"Losing weight, learning how to manage your daily energy intake, learning to cook, tuning in with yourself and your hunger queues and the like, is a skill."May 26, 2020 2:38 pm
Name: Cee Fee Dunn
Based in: Windsor, United Kingdom
Occupation: Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach
“I come from quite a theatrical background. I was a budding opera singer, but during my training I was just so unwell with Bulimia and Binge Eating Disorders (BED). Not only did I have a problem controlling my impulse to over eat, but I would over exercise or severally restrict my food intake between binges. I simply didn’t know what it was to eat and move normally.
Caught in such a rut, I didn’t really know what direction I was going with my life. It felt quite despairing at times as I knew that singing, or at very least, pursuing a career as a singer was not the way I wanted to go.
I was in my local gym doing my second exercise session of the day (obsession with the cross trainer and MTV firmly in place) and an advert came on for a personal trainer academy. It was probably the most impulsive decision of my life. The next thing I knew I was in a meeting with the gym manager asking his advice how viable it was as a career option and just days later I was booked on the course. This was back in the days where becoming certified was extremely difficult.
It was months of intensive full-time study. I was obsessed with the idea that training to become a personal trainer would literally save my life. I just didn’t want to suffer with BED any longer. Exhausted, I wanted to start my life. I wanted to build a career and I wanted to make money for the first time in my adult life. This is really the pivotal moment where my journey for personal betterment began.”
“There is nothing out of bounds in the glorious world of food.”
“Since qualifying I have just snow balled into my career, health and physique as it stands now. Over the years I accumulated a wealth of knowledge in nutrition, behaviour change and exercise. I have built my teaching principles based on the journey I took myself to find wellness, from literally being in the trenches to now. Fifteen years ago, I was an insecure, binge eating, fear-based girl, terrified of a pot of hummus; quite the opposite to what people see and think of me today.
I absolutely live and teach the ethos of moving every day, eating a mostly whole food diet with heaps of vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, legumes and plant-based fats… Luckily, I enjoy eating well, but I, like all my clients, really enjoy the fun side of food like daily sweets and confectionary. There is nothing out of bounds in the glorious world of food. Even refined sugar has a firm place in my balanced and well-rounded approach to personal nutrition.”
On eating and feeling good
“I had a message from a lady on Instagram yesterday. She was feeling really unsure about the food plan her personal trainer had put her on and she asked me if I would look at it. I agreed and duly she sent through a “perfect plan”.
I call it perfect because it was set up beautifully from an energy perspective. It was filled with… well… chicken, rice and broccoli… two squares of dark chocolate… as so on… It was exactly the sort of food programmes that are generically spouted out by industry professionals who fail to acknowledge that their clients are humans, with feeling, cravings, social lives and varying appetites. I spent a bit of time with her chatting out the simple fundamentals of balanced eating. To see her relief that she could be fit and healthy, as well as look forward to looking and feeling her best, whilst actually eating in a way that is flexible and could actually fit in with her life, made my day.
I’m fortunate enough to work regularly with women who strive to face their personal daemons with diet, exercise and fat loss. I simply love watching a woman come into her light as she starts to grasp the fundamental principles of nutrition and steps away from ingrained and often incorrect beliefs about food and starts seeing a map unfold to a far brighter future.”
On weight loss
“First things first. Develop an interest in it. Look at learning some of the very basic nutritional fundamentals. Understand the principles of calories and macro nutrients. It can be very tempting to hire a personal trainer or subscribe to a diet that tells you what to do, but they never cover the why.
The key concept to get a firm understanding of is the energy balance equation, meaning calories in versus calories out. If you eat more calories than you need to maintain your weight you will gain weight. If you eat less than what you need, you will lose weight.
First, grasp how many calories you need to consume. Second, create a sustainable macronutrient split. Third, make sure you are eating a wealth of colour – eat vegetables… a lot of them. Fourth, make sure you are moving everyday.
The most common mistakes I see…
…is going at the process of losing weight alone. Losing weight, learning how to manage your daily energy intake, learning to cook, tuning in with yourself and your hunger queues and the like, is a skill. These are life skills we do not get taught in school. So, we rely on the hearsay of the diet industry and perpetually dieting friends to seek the answers. We seek quick miracle fixes and there simply aren’t any. It’s about levelling up, tooling up and learning the skills of true self care.”
“Weight loss is highly individual”
“We all require different energy needs for different lifestyle requirements and goals. All my clients’ calories are highly individualised and will adapt and change as they progress. The very bare bones of weight loss is to be in a caloric deficit, meaning one is eating a lesser number of calories than one would need to maintain their current weight.
I speak so much on my channel about how to approach weight loss and some of the principles behind successfully losing weight. Here are two videos you may enjoy if you are just starting to take an interest in your personal food and diet.”
"Understand the principles of calories and macro nutrients. It can be very tempting to hire a personal trainer or subscribe to a diet that tells you what to do, but they never cover the why."
“I can’t lie, I eat about two packets of your Greek Olive and Tkemali Crackers each day. I also love snacking on homemade protein bars, apples, rice cakes with almond nut butter and berries. Also, I can’t live without Two Chicks Egg whites and Eat Lean Protein Cheese, especially if I’m on a mini diet for a photoshoot or event. Oh, and Halo Top ice-cream, as well as home popped popcorn with my secret ingredient salt and spice topping. My favourite weekday quick meal is by far and away black bean chilli. It’s so easy, very nutrient rich and extremely low calorie.”
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