The Kitchen Sink
I was young when I started developing an array of symptoms (that I now think of as a “kitchen sink” of symptoms): chronic ear infections, urinary tract infections, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). My mom’s diagnosis was always “It runs in the family.”
So, there it was. I was sickly because I was stuck with crappy genes. Then, as I got older, I kept accumulating symptoms. When I was a teenager, I suffered hair loss and severe acne, depression and anxiety and panic attacks, topped off with a life-threatening eating disorder. As an adult, I added even more symptoms to the kitchen sink: “inexplicable” infertility, brain fog, and insomnia.
I felt entirely out of control, often hopeless and lost. It seemed like everything was wrong with me (and in a way, it was). “Crappy genes” just wasn’t a good enough explanation!
I had no idea that my choices about food, drink, medications, and lifestyle were all fueling my health issues.
I always believed that the way I felt was permanent and health was either something you had or didn’t have. If you’d told me back then that the way I ate, thought, medicated myself, and moved was sabotaging my vitality and well-being (or rather lack thereof), I would’ve dismissed you as a hippie! I’ve come a long way since then—I know a whole lot more now than I did and I have become way less judgmental along the way.
After trying (with hardly any success) all the classic medical avenues available, I suddenly had a hunch and decided to pay attention (…to listen to my inner hippie). I wondered if I needed reprogramming; an adjustment to the big and small choices I was making every day. Over time, I started healing. Not to say I’m the perfect picture of health now (I’m a work in progress, I think we all are). But what I can say is that today, my relationship with my body is joyful and kind. I’m free of daily suffering and the debilitating symptoms I used to endure.
I’m 49 and feel younger and stronger than when I was in my 20s!
Here are two things I learned on my journey...
To reach our health goals, we don’t have to be perfect, we just need to take action.
Consistent action leads to improvement.
You don’t have to be perfect. Contrary to what you might believe, perfectionism is a bad sauce. We pour it over our lives and our goals and then, inevitably, we screw up. Perfectionism ends up being an excuse for failure: “I ate a cookie. There goes my perfect plan. I might as well eat the whole darn box!”
Consistency leads to improvement. Everyone slips and falls (and slips and falls again). Changing habits takes time and practice. Practice. Repeat. Be patient with yourself.
There are many powerful choices available to us; choices that will have a real impact on how we feel and give us tools to cope with what life throws our way. Powerful choices. Often, we just don’t know about them, or are reluctant to try them because they are unfamiliar or sound too much like hocus pocus. Every small change you follow through with leads to another. The positive effects on your health and vitality are cumulative.
Had I known all of this when I was younger, I wouldn’t have spent precious years of my life in a haze of self-doubt and guilt, not knowing if I would ever be able to “pull myself together.” I hope I can be the guide for you that I wish I’d had by my side when I was struggling.
I hope I can be the guide for you that I wish I’d had by my side when I was struggling.
I know a little bit about transformation and change.
Prior to becoming a Health Coach, I earned a Juris Doctor from the Universite Pantheon-Assas, in Paris, France. After a stint as a jurist, I started yearning for something with more pizazz, and went to work in the glamorous hallways of Conde Nast Publications in Germany as a Bookings Director, which I did for nearly a decade. When I came to New York with my husband, we founded Hoeffgen Studios Inc, where I was a casting director prior to becoming a full time health coach. For the past 11 years, I’ve called Brooklyn, where I live with my husband and 10-year-old daughter, my home.
I am a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) and of the Functional Nutrition Lab/Full Body Systems, as well as the Institute for Nutritional Endocrinology (Insulin Practitioner training).
In my free time, you’ll find me in the kitchen cooking up new and old recipes, reading (a lot), honing my pilates, swimming in ponds, and hanging out with family and friends, sharing yummy nourishing meals and lively conversations. I am grateful for what life has become for me.
I’ve finally come to recognize the human body for what it is: a thoroughly intelligent, miraculous machinery that I don’t ever want to stop learning about, admiring, and loving (well, till death do us part), When we start understanding just how incredibly fine-tuned and perfectly complex this machine is, we have no choice but to treat it with all the loving care and kindness it deserves.
My dream is for all women to have this awakening.