The Diet / Medical Industry Isn’t the Answer... Here’s Why….
I didn’t choose to become a Health Coach. It wasn’t necessarily something that was on my radar or anything that I was excited about. I became a Health Coach because my own struggles led me into the field of Health and Wellness. I was looking for answers and it surprised me how hard they were to find.
My story is not a linear one. It is one that is up and down, has twirls, breaks, lows and highs. I often read other Health Coaches, Trainers or Nutritionists stories and it seems so simple. I dealt with x problem and then I learnt how to fix x problem, now I help people with x problem. I can’t even tell you how many times I have crumbled down in defeat, asking the universe why that can’t be me? Why can’t it just be simple for me too?
My story doesn’t go like that and for a very long time I looked to those other people and compared, and contemplated if I should even be in this field anymore. If I was good enough as a professional to be in this field if I am not like them. If I don’t always love living this healthy lifestyle that is flaunted out to people to make it look like is so easy to achieve, when it is not. I know how hard it is to make changes, to make sacrifices, to force myself to eat and do things I don’t like doing, in order to achieve health.
Since I was about 18 (now going on 35) I have dealt with my health as one of my main concerns, questions and focuses. It was like one day I just woke up and my body was different. I don’t remember there being a gradual change. I went from an active healthy athlete who was 135 pounds and would get endless compliments about my ‘perfect body’ to 155 pounds, breaking out in eczema, getting chronic headaches every day and developing Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
From then forward it was my mission to get back to where I was. I threw myself into the diet industry in hopes that I could get answers there. I felt like I tried it all over those 8 years of yo-yo dieting. Weight Watchers, LA Weight Loss, The Zone Diet, Juice Cleanses, Tea Cleanses, Calorie Counting. I even looked into Jenny Craig and Dr. Bernstein, but at the time they were too expensive for me. I would have tried anything if it meant a chance to heal.
I even looked to the Medical System and was just as disappointed. Go on this pill, use this cream to supress it, exercise more, eat less. I refused to believe that in my young twenties that I should start going on medication and using cortisone cream to heal my physical ailments. I remember for my IBS it was suggested that I go on anti-depressants. At age 15 I was told to go on Birth Control for acne. Something didn’t sit right with me. It is like no one cared that I wanted the problems to actually heal instead of mask them with some prescription.
No one had the answers. I felt alone, defeated, I was constantly searching for solutions to try. I just wished and prayed that one day I would find someone that knew what they were talking about, that would give me the support I needed. This struggle to find answers consumed my days and nights. It was always on my mind. I questioned every single thing I ate. I battled with myself when I really wanted something, but I knew it was off limits. When I did break my prison celled diet, I would shame myself, feel guilty, tell myself that I wasn’t strong enough or had enough determination to make it work. It was all my fault. I started to fear food, fear going to parties where everyone would be eating all the foods I craved so bad. I was on the radar for anything related to diet. It was beyond exhausting.
During these 8 years of searching, I had graduated UBC with a degree in Human Kinetics and became a Personal Trainer. I was embarrassed that I didn’t know how to make the changes in my own body that I was being paid to help others achieve.
I decided it was time to take things into my own hands and I started researching Nutrition Schools. I decided to go to The Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. This was very out of my realm of something I would do. I was raised on the Western Medical System and told that University Education was always the best one. But something about this school intrigued me and I had the hunch it was what I was supposed to do, so I did, and to this day it is still one of the best decisions I have ever made.
I was finally submerged into a world where looking for the root cause to heal was the norm. During my studies, I learned about the philosophies of the Eastern Medical System. As school went on I discovered some of the roots of my problems – Candida, Food Allergies, Leaky Gut, Unbalanced Hormones and Blood Sugar. None of these things had to do with eating less or exercising more. It was fascinating to me. I was using food to heal my body and it was working. I walked out of Nutrition School at 25 symptom-free, was eating more than I had in years and was back down my goal weight. I was onto something.
I wanted my story to end there like I mentioned before. I had healed. I had the answers. I wanted to now help others heal too. That really is all I have ever wanted. To help and support people heal their bodies, the way that I wanted someone to help me.
Over the last 10 years my gastro-intestinal symptoms have come and gone, one time getting so bad that I needed to quit my job I had such low energy. I was diagnosed with SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) and no matter what I tried nutrition wise, my symptoms of bloating, stomach pain, fatigue and weight gain would not budge. At the time I was under an immense amount of stress trying to start my business and in a relationship and planning a wedding where everything made sense on paper, but something deep down just didn’t feel right.
I decided it was time to look at the more Mental / Emotional side of things as I had been reading there was a connection between our physical health, stress and the brain. I decided to become a Life Coach, I threw myself into seeing a Counsellor for a year, I did The Landmark Forum and many of their other programs to see what was at the root of some of my ‘baggage’. On top of that, I was seeing a Naturopath to treat my SIBO and eventually I healed again.
But I still wasn’t in the clear. A couple years later and to this day, I have SIBO again. And the things I did last time aren’t working this time. To me, this means that there is something else to discover that needs to be healed. I truly believe that our bodies are our messengers and they tell us when something needs attention.
Maybe for me my journey in Health will never come to a perfect ending, where I will no longer be on a quest to heal myself. Maybe it will always be up and down for me. Maybe it will always be learning and getting thrown into these new worlds of healing I was never present to before. Ones that I would have never even have thought about or discovered, unless I was struggling with my own stuff. Maybe for me, I will always be the Health Coach that is still dealing with her own health too. Have I come to full acceptance with that? Not quite. Not yet at least, but I am getting closer.
Living with chronic health problems is one of the most challenging things I can think of. Some days you wake up and feel amazing, and some days you wake up and it takes effort to cook and take care of yourself. Constantly going on different protocol remedies and trying different therapies is mentally exhausting at times.
Having my own health struggles has been a blessing and a curse in my line of work. I can now say with confidence that I am a damn good coach, I get it, I have been there many times, I get the hard work, the frustration, the tears, the breakdowns, the diving deeper when you don’t want to look. Sometimes it feels like I have tried every sort of healing out there, seen every sort of practitioner you can think of, and I am still trying more now.
I am writing this blog now because I am about to officially launch my new business The Whole Life Practice and new my program Release: A Life Without Dieting.
I want people to know that I am not this perfect Health Coach that lives a lifestyle where I always drink green juice and eat buddha bowls. I think it is important for people to know, because through social media it can often be portrayed to look easy and that I don’t deal with my own stuff too. And no, living a healthy lifestyle is not always easy for me either, nor do I feel like I want to do it all the time too.
I want people to know that I have been where they are, and that sometimes I still struggle on my own journey to health and freedom around my body. I want people to know that I am here to be by their side as they walk through their own healing, and that I have their back.
And most importantly, I want people to know that there is another way. The traditional medical system and the diet industry don’t always have the answer, and in my experience are not the answer.
What works for you, may not work for someone else. What worked for you once, may never work again down the line. Losing weight and healing our bodies is complex. There are many levels of healing – Physical, Emotional, Mental, Spiritual, Environmental… and they all count. If you are someone that struggles with their own health or weight, I want to make you an offer. I want to give you with a discovery session with me so you can let me know 'your story' and I can see if I can help. And if not, I can refer you to someone that can.
I hope my story will give you some peace of mind and let you know that you are not alone. I am here with you.
To learn more why dieting doesn't work and what you can do about it, sign up for my upcoming webinar: My Secret Methodology to Stop Dieting for Good.