Small habit changes – vote for the person you want to become!

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.

You can find Kate on Instagram

The Midlife Switch – Career Edition

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.

You can find Liz on LinkedIn and Griffin & Scott on Facebook and Instagram.

Is it time for ‘real’ women to go?

Call me a snowflake but I have a problem with the term ‘real women.’ I’ve had it for some years now. I know because I spoke to @rachelperu quite some time ago about it & I said then that I wanted to write a blog post about it. Obviously I never did. 

Until now. 

The other day I received a marketing email from one of the UK’s much loved retailers with the subject title – lingerie designed, modelled and worn by REAL women – and I thought the time to write is right now. 

Now I absolutely love this campaign, as I truly have an issue with only seeing underwear and swimwear on ‘perfect,’ airbrushed, young, white bodies and it is about time that we get to see a full range of shapes, sizes, skin colours and ages. I am 100% here for that. 

Yet the term ‘real women’ irks and grates on me like Cheddar on a big, metal holey thing. 

By saying that the women in these images are real, you’re saying that others are not. That the stereotypical models used to model lingerie aren’t real women? Oh but they are. They’re just blessed with amazing genes and probably work incredibly hard to have that figure.

It’s like the phrase – real women have curves – yes, absolutely they do but some other real women do not. Not one. Straight up and down. Muscular. Angular with hard edges. Yet still a real woman. 

Back in 2019 one brand put out a model call for ‘real women with real bodies’ so did that mean that it was open to us all? Nope! Fortunately, someone had a word and they changed the language. 

Why do we have to celebrate one group of women while essentially putting down another? I appreciate that it’s because many women have, for years, been made to feel crap about themselves due to all the traditional marketing/models used and now it’s time to celebrate them. Again, abso-blumin-lutely! I just don’t want it to be at the cost of making other women feel any less of a woman. 

Seeing a full range of bodies in the media and advertising really is important to help most of us feel more confident and happy with what we have and not be self critical or torment ourselves with a lifetime of trying to achieve the beauty ideal that is unattainable for most.

However, can’t we just be genuinely diverse and celebrate us all at the same time, never to the exclusion of others? I’m definitely not normally one to get so sensitive over a word, I know there’s no actual harm intended, but anyone else agree that we’re all real and maybe it’s time to ditch this expression from advertising, magazines and general conversation!? 🤷🏼‍♀️

Top Tips for positive ageing

I often talk about positive ageing but I have had a few comments about what it actually means. So this is what it means to me. 

I think that these work for everyone, whatever your age. I know that my worst phase of ageing was my late 20s heading towards 30. I absolutely dreaded it and had a bit of a ‘midlife’ crisis!

For me personally, it’s mainly about having a positive mindset as much as possible (Remember – having a positive attitude can add another seven years onto your life!) and taking control of the areas of my health and wellbeing that I can actually influence.

However, I’m sure that positive ageing means different things to each of us so I’d love to hear what it means to you in the comments below. I look forward to learning more!