I’m very excited to share my story with you! Thanks for reading! In short, I began my nutrition journey about 11 years ago when I left my doctor’s office after hearing these words, “Leah, you will have to exercise and eat healthy for the rest of your life.” As a 19 year old, I thought, “Okay, I thought I had been doing that, but apparently, I was doing something wrong.” So let’s dig in.
What brought me to the doctor’s office? Well, after my freshman year in college, I was at home with my sister and we were watching television. I jumped out of my chair and felt a pain in the right side of my chest. “Surely this couldn’t be a lump,” I thought. And it was… I spoke with my mom and she referred a doctor so I went. We discovered that I was prone to fibroid cysts and the one we found was about the size of a plum. I had it removed and moved forward with school and life. 2 years later, I was accepted to study abroad in Lima, Peru during my last semester in undergrad. This was my first time living abroad alone and I had a beautiful experience. In my experience, however, I dealt with homesickness. Instead of going to hang out with my housemates, I would join a friend almost daily and we would go out for coffee. Now, I’ve never been a heavy coffee drinker but I grew up with my mom, who is. I found myself drinking coffee daily and for anyone who likes coffee, South American coffee is delicious. I realized that coffee helped me cope with homesickness because it helped me feel close to my mom. At the time I did not know that I had a low tolerance for caffeine so I continued to drink coffee.
Upon my return to the United States, I visited my doctor because I began to feel pain in my chest again. After receiving another ultrasound, 9 fibroid cysts had been developed and discovered. My doctor told me that he did not want me to have continued surgeries at such a young age. Next, we had to figure out how to shrink these cysts. He told me to eat healthy and exercise for the rest of my life and sent me out the door. I thought, “Okay, I thought I was doing that; I eat starches, veggies, meat, and bread and I drink sweet tea and water.” Without any other guidance, I went on a mission to figure out what sort of mentors I would need to help me to develop a healthy lifestyle. Having grown up as a track and field athlete, I had a passion for exercise and staying fit so that part was not a problem. Fitness and physical activities have always been important parts of my lifestyle. After learning from my doctor that I needed to find a way to “connect the dots” with exercise and healthy eating, I began to attend group fitness classes and build networks with members at the gym. Instructors always saw the “instructor” in me well before I saw it for myself. Eventually I began teaching and spending as much time as I could at the gym to learn about exercise and what foods eat other health conscious people were eating. Google helped quite a bit as well but as we all know, trends in healthy eating change quite often. Though I had not built the courage to pursue a health coaching certification at the time, I did not rest on the mission. While my career as a fitness professional continued to developed, my eating habits became more focused, and my body began to change. Other’s noticed as well and the thought of a professional nutrition certification did not seem as scary as before. Members and clients would ask me, “How can I look like you?” and my response was, “You have to do the work. And I say that with love.” Everyone’s process is different and many have tried and tried again. I get it and I understand how important it is to educate anyone who is willing to receive information to help increase their quality of life. I searched and decided to certify through Precision Nutrition’s course and make a clear dedication to helping clients, class members, community members from all walks of life.
I’ve learned how to properly combine foods to compliment each goal I have in place (from weight loss to increasing muscle mass) and I am a member of the Ketone lover family. I consume ketones daily but do not eat a highly strict “Keto diet.” Throughout this year, I have lost 10 lbs., maintained, and decreased my body fat percentage to 23%, which is above average for my age. I always say I do not like the word “diet” but I refer to our eating habits as a regimen. It’s a lifestyle and by incorporating ketones into my daily regimen (combined with my normal foods) has totally changed my life. I now have the sincere pleasure of coaching many on how to create lifestyle changes through nutrition and fitness and it is the most fulfilling and rewarding life I could have ever imagined.