Emma Woolf (Grand daughter of Virginia Woolf) has written a new book, inspired by her experience on one of our Transformational Retreats. Available on Amazon here...
Daily Mail Book Review;
How intriguing it is to see how often women talk about their lives in terms of physical exertion. We juggle, we multi-task, we lean in.
Emma Woolf writes vividly about her battle with healthy eating.
I once had a riding teacher whose motto, in life as in showjumping, was Kick On!
Emma Woolf, journalist and television presenter of Channel 4’s Supersize vs Superskinny, suspects that all this strenuous effort is getting us nowhere.
A perfectionist, whose struggle to overcome anorexia is described in her memoir, An Apple A Day, she noticed that even after her recovery, her efforts to keep rigid control over every aspect of her life were holding her back.
Woolf’s story begins in a French manor house, where five women and a lone businessman had gathered for a nine-day course of self-improvement. The programme offered vegetarian food, yoga, meditation, life coaching and twice-daily sessions of neurofeedback, a form of brain training that uses ‘low-resolution electromagnetic tomography to work deep areas of the brain’.
To her surprise, Woolf embraced it all with enthusiasm, though she had terrible trouble with the trauma release session, where the participants were supposed to rid themselves of deeply ingrained trauma by lying on the floor and shaking all over.
Woolf couldn’t muster so much as a twitch.
But she nevertheless ‘came back to London feeling as if she could take on the world. Six months later, the transformation was striking enough to inspire her to examine the benefits of letting go in more detail.
She begins with body image. ‘We all have body hang-ups,’ she argues — a magazine survey found 97 per cent of respondents admitted to having severe negative thoughts about their body every day.
She writes vividly about her continuing battle to eat not just healthily, but with pleasure.
And there is a bleakly comic account of going on the road for Supersize vs Superskinny with the director, Helen, and assistant producer, Louise.
Helen, who once weighed 19 st, had recently lost 7 st, and survived on raw broccoli drenched in vinegar and small bags of cashew nuts, while Louise ate large quantities of salmon and sprinkled chilli flakes on everything.
What with Woolf’s diet of multi-seed bread, banana and Greek yoghurt, it doesn’t sound like an enjoyable version of healthy eating, but as always, she sees the positives.
‘We were healthy, happy, not over-weight nor under-weight, managing to live perfectly well, despite our weird tastes.’
A potpourri of ideas and observations from everyone from the Buddha to Samantha Brick, Woolf’s kindness and enthusiasm for helping those who have suffered, like her, from a crippling lack of confidence is beguiling.
As she says: ‘We all heal each other.’
By JANE SHILLING FOR THE DAILY MAIL