They say that the best way to make a friend is to ask them questions, because everyone loves to talk about themselves. Maybe that’s why this assignment doesn’t seem so daunting to me. Although I try to avoid vanity and self-centeredness, I certainly do not mind spending some time to talk about myself. It is for class credit after all!
My name is Ruth. I’m a junior, nutrition major here at Clemson. I grew up in Aiken, South Carolina, where all the horse owners and retirees live. I have two sisters, two brother-in-laws, and two parents- all of whom are Engineers. I guess you could say I’m the oddball at Thanksgiving meals as I don’t usually have too much to say about duct work, ceiling beams, or electrical conduits.
In high school I danced often, goofed off with my friends a lot, and studied very little. Fortunately for me I made pretty good grades anyways, but school didn’t interest me that much. It’s like the curious, deep-thinking, question-asking part of my brain was sleeping back then. I chose to go into nutrition for pretty shallow reasons. My thought was that I could make diet plans for the movie stars- live in the city, be really attractive, go on talk shows and all that jazz. Don’t get me wrong though, I did have a passion for food and how it interacts with the body, but my basis of interest was more physical appearance based instead of healthy lifestyle based.
Growing up I was always a healthy eater- not because I thought much about it, but because my mom kept nothing but nutritious foods in the house and as a homeschooler I didn’t know any better. So you can imagine when I began going to a bigger school,could order fast food for my lunch and people gave me soda, cake, and candy bars all the time, that I gained quite a bit of weight. To try and get the weight off I started eating a minimal breakfast and a handful of raisins for lunch, which of course led to low blood sugar and binge eating in the afternoon. This resulted in gaining more weight, feeling sick and sleepy most of the time, and bad performance as a ballet dancer. My mom and I talked about my problem and we made a plan for how to lose some weight, and feel better. I started with getting off the soda; then I started eating big healthy salads for lunch and learned to say “no” sometimes when people offered me treats. Not only did I feel better physically, but I also felt empowered and grew socially and mentally. It really amazed me how much what you eat affects your body, and I still carry that amazement with me today.
When I came to Clemson I had no desire to become a registered dietitian. I didn’t think I needed to, plus it sounded too hard and competitive! But as I started going to class and learning new things from amazing teachers, something happened- I got really curious! I became passionate about learning. I started asking more questions in all areas of life. I realized that nutrition is about taking care of your body, not about looking like whatever person is on the cover of a magazine. Strange as this sounds, I’ve learned that life is not all about counting calories. As time has gone on I’ve realized how much I’d love to be a registered dietician, not so I can tell people how to get skinny, but so I can engage with people and teach them how to live a happy healthful lifestyle!
Currently I am living in an apartment of campus with friends I love. I teach Pilates at Fike in the early mornings, intern at Healthy Weigh in Seneca, as well as with the high school youth group at Clemson Presbyterian. I’m loving all the classes I have this semester! Though they get more and more difficult, and there I can no longer do well without studying, the classes get more and more interesting as time goes on. After graduation I plan on trying for my dietetic internship as many times as it takes!