My own health and wellness journey began shortly after graduating from college. My adolescence and college years were wild and perhaps a little too much fun. I subsequently gained a lot of experience and learned many difficult lessons early in life. At that point in my life, I was smoking a pack of cigarettes a day, doing drugs, drinking way too much alcohol and energy drinks, not sleeping much, and eating mostly convenience store junk food. I was in the middle of a divorce from a toxic relationship. I was battling demons from my past as well as the urge to make impulsive decisions that were fun at the moment but left me more empty and broken in the aftermath. I was not happy and knew that everything needed to change. That is when I become deeply ready to change my life.
Miraculously, when I was ready to change my life it came about quite swiftly. I met my (now) husband and we knew that we were the perfect match for each other on our very first date. I had never experienced such love, joy, and passion as when we were together. Being truly in love, the world was a little brighter and I felt like I was finally supported and capable of doing anything. When you meet your soul-mate you want to impress them and keep them interested. I felt like I needed to improve myself, so I started making small changes to become better. Getting started was difficult since I was so stuck in the bad habits that had taken years to develop. Each small positive habit that I changed and mastered pushed me towards the next habit that needed to be upgraded. On and on I went one small habit shift at a time as I started my journey towards ultimate health and happiness.
My husband is a very ambitious man and I realized that if I supported him that together we could achieve great things. We started our first business together within a few months of our first date. Several months later we bought a 36’ motorhome, sold everything we owned, and traveled the country. We took our fledgling business on the road and worked on it diligently every single day as we traveled around to some of the cheapest campgrounds in the United States. We were so broke that we were putting all the expenses on our credit cards and hoping our business would take off so we could pay the credit card bills before they were maxed out. It was an exciting time. Our relationship deepened and we discovered that we could be truly happy anywhere and doing anything as long as we were together. After traveling aimlessly for a year, we settled down and concentrated on making our business successful and improving ourselves.
Shortly after I started my own health and fitness journey I knew that I had found my passion. I was consuming as much knowledge about health and wellness as I could get my hands on. After a period of time, I found a good maintenance program that balanced healthy living with moderate indulgence and was feeling great. This period of time was very conducive to me reaching for new goals and striving to make myself better. Our business became very successful and I felt like I was at the top of my game. Life was very good.
Fast forward several years and I felt like I was stuck in a rut and not really making any new progress. I was drinking more and making less than ideal food choices. My weight stayed consistent because I was still exercising every day. After a series of personal and career-related events, I found myself depressed and joyless, struggling to get through each day. I knew that I needed to level up and get out of my comfort zone.
For my 35th birthday, I decided that I was going to start following my dreams to get into the wellness industry and enrolled in the IIN Health Coaching Program. My husband was very supportive of my decision and he urged me to go for it. It was exhilarating to finally call the admissions office and get enrolled for the program that I had considered numerous times in the past. It finally felt like the right time. It felt like this was going to be the catalyst I needed to continue making massive positive changes in my life.
When I first enrolled in IIN, I honestly had no clue what a Health Coach even was. It seemed like a great program to learn about how to live a healthy lifestyle and I thought that maybe I could do *something* with the certification someday. My expectation was for training in regards to diet, nutrition, and physical activity. What I was not expecting was the larger focus on holistic health and in-depth training on how to create a healthy mind, body, and soul. As I worked my way through the lessons I was using myself as “client zero” and exploring all the different methods of caring for oneself and creating a healthy lifestyle. Weekly essays forced me to do a lot of introspection to help me understand myself on a level as I had never before.