The start of my story
As a child and teenager I was always overweight. I was often teased and grew up very aware that I was different to most kids. In my later teenage years I started to discover health and fitness. I learned about healthier food choices and started to pursue different forms of exercise (jogging, gym classes, weights, swimming etc.). Experiencing the positive impact of good nutrition and exercise sparked a lifelong passion in me. In my last year at high school I got super fit and lost 20kg. I felt awesome. Unfortunately, this weight loss was short lived.
Despite my aspirations to live a healthy and fit life - study, work, alcohol and stress took over and came to play a big part in my life for many years. I kept relatively active and lost weight a couple of times. However, I always regained the weight and was never able to establish consistently healthy routines. Overtime, I gradually gained more and more weight... I spent years stuck in an “all or nothing” approach to diet and exercise.
Around 2012/2013, at 27 years old I hit rock bottom. On the surface, my life was good; I had an amazing job, I was engaged (and wedding planning!) and living a fun lifestyle – wining and dining, partying and travelling the world!! But beneath the surface, it was a different story.
I was broken, exhausted and had lost confidence in myself. I was gaining weight rapidly and suffered from insomnia, depression and anxiety. My resting heart rate, blood pressure and blood sugar were all heading in the wrong direction. I was drinking heavily (in part to cope with pain and stress). My petite frame was starting to suffer – my knees hurt, my feet/ankles would swell in the summer and I couldn’t walk up a hill without dripping in sweat. I was wearing size 18 clothing. I felt out of control in all aspects of my life – my weight, health, relationships and work. I was stuck.
So what changed?
Just like every other New Year up until this point, in 2014 I set myself the resolution to change. And just like every other year, I started out strong in January and was back to my old ways by February... but 2014 was going to be different. It had to be.
My desire to change was stronger than ever but I also knew I needed extra help. I booked myself into a four-week health and weight loss retreat in Australia. It started four months later and I managed to lose 7kg before going (mostly through exercise) - my first weight loss in years!!
I didn’t do anything dramatically different or new to get the ball rolling but what I did stop was "starting again". If I had a bad day or weekend (e.g. drank or ate too much and didn’t work out), I just moved on. I tried to do my best the next day and focused on what i was doing well. Prior to leaving NZ I also left my job and separated from my fiancé (another story). In hindsight, I didn’t need to make these big changes or even go on a weight loss retreat – I had all the resources I needed to change inside of me, I just didn’t realise this or have the mindset and self-belief to apply them.
The weight loss retreat had a strong focus on mindset and behavioural change. After returning home I focused on implementing one habit change at a time. I kept slowly losing weight and growing fitter, stronger and more resilient. I have lost and maintained further weight since then.
I am now 40kg lighter than I was in 2014 and the strongest, healthiest, happiest version of myself.
Yes – there have been a few turning points and critical events that have helped to accelerate the changes I have made. However, for the most part, the ‘transformation’ to my life has been built from many small changes. Some days, that’s just putting one foot in front of the other.
The sense of determination, achievement, faith and self-belief that has grown from this journey has been incredible and has transferred into all areas of my life. The broken, exhausted girl who lacked confidence and self-belief doesn’t show up much these days and my experiences and personal achievements in recent years are beyond what I could have ever dreamed.
How do I feel today?
Today, I feel fit, healthy, calm and in control. Most mornings I wake up early (well before my alarm) feeling energised and ready to create an awesome day.
There is always a buzz in achieving goals, but more than anything I love the journey.
I can now say that my healthy lifestyle has become normal and ‘easy’.
Why did I start Zenergene?
From my personal experiences, I felt that many professionals aimed at supporting wellbeing were often focused on just one aspect of ‘the big picture’. For example…
- A Personal Trainer would focus on supporting my physical fitness within the confines of that single session or relatively narrow fitness goals (e.g. lose fat now!)
- Development and career conversations were about development at work.
- My Doctor would focus on addressing apparently isolated symptoms in a 15-minute appointment (and sending me away with a new prescription).
I visualised myself doing something to help people make holistic changes as ‘a whole person’ and helping them transfer skills and strengths between different aspects of their life.
The health and weight loss retreat I went to in 2014 sparked a new energy in me – how could I create a life-changing experience that is accessible to more people? My career to date has been about supporting people to learn, grow and be the best they can. How could I expand this into wellbeing and weight loss? In 2016 I attended the European Institute of Fitness, and got qualified as a personal trainer and lifestyle coach. I also became qualified as a Precision Nutrition Coach.
From here I started to dream up my vision and purpose for Zenergene:
helping you establish the knowledge, mindset and belief to live the life you want
So here I am today…Zenergene…the programmes and my overall approach bring together my:
- passion for growing and developing people
- skill in designing meaningful learning experiences
- desire to help people find/create their authentic voice and live life aligned to their values
- knowledge of and love for nutrition, health and fitness
- own life experiences and journey of losing 40kg (and maintaining this)
So that’s my story! I would love to be part of yours…