I’ve been involved in the Health and Fitness Industry for 13 years; since my first job at a juice bar, to now owning and managing my own gym.
I’ve spent countless hours researching different aspects of Health and Wellbeing. But despite all this, I still need a health coach. Let me tell you why.
My journey started when I was 17, while working at the Local Juice bar. Back then, juice bars weren’t common, it was quite unique that our little town up in the hills had one.
I thought it was so cool that you could dump a whole bunch of fruits and veggies into a blender and create this amazingly tasty, healthy drink.
It didn’t pay much, but I didn’t care. I worked as best I could, came in early, stayed late, and kept myself busy.
I became obsessed. I sought out all the superfoods I could find. I learnt how to read food labels.
What I found out changed my life – all of a sudden I wanted to prepare all my food from scratch.
After this, my first serious job was at the local gym. I worked behind the desk in administration and cleaning duties while I finished high school and got my qualifications as a Personal Trainer. I would attend as many gym classes as I could; lifting weights, cardio sessions, anything! I loved it!
I have been extremely persistent in my journey to improve my health and wellbeing. I can honestly say that aesthetics are not the driving force behind this. That being said, it is nice to feel confident in the skin you are in. But it has always been more important to me how I feel, rather than what I look like.
Trying to stay on top of health is a constant hunt for information, constant experimenting, and trying the things I read about. I’m constantly seeking out opposing info, because no matter what you google, there is a very strong argument for and against everything nowadays.
As the years have progressed, my eagerness to learn about the body has not waned. It has, however, evolved as more and more information comes into the mix. More challenges, more struggles, more variability, more uncertainty.
Amongst the self-driven journey, I have had some key mentors that have helped me when I’ve been unsure what to do next.
Humans have this natural instinct for tunnel vision – we see only what we want to see.
Once one becomes aware of this, you can practice looking outside the tunnel. At first it’s very blurry, but sometimes, seeking out other people to help can be very insightful.
A Slap in the Face
My first slap in the face came when I was 23 years old.
I came off the pill because I had heard of some negative implications with it. 1 month after stopping I started gaining weight. I had always sat around 62-64kgs. Before I knew it was 69kgs, then 74kgs, I peaked at 79kgs in just 3 months of being off the pill. In addition, I experienced some really bad acne around my neck and jawline.
By this point, I had been a Personal Trainer for 5 years and thought I knew what I was doing. I exercised a lot. I ate all my superfood smoothies, raw balls, kale salads, and steamed broccoli.
What was happening? Why could I not explain the changes with my body?
At around the same time, I split up with my boyfriend in a very rough way. This combination of events caused me to be highly stressed. It resulted in a lot of anxiety and being very confused.
I was sitting there having PT consults with people talking to them about how I could help them lose weight and feel great, yet I couldn’t even achieve this for myself. I wasn’t sure what was going on and I felt shameful and useless.
A visit to the GP ended with a diagnosis of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). The doctor told me to go back on the pill, take metformin (diabetes medication), and spoke to me about my fertility. She advised me that I would struggle to have children.
I was pretty rocked by this considering how much I had looked after my wellbeing over the years.
Being the health nut I was, I refused to accept a lifetime of medication. I delved back into the world of google and started to look into a deeper understanding of health.
Up until this point, my internal world was a never a consideration in my health journey – I only ever looked at food and exercise.
I started to research the endocrine system, stress, and emotional health. My gut feeling was that the answer was there somewhere.
My First Health Coach
I decided I couldn’t tackle this issue alone. I took the results from my GP and booked a couple of sessions with a counsellor and a holistic lifestyle coach. I listened to podcasts and read about other peoples journeys. Many of these stories were super uplifting, with stories of people completely rewriting their future by making changes to their lifestyle, drug free.
My Health Coach taught me a lot about slowing down, eating fat, getting rid of guilt around certain foods, and gave me more ways to measure progress.
I looked at my bowel movements, my sleep quality, how long it took me to feel awake in the morning, and the regularity of my sleep.
I learnt a lot and the weight began to shift.
The first 5kgs dropped off, and I slowly went down back into the 60’s.
I never dropped below 68kgs. This is my new normal. I feel healthy and happy here, I don’t have guilt around food.
I am not perfect. I look at my health differently now and incorporate my whole universe into my decisions.
When we opened my gym Aspen, I was working a lot. I didn’t have time to cook as much, so I let myself eat more meals out. I bent the rules a little because the stress wasn’t worth it, at this particular time of my life.
Another Slap in the Face
Fast forward a few years, everything was looking good. I was training hard with some very specific strength goals. I was putting everything into my physical practice and was getting a lot of results physically.
However, after 18 months of this, I experienced another crash.
This time, my body was giving me feedback that something wasn’t right. My period wasn’t regular at all. I didn’t have energy. I felt tired all the time. People commented that they thought I had a black eye because of the bags I had.
My Second Health Coach
Back to the drawing board.
I was feeling overwhelmed, and given the progress I’d made with my previous health coach, I sought out to get help from another, this time working remotely with someone in America.
I had all my bloods done, hormone panel, gut permeability, microbiome, and commenced a short stint of health coaching to seek out what I couldn’t see.
Or maybe what I knew but couldn’t address alone.
The simplified conclusion was that this time I wasn’t eating anywhere enough for the output I desired.
I was pretty restrictive on carbs and I was pushing my body without refuelling and recovering enough.
After a couple of months of health coaching, I had new actions and a new plan to get me back on track and in control of how I was feeling.
I realised I had stopped paying attention to my sleep quality, and coffee intake. I was under-eating, and was also beating myself up about it all because, “I should know better!”
Learn To Seek Help
I have learnt a lot in my 13 years of being in the health and fitness industry.
I have learnt that things change – what worked for me in the past may not work for me in the future.
I have learnt that I get tunnel vision and possess biases towards certain ways of thinking and acting.
I have learnt to ask for help, take guidance from those around me, and question more.
Health Coaching is something that has helped me immensely. Tracking all aspects of your wellbeing can be a tedious and often overwhelming task to take on by yourself.
It is this very reason that drove my desire to provide this service for our community.
If you want to feel better, have more energy, enjoy food, and learn strategies to take control of your wellbeing, please consider getting in touch with her.