From the ripe old age of 8, I can remember thinking: "I hate my thighs."
This maniacal preoccupation with my appearance lead to a 10-year spiral of extremist dieting. I tried everything. The Zone, Atkins, vegetarianism. There was even a period of time in which I subsisted solely on Good & Plenties and Cherry Coke.
Things only got worse in college, as I tried to figure out how to remain a size 0 while regularly plunging face-first into a box of Domino's cheesy bread in a Franzia-induced stupor. My solution was to avoid food at all other times, and "run it off." Runners are skinny, right? Unfortunately for my insides, this regime of cheap chardonnay, sugar-free, fat-free everything, and hitting the treadmill like a hamster on crack, kind of worked.
It worked until I discovered a bald patch the size of a silver dollar on my head. I later found out that this unsightly development was due to a yeast overgrowth in my intestine. The yeast had been spawned by the steady stream of aspartame and whatever whack-ass chemicals make up I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, that I had been mainlining into my body since I was sixteen. Shortly thereafter, my face erupted in acne, and I was diagnosed with PCOS. The last straw was when I started experiencing pain during intercourse, and my gynecologist informed me I had developed a condition called Vulvodynia, to which there was "no cure." Talk about a series of unfortunate events.
I started to wonder if all these conditions were somehow related...
That's when the lightbulb finally clicked on. Not only were my ailments related, they were a direct result of what I was putting into my body (or lack thereof). I realized food not only affects the way we look, but how we feel, and I needed to feel better.
My obsession for nutrition was born when I discovered I could heal myself, totally and completely, just by eating real food. No prescriptions necessary.
"I wish that I knew what I know now, when I was younger..."
I get it, everybody wants to look good naked, and there's nothing wrong with that. But more often than not, we go about this pursuit in the complete wrong way: over exercising, under eating, thinking we can cheat mother nature. But she's a lot smarter than we think. How you treat your body today, will effect you for the rest of your life, and although these 'look good quick' schemes (*cough* juice cleanses, *cough*) work in the short-term, their consequences are serious and long-lasting.
Nearly everyone I know over the age of 25 seems to suffer from something: infertility, joint pain, fatigue, allergies, attention disorders, gas, bloating, insomnia, etc., etc. I believe these conditions are almost totally derived from what we put into our bodies. I had to learn this the hard way, and it's my mission to help other women before they develop these problems and have to go through what I went through.
Moral of the story: If you want to look good on the outside, you have to take care of what's on the inside first.
I am a proud graduate of Duke University, and received my certification as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner from the Nutritional Therapy Association. I have worked as a freelance nutrition writer for Refinery29 Wellness, and I'm currently Content Manager and resident nutritionist for SmartyPants Vitamins. My training is based on the work of Dr. Weston A Price as well as the latest peer-reviewed, scientific research. You can learn more about that here.