A Spring Clean

I’m not entirely sure if it was the change of season, the steady acceptance of transitioning into my thirties or my husband going away on a running trip last weekend that compelled me to de-clutter my entire apartment and clean every inch of it.

You know when you starting tidying up then suddenly you just. can. not. stop. Before you know it, you’re getting ruthless with old items and scrubbing the shower tiles with a toothbrush (not my husband’s toothbrush, although – that would’ve been a good practical joke!)

It’s cathartic and liberating and you can’t help but feel lighter as you toss piles of crap into the bin, or bag it up to donate. You feel healed.

So on a Saturday or two ago, after breakfast with my girlfriends, I excitedly went home and did two things to prepare for this magic ritual, of sorts. I burned a stick of incense and put Carole King’s Tapestry album on (my mum taught me well here. Cleaning like this would require The Classics. Carole, Bette, Cher, Dolly, Celine. On rotation and all mimed into the handle end of the broom. With dance moves. It’s the only way. The spell doesn’t work otherwise!)
 

I went through the house like a witch. Swiftly and precisely, no coaster was left unturned and soon I had relics and relics of old junk to heave into a burning fire. Ok, so it wasn’t as theatrical as that, but the smoke from the incense got to my eyes and my imagination went into overdrive. I was on a cackling high from purging all the junk that I dared to go there....

into the Ouji board that was my wardrobe.

(right, the witch metaphors are gonna end there. Not even I – Harry Potter extraordinaire - can keep up with this analogy all post long. Avada Kedavra!)

I will be the first to put up my hand and admit that I am one of those  ‘so many clothes but nothing to wear’ kind of women. I’d love to have a wardrobe of 10 items that I can somehow always make look different with layers and accessories but if you can’t already tell by my writing style that I go off on tangents, take a peek in my wardrobe...It’s like a treasure trove of distraction and senselessness. Yes I went through the block colour jeans phase, I stopped off for years in shift-dress town. I’ve got boho-maxi dresses for when I was all about being Aphrodite and I’ve got some tight body con things that nearly mummified me like Cleopatra. One with hideous shoulder pads that would even get Buzz Lightyear to ask me for a dance.

Point is, I can actually look at my clothes and track myself through history.


When I lost all that weight, I actually I had a really hard time getting rid of my larger clothes, because I was trapped in fear of gaining it back. I wore them until they near about fell off. One birthday, the boyfriend-now-husband took me shopping and lay his debit card out over and over again until I had a wardrobe that fit me properly.  

Then (you know the story, read it here) I lost my way a little and there was this long while there where the smaller the number on the tag the more I felt worthy of the dress or, rather, the praise that came with it. That’s pretty much where the tight dead Egyptian people dresses happened. They were definitely not for me but, alas, this section of my wardrobe ancient history indicates that I was a slave to the idea that I had to look a certain way...so the clothes that used to define me were out and the things that masked my internal pain were in...

The mission that was the archaeology trip through my wardrobe had been on my mind for a while. Something I knew I had to do, but was avoiding, because I knew what I’d find.

Artefacts from a past life that I wasn’t quite sure I was ready to let go of.

Isn’t it funny how, as women, we feel obliged to hold on to our smaller clothes so we can dangle them in front of our current selves like a carrot. Fuelled by guilt and shame, we pull them out like old photographs and lament over ‘the good old days.’ We let the voice of the past infect us with words like ‘you’ve let yourself go’ and ‘you used to be so beautiful.’ At best, we use them as a tactic that’s supposed to motivate us to get up and become our old selves again.  Standing at the mirror, for some of us, these old dresses are just a wispy illusion. They trick you into forgetting that your body isn’t a stagnant object that will remain that way forever.

I knew this time would come, when I committed to being healthy over being thin. I knew they’d be a day I’d have to let go of too-small clothes and lay one more piece of my disordered relationship with my body to rest.

As the dig continued I struck it. The one that got away. Where once, I’d liked the texture of this dress, now the crepe fabric felt rough against my skin and even worse in my memory.

I dug it up and out of the wardrobe. Staring at it, I physically started to feel sick.

My what the heck did I do to myself to get into this dress?! face. (Don't mind the piles of junk in the background there #springcleaning)

My what the heck did I do to myself to get into this dress?! face. (Don't mind the piles of junk in the background there #springcleaning)

Not because of its psychedelic pattern (Ah, Yep, I went through the Aztec phase too!) but because of how small it is.

I remember trying it on. Feeling elated as the 8 on the size tag slipped over my head. I looked in the mirror and thought it said: “why-yes-I-am-training-for-a-marathon(but-actually-I’m-exhausted-and-anxious-as-all-hell)-thanks-for-noticing!” I’d made it all the way to single digit town and it was on sale. So I had to have it.

When I was a teenager, a size 8 was ‘it’. The end of the line. There wasn’t anything smaller than that sold in the stores I shopped in. And when I was initially losing weight, I never wanted to BE a size 8. It wasn’t realistic and I wasn’t too bloody interested.

But after getting lost on the way to the Promised Land (ie – a smaller body must equal more happiness, right?!) and a few rough years of wandering the dessert of confusing and abusive messages about food, exercise and ideal body types, I remember thinking, after a size 8 – what’s next...

...do I fall off the edge?

I was already well over the edge. Thing is, I only remember wearing this dress once. To an uncle’s 50th birthday, where all my family had come together. I was so excited to see loved ones, from all over the country, that I hadn’t caught up with in years. I was dying to be noticed for my new body, at the same time as wanting zero attention for it at all. I was so lost and so swept up in the noise that I didn’t know myself or my body any more. I didn’t factor in my changed fat composition, ate nearly nothing in the day time and very quickly got so drunk that the next day, they all recounted the story of me ravenously eating a piece of pizza from a stranger in a taxi (which wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t have starved out of fear at lunch time) and falling asleep on the hotel staircase.

For a minute I held that dress up like a symbolic carrot and thought to myself “maybe, if I just worked hard for 6 weeks, I could wear it again.”

Truth is, I probably could.

But I’d rather die than go there again.

You see, I might’ve fit into that dress long ago but I don’t anymore and I never should have. So, with Carole King backing me up, threw that carrot on the floor to start a ‘sell/donate/burn it’ pile, because it only brought back memories of me doubting myself, pushing my body beyond the limit of what was healthy and constantly moving the goalposts. I’ve had enough bloody carrots to last me a lifetime!

Once the first skeleton came out of the closet, the rest followed like zombies. Slowly and surely, I extracted every dress that was bought in attempt to validate my self-worth, based on its size, OUT of my wardrobe.

I decided that if wearing it at all means wearing myself down...it’s a big ol’ GOODBYE...

Self hate just aint my style anymore.

And so, beautiful woman, If you are holding on to the ancient history in your wardrobe, saying things like “If I can diet and workout every day for a bit, I’ll be to be able to wear this again” but deep down you know that to wiggle back into that dress would mean complete damage and disruption to your life...consider, just for a second, that it’s not worth it.

Would you hold onto a pair of earrings that your nasty ass ex boyfriend gave you as guilt bling because he was cheating on you with Fran from the fruit shop?! HELL NO... they’d make you feel worthless every time you looked at them.

Get rid of what doesn’t make you feel like the person you are NOW. Let it go and then devote the time you save hating yourself to honouring your body in other ways. Letting it run as fast or as slow as it wants. Sitting it in the sun, stretching it and releasing its tension. Feeding it with food that nourishes you down into your soul. Marinate it in the message that it is beautiful and sexy and worthy, just as it is and tell it that you’ll be there no matter what it does, because the truth is we actually have a lot less control over what might happen to our dear body than what we think we do. Nothing in life is certain and if I lost a leg in a street accident tomorrow I doubt very much that I’d be worried about getting back into the Zara jeans like I used to...

Letting go is not "letting yourself go" or "giving up"

In fact, it's the opposite. 
When we're able to loosen the grip on dieting, scrutinising our food and our bodies and speaking unkindly to ourselves, it can help you reconnect with your body and its natural signals (you know, the ones that give us feedback about appetite, emotions 'n stuff?). And it's from here that you are in a position to make conscious and deliberate choices - without jumping on the judgement train.
(wise, wise words from the babes at Body Positive Australia)

So as the wardrobe closes and the incense burns out, gorgeous, I want you to know this:

You DO NOT deserve to feel embarrassed or like a failure if your body changes, you grow or soften. Guilt and Shame do not belong in your wardrobe. They don't suit you.

...The things that will always fit you are your tenacity, your energy and the love you give to the world. Your spirit and soul with grow with you. They will expand as you do.

Your smile, and the sparkle in your eyes, will never get too tight.

You are NOT the number on the inside of the Zara jeans you bought in Rome, just to prove to everyone that you can fit into European sized pants. You are the woman who ran around Rome in the rain and climbed to the top of St Peter’s Basilica with legs that were strong and able.

Your wardrobe IS NOT A TIME MACHINE that you should feel obliged to crawl into, hit the ‘when I was 25 button’ and step out back into the present day, being able to wear the little black skirt you used to go nightclubbing in.  

And if the dresses in your wardrobe are taunting you, teasing you and torturing you like the mean girls at high school (“you’ll never be one of us if you don’t change first...You don’t fit in here anymore...You're such a loser”) you have the right, and the power, to tell them to frock off.

As such, I’m breaking up with about 15 dresses (and the God-awful Zara pants!) that no longer fit ME and who I am. I’m bigger than that now!

And I am unashamedly proud of that.

Check out how you can work with me to free yourself from food fear, body hate and the relentless energy roller coaster...from one off sessions to private packages...I’m here to help you make your life delicious, guilt free and full of love!

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April showers and May flowers

Do you ever have those moments where you realise you’ve been thinking far too much and doing even less?

I dunno about you but lately I’ve been really picking up on certain ‘energies.’ I don’t even know if that’s the correct way to phrase that sentence...I’m a relative newbie to the spiritual world, or if that’s even where this is going, but as I really hone in on making sure my own relationship with food and my body stays healed and strong, I’ve been learning to wear my intuition on my sleeve, if you will. To open up to deeper thinking and letting myself explore parts of my head and heart that were very much ‘off-limits’ when I was stuck in self-hate and food-fear town.

Lately, I’ve either been feeling so low on energy, so un-motivated and so stuck it’s like I can’t get back up without some kind of other-world force pulling me there, or, If I catch on to a good vibe, I’m squeezing every last morsel of magic out of my day. I’m getting things done, being creative, balancing my work with exercise, a social life and personal rest as elegantly as a cirque de solei performer.

There’s been no in-between...

...I tried to figure out if it had something to do with the moon but that took me down a path of research that was way too “out-there” for me, just yet, and I ended up getting distracted by you-tube videos and Spotify (helllllooo, Ed Sheeran’s new album #sodamngood)

What I did find out, though, was that April had a new moon on the 26th.

I (still) have NO idea what that means...but it made me look closer at my calendar this week and what I did realise (very quickly) was that April was nearly bloody over.

I won’t lie...I was kinda happy about it because, well, April just felt a bit average for me.

Not only did I vibe out on unpleasant energy, struggle to be productive and find it hard to stay positive...some old thinking, from way back when, had crept on over me.

Namely, I had noticed myself obsessing a little too much over food, worrying about any slight change in my body and going into these mindless moments of self-doubt, self-loathing and self-sabotage.

I’d slightly switched back over to comparing myself to others and generally just telling myself to push through those feelings when what I needed was to be a bit more compassionate.

I’d been ignoring my intuition, and rebelling against my inner wisdom.

Just this past Sunday (April 30th) I was walking on down to the farmers market, hoping  that the stroll might wash some of the dusty energy away.

In the quiet space of the street I noticed that I was having a conversation with myself that went a little something like this:


Me (to me): Oh man it was nice to just sleep with no alarm this morning,

Me (back to me): Yeah, but you should’ve gone for a run...you didn’t run yesterday, either – no wonder you feel a bit stuck lately.

Me (back to that other part of me): I did a huge run a few days ago. I feel like I need the rest and, besides, I’m walking right now...

Me (to the first me): pfft yeah, but it’s only down the road...You know, if you did more than you are doing right now, you’d probably have more energy and be much more successful. Oh, just on that, when you get home today – don’t you think you should sit down and work for a bit? New businesses don’t just run themselves y’know, Megan.

Me (giving in to the mean me): Oh man, you’re so right, I do have heaps to do...and I also want to make some space in the house. Clean out the spare room. Replant the garden. Sweep the courtyard...oh, and I’m dying to try this biscuit recipe I’ve invented for my next book...

Me (to me): Ummm...you really don’t need biscuits. You haven’t run. You had dessert last night and your tummy looks a bit soft lately...I don’t think you deserve that at all...

You see where this is going right?!

Here I was, not even 5 minutes after stepping out of my front door, getting caught up in everything I wasn’t doing, should’ve been doing better and thoughts about how I was just not bloody good enough.

On my, somewhat shallow, dive into the more spiritual side of myself I have also been asking The Universe to send me a sign to help me know that everything is going to be OK. To pull me out of my head and back into my heart when things feel particularly overwhelming. I thought I might be one of the lucky ones to catch a glimpse of the clock at the exact minute it turns to 11:11 or see floating feathers as I just happen to walk under a tree...

But, in this moment of fighting with myself over bookwork and biscuits,  I think The Universe knew that it was dealing with someone a little more frenzied and feathers were going to be a bit too subtle for me...I needed a smack in the face.

And then I saw it.

Carved into the path, slightly obscured by tall grass wet with Sunday morning dew.

APRIL 2.jpg

 

‘April was here’

I really couldn’t help but laugh. April was here. May would be arriving the next day. And I had a choice.

I could continue to bring my mean self-talk along for the ride and watch as I possibly (probably) slid down the rabbit hole of destruction, distraction and deprivation, or I could wake up and realise that life is moving fast. Whether I make and eat the biscuits because I want to or don’t out of fear and self-hate...the days are going to roll on anyway.

The reality is that I do have plenty to do. And you do, too!

We are always saying to each other how fast the years fly by. How much we need to get done, let alone how much we want to do, how many things we wish we had time for: travelling, reading, hiking, studying, creating, socialising, learning, inspiring...

If you’re anything like me, you probably feel pressed for time at the best of times...

