I was recently talking with Vicky McClure, and we were saying how we remembered simpler times with less worry, stress, and less serious and heavy situations to deal with, it feels like a long time ago. It seems that we have weekly and even daily we are faced with challenges.
I really do feel that part of the reason I feel like this is because I live a present life, what I mean by this is that I’m not escaping reality whenever I can with substances whether that be alcohol or drugs and I’m older now. For the past 4 years I’ve been creating a brand and a movement with the ethos of intention, community and meaning. A brand created out of my personal experience and out of my bedroom! It really has been a way for me to connect into my passion and connect with a community. One of the most valuable lessons along the way has to be connecting with my body and listening to what it has to say, coming from a space of wellbeing I have total clarity which allows me to grow. This comes from what I put into my body so as part of my monthly column with Creative Head magazine Life Advice with Louis Byrne I’ve collaborated with Nutrition Expert Jo Meadows.
Like so many elements of wellbeing I had no real idea of how to eat well or eating to feel full and functional. I would simply eat what I wanted or what I thought I wanted I love, junk food crisps, chocolate, and chips. I’ve been a hairdresser since I left School at 16 working long and hard salon hours feeding myself on fast food, using sugar as a stimulant to get through the days. I was riding high and falling low, not having any comprehension of what this was doing to my body and mood. In my wild days when I drank and used substances a lot, I would go for a few days without feeding my body any nutrients at all and I remember on the end of a heavy session my body would cramp up because it was so depleted and dehydrate. Then the hunger would come and all I would want to eat was sugar and fried food, substituting one poisonous substance for another. I would eat so much but never really being satisfied.
Food has such an emotional connection whether it be control eating, meaning starving your body or overeating, these are very real things, and both cause physical and mental damage. I think it’s easy to connect food to how you visually look with appearance and body size, but what we need to pay much more attention to is the mental impact. Sugar is so addictive and really depressive; I once did a luxury wedding in Africa the hotel was the 4seasons the staff had warned everyone to keep their balcony doors locked as the baboons are addicted to sugar and break into the rooms for the sugar. My assistant and I were sharing a room and I woke in the middle of the night to a 5ft baboon next to my bed eating the sugar, they can’t get enough just like humans!
In 2016 I was in a dark place mentally, heavily drinking and using substances, starving my body, or gorging on sugar and junk food. I knew things had to change! I felt dirty and toxic, I was at the beginning of a breakdown which meant my choices were all wrong. I had zero concentration, zero perception, apart from a wonky one of my own, self-centred, and full of shame and regret. I was lucky enough to go to Body Camp, this is a plant-based mind and body retreat a weeklong experience, one that really helped to change my trajectory. I turned up to Body Camp on the end of a heavy session having not eaten or slept in a few days and really wanting to experience something from life that I had not before. It’s here where I started to change my mindset towards foods and where I saw first-hand the benefits of wellbeing and feelings that hadn’t been chemically enhanced. I felt fresh, I felt fucking incredible. Fun fact I’m the first ever Body Camp Triple Champion, I even have a certificate. It opened my eyes to my inner strength, and I gained clarity and that’s from feeding your body for fuel and to thrive at your best. Taking time to understand how we function as humans and looking at food for fuel and understanding the negative impacts of things like sugar. Even down to my own control over food some foods. You’re on camp for a week and its vegan, all really balanced health foods, the follow up is when your home it isn’t 100% like it was at the camp but I defiantly make informed conscious choices that don’t lead to me feeling regret or shame. It’s a hard cycle to break but I defiantly recommend it, flip the fear, and feed your body and your mind. The aim for the ICIAIW Empowerment movement is to educate and inspire people onto a life of wellbeing, start your journey and join the ICIAIW community.
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