What made you decide to become a health coach?
To help as many people as possible find a healthy, happy and balanced lifestyle, so that they can look, feel and do their best in life!
What has been your personal experience with eating disorders, and how has it influenced your approach to coaching others with similar struggles?
My eating disorders started in my early teens.
I had always been very slender, but when I hit puberty and wasn’t exercising much, I gained a little weight. So I started dieting and then I started competing in Muay Thai. Between the training and dieting, I lost a lot of weight, so once I started competing, I felt like I was locked into this very tiny weight class. So I ate even less and trained even more.
I stopped getting my period for over a year. Because the energy demands of training were so high (and because I was so undernourished), I would usually get to a certain point in the week and then my body would give in to crazy binges.
This then triggered on and off bulimia and laxative abuse, as well as even more excessive exercising. When I stopped competing and training in Muay Thai, I gained a lot of weight.
The next decade would be an ongoing cycle of crash diets, cleanses, health kicks, and orthorexia, followed by binges and on and on.
It took a lot of work to uncover my triggers and underlying issues that were the causes of all these eating disorders. My experiences give me immense empathy and insight into what my clients are navigating.
I come with a lot of tried and tested knowledge and tools to help clients on their wellness journey.
You’ve recently launched an Ebook on breaking free from the cycle of binge eating. What are some common misconceptions about binge eating?
Binge Eating Disorder happens to people of all shapes and sizes for a myriad of reasons: physical, emotional, mental and situational. I binged when I was underweight, overweight and a normal weight. Binging doesn’t necessarily have to be on junk food either. Binging on “health” food is also binging.
What do you consider to be the biggest challenges for people struggling with binge eating?
I think for most people, it’s overcoming the shame and guilt surrounding binge eating. Admitting you have a problem, seeking help or support, and opening up about it are vital to recovery.
What advice would you give to someone who is struggling with binge eating and feeling discouraged or hopeless about their ability to overcome it?
Forgive yourself. And then decide that you really want to heal and recover. There’s so much joy and freedom waiting for you on the other side of this struggle.
What role do you think societal pressures and expectations play in the development of eating disorders, and how can individuals navigate these pressures to maintain a healthy relationship with food and their body?
We’ve been conditioned by the media to think thin is better and that these “perfect” airbrushed images of models and celebrities are the gold standard of beauty. Thankfully some brands are moving away from perpetuating these beauty standards, but still…it’s everywhere!
I think developing a strong sense of self-love and self-worth is the best remedy to these external pressures.
How has becoming a mother changed your perspective on life, and what have you learned from your experience?
Motherhood rocked me to my core – I never expected the crazy emotional and physical rollercoaster, especially in the beginning!
My heart has expanded beyond measure.
I’ve learned patience and how to really be present. It opened up my eyes to the simple wonders of life, as I experience everything as new through the lens of my child’s eyes. Motherhood has also made me even more aware of what I’m saying and how I’m showing up, as my daughter is watching and learning from this all the time.
If you could go back in time and give your teenage self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Express what you’re feeling, instead of letting it all fester inside. It’s ok to be vulnerable.
What’s your favorite self-care routine?
I think it’s the collection of small daily rituals which help me feel grounded and happy. My morning coffee, meditation, skincare, walking, nourishing food, and rest… they all make me feel cared for!
I know you love a great beauty product! What’s your holy grail beauty product, the one that you can’t live without?
Sunscreen. Every single day! Prevention is better than cure!
If you could create your own beauty product, what would it be and what would you call it?
Probably a powerful face mask with really gorgeous packaging! I’d call it Bespoke BE-YOU-TI-FULL Face Mask.
You’re a film costume designer as well. If you could switch lives with any fictional character from a film for a day, who would it be and why?
OMG I love this question… but it’s also so hard to pick one character… Maybe Jane Smith (Angelina Jolie) in Mr & Mrs Smith, because it would be fun to be a bad-ass assassin alongside Brad Pitt!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received, and how has it impacted your life?
My mother always told me to “find the middle path” – don’t go to extremes. I think that’s helped me a lot in finding this place of healthy, happy balance in life!
To learn more about Oona’s services and how she can help you to look and feel your best and to purchase her incredibly insightful Ebook on Binge Eating and breaking the cycle, please visit www.bespokebody.com