Transcript – Alisa Vitti, CEO of FLOLiving.com, talks at TEDxFiDiWomen – Loving your lady parts as a path to success, power & global change
Alisa Vitti – CEO, FLOLiving.com
Ahh! I’ve waited all day to get my hands on you.
So I want to take you back where I was about 14 years ago. I was a student at Johns Hopkins University and I was ready to begin my life. I was planning to become an OBGYN. And my body, all of a sudden, went into hormonal — total hormonal collapse. And as a result, so did my life. Totally dysfunctional, couldn’t get up, couldn’t go to sleep, couldn’t have any energy. It was a non-stop nightmare to wake up not recognizing yourself and not knowing how to live in the body that you had.
I want you to picture me. I really do want you to look. I was 200 pounds. I know. I covered face, chest, back, arms, anywhere that you could put in painful cystic acne. It would take me half an hour in the morning of careful uncomfortable application of make-up to try to go outside.
I was depressed. I was exhausted. I would menstruate once a year and nobody had any idea what was wrong with me. It had been getting progressively worse from about the age of 15. And I was getting progressively more curious and frustrated.
And in one of my insomniacal moments, I was at the library — of course, science nerd, sexy scientist I like to say – researching in one of the obstetrics journals. And I saw this small study on a disorder called Stein-Leventhal disorder. And it was named after the gentleman who categorized this grouping of symptoms.
And I said, oh, my God, I fit this description to a tee. So I felt very naughty but I ripped out the document. And the next morning I very vigorously marched into my gynecologist office, without an appointment, of course. First thing in the morning, like, Hi, so I think I just figured out what’s been wrong with me for the past seven years. And I’d like a transvaginal ultrasound right now.
And she looked at me: How do you know what that is?
And I said, “Let’s do this confirmatory test and let’s see”. So I said, I’m not leaving here until we do it. So we did it.
So she said, “Look at that. You do have polycystic ovarian syndrome. In fact, you were right”.
And being in now what solution kind of girl, I said, “So now what? What do we do? Now I know what it is finally. Now what?”
And she said, “Well — and I will never forget sitting in that chair in her office – and she said, “You have a future laid out ahead of you of obesity, diabetes, infertility, heart disease and cancer. And we will medicate you along the way. So don’t worry.”
And I remember sitting in that chair and it wasn’t out of anger or sense of victimhood, or there was no fight. It was just on a cellular level my whole being said, “No, – thank you.”
And I said to her – I said, “Thank you very much for your opinion. I’m going to go take my very extensively trained Hopkins mind and go figure this out”.
So that’s what I did and I apprenticed myself with all sorts of healers and I was doing all sorts of fun, experiments. I had turned orange from bringing so much care, at one point that was — my girlfriend — the times she was like — she’s still my best friend. She grabbed me and she said, “You’ve turned orange. It’s to stop this experiment.”
No, I got to finish this experiment. None of these experiments made any change in my symptoms at all. And none, about 10 years ago it was coming to the forefront in nutritional science. It was this idea of nutritional genomics that you could use food to manipulate gene expression. Oh, my God! I was so turned on by this. I said, well, if that’s possible, if food could decide like in a set of twins, if diet in the one twin could decide how her health was going to manifest versus her identical twin with the different diet, different issues, and what could I do with food to recalibrate my hormonal system?
And that’s when I dove into my research and studied functional medicine, opted out — freaked out my parents did not become a doctor and instead became a functional nutritionist. And developed this five-step nutritional protocol that rebooted my entire endocrine system as you can see how glorious I look now.
And opened my Center in Midtown Manhattan nine years ago and started treating other women with similar conditions: menstrual issues, fertility issues, low energy, low libido and they’d come into my center limping with these issues, you know periods out of whack, couldn’t get pregnant if they’ve tried 17 times, you know can’t function — can’t remember the last time when they thought about sex or pleasure or anything.
And similarly their lives were also untethered, uncentered. They were not — they didn’t have their center point and we’d apply the protocol and their health issues would resolve themselves. Miraculous things for me as a scientist like a woman without a period for 17 years, you’d have to go to the doctor, wants you to be induced with progesterone, have a bleed. She would, after the protocol – she menstruates monthly now and we’re close friends. I just find that whole story so fascinating.
Another woman came in with on-birth control, on Prozac, in a job she hated — in a relationship she hated, we got her off all of these medications, of course, with the support of her doctor. And six months later, she wrote to me and she said, “By the way, feeling great…” — that was a given, and said, “Moved to LA and have gotten my first screenwriter job and the show that I’m writing for is now being in syndication.”
I love that.
Another woman had two businesses, had all sorts of things going on in her life, pilates – private pilates clients in New York, very fancy, had her own studio in Greenwich, Connecticut. Husband was in transition in his career and she was having erratic cycles. She is in her mid-30s. We applied the protocol to her body, and effortlessly – this is the part that I kind of got excited about — effortlessly as her body restored itself. It was like – remember that game, Connect Four – I love that game – anyway I used to play that all the time — so her whole life just started — lining up. She effortlessly let go of these clients in New York, allowed one of her partners at the studio to take on more responsibility. And she realized that she had been putting off having a child for far too long and was able to conceive naturally as a result of the work, which was so exciting to see.
And of course, being someone who’s interested in biology, I loved the idea that she was feeling herself of the symptoms all these women. But the bigger discovery was that if a woman is in line – in alignment, in harmony with that internal ecosystem that she has, that begins to impregnate the ecology of her entire life with this idea of transformation. Your body is a change agent and then that can start to affect the rest of your life. That was so, so exciting. And that’s when I fell in love. I said, oh my God, you know, here we are, we are walking around with these blueprints in our bodies that tell us how to live and work in a way that’s in the flow of our bodies.
And if we can become fluent in the language of our biochemistry and our physiology, this grouping of glands and organs that I like to call Lady Parts, that we can have access to an infinite source of energy and vitality and clarity and unwavering purpose. I mean I was totally hooked.
So Aldous Huxley once said that man is an intelligence merely in servitude to his organs and I thought that’s sad. That we look at being in our body as this sort of slavery based trap that we have to deal with. And I have really instead found that women who get into partnership with their bodies end up becoming the fullest expression of themselves and living as leaders and change agents in their lives and communities.
So let me introduce you to Lady Parts. I just can’t help myself. If I am on stage, I got to talk about lady parts, I am going to tell you about them, I want you to at least go home knowing what they are. Nothing else.
So there are things I want you to know.