There are a few things you should know about me.
1. I love a drink (I’m at least 65.4% Irish/Scottish/welsh according to my recent DNA test)
2. I am a happy go lucky human who adores playing with people
3. I’m a total unco
I haven’t always drank, in fact aside from that time my cousins got me completely drunk at my dads 40th birthday when I was 14, I was pretty well behaved until around 17 when I started sneaking a few drinks at parties… but I digress. I have however always been a happy go lucky people loving unco.
I was born unco. Uncoordinated, butter fingers, knock knees, clumsy, baby giraffe… you know the kind of kid who falls over a lot, by the time I was 3 I’d already had plastic surgery from a rather bloody bump to the head, lost 2 teeth and had countless scabby elbows and knees. Gravity didn’t seem to work on me the same way it did others, maybe that’s part of it, I’m a little bit of a floaty happy go lucky person who seemed to fall off the planet a lot…
I grew up in the 80s and 90s with films like grease celebrating jocks and coordinated gravity attracting humans, so my unco butterfingers and knocked knees attracted me much “banter” aka grief both at school and home. My parents were young, fit, gorgeous humans who were also incredibly coordinated. My other 3 siblings were blessed with coordination and gravity worked on them marvellously, so at home, I was constantly reminded how unco I was too.
When it came to sports, I’ve always given things a go… despite the unco gravitational resistance because sports are fun and if you remember 2, I’m a happy go lucky people and play lover – my love of playing with people has always helped me get out there despite my lack of sporty skills. I did find swimming and chess which didn’t rely so much on hand eye coordination but built my confidence as a participant in organised effort and again despite my lack of hand eye coordination I gave hockey, netball and t-ball a go too – although you were more likely to find me building birds nests out of grass clippings in the field of t-ball than catching any balls that’s for sure.
Ok so you get the point, I wasn’t the most graceful sportswoman and I attracted a lot of interesting nicknames and heckling whenever I did take part in sports. As funny as this is, it impacted my fitness and wellbeing mindset over the years.
As I grew older and friends started going to the gym or running for fitness, I found even putting on sand shoes or runners as the mainlanders called them started to make my palms sweaty. You see I wasn’t sporty, I was unco remember? I had knobbley knees and ran like a windmill, I was awkward and looked silly whenever I did anything to do with sport. Well that’s what was going through my head. This played on my mind for many years and then as a young woman I suddenly started to care about my weight. I was 20 and I cared because my boyfriend at the time kept talking about it and boyfriends have a way of influencing our thinking in those early hormone drenched moments of love and attachment forming.
Suddenly weight mattered, this meant I needed to get in shape. My motivations were questionable but got me into the gym and learning how to use various pieces of clunky equipment to work up a sweat and get summer body ready. I also learnt about food. How if you didn’t eat as much then you wouldn’t put on as much weight. One of my Aunties god love Her refers to these days as my annorexic days. No no no, I wasn’t annorexic, I still ate every day and worked out. I was just controlling how much I ate and when, obsessively. I was also weighing myself 6-10 times a day. My family were worried when I went from 55kg to 52, to 50, to 48…my aim was 45 in my head so I didn’t know why they were so worried. When you define annorexia: “an emotional disorder characterized by an obsessive desire to lose weight by refusing to eat.” – hmmmm I had a problem. Funnily enough breaking up with him led to my pizza diet ($10 for 2 dominos pizzas anyone?) and with some new friends, a new city and a new diet largely consisting of 2 for 1 meat lovers pizzas, I managed to find some kgs and some confidence and my obsessive desire to lose weight was cured…. my lack of coordination however was not.
I did find that fitness first was pretty much the perfect place for single people and braved my lack of fitness flair to keep in relative shape over the years. But the yo yo diets, accidental annorexia, the pizza diet, the sweaty gym classes never really left me considering myself as a “wellbeing junkie” – maybe that’s because I loved a drink or meat lovers pizza so much…
I tried yoga and Pilates and spin classes but whenever I was in these places I felt like an outsider, I felt like a total unco, a total fraud.
