As a child I developed a tricky relationship with food, and myself. I began secret eating before I started secondary school. This is where my love/hate relationship with food, and the scales, began.
I remember sitting on the bathroom floor at 12 years old, crying because I didn’t want to go to school because I was being called “tree trunk legs”. I was so desperate to be like the other girls - so why couldn’t I stop eating? Despite my mum desperately trying to help me ‘eat healthy’ and get me moving more, nothing worked.
This spiralled into years of dieting, from Atkins to Weight Watchers, to calorie counting to weight loss pills. While I initially lost weight, it was always short lived and the scales would go back up, usually to higher than I had previously been. By the age of 26 I was a size 24, I was over 17 stone and I was truly miserable. I knew something had to change.
So, I lost weight! I lost 6 and a half stone and I have successfully maintained that weight loss. However, that wasn’t the end of my journey - in fact, it was just the beginning
My relationship with food is constantly evolving.
In 2014, I had my little princess, Nancy, and she is my world! My biggest wish for her is that she never has the battle I have had with food. This obviously makes me a neurotic mum when it comes to food, and I never encourage her to clear her plate or reward her with sweets if she is good (can’t seem to stop the grandparents doing that though!)
With pregnancy came 4 stones, and unfortunately for me I hated the whole 9 months because I was growing and couldn’t change it! So when Nancy was born, I readdressed my eating patterns and enabled myself to realign.
More recently, I realised that although I had maintained my weight since 2005, I was still a little stuck in the dieting mentality of being ‘on/off plan’ and eating very little in order to justify overeating at the weekends. This came as a massive shock to me as I always believed I was a successful weight manager and I could always pull it back. I’ve now fallen in love with food and can’t believe how easy my life has become. But why did it take so long? ...Because I didn’t have all the pieces of the puzzle.
Through more self development work and training to become a Certified and Accredited Health and Life Coach, I have finally found true peace with food. It has been a complete revelation.
I am now working on self love and appreciation. This is definitely work in progress, and learning to love my wobbles and saggy skin is taking some time!
MY SUPER POWER
Losing weight was life changing and I totally believed that if I could crack my food demons, I could do anything. It was like I had found my super power!
In 2005 I trained as a weight loss coach and began running groups for those who wanted to make a change. (It was a bit like, “My name is Jenny and I have a food addiction”) Using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Transactional Analysis, we worked through a programme to break down beliefs and unhelpful thinking around food.
I believe connecting with like minded people makes us stronger, it also makes us realise that we are not alone and there are many others that lie about how much food they have eaten, hide in the toilet eating or volunteer to take the dishes out so they can eat the cold fish finger off their child's plate
I also offer 1:1 Coaching and I am proud to say that I have helped hundreds of people successfully lose and maintain their weight, but most importantly make friends with food. My focus has always been on supporting clients to help them develop a better relationship with food and themselves.
My clients create their own ‘Diet for Life’ - they eat the foods they love and enjoy, not just a plan that I give them. (Although I can do this, I believe there is no ‘one size fits all’, as we are all unique and we all need our own food framework). Through our work together, we also reframe limiting beliefs that are keeping us stuck and explore past behaviour around food.
My passion for helping people hasn’t stopped at group work and 1:1 coaching, I wanted to reach out to as many people as possible, so in 2020 I launched my Power Over Food Podcast. This is an awesome free resource for anyone struggling with food, and not only do I share my knowledge, but there are a variety of guest speakers who add so much value to the show.
In 2021 I will launch The Academy and a comprehensive course that is accessible for all. I also run a Facebook group alongside this programme so that members and my followers have a go-to place to support each other.
I truly believe everyone has the power within them to break free from the cycle of yoyo dieting, finally enjoy food and unleash the goddess within!