Jenine’s health story: Change Your Lifestyle!

Guys, it’s another #YWFeatures with the absolutely lovely Jenine from Prescribing Health. Read on to learn more about this wellness coach and her journey, enjoy!

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I was a girl that loved chocolate milk, bread and butter, and the Double Decker Supreme at Taco Bell (hold the tomatoes). My parents tell me I was a pretty big candy addict too, throwing tantrums if I didn’t get my sugar fix. I remember eating McDonalds for lunch almost every day my senior year of high school. On the rare occasion that I had fruits it was usually strawberries dunked in sprinkled with sugar, because I didn’t think they were sweet enough otherwise. I was a picky eater, not caring for anything “green”—you know, like broccoli, spinach, avocados—or any other fruits and vegetables for that matter.  I was completely ignorant about nutrition and the implications it can have on a person’s health.

When I started college I was tired of struggling with my weight and confidence; being unable to keep up with sports, and dealing with asthma. I was now independent and completely responsible for what I ate. I decided to get “healthy.” Unfortunately my definition of health was so far off. I though healthy meant skinny, as so many misinformed women think today. I went on a calorie-restricted diet and incorporated a lot of cardio. Of course I lost weight this way, but in no way was I healthy. I was tired! Mentally and physically I was dragging. I was excited to finally wear a size 2 but that excitement quickly faded when I realized this diet was not sustainable and was depriving my life of so much joy. I would panic thinking about my next meal or going to a social event. I cycled from eating whatever I wanted, then feeling guilty and trying to cut calories for a few days to “make up the difference.” My weight fluctuated as a result.  This went on for a while.

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Finally frustrated with how unfulfilled and unhappy I was, I decided to make a change– a change that would impact me and others, too! One year into my career as a pharmacist, I realized I wanted to make a bigger impact on health and wellness by focusing more on prevention rather than treatment (which pharmacists are doing a lot more of these days, by the way).  I wanted to help people feel good about themselves inside and out, bring awareness to the connection between our diet and diseases, and prevent/minimize medication dependency.  More than that, I wanted to feel good about myself and stop neglecting my own health. I learned the important lesson that food is not fear, it is fuel and nourishment. I realized that any diet that deprives your life of joy is not a healthy one.

I wanted to feel my very best, be healthy, and heal my relationship with food so I began by slowly focusing on eating more whole, unprocessed plant foods. I started incorporating fruits and vegetables into each meal and snack. It took some trial and error and a lot of listening to my body, but eventually I learned what foods I thrived on and which ones did not work so well for me. It’s been 4 years now, and I continue to follow this way of eating pretty consistently. This time I wasn’t following a diet, I was changing my lifestyle.

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I underwent extensive training at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition to become a holistic health coach.  I did tons and tons of research to become an expert in my new found passion, and combined it with my PharmD knowledge. I became my first client, practicing what I was preaching by infusing positive changes into my own life. Not only did I heal my body of asthma, excess weight and stress— but I found my joy, my energy, and renewed my health.

Let me just tell you, in all honesty, this took A LOT of work, both internally and externally.  I had to deal with so many personal fears, limiting beliefs, overwhelm and anxiety, but I want you to know this: YOU are worth investing in.

 

These are a few of the benefits I experienced after adopting healthier habits:

  1. I haven’t used my asthma inhaler in 3 years
  2. My taste buds changed (flavors are so much bolder to me now)
  3. I fell in love with fruits and veggies, which I previously despised
  4. Feel stronger and more energized
  5. I don’t get sick as often (or as severely)
  6. Healthy relationship with food
  7. I have found balance by focusing on overall wellness- physical, mental, emotional
  8. Reduced cravings
  9. Renewed confidence
  10. I’m not afraid of that scale!

Today I can confidently tell you I am on a growth path. I’m constantly learning about nutrition, building healthy habits, exercising, and finding ways to continually improve my own health, as well as help others find ways to do the same.

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I hope sharing my story will inspire you to learn more about how you can improve your wellness by adopting a healthy lifestyle instead of going on a diet. If you’re looking for a little guidance & support I’m happy to help just click here.

Want to write a post for Y.W? Read our About yourwellnessblog page for more information 🙂

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