my story

my story

You know how Spandex pulls in every lump and bump so you can look decent in your favorite bodycon dress?

In seconds, you look thinner. More toned. Curvy in all the right places. But when you get home and yank off all that elasticated material, the “real you” spills out all over the place…

That used to be me. Literally and figuratively.

I was not only overweight, but also depressed and unmotivated. I couldn’t muster enough energy or enthusiasm to do anything.

Waking up was a chore.
Making breakfast for my kids was a chore.
Packing their school lunches? Forget about it.

Knowing that I’d get to savor a large, skinny latte once the kids went off to school was the only thing that got me out of bed every morning. That was the most blessed, the most anticipated moment of the day.

The rest? Just passed by in a blur.

It was as if I was a robot.
I couldn’t relate to my kids.
I couldn’t relate to my husband.
I couldn’t even relate to myself.

Yet, I felt guilty even just thinking that…

On the surface, everything was exactly as it should be. There was NO reason for me to be unhappy . . . Or was there?

I came up with possible explanations that drove me into more self-doubts and mood swings:

Perhaps my relationship with my husband wasn’t working.
Perhaps I wasn’t cut out to be a stay-at-home mom.
Perhaps I wasn’t cut out to be a mom, period.
Perhaps I hadn’t found myself yet.

I had a liberal arts education and degrees in Journalism, English and Comparative Literature. Yet they’re collecting dust somewhere in the recesses of my mind and now I wondered if the time has passed for me to choose a career and actually MAKE something of myself.

Dana Dinnawi

Was it what everyone calls a mid-life crisis?

I hadn’t always felt this way. It’s a mystery how I’d got to this point.

I wondered if it could be a prolonged case of post-natal depression following the birth of my youngest son, but I couldn’t even find the energy to go to a doctor and find out.

Every day dragged on and on. I woke up with a headache, no matter how long I slept. My shoulder hurt for no apparent reason and physiotherapy didn’t make a difference. I literally couldn’t get off the couch after 2pm. By 3pm, I’d be napping without fail.

Meanwhile, the weight continued to pile on… even though I tripled-up my effort to exercise and watched my diet like a hawk.

I wasn’t enjoying my life, yet I saw no choice…

I HATED working out, but I didn’t see any other way. Exercising turned into a compulsion. Spending 90 minutes every day doing something I hated didn’t make sense, yet…

I couldn’t be miserable AND overweight, could I?

Truth, it was just the stubborn 7 kilos… but I perceived it to be the thing that stood between happiness and me.

From an objective point of view, it’s not a big deal and not impossible to lose.

Yet, IMPOSSIBLE was how I felt…

I cut calories. I cut fat. I cut carbs. I cut protein. I cut dairy. (And cut out my love for food.)

I did more cardio. I trained with weights. And then, of course, I’d binge—frustrated that everything I tried didn’t seem to work.

I was trapped in a vicious cycle.

Every night I’d go to bed thinking, “Tomorrow will be different. I’ll wake up energized, do everything I want to do, and feel happy doing it.

But it never worked.

It was particularly frustrating because, like many of my clients, I consider myself smart, driven and ambitious.

I could manage everything else just fine, yet when it came to my body, I couldn’t do a damn thing about it!!

Until one day, I ran into a nutritionist friend…

Little did I know, this coincidence and friendly conversation changed my life forever.

He suggested a detox—a 10-day, fruit-only cleanse.

He explained, “At first, you’ll feel irritable, tired, angry, and you’ll feel like crying. You might want to send your kids to your mother. But then, you’ll find you have incredible energy. You’ll wake up well rested. Your mind will be sharper and more focused. You’ll start losing weight. Your joint pains will disappear. You might even have an epiphany.”

All I heard was, “You’ll lose weight.” (Sign me up, please!)
Turns out, he was right . . . about everything. (Including the “epiphany.” Read on, I’ll tell you.)

I yelled for no reason. I slept and I slept. I wept and I wept. I jumped on the scale and off the scale.

Weight loss was still my priority. I’d finally be skinny. THAT was the goal. It always had been.

But then, it was as though someone flicked a switch and slowly, my life began to light back up.

For the first time in years, I slept so deeply that I woke up without pressing the snooze button.

Now I was waking up before everyone else and I was HAPPY to be awake. (When you’re happy to be awake, you can do practically anything.)

The first time I looked at the clock, saw it was 4pm and realized I hadn’t had my daily nap, stopped me in my tracks. The same day, I noticed my shoulder no longer throbbed and I exercised “just because”—not because I felt I HAD to.

That same day, I couldn’t bear even ONE sip of coffee. And that same day, I realized all my “skinny” clothes had become too big.

It was though my life had suddenly transformed from dusty shades of gray into vibrant Technicolor.

Then it dawned on me…

… this cleanse wasn’t just another fad diet or gimmick. This was the real deal.

Dana Dinnawi

By eliminating potential allergens and toxins from my diet and reducing harmful inflammation in my body, I’d effectively reset my body back to zero, giving myself a clean slate from which to move forward.

I finally threw out my scale. And the Spandex.

I no longer count calories. I don’t worry about low-carb, paleo or vegan.

I just identify what my trigger foods are, and avoid them. Then everything else falls into place.

When it’s time to eat, I just ask:
Will this make my shoulder hurt?” or
Will this give me a headache?

Simple – isn’t it?

Cleansing really did change everything for me.

Never did I imagine that there could be a connection between what I ate (and didn’t eat) and how I lived my life.

Sure, I lost weight, but I also got rid of so many things that I didn’t even KNOW were holding me back from living a full life.

Oh, and the epiphany?

3 months later, I opened an email from a health blogger that simply said: “Want to be a health coach?”

I said YES to myself, and embarked on another life-changing journey.

You can call that a coincidence. However, if I didn’t have the physical stamina or the mental clarity, I might not have seized the opportunity.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Now I want to help you get to the bottom of what’s ailing YOU — whether that’s weight gain, headaches, lack of energy, bloating, allergies, migraines, constipation, you name it.

I want to help you discover which foods serve, energize and fuel you.

And with this solid physical foundation, we’ll discover what serves you in a wider context, too.

Because, just as toxins can build up in our bodies, unnecessary clutter can build up in our lives—negative thoughts, debilitating beliefs, relationships that hold us back, grudges that leave us full of bitterness and resentment. All these things can be as toxic as food.

When you start to put yourself FIRST on a daily basis, you’ll feel freer and less stressed, in spite of your busy life. You’ll finally have peace of mind and a more positive view of yourself. And you’ll have more energy to do what truly matters to you.

Once you realize it’s the choices you make that hold you back or fuel you forward, the possibilities are limitless.

If you’re ready to find out what makes your body and soul come alive . . .
If you’re ready for a whole new you . . .
If you’re ready to explore the best possible version of yourself . . .
let’s talk.

Each month I offer a limited number of complimentary 30-minute Light Up Your Life Sessions to help women ready for the next chapter in their lives to kick-start their transformation.

During this time, we’ll understand what may be holding you back from better health and a more vibrant life. I’ll share with you a few actionable steps you can take right away to “flip the switch,” as well as a high-level plan for long-term results.

At the end of the conversation, we’ll see how best I can support you to turn this vision of a Technicolor life into reality.

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