If you’ve not come across Kate Oakley of Your Future Fit yet, it is my pleasure to introduce her to you.
Kate is a personal trainer who specialises in good physical and mental health in peri/menopause. She’s on a mission to make this stage of our lives the best yet.
She also understands that time is often in short supply and helps us to find ways to incorporate exercise into busy lives and adopt long term healthy lifestyles rather than fad diets, cheat days and negative habits.
Kate is the PT queen of small habit changes that will lead to long lasting lifestyle changes and health improvements.
No time to exercise? Fancy one of Kate’s six minute workouts then?
Have a listen to Kate’s video to understand how starting small can go on to make a big difference. Oh and these small habit changes can be applied in many other areas of life, not just to your fitness.
Many assume, or fear, that making major life changes over 40 is just not possible, that it’s too late or not worth the hassle. So as part of my Midlife Memo newsletter series I’m hoping to disprove some of these myths, along with introducing you to some fabulous women, who will hopefully inspire you to believe that it’s never too late.
Today I’m chatting to Liz who gave up a successful career as a teacher and took the leap into launching her own business in recruitment. Six years later, after much hard work, drive and determination, I’m catching up with her to see how how she’s getting on.
You were an outstanding primary school teacher, what motivated you to give it all up and start your own business, in a new industry, in your 40s?
I just felt so miserable teaching (the system not the kids) and I had no real control over my day to day. I also had young children myself and was missing out of so much time with them because I worked non-stop. I was treading water all the time!
Did you ever have a time when you almost gave up? What did you do instead of giving up/what stopped you giving up?
I never even thought of giving up (except when Covid hit and we all thought it was the end of the world). It just wasn’t an option as I had to make it work as I had no back up plan. Resourcefulness and resilience are key for me and if I can’t do something I just find a way and dig in and get it done.
What has been the hardest part of the journey so far?
Having two members of staff leave one after the other within a two month period. I was far too close to them personally and you know it hurt – a lot! One of them told me they were setting up in competition to me and stole my database too – ouch!
What advice would you give to someone who would like to do a similar thing?
Absolutely go for it! Honestly the only person holding you back is yourself. Get the right tribe around you and let them cheer you on. Own your mistakes – you will make them – and work on your mindset as it is the key to everything.
What’s your superpower?
People. I am genuinely interested in the people in my life – whether that’s professionally or personally. You can have such an impact on someone’s life or situation just by being there, listening and being interested in them.
What is your favourite quote?
“Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you.”
What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?
Starting the day right. I love a morning routine. I get up at 5:30 and have a little time for me whether that be a podcast or journaling and I always try to get some kind of exercise in.
What did you learn from mistakes you made in your life?
That they are all part of the journey and it’s not what happens to you that defines you but how you respond to it.
You have two sons – which one thing would you like to change in the world for them?
I hope for a fairer world. That a person’s sex, race, age or colour should make no difference to how they are treated or how they are made to feel.
You can only choose to save one thing. What would it be?
1. Your wardrobe 2. Your makeup bag 3. Your music collection 4. Your shoes
My music collection!
What would you do in the event of a zombie apocalypse?
Say my prayers!!!
Who are the three people who have been the most influential to you? And why?
My dad – he taught me the value of being passionate about my career and that anything is achievable.
My mom – she modelled how to be resilient and face adversity full on with a positive mindset as well as showing me how to be a fantastic mom myself.
Jesus – my faith gives me both peace, strength and purpose. I would be truly lost without this one!
What would be your must-not-miss podcast/book/film recommendation?
Oh my goodness there are so many! I’m sorry this is an impossible question.
How do you feel about ageing?
I’m embracing it. I am braver, more confident and most importantly happier than I have ever been. I think we really do get better with age (like a fine wine!)
What’s the best thing about getting older?
Knowing myself. I just don’t stand for any nonsense or drama now. I know what and who I like, and don’t like, and that’s ok.
If you’ve followed me on my Instagram stories this week, you will have seen some of the behind the scenes from a job that I did for @peanut and also why I had a very disturbed night’s sleep on my first hotel stay since February ‘20! 🙉
The job was made for me in so many ways: 1. It was a totally pink set and I got to wear pink! 2. The styling by @gemmaharrisonstylist and the overall design aesthetic was so visually pleasing to my eyes. 3. I was one of four women representing women of peri / menopausal age and as you know, I am very passionate about being open and talking about this so that we, and future generations, are more informed, less worried and more understanding of the options open to us before we’re in the middle of it! I’m assuming that by now many of you have seen the @davinamccall programme on Channel 4. I don’t know about you, but I found it so refreshing to listen to someone talk so candidly about it, in the way that we often do on here, but is rarely seen in the mainstream media. I will say again that this isn’t a conversation to be had solely by middle aged women. It’s for everyone. Plus I have to agree, if men had menopause, it would definitely be sorted by 2021. 4. I was part of a totally fabulous (and bloody beautiful!) bunch of women and crew and after a year of being a hermit, it was frankly wonderful.
