Two INCREDIBLE things happened for me that turned it all around, and helped me finally “get it” – by “it” I mean the power of nutrition and clean living. Firstly, and totally by chance (although is anything ever really by chance?) I decided to compete in a fitness/bodybuilding competition. The challenge of athletic competition appealed to me. There’s nothing like knowing you’re going to be on stage in a skimpy bikini and high heels doing muscle poses, to make you follow the rules to the letter, and follow them consistently for weeks, months even – not just for a couple weeks until my tummy felt flat, or until I went on that vacation I wanted to look my best for. I had invested a lot – financially and otherwise, to this goal I’d set for myself. So I dug deep and did everything my coach told me to do.
Lucky for me, my coach was one of the greats in the bodybuilding/fitness competing world who is truly holistic. His natural and healthy approach focused on consistency and was free of the extremes you sometimes see in the industry. For several months, I consistently fuelled my body with an abundance of whole, natural foods and almost entirely eliminated processed, preservative-laden, refined foods.
I got incredible results: I shed body fat, I was muscular and lean and I placed well in my first competition.
But aside from how I looked, I felt incredible! My athletic performance soared with increased strength, power and endurance. Daily energy and vitality was off the charts! But most profound of all was that those issues I’d silently struggled with for several years began to resolve. Without medication, without any modern medical treatment, my sinus infections, hot flashes, eczema, bloating and constipation, cold sores (just to name a few) all began to drastically improve. Not having these ailments for the first time in several years highlighted for me just how unwell I’d actually been. This began my passion for and belief in the power of clean eating and holistic living.
I hadn’t known how unwell I’d been until I experienced “well”.
Suddenly, I craved for knowledge (instead of sugary treats)! I wanted to understand the science behind what was going on in my body that had made me symptomatic for so many years, and what exactly was going on in my body now that was helping to create such vibrancy – not to mention, contributing to my success as a competitive bodybuilder athlete as a 40-something-year-old mom of three!
This is when the second incredible thing happened for me. In my quest to develop a deeper understanding of how my newfound diet and lifestyle habits were creating optimal wellness, I found the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition (CSNN), the largest leading school in holistic nutrition education. Their extensive curriculum of nutrition and science courses provided me the evidence-based education I was seeking. I learned about the major systems within the body, and the many subsystems and organs within, how interconnected they all are, how food and lifestyle directly contribute to their functioning, how imbalances or deficiencies within them are manifested as common or not-so-common symptoms, and ultimately what food nutrients and lifestyle factors can either harm or help them. My certification as a Holistic Nutritionist has empowered me with the ability to navigate our modern [not-always-so-healthy] world, to keep my body strong, healthy and happy – and enabled me to help countless others do the same.