I first started studying nutrition way back in 1983 when I first came to Australia from the UK. By the end of the first semester, money was tight & I was offered a full-time position with the Australian Taxation Office. Reluctantly I put my dream aside for the sake of my family. Little did I know how long it would be before that dream was brought to life again. After 18 months I transferred to Social Security (which later became Centrelink) & stayed there for 26 years.
Over the years my dream was buried deeper & deeper but it never went away & in 2006 I began studying part-time by correspondence. In 2010 I left Centrelink after the sudden death of my husband from undiagnosed heart disease. I was a bit of a mess for a couple of years but in 2013 at the age of 56 I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Medicine & started my own business but it didn’t take off. You see, over the years I had gained weight & although I had lost 20 kgs since my husband passed I was far from comfortable in my body. By the way I had lost that weight using extreme exercise & severe food restriction. I didn’t promote my business well because I felt that I didn’t look like a nutritionist. I should be trim, taut & terrific! So I stayed HIDDEN. No wonder clients weren’t flocking to my business – they didn’t know I existed.
Then a breakthrough occurred. In 2014 I was introduced to the Institute for the Psychology of Eating & became a Certified Mind Body Eating Coach. While a nutritionist usually concentrates on WHAT people eat, now I was focusing on WHY people eat the way they do. I learned that the way we think & feel, past traumas, emotional events plus chronic stress levels can all contribute to excess weight. Until we address these issues the weight will never leave us permanently. At this point I stopped dieting, counting everything & reading food labels obsessively. I even stopped weighing myself - this was big! I had previously weighed myself up to 8 times a day, always hoping for a better number so that I could treat myself with a forbidden food. Full of enthusiasm for this new approach, after attending a graduation event in Colorado, I rebranded my business but my feelings about my body were still there. Ironically one of the modules in my training had been all about body image. I had quickly worked through it, passed the required assessments & relegated it to the bookshelf. I was glad that module was out of the way. After all I was never going to be able to work with clients around Body Image when I hated my own body.
My body image was still holding me back & keeping me HIDDEN. I was working with clients on self-love, self-care & stress management etc but I avoided body image like the plague. Then in early 2016 I discovered Taryn Brumfitt, Founder of the Body Image Movement (BIM) & realised just how big this issue is, particularly among women. I pulled out the module I had HIDDEN on the bookshelf & reworked it. I read books & media articles & followed BIM with passion, like a religion. I applied to become a Global Ambassdor for BIM & was thrilled to be accepted. I jumped into the role with full enthusiasm, sharing my views with anyone who would listen. I began to look for opportunities to share the BIM message & even successfully coached some clients.
Then Taryn released her documentary “Embrace”. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that when I rebranded my business in 2015 I named it “Embrace All of You” even though at the time I had never heard of Taryn or BIM. I was fortunate to attend the premier of the film in Perth & was blown away by the energy & passion of Taryn as she fielded a Q&A after the film. The film itself was so inspirational that I could hardly keep still in my seat – there were lots of tears but lots of laughter too. I couldn’t wait to get out & tell everyone that they must see the film & spread it’s message. I honestly believe it’s life changing. It certainly was for me. Taryn interviewed people from all over the world in the film & while they were all powerful & moving, the one that created a light bulb moment for me was Turia Pitt. She was severely burned in a bush fire while participating in an extreme marathon in the Western Australian Kimberleys. She is extremely disfigured, yet she is able to look in the mirror & love what she sees.
I thought about her a lot that night & I began to think “How dare I not love my body just because it has a few wobbly, fatty bits, when Turia loves herself despite her scars”. I realised that I had a lot to contribute.
My studies have taught me a lot but my life experience has taught me much more. I have so much to share that could help women move forward in their lives, love their bodies and achieve their dreams. My thinking changed.
“Who am I to think I can help others”
“Who am I to deprive others of that opportunity”.
From there I forged ahead. In late 2016 I hosted a screening of Embrace with 140 ladies in attendance. You don’t get that many people at an event without putting yourself out there! During 2017 I have worked with several clients around body image, I shared my own experience with new graduates & alumni at the annual conference of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating in Colorado.
At the age of 60 I became an International Speaker at a conference in Banff, Canada.
I’ve also hosted live workshops & online courses. I think you would agree that I’m no longer HIDDEN!
I have REVEALED myself, attracting those who seek what I have to offer. 2017 has been a big year of growth for me professionally. On a personal level it has been somewhat challenging with medical & legal issues to face plus the passing of a close family member in November.
Now that I’ve finally felt safe to REVEAL myself I can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store for me.
It’s going to be amazing.
Are you HIDDEN?
Work with me & join me on the other side – where your awesomeness will be REVEALED!
Pam Bailey helps women feel good about themselves every day.
She is a Nutritionist, Conscious Eating Coach, Life Coach & Heal Your Life Workshop Facilitator.
She has a particular passion for stress management along with concerns around body image & unwanted eating habits.
She is an International Keynote speaker & workshop leader & also provides private coaching via Skype & in person.
For more information contact Pam on 0409 989 260 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org