December 2, 2015 started out a normal day. I was in the office seeing clients and looking forward to meeting with Leslie and Brigid later that afternoon. Leslie mentioned coming into the office a little early before our meeting, but I was a little surprised when she popped in and quickly said, “Come sit down. I have news.” I responded asking, “Good news or bad news?” Leslie replied, “Good news and challenging news.” My heart started beating a little faster as a million questions raced through my mind.
The next thing I knew, she was sharing that her husband got an incredible position at UNLV and that she would be moving to Las Vegas. Now, I’ve had special training in counseling skills, and I think Leslie took my seemingly calm reaction as having a good “therapy nod.” On the inside, I was in shock. In a fraction of a second, I’d asked myself…What would happen to the practice she’d built over the last 9 years? What would happen to our clients? What would happen to Brigid’s and my job? There were many different routes we could’ve taken, but in that moment, I knew without a doubt the business had to continue.
Schilling Nutrition Therapy was never really a business to me. It was a passion that developed from my own recovery journey. Leslie and I met many years ago (before she even started Schilling Nutrition Therapy) when I hit rock bottom in my relationship with food and my body. At that time, she became my Nutrition Therapist. Leslie counseled me through my entire recovery, and I honestly don’t know where I’d be today or what in the world I’d be doing if it weren’t for her guidance out of disordered eating and into Intuitive Eating…which now just feels like eating. While I was still seeing Leslie, she began Schilling Nutrition Therapy all on her own.
It was also during the time I was meeting with Leslie that I decided to take a leap of faith and change my major to Dietetics & Nutrition. Believe it or not, I started college as an art major and stuck with it through the end of my sophomore year of college. The thing that was holding me back was not just the idea of losing my scholarship…it was tackling a ton of Chemistry. I finally decided that if I was truly becoming passionate about nutrition, I shouldn’t let a few years of chemistry hold me back.
I got to a point in my recovery that I didn’t need regular nutrition therapy appointments, but Leslie frequently checked-in with me to see how things were going with school and in life. I’d run into her from time to time at professional meetings and church, and I remember getting coffee with her shortly after finding out I was pregnant with my son. She shared with me that she’d hired another dietitian named Brigid Kay who had been working with her for a while by that point. She’d also had a child of her own. (It was later I’d find out that Leslie’s husband had already been offered a position at UNLV which he’d turned down because Leslie was on bed rest, and the timing just didn’t seem right for their family or the business.). At that time, a friendship began to form between the two of us.
Side Note: I had shared many times with my husband, Bret, that my dream would be to work with Leslie and eventually own a private practice. Though Bret believed in me, I never thought Leslie would consider hiring me, one of her previous clients. I also knew I’d never want to compete with her, so we’d probably have to move if I wanted to start my own business (because I just knew Leslie would never move).
Shortly after having my son, I went back to work full time. I was surprised to discover what a difficult adjustment this would be for me. I began to re-evaluate many aspects of my life, including my career. It was at that time, I received a Facebook message that changed my life forever…
That’s right…I immediately took a screen shot (pictured above), sent it to my husband, and asked Leslie how soon we could meet. I began working with Leslie and Brigid at Schilling Nutrition Therapy very soon after and haven’t looked back. I began to see God’s plan for my life and the reason for the struggles I had faced begin to unfold. (Disclaimer: Leslie worked with professional supervisors in making her decision to hire me. Though a somewhat controversial scenario, Leslie felt confident in her decision. I’m so thankful she believed in me.)
Fast forward again to 2016…
By now, you likely have a better understanding of why I felt so certain we had to continue. I’ll spare you the details of the last 4 months (though they’ve likely been the most challenging (as Leslie predicted), bittersweet months of my life, and get to the big announcement…
Schilling Nutrition Therapy is now Memphis Nutrition Group!
I am so excited and so full of gratitude that Brigid and I were given the opportunity to continue serving our clients and our community as owners of Memphis Nutrition Group! I see God’s hand so intricately weaving all of this together as it never could’ve happened without a very specific series of events in each of our lives. For me to come full circle from a client to co-owner of the very practice that probably saved my life is such an incredible testament not just to Leslie but ultimately to God.
I couldn’t ask for a better, wiser partner than Brigid in this journey moving forward. A huge dream of mine has come true though Memphis will miss Leslie dearly (not to mention how much Brigid and I will miss her). We feel honored to carry the practice forward, and I, personally, have been claiming this verse:
“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you to all who have supported us through each part of our lives and journeys toward this moment! We hope you will continue to support us as we embark on a new portion of the journey yet with the same philosophy and the same dedication to service to our clients and community as always. Your kind words, referrals, visits to our social media pages and website mean the world to us, and we’re thrilled to finally share our big news with all of you!
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