VICKY MIDWOOD: THE ADDICTION ELIMINATOR - ALCOHOL, ANXIETY, FOOD & GUT EXPERT
My goal is to help you to reconnect to yourself as a whole, so you can re-imagine your life free from the daily obsession and compulsion to use food and/or alcohol to reward, 'numb-out, soothe and cope with your feelings and the daily routine.
My mission is help you understand YOU in a way you never have before, and to embrace ALL that you are, instaed of you feeling you have to be MORE than you are.
I do that through my CORE principles of health, nutrition and lifestyle coaching Curiosity, Ownership, Reinvention & Elevation
You can read my story below if you want to know more about me and why I do what I do now....
My story will give you an understanding of my personal experience, the most important takeaway is that "I GET IT". The belief you should be able to 'sort yourself out, the hopelessness of trying to do just that and it not working out, the frustration and fear that you'll NEVER live the life you really want and deserve.
I am a qualified experienced integrative health, nutrition and lifestyle coach and a fully certified Eating Freely™ Therapist
The joy for me is I don't have to stick one modality, I can pull from my tool kit.
From conventional tools like NLP (neuro linguistic programming) and CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) as well as Reiki, EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique, Essential oils and Breath work, Vagal tone and Nutritional therapy
I have the tools and understanding to help you create the life you imagine and get a renewed sense of confidence, self worth, excitement, energy and joy.
It starts with YOU getting honest with yourself.
Owning your own struggles, your unhappiness, exhaustion and sense of disappointment, frustration and shame and admitting you can't 'sort it' yourself.
The second step is giving yourself permission to seek help and allowing yourself to invest in the support and care you need from someone who knows exactly how you feel and can help you get the results you want but haven't been able to get for yourself.
The third step is committing to being curious about what's possible for you and to taking the rest of the steps to great health, happiness, joy and freedom!
I truly believe I went through the life experiences that I’ll share with you in my story for a reason, to step into my purpose and you to get through life without using food, alcohol exercise or all three to cope.
Here we go....
Ginger haired freckled and tall for my age with thighs that touched right down to my knees and a round tummy. I was constantly hearing the phrase, ‘It’s just puppy fat, she’ll lose it” when I was at infant school.
I was popular coz I used to ‘supply’ my classmates with penny sweets ‘stolen’ from behind the counter of our shop. The family firm was well known in our Yorkshire town Huddersfield “Howarth’s Of Huddersfield” was the name and FOOD was the business.
I wanted to be liked, I wanted to be the best at everything & I learned early on that I was expected to do well, be bright and work hard, because that’s how you succeeded in life.
I also learned early that Mum had issues with her mental health and Dad’s way of dealing with it was verbal and sometimes physical abuse. My home was not the happy house we all projected to the outside world.
A house move, secondary school, money arguments and Mum being sectioned into a psychiatric hospital for the first of many times with Manic Depression ( Bi-Polar Disorder) all lead to me comfort eating more and more and being unhappy in my own body.
The first failed diet was the F-plan at 12 years old - and so began my obsession with calories, weighing food, restriction, bingeing, guilt and discovering if I stuck my fingers down my throat I could literally have my cake, ice-cream, sweets and biscuits and eat them then get rid of them so I didn’t put weight on.
I couldn’t stick to any diet. I caved every time and, over time my binges became bigger, more secretive, and more and more planned. I stole food, I hid it for later, I lied about what I was eating and where food was going.
In came the crazy exercise to burn calories late at night, and early in the morning you’d find me sneaking out of the house to run and cycle twice round the block so no-one would know.
As the lies and manipulation, thieving and binge eating grew, so did the number of masks I had to wear.
Going out on the town getting into night clubs at 13 and discovering alcohol made NOT EATING easier and if I did eat, alcohol made throwing up easier, which just added another element to my ‘sick’ toolbox. I liked the feeling of being slightly drunk…
Laxative abuse and addiction took me down a whole new road to pain and discomfort that had me using my waste bin in my room as a toilet at night and wearing a towel as a nappy in bed as I desperately tried to lose weight faster.
I’d convinced myself I was in control of my bulimia but at 16 it was totally in control of me. I just wanted to die, my weight was finally dropping, but instead of feeling great at 7.5 stone I wanted to die! I did try with an overdose, but obviously, DIDN'T SUCCEED!
One year later I was flunking my A levels, 5.5 stone permanently cold and being threatened with hospitalisation.
My overriding drive to NEVER be forced to doing anything and stubbornness meant I had to force myself to eat.
It was a daily battle physically and mentally, but as I has no clue about nutrition and was so out of touch with my own hunger and full signals the weight piled, and I kept eating!
Now overweight I couldn’t handle it and went back to what I knew worked, throwing up and crazy exercise until I ‘allowed’ myself to accept settling at 7 stone when I met my first husband at 18 years old, when drinking more and eating less became my new ‘diet’.
Fast forward a disastrous first marriage, I trained as an exercise instructor and PT met my 2nd husband a restaurateur, another disaster, he was an alcoholic and by this point so was I, but I was totally in denial.
After a 2nd divorce, a bankruptcy and a baby at age 29 - I found myself 3 and a bit years later with potential husband number 3 in London!
My weight had increased thanks to my training and my new understanding of nutrition and exercise, (but I still wasn’t happy with it!) however, once I realised life was not going to be any easier than it had been as a working single Mum in Huddersfield.
I was left feeling alone and an outsider in London, that's when my drinking escalated to whole new level
Another 2 years and another relationship down, I found someone else!
But he was married and wasn’t going to leave his wife for me.
At 35 I was a functioning alcoholic who had a warped relationship with food and most of the time wished she was dead.
The only person keeping me going was my daughter (I was told I couldn’t have kids so she was and still is my everything)
A weekend away and just 4 hrs without alcohol took me into serious and dangerous withdrawals with hallucinations and no sense of time that lasted for 5 days before I was finally placed in Rehab and treated properly. Fears of brain damage were real and it was touch and go as to whether my organs especially my heart could cope!
Rehab in the UK was followed by another 60 days in South Africa where I learned to live and function as a adult without alcohol and - I loved it! I got to learn brain! I got to understand WHY addiction had nothing to do with WillPower.
A whole new world opened up when I got back to the UK in September 2005 as I studied cognitive behavioural therapy, language, neuro linguistic programming, addiction psychology and dealing with trauma. I went back to study and graduated as a teacher, started my own business alongside working in a college, being a single mum and running my own home, with a drive to get off benefits (I’d never been on them in my life before) and build a good life and future.
But stress lead to me turning back to food. Exercise and fitness was my business, so as the number of classes and clients I worked with increased, so did my awareness of my body and how the world viewed me, over exercising and self-criticism started to creep back in and food restriction and binges on sweets and coffee were common AND SCARILY throwing up was still easy WTF - what was I doing?
I knew better, yet I started to feel powerless again. Injuries forced me to cut back on the exercise and I then began to delve more into bio-chemistry, neurophysiology and neuropsychology, hormones, the gut, and the gut brain connection and THAT is when I discovered the answers I need to help myself and others.
Because of my drive for knowledge and understanding I know why I have the autoimmune issue Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and how to manage it without medication and I know why I had a heart attack in 2018.
I spent Years struggling with eating disorders, weight obsession and alcohol addiction that affected my marriages and my relationship with my family, but I got through it, I figured it out and now I want to help as many people as I can to get free from the anxiety, exhaustion, feelings of 'not good enoughness' and self-loathing that living this way brings.
I did it, you can too!