When I was 12 years old, I was diagnosed with Lupus. A lot of people would consider this very unfortunate, but I actually do not. I am not saying I am glad I have Lupus, but I am actually very grateful for everything it has taught me about life. Without this diagnosis, I simply wouldn’t be the same. I have learned how to fight for my health, how to experience and appreciate life to the fullest, and how to overcome fears and difficulties. Most importantly, I learned that when diagnosed with a chronic illness, you DO have a choice. Are you going to let it break you OR are you going to let it build you?
I didn’t realize how important nutrition and fitness were to my overall health initially. Doctors simply don’t tell you about that. Doctors know what medications to give to what patients. That’s it. While I always listened to my doctor and took my medication like I was supposed to, it was my mom that introduced me to the nutrition and fitness world. She signed me up for a gym the same year I was diagnosed and showed me just the right amount of tough love to keep me motivated. I quickly realized that as much as my joints would hurt when I first arrived at the gym, they would always feel better by the time I left. I gradually began to notice other subtle changes as well, such as increased energy and happiness.
Once I began to experience the positive impact dialing in my nutrition and fitness could have on my overall well-being, I was hooked. It made me realize that I did have more control over my Lupus than I had initially thought. As I grew older, I became increasingly determined to find more holistic ways to manage my Lupus and get it under control.
I became a personal trainer straight out of high school and started researching, and testing, everything I could to help my body heal. From wheatgrass shots to probiotics to avoiding gluten. I slowly began to transform my diet to one that would help my body heal and function properly. During this time, I was working out regularly, training clients, and doing my best to spread the word that nutrition and fitness are vital to overcoming disease. I was living proof of that.
I found CrossFit when I was 21. I saw the CrossFit Games on TV and was mesmerized by how strong and powerful the women were. I wanted to get to where they were, and become fit enough to compete against them. This is when I decided that I would NOT allow my Lupus to hold me back from this new dream of mine. I had no idea how long it would take, how much grit, how much pain, or how much pushing I would have to do, but throughout this time I stayed focused, and determined, to not allow my Lupus to stop me. 7 years later, I finally qualified. In 2017 and 2018 I competed against the fittest in the world at The CrossFit Games Regional. I never once let my lupus get in the way of this dream. I became limitless despite lupus.
I coached others, trained clients, and continued to focus on optimizing my health throughout the time I was training for CrossFit. Now that I no longer compete, I have shifted my focus back towards full time coaching, using all of the knowledge and experience I have gained throughout my experiences.
My mission is to share my 17 years worth of experience and knowledge in nutrition, fitness, and lifestyle habits with anyone who is determined to overcome their diagnosis, and get back to living a life they love.
Being diagnosed with a chronic illness can break you or build you.
The choice is yours.
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