This is me

This is me: Stef Jung

This is me: Stef Jung

A little less serious

Name: Stefanie Jung

Age: 28

Where are you right now- tell us what you can see? I’m having a lazy Friday morning and am currently working from the couch in sweats. Perks of being your own boss!

What did you have for breakfast? Coconut yoghurt with pineapple (+ seeds), blueberries and a sprinkle of hemp, chia and flax seeds. Plus an oatmeal cappuccino.

What are you usually doing at 11pm? I’m just putting the finishing touches on a new online course that I’m about to launch, so it’s lots of conversations with my web developer as well as filming + editing content.

What is something most people don’t know about you? That I’m a bit of a third culture kid. I was born in Germany, but haven’t lived there for +15 years and have lived in the US, Switzerland, Paris, Dubai, London and now Australia (Sydney and Melbourne) for the last 5 years. As a result, I speak German, English and French.

A little more serious

Tell us a bit about your story. What defines you? I grew up in a really healthy and active household with beautiful role models in regard to nutrition and movement. But in my teens, I developed a very tumultuous relationship to food and my body. What started as an innocent diet turned into a 5+ year struggle with anorexia, bulimia, binge eating and all the grey areas in between. It took a lot of inner work, getting support and working with the right people, to eventually get back to a place where I have a healthy relationship to food, my body and exercise. I eventually went on to study Holistic Nutrition at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and also did my Yoga Teacher Training in India, and now coach women to help them find their own food freedom.

 

What has been the biggest challenge you have faced in your life? I guess this goes hand in hand with the question above. Those food + body image struggles were the hardest thing I had to go through in my late teens and early 20s, and definitely defined me (in hindsight in a very positive way!) More recently, my partner had a major health scare in 2019 where he got very ill out of nowhere and for six months we didn’t know what was going on. I have never seen him struggle this much (physically + mentally), and I felt extremely helpless in the situation. That was definitely a tough year, but the uncertainty of that year prepared us well for the uncertainty that was to come in 2020!

How did you overcome that challenge? I’ll refer back to my food struggles to answer this question. After hitting rock bottom and realising I couldn’t keep going like this, I started working with a Health Coach who herself had gone through years of disordered eating. I also tried two therapists, but neither of them resonated with me. At the end, working with someone who could relate through experience was the most powerful thing I ever did, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. This is actually the reason why I got into coaching myself, because I first-hand saw the power of working with someone who could create a judgment-free space in that way.

What has been the biggest lesson you have learnt? If I could sum it up into one sentence, it’s this: The way you eat is the way you live, and the way you live is the way you eat. What I mean by this is that the way you do one thing is the way you do everything. In that sense, our relationship to food is a reflection of our relationship to life itself. It reflects are beliefs around money, sexuality, self worth, and so much more. And because of this, healing one’s relationship to food and body image is a portal so much deeper personal self development. This is something that I focus on with my clients, and I’m always amazed at how much healing their unwanted food concerns has a positive ripple effect onto other areas of their lives.

What would you tell your 15 year old self? That I’m enough just as I am and that my worth doesn’t depend on any external factors – not my body, not my weight, not my productivity!

What is your biggest life tip? Your mess is your message! Take whatever obstacles you have overcome in your life, and turn them into your superpower. Nothing good comes from closing down and hiding your past, can you instead embrace it and use it to make you stronger?

What do you think is the biggest issue facing women today? That we can be and do anything we want, just not everything at the same time. The hidden mental load that women have to carry is real, and it’s all too often overlooked. I’m not yet married or have children, but I can only imagine how difficult it is to a be a career-driven women who also values family life and wants to “do it all”.

What do you think is the biggest opportunity facing women today? That we can be and do anything we want!

Finish the sentence. This is me … I think the sentence doesn’t need an ending. This is me. Take it or leave it, but I’m not going to change for anything or anyone. At the end of the day, the only person who needs to like you is yourself. I’m really big on authenticity and vulnerability, and I’m constantly working on showing up as the rawest and most honest version of myself.

You can find Stef at @wholesomestef and www.wholesomestef.com

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