I’m a wife and mama first, RN, writer, AFPA Certified Nutrition & Wellness Consultant, National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer, and American Council on Exercise Behavior Change Specialist. I’m pretty dang passionate about health and wellness, and I’ve made it my personal mission to strive to be a light for as many people as I can. I don’t think that I have all the answers, but I do think that I’ve been through a heck of a lot in my life that has helped me overcome some pretty tough obstacles.
Growing up, I always had a love-hate relationship with food. Meaning, I pretty much loved all food, (especially the extra sugary-salty-greasy kind), but hated that I lacked self control. My weight was always an “issue” in the sense that I didn’t have a positive body image. In my mind, being healthy meant running 5 miles per day and eating nothing but baked chicken and broccoli. And let’s be honest, when you’ve been introduced to nachos, who wants anything else?
I bounced back and forth between starving myself, and then binging and purging throughout high school and some of college. When I was about nineteen years old, I suffered a trauma which left me in a pretty dark space mentally. I didn’t value my worth, and I was pretty depressed for a handful of years. I turned to the one comfort that had always stood by me my entire life: food. I began to binge eat, worse than ever before. I remember I would literally eat and eat and eat until my body would be in such physical pain that I couldn’t take it anymore. I would then go to bed and try to forget about how bad I felt, and when I woke up the next morning, I would begin the cycle over again.
I ended up gaining a lot of weight, and would get winded just walking around my college campus. It wasn’t until my early twenties, and after a pretty bad breakup that I recognized my habits were my coping mechanism. And, more so, I was letting my circumstances determine my worth.
I decided I wanted to make a change. I wasn’t sure how, but I knew I needed to try something different. The apartment I lived in had a community gym in the complex, so every day when I would get home from work or my classes I would walk to the gym. In the beginning, I was only able to complete about five minutes on an old rickety elliptical, before I would have to get off and slowly walk back home. I did this every day until I worked myself up to 10 minutes, then 20, 30, and eventually a full hour.
This was just the beginning. I was losing weight, yes, but I was also gaining a sense of control over my life. Instead of allowing myself to succumb to my depression and follow that same path of self-destruction, I was taking charge. I started to learn more about the types of foods I was eating and began experimenting with cooking. I spent less time going through the drive thru lanes and more time in my kitchen learning which spices worked well when prepared with certain foods.
Fast forward a decade (oh my goodness), and I’m now a mama to the most amazing little boy. I’m certified in nutrition, as well as a certified personal trainer. I’ve lost a total of 75 pounds throughout my journey, and couldn’t even begin to tell you the amount of muscle (and confidence) that I’ve gained. I look at this body of mine – the same body that I used to feel so ashamed of, and instead I’ve learned to be so proud of what it’s been through and accomplished.
Remembering what it felt like to be me fifteen years ago, and knowing how hopeless I felt at certain points of my life compared to the joy I feel now – is why I do what I do. Learning how to heal my mindset to ultimately change my lifestyle for the better was a huge stepping stone for me, and it’s been my passion to share the things I’ve learned with other women so they can step out of the shadows and live the life they’ve always wanted.