Updated: Oct 14, 2021
At this point I’ve given a good overview of my trajectory from where I was before I had ever exercised or thought about nutrition to where I am today, and the winding path I took with all the ups and downs along the way. But I want to reiterate, just because I am now a nutrition coach and personal trainer does not mean I have it all figured out, or I have “completed” my journey in some way.
After all, the definition of evolution is “a gradual development of something, especially from a simple to a more complex form,” and while I may have had an end point in mind when I began (and thought I’d just try a few things and BOOM I’d be there), I realize now this is an ongoing process and subject to constant change.
We like to think of progress as a straight line but, in reality, it's more like a winding road with lots of ups and downs.
I’ve certainly learned a lot, made progress, and developed health and wellness routines that work for me right now, but it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. I skimmed over the details of what was going on during those more challenging years (where I was burning out and trying to course correct), and much of the physical symptoms that were emerging then are still lingering even now, over ten years later.
Somewhere along the way my body seems to have gotten a little (or a lot) thrown out of whack, and trying to get everything back on track has been challenging to say the least. I’ve done more lab tests and elimination diets and lab tests and supplement regimens (and did I mention lab tests?) than I care to recount.
Despite all the efforts of the fantastic team of people who have been helping me over the years, almost all of my hormone levels are below what is considered normal. Even on medication (thyroid, estrogen, progesterone) I’ve had a regular menstrual cycle for maybe two out of the last ten years.
Ongoing GI issues including SIBO, candida, and other gut dysbiosis never seem to fully resolve, and heavy metals testing has shown that I have extremely high levels of lead and mercury stored in my bones and soft tissue (that one is still quite the mystery!).
Mercury the planet, pretty cool. Mercury in your body, not so much.
Other physical symptoms persist as well.
I’ve had neck tension and head pain since I was a kid, and while it’s manageable with consistent chiropractic and massage work, I’m now preparing for jaw surgery to correct TMJ and bite issues that will (hopefully) be a more long-lasting solution. And while the brain fog and fatigue has significantly improved over the years, I can’t remember the last time I woke up feeling rested or clear headed.
None of this is to say I feel sorry for myself or am looking for sympathy. And as much as I've been frustrated or discouraged at times, this whole process has truly been an incredible learning experience. It has not only completely changed how I live my life and my career path, but also how I coach others as they navigate their own journey.
I am so much more aware of how interconnected and complicated our bodies really are, and how the simplest and most basic health and wellness strategies are always the most important.
If I make sure to get enough sleep on a consistent basis, I’m much more likely to have decent energy and less brain fog. If I am mindful of my food choices and eating habits, I can keep my GI symptoms minimal and promote healing. If I incorporate daily movement while also prioritizing rest and recovery, I can maximize my strength without pushing my limits.
As I continue on my path and dive deeper into the mysterious ways of the human body, I know I will keep evolving and adapting, experimenting and investigating, gathering feedback and making adjustments. I’ve come a long way and still have a long way to go, because there is no end or stopping point. After all, another definition of evolution is “a pattern of movements or maneuvers,” so I will keep winding along, ever curious to see what comes next. And I plan to keep this series of posts into the future, to share my story and reflect on where I’ve been and what I’ve learned along the way.
In part 5 I will dive into my upcoming jaw surgery and look back at some of the key lessons I have learned over these last ten years.
For now, I will leave you with this quote from Scottish politician Sir Walter Elliot:
“Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another.”
(Update: you can follow along my jaw surgery adventure by subscribing to my YouTube channel! I'm documenting the entire process here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSUOuEFnLEMLgVo46MQZbBg)
How do you persevere and keep putting one foot in front of the other? What has your “evolution” looked like? Leave me a comment, I'd love to hear your story!
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