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Life is not a Race… It is a Journey with ‘The WHOLSTIC Method’.

What drives you each day?  Let me share my story first and you let me know if you connect and relate to my journey.  I am on a mission to help others as myself to avoid taking the road I did back before I hit the burnout and breakdown point in March 2013.  Fast forward to today- my purpose is to share my story, my struggles and my experiences with YOU so you don’t take the wrong turn that I did years ago.

Are you tired of waking up feeling tired, fat and puffy?  Are you being wide awake and staring at the ceiling around 2Am?

Do you look in the mirror and wonder who are you looking at in the morning?  Then feel depressed the rest of the day and your self-esteem is thrown down the toilet? 

Please don’t blame the aging process… the struggle is real, and you are not alone.

In 2013, I went from peak of my career as a top performing triathlete and small business owner, to gaining 30 lbs. of fat weight “overnight”, along with difficulty sleeping through the night (regular 2 AM wake up calls!) and loss of vitality.  I was feeling tired, depressed and far from my normal peppy self. 

What happened to me?  Why me?    

Why could no one help me return to my “normal self”? 

I wanted answers and immediate solutions.  So, I went from doctors to naturopath to functional medicine specialist to get answers.  “Nothing was wrong we you” reaction was not what I wanted to hear.  I spent a lot of money on functional lab tests and various supplements.  Then I spend more money being stuck in the “cycle of trial and error” buying supplements that I heard about on a podcast, in a book, on a website blog or in a seminar.  I felt desperate for help and a solution now…and this all started back in March 2013.  I did go in more depth (therapy for me) in my LIFE IS NOT A RACE book just to find out if people related to my story and experience.  Was I the only person out there struggling with quick weight gain, muscle loss, chronic fatigue, depression, blood sugar issues, food sensitivities and mood swings?

Do you feel frustrated, hopeless and embarrassed as I was for years?  

I was trying everything I could to get answers, support and a specific plan but nothing was working… it wasn’t necessarily the practitioner fault but my fault for expecting instants and expecting the magic pill to heal me today so I could wake up the next day back to the old me.  I wanted to be able to be fit, strong and capable of doing what I loved to do – swim, bike and run for miles.  My body and mind said differently.  I pushed my busy life, living life as a race, for too many years.  I was addicted to busy-ness and feeling superhuman.  I thought I was invincible. 

For years, I felt lost and thought no one could help me. 

From being a top performer in life and sports for years- I now suddenly was constantly struggling with fatigue and weight gain which contributed to my depression, anxiety and low-self-esteem.   I was embarrassed about how I looked and what people thought of me – as I was known as the “Debbie Diesel” and someone asked me daily “when is your next race Debbie?”. 

What is the definition of insanity?

Albert Einstein is widely credited with saying, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.”

That was me… becoming obsessed and driving myself insane trying to find the “old” me.  I was making my own self crazy by not trusting the results or treatment programs given by various practitioners.

The Doctors either told me…

  1. Nothing is wrong with you!” 
  2. Take an anti-depressant pill
  3. You are just getting older” (I was 43 years old at the time this started!)
  4. Take these supplements” …based on my functional lab test results

Do you want to feel yourself again- drop the stubborn weight and regain your vitality so you can thrive each day instead of trying to survive the day?

I would wake up in the morning and wonder “who is that person” in the mirror… this was not me.  I felt that I had a sumo wrestler suit on.  this extra layer of fat on my body was not my driven athletic and competitive self.  I felt so self-conscious about my extra weight and worried too much about what other people thought of me. 

I just wanted to yell and scream out loud that my sudden weight gain had nothing to do with what I was eating or my exercise sessions.  I was not sitting on the couch eating sugar and packaged processed foods. 

Instead, I was still trying to exercise and train for my upcoming 70.3 triathlon in Kona and focusing on my big race in August (Ironman Canada- Penticton).  Sadly, my mind sends one thing and my body said another… as I had absolutely no energy or strength to do anything! 

Besides my lack of energy and constant fatigue (daily afternoon naps), I was not able to sleep at night and frequently I was wide awake around 2AM just waiting for my alarm to go off around 4:30AM. 

What did I learn?  What did I discover? 

Well, I shared my very personal story in my book called “LIFE IS NOT A RACE… IT IS A JOURNEY” (Amazon link here) with ‘The WHOLESTIC Method’, to help other people who are driven, ambitious, over-achievers and over-doers in life as myself! 

What drives you?  What is your WHY? 

What are we running from …or running towards?

I had to discover my mission, my passion and define my purpose in life.  Why was I always busy from the time I woke up – until I went to bed at night?  Why did I need to “rush” from one appointment, meeting, client or training session to the next?  Why do I feel guilty or lazy if I am not doing something?   What was I trying to prove to the world? 

