Me with my family.
My reason for coaching...
That's me up there, front and center with my family. This photo was taken in 2016 in beautiful La Jolla, California. We were at UCSD for our annual participation in ENROLL-HD, an observation study of people and family members that are affected by Huntington's disease. We'll get back to that part of the story in a bit, but first...
I've struggled with health for most of my life (up until recently). I was prone to bronchitis as a kid, and took antibiotics as often as needed, which led to questionable gut health. My brother and I got to eat a lot of processed food, which was just common of the times. (I know you did your best mom!) A pivotal moment in my body perception came in 5th grade, when while standing in the girls bathroom at school, washing my hands, another girl asked if I was pregnant. That moment created shame for me that stuck, and among other things led to an eating disorder during my teenage years.
In my early twenties I made the choice to leave the religion I was raised in, and in one fail swoop lost most of my tribe, and created great anguish for my parents. I rebelled... HARD. Drinking. Smoking. You get my drift. All those stupid things a lot of us do when we're young that give us a momentary high, but is likely causing some lasting damage to our bodies.
I slowly started to pull out of that phase in my mid-twenties. This is also when I happened to meet a really incredible guy that gave me incentive to clean up my act even more, because he was a keeper. Lucky me, he's now my husband!
Then in 2008 a pretty big health bomb was dropped on my family. My uncle Steve was diagnosed with Huntington's Disease, a genetic disorder that causes the progressive breakdown of neurons in the brain, and this typically happens in the prime of life. HD is hereditary. It's a chromosomal dominant disease, meaning that a parent has a 50% chance of passing the disease on to their children. That meant that any of his other siblings could also have it. Out of six siblings altogether, four were diagnosed with it, including my mom.
I have a 50% chance of having Huntington's. I've chosen to not be tested, as there is currently no treatment or cure. The only thing that has ever shown a positive impact on symptoms is a healthy lifestyle. That's something I can control! This has lead to a passion about learning what foods, supplements, and lifestyle habits support a healthy gut, a healthy brain, and therefor a healthy life.
I'm a woman in her 40's that found her best health in her late 30's. I truly believe it's never too late to find your best health. That may not mean reaching each and every idea you've built up in your head about what it means to be "healthy" (a string bikini or Speedo looks good on a very select few), but it certainly means finding balance for your body that creates a peaceful, content feeling, and fulfilling existence.