Posted on September 10th, 2022.
The long and winding road that led me to create Nutrition Basics; Simple Steps Nutrition.com
I was dragging by age 38. I’d been steadily gaining weight over the prior 10 years to exceed 200 lbs on my 5’2” frame.
My health really tanked in the 5 year period from age 33 to 38.
My estranged mother showed up in need of help.
What I thought would be two months of help became nine months that ended with me going into bankruptcy, financial ruin and near foreclosure.
I hustled enough to dump the house before foreclosure but still lost everything I’d invested into it the prior two years. I worked in banking at the time, so I lost my credibility in my career along with the financial ruin.
As I was going through the final court discharge process for my bankruptcy, I was notified my alcoholic father had committed suicide.
I became the point person for the police and the funeral home. All while still helping my mother move out of the home she caused me to lose.
By the end of that year, I looked and felt completely depleted. Earlier that year I had just finished working my way through a night school bachelor’s degree that took me 8 years to complete.
I had been working as hard as I could possibly work to buy a house, go to school, and do all I could to build a life for myself. After losing it all due to the actions of other people, I was spent.
Instead of launching into what should’ve been a promising time in my early career I took a low-level job just to get by. I didn’t have any juice left for my own life after dealing with the aftermath of my parents’ lives. My weight topped out at 224 lbs.
I was starting to have bigger health issues with my digestion and gallbladder. My blood sugar would spike and tank leaving me hangry (hungry + angry). The worst part was feeling tired and sluggish.
I would drag through my workday sitting at a desk doing my routine job with zero energy left at the end of the day. I would come home, turn on the TV and shovel in food for my ‘reward’. Comfort eating to soothe my emotions had started in childhood, so it was my old friend.
I was seeing a chiropractor at the time who pushed me to do a gallbladder cleanse. When I learned what she meant by that I thought “oh, no way. There is no way I can stomach that”. Her insistence led me to seek out an alternative that landed me in the office of a naturopathic doctor (ND).
I didn’t know what an ND was, but I knew I needed help. That was a life changing experience I will be forever grateful for.
I changed my diet, followed a three-week detox plan, took supplements to aid this process and found that I was sensitive to gluten. After 2 years of working on these items I felt better than I’d felt in years. I looked and felt 20 lbs lighter within weeks of starting the work with the ND but I didn’t see a big change on the scale. Even two years later my weight still hovered around 200 lbs but I felt so much better I didn’t care what the scale said.
I went on to travel and change jobs. Having the energy to make big changes and take on new adventure felt amazing.
This lasted 5-6 years until another period of high stress in my life brought forth an acute onset of Lyme disease that had been lying dormant in my body for decades. Luckily, I knew what to do to support my health.
Clean diet was the baseline that kept me able to function through most of my illness. Today at age 58 my weight is 35 lbs lower and I feel better than I did in my 30’s. People comment I look younger than my years. That’s nice, but for me feeling good is key.
Still weighing 171 lbs as of this writing puts me in the ‘overweight’ category but my general health is excellent. My weight continues to slowly decline as I do deeper levels of emotional healing.
My attempts at calorie restriction never worked. It wasn’t diet and exercise for me. It was releasing the past that allowed the weight to leave my body. Now that I feel better, I have the motivation to exercise and live life more fully.
My good fortune started when I began to clean up my diet, dumping processed foods in favor of whole fruits, veggies, and locally sourced meats.
This journey got me to the place where I felt good enough to go back to school again. This time to study human nutrition and functional medicine. During my application interview for grad school, I was asked “If we accept you into this program, what will you do with what you learn?”. The first thing that popped into my head was the origin of Nutrition Basics. Affordable, accessible “how-to” information for the average person to help others heal using nutrition as a baseline.
I’m still on this journey with you, learning and improving. I hope you’ll decide to join me. Thanks for dropping by.