I am just an average girl who has dealt with weight and food issues since a child. These issues followed me into adolescence and adulthood. I was a pretty healthy person, so I thought. I dealt with ear aches as a child, and had the occasional sinus infection or flu each season, but as I grew older the sinus infections grew worse, my allergies were year around, I was always tired, was diagnosed with depression- but had nothing to be depressed about – eczema, my weight was impossible to maintain and it was an ongoing battle. I also had menstrual issues that were severe and painful.
I was put on Prozac for my depression, a multitude of prescription and over the counter medication for my allergies, birth-control pills for my menstrual issues (at age 15!), antibiotics for my sinus infections… and the list goes on and on. I didn’t think much about it at the time. It seemed normal and the doctors didn’t seem to bat an eye.
I was always interested in health, probably because I was constantly trying to lose weight and I was involved in a lot of sports. I tried every diet theory out there, various diet pills and even got to an all time low and tried HCG injections at one point! I tried all sorts of fasts, cleanses and detoxes. Most things helped for a time period, but nothing seemed to last. I was on a constant roller coaster.
When I was in my early 20’s I had put on a ton of weight (60-70 lbs, I stopped weighing when I was almost 200 lbs) my eating was obviously out of control, my skin started to break out like I was a teenager, (I never even had a pimple in high school), I was tired all the time and I was dealing with all the above issues. I was so young, how could I look and feel so miserable? I went to every doctor imaginable. Surely, there was something wrong with me! The doctors did test after test and found nothing abnormal. They told me I was perfectly healthy, but I knew better.
And I felt even more miserable on the inside – physically and emotionally. My moods were off the wall, up and down.
I never thought I would be free of my issues with food and weight. I was convinced it was just something I was always going to deal with. I was miserable. My food and weight controlled me in every way. I was consumed and trapped.
I kept a log, named “The 6 Week Challenge” I started this, I think when we bought a home gym or something and the program said, “if you can just stick to the program for 6 weeks it will become a habit“ So I made a little spreadsheet on the computer with my goals and I kept track of my weight, exercise activity, etc. and the only habit that stuck was my CRAZY food and weight roller coaster! So, I have this log that has gone on for almost 7 years now. Every December I would look back on the year hoping it was better than it seemed, only to see how extreme my weight had fluctuated. I would pray that the coming year would be different. I would start devising a new plan to get healthy, lose weight and hope to maintain it so I could get off this senseless roller coaster.
Over the years when I started down the alternative health path I decided to get off all of my medications. The cleanses and detoxes I experimented with did improve my symptoms, but I was still struggling with my eating issues. I had the most success with a Candida cleanse I did. Over the course of this four-month cleanse, my body shape slowly changed (only dropping about 10 pounds) but it looked more like 20! My mood completely changed, with less severe mood swings and less depression, my skin cleared up along with all my other symptoms. This was it! Candida was the cause of all my issues, so I thought… I still found myself overeating, even the foods on this diet. But, my symptoms were improving, so I was hopeful.
At the time I was doing some contract work, working from home. I watched a health show everyday while I was working and decided to turn the TV on early that day. There was another health show on and I was instantly mesmerized! It was a show called, “Know the Cause” hosted by Doug Kaufmann. This guy was putting science behind all my health issues, explaining the root cause of disease. A light bulb went off – it answered the question of exactly why some diets worked, others didn’t and why I had not achieved permanent results. I was hooked! I faithfully watched the show from that day forward and started to research on my own from this new found perspective, and it opened up a whole new world of health I didn’t even know existed!
Now I need to explain a few things below, because my transformation was not limited to just the physical results. Anyone can lose weight – as I had done many times before – but not everyone experiences complete freedom from the obsession with food and weight. This is the key to true transformation!
Now back to the story…all throughout these years, not only was I miserable in my own skin, but I was also miserable in my job and career. I lacked a sense of purpose. I prayed to God everyday for Him to show me what I was supposed to do with my life. Throughout my 20’s my walk with the Lord strengthened and I relied on Him for everything, so I thought… One fall afternoon, on a Friday, I was walking through my living room (I remember it like yesterday) not thinking about anything in particular, definitely not my purpose in life! And I felt God tell me to pursue health and nutrition as a career. Of course! I love learning about food and the body! And with this new knowledge I had gained about the true cause of disease and illness I was ready to share it with the world! I spent the entire weekend glued to the internet researching nutrition careers and some type of education program so I would be taken seriously and so I could learn more. I kept re-visiting this one site, The Nutrition Therapy Institute in Denver, Colorado. We lived 800 miles away! I felt like I had to attend this school. So I prayed and told God that if He REALLY did want me to pursue health and nutrition as a career and if He REALLY was telling me to go to this particular school then I was leaving it up to Him to get me there because logically it was impossible in every way!
Long story short God worked out every detail to perfection, even better than I could have ever planned. We got a place that was 0.3 miles away from school and didn’t even know it when we found it! So Brad and I, along with all the animals, made it to Denver and back with a Natural Foods Chef degree!
While school was amazing, I was still struggling with my eating issues. Here I was with a new career ahead of me wanting to help people with their health and mine was a mess! Again, I felt God speak to me. He said, “Kristin, you rely on me for everything else, why won’t you turn this over to me?” I cried. I don’t know. I had never thought it was a God issue. I thought it was my lack of will power and my problem. I am so stubborn and just kept going in circles year after year; however, even with a nutrition degree (and all the knowledge in the world), I was never going to overcome this problem unless I turned it over to the one who created me.
I found a Christian book called “Love to Eat, Hate to Eat”, by Elyse Fitzpatrick. It convicted me and I felt God speaking to me through the whole book. It shed light on my sin with food. I couldn’t believe I had been disobeying God all these years and had no idea! I couldn’t believe that I was using food as my idol! I had NO CLUE! I was devastated and from that day forward I tried to rely on God for my eating issues. It helped, but I continued to struggle and I was still on a roller coaster, it just was a smaller one.
We did not take a TV to Denver, so I had gotten out of the habit of watching “Know the Cause”. One February morning I decided to tune in and there flashing on the screen was a commercial about Doug Kaufmann coming to Northwest Arkansas this coming weekend! “Get your tickets at your local health food store.” I was so excited, amazed and sick to my stomach. What if I had not turned the TV on, I could have missed the seminar! We had been home for over a month without turning the TV on and just so happened to tune in that day. Looking back, it was clearly a God thing!
So that weekend, Brad and I went to the seminar. I brought my Doug Kaufmann book, “What makes bread rise? – The fungal link to weight loss”, how appropriate! And I stood in line after the seminar to get my book signed. I shook Doug’s hand, handed him my brand new business card and said, “I want to do exactly what you do!” and he said with a big smile, “Be careful what you wish for!”.
After the seminar Brad and I were pumped up about committing to Doug’s Phase 1 lifestyle. The beginning was not easy, in fact it was miserable, but then we started to feel better, way better! My education was paying off because I was developing recipes we loved tha† were satisfying. I was seeing my business develop before my eyes. I wanted to spread the knowledge of the fungal link to disease and help people to incorporate the Phase 1 lifestyle into their lives in a quick, easy, and satisfying way that would nourish them and their families.
So, for those of you in a really bad place right now, remember…there is a reason and God has a plan for it, even if we can’t see it and it seems never-ending and hopeless. Hang in there!