My journey with food
I was on diet from age 11 because I was convinced I was fat. Food ruled my life right through out school and my University years. If I wasn’t over eating I was restricting – it was an insidious cycle I was caught up in. I never understood food - I just knew all the food I loved to eat I couldn’t eat so I was either on a diet or off a diet, fat or thin, over exercising or not exercising….and so was my life!
By the time I completed my studies and hit the corporate world of Finance I was a complete carb and sugar addict – I just didn’t know it. I didn’t know you could be addicted to sugar. I thought I just had a very sweet tooth – it was a heredity condition I thought.
One day I had an epiphany……Whilst knee deep in excel spread sheets doing complicated calculations in my line of work as an Equity Analyst, it dawned on me that the only numbers I was truly interested in was the numbers in food, the number on my scale and why I was getting so fat. Food was my obsession and I couldn’t stand it one minute longer to be working in a career that didn’t interest me as much as food interested me
My obsession with food and what I was or wasn’t eating lead me to believe that I needed to get a better understanding of health instead of just being on diet. I needed to find a way to nourish my body so that I could heal my relationship with food and finally figure out what was causing me to gain weight.
So my first step was to go on a weeks cleanse in Thailand. This was an amazing experience for me because it was there that I was introduced to juice fasting, colon irrigation, raw food and infrared Saunas. What an experience. It was hell to be honest. Not eating all my favourite what I thought was “healthy” foods and going through that detox process spun me out completely. I was an emotional wreck and physically drained after the experience – but after 10 days a miracle happened, my body and mind literally transformed and I realised the gift I had given my body by cleansing it so intensely. This was my first mind-body connection with the healing power of food.
Convinced by what I had seen I decided on a new course in life. I resigned from my job in the Financial Markets and decided to travel to the USA in pursuit of this ideology of eating the purest way. I figured if I just ate raw food I would be well and healthy (and THIN) and my life would be perfect! I decided that I would do a Raw food chef course in California. So whilst away in the USA, I studied at the Prestigious Living Light Culinary Art Institute in California when I learned every conceivable way with raw food. I revelled in this learning creative time in my life. All the while munching away 24/7 non-stop…..because I was very hungry
Imagine my utter exasperation after eating a strictly clean raw vegan healthy diet that it had no positive effect on my weight, infact eating this way made me fatter and moodier than ever –What was wrong with me! Why couldn’t I eat all this healthy raw food and be slim like all the others. My frustration lead to regular intervals of binge eating on raw desserts and homemade healthy raw chocolates and raw granolas – I was ballooning with all this healthy food. Enough was enough I decided! it was time to really understand Nutrition. I was missing a part of the eating puzzle and I was determined to work it out.
I spent the next 3 years completely engrossed in full time study where I completed my Diploma in Clinical Nutrition and my certification as a Health Coach, and many other online e-courses in nutrition. It was all consuming and I used my own body as a genuine pig testing out every dietary theory ever posed. It was my mission to work out the why-we-get-fat conundrum.
However studying Nutrition didn’t help contain my hunger for food. My food madness was off the charts – the more I read, the more I ate, the more I ate, the madder I become. Ironically studying Nutrition took me into the depths of my own eating disorder for which I am truly grateful for to this day. As I realise now that how we feed ourselves is so much more than just a well-constructed food-plan with the correct macro-nutritient ratios.
I was terrified when I qualified as a Nutritionist. There I was with all this knowledge – but fat – and still totally confused about what it took to lose weight. How on earth could I help others if I couldn’t even help myself? And so my journey continued.
I got a job as a Nutritionist in a health shop in Hyde park – I was so scared to talk to people about nutrition, looking the way I did. It took all the courage I had to come out from behind those store shelves and speak to people about food and their diets, but I did it and it was the most liberating time in my life. I learned that we are mostly all the same when it comes to food – we have good days and bad days, and a lot of us beat ourselves up about our food choices and we all want to loose weight. Some are more committed to the process of changing their diets and others just want to complain about the way they look…..which one are you?
Part of my weight-loss journey was to admit I had a problem with food and seek professional help. I also had to stop being a victim to my fat body and to finally do something about it. I had all the knowledge, I just had to make the change….and so I did.
Part of my weight loss journey was to get properly medically assessed to deal with my own hormonal imbalances and metabolic issues. Learning how my stress hormones were impacting my weight gain and sorting out my thyroid issues, and dealing with balancing my sex hormones due to early menopause were a big deal for my body’s biochemistry and all impacting on my body’s ability to lose weight.
I also opened myself up to nutritional supplementation which made the world of difference to my health and in turn my weight. You see sometimes the cleanest, most well balanced diet falls short of the nutritional deficiencies are bodies are experiencing which in turn leads to all sorts of negative behaviours around food that we are not in control of.
For example if your brain chemicals are unbalanced you will find yourself craving all sorts of food or over consuming the wrong kinds of food all the while blaming yourself that you are the fat glutton. The health shop was a profound learning experience for me as I opened myself up to understand all about supplements and how they can support us whilst we diet
I stopped my own food and weight suffering because I knew that I had work to do, and that was to help other people to lose their weight, reclaim their health and to feel beautiful in their bodies again
I am now blessed beyond my wildest dreams to work in my own private nutrition practice amongst a team of Integrative Functional medical doctors who love and support the work that I do. I am privileged because I get to work with people who are open to learning and exploring food and its effects on their body, and what being healthy is really all about.
Thank you for taking the time to read my very personal story, I hope it has inspired you to realise that you too can make the change in your life. Please feel free to drop me a line or share your comments.