A qualified Australian nutritionist has admitted she struggled with her weight from an ‘unhealthy relationship with food’ throughout her teenage years – before a stint as a bodybuilding champion saw the memories come flooding back.
Samantha Lee Carbone, from Adelaide, South Australia, frequently compared herself to others in magazines, on television and within her peer group, making her feel as if she was ‘surrounded by models’.
‘I didn’t know what was healthy and what was unhealthy; I never ate vegetables or protein and always bought Macca’s when out with friends,’ she said.
It wasn’t until 2014 when she sought assistance from a health coach that she ‘fell in love’ with nutrition, which led to winning a body building competition in 2017 and eventually becoming a health expert herself.
The now 33-year-old is a new mum who teaches hundreds of women how to lose weight and develop and create healthy food habits.
Australian nutritionist Samantha Lee Carbone (pictured) struggled with food as a teenager and after winning a body building competition in 2017. But today the 33-year-old helps women make positive food choices
At 17, Samantha frequently compared herself to others in magazines, on television and within her peer group, making her feel as if she was ‘surrounded by models’ (left). In 2017 she competed in her first body building competition which she won (right)
She didn’t label her bad eating habits as an eating disorder, but rather disordered eating due to a lack of nutritional education.
Unlike an eating disorder where a person doesn’t eat for long periods of time, disordered eating is constant changes in a person’s eating patterns.
‘It got to a point where I was 17 and just unhappy. My weight was fluctuating a lot and I felt really restricted in my life,’ Samantha said.
‘I think culture played a part in it too – growing up in a big Italian family we just ate and ate all the time.’
She added how at times she would restrict herself from eating all day to have a ‘huge meal’ at night.
Samantha said her health coach ‘saved her life’ by introducing her to new foods she ‘never thought to try’, such as oats, yoghurt and peanut butter.
‘My coach was a body builder herself and a year into working with her was when she asked if I had ever considered participating,’ she said.
‘I always said I would never do [body building] because I was quite shy, but thought I’d give it a go for me.’
What are the potential signs of disordered eating?