Hello and welcome to the Forever Fit Blog! I thought it would be best to start this new blog with a post that lets you get to know me a bit and how I got into this line of work.
When I reflect on the journey that led me to this place and this work, I see that the underlying motivation that has fueled my career choices has ultimately remained constant.
After high school, I was given an opportunity to spend some time in Russia. One of the most impactful experiences I had while there, was helping out at an orphanage for disabled children. For the first time in my life I felt truly and hopelessly incompetent. I had no idea how to help care for those sweet little ones who had so much physical and emotional need. Then and there was born within me a desire to know how to help others. I wanted to be able to make a difference, to help what ailed and improve the quality of life for those I served. I wanted to know how to care for people holistically; body, mind and spirit. As soon as I got home, I enrolled in the prerequisites to become a Registered Nurse.
Fast forward a few years and I was working as an RN. After a few years of this work, I started to notice within myself feelings of frustration at the common situation among the patients I served...the damage was done and we were attempting to salvage what was left of a person’s health. The worst part was that it seemed that a large number of the cases were due to some form of self-neglect. I knew that I needed to be on the other side of the battle. I wanted to be in a position to help people understand how to prevent and manage the chronic diseases that so often lead to so much morbidity and mortality. This sentiment motivated me to go to graduate school and become a Nurse Practitioner.
I now have been working in this role now for over 10 years. I am double board certified, both in family practice and advanced diabetes management. The majority of my practice is working in diabetes and metabolism; from blood sugar management to blood pressure, cholesterol control, thyroid care and obesity. These chronic diseases are the focus of my work.
While I love my work, and everyday have the honor of making a difference in the health and lives of my patients, I find myself often feeling those all too familiar frustrated and defeated emotions. I see my patients everyday relying more and more heavily on medications while stuck in vicious cycles of poor diet, lack of exercise, sabotaging lifestyle patterns and attitudes that are spiraling out of control and stealing their health and happiness. Medications and other recommended medical treatments have their place for sure, and in many cases are absolutely necessary; but lifestyle management is unfortunately treated as an afterthought in the treatment plan of so many, rather than the cornerstone it should be. Many feel trapped and lack the tools to stop the damaging cycles they are caught in and reclaim control. As a society, we have normalized poor nutrition, stressed out, sedentary lifestyles so it is really difficult for us to see just how unnatural and destructive these patterns are. Additionally, the work of changing lifestyle patterns is often perceived as too difficult in light of already maxed out stressful lives.
This is my passion: to empower those I serve to see just how unnatural it is to live sedentary, stressed out lives; how unnatural and destructive it is to eat processed/refined foods. Our bodies are meant to be fueled by natural, nutrient dense foods. Our bodies are designed to move. We are designed to care for and love ourselves and those around us. Chronic disease should not be viewed as a natural product of aging. We must learn to manage stressors. We must take control of our health and wellness and realize that the actions and changes needed to do this will not deprive us of our happiness, but are in fact, a direct lifeline to it. We must appreciate that small consistent changes can culminate to produce big, impactful, life-changing results. We must acknowledge that we were given only one body, one mind, one spirit. We have a responsibility to learn how to honor this gift and hold our well-being sacred. Join with me in taking action to create an environment in body, mind and spirit that will cultivate a life that is healthy, happy and fulfilling.