The 16 Moments That Guided Me Here

16 pivotal moments that have shaped my limiting beliefs, created traumas that I needed to heal from, and changed the course of my path that has guided me here.
Wellness coach, mindfulness coach, meditation coach

Warning: This blog post contains some anecdotes that may be triggering to those that have experience with eating disorders, mental health diagnoses, addiction, and abusive partners.

Ever since I was young, I had a difficult time coming up with an answer that felt right to: “what do you want to be when you grow up?” I felt that my decision defined me and the rest of my life and had a hard time choosing one thing. The list of answers grew as I did, which turned into me changing my major in college…more than once. I felt so lost. Little did I know, amongst all my indecision the universe was guiding me to exactly where I needed to be. When I finally accepted that everything happens for a reason and started to allow things to come into my life, the struggle of ‘trying to figure it out’ subsided and I could see that I truly was being guided.

Mindful Nutrition Coach was not on my list of answersr, honestly, I didn’t even know it was an option until I landed here. It was not a conscious choice, but rather a guided culmination of experiences that gave me the knowledge, experience, and intuition that nudged me to help people improve their relationship with food and themselves.

This was not a path that I even saw as a possibility upon graduating with my nutrition degree, but I am so grateful it was the path I was on without even knowing it. Here are some pivotal moments along the way that shaped my limiting beliefs, created traumas that I needed to heal from, and changed the course of my path that has guided me here:

The moment I sat in the car with my mom outside of the grocery store eating a box of cookies she just bought. We ate them in the car, so no one knew about them. In this moment I learned eating sweet treats was shameful and we were being ‘bad’ for eating them. I enjoyed this moment with my mom, it was like we were rebels without a cause. It wasn’t until later I realized the messages about food it sent me as a young girl.

The moment I cried in the dressing room while school shopping with my mom. I was in the fifth grade and felt completely uncomfortable in my own body. In my eyes, it was hideous and inadequate among other cruel things I would tell myself. I cried wishing I was small and skinny like my friends. I cried because I had to keep trying on bigger sizes. I wish I could tell this sad girl that you are so beautiful, and you are not meant to look like everyone else. I wish I could tell her that you will not always feel like the ‘sasquatch’ your brothers teased you of being. 

The moment I felt mortified in middle school music class sitting on those classic choir risers. I overhead Katie Saddleberg (yeah, she’s the mean girl you are imagining) making fun of my love handle stretch marks as my shirt rode up my back. I wanted to disappear. This moment validated to my middle school self that my body was hideous… oh, and that I resented Katie Saddleberg.

The moment I felt proud for losing 20 pounds at 12 years old. Proud that I restricted the amount of carbs I had each day. Proud that I went to bed hungry. Proud that my body was closer to looking like my friends’. It felt great to feel more comfortable in my new sized body…and just like that, I was hooked on the thrill of dieting.

The moment I sat on the bathroom floor crying after shoving the end of my toothbrush down my throat with nothing to show for it. I was trying to make myself throw up with little success after binge eating. The plan was to not eat that day, but I lost control and ate everything in sight. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. I felt hopeless and pathetic. I was pissed at myself for ruining my plan to starve myself for a few days, so my stomach was flat that weekend. Unfortunately, later I would learn about using laxatives instead.

The moment I panicked when I heard a loud, old car running outside of my house. My heart raced as I thought he was back again. I felt paralyzed and terrified. I finally peeked outside to only see a neighbor getting picked up by someone. I was relieved it wasn’t him but startled by my body’s reaction to the loud car that resembled his. I was later told by my therapist that I was experiencing PTSD responses to being stalked by my emotionally and physically abusive ex-boyfriend. I was left terrified after he followed and chased me driving to school one morning. He caused an accident with me and two other vehicles.

The moment I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder I felt a huge sigh of relief to finally have a label to put on what I was going through. Once the relief subsided, I felt more alone. It was as if the label ‘Bipolar’ was stamped on my forehead. After years of therapy, prescriptions that made me sick, and lows that put me in the hospital; I took a radically different approach to my mental health by focusing on my overall wellness. Now, bipolar no longer defines me, but rather works as an alarm that alerts me when I am out of alignment.

The moment I realized I was too young to decide on a ‘career’ and fearfully dropped out of culinary school before I turned 18. Who knew a career development course that went over resumes and interviews would be enough to send a 17-year-old that graduated high school a year early on honor roll running for the hills! Oh shit, this was the real world. I decided to work as a preschool teacher until I knew what I wanted ‘to do’.

