You probably wouldn’t believe me.
Truth is I’ve been failing my whole life.
I failed every diet that I’ve ever been on since about the age of 12.
When it came to sports I was a first rate benchwarmer.
In school I had to work 10x harder than my peers to make sure I did not fail.
I was not the girl boys wanted to date, as a friend back then told me “You are the type of girl guys marry, not date”…so through my young eyes I was a dating failure.
When I ran for student council president and I didn’t get the popular vote, a teacher was so kind to tell me ‘you were soo close” (promise, that made me feel better😉)
And in 2001 I didn’t make the cut for Physical Therapy School…
I was forced to look failure straight in the face, and more importantly look my family, friends and peers in the eye, stand tall and say,
“It’s ok, that was not part of my plan. I am OK.”
To be honest with myself, it was the world around me telling becoming a PT was the road to the type of success I was looking for. In the moments when I stopped to listened to what I was supposed to be doing with my life, Physical Therapy school was never in the plan. Holding the rejection letter I felt the weight of stress and worry lift off my shoulders and I felt nothing but peace as I knew what my next step was going to be.The hardest part, and I’m not going to lie… it sucked, was having to look my peers in the face and muddle through the conversation that no, I was really ok. No, I was not going to try again. Yes, I was going back to school to become a dietitian. And while what came next was the right thing, it was not always easy. I know I continued to fail at one thing or another along the way.
But I stopped l counting.
Moving forward I knew I had to look up and rise up to whatever challenge was ahead.
Maturity, along with a little self confidence and discipline kicked in and I became better at setting goals and working hard to achieve them. From waiting tables just enough to pay my way through my second education but not too much to hinder my studies, to knowing the type of job I wanted once I finished my dietetic internship and then believing if it was not out there it could be created, to signing up for races and surprising myself that, yes I actually could cross the finish line.
Maybe I was not the awkward duckling I had believed I was.
Maybe I just needed to stop believing the lies I was listening to and start believing in myself.
It was at this point in my life I started to learn to feed both my mind and body with things that empowered me, not things that dragged me down. As life and my career evolved, so have I. And I’m grateful for that.
The things that drive me to showing up everyday for my life and in my work are different than they were 10, 15 or even 20 years ago. But one thing has always stayed consistent has been my passion to inspire and empower people to be better, regardless of what the outside world has told them about their failures. From my early goals of working to help fight childhood obesity, to my love for working with both recreational and professional athletes, to my most rewarding, but also hard work of helping people break up with their eating disorder, to the extraordinary magic I witness as a client transforms their relationship with food and themselves ultimately becoming empowered to feel better so they can live better.
You see, I don’t actually believe in failures.
I don’t think I’m a failure and I certainly don’t think you are a failure.
I think anyone who is brave enough to show up another day to face whatever is in front of them is their own superhero. A superhero that is not acknowledged enough by the society we live in. A superhero who has a gift deep within them that needs to be shared with the world.
But even superheroes need a little help every now and then.
I know I did.
I know I still do.
Regardless of the message you are being told, you were not designed to walk in this world and fight, win or lose the battles in life alone.
People need people.
And because I know we need each other, I also know we need to take care of ourselves with how we feed our mind and body.
This is where Food Therapy comes in.
Food Therapy is my nutrition private practice that I opened when I moved to Lafayette, Louisiana in 2008. You see, before I started my own practice I had (in my opinion) a very exciting and successful career. I worked at TELOS Fitness Center in Dallas, TX from 2005 – 2008 and had the opportunity to work with some of the most amazing people. This group of fitness leaders inspired me in my work. We were a team. We were a family. And as a family we believed and supported each other, which meant not only did our clients see and feel great results, but the organization as a whole rose up. As a dietitian and new mom I was challenged to grow in serving my clients and my counseling skills as well as deepening my understanding of food as therapy for optimal performance in life.
By the time we decided to move back home to Louisiana so we could our daughter near family, I felt confident in my abilities to build and manage my own nutrition practice. I had big dreams and visions for this new business venture, Food Therapy. However, about 2 years after I started my nutrition practice, I realized my vision for Food Therapy (even as I write this I think how cool my idea was),…did not fit with my core life values of how I wanted to raise my family.
The saying “you can do anything you put your mind” came to me – something I had used many times in my adult life to reach goals I had set for myself and achieved.
I realized I could create and develop this really cool practice, but it would take lots of hard work, lots of time, and lots of sacrifices…something the mom of a then 3 year old knew in her heart, her main priority was to raise her daughter, grow her family, and embrace this journey of motherhood. Once again, I had to look myself in the mirror and instead of looking failure in the face I had to look opportunity in the eye.
“You have learned you achieve anything you put your mind to. Now the question is, what is it you really want to achieve? What are you chasing? Why are you chasing it?”
I knew what my answers were. Accepting them were not easy, because the other route felt shinier and was more enticing from an outsider’s perspective. But when I sat still with myself, I knew what the right next step would be. It was at this time that both Customized Nutrition Newsletters and my Foodspirations line were born.
I wrote one of the best selling holiday cards, SAVOR, not really to my clients but I wrote it to myself. I repeated the word savor in my heart and mind every day during the To remind myself to slow down, step away from the constant call to work and do more, and instead to SAVOR the magic with my daughter.
We each have unique purposes that we are here to do and share.
However the outside world likes to come in and tell us what success is supposed to look like. From physical appearance to social status to how you choose to do parenthood (or not). There is an opinion and influence from everyone (and I have not even started on all the different food and diet opinions out there 😳)
This is where it gets a little tricky….
How do we find the balance in striving for success and doing better as a student, athlete, parent, friend, entrepreneur, employee while also filling our purpose?
As a registered dietitian nutritionist who has spent the past 15 years working with clients seeking to improve their performance in life, I’ve observed that there’s a correlation between the way someone nourishes the body and the way they are able to reach their greatest potential. And by this I mean not only what their health statistics and numbers show but more in how they’re able to use their gifts and talents to fulfill their purpose while enjoying life. I know that if I don’t take care of myself with nourishing foods, regular physical activity and healthy ways to manage my stress, I won’t have the energy or creativity to give to my work and family.l also know that if I spent too much time obsessing and planning over how I’m going to take care myself and controlling everything that goes into my self care plan, then I won’t have the energy or creativity to give my work and family.
The same goes for other things:
If the food I eat makes me feel sick then energy and creativity are zapped
If I over or under indulge in let’s say exercise and sleep then…you guessed it – energy and creativity are depleted, ultimately having a negative impact on family and work.
I know this is also true for you.
You want to be better, live better, and perform better in life, but you don’t want to be controlled by what society tells you need to happen for you to succeed.
As I raise my two daughters and grow my business my passion for this work grows only deeper. I want to teach and empower people to practice healthy self care principles and practices so that they can go out there and perform well in life…and fulfill their purpose – while still enjoying life…no matter what obstacle is in your way. I want to inspire and empower people to stop and think about what areas they have “failed in” and instead focus on how they will look up, rise up, and move forward. Learning how to care for YOUR body can get a little messy since there is one book out there that will give you the clear road map. But learning to love who you are, how you were made, identity what fuels you, as well as what drains you and being OK with all of it becomes your secret weapon.
And then you smile, not because you are boasting or your life is picture perfect, you smile because you have found peace in your purpose.