Hey, I'm Kristin and up for most of my life I struggled with disordered eating, over exercising and depression, all of which led to an unhappy hormonal roller coaster ride.
It wasn't rare for me to go hours without eating any food, proceeded by gorging on everything in sight. I then would fall into this terrible "I hate myself and my body" guilt cycle which would then include more eating and most often uncontrollable crying, not to mention extreme bloating, and uncomfortable gas. Despite my constant emotional roller coaster ride I exercised daily, taught fitness classes and trained for numerous half marathons all the while hating that no matter what... I COULD NOT LOSE WEIGHT. ...cue more binge eating and self hate talk.
I was CONSTANTLY exhausted!
Bring me to the theater, or weekly night out at a friends house.. and I was sure to fall asleep mid conversation or epic movie moment. I would take frequent bathroom breaks at work just so I could close my eyes in the stall for a few minutes. I slept fine at night but would wake up completely unable to drag myself out of bed. I had no energy, ever.
I was grouchy, stressed out and depressed.
Sure there are things that have happened in my life that could have contributed to depression, but I had an extremely loving upbringing, a great husband, friends and job.. why the heck was I so sad? I would think daily about how much I hated the way I looked, and how much of a failure I was as a fitness instructor since I was unable to lose weight. I was constantly consumed by thoughts of food and the scale. I would often set new goals in hopes that this time I would actually follow through with them, only to feel as if I had failed a few short days later.
And then I found help.
I decided to see a Naturopathic doctor (ND) as well as an Integrative doctor (ID). Working with the ND helped me realize that my body was over run with candida, that I was not digesting certain foods properly and that my iron levels were too low. The ID helped me understand that my hormones were all over the map since I was experiencing exhaustion in both my thyroid and adrenals. Around this time my husband and I wanted to have a baby (looking back now, Im not sure why we thought that was a good idea with how I was living daily.) My ID told me that my progesterone levels were far too low to be able to successfully carry a baby. He told us to wait at least a year before trying to conceive. Although this wasn't the answer I was looking for, it was a relief to have someone listen and encourage me towards change without making me feel crazier than I already felt.
I made a few life changes.
I progressively took out all wheat and dairy products. I cut back on sugar and caffeine, I tried spaghetti squash and zucchini noodles. I learned about the Paleo diet. My energy slowly began to increase, my bloating began to decrease, and I was starting to feel my joy return. I started to understand that some of the foods I was eating was not only affecting my physical health but was affecting my mental health as well. Candida brings on a whole spectrum of issues including; depression, fatigue, PMS, irritability and just generally feeling blah. I learned to manage my stress differently, which meant slowing down! This was one of the most difficult changes I had to make. At this time I found the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. I was eager to learn more about health! I wasn't sure if I would ever decide to go into business, but I wanted the knowledge to have a healthy body and a healthy family. I signed up immediately and couldn't wait for my classes to begin!
I had to STOP exercising
Although I seemed to be improving in some areas of my health, I kept my crazy fitness lifestyle up in the hopes I would now lose weight. The mind battle was still very real even as I was learning about health and whole body wellness. It took me another year before I actually started to see my body change. This may sound odd but it wasn't until I completely stopped and took a break from all forms of exercise that I quite quickly lost 10 lbs. This completely confused me, but as I grew to understand more about hormonal health, I started to see that my adrenals needed a break and time to repair before my metabolism would start working in my favour again.
FAST FORWARD to today..
I graduated in January 2015 from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition as a Holistic Nutritionist. I am now pregnant with our second baby, and honestly have more energy than I ever had pre-baby. My movie theater/bathroom stall naps are now unnecessary and although my belly is growing daily, I have the energy to keep up to my 20 month little busy boy...and boy is he BUSY!
I can say that the depression that plagued me daily has all but quieted down and almost completely disappeared. If I allow my way of living to derail, it does't take much time for it to return, which has been another reason for me to continue on towards a healthier life.
I am definitely not a "perfect eater" and I still LOVE food, but I have learned which foods impact me negatively causing me bloating and horrendous gas (sorry, but its true!) and which foods increase my physical and mental health. Once my hormones seemed to be back on track, I began exercising again but with a different mind set. I don't exercise and eat healthy because I hate my body anymore, I do it because I love my body and I love how I feel.
I have recently learned that one of the meanings for the word "diet" in Greek simply means "way of living." The way that I choose to live now is eating with balance, incorporating fermented foods to aid in my gut health, removing most wheat products and processed sugar to help keep candida from taking over my body again, and changing all negative thoughts towards foods as being "bad" to honestly being able to enjoy a good meal with friends.
So this has been part of my journey,
thanks for reading to the end and I hope that now you can see why I want to help you with your journey. I have been there, I have struggled, I have failed and I have continued on. My goal is to inspire you towards a healthier way of living not through food alone but by stepping back and seeing the entire picture, your body as a whole.