Brittany's story is one of true strength and perseverance. I hope she inspires you as much as she has inspired me. Here is Brittany's story in her own words:
As college athletes we put a lot of time into the sports we play. It’s important for us to feel good so that we can be good. But when you start to have health issues beyond your control it can really knock you down.
I ran cross country and track all four years of my college career at a school that was very well known for having an excellent cross country program. During my junior year of college our cross country team made it to the division II national cross country meet.
I ended up finishing just seconds shy of All-American status and so I could not wait to get back there next year and make it in the top 50.
Going into my senior year of college I was training really hard, but my body was not doing well. My hunger pains were all out of whack and it seemed like my stomach could no longer feel good. I didn’t really know what to do about it so I just kept living life as normal hoping it would get better.
As the season went on I never felt great, I was under weight and I was NOT competing well. My stomach pains were making it hard to eat well and it felt impossible to get enough nutrients in me without giving myself an extremely painful stomach ache. Being on a team of girls who were already prevalent to eating disorders did not help my situation as I felt my low weight and inability to eat well were impacting them even though I was not trying to.
Long story short, my season did not finish well and I was rather disappointed. I knew I had to do something so I went to a special GI doctor. The doctor did the usual tests checking to see if I had Celiac disease. They did not find anything other than a load of inflammation in my stomach and as a result, he suggested I cut out gluten.
I was desperate for an answer at this point and so I followed his orders and tried out this new way of eating. Although there was some improvement my most major underlying issues were still there and my energy levels nor my weight were where they needed to be for me to compete well. For the next year, I was tossed around from doctors appointment to doctors appointment with a few Google searches in between yet I felt I was just spinning my wheels.
About midway through my last season as a collegiate athlete I finally reached out to see a sports nutritionist. I was recommended by a clinic in my area to contact Kylene as she was an experienced nutritionist and athlete. Getting to meet with Kylene was more helpful than ANYTHING else I had tried over the past year!
In one hour she helped break down for me what might be going on and what I needed to do to fix it. We took out foods giving me problems and added foods I needed to help heal my gut. It was strange to me to see that foods I had been eating daily that I THOUGHT were helping my body were in fact hindering my health which then resulted in a decline in energy and performance.
Slowly, but surely after this, my body started to recover faster and my weight started to get back to a normal range. Within two to three months of meeting I started to feel like my normal self again and my energy levels were back up! Not to mention I actually started menstruating for the first time in years.
Although my collegiate season was over I decided to train for a marathon. I trained all summer feeling better than I had in over a year. Getting to run the marathon this past fall is one of the sweetest races I have experienced. It was a race of redemption as I was no longer hurting to run so many miles at a pretty quick pace. My body felt like its normal self again and I am so thankful for the experience. For my first marathon I was just shy of breaking the 3 hour barrier, but I know if I dedicated myself to training for another I now have the nutritional tools to get myself to a new PR.
Kylene helped me to improve my overall quality of life and she got me back to loving my sport. She was an answer to prayer and I am so thankful for her knowledge and understanding of what being a competitive athlete is all about. Without her I would not know how vital understanding our unique nutritional needs are and if you’ve been struggling with GI issues I HIGHLY recommend Kylene as your source to start getting back on track.
A lot of things in life knock us down, but your GI issues don’t have to!
Best of luck to you in your health journey!