What can I tell you about me? 😅
I can tell you that this website is 110% me in my rawest and most honest form. You will never get bullsh*t from me and that’s the way I like to keep it.
110% authentic Steph.
I am a 23 year old Personal Trainer and Podcaster from Geelong, VIC. I have been plant based since April 2017. Since then my life has changed in ways I would have never imagined. All for the better 💫
In 2016 I was diagnosed with PCOS, otherwise known as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome a hormonal condition that effects 1/10 women (you can learn more about it here). I will go into this in a little more detail in another one of my blogs. But to keep it short and sharp, PCOS has an array of symptoms that can vary from absent or painful periods, unwanted hair growth, hair loss, depress and anxiety, diabetes, insulin resistance, weight gain, infertility and hormonal acne (to name a few).
In 2015 I had studied Personal Training and had fallen in love with the health and fitness industry and believed that this would be the way I would fulfill my passion to help people.
WELL, honestly that didn’t happen!
I was offered a full time job managing a cafe and I took it, the money was too good and after being unsuccessful in my one and only PT interview, I let my low self esteem keep me from fulfilling that hope, and I went back to what was safe and what I knew best; Hospitality.
Fast forward to April 2017, I had previously been diagnosed with PCOS and prescribed the pill to control my hormones (a doctor instantly prescribes this and I recommend doing your research before you accept this, to see if this is really the best option for you).
I was stressed about my future outcomes so I began researching. And when I say researching… I mean researching at any free moment I had.
It was then that I made the decision that I no longer wanted to consume animal products in order to decrease the inflammatory state of my body. So I went cold turkey, vegan (or cold Tofurky as I like to say).
Just like that I made a decision that has changed my life forever. In that first week I took it upon myself to look into Veganism. I watched Cowspiracy, read so many articles and found what is still my favourite Youtube video, 101 Reasons to go Vegan.
AMAZING, I tell you. I had never felt more sure about anything in my life after that week.
I wondered to myself how I had been so ignorant to all the horrible things happening in the world and all the negative impacts that animal agriculture had on not only animals but our world itself. What was more alarming was to discover what horrible effects animal products had on our bodies. And just like that I became a ‘vegan hippy’ 🌱
By October 2017 I was suffering with really bad depression and anxiety again. *Disclaimer* I will always be completely honest about my mental health, it is something I take very seriously and am not afraid to talk about.
I had terribly low self esteem and I really didn’t like what I saw in the mirror. I needed a change and that’s where F45 comes in. I participated in an 8 week challenge from October – December and my life changed dramatically!
I found my love for good healthy-food and fitness again! It was like I was waking up from a haze I’d been living in. I was cooking amazing meals, exercising and most of all feeling better than I had in years. That’s when I began my Instagram page plantbasedbody__. I wanted to share my challenge experience with other people and prove that it could be done 100% plant based!
I came out as challenge winner, with what felt like an amazing transformation physically but more importantly, mentally. It was then that I knew that I needed to get back into the health and fitness industry and start living out my purpose… to help people ✨
I begun working at F45 in Brunswick East and was inspired by the forward thinking and motivating people I had around me. Organically my Instagram page evolved into a representation of what I put into my body (in the form of plant based food) and what I did to my body (in the form of exercise) but also empahsized the mind and my mental health too.
I began to study Naturopathy in melbourne and thought that life was all worked out and that I had found my purpose…
But just like every story my life threw me another curve ball and I went from being an incredibly inspired young individual moving to a big city to study at Uni and with a new job… only to have the reality of no place to live come and bite my on my bottom.
I lived on my friends loungeroom floor in her Melbourne apartment with her and her housmate for 3 months. Over this time my mental health plummeted. I had started a new job, a new form of study, I didn’t have my own space, I spent all of my time either at work, uni or the apartment, that I honestly rarely went anywhere else.
I had no social life and I never seemed to go home to Geelong. I began binge eating again, my major coping mechanism when my life is overwhelmed by stress. Even though it was healthy plant based foods, I was still binging them. This was another really low point for me. My hormonal acne became worse than it has ever been due to the stress and as a result my self confidence landed in the gutter.
I was lucky enough to have Uni break and went back to my house in Ocean Grove (that I was still paying rent for, WHOOPS). It was here that I realised that I needed my own space again, I needed to walk the beach every morning and I needed to be around friends. I wasn’t in a head space to be tackling so much all by myself in Melbourne, I needed to come back to where it was familiar and stable.
I came back to ocean grove and diverted all of my studies online. I was getting really great marks, committed myself 100% to my studies… for 2 months. Then again just like another dip in a rollercoaster, I found myself ignoring my studies.
I was being a class A procrastinator! I would wake up in the house by myelf, have to self motivate to get myself to study in my room… I wouldn’t leave the house unless it was to go to work at F45 and I found myself depressed again.
I would spend hours on end on the couch watching Netflix and Stan, or Procrastibaking (cooking to procrastinate). I became obsessed with recipe creating and content creating and was spending zero time on what was really important at that time, my Uni work. But I just couldn’t seem to motivate myself. I wanted to sleep all of the time, I didn’t really want to see anyone or socialise.
Depression is something I have battled on and off with since I was in my teens.
Sometimes it is completely absent and other times it is completely debilitating. I have had times where I have experienced suicidal thoughts, thoughts of hopelessness and emptiness. However I have always managed to find the strength to continue forward to where I am today.
It was at this time I was encouraged to go and see a psychologist again. And boy am I glad that I did. It has been the single best thing I could have ever done for myself.
She helped me get to the root cause of my pain, the real raw gooey centre of why I behave and feel the way I do. This awareness has helped me exponentially moving forward.
From this point I decided to leave Uni and to focus wholly on my mental health and phsycial well being. I committed to getting myself back on track mentally and decided to holistically take on my PCOS symptoms to try and reduce them the best that I could aswell.
I saw myself move back to Geelong, working at F45 there for just over a year. I dedicated my efforts to slowly making my way back to health, in all aspects of the word.
I was met with another speed hump in the beginning of the year and a second when my Nan became terminally ill. It was an incredibly hard time for me, where I saw myself entering that darkness again and experiencing all of those emotions that were all too familiar to me.
But this time I had the awareness and the tools in my belt to help me get through this dark time. The work that I had done with my psychologist and with reading and learning about the mind and behaviours, had equip me with the tools to understand the impermanence of the situation and that this too shall pass, I just have to get through it.
I have dedicated the past year of my life, sharing my message and what I have learnt and how I have grown with the online community I feel so lucky to have. I have shared every low moment and every high.
My mission is to help.
Be that through mental health awareness, moving your body or what we put inside our body in the form of vibrant plant based foods.
In June 2019 I started the Plant Based Body Podcast, a platform where I talk with beautifully inspiring individuals about their stories, their experiences with mental health issues and how they are using them now as a strength to help change their slice of the world for the better.
They inspire me, and the hope is that they inspire others too.
I believe that through sharing awareness about self care and ways to help manage our anxiety, depression, physical activity, the food we eat and our mindset; that others will be inspired to begin putting their health first and start becoming a priority in their life again.
You can find the Plant Based Body Podcast on iTunes and Spotify.
But for now,
It’s nice to meet you, I’m Steph! ❤️