A Life Changed
HI I'M TRACY & THIS IS MY STORY - 2 min read
What a life, what a transformation!
If you had told me ten years ago that I would one day be helping others with balance, self-care and emotional eating issues, I would have laughed. Why? Because I didn’t know the first thing about how to achieve or manage them myself.
From my youngest of years, I suffered from chronic anxiety and debilitating self-image issues. My nickname in primary school was Mt. Everest and by the age of 14, at 92kg, I was a member of weight watchers. I will never forget those weekly weigh-ins on the second floor of the Hiberian Hotel in Mallow, a small town in the south of Ireland. Or the little book to record my weekly losses.
By the time I got to University to study Environmental Science, I was abusing recreational drugs to cope with the overwhelming feelings of shame. I believed everything about me was wrong and ugly. During this time, my weight was constantly fluctuating by a stone or two from the eat-repent-deprive-repeat cycle.
The combination of alcohol, drugs and stress hormones ravaged my body and unsurprisingly resulted in terrible health by the age of 26. Not only had I completely lost my mental health, but now my physical health was gone too. For the next ten years, the battle was on to heal my body from chronic reflux, chronic rhinositusitus, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, and endometriosis. In hindsight, it seems like a miracle that I got a degree and a masters in science, and held down a full time job as an environmental scientist.
One thing that was constant throughout this time was a very strong emotional eating pattern. Knowing that certain foods would trigger a severe bout of reflux, I seemed completely unable to control myself around food. So I would have something that wasn’t good for me, be struck down the next day with severe pain, nausea and headaches, then fast for a few days until I could eat again without pain. And so the pattern would continue over and over again with me believing I had an extreme lack of willpower.
So the only difference between me and someone who gained weight was that I now had reflux to control it. In a way, it was like a gastric band but I was in no way different to any other person who could not control themselves around food.
However, getting sick in the long run was the best thing that ever happened to me because it forced me to become sober, give up drugs, detox my body and allow it to heal physically. I also found God along the way, a blessing that no words can describe. What I never expected to happen though, was that through the process, I would have to also carefully examine ALL sources of stress in my life that were contributing to my health problems. And so it was with this that my complete absence of self-worth became apparent. My mindset of negativity, fear, insecurity and inadequacy had been as toxic as the substance abuse itself.
From there, I rose because with these truths revealed, I could clearly see. Through determination and commitment to overcome, I became a fully functioning human being armed with information, knowledge and wisdom to step out of the darkness into the light. With Gods guidance, I came to see that I was someone, that I was worthy and that I was lovable. And with this came great opportunities with work, friends, family and life.
But as soon as all of this started to improve, my inner workaholic, was exposed. I had an incredible ability to run myself into the ground by always taking on too much and never having the courage to say no. I had no boundaries. This was a time when my emotional eating habits came into full force again. Then I became a mum and things ramped up even further. As a self confessed personal development geek, fascinated by human behaviour, I was determined to overcome this final part of my life puzzle in my quest for ultimate peace and happiness. With young children, things had to change because I simply could not afford it my time and energy any longer. Being in reflux pain does not make for a happy nurturing mama.
So with my extensive life experience, personal development, counselling and behaviour/habit change studies, I was finally able to smash my emotional eating problem. How? I wrote a program that reveals the link between the past and the present and applied it to my life, and it worked. And it was at this point that I became fully free from the suffering, the torment, the shame, the blame and the guilt that remained in my life.
To this day, I still cannot believe that I have transformed into the woman I have become. I am a fighter and I am so grateful for the researching mind I have been gifted. If there is one thing I know for certain about myself, I do not give up until I have ALL the answers.
It is said, 'You can only take clients as far as you are willing to go yourself', so based on this, I know I can take you all the way to recovery, just as I have taken myself.