Growing up I was the skinny girl at school. I was highly active and didn’t really have much of an interest in food. I ate only when I was hungry. I didn’t really snack and when I ate it was until I was full or satisfied. I was never interested in packaged foods or highly processed foods. I probably never ate a birthday cake until I was about 17 because I really didn’t like them.
I used to dance for 3-4 hours a night 4 nights a week and would do Kung fu or play tennis the other nights that I was not dancing. I was always active!
Food only became an interest when I hit puberty at the late age of seventeen. When I was in year 12 I stopped dancing because I wanted to focus on my studies for my last year of school. My body shape started to change, hips grew and I developed into a woman over a very quick period of time. I went from being the second shortest in my year level to the second tallest in a matter of months.
I was still super skinny but it was weird for me to have hips and ‘curves’. I was 5’11 and 56kgs and 18 years old when I was approached to do some modelling. I remember my mum telling me that she didn’t want me to model and I didn’t understand why at the time…
I went to Modelling Agencies and they said they would love me to be apart of their agency however I would have to lose a few kilos. I started to become very conscious and a little obsessive of what I was eating and started exercising every night before I went to bed for a least 1 hour. But the fact is that I could not lose any more weight unless I was doing it in an unhealthy way, according to the figures I was already underweight for my height..
I tried every diet you can think of. I first counted calories according to Weight Watchers, I would eat unhealthy packaged foods because they were low in calories compared to whole foods. I just ended on putting on weight which had never happened to me before.
When I finished school and it got worse and worse. I was always on a diet trying to lose those last few inches. I got into the top 100 of Australia’s next top model a few years down the track and yet again I was told that I needed to lose weight or go and live in Italy where I would be a perfect weight.
Eventually after battling with diets and overtraining at the gym often 2 times a day I decided that it was not worth it! I was so tired of trying to lose weight when I really didn’t need to.
I see myself lucky because fortunately my mum was a model and told me her struggles. Thank goodness I didn’t care enough to starve myself or develop an eating disorder. The media is toxic and I saw that.
After my mum was sick and health was the top priority eating plant-based whole foods was the only focus.
No counting calories or crazy diets and my body finally started to balance out after a few years.
I gained so many health problems from yoyo dieting over the years. My thyroid became underachieve, I became hormonally out of balance, my moods were out of control and my Irritable bowel syndrome was at its worst and my skin and hair suffered greatly..
Now I eat as much as I want in abundance. There is only so much whole foods you can eat until you are too full. I have now gone back to my old ways of eating. I eat for hunger and I stop eating when I am full. I don’t have cravings anymore because my body is nourished.
If you could do one amazing thing for your body it would be to stop dieting and eat food as it comes in wholefood form without questioning every bite that you take. It’s amazing how many girls, boys, men and women come to me asking for help with weight loss, all I can say is look after your health first and the weight will come off naturally.
I have recently written a book ‘365 Days of Wholeness’ with my friend and business partner Matthew Bate to help people understand how to live a diet free life. We have written about our principles of living 365 days of health with recipes included.
We will be launching it in about a month. Ensure your subscribed to my blog for your chance to win a free ticket to our Book Launch and to receive the first few chapters free in a digital version.
Love and Light
Tegan Steele xoxo