Sometimes it can feel like there are two of you.
The ‘inside’ you who wants to enjoy life to the fullest, and the ‘outside’ you who doesn’t have the energy or the confidence to make it happen. I know what it’s like to struggle with self-confidence. My own story was a journey of learning how to build self-esteem from the inside-out.
I grew up in a small country town with a strong emotional attachment to ‘treats’, they were linked with happy memories with my family; 20c worth of lollies every time we went to Sunday school. Fish and chips on Friday nights, and McDonald’s when we made trips to the big city.
At school I hated having to participate in school sport, I could never get my body to move the way I wanted it to. I played netball for the local team and spent more time on the bench than I did on the court because my coach and the team knew I wasn’t fit enough to play well. Exercise wasn’t high on my list of things to do, having a good time was!
“At that time they had mad cows disease in the United Kingdom so eating meat was out of the question. We started eating vegies, joined the gym and the weight started coming off. I began to feel happier and healthier very quickly.”
As I grew up and gained independence I continued to give myself treats… I remember buying myself whole boxes of Mint Patties and travelling all the way to Bendigo to eat take-away!
A few years later, a friend and I decided to travel through Africa. We had an absolute ball, drinking nearly every night and eating fatty, processed food. We landed at Heathrow and I had what they call the “Heathrow Injection” – a time when you eat nothing but processed food and put on a huge amount of weight.
While the ‘fun’ lasted during our eating and drinking session deep down I wasn’t really happy. I was finding it harder and harder to keep feeling positive about life. It was at this time that I decided to take a long, hard look at what I was doing to my body, my friend and I decided we were going to change our ways.
At the time they had mad cows disease in the United Kingdom (so eating meat was out of the question). We started eating vegies, joined the gym and the weight started coming off. I began to feel happier and healthier very quickly.
When we arrived back in Australia I continued the vegetarian diet for a while and kept going to the gym. I remember making sure I was always at the back of the classes with the big t-shirt on so no one could see my real shape. Week by week, I started to move forward as my confidence grew and the baggy t-shirt was replaced with nice singlets.
I started my nursing career not long after and successfully completed a Bachelor of Nursing. For a while I loved my job; I was enjoying helping people get better.
Then one day I was looking after a young 27-year-old, who was overweight and very depressed. Her weight was not the main reason for her stay in hospital, but her lifestyle choices meant she kept presenting with illness again and again.
I started talking to her about her life, and asked her how she felt. She started opening up to me. In her words, her life was just a viscous cycle. I remember her telling me “I know I am over weight but eating is the only thing that makes me happy. Then I get depressed because of how big I am and the cycle just keeps going around and around”. My heart went out to her because I knew exactly what she was talking about. Here was a young woman who was the image of who I used to be.
From that day I knew I had to do something to try and help people be more active and teach them about healthy eating, so they could be truly happy. As a nurse, you look after people every day who present with different illnesses that are caused by their lifestyle choices. We patch them up and off they go to return, unwell again and again. There is little education about basic healthy eating and being active, which could save a whole lot of people from the cycle of illness and unhappiness. I went on to achieve Certificate III & IV in Fitness and established my business Inside Out Fitness.
“I started talking to her about her life, and asked her how she felt. She started opening up to me. In her words, her life was just a viscous cycle”
Making the change is not about binge-diets or pills.It’s about crafting a lifestyle that will leave you healthier and happier; both inside and out. The IOF team work with Territorians to help them change the way they feel about themselves through nutrition, exercise, and mental wellbeing.