A couple days ago, someone asked me how and when I started my blogging. So of course I had to look back and see. My very first blog post was in November 2014! I can't believe I've been doing this for 5 years!
I wanted to repost how I started my health coaching journey. It was a long road to wellness, which is why I've made it my mission to help people achieve their goals in a much shorter period of time!
So if you're curious about my journey, new to my page, or just want to re-live my journey, keep reading!
I started my health coaching journey in 2014 and became certified in 2015. But my journey started long before that. It was a long road of personal discovery into my health problems, one that involved a lot of doctor trips and not understanding why I felt the way I did. It was also one that involved a lot of self-discovery and learning about myself, as well as how to create the healthiest, happiest version of myself I could possibly be.
Five years prior in 2009, I was ending a very unhealthy relationship – one that included an engagement ring and a lot of wedding plans. I was unhappy, my face was breaking out (which I attributed to stress), I wasn’t sleeping well at all (insomnia, waking up with night sweats, etc.), I was unsatisfied at work, my anxiety was through the roof, and I had zero energy – I had enough to get up, work out, drag my sorry butt to work, then come home to eat dinner, sleep and do it all again the next day. It was no way to live my life. At the time, I did the “normal” thing of going to my regular doctor, who tested my thyroid and iron levels and found that everything was “normal.” He told me I was super healthy and that if all his patients were as healthy as me that he wouldn’t have a practice.
However, I was still exhausted (this really doesn’t accurately describe how I was feeling) and breaking out and unhappy. I went to a dermatologist, as well, for my acne. Not surprising, they put me on antibiotics. This wasn’t the first time I’d been on them for this issue, nor was it the first time I’d been on them in my life. I started having strep throat every year from a young age and was on antibiotics on an annual basis to cure it. In fact, I had strep throat three times in the first semester of my freshman year in college!! Yes, I still had my tonsils then. I didn’t get them out til I was almost 26!! Needless to say, I’d been on antibiotics almost my entire life!!
When I started realizing what the antibiotics were doing to my body, I talked to my dermatologist about going off them and asking if food could be causing my issues. Of course, the answer was no. So I did what anyone would do – I stopped taking the antibiotics, obviously. I didn’t want to have to rely on a medication for the rest of my life just to have clear skin. Shockingly, my skin issues came right back. There was a period where I didn’t want to go anywhere in public it was so bad. It seemed as if the only thing that worked was antibiotics…talk about super depressing.
Fast forward to 2011, I’m still having a lot of health issues – from severe anxiety to insomnia to acne. I yo-yoed between feeling okay and feeling awful, and between clear skin and severe break-outs. Nothing had really changed from the past couple years – I was unhappy with how I felt, how I looked, my overall health and physical body, my emotional and mental state, and my career path. I was at my wit’s end; I was tired of going to doctors and having them tell me nothing was wrong, that I was healthy. For goodness sake, I was miserable!!!
I didn’t know how to turn it all around, so I started doing some of my own research online (who doesn’t love Google?!) and attempting to learn all I could to make the necessary changes I needed. I’d been a vegetarian for three years at that point, and my mom recommended a chiropractor and nutritionist for my ongoing issues (I also had neck/shoulder/back pain from a previous injury). The new doc immediately put me on a “cleanse;” now, mind you, I was already eating no dairy and no meat, but he put me on a very restrictive cleanse. On this cleanse, I wasn’t allowed to eat bread, alcohol, certain fruits or vegetables, no dairy (but I could substitute coconut yogurt, for instance), to name a few. The problem was I was starving! And I had no energy to do much of anything! It was even worse than before!! I barely had the energy to get out of bed and make it through the workday, let alone keep up my active lifestyle of running and working out. I knew this cleanse wasn’t working for me.
I guess I should back up and say that I was one of those “unhealthy” vegetarians. You know, the ones who eat fake meat and all the processed stuff that comes in the frozen section, as well as continuing to eat the high sugar “low fat” treats. Let’s just say cooking was unheard of for me. I wanted to eat right away without having to wait for anything. Having the microwave beep after 3 to 4 minutes to let me know my meal was ready was enough for me.
So in comes 2012/2013: I made a resolution to start cooking (basically to teach myself how to cook) and use more whole foods. I HAD to break myself away from the processed, frozen meals! It took me awhile to find “easy” recipes that I was willing to try and that I enjoyed, and honestly, I felt like I was hungry all the time, but once I got “better” at cooking, I found I actually enjoyed it, and felt so much better! My face started clearing up, although I was still having breakouts, and still having insomnia issues. I felt better, but I knew I wasn’t where I wanted to be. I even went through a stage where I did a juicing cleanse and tried to have at least one “juice” meal a day. I can honestly say it was very healthy and I felt great, but I was STARVING all the time. I don’t think juice as a meal replacement works for someone as active as me. But they were definitely good and good for me, just not the best way for me to “cleanse” my system.
So onto 2013…I decided I would become vegan and gluten-free and continue my quest to cook real, whole foods. I’d also been doing a lot of online research about acne and how to cure the underlying hormonal issues that were a problem. A lot of the other issues I was having (anxiety, insomnia, etc.) were also related to my underlying hormone problems. Of course, the dermatologist wanted to put me back on antibiotics or for me to go back on birth control (I took myself off them in 2011 – that’s a whole other post). They also wanted me to try Accutane, but after reading the side effects and seeing how dried out it makes people really turned me off. I already had naturally dry skin; I didn’t need the extra help. Plus, the other side effects in general scared me. So I made it my journey and goal to find out how to cure myself naturally. Being put on a drug, whether it was on antibiotics or birth control, was a last resort…and one I really didn’t want to take.
In October 2013, I was still breaking out and couldn’t figure out what was causing it, even though I was eating pretty healthy and was doing my best to eat real, whole foods. I was eating a lot of nuts (as snacks and in meals as replacement items), still drinking alcohol, and had a wicked sweet tooth. I would make “healthy” sweet treats after dinner almost every night. I think I had myself convinced it was okay because I was using paleo ingredients. That makes it okay, right?!
By that point, I had had enough. I came across a 21-day sugar detox that really spoke to me – this is the one I did: https://21daysugardetox.com. I knew I needed to break my addiction to sugar…because yes, sugar is addictive. Once you have some, your body continues to crave more and more of it. I stopped drinking alcohol, cut out the sweet treats, limited the amount of fruit I was eating, and quit eating food that had sugar in it or converted to sugar after eating it. Two weeks into it, my skin was clearing up and I started craving meat like you wouldn’t believe. Specifically, I started craving bacon. I learned to finally listen to what my body needed and give it the right fuel to keep me going. I started eating meat again and had more energy and felt so much better than I did before. I still had my sugar moments, but it was definitely not as bad as it once was. And I learned that sugar and eating a lot of nuts, specifically almonds, triggers my acne.
It took me years to figure this out, and sometimes it’s still a learning process. I also tried my hand at a couple Whole 30s – http://whole30.com, which is 30 days of paleo eating; i.e, taking out alcohol, bread/gluten, grains/rice, any sugar, etc. I feel so much better when I eat that way, but it is very restrictive and time consuming. It truly is meant as a reset for your system, not as a way to eat forever.
Around this time in 2014 is when I found the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN) and started my journey to get my health coach certification. I knew I needed a change and I knew I wanted to help my friends and family. So I enrolled. I was scared of what the future held and scared I would fail, but I jumped in with both feet.
As my health coaching practice grew, I realized how unhappy I was in my current job. I worked for the government and had for 12 years. But I was miserable. So in March 2016, I walked away from it. Yes, you read that right. I walked away from a very lucrative, very well paying, very secure government job. And as soon as I did, I immediately felt my stress level release. It was as if all the years of government work and stress was just lifted from my shoulders.
I can't say it has been easy, but it has definitely been worth it. I've undergone a lot of changes since then, but they've all made me better, stronger, and more confident. And yes, I still limit my sugar intake and eat gluten free. And yes, I still eat meat!
Also, in July 2016, I started coaching at a CrossFit gym. I 100% fell in love with it! And in August 2016, I started with Rodan & Fields. And I, again, 100% fell in love with it! I'd found two of my passions almost at the same time! Helping people get fit and helping people get the best skin of their life!
I'm so happy I found CrossFit coaching and R+F when I did. They truly helped me survive at a time in my life when everything fell apart. 2017 was a transformational year for me. One in which I lost everything and then rebuilt it all from the ground up. Without both of these jobs, I wouldn't have survived...not in the slightest.
In the mean time, I'll admit, I let my health coaching fall to the way-side, but picked it back up in 2018. I have three of my passions wrapped up in one. I love being able to help people in all facets of their life!
So here we are in 2019. It's been one heckuva wild ride! And I wouldn't change any part of it! I am a health coach, a CrossFit coach, a personal trainer, a Rodan+Fields premium skincare consultant, and an advocate for being your best, healthiest, happiest self!
If any of this resonates with you or you want to learn more (I know, that was already a lot!), message me. I am an open book and I'd love to help you on your health journey. I'd also love to help you find time and financial freedom! Let's chat!
Have a beautiful week, my friends!
With love and wellness,