I recently wrote about people who expect to be judged by dietitians for their food choices. The other side of that coin is that people feel they have the right to openly judge dietitians. One day recently at work, I was on a unit of the hospital and the unit clerk offered me doughnuts from the break room. I declined. But then, I saw a nurse was eating a chocolate cake doughnut! Of all doughnuts, those are my absolute favorite. As I opened the doughnut box, the nurse informed me that it was the only one. I was standing there chatting with them when the unit director came up behind me and said, “I saw that!” I was completely confused. Was he talking to me? I didn’t do anything. He repeated, “I saw what you just did. You were looking at the doughnuts.” I finally realized what he was getting at and started to laugh it off. Then he said, “You dietitians think you’re all so righty-tighty, but you’re the worst of us all.” I was stunned. What do I say to that? I almost never talk to this guy, how have I ever given him that impression? I hadn’t even eaten a thing. I had peeked inside a doughnut box and was being reprimanded. How does anyone even think that is acceptable?
A second event that stands out in my mind happened at the dentist a couple of years ago. I was chatting with the hygienist as she was getting ready to clean my teeth. She asked me what I did and I told her I am a dietitian. She stood back a couple of feet and looked me up and down (like construction workers ogle women in movies). She then declared, “You’re a good size.” Why, thank you, total stranger for giving me approval of my body! This happens often enough to really piss me off. I find it appalling that people feel that have a right to pass judgement on me and my peers.
Granted, I cannot speak for all dietitians. But, speaking for myself and the dietitians that I know, we did not choose to become dietitians because we enjoy being the food police and love to judge what others are eating. We became dietitians because we have a passion for food and enjoy teaching others better ways to eat. We don’t eat “perfectly,” although we are conscious of the food we put in our bodies. We enjoy the occasional doughnut, just like everyone else.