An Alumni Shares: My Journey to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition

In 2012 I graduated college with a degree in Apparel Merchandising and quickly packed up my belongings to move to New York City to pursue a career in the fashion industry. Immediately, I was drawn in by the fast pace, the endless sample closets, and the fascinating creative, and brilliant individuals that surrounded me.

Within three short – and highly underpaid – years, I found myself burning out. My anxiety was at an all-time high; I was going out at night more than I was staying in; I took GasX after every meal and ZZZQuil to sleep at night. I felt like I was slowly – and very quickly – spinning out of control to where I didn’t want to be.

I was desperately seeking balance in my life and had no idea where to begin.

Plus, a tumultuous and emotionally abusive relationship with a past boyfriend had finally come to an end, and I was beginning to realize the power I had inside of myself, a power that had been hiding for far too long.

new york city streets

Taking the leap with IIN

Over the next few months, I began to work out for the first time in my life. I found a new sense of confidence in myself, and I began to see that food had the power to heal. I went from binge-eating sugar every night on the couch to becoming more aware and mindful of what I chose to eat.

I knew that I couldn’t be the only one feeling this way, the only person who changed their life through food and mindset. I also knew that I couldn’t be the only one who experienced the power and wanted to help others feel it too. I was starting to see the light of what could be.

One Saturday night, I ditched my friends for our usual night out drinking and opted to stay in. I was knee-deep in researching online and in-person nutrition programs and found myself feeling pretty defeated. There was no way I could realistically enroll in another traditional program to become a dietitian or nutritionist, plus those paths felt constrained to me and not as holistic as I had envisioned.

fruits and vegetables in mesh bag

Then, I discovered The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and when I looked at the curriculum guide, it was like everything aligned for me at that moment. I felt like this was the path I was meant to take. I pictured myself soaking up all of the knowledge from leaders in the industry that I already admired and imagined myself graduating, becoming an IIN alumni, and working with clients to help change their lives – and their perspectives – on food, health, and wellness.

So, I took a leap of faith and enrolled in the 2015 graduating class. Almost instantly, IIN helped me rediscover the balance and calm I had been seeking in my life for years to no avail. I felt like I had finally found my people.

For almost a year, I took the classes online, and I fully immersed myself in the world of holistic nutrition and health coaching. I learned various nutritional approaches from leaders in the industry; I was introduced to the idea of holistic health and finally had a chance to explore my spirituality.

Even though I was still working in the fashion industry full-time, my world quickly began to shift and grow with every class and lecture I attended. My passions shifted, and something shifted inside of me. It was quickly apparent that my fashion days were coming to an end.

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laptop with coffee and glasses

From dreamer to student to alumni

In late 2015, I graduated from IIN and began coaching full-time. During the program, I moved across the country with my boyfriend – one I eventually married to this day. The things I wanted in life were becoming more apparent, and thanks to IIN, I finally had the confidence to make lasting, sustainable changes to my life and my happiness. Not to mention, IIN gave me the framework to start and grow my own business.

From there, I enrolled in the Write Your Dream Book Course and published my first of two books, Boundaries with Soul. I met many new friends and formed business relationships along the way.

Today, I am a self-care author and writer passionate about helping others understand that health and wellness start on a holistic level – something I learned through IIN many years ago.

I still pinch myself at the work that’s possible for me to do, thanks to the foundation that IIN helped lay for me. It’s helped me in ways well beyond my wildest dreams.

The IIN approach and my focus on self-care

As I mentioned above, I am passionate about taking a holistic approach to my lifestyle, and I have IIN to thank for that. This lifestyle shift illuminated how desperate I was for self-care on many, many levels.

Since graduating from the IIN program, I’ve become more aware of my boundaries, and I do my best to communicate my needs. I’ve become more in touch with the physical, emotional, and mental signs that my body needs more self-care, and I encourage others to do the same through my work.

It’s amazing how one program can change so much in a short year.

A special offer to save (and a free guide!)

If you’re curious to learn more about the cost of IIN and how you can get started, I’m excited to share that you can save almost 30% on your tuition when you enroll using my name, Carley Schweet. This offer is valid indefinitely, but if you’re ready to leap, you can get started with the September 13th or October 4th class.

You’ll also receive a free, immersive self-care bonus guide by yours truly all about how to sustainably create self-care in your life starting today. It’s filled with practical and applicable tips and advice to integrate self-care into your life, starting today.

After all, you can’t show up in this world without caring for yourself first. So, what are you waiting for? Your time is now.

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