Feeling fat. That just about sums up how my journey into holistic health began.
I have struggled with feeling fat and being uncomfortable in my own body for as long as I can remember.
I was 8 years old the first time I remember being aware of my weight. My mom had bought me a new pair of acid wash jean shorts and I loved them. Very 80’s, very cool, very exciting.
Until they didn't fit. And then I was very sad, very embarrassed, and very angry.
Those feelings only got worse as I got older and my weight obsession grew into something that seemed to take over my entire life.
My thoughts revolved around food and what I looked like, and as a result I was always on the latest fad diet, always comparing myself to others (not a fun game to play btw), always obsessing over calories and fat, and always disgusted with myself for how fat I thought my (insert any body part here) looked.
One question perpetually ran through my mind and dominated my thoughts, “What can I do to be skinny?? I will do anything to be skinny!!!”
"Some days you eat salads and go to the gym, some days you eat cupcakes and refuse to put on pants.
It's called balance."
I thought about it when I woke up, when I was getting dressed (something that often involved tears), when I was going about my day, and of course, it was this thought that kept me lying awake at night. Looking back, so much of my energy was being wasted on this obsession.
And I had no idea what the answer was, I thought that I had tried everything. I thought that nothing worked. I thought that I had failed at every diet I had ever tried. I thought that the problem was me. And that I would never be happy.
In my quest for the holy grail of skinny, I came across the book Skinny Bitch. It had the word skinny in it, so of course, it caught my attention, and I was definitely willing to be a bitch if it meant I could be skinny!
Picking up that book changed the course of my life.
If you've read Skinny Bitch, you know that it has nothing to do with dieting or getting skinny quick. And has everything to do with proper nutrition.
Skinny Bitch led me to Crazy Sexy Diet which led me to The Kind Diet, which led me to The Thrive Diet which led me to The Omnivore’s Dilemma, which led to me never picking up another book again that didn't have something to do with nutrition (okay, okay, I did read 50 Shades of Grey).
I was fascinated, hooked, and determined to learn as much as I could about nutrition (and still am!).
The more I read, the more I began to make small changes to my diet and the more I saw that there was a connection between what I ate and how I felt. Not only that, my weight was finally, finally becoming a non-issue.
Suddenly I didn’t have to count calories, or avoid fat. I didn’t have to starve myself or feel
deprived. I had lost the weight I wanted to lose and was able to keep it off with minimal effort.
I had died and gone to diet heaven!
Except it wasn’t a diet - it was balance. I found the food that worked for me, food that left me feeling
and looking my best. The changes I made were sustainable. They were changes that satisfied me
and didn’t leave me hungry or looking for more. Changes that didn’t forbid me from eating another
carb, fat, or dessert ever again. Changes that not only changed the way I looked, but more
importantly, changed the way I felt physically and emotionally.
Somewhere along the way, it stopped being about my weight, and started to be about how I felt.
I had been so focussed on losing weight that I hadn’t noticed the other things going on with
my body. Or at least, if I did notice them, I didn’t think that they had anything to do with what or
how I was eating.
I was bloated, constipated, depressed, I regularly suffered from urinary tract infections, and tinea
versicolor (a non-disgusting way of saying I that had a 'fungal infection of the skin') and no matter
how much sleep I got (and this was pre-kids, so I got a lot) I was constantly, constantly tired.
All of these things (and I mean every last one of them) went away as I changed the way I was eating.
And I’ve never looked back.
That’s not to say that I eat perfectly all the time or that I don’t have days where I eat crap food and overindulge. I absolutely do. And that’s ok. Because health is not about perfection. It's about balance. It’s about enjoying your life and your body and not about obsessing over every single thing you put in your mouth. Through my long and tumultuous relationship with food, I’ve learned that it is what I eat most of the time that determines my health, not what I indulge in some of the time.
Today I practice the 80/20 rule, 80% of the time, I fuel my body with whole, real, satisfying, nourishing foods and the other 20% of the time, I eat whatever the heck I want.
My philosophy is this: I eat what makes me feel good. For me, that usually means eating a whole foods, plant based diet, but on those days where I really want a slice of pizza, or an ice cream cone, or an ice cold beer (or all three!) then I’m down with that too. As a result, I no longer obsess about food.
There are no restrictions on what I eat and because of that I never feel deprived. Ever.
The best part? This self discovery led me to a career and a life that I love.
Discovering the tremendous power of food and my passion for wanting to share this information with everyone I met, led me to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.
IIN is the largest nutrition school in the world, and there I learned and studied over 100 dietary theories, (including Ayurveda, gluten-free, Paleo, raw, vegan, macrobiotics, and everything in between!). I also learned innovative coaching methods and practical lifestyle management techniques to properly serve my clients. I proudly graduated from IIN as a Certified Health Coach in March 2015.
Now I get to do what I love and coach people to achieve a body and a life that they love by helping them find what works for them.
“There’s one actual rule - the only rule in nutrition - and that is: do what works for you!”
~ Dr. Jade Teta
Are you curious about whether health coaching can help you? Let’s talk! Contact me.