For most of my life, I have been either overweight or obese. I had no concept of when to stop eating and I was disgusted in myself to the point where I thought no one could ever love me.
There was a negative voice in my head whenever I wanted to do something or make something of myself, it constantly kept telling me “you are not allowed”.
So, I never did!
And, I was left feeling stuck, frustrated and deeply depressed because I believed my life would never go anywhere. I’d never again have any fun and I would never know what it was like to feel loved.
This is me. New York City. Living my dream.
In this picture, I was at my heaviest.
I weighed 120kg.
That weight dragged so much negativity, frustration and anger around with me that I could not see any good in my life; and even though I HATED myself I had a dream to go to America.
When I was a teenager I collected travel brochures and cut out pictures which I stuck all over my bedroom walls.
I was obsessed.
Then in 1997 I applied to become an au pair and went to live with a gorgeous family in Virginia looking after 4-month-old twins!
It was a tough time because I had NO IDEA how to
1) live out of my head
2) enjoy myself and be HAPPY.
But somehow, I still did it. Despite all the sadness, loneliness, unworthiness and all the "I'm not allowed"-ness.
After my 12 months ended in the US, I started planning my trip to the UK to live and work there.
To do this day if anyone asks what the best thing I ever did was, I will always say “move to the UK”.
For the 3 years I lived in the UK I partied, travelled, worked as a nanny and met some great people along the way. All of which I never appreciated at the time. I did manage to lose about 15kg while I was living away. Most people who travel put on weight. Not me. I tend to lose weight when I go and live overseas. I am not entirely sure why but my theory is I was away from home and all the things which made me even more miserable.
Now, why was moving to the UK the best thing I have ever done, considering I have an amazing husband, beautiful kids and a life I never thought possible?
Well, it’s because that move got me on the path to becoming who I am today.
Without it I would more than likely still be living in my own misery and never have been able to create such a beautiful life for myself.
In the years that followed I VERYYYYYY slowly evolved and allowed good things to come into my life (My husband!!!). But, still, I could not appreciate what I had. There was a constant negative dialogue, hatred, frustration and the always present ANGER!
After years of trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, I decided to study Nutritional Medicine. Such a long way from what I knew but it felt right. During the first few years of study, I worked hard, changed how I ate (mostly. Still didn’t like myself though) and I began to exercise. I lost even more weight and I felt better than I ever had. But there, like a grizzly bear chasing me through the woods, was my anger and frustration.
I couldn’t get past it.
I didn’t know how and I felt there was no one around me I could turn to, or more truthfully wanted to. I wasn’t worth it.
Then one day my whole world came crashing down. I was pregnant with our first baby and about a week overdue. A routine check-up with the doctor (my usual doctor was away) ended with us rushing to the hospital as there was no heartbeat. Our beautiful baby boy was born sleeping the next day.
Everything we had dreamt about, planned and envisioned for our family was gone. In an instant. I felt even more anger as I couldn’t understand why he was taken away. We longed for him and the house was empty without our baby.
Exactly 365 days after we got the heartbreaking news our baby had no heartbeat, we found out we were pregnant again.
The next 9 months was terrifying and the moment I held our beautiful daughter in my arms and she smiled at me (YES! She did actually smile) I made a promise to become the mother, and person, she (and I) deserve.
I only knew anger and frustration from my mother and there was no way I wanted to bring my daughter up that way.
As all parents discover, it is a learning curve.
Every day, I keep that promise of being the best mother I can be for her. Though it isn’t just about being the best mother I can, I also made a promise to become the best version of myself. To give myself a chance.
I am by no means perfect. I have my off days. But with lots of dedication and a realisation that I don’t really have it in me to completely give up; I discovered positivity and gratitude which has brought even more amazing things into my life.
Today, sitting at my computer and writing MY STORY, I am proud of all I have achieved in my life. There has been a constant battle with myself but I am definitely winning each battle and eventually, I will win the war, because…
I have passion.
I have purpose.
I am allowed!
…and that involves sharing with as many women as I can how to live healthy by eating delicious and nutritious foods, moving your bum and taking care of yourself.
I want to bring woman together and establish a supportive network through a love of food and movement so I am here to help you rediscover a love of beautiful and nutritious foods which will nourish your body and give you the healthy life you and your family deserve.
Nutrition is essential for survival, physical activity energises our mind and self care nurtures our soul. ~ Kelly Connolly