My mission as a Health & Wellness Coach is to Transform Children’s Health In Australia, One Lunch Box At A Time.
If you don’t know what’s happening to Children’s Health in Australia, or you haven’t read why this is my mission, you can read about it here.
So How Serious Am I About This Mission?
When my husband Israel was diagnosed with depression in 2011, we decided that we would travel Australia with our family in 2016. It started out as just a family voyage of a lifetime. Then early last year during the course of studying to be a Health & Wellness Coach, I started to think about how lifestyle and food can have such a big impact on one’s life, particularly those suffering from depression and anxiety. I started a conversation with Israel about perhaps using our trip around Australia to spread the word on how lifestyle and food can affect depression and anxiety. Given what he had been through, he was more than open to it.
Then in May 2013 Israel attended Misfit Con in Fargo. At this conference Israel shared what we had been talking about doing in 2016. One of the speakers, Greg Hartle, gave a presentation about how he was living with a constant life-threatening illness with death hanging over his head, but wasn’t letting that stop him from doing big, life changing things. He spoke about how many of us just live life in a waiting game, waiting for things to happen, waiting for the right time. He then posed this question to Israel – on stage! – “What are you waiting for?, why wait to 2016 to spread the word?”
Israel returned from that trip and told me all about the speakers and then he dropped the bombshell. He wanted to move our trip around Australia forward to June 2014. At first I flipped my lid – there was so much to do and prepare in order for us to travel. How do we transform our photography business so it works when we are travelling? I was still studying and my business was in it’s infancy – how would this work when we travelled? What sort of vehicle would we have? How do we home-school the children? And so on… I mentally created a list and said “Are you mad? There is too much to plan for in only 12 months!”
After much ‘discussion’ (you can read a lot more into this word ‘discussion’ to get the true picture of what the exchanges were like!), we agreed we would hit the road in January 2015.
We spent much of the balance of 2013 sorting out what sort of transportation we were going to have, talking to the kids and our families about it, writing lists of things to be done and making small steps towards travelling Australia. For instance, when our dishwasher broke down last year around August, we decided we wouldn’t get it fixed because when we were travelling we’d be washing by hand – might as well get used to it :-). We decided that we’d like to buy a bus and convert it to a motor home so we could brand it with our business and sponsors, and make it a moving billboard for our ’cause’ (which we hadn’t really worked out yet).
We took little steps like these but did not seem to be making much forward movement, until 2 weeks before Christmas. We received the news that the tenants of our apartment were breaking lease 3 months early. A ‘discussion’ about whether to re-let or sell our property (which was part of our retirement strategy) had to happen – pronto! After more ‘discussion’, we finally agreed we should sell it to help fund our transportation and have some money to re-establish somewhere when we returned, and so we had no debt whilst we were travelling.
2014 was upon us before we knew it. We returned after our Christmas holiday, and within 11 days of the New Year, we were ripping up carpet, renovating our unit, getting it ready for auction. Then we played the waiting game until it sold in early March.
Somewhere in between all this, I found myself being pulled towards Children’s Health. Then one day in March my life was irrevocably changed.
I took my 3.5 year old boy to our local swimming pool and there was an all-boys private school swimming carnival on. I was so shocked at what I saw. There were more man boobs there than I had ever seen in my entire life. I mentally did a count, and for about every five boys, I considered three of them to be unhealthy looking (love handles, man boobs). I was so devastated. On the verge of tears I rang Israel and shared what I was seeing. I was exasperated and kept thinking “How can this have happened?”
I started researching children’s health and discovered horrifying statistics about what was happening to Australian children (read about this here). I realised that while I love helping people with depression and anxiety, as a mum, I was being pulled towards children.
I now know what my life’s work is – To Transform Children’s Health.
And why tackle lunch boxes? Because it’s a simple place to start, and because when I changed what I packed in my daughters lunch box last year, she got teased for being poor because it wasn’t filled with processed, packaged food. I couldn’t believe children could relate packaged food to wealth!
Fortunately, I have an amazing husband who is 100% behind me. Finally in March 2014, 9 months before the date we declared we would travel Australia, Israel and I have agreed to Transform Children’s Health Around Australia.
I have now written two education food programs for children (ages 3-5 and 5-10) and started to run classes at schools, day care centres and pre-schools. I have written and conducted workshops, webinars, cooking demonstrations and an e-course for mums. I have started to write a book about Hassle Free Healthy Lunch Boxes. I will continue doing this and more until I guess my days are up.
So from January 2015, we will be travelling Australia in a bus branded The Root Cause and taking the message of Transforming Children’s Health One Lunch Box At A Time with fun and interactive educational programs for children and parents.
I’d love for you to follow us and support our mission by sharing this with as many friends and colleagues as you can.
You will be able to keep track of our plans, and The Root Cause Lunch Box (or Children’s Health) Tour on this website soon.
In the meantime, I have the hand-drawn picture at the top of this post stuck up on my desk. It’s a constant reminder of what we are about to undertake as a family. And this below is currently a favourite reminder to me: