My passion for food began when I was eight years old. I would suffer from horrendous stomach pains that would see me regularly hospitalised. At the time, doctors incorrectly diagnosed me as lactose intolerant. Twelve years later, I learned that I had in fact a benign tumour in my stomach.
Because I was experiencing stomach pains, I became conscious of what I was putting in my body. I quickly learned that if food was powerful enough to create havoc in the body, then it was also powerful enough to heal it.
Fast forward 15 years, I was working as an obesity clinician with bariatric surgeon Geoffrey Draper. We began to notice many people held the belief that food alone couldn’t help you lose weight. With more than 35 years of experience between us, and after treating over 20,000 patients, we knew that that couldn’t be further from the truth. Healthy eating doesn’t just promote weight loss, it can remedy chronic illnesses. We both strongly believe that food is the first medicine, and it’s from this philosophy that we created Be Fit Food.
We began by providing ready-made meals to patients from our clinics, and began expanding our client base. Things really took off after we appeared on Shark Tank in 2017. After our episode aired, the business grew by a whopping 1500% overnight and our phone lines were ringing off the hook.
Despite our rapid success, it hasn’t always been a straightforward path.
The most valuable lesson for me is to always hire people that are better at a job than you are. It’s people that power your business. By enabling your staff to be the best they can be, your business will thrive as a result.
I also learned that it’s easy to become overwhelmed by what people have to say about you or your products on social media. Not everybody will support you or agree with you, so it’s best not to take anything personally.
And for those wanting to start a business, my one piece of advice is to be passionate about what you do. If you’re doing it for money or fame, it won’t be very fulfilling. You will make many sacrifices for your business, so make sure they’re worth it!
In 2018, we were named Telstra Victorian Business of the Year. For me, it’s an amazing acknowledgement of the work we are doing in changing how Australians think about food, and as a business owner it’s also a testament to what our aim is.
The Carousel would like to thank Kate Save for her article. Check out Be Fit Food here.