Jacinta was stuck in a cycle of binge-eating and over-exercising until she discovered this online program which transformed her lifestyle.
Like so many of us, Jacinta Bourke was tired, burnt out and – in her own words – “running myself into the ground” before she had an ‘aha’ moment, and realised she needed to address the state of her lifestyle – and more importantly, her relationship with her body, permanently.
But for the shift worker, transforming her lifestyle wasn’t just about losing weight.
“I was exhausted, I was running myself into the ground both physically and mentally and I was so consumed with diet and exercise and body image it just wore me down. I wasn’t happy,” says Bourke, who has battled with negative self-talk and emotional eating for years. (And years.)
“When I first decided to start out on my health journey I was 59kg and unhappy with myself,” says Bourke, who was inclined to try an online program instead of sign up to a gym, which can be intimidating.
Enter: Jessica Sepel’s signature lifestyle plan, aptly titled The Program, which aside from nutrition and workout plans, comes complete with strategies to deal with poor body image and a fractured relationship with food.
“I signed up because I was keen to learn how to heal my relationship with food, learn how to listen to my body and nurture it with food and movement rather than punish it, rebalance my hormones and reach my balanced healthy weight. I just wanted to feel at peace with myself every day and not be so consumed with stressing about food and exercise,” says Bourke, who dropped down to 48kg with diet and exercise, but now sits more comfortably at 52kgs, she thinks, as she has “settled into my own healthy balanced weight, allow myself to indulge, rest and have stopped weighing myself.”
It’s a relief for Bourke who has been able to overcome “toxic emotional binge eating” and over-exercising.
“Before starting on Jess’ program, I was a massive emotional eater and it took me a very long time to become aware or even acknowledge my issues.
“I was stuck in a vicious cycle of low body confidence and negative self-talk and would turn to food and disordered emotional binge eating. I had a moment where I finally decided that enough was enough- I wasn’t happy in myself so decided to make some serious changes to my lifestyle. Since then I have been on my own personal health journey; learning how to respect my body, how to manage my stress, how not to deprive myself and how to prepare a healthy well-balanced meal.
“And as a result of eating at regular intervals I am able to maintain my blood sugar levels throughout the day so I no longer feel deprived or starving and feel the need to binge out. When I set out, it wasn’t easy, my aim was to become healthier and fitter but I had no idea what I was in for. I have achieved incredible results that have left me glowing inside and out. These were not only physically but I was also able to heal my mental and emotional wounds, develop a healthy relationship with food and exercise, nourish my soul and learn to love myself again for who I am. After this it became so easy and is just my way of life now,” says Bourke, who’s regular week includes 7 days of “sweat” out of her nine-day roster, with two full rest days in the mix.
“Now, I’m the fittest and healthiest I have ever been! I am now proud of what I have achieved and how fit, healthy, happy and strong I have become, both physically and mentally.
“I’ve learnt that it’s not about how many kilos you weigh which we can tend to get caught up with. It’s about feeling good within yourself and choosing to eat whole, unprocessed foods to nourish and fuel your body to make you energised, and then exercising to become fit and strong, not to get to a certain number on the scale,” which is advice we can all heed.
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