Well hello, I am Sophie and I am, in Pursuit of Wellbeing
Whats it all about..
I started Pursuit of Wellbeing, initially on instagram to chronicle my progression into healthy eating, and pursuing wellbeing. It then turned into a way to share with others the food I enjoy and my approach to eating well, celebrating real food, and having a balanced but thoroughly enjoyable diet.
I wish to share my insights into food and nutrition, living a wholesome life, exercising and moving daily, health and beauty products I love, my thoughts on the crazy world we live in. I am also doing a nutrition course, so it will be interesting to see how my view on food changes as this progresses.
I will post up lots of recipes for you all to try. Some of my own, and some of my favourites of those around me. My recipes are all made using fresh, unprocessed, real food. Organic and home grown or local when possible. Cooking makes me truly happy, I love to cook for others, so the thought of someone else enjoying my food in their own home brings me so much joy. I love to cook food that tastes amazing, but is also nutritionally balanced, nourishing, fulfilling and will make you feel and look great. I hope you enjoy.
Where it all began..
Food has, is and always will be the leading role in my life. My relationship with food is a close one, I bloody love it! Not much that I don’t like. But as with all relationships, they aren’t always the best for you.
I grew up being, well, not very active.. often forgetting my PE kit in order to avoid all sport, at any cost! The only thing that got me in gym gear, was dodgeball. Who doesn’t love throwing balls at other people. But this lack of exercise, and a rather large hunger, meant I was always a rather squidgy child. We had a varied and wholesome diet as a family, but we also ate our fair share of treats!
When I got into my teens, as most girls did, I became totally self conscious. I hit puberty quite young, so was often picked on for the size of my chest. Funny how that changes as we get older.. I went to an all girls school, so was surrounded by other girls bodies to be envious of. Add that to family stress, and you’ve got yourself the perfect recipe for an eating disorder. At first, I wasn’t really aware of what I was doing, I wouldn’t say it was necessarily conscious. Being sick just seemed a logical way to have less food in my body and then loose weight. But there was no way I was gonna stop actually eating! It worked, within a year I had lost 2 stone. To me, I looked great, and the confidence made me feel great. But I was also suffering from black outs, migraines and heart palpitations. Doctors never picked up on my eating disorder, even throughout the tests for my black outs, as I am a bigger boned, and heavy muscled girl.
This continued for a few years, going through phases of being more relaxed and more hardcore. Until I met my lobster, Jimmy, at just 17, finding the love of your life was a big deal. He was amazing, and almost instantly I lost the urge to purge (naff rhyme). He was and is great at making me feel good about myself, my weight balanced out and I was ok with it. But, as anyone who has dealt with an eating disorder knows, it’s always there in the back of your mind, as an easy go to for weightloss, control and when you feel guilty.
So I continued to struggle with it for another 8 years. My weight yo-yoed. At one point I dropped down to the tiny weight I was at 15 years old. When I managed to ease off on the purging, I would gain weight, and then exercise like a crazy person to try and loose weight without being sick. Which made me hate exercise, yet again! It was a form of punishment to me at the time.
But then something began to change about 3 years ago, I realised I could enjoy food, eat delicious food, and lots of it, if it was the right food, without turning into a whale. Lightbulb moment! It all started when I was suffering with stress, anxiety and depression, due to my work at the time. I saw a keniesiologist (more on them in a blog post at some point), she sent me off with a ton of supplements and a strict diet plan, cutting out dairy, sugar, wheat, gluten and grains. Holy cow it was hard! But it changed my relationship with food.
I had to really think about what I put in my mouth. It was a challenge, that turned into a pleasure, I realised how much I loved to cook, fresh, vibrant, real, varied food. When I was putting so much effort into cooking a delicious healthy meal, the last thing I wanted to do was waste all that effort and pleasure by being sick.
Yes I did put on a bit of weight, but not as much as I was worried I would. Now for the last 3 years, I have maintained my weight, gaining slightly when I started to workout more. That was hard to get my head around, and nearly sent me spiralling to a bad place.
But something really changed in my mind, I realised I felt good, I love cooking, I look healthier, I enjoy doing gentle exercise that makes me feel good. 10 years together, and he has enjoyed the journey in the pursuit of wellbeing we have taken together, but of course he would, he loves being fed! Hollow legs.
I don’t want to be mean to myself anymore, and try and diet or exercise until I feel like I will collapse. Focusing on the benefits of nutrition totally changed my mindset. There are things I will most likely never eat again, if I can avoid them, and there are also things I have welcomed back in moderation, like diary, wheat, gluten, grains. But now if I eat them, I go for the best out there, always organic and local when possible. I exercise frequently but just doing the stuff I enjoy, that I gain pleasure from. I like the difference it has made to my body, and that drives me to keep going, but no more punishing runs, or 2 hours of cardio. My favourite is Barre, Pilates and HIIT runs.
I hope to inspire others to enjoy cooking real, fresh food from scratch, to find real enjoyment in the process, so that this becomes all you really want to eat. Without feeling deprived or unsatisfied. It is so empowering to care for yourself through your diet, knowing you are putting the best into your body, and you will then get the best from your body. And exercising to suit your body, after all, cave men didn’t run marathons!
Eating right, loving your body and being mindful are the most important steps in leading a healthy life, in the pursuit of wellbeing.
Eat to thrive.