Well, I guess you could say, "I'm back". Although technically I haven't gone anywhere, I just took some time out from by businesses and focused on my family and our health for a while. It's been a couple of crazy years, for obvious reasons (like a pandemic), which at first caused me a lot of concern and anxiety. As I worked through the rollercoaster of emotions that were coming my way I managed to grow as a person and reevaluate my health/my lifestyle and began to understand what my true core values are. You could say I have gained a "new perspective".
Throughout the last two years my hormones have also been on a rollercoaster. The cortisol hormone (released during stress - flight or fight hormone) was hanging around a lot more than I would have liked. The excess cortisol was throwing all my other hormones out, leading me to weight gain and total loss of self confidence. I'm a health coach, yet I had gained weight and wasn't sure what was going on with my body, it truly sucked. I was still eating healthily, I was active, I just found that my clothes didn't fit like they use to and something wasn't quite right with my hormones. The continued frustration with the situation lead me to explore the hormones in our body and how they have a major impact on how we feel and how we store or loose weight.
Taking time out to do some research and a bit of experimentation on myself, has given me confidence to get back in control of my mind and body. I have spoken to so many other women who have felt the same way as I have over the past two years. And whether it's pressure from things we can't control or just the changes that happen in our body as we move into our forties and beyond (without our approval), I really feel that I am now in a place where I can help other women out and educate them on how to deal with peri-menopause, hormone craziness and general wellbeing.
Guess what? I'm still on the journey myself. I have some weight that I want to lose and nights where I don't sleep that well (especially when it's a full moon), there are some days when I want to cry for no apparent reason but now I understand why this is happening, what I've done that has made they hormones go a tad crazy and what I can now do to balance myself.
Over the coming weeks I am going to be working with a friend who really wants to get her life back, she wants to take charge of the hormones in her life, she's told me that she's ready to be a big girl and be responsible for her actions. We're a team doing this together. I'm going to record the steps that we take and the challenges we face along the way. I hope to share this with you in hope that it might inspire you, or give you some strength. We might even share some before and after shots. So stay tuned, I promise I won't be away for as long this time.
The other side of me.
Most of my life I thought I was eating a healthy diet; whole grains, low fat dairy, fruit, vegetables and low sugar drinks like "diet coke". I went to aerobic classes, played netball and did my best to always be active (I look back today and cringe). I always felt like I struggled with my weight, I felt heavier than what my friends were. I tried every diet that was around without much success. My energy levels were low and my immune system was not the best. During my younger years I suffered with acne, bronchitis, asthma and constant ear aches.
It wasn't until I had our first son at the age of 27 that I realised how much the food we ate influenced our health. I saw this through my baby as we introduced him to solid food and then when he became ill over and over with tonsillitis. Continuous doses of antibiotics seemed to make him sicker. Through this experience I found a great naturopath. I became aware of additives in our foods. This was when I began to change our families diet (no more diet drinks or foods).
By changing our diet, moving away from colourings and additives, I slowly saw improvements in our son's health and overall immunity, this lead me into studying Nutrition and Anatomy at a College in Perth (while still being involved in furniture and being a mother to our 3 boys). From here I went on to study massage, reiki and reflexology. I saw my studies as hobbies and beneficial to our families health. At this stage I hadn't really thought of it as my other "true" passion.
Once in Bunbury and living in nature on 5 acres, I began to become even more conscious of the foods we ate. We had our own fresh eggs, fruit and some vegetables. However, I was still working excess hours in the business, having late nights, over exercising, and although I was eating natural foods (still low in fat), I was tired and run down. I tried the HCG diet at this stage and did lose weight, this gave me some self confidence, but I was hungry, felt cold and put the weight back on only months after finishing the program. It was so frustrating. One thing I did discover while doing this diet, was how much grains cause inflammation in my body. This threw me into researching the negative effects of grains in our diet and helped me discover the Primal way of eating (through Mark Sisson). I removed processed grains from my diet at this stage.
