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A Little Bit of My Journey

Updated: 4 days ago

I never really wanted to be anything when I grew up. I just always thought I would become a mom.

As a kid, I was chubby and quiet. I loved to read, and I had a few close friends instead of a big crowd of buddies. I was shy and unsure of myself. My mom had contracted Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 4, and her disease pretty much ran our lives. We didn't have a ton of social interaction or fluidity to our family culture because my mom would go into a diabetic coma if she overexerted herself or lost control of her blood sugars. She tried valiantly to control her disease, but it was always a fight (PS- she is thriving currently and has great control of her illness!). Food was a huge fixation for my mom, and as the oldest kid, it became the same for me. My mom wasn't supposed to have a ton of sugar, but it was still hidden all over our house. One of my favorite activities was to sneak downstairs, find a whole bag of candy, squirrel it away in my room, and read a book while taking down the entire thing. Needless to say, I got more chubby and more quiet. 



One summer, a neighbor invited me to a weight loss support group for teenagers. I went, and became obsessed with the game of losing weight. For a whole summer, I ate very little while doing an hour or two of Jane Fonda workout tapes and drinking tons and tons of Crystal Light. I lost a significant amount of weight and sprouted from 5'4" to 5'11" in the summer before my sophomore year of high school. With this transformation, I no longer had to be content with my quiet and bookish persona. I had energy and desire to do more, and to be more.  And for the first time, though I looked better and felt better, I started to feel less content

Throughout my school years, I played every sport, excelled in all of my classes, and did every extracurricular activity I could. I got married young, worked three jobs to help pay our bills and put myself through college, and graduated cum laude from my university half a year early. Even with all of these strivings and accolades,  I still never really felt content. 




I got a great job selling pharmaceuticals right out of college, and I loved my work. It paid well and it was fast paced. I spent three months in Chicago in an intensive training session, learning all about the systems of the body while I studied the drugs I would be selling.  I excelled at my job, but yet- I never really felt content. 




After a few years working for Abbott Laboratories, I got pregnant. Once we started, we did not want to stop having kids. We were in the groove​, and I loved being pregnant and having babies. Beau and I had gone through some marital issues and during that time the Lord had saved us. We became happily involved members of a young group at a Christian church, and I was finally starting to feel more content in who I was and where the Lord had me.

But I had this drive to be the best at what I did. I made sure I always had an immaculate house. I home cooked all of our meals, and hand made baby food. Since I couldn't nurse our babies sufficiently, I made my own baby formula. I hosted all of the events, and volunteered for all of the things. I homeschooled and taught Sunday School and signed up for every potluck even as my heart was in service less and less. I dieted and exercised and pushed myself and my family because I needed to prove that I was good, and worthy, and enough

And four kids later, I was completely exhausted.  I had pushed too hard, and my body began to fight back. 


Problems started to show up with my hormones. I began to suffer from crippling insomnia. I had major anxiety and would be stricken with panic attacks. I got sick with every cold that swept past my house. My acne was terrible, my psoriasis was spreading, I had to take naps just to get through each day, and my gut was in a horrible state. I was painfully bloated by 2 pm each day, I felt like I couldn't eat anything without having stomach pains, and I was super constipated. My brain was always foggy and it was hard to focus my thoughts. I snapped at my kids and cried about it and had no energy to be intimate with my husband. It didn't matter anyway, since my libido was long gone. 

During this time, I went to two regular doctors, two nutritional chiropractors, and one hormone specialist. I was offered antidepressants, sleeping medication, the Pill, and estrogen. My own interest in nutrition as medicine had continued to increase while my body was breaking down, and I refused to take any drugs. I knew lack of drugs was not the cause of my issues. 

Right before our last (stressful) year of homeschooling, I found this thing called Functional Diagnostic Nutrition. Here was this amazing new piece of my health puzzle- I had access to lab testing that went deeper than normal bloodwork.  And with the data gathered, FDNs were getting to the bottom of chronic health issues that people like me were suffering from. I wanted in.

Beau was surprisingly all for it, and graciously financed my education so I could become an FDN. I took my courses at night and graduated in 2017. Part of the program was practicing on myself. After running a series of 5 #labs, my mentor and I had found that I had too much #cortisol at night, very little cortisol during the day, and insufficient amounts of #estrogen, #progesterone, and #testosterone. I had a leaky #gut, and I had two #parasites living in my small #intestine. I was eating the wrong foods for my body. I finally had some explanation for all of the #chaos I was dealing with.  

After slowly building my own health back up through a combination of diet, rest, exercise, stress reduction, and supplements, I got to start working with other women to help them do the same thing. 

The more women I worked with, the more I saw that many of us are similar- we push ourselves to the point of exhaustion while denying ourselves proper amounts of ancestral, nourishing foods. We shun the sun and nature. We stay up too late. We refuse to rest or take breaks. We an unbalanced and malnourished

Once I realized this, it became my mission to help women learn to nourish and balance themselves. I use lab testing and a holistic approach to teach them to do just that. 

My model of care is an opt-in, self-care holistic approach. I can't diagnose, treat, or prescribe. I am not a medical professional. I am a guide and teacher. I am a motivator and encourager. I never stop learning and am currently pursuing my master's degree in Integrative Nutrition. 

But now, I do these things for pleasure and fun. And I take my sweet time. and I don't stress if I get a B. I would rather hang out with my family than do another workout. I'm ok with my belly pooching out after a slow and lovely evening with friends, good food, wine, and dessert. Even though I have always known that humans can't be perfect, I now actually believe this.

But I take good care of my #body, and I listen to it. I prioritize #protein, #fruits, and veggies. I get good #sleep. I'm in the Word each morning. I move my #body daily. I cherish time with my #family.  I spend time in the #sun and in #nature. I rest and #nap if I need to, and I look at these things as #nourishing instead of seeing them as a weakness



I also work hard to bring my #clients actionable and simple ways to learn and implement these same principles for themselves. By relaxing a little, and by being #thankful for your body instead of always fighting it, and by having good #data from lab tests to work off of, the body balances itself out beautifully. 

And a balanced body makes for a balanced babe. You can be a better #wife, #mom, employee, philanthropist, and friend when you are balanced and nourished

You'll hear me say those words all of the time.  They inform everything I bring to my clients, and everything I do for my family and myself.

We all need a little more balance, and a little more nourishment, don't you agree? Thanks for being here, and if you want to learn a little more about working with me, schedule a discovery call here




jennifer

woodward

NUTRITION

jennifer woodward

NUTRITION

NOURISHING WOMEN WORLDWIDE

Soothe your Gut

Speed your Metabolism

Stabilize your Hormones

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