Saved by Butter in the Coffee
The turning point came by chance. I was listening to a podcast interview with Dave Asprey, the founder of the Bulletproof Coffee and the Bulletproof Diet. I thought that coffee with butter in it sounded strange and I was sceptical, to put it mildly.
Nevertheless, I was desperate enough to try a cup. At least it couldn’t make things worse. It didn’t – Bulletproof Coffee blew my mind! I felt an unprecedented clarity and aliveness, and a strong sense that this would change my life forever. I dived into researching the Bulletproof Diet and lifestyle and implementing as many elements as fast as I could over the next few weeks.
During my years of overeating, I had for most of the time had an awareness that my eating was not healthy. I desperately wanted to change, but I did not know how. I realised that sugar had terrible effects on me, and I wanted to quit.
This process always turned out to be a nightmare, though. I had to use all my willpower to stay away from the sugar. It often ended in heated arguments with well-meaning people around me who did not understand that sugar was my enemy. The drama was usually followed by yet another binge eat, to comfort myself.
The Bulletproof Diet was a different way to eat altogether, though. I did not have to force anything anymore. The sugar and carb cravings that had haunted me for so many years were gone. I, who could not imagine a life without Lindt’s chocolate balls, now realised that there were even healthy desserts that I preferred over junk food.
The impact of my new eating habits was incredible. My insomnia disappeared, and I could sleep well for the first time in years. My mood swings settled and the depressive feelings lifted. Instead, I discovered a new sense of calm and wellbeing.
My psychiatrist was amazed: she realised that my diagnosed bipolar disorder was incorrect, as I no longer showed any symptoms. I came off my medication and was relieved of its side effects: I dropped my excess weight, and the hair that I had lost started to grow back. I had never felt better. It felt like being reborn to a new, fantastic life!
After all of my years in pain, I was ecstatic about finally making progress. I could not get enough! I set out on a mission to give my recovery my all, to achieve the most optimal health and wellbeing possible.
Finding My Passion
It is funny how the universe works sometimes. Only weeks after I had had my first cup of Bulletproof Coffee and instantly felt that it would change my life, was the Bulletproof Coach training program introduced. I jumped on the chance to participate. There was nothing that felt more important to me than to train to help others to feel better too!
I found myself in New York City a few months later. It was my first time back in the city since my time as a stewardess a decade earlier, and what a different person I was now…
I was in such awe when meeting my guru Dave Asprey, that I forgot to say hi.
I had the best weekend of my life up until that point. It was simply wonderful to find togetherness within the Bulletproof community: other individuals also passionate about improving their health and helping others. I felt such love for them all!
Everything came together in an almost magical way. At the Bulletproof Coach workshop, I made friends with a guy from Hawaii. We shared our best health hacks, and he told me that the most powerful thing that he had ever tried was something called the Wim Hof Method. It was part breathing method, part cold exposure and part focus.
Old Habits of Overeating
At this point, I was amazed by the results only from changing my diet. Thanks to the Bulletproof Diet, I did not have any food cravings any longer. I had once been a slave to junk food, and now felt physically liberated.
Grass-fed meat is part of the Bulletproof Diet. Eating Bulletproof took away my food cravings!
However, all of my years of compulsive overeating had strongly reinforced my behaviour. I had periods of doing great with eating and times when it was a bit rockier. I was still in a stressful sales role, and I found it difficult to deal with the pressure. I often returned to my old habit of overeating as a way to escape and soothe myself.
In a way, this was almost more heartbreaking now after I had found a diet that worked for me. I was scared: what if I was a hopeless case, and could never learn to eat healthy?
Creating My Toolbox
What I now know, is that there is not one single solution that will magically solve all of my issues forever. Instead, there is a toolbox of hacks that I can use to sustain my healthy habits on a daily basis.
The Bulletproof Diet lay the foundation for my healthy eating, through relieving me of the food cravings and making me feel great physically. What I now needed was the resilience to stay on track with my new diet. The Wim Hof Method turned out to be key for this.
Returning to London after the Bulletproof Coach training workshop in New York, I tried out the Wim Hof breathing for the first time. My friend had been right: it was an incredible feeling! I felt euphoric.