Ask yourself: How many minutes, added up into days, logged into weeks and bundled into YEARS have you been harshly criticising yourself, obsessing about your body, guilt tripping about food and starting over and over again in an effort to be better?

What else could you do with the time (and energy) you waste in your head?!

I don’t mean to get hysterical here (but if I do, I’m sure I can blame it on the moon!) I just want us women, myself included, to see that we have no more time to waste on self-sabotage.

The smack-in-the-face truth is:

If hating ourselves was a successful strategy for being happy, healthy and free, it would have worked by now...

Your body is precious, your health is precious and, darling, so is your TIME. How much longer will you spend in your head at the sacrifice of your heart?  

You read it on the path folks, APRIL WAS HERE...

....make May count!


Check out how you can work with me to free yourself from food fear, body hate and the relentless energy roller coaster...from one off sessions to private packages...I’m here to help you make your life delicious, guilt free and full of love!

girls got guts!

I’m a big believer in common threads and synchronicity.

Like, when you get a group of women together, a similar theme always emerges...they’re all going though something similar at the same time...it’s spooky.

As a coach, I pick up on it ALL THE TIME. When I start seeing clients on Monday, I can already get a feel for what everyone needs to hear, even if their session isn’t until the end of the week. It’s got something to do with feminine energy. I learn so much from paying attention to it...and it freaking ROCKS!

This week I had two sessions with different clients and the synchronicity in their stories was uncanny. The setting was unique, but the lesson was the same. Both ladies have presented with varying symptoms that were causing them some physical discomfort and both needed a little guidance this week in staying true to themselves and listening to their body wisdom.

One of these gals has worked with me this year and done so much amazing work on conquering her inner critic, releasing negative self-image, honouring her body and listening to her intuition. Early on, she started experiencing some inconsistency and pressure in her digestive system and tummy so we explored helping her ease that through a more balanced approach to exercise, concentrating on stress management and looking at getting to know her body really, really well. She went and checked in with her doctor, and also decided to meet with a naturopath to see what might be the CAUSE of her SYMPTOMS and where she could further support herself back to feeling her best.

Of course, the whole while, we were doing amazing work ‘behind the scenes’ to build a peaceful, healthy and loving relationship with food by breaking down the barriers and labels of good and bad food and releasing the idea that there is one ‘right’ way to eat.

The other had already been seeing a highly sought after specialist to alleviate some of her symptoms. Unfortunately she still wasn’t feeling any better, despite being given a whole host of things to avoid eating and drinking and a complete course of medication to take. The rules she had to follow, however, left her feeling tired, anxious, frustrated and preoccupied with food and her body. She hasn’t been able to enjoy a cup of tea but found herself eating lollies like she was possessed, which she said was completely out of character for her!

Back to my first client. She’d finally started to feel empowered enough to explore her body’s individual needs and unique nuances. Sure, she was consciously eating less of some things and more of others and noticed that what she was doing was reducing her digestive discomfort. She was feeling good and better still, she wasn’t relating to food as the bad guy in the situation anymore. She just recognised that her body was going well with this experiment and she was the one in control. She also happens to be a high level Basketballer, so energy support is vital for her even moreso around her approach to training and game day. She was acting as her own nutritionist and her own self-investigator. She was on fire!

After a few more consults with her naturopath, she found herself in a bit of a sticky spot yesterday when we had our session...She had been given a diagnosis and a 4 week program to follow in order to repair her gut health.

The program looked a little like this:

No grains (rules out out, rice, pasta, bread, wheat, flour and any products that use them)
No sugar, No alcohol, No soy, No potato (sweet potato and pumpkin in small amounts), No corn, No fruit, except berries...and the list goes on slightly, in addition to taking a lot of supplements.

Now, of course, as their nutritional therapist and health coach, my goal is to help both of these beautiful clients eliminate the cause of their symptoms, reclaim their health and get them to the point of felling the best they ever have, but these women also want to be free from the experience of being trapped in a war with food and their bodies that have been going on and causing them grief for YEARS!

I’m 100% all for treating ourselves naturally, as a first port of call, instead of going blindly down a synthetic (drug taking) approach but if any prescription has you scratching your head at the open pantry door wondering what the HELL you can eat and fearing all the bad things that are going to happen if you sneak in a rice cracker or two before dinner...I’m sorry (I hate delivering bad news) but that’s a diet.

If it’s got rules. It’s a diet.

If it’s got restrictions. It’s a diet

If it’s been given to you by someone else. You guessed it. It’s a diet.

Why is that such a big problem, you ask?

 

Well, because,  diets feel like you’re on a merry go round...except that the merry go round is on fire... and instead of pretty coloured plastic horses on golden poles, your perched on top of a set of scales... and the music that’s playing isn’t a fun sing-a-long number but just constant stream of thoughts about food and eating and it isn’t actually motion sickness but waves of guilt and confusion and anxiety that break the connection in the machine which means you can’t get off and just keep going around and around on the endless ride....

What fun, hey?!

Sarcastic metaphors aside, diets get in the way of us having a healthy relationship to food. Full Stop. They make so many of us anxious, confused, ashamed and lost.

And here’s the irony...it’s the anxiety and fear that’s getting in the way of us having good digestion IN THE FIRST PLACE because we are using the energy that needs to be in our tummy to THINK ABOUT OUR FOOD instead of tasting, enjoying and metabolising it!

Argh...It’s nuts!

oh...but speaking of nuts, if you’re to eat them, they’ll have to be activated...

(...am I the only one who still has a giggle when they hear the term “activated nuts?!”)

People are really savvy these days and, in my experience, women are slowly starting to catch on to the deceivingly heartbreaking notion that dieting doesn’t really work. It doesn’t bring us the happiness, confidence and piece of mind it promises. Thankfully, there’s not as many obvious diets being sold to us as there have been in the past. Not too many people are on those shakey-meal-replacement- thingys anymore. Weight watchers memberships are at an all time low.

...but in this new era of wellness, concepts like gut health, food group intolerance, immune deficiencies and organ function are being used to persuade us that food is still the enemy and we are not to trust it....

...and THIS is where I have the problem...

Now. Don’t get me wrong...I am not about to claim that gut health (or any of the issues mentioned above) are bogus concepts and I am definitely not ignorant to the idea that we need to make sure we are healthy and thriving on all levels, or that our internal health; the function of our digestive system, stomach and other vital organs is not important...it is. Hello – I’m all about devoting some attention to your tummy for SO MANY reasons but if you’ve found yourself in a similar wave of confusion about what to be eating I want you to take a big ol’ breath for a minute and just chill.

It doesn’t have to be this confusing or leave you feeling like you’re trapped.

Our food has certainly changed over time... I’m not objecting the fact that there’s things that are used in food production now that could be making food harder to digest and our bodies might struggle to deal with it. When our digestive system is struggling a little, we might notice symptoms like irritability of the bowls, constipation or diarrhoea, bloating, wind, pain, reflux or even heartburn.

Getting curious is the first stage to easing any discomfort you have. Explore your body with a variety of lenses. Experiment with foods in a non judgemental way to figure out your ideal diet.

