How commitment (and a little rage) can change your fortunes

Not long ago, the following statement was posted on a website called Science-Based Medicine:

“Up until a year ago, I was a practicing holistic nutritionist. As someone who has left that world behind, I have a moral obligation to do what is right – and what is right is to denounce my former beliefs in an industry rife with deception.”

The appalling name of the website notwithstanding, this baseless proclamation by the author is absurd. Yet it is the full article, especially the praise for the author at the bottom of it, that enrages me most.

Writers like this – and the people who support them – keep me committed more than ever to the mission and vision of the NANP. And, clearly, I’m not the only one. Our membership has increased approximately 40% in the past 5 years, an astounding growth rate for a professional association! Hundreds are getting board certified, with scores of applications waiting to be processed. And our conference attendance numbers, exhibitors, and speaking proposals by movers and shakers in our industry are clear indicators that we are, indeed, a growing force in the world.

Still, there’s more work required to battle those who would love to put holistic nutrition professionals out of business. In fact, the more we grow, the louder they get. That’s why it’s essential that we keep our foot on the pedal and double down on our work more than ever.

How do we do that?

Through commitment. Holistic nutrition is not simply a career choice – it’s a movement. On a day to day basis, your power is educating and guiding people toward health. And while this “nuts and bolts” aspect of your work is your true gift, there are antagonists with enormous financial and human resources that can bring everything we are working for to a crashing halt.

Commitment is a tricky thing. There’s not one among us who isn’t committed to our belief in the use of holistic nutrition modalities for optimal health. But believing something is only half of it. Acting on those beliefs is where the magic happens.

Examples of action-level commitment are everywhere within our community:

  • Kirstin Nussgruber, a new NANP board member, devoted countless hours to meeting with government officials in 2018 to counter forces who want to destroy the holistic nutrition profession in her home state of New Jersey.
  • Janet Ludwig, NANP board member and director of doctoral studies at Hawthorn University pushed hard to have a poster session at our conference to give members an opportunity to publish their work and to establish our organization as an entity that honors and delivers legitimate research in our industry. 
  • More than a dozen members of the Holistic Nutrition Credentialing Board volunteer their time and energies toward ensuring that our board exam is rock-solid and remains the highest-level credential you can attain in our field. 
  • Nearly 2 dozen individuals sit on our conference planning committee and dedicate time each month throughout the year to discuss our conference, review the scores of proposals we receive, and offer member direction for this major event each year.

These committed actions – and many more – are the secret behind our tremendous gains thus far and why NANP is poised to make an even bigger jump in membership in 2019.

One of my favorite quotes on commitment was written by a mountaineer, William Hutchison Murray:

“Until one is committed there is hesitancy. With all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans. That truth is that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves, too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from that decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings, and material assistance which no man could have dreamt would have come his way.”

As Murray brilliantly explains, each committed action triggers unexpected outcomes that we cannot begin to anticipate. You may not have the bandwidth to volunteer extra time to our cause, nor would I ask that of you. Yet simple actions such as renewing your membership (or joining NANP for the first time), sitting for the board exam, or attending our conference have the potential to activate myriad other downstream events and could make all the difference in taking your work and our industry to the next level of impact.

What developments might your commitment to our movement in 2019 trigger?

I can’t wait to find out.

To your health,


Miriam G. Zacharias, MS, NTC, BCHNTM
President, NANP


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