When I finally decided to stop fighting food and hating my body, everything changed. Everything.
It all started with a box of Cheez-Whiz and Chef Boy-R-Dee hidden under the bed.
Let me explain.
The first time I remember experiencing food shame was freshman year of college. My roommate left for the weekend and I was alone. Under her bed lived a large supply of junk food. Junk food that I was totally unaccustomed to. Junk food that I was completely and utterly drawn to.
As soon as the door clicked closed behind her, I reached for the box.
I spent the weekend fighting with myself to stop eating the junk and then convincing myself to have just one more bite. Carefully and thoughtfully I consumed foods in quantities that I thought wouldn't be obvious, or wouldn't be missed, or would be easy to replace quickly before anyone knew I had eaten them.
I stayed in my dorm room for the entire weekend obsessing over this box of food. I never went to the dining hall for a "normal meal". Not once.
My roommate returned early, unexpectedly. I can still feel the heat rise through my face and hear the blood pumping in my ears as the door to our room opened.
My mess wasn't cleaned up, the evidence wasn't hidden, my shame was strewn about the room.
I don't think I knew then what had really occurred, but looking back this was the first moment in my life that I displayed a disordered relationship with food and felt deeply shameful about eating.
It wasn't until nearly 15 + years later that my disordered food relationship accelerated to a fever pitch, 15 years for me to hit the proverbial rock bottom and feel the deepest desire and absolute urgency for change.
At this point I was in my early 30's, a struggling musical theater performer, bar tending in Greenwich Village, and working every kind of odd and end job I could find to pay my rent; part time office work, personal assistant, running catering events, and even a short stint cleaning apartments for wealthy famous people.
I was working 10-18 hour days, I was exhausted, I was sad, I was creatively empty, having only very minimal success as a performer (maybe you saw me on my US tour as a dog that ate alphabet soup and broke into song?) I lived in disappointment and exhaustion overload and the only thing that made it better was food.
So I ate. I ate when I was happy. I ate when I was sad. I ate when I was alone. I ate a lot when I was alone. I would eat late at night and hide the evidence deep in the garbage can (I lived alone, there was no one to hide it from but me). I would call and order take out and pretend there were other people in the room ("Um hold on one second, babe did you want one or two orders of fries?") I would feel shame when the food was delivered and I was the only person there to consume it.
After years of this behavior I woke up one morning and swear it all came crashing down. I was 50 lbs. over weight, so exhausted I could cry, and my entire body and soul was aching. Literally aching.
I remember taking a long bath and crying hard. I got dressed, and went for a walk. I ended up at my local health food store wandering aimlessly through the aisles. The smell of this particluar store always calmed me down, it was a mixture of something grassy and heady, a little bit of patchoili and wheat grass, or wild greens and grains. The smell reminded me of my hippie childhood eating sprout sandwiches and drinking herbal concoctions.
I didn't grow up eating processed junk food, I was blessed with a Mother that cooked real food. Delicious wholesome food.
So how had I now fallen so far away from my healthy roots? Why was I addicted to "bad" food? And when did I stop taking care of me?
I decided right then and there, in the herbal tea aisle of Westerly Market on 9th Avenue, that I had to make a change. A big one.
I was enrolled in a professional nutrition program within a few weeks.
What happened next was a journey back to myself. A brightening of me. A brightening of my life.
I got in the kitchen and cooked, cooked, cooked my way toward health.
I re-engaged in activities that brought me joy.
I learned about my body, and how to treat it. I began to move more.
Over time the unhealthy weight came off, and I learned how to love my body. Flaws and all. I am soft and curvy, with lumps and bumps. I am me. Glorious, beautiful me.
There have been challenges along the way, yes, but I can say for certain that I am in love with my life.
I cry at Farmers Markets because I think food is the greatest most extraordinary gift and learning to nourish yourself through gorgeous real food is a profound process.
I love my family. I live in NYC with my boyfriend of 14 years Jordan,
and our little gift, Penelope Pancake, our rescue pup whom we both kiss about 1000x a day because she has taught us so much about unconditional love and healing. (note: the dog on the homepage is Sherman, Penelope's cousin, Penelope couldn't make the photo shoot due to a very packed schedule)
Credential Nitty Gritty: I am a board certified holistic nutrition coach through the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, I have been in practice for 11 years and have continued to study under the tutelage of integrative physicians and holistic practitioners. I have counseled Kings in the Middle East and Celebrities in Hollywood, but what I love most is witnessing the daily triumphs of my private clients. It is miraculous, and a deep honor. UPDATE: I am currently working towards a Masters of Science degree in Functional Medicine and Human Nutrition at the University of Western States with a projected graduation date of June 2017.
I am inspired and my work is greatly influenced by the writing and musings of Geneen Roth, Byron Katie, Marianne Williamson, Dr. Sara Gottfried, Dr. Mark Hyman, Marc David, and Louise Hay. If you aren't familiar with these guru's, grab one of their books today!
Who I love working with most:
Individuals that are prepared to do a nutrition deep dive
Women that are ready to do the work necessary to radically transform their relationship with food and their bodies.
I may not be the right fit for you if: You are looking for a 6 pack, want to lose the last 5 lbs, or you don't like kale. ;-)
Just kidding, we can work on the kale one.
I am honored to work with women that are ready to leave food shame behind , embrace whole food nutrition, and fall in love with their soft beautiful selves. If you think I may be the right fit to support you on your journey to vibrant health and abundant peace and happiness around food please feel welcome to contact me here.