I then commenced the cold exposure, through starting each morning with a quick cold shower. At first, I was freaking out. I had always despised the cold, which was one of the reasons to why I had escaped all the way from Sweden to Australia. But I quickly got used to it and carried on.
After a couple of weeks of cold showers, I took the next step by tapping up an ice bath in my bathroom. I was terrified, the sensation was incredibly uncomfortable – but the feeling afterwards was amazing! I felt so alive and refreshed. I was so proud of myself for having faced up to the challenge!
Resilience through Submerging in Ice
My cold exposure exercises had a quick and profound transformative effect. I believe that it was the new habit of starting each day with facing a fear, that trained my resilience. I realised that I was so much stronger than I had thought I was.
Within weeks, I was able to use this strength in the area where I struggled the most: my eating. I experienced the same stress and challenges at work, but now I was able to resist reaching for chocolate to stuff my feelings. It felt like a miracle, and yet it had all happened so naturally!
Just as with the Bulletproof Diet, I wanted to know everything about the Wim Hof Method. I enrolled in a course to become a Wim Hof Method Instructor and flew to Holland to train with the founder Wim Hof in person. We also travelled to Poland in the winter and climbed snowy mountains with as little clothes as possible, in my case a sports bra and shorts. One of the most challenging experiences of my life, but incredibly empowering!
Ice bath at Wim Hof’s centre in Holland.
Just as my illness had crippled every area of my life, so did my recovery now have an opposite effect. I was flourishing! I was happy, laughing – I even did a stand-up comedy course in London.
My skin was glowing. My hair was growing back, fuller than ever before. I had lost my excess weight and was loving my strong, lean body.
As my mood levelled out, my relationships improved. Not having tantrums turned out to make a great difference. I had a new sense of self-worth, which put an end to my destructive behaviour with men. My dating life radically changed: I learnt to put boundaries and only pursue men who were nice to me.
My new energy and drive had an incredible effect on my career: I aced my sales targets and soon tripled my income, making six figures. I had so recently lost everything, and now I experienced abundance in my entire life! It felt like a dream.
Taking the wrong medication after being misdiagnosed caused hair loss, and for a long time I felt like crying when looking myself in the mirror. A silver lining is that my hair eventually grew out better than ever!
I continued my quest for improving my health and wellbeing. I did not hold back. No matter the cost or effort required: if it made me feel better, I did it.
I went to the Alps to do Asprey’s favourite hack “40 Years of Zen”, which is advanced neurofeedback training. I went to the Bulletproof Conference in Los Angeles. I bought countless gadgets for improving sleep and increasing energy. I even changed my last name to Bjarkan, which is a Viking rune stone meaning “rebirth”. Because that is exactly what it felt like!
I was at the top of my game career wise. Just like I had dreamt about, back in Sydney… Now, I realised that it didn’t matter anymore.
I’d had a burning desire since my first cup of Bulletproof Coffee, and I could not contain it any longer. It felt impossible to now know the effectiveness of simple and natural methods for alleviating suffering, and not share it with others. I wanted to help!
A Nomadic Life with Purpose
I quit my corporate career, packed one suitcase with the essentials and gave away the rest, and started travelling. It will sound cliche, but I think I wanted to finally please that little dorky Swedish schoolgirl who had been dreaming about exciting adventures in the big world.
I had been around the block, for sure, but my unstable mood had always clouded my experiences. It was a great sorrow that I had visited so many beautiful places, without being able to enjoy it fully. I promised myself to now make up for lost time!
Not being held back by food any longer, I now love exploring the world! Here climbing Table Mountain in Cape Town.
I often feel like I need to pinch myself. That is not because there is anything glamorous about my life. Quite the opposite, in fact, since I have a minimalist lifestyle with all of my belongings in one suitcase.
But after all of my years of suffering, heavy medication and hospital visits… I can not tell you how magical it feels to simply wake up in the morning with peace of mind and a desire to make the most out of the day.
I am deeply grateful for this opportunity to live my life, and I am determined to live it to the fullest. That is why I keep travelling the world, to experience and explore as much as possible.
Passing it On
It was only once I stopped abusing food and learnt how to eat well that I was able to succeed in all areas of my life and find happiness. It is now my mission to help others on the same path.
Thank you for reading my story. I would love to hear yours, too! Please feel free to get in touch here.
I’m wishing you a beneficial journey towards being your best version!