I don’t very often share much about myself but I felt this was an opportunity to talk about my journey as a nutritionist and how I got to this point.
It’s safe to say that I wasn’t always the healthiest when it came to eating, especially in my early 20s which was a big thing for me as I was a very active child, I was on the athletics team, cross county team, I did tap, ballet and modern for over 10 years but like many, university changed it all. Convenience foods, skipping meals, chocolate for dinner with very little activity, was mainly how my early 20s went but it changed when I fell pregnant with me son…it’s like a switch turned on and I knew that what I was eating, would have a major impact on him!
Of course, It wasn’t over night but he suffered very badly with eczema and after much research I decided to go down more of the nutrition side…well that’s after I spoke with a dietician and was told he was eating too many vegetables (seriously) and that what he ate did not impact his skin, so I knew that I wasn’t going to get the help from the NHS so started doing my own research. Of course at that point I was no nutritionist so I was going by what I read.
But the loss of my beloved Gran changed everything for me health wise. Without even knowing, the impact of the grief and stress resulted in me loosing a significant amount of weight going down to just under 7 stone. The problem was, I was still eating, and was unaware of what I was doing, but restricting and eliminating foods for control and in combination of that and the stress I ended up not having a period for over 2 years.
My love of food and cooking was still there and my passion for nutrition, but unbeknown to me my choices and stress were impacting my wellbeing.
I embarked on a nutrition diploma to add to my biology degree and thats when it began to click…the impact of everything that I had endured was the factor for where I was, no period, irregular bowel movements and underweight.
It’s definitely not something that I overcame overnight, trust me when I say, putting on weight when you’ve been in control of being underweight for so long is tough going. Trying to change your mindset is something that takes a very long time to accept.
Until I started to think about the impact of no periods, being underweight was having long term on my body, it was then That I know changed had to be made.
Don’t ever underestimate the effect stress has on the body! Ultimately it’s the biggest leading cause of many diseases.
I couldn’t contemplate the effect of no periods was having on my body nor was being very slim.
It’s 5 years later and even after the first few years, I struggled to take control of the control of limiting foods, skipping lunch because I would say to myself I wasn’t hungry when in fact I was.
It’s not an easy journey, it’s definitely not an overnight change but what it is, is making the right change to support my health and wellbeing. Supporting my hormones naturally with regular meals, nourishing foods, less stress (if that’s possible) exercise has meant that I have regular periods, my weight is normal (fluctuates as it should) my gut is certainly working well and my energy levels are what they should be!
I make time to enjoy the food I eat, of course there’s days where I struggle with the view in the mirror (especially now I’m 40 although I still feel 21) and sometimes when I eat too many snacks and that guilt kicks in but I deal with it with confidence, knowledge and knowing that what I eat nourishes me without the need for restrictions and control. I often feel guilty for taking rest days from exercise but ultimately it’s my mindset that has to take over and allow myself that space to enjoy all aspects of everything rather than put more pressure on myself on a daily basis.
Social media and influencers definitely make the whole loving yourself quite hard, guilty for eating certain foods, guilty for having a rest day, guilty for having cellulite, for not being young but we are all in the same boat and trust me when I say, we are all different! Even if we all ate the same and exercised the same, we would all look different and it’s accepting that that can help to make those changes to a more comfortable way of wellbeing.
This is why I work with individuals to help them to understand that wellbeing looks different for everybody, lifestyles are different but the common ground is how we approach it and how we work through those tougher times and how we nourish ourselves whether that’s food, socially, mentally, the whole package.
So that’s enough of my sharing for now. I hope that’s helped you to see that we are not all perfect, but what we can be is the best of who we are and sometimes that does mean a little help, eating good foods, spending more time thinking about ourselves and supporting our wellbeing.
If you do need support, guidance and coaching then please do get in touch.