For more on my health journey + philosophy
Everyone has their own health journey. My story and how I worked to overcome personal health battles is a big part of understanding why I am driven to do what I do today.
My first experience with developing bad health habits came at around age 14, at a time when you start experiencing all sorts of changes in your body. In hindsight, it’s perfectly normal to put
on a bit of weight as you grow into womanhood, but instead I became obsessed with this and would spend time looking for a gap between my thighs, changing my diet to “low-fat everything”, and watching what I ate.
I was a dancer and active, but still I tried fad diets – something I would continue to do for many years – and that eventually led to binging to take control of what I was eating (and drinking in my latter teenage years). I was generally unhappy in myself and my body, and at age 17 I started to experience panic attacks which seemingly came out of nowhere.
I went to a doctor, who put me on mild anxiety and depression medication to help me get through high school. But nothing was really addressed in terms of my lifestyle and diet and no questions were asked to get to the root cause of what I was experiencing. It was all about “fixes” that never really fixed anything.
I continued on and off medication over the next few years, with a stint in Japan at age 19 to work with Disney only making things worse. The lifestyle was intense, the hours long and my way of coping was to control my eating and exercise.
Needless to say, I lost a lot of weight and came home after 7 months to an extremely worried family. I had to have tests for rheumatoid arthritis and kidney function tests revealed my levels were comparable to someone aged in their 60s.
I had clearly done a lot of damage, but again no one was looking at what I was eating or my physiology. I thought all fats were bad fats and I would only let myself eat what I had “earned” through exercise. However, all I had really achieved was poor health and low energy through a lack of calories. Again, I ended up on medication.
My introduction in 2009 to wholefoods – and an alternative approach to training and life – through a trainer at the gym where I worked, helped start the process toward a better, healthier me. I enrolled in Holistic Counselling and Mind-Body Medicine at Endeavour College soon after I started taking Juice Plus+ after being taught for the first time about the true importance of fruit and vegetables.
By the end of 2010 and my first year of study, I felt I had done a complete 180. My studies and new, healthier habits resulted in a huge shift in my emotional and physical state and I was starting to heal myself with foods and understand that it wasn’t just about staying skinny and being fit. Rather, it was about fueling myself correctly on a mind-body level. By transforming myself mentally, it had a knock-on effect on everything else.
By the end of 2011 I had stopped my medications and have never been back on them since. The arthritis and kidney issues started to reverse, I had better immunity, reduced period pain, I was regular in other areas and – most importantly – I now connected a good mind and wellbeing with good nutrition.
However, a person’s health is an ongoing journey with occasional setbacks. In 2012, exhausted after trying to balance part-time work, studies, dancing and relationships, I collapsed at the gym with Anaphylactic Shock. I was lucky there was a doctor around and a hospital nearby, but it was the start of an ongoing allergy to wheat and gluten.
To add to things, a few days after being discharged from hospital I ignored the headaches and resumed my hectic pace, which landed me back in hospital after 2 weeks and on a drip after suffering 3 days of severe gastro. Again, it was my immune system and I was not listening to my body.
I now know that 80% of our immunity stems from the health of our gut.
One month after my collapse I went to the U.S. as part of a Juice Plus+ work conference and it was following this trip that I finally came home with enough confidence to make a big change.
It’s really easy to label people, and for me, I really didn’t want to live by the label, “you’re the depressed girl, it runs in the family”. At the end of the day, any disease is the body showing it’s in “dis-ease”.
Through all of this I have been able to find myself and realise that my passion is working to help other people improve their health and overall wellbeing.
My approach now – both personally and in my work with clients – is about developing a healthy lifestyle that includes continual improvement and maintenance rather than “crisis care”.
I want to show people that there is so much misguided information out there and it is not just one thing, but a number of things, that brings us the vitality we seek.
This is where my journey started and it will always inform what I do.
Yours in Mind, Body and Health
Mind-Body Health Morning
Join us for this free event at F45 Training in Dianella Plaza with holistic health coach, Carla Thomas, as she shares her secrets to releasing our natural potential for health, happiness and vitality through easy-to-manage steps for better nutrition, activity, and overall wellbeing.
DATE: Saturday 24 March, 2018
LOCATION: F45 Training, 366 Grand Promenade, Dianella, WA, 6059
Tickets are free but subject to availability! Please confirm your attendance at F45 or directly to Carla.
See flyer for further details!