If there’s one thing social scientists agree on it’s that while men compete with each other – for territory, prey or mates, or these days having the fastest car, flashiest watch or biggest Christmas tree, us women stick together and support each other like bees – the hive (life) doesn’t run without us.
Far from compete for Instagram likes and bank balances, my experiences have been that every woman I’ve met in the wellness industry has been a gift – delivering friendship, support and knowledge.
They’re also very good at what they do, as coaches. So whether it’s a calmer mind, more confidence, appreciation of what your body can do or to make peace with food, these are some of the inspirational women I’d recommend you follow this year.
I *thought* I first met yoga instructor and one half of an identical twin set Nicola at a ‘Women In Fitness Empowerment’ conference 3 years ago. Then we realised that in a completely random scenario we’d both been in a TV ad for The Sun Newspaper together (but that’s another story…). Nicola turned to yoga in search of peace and strength after struggling desperately with anorexia, and today inspires hundreds of men and women to learn how amazing and capable their body really is with in person workshops as well as courses and books. Until I attended one of Nicola’s workshops I honestly can’t say I really ‘got’ yoga – it was just bending and stretching right? Wrong! You name it, there’s a yoga style or pose that, if done correctly (how Nicola shows you), will help.
Nicola’s Strongher Radio podcast is one of my favourites. Corporate climber turned fitpro turned head&heart-fixer with what she calls ‘noggin’ knowledge’, Nicola has been through her own struggles and journeys of self acceptance, but with one thing most of us don’t have; the learning and understanding gained along the way of how to fix it. Having studied neuroscience and NLP with some of the world’s greatest mentors and coaches, if there’s one thing Nicola can do well it’s untapping the real you to uncover who you really are, what you really want, and how to get there. If you’ve ever felt ‘stuck’ in life or discontent but can’t put your finger on what’s wrong or how to fix it, Nicola knows the right questions to help you find the answers. No one size fits all, no ‘my way or the high way’, Nicola’s aim is to help you be the best you, whatever shape or form that takes.
Followers of The Fit Mum Formula will recognise the protein theme. There’s a good reason protein is a staple and often larger part of my Mum’s diet than before they come to me. Protein makes you feel full quicker and keeps you feeling full longer. Protein helps repair muscle after exercise, and keep muscle while in a calorie deficit (you must be in a calorie deficit, that is, eating less than you burn, to lose weight). Want to look ‘toned’? Toned simply means enough muscle to create definition, without lots of extra fat weight covering it. You need muscle to look toned, you need protein to create muscle, and you need to avoid hunger if you’re going to be able to stick to a calorie deficit!
Louise has several recipe books of high protein, nutritious recipes. And there’s even high protein treats like cakes, cookies and puddings too yay!
A fitness coach by day, inspirational Eating Disorder recoverer and Body Positive ambassador by heart. Nicola’s journey and relationship with food has been a turbulent learning curve, but her passion for helping people heal their relationship with their body and food is infectious, as you’ll hear when you listen to her FeustelFit podcast.
You may know I also suffered badly with anorexia in my late teens and early twenties, but while not everyone suffers from a serious eating disorder, you’d be utterly amazed how many women come to me saying they feel out of control around food, switching between bingeing and restricting, all the while hating their body whatever size it is. If this resonates with you then I highly recommend subscribing to Nicola’s podcast and being inspired by someone who will challenge those disordered beliefs about how you should eat and what you should look like.
Listen to my podcast interview with Nicola here, where we discuss body image, eating disorders and why hating your body doesn’t make it any better.
Denise hates diet dogma, and loves science. But don’t let that put you off! In fact that’s the very reason to visit Denise’s blog, where she talks in plain English about what the studies are really saying, and what that means in regards to the multitude of faddy diets you’ll be presented with on your journey to better health. Paleo or Vegan? Dairy, or only raw organic versions? Is low fat ok after all? Is eating animals bad for the environment as well as health?
The answers are complex, and as good as Russian (unless you speak Russian) if you try and interpret the studies. No worries, Denise has done that for us and compiled them into a lamen’s termed and entertaining blog that’s as funny as it is factual.
MONDAY FEAR // After a long weekend to decompress, the dread of another week at the wellness grindstone is filling me with anxiety. Where will I find a quote to inspire me? What happens if my favourite yoga teacher is on holiday this week and I have to deal with Gary, the overly handsy substitute? What if one of my healing crystals falls down the back of the sofa and I have to go on unhealed? These are all anxieties that build up inside me. Until I take time to meditate, that is. Five minutes is all it takes. And, given the beautiful weather, I’ve taken today’s session outside because, according to research published in the Hippy Dippy Journal of Nonsensical Nonsense, green space is proven to help lower your stress levels even more. How do you deal with your back to work anxieties? I always love to learn from the IG community 🙌🏼 (p.s shouts to my sis @jacquielliott94 for the epic photobomb #whenyouseeher)
Our token bloke in this roundup, Ted’s Instagram account is a refreshingly hilarious parody of his wife’s (and every other #instafit #wellness etc. account) which reminds us just how absurdly extreme and obsessed the online world has become with green smoothie bowls and abs pics. Think a felt-tip six pack and ‘meal prep’ consisting of turkey dinosaurs. Ever taken the #fitspo thing too far? This is just the medicine to bring any #fitobsessed #superfoodie back to earth.
Humans are tribal creatures – we do things best when we do them together and learn from each other. Do check out my lovely ladies (and brilliant Ted) and lean on their wisdom for a truly happier, healthier you.