Three years ago, I couldn't get out of bed.
My body had shut down. My digestive system had shut down, and at 28, I couldn’t get out of bed. I felt paralyzed. I lost connection to my body. When I tried to move or get out of bed, I would be in extreme pain. Some days I would fight the pain, pushing my body to get up, but I couldn’t turn my neck, put on my clothes, or even stand. There was so much tension and stress in my body that was weighing me down. I had never experienced pain like that before.
After masking my IBS and digestive dysfunction by becoming dependent on laxatives and over-the-counter colonoscopy prep kits, my body (not my brain) decided enough was enough. Initially, I didn’t think my high stress job and the hectic “always-on” type of work would cause such a detrimental effect to my body.
On the surface I looked skinny-fat. I was always bloated, constipated and exhausted. My stomach was always screaming at me on the inside for help, but I ignored my gut instinct, sacrificing my health to keep a job and lifestyle that was literally killing me.
How we digest our food is how we digest our lives.
It was on a trip to Greece, reading one of my favourite health books, Joyous Health, that I thought seriously about changing my career and becoming a holistic nutritionist. It was the only recent trip I could remember, that was A. not a business trip and B. not one where I was always on the go, eating when time could permit, and making sure I had enough emergency laxatives with me. On this trip, I slowed down, took the time to eat my food, and experienced a taste of Greece. Fast forward two weeks later, returning to work, and everything was back to normal - chaos in my body. I was skipping meals, eating on the run, or binge eating at night. My body went back into fight mode or crisis management mode, and again, the inflammation in my body had caused constipation, bloating and weight gain. It was a continuous cycle. I was using laxatives to mimic or create the effect of a bowel movement, fighting against mother nature because I didn’t want to take the time to eat properly.
I spent over 15 years, and hundreds of dollars seeing doctors, naturopaths, and colon hydrotherapists to help me with my IBS. Through a lot of trial and error and an insane amount of money spent on fibre supplements and laxatives combined with sleepless nights lying down on the bathroom floor, I realized there had to be something better. There had to be something better than colonoscopies. There had to be something better than eliminating just dairy from my diet. There had to be something better, not just masking the pain temporarily, but something that would help cure and relieve the constipation, bloating, weight gain and fatigue. It was time I took back control of my life!
What I actually needed was to go with my gut.
I decided that what I finally needed to do was trust myself. After meeting with a few gastroenterologists and being prescribed medication, I realized I needed to fix the root cause of my IBS problem. I connected with a lot of women who were struggling with the same, if not similar, IBS symptoms that I had, but none of them found a system that worked. Like me, many women tried fibre supplements, natural herbal laxatives and teas, medicinal laxatives and enemas, but they were left feeling stuck - always feeling bloated with cramps, cranky, and extremely tired (what we wellness practitioners call brain fog). I decided to take my health into my own hands. In a short period of time, I changed my diet, fixed my digestive issues, beat the bloat, and actually lost weight without spending hours at the gym! I was no longer constipated all the time. I no longer felt extremely tired and if I was walking around with a belly full of cement.
My own personal health story has led me to create a signature 90-day digestive health program focused exclusively for women. I know how embarrassed it is to discuss bowel movements, especially with friends or family. Not to worry, in this program you can share your own personal story without feeling judged or embarrassed. My 90-day Go With Your Gut digestive program is focused on helping women who have chronic constipation, bloating, and gas, to restore their gut to optimal health.
I know where you’ve been! I’ve tried many prescriptions, methods and recipes, and my battle with IBS has been a long one. I was feeling burned out, confused about what to eat, and felt sick all the time. I ignored my gut instinct, obsessing with my weight and exercise until I realized that I had to change my state of mind around my digestion and my relationship with food. When I allowed myself to slow down and focus on what my body was telling me through my symptoms (the bloating, constipation, and fatigue), I realized that I needed to re-connect. Once I reconnected with my body, I not only felt better but looked better from the inside out!
When you connect with your gut instinct,
you connect with that inner place of knowing.
After many years of neglecting to listen to my body, I now understand how to create a truly healthy lifestyle. I have learned how to slow down and connect with my gut instinct. I overcame my fear and anxiety of eating quickly at work. My fear led me to think that if I if took time to nourish myself, I wouldn’t be able to finish my work. I’ve learned that skipping meals and juice cleanses worked against me, and that taking the time out of my day to go poop is a healthy thing. Instead of focusing on band-aid solutions and laxatives, I finally focused on fixing my digestive system. I focused on making decisions from that place of inner knowing and shifted my focus on how I wanted to look and feel - healthy!
No one knows your body better than you do.
Taking a chance on myself was the best decision I ever made. When I am in a state of connection with my gut instincts by listening, checking in with my body, and taking the time to breath and eat, I am connecting with my true self. Hold the vision of yourself as being truly healthy and happy from the inside out. Make the healthy choice from your gut.
Integrative Nutrition Health Coach – Institute for Integrative Nutrition, New York (in progress)
Energy Medicine Practitioner – Institute of Holistic Nutrition, Toronto (2016)
Holistic Nutritionist – Institute of Holistic Nutrition, Toronto (2016)
Postgraduate Certificate in Public Relations – Humber College, Toronto (Class of 2013)
Postgraduate Certificate in Advertising - University of Toronto (2011)
Graduate Certificate in Public Relations - Humber College, Toronto (2009)
Bachelor of Arts in Communications and History - York University, Toronto (2006)
...Most importantly, I’ve been where you are, with no one on speed dial! Trust me, everything will become better when we fix one thing that impacts everything - your digestion.