I moved to San Diego, CA in December of 2012 with my Jetta packed full of everything I owned and my 5lb dog. I managed to combine everything I loved: competing in Crossfit, training people, and working at the bedside as a nurse. Yup, that's me. On a parked crotch rocket. California is awesome! In 2014, I began working with a nutrition coach and realized how I could fuel my body to perform as an athlete while also achieving the body composition I had been chasing since my teens and twenties.
That same year I got my nutrition coaching licensure and finally was able to do what I had dreamed of in my early twenties. I think working as a bedside nurse for so many years gave me the experience I needed to help so many different people make positive life changes. And yup, that's me flying on a parked crotch rocket. California is awesome!
HOW I GOT INTO THE WHOLE REAL OF NUTRITION
Ever since my application to Hogwarts was rejected and I couldn't become a real wizard, my interest in nutrition started in high school, where I can distinctly remember as a freshman in high school telling my mom I had decided I would only drink skim milk and very lean protein sources like chicken and turkey.
I would take fat free salad dressing to school for my lunch I would get from the salad bar… only to have either a cinnamon roll or bag of gummy candy at some point later in the day. Yup, the confusion with nutrition started back then. I think this came about because even though I was active and athletic, I still felt uncomfortable in my own skin.
The body image I had of myself was that I was ‘frumpy’ and didn’t look like the other athletic girls.
I put a lot of pressure on myself to look differently, and it developed into an eating disorder during this time. I had poor coping mechanisms, and there were so many things I felt like I couldn’t control, however food, through bingeing and purging, was something I could control.
This carried over into my twenties and thirties, and I never really started to feel comfortable or confident in my body until my late thirties.
During my twenties, I did endless amounts of cardio - like running for hours at a time, plus spin, step, kick boxing, high rep/low weight lifting classes, and all the cardio machines at the gym.
I dabbled in some weight lifting by mimicking the models I saw in the fitness magazines but no matter what I tried, I was never happy with myself.
I’ve been through all the fitness and nutrition crazes - P90x, Tae-Bo, Insanity, Les Mills cardio classes; Atkins diet, South Beach diet, low fat, clean eating (body building-style diet), Zone, Paleo, no red meat… the list goes on.
THE TURNING POINT
I think my big turning point was not only when I started Crossfit, but when I started to compete and see myself as an athlete again. At some point I had lost my identity, I didn’t know what I was working towards. Crossfit made me feel empowered, and I felt like I could be myself there, in that community.
I WANTED to put on some weight, because I wanted to be stronger and healthier, to move faster, to work harder. I started eating red meat (my first burger in 15 years was absolutely glorious), tried Paleo and Zone diets. I brought a TON of food with me to work as a night shift nurse, and found myself eating more for performance, although I didn’t really have a way to track or know exactly how much I needed besides keeping a food log and trying to follow Zone principles.
When I started tracking macronutrients and understanding what they could do for my body, it was a whole new ballgame. I learned an entirely new, flexible approach to my nutrition that changed the way I viewed food and the relationship I had with it.
I got stronger, faster, leaner, gained more muscle, and felt really damn good!
WHY I LOVE WHAT I DO
I see myself in so many people, young and old, male and female. I’ve always been a ‘people-pleaser’ and a ‘giver’ and my journey through health, fitness, and healthcare has brought me here.
I also practice what I preach, so it was a natural evolution to take what I do on a daily basis and try to help others to become the best version of themselves as well, whether that’s as an athlete or someone just interested in being physically fit.
I can’t even explain the feeling I get when someone feels good about themselves again or finds a more positive relationship with food.
I know the struggle it’s been to get there, and it’s nothing short of amazing when the change happens.