I never thought I would become a dietitian. I know, it feels weird to think back to the days before I knew this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Once upon a time, I didn’t think it was even possible for me to be a RD.I thought my struggles with my weight would make it impossible for me. Turns out I was wrong. If you're reading this and your dream life feels out of reach too, I want you to hear my story and realize that your dreams are possible for you too.
I suffered from childhood obesity, and by the time I was 10 years old, I was tipping the scales at over 200 lbs. It never quite made sense to me, or anyone else in my life really. I was active as a kid, and even though my parents always cooked me healthy homemade food, I kept rapidly gaining each year.
It wasn’t until I was 14 years old that it started to make sense. Just as I was starting high school, I was diagnosed with PCOS - Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Getting that diagnosis was a double edged sword. On the one hand, it was a relief to know that there was a reason I always struggled so much with my weight. On the other hand, it left me feeling helpless, like there was nothing I could do about my weight. And for years to come, that’s the narrative I kept feeding myself - “I have PCOS, and it doesn’t matter if I try to lose weight or not, I can’t lose it anyways so what’s the point?” At least, that’s what 14 year old Jamie believed.
I lost 50 lbs that year in a very healthy and sustainable way. But, what started out as healthy and sustainable quickly turned to disordered and restrictive. I lost another 20lbs by doing very unhealthy things to get there.
In 2013 I finally sought out help and started going to therapy. It was during that healing process that I decided I wanted to save other people from the heartache I was experiencing and help people lose weight and get healthy in a sustainable way, not in the ways I had done it. So as I got better, I decided to change my major and start over at a new university where I would graduate from in 2016 with my bachelors in Nutrition and Dietetics.
I wasn’t weighing myself at the time, but I assume I was somewhere near 300lbs. I was going to school, studying English and secondary education and art at the time, and I was struggling physically, socially, and emotionally. I could barely walk across campus without huffing and puffing, and trying to fit into the school desks was a nightmare. It was at this point that I thought to myself “It doesn’t matter if I lose weight or not, I need to start trying because at this rate I don’t know what’s going to happen to me if I keep gaining.”
So for the first time, I really decided to try to lose weight. I started going to the gym, planning my meals, and being consistent.
to help other people who struggled in the ways I had.
In 2017 I decided to have the vertical sleeve gastrectomy. To say this process was brutally hard would be an understatement. Not only were there so many hoops and hurdles to jump through just to get approved, but I felt so lost, scared, and overwhelmed. And to be completely honest and transparent, I felt like a failure. What soon to be dietitian needs weight loss surgery? I felt like a hypocrite. I felt completely defeated and ultimately, humiliated that I couldn’t “do it on my own.”
On December 19, 2017, my life changed forever. On that day I had my VSG. It was terrifying. But also incredible. I wish I knew then what I know now - that it would be the best decision I ever made.
Emotional, physically, mentally, and nutritionally. It was really hard to get into a routine and make sure I did all the things I needed to do. I struggled to get my water and protein needs met. I struggled to understand my new vitamin regimen. And most importantly, I felt very very alone and like no one else in the world understood what I was going through. I remember thinking “Gosh, if I have a nutrition degree and an education in this and I'm struggling to understand everything, how in the world does someone without the education I had manage this journey?”
I fumbled a bit for a while, but through trial and error, I was able to figure out my new routine. During this time, I sought out support from the bariatric world that existed on Instagram. I was fortunate enough to meet some of my best friends through there, as well as through local bariatric meetups. The whole time though, I just remember thinking, “I wish this journey didn’t need to be so hard.” And as supportive as the bariatric community was on Instagram, I also saw lots of inaccurate information and even dangerous diet fads and supplements being promoted.
During this time, I started sharing more on social media that I was now a Registered Dietitian. I was really hesitant to share that with people. I was so worried I’d be judged. A dietitian who had weight loss surgery? Who would take me seriously?
To my pleasant surprise, I was the only one judging myself. Everyone else in this community welcomed me with open arms. So many people were so excited! I received so many messages from people asking if I could help them. So that’s what I did. I sought out a way to give back to this community. I knew there was a need for more support. Better resource. Better ways to make friends and be a part of a stronger community.
Through my own struggles and experiences I have been given the absolute pleasure and honor of supporting the bariatric community
Through all of my resources and services, I help bariatric babes truly change their habits. The goal isn't just for you to lose weight, but to keep it off long term and truly change your life by improving your relationship with food and your body.
Surgery is hard. Despite what anyone says, this is NOT the easy way out. And at the end of the day, your surgery is just a tool. We need other tools in our toolbelt to be successful. It’s my hope that through education, resources, support and genuine connections that you can learn how to make your dream post op life come true. Thanks for coming along with me on this crazy journey. I can’t wait to see what else is in store!
I started out doing 1:1 services only, and quickly realized how great the need was for nutrition education and support. I was so grateful that within just a few short months, I was fully booked with a 6 month waiting list. It was at this point I knew that I needed to do more. There was just one of me and hundreds of bariatric babes just like you needing resources and support. It wasn’t fair to make them wait. I wanted to help people on a larger scale so no one had to feel alone or like they didn’t have the help they needed.
So in October 2020, The T.R.I.B.E.™ Membership was born! Since then thousands of bariatric babes have come through our doors and have received life changing guidance and support.
The T.R.I.B.E.™ was born and has since supported over 1k+ WLS Patients
I launched the sleeved dietitian™ offering 1:1 services
passed by rd exam & became an official dietitian!
Decided To Have The Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy
graduated With bachelors in Nutrition & Dietetics
Weighed 300 lbs & Lost weight through unhealthy habits
Diagnosed with PCOS - Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome