My father’s last advice included to stay away from the inspirational (which is valid advice), but I’ve always been one inherently dancing to my own rhythm and I had the idea to bios on us all so I’m going to follow that intuition, if people don’t want to read it, there are over 500 articles on an array of health topics that they can search. I think it is nice to get a break from the science every once and while and see a real person, someone living this way, someone who has struggled (which you will see I have). Now as an owner at a mere 24 I continuously get quizzical looks like: who is this girl, what can she know, how can she know what I’m dealing with, she’s not 15% why do I want to listen to her? Then I have to look back to my own journey and quite judging myself for them, like my mom says: I know my story, where I’ve been, and where I’m going, I don’t have to defend myself to anyone. I’ll talk about inspiration because it’s been a big part of my life for the past year. One of the things as I chronically age, I find is that I am constantly striving for balance. Eating and practicing a lifestyle to balance hormones; balancing my look with the perfect amount of hardness and edge, yet feminine; and importantly in my mindset to balance spirituality and creativity
with my analytical/scientific self. Growing up I always had a fascination with the human form. After taking advanced art in elementary school, I took immediately to portraiture drawing, which evolved into movements and sports pictures. I’ve always held an intrigue with sports and musculature for a long time as well, growing up persistently watching and playing sports (softball and dabbling in distance running). My sister is 7 years older than me, so I remember times watching her bench press in the garage and of course I wanted to do it. Not to be like my sister, but better, as my family has been known to be a wee bit competitive. I pleaded with my father to let me lift weights, before settling on an agreement that at age 10 I could start lifting lighter weights (which I admit I did not always stick to). Once dad had completed his first transformation, I was ready to go with the challenge (tell me something is hard or I can’t do something and I’d be hell bent on proving them wrong). I finished the summer before my sophomore year at 17%, fluctuated and started the following summer at 22%. Summers always marked a time of dedication and change. I finished that summer at the lowest percentage I’ve ever been 13%. I had spent that entire summer in the garage (where the business started) watching my dad interact with clients, and I was hooked, completely and utterly in love. I knew instantly that it is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life (hence my going to school and earning my degree in exercise science). It combined my ascetic love of the human body and my scientific passion and figuring out how things work. Our eating then, however, still incorporated whole grains (addictive foods) and we would finish programs with ‘cheats’, which for me would be a death sentence. I could not stop eating these addictive foods and would succumb to binging, thinking that the next day I would start a new program the next day so that this day would be my last one of eating bad. Needless to say this didn’t work and I continued this pattern and sank in to my most depressed state throughout most of my college years. Then I would let my self feel pressure of the image I was supposed to portray for the business and I was in an endless cycle, until finally last summer I got focused. But again I fell into the pattern of finishing a program, going on vacation and feeling lost with what I was supposed to do next. I went back to binging, although this time I stayed away from grain, starches and sugars, I became a prime example of eating too much of good things (I had a special affinity for protein bars and nut butter). Enter in the last year and months spent on restrictive eating, working with my father I got down to the lowest I’d been on the body analysis machines at 16%. But again I fell into that old pattern of finishing a photo shoot, going on vacation, and feeling lost. I ate too much, but at this I had been going through a spiritual/inspirational change, so with my heightened since of awareness I tried to determine what was causing this pattern and how I let it happen. Always a firm believer in everything happening for a reason, I took this as an opportunity to realize this cycle (focused summer, finished program, winter weight gain, and refocused again) and make internal changes to combat this, to stop it in its tracks. I focused on myself, discovering a love and happiness for myself that I had never experienced before. I became 100% confident in myself, seeing my own beauty and perfection. At the same time I delved into my study. Things just began clicking and as the holidays began approaching, I became steadily better in my eating. And from December on I didn’t have any triggers, no nuts or protein bars. I began to look at food for what it is doing for me, realizing that food is my drug. I looked at my sister and she scared the shit out of me: 31 with two auto-immune diseases and on 5 different medications, no muscle tissue and headed towards more complications. Food became a way of life to increase my life, and decrease disease. I began eating for my future and it became a challenge to start incorporating the healthiest foods that I could and making sure that what I was eating was being utilized. I went back to traditional ways of living and cooking. My shed that I live in (yes I live in a storage shed, perfect for cave-like sleep) became perfect to practice sleep (8-10 hours a night), I focused on balancing time at work and time in nature. I began making my own bone broths, fermenting my own foods, buying mostly organic fruits and vegetables. I took up hunting and began procuring my own game, or buying only grass-fed or pasture-raised. That is where I stand today. Although I’m not at my lowest body fat (which consequently I can feel myself changing because of my new habits and which I will highlight my own weight loss in two weeks), I am at my healthiest. My body is functioning at a high level, I have energy, strength, a strong immune system (I have been sick 6 hours the last 2 years). I haven’t had any episodes and most importantly I am changing. So in 24 years I have evolved to the happiest and healthiest point in my life. The cycle is broken because I am living the lufestyle that I have created for myself (rather than mindlessly following a program designed by father) that I’m doing for myself and can continue for the rest of my life. I take pride in my cooking, that tastes good and I have rediscovered my passion for food by looking at and teaching all its wonderful health benefits. That’s my story and it continues to develop each day as I seek more information and challenge myself to be better (spiritually and health wise) each day. Cheers to health and happiness!
BE, Love, Illuminate