Not many people know that I suffer from an autoimmune disease.
My body just decided to attack itself.
What’s up with that?
I struggled for years, not realizing that the symptoms I was ‘just dealing with’ were actually signposts along the way that my body was out of balance and desperately seeking a way – any way – back to homeostasis.
And the fact of the matter is, there is now actually more than one autoimmune disease presenting itself in my body– which is not uncommon, unfortunately. Where there is one, others often follow.
I have struggled for years with overwhelming fatigue, brain fog and memory lapses, joint and muscle pain, GI discomfort and bloating, thinning hair, difficulty sleeping, energy crashes, low blood sugar episodes, weight gain/difficulty losing weight, and even periods of depression.
I knew something was ‘off’ but I couldn’t figure out what it was.
I come from a strong German background. We were raised to work hard and make the most of every day. If you didn’t feel well, our ‘prescription’ was to take a hot shower and drink some warm tea and then just get on with what needed to be done. So that’s what I did.
Modern medicine’s answer is pills and prescriptions.
I have never been a fan of pumping my body full of chemical medications or prescriptions, so I read as many books as I could and tried to take as much ‘natural remedy’ action as I could to deal with my symptoms as well as I could.
I lived with all of this symptomology for *years*– believing that life is just stressful (and it is for everyone, so that’s not any different for me) – and the fatigue, the weight gain, the brain fog, the stomach discomfort, the insomnia, the low blood sugar – that was all just related to living a crazy, busy life.
If I was active, drank my water, took my vitamins, exercised my body, and ate good foods, I should be/would be healthy, fit, and immensely capable.
I had big goals. I wanted to accomplish great things. I was raised to believe I could do whatever I set my mind to. I was “Wonder Woman”.
For my entire adult life, I pushed my way through all of these symptoms that I realize now (hindsight is 20/20, as we say in Texas) were actually my body SCREAMING at me that things were NOT alright.
And then, it all came crashing down. I felt like my body just gave up. Seemingly overnight, my energy level tanked to zero. My brain couldn’t focus on anything at all. An overwhelming feeling of fatigue and despair engulfed me. I dragged myself through my days at a barely-functioning low hum. I couldn’t remember what I had done the day before, or what I was supposed to do in the next five minutes. I laid down for ridiculously-long naps in the middle of the day, too exhausted to think, much less do.
This was my wake-up call. I was 45 years old.
I knew I needed help. This was just NOT RIGHT.
Even though I now know this development was actually YEARS in the making – it seemed sudden and out of the blue to me at this moment in time.
As an avid reader and learner, I empowered myself to find an answer on my own, scouring the internet and reading every book and article I could that mentioned my symptoms, or provided a case history that sounded even the least bit like me.
I did not want to go to any general medical practitioner or MD, because I knew they would most likely prescribe some type of medication(s) to just deal with my symptoms.
Deep down, I KNEW that all of these symptoms were signals from my body that sh*t was not right. I didn’t want someone to give me some meds to ‘deal with’ the symptoms, just like we put a bandage on a wound to just stop the bleeding.
I wanted to know WHY I had hit this wall and WHY my body was in crisis.
I just knew I had to figure out what was going on at a deeper level, and address it from within.
From the outside, I look like a perfectly healthy and fit person – I am a personal trainer, after all! And a Pro-level physique competitor to boot! I have spent most of my adult life working on my body and my health and teaching others to do the same!
I talk to my clients EVERY DAY about how the body is this crazy, amazing machine that is *designed* to be highly adaptive and function the way it does to keep us alive, breathing and moving within one of the most efficient and complex systems imaginable.
Obvious to me now, it was time for me to take a deeper dive into what was going on in MY body. And to learn what needed to be done to bring it back to the balanced, highly-functional system it was designed to be.
I sought out some lab testing to see what it could tell me about what was going on in my body.
And with that testing came the results: the diagnoses of the autoimmune disease Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and sub-clinical Addison’s disease (adrenal insufficiency).
The proverbial hit-on-the-head… I was not so healthy after all.