The moment I woke up and struggled to piece together what happened the night before, it was an unsettling feeling that I could not remember anything my friends were talking about that happened. I cringed as I looked at pictures of myself from that night. I didn’t recognize who I saw. All I saw was the face of someone that was trying to cover up their pain with drug use. It was that moment that made me take a deep inventory of my life and the choices I was making.

The moment I sat next to my future husband in psychology 101 at our local community college. And since I am so smooth, I started the conversation with how I knew his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend! Neither of us thought that 12 years later we would be partners for 11 years, married for 4 years, and raising two amazing boys together. After growing up in the same part of town, attending the same middle school, and having overlapping friend circles, the universe finally decided it was time for us to meet. Talk about 2 degrees of separation.

The moment I no longer heard her breathing and checked for her pulse. My grandmother passed on from her physical body. I took care of her for the last year of her life while she had no idea who I was. Her progressing Alzheimer’s led her to believe that I was Carol (my mother). I cherish the time I was able to spend with her in that last year. For me, it helped make up for the time I didn’t get to spend with her while I was growing up. I learned I was a natural caregiver, but also that caregiver burnout is very real when caring for elders. That year made me realize how important self-care really is. That year was a true lesson of life and death.

The moment I held my new baby boy in my arms. I was 23 and for the first time in my life I felt complete and like I had a greater purpose. It was in this moment I became selfless and completely in love with this new human I was responsible for. He was the push I needed to finally complete my bachelor’s degree and what continues to drive me to be the best version of myself.

The moment I was asked to write an article titled, “How to Lose Belly Fat in 10 Days.” The title made me cringe. I vowed to myself I would never write about nutrition with such gross, misinformed marketing hype. I was working as a writing intern for a nutrition-based website and decided to instead write a science-based article on the fact that we can’t actually target belly fat. Let’s just say my project manager wasn’t thrilled about my spin on the article, but I slept better knowing I wasn’t throwing garbage articles into the already confusing world of nutrition and fitness.

The moment I was sitting in the hot auditorium with a heavy graduation gown and cap on. I was in pain from the little baby boy that was kicking my insides. Finally, I was graduating with my bachelor’s degree after attending my college classes on and off for 9 years. I was 8 months pregnant with my second child and didn’t feel as proud or as accomplished as I thought I would. Throughout the ceremony, I tried to rustle up the emotions I expected to have, but this moment wasn’t what I thought it would be. I still felt a little lost and had no idea what my next move was in my career or how I was going to support my two baby boys.

The moment I realized my chest pains and gut-wrenching anxiety were signs from the universe that I needed to make a big change. I was working as an Executive Chef in senior living, a position I took to support my family. While I found joys working with the residents and in the kitchen, my heart just wasn’t in it anymore. I was overworked, burnt-out, and desperately needed a new pace of life. I saw an opportunity to go back to school to get my master’s degree and stay home with my 2 and 5 year-olds that were growing up way too fast. My chest pains finally subsided after I took a leap of faith and quit my comfy salary job. The only thing I really knew for certain, was that it was time for me explore being an entrepreneur. I had no idea that meant owning a handyman business with my husband only one year later.

The moment I realized my new consistent meditation practice was the reason I felt so happy and at ease. My lingering addiction to nicotine faded away with my anxiety, while my mood remained stable. This is the moment on my spiritual journey that I realized that my meditation practice was making positive changes in my life in more ways than I could ever imagine. I became even more committed to living a mindful life, and in return I have been blessed with happiness, joy, purpose, and abundance. Though life can be tough & painful at times, I can now see the beauty and synchronicities in all things, and I am so grateful for this earthly experience.

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About Me

I’m Nicole! A Nutritionist with a BS in Nutrition & Dietetics, Certified Life Coach specializing in mindfulness and the law of attraction, and a Certified Meditation Coach.

I take a no-diet, holistic approach towards nutrition by fusing functional nutrition methods with intuitive and mindful eating practices and principles. I guide and teach my clients to love their body, make strategic and lasting behavioral changes, and reach their optimum health and their body’s natural weight WITHOUT diets. 

Want to know why I will never prescribe a diet to any of my clients? Read The Scary Truth About Dieting.

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