What’s In A Name? Turns Out, A Lot.

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In case you hadn’t noticed, my last name is “Hale.” I’ve always liked it. Simple, solid, short, easy to spell and pronounce (at least in the US) — it’s a name that never really called attention to itself, much to my adolescent relief. Well, there was my high school art teacher who insisted on proclaiming “Hail, Bethany!” when I entered the classroom each afternoon (simultaneously causing feelings of embarrassment and elation around being the center of attention for a brief moment).

Beyond that, I never thought much of my name until my early 30’s when my (now) husband John and I began to discuss marriage. As I considered whether or not I would take his last name, I realized I attached a strong sense of identity to mine. It was my professional brand. It linked me to my family. It was a darn good fit with my first name (what’s peanut butter without the jelly?). I loved it, I decided, and I wanted to keep it. Not to mention the fact that taking someone else’s name felt dated and anti-feminist. I told John my thoughts, sheepishly. And, his oh-so-nonchalant response? “I never expected that you would change your name…that paperwork sounds like a nightmare.” He’s so practical. And, supportive. Swoon.

Now, as I start this website focused on health and nutrition, my name has again been top of mind. Hale literally means “healthy.” Seriously. I looked it up. According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of hale is: “free from defect, disease or infirmity;” also: “retaining exceptional health and vigor.” Clear sign from universe? Check.

By no means have I been healthy my whole life. I’ve endured severe migraines, chronic intestinal inflammation and even cancer. (More on that later.) But, I am now on a very different path. One that prioritizes optimal nutrition and self-care. It is this journey that I want to share in the hopes that I can affect change and help others who are also looking for a life of “exceptional health and vigor”.

As cliche as it seems, my goal is — simply — to live up to my name. And, to bring you with me. Thus, The Hale Effect was born.


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