Since I began competing seriously as a swimmer as an 11 year old every competition and practice I associated with stomach pain. The Olympics was my first swimming competition in my life where I was stomach pain free, and ended with three Olympic gold medals around my neck! Remarkably the solution was in changing something that all of us do every day. I changed the way that I eat.
In the years leading up to the Olympics I struggled with chronic abdominal pain. Most days included sharp stomach pains, embarrassing bloating, fatigue, and I could on. Figuring out the best foods to put in my body is an ongoing process and I’m continually learning about nutrition and my personal health needs. Before discovering the food allergies I was at a dead end, not knowing how to improve my health, now I have things to work on. What I choose to put in my body affects my performance and everyday well-being.
Changing life long eating habits is not easy, but I have a pretty strong motivation to do it, I don’t want to hurt anymore. Where I really notice the difference is not just in my training but in my overall energy levels, alertness, and concentration. Figuring out my body’s food allergies and nutritional needs, combined with all my hours of training and hard work helped my body be at tip top shape back in 2011 to win my first individual World Championship gold medal. I kept the ball rolling, training hard and learning about nutrition, and had the absolute best 2012 Olympic Games I could have hoped for. With knowledge about nutrition and our individual bodies everyone can perform to their best ability, all we have to do is work on what we eat!