As a health coach and someone who truly wants to help others thrive and be their best self, it's only fitting for me to share how I ended up where I am today. Behind all the pretty food photos, recipes, and wellness tips, there's a girl who has been through her own journey, who knows what you're struggling with, and whose mission is to guide and support you on your personal journey to wellness and self-love.
Growing up, I was a straight-A student and your classic overachiever. My friends were the popular kids, I lived in the right neighborhood, and wanted for nothing. But deep down, I always compared myself to my peers (weight, looks, clothes, grades) and my introverted nature kept me on the outskirts of my group of friends. I often felt lonely and never quite good enough.
My issues with food arose just before my senior year of high school. I broke my foot at a church sleepover that Memorial Day weekend and was in a cast through Labor Day. I became super concerned with gaining weight as I already "thought" I was on the heavier side.
So, I started counting calories. I was the queen of Excel spreadsheets (this was way before iPhones and calorie counting apps) and would log all of my food, limiting myself to 1200 calories a day. I also hit the gym to lift weights and ride the stationary bike. As soon as my cast was off, I hit the gym even harder - working out for 1-2 hours almost daily. I was down from 132 to 118 pounds, but still didn't feel comfortable in my own skin. I even lost my period. Looking back at pictures, I was tiny, but didn't feel that way.
A year later, it was off to college. I found my group of friends, joined a sorority, and started being noticed by boys (which never happened in high school). I constantly felt pressure (self inflicted of course) to keep up with my fellow sorority sisters - working out, eating salads, binging on dessert then working out to burn it off, going to frat parties and drinking Crystal Light flavored vodka cocktails (because calories...), and so forth. It was exhausting, but it's what so many of us did.
Then, a bomb hit the summer between my freshman and sophomore years. My parents told us they were getting a divorce. It was beyond devastating, and shortly thereafter I started binge eating to fill the emotional void.
Any sense of self I had was gone. This perfect from the outside sorority girl who had been so vigilant about counting calories and working out was suddenly sneaking Pop Tarts from the sorority kitchen and eating five Luna Bars at a time. I was in a complete spiral.
Over the course of 2 years, I gained 50 pounds. My self worth plummeted even further, and I was miserable. But, I also knew I needed help - that I couldn't get out of this alone. So, I researched eating disorder counselors and started going to therapy.
It was also during this time that I had my mid-college crisis and changed my major from biology / pre-med to art history. In order to meet all of my graduation requirements, it made sense for me to study abroad. I went to London for the first semester of my senior year. It was there that I finally felt free from the confines of college life and all it's associations. I became friends with a few classmates, but for the most part, I was still a loner. The difference, however, was that I was learning to live with and enjoy my own company. I started to like myself again. I still binged, but not as much, and I came home far more confident than when I left.
Then, it was time to figure out what I wanted to do after college. I decided to apply for graduate school and ended up moving to New York. It was honestly the best decision I could have made. The move continued my journey towards self love and acceptance. And over the first five years post-college, I slowly regained control of my body and myself.
This is also when I started to cook more and experiment with plant-based eating. I learned to eat intuitively, to enjoy food, and to not beat myself up if I slipped. The kitchen became a place of comfort and creativity for me.
I was becoming more confident and outgoing too, which led me to meet some of my dearest, truest friends (and my adoring husband as well). I was finally loving myself first and foremost, which meant that I could then, in turn, give more of myself to others.
It's been quite the journey to today, but it's also made me who I am, and I wouldn't trade a single moment of it. I'm still a work in progress (we all are), but my approach these days is to embrace life's adventures and prioritize myself like no one else can.
I hope my story inspires you. My goal in sharing this is for you to know you're not alone and that you can come out the other side of your journey a stronger and healthier you too.
With so much love,