I started my battle with food over 30 years ago. After a traumatic event at age 12, I adopted multiple eating disorders. As I grew older, I began to find comfort in food which began my cycle of food addiction, bulimia, and over eating. I never felt that I was sick or that it was clinical. For me, this was just an embarrassing part of my life that I needed to hide from everyone around me.
When I did start sharing with others in the attempt of getting help, basically all I heard from everyone was “just eat healthy”. I felt as though there was some switch that I should be able to turn off to be “normal” again. I must have been born without this switch because I could never find it. Into my early 30’s, I began to notice effects of this dysfunction. It was harder to stabilize my weight, my blood pressure was climbing and I began to have more frequent heart arrhythmia. I now began the panic phase, out of fear not only for my health but for my appearance as well.
Now the diet cycle begins. I tried every diet on the market. I tried cleanses, juicing, vegetarianism, low carb, fat free. And although I would always lose weight and actually feel better in the beginning, my food addictions always found me and after a few months of vigilantly “eating right,” I would have that one little cheat that turned into a cheat day which then became a cheat week and before I knew it, not only was I off the diet but I gained more weight back and felt even worse physically and emotionally than before I started. I knew I had to find permanent change and what better way than to immerse myself in nutrition education.
I started my education in Ayurvedic Medicine. As a clinical massage therapist most of my life, I was familiar with this form of alternative medicine which is centered on nutrition for each individual body type. I completed my Ayurvedic Practitioner education and spent some time in India shadowing an Ayurvedic Physician as part of my required internship.
Although I saw some almost miracle treatments and truly believe in the philosophy behind this type of medicine, I still felt that I needed to know more about why I could not stop my battle with food. Knowing the right thing to eat and actually doing it are farther apart than what seems logical. I needed to know the bio chemistry behind food. I needed to know what happens from the second that I put something in my mouth to the time it is fully metabolized and eliminated.
I went back to college and was accepted into the Didactic Program for Dietetics which I am currently completing through Kansas State University. This has so far given me an incredible perspective and understanding of how food truly affects us. I knew that in addition to the science, I also needed the emotional perspective. I attended and graduated from the Integrative Health Coaching program at IIN .
This is when I finally had my “aha” moment. It all makes sense now and we all have the ability to ultimately control what we put into our bodies, and how to live happy, healthy lives. Sometimes, it just takes the right kind of guidance. My goal now is to help those who has struggled as much as I have finally find their “aha” moment as well.
All of those people who are still running on the diet wheel and end up at square one again, I want to help you.
– Jennifer Alvey-Dzierzynski, LMT, MMP, CKTP