Today, I have the privilege to be an award winning wellbeing specialist who has helped thousands of people transform their lives, but my life didn't start out this way.
Below is the journey I took to get where I am now. I hope it inspires you to know that you can achieve anything you truly desire as well.
Here's where it all began for me
At school I was the un-coordinated, timid girl who hated PhysEd class. I vividly recall that heart breaking feeling of being picked last for team sports. Dead last. I remember the dread standing there over and over again while others were chosen. It got so bad I would skip class at any opportunity. I lacked confidence in myself physically and never felt that I fitted in or that I was good enough.
At 18 I packed my suitcase for a year in France and had a life-changing experience living with a wonderful host family. I loved the culture and I adored French food. In fact I loved the food so much that after six months I had put on a lot of weight. My clothes didn't fit me anymore and I felt absolutely miserable.
Then something changed. I began to notice that everyone around me was eating differently to me. Even at school where we were given identical lunches, my friends would treat their food in a totally different way. Once I started paying attention, I learnt by immersion everything there was to learn about the French attitude to food. I discovered how to overcome cravings and guilt and to fully enjoy my food at all times. When I stopped eating like a New Zealander and adopted the French's uniquely mindful way of eating, the excess weight dropped off effortlessly.
On return to New Zealand I started my degree and like everyone else, I joined the gym. I still lacked confidence in my physical ability and felt intimidated by the group classes. I would say to myself "you'll never be able to do that" as I'd head down the corridor to hide away in the circuits room. Then one day a friend convinced me to go to a step aerobics class and while I didn't get all the moves right, surprisingly I actually enjoyed it! Soon I was hooked.
One day, they asked if anyone wanted to do the instructing certification and before I knew it I was up the front (and having a ball!) This sparked my passion and led me on to become the group exercise manager and opened the door to a career in health and fitness.
The most important thing that I learnt through these experiences, is that we are all capable of much more than we first imagine and that self-belief comes from self-acceptance.
Once I discovered this it freed me up to not just exercise along with others, but to even be up the front leading others and to do so many more things since then!
Who would have thought that this shy, un-sporty child could become an award winning wellbeing specialist, speaker, author and coach? Who would have believed that I could go from lacking self-control to being totally relaxed and loving great food.
If I can turn things around from a total lack of confidence in myself physically to become a leader in the health and fitness profession, YOU can do so much more!
You really can do anything you truly desire.
Here is what is important to know
You are AMAZING. Yes you!
You are precious.
You are enough.
You are perfectly ok in your imperfection.
In fact it's what makes you so amazing!
My deepest wish is that you fully understand that.
What's unique about me is that I totally understand what it's like to be on the other side of that fearful first step. My passion is seeing people get started and supporting them on their journey to greatness.
You have all you need within you and you are amazing already. I just help you see it!
Here's where the story continues
Once I completed my degree and post graduate diploma, I moved to Christchurch and joined the management team of a large gym Pro Fitness. There I had the privilege to work alongside some of the best professionals in the country and experience top class training. The club won the prestigious "Fitness Club of the Year" title while I was there and was a phenomenal place to be.
Ever keen to learn, I got qualified in personal training and later went on to become a "Presenter of Fun and Laughter" (aka lecturer) at the New Zealand College of Fitness (now MAX Fitness College) New Zealand's premier fitness business college. In this incredibly empowering environment I coached and mentored up and coming personal trainers on everything from nutrition and exercise physiology to behaviour change and business skills.
As a personal trainer I then specialised in strength training for women. What I found however, was that rather than just helping women re-shape their body, I wanted to help them transform their entire lives by adjusting their thoughts. I realised that the women who came to me to lose weight so they could feel better about themselves, could actually feel better without losing a single gram! I wanted my clients to understand that as well and to be empowered to know that they are enough, just as they are.
So I got qualified as a Holistic Life Coach through Life Coach Associates, recognised as one of the most complete, in-depth and transformational training courses available anywhere. I learnt how much fear and unhelpful beliefs hold us back and exactly how to shift them. We were taught that we couldn't take others somewhere we haven't been ourselves so my comfort zone was stretched over and over again! It truly was an astounding, life-changing course that I highly recommend.
In 2008 I launched my coaching practice alongside personal training and teaching group fitness sessions. Over time I developed my Get Fit Feel Fabulous programme for women and defined my Live Well Principles and Snack on Exercise philosophy. I began to run seminars and corporate wellbeing programmes for businesses to help their people thrive. I also offered revitalise wellbeing retreats creating an incredible, space for women to connect with themselves, restore balance and feel extraordinary.
With a military husband we have moved several times from Christchurch, to France, Waiouru to Palmerston North, Canberra to Wellington and over time I have built up online programmes and resources to be able to help people from anywhere in the world.
What truly makes my heart sing though, is working in person with groups. I love the energy that is created when you bring like-minded people together. I relish the chance to speak and inspire people with my unique messages, knowing what a profound impact small tweaks can have to transform people's energy, health and vibrancy.
I have always loved learning and I never plan to stop. I read widely, follow the latest research findings and attend and speak regularly at health and wellbeing conferences to maintain my own personal development.
Another key thing I have learnt is that "The quality of your life is determined by the quality of the people in your life" and I am eternally thankful to the many teachers, mentors and coaches that have helped me over the years. It is only natural that I pass on the wonderful insights I have learnt.
By drawing on the wisdom of others, getting our mindset right and following our passion we can all enjoy an incredible and fulfilled life.
My gift is being able to relate to those who at times feel intimidated or lacking confidence (as I once did) and being equipped with the tools to empower them in a positive way to discover their best selves. I love helping busy people find a way through all the clutter so they can enjoy life more.
No matter where life is at right now for you, whether it's a stressful rush or a happy calm, things can get better.
Better than you can imagine!
True joy, fulfilment and contentment can be yours.
It would be my pleasure to help you on that journey.
Please get in touch if I can help you. You can take a course, attend a retreat or have me come and speak at an event or conference, energise your business or just start by getting to know me via my updates.
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Please partner with me and together we can create a positive ripple that transforms the health and happiness of the world!