Health Coach - Recovering People Pleaser - Foodie
Chapter One: Food binges, mystery symptoms, and healing autoimmunity
A lot of clients ask me, “Have you always been this healthy and fit?” Honestly… not at all. It has been an extremely long road with way more twists and turns than I would have liked.
As a type-A, people-pleasing perfectionist, AND a dancer growing up, to say I was bothered by my stubborn baby fat would be a huge understatement. I wanted so badly to have the flat abs and long legs of my idols, but my body wouldn’t budge.
I obsessively worked out, sometimes spending hours at the dance studio, other times hitting the gym twice per day. And I was utterly fixated on my food.
Seriously, by middle school I was “dieting” with the best of them, proud of all the willpower I could show and happy to receive any praise I could for it.
That is, until no one was looking. At night, when my family would go to bed, I would sneak into the kitchen and grab all the cookies, crackers, pretzels, and ice cream I could find, spread it all out over my bed, and go to town while watching Friends re-runs.
Back then I never would have said I had an eating disorder, but hindsight is 20/20.
Fast-forward to sophomore year of college. The baby fat was gone, and thanks to countless self-help books (yes, I read them as a teen), loads of reflection, and finding the autonomy and control I was desperate for by moving away for college, the night binges were over.
But my struggles with my health had only just begun.
What I didn’t mention about my earlier years, was the long list of mystery symptoms that cropped up with no explanation, and no relief.
I got white, itchy patches covering my back and shoulders that no dermatologist could diagnose.
I had (sorry TMI) terrible and chronic diarrhea that a doctor prescribed me cholesterol medicine for. Cholesterol medicine! Not because cholesterol had anything to do with it, but because a side effect of the drug was supposed to inexplicably help. No thank you.
I was chronically exhausted. I mean 12 hours of sleep and still falling asleep in class levels of exhausted.
I got sick with bronchitis what felt like every other month.
And I had cystic acne on my face, back and chest that lasted well beyond my adolescence.
Years of doctors visits and no one could figure it out. It wasn’t until I enrolled in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become a certified holistic health coach, that I finally got my answers.
We got to a section about something called “Candida overgrowth.” I had never heard of it before. But as they went down the laundry list of symptoms, it was like someone was describing my life.
I got a confirmation from a doctor, and began following a candida cleanse right away.
But the damage was done. 10 years of gut damage from that candida and I had developed an autoimmune disease, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.
It would take another 5 years of finding and eliminating food allergies, detoxing from heavy metals, supporting my adrenals, and healing my gut before I would finally find the remission that brought me the health and fitness I have today.
And let me tell you, none of the answers I got came from a fitness magazine. I had to experiment, I had to listen to my body, I had to study hard, and I had to find the diet and workout plan that got me to my goals without re-stressing my body into illness.
Which is why, if you ask any of my clients, they will all tell you I don’t just “train.”
I connect your health, your happiness, your diet, your mood, your stress, your job, everything because I know from experience, health and fitness doesn’t exist in a vacuum.
It’s just one piece of a much greater puzzle and if you’re always trying to deal with the surface level problems, you’ll keep running in circles with surface level solutions.
If you feel like you’re in need of some deeper work with your health or your fitness and you’re tired of chasing all the fads that don’t work for long, let’s hop on a strategy call and figure out what will work for YOU.
Perfectionist - Dreamer - "You Are a Bad Ass" Junkie
Chapter Two: Fear of failure, fear of money, fear of wanting more, OH MY!!
It’s funny, for the longest time, I thought conquering my health problems would be the biggest battle of my life. But it wasn’t. It was just the fight I had to win to step into the arena of the rest of my life.
So what do you do after years of focusing so hard on overcoming this one thing, and then finally succeeding?
Do you arise victorious and seek the next big battle to fight?
Psh. Not me. I was tired. I didn’t want to fight, and it showed up in my life. Sure, from the outside it looked like I was crushing it. I was in my early 20’s paying my bills with the business I built from the ground up, living in a nice apartment in Dallas, and enjoying a good relationship.
But honestly, I look back now and realize how small I was thinking, how small I was living, and how small I was playing with my dreams.
I convinced myself I didn’t need much. I told myself as long as I could keep a roof over my head, food on my table, and go on an occasional date night, I’d be happy.
But I wasn’t happy. I was ok, I was content, I was fine, but I wasn’t truly happy.
And it’s because deep down, I knew I wasn’t living into a fraction of my potential and I wasn’t chasing the life I honestly was ashamed to want. If that sounds confusing, bare with me.
Everything changed with the book, “You are a Bad Ass” by Jen Sincero. It was in those pages that I came to terms with who I wanted to be and what life I wanted to live.
It forced me to look at my deep fear of failure that kept me sitting on the sidelines of my life. I realized that my people-pleasing tendencies were keeping me timid, and small, and quiet. Perfectionism was my favorite tool for procrastination. And setting goals as big, and lofty, and audacious as Jen prodded her readers to set, was frankly terrifying.
