I have created this website to support people in their search for health and happiness, from the inside out.
I try to live my life being honest and compassionate to myself and others, but just like you, I face this challenge on a daily basis.
I have learnt that although I am not perfect, I am perfectly ‘me’, and if I live my life trying my best in each moment, then I can’t expect any more of myself. Life is an everlasting opportunity to learn and grow from experiences and I am grateful for this.
I have had my fair share of struggles, including issues with disordered eating and low self-esteem, but I like to think that the journey to maintaining recovery has helped me to better understand and appreciate myself, as well as the challenges I have faced.
Thanks to the support from friends and family, specialised counsellors and self-support groups, I have learnt to manage my emotions positively (most of the time!). I now have a healthy attitude towards food and exercise, based on the principle of “everything in moderation, including moderation itself”. I no longer fear food – I am able to appreciate the benefits and beauty of natural nutrition, providing fuel for my body and an active lifestyle.
In 2007 I set up an Eating Disorder Service, called BalancED MK, so that I could help other people overcome their personal challenges. I currently facilitate a self-support group twice a month, provide one to one mentoring and try my best to increase general awareness and understanding about this often misunderstood mental health issue. I feel privileged to be part of the recovery journey of others – this provides me with a constant reminder of how and why to be well.
Over the years, there have been times when I have over exercised as a way of coping with my emotions. But driven by a desire to live a more varied and balanced lifestyle, free from obsessions, I decided to study Personal Training so that I could better understand the importance of ‘smart’ exercise and the need for proper rest. I now focus my attention on functional bodyweight training, such as yoga and martial arts. Exercising in a group has also helped me to further enjoy physical activity for fun, to the extent that I teach Jado Kuin Do Martial Arts and run small group Yoga sessions from The Haven in Stony Stratford, Milton Keynes.
Another of my favourite hobbies is cooking. I love to experiment with food, making simple recipes that are both healthy and delicious, especially if my kids can join in too! I believe in moderation, rather than elimination (unless necessary for specific health reasons) and try to eat a wide variety of natural, unprocessed foods every day.
I have written ‘Rebalance Your Relationship with Food: Reassuring Recipes and Nutritional Support for Positive, Confident Eating’ to encourage a ‘back to basics’ approach to food. I’m an advocate of honest, natural food, put together into practical recipes that can be made and eaten by the whole family. My book includes nutritional information about key ingredients to help you appreciate the benefits of each component, in addition to inspirational and empathetic quotes from people that are striving to improve their relationship with food.
My other book, the ‘Eating Disorder Recovery Handbook: A Practical Guide for Long-Term Recovery’ has been written with Dr Nicola Davies – a health psychologist and counsellor. This book is an accumulation of everything I have spoken about and learnt from facilitating a self-support group for people affected by a variety of eating disorders. The handbook can be used by individuals wanting to reflect on their feelings and then proactively move towards recovery.
Looking ahead, I would like to further promote living a balanced lifestyle by expanding the number of people that I’m able to communicate with. I’m hoping that this website, and the attached blogs I hope to write, will encourage me to continue exploring ways to improve my quality of life, inspiring others to do the same. Who knows what other opportunities may arise in the future – I have an open mind and an open heart to the adventures ahead… after all, simply being a mother of two will bring some excitement in itself!