Michelle Joy Kramer, Health Coach

My Story
Michelle Joy Kramer, Health Coach

My Story

My father was the closest person to me.
Even though he had professional success, my father struggled with obesity and mental illness.

As a kid, my father was the closest person to me.

 

He was a smart, accomplished attorney who was a calming presence in my life. I learned the importance of ambition and hard work by delivering newspapers with him at 4am on the weekends. He was my everything.

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.

Something needed to change…

 

One day, I saw on TV a woman crawling to the finish line of the Ironman World Championship. I was overcome with raw emotion as I stood there smoking a cigarette. I thought, “One day I’m going to do that!” I found a coach and, shortly after, quit smoking. I spent over 40 hours a week training, which included swimming, biking, running, and Bikram Yoga. I was using extreme exercise and food to manage my uncomfortable feelings.

Within 3 years, I won multiple races and discovered a talent that I didn’t even know that I had. In 2003, I qualified for the Ironman Triathlon World Championship in Hawaii. From the outside, again, it looked like I had it all figured out. Despite my awards, I was suffering from adrenal fatigue and digestive issues. I was taking several different kinds of medications. I had an addiction to sugar, junk food, and artificial sweeteners. I hid my issues, never telling anyone what was going on.

Michelle Joy Kramer @ IronMan

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.

Michelle Joy Kramer at the Institute for Integrative Nutriton
Michelle Joy Kramer Institute of Integrative Nutrition

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.

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