When I see myself in this photograph with my beautiful daughter it makes me think about the path I have taken to this point in my coaching business, and how my own mother has been so instrumental in that journey.
For many years I have offered Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT); helping my clients challenge their beliefs and thinking process, so they can feel more in control of their life.
I love my CBT work but, increasingly, I felt I needed something more.
Well, two massive things in my own life led me to re-examine my life and made me look towards a new path.
The first? I had a weight problem.
As part of my own weight loss and weight management journey, I discovered blood sugar balancing, intermittent fasting and many other techniques.
I couldn’t wait to bring what I had learned – and the difference it had made to me – to other women. So, I trained as a Nutritional Life Coach, adding that to my portfolio along with CBT.
The second? This was something even closer to my heart.
On 16th March 2001 my mother died.
It was an unexpected heart attack. To my knowledge there was no history of heart disease in the family.
She died as she lived rushing to get her hair done for a party later that day.
At 8.30am my father called the GP and later he described the shock in the beautiful eyes he had loved for over fifty years.
“My Phil has gone” was all he could say.
She was only 70 and had celebrated this milestone birthday at a wonderful party only a few weeks earlier.
My mother had struggled with her weight for as long as I can remember. Yo-yo dieting – moving from one fad diet to the next – never a drinker, but always in love with cakes, chocolate and all things sweet
It seems that this had taken its toil on her cardiovascular health.
As children myself and my brothers and sisters would ask “What would you like for your birthday Mammy?” (anniversaries and Christmas too) and she would say the same thing every time “All I want is a bit of peace and quiet”.
My mum always loved and found solace with St Anthony. It’s ironic that in depictions of the saint, he is holding a lily; the Peace Lily.
I don’t think she really wanted peace and quiet, knowing her love for chaos and noise from us she would have been bored. She loved having her family and friends around her; loved to laugh – and she really loved to dance!
That’s one of my biggest memories – mum dancing.
As I have grown older and had a family of my own, I now believe the peace my mother craved was inner peace; peace of mind, but primarily peace in her body. I think she wanted to be free from worrying about her size, not feeling good in herself and going on diets, just the general feeling of being uncomfortable in her own skin.
I am approaching the time of my life when my body has decided it wants to change – dramatically!
It’s making me think back to my mum and forward into my future; I am thinking about how I want to live my life now and after the Menopause. I want to be here – happy and healthy – in twenty or thirty years-time.
I want to dance at my daughter’s wedding AND at my grandchildren’s weddings!
I want to be happy and healthy, not skinny.
I want to wear skinny jeans in bright colours.
I want to embrace this life and deal with the change that is coming to my body, seeing it as a peaceful happy healthy time.
And, most importantly, I want to support others to feel comfortable in their bodies.
I also want to stop them dying too early from preventable complications – like my mother.
Heart disease killed my mother and my mission is to stop it ending my life too early and help others to do the same.
So, it is here that the two strands collide.
My personal journey in learning to live a healthier and happier life through healthy eating, mindset management and functional exercise AND my desire to see other women live the fun-filled lives they deserve.
So, I have developed Coaching, Nutritional Coaching and Sober Coaching programmes to do just that. To enable women to manage the conflicts they will experience through mindset management, healthy eating and functional exercise.