Sweet 16. Winter formal. Junior year of high school.
This picture is the reason why I know not to judge any book by its cover.
Sweet 16 was oh so sweet.
After at least 6 years of struggling—in and out of treatment centers, low self-esteem, feeding tubes, and countless tears and fights over my refusal to eat Oreos and Popeye’s Fried Chicken—I had a breakthrough.
And it all came in the form of a personal trainer.
A family friend suggested I meet an amazing trainer he knew, wondering if I could benefit from working with him too.
Nowhere near healthy, my parents and doctors were at a loss—trying to help me “get better,” but not understanding WHY I kept staying stuck.
To which, feeling like a prisoner in my own body still, I begged…”Give me a chance.”
The doctors conceded, with one condition: “If it doesn’t work, you’re going to go back into treatment.”
Those words alone were enough to make me decide right away: It WAS going to work.
I started meeting with the trainer 3 times per week at a private gym in town, and instantly, I came ALIVE.
FINALLY someone-a professional-saw me as a PERSON (not a patient), and he began to gradually teach me new insights and truths about my body, food and fitness. (Many of which debunked my old myths).
He gave me a meal plan to follow. And he didn’t call it an “eating disorder recovery plan” or “3000 calorie meal plan”…He called it “fuel”—and that’s EXACTLY how I began to see food.
He also owned an amazing, healthy restaurant in town connected to the gym—which later became the INSPIRATION I now have in my own business to open up a functional medicine wellness clinic + real-food restaurant + gym—all in one.
And I began eating foods I had NOT touched in years. —All made with real food ingredients.
I finally began to take my recovery into my own hands, and GRIT MY TEETH, knowing what I had been doing thus far in traditional “eating disorder treatment” had not been working.
Sweet 16 was a sweet sweet year that lasted for about 12 solid months. Until, something else happened…which I will explain next.