After YEARS of struggling with the scale, chronic illnesses*, and then desperately trying to control my food, I finally accepted that something had to change. I wasn’t getting any better the harder I tried. And even when I WOULD experience some sort of “physical benefit” of restriction the emotional and mental harm was becoming harder to ignore.
I slowly began to accept that the only way to stay at the weight I "wanted" was to live a life of deprivation and frustration (aka disordered eating).
That somber fact, combined with years of trying and failing to control my physical symptoms, became too much to bare.
(*I developed some pretty severe IBS and experienced my first intense bouts of insomnia. NOW I know those are big signs of being undernourished, a side effect of being restricted, but at the time it never occurred to me or was mentioned as a possibility by health care providers. In addition to the diet induced IBS, fatigue, and insomnia, I've also struggled with decades of chronic migraines, tense and painful muscles, a scary iron deficiency, and a sluggish thyroid... I am STILL deconstructing and learning how restriction and compensatory behavior contributes to many of these mysterious chronic illnesses. )
I broke down. I needed help and I was finally ready to make some changes.
And not the kinda of “lifestyle changes” that diet and wellness culture taught me about. Not restricting more foods or working out harder or being more "disciplined". No, I mean LIFE-ALTERING, paradigm-shifting changes. Like breaking down years of emotional barriers, un-felt emotions, and unlearning harmful diet culture messaging. Choosing to step away from mainstream messages of beauty and "success".
I was lucky to find some medical doctors, alternative healers, and book authors that gave me the strength to keep moving forward. I began to feel peace again and finally believed there was a path that led to answers. A light at the end of the tunnel.
I was not healed over night (I STILL struggle with some of these issues, that is simply part of being a human being!) BUT my eyes had been opened to new information and I have never looked back.
Once I accepted that I was the captain of my own ship, and that illness and my natural body shape/weight wasn't a curse (OR a representation of my worth) I was dedicated to making A LOT Of changes.
I quit my successful job and enrolled at the Institute For Integrative Nutrition where I studied over 100 different dietary theories and was lectured by some of the best in the health and wellness industry.
I started my own private coaching practice... YEA!
BUT quickly realized there was an elephant in the room... OH NO!
The underlying reason a lot of my clients were trying to get "healthy" was because they actually wanted control over their weight... but in a "healthy" way. This is not my kind of coaching.
Even if it wasn't the first thing they mentioned the idea of NOT losing weight while they got "healthier" was NOT OK for most of them. This was shocking, yet familiar to me.
I did some soul-searching and chose to specialize in the area I was best suited for:
Helping people get to the core of their health and body image issues WHILE learning new behaviors around food & movement AND implementing effective self-care techniques.
After all, that was MY story. I know the pain. I have lived it.
I sought out additional training in this field from THE source of body/self acceptance, Isabel Foxen Duke, and was flattered when she agreed to take me under her wing. She became my mentor and changed my life. It was through my work with her that I began to fully realize my unique point of view as a health and wellness coach.
One of the tools I discovered, that has since changed my life and work, is Intuitive Eating. I am thrilled to say I am a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor! (I was personally supervised by Evelyn Tribole during my certification. Her work around nutrition and disordered eating is unmatched.)
Along with the "Health at Every Size" movement, AND the incredible education I received at IIN, I am confidant I can help those who seek it.
I help others break free from the chains of body shame weight-loss obsession, and food restriction...
AND to find hope in the shadow of chronic illness.
What would you do if you felt free??
Me at the "Happiest Place on Earth", celebrating, eating, having fun and being FREE!!!