(but hang on...didn’t she just say diets were like being on a fiery merry-go-round from food hell?! )Yes, I did! But I’m also big fan of re-claiming the D word. We all have our own individual diets; built up on our tastes, preferences, cultures, tolerances or intolerances and nutritional needs. We’ve had it backwards for a long time, we’ve been conditioned to think that a diet is something we go on. It’s not. It’s something we own. Just like your hair – YOUR diet is YOUR way of eating. You have every right to adapt in any way you like)

If certain foods make your feel a little upset – it might make you feel better to change to a different style, brand or variety, or sparse out your consumption of them to see if you notice a change for the better. If you do, great – stick with that for a while and look out for the evidence to see if you keep improving! If you don’t notice any difference, move on to exploring something else!

ADDING some stress management tools into their ‘diet’ before feeling obliged to take everything out of it is the most supportive thing I offered to both of these beautiful women this week. It’s what’s going to give them a strong foundation on which to build their evolving relationship with food.  Think about this: restricting your diet isn’t the only way to heal yourself... Taking things away from your body might leave it feeling really cranky! Why not do MORE of what makes you feel good and LESS of what makes you feel like crap. (um, that kinda goes for life, not just food!) You can:

-          Meditate

-          Sleep more

-          Talk your feelings and thoughts out (or write in a journal)

-          Take time to relax and renew your energy

-          Put some physical space between yourself and people or situations that are stressing you out

-          Do things you love to do. (what are your hobbies, interests, bucket list items?...)

-          Stretch  

-          Take a bit of a technology or social media detox

-          Drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated

-          Eat mindfully and slowly and begin to think about your food in a positive way

All these things, I guarantee, can support your gut health just as much, if not more, than going it along with restrictive food protocols.

So, why aren’t we told that?

...’cause meditation don’t cost money, honey...

Investing energy into your health and wellness doesn’t have to mean paying a hefty financial fee.

No one knows your body like you know your body.

No one need be invested in your health as much as you are. No one should benefit from you getting healthy more than YOU. Put yourself FIRST, please!

Underpinning this all is, of course, the one common thread: you are the captain of your own ship, beautiful! YOU are the architect of your own health. We are really freaking blessed to be living in a country with access to such a variety of professionals. You can choose to see a doctor of western medicine, or one working with eastern philosophies. Hell, you can see both! You can choose an osteopath, a chiropractor or a physiotherapist for your muscular-skeletal treatment – you might have a practitioner that combines all three modalities! You could see a naturopath or a herbalist.

The choices are all yours. The symptoms are yours. The cure is yours. The journey is yours.

I want you to know that, ultimately, it’s YOUR body and YOUR health and you’ve gotta do what works for YOU.

You’ve GUT this! ;) 

Three's a Crowd...

I get asked ALL the time about where I find the motivation to workout, plan, cook, shop and prioritise my health.

As a fitness trainer and a coach, having a lack of motivation is something that I often find my clients are consistently worried about...like there might be something wrong with them if they find themselves feeling bored and not excited by the idea of a workout or another salad for lunch.

I’m not quite sure what it is about me that screams “motivation” (perhaps it just comes as an assumption with the weight loss story and the job) but I’m also often being asked to motivate other people as if I was born with, and have some kind of endless supply of, the stuff!

“I need you to motivate me because I can’t do it on my own!”

Now, on the surface, I see where most people are coming from with a statement like that but here's brutal truth about motivation...

It’s a really tricky personality to deal with.

Just for the purposes of this post: I want you to think about Motivation like a difficult boyfriend.

You like him, for sure. He’s fun and makes you feel good. He excites you.

But he comes and goes when it pleases. He’s really hard to predict and really hard to rely on. 

Temperamental. At best.

And you feel like he’s never there when you need him the most.

Then, after you’ve been left alone – again – he send you a text that says “why don’t you ever get anything done?”

And so he does what bad boyfriends do. He spreads the guilt trip all over you and makes you think there must be something wrong with you. It couldn’t be him that’s the issue...he’s God’s gift!

If You're always waiting for him to show up on time before you get going, you’ll never make it out of the house. You’ll never grow, experience anything or reach goals.

You’ll never feel good about yourself. So you’ll never prioritise yourself.

So, just like a good girlfriend, I’m here to lend a sympathetic ear and give you some solid, loving advice. I’m telling you to BEAK UP WITH MOTIVATION and start flirting with INSPIRATION.

Inspiration is like motivation’s shy best friend.  

He is sweet and smart.

He’s a little more mature than his mate. Like he’s a bit more in touch with himself. Deeper, y’know?!

He makes you feel powerful and in control. He encourages you and shows you what you CAN do.

When you do something great he cheers you on and shows you how to keep going when it’s tough.

He’s ALWAYS there when you call him but he totally respects your personal space too. He knows that you are capable and strong and that’s what he loves about you, that you are your own woman.

He makes you feel ALIVE!

You can trust this guy. You can bring him home and feel really proud!

This is the one you wanna get into bed with every night...know what I’m sayin’, ladies?!

So, snap back out of your double date fantasy for a sec and see if you get my point! There’s nothing wrong with wanting motivation (hey, everyone likes a bad boy, right?!) It’s just when you are INSPIRED by something, motivation just comes along for the ride. When you are doing what FEELS GREAT for YOU, you will form habits and routines that are good for your health SO much easier than when you find yourself having to force it .

The great news is this:

Inspiration isn’t something you OWN. You don’t have to be one of the lucky girls to get a date with him.  

Inspiration is something you CREATE.

It comes from giving yourself the time to find what lights you up and makes you scream HELL YEAH!

Case study time: Take Bec, a client of mine (and my lovely sister-in-law!) We had a session last week where she was lamenting about the loss of her motivation. Where was it? Why couldn’t she seem to prioritise her workouts? Get her act together and get to the gym? She felt flat but didn’t really care either. Like she’d been stood up by her less-than-dependable boyfriend, but knew that she wasn’t really missing out on much anyway. She was happier home on the couch.

I asked her: what kind of workouts do you like doing? What are your goals? What do you think you’re best at.

She answered, without hesitation. I’d like to get a good steady jogging pace, and run a kilometre or 2 without stopping. I like boxing and have been thinking about doing some more. (As a matter of fact, I knew she liked boxing. We’d boxed together at our PT sessions in the past and I can attest to how strong the girl’s crossover jabs are! She never smiles when we do burpees – go figure – but give her gloves and she’s grinning!)

So here she was, thinking she was bad for not getting to the gym. But the gym wasn’t giving her access to what made her feel great. They had no boxing on their timetable and she likes to walk and jog outside with her adorable pooch anyway.

The gym was not even close to inspiring her! So why they hell would Motivation come round to pick her up for a gym date?

After a quick chat about why she thought she SHOULD to go to a traditional gym, Bec realised that she just had to give herself permission to explore what she actually WANTED! By the end of that week she had found a boxing studio in town and signed up for a free session with them on her next day off. She called, and inspiration answered.

Dear Motivation. I’m tired of waitin’. Your mate Inspiration and I are goin’ hot and heavy!” Love Bec.

Dear Bec. I’m freaking out about the next time we box. Please go easy on me. Love Meg!! (hehehe!)

