Monday, September 27, 2010


What a fantastic meeting!
I met with Joanne Hoffmann of eats4life ( to speak with her about her career. She obviously LOVES what she does and her excitement is positively infectious. She cares so much for her clients and their well being. She explained to me about her program, and how she got to where she is. She is actually not a registered dietitian, but a personal nutritional consultant. She got to where she is by using a plan she herself used to lose weight and modifying it to suit people in everyday life, using real food.
Her situation is not what I thought it would be, and I think that it has it's pros and cons. Pros - no specific school requirement. However, that is also something that makes me a little nervous. Sure, I have my own experiences, but who is going to want to hire me based on that? Meh.
It took Joanne years to get to where she's at. She is very successful and is running this business herself, but is part time work for her. I am unsure if she has her own insurance. Her husband does all her books and taxes for her. It's these reasons I really don't want to be in business for myself. But the kid of work she does is EXACTLY what I want to do.
So, the outcome is.... well, I know more than ever that I really want to do this. But, I am still confused, so far, as to exactly how to go about it.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Be realistic

"You need to be realistic" "Well, there is a lot of room for doubt in this plan". "This is going to take you FOREVER".

These are just a few of the comments I have received while chatting with friends and family about my new plan.
Don't get me wrong, 98% of the people I talk to say things like "That's awesome!" "good for you!". But it's always the nay-sayers that stick in your mind. I'm not going to let that happen. I have to try and do this. I have to at least research it enough and map out the course to see exactly HOW long it will take, and then make the final decision for MYSELF. It seems if I take a course or two every time they are offered, so, for example, at Gateway, you can take classes in the Fall, winter, Spring AND summer - not just Fall and Spring, then I can get things done faster. Of course, there is the financial aspect. Will I be able to afford to take them that often? That may depend on my job situation. I put in a call last Thursday to an office that has repeatedly told me "if you ever want to work full time, PLEASE call us, we want you here!" and have yet to receive a call back. This doesn't mean I won't get one, but I sure do need a backup plan as well. I can certainly always go back to the temp agency. But I am going to need to have a solid idea soon, because I will need to inform others about the plan as well. People depend on me, and I need to give them enough notice to be respectful.
OH - I have an appointment with one of my contacts in Monday! She said I could even could bring the kids! What a sweetie! Can't wait to throw all my questions at her! Woot!
These plans and thoughts are always circulating. I'll keep updating.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Hooray! I have heard back from 2 dietitians I have contacted, asking for some time to sit down with them and have a career chat. Hopefully I will be able to speak with them both this week and have some great info. Some other questions I have thought of you ask:

Is there anything about your career that was surprising to you, or that you don't like?
Is this your only "job"?

One thing I have noticed is that a lot of these professionals seem to work part time. Now, this COULD be because they only NEED to work part time, or it could be that this is not the kind of career that is full-time appropriate... meaning, there isn't enough work to make it full time. This is concerning, because that's where I am already coming from, and I don't want to take lots of time, money and commitment to be right back where I am. However, I know that at hospitals, dietitians work full time. But, are they "just" RDs? Or do they have further education? This is what I need to find out. ASAP.
Along with moving toward a degree as a registered dietitian, I am also considering looking into fitness science as well. Gateway offers an associates degree in fitness technology, and since I will be taking a bunch of courses there anyway, I was thinking of adding that. In that vein, my next goal is to start going to the gym. Not just working out at home, but getting to the gym and trying out different classes. I would love Zumba to be my first new class. I'm looking into schedules and will report back here.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Contacts, contacts, contacts

So, I thought a good way to continue the movement toward my goal without being able to get into classes yet is to contact as many working professional registered dietitians as possible and ask them lots and lots of questions.

Where did they get their education?
What degree (degrees) do they hold?
What does their current job entail?
Have they held other positions? What did they entail?
Approximate salary (I don't always expect to get an answer for that question)
How long have they been working?
Do they LIKE/LOVE their job???

I am really hoping to be able to have an open conversation regarding these topics.
That is if any one of them ever gets back to me.

Is it not feasible to expect someone may be willing to take some time to chat with someone who would like to be in the field? I know if I was approached by someone who wanted to go into music, or into teaching, I would be more than happy to sit down with them, have a cuppa and chat.

Granted, I have just started contacting people. But I have not received one response as of yet. Not even a "no".
So, I will persevere. Keep trying, and keep mapping out my plan. Right now, the plan is to start with good old Biology at gateway over the winter interim. An accelerated course. This could be great, or it could be bad, bad news for the girl who hasn't gone near a bunson burner since junior year of high school. We'll see.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The plan

Ok all - here is the ultimate, overall plan:
Obtain a degree as a registered dietitian. This included approx. 3-4 semesters of coursework and an internship type program that encompasses approx. 1200 hours. This is UNPAID, and is most likely tuition required.
Along with this Bachelors, obtain a minor in psychology. Having this as a minor will allow me some wiggle room to counsel as well.
This, of course, is how long it would take as a full time student, which I will not be. So, this is how I plan to start things off.
Gateway Community College has the least expensive courses, by far. My plan is to begin taking the basic courses, like Biology, Chemistry, etc there. They offer accelerated courses, and some are even online or what they call a "hybrid" course, which means all class work online and lab work in class. And since I can take a typical 3 credit course for about $300, it's much more feasible than taking a 3 credit course at UNH for approx $2100.
"But", you must be exclaiming - "You WORK at UNH! You MUST be able to go there for free!". Haha. One would think I would be able to take at least a certain number of credits for free. Alas. As an adjunct (read - bitch) we can take credits for half price, but only as many as you have taught the previous year. For example. Last year, I taught 15 credits, so this year, I am eligible to take up to 15 credits at a %50 rate reduction in tuition. Using the numbers from above, it still makes more financial sense to take classes at good ol' Gateway.
Now, when we get into the core courses for the degree - this is where it gets tricky. UCONN offers the same program, and instate tuition is just shy of $10,000. UNH is just shy of $29,000. By that point, I won't be an instructor there anymore, so the 50% reduction will no longer be an option. *sigh*
So, what have we learned? It's expensive to go to school. But, we already knew that. We have also learned that to get where I want to be - it's going to take a while. And while that bothers me a bit - I am 32, and let's face it, I'll probably be working till I'm 70 (unless I win the lotto. Hey, a girl can dream.) Therefor, even though this may take a bit of time, I have 40 years of career ahead of me. I really want to spend it doing something worth wild.

New Life, New Blog

Here we are! I mean, doesn't it seem that all new things begin with a blog? This blog will be dedicated to my step by step process of becoming... uh... something other than what I am. Yeah, that's clear. I have been thinking for a while that I need a change in career. There are many pros and cons to this decision. I won't go into all of them - but my largest obstacle right now is education. I have a masters degree - go ahead, be impressed. EXCEPT that it's in music. And not just music, but performance. While that is impressive (somewhat) in the music world, well, it just isn't in the real world. The real world (aka - an education that will get you a lucrative job, preferably in something you enjoy) requires things like Biology, Finite Math and the like. Things I never needed to take in my small music school in New Jersey. This puts me at a disadvantage, especially seeing as I am still paying (out the nose, mind you) for the education that I am now seeing as practically defunct.
So, you see this will be quite a path. As things stand, I am very interested in becoming a nutritionist/dietitian specializing in bariatrics. Is this really possible? Who knows. The degree I need to become a registered dietitian is a 4 year program. I will only be able to go part time, as I have to start working full time as well. This could take forever. Will it be worth it? Well, keep reading to find out.