I have been walking my wellness path for 22 years now.
My path started like most. Emotional binge eating, followed by calorie counting and restricting. I lived most of my earlier years on diet pills and starving myself. My relationship with food was none other than toxic. Just like my life.
I started looking at my body with shame at the age of five. I am not sure what influenced me at this age, other than being in my own head. I felt I was too skinny at age four, and a year later I was overweight from emotionally eating to fill a void in my heart once my parents separated. I am now 32, I still look at my body with shame, probably more than ever, but my relationship with food is no longer toxic. And, neither is my life. And, I am working on this shame.
Until 2013, I lived the Standard American Diet. I lived on pop, alcohol, coffee, and sugary drinks. Water - What's that? ha. It didn't exist in my world. I consumed every fast food out there and believed Subway was my healthiest meal. Coincidently, I lived on prescription medications for a slew of things. Fibromyalgia, Chronic Migraines, Gastrointestinal Distress (Chronic IBS/Constipation), Cystic Acne, Blood Clots, Depression, Anxiety, ADHD, Endometriosis, Chronic Sinus Infections....
By the age of 19, I felt no purpose. I lived in a world where I was victim to myself. I felt this life given to me was unfair and I didn't know how to fix it other than to drown myself in alcohol and shitty food. It took me 9 years to achieve a 4 year Bachelor's degree because I was just always too sick to get through my days. I would go to work or sit in church high from pain pills just to make it out of bed.
Do you believe that everything happens for a reason? We are in the right place at the right time? Each individual we meet is through Divine connection? I do.
During the Fall of 2013 I met a fellow student at my community college in Pilates class. She became someone I spent each class with wether we were running the halls for our pre-workout or were on our mats next to each other for Pilates. I learned a lot from this woman. She had lost a wild amount of weight through rigorous training and dieting. I confided in her and explained that I was at a turning point in my life. Something had to change. I couldn't bear to gain another 30 pounds only to lose it by starving myself one more time. This was the beginning of a new wellness path in my life. This woman started to guide me with exercise and nutrition. We didn't work together for more than two weeks, but this was all I needed to get set on my new path. During my time with her, I cut out soda and fast food. This catapulted my body into a direction it had never been.
Over the next 9 months, I stopped eating all gluten (due to an allergy test), dairy, soy, eggs, meat, and seafood. I had slowly adopted a Plant-Based lifestyle. I committed myself to learning one new thing each day and through articles, documentaries, books, conversation, and exercise, I was suddenly living a new lifestyle. One that was FREE from 20 years of chronic pain from Fibromyalgia and migraines. My Cystic Acne had disappeared and I was feeling like a bright new star. There was simply no turning back.
During my first two years of continuous learning, I self studied like a mad scientist. I became certified in Plant-Based Nutrition, and I learned how to eat whole, real foods. I released processed foods, refined sugar, and preservatives from my diet. I transitioned into a Raw Vegan lifestyle for a few years while I ran my first half and full marathon. I created True Desserts, becoming my own boss in search of healing and serving others. And, I work 1:1 with clients to guide in reversing chronic illness and autoimmune disease.
Food was my gateway into a deeper self healing process. While I had reversed all symptoms, disease, and diagnosis through the power of plant-foods and herbs, my body was communicating with me that I simply needed more. The mind needed more. The heart needed more.
The last couple of years my focus has completely shifted from food to mental and emotional wellness. Yoga, meditation, breath work, self love work. But, these things look different for everyone. My yoga practice is up and down. My meditation is lucky to remain consistent. And, my breath work is always improving. Self love has been a difficult concept in my life. When I made the decision to reconnect with my father, was when I subconsciously made the decision to start loving myself. Because living in fear allows no space for love. Facing your fears breaks down the unnecessary barriers to your heart. Healing your heart, heals the physical self.
And, now, I set on a new wellness path in this new decade.
I write with a blunt simplicity of my story because I see my past in Chapters. Chapters of wellness. Mind, Body, Spirit. There are many influencers out there speaking their truth, and many marketing someone else's agenda. We must always remain true to ourselves to walk our own path of wellness in the chapters of our story.
I often struggle with my purpose. While at age 19 I felt I had no purpose, I now feel like my purpose is so big that I don't know where to begin. I become overwhelmed with wanting to share, wanting to heal, wanting to aid. I become overwhelmed with ensuring my message is received in love and compassion.
We are all human. We are all love. We all need love. We all need to be seen. We all need to be heard. We all need to be respected.
But, we are also all ONE. If we let love lead the way, we can discover our own path of wellness while walking hand in hand.
In love , peace, and wellness.