What can we learn from Bec’s bizarre threesome this week:

All the motivation in the world actually doesn't make a difference if there's no action to back it up and you’ll never take action if you’re not INSPIRED to do so. The key to your success is allowing yourself to look inside and ask yourself the question “what gets me excited? What do I REALLY want?”  

Don’t fall victim to thinking you have to do things a certain way because it seems everyone else is, or because it’s the traditional method.

Inspiration comes from making choices that that honour your body, mind and spirit. The trick to getting results is creating a sense of fun and enjoyment that turns into healthy habits.  Take small steps every day and focusing on making honest progress instead of chasing perfectionism and duplicating everyone else.

Hate running but secretly want to try salsa dancing? Great! Google a Studio!


Can’t stand salmon? That’s Fine! Try something else! Look at recipes that sound good and include other flavours that you LOVE!

Don’t want to get out of bed for a walk? What if you got in the car and drove to the beach or bushtrail and tried different terrain or scenery?!

You see...Inspiration NEVER runs out of stamina. (something else that’s makes him such a catch, right?! #awwwyeah!)

DO what you LOVE. If you don't know what you love GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO TRY THINGS UNTIL YOU DO!

Start something, even if you don’t feel ready or sure.

Even if you feel nervous or bored.

Spend your time with inspiration and let him show you some love. Soon, people will be asking you where to get some Motivation and you'll answer:

"honey, I ditched his unreliable ass long ago!"

Peace Out, Ladies! 

 

With all this in mind I've actually put together my top tips tools, ideas and recipes into a motivation  kit that will make aworld of difference when the thoughts run dry and you need a hand to buildthosehealthyhabits!

and how's this: it's only 5 bucks! 

now and then

It's that time of year.

Even if you're not paying attention (in which case: GO YOU!) you're going to be seeing a ton of before and after photos, body shaming propaganda and information that tells you, directly and indirectly that you need to change. 

Here is my most recent before and after shot. And here is the disclaimer that goes with it:

The left is me. January 2014. Recently home from a European holiday of a lifetime.

That smile is fake. And that skirt is NOT my style.

I'm ready for a New Years Diet. A hard month (or two, or three) at the gym.

I thought that’s what I needed to do to make up for the time off while I was away. To repent for the food I’d eaten. To say sorry for the mulled wine and the cheese and croissants.

I had lost so much weight in the years before hand and everyone told me I was incredible. 

I was.

I was so incredibly tired ALL the time. Always pushing to go harder. Lose more.

Bullying myself with threats if I gained any back.

I was scared.

Scared of taking a day off my rigorous workout schedule. 

Scared of carbs. Of sugar. 

Scared of going out to eat. Or of having food inside. 

I was 'clean eating'. And any thought of a tiny 'slip up' left me tortured, frightened and venomous.

I was trapped and lost. 

My hair was falling out. I had no menstrual cycle. I was cold all the time. I was angry. 

Always running. Always injured.

I was obsessed with my body and waiting to be happy. Waiting before I would let myself relax and finally be happy.

Until I woke up and realised: waiting for what?

To be thinner? The thinnest? Better? Faster? Fitter?

I was waiting for perfection.

But it never came.

And on the right. My Now.

Last Sunday. New Years Day 2017.

Three Years After. 

Sure: a little softer here, rounder there.  A touch fuller in the face. Curvier hips. Thicker legs. 

Does this mean I have failed? Am I less perfect? Should I consider a quick fix to lose a bit more?

No.

In my after photo I’m relaxed. I’m real. I’m healthy. I’m present.

I approach eating with such a healthier frame of mind. I eat for pleasure, balance, sustainability and energy.

I give myself unconditional permission to eat what I like, when I like.

And before you freak out, and think “that sounds dangerous”


My body still craves and gravitates toward fresh, seasonal, nutritious produce. Intuitively, it goes for "the good stuff." 

And yours will too.

The key is to trust it. Reclaim the trust you’ve lost from following someone else’s diet rules.

Trust your gut. There is a brain in your belly that knows how to give you feedback about what is good and what doesn’t work well for YOUR body. You just have to tune into it.

In my after photo I am whole. I am healing

I can concentrate and I can laugh, honestly.

I can taste and enjoy my food. I can feel when I am hungry. I can feel when I am full.

I can feel my fingers and toes!

My body is supporting itself now, and learning to thrive!

I am so much healthier.


I am so much more alive.

I’ve run three marathons. I have not had a significant running injury or a serious cold in 2 years

Before, I could not sit still and be alone. Now I can meditate and breathe through things like sadness, stress, worry and fear. Before, these things clung to my body like fog. They weighed me down.

I am lighter now.

And I’ve nearly got my heels on the ground in downward dog! (yippee)

This is one more chapter in my bodies journey. 

A different kind of before and after.

My point is that the size and the shape of your shell is only part of your story, beautiful.

The key is to trust and feed yourself more:

More love

More adventure

And more compassion.

LOOK at your body. Don’t deny her that. Accept her and ask her to give you some insight into what’s truly going on. Listen for your cravings and lean in to them.

If you deny her, and bully her and do not work WITH her, eventually she will snap and the diet cycle - the huge swings in your weight, mood, energy and attitude will continue.

Give her what she truly needs and she will reward you.

She is the ship and you are the captain

Use the waves of your own intuition to be your guide .

Adjust her sails when you feel the wind change.

And confidently lead yourself home.

I've started running naked...

We are well into the Australian summer right about now. The sun rises early and sets late. The air smells like wattle and the humidity hits before you even get out of bed to contemplate going for run.

Even as a self confessed run-aholic, it is so easy to loathe summer running. It’s hard to get going, you feel shorter in breath than usual, the flies cling to the base of your sweaty neck and aggravate your ears and *gasp* worse of all...in summer, you can almost never run a decent pace or get a Personal Best.

But I must also confess that lately I’ve become somewhat of a minimalist. So, sorry for the visual here, but I’ve started running naked.

Okay, Okay...pick yourself up from your horrified state on the floor. I’m exaggerating a little, or using a metaphor you might not yet be familiar with!

In the running-savvy circles ‘doing it naked’ actually refers to running without a timepiece, phone app or any of those other gadgets that track things like your speed, pace, calorie burn, distance or heart rate.

It’s a term used to describe running...pretty much for the sake of running. What a revolution, huh?!

Now some people I know, mainly through our years of running adventures, may very well fall over their foam roller when I say this but I’ve really stopped bloody caring about how fast or slow I go.

I can’t even remember the last time I wore my Garmin (a fancy schmancy running watch). Well, actually that’s a lie. It was during the Berlin Marathon this year, which I totally finished, by the way! The watch however, didn’t really make it! I stopped it at about 32kms when hubby and I were having a jelly bean fix and totally forgot to start it again until 38kms - proof that I wasn’t really out there for a record time.

You see, the thing I’ve realised lately is this: If I get caught up in numbers, I tend to lose sight of the road.

And, of course, I mean the metaphorical road here: the journey.

Although, I’m likely to miss the pavement, literally, then roll an ankle and fall on my face. Ask anyone. I’m the clumsiest. Sometimes I’m amazed I can bloody run!

I’ve started running naked, because I had started to miss the run itself. I got way too caught up in watch the watch was telling me, instead of my body. I was running to the pace of the clock instead of the beat in my chest.

