This is a little story about how I became a Nutritionist with a passion to help you to have peace with food and not one that teaches you to hyper focus on food and nutrition being a cure all.
This is something that has been bubbling within me for a long, long time. Grab a cuppa and let me explain… 🙂
I’m a girl who had an Eating Disorder in her late teens and early 20s. I became a girl who no longer had an Eating Disorder, but a serious diet mentality and always wanted to lose weight. I then became the girl who was obsessed with healthy living and thought that if I could jussssst make my diet perfect than perhaps everything negative would just magically float away. Because green smoothies can totally heal everything right…? (WRONG).
So, what does a girl who has Orthorexia, searching for meaning in her life and acting on her intuitive instinct that she is here to help people do…? She becomes a Nutritionist of course! What better way to fuel an unhealthy obsession with food…?
And that is exactly what I did. I moved to Australia and enrolled in a wonderful College and studied full time for two years (we are talking 2-4 full days per week of class + clinicals before after college study and assignments). At the end of those 2 years I was officially a fully qualified Australian Nutritionist with an Advanced Diploma of Nutritional Medicine (Evidence and Science Based Qualification). There were so many times on the course that I felt like it wasn’t right, but my disordered eating pushed on and had me truly believing that if only we all ate a perfect and nutritional sound diet wouldn’t all be well in the world? Oh Lauren… (sigh…).
The Orthorexia came to a head on a holiday in Japan where I broke down to Johnny about how I just couldn’t do it anymore and that I just wanted to be able to eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted and not have freaking anxiety attacks about it. I wanted to be fully present during this amazing trip that I was incredibly lucky to be on, without thinking about what was in the dried mango (with a Japenese label) that I just ate or being terrified of eating rice (I KNOW.)…
The J man is amazing and he had tried, on many occasions, to point me in the direction of help (given that he knew my eating disorder past) but I always retorted with “you can never be too healthy” (cringe…). After the overdue breakdown…, I embarked on a long period of healing my Orthorexia and that is just what I did. Through my healing of Orthorexia, I finally started to get to the root causes of not only my orthorexia, but the past eating disorders I had had (oh hey incredible psychologist in Sydney). I started to fully know my values as a human in this life, what I enjoyed and what my passions were. And guess what? None of my passions turned out to be food, nutrition or food as medicine. What an absolute shocker…
With my inner anxiety, an inability to cope with negative emotions, not feeling fulfilled in my work or life + a grasping of control in my life when I could not control various things, I had latched onto healthy eating and seeking the “perfect diet” as a way to cope. Just like I had latched onto starving myself, binging and purging in my previous eating disorder to cope many years prior.
So nearly two years on from my realisation of being knee deep in Orthorexia and now in a place of food and body peace…if I am not interested in talking about why greens are good for you and typical healthy eating advice? Where does that leave me as a Nutritionist (Nutritional Therapist in the UK)…?
It leaves me as a different type of Nutritionist…
A Nutritionist who talks about self love, compassion, kindness and care way more than “healthy eating”.
A Nutritionist who teaches Intuitive Eating and Health at Every size principles as a way to have food freedom and food and body peace.
A Nutritionist who helps you heal your relationship to food and your body.
A Nutritionist who helps you to love yourself fully, accept yourself for who you are and make peace with all that you have been and will be.
A Nutritionist who teaches you to let go of perfectionism and give yourself a bloody break and lots and lots of grace.
A Nutritionist who helps you cope with emotions in healthy ways and to take care of yourself fully.
A Nutritionist who helps you find what you are really here to do and help you find what lights you up.
A Nutritionist who helps you to truly know that you are not here to manipulate the size of your body or have the perfectly healthy diet.
A Nutritionist who helps you to discover what you are truly hungry for and satisfy that, whether it is an emotional, physical, mental or spiritual hunger.
A Nutritionist who helps you let go of body hate and food guilt and helps you get out there and live a full life.
Because no perfect diet is ever going to help you feel truly worthy, love yourself, heal your past trauma, help you be ok with negative emotions and help you feel well in mind, body and soul.
So, I may not be your typical Nutritionist and nor will I ever be. Because whilst gentle nutrition is important for our health, so is feeling sane around food and having a heathy relationship with food. As is self love, compassion, kindness and acceptance. As is living a fulfilling life doing things that satisfy your true hungers and light you up.
I am so excited to be on this journey and working to help others on the journey I have been through myself. You are here for more than manipulating the size of your body or the food on your plate and you deserve to take care of yourself in mind, body and soul and live a full life.