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About Jen

“It’s harder to fight when your brain is starved”

My own experience with an eating disorder lasted 10 years. Ive had experiences and insights which I know can be of value to others. Having trained as a nutritional therapist, a personal trainer and a Eating Disorderpractitioner, I know whats needed is a bespoke approach.

Below I outline my credentials and my values… and I also briefly sketch out my personal  journey that’s brought me to this point.

First and foremost, I am here to use my experiences to support others. So I also share what has prompted young people and/or their parents to come to me in the first place… in their own words.

Jenny Tomei’s credentials

  • Level three Personal Trainer
  • Nutritional Therapist (DIPCNM, ANP)
  • NCFED practitioner skills for Eating Disorder training course
  • Approved by the British Psychological Society
  • NCFED practitioner skills for Psychological Approaches to Obesity
  • Level 3 Counselling Skills

To the young people and families that I deal with,  it seems there are two other credentialsthat seem to matter just as much as all the above. One is the fact that Ive got to the other side of an eating disorder myself… the other is the fact that Im still relatively young. I do believe these two things make it that much easier for me to create a rapport with young people, and to make this information more accessible and easier to digest.

Jen’s Values

I believe it is vital that we address the early prevention of eating disorders

It’s not okay that young people are only supported or treated, once they are suffering from a full-blown eating disorder – at which point it’s that much harder to provide support. That’s why I’m so passionate about early prevention, and ‘catching things early’.

I believe knowledge is power

I feel it’s so important to educate young people (and others) about the side effects and impacts of under-eating, dieting and Eating Disorders… as well as to expose the myths that are ‘out there’. And it’s vital that we make such wisdom engaging  and accessible.

I believe emotional resilience is key

Eating disorders are never just about food. Typically, they are symptomatic of a deeper issue that needs resolving. JenUp is here to help young people strengthen those building blocks of self-esteem.

I believe in the power of story

Sometimes we need proof about what’s possible… and recovery stories can be so inspiring. By contrast, there are stories ‘out there’ that can be damaging.  It’s why II’m so passionate about enabling young people to critically evaluate messages in the media.

I believe in a balanced approach

Instead of such a focus on weight loss, what we need is a holistic, balanced and bespoke approach. One that encompasses nutrition and physical activity, and has a positive impact on mindset – creating a renewed sense of possibility.

I believe we all have a part to play

Beyond educating young people, parents and teachers, I want to widen the awareness of what’s going on, and what we can all do about it. I believe those who’ve been victims of eating disorders have a powerful role to play in preventing others falling into that trap.

Jen’s Journey

Part of what drives me is wanting other young people to have the knowledge, tools, wisdom and support that I wish Id had ten or more  years ago. I know too that what I have experienced first-hand can be invaluable to others.

In my talks and events, and also in the blog section of this site, I am able to share specific moments and experiences that have enabled me to really understand what others are going through.

My own triggers have included:
  • Suffering with high levels of anxiety and low confidence
  • Bottling up my emotions after losing a close member of my family
  • Being the victim of bullying and emotional abuse
  • Losing my sense of purpose after university
  • High achiever and perfectionist
And by contrast, those experiences that have helped me to turn things around, have included:
  • The support of close friends
  • Booking a trip to Australia, as the anorexia always held me back from being able to travel
  • Knowing it’s not a sign of weakness showing my emotions and it’s okay that I feel strong emotions….I used to num myself off a lot when things got too painful
  • Working on my confidence and self esteem
  • Nothing is ever perfect and it’s okay to make mistakes
  • I no longer wanted to spend everyday suffering
  • I trained as a nutritionist, and then as an eating disorder coach and I battled everyday until the anorexia had no more purpose in my life.
  • I then started Jenup to empower others that recovery is possible and no one should suffer in silence. Freedom is not a struggle.
It’s been a roller-coaster journey, full of ups and downs. And I know there were times when I felt very much on my own with it all. The more we can come together and share what we’ve learnt, the better placed  we are – I believe – to lift young people out of their isolation, and out of those negative cycles that don’t serve them.

Some major milestones in my life