Our lives are an ever-evolving journey made up of a series of moments. Often it is not until the end that we take the time to reflect on what we’ve achieved. We spend much of our times focusing on what we don’t have and other negatives that we often forget to celebrate the moments and be truly grateful for this journey called life.

Let me introduce myself, my name is Melinda. I prefer to be called Min, always have. I’ve been a Dilksy, but never a Mel. Not sure why, guess it didn’t fit. I am woman, a wife, mum to two active boys, daughter, sister, friend. A desire to lead a better life lead me to becoming a coach where I am able to share all my passions including inspiring women to first love themselves and empowering people back into the kitchen to prepare and understand the benefits of a diet rich in real food.

Min Benstead

I have been interested in health and wellbeing for as long as I can remember. Whilst never a star on the sporting field I have always been interested in movement and have moved my body. It wasn’t until my late 20s that I truly realised the being healthy was more than the exercise I did but what I consumed had a far greater impact. I then spent the next 10 years trying a number of different ‘exercise and food’ programs. Programs which have impacted on my journey along the way to where I stand today.

In 2012 my issues with an irritable gut reached tipping point and I began to look closer into the foods and beverages I consumed and their impact on not only my physical wellbeing but also my mental wellbeing.  Despite leaving home at 18 unable to boil even an egg and my family wondering how I would survive, I have always loved food and cooking for others. It is one of the ways that I express my love and gratitude. It was during this time that I realised that some of my food choices were not having the best effect on me. With the help of coaches, I transitioned myself and my family onto a diet rich in real food which made an immediate difference to our energy, moods and overall wellbeing.

As a result of this change, life was humming along pretty nicely. Our family was complete and I was pushing myself hard to fulfil the many hats that I was wearing. Life was getting busier and busier between home life, getting up at 4am to hit the gym, work commitments and everything else I was saying yes to. Sleep was not a priority. I was feeling constantly exhausted, frazzled and overwhelmed. I felt that my work was taking more and more of my head space, leaving me with little left in the tank to nurture, nourish and be present with my family. I was always rushing, always on a deadline. My daily saving grace was hopping off the train 2km earlier and walking through the city parks of Melbourne. It allowed me to reset after the morning rush.

Early in 2016 I realised that something had to give before I fell over. It was as I sat in my doctor’s office crying one evening after what can only be descried as an anxiety attack earlier that day at the doors of my office that I realised that trying to do it all was slowly crippling me. If I was feeling that way, surely there were others out there also feeling that way? Others who were spending their days struggling to juggle all the balls we have in the air whilst not taking the time to look after ourselves? Others who felt that their lives were unbalanced?

That day began my journey of learning to prioritise myself and to say no to things which didn’t fill my bucket and yes to those which lit me up. I learnt that if I first loved myself than not only was I happy but all around me flowed in alignment as a result.

That day also became the catalyst to step away from all that we had known in terms of my career. It was the only company I had ever worked for in a full-time capacity and not only had I made some life long friends there but during my time there I had grown up, met and married Matt and had the boys, Jack & Tom. I had talked about making a career change for years. Always having a strong interest in health and wellbeing I contemplated becoming a PT but it didn’t light me up. I’d always enjoyed food but didn’t want to spend five years studying to become a nutritionist. Coaching and supporting others on their own health + wellbeing journey was the perfect answer.

My journey continues to evolve. As a Health + Wellbeing coach I am multi-passionate – coaching in one on one situations; helping women build their own self-care tool kit; running cooking classes with Thea as part of The Kitchen Whizz; helping simplify food for clients, pantry makeovers and developing recipes. I also am blessed to collaborate with beautiful like-minded people and together we are making a difference.

It’s easy to dream but it is bloody scary to take the steps to turn our dream into reality. It wasn’t my why which drove me, it was my why not. Why would I not want to create a life which I love, where I am the best possible version of myself that I can be, where I am able to be an active and present part of my families lives whilst inspiring and empowering others to be the best versions of themselves.