Meet the women who are running workshops and groups across the land…spreading the word and doing amazing work. Sally is running workshops, drop-in groups and 12 week programmes in Bristol. You can also meet her in person at the Bristol Roadshow Workshop on 30th November. She says: “I feel I’ve served a great big dish of freedom and self care into my own life and I belong to a team of wonderful women spreading a great message that offers the attention, love and kindness we all deserve.”[nonmember] Sorry, this content if for Beyond Chocolate members only. You can join the community, read this post and get loads more support for free. Click here to find out more. If you are already a member, please login to take part. [/nonmember] [ismember]
Who? Sally Norris
What? Weekly drop-ins in Shirehampton, BS11 from 10th Sept 2013 at 10.30 a.m, The Bristol Roadshow on 30th November, a 12 week course starting January 2014 and a 1 Day Retreat in Coalpit Heath on 18th January.
You’ll also find her: Running live events and welcoming newbies on the forum. Sally is also in charge of community.
Sally says: I am also looking at the forum activity to see what helps new members feel comfortable to share, post and get involved. Do send me a private message if there is anything that you feel can help with getting started. My username is Lambchop.
What do you do when you’re not busy being a Chocolate Fairy?
I live in Bristol and am currently enjoying adoption leave having become a Mum of a 2 and 5 year old.
I grew up on a farm and am a lover of the countryside and being outdoors. I enjoy the garden, cooking, sewing and crafts. I love to read; at the moment its all about parenting issues but it won’t be long until I’m back on my mission to read more about women, body image and our relationship with food. Friends are a real tonic, so we meet up regularly for eats and drinks or for supper at my place. Dancing & music always brightens my mood and if I don’t get a chance to get out and dance then a blast in the car or my own little disco in the lounge works really well.
Why did you train with Beyond Chocolate?
I started my first diet aged 17 after having a ‘my bum is too big’ attack one evening and not going out as a result. I did the 1,000 kcal diet, drank a lot of 1kcal fizz, did a lot of adding up and lost 2.5 stone in a short space of time. Of course it wasn’t long before the weight came back on and I needed to return to another diet club. I could just write that last sentence over and over because I continued to do this for the next 27 years. I know, I can’t believe it myself, and I know there will be many of you nodding as you read. I went to diet classes for many years on and off but after using an exclusion diet to recover from an illness I settled on the Anti-Candida diet. It involved removing all sugar, wheat, dairy, yeast, vinegars and . . . oh gosh I’ve just yawned, the list goes on and its oh so boring! My difficulty with it was that it helped me to feel good and so I not only felt trapped because I’d gain weight if I stopped, I also had to keep going because I felt so good on it.
I have to thank my dear old Dad for the change in my life. Writing the words for his eulogy made me reflect upon my own life and I realised mine was on hold until I lost a ‘bit more weight’. I soon decided I was done with dieting but it became apparent that I only knew how to eat following a guided regime or rebelling with pizza and a bottle of Amarone.
I started by searching for counsellors/therapists and fortunately and I was taken to a link for Beyond Chocolate. PHEW! I ordered the book and got myself a place on a workshop in London for Sept 2011.
I have gone onto train to be a Facilitator because I have always had an interest in guiding women with their relationship with food and body image but I haven’t wanted to be part of any company that dictates what people should eat. I also feel proud to be bringing this to Bristol and the South West.
What was the training like?
The retreat was as it says on the tin: a retreat. It felt luxurious, indulgent, comforting, supportive and cradling. It provided a safe space for honesty, exploration, questioning and challenge. I have met some amazing women as a consequence and had fun sharing some ridiculous moments from our lives. Oh and I ate a lot of crisps in that week . The next months of online and telephone training and reflection work that followed was of great benefit. Its value is in the continuous nature of the course and the space to reflect and then discuss progress, issues and challenges with Sophie & Audrey and fellow trainees.
What changed in your life as a result of the training?
In a nutshell I’ve learned to listen to myself. I hadn’t realised that most of my overeating was due to denying my emotions and I was using food to push down my anger, ignore my pain or to soothe myself. This has brought an honesty and authenticity about me that I have never had before and as a consequence I am beginning to enjoy more, the relationships I have with my family and friends. It’s hard to explain how much this has changed the experience of my life but it really has.
In terms of food I’ve just checked the kitchen; there’s cheese, crisps, chocolate, avocados, mayonnaise, syrup etc… I used to believe I couldn’t be left alone with these foods because they shouted ‘eat me, eat me!’. They rarely beckon now and if they do I am able to PAUSE and question if this food is what my body needs today and what will I feel like once I have eaten it.
I’ve worked out that some foods really don’t serve me well but rather than sulk about this like before, I recognise that I am making a choice to keep myself energised and healthy. I am a Beyond Chocolaterer who has to restrict her diet for health reasons which I think brings some interesting and unique challenges.
Every item in my wardrobe fits me now so I’m free of those daily reminders that I don’t like ME and I’m waiting to lose weight. I get out earlier of a morning because I’m not hiding in the shower puzzling over what I’ve got to wear.
It really has been a life changing experience for me.
What does being a Beyond Chocolate Facilitator/Chocolate Fairy mean to you?
Being a Facilitator for me is about spreading the word of Beyond Chocolate and offering other women the opportunity to enjoy this freedom and learn about an alternative way to address issues with weight and body image. I’ll apologise in advance to Facebook friends for my continuous links to Beyond Chocolate but I hope that these friends and their friends will be able to see its time to stop dieting and find freedom in loving ourselves for the beautiful women we are and the wonderful things that we do.
Already I have had opportunities for handing over my Beyond Chocolate business card (insert Proud smiley); in one example a nurse told me she’d been crying over her bathroom scales that morning. It felt really good to be telling her there is another way and that another diet is NOT the answer. I simply want to create more and more opportunities for meeting women to share this message.
I want to continue to be active in challenging the Government about the public message we are fed about the right and wrong weight, shape and size. It starts I believe with the message we are giving to young girls. Finally if I could do something about those b****y celebrity weight watching magazines that believe all us women are interested in is who has lost or gained ten pounds then I’d really feel I’d achieved something.
What about weight-loss?
My body confidence is greatly improved. A short sentence but a HUGE shift. My time in front of the mirror used to be a fleeting glance but now I actually use the mirror to ground me and shut up those Gremlins if they are telling me I look awful. I feel I used to walk about with a sense I was hiding but now I really enjoy carrying that invitation for people to look at me. I gained weight when I started Beyond Chocolate but now, my clothes are looser so, yes I’ve lost weight but the scales were smashed with a hammer so I’ve no idea how much. I am a successful, skilled and resourceful woman and if weight is how another person is measuring me then these days I believe they’ve missed who I am.
What’s the 1 best thing about being a Beyond Chocolate Facilitator/Chocolate Fairy?
I feel I’ve served a great big dish of freedom and self care into my own life and I belong to a team of wonderful women spreading a great message that offers the attention, love and kindness we all deserve..
Inspired? Want to join our team and train to be a Beyond Chocolate Facilitator/Chocolate Fairy?
Read more about the training here.