I earned my Bachelor of Science in Dietetics at Western Michigan University and I am a Registered Dietetic Technician. My journey began as a teenager when I was the brunt of mean jokes about my naturally slender stature, leading me to turn to fast food to put on pounds. Eventually tired of what I knew was a destructive habit, emotionally and physically, I chose to embrace myself and swap the junk for nourishing, whole foods.
I was made fun a lot as a teen; difficult during those years when you are already self-conscious and insecure. I was very skinny. Healthy, but just plain skinny; it is simply the way I am built. Not the worst thing in the world you may think, but it hurt me very badly.
I was called or asked if I was anorexic right to my face. Harsh. I was incessantly asked things like, how much did I weigh? What do I eat? Maybe I should eat more. 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.)
I felt like just a skinny bag of bones to the world. But I’m not. I am beautiful. I learned to 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 than my fairy-like cuteness would have it seem.
I didn’t 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 (but, 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 at random. (Really, it’s no biggie, and really, that’s what it feels like).
I have never struggled with deep depression over my self-image problems. Overall, I really was a fairly 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. Every day I felt 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.
My own journey to physical wellness began with healing from hurt and accepting myself, and choosing to care for myself, physically and emotionally. This is me. This is my story. I will live to breathe words of life, healing, beauty, honor, and comfort to anyone who needs it. I will never make anyone feel the way those people growing up made me feel. I care for myself as a whole, loving myself for who I am, and loving the whole food I nourish my body with.