You look like a boy with your hair in a ponytail!” the delicate, little girl giggled from the swing set. I already knew I was the heaviest girl on the playground and no one wanted to play with me. If someone did, we would have to play house, and I would be sympathetically offered the role as the family dog.
Most of my childhood was plagued with the absence of health, happiness and confidence. I never even allowed myself to have a boyfriend. I was convinced that boys were only “truth or dared” into asking me for my phone number. I over-compensated with an obsession to be the “best” at everything. I needed to have straight As, perfect scores, and be the first one finished with tests at school.
By age 9, I would say that I had my first real health scare. I had a kidney infection, which later on escalated into multiple bladder infections, back pain, high blood pressure, the depletion of energy, and excess weight gain. The only way to deal with it? EAT MORE.
In my loneliness, I remember downing bags of popcorn, bananas and dark chocolate. I also used to sneak an extra dessert from the kitchen when my parents were asleep. It made me feel better. I had only a few friends, most of who I begged to spend time with me. Food was comfort.
I distinctly remember lying on my mom’s couch, staring into the darkness on a hot, summer night. There was a book on the shelf, entitled, Eat More, Weigh Less by Dr. Dean Ornish. Although only the age of 12, I asked my mom to dust it off so I could learn more. I wish I could explain what happened next. Looking back, the idea of a young girl reading and interpreting this information is barely believable. I have some strong memories of cooking with vegetables and the occasional egg white omelets. I think I also recall having cold cuts over salad. Somehow most of my diet became plant-based. My mom’s retired exercise bike served it’s purpose well. I recall setting the resistance in intervals, wearing bright magenta sweat suits even in the summer.
This madness exerted itself in spurts; sometimes with the obsession of calorie-counting. I remember my hair falling out in clumps and the yellow bruises on my jaundice skin at 114 pounds. I also remember having an anxiety attack in my bedroom and not wanting to go to class because my clothes “made me look fat.” I felt like there were times I was worthless if I ate more than 1500 calories in a day.
I started going to church. I met a few college classmates, who were attending regular community group sessions for Bible study. I figured I would purchase some books that would help me connect to a higher power. I was giving up on finding permanent self-validation.
Substitute teaching after college led me to between-class boredom. The best-seller shelf lead me to yet another nutrition guide. Skinny Bitch reins in all it’s glory as the single answer to ease my suffering. I discovered an ANSWER. By adopting a plant-based diet, I could finally maintain my weight without dramatic escalation.
Somehow, however, I was unable to restore my body to a healthy pH level. I had consistent yeast infections, excessive migraines, and general fatigue. I also suffered from fibromyalgia. I was bed-ridden with “flare-ups.” My joints, neck, shoulders, back, everything hurt!! I had a thousand sleepless nights, resulting in eating more and more to stay awake throughout graduate school. Enough was enough. I clearly only had half of my answer.
I remember saying that exercise was “pointless” if I continued to give up my favorite foods with no clear results. I grew weaker, meeker, and I lost all hope of
restoring finding my spirit.
A job promotion lead me into a new state. I decided to work part time at a local gym just to fill the loneliness, quite honestly. I followed my vegan diet and attempted to even eliminate gluten to try and cure my pH woes. I found relative success, but still suffered from consistent fatigue! I “needed” 5 cups of coffee to deal with the stress of the day. I was approached by a gym member on a quiet Sunday. I’ll never forget how willingly I was able to trust this gentleman to introduce me to the world of Isagenix. I never looked back since.
I welcome you to a fitness journey. Proper nutrition allowed me to finally blossom with confidence. I have grown stronger from the inside out, allowing me to finally “catch up” on every experience I missed! Now I am focused on giving support to others so that they can experience the same level of vitality.