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I am going back to school.
To become a registered dietitian.
Even before I graduated the first time around (in 2012 from Manhattan Christian College with a BS in Cross-Cultural Studies) Will started asking me if I would ever want to go back to school. I always told him I didn’t know, that I hadn’t thought about it. I didn’t think about it much till this spring.
I don’t know why our culture expects 17 year olds to know what they want to do for the rest of their lives. Actually at that age I didn’t even know that I had a passion for nutrition. Looking back I had generally been a pretty healthy eater. I ate constantly thanks to soccer, but generally I made pretty decent choices.
When I was 19 I found out that I am gluten-intolerant. It took a long time to get disciplined about avoiding it. In college it was hard to learn how to fuel up for soccer without glutenous foods. Now the interesting thing is figuring out other ways that gluten impacts me. When it comes to your body – nutrition is connected to everything – emotions, mental clarity, hormones, energy, and of course risk factors for cancer, heart-disease, etc.
Seeing how ingesting gluten effects various areas of my life, marrying a person who is interested in sustainable agriculture and passionate about gardening, doing ministry with the marginalizedwho have little access to nutritious food, and a general desire to have a healthy body that won’t hold me back from glorifying God in any part of life stirred a passion in me to go back to school for dietetics.
What I want to do is be knowledgeable about and licensed in what I am passionate about and so that God can best use that passion to help others. I want to help people make healthy choices – to glorify God with their body, soul, and life.
What I don’t want to do is help people achieve a goal weight for the sake of having a more ideal body. I do not want to become a food nazi. I do not want to meticulously count calories and grams of this and that. I do not want to stop eating sugar. I want to help myself and others find balance in life. Find discipline and the occasional splurge. Find colorful vegetables that they like. Find joy in cooking. Enjoy eating out without over indulging. And overall how to have and enjoy a healthy life, a life that is more full of color, flavor, walks in the crisp fall air at sunset, moments of play and laughter with family and friends. I want people to be able to live lives where their bodies don’t hold them back from enjoying the glory of God and giving Him glory in return.
Now, confession, not only do I not always do the best with my own nutrition, but I also have been in school for a few months…. Since March. That’s why my blogging has gotten a bit sparse. I started with an 8 week, accelerated pace Basic Personal Nutrition class and then over the summer an accelerated pace Biology course. Now I am about to embark upon a long journey over the next school year. I will be taking Anatomy & Physiology I and Chemistry I over the next four months, and taking Anatomy & Physiology II and Chemistry II over the spring semester.
Once that is over I will have one more class to finish up my prerequisites. At that point I will start working through my core degree classes. That will take me another two years if I continue at this part time/school-on-the-side pace. This is going to be a journey…
So what I am asking is that you come along with me on this journey, grace, support, learning as I learn, growing as I grow, and marveling at how God made food and our bodies to work together.