December 2022


I am genetically petite and thin, and I have always been active. So I never really had to think much about nutrition until more recently in life. I was diagnosed with an allergy to wheat, chocolate and peanut butter at the age of 3, during a time when gluten free wasn’t a thing and kids lived on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. (My poor mama…lol!) This day in age, these would probably be considered intolerances because my reactions weren’t anaphylactic but were based on cumulative consumption that affected my gut. I’ve grown out of the chocolate and peanut butter allergy, but wheat remains. A lot of my nutritional life has revolved around avoiding these items, which was much harder earlier on. It was more of a balance the cumulation, and hope you don’t intake too much. Now it’s much easier to make substitutions and find wheat free alternatives.

2. What made you decide to make a change? 

I had 4 very hard years as we struggled to create a family of our own. My first pregnancy was ectopic, and I landed in emergency surgery when the injections didn’t work. It took a lot of time and medical help to get pregnant with our daughter, Ellie. She was stillborn at 25 weeks. Then came our son Layton, who was diagnosed with a heart condition and an abdominal defect at 16 weeks in utero. The conditions had high survival rates, and all of our doctors were optimistic, but cautioned us that his first years of life wouldn’t be easy.

Because Ellie came early, they treated Layton’s pregnancy with extreme caution for preterm labor, and despite all the injections, resting, etc….he still made his arrival at 28 weeks. He spent 5 months and 17 days fighting for his life in the NICU with us right by his side before he passed away. That day my already fragile world came shattering down around me.

Trauma and grief took precedence over everything. I was still healing from a C-section that cut me from edge to edge in order to get Layton out safely. I worked out here & there as we worked towards trying to figure out our life here in the cities, but it wasn’t high on my priority list. We ate what we wanted…we drank what we wanted…we did what we needed to just survive all that had happened in the past 4 years.

As I started to emerge from the darkness, I knew that things had to change. My metabolism wasn’t as fast as it once was. My cores had been slashed open, and I was in this body that I didn’t even recognize. I did Oula for many years in Missoula. MT before we moved away, and even went to the first instructor training (now known as empowerment weekend) here in the cities. So I knew there was an Oula community, and I found Lori after we settled into our home in Richfield. Lori and so many of the women we now dance with at The Warehouse took my lead without even realizing it, and gently welcomed me in to the community.

We ended up drastically making food changes in August of 2020 after MONTHS of COVID isolation. We did 57 days of Whole 30, and it has changed how we eat forever. We do modified Whole 30 now (because a girl shouldn’t have to drink her coffee without vanilla bliss creamer…life is too short) and it has been perfect for us. We stick really close to Whole 30 principles during the week, then relax a bit on the weekends. We feel better, we look better and most importantly…we are healthy.

3. What has changed (attitude, energy, weight, habits, priorities, race times, blood work, confidence, etc.?)

Losing my babies is single handedly the worst thing I have ever gone through. I have truly been through hell & back, twice, and somehow survived. I wish that part of my story were different. I wish I had a 6 & 7 year old running around my house, making me pull my hair out. But the things that changed in me after losing them are things I would never take back.

I don’t feel the need to please everyone any longer. I don’t care if everyone likes me or not. I’m not afraid of trauma, grief and death…and I will never run away if someone I love is in the depths of them.

I’m not afraid to chase dream, make lofty goals or work hard to get the things I want. I’m not afraid to take risks to make those things happen. Ellie & Layton may not be here, but they inspire me every day to live a life I LOVE.

Going through all of this has shaped who I’ve become. Oula has given me a judgement free outlet to work through all those changes. It has helped me find my voice. It has helped me come to terms with a body that felt like it failed my babies. Not only come to terms with it, but love it in whatever shape or form it is at that moment. I’m so thankful that Lori found The Warehouse, and we have a safe space to dance our hearts out and be vulnerable. You don’t find this at many gyms, and it is a light in a heavy world.

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Cringe – Matt Maeson




Walk gently in the lives of others. Not all wounds are visible.