I had a lot of illness in my 20’s and 30’s, with a condition called Candida, which is yeast overgrowth throughout the whole body. There was not a lot known about it at the time, so it took a long time to diagnose it. I remember asking my doctor why I got so many yeast infections, and he said “because yeast like you”. I eventually got help from a Naturopath. Most of the treatment was change in diet, so it instilled in me the power of food for health and healing.
In my ‘40’s, I went to the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition in Vancouver and I completed my diploma in 2008. I started nutritional consulting that same year.
My intention has always been to educate people about food; which foods are the best to eat for overall health and energy levels, which foods can help or hinder your digestion, which foods can help heal a health condition. I think that there is huge freedom to be found, once we find the foods that work best for us.
In working with many clients over the years, most of whom have been women, I found that they all wanted to lose weight, and that most of them had been on several diets throughout their lives. I was another resource that they wanted to try. I educated them about how to balance their blood sugar, which is the key to weight loss, and how to improve digestion. I had some clients who lost weight, and others who did not.
Then something happened that changed things for me. I went through peri menopause, and then menopause, and over the course of six years, I gained 30 pounds. I wasn't doing anything differently with the way I ate or the way I exercised. It was baffling and annoying! It was also costly, as I had to buy new clothes as I outgrew all of my pants and then all of my shirts.
Knowing that dieting doesn't work, and can actually cause weight gain, I was not going to start dieting. With my knowledge of nutrition, I eat a very healthy diet. Also, I was quite comfortable with my exercise routine of brisk walking and yoga, and I did not want to change that. But, I started to lose self confidence, especially in my business. I asked myself who would hire a nutritionist whose body looks like the "before" picture in all the weight loss blogs?
I had my hormone levels checked and found out that going through menopause not only disrupted my estrogen and progesterone levels, but that it is common to gain belly fat during this time. Why is this? Scientists have two different opinions on this; one is that we have too little estrogen, the other is that we have too much. In either case the result is the same: excess belly fat.
After going on bio identical hormone therapy for a year, and not losing a pound, I realized that I could either stay frustrated about my size or accept it. I decided to accept it. This was a process that definitely did not happen overnight. I gradually let go of my idea of being my old pre-menopausal body size, and began to focus on my health, instead.
In doing so, I started to change the way I viewed my body. Instead of seeing what was wrong with it; fat thighs and belly; I started to see what it does for me each and every day. I started to appreciate my thighs for taking me where I needed to go. I started to appreciate what lies beneath my belly; all of my important organs that work miracles each and every day, in the functioning of my body.
I now honour my body in a way that I did not before. And by coming to a place of accepting and honouring my body, I also came to a place of accepting and honouring myself; with all of my quirks and imperfections.
As I journeyed down the road of coming to terms with my new body shape, I also came to terms with my own attitude towards others, who were carrying extra weight, like me. My belief is that a person’s body is the home for their being, and that it is up to each of us to care for our home. However, alongside that belief was the belief that a healthy body is a slender body. These beliefs shaped my opinion of myself and of others. After doing some research, and especially because of my own experience; what I now know is that there are many physiological and psychological reasons for the body to store fat, that have nothing to do with diet and exercise. This have given me more compassion for anyone considered to be "fat".
I realize that we don't always have control over our bodies; the level of health we are experiencing, the level of ability our bodies have, or the shape or size of our bodies. I think that life has given me another opportunity to experience compassionate self acceptance, to continue to implement compassionate self care, and to show others how to do the same.
Currently, I am working on a program to support people in becoming healthy and happy in their bodies; through a non-diet and intuitive approach to eating, and through a body-aware approach to movement and rest. It is my intention to help individuals to feel good in their own bodies, no matter what their shape, size, ability, or level of health is currently, through compassionate self acceptance and self care.
I live in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada. I am a wife, mom, grandma and dog mama. Thank you for visiting my website. If you would like to keep in touch, please sign up on the homepage for the newsletter.
All my best,