Not one to wallow in any kind of misery for very long, I jumped right from feelings of relief at diagnosis, to fear about what it could mean for me and my life, to anger about what might’ve caused it, and then directly into the biggest question of all: ‘Now, what do we do about it?’
To find the answers to that Big Question, shortly after my diagnoses I enrolled in the Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® Course to dig deeper into my own health issues and get to the bottom of them once and for all.
As I pursued my education, I began to realize how many others were struggling with the very same symptoms that I had been struggling with for years. Even though they were ‘eating right’ and working out, there was something else stopping them from getting results and feeling amazing in their bodies, as they should.
The FDN training taught me a whole new way of looking at disease and health.
There is either health, or deficiency of health. Ease in the body, or dis-ease. This amazing body of ours is designed to be always seeking homeostasis, or balance – it is a complex, robust physiology that can support complex systems and should function with energy, balance and vitality.
When dis-ease takes hold, it is because the body has fallen into imbalance.
Much like the foundation of a building, the foundational structure of our body has developed cracks and fissures over time due to innumerable, silent ‘attacks’ on the system – thereby allowing disease and disorder to settle in and ultimately creating a cascade of what is essentially metabolic chaos throughout the body.
When I started digging deeper into my own lab results, I found a LOT of hormone imbalance, gut dysfunction, liver imbalance, food reactivity and cellular damage. So I looked into mapping out my ideal health journey – what I needed to do to provide my body with the support necessary to repair and restore itself back to optimal functioning and health.
Learning to not only really LISTEN to my body, but to also USE the information it gave me through lab testing, I have been able to make the necessary adjustments to my diet, sleep, exercise and environment to support my healing process.
Combined with the knowledge of 20+ years in personal training and research-based nutrition practices, I now know exactly what to do with my diet, sleep, and exercise to support my ongoing healing process.
I took action to reduce stress in my life, to support my body even more, and to implement the right supplements that would re-balance my hormonal pathways, speed up necessary detoxing and encourage the healing process. I am continuously aware of supporting my body in the ways it needs most, so I can function optimally. Every. Single. Day. With energy and vitality.
As an FDN Practitioner, I run all kinds of simple at-home lab tests for my clients so we can take a deeper look into their health, to figure out what is holding them back from living their fullest life with their ideal health and weight.
Living life to the fullest – healthy, energetic, joyful and loving – THAT is the end-game for me and for my clients.
Life is a journey. It has it’s twists and turns, and it frequently changes direction as you learn and evolve. So it is with your health.
Your body holds your history. There is nothing you can do about the past, but you have the potential to treat it well and give it the support it needs to ensure health and longevity, now and in your future.
What you once thought was healthy might look different once you understand your body better.
I have learned to embrace this myself. And frankly, I still work on it every single day – mentally and physically. Health is a journey, as is life. But now, my energy is endless, my gut is healthy & functioning well, my hormones are stable, and I feel like Wonder Woman again. I have adopted a more holistic version of a healthy lifestyle that supports me and my needs – and I teach others to do the same – but it IS a process. We have to learn to trust that process. Despite it’s challenges, we can all live a truly healthy life – one we have always dreamed of, feeling like our best selves.
You CAN become so healthy that dis-ease has no place in your physiology anymore.
You CAN take back control of your health with the right information, tools, resources, diet, sleep, exercise, stress-reducing techniques and supplements – just like I am.
As a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner and Holistic Health Coach, I support people just like you in taking back control of your health by giving you access to the right lab tests and resources so you can find the ‘cracks’ in your body’s foundation and identify the imbalances – and then fix what is off-kilter and get back to feeling like yourself again (or for the very first time!).
I am here to tell you – from first-hand experience – that you CAN live a healthier life, one you have always dreamed of, filled with vitality, energy, empowerment and joy. And I would be honored to be your guide on this fascinating journey of discovery.
If you’re tired of being tired all the time, don’t feel like yourself in your own skin and suspect that something just isn’t right with your body but can’t find the right doctor or practitioner who meets all your needs – I am here to help.
I would love to talk with you and see how I can support and empower you to truly BE WELL, for life.