Everything you go through in this life - in this body - is a lesson. I realised that concentrating purely on stats, times and numbers while I was running popped a little wall in between me and my ability to trust my instincts. If I felt really good out there, and looked down to see that I was a few minutes behind my usual pace – I’d start to get really hard on myself. I’d push on and try to pick up the speed, even if my body shouted back that it didn’t have that enough gas in the tank for that. The stats, for me, were a way to compare myself to other runners. I beat that girl at Parkrun last week, why was she going faster than me now?! What does she have that I don’t have?! Do I need to train more? Eat less? Get new gear? Lose weight?

Ugh. It’s a wonder I didn’t fall over, what with all these thoughts pouring from my head. I quietly lost sight of the true reason I began running, because the energy was constantly in my head and not in my quads!

 ...And so it is with our relationship to food: eating things we hate, because the supermarket shelf, or the telly or the girl at work said we should. Pushing through fatigue, injury or pain because the elliptical screens calorie report is a little underwhelming. Hating on our bodies, because the scale flashes a particular number at you.

It’s really simple: When you get too tied up in trying to perfect it all and stick to these ancient diet rules, you lose your intuition

Your trust

Your innate wisdom.

You lose your ability to take control of your own body and listen out for its messages about when it’s hungry, when it’s full, when it wants to work out an when it needs a rest. You become disconnected.

And, in my experience, being disconnected from yourself and your body leads to emotional eating, low energy, awful body image and hardcore anxiety. Anyone else been there?

I know what good running feels like. It has nothing to do with what the numbers are. The best runs are the ones where I my feet are synchronised with my pony tail swishing back and forth, cooling my neck down just when I need it the most.

When the only counting involved is how many baby ducks you see as you turn for the track that sidelines the lake.

When your heart rate peaks, not because you have to get your average pace down, but because your husband just kissed you under the Brandenburg Gate at the finish line of your first-anniversary marathon.

You see, when we ‘get naked’ in our relationship with food and body, we realise that we already know what to do to feel and look our best...we just feel vulnerable (gettin’ naked will do that to you!) We get lost in the noise of comparison and become seduced by measuring ourselves on some kind of numbers system, like that’s the only thing that counts! I’m not telling you to throw away your fitness trackers, or the apps that motivate you. They can totally be used for great things.

I’m just asking that you look up from the calorie count and see that you are worth so much more than your watch, or your weight. When it comes to making decisions about what to eat, how to work out or what your body wants and needs in any particular moment: back yourself a bit more.  Tune in to your heart and turn down the noise.

Trust your gut. It’s your inbuilt GPS!

 

p.s If you are interested in working with me to ditch the traditional diet mentality and still create the body and life of your dreams...check out my free EBook, 6 week program or BRAND NEW one session intensive. A new approach is here: and this is your sign that you’re ready!


*a funny side note: I’m writing this post from the waiting room in my hairdressers’ salon. I turned up for a cut an colour an hour earlier than I’d booked for...so maybe a watch might also do me the world of good! ;)

the family shame

My lasting memory of my maternal grandmother was her struggling with her body. 

About a year ago, I was rummaging madly through my mother’s house, looking for photos of my parents and grandparents on their respective wedding days. I wanted to add a vintage touch to my wedding cake table, as well as honour the generations of brides from which I came.

I vaguely remember a photograph of my grandmother on her wedding day that she had perched in a place of pride in her house. I used to study it when I was young because I was fascinated with the idea of a photo being printed and then hand painted. I think her bridesmaid was a soft blue. I can’t remember if she had a flower girl. I want to say that she did. Something is telling me that my grandfather was holding a pair of gloves in his hands. How dapper! But I do remember her. Precisely. Next to my grandfather, she was actually quite tall. She totally held her own and commanded the attention of the photo. Her dress was Oh So Regal. Modest, but an attention grabber, too. Long sleeves, cut on an angle at the wrists and a structured neck line that drew your eye up to her immaculate, but stoic, face. She owned it.

Anyway. That night at my mum’s I found a stack of great candid photos of her as a bride. Laughing, grinning and dancing…but then (and you can probably tell I get sidetracked, right?) a tiny square Polaroid caught my eye and I instantly fell in love with it. 

Va Va Voom, right?!

Intuitively I just knew it was her, but I checked the back to see if it had any more info (…did anyone else’s folks label the back of photos with dates and locations?)

And just as quickly as I was smiling, my heart just broke. 

image1 (4).JPG

Margaret (Whale) 1965

Whale.

Really?

As a side note, in 1965, my grandmother was 32 years old and would’ve already had 5 of her 7 babies by now. This woman was pregnant and gave birth 5 times in 6 and a-half years…
It takes me that long to write a grocery list!

I can tell you memories of her hair. So Soft. I can tell you how pretty she looked in baby blue. I can tell you that she was fiercely intelligent and actually quite witty. Her house was never messy. She always smelled like fresh talc powder. She made the best salmon rissoles you’ve ever tasted. bar none.

I cannot ever tell you one time where I ever thought she had a body to be ashamed of.

Her years of nursing had taken a toll on my grandmother's back and she struggled consistently with pain, especially as we both grew older. I felt for her and wished she had a better experience IN her body. But no, I never thought she was a whale.

And I can bet no-one else did either.

I mean, look at her. In this photo she is banging hot! Look at her waist. Her hips. Her feet and ankles are petite but strong, like a dancer. She’s had 5 kids under 8 when this photo was taken (or 4 and she’s pregnant with my Uncle Kevin!) and she has still managed to shave under her arms... are you kidding me?! She’s a goddess!

So much emotion, memory and personal insight flooded to me when I read the way she had described herself in this photo (in her perfect, feminine and very elegant handwriting, I might add) so I took the picture home and know I keep it on my desk, photo facing outwards (and whale comment out of sight) so I can remind myself that this work I choose to do now, this passion that also happens to be my new career, is A LOT closer to home than I thought. 

It’s no secret that as the years and generations have moved on our body image ideals, as a society, only have gotten worse and more unrealistic. Another post for another time, I think! 

I wonder what she, my grandmother, would have said to me during my years of secret body shaming and obsessive dieting as my relationship with food grew more toxic and abusive by the day, had she have been here?

I know she would have said something. If not to me, then to my mother - her first born (and only) daughter. 

I think she would’ve passed the command down the female family line that this shit had to stop.

And so, it does. It stops with me. I don’t have babies yet but I can tell you when I do, modelling a healthy relationship with food and my body is damn high on my list of motherhood-stuff-to-master. 

This pervasive inward AND outward hatred of our bodies, these abusive and guilt ridden relationships with food and these extreme approaches we take to make ourselves thin and perfect have been filtered down through our DNA.

I want to stop here and say two things. One: I am not blaming my grandmother or my mother for the abusive relationship with food and my body I experienced. Many other factors brought that nightmare on! Two: I am not chalking this all up to genetics. My scientific knowledge stops with basic anatomy, nutrition chemistry and a vague recollection of studying photosynthesis! I am just suggesting that as women, especially, these behaviours and this way we tend to think about and treat ourselves...we’ve learned by inheritance. We have watched generations of other women do it to themselves and slowly understood it to be the default way to think and act. Add in the influence of celebrities, social media and fad diet trends in the last three decades and you can see how we have been taught these lessons, in a hereditary way, to stop trusting and start shaming our bodies.

