My name is Angela Ford Jones. I am a Nurse Practitioner and a Certified Health Coach. But, more importantly, I have struggled with food addiction, body image, and eating disorders.
I have been a practicing Nurse Practitioner since 2003, primarily in family practice. During the first ten years of my practice it became apparent, as health care professionals, we were not addressing our patient's weight issues... even when they asked for help.
Weight gain is one of the major causes of many health problems (diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, knee pain, depression, cancer, infertility...) yet, we continue to ignore prevention.
Now, rewind the clock a decade or so...
As an adolescent and pre-teen, I suffered the same self-esteem issues all girls face. I compared myself to others and never felt I was good enough. I began depriving myself of food at a young age to "be thinner" and by the time I was 15, I had developed anorexia. My parents intervened quickly and I did not suffer serious physical problems but the distorted body image issues were not resolved.
Ironically, despite my lack of self acceptance and fear of not being "perfect", I still managed to became a sugar addict. Most days during high school and college, my only meals were a candy bar or a sugary beverage.
After I had my second child, the fear of weight gain became overwhelming. My children were exactly two years apart and I had not yet reached my pre-pregnancy weight after the birth of my daughter before becoming pregnant with my son. This terrified me. After he was born, the anorexia returned along with bulimia. To maintain the pretense of health for my family, I ate meals in their presence and immediately vomited. When I was not witnessed, I simply did not eat. I reached an all time low weight during those years.
I cycled through phases of not eating, binging, and then purging when I ate. This went on for several years off and on. Looking back, those cycles were directly linked to my emotional well-being.
I have battled depression since childhood and have spent the majority of my life untreated. I also learned, as an adult, I have attention deficit disorder. My eating disorders and the cyclic patterns in my life have a direct correlation with major life changes.
I have found this to be true with the patients I work with as well. Perhaps the issue with food existed but it took a major life event to set in motion a downward spiral that led to major weight gain that they felt they no longer had control.
Weight control is multifactorial. This means, not one specific thing causes us to gain weight. It is caused by many things: our genetics, our environment, our health, and our mental well-being.
Understanding what aspect of our weight we can control is the first step in regaining our life back and becoming healthy and happy.
I have dedicated my practice to helping others with this since 2016.