Succulent

So, I had planned to sit down and write this fabulous post about something or another that would just blow your socks off. But you know what? I realized that I hadn’t really shared my story about why in the world I chose nutrition. Sure, my “About Me” page has a short little blurb, but that doesn’t really do my story much justice. 

Back in middle school, I was a music nerd that lacked any sort of athletic ability outside of being super flexible (this is going somewhere, I promise). During one of my weekly voice lessons, my teacher noticed that one of my shoulders was lower than the other one. He seemed concerned but didn’t want to make a thing of it. He did mention to my mom that I should see a doctor to check for scoliosis. And after going to the doctor and having x-rays taken, it was discovered that I indeed did have scoliosis. For those who don’t know, scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine. Looking at my spine from behind, it is in the shape of an “S” rather than straight as it should be. My case was fairly severe, and I was unfortunately beyond the age where a brace would correct it. The doctor strongly recommended that I have surgery. The surgery would consist of the doctors fusing steel rods to my spine along with a bunch of hooks and screws that would relieve the pressure the curve was putting on my spine. Recovery would be pretty intense, but it was made clear that this was my “only” option. I’ll never forget sitting in the car bawling my eyes out because I was so scared. Thoughts swirled around in my head of: what if I don’t have the surgery? What if I do and I don’t wake up? What if I never fully recover? Yes, I was the reigning champion of the “What if” game. I knew that my life would never be the same, but I don’t think I could’ve ever imagined what lay ahead . 

For whatever reason, my parents didn’t feel good about the surgery route. I honestly don’t think they knew what to do. We had heard bits and pieces about chiropractors, but we were leery of those back-crackers that paralyzed people (yeahhh we were clearly missing some facts there). I did however have a close friend from church that swore by her chiropractor and convinced us to check him out. Since the first day I stepped foot into that chiropractor’s office, I have been a believer. Let me clarify that I’m not just a believer in chiropractic; rather, I’m a believer in the human body and its God-given ability to heal itself. The knowledge I gleaned from the resources I had in my chiropractor’s office in Nashville (Dr. Josh Axe-google him) I find to be priceless. I learned things about health and wellness that I had never heard before. My perspective of food and even the human body changed dramatically.

Meanwhile, my vocal performance degree in college just wasn’t really working out how I wanted it to. It was time for a change. After months and months of searching for what would be the next step in my life, I stumbled upon the Nutrition Therapy Institute website. It was perfect-truly perfect. The school’s mission statement had these principles that were so profound and just so big. There was an instant connection that I hadn’t felt with any other nutrition program. Their goal was to equip people with the tools to gain optimal health, to teach a competent study of holistic nutrition, to make health and wellbeing personal, to create community amongst students, and to promote and support local organic farming. I enrolled as soon as I could, and I can honestly say that their curriculum accomplished everything they set out to accomplish. Not only did I learn so much, but I gained so many connections from being a member of the NTI family.

But back to my scoliosis right quick. Though thankful for where my journey had brought me, I still used to be so frustrated about it. I would wonder why it had to happen to me. It seemed so unfair that I would never look like the “perfect” girls I would compare myself to. But a conversation one day with my chiropractor at the time Dr. Mike put everything into perspective. My scoliosis isn’t a burden-it’s not something to complain or whine over. My scoliosis is my body’s way of compensating. My body is working so incredibly hard to keep me alive and standing. Here I had been so busy being upset that I wouldn’t look like everyone else, that I had completely missed the blessing that was right in front of me.

With all of this being said, my life experiences are what brought me to discover my passion for nutrition and my desire to provide people with the tools to live life to the fullest. Food is incredibly powerful and is very empowering when used properly. It can help cleanse the body, build the body, and sustain it. I know I’ve said it before, but food is such an amazing gift. Had I not been diagnosed with scoliosis, I seriously doubt I would have ever stepped foot into a chiropractors office or would’ve had any desire to study food and how it interacts with the body. It’s so odd to think that something so crucial and intertwined with my day-to-day might not have happened had my spine not been twisted. It was, is, and forever will be, my blessing in disguise. 

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