“It’s only pizza Dawn!” A phrase that kept going round and round in my head just a few days ago, along with the phrase “Give yourself a break”

But it wasn’t just about pizza.

It was gluten, cow’s milk, processed food, food I hadn’t made; and it was carbs.

And it triggered the fuck out of me, bringing old wounds to the surface that I have just spent the past few days coming to terms with.

Thinking I had already dealt with these internal demons, I was not prepared to have to deal with them again.

It’s only pizza Dawn.

Maybe to others, but pizza is not just pizza to me.

It is a swollen face, bloated stomach, acne, itcy tingly mouth, gas and churning stomach.

So why did I eat it?

Especially when I know it gives me all these side effects?

Well, it’s mandatory lockdown and the only foods available which are vegetarian are filled with gluten, unless I go sushi, and they were all closed.

Pizza was the best of a bad lot of options available to me.

(And what a reminder this is for all the choices we make in life!)

Do we go without? Or choose the best of a bad lot?

Which is what staying in one place teaches us to do.

But I digress…

Eating the pizza felt so good!

The melted mozzarella, the thin pizza base and the taste of tomato, basil and oregano… hmmmm it was a great pizza.

And I thoroughly enjoyed it.

At the time of eating it.

20 minutes later my face was on fire, I wanted to scratch it to stop the itching.

30 minutes later my stomach started growling and the churning was in full on rampage mode.

An hour later I looked like I was in the second trimester of pregnancy and my face was as puffy as a bouffant in the sixties.

Then the demons of my past crept up slowly and surely.

Words from my ex partner about getting a ‘bit too wide’ after I stopped martial arts following a shoulder injury.

With words from my ex husband telling me I’ll ‘find it hard to find someone to love (me)’.

Then the demons of the years of bullying at school being told “no one loves a fat girl” rose to the surface like a rocket taking off from Nasa.

It’s only pizza Dawn.

But it isn’t, it goes much deeper.

I now currently carry a few extra pounds and a little softer than I was prior to my Atlantic crossing, I am not that overweight.

I could do with losing 5-8kg, toning up and learning to simply accept my body in this new phase of being. 

Ask me to run for an hour, or swim 2 miles, or squat 60kg 4 x 15 sets, bench press 25kg 4 x 12 sets and I can do it no problem.

But no matter, my weight has always been a trigger for me.

I was the ugly, fat sister.

Always the one with the puppy fat.

The one who got bullied by the IT girls at school for being fat and not good enough to be on the various sports teams; which led to years of bulimia.

Bulimia isn’t something which goes away for a lot of people, for some of us we just learn new food disciplines and eating habits.

Gaining an extra 60kg during my second pregnancy due to being hit by HELLP syndrome, and months of inactivity after years of full on daily exercise, including weights, cardio and toning, was hugely confronting for me.

I then lost 62kg after I got divorced, became too thin, then chose to gain 10kg so I had my womanly curves and boobs back again.

And here I am at the age of 42 feeling like a troubled teenager, who is again relearning how to navigate the hormonal changes in my body.

It’s only pizza Dawn.

It may have only been pizza, but it has brought up a lot for me.

Past wounds which need healing, the next level of self acceptance and letting go of the attachment I have to my weight and whether or not a man will love me with all my womanly curves.

It’s been many years since I was in a relationship, even longer since I was intimate with a man.  The last 18 months of my relationship my ex chose beer over intimacy with me.

HUGE lessons in self love and self worth right there!

It’s only pizza Dawn.

Maybe it wasn’t just the pizza.

Maybe it was also the fact I am writing a biography for a client who had anorexia nervosa, and that has brought up some of my old demons.

I have been doing a lot of internal work over the last 6 weeks which has floored me, and had me feeling exhausted on many levels.

I want to go for a swim in the ocean, but can’t; they don’t even have public swimming pools here for me to attend, and even if they did, with the current quarantine laws in place at the moment, I can’t go.

I could do yoga, but to be honest, my love affair with yoga is as on/off as a the fridge light in bored households.

As for the food I now have in my fridge, it is all fresh, organic veggies, with lentils, nuts and organic, sugar free ‘Beast Mode’ peanut butter and fresh organic fruits; foods I love.

Seeing my rainbow food, as I call it, lifts my mood.

Eating it cleanses my body, and fuels my health.

And I know the after affects of the gluten, dairy and processed pizza, even though it was freshly made, is only temporary.

The side effects have almost gone after 3 days, and there are probably another 3-4 days to go before they clear up altogether.

So is it only pizza Dawn?

The negative emotions and thought patterns have been explored, seen, acknowledged and released.  They are no longer an issue; for me.

During these times there are many women, and men, going through similar emotions.  Lack of nutritional foods, lack of daily exercises, people gaining weight, and the stories they tell themselves will probably be having a really negative impact on them.

The struggle with body image is real for so many of us, so let’s remember to be kind to others; and use this time to develop food businesses which serve those of us with alternative diets, neccessary ones as well as choice based ones.

If you have a fitness business, remember for many people a home visit is an essential item on their shopping list.

The governments may not think your trip is essential, but to your clients, you are more than essential, you could be helping them beat the demons.  And if you can’t get to them, call them by phone or have a fitness session by Zoom or Skype.

You could be the difference between someone living or dying.  This might sound extreme, but we never know the demons others are facing when it comes to health, fitness and body images.  Suicide maybe right there at the forefront of their mind.

I have developed some very powerful skills and healing techniques I use, have fitness apps on my phone which support my daily fitness.  Others don’t.

And if you have been thinking about setting up in business, listen to the conversations and read between the posts on your social media feed to what your connections are saying and not saying.

They are telling you what is not being delivered to their door, what they cannot get hold of, and what they are really wanting.

All you have to do is listen, internalise, invest, create and launch.

And ladies, if you are ready to rise, then check out my 21 Day Challenge The Phoenix Rising, because by the end of it you will have all the necessary guidance you need to kickstart your business, global movement or community project.

And remember, when we live to laugh and laugh to live, dealing with the demons of the past get dealt with a whole lot quicker.

Enjoy your pizzas folks!

Ciao for now x

P.S. You can read more about my journey with bulimia and HELLP Syndrome by purchasing my books.  They include information on how to set up in business, how I thrived during the lockdown in Egypt during the Arab Spring, or rather the Egyptian Uprising, and a whole lot more besides.