Contributor - Nurse Practitioner
Author Specialty: 
Health

Vanessa Bennington found her way in the health and fitness worlds through a unique combination of education, personal experience, and self-experimentation. During high school, she dropped from a weight of around 140lbs on her 5’4″frame, to barely 90lbs. As you may have correctly guessed, there was no small amount of anorexia and bulimia involved. Battling an endless fight with eating disorders, Vanessa eventually stumbled from fat-free diets and endless cardio to a more traditional "bodybuilding" diet and training plan. Things started to improve.

 

She fell in love with working out and exercising, but was weak, fatigued, depressed, anxious, and still unhappy with her body composition, despite trying everything she thought was correct. This pushed her to seek more knowledge and her first piece of traditional education was a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science. As much as she enjoyed the idea of spending her days in the gym and training people as a career, she was concerned her small town in Louisiana would never provide enough clientele to support full time training. Back to school she went and back the eating disorders came. Still struggling with feeling physically awful and hating her body, Vanessa completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and continued through to earn a Masters in Nursing as a Family Nurse Practitioner. 

 

While finishing graduate school Vanessa found CrossFit and the Paleo Diet, she also began working in physician’s office that specializes in balancing hormones. Things began to click. A lifetime of improper nutrition and eating disorders had created hormonal and metabolic chaos. It wasn't that she had spent almost two decades doing things wrong or not trying hard enough, it was that she had never tacked the entirety of the issues. Adjustments to her exercise, nutrition, medication, and supplementation brought balance to her hormones and lifted the crippling depression and anxiety. She had the quality of life she always dreamed of, physical strength she never knew she was capable of, and the body she had worked a lifetime for started to show the results of her efforts.

 

Vanessa does individualized nutrition and training programs and may be contacted at azleav@gmail.com. You can also follow her and her husband on their blog, Perfect Couplet.