To say I have endured a few challenges in life would be an understatement, but those moments of hardship gave me the strength and tenacity I needed to reach for my dreams. I have gone through a drastic transformation mentally and physically to discover what heals my body, and I have emerged a healthier, happier person as a result.
When I was a freshmen in high school, I went from being an avid runner to hardly being able to walk within just six months. This sudden change was terrifying. I had no idea why I was in so much pain.
I went from doctor to doctor searching for answers, first to a sports medicine doctor, who referred me to a rheumatologist. I soon found that my rheumatologist was going to provide me with a lot more medications than answers. He prescribed me drugs that all had negative side effects and didn’t give me any other options or alternative treatments.
I was suffering from extreme back and foot pain and serious inflammation that made it impossible for me to run anymore. At first the rheumatologist told me I had Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. However, that didn’t make sense to me because the pain was in my feet and spine, not my knees or hands.
After looking over my blood tests and CT scans, my doctors decided that I had something called Ankylosing Spondylitis Arthritis. The name of my condition didn’t really matter because the treatment is the same for all types of inflammatory arthritis. I had to take anti-inflammatories, TNF inhibitors, opiates, antidepressants, sleep medications, anxiety meds, and the list goes on.
I was on about 10 medications, but was still in pain. I was getting desperate to find something that worked. After seeing even more doctors, I finally found one that diagnosed me with Lyme disease, which is probably what caused my Arthritis to begin with.
I was completely crushed. On top of everything else, I now had to start taking antibiotics. While the medication helped, it didn’t completely alleviate my pain.
I hit bottom physically and emotionally. I was in an abusive marriage, the medications had turned me into a zombie, and my current state of depression threatened to overwhelm me entirely. I had reached the point where I was ready to give up on living. This wasn’t the life I wanted, and I needed to make some drastic changes.
After taking an assortment of antibiotics for about seven years, I finally decided to try another approach. I found a naturopath, who helped me get off most of the medications I was taking. The fog that I had been in for so long began to lift. I started having feelings again and was on the road back to being myself. While still in some pain, I was finally moving in the right direction towards improving my health.
Over the years, I’ve learned how to feel better physically through a combination of a healthy diet, exercise, nutritional supplements, natural treatments, and by pursuing my dreams. I also got divorced and quit the job I hated, which seemed to be a turning point for me. After that everything started falling into place. I’m feeling better than I ever have since contracting Lyme disease and developing Arthritis. Not only can I workout, I can run again; something I was told would never happen.
I have learned a lot from my health challenges. I learned that I know my body better than anyone else and that I have the power to heal myself. I have seen so many doctors over the years, yet none of them were able to improve my overall health. I now realize that my health would have greatly improved if I had worked with a health coach to help me with lifestyle changes.
I always recommend working with a physician for serious medical issues; however, for lasting health and lifestyle changes, working with a health coach is vital.
One of the most important tools I have learned from studying at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition is to set an intention and create attainable goals. Using this process allowed me to make lasting lifestyle changes. I used to think I needed to make drastic changes to accomplish my goals, however, I have learned that in fact the opposite is true – small incremental changes are what works. Learning that everyone’s needs are different and focusing on bio-Individuality has been the key to my success and my clients. I help clients balance 12 different elements of their lifestyle rather than focusing on just diet.
I decided to become a health coach, so I can help people get their lives back. I help you learn to heal yourself, so you can create the life you’ve always wanted. I teach you how to be healthier, happier, less stressed, more energetic, alleviate pain, and lose weight. I show you how to reach your personal health goals by empowering you to transform yourself and thrive. It’s amazing what can happen when you take charge of your own health. The sky’s the limit.