*Trigger warning: Eating disorder.
Hi Tonik Tribe, Pip here! The team at Tonik HQ thought it was time to take a step back and share my story and what lead me to building Tonik.
Growing up, I was no stranger to the health and wellness world - my dad was a pharmacist (yep, that’s Glenn!) and I was a competitive rower. I was surrounded by all things health and for the most part, I had no issue with it. At the age of fifteen, I was at peak performance, especially for my height and weight. But that changed the day I auditioned for crew selection. My coach said I was “too heavy” to be chosen and I wouldn’t make it on the team.
From this moment, my relationship with my body changed, and I was motivated by all the wrong reasons. I overtrained and under-ate, and consequently lost a considerable amount of weight. I didn’t realise what I was doing, I just thought I was being ‘healthy’ and working hard towards my goals.
My turning point came at the end of high school when I was training for the New Zealand rowing trials. On the day of the trials I couldn’t complete my time trial due to exhaustion – I passed out mid-trial. My parents took me to the hospital and I was officially diagnosed with an eating disorder and everything clicked. As unprepared and resistant as I was, I knew something had to change.
I spent years in recovery and re-established a healthy relationship with myself. Once I was on the other side of my recovery, I knew there was more I had to do.
Whilst I’m now comfortable to talk about my experience, I’m not comfortable with the people and systems that promote distorted body ideals and images. So, when I launched Tonik all I truly wanted was to help others so they had the knowledge they needed to feel good, and to know “health” is subjective and isn’t about how you look, but how you feel.
It can be difficult as a wellness brand to distinguish yourself from the usual “health hacks” and “quick fixes” that people so often buy in to. But that’s not what I want Tonik to be at all. Because I know what it’s like to be the person on the other side of it all.
So, I’ve made it my responsibility and goal to educate and help others find helpful information around supplements and health that is not misguided or contains any hidden agendas. Just honest, transparent, information for real people who just wanna’ feel good.