And, well, I think it’s about time we un-learned them.

That’s one family trait that we can just decide isn’t important anymore, right?!

Is it really getting us anywhere anyway?

What I know for sure is that hating your body now will ABSOLUTELY NOT get you closer to loving it later.

YOU CANNOT HATE OR SHAME YOURSELF INTO A PLACE OF CHANGE AND COME OUT OF IT HAPPIER, CONFIDENT AND TRUSTING YOURSELF.

Nope. No way, No how. It don’t work that way. Sorry. Believe me. Been there. Done that.

So you might be sitting there thinking “alrighty then, Little Miss Positivity, How do I change? How do I stop these thoughts about my body if I have them every single time I have to put a dress on and go out? How do I start to love my body if I’ve only been taught to criticise it?”

How do we stop calling ourselves whales and start seeing ourselves at works of art?

It’s simple. Keep your eyes in your own backyard, darling.

One of my 5 keys to food freedom is all about breaking the habit of comparing ourselves to other people and having some compassion for yourself along the journey to being your healthiest, happiest and most energetic woman. It’s about treating yourself like you would treat your best friend.

In the 22 years we’ve been side-by-side, my best friend and I have called each other a lot of names. Funny, harmless ones to each other’s faces and, during times of social turmoil, probably hurtful ones behind each other’s backs...but A Whale? That’s never made the list.

You see, when you develop a relationship with your body and food that is ALL YOURS and when you drop the need to keep checking out what everyone else is doing and eating to look a certain way, this really funny thing happens:

You suddenly realise that YOU get to be the explorer of your own body and diet! You can actually listen to your body to find out what makes you feel the best…and you just turn these things into repeatable steps and actions that become habits.

You repeat these habits so that you are respecting your time, money and sanity as well as prioritising your own self-care.

And above all, you start understanding your body and learning to trust it again.

(you see, that’s another thing about best friends. When you trust them, respect them and care for them...they give all that back...and when you talk them down or make fun of them, they tend to stop talking to you!)

Ask yourself this: If you don’t feel like your body has been working with you...have you been giving it the space to do so?

You are totally not alone in this. And the way out of the body shaming rut is clear. Take a deep breath. Say sorry to your body and pledge to treat her a bit better. Tell her you trust her and you’re not going to let anyone else's actions direct the way you feed and move your body from now on.

I can guarantee you. Like a good friend, if you give her time and space, she’ll come back to you. She’ll respond. She'll lighten up a little and you'll feel comfortable in her presence! 

I talk so passionately on this topic because I know the pain of being that girl who puts herself down to avoid putting herself out there... but I also know the freedom of letting it go and standing up for my body.
And I know that keeping my eyes in my own backyard, and not allowing the negative self-talk to come into my home any more gives my friends, and my beautiful clients, the permission to do the same. As I become free, so can you. As you do, so do your friends and your daughters and granddaughters...you see how this works?!

Today, I’m typing up the final edit of this post from my favourite cafe at our local beach. I went for a quick swim in the ocean before I tucked myself away to eat and to work. I would have never dreamed that I could walk to the beach, down the street, to the car and back with only my bathers on. But, today, I did. The ocean was clear, calm and cool.

And there wasn’t a whale in sight!

If you’re interested in changing your approach to food and your body and building a beautiful healthy relationship with yourself to finally feel confident, energetic and free of diet or body prison, I want you to check out my Feed Your Freedom program here. Meet the society of women taking their health back into their own hands by joining the party over on Facebook and grab your copy of my FREE eBook 5 Steps to food freedom. 

Yep...I'm still learning, too!

I have to say that I feel like I don’t even know where to start writing this post! But I will say that I'm sitting down and writing it in a moment of BIG INSPIRATION and it's probably gonna get really honest. So, please, stick it out to the end!

Firstly, if you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you may have seen me post regularly over the last year, advertising offers for my 1 on 1 health coaching sessions, personal or group training, new programs and workshops or events. 

The truth is, when it comes to being a health coach, and helping you with your fitness goals or any food, weight and body concerns I am focused, expert and enthusiastic

But when it comes to working for myself, running a business, using social media to advertise and put a product out there on the market…I AM BRAND NEW!

It's seriously like having my L plates on again!

  I've had so many ideas about programs, products
and presentations, only to get sideswiped by another thought or insight into what YOU, as my readers, clients and followers really WANT and NEED

Which, if you think about it – is very similar to that constant struggle with dieting to lose weight and feel good, right?! Like we try one thing, not knowing if it’s going to work, hear about a new trend and feel like we need to try that too!


So that's why I AM SO NERVOUS ABOUT LETTING YOU KNOW ABOUT THIS NEW NEW PROGRAM because I know how it might come off...
“Oh my God, here she goes again…what is she offering now?! Wasn't she just on Facebook going on about something else?! pffft. I can't keep up!”
I know it might seem confusing, even annoying and like I don't know what I'm doing. Please, forgive me! Like I said...there's not too many hours in my Self-Employment Log Book just yet! 

When I did take the leap of faith to start a business of my own this year, I knew I couldn’t do it alone. And so I hired a coach. An awesome woman who is there to guide me and teach me on the ins and outs of building a health coaching business. Of course, she doesn’t do the work for me – she is there to keep me accountable for my actions, give me advice when I need an expert, teach me things I HAVE NO IDEA ABOUT and be my rock when I just want to give up
(and Oh My God, how many times I have wanted to give up!)

Among other golden nuggets of wisdom, she has taught me this: ANY action we take toward our goal is better than NO action! Even if it’s not perfect, forward is forward and it's better than standing still! 

(Can you see how much this is JUST LIKE making the choice to transform our relationship with food?!)

Now, recently, I released some advertising on Facebook about my Feed Your Freedom program, starting in November. It was to run for 12 weeks and cost $749. And TO BE DEAD HONEST, something doesn’t feel quite right about it, yet. This last week, I felt like I was getting a really big message, from my own intuition, that the program just isn’t quite ready... THERE'S SOMETHING ELSE YOU NEED MORE!

(Did I also tell you that one of the ways I teach people to heal their relationship with food and body is by listening to their heart and trusting their intuition a bit more?! Hello Megan….ARE YOU LISTENING?!)

After I wrote my eBook, and got so much good feedback from the workshop I hosted, I knew the way to help clients transform their health, body and relationship with food was definitely offering a course and coaching program they could work with me on. 

But here’s the thing. I know that that $750 is a lot of money…and I know that 12 weeks is a lot of time, too! (especially in the lead up to Christmas)

And so yesterday morning, in the shower at the gym, I had this great idea.
(My mother in law tells me that all the best ideas come to you either in the shower or on the toilet, so I knew I was onto something here!)

What if I could offer you something that I know will transform your relationship with food and body and have you feeling better in HALF THE TIME for HALF THE PRICE?!

A 6 week program that is focused on unlocking you from the diet and body prison you’ve been living in.

…Now, I don’t want you to get mad at me, or go into a blind panic here, but did you know that we have around about 8 weeks until the Christmas season is really in full swing?

