“Hi there, I’m Áine Harkin a West Midlands based intuitive eating counsellor and wellbeing coach. I’ve been in the health and wellness industry for 12 years, I started my journey working in a gym, as a Personal Trainer, Nutrition advisor and Yoga teacher.”
I started actively ‘dieting’ in my teenage years, which was triggered by feelings of comparison and thinking I wasn’t thin enough. This was also encouraged by the never-ending diet adverts all around us, in magazines, online and on television programmes, all promising a ‘happy life’ when you’re thinner!
As a result of my dieting attempts, I became obsessed with food and my weight, which, since starting to ‘diet’, was fluctuating more than it ever had done in the past. I was experiencing binge eating episodes, using food to cope with emotions (both comfortable and uncomfortable), I had hormonal imbalances and a clear lack of energy and concentration.
Thankfully, at the age of 27, I was introduced to a nutritional therapist, who taught me about us all having a biologically pre-determined set point weight that our body is always trying to achieve and maintain. At our set point weight there is an interaction of our hormones, brain activity and genetics. They all act like a ‘thermostat’ to maintain our set-point by altering hormones and metabolism. So, if you think about what a thermostat does to maintain a certain temperature in your home, if the temperature drops it works to increase it, if it gets too warm it stops to let the temperature reduce back to whatever it is set at.
When I learned this, it was like the penny dropped as I realised, all these years, I had been working against my body and not with it. My relationship with food and my body started to gradually change, although I still found that my diet mentality was very much still around, trying to tempt me back onto the dieting rollercoaster.
As I continued my research into set point weight, I discovered intuitive eating, and this is what ultimately lead me to rediscovering my own intuitive eater (that had always been there, it had just been blunted by diet culture!), finally making peace with food, let go of dieting for good and settle comfortably at my natural weight.
Now, as I look back on my journey to rediscovering my intuitive eater, I understand how difficult it can be to break free from dieting and regain trust in your body, but I know that it can absolutely be done. It is a journey and like any change, it may not happen overnight but the peace and freedom you experience on the other side is 100% worth it. I can’t wait to help you experience this too.
More About Me
I love to travel with my husband, city breaks, walking holidays and regular trips to Ireland to visit our family and friends.
I’m a trustee of Edwards Trust, a Birmingham based bereavement charity, a charity that’s very close to my heart.
I love to bake and will use many family get togethers as a reason to put on my apron!
You can also find me in the pool, running/walking with friends, having a good jive to a country band and balancing this all out with Yoga and meditation 😊.
Rediscovering your intuitive eater
Here’s to rediscovering your intuitive eater and finding freedom from dieting for good 😊.