My Journey to Lean

In September I will be releasing a new ebook, Lean for Life, the last diet book you'll ever need. I thought I would give you a little sample of the intro, my personal story, and why I decided to write it. IMG_7905

My journey to lean has been a long one.

I was a happily chubby kid.  Growing up with two older brothers I understood that ice cream should be served in large bowls with plentiful scoops, and cookies should be eaten by the dozen.

During my teenage years my body weight evened out, but like many young women I looked at myself with a fine microscope and chose to find flaws.  When I moved to Ireland at sixteen I felt like I had very little control over my life and turned to food.  I developed an eating disorder and dropped thirty pounds below my healthy weight.

When I moved back to Canada, I realized the danger I was putting my body in and made an effort to get healthy.  I ate a high protein, high fat diet, started going to the gym, and started to look healthy on the outside again.  Unfortunately I still wasn’t able to menstruate, and developed Night Eating Disorder, which means I would eat the majority of my daily calories during the night with little control over the situation.

I suffered with this condition throughout university, and often under ate during the day while making up for it in nightly binges.  It was a nightmare.  I tried every supplement and drug under the sky to make it stop but nothing would.

Eventually I realized I had a gluten allergy.  This helped.  I started absorbing nutrients properly and my night hunger became less intense.

Over the years I gained better control over the situation and became fixated on healthy living.  Unfortunately my idea of health was a little distorted. My early twenties consisted of constant detoxes, colonics, and diets to keep my body “pure” and light.  I covered it up with wanting to be “healthy”, but had no real balance in my life.  I would often end a detox by going out and eating and drinking too much and feeling horrible.

My obsession with health continued until I got divorced after a very short lasting marriage.  When my world crumbled around me, I realized I had more to worry about than where I was going to get my next kale salad and green juice.  I quit my job, let go of all of my belongings, and moved to Europe.

My health took many twists and turns during this time. My body was messed up from all the stress.  I was on such an emotional rollercoaster for so long that when it stopped, I was left empty.  There was no more fuel in my tank.

When my energy started to come back I decided to reclaim my life.  I did what I wanted, ate and drank what I wanted, and left all my perfectionist attitudes towards my body aside.  It was liberating.  I put on some generous extra pounds, but knew it wasn't the time to worry about it.

Eventually I ended up back in Canada to star in a competitive food show at my heaviest weight yet.  It took courage and made my proud.  I owned it.  I moved back to my home city, Vancouver, and slowly started caring about my health again.  Over the summer I fell in love with a healthy, active Californian, and he reminded me of the kind of life I wanted to live.

I realized it was time to regain control over my body, my health, and my life. This time there would be no detoxes, no quick fixes, no crazy diets, and no giving up.  I was in it for life.

I started working with personal trainers as much as I could afford to, hiking on the weekends, and trading boozy nights out for early morning runs.  Through research and experimentation I learned how to eat for ideal body composition in a way that was sustainable.  I started to feel like myself again.

That was a year ago.  I have not stopped since.  These days I get incredible joy from going to the gym, trying new workout programs, learning to lift heavier, and eating in a way that keeps me feeling and looking my best.

The most rewarding part is that I’ve been able to inspire friends with my story, and have started health coaching them so that they can reach their best health without making all the mistakes I did along the way.

I wrote this book for them, and for you too.