I Am An Obese Nutrition Student And I Wonder If Future Clients Will Respect Me
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Health and Wellness

I Am An Obese Nutrition Student And I Wonder If Future Clients Will Respect Me

Every good thing takes work. Every lasting change takes time.

I Am An Obese Nutrition Student And I Wonder If Future Clients Will Respect Me
@MagenEatsWell via Instagram

I will sometimes be going about my day, enjoying classes, learning about nutrition, going to work, helping people, and feeling great, when I remember that I am still obese.

When I ended a five-year long abusive relationship, five years ago, I was 110 lbs. overweight. That was six years after I graduated high school, at which time I was 20 lbs. overweight. I ate for a multitude of reasons; to comfort myself, to hide, to enjoy something, to lose myself, to be unattractive…The list goes on. It took me two years to date again after that. It took me three years to realize how far I'd gone and decided to start losing weight. It's really hard to talk about. I sometimes find myself telling people about the 50 lbs. I've already lost through diet and exercise so that they will respect me; because I feel, or I imagine I feel, their judgment of my size. I sometimes find myself starting that story by leaving an abusive relationship so that others will know it would be wrong for them to judge me.

I wonder how patients and clients will respect me if I am still overweight by the time it's my turn to treat them. I don't know how to get over it. I know that I need to let go of those stories I tell about myself and whatever they are doing for me so that I can make room for other, more productive stories. I know I need to let go of that timeline. 5 years ago, what? Nothing. Life didn't start then. I do not talk about these fears with other people in my major. I do not want sympathetic answers, or confirmation. I do not often talk about these fears with my parents or friends or my boyfriend. They know me as a beautiful, confident, bright person, and I don't want to spoil their image of me with my own self-doubt. I know that I am those things, which is how I can forget that my body now qualifies me as having a medical disease, even though I feel fine.

I can do things I never thought possible, like run, hike, and wear just a bathing suit at the beach. My size doesn't stop me from doing anything that any of the gorgeous and fit women in my major can do. Then, I'll see a photo of myself and think about how the fat at the back of my arms is sticking out and wonder if it's just my own self-criticism or if it's really that noticeable. Sometimes when we talk about obesity in our classes, I don't feel a part of that group, and then I remember that I am. I am still losing weight, and I know I'm doing everything I can. It's slow progress; as slow as our classes teach us it should be. Emotionally it's very difficult, and it feels like an eternity. I catch myself being too hard on myself extremely often, and I try to redirect. I remember that once my weight is off I will have the true experiential credentials to say that natural weight loss is very possible. I remember that I will be a greatly empathetic practitioner because I have "been there." It's just hard sometimes that I am *still* there. I worry all the time about the stigma of being overweight as a Dietitian. I don't want that to be part of my life.

For a lot of reasons, it's my experience that "trouble comes by the pound," to quote Million Dollar Baby. I want to get rid of my excess weight now more than ever, not just because I think it will make me healthier and hopefully make me a more respectable Dietitian, but also because I have already rid myself of the abuse and the "trouble" that made me gain the weight in the first place. I want my outer to reflect my inner. I want to stop carrying around my painful past on my person for everyone to see. My life is so different now that sometimes I forget that past is mine. I've done so much work, and I've built a beautiful life. I know it all takes time.

I just want to be as light as I feel.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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