Did I have some type of childhood traumatic experience as being always taller that other kids and not getting asked out by boys in high school?  What was driving me to be this top age group athlete?  I was never successful in other areas of life -until I discovered my strengths as a long-distance endurance triathlete, distance runner and cyclist.  Training, racing and participating in these athletic events made me happy.  I also owned my own fitness studio and I was constantly trying to make it successful, grow and transform as trends change in the industry.

Sometimes we just need to realize the only way we can repair, rebuild and restore our health back to our “old self” is by working on ourselves.  WE need to take ownership for our health and make our well-being a priority.  WE can’t depend on something or someone else to “fix us” with a band-aid type of treatment or supplement.  

My problem was partially due to the fast that I was just looking for someone else to FIX ME and I wasn’t ready to do the work.  Also, I didn’t want to slow down and change my lifestyle habits as I had a reputation to keep up in our town!  Sadly, I didn’t look like an athlete anymore and I didn’t feel like one anymore.  I lost my edge… I lost my body, positive motivated mindset and my vitality. 

My struggle was real… but was this the new “normal” as I was “getting older”.  When am I able to return to the athletic, competitive and driven me?  I don’t want to settle for this version.  What is the answer?  Where is the quick fix program?  What is the magic pill to restore your health and vitality so you can have your body, mindset and athletic talents back again?

There is not a simple solution.  There is not ONE thing that we need to reset, reboot and reprogram.

Life is not a race… it definitely is a journey but sometimes we need a reminder when to take time out, to reset, reboot and recalibrate the WHOLE you from the inside out.  We press “alt-ctrl-del” on our computers to reset but we should be doing this reboot more frequently for our own body – our own personal operating systems.

As a Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and certified Functional Diagnostic Practitioner, I have learned a few new concepts that helped me finally start seeing results – along with my own self-experimentation (N = 1) and experiences.

Here are my top suggestions to finding yourself again and restoring your VITALITY:

  1. Get your mind right.  If you really are motivated to find your body again and regain your vitality again, then we/you need to put the time, energy and investment into the process.  I struggled with the process and I needed to be positive.  My mantra is positive mind-positive vibes-positive attitude.  So, if you are feeling depressed, angry, lonely and frustrated – then it doesn’t help you in your repairing, rebuilding and restoration process.  Learn from my mistakes!  This internal break down and burn out did not happen overnight… it was building up for years until the “final straw that broke the camel’s back”. 
  2. Trust the process.  I was definitely impatient and jumped practitioner to doctor to naturopath too quickly – as I wanted to get back to the “normal” me and to my plans for the year.  I “didn’t have time for this” and “I didn’t deserve this”.  Why me?  Well, we dug ourselves into this hole, no one else did it too us, so we need to learn how to take time to work on transforming the WHOLE individual back to optimal balance!
  3. Invest in your HEALTH as your “health is your wealth” or is it your “wealth is your health”!?  Be prepared to spend money on a quality health coach each month, for at least 90-days, as the process takes time and it doesn’t work long term if you don’t finish the protocol and adjust your lifestyle habits.  I found that I felt alone, lost and impatient.  I wish I had a coach to guide me along the way each week- not just a 20-minute doctor appointment as my situation was more complicated.  Why?  Because the mess we got ourselves into involves changes in our nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress management, mobility, digestion, gut health, hydration and happiness.  I call this “The WHOLESTIC Method” program- eight elements to transforming the WHOLE you- then we combine it with functional lab tests and specific supplement protocol to repair, rebuild and reset you back to vitality and balance!
  4. INVESTIGATE… DON’T GUESS!  Hire a HEALTH DETECTIVE coach that you can relate to and who understands your mindset.   I found that I need to work with practitioners who were like minded and related to a competitive athlete’s mindset.  If you are an ambitious, over achiever, and constant human do-er (versus be-ing)- then you probably want a health coach that relates to your personality type.
  5. AVOID BANDAIDS!  Please don’t get sucked into the quick fix (that doesn’t ever work).  Don’t treat the test result but do Invest in the functional lab tests that everyone suggests but just don’t treat the test results.  Instead, make sure you work with a practitioner that acts as your personal private investigator and they search for clues.  What are your missing pieces of the puzzle?  Look at the WHOLE picture or puzzle- see what makes sense, what doesn’t make sense and continue to investigate the WHY.  Keep diving in and going deeper- and remember that everybody system is connected, and we will experience a DOMINO effect of internal breakdowns that if left alone – will continue to create more internal damage and chaos.  In FDN, we call this “METABOLIC CHAOS ®”.
  •  RED FLAG ALERT!  I lost my body and my fitness as a result of my constant “living life as a race” and being oblivious to my red flags.  Our bodies are smart, so learn how to pay attention and listen to your body as it will tell you when you need to slow down, press pause and reset!  I had to start writing blogs as a way to journal and process my thoughts.  My bike rides were actually the best mind clarity and creative times that I had over the years- and still do today!  Also, I write in a gratitude journal each night and then set intentions for the next day.  Clarity is key.  By writing down our goals frequently then saying them out loud plus visually see them -helps us put our wishes out into the universe and take ownership for them ourselves!
  • There are not one size fits all!  N = 1… we are all unique individuals so remember not to compare yourself and expect the same results.  One of my favorite quotes from Travis Eliot yoga – “Comparison is the thief of Joy”.    We will read different blog posts, social media success stories and different solutions posted on webpages or podcasts.  I have learned the importance of bio-individuality.  We are all unique individuals with different lifestyle habits, different stressors, different genetics, different micro-biomes, different hormone levels and more.  We are not the same – especially if you look at your ancestry background as on 23andME … I am 64.2% British, 14.7% French & German and 4.8% Scandinavian.  My microbiome test results, as recently analyzed using Microbiome Labs BiomeFX test, is unique and different than your microbiome.  Some supplements will work for me – and others will cause a reaction to you or sensitivity.  We also have different reactions or sensitivities to the foods we eat.  We react to stress differently – some people are more uptight, anxious and others are more laid back.  Food reacts differently in our body – some people are fast, slow or mixed oxidizers (learn about your Metabolic Type here

