It’s amazing how easy it is to delude yourself. I have always thought of myself as a pretty healthy person and was completely taken by surprise when I pitched up in my fifties with a number of nasty little health issues. Looking back now, there was nothing surprising about it at all, but if I had known earlier what I know now, I would not have been in that position in the first place.
My blood sugar was worrying, I was overweight, and my hormones were all out of whack. I had inflammation in my joints, was diagnosed with all sorts of food allergies and sensitivities, was told I probably had a ‘leaky gut’ and that my adrenals and thyroid were massively compromised and, to cap it all, they wanted to operate on my back.
I couldn’t sleep, had a permanent cold, was see-sawing between anxiety and depression, had a headache at the end of every day and found walking painful, but, because I was still earning quite a lot of money, I thought I was in control of my life. Haha, funny joke.
It all started when my career took off. I was working extremely hard and also managing the children and the home. Lots of juggling, rush and compromise, so ready prepared meals were a bit of a boon. Coffee bars became a thing and I would start the day with a bucket of latte, and ‘reward’ myself with another whenever I felt I deserved (or ‘needed’) it. Often I would skip lunch and eat a chocolate bar at my desk in the afternoon. When I got home in the evening I was so tired and hungry that I would inhale a glass of wine and a packet of crisps almost on the door mat and then not bother much with ‘supper’ although I grazed for most of the evening on whatever was convenient – cheese probably. Although I felt I hardly ate anything, my weight went up and up and up while my energy levels, quality of sleep and overall health went through the floor. I had no clue what was best for me and ricocheted around between the F-Plan (remember that?), Aitkins, Cabbage Soup and something quite revolting involving grapefruit and hard boiled eggs. In my heart of hearts I knew I had to make some long term lifestyle changes but didn’t know how to start. I would get round to that eventually, there wasn’t the time or the spare energy to make any changes ‘today’. In the meantime, let’s see if ’21 days to a bikini body’ will work.
It had all crept up on me so slowly, I actually thought it was normal to feel like crap every day.
When I decided to leave my job and cut myself off temporarily from any source of income, I was lucky; I had a great support network which meant I had the time to discover how to make things better and how to be well again. Making changes in your life is not easy and that’s why you need good people around you to give you the back-up you need, especially if you are working full time or managing a family, or both! To start off with I was blundering around in the dark and trying to work it all out for myself so it all took me a bit longer than it needed to. I sort of worked from the top down. I tried to sort out my head first and learned all about meditation which turned out to be one of the best things I have ever done. And then I started focusing on the things that made me feel proud and happy, explored exercise, discovered yoga and pilates and, finally, I got on to food and had a play with that.
Health has nothing to do with ‘thin-ness’ and a lot to do with food.
I was fortunate to have the time to spend on this because there is a lot of conflicting information to absorb out there. Slowly, I began to undersand why I had been feeling so terrible for so long – I had been approaching every thing all wrong.
I began to realise that the choices presented to us are often false ones, that processed food has not been created with our best interest in mind and that there are many ways to health that do not involve ibuprofen.
It was then, just at the point when it was all starting to crystalise in my mind, that something amazing happened. As part of my researches I had come across the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and suddenly my life took off in a new and hugely exciting direction.Yup, you’ve got it, old fatty here has enrolled to study Integrative Nutrition at the world’s largest nutrition school – the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York. Soon I will be able to call myself a Health Coach and will be able to provide other people with that all important support to make the sort of simple changes in their lives that I have started to make in mine – with all the massive health benefits that accrue.
As I have progressed through the course, I have been specifically working on healing my digestion and my thyroid through improvements to my diet. In working on these things, and as a wonderful side-effect of better nutrition generally, all the painful joints, depression and overweight have also started to melt away, my blood sugar has returned to normal, I sleep like a baby, and there is no longer any need for surgery on my back. Best of all, as I started to feel better about myself, success began to manifest in other aspects of my life as well.
I know from first hand experience that without the right support and information it is difficult to make positive choices every day, and very easy to slip into bad habits. My hope is that I will be able to use that experience and my new-found knowledge to provide the sort of support and information that will help someone else change their life for the better as well.
At IIN, I am learning so much. All about the many different nutrition theories out there, and how they each do and do not work, about our own bio-individuality and why what works for one person may not work for another and how our relationships, employment and belief systems can and should work alongside food and exercise to keep us balanced. The faculty at IIN includes some of the most cutting edge health and nutrition experts, writers, influencers and chefs around today. Importantly I am learning how to combine all that amazing knowledge into unique, accessible programmes that put the very best health and nutrition practices within everybody’s reach and which work with the bio-individuality of each unique person. I so wish that I had had an IIN coach when I started my journey! It’s taken me nearly 3 years and a lot of effort to get to a point that I could have achieved in a fraction of that time with the right kind of information and encouragement at my finger-tips.
If you would like to know more about the IIN programme, or are interested in becoming a health coach yourself, click here to learn more about Integrated Nutrition, or email me at email@example.com. Who knows what could happen when you open up to new opportunities!