"Before beginning my work with Mya, I was extremely unhappy with my body; feeling shameful led to a destructive cycle of unkind food choices, self-sabotage and self-loathing. I felt totally helpless, scared and trapped. Together, Mya and I explored how my depression and eating habits affect each other, and from there she helped me move forward into a space of reconciliation and acceptance. With unwavering patience and compassion, Mya brought me into a loving, respectful relationship with my body. I’ve begun to make healthy choices that contribute to my physical, emotional, mental and spiritual wellbeing; before working with her, taking care of myself felt overwhelming and impossible. Now I’m more happy and healthy than ever."
- Former client E.S.
You might be wondering,
"Why should I work with you? How are you different?"
I often hear about unfortunate experiences clients and acquaintances have had with dietitians in the past. Some of the common things I will hear go something like this:
"I didn't feel she saw me as a unique person."
"The session was just a series of questions ending with a prescription of what to eat and not to eat, plus some handouts."
"I felt like I was being judged."
Although a dietitian by trade, my work is probably better described as a nutrition counselor. I've come to understand that a true therapeutic relationship and foundation for change can only happen when a safe environment and trust is created between the client and the clinician. (regardless of what type of clinician!)
So, that's my goal in the beginning: To get to know YOU as a one and only person. YOUR unique story. YOUR food and body struggles. YOUR goals.
I know it's hard to share those struggles. You might've been too afraid to share them with anyone until now. There might've been a lot of shame, guilt, disappointment in yourself that you even have these struggles. But those struggles are valid. There are reasons for them. And you're not alone.
Clients have often told me they appreciate my unique sense of empathy, that they feel I "get" them, and that they feel safe and relieved from the fear of being judged.
If you care to know more about my credentials and qualifications keep reading. :)
Mya("Mee-ya") Kwon, MPH, RD, CD
- Nationally accredited Registered Dietitian (RD)
- Certified Dietitian (CD) in the State of Washington
- Adjunct Professor of Nutrition, Seattle Pacific University
- Staff Dietitian of the Student Counseling Center, Seattle Pacific University
- Masters (MPH) degree in nutritional sciences, University of Washington
- Completion of Adolescent Medicine Fellowship with specialty in Eating Disorders from Seattle Children's/UW Medicine
- Clinical Dietetic Internship, University of Washington Medical Center
Dietitians and nutritionists are not the same. There are no nationally standardized requirements for someone to call themself a "nutritionist". However, a "dietitian" is a legally protected title and there are rigorous qualifications that need to be met in order to obtain the credential. Also, dietitians are the only nutrition professionals who can implement medical nutrition therapy.
National Certification: RD/RDN (Registered Dietitian)
I am a Registered Dietitian credentialed though the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). This means I have:
- Completed a nutrition degree program approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
- Completed a clinical supervised practice of more than 1200 hours
- Passed the national Registered Dietitian exam
CDR now authorizes RDs to use the credential RDN (Registered Dietitian Nutritionist) as well.
State Certification: CD (Certified Dietitian)
I also hold State certification in the State of Washington through the Washington State Department of Health.
- MPH(Master of Public Health) in Nutritional Sciences; University of Washington
- B.S. in Communications; Boston University
- International Association of Eating disorders professionals foundation (IAEDP)
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
- Washington State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
- International Federation of Eating Disorder Dietitians
On a More Personal Note...
Some fun(?) facts about me:
- "Where are you from?" is a difficult question to answer for me as I was born in a town (Bloomington, IN) that I have no memories of and then lived in 9 different cities across the U.S.. I also spent a good chunk of my life in Seoul, Korea.
- Some of the 9 cities include the more known cities such as Miami, Boston, and Austin. Then there are the lesser known places like Tallahassee and Wilmington. (Do you know which States these are in?)
- Seattle is where I call home now and I love the Pacific Northwest: The rain, the mountains and parks, and of course coffee!
- Before I switched careers and became a dietitian, I used to work in media and PR.
- When I'm not working I like to: cuddle up with my cat Momo (who thinks she's a dog) and binge-watch TV shows, enjoy weekend brunches with good company, go on nice long walks or lay out in the sun at Gasworks, and travel!