Ruby - 14, Year 10 Student

As a young girl, I was cheerful, fit and healthy. I loved fresh fruits and veg and couldn’t get enough of the outdoors. I’d have an occasional chocolate, or soft drink – but in the main my diet consisted of foods full of nutrition and goodness. As I got older, I found that the things I ate began to change. Gradually, fruits and veg started to fall out of my world. And with two working parents, dinner was often meat and three veg or a takeaway.

As a young girl, I was cheerful, fit and healthy. I loved fresh fruits and veg and couldn’t get enough of the outdoors. I’d have an occasional chocolate, or soft […]

“My energy levels, overall happiness and confidence have changed incredibly!”

At the age of nine, I started gaining weight and losing energy. I found that people commented on the fact that I never looked very ‘happy’ anymore and that I always seemed ‘tired’.

I was tired, and sadly, I was also becoming very unhappy. I was reaching an age where I genuinely cared about the way I looked and to be complety honest, I wasn’t happy with it. Even though in the back of my mind I wanted to be healthy, it always seemed so much simpler to be unhealthy.

My transition into high school was no help. Moving from a small, quiet Montessori school where I had no access to tuckshop into a school where they sold ice creams and pies was exciting for me. I started eating junk food every day and began to gain more weight. I found that I had no energy and was becoming more and more depressed. I spent day after day feeling horrible – not only about the way I looked, but also the way that these foods were making me feel. I would eat when I was sad, I would eat when I was bored and a lot of the time just for the sake of eating. I tried many times to change my ways, but I’d always resort back to the same eating pattern.

Then, in July 2014, my uncle passed away suddenly from organ failure caused by untreated, chronic fatty liver disease that had then caused cirrhosis. His death came as a huge shock to my entire family. It was this wake-up call that made us change our ways. Our family removed all processed foods and takeaway and I began exercising two-to-three times a week, riding a bike with my dad.

I started to feel better and when I also cut out dairy products and began taking lunches to school everyday, the change I felt was amazing. My family and I had been following an 80 per cent Paleo diet since September 2014 until we began the 10 Week Activation Program at the end of May 2015. When we became 100 per cent Paleo, I cut out all grains, dairy and refined sugars, which made it more noticeable to others at school that I wasn’t eating the same way they did and that I was on a different path.

Before I began the Activation Program I was eating healthier than before, but I was still eating grains and refined sugar, so I could still ‘fit in’ and eat ‘normal’ food.

At school, people eat pies, sausage roles, muffins, juices, slushies and ice creams and many people think I’m crazy when I eat my vegies, nuts and leftovers. I am constantly questioned by my peers about my food choices ¬– people simply don’t understand why, at 14 years old, I would make the decision to change my way of not only eating, but also the way that I live my life.

Doing the 10 Week Activation Program and having the chance to learn from doctors, cardiologists, surgeons and nutritionists has taught me so much. I only hope that others take the time to educate themselves on this incredible way of life. After eating 100 per cent Paleo for only a little over a month, my energy levels, weight, overall happiness and confidence have changed incredibly – I feel better than ever!

So many people have laughed in my face for what I am doing, but this is something that I am doing for myself, and no one else. Letting someone tear me down about something that makes me feel good is something that I will never accept. For me this is just the beginning. It is how I want to live the rest of my life regardless of what other people say. People only ever tear down what threatens them. I’m forever grateful to have had the opportunity to learn and live like this.

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