As a kid, my father was the closest person to me.
Even though he had professional success, my father struggled with obesity and mental illness. He had a hard time understanding himself and didn’t want help for his depression. When I was 9 years old, he took his own life.
I was devastated. My world was shattered. His death left me in a state of shock and grief. Seeing my despair, my best friend invited me to go for a run. Somehow, the exercise made me feel a little better. I experienced a rush of freedom that soothed my aching heart and inspired a life-long passion for running.
During my teen years, I had to be the best and succeed in everything I did. Still, I always carried my dad and his death with me. I kept the way my father died a secret and only shared it with my closest friends. I began to isolate myself from others and used food to numb my feelings. I was developing unhealthy coping mechanisms.
My love of sports and fitness inspired me to pursue massage therapy as a career. I built a successful practice that allowed me to travel the world. Even though I was an accomplished massage therapist, I struggled with depression and binge eating. Just like my dad, I had outward success and inward struggle.
I had to accept that I wasn’t happy and I didn’t feel good.
After completing the Ironman, I fell into a deeper depression and felt lost. Fortunately, I found a local Chiropractor who supported me and pushed me way beyond my comfort zone. I reduced my exercise and dramatically changed my diet. Even though I was experiencing horrible withdrawal and waves of deeply buried emotion, my life took a turn for the better. Within 3 months, I was off all my medications and I felt amazing. In that moment, I knew it was my purpose to educate others about what I had learned.
Over the course of the next decade, I participated in many different trainings from Landmark Worldwide to Transcendental Meditation (TM) to Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN).
I studied over 100 dietary theories, practical lifestyle management techniques, and innovative coaching methods with some of the world’s top health and wellness experts.
At the same time, I found significant mentors who taught me the importance of punctuality, work/life balance, boundaries, active listening, and self-worth. I found authenticity in the relationship with myself and with others. There were times during my journey when I wasn’t sure if I could create the life I dreamed of, but I kept showing up, taking action-steps, and day by day, I saw results. I was accomplishing everything I set out to do.