When I turned 29 my husband, Mike and I were ready to start a family. I had no idea that the entire next year would bring nothing but discouragement, frustration, loneliness, and a nagging feeling of hopelessness. But then...one day in early August of 2012, all of my prayers had been answered! The wait was over and worth it. I took a positive pregnancy test! I was on cloud 9. But a few weeks later, on the first day back at school for the teachers actually (I was teaching 3rd grade at the time) and the day of my 7-week appointment, strangely enough, I didn’t feel right. This quickly led to tremendous discomfort, confirmation that I was in the process of losing the baby, and 2 full days of physical pain only closely matched by actual labor & childbirth. I was shattered. There’s no other word. I remember so vividly sitting on my couch on what should’ve been my first week back at school meeting my new class (something I could never in a million years imagine missing, but I was still dealing with the physical & emotional symptoms of the miscarriage) and saying to myself: I need to do something.
I need to take charge of my health.
I am in control.
I was ready. But ready to do it the right way. You see, growing up I was made fun of for being chubby, husky, athletically built, a “hefty hitter” as one of my coaches referred to me. As you can imagine this completely damaged my relationship with body image, food, and most importantly myself. So I spent years trying to be skinny. Because skinny meant pretty, skinny meant cool, skinny meant healthy, right? Being skinny was the answer to all of my problems! And so began my years of restrictive eating, obsessing about food, under eating, over-exercising, self-loathing, and hiding it all under a cheery smile & some big dimples.
It was a lonely road there for a while. And I had no idea the damage I was doing to my body, my health, my mental state.
But my journey and that excruciating experience literally changed the course of my life. I am a big believer in signs. And as I sat on the couch checking my email from my co-teacher and browsing the Internet to learn about what was happening to me, I got a pop-up about the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and becoming a Health Coach. This was now the third time that I had heard about IIN. Coincidence? I was actually considering going back for my masters that fall but couldn’t decide on what focus I wanted and my heart just wasn’t in it because I was fearful of leaving the classroom. It was as if the lightbulb had gone off. Maybe I was meant to take my education in a different direction. So right then and there I scheduled a call with the admissions team and the rest is history. I tell you all of this because sometimes in our darkest hours, when we are entrenched in the muck, we are handed a little seed of hope. I immersed myself in the program. I dove into each module and literally began to “walk the talk” as my teacher would always say. It was the biggest self-transformation I could have ever imagined and I am so grateful to this day that I took the chance. I learned so much about myself, I became so clear on my Why and my purpose, I began to understand what was driving my thoughts and my choices. I learned that I am a unique individual and that I had to learn to be intuitive and trust my body. I learned to release some of the fears I had held onto for so long and the misconceptions that had been ingrained in me about health and appearance and happiness. I think ever since I have felt that a big part of my purpose is to help others break free of the same struggles. To empower them to take control of their health because I TRULY believe it can make a big difference and have a huge impact on the course of life. So today I want to ask you. Are you ready? Are there things you know would improve if you put a little focus on your health? Are you simply tired of feeling sick and tired? Of having no energy? And are you just accepting this? Could a few changes to your lifestyle make a difference? Maybe make a big difference that could literally change what’s to come, your outlook on life, your relationship with yourself, your confidence?
We don't often take the time to ask ourselves these questions, life just gets in the way or we just accept things to be the way they are. And it doesn't have to be that way. If you aren't showing up for yourself, you can't fully show up for anyone else either. So don't forget to check in with yourslef once in a while. I appreciate you taking the time to listen to my story and allowing me to share. Finding the courage to open up has not only been so healing for me, but I know it has helped others to feel that they aren’t alone. I'm here for you if you need me.