I can truthfully say I have valued quality health and fitness practices for as long as I can remember. At the age of 8, I had my first exposure to how a change in health status can truly affect one’s life. My dad, a hard-working software engineer, avid runner, and fitness enthusiast, was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma at the ripe age of 33. Running 7-8 miles a day and weight-training religiously weren’t enough to defend him against a cancer diagnosis. He immediately starting implementing holistically healthy practices such as the macrobiotic diet, proper supplementation, and a responsible exercise program, while simultaneously emphasizing the importance of these practices to my brother and I. These practices stuck with me.
From 2005-2007, I experienced my own personal health battle. I spiraled into an eating disorder and compulsive exercising without to be chubby fat, or fluffy. My great fear of gaining weight changed my logic and became “Eat less, workout more, and you’ll be safe!” Needless to say, I caused extensive damage to my body.
Fortunately, with the help of my family, therapist, educational resources, and God’s grace, I was able to pull myself away from the disorder. Physical and Mental healing, on the other hand, was a whole different ball game. I undoubtedly stunted my growth, began taking birth control in order to jump-start my menstrual cycle, and began taking an antidepressant.
I was mentally shot, physically exhausted, and hormonal screwed.
My health journey ignited my passion to continue my higher education in the study of Exercise and Sports Science at Ursinus College in Fall of 2009. In November of 2011 during my junior year, I came face to face with what would be my biggest health battle yet - Lyme Disease. I never found a “bulls-eye” or rash of any kind. The symptoms of chronic fatigue and extreme exhaustion led my roommates to push me to get multiple blood tests done over Fall Break and praise God that I did.
For the next 3 years, I was treated with multiple 21-day rounds of Doxycycline. That was supposed to be the fix for my Lyme and accompanying symptoms.
Did that Band-Aid hold tight for a little while? Absolutely.
I continued on to earn my Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise and Sport Science and obtain my Personal Training Certification through the American College of Sports Medicine, all while prepping for my first NPC Figure Competition.
One of my greatest joys is to see people get healthier, to help them exceed their expectations and actualize their goals. All while realizing that exercise is fun.
The competition in May of 2013 took my body to drastic levels, weakened my immune system, and increased my body’s vulnerability. The result? The Lyme Disease resurfaced, and Adrenal Fatigue wasn’t too far behind.
My Primary Doctor’s solution was another round of Doxycycline to put my Lyme back into a dormant state. **Insert Eye Roll Here**. The symptoms continued, and neither a Chronic Disease Specialist, nor highly-qualified Endocrinologist, could tell me what the hell was wrong with me!
At 23 years old, the only answer I received was “you just need to relax a little bit, stopping working out as much, and take it easy”. I felt so defeated, so lost, so hopeless, like every doctor was making me out to be some type of hypochondriac. I KNEW something was wrong. No, it was NOT normal to feel tired as soon as I woke up and exhausted all day long. I should NOT have to take a 3 hour nap at least once, if not twice a day, just to function (and then have no issue sleeping 10-12 hours or more that night). I had to keep researching, keep looking, continue to seek out other resources. In July of 2015, I learned through an old pre-school teacher of mine of a holistic M.D in my area who specializes in the healing of Lyme Disease patients. We came to find that it wasn’t my Lyme Disease causing majority of these symptoms anymore. It was the Adrenal Fatigue I obtained in the process.
And as I began to share my story, I received, and continue to receive, messages on a daily basis from others who feel JUST LIKE I DID. I discovered that his health issue was A LOT more common than I ever realized. I took on an entirely new approach to healing. For the first time ever, I was being educated on the numerous factors that affect your body’s ability to function and achieve optimal health. Physical activity, Nutrition and supplementation, and adrenal health became my focus.
My health journey has been challenging to say the least. I truly believe that I never would have found the same appreciation for the holistic approach to health if I wouldn’t have been faced with such challenges. It’s like they say, “You don’t know what you don’t know!” Until you’re faced with a situation which requires you to be informed on the subject, you just don’t know!
Because of my experiences, I’ve come to highly value the study of Nutrigenomics (how nutrition and natural compounds affect our genes) and the role it plays in maintaining quality health from the inside, out. I’ve learned to appreciate the value of LISTENING TO YOUR BODY and finding the ROOT of the problem, not just treating the symptom. No two clients are the same.
So using another cookie cutter program isn’t going to restore your health. I look at each and every client as a new individual. We work together to peel back the layers of your health history, past and current health practices, your lifestyle (career, family, obligations), mindset, food preferences, anything and everything we need to create a program that is customized for you, your life, your goals, your ability level, your genetic predisposition. Working first or third shift can change the way your body functions throughout the day. Consuming certain food sources at specific times of the day can have an affect on your hormone levels, and therefore, your energy levels. Little factors like these MATTER.
My belief is that no matter where you are in life, no matter what is going on and what challenges you’re facing, we can design a program and implement lifestyle changes that will work for YOU and help you restore optimal health and well-being.