Nina on the day of the crash at 22 stone
Nina on the day of the crash at 22 stone
Big Life Eating weight loss programme is the culmination of my experience and wisdom from my own journey out of food addiction.
I chose to make a Big Life for myself after I nearly died in a car crash. The experience shocked me awake and made me realise how precious my life was.
I'd wasted recent years on the sofa eating. I was broke. My relationships were not working. Work was unfulfilling. My weight had yo-yoed up to over 22 stone. I was suffering from anxiety from within for the first time in my life as people were starting to stare at me due to my size.
I had been confident and outgoing my whole life. Fearless (or so I thought ). Travelling extensively worldwide and was always out on an adventure. However the happy, effervescent me was slowly fading away. My life was becoming very small and I was starting to get scared of 'my problem' with food
For years I had tried to control 'the beast within me' and I was either slim or 1 to 4 stone overweight. The 30 year cycle of addictive eating started at 18 when life became traumatic. I spent the next 7 years partying and eating and starving myself. Always with the longing for love and a slim body and a strong sense of self pity and hidden anger. After having two wonderful children I slimmed down to a right sized body but could not maintain it. As I yo-yoed up and down for another 23 years the amounts became more extreme. I binged more and starved myself. Always in an all or nothing 3 month cycle. You never knew if I'd be slim or obese. Consequently this erratic eating meant I gained an extra few stone on the way up of each attempt until one day at the age of 48 I had dieted my way to 22 stone and 9 pounds.
How had it happened? Where was the athlete I had once been? Where was the bubbly Nina that loved adventure and people. How had she disappeared? I was dying within mentally and I was using food and other life processing habits to block pain, caught in a self abandoning cycle that was getting progressively worse.
The Nina that went off to work in Greece alone as a teenager like Shirley Valentine, that bungee jumped and dived off mountains, that took her children on a 6 month world trip, that bought property and was fearless, had lost her spark. She was getting scared to go 'OUT OUT '
However before the day of the car crash, in which I fractured my neck, sternum, 2 ribs and damaged tissue on my chest and a lung, I still had 'the fight' in me to tackle another bout of dieting.
A few months earlier I had ended a year of yo-yoing 12 pounds on a 12 pounds off every single week whilst drinking shakes on a commercial weight loss programme. I had lost 5 stone on it initially but one of life's dramas had set me back into binging and then I only managed a week of weight loss each time. My weight loss consultant suggested I had 'Issues' due to the yo-yoing. I was fuming. How dare she! 'There was nothing wrong with me other than being greedy'.
But providence would have it, on the day of the crash I was tipped over the edge mentally just enough to realise I needed help with this food problem that was getting progressively worse. If only I could find the secret of maintaining weight loss!
I joined my first support groups, dived into educating myself through psychoeducation and therapy and started my journey out of food addiction. I say addiction because I could not stop eating or stay stopped even though my life was becoming smaller and smaller and I knew it was the food.
What had started as comfort eating and a coping mechanism at 18 years old had grown and become a monster within. I mention this to help those that are a stone or 4 over weight relate. If you are constantly using food to dissociate from pain or treat yourself because 'you deserve it' then you know it is a very slippery slope and one that not everyone recovers from. I was that young women that was a stone or two overweight and I was an athlete, but modern day food is addictive to many people. Learnt dissociative behaviour patterns and constant access to food and no set meal times enabled me to morph into a very unhappy 22 stone woman.
Once the food was 'in its right place' in my life, I was able to see that I actually did have 'some issues' :D and that I had been reacting to life and relationships in a non self loving way. I had never felt that I did not love myself but my actions showed clearly that I did not. I initially found that very hard to accept but I did know I had a 'hole in my soul'. A deep longing for something. And I had idea what it was. However at this point I knew it was not the food that I wanted.
The support of mentors, peers and therapist and endless study and research in psychology and neuroscience helped me with the mindset to succeed. Following a food plan that abstains from addictive substances helps eliminate cravings and to think clearly.
These days I weigh EIGHT AND A HALF STONE. I have maintained a 14 stone weight loss since 2014. My finances are in great shape and I've coached hundreds of people going through the same journey.
The programme Big Life Eating evolved from my experience and education as well as my passion for helping people get on the path to 'Freedom and Flourish' in this beautiful benevolent Universe.
I believe that emotional compulsive eating and food addiction stems from a combination of addictive substances that hijack the brain and unsecure attachment and authenticity problems.
We as humans need to feel like we belong and are good enough and that it is safe to 'speak our truth' without anger or subjugation. Without fear of rejection. That we will not be excluded. With this sense of a unified community I created Big Life Eating and a service that is unique in that it offers a choice of daily and weekly individual coaching as well as group coaching and a Big Lifers Community support network.
Big Life Eating is an all inclusive programme for those that identify themselves as needing support around food. Each member is a fully fledged member of the Big Life Eating community and there is no hierarchy around our eating and success on our journeys.
Start your Big Life journey and contact us now.