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Aanii/hello, I'm Sophie
Musclebound Mama Founder
Like many, I had a challenging upbringing. I witnessed and experienced traumatic abuse that even now, I don’t fully understand and have spent most of my adult life recovering from. My emotional challenges growing up manifested physically in every way possible. Like any child in my situation, I did my best to fit in and by the age of 13 I was engaging in disordered eating. I would shift back and forth from restriction and purging to binge eating and purging - and not much in between. My weight had become a barometer for my emotional state.
After moving to Ottawa, I found myself relying on food once again to cope with the anxiety that came with starting over on my own in a city so far from home. I quickly shot up to my all-time weight high of 203lbs – size 14/16. I knew I needed to get out of my pattern but I didn’t know how. I joined a gym but lost interest early on, and still didn’t know how to eat properly. I would remain in this pattern for about two years and again fell back to my old habit of disordered eating – but this time, it nearly killed me. I was now engaging in such dangerous eating patterns that I was losing my hair, sleeping constantly and in a continuous state of confusion and anxiety. Finally, I collapsed on a running trail and woke up in an ambulance. I would spend several months in hospital recovering from Anorexia.
I left the hospital program at a healthy weight, a healthier mind and a promise to myself to spend the rest of my life working to stay well. It was a good foundation but the work hadn’t even begun. Shortly after leaving the hospital, I became pregnant with my son. I developed depression during my pregnancy and gained 60 lbs in the first year after my son was born. Shortly thereafter, I began my well intentioned but terribly misguided, fitness journey which saw some major derailments.
The binge/restrict cycle once again consumed me and I was completely obsessed with fad diets and fell victim to many dangerous and misguided coaches. Many of them selling supplements with roots in bad science, some promoting fasting, and all of them prescribed to shame and fear as coaching tools. I learned how severely the diet industry was lacking in basic common sense and humanity.
The next event shaped my future. It’s hard to read but important to understand because it formed the foundation for my commitment to helping my clients - you.
September 24, 2009, I got a call telling me my stepfather had been murdered and our family home was a crime scene. I immediately knew my mother was responsible. The thing about being a child of abuse is that you work tirelessly at trying to forget the abuse – even excusing it and justifying it on your abuser’s behalf. The reason for this is heavily layered but in my case, I grew up feeling so unloved and worthless at her hands that I spent my life waiting, hopeful, for any small scrap of love and validation she might drop in my lap. I would spend the next 354 days literally destroying myself to distract myself from the fact that I truly knew my mother was responsible. I lost my marriage, myself, and I had, for a short time, relapsed into my old patterns.
The day she was arrested was the day that changed my life forever. I walked away from her, and my entire extended family who chose to support her and deny the truth of who she really was. After giving myself time to heal, I began working with a coach. He had a tough case with me, given my history with disordered eating, and my other less-than-coachable characteristics (which I still try to convince myself to this days is part of my charm), but I trusted him and learned from him and realized that there was something positive to come out of all of this. Slowly, I learned to nourish my body into performing rather than punishing it into performing.
Together, with my coaching and my extensive work in therapy, I found my power and decided that I can help others find theirs. I would go on to study sports nutrition, metabolic science, cognitive behaviour therapy and commit to continued learning in not only nutrition science, but in emotional wellness. I’m currently pursuing my BA Honours in Psychology and my Masters will immediately follow. I believe that every experience - no matter how painful - contains an opportunity for growth. I learned that I can help others discover their inner power and I feel truly blessed to be able to do just that.
Today, I am a married mother of 2 children, Pflag Canada Chapter Lead, Arnprior Pride Co-founder, and vocal advocate for marginalized folks and trauma survivors.
What is a Nutrition & Food Relationship Coach?
Sadly, we are just not educated in nutrition or self-care. What we learn about nutrition comes from the literature provided by our National Food Guide – which is excellent – but just not enough. We also get messages from food marketing that I think we can agree is all a bit biased toward the products being promoted.
Self-care is something we learned second-hand by watching our caregivers engage in it – or not. Without much consciousness, the coping strategies and self-care practices we witness, become our own. Usually, not to anyone’s benefit.
So, we go through life living reactively with strategies we picked up unconsciously that might not benefit us. As a result, we are anxious to take the advice of well meaning people in our circles or even, sadly, celebrities who are financially compensated to promote products with no scientific backing – out of desperation.
That’s where a Nutrition & Food Relationship coach comes in. You will learn how to eat in a way that supports the body composition you want. You will be walked, step-by-step through the process of recognizing your needs and advocating for them. Soon, old habits are replaced with new ones and THAT becomes the example you needed growing up – so will provide the same for those growing up in your home.
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