My name is Franca Carrera and I am a qualified Health Coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition ( IIN ). Heart based - because my belief is that the key to complete healing and happiness is through the Heart, where the real Love, Gratitude and Peace are found.
I am a 37 yr old single mother to a beautiful 10 yr old daughter. For 19 years eating disorders, extensive drug use, dysfunctional relationships, adrenal exhaustion and a general discontentment in who I was had consumed me. Looking back to my old self with gratitude as it brought me here, today ..healthy, happy and blessed with a most beautiful opportunity to help others in similar situations.
Remembering so clearly, at the young age of 12, my first diet had started. Yes, I was overweight ( Spanish /Italian background means we love food ) but never felt unhappy with what I looked like or at the very least was not concerned about my looks or body. A few traumatic events combined with the cultural/generational teachings to not feel or talk about your problems , "just sweep it under the carpet" lead me onto the path of "control" . The little amounts of weight loss began to make me feel happy, feel noticed and "emotionally" lighter.
By the age of 15, things began to escalate where I started to consciously skip meals, walk more, eat less and really start to make excuses for the negative things I was doing to myself. The weight began to fall off and although no one would have ever known my internal suffering. I would always constantly have a "smile " on my face and maintain a positive attitude. The powerful feeling of "sticking" to a diet, made me feel as though I had achieved something for once.
At that time, Eating Disorders were taboo and were never really spoken about. It seemed strange when one day I started to binge and purge. Oddly, it felt so good afterwards as though a whole lot of emotions were released. I became addicted to the “light and empty“ feeling I experienced. Laxatives also took a hold, abusing them every day, swallowing many diet pills & herbs, caffeine, recreational drugs ….anything that would help suppress my appetite and keep me losing weight …..although never finding happiness....I was actually dying inside .
All this tipped me to a point where my periods stopped and I was diagnosed with stage 3 - 4 adrenal exhaustion …..my body was starting to shut down.
Keeping all the secrets from everyone was the hardest thing I've ever had to do ……especially keeping things in secret from my loved ones .
The one thing that kept me going was my continual interest in learning about health and certain "diets". It was interesting how although I abused myself regularly, some part of me knew to support my body by taking supplements and researching ways of eating to offset the abuse I sustained. I tried many diets and eating methodologies ….Paleo, raw, wholefoods, juice fasting and the list goes on, in search of cures to my eating disorder …..BUT soon realised that bringing more attention to the "problem " was not going to help. Focusing on food just bought about more confusion and anxiety .
As I began to feel more puzzled by different diets , it also became apparent that I was no closer to finding out what foods "work " for me . Too overwhelmed and scared to experiment myself ,I soon began to feel deeply that exercise and food were only a small part in my road to recovery.
Thankfully ,I started studying with Institute of Integrative Nutrition(IIN) and felt so joyful that this coaching course supported my beliefs that health was so much more than food and exercise. Plus I began to experience for myself what “tools, foods etc“ worked best for me.
Spirituality began to intrigue me, exploring Reiki Usui, Buddhism, meditation, visualisation mantras, “I am “ statements and Yoga . Whilst previously using more traditional methods such as Psychologists and Counsellors ….all of which helped greatly yet never gave me the lasting results or the healing I knew was possible.
It wasn’t until I discovered Open heart Meditation and Reiki Tummo that my life truly began to change, truly experiencing that the spiritual heart was the key to acceptance, real love, peace and calmness. All the abusive and self hatred attitudes towards myself began to slowly diminish without any other "addiction or dependency " being formed . I really began to experience and understand that complete healing can only come from the heart .
Through combining Open heart & Secrets of Natural Walking instilling nurturing daily habits , learning to eat foods that best suited "me" and building a beautiful relationship with myself.... the healing began . After an absence of 7 years , my periods returned much to the surprise of Naturopaths and Doctors .
I NOW feel the happiest and healthiest, the most complete and accepting I have ever felt, giving me the most special opportunity to now share ,bringing light and healing into the lives and hearts of others .
My GREATEST discovery through all this is that there is NO 2 people are the SAME , each person responding individually to different foods , exercises and other lifestyle tools YET it is certain that we all respond to LOVE...all of which is found within the HEART.
So looking forward to sharing in this JOURNEY with YOU , exploring YOU , finding YOU , accepting all of YOU !
With love and health always Franca Carrera