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My Story of Early Onset Puberty and What It’s Taught Me.

I carry transformation in my aura.

I’ve been through several in my life and continue to morph, day by day, year by year.

I was in 3rd grade when I had my first life-altering transformation.

I am finally able to look at pictures of myself between 8-11 years old and smile with acceptance and understanding, with love.

I was such a pretty little girl before age 8 and then suddenly everything changed. I went from being cute, pretty, darling to being told by my well-meaning grandmother and others that I was “fat” and should not eat so much.

The way the world perceived me changed, fast. During 3rd grade I turned into a woman.

I went from having the body of girl to the body of a woman. I didn’t have a tween or teen body, I had the body of a woman who has had several children and has the tiger stripes to show for it. I had boobs that suddenly required a bra, lest they be gawked at by men. Hips and a belly that seemed to burst forth and left painful, wide purple stretch marks all over my lower half.

I was ashamed. I was deeply confused. I oscillated between denial: refusing to wear bras or shop in the women’s section and dressing like a little old hippie lady in loose fitting clothes.

I felt like a victim of my body.

I began to disconnect from it in order to survive. What was happening to me? Why wasn’t I like other kids? I believed there was something innately wrong with me.

Now, I understand this as early onset puberty brought on by a combination of ACE’s (adverse childhood experiences or trauma) and a diet consistently lacking in nourishing plant foods and high in processed food.

After being bullied and sexually harassed by other children at elementary school, I pleaded with my mother to homeschool me the following year. She agreed, even though she was a single mother who worked nightshift and was often a zombie during the day. I made a promise to do the workbooks she bought me and take an assessment test each year to show I wasn’t falling behind.

The links between diet and disease are not only well documented now, but more widely known and understood. I find this kind of data liberating because it frees me from the weight of “something being innately wrong with me”. It allows me to see the situation more objectively, understand cause and effect and make informed choices about how I eat, parent and handle life’s traumas.

I have become especially fascinated by the realm of epigenetics, how experiences and lifestyle habits can actually alter our genetic expression. It helps me understand why my face changed as a child and why it changed back.

The concept of altering my genetic expression though my behaviors and habits explains the subtle morphing I feel in my body. Learning to sense and identify what feels nourishing, brings out the best in me, I can then create a recipe! A self-designed formula for my own genetic empowerment.

There is so much more to this story, particularly another transformational experience that thoroughly altered the trajectory of my life. Another time, another post!

Perhaps I was born with this transformative energy and it is what created these experiences.

Perhaps I recognize this catalyzing force in my aura now because I have been through multiple transformations and I carry it like a magical scar.

No matter, chicken or the egg. I’m ready to step into the grace of my experiences and their lessons. I’m ready to inspire and facilitate transformation for others through empowering information, reliable tools and my unique transmuting imprint.

Did you or someone you know who experience early onset puberty or a similar trauma? Share this post or tag them so they know they are not alone!

It’s part of my life’s work to share meaningful, gentle and practical solutions with people who are looking for them.

It wasn’t until I was 19 that I made the commitment to myself to completely avoid dairy, soy (and eventually gluten). A commitment I stuck to almost religiously for nearly 10 years.

I realize now that my restrictive diet was so healing because it meant I was eating a more whole foods diet, which was feeding my microbiome and providing my body with needed nutrients. I couldn’t eat much at restaurants, so I made everything from scratch. My diet was almost completely void of packaged and processed foods because they often contained dairy, soy or gluten.

I have been looking for pictures of myself at this time. I’ve hidden them too well or allowed them to be lost. I used to hate looking at 8 or 9 year old me. The misery on her face. It used to bring back all the shame, fear and feelings of deep injustice and I would turn away. Now I want to look at her and marvel. I want to tell her I know “why” these things happened (both scientifically and spiritually!) I want to tell her there is nothing wrong with her.

I still struggled in my 20s, especially when I started traveling the world teaching yoga.

I had chronic pain and tension as a result of injuries, pushing myself in my yoga practice and lifelong postural predisposition for overextension of my limbs. I still struggled with feeling restricted and deprived which pushed me towards foods and lifestyle habit that were comforting in the moment but contributed to my pain and inflammation. It was a vicious cycle.

In the last 2 years, I’ve had an awakening that has moved me beyond the limitations I used to live with. It is a result of my daily Hanna Somatics practice. It has changed my view of myself, food and everything really. I am no longer slave to a good/bad right/wrong paradigm. I am free of chronic tension and pain. This allows me to be open to helpful, evidence based information and connect with my bodily compass to help me discern.

I love how new studies and research are beginning to explain the phenomena of things like early onset puberty and the way trauma is processed and held in the human body.

My mother knew something was wrong. She began looking into food sensitivities as a possible cause and eventually found a doctor who would run tests.

At 11, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and told I was allergic/sensitive to dairy and soy proteins. There was finally something to do about this, but I felt angry. Another thing to make me different? And I couldn’t eat ice cream or cheese? But I agreed to take the medication and start reading labels at the grocery store.

Within a year of changing my diet and taking medication I went through my second transformation. My face began to morph back into the shapes and features of the healthy little girl I had been before 3rd grade. I started having energy again and riding my bike more. I started looking like an average 12 year old. There were even moments that I saw my womanly body and felt PRETTY.

At 13, I felt secure enough in my body to voluntarily go back to school. I attended a small 6-12th grade charter school with about 80 kids. It was the perfect, unconventional environment for me. Because I did so well academically, they allowed me to get High School credit for 7th grade and go straight into 9th the following year.

Throughout High School, I struggled with food, because I wanted to “be normal and eat pizza” although I no longer needed the thyroid medication. I would go through periods keeping to my no dairy, no soy diet and feel well, but there were long periods where I would eat something “bad” and feel terrible for several weeks.

I know my mother faced opposition from a number of people for allowing me (and eventually my brother) to homeschool. Some people thought that it would hamper our ability to socialize properly and that we wouldn’t be able to deal with the real world.

To this day I am so deeply grateful to my mother for letting my brother and I stay home. While I did experience feelings of loneliness, I was given the unique opportunity to practice things that interested me and spend time nurturing my inner world.

I read mountains of books. I learned to sew. I took ceramics and art classes. At one time I drew a collection of about 200 anthropomorphic paper dolls who had families, names and backstories and I pretty much memorized every Bob Dylan and Beatles song for fun.

I had one or two close friends whom I saw occasionally and I would think about all the time. I would think of things to share with them, activities and movies they would like. I grew to cherish authentic and loving reciprocal relationships.

These were the blessings of that time: precious building of my heart and soul. But between the age of 8 and 11, I still felt cursed. I hated my body, my appearance.

My had face changed, I didn’t look like the little girl I had been before. I felt listless and lethargic most of the time. I was depressed. My health was worsening.

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