Yup. A Holistic Health Coach. Sounds fancy shmancy right? Well, some might say fancy shmancy, others might say mumbo jumbo. I say, hold your horses and let me explain!
When I first met my husband, I was living in a flat on my own, leading an incredibly lonely and unhealthy life. I had moved away from my friends and family in Wales, in order to pursue a career and fledgling relationship in Cornwall. Very soon after relocating, I realised that the relationship was actually pretty rubbish (to put it mildly!) but I clung on to it for dear life because he was pretty much the only person I knew in this new part of the country. I had committed to my very first teaching post, so I knew that upping sticks and running back home with my tail between my legs was not an option, but I was terrified of being all alone!! And, as it turns out, rightly so. When the relationship came to its inevitable and rather dramatic end, I was heartbroken. Not really because I was madly in love with the guy, but instead because I felt I was mourning the new life I had envisaged for myself. There followed a pretty bleak time where I lived an incredibly lonely life filled mainly with work, crap food (breakfast cereal and Haribo Starmix anyone?) and endless nights spent in front of Sex and the City box sets. Yes, I really was that cliche!
After trying many inventive ways to cultivate a group of friends (Buddhism course, group guitar lessons, volunteering for a local charity…) I finally decided that I needed to plough my energy into something I knew that I was good at – Losing Weight!!! I had heard whispers of a new meal replacement plan that you had to have prescribed by the GP and so off I trotted to get it. It was incredibly hard work (nothing but shakes and water. Nothing. I repeat, NOTHING!!!) but boy, did the weight come off! It gave me a focus and in an odd sort of way, I think that I felt I deserved the punishment and discomfort of it. Go figure! Anyway, after a few months, I started looking and feeling waaaaay more foxy (because weight loss does that. Right?!) and so I signed up to an online dating agency and went on a date! I was feeling good about myself and while the date was obviously never going to result in marriage and babies, he did introduce me to one of his girlfriends as he felt we’d get on like a house on fire……..And suddenly, I had found the buddy I’d been searching for for the last 18 months or so. I started to get happy!!! I was going out (a LOT!), meeting fellas, dancing, having a whale of a time. And still eating a really shoddy diet.
Eventually, I met my husband. And while I wasn’t skinny, I certainly wasn’t in one of my obese phases (ahhh, the joys of yo-yo dieting folks!) It was pretty obvious to both of us, right from the start, that this was the one that WAS going to end in marriage and babies (Yay!) and we both rapidly slipped into the sitting-around-drinking-and-eating-lots-of-gorgeous-food phase of our relationship. I felt more comfortable with him than I’d ever felt with anyone before and with that glorious comfort came……….. super speedy weight gain!! Ah my old friend!
I soon laid my dieting past bare to Ben and I think the poor fella wondered what the hell he’d let himself in for. He is from a big (and very lovely) family, and while the women who surrounded him while he was growing up were conscious of weight gain (aren’t ALL women?) I don’t think he’d ever encountered anyone with quite the amount of “issues” that I obviously had! When I started to freak out about the ever expanding size of my stomach and thighs Ben suggested that rather than jumping headlong onto the next weightloss bandwagon, I seek the help of a nutritionist. Now believe it or not, this was something I’d never really considered before, but the more I thought about it, the more I warmed to the idea. I convinced myself that a nutritionist was exactly what I needed. Someone who would listen carefully to me talk about my diet (past and present) and advise accordingly. Someone who would be able to help me recalibrate my undeniably knackered metabolism. Someone who, I hoped would look at me in a far more holistic and personal way than the ‘machine’ that was/is weight watchers!
What I actually found didn’t quite live up to my expectations. She was a very nice lady, with a very nice house who didn’t really listen to me at all. She could obviously see that I was very overweight and so started talking at me about my “problem” as soon as I sat down. She was very keen to “educate” me on the importance of ensuring a calorie deficit (I know right? Tell me something I don’t already know!) and then advised me on the types of meals I could enjoy for 1500 calories a day. It was nothing new. It was the science stuff. The stuff that we all already know.The stuff that I knew inside out, but was obviously failing to stick to. Because it obviously isn’t quite that simple is it? Because if it was, we all be merrily skipping along eating low calorie meals 3 times a day and there would be no “obesity crisis”! When I left her house, I don’t think I had ever felt so fat, useless, stupid and weak. It is fair to say that my first encounter with a nutritionist was an unmitigated disaster.
Which brings me back to the here and now…….