Inside Scoop: What nutrition and motherhood taught me about confidence and self esteem has been one of the best lessons life has given me – this is Jenni’s story, co-founder of Naughty Nutrition.
Nutrition was pretty far from being ‘my thing’.
As a matter of fact, you may find that a lot of nutritionists don’t have a lifelong desire to study in this field, there’s usually something that propels them towards it, something that attracts them like a magnet… I wasn’t any different.
I have spent a lot of years doing the same ol’ thang- working in a bar, working night shifts, partying (a lot of partying) and travelling the world. I’m not going to say that I didn’t absolutely love doing those things, and I am not going to say that I didn’t learn a crap load from living that life, but that kind of life wears you down both physically, mentally and emotionally over time. And no matter what I was doing or where I was, there was always a voice in the back of my head saying: you don’t feel well, you’re not entirely happy, you need to fit in, and where is your confidence and self-esteem?
We all have issues with something (or many things) on our bodies. We can all pinpoint the exact spot that drives us bonkers; the arms, the belly, the bum, skin, hair… you name it really. But that kind of headspace was constant for me, and I always carried it. My confidence was shot, I was always comparing, always trying to reach an ideal body type (what’s ideal really?), and there was always something wrong with the way I looked. Not to mention, I had serious stomach issues that resulted in cramping, bloat, low to no energy, and crazy anxiety. Because of all these issues,I was partying a lot (liquid courage you say?), and was skipping meals to avoid bloat and the associated stomach issues.
About 4 years ago I decided something needed to change, it wasn’t an easy change to make either. It took a long time (like years) to balance my life out, balance my emotions, my anxieties, build my confidence and self esteem, and the first place I started was with my health.
Yoga and a slight change to my diet saved me. I started looking at food and exercise in a different light, and started to feel better for it. It did take years though, I had to quit the food service industry once and for all, significantly cut back on cocktails and nights out, and decided to learn how to cook! Eventually cooking, nutrition and learning about what food does to the body became my way of life.
WHEN YOUR LIFE ISN’T ABOUT YOU ANYMORE.
After becoming a Registered Holistic Nutritionist™, and figuring out what I wanted to do with my newfound knowledge, I got pregnant with my first babe, a wonderful little girl.
Any mum will tell you that having a child changes the way you perceive things. You literally have this mini human being that you have to shape into a well-adjusted adult, and a little girl to boot. The way I talk about my body and food in front of her is going to be learned. I can only wish that our generation will be one to teach her generation that impossible body standards are nothing to live up to.
Being in the best space physically and mentally, not obsessing about my body, loving myself for who I am and showing her what real, whole foods are all about can help me show her that all of it is important. Not the way social media tells you to be, but the way you feel on the inside. Happiness and acceptance for who you are. It’s so unbelievably important.
THE ART OF BALANCE
Being a new mum and trying to start a business is busy, and just because we’re nutritionists doesn’t mean we live our lives 100% nutrition all the time. So, I still go to the occasional party, and still enjoy going out and eating pizza, burgers & ice cream…but I’ve learned along the way what foods make me feel like crap, how to balance wine & chocolate with health and nutrition and how to make decisions that help me enjoy life and not feel guilty about it all. That, to me, is what life and health is about. No diet, no rules, just listening to what your body and enjoying every moment of it.
SOME ADVICE I LIVE MY DAY TO DAY BY
Cheers to this ride we call life; it has been a pretty weird and wild ride. I’ve had some struggles and battles, but all in all every so called ‘mistake’ I’ve made has given me some bit of wisdom. And if I could round up all the biggest life concepts into one spot they would kind of look like this:
Find out who you are. Your hobbies, interests, and the people you want to attract, and then immerse yourself in these positive things. Also, practice the F out of your hobbies! The better you get at something you like to do, the happier you will be doing that thing. Basically, you do you, and don’t listen to the people who tell you to not.
Social media can mess you up! Stop looking at all the things you wish you could be, or you wish you could accomplish and focus on your own personal goals and desires. And like I said, practice the F out of what you want to learn most, and don’t give up because it’s tricky.
Salads can be friggen delicious! The secret is goat cheese.
Being alone is hard and being able to just be with you and yourself and enjoy it, is a skill. But it should be mastered because it’s the best way to find out who you are.
Read! Titles aren’t necessarily truth, make sure you read and research everything, especially in this information overload age. Also, don’t believe the latest and greatest diet trend. If there is no science behind pants that make you skinny, then don’t waste your money.
Last, get past it. There is nothing more draining then holding on to something negative. You made a mistake, get past it. Someone did something hurtful, forgive and get past it. You will gain energy, you will feel lighter/ happier, you will be surprised of the relief, just let it go. Trust me.
So, that’s me in a very small nutshell. If you want to know more about mom/ life balance, shoot me an email or drop a comment below, I love making new friends
This post is dedicated to my amazing fiancé, who gave me the most wonderful, hilarious and wild little girl (he also wanted me to write something about him). I am lucky to be blessed with a man who allows me to let go of extreme nutrition ideals, and enjoy cheeseburgers and beer (in moderation) with a smile on my face. You have been such an integral part of this journey, thanks babe!