I would say, I have 2 monumental moments in life that have “made” me who and where I stand today. The first one was unexpectedly becoming a teen mom. It definitely wasn’t in my life plan (consciously anyway), and I had NO idea what I was doing, but it worked for me. Now, as I stare 44 years in the face this month & my boys are in their mid 20’s, I smile. My heart smiles.
We all have many life stories, right?! We often hear “we must go through the valleys to appreciate the mountain tops” or something like that. And oftentimes, it’s the valleys that mold us and catapult our trajectory into who we are meant to be.
My second significant life moment was back in 2014. In 2014, my husband of 10 months had a massive heart attack right in front of me. At that moment, although I was unaware and in complete shock, the direction of MY life had changed forever. Yeah yeah, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking “Um, Shelley, HE is the one that almost died, not you”. This is oh-so-true, but it immediately, without any hesitation or even recognition of it, became my mission to get him (and by default, also me) healthy again.
I was lost. I wanted to get him healthy and didn’t know where to start. And as the stars aligned in my favor, I stumbled upon The Institute for Integrative Nutrition and the world opened an entirely new chapter without me even realizing it. Next thing I know, I’m elbows deep into an online school with NO clue what I wanted to do with it. I just had this subconscious hunger for healing both of us; inside and out.
After graduation, I came up with a business name & started posting on social media all things healthy food. And, call me crazy, I still yearned for more. Maybe it was the “Shelley, you never got to go to college, so you’re hungry for knowledge” bug. I’m not sure, but I wanted more knowledge on nutrition and how to heal us with food. Again, the stars aligned and I discovered The Academy of Culinary Nutrition. And just like that, I’m back in school.
I have been inspiring others for 1 1/2 years now with my holistic food educator business. It’s my calling. It’s my passion and I’m starting a movement. I want to educate and inspire others to spend more time in their kitchens by cooking real/fresh/whole foods that will aid in prevention and living their healthiest lives; without all the medications and doctor’s visits.
I now know my “why”. Having a child at 17 had to happen. The heart attack had to happen. I am finding fulfillment and balance. On a personal note, I am happy to report that after 5 years, my husband now has the cardiovascular system of a 33-year-old (he’s 47) and it was all done with diet and lifestyle shifts; small daily habits that promote healthy living.
I encourage you to take some time for self-reflection. Look back on your struggles and smile at them. Send them love and help them move you into a new/better version of self. Looking back on your past doesn’t have to be a negative process. I love this version of me. I’ve never felt better & I am proud of “my story”.