Training to be a nutritional therapist: Year 1

Year 1 end collage

Oh how quickly we forget eh? I’ve been high on life since about 9.09 last Wednesday morning when I completed (and passed) the final assessment of Year 1 at BCNH. In between sipping glasses of bubbly I’ve been fizzing over with downright euphoria. This is, of course, without question the best thing I have ever done.

But oh how I so selectively romanticise. I mean, the severe case of Pityriasis rosea (I bet you Google it…) that reached parts not even my bikini waxer has ventured to won’t make for motivating or sexy reading, will it? An immune system descending into free fall isn’t quite what the college’s prospectus promises. Our marital vows didn’t factor in anything to do with the all too frequent and quite frankly pointless bickering that accompanies the once Good Wife enrolling in further education. But here’s the thing, none of that matters any more.

The rash has cleared (after 12 mortifying weeks), we’re back doing the dishes together in blissful harmony *cough*. And if I were Augustus Waters’ parents I’d be decking the halls with innumerable Motivations.

This past academic year has been one of so many learnings. And whilst I wouldn’t have it any other way I’m a firm believer forewarned is forearmed and I wish someone had told me:

1. You’re going to take a financial hit. 

It’s perfectly doable – and I’m sure there are many people that don’t shop at Ocado or take taxis that do it a lot better than me – but re-training comes at a cost. I make no bones about the fact my parents help(ed) with my fees and the only way to sustain a lifestyle we’ve become unfortunately accustomed to was to relocate (from London to Cardiff) where the cost of living is half and then some! We live off one salary that covers fundamental outgoings and anything I add to that takes care of the ‘extras’.

2. You can’t do it all

I merrily set about building a freelance PR empire, took on numerous other responsibilities and totally lost sight of my main priorities. It resulted in all the aforementioned emotional distress and physical ailments and I was, quite frankly, run ragged. My studies lost out, I became frustrated that I wasn’t making the top cut of the class and I was so anxious about pretty much everything that filled my day to day life. It was grim and not ever how I’d imagined this exciting stage of my life to be! Scale back, give the studies your undivided attention and the rest becomes a lot easier.

3. You need to be absolutely certain this is for you

Thankfully I’m still so focused on setting up a nutritional therapy practice that I’ve managed to pull through those dreaded moments of wanting to throw in the towel. But I’m glad it took two years for me to make the decision to commit to these further studies. Whilst time flies it’s a long old slog and I’m very aware I’m only a quarter of the way through. So much can change in four years but I hope more than anything I’m still as passionate about this area when I finish as I was when I started.

4. You definitely can’t do this on your own

Or perhaps you can. But I most certainly couldn’t. I have been totally blessed with an army of supportive friends, family, colleagues, clients, blog readers, heck even the bikini waxer listened to my essay writing related woe as I winced on the couch! So many people have been so much more patient with me; cut me insane amounts of slack to accommodate this huge undertaking. Each and every single one of you is acknowledged, celebrated and recognised for everything you’ve done to get me through this. Thank you.

Have you ever been tempted to try your hand at something different? What holds you back?

12 thoughts on “Training to be a nutritional therapist: Year 1

  1. Many kudos to you for making it through the first year – you deserve all the good fortune you’ve worked so hard to create. All the best for another successful year!

    • Ah, thank you lovely Sasha. I would have done well to include some yoga in this lifestyle overhaul before it all got a bit too much!

  2. Gold Start, 10 merit marks and a commendation (or was that just my school?), so proud of you for making it through the year and coming out the other side with tonnes more knowledge and a stronger person. Looking forward to hearing what future years have in store!!

    • It used to be pale green merit cards at our school. I remain partial to a gold star. You’re never too old for a gold star. Your support throughout has been MASSIVELY appreciated.

  3. Please can I ask your advice. I would like to study to be a NUTRITIONAL THERAPIST and am looking at The institute for Optimum Nutrition. I’ve just read post and didn’t realise that other places offer this course. Why did you choose BCNH and did you look at other courses. I’m a mature dyslexic person who would like a new career. I’m interested in nutrition as I have many health issues including arthritis and have had some good results but now need to understand more to make better changes in my health.
    thanks for taking time to read my reply.

    • Hi Kate, so lovely to hear from you. I went on an open day to ION and it wasn’t for me. I’d definitely recommend researching the course in detail, the ethos of the college, alumni testimonials and asking the course principal as many questions as you need to before you get going. BCNH provides invaluable support to all its students and is a small personal college with a real family feel. But what I like most is their commitment to delivering a course that is underpinned by the latest research. Everything is backed by science and not so much of the hear say that surrounds too much of nutritional practice these days. BCNH runs a series of open days and I’d definitely recommend signing up to one. It’s a huge commitment, one I certainly don’t regret but one I wasn’t necessarily prepared for. I hope that helps. Good luck!

  4. Dear Ruth, you have been a delight to have as a student. Well done to you and the rest of your cohort for making it through Year 1 – it is a huge learning curve, even for those of you coming into it with a good background knowledge of food and nutrition. Onwards and upwards! Enjoy the summer break 🙂 Bev

    • Bev, so kind of you to take the time to comment. It’s safe to say the more I learn the less I feel I ever knew! Summer is definitely in full swing and hopefully arming me to attack year 2 head on. Enjoy your break too. Ruth.

      • Hi Ruth. Many thanks for your advice and support of studying through BCNH. I did attend an open day on your advice and am now applying to start the SFC. On my application if I put your name as the person who recommended me to them they will give us each £50 as a thank you. Please can you give me your name and surname so I can give them to the college if you are happy for me to do this?

      • Oh Kate, that’s such brilliant news. And what a surprise on the referral fee. Thank you. My surname is Walters and I hope our paths cross some time so I can shout you a green tea.

  5. Pingback: Mindfulness: Session 1 « Let Her Eat Clean

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