Have you ever found yourself in a place where you feel anxious and stressed about food, parenting, work and your weight? You feel tired, stuck and lost? And those negative self-talks and late night cravings are just impossible to beat? Perhaps you get frustrated whenever things don't go the way you planned? Or when you fail continuing the Keto diet after so many attempts to lose those stubborn 10 pounds. And do you question yourself all the time; whether you can get the job done, raise good kids, lose weight and get fit?
I know I was (and sometimes still) struggling with these feelings and thoughts. They are real, but they're not your reality. Maybe it is now, but it doesn't have to be. So hear me out.
I wasn't always a Holistic Health Coach, who's eating mainly plant-based food and feeling confident in my own skin.
Growing up I struggled with my self-image, weight and negative self-talk. I tried all the fad diets and I would lose some weight (who doesn't with these crazy restrictions!) but I always end up tired of comparing myself with other skinny girls and feeling worse afterwards and NOT gaining long-term sustainable results.
At age 12, I discovered diets. And in the years to follow, I was a chronic fad dieter who was obsessed with weight and the way I look – to the point where I was on the verge of a serious eating disorder. This way of thinking was my ‘normal’, and I couldn’t help myself.
During that time, I was insecure and could only focus on that stupid number on the scale. I was stuck in this yo-yo effect what was the result of constant dieting. Since I could never keep up a certain diet or ‘ideal’ weight – which I now know doesn’t exist – I was caught in a toxic cycle. I had no control over my mind and thoughts and food took over my life in an unhealthy way, and I punished myself by bingeing and then restricting myself with food by going back to diets. Can you see this toxic cycle?
I graduated from the Amsterdam Fashion Institute with honours and started my career at age 22 as a fashion designer in The Netherlands. I was over the moon and couldn't wait to finally work in the fashion industry. Until I realised that this same industry was all about your looks, your popularity, your wardrobe and the people you know.
I thought that being thin and looking a certain way would make me more popular, and would make me accept myself more. Looking back, it had the opposite effect: it didn’t make me feel any more loved by others, and I definitely didn’t love myself more. I was using food to reward and punish myself. I compared myself to others who looked better and were more successful in life. I instill all that negative self-talk into my body, mind and self-worth and this became my biggest burden.
I got married with my high school sweet heart, quit my job and started my own fashion brand. I was a rising star; sold my brand in eleven countries and was living my best life. Yet, something was missing in the lonely entrepreneurs journey. I decided that it was time for a baby. I desperately wanted to become a mom and I got pregnant at age 26. I was healthy yet very busy building my brand. In the next weeks to follow, little did I know I landed in a nightmare when I lost my baby in the first trimester. It was devastating and I couldn't believe this was happening to me. Why me? I'm so young? I'm healthy!
Fast forward in 2012, I got pregnant for the second time. I couldn't be happier and after 4 months of severe nausea and morning sickness I had my appetite back. A big one. I ate all my favourite foods and had absolutely no control over my cravings. I felt totally disconnected from my body when I gained 25 kg with this pregnancy and after giving birth to Rocco, my firstborn, I couldn’t get the weight off. I was disappointed in my body and felt that it let me down. To top it off, breastfeeding didn’t go as planned and I end up feeling a total failure as a mother and a woman.
Then, when I was pregnant with my second child in 2014, something shifted. I started to read about nutrition, yoga, mindfulness and started to change the course of my life.
Fast forward to now, and I’m a completely different person. We moved to Bali, Indonesia, found our heart and home on the island and its people and love the laidback culture and slower pace. I’ve taken control over my life, my eating habits, and my thoughts. I’ve got my training at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) and as a Holistic Health Coach I create online courses, give workshops and do 1:1 coaching with clients around the world.
Today I have healthy daily habits that support me through the day such as meditation, being present, moving my body, being a mindful intuitive eater and having an active supporting community where I can give back. My mindset has completely changed and I've taken back control over my life and living life on my own terms.
What does this mean today? I choose love, grace and gratitude over fear. And I’ll tell you something — I ain’t ever going back!
Now, I’m here to help you do the same.
I want to ask you, would you like to learn how to love and accept yourself unconditionally? Are you willing to transform into the best version of yourself while being a working mother? Do you love the idea of feeling confident in your own skin and being healthy and happy – with no diets and no overwhelm? If that's the case, then I'm here for you, to guide you every step of the way to finding your mojo back!
With all my love,
Get your hands on my Circle of Life worksheet
I'm Melissa Senduk, a working mama from Amsterdam living my dream life in Bali. After two decades of dieting I finally found the method to lose weight (and keep it off!), live healthy and feel confident without dieting. Now, I'm teaching you all my secrets!