My education and qualifications are important. Decades of study, assessment and development, so you are in safe hands. But so are my life experiences. It really helps doesn't it, when the person you are speaking to you gets it - they don't think you're stupid or broken. You feel heard.
I controlled food to the extreme in my teens and 20's. An apparently flippant comment about my 'thunder thighs' didn't help. Nor did struggling with friendships, with school and a Dad who left us.
I started Rosemary Connolly and Callen Pinckney's callenetics in the 1980's when you did weird tiny movements to tone your arse. Along with a low fat diet.
The hip and thigh diet followed, then came Reebok step and pretty much every aerobics video on VHS performed in my lounge.
My clothes size fluctuated between 8-16, I avoided food and people.
My body became this machine.........one that I told myself would not tolerate anything fatty or Calorific. I exercised to the extreme.....pushing through even though my knees packed in.
Heading off to uni made it easier to hide. Restricting, eating in secret, bingeing, fighting my body every day. Therapy helped but I would continue to ride the roller coaster of recovery for a while.
I have used food in many ways to help me navigate parts of my life that were more than hard going. Parental divorce, crappy, abusive relationships, bullying and as I've just found out, undiagnosed ADHD and autism.
I found it easier to obsess about food and my body than work through my emotions and trauma. I completely lost touch with myself.
The good news......I have now learnt how to re-connect and restore trust with my body; to chuck out the rules books and do things in ways that respect and support my body and mental health.
- I've restored my body confidence massively but still have to work at this - our bodies never stop changing (hello menopause!) so we never stand still.
- I've made peace with food whereby it no longer rules my life.
- I don't worry about what I can and can't eat. Not because I don't care but because I trust what my body asks me for.
- I see food as food; neither good or bad and something that brings me so much more than fuel.
- I look forward to enjoying stress-free meals.
- I no longer miss out on events that involve food.
- I never thought I would eat without guilt, resentment and shame but I do.
- I have lost the need to compensate for what I eat.
It's so liberating to be here. And THE most rewarding part of my work is when I help others to get to the same point. Please do message me if you'd like to find out how to change your food story too.