Sticks and Stones: My Story, My Why, and the Power of Words

So I have shared bits of why I got into nutrition. You can read my About section on this blog. I dedicated a whole two sentences to it. But I’ve never been completely raw and open on the subject. So here goes. I was made fun of as a teen. A lot. Constantly. For YEARS on end. I was skinny. Healthy, but just plain skinny. Very skinny. Not the worst thing in the world you think? No, it’s not. But I hope you get that bad comments hurt. A lot. If not, before you are tempted to click the x in the corner of your browser and roll your eyes about how everyone wants to look like that and what do I have to complain about because you think I hit the genetic jackpot, keep reading.

How would you like being called or asked if you were anorexic? Yes, right to your face. That’s harsh, isn’t it? Being asked incessantly how much you weigh? What do I eat? I should eat more. Here’s the reality, I freaking LOVE food. I’m a nutritionist who eats food, loves to talk about food, loves to cook food, and even loves all kinds of sugary sweet food. (In moderation of course, I really do practice what I preach. Really. I swear.)

Am I just a skinny bag of bones to the world? I sure hope not. No, I’m not. I am beautiful. I love and embrace my petite frame. I’ve been told I have a fairy/elf-like appearance. I’m pretty sure that’s a compliment. I take it as one. Go fairies! I’m a bookworm. A (slightly awkward) introvert. Passionate thespian. Creative seamstress. Highly sensitive person. More adventurous and tougher, I promise you, than my fairy-like cuteness would have it seem.

I didn’t even become a nutritionist because of overcoming a serious illness in life. The worst thing I need to worry about is hypoglycemia and not overloading on carbs because diabetes runs in my family (yes I know unmanaged diabetes can become very serious). And my undiagnosed tic disorder. (It’s just embarrassing.) And there’s that weird, annoying fish-flopping in my chest murmur thing my heart does usually as a way of telling me, “Hey! You’re stressed! Will you flippin’ calm down!” (Really, it’s no biggie, and really, that’s what it feels like).

Anyway, I have never struggled with deep depression over my self-image problems I had; overall, I really was a happy kid growing up. So I don’t, by any standard, have a dramatic rise-from-the-ashes story to tell. But my story and passion to tell it is genuine and heartfelt.

Sometimes I think I have no right to stand up and shout about my problems because many others have had it much worse than me. But pain is still pain. Unfair treatment is still unfair. And the effect it has is real. I would cry about the things people would say. I would keep relationships, at times, at arms length because I didn’t trust anyone to not judge me or say something stupid and hurtful. It even turned me a bit cynical. I obsessively weighed myself multiple times a day for years. I even had irrational fears about losing weight.

Sit and think about how this feels. Think about it. Every day feeling like there was something fundamentally wrong with me over something that was completely out of my control. There was nothing I could do about the way I am. That feeling really wears on you. So I will speak out for anyone being picked on and made fun of. You are AWESOME. Rise above what the world thinks of you.

So everyone, I hope we learned a valuable lesson today. Words hurt like hell. But you know what? This is bigger than me. Bigger than the four years I spent studying my brains out at college (although I hope that counts for something). Bigger than teaching people stuff like how to love good whole food and cut out sugar and generally don’t eat crap you can’t pronounce and yes whole food fats are good for you. (Shameless plug here for my awesome online course. Seriously, check it out!) This is even bigger than the lives I want to save through transforming their health. Because, yes there is something even more important than your physical wellness.

I had a coworker tell me a few months ago that God told him to ask me what my “why” was. This is it. It was a reminder of just how important my purpose is in helping people. It pushed me even more to remember a greater picture. And I am sharing that vision with you. So that is why I got into nutrition. So my why, the something greater, is this. The love and life that Jesus has shared with me. To be a light and source of healing and true beauty for him.

Casual comments, biting remarks. It destroys people. No really, it destroys them. Don’t be that person. Yes, those words will stick forever. So don’t be careless. Don’t think your better than anyone. Don’t think you know it all. DON’T be quick to judge. Anyone.

Breathe life. Breathe hope. Let words of praise be on your lips. Life-giving words of blessing. Honor. Beauty. Wisdom. This is me. This is my story. Who are you? Who do you want to be? Who are you going to inspire others to be?

Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. – Proverbs 12:18