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 my journey with all of its twists and turns, and the learnings along the way. I hope it inspires you to know that you can achieve anything you truly desire as well.
At school I was the un-coordinated, shy girl who hated PhysEd class. I vividly recall my teachers getting classmates to pick people to be on their team. I would stand there while everyone else around me was chosen. I was the kids that was always picked last. Dead last. Every time.
All I wished in that moment, was for the ground to swallow me up, because all I wanted to do was cry, and I didn’t want anyone to see that. It got so bad that I would skip sports 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, my skin was terrible, my health was awful 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 business degree and like everyone else, I joined the gym. I still lacked confidence in my physical ability and felt intimidated by the whole place. I would walk past the large hall where people were taking group classes, thinking to myself "I'll never be able to do that" then sneak past to hide away in the circuits room. Then one day a friend dragged me along 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 become an instructor, to see them after class. So I went forward and before I knew it I had completed my training and was up the front (and having a ball!)
I discovered three things:
- I had just enough rhythm to be able to teach choreography (who knew!)
- I discovered there was someone that believed in me. That was Amy my boss at the time, who was amazing.
- Lastly, I realised that I was capable of more than I had first imagined.
I believe this is true for all of us.
You my friend are capable of SO MUCH MORE that you’ve ever imagined.
Part of my realisation was 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 and Author? Who would have believed that I could go from lacking self-control to being totally relaxed and loving great food.
One of the reasons I know that YOU are capable of more than you could imagine is because if little old Lauren Parsons who grew up in Palmerston North, New Zealand; the kid who was always picked last in sports, the glutton living in France, and the one totally intimidated by the gym…
if I can go on to help thousands of people boost their health and happiness…
then 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.
My passion now is seeing people get started.
Especially people who like me are unsure, sceptical or afraid, and to support them on their journey to truly thriving.
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.
Once I completed my business 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 the HR Manager 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. I learnt advanced adult learning techniques, and energising ways to make the learning fun. 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 had 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, which I had the privilege to speak about in my 2018 TEDx Talk at TEDxOneonta in New York.
I began to run seminars and corporate wellbeing programmes for businesses to boost their staff productivity and wellbeing. I've also offered Revitalise Wellbeing Retreats, over the past 11 years, creating an incredible, space for people to reconnect, restore balance and feel extraordinary.
I believe that everyone deserves to thrive.
We know that when individuals thrive that flows on to help their entire organisation. I now focus the majority of my time on helping businesses and organisation take a positive, proactive approach to health, safety and wellbeing.
The return on investment that workplace wellbeing creates makes it a no-brainer to invest the time and resources. I love working with forward-thinking leaders who want to create energised, engaged teams.
With a military husband we have moved several times from Christchurch, to France, Waiouru to Palmerston North, Canberra to Wellington, and most recently to Ottawa, Canada (hello snow!) and then back to Palmerston North, where we plan to settle long-term as a family. Due to all the moves I have built up a number of 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 inspire people with my unique messages, knowing what a profound impact small tweaks can have to transform their 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.
Want to see your team thrive?
If you’re a leader wanting to boost the wellbeing of your staff, I can help.
Whether you’ve already got your wellbeing policy nailed, or you're just starting to formulate a plan, I can help you discover quick wins and guide you to setting a strong foundation for a thriving culture.
Feel free to schedule a time to chat.
Want to boost your health and happiness?
Just remember that 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.
Click below to discover how I can help you thrive.