STAGE OF LIFE       Share Your Story       Coupons       Education Resources
Sign Up Now!

This Stage in My Life: My Journey To Recovery and Balance

Joined: 5/31/2012
Posts: 1
My Stage of Life:
Hi everyone! My name is Lauren and I blog at My site is an everyday journal of all things me including my passion for fitness, health, love, happiness and how I acheive balance and purpose every single day. Like many, I have gone through years of trying to discover that perfect balance and although the road has been tough at times, I'm finding that as I grow older, life is less about trying to be and more about just being.
At this tage in my life, I am 26, married, and live in Southcentral Pennsylvania. My 9-5 job is working for a large financial institution as The Director of Financial Literacy where I have the pleasure of teaching and speaking to young adults on financial education. Aside from a full time career, I also balance several other jobs that include a working at my gym as a certified fitness instructor, managing two health food companies social media sites, and maintaining my own personal blog.
My Stage of Health:
I’ve always had an adventurous spirit. It came without surprise that growing up, my exploratory personality ventured into my food choices. I remember specifically being the only 4 year old who would beg her parents every day to take her to Wendy’s, not for the chicken nuggets and fries, but for the salad bar.
I continued to develop a passion for food and cooking as I got older. I began to appreciate the aspects of cuisine and wanted to learn more about it. I fell in love with the kitchen and began designing and creating my own recipes on a daily basis.
It wasn’t until my freshman year of college that my relationship with food suddenly went corrupt. I started to notice some digestive issues that became pretty severe over the course of just a few months. I became ill and lost a significant amount of weight in a short period of time. After a year of battling with doctors telling me my problem was simply IBS and that there was nothing I could do about it, I started to fall apart, physically and mentally.

The nourishment that I used to love and cherish was now my worst enemy. I slowly began to hate food. It was killing me inside and out and the only way I could remotely find solace was to place complete control and restriction on my diet. Unfortunately, I knew nothing about nutrition so my restriction was drastic.
I not only eliminated the foods that were bad for me, but I also stopped consuming key nutrients that my body needed to function. I became emancipated, malnourished and completely depressed.
It wasn’t long that my family convinced me to seek professional help. I started to see a doctor at an in-patient eating disorder clinic, a nutritionist, and a therapist. Even though I never actually associated my disordered views on food with my appearance, I still maintained a very corrupt relationship with eating. It took about a year, but after heavy influence from these professionals, I finally began to build back my nourishment and mental health.
Things were going well for the next several years. I started to feel better, I figured out a diet that was manageable with my intolerances, and I was starting to get healthy. But there was still one major factor that didn’t make sense….I was not able to gain weight. The doctor’s told me it would take time and to keep working at it but it seemed that no matter how hard I tried, the scale wouldn’t budge.
I just kept going in life with the realization that I was small but healthy. Things were good. I had graduated college, got married, bought a house, landed a full time career and was ultimately happy. That was until two years ago.
I went for a routine surgery to have my wisdom teeth removed. After a terrifying experience with the surgery (which is a whole different story in itself), I resulted with a mass infection that ran in my facial nerve. To rid my body of this infection, I was placed on numerous antibiotics. The day after I started taking the medicine, I noticed an unpleasant reaction and knew something was not right. Over the next few weeks I became very ill. So sick in fact that it lead me to yet another doctor, a Gastroenterologist, who eventually diagnosed me with Proctitis, a form of intestinal disease in the lower intestine.
I was placed on yet another medication and within days, found myself even more ill than when I began. This time, I was rushed to the hospital where they ran countless tests to figure out what was going on. After almost two weeks in the hospital, the doctors finally gave me my real diagnosis….Chrons Disease.
I remember feeling in a way relieved when I heard this. I finally had an answer. They were misdiagnosing and thus mistreating me for years and now I would start to find relief.
I was placed on a heavy drug treatment plan immediately. I can’t say I was exactly crazy about taking intense drugs for the rest of my life, but at that point, I would do anything to feel better and get healthy.
I was also placed on a low residue diet that allowed me to only eat low-refined white carbs and non-fibrous foods until I could repair my colon. So basically, I went from thriving only off vegetables and fruits to eating eggo waffles and white rice.
Eventually, my colon got better and I started to rework nutritious foods back into my diet. I also slowly started to feel more like myself with every passing day. My health was coming back to me and more importantly, I started to see something I had not seen in years….an increase in weight. Apparently, my body was not absorbing fats, therefore, I was unable to keep weight or build muscle.
It has been a long and very intimidating road, but I can honestly tell you I live today the healthiest I have ever been. I now eat a balanced diet that includes the foods that are right for me and my body. I know what works best and I know what my body needs in order to maintain my level of health. It’s not right for everyone so I never try to force my choices on anyone else’s lifestyle but I do hope that through my experience, I am able to shed a sense of hope on anyone who might be struggling with a dietary illness or problem.
I know what it’s like to feel controlled by food. I know how difficult it can be to step on that scale and feel like you’re never good enough than what the number tells you. I know how hard it can be on your soul when society is working against you.
But I also know that being healthy and happy go hand-in-hand and that the only way to achieve ultimate health for yourself is to keep going and do only what is right for you. I had to take many hits until I reached a level of happiness with myself, my body and my health but I never gave up. I hope that people today see me for who I am, who I always was, and who I will always be…and that is strong.
Rate this:
Comment by Suzanne

Joined: 1/2/2012
Posts: 118
This is an incredible story and you are an inspiration to young women everywhere. Thankfully you got the treatment you needed and recovered from this debilitating disease. Your strength and self-knowledge is remarkable for one so young. That kind of awareness says much about who you are and who you will continue to become. Congratulations and best wishes for a healthy future.

I look forward to reading more from you.
Posted: Tuesday, June 5, 2012 1:58:03 PM
Rate this:
Comment by bugcandy

Joined: 11/5/2008
Posts: 286
Hey Lauren,

Like Suzanne said, your story is very inspiring. We featured it as our Facebook post of the day at

I look forward to seeing more of your essays on Stage of Life!

Posted: Monday, June 25, 2012 3:08:08 PM
Rate this:

About StageofLife.comAbout Us: is a free blogging and writing community for married couples without kids that allows people the opportunity to share their personal stories and essays about marriage and relationships in an online life journal via their free Stage of Life account.  Explore our blogging contests for married couples, statistics about marriage, quotes about marriage, videos about marriage, and other resources about married life here on  Register to start your free writing profile, share an essay about your life, and help us change the world, one story at a time.  If you are a teacher - review our Creative Writing and Language Arts Resources.

Stage of Life Writing Contests

writing contests

Enter National Writing ContestWriting Contests

From 2010 to 2016, ran a monthly, multi-generational writing contest.  With over 3,000,000 visitors and tens of thousands of participating students, teachers, parents, and bloggers involved over half a decade, grew into the world's largest multi-generational writing community. writing contestsWhere is the Writing Contest Now?  As grew into a global writing destination, the coordination of managing an international writing contest became too time intensive for the website's owners.  So starting on Sept. 4, 2016, unfortunately had to end the writing contest portion of its services. 

However, we are now actively looking for new owners of who may want to carry on the mission of helping to change the world, one story at a time.  If you know someone who may be interested in taking to the next level, we can share details around the opportunity.  Please send an email to our owners if there's interest to acquire the website.

But in the meantime, there's still plenty to see and do here - just check out the various links and menus on the page.

Past Annual Writing Contest Results:  While the energy and time to carry on the writing contest has come to a close, you can see summary reports and the winners from the monthly contests on our Writing Contest Winners page.  Tens of thousands of people have submitted essays over the last six years.  Our editorial team has been extremely grateful for all of the wonderful essays shared over the years - words and stories that have helped us change the world, one story at a time.

Sincerely, owners Eric & Rebecca Thiegs and Joe & Lisa Thiegs

Bragging rights, international recognition, and gift card prizes were part of the fun for participants of the free writing contests on

Mentions for the Stage of Life teen writing contests, teen trend reports, etiquette Q&A, and teacher resources by...

Our writing contests mentioned by
Our Teen Trend Report mentioned by MarketWatch Our etiquette resources mentioned by FOX Business Educator tips mentioned by Mashable


Each month over half a decade, Stage of Life hosted and judged writing contests for both students and adults.  We thank the below brands - our educational sponsors - who supplied gift cards as prizes for the winning essays as we helped the change the world through blogging, storytelling, and our literacy-based initiatives...

 Writing contest sponsor  Writing contest sponsor on  Blogging contest prize sponsor Spa & Wellness gift cards by SpaWeek writing contestsWhat made our writing contests different?

  • Stage of Life writing contests were always free to enter
  • Essays from our blogging and writing contests have been picked up by the media, e.g., and used by teachers as mentor texts across the globe
  • We wanted to hear your personal, authentic thoughts on real world topics each month.  We picked writing prompts for which your answers and wisdom may help our readers
  • We awarded the winners with real prizes (cash and/or gift cards) from our site sponsors
  • By entering the Stage of Life writing contests each month, writers were supporting our free educational literacy initiatives and their words reached hundreds of thousands of viewers who visited

Find Us on Facebook      Follow Us on Twitter     Read our Founder's Blog was launched in 2009 as the premier destination for people of all ages to find information, coupons, and stories about one of ten key stage of life transitions:  high school, college, on my own, wedding, married without children, having a baby, home ownership, parenting, grand parenting, and empty nest/retirement.  Nearly 1 million visitors come to the site each year to find information about their stage of life.  Stage of Life users (teens, college students, Millennials, Gen Y, Gen X, and Baby Boomers) can also share and archive their life stories via their Stage of Life profile page.  Specialized content includes statistics, quotes, videos, financial tips, coupons, news, writing contests, and more tailored to each of the 10 life stages featured.  My Life Rewards® is the free discount program for all Stage of Life users, readers and writers dedicated to providing printable coupons and coupon codes tailored towards each stage of life.

Terms of Service and Privacy