The Story Of How I Changed My Relationship With Food
This is one of my stories and one that will shed some light on why I am the way I am, why I know the things I know and why I coach the way I coach.
It is the story of how I built healthy habits that stuck for a lifetime. It’s long but I tried to make it easy to read.
And I actually had to talk to my mother to remember when everything began. Everything as in me eating healthy and being aware and caring about the fuel I gave my body to work with.
I began practicing Martial Arts in 1995. My diet mostly consisted of broths, home cooked meals, sandwiches at school, I didn’t grow up with breakfast cereal.
However, believe it or not when I was a child and through part of my teenage I used to drink Coca Cola and Sprite. I used to drink a whole 2l bottle sometimes in just one day. Seriously.
That was until one day when I threw up after drinking coca cola and eating a sandwich. And it was not the sandwich that got me sick. That was the end of that for me.
I also used to eat fast food. I didn’t do that all the time but it was on a weekly basis. Fast food was on the menu frequently, again in between those broths I didn’t like then and now I love.
However the fact that we, my family, would not generally eat take aways, or go to restaurants or visit too many people, it kinda levelled up the toxins I’d put in my body a couple of times a week. I was extremely skinny though. I didn’t end up obese, somehow. Anyway, let’s just say I wasn’t always like you see me today with regards to food.
In 2003-2004 (if I remember well) I was at least 10kg heavier that what I am today. That’s 22 lb. Seriously…again.
Nonetheless I went onto a difficult journey.
When you are an athlete training 6 days a week and competing at international level you don’t really care about the amount of food you eat, even if it’s healthy. You just eat and burn everything straight away.
But…when you stop training, or go from 6 sessions a week to 3, and you still eat a lot of food and you also start eating more garbage food, well that changes your life….and weight, and not for the better.
I went to France with a friend to visit my family. For 2 months we ate burgers and chips at unusual hours, 1 am, 2 am, it didn’t matter. Now I’d never do either of those.
Long story short, I got home and I was 10kg heavier. Yes, I felt fat, that was fat for me and we all know how it can go further and further if you don’t wake up and do something about it.
From being slim and toned to clothes not fitting me anymore. I didn’t feel good in my own body anymore. The transformation was incredible, in all the wrong ways.
Soon after, I made a decision… no, I made a COMMITMENT to myself that it was time to change. That I was going to lose the weight and get back to myself again where I felt strong in my body, and moved freely and gracefully, I made a commitment that I would fit in my clothes again.
That meant training again and eating better, better than even before the weight gain.
So bread was out. For years I didn’t touch it, now I do a couple of times a month, even less than that. No pasta, no pizza, no breakfast cereals, less rice and less potatoes. I still had the later 2 but only 2-3 times a week.
No more sweets, or ice cream or anything that wasn’t supposed to be there. Not even dark chocolate, which I hated by the way. Now I learnt to like it…kinda. And no more homemade jams or pastries or Christmas family food and so on.
In 2007 I took up running and since then I never looked back.
Can I also say that when all this started to change and I found my balance through nutrition and training the friend I went on the wrong road with disappeared from my life. It’s as if she was there to show me a different way.
Once You change your environment automatically changes as well. It all comes from within you. But I didn’t know that then.
It was difficult, not only because I was changing habits and refusing to give my brain what it craved and when it craves but because no one would understand why I would say no to grandma’s jams and my cousin’s awesome pies and desserts. And why I wouldn’t make exceptions.
They did not understand that making exceptions every day will turn that into a habit rather than an exception.
So they would offer me and ask me if I wanted foods they knew I loved. No one understood how difficult it was for me to say no, until I got those toxins out of the system and then it got easier and easier.
Sure, I had my “let go day” but that was once in a while.
And the first 3-6 months were the worst. That’s why today my coaching programs are 3 or 6 months. It takes time to build habits that last for a lifetime.
I did it myself, been through it and now I guide others. Of course it is down to each of us to put the work in. As my Sensei once told me: we [coaches] open the book for you but we cannot read it for you.
The result was that by changing what I ate and train up to 6 days out of 7, by building healthy habits that would stick for a life time, by taking my time (1-2 years), be patient, and focusing on the process every day, instead of weighing myself every day and seeing myself fat, was that I went from 60+ kg to 49 (3 kg thinner than today)!! To the point that people thought I wasn’t eat.
What they didn’t know was that I would eat a lot of the right foods and train every day. Not walking, training. Not exercising, training. Training to get better at running. Training to get stronger and more flexible. Training with a purpose, to learn and to develop.
I was the strongest and fittest and healthiest than ever before. And I was working in an office 8 hours and after than I had my Masters courses. Before work and after the courses I would run and ice skate or take my waveboard out.
There are many, many habits I changed in those 2-3 years. And they stuck with me and they will be part of my life forever.
Today I am in a place where I have control over my life, I am aware, more disciplined and able to guide others on their journey to building Food Discipline and foundations that last for a lifetime.
I learnt so many lessons I teach my clients today and probably the most important ones have to do with creating habits and a lifestyle that will last forever through discipline and strong foundations.
In the end I don’t get you healthy and fit for summer, I teach you to be and stay healthy and fit for the rest of your life.
This is my story. What’s yours? Are you committed to change your life like I did? If so, book a FREE call with me and let’s see how we can make than happen by building strong foundations to last for a lifetime. Book here.