I met the boy who would become my fiancé when we were in high school. Back then, he wasn't healthy. He was very overweight. That part was visible. But what I didn’t know was that he was also suffering from Multiple Sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis, or MS, is a disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information between the body and brain. Though I knew him then, we didn't have a close relationship. We graduated and went our separate ways.
Several years later, we reconnected and he looked so different. He looked healthy. He looked good! I wondered how he did it so I accepted his invitation to go out for dinner. He told me his story about changing his lifestyle. He had found purpose in life through organic farming and eating the right food. I couldn't believe it. His MS symptoms were gone. He wasn’t taking any prescription medications. His medication was food.
Having struggled myself with depression and anxiety, I was amazed and intrigued. He had something I wanted. So I clung to him and didn’t let go. I thought that, if I was just with him, I might start to change. But I learned it does not work that way. I hit another one of my lows and I didn't know what to do anymore.
Then in 2014, I started a new job at Roots Organic Juice Café in my hometown of Valparaiso, Indiana. That's when things started to change. It's when I started to change. Roots ignited a passion and purpose in my life. I started to do nutritional research and asked a lot of questions. I stopped drinking pop and started drinking water. I cut back on processed foods and ate more whole foods. The transformation was dramatic and powerful. Within 18 months, I stopped taking prescription medications for depression and anxiety. And in March 2015, my high school friend became my fiancé. Later we were blessed with twin babies, Sebastian and Victoria.
Then I heard about Institute for Integrative Nutrition and their Health Coaching certification. Wanting to go further in my education about health, I had to sign up. I knew it would be hard to balance being a new mother of twins with both work and school. But I had faith that everything would work out. And it did. This month, I completed my course work and exams and am now, officially, a Certified Health Coach.
So, why am I telling you all this? I am telling you this because I was unhappy for more than ten years. And learning about health and nutrition helped me relieve my depression and anxiety just as it relieved my fiancé of his MS symptoms. This year, I turn thirty years old. And I feel like I can finally say I have found my purpose in life. I am truly happy and healthy. But I've learned that health isn't just about cutting back sugar or drinking more water or counting your calories. Health is much bigger than that. True health is about staying connected with people who are supportive and people who need support. Health is about finding some balance in this crazy hectic life. Health ignited a passion in me. I will be sharing my experiences and knowledge in this blog in hopes that it might help ignite something in you too.
Gaby Ramos is a certified Health Coach and team leader at Roots Organic Juice Café in Valparaiso, Indiana. While she self-describes as quite shy and a scatterbrain, don’t be fooled. Her opinions and beliefs are strong and she goes to great lengths for the ones she loves. Her heart is open; easily accessible; easily taken; easily broken. You can follow Gaby here and on Twitter @gabyella_ramos.