My story of becoming a health coach was a result of 2020 and my priorities shifting. My education, certification and my experiences that got me to this point is something I can finally say are my biggest accomplishments. While I am a certified health and nutrition coach, my formal graduate education is in health education, with my Master’s Degree in exercise science and kinesiology.
And now I get to share my story with you.
I had quite a different 2020 during quarantine. I am truly grateful. My son was born five weeks early the exact same time that the world shut down. While my husband TJ and I lived in extreme fear and anxiety to keep our little preemie Matthew safe, we were able to shut out the world and truly connect as a family of three in quarantine. I never wanted it to end.
I know teachers that hated virtual learning. I wasn’t one of them. This was my dream – being able to teach on the couch, in my slippers, with Boomer and Gio on mute and subtitles then listening to WFAN all day (New York sports lovers unite)! Not that I didn’t work hard, I did. But I was able to stay home with my little dude and still get paid my full time salary while being safe; sign me up and keep it coming.
That day of pure bliss neared an end. When the day to return to work got closer in November 2020, my meltdowns became an every night thing where my husband could see it coming from a mile away. My drinking became a fun ritual; I would put Matty to bed at 7pm, we would snuggle, and then there was a bottle of Chianti waiting for me when he fell asleep (we went to Italy for our honeymoon so I like to keep up my cool world-traveler appearances and pretend I know the difference between a chianti and a cab).
I knew my thoughts on education and my priorities were shifting.
I knew I was not meant to decorate cookies anymore (more on that later, talk about a reach) but I was meant to help others in what was passionate to me. I knew there was more for me, I knew that I could help others, and I knew that I was beyond passionate.
On January 1st, 2021, I sat down with my new pink notepad and a new pen – when I buy myself new crap for some reason in my head I know I’m serious. This was the first day of our dry January, so with my black cherry seltzer, new pen, new notepad – I got to work.
I have a thing about lists. I freaking love making lists. Writing, doodling, crossing things off is my jam. I still have this piece of paper. I wrote what I am passionate about, and whatever first came to mind: nutrition. Health. Exercise. Being healthy. CrossFit. Decorating cookies. Going to bed early. Being a mom and wife. Then I wrote what I am good at: teaching and helping others. Connecting with people. Fostering relationships. Personality is bomb (yes, I actually wrote that). That last one is pretty ridiculous, but I think I am funny as hell and quite witty.
I didn’t know this would be the most important list I made.
On the list, ‘decorating cookies’ had many stars next to it. Along with the new stuff, if I doodle next to something, again, that means I’m serious. But it didn’t feel right – although I had this great talent, I wasn’t passionate about it. When someone wants to talk to me about inflammation and your gut, I lose my shit with excitement.
Still fighting my intuition, I thought I had my answer. I was going to try to make my small side gig of cookie decorating full time, only because I was good at it. The uneasiness didn’t dissipate, the confidence didn’t increase. I knew this wasn’t right deep down, but I was shaken to my core to speak up about the alternative.
Fast forward a few short hours later, I was getting ready for bed. I kept thinking deep down ‘this isn’t what I should be doing’ but help me lord – when you are about to say something out loud, and it becomes real, it can be truly terrifying. I went for it.
I said out loud awkwardly, to no one except myself ‘You have one second to answer this. What do you want to do?’ Without hesitation, I yelled out ‘BE A HEALTH COACH’ and I swear 40 pounds was lifted off of my shoulders. It was out there, and it was unapologetic. The answers were written on this piece of paper, but since I doodled next to ‘decorating cookies’ that is what I thought my answer was. It was right there screaming my name, telling me this is who I need to be for myself, my family, and others who needed me.
The prospect of helping women achieve their goals as a health coach by saying goodbye to diet culture lit a fire in me I never knew I had.
The reality that being a health coach could truly help them get there is the most promising, exciting part of it all. I have lived through experiences and came out on the other side from binge eating, chronic dieting, weight loss attempts. And now? I get to show others the way.
I have struggled with this; boy have I struggled. The more you get to know me, the more you’ll learn about my disordered binge eating, the 40 diets I have tried and failed at, the enemas I would take, the nights I would cry driving from McDonalds to Wendys to Dairy Queen trying to quiet my screaming mind.
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