I’ve been writing this blog in my head for the past few months.  What to say, what not.  Tell all or just ham it up with all sorts of reality checks I’ve been faced with over the past year…well, the past 25 years.  Yesterday, I brought the vast majority of this blog together while on a GRUELING 4 mile run.  Ok, jog.  ‘Grueling,’ sure, maybe that’s a little dramatic, but today I can hardly walk. Shit you not.  *I’ll thank this tune for getting me home.

KatieHormone_ccIt’s been a humbling couple of years.  The wheels are a little rusty, to say the least. Yesterday, at mile 1.75 I wanted to stop. Pretty much put the kibosh on the idea of running and just walk.  It hurt.  This all after finishing a couple marathons and a handful of halfs and still, I might say, can teach a kick ass spin class, so I still got {some of} it.  I could, at one time, jog for miles.  Nowadays I don’t aspire to run much, but I just wanted to lace ’em up for old times sake.  My core?  Well that’s sorta none existent.  My glutes = not firm. Nope, not even one of them.  I’m a Functional Nutritionist who’s been a little less than functional from time to time.

When I was 15 years old I spent some time in calorie deprivation with disordered eating.  It was weird, it just happened.  I remember shopping with my Mom, looking in the mirror and thinking – what on earth?!  It was a fairly short stint in that arena (the being too thin part) and I was ready to eat once again.  I remember being thrilled to have a free pass to eat.  Anything and everything because, well, I needed it.   That’s when the trouble began, my metabolism had tanked, but even more important, my understanding of food, portions, and all that went with it was gone.   Frankly it had never existed, but it didn’t really need to prior to that. Seventy new pounds later, there I was.

Fast forward and from 15-25 I was in the ether.  The ether of health.  I’ve always been so enthralled with food, nutrition, and fitness.  Never an athlete and born with my grandma’s knees (less than shapely – sorry G’ma!), it was about finding my own best balance.  KEY WORD: balance.  And I did.  It wasn’t always easy but as I rounded the corner in my late 20’s I started to fit my own bod.  Feeling good. Looking pretty a-ok.  In fact, it started to become a passion, this new understanding that food = energy, and that what we eat actually becomes us. I craved the feeling that good health gave me, and I wanted to share it, so I entered the world of professional nutrition and fitness. Things had really fallen into place.

Enter Summer of 2014.  Helloooo.  Here it is, reality check time.  Starting your own business, even with the BEST of partners, is nothing short of stressful.  You know, working night and day, trouble sleeping, eating at weird times or even not eating, and of course getting insanely excited and then insanely scared – all within five minutes. And THAT is exactly what knocked me right off balance, and welcomed this new layer right in the old midsection.

KatieHormone_2You, my uninvited friend, are not welcome.  I have Hashimotos (autoimmune thyroiditis) so my inner engine is at a disadvantage to begin with, but for years I’ve kept it in check with a clean diet and good exercise.  Nowadays, that sucker is all whack.  What else is whack?  The nearly 15 pounds I’ve added on over the past 18 months.  Wait. A. Minute.  You start a nutrition company and gain 15 pounds? What the… Let me tell you this: I disclose for the very reason that I am just like you.  I get it, and I too need to be reminded of how important it is to shut down, breathe and stretch, and how other systems are at play here.  Health and wellness is more than just food.  We are not lying when we say that. It is the sum of all things, of which food is merely one {albeit huge} key player.

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This isn’t Prescribe Nutrition’s fault.  It’s mine.  It’s knowing so much and thinking somehow that because I know, it won’t happen to me.  This Winter of the ‘Frozen Tundra’ (so affectionately named for the crazy cold that was Minnesota 2014) had me on my ass, doing very little movement, working 12 hours days, baking like a wild woman (sure all gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free, but four muffins a day?  C’mon Katie.) … oh and capping off most nights with a glass (or two) of red wine.  Hey, it was self defense people.  I was cold and tired and adrenal fatigue was the new sheriff in town.  The only thing that was firm was that I was not, and all black was the uniform.  My hormones were on the fritz.

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Practice what you preach. I know, I know.  I really, I do… 98% of the time.  I have to say that despite what I’ve told you, it all happened for a reason.  I study hormones on the daily, and my intense passion for nutrition and it’s connectedness to our entire bodies needed to take me for a spin around the block.  I’m a Certified Advanced Hormone practitioner, yet my own hormones think that they are on some joy ride of their own. How ironic. I needed to see that my self care, my sleep (or lack thereof) and my go go GO really did have that crazy impact that we all talk about.  Life happened. And it landed in my stomach.

As I rounded the corner on Spring, listening to Dr. Sara Gottfried’s The Hormone Cure on audio again and I cried (and laughed) through half of it.  THIS IS ME. 35, plus 15 and feeling like this lady needs to get balanced herself. Heyo. Life, health and finding balance – it’s a puzzle.  A giant THOUSAND piece puzzle.  So here I sit, feeling a little vulnerable, wondering what you might think, will you still trust me and hoping that more than anything you can see –  we are you.  We all struggle, we all fall of the horse, we test the waters…it’s life.