You may have seen me in the Herald Sun Paper on Sunday 6th of June 2021.
The noticeable shift in my relationship with food was around 14, and sadly these days it's known to be a lot younger. "Both the Westmead Hospital in Sydney and the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne have observed that eating disorder cases have increased substantially in the under-12 age group".
The more I think about it the more I realise that 14 was the straw that broke the camel's back for me. It was an accumulation of our culture highlighting the slim, cat-walk model body on artists, singers, actors, dancers, as though women were an accessory to society.
I don't remember as a teen being exposed to strong women besides my mum. I don't remember seeing women CEOs, the women in charge, women in power, women with a voice, women who know what. If there were, it was seen as this woman is "too controlling".
Now with social media, I cannot imagine how young people are feeling trying to navigate themselves with the CONSTANT beauty and makeup, ab, fashion, dieting trends in their hands. Tik Tok comes to mind when thinking about accessibility and an age-relevant source, it's rife with misinformation and if a user only 'likes' a certain category this 'category' (i.e. beauty, fitness, calorie restriction) will keep popping up - highlighting good-looking bodies over knowledge, drive, creativity, and hard work.
Thankfully I have a very grounded, supportive, loving family - which I believe is why I never took the binge-restrict cycle further.
I do believe that these body issues stem from our society's constant in-your-face, "you're not good enough unless you look like X" and the inability for most humans to love themselves, the lack of connection with one's self and for some, growing up in a very toxic environment.
I want to highlight that over the last 10 years what has grounded me the most is movement.
Moving my body, whether, in an aerobics class (when I used to do my mums classes #TBT), a yoga class, powerlifting, or hiking a mountain ALWAYS has brought me self-love. The books I read, the mentors I network with all list movement and exercise as an extremely important aspect in the quest for self-improvement and quality of life.
Unfortunately, we have a society driven by calories in and calories out , "IIFYM" and losing touch with what actually matters most.
I coach women specifically, the more time my clients spend with me the more they realise their potential and power.
The stronger they get with training the more they focus on food quality than filling their lunch with sugary white refined bread.
The more they fall in love with watching themselves improve week to week, the less they focus on others, the less they compare themselves to others - there's no latest diet trend or quick fix that will solve their problems.
If you feel insecure, as hard as it might be the first day or two - disconnect from the online world and find what makes you feel alive.
If you are feeling uncomfortable with your body and self-image you have to work on yourself. You cannot ignore it. It won't just go away and life is so much more than your constant focus on food. It's not easy, there are many hurdles, some days feel like you're not getting anywhere, but don't give up, it's a work in progress.
Remember it's taken me over 10 years to navigate this with the help of coaches, books, mentors and lots of long walks.
If you are interested in coaching please get in touch with me directly at email@example.com with your name, number, and goal!
If you are struggling, seek support from a team of coaches and professionals who can help you understand you and teach you healthy practices and behaviours to engage with your reality better.
This was an incredible opportunity and so thankful!
Fun fact I told the photographer I can only do this pose once and it was a one-take shot - I guess the editors loved it!