Imagine if we obsessed about the things we loved about ourselves
I grew up in France where I embarked on a life-long love of cooking and food. My childhood was scented with freshly baked baguettes, apples picked from trees, griddled sardines on the beach and beautiful patisseries. My teenage years were, however, more complicated, fraught with stress about my studies, home life and my changing body. I was never truly overweight, but I felt massive, inadequate, ugly and worthless. Suddenly, food became very complicated – there were rules, consequences and a lot of guilt. I was eating a very limited range of foods and my weight suddenly dropped. I was finally the skinny one and yet, it was the least happy period of my life. Going out was a nightmare, clothes didn’t fit well and I was always tired. My illness became my identity: Anne-orexia.
Thankfully for me, I was lucky to recover from this crippling eating disorder and I probably would even go as far as saying that I’m grateful for it: it made me into the person I am now. It sparked my interest in food and how it can affect our body and soul.
Years after recovering I had what I could describe only as an epiphany: food was part and parcel of my life and I wouldn’t feel fulfilled until I did something about it. I ummed and ahed about retraining as a baker, but in the end I decided to quit my job in publishing and re-train for four years at the renowned Institute for Optimum Nutrition in London to become a registered nutritional therapist.
After a few years of practice, I realised that many of my clients displayed signs of disordered eating, cutting out food groups for no particular reasons, bingeing at the weekend, obsessing about ‘macros’ or healthy eating etc. So I decided to further my training in order to practise in the field of eating disorders and I obtained the title of Master Practitioner in Eating Disorders and Obesity from the National Centre For Eating Disorders (NCFED) in London, as approved by the British Psychology Society (BPS).
I am currently studying to become a cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) practitioner.
I am a member of the British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine (BANT), the professional body for nutritional therapists. I am also registered with the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC), which is an accredited nutrition register regulated by the Professional Standards Authority of the United Kingdom.
In order to remain informed and up to date within my profession, I attend regular professional development events such as seminars, conferences and training programmes.
I am a firm believer that diet and lifestyle are key to optimum health, but also that you don’t have to live off chia seeds and carrot sticks to be healthy.
I believe ‘healthy’ is different for everyone and that there isn’t just one diet for all. In my mind, there’s no such thing as good or bad food, only bad amounts.
If you want an exact calorie-controlled food plan, I’m not the right person for you. I educate my clients about the effects of food on their health and behaviours, I sometimes challenge their thinking and will often tease out answers from them.
Passionate as I am about nutrition, I also realise that what you eat is only part of our well-being puzzle and this is why a big part of my job is to coach my clients through lifestyle changes.
I’m also a Body Image Movement (BIM) ambassador, supporting Taryn Brumfitt’s campaign to help women feel better about themselves and realise that EVERYbody is beautiful. I have hosted screenings of her world-acclaimed documentary Embrace and I would urge you to watch it if you get the chance.Book a 15min free chat