Difficult to summarise 36 years in one page but here goes!
I was brought up on a diet of Mediterranean food and home cooked meals which was pretty healthy by most standards. However, being an 80’s child we whole heartedly believed fat was bad and followed a low fat diet.
I had always been a fairly healthy child but six months after I had my wisdom teeth removed I was diagnosed with viral meningitis. I had also started the contraceptive pill that year to help with painful periods which led to some weight gain. Looking back I am now sure these events were contributing factors to my weakened immune system. I was 17 at the time and I didn’t really fully recover for another three years.
I went on to get a Masters in Mechanical Engineering from Nottingham University. I remember making £20 last over a week as a student! Not surprising but these were my worst years in terms of diet. I lost a lot of weight and went from a UK14-16 to about a UK10. At 5ft 8inches, I looked super skinny but couldn’t see that myself… I kept getting viral infections and I also started suffering from mild depression and anxiety. I hairline fractured three ribs from coughing so much when I got ill one time!
I got a job straight after Uni as a Graduate for a Building Services Consultancy and ended up specializing in Sustainability/Environmental design. I stayed at the same company for the following 13 years but moved from Bristol to London to Abu Dhabi. I travelled a lot, spent many hours in a train, plane or office chair. These were my most inactive years and besides walking my dog and the occasional horse ride I didn’t move much at all. I did start eating ‘healthier’ but I used to have to eat every couple of hours else I used to get very low blood sugar and ‘hangry’. This was to the point where I would faint or feel so sick I would have to leave the room. My mood was up and down until I expatriated to Abu Dhabi and started making some significant changes in both my movement and diet.
When I first arrived in Abu Dhabi I ate out a lot and did even less exercise (no dog to walk!). At about the age of 32 I wanted to lose some weight and started to calorie count and exercise. At first it was running, then running and cycling, then I added in swimming and before I knew it I was doing some short triathlons. I lost weight and went from about 67kg down to about 62kg and a UK 10. Now I felt more confident about myself I took on a Personal Trainer and started lifting weights.
At this time, I developed concerns about where the meat I was eating came from and the animal welfare practices in Abu Dhabi were few and far between. In 2014 I was googling about this when I stumbled upon Mark’s Daily Apple website. The founder of the primal blueprint, Mark Sisson opened my eyes to a whole new world of diet and movement that struck a cord. It just made complete sense to me to eat and move like humans were designed to, how had we gone so wrong!?
I started experiencing the health improvements from the primal blueprint way of eating. As my diet changed, my anxiety went away, my mood improved and my energy levels got better. I stopped focussing on just weight lifting and started crossfit in August 2014. My weight stabilized at 67Kg and has pretty much stayed there ever since without the need to count my macros or calories. I was back to the weight I was before the dieting started but instead of 5kg of body fat it was now 5kg of muscle. I was still a UK 10 despite being 5kg heavier.
Sitting at a desk all day was getting harder and harder. I just wanted to talk about food and movement to everyone who would listen! I made a decision to leave the UAE in 2016 and start a new venture. I decided to study Nutritional Therapy as I was fascinated in how food played such an important role in seemingly unrelated health issues. I also trained to be a Primal Health Coach so I could help people on their own wellbeing journey. I became a qualified movement coach through Crossfit, Movnat and Yoga. The qualifications I have completed provide me with a toolkit to help others achieve what I have and more!
I believe we are all entitiled to good health and happiness without poor sleep, low energy, the need for pharmaceuticals, spending hours in a gym and calorie counting. That is not living! I believe in a holistic approach to well being and in that regard do not believe there is a one size fits all solution, we are all unique. There are many causes of poor health including what we eat & drink, how we move, stress (and our own ability to manage with it), social connectivity, our environment (both indoors and out) and sleep… I invite you to let me help you on your path to health, happiness and well being.
I am also a member of the Weston A Price Foundation and support my local Chapters (Staffordshire & Derbyshire).