Respect the journey.
I don't know that my story is special. Like many teenage girls, I struggled with body image and self-esteem issues that manifested in trying dozens of different diets, only to binge on entire pizzas or a whole package of Oreo cookies when I felt deprived. I would obsessively pinch and poke at the fat around my stomach. The more nothing worked, the more I turned to rich pastas, breads, and desserts for comfort.
As a young person, I had no idea what could be causing the itchy rashes under my eyes, cystic acne, and fatigue. I wasn't even technically overweight. I only knew that I hated my body and that I didn't even have enough energy to run around the block without stopping.
College was only a continuation of the heartbreakingly low self-esteem, disordered eating, and binge drinking. I was sick constantly, picking up colds, flus, and stomach infections once a month. The various clinic doctors I spoke with (I didn't have health insurance at the time) would offer me antibiotics and opiates for the pain and constant infections. I took all of it. Then I mixed the pills with alcohol.
By the time I hit my late 20s, the decades of abuse were starting to manifest as chronic illness. I could no longer eat the foods I enjoyed or drink alcohol without spiraling into a depressive state. Emotionally, I was a mess, filled with anger and frustration. I was diagnosed with IBS and bleeding ulcers. Crippling headaches began to crop up throughout the month with no explanation.
All of this was an almost welcome distraction from bad relationships and jobs I hated. Instead of fulfilling my potential, I was distracted by how bad I felt all the time. Still, I refused to see myself as "sick" or "depressed." This was just my lot in life, almost like a personality trait I had no control over. Without proper medical care, I didn't even have consistent diagnoses.
The turning point
There were a couple of "ah-ha" moments in my healing journey. Like so many people, I had grown up thinking that I was born a certain way and that physically, mentally, and emotionally I was destined to stay the same. After all, I had tried so many diets, supplements, and exercise programs with little to no difference.
The biggest shift in my paradigm was the discovery of Naturopathic Medicine. The idea that medicine could focus on root cause resolution, as opposed to treating symptoms and "managing disease" was mind blowing. From there, I became deeply interested in biochemical nutrition and human optimization. Becoming a competitive athlete at 45, improving memory, overcoming depression and anxiety without medication - all of this is possible through perseverance, targeted nutrition therapy, self-experimentation, and self-love.
I've spent years on this journey, incorporating doctors, chiropractors, and personal trainers; experimenting with different ratios of nutrients, dabbling in meditation, yoga, and weight lifting.
I'm still learning about my body, how to love it and give it what it needs to thrive.
I can say with an immense amount of confidence is that I am more comfortable and happy in my body than I have been my entire life. And I want that for you, too.
I still struggLE
I don't want anyone reading this to think that individualized nutrition therapy is going to solve all of their problems.
I don't want anyone reading this to think that I have things 100% dialed in. I slip, I make mistakes, and my journey is ongoing. What's working now may not work in 5 years, if I get pregnant, or if there's a dramatic increase in stress.
I do know that taking control of one part of your life leads to healthier decisions in other areas. And that when things get hard, having an arsenal of tools to help deal with stressors and heavy emotions is the key to thriving health throughout a lifetime.
Studying human nutrition and understanding the complex mechanisms that contribute to the body thriving or turning against us was a huge turning point in my journey.
Now it's my job to show people that they can begin to disrupt some of their struggle by nourishing the body, therefore nurturing the soul. Willpower alone will not make us stronger or happier, but empowering ourselves and our bodies with powerful nutrients may be the key that unlocks our potential.
It doesn't happen over night, but this is powerful stuff, folks. Let's chat about it. I would love to be a part of your journey.