Let me explain…
Since I was a teenager, I have had a yearning to learn about all things health. This naturally led me to read a LOT of books, articles, and to study Exercise and Health in College. Not content with all I’d learned so far, I continued onward to study Nutritional Therapy and, more recently, Eating Psychology.
It has been a very personal journey of experimenting, obsessing, having highs and lows, and everything in-between. Throughout my teens and early 20’s, obsessing about nutrition and exercise was a way to cover up my emotions and feelings that were overwhelming. I thought if I could ‘fix’ and manipulate my physical body then I am going to feel better mentally and be more lovable. A few emotional breakdowns later, I realised there is a deeper path my body and soul are calling for. Deep depressive times were so painful I was ready to die; I found myself fantasising about death. This came with enormous guilt and pain for having these thoughts of dying. From the outside I had it all: loving family, great friends, successful completion of my studies and a career I had a passion for. During my darkest times everything felt like it was collapsing around me. I was numb and felt so empty. I had an ache in my heart and a mind that was out of control.
From rock bottom I started to have hope and started my recovery. I am forever grateful for the therapies that were available to me and the amazing support from my family and friends. These breakDOWNs were actually breakTHROUGHs to a whole new perspective on health and especially nutrition. I needed so much more than only nutrition to heal. In some ways it was a hindrance of being able to look at all aspects of my body and me.
I believe we are getting distracted by the “eat this, don’t eat that” chorus. We are squabbling over which ‘diet’ is the best. We are pulled from one diet to the next hoping this will be the one to ‘fix’ me. It’s the same with exercise routines. Most of the time information is coming from a genuine desire to help people be healthier and happier. However, one can get dizzy with the overload of nutrition and exercise information.
I put my hand up to say I have contributed to this overloading of information. I am still navigating through the particulars to find the most useful ways to translate this knowledge and information to clients without repeating the chorus of “this is the only way” or making them feel they can’t trust their bodies. I want to pass on the message that food is a way to be creative while adding joy and pleasure to our lives.
An analogy that comes to mind when I think of our dominant focus with nutrition and exercise comes in the form of a big beautiful house. In this house there are many wonderful rooms to explore and enjoy. However, we end up getting very comfortable in one or two particular rooms of the house. We forget about all the other areas of the big, beautiful house almost completely. The lights are out in those rooms and don’t look appealing from the little you think you see. So why chance it, right?
Now I ask you, what might we find in these others rooms? Will they be as comfortable as the two rooms we are currently living in? I see the other spaces of the house representing aspects of us such as our passions, sadness, grief, joy, connection, creativity, etc. Well, it’s time to explore all the rooms in our house.
Of course nutrition is an important aspect to learn about for our health, but we need to be able to discern what is for us in the bigger picture of our lives. Seek out unbiased information and always know you are your best adviser. Yes, you will have to step out of your comfort zone, but you will have to trust yourself.
I am passionate to be a guide for people on their unique health journey. Yes, I have gathered a lot of information over the years, a lot useful and some just plain useless and distracting. I feel very grateful for the support I have received on my health journey and I feel it is a way to give back by sharing the lessons I have learnt. I want to shake up the information we are getting from the ‘diet’ and ‘fitness’ industry. There is an amazing feeling of breaking free from the shackles of being told what you ‘should’ be doing.
We need to be prepared for the upcoming bombardment of ‘diet’ and ‘exercise’ advice in January. Eating extra over Christmas does NOT mean I now need to “make up for it” with dieting or exercising more. It will be a big fat YES to saying no to things and people who drain my energy. YES to slowing down more, long relaxed walks, lazy days and belly laughs with friends.
Let’s feed our souls and explore all the rooms in our beautiful house.