‘In short’ The Butterfly Effect started out in 2016 as a female only Pairs Event that was designed to provide a platform to raise awareness against negative body image and eating disorders.
The longer version takes a bit more explaining.
I grew up in an environment where the constant narrative was ‘you are only as good as you look’ Skinny = success. Let that slip and you were worthless. Food was something to be feared. My mother was an anorexic. Back then there was limited understanding of that that meant. As a child I wouldn’t have understood anyway. My mum survived off multiple cups of coffee a day, cigarettes and not much else. The word ‘fat’ was thrown around to cover most things that frustrated her. And she was frustrated with a lot of things, me being number one on her list
At first the insults confused me. What really is fat? Was I the Fat.? At 7 years old I had no idea.
When you are exposed to distorted behaviour long enough you can become rather detached. So I spent most of my childhood worried about food and ironically my teens not really caring about food at all.
In my early 20’s I spent 4 years travelling the world. Food was still not something I considered for health but I thought I understood the meaning of fat.
Fat is something to be feared.
It’s what separates you from being ‘good’ or ‘bad’ person. It’s what happens when you eat. So the best thing to do is to avoid anything that makes you feel full. Diet Coke is good. You feel full. Not sure what vegetables were – I couldn’t cook. I wasn’t shown how and never cared enough to learn, 2-minute noodles work well. That’ll do. Alcohol is not food. That’s okay too. I avoided the Fat. I’m ok.
I was homeless when I was 22. I lived off bread and jam or scraps off peoples plates at cafes. I used to sneak up after they had finished and paid the bill.
During this time, I thought about food a lot. When you have no money, no way to cook, no bed and no roof over your head you really do learn what is important in life. Food became almost top of that list. I can tell you that your body literally hates you when you don’t have decent food. I had teeth that became so decayed they crumbed in my mouth. The teeth issues were my major turning point. I promised myself that I would view things differently.
When I managed to get out of that situation, food became very much a part of my life. I was insanely interested in it. From cooking to the nutrition, it was all new and very exciting. I also became passionate about exercise. I was finally on track to feeling good mentally and it was something I would never take for granted again
The ‘residentially challenged’ (aka homeless) part of my life taught me a very valuable lesson. Food is a gift. A very privileged, awesome gift. Problem is we have so much of it that we are able to abuse it. We overindulge, we waste, we control it, we demonise it and we fixate on it.
It’s the subject of many debates, the cause of many alarming health issues and yet – our world revolves around it. How we look, what we eat, what we don’t eat – is OUR world. The important stuff – health – is overshadowed by fear. The fear of the ‘Fat’ or perhaps the lack of it for some. Too big, too small, too round, too muscular …it’s never right. We are never ‘just right’
At 32 years old I opened a CrossFit Affiliate. I had the highest honour of coaching people and helping them lead a healthier life.
I heard about women’s goals all the time. Most women told me they wanted to tone up & lose weight. Rarely did someone tell me their goal was to live a long healthy life.
The Butterfly Effect was born here. I wanted to provide a safe space for women to come together and celebrate the gift we have. Our bodies! What they do for us, how they perform time and time again and show up even when we abuse them. I wanted to support a charity (The Butterfly Foundation) that supported this message. To give back and raise awareness, to perhaps help others that are going through a tough time.
At the time I had no idea how many women would resonate with this. My mission was simply to unite and celebrate with you all. 💕🦋
Over the years through the Butterfly Effect, I have now met 1000’s of women who have some very powerful stories of their own. I am honoured to share in their journeys and truly blessed to be living this life with you all
Thank you for reading xoxo