December is finally here and with that comes time for reflection and goal setting for the new year and the upcoming decade. First off, I’d like to thank all of those that have supported ESN in any way at all. Whether it be those that have received counselling from our Nutrition team, those that have enrolled in the ESN learning center or simply those that have consumed our content over the past 5 years. The support that you’ve shown has been overwhelming! I never would have thought that when I conceived and started ESN 5 years ago that it would grow to this, a nationwide company with multiple partners that has received recognition and praise from multiple communities.
When I started ESN 5 years ago it was because I thought my training and education was lacking and that there was a better way to look at nutrition, physical activity and health. One that went far beyond my training as a Dietitian and a Personal Trainer. Before I started ESN, I pitched the concept multiple times and people thought I was crazy. They thought it was too ambitious and that it was impossible. Thankfully my stubbornness allowed me to have a Thanos moment and say “Fine, I’ll do it myself.” I love being the underdog and to take risks. All that negative energy just fueled my fire and the flames grew bigger and bigger to what ESN is today.
ESN was founded on looking at things from a different perspective, to innovate by combining things together, finding patterns and translating all the complex science into simple to follow guidelines. To approach nutrition and health the same way GPS works in your car. To guide and instruct the driver, to re-route without judgement when things stray off course and to focus on the journey, not the end destination.
While ESN was originally designed for athletes, our approach to nutrition soon became recognized by multiple communities and then our partners started coming. We started getting exclusive contracts to staff and train Dietitians to work in workplace settings that Dietitians traditionally weren’t recognized in. To this day, one of my greatest accomplishments is the fact that I created over 20 jobs for Dietitians in less than 3 years of business.
Once ESN grew and we got our team together I started to make mistakes. These mistakes were, and still are, on me. My issue was that I was so focused on my client base and their successes that I failed to recognize the managerial shift in my position. My constant need to grow and help my own clients succeed, trying to help a whole Dietitian team grow their businesses, being the first Canadian Dietitian to co-create, write and host a Nationwide TV show, launching a podcast and trying to manage my own health, mental health and athletic goals left me spread far too thin. I would have burnout episodes lasting months. My depression would render me incapable of the most basic things. I neglected my own self care, health as well as my family and loved ones. This cost me friendships, relationships and would put a strain on my family. The worst burn out was this year, where my burnout episode coupled together with a massive depressive episode lasted 3-4 months. This caused me to drop the ball on multiple things, most notably the development of the Level 3 ESN Learning Center Sports Nutrition Certificate Course. For all this I offer my sincerest apologies. To those that registered, this will be addressed in a separate email. I finally realized this year, with A LOT of help, that I was my own worst enemy.
In this recognizing this very sobering fact I have stepped back to refocus on building my own health, mental health and physical health back up. It also allowed me to knock my own ego down to absolute zero and rebuild, but this time with sustainability as the primary goal.
Now having learned this lesson, I am proud to say that I now recognize what is truly needed of me and have developed plans to save me from myself. With that being said, I will be stepping back from certain roles at ESN to make myself more effective. I am happy to announce that I will finally be handing the reigns over to our wonderful and AMAZING Vice-President, Catherine. We have spent the last few months discussing what this would consist of with these discussions happening regularly so that she can better execute OUR vision.
In light of this there are other things that we at ESN will be doing very differently in the upcoming decade. This is just a quick list of what those things are:
- Improved communication – Internally and externally
- Reinvigorated concentration on Innovations and services – More announcements coming soon
- Embracing different practitioners and different points of view on health and nutrition
- ESN Factions – a new way of recognizing the different groups of people, not just athletes, that have come to rely on ESN for health and nutrition advice
- A Website overhaul
- More content publishing
- ESN Lifestyle Challenges
- Renewed focus on the Elite Athlete Program
- Continued expansion of the ESN Learning Center
- Revised Store front recognizing that individual appointments DO NOT work
- And MUCH MUCH MORE!
There will be much more information coming out in the next few weeks with the official announcement of the ESN Lifestyle Challenge coming next week. A brand new, innovative way of creating a lifestyle challenge to focus on health.
I want to thank you all for reading this long post and standing by ESN while we get our house in order. We are more dedicated than ever to innovate and meet the needs of our collective changing landscape that our modern-day environments challenge us with. I am happy to say that I have taken the much needed time to get things sorted on a personal level and I am me again, possibly better (hopefully). The next decade is going to be big so we welcome you to join us on this journey of health.
Peace and Love,
Ben Sit, RD, Sports Dietitian
President of Evolved Sport and Nutrition
Complete Lifestyle Management