Today, we celebrate National Dietitians’ Day. Many of us who are Registered Dietitians experienced an untold journey getting to where we are now and today encourages us to reflect on this.
My journey started early. Since I was about 13 years old, I have wanted to teach others about nutrition, naively thinking it was solely about dieting. My mom encouraged me to pursue my interests throughout high school and eventually, I was admitted into the Nutrition and Food program at Ryerson University. From my first day in university to finally receiving that infamous letter in the mail that basically said, “you have successfully achieved your license”, it took almost 9 years! Although my mom was not able to be there in person to see my journey through, it was her courage in her own fight against cancer that gave me the drive during that time. You may find that your own journey to become a dietitian truly challenged who you are. One thing I learned about myself is that I don’t give up easily. Whether it was being 8 months pregnant and interning or pumping breastmilk in the maternity ward during my hospital placement, I did it.
One of the proudest days of my life is receiving that letter and finally, my certificate. There are a few different routes to take to become a dietitian, all of them difficult in their own way. The route I took was the Independent Practicum (2 years). Without the tremendous support from other amazing dietitians (especially my Advising Dietitian) who were willing to take me under their wing and intern for them, I would not be doing what I do today. They themselves, made sacrifices to support and educate me during those two years.
I have a deep gratitude and appreciation for these experiences. When you’ve worked so hard and spent a major part of your life trying to achieve a goal, you never take it for granted. Today, I’m thankful for being given this opportunity. I am thankful for all the other Registered Dietitians out there who travelled this incredible journey like I did, to get to where they are now. Every day, we advocate for better nutrition care, research and education to improve the lives and health of others. Without internships, mentors and the like, our profession would not exist or flourish. We have a chance to be part of each other’s story and today, I hope that you realize not only the change you can make in the life of someone you care for, but the effect we can have on each other’s.
Happy National Dietitians’ Day!
 Dietitians of Canada. Retrieved from http://www.dietitians.ca/Become-a-Dietitian/Education.aspx