Trekking to health and happiness

In Guest Blog by Elena Langtry

As a Health Coach, Bella Somerset takes people trekking in the Himalayas, helping them overcome the negative behaviour patterns holding them back, so they can take action to evolve personally and professionally. Bella struggled with depression and Binge Eating Disorder and her work is now sharing what has been her healing tool.

My struggles developed in my last year of Marlborough College at 17 – Why? I don’t know entirely – but I had a head injury, started taking ecstasy, and developed some bad habits around sleep – I’d take pro-plus to work in to the night during the run up to may exams, as I felt less distracted then. I viewed sleep as unnecessary – I know now how foundational sleep is for good mental health and good lifestyle choices!

My abnormal eating patterns began to stretch out of control. With this came a loss of confidence as I couldn’t trust myself to stick to my intentions, I felt very low self worth, and I gained 2 stone in the space of a month and a half which shifted my confidence deeper and romantic dynamics in my life.

For the next 7 years my life became a repeated pattern of feeling in control and out of control. Trekking in Nepal had been in my tool kit to re-balance mentally and physically for a while, as I’d be removed from my habit patterns and triggers, and I’d lose weight naturally and healthily trekking these magnificent trails. But, I’d come back and my life would unravel again pretty quickly because I didn’t understand the reasons I was overeating in the first place and I didn’t have the tools and self understanding to manage stress.

It was only in January 2016 that things started to turn around. I took a step back and trained in holistic nutrition at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. The approach taught me to remove the focus on food and weight, and instead gain clarity on the roots of dissatisfaction in my life holistically that were leading me to make choices that I intuitively knew were not in line with my balance and my goals.

The perspective and calm mind I found in the mountains enabled me to be objective to what was not working in my life, then I could strategise future actions to take back home to infuse more satisfaction into my relationships, work, and health.

The method was gentle with a ‘two steps forward, one step back’ approach that allowed me to be more forgiving on myself, and relieved the stress that I often put on myself to be perfect with my behavior or to always do the right thing. My own journey has shaped the way that I coach others.

My struggles now give me natural empathy and compassion of the inner mental struggle we all go through.

Now, having found my own balance, I share my tools with others: hiking in the mountains to calm the mind and gain clarity on the root of dissatisfaction that was leading to destructive behaviors, then forming action steps to re-balance.

While we’re in the mountains we are practising what we learn:

  • eating 3 healthy meals cyclically
  • meditating
  • getting endorphins from exercising
  • sleeping well
  • and removed from many life stressors.

Being in a group sharing the adventure fosters deep connection and leaves lasting friendships with people who share the interests of nature, trekking, fitness, and are looking to be pro-active with their lives to consciously evolve.

Loneliness or a lack of authentic connection was a root of unease in my life and now I’m proactive about putting boundaries in relationships that hold me back and I surround myself with people that support me and bring in joy and laughter. 

Time away trekking through beautiful, dramatic mountains brings clarity and happiness, gave me perspective on what I needed my priorities to be in life in order to have more balance. I now have the confidence, focus, clarity, self trust, and integrity to take chances with opportunities, learn from mistakes, and progress with the journey of living a life that satisfies me and brings me joy.

You can find Bella on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and on her website and as always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic over on Twitter @RachelKellyNet

“My grace is sufficient for thee; my strength is made perfect in weakness”

“My grace is sufficient for thee; my strength is made perfect in weakness”