9 years in Los Angeles: Disordered Eating, Chronic Pain and Bartonella and Lyme Disease

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I’m sure I’m not alone in being surprised about the fact that Summer is coming to a close and Fall is HERE. This week 9 years ago, I moved out to Los Angeles. I had just graduated from college in Arizona and had dreams of acting and independence. Life moved fast and it sure is crazy just how much they can change- often at the drop of a hat. 

If you’ve followed me on social media, are on my email list or read my about me page…then you know that a back injury turned chronic changed the entire course of my life.

For 6 months in 2014 I saw doctors, PT’s, chiropractors and specialists. I was put on pain meds and given injections. I tried experimental procedures. I sat in cold, lonely doctor’s offices for hours. And at the end of the day…I didn’t get better and I simply lost hope. I remember driving home from those doctor’s appointments, daydreaming about my life ending.

I was working part-time at Lululemon, but had to quit because I couldn’t physically hang in there and my “acting career” seemed to be at a permanent standstill. Things felt empty, unbearable and dim. If it wasn’t for living with my boyfriend at the time (who was and continues to be my absolute rock) then I don’t know what I would have done. I don’t live by any family and my friendships were also falling apart because I had a hard time going anywhere, doing anything or really- being someone anyone wanted to be around. 

August 2014 things turned around when I enrolled in nutrition school at The Institute of Transformational Nutrition.

I had ALWAYS loved health, wellness and fitness and devoured any information about food and dieting, weight loss, digestion and body image I could get my hands on.

But for years I had always told myself I couldn’t ever be the one to help others with these type of things because in college and my early 20’s I hadn’t been able to help myself.

I crash dieted, counted calories and very often binged and purged (through laxatives, throwing up, or exercise). Quite frankly, I was a mess. It was maddening, shameful and weighed on me immensely. And I kept all of this a dirty dark secret. But the more I kept it in, the more I shoved it down through my disordered relationship with food and my body.

I hid food, binged on food and cried for hours looking at old pictures of myself from college when I weight 30 pounds less.

When I write about these things, I couldn’t be more proud of how far I’ve come since then. It’s so impactful to write about it and say it out loud.

I can proudly say I feel the most balanced, at peace and clear about how to nourish my body and feel good in my skin today today than ever.

But how did I get here?

And why am I always talking about my back pain, my past with disordered eating and the other health issues I still struggle with today?

Well, my back pain is the reason I started studying nutrition.

It tore me down and because of that I made the difficult and trying decision to build myself back up.

It slowed me down- literally and figuratively. It was something I could not ignore and boy did it open my eyes- big time. Because pain is really energy. Often stuck energy, and often immensely connected to past traumas, emotions and inner turmoil. I realized I needed to let go so my body could let go and I also realized I needed to start working with my body and not against it.

That’s why I chose the nutrition school I did, because it focused on holistic health- treating the body as a whole and searching for the root cause not simply treating symptoms. I didn’t want to take pain killers for the rest of my life. I wanted to truly get better and love my body. My back pain opened my eyes to this being a possibility. It was a sign that finally struck me and got me to listen. It changed the course of my life.

My past with disordered eating? This gave me knowledge, experience and true unwavering compassion.

My clients tell me all the time how much it means to them that I understand where they’re coming from. I try to be everything to them, that I ever wanted when I was going through it.

My experience studying nutrition, finding like-minded peers and taking time to work on myself, my mindset and perspective are the pillars of my transformation with food and my body. 

But something new has also come up, very recently and I’ve just started sharing about it. Cause I guess the learning, growth and personal experience I’m meant for just isn’t ready to stop.

I found out last month that I came back positive for Bartonella Disease and Lyme Disease.

Two chronic diseases that affect the whole body. Bartonella, a co-infection of Lyme and a disease I was completely unaware of 2 months ago affects the blood, nerves and joints and can slow down healing, energy and digestion and really prevents you from feeling your best as you can imagine. On top of my back pain and my past with dieting and disordered eating, the other health issue I have struggled with over the years is digestion.

I have been dealing with a chronic gut distention that I have just not been able to get to the bottom of for quite a while.

I’ve worked with different doctors, tried different protocols and healing diets and experimented with truly a slew of supplements. I’ve done ALL of the tests and gotten all of the results. I worked on my hormones, gut health and beneficial bacteria, eliminated parasites and infections, avoided food sensitivities and worked on my mindset, stress and self-care.

But again, I was not getting better!

I very recently started seeing a new doctor, a specialist in chronic and autoimmune disease and he suspected somewhat intuitively I had these two diseases. I was pretty shocked and overwhelmed. We tested and they came back positive.

I’m now on a protocol of strong and specific herbal medicines, but because I already live a healthy lifestyle and eat a healthy diet that’s where I’m at for now. And it’s going to take time. Likely up to a year. 

Bartonella and Lyme seem to be the absolute root to my inability to heal my back and my gut. I was relieved to have an answer but also really scared. And frustrated after all I’ve already tried with no relief over the years. All that effort and mental, physical and financial investment.

I’ve been walking around with these in my body!? 

Another thing I have to take on!? 

Another part of my health story!?

How am I going to share this and be open about it? That scared me too. It’s scares me to put it out now.

But just like I’ve shared everything else in the beginning of this post…I want to be 100% real. Meeting people who know what it’s like to struggle with their own health, their bodies and overall wellbeing brought me back to life. It helped me feel less alone. And that’s what I want to do for you (if you’re still reading this!) I know all of these things are happening to me to make me the best nutrition practitioner I can be- knowledgable, relatable and ready to take on anything.

Everything that has happened to me in these last 9 years in LA has set me up to succeed.

To be great. To work with awesome women every week! So I can be their rock, their support and guide them forward to better health and happier lives. Wow. I’m so thankful for that. And I really do pinch myself that this is my life and despite all that's happened that's been hard, I wouldn't change it because it allowed to discover what I was meant to do in my life. I love working with people and helping them feel better. 

The entire shift came for me when I realized that things don’t happen to us, they happen for us. When I made that perspective shift, everything changed. I knew I was on a mission. To serve, enlighten and inspire. 

Share with me below what you’re going through or send me an email. I’m here for you! And if you'd like to work with me as your personal 1-on-1 nutrition coach, schedule a free 30 minute discovery call here. I help women break free from dieting, make peace with food and feel confident in their bodies. I did it and I want to show you the way too.