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I was fortunate enough to grow up in a home with parents who were athletic and health conscious. Mom home-cooked our meals, both were avid runners and my sisters and I were pretty much forced into school sports. Lack of hand-eye coordination left me with limited options so I became a distance runner.

I wish I could say that these habits carried over into my adult life, but when I hit college, I swore off running and began indulging in all of the foods my parents had outlawed. Hamburger Helper and Fruit Loops were all I knew how to cook, and I was lucky if the bag of frozen peas served on the side wasn’t slightly burned. After I graduated college, the weight gain went from a slow crawl to a drag race. I foolishly blamed the love handles and double digit pant sizes on bad genetics and the “fact” that, at 23 years old, my metabolism had just had enough. Under this mentality, I carried around 30-40 lbs of extra body weight for years.

In 2003, my dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. As a competitive triathlete and cyclist, I would have considered him one of the healthiest people I knew, so this was shocking. I can even remember asking myself, how does someone who seems so healthy, get so sick? Again, I foolishly blamed bad genes.

He passed away in April of 2008, watching me sleep in a chair beside his hospital bed. It was the day before my 26th birthday. I wish I could say that this was the turning point in my life, but unfortunately my personal health got worse.
I had already been battling anxiety attacks, something that I was told ran in my family. Bad genes. This issue, along with the depression after losing my dad, led to multiple prescriptions; most of which came with side effects and withdrawals that left me wishing for the anxiety attacks back. I also began gaining more weight, I was tired all the time, but unable to sleep at night, and my alcohol consumption was less than admirable.

I will never forget looking through pictures from Christmas of 2008, wondering who that fat girl was wearing my sweater. Not to over-exaggerate, but at 180 lbs, pushing a 15/16 pant size, I was pretty uncomfortable in my own skin. This is not a feeling that I dealt with well. It was those photos, and that moment, that I really decided to take responsibility for own health and wellbeing.

I found yoga and this helped me to eliminate the anxiety medications. For the weight loss, I chose the only route that I knew; what conventional wisdom has ingrained in us for years. The low-fat diet, centered on calories in/calories out. I spent a maddening two years engaging in chronic cardio and weighing, measuring and counting everything I put in my mouth. Over a year of this was spent on a 1200 calorie diet. I would prepare for a day of indulgence with a ten mile run or I would chase a bowl of ice cream with an extra half hour on the elliptical machine. I knew that if I just ran that extra mile or two, I would be able to have two glasses of wine that night. Did I lose weight on this routine? Yes. Was it a functional, sustainable lifestyle? No, it was time consuming and exhausting.

What really confused me was when I decided to increase my caloric intake to around 1400 calories a day (the calculated “appropriate’ intake for my BMR) my biggest fear surfaced; I began to gain weight again. Running was all I knew. It made me feel sane, but it didn’t seem to be enough to manage my weight anymore. 

Then I injured my hamstring, and running was temporarily out of the picture. I went back to the 1200 calorie diet, but was pretty much hungry all of the time. And I was still gaining weight. I truly thought I was leading the healthiest lifestyle I could. Why was I gaining weight?

It was Dr. Steve Czys that led me to the answer to that question. The lifestyle that Eupraxia teaches has not only answered that question, but many more. Questions I didn’t even know that I had. I didn’t know it was possible to feel so alive and healthy. I have changed my diet, my exercise and my way of thinking; became a sponge, absorbing everything I could about true health and wellness. When I was offered a full-time position at Eupraxia, there was not a lot of hesitation. To be a part of watching other people take control of their own life, to turn their health and wellbeing around, is truly an amazing opportunity.

Fast forwarding to the summer of 2012, one of my deepest wounds was re-opened. My mom was diagnosed with anal cancer. She is someone who has been health conscious for as long as I can remember, always trying to take care of herself. The same question popped into my head; “how does someone who seems so healthy, get so sick?” It has taken many years, several books, hours of online research, and my involvement with Eupraxia, but I believe I have found the answer to that question. I have chosen to challenge conventional wisdom and lead my life in a way that will optimize my genetics. I have chosen Eupraxia and the Innate Diet.