I can’t wait to hopefully share some of the images with you once they come out because I think they are going to be very special.
Okay – got to admit, I’ve lost my mojo folks and the problem with having “100% genuine” in your Insta bio means that I can’t fake it with a pretty picture and an uplifting quote!
There are a few reasons I think, although I’m really not totally sure of the root cause. Covidtimes catching up with me. Missing my job. Thinking about what I’m doing/going/where I want to be. Working hard on a couple of new projects behind the scenes but progress, when you’re starting off, is often slow. Having so many ideas but getting frustrated at being just one person with not enough time (or energy or motivation at times!) The moon. This shit weather. My cold bones can only take so much winter weather in a year. Etc. Etc.
I’m fine though. Honestly. Just more pissed off at my own, self inflicted, inertia I suppose.
So, I’ve chatted with a couple of people today, given myself a kick up the arse and set up a little office workstation rather than working in the kitchen where I very easily get distracted by house chores. Just clearing out the junk space to an office today already gave me a little burst of focused motivation so I’m hoping it lasts and I have a few more superwoman days going forwards!
Today I am more than happy to add my voice to @studio10makeup’s movement to change the negative narrative on ageing. It’s something that many of you know that I’m already passionate about.
We grow up in a society where ageing is something to dread and then endure. No one ever seems to share or focus on all the positive and wonderful things that come with age. And the ageing role models that we have available to us in the media can be counted on two hands.
It’s one of the main reasons that I love my Insta community as much as I do. It’s such a positive place to hang out. We are absolutely challenging society’s stereotypes of what we should look like and what we should be doing.
And yes, there is some shit stuff that happens too but we’re open and we’re talking about it. We’re learning all the time, we’re changing and adapting and I’m definitely laughing in the face of some of the crap, because it’s what I do!
I’ve also posted a little video (on the Instagram post) that I made back in 2019 when I was already sick to death of being the target and focus of a barrage of ‘anti ageing’ and ‘recapture your youth’ advertising. (Newsflash: there are no age defying miracles and I’m more youthful now than I ever was in my 20s!) I have absolutely nothing against young people, (I made one of my own!) I just don’t want to see them modelling clothes and products aimed at me. (If you can be bothered to go & find it, I even wrote a blog post about it back in 2016!!!! Have things changed much since then? Yes, but not significantly)
So if you feel passionately about this message too then please get posting. All the background info is on Grace’s @studio10makeup profile.
As I have mentioned in a previous post, I bloody love music. It has the power to lift me up or give me comfort. It makes me dance. It makes me cry. It makes me feel stuff. It’s amazing and I’m forever in awe of those with the talent to create it.
However, what has always pissed me off are those people who believe that they are somehow superior to others because of their taste in music. I’m lucky, I grew up in a house full of music and wide ranging music styles. Some days my dad would be playing Glen Campbell or War of the Worlds and on others, my mom would be playing her Boogie Nights mix tape. I did my GCSE coursework to the tunes of the 60s and me and my childhood friends made up dances to everything from Buddy Holly to Bucks Fizz.
By university I’d learnt that it wasn’t cool to admit to liking pretty much anything but 90s indie, preferably from Manchester, and for years I felt like I had to hide about 75% of what I loved.
Then I properly grew up and realised that I don’t care if I’m cool all the time. Music is so subjective. It’s personal. It’s an emotional thing. It’s what touches us and sounds good to our own ears. It is a time or a place. It is a loved one or a fleeting moment.
So for that very reason, no one can be better than anyone else because of the music that appeals to their ears and no one should be able to make you feel bad for liking what you like.
What’s more, there can be no such thing as a guilty pleasure when it comes to songs because – if it makes you happy then there should be no guilt!
So what to do when you can’t get to spring fast enough? Bring a touch of spring to your outfit! I’ve been quite colour averse for the last few months but when I saw this cardigan @moobou it screamed SPRING at me and so I treated myself! And, as a Brit, we need cardigans all. year. round! So I did check out what it looked like with my beloved shorts too. It passed the test! So come on spring, let’s be having you! I’m ready, my bulbs are ready and my cold bones are most definitely ready! Who else is ready? 🌷🌱🌷