Over the past few weeks, I have had the absolute pleasure of meeting and conversing with professional nutritionist Whitney Carney. She has plenty of experience in the field of dietetics and shows real passion for the field and her clients. As our BSN feature professional, she has lots to share with athletes and anyone willing to listen. I hope this interview shows the true benefits of leading a healthier lifestyle and if you have further questions, reach out to Whitney and she would love to answer them!

Originally, Carney was interested in pursuing a degree in pre-med or pre-dentistry thinking of possibly becoming an orthodontist. In her college biology class, while learning about different types of proteins, vitamins and minerals, her interest in nutrition and wellness began to bloom. She also had a flaming desire to help people that wasn’t being satisfied as a pre-med major. Upon discovering that her university had a dietetics program, she decided to switch and become a dietetics major and she hasn’t looked back. Carney has received both her bachelor’s and master’s degree in dietetics at Marshall University, as well as completing a dietetics internship. She then took the trip down to the University of Tulsa to complete a sports nutrition internship working with D1 athletes on nutrition education, proper nutrition recovery and proper hydration. She has been a professional for over a year and currently works as an eating disorder dietitian for The Disordered Eating Center of Charleston, a local gym for their weight management program, and a disabilities company called Hopewell.

Her passion for the field is apparent, even with the brief conversations I have had with her. She enjoys a lot about her career and it was refreshing to hear about. Her favorite part of the job is “when athletes and individuals who struggle with eating disorders alike find that food really is the best medicine to fuel their bodies and increase their performance,” and thoroughly enjoys helping people. However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows in the real world. There are tough parts of Carney’s job that she struggles with at times. One of her least favorite parts of the job is working with clients with eating disorders and a lack of family support. Working with a family who doesn’t understand the severity of the issue can be very frustrating. Carney also works with private clients, some of which want to pursue a very restrictive diet. The problem with that, according to Carney, is that “restrictive diets don’t work,” and the statistic is that 95% of diets inevitably fail. She wants to keep more people from adding to that statistic. However, she does an excellent job of maintaining empathy and understanding towards her clients.

Carney believes that anyone interested in the field of dietetics should go for it! In her words, anyone interested should “explore all the options because the dietetics field is constantly growing that you may not learn about in your undergraduate or even graduate programs,” and if given the opportunity to shadow someone, go for it. She truly believes that the field of dietetics is very rewarding and can change the life of someone whose interest has been piqued by nutrition and/or wellness. Carney joined BSN to reach out to athletes and individuals who want to get energy improved performance from food, the healthiest and most effective source possible. She truly wants to help people and I highly recommend anyone interested to reach out to her.