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It all started when…

I wanted to start telling my story to people as to why and how I am so passionate about nutrition, health, and wellness. So here it begins (from where I can remember):

Back when I was in 9th grade (yes, that is me in my 9th grade basketball picture) I was getting stomach aches all the time and I had no idea why. To be completely honest, I would eat anything at any time of the day and have to make sure I had access to a bathroom. I would say 90% of the time I would eat something/anything, healthy/unhealthy and then within 20-30 minutes I would have explosive diarrhea! Not the most fun thing to have when you are 15/16 years old. It was actually quite embarrassing. I was in volleyball, basketball, and track at the time and had some pretty uncomfortable situations when traveling. I learned how to deal with it and not eat so close to practice or games.

Synergy-Bball9thGrade

I finally went to the doctor. I was diagnosed with an ulcer at the time and I honestly don’t ever remember the doctor doing a scope or anything of the sort. But he or she, I can’t remember, gave me two medications to take: Prilosec (at that time it was only given via Rx) and another one that I don’t remember the name of but it was a liquid that had to be taken 30 minutes before eating. Imagine, a 9th grader, having to leave in the middle of her Chemistry class to go to the nurses office to take a medication just so she could eat lunch. I was, and still am an introvert, even more so back then if you can imagine. So that was one of the worst things to make me do. I made it through freshman year of high school and by the time sophomore year rolled around I wasn’t taking medication regularly anymore…YAY! I still took Prilosec, but only as needed.

Next up, the college years….

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The college years

As I started college in a whole new state (Illinois) I entered a whole new world that I wasn’t used to. I grew up in a small town in Northern Minnesota where you could say it was very “redneck”. So moving to a town about 60 miles west of Chicago was very eye opening for me. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it! Honestly, I made that move truly for the sole purpose of playing volleyball at a Division 1 level and where I hoped I could play all 4 years. I wasn’t used to sitting the bench in high school so I definitely didn’t want to do that in college.

Well if that didn’t pile on the stress and make my stomach worse, then add on trying to figure what I wanted to major in, staying eligible to play, pressures of playing and practicing at a Division 1 level, etc. I could go on and on.

Again, I was to the point where I would eat and my stomach would not be happy. Though now it was presenting as gas, bloating, and diarrhea.  My typical diet was pizza most days of the week and then anything cheap, so nothing that had any quality nutrients. I can remember one specific volleyball match that when I came out in the back row (I only played front row if you can imagine I wasn’t the quickest at getting to the floor for balls…hahaha) that I literally ran right off the court into the locker room where it wasn’t pretty. But I came right back out and went right back in when it was my turn to go back in. After that match my coach asked what was up and I explained everything to him (oh man, who wants to explain all that to anyone let alone be a female explaining it to a male coach). Well at least he knew now what my situation was and if it were to ever happen again (thankfully it didn’t) he wouldn’t be super concerned.

This is me, my Freshman Year, #10

NIU Freshman Year 1999

 

Switching gears from the nutrition aspect to the exercise aspect:

After getting used to 2.5 – 3 hour practices 4-5 days week plus matches typically Friday and Saturday, you get used to working out a little bit. I am thankful I had this experience with my team…we even went to the NCAA tournament my Junior year! I am also thankful that being active in college set me on the right path for the rest of my life. Could I workout as intensely now as I did in college…HECK NO! Do I even want to workout that intensely now…HECK NO! But believe me, I love a good challenge and I love the way working out makes me feel, inside and out, whether it is running, doing CrossFit, snowshoeing, doing a triathlon, swimming, etc. It is something I will continue to do until my body tells me to stop.

Next up, the years after college and the start of my true journey to better health & wellness…