Interestingly enough, I did not always engage in the healthiest of habits. The majority of my childhood and teenage years was spent eating unhealthy, fast- and processed foods with minimal daily physical activity. Feeling sluggish, unmotivated and fatigued became a norm in my life I though I just had to accept.
Around the time I hit 16 years old, I noticed an extreme increase in my weight and I couldn’t understand why. I had been eating the same foods everyone around me was eating and living a similar lifestyle, so why did I gain weight? With some brief research, I learned that my post-puberty metabolism was taking effect and that I would have to “diet” and exercise in order to lose these new pounds.
I enrolled myself in the grade 11 fitness class offered at my high school and learned some exercises to complete as part of my weekly routine. I researched information regarding calories, macro and micronutrients to understand what I needed to consume to get myself back in shape. Unfortunately, I ended up trying to “cheat the system” and severely under-ate. I ate anywhere between 500-800 calories per day and exercised 4-5 times per week. I was obsessed with losing weight and managed to drop from 135 pounds to 103 pounds in two and a half months. I had developed an extremely unhealthy relationship with my body and food.
During a visit to my physician at the time, I was weighed and classified as “anorexic.” After asking my doctor what I should do, he told me to “eat junk food.” Yes – those exact words. This sent me into another opposite extreme in my challenge to find balance. I excitedly consumed large amounts of cookies, muffins, brownies, pizza and all the foods one’s restricted heart could desire. I found that I did indeed put on weight, however much of this weight was fat and such foods caused my body to become used to eating yet another way which did not serve me. Of course at this point, I figured I should probably go back to under-eating and over-exercising, as that had worked before. I found this extremely difficult, as my body was used to eating a surplus of calories and could not function efficiently on the 500-800 calories I ate before.
I conducted more research and realized that our bodies should not consume less than 1200-1500 calories at rest on days where we do absolutely nothing but lay in bed. After calculating the appropriate number of calories I needed to consume, while maintaining a deficit and exercising approximately 3-5 times per week, I was able to achieve a healthy, maintainable weight for my body.
During this time, I became increasingly fascinated with the human body and its ability to adapt to various stressors that affect the mind, body and spirit. It became natural for me to gravitate towards health, fitness and wellness in my academia. I graduated with a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and took several Kinesiology courses at York University. I then pursued a diploma in Applied Holistic Nutrition at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition. I also became a CPTN Certified Personal Trainer and am now studying at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine where I am working towards my Doctor of Naturopathy degree. My goal is to help as many individuals as I can achieve a life of physical, mental and emotional balance and good health.