General chatter - Fat nutritionist?




View Full Version : Fat nutritionist?


XLMuffnTop
04-08-2011, 02:00 PM
I'm trying to think of a major when I return to school (in a few years!) and keep going back to the idea of a B.S. in Nutrition. Though I am slightly worried about getting a degree and not being able to find a job because of my weight.

So my questions are...

Do you think people would think a fat nutritionist is just a joke or would they be more apt to listening knowing they (obviously) struggle as well? Or neither?
Do you have any experiences one way or another?


joyc21
04-08-2011, 02:17 PM
I don't have any experiences; however I would not go to a fat nutritionist, even knowing that they could be great at what they do, I just wouldn't do it.

Munchy
04-08-2011, 02:22 PM
I don't have any experiences; however I would not go to a fat nutritionist, even knowing that they could be great at what they do, I just wouldn't do it.

Me too. I also toy with the idea of going to get my MA in something nutrition-related, but I'm always afraid that while I'm small, but not thin and it could hurt my chances of a job.

I wouldn't see a heavy nutritionist or go to a heavy trainer.


pinkflower
04-08-2011, 02:23 PM
I probably would. Just because someone is bigger doesn't mean they don't have the knowledge to pass on. Also, some bigger people may find it less intimidating and comforting to know you've been there as a nutritionist. There probably may be some people who wouldn't want to, but I'd think there would be be just as many who would

beerab
04-08-2011, 02:28 PM
If they were slighty chubby it probably wouldn't bother me. But if I were seeing someone who was very overweight I may feel how can they teach me if they can't practice what they preach?

I do think cuz you are losing weight by the time you are done having a before and after picture in your office would be totally inspiring! :)

Jelma
04-08-2011, 03:04 PM
You said it is a couple years away and it looks like you have made great progress losing so far, you probably won't have to worry about it!

I agree with beerab about the before and after picture. I would much rather talk to someone who has lost weight and maintained, or in the process of losing, than someone that has never had to struggle.

anna ng
04-08-2011, 03:19 PM
First of all, there's a difference between nutrition and weight loss. I absolutely wouldn't be put off by someone who knew a lot about nutrition, but was choosing not to engage in weight loss right now.

You might also want to look at fatnutritionist.com, which is run by someone in your situation. She works on body acceptance and healthy eating for people of all sizes. I find her incredibly inspiring and helpful, and she seems to do pretty well in her profession. Good luck!

cbmare
04-08-2011, 03:29 PM
Quite frankly, I tend to respect people who have faced my struggle more than someone who can eat all day and not gain an ounce and has never gone to be crying or stopped socializing because of weight.

To me, it is like someone who has never had nor raised kids telling you how to raise yours.

Walk in my shoes.

Go for it. If nothing else, you'll learn things that will help you in your life.

What is the difference between a nutritionist and a dietician?

seagirl
04-08-2011, 03:42 PM
http://www.fatnutritionist.com/

CrystalZ10
04-08-2011, 03:42 PM
I would go only if I saw that they had lost a lot of weight or were losing weight by following the advice they gave.
No offense to our thin sisters, but I have issues with skinny women telling me what to eat and what excercise to do. How do they know what will work for me? They probably haven't been fat ever and they are qualified to tell me what I need to do to make a change? Whatever...lol
On the same hand, I wouldn't listen to a fat person telling me what to do, if I see no evidence of weight loss either.

nationalparker
04-08-2011, 04:03 PM
But remember, if you have a slender/fit nutritionist there's no way to know if she is someone who has never had an issue and CAN eat whatever she likes, or if it's a continuous awareness of what she's eating to get/stay healthy. You can't assume that since one is slender, that they've always been that way, that if not, they'd choose to tell someone else their "story" or that it's not an issue for them, too...

midwife
04-08-2011, 04:23 PM
But how would someone know about someone's previous weight struggles? I had a patient grouch to me that one of our doctors counseled her about losing weight. She was annoyed and said "that skinny doc" had no business lecturing someone about weight because she couldn't possibly understand....well "that skinny doc" is maintaining a 60 lb weight loss, but again, unless the doc shared that, how would she know? Surely a health message is a health message is a health message, regardless of the assumptions people make about the person delivering the message.

What if she is a 250 lb nutritionist who is maintaining 150 lb weight loss? How would people know by looking? Of course I would also go to a male gyn even though he doesn't have a uterus himself. I'd take my kids to a childless pediatrician, too. It's about connection, not judging people based on their exterior. The overweight nutritionist might be a weight loss and maintenance rock star, even if their BMI is higher than a client might find acceptable.

Coondocks
04-08-2011, 04:45 PM
But how would someone know about someone's previous weight struggles? I had a patient grouch to me that one of our doctors counseled her about losing weight. She was annoyed and said "that skinny doc" had no business lecturing someone about weight because she couldn't possibly understand....well "that skinny doc" is maintaining a 60 lb weight loss, but again, unless the doc shared that, how would she know? Surely a health message is a health message is a health message, regardless of the assumptions people make about the person delivering the message.

