Trainer. Nutritionist. Brain Health Consultant. Coach. Traveling Photographer. // No Rest For Megan Williams
In 2005, at the age of 17, Megan suffered a traumatic brain injury while playing college basketball. Unfortunately, due to doctor malpractice, she had no idea of the TBI until she was 25 years old. The effects of the brain injury, coupled with several other concussions, severely impaired her cognitive and emotional health, as well as her memory. Since then, Megan has been on a relentless and restless journey of self-healing and organic recovery.
Regardless of life's challenges, Megan pushes upward and onward. She is a coach, personal trainer and nutritionist during the week, as well as a photographer by the weekend. But let's not stop there...the weekends are still filled with coaching and training; however, Megan either flies out early, or stays back, over the course of a weekend competition to capture the cultural and social lifestyles of any given location.
Where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in Okemos, Michigan. I currently am a Personal Trainer, Diet Specialist, TBI nutritional expert, and professional photographer.
Tell us about your vision, or mission. What’s ahead for you and/or your career?
Even when I was younger, people would ask me what I wanted to do when I was older, and I would always say I didn’t know but I had to love it. I am a person who is entirely too restless to have just one profession, or career that defines me. So as it stands one of the best things I do is help people with traumatic brain injuries, severe health issues, and other afflictions live their best life imaginable. But what really sets my soul on fire is photography. It eases my restlessness in a way nothing else really does. It’s the creative outlet a busy body like me needs.
As far as my personal training and nutritional work goes, my vision and mission has always been to help people create better versions of themselves through nutrition, working out, and psychologically syncing up with a more positive outlook and view of the world. That being said, my vision was blurry at times with how I was going to achieve that.
Nutrition, working out and psychologically finding a different approach literally saved my life. I had points of deep seeded depression, incredibly negative thoughts, and destructive self-talk. This started to change when my diet changed, I took my workouts more serious, and I changed the way I viewed my life. I started to say, “What am I supposed to learn from this?” versus “Why is this happening to me” and that change everything. Here are the bullet points of my life so far.
Since the age of 12, I have been afflicted with these rare subsets of migraines called hemiplegic migraines with aura. They start with blotches in my vision, one half of my body goes completely numb, my speech slurs, I start to not make any sense and stop being able to verbalize, and then comes the blinding migraines. It wasn’t until I was 25, I started to realize certain foods, and certain types of lights triggered these migraines. I have managed them without the help of prescription drugs.
- When I was 17 years old, I was at college basketball practice when a freak accident ended in me suffering a traumatic brain injury, which, I wouldn’t actually be diagnosed with for another 7 years.
- When I was 19 years old, I found out I was born with only one kidney. Again, this discovery came as a total accident, I was getting an ultrasound to figure out if I had issues with my gallbladder, and wham came the solo kidney punchline.
- When I was 25, I finally got diagnosed with a TBI after severe memory issues. With a strict diet, lots of sacrifice, and a regimented workout schedule by the time I was 31, my TBI could no longer be seen on an MRI.
- When I was 32, I found out I was born with two uteruses. This also came as a shock as you can imagine, considering the other health issues or anomalies I seemed to have.
We love people who break the boundaries and relentlessly push toward their goals. That said, what drives you? Was there an event, or personal moment that triggered it all?
When I started to get a firm grasp on what people with brain injuries, Alzheimer’s dementia, epilepsy, and any other brain disorders should be eating and how they should be working out I started to share that locally with some people. I was immediately rejected because it didn’t include any SSRI’s or prescription medications so it couldn’t possibly work the way I said it could. I was often asked if I went to medical school, or how I was qualified to make these determinations, and one time I even was asked what gave me the right to take such liberties with people’s lives. Rejection was just a tip of the hat to what I was doing. People do not like change, and they really don’t like new ideas being brought about by someone younger than them. Rejection wasn’t the hard part, I knew I was bringing something unique but incredibly helpful to the table, the hardest part was getting people to put their bias, their opinions, and their original ideals aside to really listen to me, and change the way they ate and worked out. For the people that listened I had great success, and for the people who wanted to stay in their own comfort bubbles, let’s just say their progress has been slow, or non-existent.
- Do not for one second give up on what you’re trying to accomplish no matter how many no’s you get, how many naysayers you come across, or how many bad encounters you have. Keep pushing.
- Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. It will never be easy to break your own boundaries, but I promise you it’s worth it.
- Have a 12 hour wash away rule: If you get rejected and it’s a little more hurtful than usual, if a big deal falls through, if a client you really wanted to do well isn’t doing what they should be or listening to what you’re asking them to do, you get 12 hours to be angry about it, then get up, wash away the negative thoughts, open yourself up to the good things the universe has to offer, and get out there and kick more ass.
What mantra do you would want the world to remember you by?
Restless has always been a word that completely described me, but lately I’m finding I have this dogged restlessness for growth. So, if I could be remembered by any mantra it’d be, she had this dogged restlessness for life, growth, and expansion.
What does it mean to you to be fueled by choice?
Being fueled by choice is the way I live my life. By my rules, my terms, my way.
Connect with Megan Williams: