At 15 years of age, 168cm tall and weighing only 29kg, I was diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa. Despite numerous attempts from my Mother in seeking help, the health care system continued to knock us back until my organs failed and I was subsequently admitted to ICU with a near-fatal heart rate of 28bpm, doctors doubted I would survive. Somehow I did. I spent weeks in coronary care followed by months in an eating disorder ward and on the Butterfly program.
But my battle was just beginning! I remember begging my Mum for a "permission slip" to give up. Year by year, things got worse. Eventually, I was tired of fighting and I was tired of living a life of pain and frustration.
I kept buying health and fitness magazines, hoping they’d pull me out of my downward spiral. The headlines promised instant results, dramatic improvements. But all the airbrushed models and bikini-body challenges just made me feel worse about myself.
The more I tried to follow the mass-media prescriptions for health and fitness, the less healthy and happy I got.
I continued to fluctuate between binge eating, purging and weight loss. I felt depressed, anxious, and lethargic a lot of the time. I started getting rashes, losing my eyelashes, bruising all over my body, my skin was blue, my hair was falling out and I had night sweats.
Finally, after hitting my own personal rock bottom, I gave up on the conventional wisdom and I started figuring things out for myself.
It took me a few years, but as I got clearer headed and more creative about addressing the real-life, real-world challenges involved in choosing to be healthy, I started making real progress. I started feeling weirdly good.
I wondered why the media wasn’t doing a better job educating and informing the public. I wondered why do people have to get so sick before a medical professional will step in. I wondered why they weren’t covering a lot of the issues or offering the kind of counsel that seemed most essential to health seekers like me.
So I decided to start educating Women. I wanted to provide practical tools and the knowledge to help them believe they are worthy of more than just ordinary because this world wasn’t meant to be lived with your head down, you were destined to love to a higher standard of wellness and happiness.
Today, I love hearing from regular people how the work I do has helped them create positive change in their own lives.
Because when one person’s life changes for the better, all the lives around them change, too.
And little by little, I think that is how we are going to heal this crazy, mixed-up world of ours.
Here’s the reality: Being healthy in our current culture is not some easy-breezy “lifestyle choice,” or a simple matter of willpower, diet, and exercise.