My experience on dieting
Hello everyone and Happy New Year!
All the best wishes for a prosperous, healthy, balanced and delicious 2020!
I wanted to write something meaningful for the first post of the year and I realized that I have never told you about my story and how I decided to become a nutrition and food coach. (Spoiler alert: long post but an interesting one!!!)
I was born in Athens, Greece and I grew up in a loving and supporting family. My mom would always cook super healthy and delicious meals every day. Of course, we would have treats, sweets and cookies – everything homemade and extremely healthy. She would make things like oil-free muffins based on apple sauce “before it was cool” and, to be honest, I didn’t appreciate them back then but now I am asking her for those recipes! I loved (and still do) cooking with her. I think she is the one I got the talent after. So, since a very young age I had a passion for, and if I may say, talent in cooking and creating new recipes that would astonish my family and friends.
I’ve earned my Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from the Agricultural University of Athens and then decided to study further and become a chef. When I finished college, I worked for a couple of years as a chef and then I met the love of my life and we decided to move to Qatar to pursue bigger and more exciting projects. That’s where I got my first job as a nutritionist!
During all of my life I was always very balanced, always loved exercising and of course eating without regrets and without making any actual effort to be in shape.
All these changed drastically more than 3.5 years ago.
After living in Qatar for 2 years we started planning our next steps to move back to Europe. Then, I decided I wanted to deepen my knowledge in Healthcare, so I moved to Maastricht to do my second Master’s degree. My then-fiancé-now-husband stayed back in Qatar and started looking for a job in Europe.
So, I moved back to Europe. Suddenly, I was feeling lonely, out of my comfort zone and the only thing I was enjoying was eating. I was eating healthy, but still a lot and emotionally. I also stopped exercising and as a result, of course, I gained some weight (3 kilos). Being very self-conscious, I did not like my image, and I decided I needed to go on a diet (I HATE that expression). So instead of going for a balanced eating plan and exercising and giving the time for my mind, myself and my body to cope with all the changes that were happening at that time, I started following exhausting diets with many restrictions (Paleo, Low-carbs, Low-fat, Atkins, you name it...). These diets had the desirable results in the short term but when I would stop them, poooofff… again gaining weight… In a nutshell that went for over a year. The craziest thing is that I am a nutritionist and I should have known better… but trust me “losing 3 kilos in a week” sounds so nice and easy but it is so UNHEALTHY!
I started thinking and reading a lot about eating disorders (I am not implying that I was suffering from eating disorder) and then I came to the conclusion (!!!) that I should have everything in moderation (as I have been doing for so many years)! Everything in balance. You can have a healthy lifestyle with exercising regularly and eating healthy and balanced and you can still have your “down” moments or weakness or just because you want and devour a pizza and some ice cream and then some chocolate and some chips to “balance” the sweetness. If all of this is just one day, and the rest of the week is committed to a healthy balanced diet (and I don’t mean diet for losing weight – but diet as in “kinds of food that a person habitually eats”) then enjoy your life! Live the life you want! Without restrictions and diets indicating what you should and what you should not eat!
So, as you can imagine I went back to my old habits, eating everything and going to the gym and I started feeling so much better -physically and mentally! I lost those “extra” kilos in 3-months’ time. Now I am happier and fitter than ever. I go to Pilates and yoga classes 3-4 times a week, I run when the weather is sunny, and I eat everything without restrictions. Everything in moderation! Everything in balance!
So, after this experience, it came to me that I want to help people to change their eating and cooking habits in a sustainable way. It doesn’t come fast. It takes more time than the “flash diets” but trust me… the results are totally worth it!
Don’t make it your 2020 new year resolution to go skinnier…but to go healthier!!! Do it as a life-changing decision not only for the first couple of months!