If you had asked me ten years ago where I’d be today, I’d have missed the mark by a long shot. At the time, I was a management strategy consultant working for one of the top firms in the country, developing customer service strategies for the nation’s top banks and brokerage firms. I had a job that was lucrative, challenging and exciting. I loved it.
However, when our first son was born five years later, I quickly realized that I no longer wanted to travel every week and work hundreds of miles from home. I took a leave of absence, and eventually followed my heart and left my consulting position to become a full-time mom.
As much as I loved being a full-time mom, though, something was missing and I just couldn’t seem to put my finger on it. It took a lot of time and soul searching (and a lot of patience from my husband) to discover exactly what it was I was looking for. The funny thing is, it seems so obvious now that I can hardly believe it took me so long to see it.
Sometimes, it is the most unimaginable, most devastating events in our lives that present the greatest opportunities for growth, purpose and renewal.
Several years ago, I lost my father very suddenly to pancreatic cancer. I loved him beyond words and his absence created a huge emptiness in my soul. I turned to running as a mechanism of dealing with my pain and sadness, and as the weeks passed and the miles grew, I slowly started to find my way. But it wasn’t until I discovered the trails in the mountains that surround my home that I finally began to find peace.
I fell in love with the comfort, protection and solitude that running through nature provided, and gradually began running longer and longer distances. As my mileage grew, I discovered that I needed to learn how to better fuel my body in order to meet the demands I was placing on it.
I began reading everything I could find about running and nutrition, and I discovered that I just couldn’t get enough. The more I learned, the more I hungered for deeper knowledge. With each new change I made to my diet, I saw immediate improvements in both my performance and recovery. I had more energy and felt better than ever before. As a result, I was able to develop from a casual runner into a competitive ultra marathoner in a stunningly short period of time. Most importantly, I began to truly appreciate the direct link between nutrition and health.
As I learned more, I became increasingly angered by the Standard American Diet and its direct and negative impact on the health of millions of Americans. Further, I saw with complete clarity the connection between my father’s diet and the disease which ultimately claimed his life.
Desperate to improve the health and well-being of my immediate family, I began making changes at home. I developed a love of cooking and found great purpose and satisfaction in finding recipes that were both healthy and appetizing to my husband and two sons. I removed products from our home that were filled with artificial ingredients, chemicals and toxins and replaced them with clean, organic, home-made ones. I joined a Community Supported Agriculture plan at a local farm and I began talking to our boys about where our food comes from and how we can make better choices.
Thankfully, my family has been beyond supportive from the start, which is not to say that there haven’t been a few protests along the way. Despite the occasional protest, they have been, and continue to be, open to almost everything I throw their way. I have patiently followed a strategy of making small, incremental changes to our lifestyle, and believe that in the process I have gained their trust and support. Most importantly, we have seen the direct benefits of our efforts. We are healthier than we’ve ever been, our boys have the energy they need for all of their activities, and my husband has lost 15 pounds and maintained his goal weight for more than two years. Much to his surprise, he has accomplished this while enjoying his meals more than he ever has before.
After months of searching, it finally became clear what I have been looking for: I want to share my passion for health and wellness with YOU. I want to make a difference in the lives of those outside my immediate family. I want to show you how to find more energy to meet the challenges you face every day (whatever they may be) and in the process, I want to show you how to get more out of life . . . while enjoying your food more than ever before.
I want to change the world, one person at a time. And I want to start with you.
If you are interested in learning more about how I can help you fuel yourself to meet life’s challenges, I’d love to speak with you. You can contact me here. You can also find me here, as the Nutrition + Wellness Director at the Rebecca Rootlieb, MD Center for Health + Wellness.
Let’s take this journey together.