I’m Wendy, the creator of Wendy’s Way to Health and The Healthy Normal Revolution membership program where I help women quit dieting for good and live happy, healthy lives. Improving my health and fitness, along with helping others do the same, has always been part of my life, to varying degrees. I absolutely loved the ‘aerobics’ craze that swept the world during the 1980’s and 90’s. My best friend growing up, (and not an exercise fan), will tell you how I put her and a couple of other neighborhood kids through their paces in the family garage.
But I also had a big interest in fashion, which became my career for most of my 20’s. Fitness remained a hobby until I finally took a course and started teaching aerobics classes. Suddenly I knew what it was like to love what you do!
Fitness landed me a dream job working on a tropical island, where I had an amazing, magical time. I met Jayson, my husband and moved into the next phase of my life: we traveled and lived overseas on and off for the next ten years.
I know it sounds fabulous and it was, but life was suddenly very different and my priorities changed: fitness wasn’t my job anymore, so, like many women, I struggled to find time to exercise and eat properly.
Cue the inevitable weight gain, tiredness, lack of energy & motivation and poor health in general. So I started dabbling in diets, because like most women, I thought dieting was the answer. That’s what we’re told from an early age: being healthy = being skinny/looking like a model = dieting until we achieve an acceptable number on the scales.
And so began my journey into the world of weight loss. I tried a few different diets, exercised sporadically and saw the inevitable results. I lost a couple of kilos while I was on the diet and regained them afterwards.
I’ve never been a fan of deprivation though, I simply love food too much! And let’s face it, that’s what the dieting mentality is all about: deprivation and restriction. That if we can somehow muster up enough willpower to restrict our food intake and avoid eating certain foods for a period of time, we’ll be happier. But the worst part is that when we can’t do it, we consider ourselves a failure, instead of the diet!
Anyway, after some trial and error, dieting just didn’t feel right and it became pretty clear that it wasn’t working, either.
By 2009, Jayson and I were home again in Australia, but unhappy with the state of our health. Thankfully, we both remembered what it was like to be fit and healthy, so we set about finding our way back to a healthier lifestyle.
I didn’t realise it at the time, but that’s really where Wendy’s Way began. (I suppose it should actually be called Wendy and Jayson’s Way!). We didn’t do anything drastic or extreme. We joined the local gym and got back into a regular exercise habit. We started cooking our own meals again and cut down on junk food – the basic principles of living a healthy lifestyle.
At that point I also began working for a big weight loss company, which simply renewed and fueled my passion even further. I grew and learned a lot, but as much as I loved my job, I knew there was more I could be doing.
While I’m fit and healthy again now, it’s definitely different from my younger years. My body’s different now and I’m happier and more at peace with it. I’ve come to understand that being healthy isn’t superficial; it’s about how you feel, not how your body looks. And most importantly, it’s different for everyone: there is no one size fits all approach.
These days I help women come to the realisation that dieting isn’t the key to happiness and that being healthy doesn’t correlate to a number on the scales. It’s really pretty simple: it’s making good choices most of the time and ditching the “all or nothing” mentality.
I created my membership program to not only teach this to as many women as I possibly can, but also as a place of support. Because we all know how hard it is to make changes on our own – we slip up once or twice and then we give up because it’s all just too hard. And that’s really the biggest lesson that we all need to learn: that it’s okay to make mistakes and to not always make the best choice, but that doesn’t mean we should stop trying.
Being healthy is about being a work in progress and you’re never too young or too old to start working on a better version of you.
Creator of Wendy’s Way to Health and The Healthy Normal Revolution membership program