What if she is a 250 lb nutritionist who is maintaining 150 lb weight loss? How would people know by looking? Of course I would also go to a male gyn even though he doesn't have a uterus himself. I'd take my kids to a childless pediatrician, too. It's about connection, not judging people based on their exterior. The overweight nutritionist might be a weight loss and maintenance rock star, even if their BMI is higher than a client might find acceptable.


My thoughts exactly. People want different qualities from nutrionists, some may go with the intention to lose weight, some may go just for the education of whats better for their bodies.
So many factors to consider.
Personally, I would go to one that was overweight, I can't judge what they have been through, how knowledgable they are on the subject at hand or how HEALTHY they are now based on one glance.

And ditto to the not worrying about it, with what you already know and are doing for yourself, adding in that knowledge will only make you more confident and prepared on the rest of your journey.

GOOD FOR YOU!!!:D

Nola Celeste
04-08-2011, 04:50 PM
But how would someone know about someone's previous weight struggles? I had a patient grouch to me that one of our doctors counseled her about losing weight. She was annoyed and said "that skinny doc" had no business lecturing someone about weight because she couldn't possibly understand....well "that skinny doc" is maintaining a 60 lb weight loss, but again, unless the doc shared that, how would she know? Surely a health message is a health message is a health message, regardless of the assumptions people make about the person delivering the message.

What if she is a 250 lb nutritionist who is maintaining 150 lb weight loss? How would people know by looking? Of course I would also go to a male gyn even though he doesn't have a uterus himself. I'd take my kids to a childless pediatrician, too. It's about connection, not judging people based on their exterior. The overweight nutritionist might be a weight loss and maintenance rock star, even if their BMI is higher than a client might find acceptable.

I had to quote that entire post because I absolutely agree with every word of it and felt it deserved to be seen again. :)

The nutritionist who's maintaining a major weight loss, but still has a higher-than-average BMI probably has a great deal to teach. Besides, I tend to feel comfortable around heavier people, so I might actually seek out a nutritionist with some junk in the trunk as I would find her relatable.

geoblewis
04-08-2011, 04:59 PM
Isn't our current Surgeon General of the US a woman of larger proportions? Just like 2/3 of the US?

If you love what you do and are good at it, it won't matter if you weigh more than the rest of the nutritionists. I'd want to see a nutritionist who knew what they were talking about.

I actually look at other things when I look for nutrition advice, because I remember the dietetics majors in college when I studied home ec. They all had eating disorders...ALL of them. None of them knew a thing about how to practice healthy eating. I don't want to talk to a nutritionist who will only show me a chart or a book and doesn't evaluate my needs based on my health and input.

MindiV
04-08-2011, 04:59 PM
There was a time when I would have said no. But then again...my weight loss journey started due to the workout advice of a woman who is about 5 feet tall and weighs about 300 pounds. Her advice was good and solid, and paid off for me in a big way.

With that experience in mind, yes I would.

However, not everyone in the world who might need to see a nutritionist has had the same weight loss experiences all of us have had or are having. So their views might be different - they may say no.

Regardless, I say go for it. If it's what you want to be, then do all you can to achieve the goal!

dragonlady1978
04-08-2011, 05:05 PM
I wouldn't expect my nutritionist to be skin and bone, but to be perfectly honest I would be put off by one who was obese.

The point of seeking out this type of professional is that we believe they have the answers we're looking for. I would resent a fat person telling me how to eat right if they obviously weren't able to do it themselves either. How many people don't know that salad=good cheeseburger=bad? It's not just about being capable of explaining the science. It's also about showing people how to live by it. If my nutritionist can't do it, it would only make me doubt more that I could either.

I do have to say that I would be more comfortable with someone who had lived this problem, beaten it, and maintained than I would someone who never had to worry about their weight. When you lose this weight and keep it off you could be your own best testimonial/advertisement ;)

How would clients know you've lost the weight? You SHOW them the example. I'd have before and after photos proudly displayed. It would endear you to those who might think you don't understand and inspire them by showing them what reward that taking your advice could lead to.

I can see the other side of this coin, I just disagree. A male gyno can treat me just as well as a female because he doesn't have to have empathy for my uterus or show me how well his is kept. He studies and treats the physiological. A childless pediatrician doesn't give me parenting advice or show me how well groomed his kids are, he gives medical treatment. Becoming overweight is more a behavioral issue than just a medical one. Unfortunately our weight and appearance is what is most visible and obvious to people when we meet them.

Some better comparisons would be-would you take the advice of a psychologist who was crazy? Would you hire supernanny if her kids were in juvie? Uhn-uh.

XLMuffnTop
04-08-2011, 05:26 PM
Wow. Lots of differing opinions as I expected!

I haven't decided on anything, just mulling lots of things over. When that particular choice popped in my head twice, I kind of walked the future path as I see me now and it made me ask these same questions.

I love reading everyones viewpoints and appreciate all of the honesty.

cbmare
04-08-2011, 06:01 PM
I still want to know the difference between a nutritionist and a dietician.

Koolmum
04-08-2011, 06:06 PM
I still want to know the difference between a nutritionist and a dietician.

