Malak Saddy RD, LD, CEDRD
- What is your current position?
Currently I am in my own private practice in Dallas, TX working with clients who have an eating disorder or wanting to push away from diet culture. I am a Certified Eating Disorder Registered Dietitian (CEDRD), and have been in practice for 9 years in different capacities. I’m also a Body Positive Facilitator, and Intuitive Eating Counselor and strive to incorporating both approaches throughout my sessions, guiding my clients to have a positive relationship with their bodies using a non-diet approach. I am on the board for my local IAEDP chapter and enjoying being able to bring awareness about eating disorders within my community and network with some great colleagues. I present and speak at various mediums bringing awareness about eating disorders and acculturation.
2. How did you get started in your career?
Growing up in an American/Lebanese, Muslim household, food and family were an integral part of our culture. I was always the little girl in the school cafeteria with a small tub of hummus, raw vegetables, and pita slices, or leftover shawarma sandwiches with tons of garlic spread. My food choices always intrigued my friends’ curiosity, and looks of antipathy, while they gobbled their hot dog sandwiches and french fries. I always had to come up with creative descriptions of my lunch, and snack choices. Traveling to Lebanon with my family, during summer breaks to visit our extended family was always so much fun. Food, family outings, and laughter, again brought us all together.
It was later that a family member of mine was diagnosed with ED. I was fascinated by the notion that food also had a negative impact on some. This intrigued my interest more to enter into the field. By the end of my junior year in high school I knew I wanted to become a dietitian. I went to Michigan State University and was able to work with a dietitian who specialized in eating disorders and who ultimately fueled my passion. My first dietitian job was at a mental health facility for adolescents in which I worked with clients with different mental and physical issues including eating disorders, Prader Willi syndrome, Type I and II DM. I loved every second of it, as it was both challenging, and healing. I later went on to work with an eating disorder treatment facility and opened up my practice while I was there 2 ½ years ago. I feel so grateful to have found a career that I truly love.
3. What advice would you give to someone new to the field?
- Network, find professionals in your area and reach out to them. Take them out to coffee, meet with them at their office, volunteer, attend chapter meetings. It’s a good way to see to see what your day to day life could look like and it’s always encouraging to have support and colleagues who share similar values.
- Attend conferences, read books, seek knowledge. There are so many wonderful resources out there, get your hands on them.
- Get a supervisor/mentor. Seeking support from a supervisor/mentor is invaluable and can really help you navigate cases by seeing them from a different perspective. Supervisors can provide a safe place to be able to discuss day to day challenges.
- Make mistakes and learn from them. No one is perfect, mistakes happen and when they do acknowledge them, discuss them in supervision, and move on.