I grew up naturally active. My mom was what you would consider a “healthy” southern cook – whole grains and fresh, or lightly cooked veggies were staples in our household. I had two older brothers I felt compelled to keep up with, and became very involved in school sports. I lettered in high school track and was always busy with as many extra-curricular activities as possible, looking for further achievement. As an older teenager I developed an eating disorder that I carried into young adulthood; looking back now I can see I was trying to control my feelings of insecurity and feel accepted by the people around me. My low self-esteem was only compounded by my drive for “perfection.” The turning point for me came when disordered eating and bulimia took over my life, and I realized I was ruining my health. I was involved in a struggle that would make it impossible to reach my life goals.
This is when I began to seek help and talk about it (which is a big step!) – reaching out to others and exploring the mind-body-spirit connection. I began to learn to love and accept myself, which led me to want to be healthy in every way. I found that practicing self-care, for body, mind and spirit, caused the rest of my life to change for the better! During this period I became passionate about reading and absorbing as much as I could about healthy living and eating, and started developing my wellness toolkit. This came in super-handy when I became a mom, raising three kids to be healthy eaters and live a more balanced lifestyle.
My driving passion for health has become a career. For over twenty years now, I have been a wellness educator and advocate, teaching my own curriculum and speaking to high school and university classrooms, at conferences and working privately with individuals. My experience with an eating disorder led me to become a member of the Speakers Bureau for the Eating Disorders Coalition of Tennessee, with a focus on “Body Image, Media and Culture.” So many people, and women especially, struggle with food and self-esteem issues and I want to help them avoid the pitfalls I encountered. I am passionate about the work I do, helping others reach a new level of health and wholeness in their own lives!