Author Archives: Robyn Kievit Kirkman

What would a 10 year old say?

A conversation happened at my daughter’s summer camp in August of 2022 between Eve and another camper. This conversation gave her pause so we talked it through and continue to have open conversations about nourishment and body image at home.

Thankfully, Eve appreciates her 10 year old body in its changing ways, as all bodies are shifting constantly. Her experiences of being labeled as skinny, prior being labeled as having a higher BMI during COVID, made me want to hear her perspective on the podcast    in addition to her really wanting to use the microphone and record with me!

Here’s a snippet of that camp conversation.

“Eve, are you a vegetarian?”

“No, why?”

“You look like a vegetarian.” 

“What does a vegetarian look like?”

“Skinny, like you.”

Have you ever helped your children navigate a conversation like this? Even adult children? What about with friends or a partner? If so, I’d love to hear about it.

Having Eve on the podcast this month was impactful to me, especially as the American Academy of Pediatrics released guidelines on treating overweight and obesity in children made me angry. I talk more about why on my Instagram post which can be found here.

Given January is the month of being ‘dry’, resolutions, programs, changes to our whole being as suggested by nearly everywhere we turn – from social media to friend groups to national organizations for kids – let’s try to remember a few things. Our bodies change and this is normal. Our kids’ bodies change and this is normal. You’ll hear how Eve reacts to the AAP guidelines on the podcast and she is spot on.

Try to keep in mind not using these words around food or body image which has been my standard list, though added to, for a long time: good, bad, sorry, should, can’t, healthy, clean, diet, and any of the latest diet buzzwords. I hope this helps, as Eve reminds us on the podcast, to not compare or hold ourselves to shoulds. Our worth is so much more than how we look, how much we weigh and what we decide to eat and drink.

Finding Symmetry

I don’t know about you, but when I meet folks who are similar to me in very specific ways, it sparks excitement and connection. In this first podcast of our new season, we welcomed Kortney Brown, NP, RD and Whitney Trotter, MS, RDN/LDN, RN, RYT. We are all dietitians and nurses and two of us are nurse practitioners. Whitney is currently finishing her clinical rotations to become a doctorate nurse practitioner. Additionally, we have found symmetry together in choosing to work in the eating disorder area of our fields.  

We’ll hear from Kortney, Whitney, and myself on the podcast around why we chose to combine our degrees as dietitians, nurses and nurse practitioners. We’ll discuss what has and has not worked in terms of our degree combinations. For example, can we really work as both dietitians and nurse practitioners in our respective fields? Does the workplace value a dual degree? Does this dual degree mean more to us personally in terms of how we reach patients? How could our education shift to best support new clinicians to be out in the throws of practice? We also touch upon full practice authority and genetic psychopharmacologic testing.

The discussion with Kortney and Whitney helped cement for me, again, why I chose to combine the fields of dietetics and nursing so many years ago. The three of us, and potentially more folks who have chosen to combine their degrees similarly, will definitely be having more conversations! I hope you enjoy what was an extraordinary combination of minds, ideas and passion in our field.