Hello! I'm Tatiana Dmitrieva, the founder of Fit&Treat Wellbeing Management.
I'm a 33 year old active female living in London. In a "previous incarnation" I was a marketing and communications professional, a job which took me to Moscow and then to New York when I was in my 20’s.
It’s fair to say that I was highly ambitious and career-driven. I took three degrees in Russia, and eventually landed a senior marketing and communications position with the Moscow Stock Exchange. Recognition, money and status accompanied my rise, but also enormous amounts of stress, pressure and an aggressively competitive working environment typical in the financial services sector.
14-hour days became the norm, and my physical and mental health began to suffer as a result of the overwhelming workload and incessant pressure. Energy drinks and litres of coffee kept me going through the day and late-night visits to the gym became part of my daily routine - I took pills every night to enable me to get to sleep. The relentless stream of meetings, business trips, punishing diet and workout regime eventually took their toll, of course, and I felt a growing emptiness in my heart.
Things came to a head in 2011 when I unexpectedly became pregnant. Unfortunately, I suffered a miscarriage after eleven weeks, and this was the stimulus to change my life. I was feeling completely lost and exhausted.
I quit my job and came to London to further my career by taking a postgraduate degree for a year. With hindsight, it was also a form of escape for me after my recent trauma. My mind-set was such that I genuinely believed that the solution to all my problems was attaining an MBA, and that external factors such as money and status would give me the happiness that I lacked in my life. The plan was successful, in the sense that I gained an MBA from Imperial College London, but the deeper dissatisfaction that I felt with my life continued to eat away at me. I had fallen into a deep depression following the loss of my unborn child, and it was in the throes of this that I realised that the corporate world just wasn’t for me anymore.
I was in a sort of mental no-man’s land after graduating, in a new country with no connections, no job, and no clue about what I wanted to do with my life. It was as if I was floating in zero gravity. I tried to find myself through the fitness world and healthy cooking, and attempted to turn my passion into a business, but none of this really worked. I started competing as a bikini-fitness competitor again, believing that it would help me to find the happiness that had eluded me for so long. Even though I trained hard and stuck to a very strenuous diet, I was not as successful as I had been.
After a few failures I concluded that I had to try harder. I increased the number of hours I worked a day and made my diet and exercise program even stricter. I felt guilty that success didn’t come as easily to me as it had when I was in my 20’s. At some point on this journey I lost my faith; I stopped believing in myself, and every successive endeavour I began was less successful. My physical health was also severely affected by the imbalance between my mental state and my lifestyle. I started gaining weight even though I was exercising twice a day and constantly dieting, and suffered from digestion problems. I stopped sleeping. Although I tried to get help from professionals, this didn’t really alleviate my problems. My social ties were weakening too as I was feeling permanently depressed, angry and annoyed with everything what was happening in my life. Once I woke up in the middle of the night with a terribly high heart rate. I was panicky and had only one desire – to stop my life. This point marked the end of my previous incarnation….
A few days after the most extreme panic attack I’ve ever experienced, I bought a one-way ticket and flew to the Alps. I spent four weeks in a cold winter retreat, reading books, meditating and skiing… Every day I was writing about who I am. I found out that I have a few layers of what can be described as “ME”. I described every layer, and in doing so I slowly got to know myself again. It was painfully slow. I was taking my time in describing and trying to uncover and feel every trait that was specific to ME. The end result of this process was a multi-layered and complete portrait of myself. When I started to analyse every layer in more depth, I tried to identify fears, pains, strengths, weaknesses and goals I had on each one of them. I reached a point where I had a filled a few notebooks with descriptions and drawings, and created one big poster with a clear plan of where I wanted to be, and what I have to do to get there.
I suddenly realized that I wasn’t depressed anymore, and got back into a healthy sleep pattern. A balanced and healthy diet, regular but not exhausting exercise and plenty of fresh air and meditation were really helpful too. I came back to London with a clear life strategy and peace of mind. For twenty-four weeks after my return to London I followed the plan that I had created by observing the ‘multi-layered ME’. I did this on a step-by-step basis, and the primary purpose of that time was to learn to accept my weaknesses, fears and pains: To understand their nature and let them go. The second purpose was to incorporate new habits into my life across all the layers of ‘ME’. Everything changed and I found finally my true life purpose. In actual fact, nothing much had changed on a superficial level: I had the same place to live, the same amount of savings, the same situation with my business, but I now have a completely different attitude and have created a solid grounding within myself…
I am an extremely empathetic person by nature – a ‘people person’, to use an overused phrase – and this, together with my personal transformation experience, diverse range of interests and skills, convinced me to pursue a life path in which I could help other people to achieve their potential and to improve the quality of their lives. As well as my psychology degree, I was a former contemporary ballet dancer, a yoga practitioner and a two-time bikini-fitness Europian vice champion in my past. I had accumulated a huge amount of knowledge about healthy living in general, and healthy eating in particular; this was enhanced through advanced CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) and lifestyle-tuning courses which I took during my MBA course. The transformational process I underwent at this time was in large part the cumulative result of these experiences, and the knowledge I acquired on my life journey. The crises I went through as soon as I can see now was just a massive stimulus to put everything together.
Before the crisis period in my life I had always striven to eat and live healthily. After my epiphany I re-adopted this lifestyle, keeping my diet balanced and following a controlled training programme. I also took a postgraduate degree in sports nutrition and a qualification accredited by the International Sport and Science Association. I felt an overwhelming desire to share my experience with others, and to support them on their own journeys towards living a truly balanced and fulfilled life.
Fit&Treat was the end result of my transformation: Founded in 2015, it specialises in personal lifestyle and nutrition counselling and education. It gives me great joy to be able to invite you to start your own transformation process with us, and to set out on an exciting journey, supported by our team and Fit&Treat’s community.
I’ll leave you with this final thought, the most valuable lessons I’ve learned over the course of my life so far:
1. A negative mind-set and lifestyle imbalance will never give you a positive life.
2. Even if we think we know how we live and what to do, we can still easily lose balance, and slip into unconscious, damaging behaviour. So all of us - even the most consciously aware and balanced individuals - have down periods in our lives, and at these times need in a competent, gentle and empathetic guide who can lend a helping hand and provide support when it’s required.
Cognitive behaveoral therapy
Supplements and ergogenic aid
Healthy cooking / Meal planning
Diet and Detoxification
Relaxation and sleep-improvement techniques