I lived with chronic pain in my gut for years. It hurt to carry my children in my arms or hold them on my lap. I struggled with bloating, pain, and constant discomfort, and diarrhea was a daily occurrence several times per day. I had to eat Imodium like candy regularly. My doctors told me that was fine. I was prescribed steroids one right after another for years in an attempt to control the pain, and would be on them for weeks or months at a time. At 33 I was diagnosed with microscopic colitis which to me was devastating because it confirmed what I already feared: that I would be living like this for the rest of my life. I had been asking my doctors for years, “Should I see a nutritionist?” To which they would always respond, “No that’s not necessary.” After trying it their way for almost 7 years, I decided to try my own way. I had no idea where to start, so I’m pretty sure I just googled: nutritionist near me. Christi popped up and came with good reviews. I wasn’t sure exactly what I needed, so I called her. After meeting with her I knew this was the person to help me on this journey. She ran tests that my doctors had never run before which gave me new insight to the way my body was working. She and I made a plan, and she gave me all the resources I needed to help me get started. My biggest challenge was definitely getting out of my own way. Christi was so supportive and never made me feel bad for having pizza this week, or not giving up my daily coffee. She is very knowledgeable and always had a recommendation for a recipe to try, or knew of a place where I could find food that went with my plan. To be honest I didn’t fully commit right away. I could see some minor improvements here and there with my superficial diet changes. I would do good, but then it was so easy to just have what everyone else was having, ya know? This went on for several months. It took me truly getting fed up with always having to run to the bathroom, and just generally feeling like garbage most of the time for me to say to myself, “Ok, let’s really give it a try.” After that I started paying attention to what I ate and how I felt after. The first thing was dairy. I had been dabbling with almond milk here and there, and I really only used cream for my coffee, so I started there. I noticed that my stomach wasn’t so gurgly. I also cut out gluten for a week. Then I had pizza. The next day in the morning I could see a difference. My face looked puffy, and so did my belly. I realized I was inflamed. My belly felt junky too. Bloated and uncomfortable. That lasted for about 2 days. I realized then what this was all about. After that I started paying attention. I learned the signals my body was giving me after I ate foods that caused inflammation in my gut. Then I tailored my diet around that. Now I feel incredible. I have lost weight and inches. I feel more energetic. I don’t feel fatigued like I used to. I don’t feel bloated or uncomfortable. NO MORE PAIN IN MY ABDOMEN! And I am HAPPY! They say your gut health and your mental health are linked. I don’t know enough of the research on it to say any more, but I will speak on living in chronic pain everyday, constantly feeling bogged down and puffy, and suffering with chronic diarrhea having a negative effect on your mental wellbeing. I am so grateful to have met Christi, and to have had this life changing experience. I thought for sure I was going to live forever the way that I was before. Now I have a new lease on life. I don’t have to take medicine anymore. When I see photos of me from the last several years, I am so glad to realize: I am not sick anymore. To anyone struggling with chronic health issues I say to you, take charge of your health; and if your gut is telling you to try something else, do it.