A dietitian has at least a four-year Bachelor's degree in nutrition and dietetics (or graduate degree), has completed an internship and has passed a national registration exam from the American Dietetic Association. Registered Dietitians are a reliable source of nutrition information and capable at devising diet plans. In some states, persons who dispense nutritional information are licensed and these are usually dietitians.

A food technologist has at least a four year Bachelor's degree in food science (or graduate degree) and researches and develops new food products for food manufacturers like General Mills or Pillsbury.

A person with a master's degree in nutrition can be called a nutritionist. However, the title is used by a variety of persons, including those without any nutrition education possibly only a personal interest in nutrition. I would not recommend you rely on this title for expert nutrition information.

http://www.dietitian.com/rds.html

cbmare
04-08-2011, 06:15 PM
Thanks, Koolmum. That's interesting.

dragonwoman64
04-09-2011, 01:36 PM
Isn't our current Surgeon General of the US a woman of larger proportions? Just like 2/3 of the US?

If you love what you do and are good at it, it won't matter if you weigh more than the rest of the nutritionists. I'd want to see a nutritionist who knew what they were talking about.

I actually look at other things when I look for nutrition advice, because I remember the dietetics majors in college when I studied home ec. They all had eating disorders...ALL of them. None of them knew a thing about how to practice healthy eating. I don't want to talk to a nutritionist who will only show me a chart or a book and doesn't evaluate my needs based on my health and input.

I agree.

there's a gazillion nurses and doctors who are overweight (sometimes very overweight) and smoke. In fact, we have a huge hospital a few blocks from us, and I got a little mortified seeing a staff member standing outside smoking (and it's not that uncommon). But that hospital is thriving and I'm sure goes to much trouble making sure they have qualified employees. So, while I wouldn't feel great that a doctor I went to smoked, other qualifications about his/her knowledge and skills would weigh much higher in my mind.

I've known 2 nutritionists, both normal weight and in decent shape. The one was very helpful to me, and gave me tips I considered useful and that helped me. The other was a friend of the family, and very lackluster when I went to her. If she'd been heavy and given me as good advice as the first, I would have been thrilled.

We used to have a fairly good sized woman trainer at the gym. She was part of the Y, but didn't hurt for clients (anyone could have switched on request, I'm sure).

Some people will always have prejudices, and preconceptions, etc. If it's something you really have an interest in, I would go by that. If you have an interest and passion, you'll get good at it, and that's what creates success.

Scarlett
04-09-2011, 10:28 PM
The term "nutritionist" is not regulated in some states. A lot of times people with no qualifications can call themselves a "nutritionist". In this even I would ask for credentials (degree, certificate etc).

Most of my family members are obese and I've always struggled with my weight. I went to college and double majored in Nutrition and Psychology with the intention of becoming a dietitian. During college I mostly maintained a weight just inside the healthy BMI range for my height. I was chubby but not to the point that it would be offensive to give nutrition advice.

Then things went to **** my senior year. I was feeling too much pressure, and everything went wrong at the same time. I killed my stellar GPA, and would need an extra year to finish (which I may have needed anyway, since I was a double major). Then at the end of this I had problems getting some courses to double count. In the end I took community college gen ed couse and this was enough to wrap things up. At the end of all this drama I was up 40 pounds. I felt hopeless, a 3.06 GPA, 60 pounds overweight, took 6 years to graduate, and now I need to find a job.

I decided to take a bunch of pictures of myself at my highest weight (when I was out with friends ect). I'm going to make a little wallet flip book to show to patients. Having the opportunity to say "I know what it's like to struggle with weight" and then show the pictures motivates me. I may copy some of your comments and print them out for further motivation. I'm now down 20 pounds and it's looking promising that I will start my internship this fall *crosses fingers*.

I know from experience that nutrition students, dietitians etc fall into two categories. The sorority girls, who are smart enough to handle the science courses ie really high strung and perfectionist. They are so enthusiastic about eating right they decided to major in nutrition. They come to class in their gym clothes ready to hit the gym after class. Then do nothing but talk about their boyfriend who is an engineering or premed student.

The other group is people who have struggled with weight. (a smaller category). One of my few major friends in college was thin but underwent a gastric bypass when she was 15.

I would also like to tell you that there are many concentrations within nutrition that may not make you feel awkward for being overweight. Food service management (ie running a hospital kitchen, making sure meals are appropriate for different patients), counseling pregnant women, geriatrics, very clinical areas ie renal dietitian, increasing business type jobs. If you graduate overweight you still have options.

One last thing, My first nutrition class (before I transferred to where I finished up), I had a professor who was probably 200 pounds overweight. In addition she was a terrible professor. She would talk about patients she deals with at the hospital where she worked as a dietitian (she only taught that one class). I was astonished that this woman was employed.

feel free to PM me if you have any questions

beerab
04-11-2011, 12:56 PM
When you have a business you promote a product, and as a nutritionist that product is yourself. First impressions can really SUCK but unfortunately that's what happens when you are telling people you can teach them to be healthy. And again unfortunately THIN is considered healthy, not overweight.

And like I said I'd be impressed if the person had photos of themselves to show they had once been overweight or bigger than they are now :) But if I walk in and the person is severly overweight I will definitely think "how can they help me if they can't help themselves?"