So I left off with me having graduated as a health coach through IIN, wanting to change careers, but just feeling tethered to the film industry. I had so many self-doubts: I’m not qualified enough; I’m not young enough; pretty enough; fit enough; clever enough; I haven’t got enough savings to support this career change.
You know, the usual! Just standing in my own damn way!
was coming to a close and I decided it was high time to at least launch my business as a side hustle. I began working with an amazing designer, The Vegan Bliss Co, who came up with my gorgeous logo, branding and website design. It was time to put myself out there!
Bespoke Body was born and I started accepting paying clients in between film work. It was exciting to finally be taking steps towards living my true purpose. Juggling the film industry with anything else is not easy. Film hours are insane and demanding. When I was on a super hectic shoot, I wouldn’t really be able to give much energy or focus to Bespoke Body, so it felt a little stop/start.
Health wise, I was still pretty much walking my talk. I managed to stay fit and well on film jobs, even when I was away from home. I love to tell clients about this time in my life, because I was honestly sometimes working 16 hour days, 6 days a week, yet I still managed to make time for good nutrition, meditation and movement to support my body and keep me feeling tip-top. Even if it was 5 mins of exercise or deep breathing and getting a green concoction in when I was in the middle of nowhere… It’s about staying consistent. If you want something, you will make it happen!
Please don’t think that I’m a complete saint though! I always preach about finding YOUR balance, so for me, there are and were many moments of indulgence and couch potato days. Burgers and wine, balanced by green smoothies and a workout. Lack of sleep, then sleeping in. Fun parties with friends and then meditation retreats. You get the picture.
I was recently engaged and while many brides-to-be would immediately start dieting and training and “shedding for the wedding”, I had no such inclination.
I actually spent so much of the year travelling, which was a treat (especially looking back now!), so I was going with the flow in terms of eating and exercise and obviously enjoying all of my travel experiences without restriction or guilt. I spent five months of the year shooting a TV series in Morocco; then I got to spend 10 days in Greece with my girlfriends for my bachelorette and then finally I went to visit my fiancé on Mauritius.
Due to all the travel and wedding prep, Bespoke Body things were obviously not top priority.
I did have a few dark moments during the year of feeling frustrated, lost and stuck in terms of BB – and I must admit there were some occasions where I binge-ate and emotionally ate to numb or distract myself from those feelings.
The final push before the wedding, I was really proud of myself for not going to extremes with my diet and exercise. I just carried on as normal – working out, eating well, with plenty of celebrations in between. I look at my wedding photos and I look like myself – happy, healthy and normal!
And that brings us to this crazy year! In January, I finally took the leap of faith and said no to many film work offers. I wanted to dedicate myself full time to all things Bespoke Body.
I started teaching group fitness classes. I was creating cleanses and recipes and just fully fully living my brand and I looked and felt my absolute best!
I was nearly three months into that journey, slowly slowly building things up from scratch, when we were hit with a pandemic and a strict lockdown.
Initially the stress of my husband not being able to work and our very little savings dwindling, big mountain of debt, coupled with me teaching up to two classes a day online, meant I lost some weight.
Somewhere during lockdown, (like many others) I started baking and cooking (and often eating) like a maniac. I slowed down with my teaching schedule (burnout was defs looming!) and next thing you know I’d packed on a few kilos.
I think it was around the time that I started reviewing my old journals to write this series, that I laughed at myself stressing at a certain number on a scale back in the day (thinking I was so huge!) and here I was basically weighing the same again. My body composition was definitely better from my consistent exercise habit, so I guess I looked better. (Another reason to not be so fixated with numbers on a scale!) The greatest change though, was that gaining a little weight, didn’t send me into a downward spiral of depression, further self-sabotage, then guilt and punishment! No more of that!
What I’m so proud of is that I’ve come to learn that my outward appearance and weight are transient and almost inconsequential in comparison to my inner landscape! Hallelujah.
Around this time, a few months ago, I started to feel consistently bloated and tired. My boobs seemed bigger, I was a little bit emotional. I put the bloating down to my weight gain and all the lockdown baking; I put the other symptoms down to PMS.
But my period didn’t come… and didn’t come… and so eventually I decided to get a pregnancy test.
And what do ya know? I was pregnant! Whoa! That explained a lot!
The first trimester, I felt so bloated, tired and uncomfortable. The sudden feeling of losing control of my body was overwhelming. My boobs went massive overnight. I already didn’t know what to wear – especially as most of my day is spent in tight workout clothes. I barely had energy to train my clients, let alone myself. I was lucky to only experience a tiny bit of nausea and in between that, my appetite was huge! I guess feeling so tired, just made me crave carbs, sugar and comfort food.
Luckily, I’m in the glorious second trimester now and I’m feeling pretty normal! My energy is good, my appetite seems to have stabilised and I guess I’m growing used to my ever changing and expanding new body.
I’ve had to coach myself through a few moments of self-judgement and criticism, but I’m happy to say that I think I’m owning it and embracing this season of my life! I am growing a child and my body is blooming. So I take time to move my body in ways that feel good. I make sure I’m getting good nutrition in, but you better believe I’m also having quite a few more treats and indulgences than usual, coz #YOPO (You’re on pregnant once) – although there’ll probs be another in the future, who knows?! One baby at a time! Eeeeep!
So that’s my journey so far: gaining, losing, gaining, losing, gaining.
I’ve learnt so much along the way and now it is my deepest honour to guide and help other women on their own journeys to finding balance, happiness, peace and love with their own bodies.
Thank you for reading!
Lots of love!