My Training, Story, and Philosophy
Discover what lead me into health coaching, the training I received and the philosophy that guides me.
In my early 20’s, I struggled with sinus, ear, urinary tract, bronchial infections, and I ended up taking different rounds of antibiotics. I struggled with acne, stomach ulcers, depression, infertility, miscarriage, hypothyroidism (and all the symptoms that go along with low-thyroid like weight gain, fatigue, hair loss, cold intolerance, dry skin and eyes, and poor sleep).
Midlife was an exercise in weight management but despite my on and off efforts at diet or exercise, I kept gaining weight. I even completed a marathon at my heaviest! However, my physical health continued to deteriorate. I knew something was wrong. I ended up seeing a gastroenterologist and was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, an autoimmune condition. I wanted to know what caused it and how to prevent or reverse it. The doctor just wanted me to come back when I was worse to talk about medications that could help with symptoms. I wanted to know the root cause so I could make different choices and prevent the acceleration of the disease.
BEFORE Size 16
It all boiled down to my gut health. All those antibiotics, medications, stress and poor food choices along the way ruined my gut lining and put my immune system on high alert. Eventually, I also ended up with Hypothalamus, Pituitary, Adrenal Axis dysfunction (aka adrenal fatigue), multiple food sensitivities, small-intestinal-bacterial-overgrowth (aka SIBO), macrocytic anemia, absorption issues and even heavy-metal toxicity!
Despite my friends, family and faith, I felt hopeless and alone.
My road to healing started with my choices: how I organized my life and what I put in my body. I hadn’t been as pro-active in my health as I could have been.
I began researching how foods can affect your body and did an elimination diet to discover what foods might be immune system triggers for me. In doing that, I discovered numerous food sensitivities. I changed my diet. This changed my life. I went from a size 16 to a size 2. Most of the digestive issues I was having resolved themselves after avoiding the foods my body was reacting to and taking time to heal my gut. I sought the help of a Functional Medicine practitioner to help with the fine-tuning, supplementation and lab testing. I became myself again and got back my energy and life! But, it can be a difficult, long and sometimes lonely journey.
TODAY SIZE 2
Every step of the way, the ups and downs, God has been there. Sometimes I turned to Him; sometimes I was too busy doing my own thing. As I grew in my faith, I learned when to wait on Him, when to walk with Him, when to stand my ground, and how to abide in relationship with Him. It is similar to our physical health. It takes deliberate choices everyday. The truths I have learned and applied have made me stronger and allowed me to walk in the purpose he designed me for. There is nothing more exciting than partnering with God in this journey! Every day is an adventure.
I have learned that the small choices you make everyday in the areas of mind, body and spirit, wash over your genes and express themselves in healthy or not-so-healthy ways. And, that changing your habits takes more than willpower. By calling on God’s power, using his natural principles and having a faithful friend walking it out with you, change is possible.
A balanced, healthier lifestyle, more energy, joy and confidence are all possible for you! Get yourself back on track doing the things you enjoy most and by honoring God with your whole self! Click HOW IT WORKS to find out more about what health coaching can do for you!
Like what happened in my story, often doctors diagnose you with a disease and offer medications to treat your symptoms. Unlike the traditional medicine model, Functional Medicine is a model of medicine that is a science-based way of thinking that steps back and asks ‘Why’. It looks to uncover what is causing the symptoms and addresses the root causes of illness. Functional Medicine often uses lifestyle choices as a first line of defense.
Lifestyle choices include:
- eating patterns
- exercise and movement
- sleep and relaxation, including self-care
- stress management and mindset
- supportive relationships and community
As a Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach, I have been trained in the principles of positive psychology, motivational interviewing, the science-based approach of Functional Medicine and nutrition, and mind-body medicine modalities. These philosophies help bring out the best in you to help you achieve the results you want creating real, sustainable lifestyle changes. The science and psychology training I’ve received truly reinforces how fearfully and wonderfully made we are and only serve to strengthen my beliefs within the Christian faith.
For more information about my certification and training, visit the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy, a collaboration with the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM). Visit these websites to learn more about how Functional Medicine is reversing chronic disease and how the IFM is supporting this trend.
I continue to study the work of a variety of functional medicine doctors and industry experts to provide you with the best, custom coaching. I am currently preparing to take the exam to become a National Board Certified Health & Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC) through the International Consortium for Health & Wellness Coaching organization. This board sets the sets the standards for foundational competencies in knowledge, tasks and skills essential to the practice of health and wellness coaching.
I view health from a holistic perspective. Although my primary focus is physical health and habit change, I am interested in you as a whole person. This mind, body, spirit approach recognizes that these dimensions of you are intertwined and cannot be compartmentalized or separated.
God calls us to renew our minds. Many of us are on autopilot letting our minds ruminate over conversations, hurts, failures, and on what we are going to do next. Instead, we need to be in the present moment, aware of our self-talk, thinking about and focusing on good things and God’s truth. Over time, these habits produce fruit. God says if we abide in him, we will produce fruit.
It won’t happen on its own. It takes diligent effort. Just like exercising our bodies, we exercise our mind, will and emotions to line up with who God says we are and with our goals, dreams and values. We shouldn’t stuff or avoid our feelings, they are a barometer that gauges what is happening, but we also don’t have to be ruled by our feelings. We get to choose. We can change the channel of our mind and focus on the good in ourselves, in others and in our circumstances.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is, his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2
“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:22-24
I believe God has called us to be good stewards of our bodies. We should be paying more attention to what we fuel ourselves with, how we move, live and take care of what God has given us. In the parable of the talents, Jesus is not just talking about money. He is talking about stewardship. We are an example to the world, our kids, our friends, co-workers, neighbors and we should honor God with our bodies. When we eat healthy foods, move a little each day, get enough sleep, meditate on God’s promises and his goodness, engage in meaningful relationships, and manage our stress levels, our body operates at its best. This also positively affects our thinking, emotions, choices and actions.
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies.” I Corinthians 6:19-20
God made us for a purpose. He wants us to partner with him while we are here on earth. What is your calling? What gets you excited about the day? What are you passionate about? What are your dreams? Do you know your purpose? If life has just been going at warp speed and you have lost sight of the big picture, of your purpose and identity, let’s get that picture back in focus.
“Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Proverbs 29:18
“…my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.” Hosea 4:6
If you have questions about how health coaching can support you today and give you hope for healthier tomorrow, schedule a FREE 30-minute call!