I was a healthy and active child, particularly bright, however during school I had trouble concentrating, I was always disorganised and never engaged well with conventional education.
Throughout my teens I struggled with weight management, endlessly in search of a healthy sustainable diet, and unable to understand the diets that were available for weight loss, all seeming so bleak and unsustainable. My searching became obsessional and, more and more, overwhelmed by the paradox of so much but so little choice for sustainable weight loss, the thing that worked was abstaining from decision altogether, and very soon misinformed dieting became a 12 year battle with Anorexia and Bulimia. I received NHS care for several years, but the treatment focused on re-feeding and weight gain, using a traditional diet overloaded with refined carbohydrates, severely lacking in micronutrients, and also severely lacking on emotional support and exercise management.
Leaving a trail of frustrated and concerned teachers and caregivers behind me I left school with 3 science A levels and unmotivated, and very low self esteem. Beyond school, the big wide world was beyond me - I proceeded to drop out of university 3 times. I had no focus, no identity, and for the first time I had the freedom to choose some terrible coping mechanisms. I drank and smoked too much, and had no structure or control in my life. I was referred to the adult mental health service with depression, anxiety and eating disorders, and was almost misdiagnosed with borderline personality disorder, but didn’t quite satisfy all the criteria for any diagnosis, so I was discharged.
In short, I was desperately unhappy, but no one really knew what was wrong with me. I managed to work in temporary scientific roles for several years before starting work as a clinical trial administrator for a major pharmaceutical company. From there, despite ongoing mental and physical health and concentration problems, I started to find my place in the world. I gained professional experience in many therapeutic areas including Cancer and Diabetes, and being in a healthcare oriented industry fell in line with my values. I studied while working full time and gained a post-graduate diploma in Clinical Research from Cardiff University.
During my pregnancy with my first child, I finally let go of all of my “dieting” tendencies, and ate freely for the first time. I gained 5 stone in 9 months and had Gestational Diabetes by the end of my first pregnancy and suffered severe postnatal depression. I quickly went on to have a second child. During my maternity leave I started researching nutrition properly for the first time, and discovered some horrific truths about the dieting, food, and pharmaceutical industries for the first time. I quickly realised that I could no longer support the pharmaceutical industry professionally and that I also needed to change the direction of my life. I signed up for a Nutritional Therapy MSc and started the long road to retraining while parenting two young children.
While educating myself on diet and lifestyle, I also started running, for mental health, and also for weight loss. Despite the sleepless nights and tiredness, for the first time ever, I found glimpses of what I had been missing for 30 years - I discovered FOCUS. And I wanted more of it.
I joined a running club, and before I knew it, over the next couple of years I had completed many half marathons and two full marathons. The structure from the training plans gave me a sense of control and security, and the experience of completing races gave me more motivation. Through running I had discovered life changing success, determination, confidence, self esteem and focus. I was so in awe of what I had found in something so simple, I decided I needed to be the person to pass that gift on to others who feel stuck like I was, to enable them to rewrite their story and change their future. So I became a running coach.
In the last 7 years, I have become an Ironman, and GB international triathlete, as well as a coach and nutritionist. I have learnt to use yoga, meditation, therapeutic breathing techniques, journaling and self-reflection to relax and balance my life, improve sleep and manage stress.
I started my enlightenment/healing/self-improvement journey overweight, depressed and anxious and completely lost in my life. I feel so fortunate that through my experiences I have been able to learn a natural method of managing my diet and lifestyle that have provided me and my family with sustainable and reliable health and vitality, and it is now my mission to help as many people as I can to do the same.