Acknowledgement and Acceptance

NON-DIET APPROACH

Dr Evelyn Chang, MSc, PhD, APD

2021-04-19 2 min read

Thinking logically, if one already been awarded with MSc and PhD, would being awarded with another Bachelor Degree something exciting?

Honestly, my answer is NO. I am not super excited when I was graduated from Bachelor of Dietetics. "Relieved", is what first came across my mind the moment I finished the program. However, I still allow myself to go through the whole process of graduation: attended my class last gathering, received an unexpected award for being the Top student in my cohort, attended the graduation ceremony, taken the  unexpected professional photo shoot with the Head of School Prof John Lowe, received the University Medal for Academic Excellence, and dinner celebration with my family. How would I feel now after going through all these? I actually felt I was being appreciated for my hard work all these years. I felt happier.

There are many ways to explain my experience. But here, I would like to relate it to "Acknowledgement and Acceptance". I was acknowledging my hard work through allowing myself to receive all the "rewards" even though I know deep down that I have a long way to go to do what I would like to do. I was accepting that, " Yes, I have completed part of my goals. This is it, I shall celebrate it with a reward." However, the moment I acknowledged and accepted my achievement, I actually felt contented. And then, I could feel that "Yes, I am ready to move on." How powerful is "Acknowledgement and Acceptance".

What I would also like to relate "Acknowledge and Acceptance" is dietary intervention for chronic disease. Chronic diseases including diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and irritable bowel syndrome are diseases that can be intervened by nutrition and what or how you eat. Having say so, it is heavily dictated by your commitment and willingness to change eating and lifestyle behaviour. Are you ready to take action? Will you persevere throughout the process?

This is when "Acknowledgement and Acceptance" becomes very helpful.  Before you rush to make any changes to your grocery shopping and meal preparation, pause for a while, acknowledge and accept your situation. Conversely, before you deny to make any changes, pause for a while, acknowledge and accept your situation. Acknowledging that "YES, I have a [chronic disease]"and accepting that "it will be a long battle"  is actually the first step to lifestyle changes and health improvement. Similarly, when you work with a dietitian, acknowledging any small achievement you have made and accepting what you have achieved so far is very crucial for a sustainable positive progress. In fact, for any small changes that you have made, acknowledge and accept it and celebrate your achievement! Even when you slip off, acknowledge and accept that you have slipped off, tell yourself that it is okay because you will start again tomorrow. These acts are actually very powerful because the moment you sincerely acknowledge and accept your current point, it is when you allow yourself to move on!

So, start asking yourself, "what went well so far?" and "what could I do better?". Tell yourself that "I deserve a reward" and "it is okay".

Dietetic Graduation with Prof John Lowe
Dietetic graduation
University medal

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