It wasn’t until senior year of college that something deep within me had shifted. I no longer wanted to identify with my eating disorder, and every ounce of me longed to just be “normal.” In time, and by the grace of something greater than us, I found the strength inside to ditch the habits that were bound to kill me. Though it wasn’t as simple as waking up and being free, I was blessed with the ability to recognize patterns and truths about myself. This understanding allowed me to shift my actions from punishing myself to genuinely caring about myself.
I graduated from Iona College with a bachelor’s degree in communications and a concentration in journalism. After a year or so of searching for a job in the field, I landed myself a fulltime position at a local newspaper. As a reporter with perpetual deadlines, I spent anxiety ridden hours out in the field and in the office. I was in my early 20s, and once again my health began to decline—but this time it was different. I began experiencing panic attacks, heart palpitations, and I struggled to keep my emotions in check. My happiness was fleeting, and fight-or-flight was all I knew. After years of battling an eating disorder, I thought things were supposed to be OK by now. I had a title that was satisfying for my ego, and I was working in the field I studied—what else could I ask for, and what could possibly fill this void within?
With a flimsy backup plan to do PR for an entrepreneurial couple, I left the newspaper. The gig was a total flop, and I began serving in a local restaurant. This marks the beginning of my journey to self-love. Truthfully, I love serving, I love being on my feet, and I love engaging with (most of) the guests. I started exercising regularly, I made fruit smoothies with greens nearly every morning, and I discovered a passion for cooking. Cooking became everything to me, and for the first time in what seemed like forever, food was exciting and nourishing. Fast forward about two years—I was a Kombucha drinking, kale loving, tree hugging server who wanted so desperately to get out of the industry and into something that I felt absolutely passionate about.
One day, a guest I was waiting on told me that a lot of the menu items were incredibly unhealthy, to which I agreed. She apologized, and explained that nutrition was essentially what she did for a living. I asked her to elaborate, and after hearing what she did for a living, she said that my “face lit up like a Christmas tree.” She went on to tell me about the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and within three weeks I had enrolled in the program.
About a year later I graduated with a certification in Integrative Nutrition Health Coaching, and presently work as Modern Behavioral’s Nutrition & Wellness Coach. I am incredibly passionate about helping others heal their relationship with food, shift their perception from food as pleasure to food as nourishment, and I hope to inspire others to embark on the journey toward self-love, self-care and overall happiness and well-being.
So, in a sense, I feel my story has just begun.