Clients tell me it is impossible to imagine that I have ever endured a second of insecurity, low confidence and self esteem.
I seem to have it all: a wonderful family, thriving businesses and great relationships with family and dear friends.
Yet despite all this abundance, I wasn’t always that confident woman I am today.
The truth is I struggled for 20 years with emotional eating, bulimia, obsessive dieting and exercising. I had a real sweet tooth and could never resist cakes, pastries and always craved for fast carbs.
As a result I was constantly sick, had so many allergies and had chronic fatigue. I loved and hated food at the same time. The same feelings with my body-image. However slim I was, I was never satisfied. My self- image really hit rock bottom.
When I was in my early twenties I left for China, having an amazing corporate job which completely fueled me. In 4 years I never cooked, just ate pastries at Starbucks, sandwiches and sometimes I treated myself to some good pasta or pizza. My friends were the same. We didn’t think about healthy food. Our minds just choose junk food.
On the surface everything seemed fine, I was slim, but meanwhile I was controlling so much of the food I put into my body. I was convinced I didn’t need a lot of food, let alone healthy food.
My turnaround came when I started to work in the restaurants with my husband and as I needed lots of energy to do this high demanding physical work 14 hours per day, I needed to eat good food. As my own dad was a chef and I grew up working in restaurants, it gave me again the structure I needed to take care of myself.
Slowly I managed to begin to eat healthily and take care of myself.
The madness I saw in the restaurants: clients over-eating and drinking, people denying themselves food, women who hardly wanted to touch food, just eat a salad and watch the other ones feast on pasta, meats etc, clients who couldn’t say no to food when they were out eating with their friends, women who couldn’t eat dessert because their husband told them so, I could write a book…
When my own health started to deteriorate from the hard work and my energy got extremely low, I was diagnosed as pre-diabetic. So I decided to study holistic nutrition. I knew that changes in food and lifestyle could help my own health and the health of others too.
I started to organise mindful and intuitive eating seminars in the restaurant. People were so happy they finally could talk to someone about their emotional eating. With one woman I sat down for hours and we deconstructed her life and eating patterns. After that we made a strategy and constructed her life in the best way possible.
It was all about creating routine, an organised structure where she had time to take care of herself and meet her basic needs (eating, sleeping, resting,..). It sounds simple, but it really isn’t.