This posts discusses personal mental and emotional illnesses.  If you or anybody you know may need professional support, help line numbers can be found at the end of the post.

If you haven’t heard the big news here at The Nourish Nook, a holistic Wellness Space is being created and built here in Mount Gambier.  (See following post).  If you know me, or follow me on social media, you will know that I’m a pretty happy, healthy person. I’m probably one of those slightly annoying people who is actually genuinely happy! I have a beautiful family, amazing friends, I have my health and I’m pretty happy and content with everything in between. Yes, I have a crap day every now and then. Who doesn’t!? I had one yesterday! And even though I’m generally a happy person, I still lose my cool, I can yell, I swear and I can occasionally argue. But, on the whole, I genuinely try to make every day a good day. However, this feeling of happiness hasn’t happened overnight. For me, it took years. As in, a good 11 or so years. I wasn’t always happy, though. And, I certainly wasn’t always healthy. It’s been well-documented in the media, on social media forums, my speaking engagements, the 60 Minutes program as well as my autobiography, Out Of The Blue, that I suffered quite a horrific eating disorder. For 23 years, this ‘Beast’ ruled my life. Nothing I seemed to do would silence this monster I lived with. Constant worrying about what foods were going into my body, calorie counting, obsessive retelling in my own head about what I had consumed over the day and not to mention the constant thoughts of food in my head. Then, there were the days of not eating, not fuelling my body which was training very hard in gymnastics. Then, the over-eating of junk. And I mean junk. Fast food, chocolate, sweets, soft drinks. And, the greasier, the better. I found it impossible to find some happy medium. Pair that with countless trips to the bathroom, laxative abuse, obsessive exercise. The list goes on. It wasn’t only my disordered eating that was taking over my life. It was other mental and emotional disorders as well. After an abusive relationship, my self esteem hit rock bottom and with it, so did my happiness. I was clinically diagnosed with depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, as well as suffering regular self-harm. I know this all sounds very deep and heavy, however, I’m getting to my point. Stick with me! So, basically, I was an emotional and physical wreck. Days got so dark, that for a period, I seriously considered falling asleep and never waking up. This was the scariest time of my life. After years of alcohol and substance abuse, as fate would have it, I fell deeply in love. Rob grew up in Melbourne, but took over the family farm close to 25 years ago. I moved to the country and although there were teething problems, it wasn’t long before I fell in love with the quieter pace and people of the country. Not to mention nature. In 2009, I visited Gwinganna Health Retreat on the Gold Coast Hinterland. This visit was life-changing for me. This trip commenced a health journey and a deep-seated respect for myself-something I never really experienced. I learned how good you can feel after detoxing your body of utter crap. I understood the emotions behind eating and obsessive exercise. I realised the foods I was eating were only adding to my emotional issues. And how sleep is a spiritual practice and absolutely imperative to good health and emotional balance. I left this little piece of Heaven feeling the healthiest I had felt in years. And holy moly! Did it feel amazing! It was also whilst sitting in the steam room overlooked by a huge amethyst crystal, that a seed was planted. I absolutely knew in my heart that one day, I would create and own a holistic health space. I experienced, first hand, how amazing you feel being part of a family, being nurtured by caring professionals and feeling valued. I felt how important it is to completely switch off from the outside world and concentrate on YOU. I discovered the beauty in exercising because it made me feel so amazing rather than punishing my body for the calories I had eaten. I fell in love with hydrating my body and fuelling it with delicious, clean, organic food. And, when I got on the plane to fly home, it was evident that I had finally been able to do something I had never done before. For the first time, I really loved myself. I respected myself and I ACCEPTED myself. It was then the penny dropped. Through this amazing and life changing week of feeding my body with all the right ingredients, you can be HAPPY! Ok, it’s not that simple. It was also a huge mindset change, a WANT and desire to get healthy as well as refocusing on the good things instead of the bad, but all in all, it came down to nutrition, hydration, sleep and mindset. From then on, I realised that I no longer wanted the high from drugs or alcohol, I got it from great food, exercise, meditation and surrounding myself with amazing people. Not that I didn’t before, but it was just different. My health coaching is so important to me, as I can now help other people work through emotional issues or trauma to truly heal through holistic practices. And, this is why I am SO passionate and in love with the concept I have created for The Nourish Nook Wellness Space. I want to share it with people so they too, can escape the outside world and enjoy time in a tranquil, beautiful space and put themselves first. To move their body. Nourish their body. Feed their body – in every way. Nutritionally, physically, spiritually, emotionally, mentally, environmentally. I want this space to be a sort of, home-away-from-home, where guests feel nurtured, cared for, looked after and to meet new, like-minded friends. A space where they feel happy, safe, healthy and grateful for their amazing body and mind. We are keeping what services we are offering under wraps for the time being, but be rest-assured, you have some amazing offerings coming your way! And, not the mention, a beautiful team of holistic professionals all looking forward to nurturing you and guiding you. I know how utterly crap you can feel. I also know how utterly amazing you can feel. And how your body responds when you love it. I want everyone to experience this if they haven’t already. Or, if you have, to keep you motivated! So, in a nutshell, this is why The Nourish Nook Wellness Space is such a beautiful heart-centered business. My absolute soul is going into it, as well as our beautiful professionals. To be able to share it with you all is going to be truly amazing and so rewarding. I’m so grateful to have this dream come true and with Rob, my amazing husband, there every step of the way.   And we can’t wait! We all just have to be patient! BIG things are coming your way later this year! Sending you all love and good health… Jo xx

(If you or someone you know may need some professional support, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, The Butterfly Foundation on 1800 33 46 73 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36).

If you would like to read more of my story, my autobiography, Out Of The Blue (Allen and Unwin) is available in most bookstores or libraries.

I am a Blue Voice for Beyond Blue.


  1. Again Jo you write from the heart with such honesty & passion. Having read your book & following you on social media, I have a love for a woman I don’t know in the flesh…(Despite our efforts to try & catch a few years ago when I visited SA)
    You are funny, kind, and real. I wish you every success & happiness. I’m more then sure The Nourish Nook Wellness Space will be an incredible place filled with love & nurturing… Somewhere from Melbourne that I may need to visit!

  2. Congratulations Jo and Rob and team! I’m so excited for you all and cannot wait to see what the wellness centre brings. Hats off to you Jo you truly are amazing.m and inspiring. Good luck with it all and Hurry up and open already! ;D xo

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