What if THIS was the Christmas that you could finally feel calm and confident around food and eat what you want without worrying about it, wracking yourself with shame or guilt and feeling terrified of gaining weight?

What if this was the Christmas you could actually enjoy what you eat and not feel out of control around the festive season food?

I PROMISE you that this program can do this for you (and, even though I'm a learner, I know that's a big call to make, especially in business!) 

But, let me get this straight. This is ABSOLUTELY NOT a quick way to lose a size or two before your family all come home and see you for the holidays. It's not a detox or cleanse that will only to leave you starving and anxious at Christmas lunch, feeling lost and frustrated with choosing what to eat, what not to eat and eventually sneaking the goodies from the kids Cadbury stocking while everyone is asleep.

This approach is designed to help you learn about yourself from a much deeper place.
It’s going to teach you to control your thoughts and emotions around food and trust your intuition when you are eating FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. 
Trust me, beautiful, when I say I have done it all before and I KNOW this is the best way to feel better about your self and your body. 
You deserve to feel good, in control and confident NOW. You don’t need to wait for or earn these feelings.
That woman. The one who can trust herself, the one who feels comfortable in her own skin. The genuinely happy, calm and present one. The one who does not hate herself or her body and constantly think about food. She is in there. Let's get her out to play! 

If a shorter, more affordable version of my original program appeals to you then I want you to jump over here and find out more. In the spirit of honesty, I can genuinely open up only about 6 spots for this course,, which will start in November, maybe 8 if I can shuffle around a few other things I work on. so email me the second you decide you want to be free! 

“Why would I spend my life unhappy, when I can go to therapy?”

Mary J Blige

 
So…I’ve officially been certified as a Nutritional Therapist.
As a discipline, nutritional therapy differs from nutritionist or dietician practice in a number of ways. Nutritional therapy explores and identifies imbalances in body chemistry and helps to correct or re-balance deficiencies through diet and lifestyle changes. It is a complimentary discipline that I can use with my clients as a health coach and PT, rather than a clinical practice of diagnosing and treating patients.
I so enjoyed being a student again, even if it took me quite a considerable chunk of time to finally get through the course. I studied on-line, while I was still working as a full-time teacher, and I went at my own pace (if any of you are familiar with how I run, my pace is hard to predict at the best of times. Sometimes I drift steadily and slowly and others I pump through and surprise myself with record times!) but I’m pretty proud to add this feather in my health coaching cap. And I’ll tell you why:
I’ve realised, and just keep realising, lately that nutrition IS therapy.
What I have learned on my journey through disordered eating, recovery and study is that food IS the key to healing.
Be it emotional, physical or spiritual in-balance: In food, you can find a cure.
As a (branch of) nutrition student, and now a practitioner, I believe that you can use food to help relieve the symptoms (and sometimes eliminate the causes) of certain diseases and discomforts. But, as someone who looks for balance in life, I also know the value of seeking medical treatment be it Western or Eastern. Conventional or alternative.
I know from real life experience that food lies at the centre of changing your body and the idea of weight loss, weight gain and weight maintenance. BUT, I also know that movement and exercise is part of that treatment plan, too.
As a personal trainerand amateur athlete (oh bloody hell, I think it’s hilarious calling myself an athlete – but if I’m running marathons, I guess that’s what I am…) I know that you can use food to fuel and recover and build your body. Of course, you also need training and consistency and a good relationship with a massage therapist!
But I’ll tell you what I know for sure. Without doubt: about nutrition and therapy.
You can ONLY use food to heal and transform your relationship with food. Nothing else will do.
I realise now that for people who might be seeking help on their health journey, who might feel that they need support to heal their relationship with food, using my skills as a (albeit rookie) nutritional therapist might just be like seeing a couples counsellor. For their relationship with their diet!
I don’t mean to patronise, but I really do see it that way.
Along with exploring what to eat, how to move and the importance of building a self-care plan, in my role as a health coach I help people close the gap in communication between themselves and their food!
Because in food, I have totally and wholly healed my relationship…with food.
In the years I was experiencing disordered eating habits and a truly toxic relationship with food, I looked for healing in so many other places. Obsessive exercise, reactive emotions, self harm and social isolation. I could not escape my food demons, because I was not facing the beast head on.
Like any connection you have with a person who features significantly in your life, I know for sure, It’s in the “getting to know you” that you finally find the “I love you” with food
It’s when you stop fighting food, and start to learn about it and co-operate with it, that results in your health, weight, skin and other symptoms become noticeable…and long lasing.
So, while it might seem a little strange (and very much like a typical therapist homework activity) I’ve penned an open letter to food. Who I have been in a life-or-death relationship with from the start, and will be until the end.
Oh food, how do I love thee; let me count the ways:
For brussel sprouts and asparagus spears
For eggs and avocado mountains
For garlic, and turmeric, and cinnamon, and chai
For caramel, Shiraz and goats cheese
And for those towering chocolate fountains
For clean water and broccoli that is cooked, but still has that sexy crunch
And Oh my god, for coffee. And when you get to have two lattes with brunch
For salmon and pasta and pesto
And walnuts
And beetroot
And figs
For prawns and rice and chilli
And for ginger
And musk sticks
(Sorry, I couldn’t resist a little Shakespearian slant to set the mood!)

Thank you, food. For being all these things

Thank you for feeding me. Fueling me. Keeping me alive and making me grow. Even from the start.

I am in love with you and I love every second we spend together.

But we both know this wasn’t always the case.

 

I’ve tried to control you before, and I’ve turned my back on you

I wanted everything AND nothing to do with you, all at the same time

And I’ve manipulated you

But always came back for more.

And, yet, there you always were. Waiting for me to return.

I feel safe around you now

And equal

I respect you

And when I put my clothes on, or look in the mirror, or go out for a run

I can feel how much you respect me.

And, yet, there you always were. Waiting for me to return.

I feel safe around you now

And equal

I respect you

And when I put my clothes on, or look in the mirror, or go out for a run

I can feel how much you respect me.

That’s what I love the most.

Helping you become your best potential.

I love it when you turn from vegetables into a green smoothie. I think it’s funny…like the incredible hulk!!

And I love when you rise up into pizza dough but still let me punch and poke you and roll you flat afterwards!

ps – do you think its odd how I only ever seem to use the right amount of yeast when I’ve had a wine or two and don’t care about measuring! I always make the fluffiest dough when I’m a bit tipsy…my husband thinks that’s a sign that pizza and wine are meant to go together. I think it’s because you don’t like to be measured. I don’t like it either.

I love watching you turn from a little into a lot! And I love when we work together to make other people happy! Like when you make my brother happy on Sunday nights, after he comes over for dinner and we eat sweet potatoes in all different ways that he has never tried before.

And last week, when you made my husband and I sit right next to each other at that Italian cake shop, instead of the opposite side of the table, so we could eat that lemon tart and pistachio cookie off each others fork without dropping it everywhere. That was nice of you, to bring us closer together. Thank you!

I know that I can work with you to make other people happy too!

I can show people now, not to be afraid of you…but freed by you!

And I can teach them to dance with you

And be respected by you.

And that their bodies will actually love them for it.

You’ve inspired me to help people see the good in you. All of you.