Vicky Midwood is the Founder of Go Figure Coaching, a coaching business that helps high-achievers address food and alcohol issues. She talks to The Industry Leaders about her work and how conquering her own dependencies led her to help others.
How did you end up sitting where you are today?
I started out as an exercise to music instructor and Personal Trainer with bulimia and severe alcohol dependency. I soon realised that to really help people I needed to understand psychology, language, patterns of behaviour, nutrition, and biochemistry.
My drinking escalated when I moved from Yorkshire to London Culminating in rehab in 2005. That allowed me to go back to study and graduate while building my business and getting answers to my own health issues and relationship with food, body image and self-worth.
What kind of work does your role involve?
One-to-one coaching online via video.
Inspiring and encouraging high achievers to get help with food and alcohol issues affecting them mentally, physically and emotionally in every area of their lives.
Talking whenever and wherever possible about the fact that health is NOT divided into mental and physical; one affects the other. Diet, sleep, hydration, medications, lifestyle choices, and environment ALL play a massive role in whole-body health.
What gets you excited about your industry?
The amount of research and science backing up what experientially I and health coaches like me have been talking about for decades. We are always discovering more about the brain and nervous system.
There are so many examples, like the importance of Vagal tone. Many people diagnosed with bipolar have serious untested and undetected thyroid and gut issues, and anyone with an autoimmune issue should not go anywhere near gluten. Medication, too, plays a big part in the damage to gut-microbiome and hormone/neurotransmitter translation and transaction and brain function. There's also a massive link between poor sleep, a knock on the head, and junk food on brain inflammation.
All this stuff is finally getting out there, and people are starting to take notice and question conventional medicine protocol.
What's the best advice anyone ever gave you?
Follow your gut.
Be open-minded always, get curious about what is possible.
Focus on service and asking better questions!
'What can give?"
"How can I help?"
"Who can I help?"
What, or who inspires you?
Everyday people doing extraordinary things for others:
Rory Coleman, 26 years sober and an extreme marathon runner
Gemma Oaten, Founder of Seed; an Eating disorders charity
Susie Ma, Founder of Tropic and a Philanthropist
How do you keep up to speed with what's happening in the industry?
By being a Geek!
Reading research papers, talking to others in my area in different countries and attending summits that regularly take place virtually.
What was the most challenging project or assignment you've worked on?
My biggest challenge was realising that I didn't need someone else to validate me. I spent my teenage years, 20's and early 30's in relationships that enabled me to stay in my food, weight, exercise and alcohol addictions. I believed the idea that these men were with me because I was attractive enough, slim enough or intelligent enough, even though many of them were cheating on me, or I on them!
I was always looking for love and security, I needed reassurance and proof that I was good enough - yet I still couldn't love myself. Once I realised I couldn't find love, validation or security in someone or something else, I had to practice self-love and self-care. I could then put down those addictions and find joy and happiness living independently with my daughter. At that point, I became free to discover who I was, what I really enjoyed doing and begin to trust and nurture the real Vicky.
I was finally free of the many masks I wore to hide behind and feel confident in being me.
You finish work today and step outside the office to find a lottery ticket that ends up winning $10 million. What would you do?
I'd probably pee myself with fear and excitement all rolled into one!
Then have a bit of a total moral panic about what I should do!
A gazillion questions would be racing around my head: -
How do I find out who bought it?
Is 'finders keepers' really a thing?
Should I just stay anonymous?
Can I claim it? Will I be arrested and thrown in jail as a thief?
Then I'd no doubt find myself writing a list of what to do with it!
Dividing up amounts to spend, invest, give away to charities, set up a business, help other people, the list goes on...
How do you switch off after a day at work?
I love to burn essential oils, look back on my day, plan for tomorrow and then spend time over dinner with my daughter, chatting, laughing and probably chill out watching something we both enjoy on tv.
If you had one wish for the future of your industry, what would it be?
My wish would be to close the gap between conventional and holistic/ functional medicine.
This would help everyone focus on the root cause(s) of health issues and address the body and brain as a whole - not separate - systems and parts.
Then I'd shout from the rooftops that WE are responsible for our own health through our daily lifestyle choices. We wouldn't need to rely on doctors who fix symptoms, and instead, we'd look at ourselves and our habits.
What book or podcast should everyone know about?
There are so many I would love everyone to read, but The Biology Of Belief by Dr Bruce Lipton springs to mind immediately.
As for Podcasts, check out Jim Fortin and I do enjoy Russell Brand too.
How should people connect with you?
Connect with me on:
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