So, what do you do to get your body, health and vitality back?

I know my goal is to wake up feeling energized and excited to tackle the new day. 

I will leave you with two of my favorite quotes that are actually from Kung Fu Panada movie… that I still haven’t actually seen myself!

Yesterday is history,

tomorrow is a mystery,

and today is a gift…

that’s why they call it present”

Master Oogway from Kung Fu Panda

“Your story may not have such a happy beginning but that does not make you who you are, it is the rest of it- who you choose to be” – Soothsayer from Kung Fu Panda 2


It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.”

Muhammad Ali

Lastly, I am a big fan of positive affirmations and mantras.  Here are some methods to find your mantra or affirmations to lead a more positive life with a more positive mindset:

What is your new plan to help you wake up in the morning and love who you are on the inside and out?

I invite you to contact me to share your story, your struggles and your positive mantra.  If you are driven and an ambitious individual who is not getting the results you want your current plan then let me know what your frustrations are today…what is stopping you from reaching success in your fat loss, health and performance goals?

Einstein once said that INSANITY is “doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result”.

Do you keep trying the same methods to get your body and vibrant life back? 

If so, let me know if you want to chat to share your why.  Maybe we need to start an investigation to what is going on “under your hood” that may be impacting your ability to burn fat, recover from workouts, impact your energy levels and struggling with life responsibilities each day.

Remember, I was that person.  I tried EVERYTHING I could to reclaim my body and vitality -but nothing was working as I wanted.  I continued to lose valuable time- years of my life struggling with my body weight, self-esteem, energy, and athletic performance.   No one seemed to understand my struggles and complaints.  No one seemed to believe me that something was wrong – it was not a normal part of aging and overtraining.  Something else was wrong… no one was investigating the WHOLE complex problem or my reasons for “METABOLIC CHAOS®”. 

If someone would tell me “you look great”… or if a medical professional would say “there is nothing wrong with you… your labs look normal!” …. I would scream and want to pull my hair out.

Does this sound similar?  I am a driven, ambitious and motivated person- I wanted results now but learn from my lessons, experience and education. 

Do you want to wait until you hit rock bottom and burn out all your engines before you ask for help and raise the white surrender flag?

Don’t do what I did and struggle for years without knowing it because you are not paying attention to your individual RED FLAGS….nor you don’t want to admit you have a problem and you don’t want to change your lifestyle because you are stubborn as I was (or am!).

Click here to schedule time to chat about your goals, vision and mission.

Are you ready to take ownership of your health and start investigating your missing pieces of the puzzle that is stopping you from being a high performer in life and sports? 

Stop blaming the aging process for gaining fat and losing muscle strength. 

What is the one thing you can do today to start reclaiming your body and vibrant life back?

Schedule a call with me and we can chat!


How Chronic Stress IMPACTS The Whole You!

Jumpstart Your Path to Transformation from the Inside Out to become a chronic stress-resilient, fat burning machine by grabbing this FREE eBook!

How Chronic Stress Impacts The Whole You eBook

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  • Stress and chronic stress, how they can affect you, and how you can build resiliency
  • The eight elements of The WHOLESTIC Method
  • Secrets to become a fat-burning, health-optimized athlete with improved performance
  • Training secrets from 25+ years of experience and education in the fitness industry
  • Multiple interviews from experts on The WHOLE Athlete Podcast she hosts.

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