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.