***This is a double post – a blog that is both here at functionalnutritioncoach.co.uk and also over on my new site, victoriafenton.net – where you will find all of my old blogs, and where I will be blogging in future.
If you arrived here looking for Functional Medicine and Nutrition Coaching – that’s all still available over on my new site, so I encourage you to check it out.***
I have mentioned to many of my followers and clients over the last couple of weeks that I have been building a new website. Some of them have asked me why, when my previous one seemed so professional. Others have been encouraging, particularly when I’ve explained the context in which I was starting ‘over’, if you like.
For those of you who have been with me for longer, you will be aware that my original website began at victoriafenton.net – an amateurish-looking WordPress.org blog site. When I took my business into focussing directly on Functional Medicine I ‘upgraded’, and got myself a new domain and ‘brand’ to boot… which was The Functional Nutrition Coach. This coincided with joining an existing clinic and needing to align my practices and ‘ethos’, as it were, with the focus of that business. When I moved away from working within that business, I stepped into a place of needing to evaluate the pieces of my practice that I held dear:
- always trying to support my clients, regardless of their financial predicament – and holding their budgets firmly in my mind when offering my services and recommending protocols or testing
- not over-testing to establish minute pieces of diagnoses or clinical pictures which do not alter clinical treatment progressions
- guiding clients, in an internet-enabled world, to where they really need to be focussing, rather than simply condoning any test selection to make money from them
And perhaps most importantly:
- truly offering the healing that I know is possible to my clients and not reinforcing mentalities of fear, avoidance, restriction and/or victimhood within the world of nutrition, healthcare and functional medicine.
This last one is a fine line to traverse – and one that I don’t always get right, either in my personal life or professionally. The worlds of immunity, digestion, hormones and nutrition are influenced by so many factors, only some of which are physical and nutritional. I know, because I have lived it, that seeking refuge in the physiology and the practical feels safe, science-backed and legitimate.
But I also know, again through experience, that sometimes legitimising fears and “avoidance behaviours” negates to address the real, core issues driving illness.
In all honesty, this is what I want to write about, on my blogs, in public and ‘professionally’: the mirky world where emotions, psyche, perceptions and mindsets interact with biology to either reinforce or undermine our resilience, our reactivity and our health.
Most of you reading this will be my clients already, and will know that I dovetail all of this when I speak with you:
I spend time explaining how your experience of pain and reality is shaped by residual emotional and physical memories of the past and psychological perceptions of the present. I will have helped you find ways of keeping “safety” mantras in your brain so that you can short-circuit reactivity and/or stress patterning. All whilst insisting that if you have a rampant gut infection then there is absolutely no way you should expect yourself to think clearly. I then help to coach you out of negative self-perception mindsets which are preventing healing.
This is complex – and truly bi-directional – therapy.
What Is In A Name?
I was finding that under the name “The Functional Nutrition Coach” I felt a great pressure to be “medical”, to give people the tools and tips and recipes and diet sheets that they are hoping will be ‘magic bullet cures’ for illness. Functional Medicine is built on protocols and methods, all of which make complete sense and provide exceptional foundations to begin healing. However, I have seen that for countless clients, and myself, these foundations are but starting blocks from which true healing must flourish. And sometimes, I like to bend the rules when the structure and method as it presented doesn’t serve the client in front of me. Which happens frequently.
Lastly, the name itself makes it sound as if Functional Medicine and Nutrition are enough to heal – test the right deficiencies, treat the right gut bugs, eat the ‘right’ food and you will be fine.
I know that the truth is much more profound and intricate than prescriptions or protocols. I have felt hampered by the professional artifice which I had erected. Every time I have gone to write something about my more esoteric or spiritual, holistic understandings of physiology, I have always had to heavily reference it in the realms of psychiatry, neurology and immune studies which explore ‘stress’.
So perhaps changing my website name was all about my psyche and my headspace or perception of “The Functional Nutrition Coach” moniker. And yet, it has been feeling more uncomfortable as I have reflected on my own process and realised more about my journey and what truly helped me to heal. You can read more on my About Page on my new website, and I am planning to blog in more depth about my personal experiences in due course. As my Mum said when she proofread that page (thank you, Mum), “How did you write that? I cried… but you left so much OUT!” (And she’s right.)
What to Expect from VictoriaFenton.Net
Many of you have written to me to express gratitude for some of my past, complex, convoluted science blogs – which I appreciate. And I don’t imagine they’ll disappear completely. However, to be of true service to my clients I have to show up as myself and give everything I have learned and witnessed to inform my coaching programmes and sessions, genuinely helping others work through their issues and illnesses. My name was the only domain I could choose to promote that. My articles, from now on, will have a blend of all elements of my practice – which I have now decided to display openly (see my services menu, or take a look at the separate sections of Functional Medicine, Nutrition Coaching, Mindset Medicine and Awareness Coaching).
If you’ve spoken to me in person – I’m probably not going to change much, because I wasn’t particularly orthodox in the first place. And if all of this has intrigued you because it’s your first time here – I’ve transferred my blog back catalogue, but will be adding more articles so I’d encourage you to sign up to receive my updates. You shouldn’t receive the annoying pop-up you’ve just closed down for the next 7 days (if I’ve set it up right!) so do go to the blog page and enter your email address at the top and you’ll stay right up to date.
If you no longer want to keep up with my updates, there’ll be the usual unsubscribe links in every email, so feel free to do so – but I hope you stay around. I get the sense that things are about to get interesting… 🙂