You’re a successful, driven woman who manages to juggle your stressful job as well as quality time with your family and friends. You’re also squeezing in time to go to the gym, plan and cook healthy meals and if you’re lucky have time some me-time in front of Netflix or with a book. The problem is that no matter what you do, despite all this effort to do it all, you still don’t look or feel the way you want.
You’ve never felt this big before, this heavy, this weighed down by everything.
Gone are the days of care-free nights out enjoying all the junk food you could eat. Now a carrot sticks to your hips, your muffin is way over the top and you feel like a tent is the only way of hiding the bra bulge. You have tried every diet, eating healthy, and exercising every day, but the last few kilos just won’t budge. You know there must be a better way to control the cravings, beat the sugar monster and cork the bottle.
Let me introduce myself!
I’m Simone, a certified transformational nutrition coach and raw food chef who loves helping woman like you to cut through the confusion, fear and uncertainty to find the sexy goddess underneath. I know there is a healthy, energised woman in there and I want to to help you to find her.
Once upon a time, I was you. I could see a fit and toned me in my mind, but the mirror told a different story. In reality I had no idea what proper care and nurturing looked or felt like, so I kept doing what I’d always done. Partying with my girlfriends was way better than being at home alone. I wanted to have fun and be happy, and hours in the gym and the kitchen did not sound like either.
My unhealthy relationship with food and external salves really began when I was still a teen in high school. I admired the pretty, thin and popular girls and longed to be part of their clique, even though I saw myself as completely daggy and unworthy of such status. My 13-year-old self saw the airbrushed models in Dolly magazine and compared myself to them. I wanted to be like them so that I too could be beautiful and cool.
And so began my trials and tribulations with disordered eating and self sabotage. At just 14 years old, I found a calorie-tracking book on my mum’s bookshelf, and started tracking everything I ate and recording the calories I’d consumed each day.
I’d berate myself if I went over my stupidly low maximum for the day, hating on my lack of willpower which was stopping me from being thin.
At 16, I joined a gym. I’d exercise like crazy, swim laps of the pool for hours, and barely eat anything all day so that I could lose weight (which looking back I never needed to- or should have been- trying to lose).
Some days I’d come home from school so ravenous that I’d hide in the pantry and mix up weird concoctions like pancake mix with spoons of Milo, or I’d dig into a jar of peanut butter. Surely eating alone in that dark space where nobody could see me would mean the calories didn’t really count?
The food and booze roller-coaster
After high school in my uni days, my obsession with controlling my food was overridden by alcohol. I’d binge drink from Thursday through to Sunday, drinking as much as I could at the uni bars which had student deals so I could stretch my meager $10 as far as I could for maximum drunken effect.
I’d often have black-outs the next day, not remembering huge chunks of the night. I’d get the worst hangovers imaginable, where I could barely keep down water, let alone food. But it was ok, because I didn't have to DEAL with life and all its realities when I felt this way.
I somehow held down two jobs while also studying full-time. The first job’s shift started at 4am and went until 9am, then I’d cycle to uni, and from there go to my second job at Pizza Hut where I’d work until midnight many nights. On the closing shift, I’d always end up winding down with the crew afterwards, which meant eating leftovers from the pizza warmer and drinking beers. Sometimes I would go home, get changed and go straight to my morning job without any sleep.
I would keep myself from crashing and burning by drinking Coca Cola and eating vending machine snacks. I justified eating this way because I cycled everywhere, which in my mind made me healthy.
When I had assignments due, or exams to prepare for, I’d pull all-nighters, fueling myself with coffee,candy and leftover pizzas I’d bring home from work.
To say I didn’t care for or nurture myself is an understatement.
The party girl persona
But I got through it, actually thinking it was all pretty normal. After graduating from uni and having my 21st birthday, I took off overseas in what began a long adventure abroad. Party-girl Simone continued to play- this time in London, in nightclubs where I'd spend entire weekends dancing, drinking and taking recreational drugs to keep me going.
My diet literally consisted of yoghurt, Kit-Kat Chunky, bananas, Ben & Jerry’s Fish Food ice cream (which I'd have to hide behind the frozen peas so my flatmates couldn't find it!) and whatever food my housemates made and shared.
My journal entries from this time in my life almost always noted how tired I felt but how much fun I was having with my new friends and how much freedom I had. I was wild and reckless and having the time of my life. I believed I was living the dream- working overseas, travelling to Europe on weekends when I knew I needed to escape the London craziness, and living it up big-time. I felt like I belonged and that my life was full.
But I knew, deep down, that something was broken, that living this life was not respectful to myself, and when a dear friend passed away it hit me that something had to stop or the next person to die could be me.
It was time for a change
When I really took a look a look at my life, I realised I didn’t like, let alone love, myself. Despite the happy exterior, I had no self-respect and my self-esteem was almost non-existent. I was feeding my feelings with booze and junk food and punishing myself with fad diets for good measure.
I left the UK party scene and had an amazing few months travelling through Africa which gave me perspective and helped me to start healing. I headed back to Australia and decided to study for my Masters.
But this was not a great time in my life. I fell into a depression that that felt like the worst thing at the time, but which ended up being the best thing for me.
