I am a Certified Holistic Health Coach and Licensed Social Worker and a graduate of the Institute For Integrative Nutrition and Simmons College. I use my nutrition and social work training to provide you with a unique and powerful coaching experience where we zero in on the factors that are keeping you stuck in your belly pain to help you achieve major breakthroughs so you can finally see results in your belly… and your life.
Why Do I Specialize In Showing You How To Tame Your Tummy Trouble?
I am asked all the time how I got into this specific type of work, so here’s my story…let’s see if it is similar to yours…
I started having stomach pain when I was in college, in fact, I remember the day it all started– I thought that I had food poisoning–which then went on to last for oh, about 10 years.
After the first few weeks of not being able to eat anything without major stomach pain, I became terrified that there was something REALLY wrong with me. But, I didn’t tell anyone. Full of embarrassment and fear, I kept quiet, secretly hoping that my stomach would just get better on its own. A month went by before I finally spoke up and made an appointment with my primary care doctor. After a slew of tests I spoke with my doctor who said that nothing had turned up–that my digestive system looked normal.
Normal. How could this be? What was happening to me was NOT normal. I felt completely invalidated, and frankly, crazy. Was I making this up?
My doctor suggested I continue to use over the counter medication to control my symptoms. My symptoms? I thought. No over the counter medication could control what was happening to me on a daily basis unless I took a whole box of Immodium at a time. I felt so hopeless at that point that I basically stopped going places, stopped eating in restaurants, stopped spending time with my friends, and began to feel very isolated. This took a toll on my college life, especially since I had newly transferred to another school and was still in the process of developing friendships and my place on campus.
Throughout my last two years of college I experienced the whole gamut of stomach problems, and I remember vividly the moments that my stomach made so much noise that people would turn around to look at me in my early morning French class. I also remember the hiding out, the regret at always saying no to fun outings and trying desperately to hide how much pain I was in.
My healing process
While I was eventually diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (great, I thought, having something called “Irritable Bowel Syndrome” is really going to help with my already overwhelming shame and embarrassment around my stomach issues.), I had no idea how to manage my symptoms.
Determined to get better, I embarked on a long healing journey, which brought me to the offices of a naturopath, acupuncturist, psychic, therapist, and everything in between. I also read book after book, drank a lot of horrible tasting teas, and tried all sorts of strange remedies in hopes that something would finally “work” and heal my stomach problems.
I tried these different healing avenues over several years, and in the midst of it all I managed to finish college, get a job in the social work field, and then return to school for my master’s degree in social work.
While I certainly learned bits and pieces from each healer I met, and book I read, it wasn’t until I invested in a program from a certified health counselor that I was able to put all the pieces together.
My health counselor helped me to realize that healing would only come if I stopped looking for the one pill or treatment that would heal my belly, and instead start implementing small but effective changes in my food and lifestyle– a true holistic approach.
I began to identify what foods were upsetting my belly and finally learned what it means to listen to my body. I became an expert at deciphering what my stomachaches meant, how to get over them, and how to prevent them.
And now I’m showing you what to do to heal your belly.
My Top 4 “Must-Dos” For The Newly Diagnosed And Totally Hopeless:
1. Remain connected. I know how strong the urge can be to stay isolated at home when your belly hurts, or you need to stay close to a bathroom, but please fight this urge! Doing so can actually make the situation worse. By hiding out you start to become so focused on your stomach problems that you lose sight of all else in your life, which can then start the depression wheels in motion (sound familiar so far?). Let people in your life know what is going on, and reach out to others who are going through the same thing (there are tons out there).
2. Use a food journal.
Record what you are eating and what symptoms you are having to start seeing patterns in your belly and making sense out of your body’s reactions. There IS a rhyme and reason to your symptoms– even if it may not feel like it. It just takes time to unravel and decode the messages your body is sending you.
3. Educate yourself.
Read up on what is ailing you, and get multiple perspectives. There is value in all of them. Remember that your doctor is not your only source for health information.
4. Invest in yourself.
Call a health coach, or holistic practitoner who can help you see what you are not seeing and get “unstuck” from your current health and food routines that are not serving you well. Trust me, investing in your health NOW will save you the loads of money you’ll have spent over the years on medications, testing, procedures and not to mention the time you lose hiding out alone.