At 14, I was committed to finding a solution to my disempowered relationship with food. I wanted to experience the same feeling as when I finished my 45 minute run; free, high, empowered, inspired, and a ‘just do it’ attitude. For me, striving to live as the best version of myself was always key to overcoming obstacles.
Before my parents’ divorce I was on the edge of too-thin. My early morning rides to school from the countryside consisted of dialogue with girls from the neighborhood. As they chatted about diet, fashion and boys, I wondered. “Why were they dieting?” They all looked thin to me.
I wanted something to talk about, so I started dieting thinking I’ll be a part of the conversation. Not having the expertise I do now, I would go home and experiment with cutting back on foods and started a daily exercise program. At the time it felt productive, I was becoming noticed and I felt special.
When my parents unexpectedly divorced, I fell into a downward spiral. My world became upside down; uncertain, unknown and unpredictable. The stress of experiencing my parents separate pulled me deeper into unhealthy behaviors around food and exercise. What had started out as an innocent approach to lose a few pounds and a ‘diet’ to talk to my girlfriends about quickly turned into a destructive eating pattern.
Every day started out and ended the same. I felt in control of my food until I came home from school in the late afternoon. I was always feeling alone and ravenous. The vicious circle of binging and purging began and my negative inner voice was loud, destructive, and disempowering. I felt hopeless. I couldn’t find a solution.
I remember clearly, lying on the bathroom floor one afternoon, feeling helpless. The tile temperature was oddly comforting, cool and grounding. I had just got home from school and quickly inhaled my afternoon snack. I was too full, a feeling I despised so I went straight to the bathroom, trying to purge it up. I was unsuccessful, not much food had come back up. What happened next felt like a miracle. I heard a voice deep with myself, encouraging me to get up and walk to the bathroom mirror, I could see the deep sadness in my eyes, of my soul. I told myself, “I need to stop.”
I stop purging because it left me feeling hollow, sad, and hopeless, but I couldn’t stop binging. Eventually I gained weight. I lacked concrete tools and a plan in the how to; what to eat, how much and when. The weight gain affected my body image negatively. The endless circle of confusion led me to compensate with more vigorous exercise.
What eventually took the weight off was perhaps an unconventional method. Inspired by my fathers’ travel stories, I saved up enough money to buy a ticket ‘around the world’. I was excited to explore new territory, landscape and cultures. My daily addiction to bread and cheese ended because there where simply nothing but vegetables, proteins and fruit to eat. My spirit was intrigued to travel to new destinations. Instead of being preoccupied about what I should eat next, I was immersed in my Blue Planet travel guide trying to translate my way from Bangkok to Bali. I had no idea that the weight was melting away. Before I knew it, I was 20lbs lighter and feeling incredible.
After 9 months of backpacking through South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand, I passed through Los Angeles. The weather, the energy and the entrepreneurial spirit of the people made me quickly fall in love with the city. I began thinking about the next part of my life. What would I do for my career? Where would I live next? After traveling a bit more, I found myself settling to LA, a bustling city of dreams and high energy.
This was the perfect place for me to find my career, whether I knew it or not. I continued my athletic passions, frequently running at the beach, and working out at the MECA of fitness, Venice Beach’s Gold’s Gym. Several trainers saw my drive for fitness and gifted me their workout programs. Simultaneously, I began a new eating regimen based on blood sugar stabilization, a new concept in my world. Mark Mac Donald, a locally famed nutritionist, re-framed my confusion around food. Within 48H of starting his program, my chocolate cravings disappeared and I was immediately addicted to the daily high of eating KLEAN and I began to shift my inner dialogue. From being sad and hopelessness, I became solution-driven and determined. I did not give up, I became resourceful and unstoppable.
Within a few months, I was being trained by Mark as a founding coach, leading clients through his certified program, “The International Board of Nutritional and Fitness Coaching”. I made tweaks with his guidance and within 6 months I had helped over hundred clients reach their goals; I was passionate to help more.
I eagerly stepped into a new world to get educated and discover new tools. I opened up my own practice. I acquired certifications through National Academy of Sports Medicine in exercise physiology and sports nutrition. After coaching several programs at Landmark Education in the areas of self-expression, problem resolution and communication, I became a certified Life Coach through the Coaches Training Institute. I built my nutrition skill-set through aligning myself with doctor’s from various disciplines so I could learn from them. My practice grew and clients began to ask me if I was interested to educate and inspire their workforce to live a healthier and more productive life. I said yes!
I began working with 7 Jeans for All Mankind, Ella Moss and Splendid. Simultaneously, I consulted for ALTUS Sports’ Performance Institute, and The Hall Center, in Santa Monica. Despite the amazing opportunities that came my way, I wanted to grow more. I began an accelerated Master’s program in Applied Nutrition with a specialty in Eating Disorders at Canisius College. 3 days after I completed my last final, I accepted a position with ASICS America.
I travelled the world to find answers to my life path and purpose. Today, I empower, coach and elevate people’s actions and awareness around eating KLEAN to feel great. I created the Living AMP’d lifestyle to cut the confusion around food and create a roadmap that educates, guides, and inspires people to life fully.