Sometimes nutrition wears me out. Not the day to day business of producing a healthy meal, making sure we're eating well and cooking. No, I'm worn out by the profession. By the endless bickering; the grandstanding and sheer showpony-ness of what goes on; the bandwagon; the scandals. I'm tired of the worrying level of certainty and lack of doubt, the deficiency of credible voices and that it's the opinions from un-qualified "Nutrition Experts" which always seem to get the most attention.
I regularly find myself unable to comment on the latest food fad, because I'm fed up with saying the same things over and over. I'm fed up with reading the latest books and theories, because I've read it all before. I've read the cockeyed theories, the screaming certainty, the highly selective use of scientific research, the endless attempt to make money from something new and make nutrition far more complicated than it needs to be.
As a friend commented to me in an email last week "it's a crazy business you work in". It is indeed. And it frequently wears me out and leaves me despairing.
On several occasions in the last five years, especially as my vestibular migraine really took hold, I've thought about quitting and running away to raise chickens.
But I'm still here. Just.
I think I'm a good nutritionist. I'm sensible and know my subject well. I try to communicate the ideas and concepts in a simple way, stay up to date with research, have empathy for the difficult of eating well and come up with creative ways to solve the problems.
However, I'm no good at marketing, I'm not good at image, PR and self-promotion. I don't have the certainty you need to do well these days. I see the ambiguities in my industry, I know there are many things we are unsure about and many things we're not very good at. I don't have the energy or zealotry to shout "this is the truth and follow me". It just doesn't match my style, ethics or beliefs.
So, to be honest, at the moment, I do not know what my role is and how to make the best use of my skills. I simply do not know.
I'm not giving up, but I am tired and need a change in direction.