I’d see these wellbeing humans with their perfectly crafted abs in their perfectly matchy Lycra and I would feel little stabs of envy. I wished I was coordinated and gravitationally blessed like them. I wish I could enter a gym without looking like a total unco and enjoy a class without worrying how silly I looked and how wrong I was getting everything. I wished I could go for a run without looking like a windmill.
I have three turning points in my wellbeing journey. The first was my very first outdoor boot camp with none other than Libby Babet, my co-founder of www.nurtureher.com – Libby had decided to follow her passions and studied to become a Personal Trainer, she created her own training business “BUF” and I enrolled as one of her first customers (actually I might have been the first!) – her amazing energy and approach made me forget how unco I was and suddenly I found myself running around with the grace of a slightly more coordinated baby giraffe, forgetting myself in the moment, those classes were full of laughs and fun – an experience I’ll never forget!
My second turning point was after I had my first baby Sienna… I did yoga throughout my pregnancy and I was in awe of my body and what I had created but I had never felt so self conscious in my life. I wasn’t one of those women in a bikini 6 weeks after having a baby, while I squeezed back into my jeans, my body had changed so much and I felt embarrassed. At the same time, breastfeeding and caring for my baby was the most important thing, so I enjoyed a balanced diet and parked my insecurities… until my wedding date drew near! Sienna was 8 months old when we tied the knot and a few months before I realised I needed to fit into my dress (which I’d bought before getting pregnant). Libby came to the rescue in her gym AGOGA this time and helped me get wedding dress ready, post baby… no mean feat. I remember sending her a picture of me in a bikini the week before my wedding, a healthy size 8, I was no swimwear model but I had worked hard for my results. I never thought I’d feel ok again in a bikini after a baby but she transformed my body, my mind and helped me be a happy and confident bride!
My third turning point was when I learnt about growth mindset. Carol Dwecks Amazing and life changing research about the power of mindset was a pivotal moment in this unco, pizza loving, clumsy little baby giraffes life. It enabled a simple shift in my thinking: I wasn’t a wellbeing wonder yet.
Dweck talks about the power of yet and scientists back it up with their findings about neuroplasticity- watch this to learn about neuroplasticity as it is positively life changing.
So in deciding I wasn’t a wellbeing wonder yet, I found myself open and willing to try all the wellbeing adventures. After my second baby Stella, I lost my baby weight pretty quickly but my shape resembled more of a chocolate eclair than a svelt pear and I wasn’t sure where I would find the time to fix it! By this stage Libby and I were living in different states, thankfully my friend Mon from www.fitfoodfitbody.com came to the rescue with her in-home training, the convenience of her coming to me meant I not only didn’t have to think about it, I also could squeeze in between work and she totally knows how much I hate exercise so always made sure it was a fun work out whilst she distracted me! I worked hard but didn’t know it because she was such an awesome trainer or was she a life coach? Either way, it want just my body that transformed. She builds bonds and cares about her clients that’s for sure.
I’m still trying every day to embrace my body in a positive way, I don’t consider myself coordinated or sporty yet, I don’t consider myself in good shape yet, I don’t consider myself a bikini model yet ;), I don’t consider myself disciplined or “there” when it comes to my health goals… yet. I do however consider myself a wellbeing wonder. I’m embracing healthy eating habits, movement exercise snacks, barre classes and more. I’m being kinder to myself about my body, my imperfections and my shape, knowing I’m giving things a go and creating a healthy life culture is more important than a number on the scales or perfectly sculpted abs. I’m embracing that I haven’t completely lost all of that baby weight yet and that my body will continue to evolve on my wellbeing journey. I’m embracing that wellbeing is a journey, not a destination or an archetype and that we all have our own unique stories and mindsets to overcome on our personal wellbeing journey. I’m becoming an actual WELL BEING – ‘well’ meaning “in good or satisfactory way” and ‘being’ “the natural essence of a person” and its all thanks to a little wonder.
I want you to embrace the power of yet too to inspire a mindset shift, you too are a wellbeing wonder (just maybe not yet)…