My never been well since moment
I never knew what it was to struggle with my health until I hit the age of 17. The first event was a bad reaction to anti-malarial medication in Kenya, after which I developed a very sensitive stomach and a multitude of intolerances. Not knowing how to fix it I lived with this for two years and adapted my life around it as best I could. The second event occurred whilst working on a volunteer project in the Amazon rainforest. I became very sick from improperly purified water and could do nothing but curl up under my mosquito net and vomit endlessly. After about 3 weeks the worst abated I continued my travels for another 8 months with an all encompassing fatigue which I put down to the altitude.
Searching for answers
Back in the UK I still felt very off – bloated, exhausted and generally unwell. I visited my GP repeatedly with the same symptoms and was sent for a multitude of tests but nothing was conclusive. I felt increasingly desperate. I struggled on through a Theatre Studies and English Literature degree, where I suffered from daily bouts of shooting pains in my abdomen – my stomach was incredibly sore and swollen and nothing seemed to relieve it. Simultaneously I began to develop symptoms of depression, anxiety, and chronic fatigue.
I nearly dropped out of the course as the anxiety meant I could no longer bare to act on stage. Luckily a kind tutor helped me change the performance modules to only theory based classes. I continued with the degree, sadly waving goodbye to my love of acting. I tried in vain to get myself better but was misinformed – I ate strange foods as I didn’t really know how to cook and didn’t have the energy, and I punished myself in gruelling spinning classes hoping that it would somehow snap me out of the mess I was in, but they only left me feeling exhausted and weak. I was totally at a loss of what to do and my health continued to spiral downwards.
Towards the end of my course, I saw a little sign on campus advertising a weekly meditation and breath class and thought I’d give it a go. Not expecting much initially, it developed into the part of my week I looked forward to the most. I learned to accept myself, to love my body rather than see it as the enemy, and began to feel calmer than I had in years. It provided a wonderful respite to the relentless drinking sessions that sadly characterise the university experience today.
The next discovery was a fantastic Nutritional Therapist I discovered a year later, who put me on a strict health plan. It was tough, but after the first four weeks I felt like the black cloud was finally starting to shift and after 6 years of suffering the stomach pain attacks were going from daily to less than twice a month. I invested in some cookery books and discovered the joy of preparing wholesome, nutritious dishes. The new found energy I had meant I also had much better stamina for exercise – so I incorporated relaxation yoga, gentle jogging, and swimming. I felt better and better – my weight came down effortlessly, my skin was glowing, I had bundles of energy, the stomach pain had vanished and I felt joyful but on an even keel; the transformation was astonishing.
Two years on I still felt abundant with health, the awful symptoms a distant memory. I decided to train as a Nutritional Therapist in order to help others who are struggling with poor health. I also trained in massage therapy whilst I was studying nutrition as an extra tool to help people combat stress and reconnect with their bodies. I love the work that I do, and am deeply touched when I see my clients transform and discover a world of health they never thought was possible. Food is so much more than calories, it has the power to completely turn your life around..