When I was in elementary school, the bullying began. I vividly remember one day at recess when a group of boys surrounded me and chanted, “Hey, Fat Alberta! Hey, Fat Alberta!” (This was a reference to the popular children’s animated series from the 1970’s entitled Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids.) In third grade, the boy who sat behind me would pull my pigtails when the teacher wasn’t looking, lean forward toward me, and whisper, “Pigtails for the piggy” or “You’re fat” or “You’re ugly”.
By middle school, the fat shaming intensified. (I will give more details about this and the effects of bullying on adolescents in an upcoming blog.) This set me on an unhealthy path of fad diets that continued throughout my teenage years and into my 20’s. I lost all pleasure in eating since I associated it with gaining weight. Even when I became underweight, I still saw that fat little girl in the mirror.
During my teaching career, I was determined to break free from chronic dieting. I became obsessed with reading everything I could find about proper nutrition, but I couldn’t stop correlating food–even healthy food–with gaining weight.
Then I discovered a book entitled Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. What a game-changer! This book helped me learn how to respect my body and make peace with food.
So my health coaching philosophy is to meet each client where they currently are in their wellness journey and to give them the tools they need to enjoy all aspects of their lives. And that journey begins with loving themselves.
My education and certifications include:
- Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Speech Communication (Indiana State University)
- Certificate of Integrative Nutrition Health Coach from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition
- Badge of Course Completion in Holistic Health from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition