When I was younger, I competed in track and field. I absolutely loved it for so many years as a kid!
As I get a bit older, I felt new pressures. I started to notice changes in my body and I felt pressure to look a certain way. School got more serious and I felt pressure to achieve in all aspects of my life. One of the ways I felt I could control to help ease my anxieties and achieve my goals was my food and training.
I began to train to burn calories and I limited to food to be leaner and thinner.
I felt that if I could look a certain way, I would be happier – I’d have more friends and I’d perform better on the track.
Unfortunately, it didn’t work like this. I started hating sport, I felt isolated and alone and I was constantly thinking about food. I knew I wasn’t happy but I felt trapped. I didn’t want to have an eating disorder but I couldn’t stop what I was doing to myself. I felt so ashamed and embarrassed whilst also protective of my eating disorder so I hid it. My parents and friends were all very confused but thought that I was just ‘health conscious’.
Eventually, a mentor of mine from my church, opened up to me and told me that she was struggling with her eating and exercise and apologised if any of her eating had impacted me.
I suddenly felt like I had someone who wouldn’t judge me and that I wasn’t crazy or alone. I finally began to open up and seek help.
I think that is the power of connection. The eating disorder wants you to disconnect because it knows that the support of people who love and care for you are powerful. In treatment we know that a strong support network is a very influential factor in recovery.
Throughout this time, I developed a passion for nutrition. Admittedly, part of my passion was fuelled by my eating disorder but the other part was a genuine passion to help others who are also struggling with their relationship with food like I was.
The Evolution of All Bodies
I then finished school, moved to Brisbane for uni, finished my degree and started working as a dietitian. When I first started All Bodies, I never new that I wanted to work in sport. I only knew that I believed that all bodies were capable of achieving great things regardless of their size or appearance.
I started working with a number of athletes in the track and field space and realised how many of these athletes have previously or were currently struggling to balance high performance goals with building a healthy relationship with food.
This is now the area that we are passionate about – helping individuals fuel and nourish their bodies for optimal performance while building strong and positive relationships with food.