In 2019, I discovered intermittent fasting and became immersed in YouTube videos and podcasts from Dr Jason Fung and other doctors explaining the positive effects of fasting. This is when I began experimenting with fasting, which soon lead me to a Keto diet (eating good fats and low carbs) and even some experimenting with a carnivore diet. In 2020 I made changes to my furniture business so that it wasn't so demanding on my time and allowed me to start my studies into Primal Health and becoming a Certified Primal Health Coach.
Now in 2021 (at the age of 44), I sit back and realise that I haven't used my ventolin (for asthma and chest issues), or had an earache in about 11 years. My skin is the clearest it's ever been. My fluctuating hormone issues have also disappeared. I no longer have sugar craving and energy slumps at 4pm. I put all of this down to the positive changes that I made in my lifestyle and food choices. I'm now metabolically flexible (my metabolism is working again) and I know what foods nourish my body (I'm still human and I'm still on my journey, so not all days are as positive as they could be, and I'm happy with that).
Whilst studying to become a Primal Health Coach (and doing my own research and experimentation) I discovered a few things;
I'm so excited for my future as a health coach. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to have been on this discovery of health over the past 16 years.
I understand the pressures that working mothers have, and corporate business people in general. I know how important mental focus and energy is in business.
I understand how the eating habits of busy people are easily lead astray. I know that my discoveries over the past few years will really benefit those who want to regain their health, energy and focus.
I believe that I can truly help others ditch the diets, excess exercise, painful joint and lethargy and begin to live a long and healthy life. I am passionate about introducing others to a life where they can "Thrive" not merely "Survive".
Primal Health Coach
ABOUT ME -
Ok…Start by writing a few things about yourself, I was told. Isn’t this the topic we should all find the easiest to write about? Then why am I finding it so hard? Where do I start? That’s the hard bit.
Some of my very first childhood memories are from inside my dad’s furniture shop (if you thought I was going to say inside my mum… that’d be weird). Running between the mattresses stacked out the back in the warehouse to hiding behind the sofas in the showroom. From the year I was born, my dad owned and operated retail furniture stores, was a rep for many furniture manufacturers and imported furniture into Australia from around the world. He has been my role model, my mentor and my inspiration.
Whilst at school I earned pocket money by vacuuming showroom floors or dusting shelves in my dad’s shop - "Entire Furniture". Once I was old enough, dad took me on his buying trips, introducing me to many furniture manufacturers and showed me around numerous factories. I loved the smell of freshly cut timber and recall the feeling of my shoes slipping on the sawdust.
Whilst studying a Business Degree at university I work in my Dad’s store selling furniture and basing a large amount of my research and assignments on the Furniture Industry. I loved (and still do love) every aspect of furniture and furniture design. Most of all I love helping people find the furniture pieces that will compliment their life.
After University I took a gap year to the UK. This is where I thought I’d branch into a marketing career. I worked for the newspapers in London but on my weekends did sightseeing at furniture stores. It became obvious that this was one of my passions and where I felt at home.
Returning home to Australia, I moved to Melbourne to live, here I worked for a couple of well-known Australian retailers in their furniture sales departments. Eventually I ended up with the Guests Group in the commercial furniture section. I loved that job but felt like it was time to head back to Western Australia, closer to my family. Back in Perth I managed the newly opened “Snooze” bedding store, then a few years later, with my husband opened one of the first “Forty Winks” bedroom furniture stores in Western Australia.
Three children later (all beautiful boys and my other BIG PASSION), we sold our Forty Winks store and made a sea change down South to live on 5 acres just out of Bunbury. Drawn to furniture once again, my husband and I opened KUKA Home in Bunbury. A retail store buying quality leather and fabric sofas direct from the world wide KUKA Factory. Next we moved into the Commercial Furniture market, doing fitouts for hotels, restaurants, hospitals and other businesses. This business was named "Entire Commercial Furniture".
Fast forward to today (2021), I still run Entire Commercial Furniture, but have also taken the plunge into "Entire Living" Health Coaching. You're probably wondering where, when, why and how did that interest come about? Sure bedroom furniture and sleep are connected, and sleep is a major component of health, but it's not the only factor that lead me down this path. Discover more in Part 2 of this blog - the other side of me.
Nat presenting at a Business Forum