WHY SUMMIT NUTRITION?
Since starting Summit Nutrition, the most consistent piece of business advice I have received has been, "If you have a story or a reason of why you do what you do, SHARE IT!" I ignored that advice for close to 2 years. This is the raw, detailed truth of where Summit Nutrition originates. Like Planet Fitness advertises, "This is a judgement free zone!"
WHY DID I CHOOSE NUTRITION?
Was it because I loved eating healthy? No.
It started at around age 8. No, I did not have the dream of becoming a nutritionist at 8 years old. That was the first time I looked in the mirror dressed in one of my two piece dance costumes and thought, "I am fat." I remember it like it was yesterday. While I did not act on changing the way I felt about my body at that time, years later I did.
An eating disorder that would ruin friendships, relationships, dreams and hard work; an eating disorder that changed the person I was. Let me state that an eating disorder, anorexia in my case, is not a dislike of food; it was my way of coping. It was my sense of control when I felt like I had none. It gave me power, rigidity and perfection. So I thought. The reality was I lost all of those things. Jourdan had no power, no control and was at the mercy of something that became greater than her.
After many years, a lot of help and deep self exploring, I turned my eating disorder into my "Why".
MY STORY, MY "WHY"
While I mentioned seeing my 8 year old self as "fat", it was not until my Sophomore year of high school that actions of my eating disorder began to take place. I experienced a very traumatic event, one that I will never share, and turned to bulimia to cope. Restricting food all day and then saving shopping bags in my closet, I would go and purge up dinner. After getting caught in that act, it was on to laxatives. Popping tiny pills and "having an upset stomach" multiple times a day did not seem too fishy. Let me tell you kids, parents are smarter than you think! Caught red handed and at this point like a fish in a bowl, I was constantly being watched. I then let loose for a while. I needed to focus every day on getting a scholarship to play college tennis. But the guilt ate at me still each day (no pun intended).
Senior year of high school. I had made it to state tennis, received a scholarship to play at a great university and was then getting ready for prom to end the year. It was my senior prom and I wanted to look nothing short of spectacular. A beautiful dress with stunning make up and hair was not enough; I had to have the perfect body! That is where the worst began. Sitting comfortable at 5'6" and 135 lbs, the obsessive exercising and restricting of food made the pounds fall off. I went to my senior prom- I purged my dinner in the bathroom. I looked good AND HEALTHY at my senior prom after losing 20 lbs. But that was not enough.
Now, it is roughly one month before I leave for college to play tennis. Sitting on the beach in Destin, Florida, my parents receive a call from the doctor. Based on my heart results, I needed to be hospitalized and in full treatment as soon as possible. From there began my journey in treatment care.
1 month in Research Medical Hospital until I discharged myself to go to school against doctors orders.
1 month later, sent home from school, as I was too unhealthy to play and lost my scholarship. Back to Research for another month.
Sent to Castlewood Treatment Center in St. Louis. This would allow me to be in more residential care. I spent 5 months here, including the holidays.
Discharged from Castlewood as they felt I had no desire to get better and time/money was being wasted. They were right.
Took some time away from treatment. Started to do slightly better on my own.
Went back to Nebraska for a full year. Relapsed.
Insurance would no longer cover in-patient treatment for me. I was below 100 lbs and back to stage one.
Parents had to take on full hospitality through a program called Modsley. They fed me each meal, not of my choice, took me to school, visited me at work to dismiss me for meals and even came with me to hangout with my friends. If I wanted to do something, they were coming.
Began to find myself and what recovery could look like...potentially.
After going through Modsley, the realization set in that if I wanted to change, no one was going to do it for me; Jourdan had to want it for herself. Jourdan had to recognize she was enough, more powerful than any disease and a child of God with a plan ahead, free of an eating disorder.
It was then I decided I wanted to do nutrition for a living. My therapist told me it was a bad idea and something that would never successfully work for someone in recovery; it was too triggering on a regular basis. I was determine to prove them wrong! I wanted to share not only the science behind nutrition and the real way to achieve health goals, but help people through the emotions of food and positive self acceptance.
From my eating disorder and severe restriction of many foods for so long, I developed a lot of food intolerances and severe IBS. My IBS was so severe at one point, they could not perform even a colonoscopy due to intense spasms. Doctors told me I would never be off 4 capfuls of Miralax and 4 Colace a day in order to just go to the bathroom; I had destroyed my digestive system. Again, another opportunity to prove them wrong. With developing these issues, I paid a lot of attention in my schooling to digestive disorders and food intolerances.
While my passion lies in sports nutrition (my masters emphasis), helping people heal with food is such a gratifying feeling. After months of experimenting with my own diet and food pairing, I now take absolutely nothing to aid in digestion and have daily regular bowel movements. TMI I know, but it speaks to the power of nutrition healing.
Each day I remind myself I am enough. Each day I get the privilege to help others tell themselves the same and lead them to a new healthy lifestyle. The first thing you will hear me say is, "I am not here to teach you a diet, I am here to teach you a lifestyle". While paleo has personally changed my life and the way my body handles food, it is not for everyone. I strongly believe sustainability is key to success; paleo is not sustainable for everyone.
The Ace bar would have never been created if it was not for my eating disorder. The dream to start Summit Nutrition stems from my struggle. I bottled up my story for years in fear of judgement. Now, I share it for motivation, inspiration and even a daily personal reminder to keep on pushin' on. I thank God for my struggle as His plan for me was to come out stronger than I could have ever imagined and help others feel that same sense of accomplishment.