About Jen

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

My own experience with an eating disorder lasted six 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
  • BA Hons (Business Studies)

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:
  • Wanting to be slim like a close friend in sixth form
  • 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
And by contrast, those experiences that have helped me to turn things around, have included:
  • The support of close friends
  • Going to Australia and following my heart
  • Training as a nutritionist, and then as a eating disorder coach
  • Releasing trauma within my body through a hypnotherapist
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

In their own words

“I was still losing weight without having that intention and was allowing a fear of weight gain to completely dominate my life…”

Teenage client

“Many therapists have a huge long list of qualifications and abbreviations. This doesn’t mean that these hyper-qualified therapists will connect and have empathy with your fragile and beloved teenager…”

Mother of teenage client

“I came to you because I was in a really negative mind space, I was constantly thinking and stressing about food and my appearance… and had lost all perspective about what was important to me…”

Teenage client

“The first therapist I chose wasn’t an eating disorder specialist. (Mistake number one.) Because of this, she did most of the talking and pushed our daughter too quickly for change which backfired and caused her condition to dramatically worsen.”

Mother of teenage client