The name is Sami, and before you ask, it’s not short for Samantha :) I became a foodie after a series of health issues that caused me to look into my eating habits. I became fascinated with health, fitness, and food in general. I am 22 years-old and am a full-time student athlete and full-time worker with Human Resources in the Department of Public Welfare for the Commonwealth of PA.
To elaborate a little further on my past health issues, as a high school athlete, I was always fairly exceptional in basketball. I played volleyball, softball, and ran track for one year as well, but I started on the Varsity team my freshman year on the basketball team and steadily broke records and built a reputation for myself as a “standout player”. At the end of my junior season, I was forced to sit out of our second round playoff game, due to a stress fracture in my lower back. That started the downhill spiral toward unlucky health it seemed to me. Going into my senior season, I was averaging about 16 points per game and was on track to break the all-time scoring record at our high school. The first quarter of the first game, I broke both of my wrists in an effort to take a charge. I was out for almost the entire season and tried to stay in shape with two bright pink casts on both arms. I did come back for the remaining three games (just enough time to break my 1,000th point), but it just didn’t feel the same. Thankfully, I had already signed my National Letter of Intent to take an athletic scholarship from a DII school in New Jersey called Georgian Court University. Little did I know, my body was fighting a pretty serious thyroid issue. I became overweight, emotionally unstable, irritable, and just generally unhappy. I didn’t know what was wrong, I just knew that nothing seemed right. I was unable to keep up at practices with the rest of the team, I got very little sleep, and to top it all off, I could barely fit in my clothing. It was traumatizing! I had been looked over by the trainer at the college and she mentioned something called “Grave’s Disease”. It sounded entirely too serious, and honestly just altogether scary, so I kind of allowed the comment to go in one ear and out the other. When I came home for Winter Break in December of 2006, I went to my family doctor, who, after a series of tests, sent me to Hershey Medical Center and recommended that I see an Endocrinologist. To cut to the chase, he diagnosed me with Grave’s Disease and offered me two options, radioactive iodine treatments, or surgery. Since I’m so young, the iodine treatments would have put me at risk for potential birth defects or difficulties with pregnancy when the time comes, so I opted for the surgery. Everything was a success! I still take medicine every 24 hours, but it is finally under control and I feel 10x better!
Through being sick and gaining weight for no reason, I became fascinated with everything that I was putting into my body. I began researching nutritional values, food pyramids, raw eating, fitness, and health in general. I was never one for food “journaling”, but the idea that I could begin my own blog really appealed to me! I have been following others’ blogs for a while, and when I saw Tina’s post, I thought, “Man! I could totally do that!”
Recently, I decided that I wanted to go back to school so that I can eventually start a career involving my passion…WELLNESS. I can’t wait to see what else God has in store for my life! I’ve also gotten the opportunity to play college basketball again, which I’m ecstatic about!