But I set them nonetheless. I coaxed myself to get over the shame of wanting money, like, a lot of money. Like the kind of money that lets you travel the world, and go to fancy restaurants whenever you want, and live in a beautiful house with a backyard, and open kitchen plan.
I began letting myself dream of helping more than the handful of clients I could serve one-on-one in my apartment gym. I started believing, maybe, just maybe, I could have a larger impact on our world.
These are still dreams. But simply allowing myself to believe in them has brought them closer to me than ever before. My income has doubled in less than two years, I’ve expanded my business online and have booked speaking engagements that have allowed me to reach more women. And it’s only the beginning.
But it started with the hard and scary work of breaking down the walls that had protected me for so long.
But what I discovered in that process is when you allow yourself to go there, to get really freaking vulnerable, and to dare to want more for your life than you’ve settled for in the past, you’ll see yourself grow, and transform, and expand in ways you never thought possible.
That’s my challenge to you, dear reader. Develop the confidence to dream more, strive more, and have more, because you deserve more.
And if you need a little help letting yourself want more and developing the confidence to put yourself and your dreams first, you might look into my free People-Pleaser Detox. I wish I had this as I was struggling to chase my bigger goals while being terrified of disappointing the people I cared about most. So if that sounds like you, dive in here.
Personal Trainer - Coach Hopper - Walk the Walker
Chapter Three: The death of "Eat N Run Fitness" and the birth of "UNLEASHED"...
You’ve made it to the final chapter, that’s dedication. And believe it or not, this is the SHORT version of my crazy journey.
But I figure if I might be your coach one day, you should know the person who’s looking to guide you. I want you to know I’m not talking from a high horse, but from a place of knowing where you are because I’ve freaking been there.
So, if you have ever worked really hard to get somewhere only to realize it’s not what you wanted, and then felt a wave of anxiety when contemplating how to pivot, well, this story’s for you.
As you have gathered by now, I started as a personal trainer. It was the first certification I ever got back in 2011 when I was still a wee freshman in college. And I spent 4 years out of college growing my business, Eat N Run Fitness.
And grow it did. Thanks to referrals from clients, my presence on social media, and an amazing partnership with Dallas blogger Tanya Foster, my clientele and bottom line were growing at a pretty fast clip.
In fact, I was at my zenith, finally pulling in the 6 figures I had dreamed of and worked hard for, when I realized something wasn’t right.
I was in a program with a coach who was teaching me how to move my business online. He was brilliant at what he did and I quickly saw the return on my investment. But every step of his program, I resisted.
Why? Because he was pushing us to promote the exact thing I was already railing against in my industry. “Stop posting motivational crap. Stop posting quotes. Stop promoting personal development. All people care about is getting tight tummies, and perky butts!”
“And that’s the problem!” was all I could think.
I spent my career trying to coach women out of fad diets and surface level goals, and into feeling empowered enough to change not just their waistline, but their life. And here I was, being taught by a coach to sell six pack abs.
So I made a judgement call, and I changed coaches. When I got on my first call with Anna Renderer and Vito La Fata, and one of the first questions they asked was, “What do you want to teach, and what kind of business do you want to have?” I knew I had found my mentors.
Less than a month later I had spent $6000 to spend a weekend at their house, masterminding my entire business.
During that trip, they didn’t just give me strategies to grow my following, build my courses, or promote my business. They gave me the permission and the validation I needed to aim beyond my current wheelhouse. Yes, I could change the direction of my business. Yes, I could shift into the personal development space and be successful. Yes, I could make a much bigger impact with a much more important message that I was actually aligned with.
And in that weekend, the Unleash brand was born.
It’s funny, I would have flat out denied needing permission to change the course of my business. But once I had it, it felt like everything I had been waiting for. That validation gave me the courage I needed to act on that little voice telling me what I really wanted to do.
After that weekend, I felt more invigorated by my business than I had in a long time. I started creating courses that I knew would help women not just become fitter version of themselves, but happier, more fulfilled, more passionate, more successful versions of themselves.
And it’s not to say that I left fitness coaching behind, it’s one of the first elements I teach because without building physical strength in the gym, it’s hard to show up strong in other areas of our life.
But it is to say, that now I have the courage and the tools to take women so far past that initial win.
So if you have that voice in your head, telling you that you have a greater purpose, telling you you’re made for more, telling you where you are now is not where you want to be forever, know that you’re allowed to listen to it.
It is never too late to find your calling and it is never too late to change directions. And if you ever need help doing so, or even if you don’t know what direction you want to go, you just know it’s somewhere different than where you are, know that I’m here, ready to cheer you on, coach you, and guide you to find the alignment, health, and joy in your life that you desire most.
Thanks for hanging out and getting to know me better! I'd love to get to know you and help you clarify, and shamelessly declare exactly what you want for your life and develop a blueprint to take you there.
If you're ready to be brave and take that first step towards claiming more from your life, just book a call with me here.