A Career Change: Becoming an RD

I’ve recently realized that life always has a funny way of completely throwing my plans out the window. For someone who has always been an obsessive, perfectionist planner, this is both frustrating and eye-opening.

I didn’t plan on staying in Louisiana for college, but I did. I didn’t end up at my #1 college. I didn’t plan to run a blog & business at 20. I didn’t move somewhere new every summer for an internship. Moving into my last two apartments was a total delayed nightmare.

I also didn’t plan on taking chemistry in college (I thought I was done! ah!), but here I am, a junior who was supposed to graduate early this December, taking chemistry. And biology, organic chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology and many other science classes I’ve only had nightmares about.

Why? Well, there was another change of plans. I’m going to become a registered dietitian. Yes, I’m officially an RD-to-be!

I was never the kid who knew exactly what she wanted to do when she grew up. I had so many hobbies and passions that I couldn’t pick one. My friends who always wanted to be doctors are studying pre-med now. I was never like that.

I jumped around from a veterinarian to a SeaWorld dolphin trainer to a psychologist to the next Erin Andrews on ESPN… you get the point. When I started the college application process, I decided on mass communication because 1. I liked talking, 2. it was easy, 3. every company needs a PR professional.

There was always a part of me that wanted to become a dietitian. I grew up with a love of healthy food that really amplified during my senior year of high school and made me fall in love with the power of nutrition. Yes, my relationship with food has at times been negative, but at the heart of it, I truly love empowering people to live healthy lifestyles.

But I doubted myself. For the ambitious go-getter that I am, this was probably one of the only times in my life that I doubted my ability to achieve a goal. I told myself, theres no way you can get through all of those dietetics science classes! Youll fail! 

That’s not true at all. I can do it, and I will. I AM!

I'm talking all about my decision to attend more school and leave behind my initial career goals to become a registered dietitian!

My career change decision started when the pressure of graduation at the end of 2016 really hit me. My mom has always wanted me to get a master’s degree, and I always thought I would, too. Then I got into PR and decided it wasn’t necessary. To put off the opportunity to gain more education was totally unlike me. I was valedictorian, for crying out loud! School is my thing.

I couldn’t picture myself doing a grad program in PR, so I thought, if I went to grad school, it would be to become a dietitian. That’s the only degree that’s worth the extra time and money to me. So my mom, in her wisdom and patience, said, well, there you go – there’s your answer! Moms are awesome, am I right?!

PR is a 24/7 industry that is constantly changing, which is both fun and exhausting. Also, the essence of PR is to sell products or promote a positive image of an entity; I realized that this could very quickly misalign with my values if I didn’t agree with the ethics of a situation. I realized that I wanted to spend my life helping people live truly healthy lives, mentally and physically. That is what I want to do as a registered dietitian.

I wanted the RD credential because I want to help people on a deep level heal their bodies, their relationships with food, and their health. As an RD, you are the most qualified nutrition professional in the country. I want to keep up with nutrition research and provide patients with evidence-based nutrition advice – which, in my opinion, is to eat more plants.

There have been SO many dietitians that I {virtually} know that are inspirations to me and models of the kind of dietitian I want to become. Women like Alexis, who is a bada$$ entrepreneur & plant-eater helping people find real nutrition; Robyn & Cody at Nutshell (whom I’ve worked with on a personal level!) and Kylie, who work tirelessly to help women heal their relationships with food; Kristina and Lisa, who educate people about the power of plants; Katie, who is showing dietitians how to take their businesses to the next level.

If I am HALF the dietitian as each of these women, damn, will I be content with my life.

So, what does that mean going forward for me, the blog and my future? Well, I’ll be able to graduate on time (spring 2018) with a couple summer classes and an overload of science prerequisites in the next three semesters. I’ll be getting my master’s degree somewhere out-of-state, which I’m SUPER pumped about. Crossing my fingers for Colorado!

I want to continue blogging throughout the whole process because, of course, I love it, but I also want it to be a resource for you all and for so many more once I am a credentialed registered dietitian. I may have to post a little bit less here throughout the next four years of school (scary!), but I’m still going to provide you lots of awesome content including recipes, life updates like this, posts about your relationship with food, and many more. Stay tuned!

If you had told me a few years ago, or even last year, that I would be studying to become a medical health professional, I would have literally laughed out loud. But now, I couldn’t be more excited for this new phase of my life. And I am especially excited that one day I will be able to write:

Emilie Hebert, MS, RD.

Until then, let’s eat!

I'm talking all about my decision to attend more school and leave behind my initial career goals to become a registered dietitian!