First I would like to thank you for your interest in finding out a little bit more about me. In this section I want to tell you about what lead me into the fitness industry, my own journey to health and the revelations I had along the way.
When I was a little girl, I was hypothyroid, but nobody knew that back then. Growing up everyone thought I was a troubled child! I couldn’t concentrate at school and got into fights due to my problems with aggression and bad temper.
In my mid-20’s, my mother passed away, after her 2 year struggle with cancer. The shock and devastation left me completely without purpose in life. My only constant was the gym, and my obsession with it started to escalate. Sometimes I spent half the day in the gym, training non-stop for up to four hours. I trained until I felt so dizzy and light-headed that it was impossible for me to continue.
Spending so much time in the gym and inevitably watching what other people were doing, I started to notice the lack of real motivation and incorrect form of many people. The idea of being a fitness coach never occurred to me, though. I was completely focused on my own fitness goals at the time.
One day, however, I was offered a job at a small local gym as a sales adviser and helper. I was sent off to complete a YMCA fitness instructor course, in order to start giving new members gym inductions and setting up their training programs. Six months after that, I took a personal trainer position at Chelsea Sports Club, and suddenly bigger and better opportunities started to come my way. As the only personal trainer there, I was able to build a great client base and quickly realized that a career in fitness was perfect for me.
One year later, I moved on to Cannons Health Club. At this point I was literally thrown into the deep end – I had to teach spin classes and became a lifeguard as part of my position, even though swimming has never been a favorite of mine! Nonetheless, I got over my lack of confidence and learned to build some self-esteem. I really started to enjoy teaching groups, and began to get a real buzz out of instructing the spin classes and motivating people to reach their goals. It was fascinating to see people achieve things they didn’t even know they could and being a part of this made me very happy. It was during that time I discovered my purpose in life – helping people to really make a difference and to discover their potential.
Within a year, I became the senior trainer at the club. I was the only female boxing instructor, and as you can imagine, my female client list grew at an astronomical rate. Despite being only 5’3” tall, I could be heard from all the way across the gym, motivating my clients with some serious volume and incredible fieriness! My style of training became very popular with my clients at the time, and I was inundated with new clients through referrals. All the while, I was working flat out, giving my all and loving it!
Discovering who I am and what I stand for, I got tired of gym politics and being restricted. In 2007, I decided to strike out as a mobile trainer and, luckily, my clients followed me. Totally independent, I travelled to home or park locations in order to train clients all over London. Becoming a mobile trainer was a fantastic learning experience. It really proved to both me and my clients that you don’t need a gym to have an effective workout!
While in the midst of what was really a positive time in my career, I noticed that some health issues were starting to arise, however. My weight was steadily increasing, and mild depression and anger issues were starting to affect my day-to-day functioning. It was really frustrating to not have the energy and fire I once used to have, and yet I was determined not to allow these issues to affect my role as a trainer. I pushed harder and harder at the gym and started going twice a day, convinced that this was the answer. Now I know, it was not! And I had to find out the hard way…
In order to really develop my knowledge and expertise, I started doing lots of research on health and lifestyle, and that was when I stumbled upon the answer to the weight gain and emotional imbalances that had started to plague me nine months earlier: I had developed adrenal fatigue from the hardcore training that had become part of my everyday routine. As difficult as it was for me, I realized I had to let go of the gym obsession that had ruled my life for so long, and finally had to focus on improving my overall health instead.
Following a strict Paleolithic regime, I was primarily eating high muscle meats, nuts, seeds and vegetables, some saturated fats, but zero sugar and zero dairy. It was these teachings that had me convinced to completely abstain from what I believed to be the 4 weight devils: diary, flour, sugar and salt – 3 of which are a regular and vital part of my diet these days and, in fact, have helped me heal!
To find out what was going on with me, I spent life savings on Alternative health practitioners who all had me test, test and test – from stools to saliva! It was this new meta metrics and diagnostics that a wave of practitioners adhered to, and they told me it was adrenal fatigue I was suffering from! They put me on endless supplements and gut healing protocols, but nothing helped. The outcome was that I still had the same issues that I started out with.
In November 2010, I finally discovered the work of Dr. Ray Peat and that was a beginning of a truly revelatory experience. By doing a simple body temperature and pulse test, I discovered I was hypothyroid. I started eating the foods that he recommended and that in my eyes had been demonized by many other doctors and fitness experts for so long. I started drinking milk again and having some sugar, which I hadn’t done in years. It felt like going back to being a baby, learning everything about food anew, and drinking and eating foods that were very kind and healing to my digestive system. Amazingly my mood lifted again and my energy increased. I was having more happier days, better mental stamina and was starting to feel more like my old energetic self again, but even better! It was this experience that made me realize that weight loss is all about getting healthy first.
You can’t lose weight to get healthy. You have to get healthy to lose weight!
Having gone through all this has given me a much deeper insight into my role as a personal trainer. Instead of focusing on weight loss as the way to health, the aim should really be to become healthy in order to lose weight. This insight has meant a whole new way of looking at personal training and fitness. Training a client to their max until their body breaks down with exhaustion isn’t the answer. Much more so, it is about giving the clients a more balanced understanding of their own physical, mental and emotional wellness.
Looking back, I don’t regret anything of what I’ve been through. I firmly believe that battling with illness has forced me to come back with more strength, wisdom and knowledge than ever before and I am now much more capable of facing whatever it is that life is throwing at me. My own challenges have forced me to seek for solutions that really work – and not only sound good in theory. Now, all I want is to share the knowledge that I have gained through personal experience and that I am so passionate about. I am more determined than ever to help people feel better in a way that takes into account their entire well being, not just physical fitness and weight loss – these are only positive side effects that will naturally come along with good health and an increased metabolism.
My mission, therefore, is to guide you towards supreme health and well being and to help you not only improve your fitness, but your entire quality of life!