Hi! I'm Becca Benning. Among the many hats I wear are mum, step-mum, former teacher, Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) veteran, and health coach. I am guessing you know something about how complex and exhausting life can be when caring for others, be they your own children or someone else’s! You may also understand some of the challenges of life with autoimmune disease. I was so tired, for so long, but I kept going – one foot in front of the other. I wasn’t quite sure who I was any more. I had lost my spark. When I turned 40, I knew something had to change. No more pushing through. The future I wanted was full of possibilities, not just an endless to-do list.
I discovered the power of dietary and lifestyle interventions first hand. I felt the benefits of my first changes within weeks, and have been building on them ever since. I know how a series of bespoke, low stakes experiments can grow over time into a powerful snowball of goodness. I took at least as much valuable information from things that went badly as those that went well. My healing continues, and so does my learning. I feel so much better for holding the reins of my own well-being – because now it truly belongs to me! Coaching is a natural extension of all I have learned, and I love it. It enables me to help others to take charge of their own health, which has definitely been part of getting my spark back!
The Story So Far
My health ‘issues’ began in childhood. None of the doctors really knew what to do with me. Then, in the first couple of decades of my working life I ran myself into the ground. First in high stress offices, and then even further as a teacher. I saw so many others around me doing the same. I thought feeling horrendous and persevering anyway was normal. I had unthinkingly and wholeheartedly bought into the idea that self-care was self-indulgent. So I didn’t slow down properly, no matter how hard my body cried out. My ‘health’ was just a list of annoying things that doctors would keep tabs on and do with what they could.
Leaving teaching was painful, but after my first autoimmune diagnosis (Multiple Sclerosis), I finally accepted that perhaps I needed to take care of myself a bit better. I calmed things down enough to finally allow my body to manage pregnancy, and then immediately forgot about myself again as soon as my daughter was born. Thanks to my Consultant Neurologist, I had a re-think a couple of years later. When faced with being ‘on a trajectory of increasing disability’, I needed to do something beyond the medication options I was offered.
I came to the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) via Dr Terry Wahls[i] and Dr Sarah Ballantyne[ii], and I will be forever grateful to both. I quickly developed an entirely new understanding of how much power I had to maximise my capacity to feel good. Functional Medicine and the surrounding science was a revelation. Don’t just medicate symptoms, find the causes and treat them! Extensive self-experimentation with both lifestyle and diet over the last 5 years has brought me to the best health of my life. I had not anticipated being so much stronger and more resilient in my 40s than I ever was in my 20s! Most importantly, I am still moving forward, and that always feels good.
The moment I discovered health coaching, I knew it was for me. A perfect way for me to use and deepen what I have learned in order to support others along their own path to feeling better. For more on the role of a health coach see here. I was originally certified[iii] in 2018, and trained as an AIP Certified Coach[iv] in 2019. In 2021 I completed Chris Kresser’s ADAPT-Certified Functional Health Coach[v] program. This in-depth training is rooted in the principles of Functional Medicine and ancestral health, which allow me to support you in a truly holistic way. Let’s build the foundations of long-lasting health, instead of simply managing symptoms.
For testimonials from some of my clients to give you more of a flavour see here. If you feel coaching with me may be a good fit for you, your family or your school, reach out to arrange a free 30-minute online (or telephone) chat to discuss how we could work together. I’d love to meet you!
[iii] Dr Sears Wellness Institute – Training including the delivery of various workshops based on the principles of Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitude and Nutrition (L.E.A.N.). I am certified in delivery of content specifically tailored to families, pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, and adults interested in healthy ageing.