Who I am
In 2008 I was diagnosed with a form of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) that affects the colon and/or large intestines called ulcerative colitis – don’t worry, at the time I hadn’t heard of it either. I soon learned that 1.4 million people in the United States have IBD and that it causes chronic, severe inflammation of the innermost lining of the intestines. Not much fun. One of my symptoms from ulcerative colitis was the progressively worsening inability to absorb and digest any foods, liquids, or nutrients over the course of a couple months!
I was hospitalized, lost 50lbs in about 6 weeks, and was left confused, weak, and unsure how – or even if- I would ever be able to exercise again. My weakness was so difficult for me to manage because simply getting up out of bed was physically demanding. Walking down the stairs was an endurance event. The idea of going into a gym and following any training program at the time seemed insane.
Despite feeling like a stranger in my own body I was determined to battle this disease. I knew that things would have to change for me to reclaim my lost strength, muscle, and well-being again. The road to my recovery was literally one step at a time. While still in the hospital I began walking from my room to the end of the hallway for my daily exercise. When I was back home I slowly built up to walking from my front door to the end of the block.
As soon as I built up enough stamina from the walks I was back in the gym. Feeling weak was just another challenge that I had to overcome. With every rep I got closer to reclaiming my strength. It didn’t matter if I could only do a few simple exercises – I was still doing something!
Why am I sharing all this with you?
What I Do
I teach others how to build strength. The actions that I followed to regain strength and rebuild my body are principles that will work for anyone looking to improve their current physical situation…and are especially helpful for anyone with autoimmune diseases like IBD.
All the research and information I found seemed to keep coming back to the same basic principles that help promote improved strength and good nutrition. I had the realization that I needed to spread this knowledge to as many people as possible, whether they were living with IBD, or simply wanting to be more fit.
That was – and has been – my motivation since my diagnosis. My tagline is:
“Finding Your Strength – Inside and Out”
I believe that my experience with IBD has helped make me a better person and fitness coach – I was able to regain all my lost body weight and strength only 3 months after both my diagnosis and first flare. Those experiences showed me what our bodies need to be healthy and strong – and how valuable they both are. It showed me the resiliency of the human body and the unlimited potential of our minds.
Now I want to take my experience, knowledge, and enthusiasm for living a life filled with Strength and Nutrition and equip you with these tools and motivate you to achieve your goals!
~With Strength and Nutrition