The counsellor at uni encouraged me to start eating better, to stop drinking, and to try meditation and yoga. I’d dabbled in yoga before, and I agreed it could be good for me to try again to get through this rough period. I joined a yoga studio with an all-access pass, and went twice a day to different classes. I didn't stop drinking altogether, but I certainly cut back my boozing, and learnt to make food that was more nourishing than ramen noodles from a packet.
I was dating a few guys at this time but I didn't feel confident committing. I didn't feel deserving or good enough and I still felt unstable and unhappy with how I looked.
Then I met a guy who made me feel happy and we fell in love quickly. These early days in our relationship were good times, but I developed a dependency on his love to feel love for myself. When things with us were good, I'd exercise, eat well and be so happy; when they were bad I'd turn to my old friends chocolate and wine -- and eating well would go out the window.
Back off the wagon
We decided to travel together and ended up living and working in Hanoi, Vietnam. We had a great time there, living it up and parting heaps because the booze was cheap and the expat lifestyle was social and fun.
We ate take out most nights or went out, drank and would forget to even eat a proper meal. I'd have my wretched hangovers- often. But it was all in the name of fun and I always got through Sunday ready to work again on Monday.
Then he cheated on me. With one of my besties.
The darkest of days
To say I was devastated was an understatement. And so began the cycle of booze and busy-ness and eating badly as a way to hide my pain.
This was my lowest point- I was 15kg overweight, unfit, unhealthy and very unhappy.
So I ran away, escaped. My mind, body and soul needed healing and nurturing, and I couldn’t do that where I was.
Another new beginning
I moved to Jakarta, a city of 18 million people, not one soul who I knew (talk about taking myself out of my comfort zone and jumping into the deep end!). But this was the kind of shake-up that I needed.
It wasn’t immediate, but within 6 months of my arrival, I made a few realisations:
My identity as a party girl who worked hard and partied harder wasn’t really me and who I wanted to be anymore
Being happy has nothing to do with how much I weigh, how I look or how much I could party, but much more about doing things that light me up
Having amazing support mechanisms in place to help me to change makes blossoming into a better version of me really fun
When I feel happy inside, the rest of my life falls into place in a healthy and positive way (and the weight falls off and stays off with ease)
The new me
With these inspired thoughts, I took action and turned my life upside down. I became obsessed with health and well-being and as I learnt and implemented the new amazing information and I started to change my lifestyle. I soon found myself in the kitchen obsessed with healthy eating cookbooks, and exercising consistently but sensibly. I stopped drinking every night and rediscovered the others salves for my soul that included regular meditation and yoga.
The best thing is that none of these big changes felt difficult- it was actually a lot of fun!
I also became passionate about raw foods and the benefits of following a plant-based diet, which led me to become a raw and living foods chef. I continued to lose weight (at a sensible rate) without too much effort, and my self-esteem soared.
I renewed my interests in travelling, scuba diving, photography and found joy in these hobbies that light me up when I pursue them. This is still rated as one of the best years of my life.
My business was born
As I continued to explore nutrition, and the role food, relationships, career, spirituality and movement can play in our lives, I was led to study first at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, so that I could become a holistic health coach to help other people who were like me to heal their own insecurities and issues with food, emotional eating and weight gain.
I then continued my explorations and completed a certification with the Institute for Transformational Nutrition. This course cemented the concept that health and well-being is not just about what you eat but about the nourishment you get from the relationships you nurture, the hobbies and interests you pursue, your success in your career and work, the way you look after yourself even in times of stress, and the spiritual elements of your life that you enjoy…and that the food you eat is really secondary.
Where am I today?
Living a life in which I’m nourishing my soul foods as top priority looks nothing like the me of old. The more women who I work with uncovering their hidden goddess, the more I realise I’m using my own life purpose to help women like you to change your life for the better so you too can live your best possible life.
It's literally been years since I was hungover, and drinking alcohol these days is set aside for special occasions and in total moderation. I love spending time in my kitchen making healthy, plant-based snacks for me and my family to enjoy- gluten free muffins, bliss balls, and smoothie bowls can usually be found in the fridge. When I do indulge in not-so-healthy food, it is a conscious choice that comes from a place of happiness or celebration, not discomfort or fear.
It's rare these days that I feel guilty or angry because of the food I've eaten or that I'm bingeing or depriving as a way to find happiness.
My relaxation and me-time is filled by yoga, meditation, reading, or doing an online course learning something new that I'm passionate about. I also love adult colouring books, oracle cards, Young Living essential oils, practicing energy work (Reiki) and really exploring my inner hippy. I value quality time with my husband and son, and love and respect having quality catch ups with the friends who truly love me for who I am.
I’m not perfect and still need to “do the work” to be able to walk my talk. Sometimes I cringe when I look at my post-baby body with its lumps and bumps, but I don't let these thoughts spiral me down to a place where I want to binge or deprive. I have respect for the vessel where a baby grew for 9 months and accept the way I look now as part of entering the right of passage as a mother.
Most days I feel confident and good about my life and I have the tools to help me when I don't so that I'm never down for too long. Gone are the days of abusing my body, eating crappy food to stop feeling sad or lonely or bored and hiding behind a party girl persona that was easier than dealing with the real me.
So let’s get started!
I would love to send you weekly tips and motivation so you can get on the road to happiness and harmony. Click this link and share your name and email so I can be sure to get these weekly inspiration hits to you, and also get your copy of my free e-book "101 Ways To Curb the Cravings, Quit the Bingeing and Start Having More Fun!”
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