Hi everyone!

Why is mental health such a passion of mine? Well for me it stems from a history of experiencing my own struggles. We are all human and I thought it would be fitting for my first blog post to confirm that I am a human who understands that food is more than just nutrients. Read on!

Brisbane dietitian and nutritionist Hannah Brereton on Queensland beach

My lived experience with an eating disorder

Growing up in an Italian family good food has always been an important part of my life. I have always valued food as more than just nutrients. It was a way of connecting with others and finding joy in creating meals to be enjoyed and shared.

Unfortunately, I am also highly competitive and driven to be the best. When stimulated by the right environmental factors, these traits lead me to a lifestyle where food became a source of anxiety and fear. I felt like inadequate if I didn’t achieve certain goals or look a particular way.

My perception of my body became distorted and food became something that I feared and felt I had to control. My performance in sport got worse and I felt like I was falling down a hole with no way to get out.

Through this time, I learnt that food can hold extreme amounts of emotional weight and food choices are closely linked to our mindset and feelings.

My Passion

Brisbane dietitian and nutritionist Hannah Brereton

In recovering from this eating disorder, I became extremely passionate about mental health and body confidence. I believe women deserve to feel confident in their body (as it is now!) and don’t need to fit particular dimensions to be healthy or beautiful (in fact research agrees with me here!).

Culture places such incredible pressure on us to be something. All my life people have been telling be I’m going to ‘do great things’ or ‘go places’ and they are ‘excited to see what I do’…but honestly… who cares if I never become anything to them? Who I am right now is perfectly fine and why should I feel pressure to push myself to breaking point to be ‘something’ that culture desires.

I am enough as I am. You are enough as you are.

This is the message I believe every woman needs to hear from her health professional.

  • You don’t need to go on a strict diet and hate your body, wishing it looked differently.

  • You don’t need to feel like a failure because you have a body larger than a BMI 25.

  • You can nourish your body because it is amazing and deserves full attention and care.

  • You can enjoy exercise and curiously test it to see just what your body can do.

Why try so hard to be desired by society when you could learn to love and value yourself for who you are right now?