Former Diamond’s netball captain, Natalie von Bertouch has opened up about her private struggle with an eating disorder in a bid to educate women on the dangers social media poses on body image.
When Nat was just twenty-years-old she developed an eating disorder whilst battling it out for a spot on Australia’s 21 team at the Australian Institute of Sport.
“It changed a lot of things, it changed my health, who I was as a person… I remember getting a card from my sister and brother saying come back to us, we miss you and that really hit home,” said Natalie von Bertouch.
It was the wise words from legendary Australian coach Norma Plummer which proved to be a game changer for the young netballer, helping her turn her life around.
“I clearly remember Norma saying to me you’re getting too skinny, you’re not strong enough to get out on court.
“She said I’m going to drop you if you don’t do something about it and whilst I was entrenched in an eating disorder, I knew I also wanted to pay for Australia so that was the trigger I needed to change,” said Natalie von Bertouch.
Nat used the same fighting spirit she was revered for on court, to battle her off court demons and went on to captain the Diamonds and Adelaide Thunderbirds.
Now an accredited practicing dietitian, the thirty-four-year-old is concerned about a wave of unqualified bloggers who are sharing dangerous and unrealistic eating plans with young people online.
“I’m alarmed to see these crazy fads and diets being shared to young people on Instagram and YouTube as I believe it’s introducing our kids to a world of eating disorders.
“I get so cross thinking that if I was going through my eating disorder it would have made me worse, so that’s the scary thing for me,” said Natalie von Bertouch.
Now a mother, with another baby on the way, Nat has launched her own website to promote healthy recipes and inspire women and new mums.
“I’m so passionate about starting up natalievonbertouch.com because I want to provide a place people can come to for expert nutrition advice that will help them, their families and sports lovers wanting to improve their performance.
“As a new mum, I know first hand that it’s really hard to find information about health and nutrition that is evidence based, so for me I really wanted to provide a trusted home for mothers looking for advice on what to feed their kids,” said Natalie von Bertouch.
To find out more about Natalie’s nutrition advice, recipes, blogs and netball tricks, visit natalievonbertouch.com.