Happy 1st birthday to my love, Spilling the Beans! It’s hard for me to believe that it has already been a year since I finally posted for the first time on my blog and social media platforms. I still remember writing that first blog post called I Think You Should Just Go For It. Because I believe that life is more fun when you celebrate little milestones, I thought I would celebrate by sharing 5 things I have learned in the past year after creating this blog, social media platform, and private practice.
Lesson 1: Social Media/Blogging are a LOT of work
One of the first things I realized after I started blogging is that writing high quality posts takes a significant amount of time. I’m always thrilled with the end product, but I quickly learned that I won’t always have time to dedicate to full posts. Who would have guessed that working a full-time job, teaching an online college class, and running a private practice would take so much time?! (Oh wait…everyone lol!) My graduate school research brain is still strong in me, so I like to give my posts enough research and evidence that they deserve.
Since I first started blogging a year ago, I’ve dedicated more of my time fine-tuning my messaging and images on Instagram and Facebook. I’ve been doing more messaging like you see in the picture above. As I look ahead to my next year, one of my goals is to get back to more formal blog posts. While I am on the subject, are there any topics in particular that you would like me to write about in the year to come? Comment with your ideas and I’d be happy to add them to my list. 🙂
Lesson 2: You can build REAL friendships online
One of the best parts of growing my community for Spilling the Beans has been the relationships that have formed. This may sound incredibly millennial…and perhaps it is. But I love it! I love chatting with people via Instagram in particular. I also discovered Facebook groups filled with supportive dietitians who are on the same page with me in my nutrition philosophies. It’s an honor to bounce ideas off of some of the successful dietitians who have walked before me.
Just last month, I had the honor of finally meeting Cara Harbstreet of Street Smart Nutrition and Libre Connections. Cara was one of the first people I ever reached out to with questions about Intuitive Eating. I was so excited when she agreed to speak at the South Dakota Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics conference in September. (She’s a rockstar!)
Lesson 3: We won’t always agree
One of the most challenging lessons that I have learned in the past year is that people won’t always agree with you…and they aren’t always nice about how they voice their differing opinions. While the vast majority of the feedback I receive is positive, there was one point where a young naturopathic student with a large Instagram following went so far as to make a video about one of my posts after taking my words out of context. Another person misunderstood one of my posts and began writing insults and calling me names on several of my posts. While I can laugh about these incidents now, they challenged me at the time. Through these experiences I have grown thicker skin and become more grounded in my own beliefs. Often I find that the saying is true: “hurt people, hurt people.”
Lesson 4: An online presence opens up SO many doors
If you would have told me a year ago that I’d write an article for SELF magazine, be the guest on a podcast, regularly appear on the news, or speak at a nutrition conference–I would have told you you’re CRAZY!!! A year ago, I was still working in clinical nutrition at a hospital and some long-term care facilities. When I left graduate school, I thought clinical nutrition was my passion. However, after working with several eating disorder clients (and loving it), I knew that my career path might be different than I had anticipated. When I started learning about Intuitive Eating and Health at Every Size (HAES), I felt called to make a career change. Since then, I have been working full-time as a retail dietitian and opened up my private practice officially in 2018. As my platform grew throughout the summer, the number of clients I was seeing virtually also grew. More opportunities also arose–like the SELF article. While sometimes it can be uncomfortable to be so vulnerable about my own past experiences with disordered eating, I am always touched when people tell me that my story has touched them.
Lesson 5: Private practice is incredible rewarding
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: I love private practice! While I still work as a retail dietitian, I love having a side business where I am able to have services that fully line up with my morals and beliefs. I’ve had the opportunity of connecting with some amazing people as clients of my virtual nutrition coaching services. I’m excited to hear more people’s stories and help lead them on a healthier path in their relationship with food and body image.
Thank you all for making the last year so much fun! 🙂