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We Are Dietitians, But We're Also Human

This blog is a continuation of Renee’s blog- Dietitians Are People Too posted January 2020.


As co-owner and registered dietitian nutritionist at Scenic City Dietetics, I often encounter a common question: “So are you super healthy and only eat certain things?” The honest truth is, we dietitians are just people too. Sure, we have the nutritional knowledge and the "know-how," but we also face the same cravings and life challenges as anyone else. While we play a crucial role in ensuring healthier, happier lives for our patients—and in my opinion, we're top tier in that aspect—it's essential to understand that we're on our own health journeys too.


The Reality Behind the Knowledge


Throughout my life, I've dealt with many challenges around body image and proper nutrition. For many years, I had no clue what proper nutrition was. The confusion only grew with the plethora of articles online, often written by self-proclaimed "experts" with no credentials or evidence-based knowledge. Sure, some good information is out there, but how does an ordinary person decipher it without a background in nutrition? My journey was a long one of trial and error (with a lot of error) until I discovered the dietetics profession during my college career at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.


At UTC, I gained a solid foundation in nutritional science. But it was during my dietetic internship that I developed practical skills and hands-on experience, further deepening my knowledge and "know-how." And to be honest, I'm still learning—because that's the point, right? Dietitians are lifelong learners. We must maintain continuing education hours to renew our credentials with the Commission on Dietetic Registration every five years. So, wouldn't you trust someone with the knowledge and experience to help you rather than listening to trending influencers on social media who may have no clue what they're talking about?


We Are Just Like You


I say all this to emphasize that dietitians are just like you. Not all of us work out daily. Not all of us are fitness models. And not all of us eat perfectly all the time. We all have our comfort foods—mine are often carbs and alcohol. Some of my favorite go-tos are donuts and cherry turnovers, good beers and Kentucky mules.

Despite our occasional indulgences, we are all trying to achieve our own health and fitness goals. For some of us (myself included), that’s how we discovered the dietetic profession. I’ve always wanted to improve my body image aesthetically. When I started this journey, I hit the gym every day—usually six to seven days a week. No matter how hard I trained, I never saw the progress I thought I deserved. Working out is crucial for your health, but without proper nutrition, you will not see the results you desire.


The Key to Success: Consistency, Dedication, and Hard Work


It's important to note that results do not happen overnight. There is no magic pill, potion, concoction, or diet. The key to success is consistency, dedication, and hard work. No one achieves success by pure luck, chance, or will, but through determination. We all have moments in our lives that we’re not proud of—moments where we didn’t look, feel, or do the best we could have—but that’s a normal part of life for everyone. Nobody is perfect. We all fall short. We all fall down. It doesn’t matter how many times you fall or how hard you fall; all that matters is how quickly you get back up and keep taking that next step to be a better version of yourself today than you were yesterday. You may never reach where you want to be, but you can certainly make great strides to be moving closer to that seemingly unattainable desire rather than just remaining stagnant.


As dietitians, we are here to support you along your health and fitness journey. We have the knowledge to guide you toward your goals. We cannot do it for you, but we can encourage and support you. Even if we do not always look the stereotypical part, we’re here to help.


Let's Work Together


So, the next time you wonder if dietitians live perfect, health-focused lives, remember that we face the same challenges as you. Our expertise comes from a combination of personal experience, extensive education, and a commitment to lifelong learning. At Scenic City Dietetics, we understand your struggles and are here to provide the support you need to succeed. Together, we can work towards a healthier, happier you.


Thank you for trusting us with your nutrition and health goals. Let’s embark on this journey together—because we're in this together.




John Lopez, RDN, LDN 

Dietitian Chattanooga, TN

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