Have you ever....
….hidden chocolate wrappers in the bottom of your bin so that no-one would find them because you were so disgusted by how much you’d eaten? I know have!
People that have known me for a long time often chuckle when I tell them that I’m a health coach as I spent 12 years working for a chocolate company and I LOVE chocolate. But I tell them that I spent 12 years making people fat, now it’s my time to make them thin again!
As you can imagine, working with chocolate every day was hard. I remember asking the lady who interviewed me for the job if it would put me off chocolate and she told me no, but I didn’t believe her – it had to…. But I soon found out she was absolutely right!
See I have always loved chocolate since I was a child when my nan would, as she called it, ‘let her hand slip’ and pour over loads of chocolate sauce on my ice cream.
Fast forward 25 years and sugar was a full blown problem exacerbated by easy access to pile and piles of it every day at work.
Before I had children I thought life was stressful – if only I’d known! I used to use chocolate as my crutch to help me deal with stress and give me energy – not realising that it was that which was causing these issues in the first place!
I used to hide chocolate from work in my handbag so that I could eat it when I drove home, I used to find myself falling asleep whilst driving the car and wondering how I’d gotten home. All day I’d say to myself I’ll be good tonight and go to the gym, but I’d be so tired that I’d park up and take a nap in the car park instead…. It’s true! In the evenings I simply slumped on the sofa, watched TV and drank wine as I didn’t have the energy to do anything more productive.
Once I had my Son I ate chocolate everyday still and wondered why I couldn’t shift my Mummy Tummy. I was tired, exhausted and found myself using chocolate to make myself feel better…. Until about 2 minutes afterwards when the guilt would set in. Then I’d wake up the next day even more tired and bloated and was so miserable about how I looked and felt that I’d reach for more chocolate to make myself feel better.
I found myself always grumpy with my family because I wasn’t happy with myself. I would lie to my Husband about what I’d eaten that day and would be too ashamed to tell him that I’d spent half the afternoon lying on the sofa as I was so exhausted from the sugar crashes I was having. Whenever my Son slept, despite having so much to do, I napped too and I became less and less productive and more ashamed of myself. 10 months later and I was still wearing my maternity clothes….I’m lucky that I have never been obese because believe me I deserve to be, but as I get older I realise how much easier it is to gain weight and how much harder it is to lose it.
That wakeup moment came when I happened to read an article about the effects of the maternal diet on children and I realised how much damage I was doing to my Son and what a poor role model I was and knew there had to be a better way…..
I now know what it’s like to juggle the demands of a job, home, family and if you’re lucky a social life (and not just your kids one)! But I am now able to control my eating, I have energy to exercise and go because I enjoy it not because I should. I make healthy meals for all my family and am able to get back into my pre-pregnancy clothes again.
But do you know what, I’m not perfect. I’m still a work in progress as is everybody you meet, despite what they might tell you!
I’ve learnt what my triggers are that cause me to make unhealthy choices, I know how to get myself out of a rut that day, not think sod it and worry about it a week or two later and I’ve found a balance that’s right for my life, not everyone else’s.
If I have a few bad nights sleep, which we all know happens when we have young children, or I don’t look after myself properly and take some time to myself to relax I find myself making poor choices. But to balance that I ALWAYS find time to exercise most days of the week, I plan, shop and cook nutritious meals for all my family and I have found out what foods work for me.
That keeps me in the clothes I want to wear, allows me to have confidence on the beach in a bikini, reassures me that I am the best role model that I can be for my Son and allows me to look in the mirror most days and not flinch at how I look…. And I realise now that you don’t have to be perfect with your eating all the time to achieve this.
Being made redundant gave me the opportunity to pursue my dream of giving something back and helping people with their health and wellness.
Initially I just started studying as something to keep my brain busy whilst the rest of my time was taken dealing with a tiny baby. I started studying nutrition with no idea of where it was taking me at first but the more I learnt the more I wanted to learn. After much deliberation I decided to study Health Coaching so that I could utilise my people skills with my health training and be able to give something back to women like me so that they can change their lives and become healthier happier versions of themselves.
At the same time I took myself and my Husband on the start of our own health journey. We became my first clients and transformed our lives.
Everything I learnt we implemented. And we both lost weight quickly. I lost my baby weight and more, and all the weight my Husband had put on in sympathy disappeared too. We found our passion for exercise and we now have more energy to spend doing activities together as a family. And the best thing is that it didn’t require any willpower or deprivation and we did it all with a baby under one!
Learning how to live a healthy happy life is simple and fitted seamlessly around the demands of our lives (including lack of sleep!) We have changed our mind-sets, habits and behaviour around food and now lead a healthier lifestyle waking up in the morning excited and raring to go.
I finally feel good about myself and feel that I have this wonderful health secret that I just want to share.
What's Unique About Me?
Early on in my life I knew that I wanted to help people so I studied for a degree in Psychology but after completing it I ended up using my skills in a different arena.
I then spent 18 years working in people Management in a corporate environment in which the most rewarding part was coaching the people I worked with to become the best versions of themselves. At numerous points through out my career I have dabbled in the idea of working in health and nutrition but making big changes like that are scary. I finally took the plunge in 2015 and decided to pursue my dream.
I absolutely love coaching; it gives me a real buzz, a real sense of achievement and pride when clients achieve their goals and lift that fog that they have been carrying around and realise that there is an easy answer. And I get results!
What is Health Coaching?
I’d never heard of Health Coaching before I started down this path. When I tell people what I do they tend to smile politely and nod but with a blank stare across their face as they have no idea what it is but think they should!
Health Coaching is a fairly new concept in the UK, with countries such as USA, Canada and Australia years ahead of us in the health game.
MY concept of health coaching is about supporting you to change your habits, behaviours and mind-set around food and health with simple, effective and sustainable techniques that really do work and make positive changes that last.
I’m never going to tell you that you have to become Vegan, give up wine or not enjoy bread ever again…. because then I’d have to do all that myself! There are plenty of health coaches out there that do follow these kind of principles but I am a normal, busy woman like you who truly loves eating and drinking but has learnt about balance and how to ensure that the choices I make are with the right intention but I never feel like I am missing out.
The rest of the time I fill my diet with nutritious and delicious food and my life with activities that make me happy and healthy and a better version of myself (check out the Abby’s Kitchen page to see what foods I eat each day)
My Husband tells me that my uniqueness comes from the fact that I love food and I eat lots! I promise you there is a way of eating and enjoying food whilst still losing weight and feeling full of energy.
I help you to change your mind-set, habits and behaviours around food so that changes will stick long-term.
The more I work with people the more I want to help others.
Having worked with a number of people in my first year I realised that I actually wanted to work with busy women like me. I see so many wonderful, intelligent, ambitious women who by no fault of their own have just got swamped by their life.
They juggle part time careers, children, Husbands, homes and everything that is associated with that. They are exhausted and never put time aside for themselves.
I hear them tell me that they’d love to lose their Mummy tummy once and for all and put a swimsuit on so that they can feel confident around the pool on their summer holiday; they’d like to be able to wear all those clothes that they’ve tucked away at the back of their wardrobes because they haven’t fitted for years but they’ve convinced themselves that one day…..
They’d love to be able to wake each morning with some energy and looking forward to the day whilst finding some time to do some exercise or just have a bit of time to themselves for once.
And that’s before they even get into the whole deep desire of wanting to be healthy so that they can be there for their children and to be a positive healthy role model…..
I can’t promise you that your life will become any less busy but I can promise you that I will help you to become healthier, happier with your body and full of energy once more and that you will have all the tools you need to manage your life and keep it this way.