilt and upset in the people I'm trying to encourage and teach. I hope to change people's understanding about what food does for their bodies and help to create positive relationships with food.
To sum it up, this woman taught me what kind of teacher I don't want to be. For that I am grateful. Clarity is always a good thing, and I guess I have to accept that sometimes it doesn't come from positive experiences.

No comments:

Post a Comment