My birthday was last week! 31 years young! I’m not a huge birthday celebration person (for myself, I love celebrating others!) but I always seem to do a lot of reflecting on my birthday.
So, I wanted to take a moment and tell you a little more about myself and what over the last 31 years has led me to this point, doing the work that I do.
As long as I can remember, I had struggles with food. As a kid, I was chubby, got teased, turned to food for comfort, and the cycle just kept going. I was 121 pounds in 3rd grade and almost 180 pounds by the time I was in 7th grade. Clearly those numbers have stuck with me, they’ve been ingrained into my brain, and those numbers kept a hold on me for a long time.
The summer between 7th and 8th grade I began “watching what I was eating” which quickly turned into restricting. Over that summer I lost about 30 pounds, and then another 10-15 my 8th grade year. It’s sad to know now that 70% of kids of tried a diet by the time they hit 4th grade, at the time though I was the exception not the rule when it came to dieting.
I take most things in my life to the extreme; food and exercise were no exception. I began working out more, eating less; working out even more and eating even less. Sadly, while I was in this sick cycle, all I got from the external world was validation – “you look so good” “omg you are so skinny” “keep doing what you’re doing, it’s working”.
It took almost 8 more years before I ever got professional help with my eating disorder. Within the time period though, I did gain almost 40 pounds and then lose 50 pounds. However, it didn’t matter what weight I was at, I was still always looking for something else, for something more. Even at my lowest, it was never enough.
By the time I started treatment at 19 years old, another obsession/addiction entered my life – alcohol. Actually, nearly 50% of people with an eating disorder, struggle with substance abuse and/or alcoholism as well, something I did not know at the time.
Thus, began this crazy whack-a-mole game of trying to get help for both issues. When my food was controlled, my drinking wasn’t. When my drinking was controlled, my food wasn’t. And it went around and around and around for YEARS! I felt trapped within my own body, I felt shackled to numbers, and I felt like I was in a dark hole that I was never going to get out of.
The biggest blessing actually came in the form of yet another disease. Around 23 I was waking up with excruciating pain. Just the thought of getting out of bed to go the bathroom was painful; it felt like I was walking on shards of glass. I went to doctors, specialists, had multiple tests done, and even a spinal tap. But no answers came. It wasn’t until I was 25 that I got my diagnosis; I had an autoimmune disease.
Why was this a blessing? Because it opened me up to learning about the body, learning about the impact that food can have it, and more importantly learning about the intricate relationship between the mind and the body. I began to heal not just my body but my relationship with food and my body through this process. I began to cultivate awareness between what I ate and how I felt physically, mentally, and emotionally. I began to practice self-love, self-compassion, and self-respect.
While I am most certainly still (and will always be) on my journey of health and healing, my journey sparked a passion within my heart and soul to help other people. I know what it feels like to be in pain. I know what it feels like to feel trapped in a body that doesn’t work the way you want it to. I know what it’s like to feel imprisoned by food. I know what it feels like to have that gift of desperation, where I was ready to do whatever needed to be done to feel better.
I find that most of the people I work with are at this place. The place where they have tried so many other things – different diets, workout programs, seen doctors and specialists without any answers – and they are ready and willing to do the work, the hard work. Working on the physical side of health is one thing, and while it’s a very important side, the mental, emotional, and spiritual work is where true change, transformation, and healing comes from.
After starting on my own healing journey, I went back to school and got my Master’s in Holistic Health Education and Nutrition. I got my board certification in holistic nutrition, became a certified health coach, and became a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner. I know that I found my love and passion because I cannot stop learning, I cannot stop working on myself, and I cannot stop helping other people.
Because of a struggle, I have been able to cultivate strength. Because of multiple obstacles in my life, I’ve been able to overcome and rise above. I do not say this to boast but to say that you can too.
Your struggle might look different than mine, your obstacles may come in different forms than mine. That’s okay, we are all unique and different. However, I know that with the right support, education, and accountability, healing is possible. Finding happiness is possible. Finding balance is possible. Finding self-love is possible. Living your best life with your best health is possible.
I want to help you like I’ve been helped. I want you to reclaim your life. I want you to renegotiate the relationship that you have with food, with your body, and with your mind. I want you to find the life you always wanted but health issues have held you back. I want you to feel good in your skin. I want you to find freedom.
If these are things you are wanting too, please schedule your complimentary discovery call with me TODAY! Don’t wait to get started on your health, now is always the right time.