For the first in our series of #MyLifeJourney blogs, we sat down with Foodfit Nation Founder Nicola Marshall to discover more about her journey with fitness, health and food.
As this time of year when you’re continually on the move, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut. If you need fresh inspiration, motivation, encouragement & education around getting healthy and losing weight, then Food Fit Nation is what you need in your life! A feel good vibe from a tribe of amazing people who are all striving towards the same goal in life.. to ditch the diet, get fit, get healthy and be free from the shackles of fad-dieting!
Being raised in a ‘meat and two veg’ family (with a Dad who despised garlic and could sniff it out at a thousand paces), I found myself on a new and liberating journey when I left home and married at (the oh so young) age of 20. I discovered Chinese, Indian and all manner of high fat, high sugar takeaways. As expected, this new-found love took its toll on my waistline and over a period of months, I went from a size 12 to a size 16. Sadly, I found myself in an abusive relationship with a husband to whom image was of great importance. One vivid memory I have is being in the car with him one day heading to town for another takeaway lunch (KFC on this occasion I think!). This particular day, I didn’t have any makeup on. As he drove, he turned to me and said ‘why have you come out without any makeup on? You look plain, I don’t want anyone to see you looking like that’. Ongoing abuse of varying degrees lead to extremely low self-esteem which I eased by turning to food…. Usually chocolate!
Luckily, I escaped the abusive relationship after 18 hellish months, but my self-respect had hit rock bottom and my weight had hit an all-time high. It seems I was destined to a life of yo-yo dieting from then on, as I would often turn to food for comfort or release whenever I found myself struggling. It was a great coping mechanism for me and a way to mask underlying issues I didn’t want to face.
Ten years later (and after a second extremely controlling relationship), I met my now husband (third time lucky as they say!). At last, I’d found a partner who never criticised me for my ever-fluctuating weight! We’ve been blessed with 3 children but after the birth of my third child, my weight hit a new record high!!! I’d reached a point of not even getting on the scales because I couldn’t bear to look at the number. It was then that I took a bold decision to join Slimming World and face the shame of the scales as my weight was now affecting my life – I was declining all kinds of wonderful events and activities (even with my own children) because of the way I felt and looked.
Slimming World was the start of a new journey for me. Every Monday, I would drive to my local group, thinking about how well my week had or hadn’t gone, focusing entirely on the scales and whether I would be rewarded for my dedication of following the plan (9 times out of 10, I’d have a ‘reward’ stashed in the car for my drive home!). I lost 4.5 stone in 7 months because I was unwavering in following the plan. I became a SW consultant and did that for 5 years. As time passed, I noticed that I’d taken quite a detour on my own journey. Maybe one too many stops in the layby and at times, I think got completely lost! I was well and truly off the beaten track and now heavier than I was when I joined Slimming World 5 years previously! Despair, again!! Time to change gear!
This 22-year dieting purgatory had to end. It was time to begin a brand-new journey. One of education, one of empowerment and one of evolution. Time to start creating the new me and helping others to find the same freedom. FoodFit was born and now I’m the driver of my own car and passionately trying to help others be the drivers of their own too.
Nicola will be one of our regular featured bloggers, so stay tuned for top tips and advice on staying healthy on-the-go!
Cheers to Nicola (with a non-alcoholic beer – of course!)