Have you ever had a moment when you realised your health was spiralling out of control?

What was the red flag that indicated it for you?

Here’s another question, when was the last time you print a photo of yourself and put it into a frame? Generally, we would have to be happy how we look in the photo do this-right?!?!

Our clothes are a good indication if we are within a healthy weight range, but they can be easily replaced with new threads. Our eyes tell us if we are on the right path or not by how much they sparkle.

Our busy lifestyles mean a lot of the time we rush by a mirror, very rarely stop long enough to take a breath and observe what we see. Often enough, the only time we really ‘see’ ourselves, the way others see us, is by looking at a photo. For many, this is the moment they realise they have to make significant lifestyle changes.

Parenting can be exhausting, we put the needs of everyone else before ourselves. But as the age old saying goes, no-one can pour from an empty cup. The more energy you have for yourself, the more you have to give to those you love.

Kiddipedia is thrilled to announce our partnership with Cherie Rivas, a woman who has been through the journey of health transformation and now devotes her life to helping others do the same.

 

  1. Many people hit rock bottom before realising they need to make healthier lifestyle choices. What red flags should we be aware of so we can make changes before that starts to happen? 

Honestly? As much as we all dislike the ‘F’ word (fat), unwanted ‘fat’ gain is typically one of the most obvious signs that life is becoming a little imbalanced, and that ‘health’ is not receiving the priority focus it deserves. (For some people though, unwanted ‘lean muscle tissue’ loss can be the red flag).

A number of factors can contribute to unwanted fluctuations in body composition, including poor diet, lack of exercise, lack of sleep, and excessive alcohol.

Before significant body composition fluctuations become a serious issue though, there are a number of other tell-tale signs, that suggest it’s probably time to consider making some positive changes to your health…. you just need to listen to your body & take stock of some of the more ‘unhelpful habits’ ….

So ask yourself if you’ve experienced any of these symptoms recently or if any of these unhelpful habits have started to creep in:

  • You rarely achieve 2.5hours exercise each week at a moderate intensity,
  • You rarely enjoy more than just a couple of minute’s sunshine each day,
  • Your clothes feel a little tighter or aren’t fitting as well as they used to,
  • You rarely eat a variety of foods from all the food groups every day,
  • Your joints and muscles ache after a long period of inactivity,
  • You eat-out / order-in more than once or twice each week,
  • Your memory or power of concentration seems foggy,
  • You’ve lost your usual energy and enthusiasm for life,
  • You have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep,
  • You spend more than 8 hours per day sitting,
  • You drink less than 2Lt water most days,
  • You rarely eat breakfast.

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms or fallen into some unhelpful habits, be confident in your ability to change things for the better! It’s never too late…. & you’re certainly never too old either!!

 

  1. Life is only as good as your mindset and level of perception for everything within in it. Do you have any tips for how we can master our mindset and maintain a positive attitude? 

A good balance of positive emotion, genuine engagement, strong relationships, life purpose or meaning, as well as satisfying accomplishments, builds our sense of happiness and fulfilment. These elements help us to develop new cognitive (thinking) and emotional (feeling) tools/skills that effectively enable us to become better versions of ourselves. When we are AT our best, we a far better equipped to GIVE our best!

Consider the following elements and whether you could potentially make some improvements:

  • Positive Emotion: Being optimistic and viewing the past, present and future with a positive perspective can increase our levels of enjoyment, commitment, creativity, resilience and even our health.
  • Genuine Engagement: This culminates from physical, emotional & intellectual ‘presence’ that allows us to become blissful immersed in a state of ‘flow’. When we are genuinely engaged, we are able to fully express our true authentic self.
  • Strong Relationships: As humans, we thrive on love, intimacy and strong emotional and physical relationships with others. Positive relationships increase happiness levels and also provide support during difficult times.
  • Life Purpose & Meaning: When we engage in work or personal activities that are completely aligned with our core values and allow us to apply our personal strengths, we can find profound meaning. This raises our level of happiness and fulfilment immeasurably.
  • Satisfying Accomplishments: Being quietly ambitious and achieving realistic goals through ‘well aligned’ effort, allow us to experience a sense of pride, satisfaction and accomplishment. This, in turn, encourages us to stretch our capabilities even further, ultimately allowing us to grow and flourish.

 

  1. You have helped many people overcome adversity and make lasting changes to live a healthier lifestyle, what are your core principles for overcoming adversity and making the change from within?

From my own personal experience, as well as the experience that I’ve gained from working with a whole array of extraordinary women, there are a number of critical success factors that I’ve identified:

  • Courage: taking that first big step towards making significant lifestyle changes can be really scary. In many cases, it literally means turning your back on everything you’ve known and drawn comfort from, and in some cases, it also means creating distance from (toxic) relationships that are holding you back. Be brave enough to take the first step (trust me, you already are)!!
  • Determination: For many of us who have experienced adversity (particularly if it relates to body composition and body image), there is a severe lack of self-belief and sense of self-worth. Quite often past failures are replayed and reinforced to such an extent, that failure is the perceived outcome before any actions are even taken. Until self-belief and a sense of self-worth are developed (which tends to grow organically throughout the lifestyle improvement process), sheer determination is often the only driving force that will get you moving in the positive direction you wish to go.
  • Consistency: One of the greatest stumbling blocks to achieving a healthier lifestyle, is that many people approach the starting line expecting to sprint when in actual fact, they need to prepare for a marathon. Momentum to achieve sustainable, long-term improvements to health is generated simply by making a series of small actions consistently.
  • Forgiveness: The all-or-nothing approach doesn’t work when you’re running a marathon. You need to pace yourself, and if you trip up along the way, rather than blame yourself and throw in the towel because you think you’ve lost all chances of reaching the finish line, accept that ‘it is what it is’, without assigning any blame! Just get back up as soon as you can… dust yourself off… and give yourself a cheer for putting one foot back in front of the other!

 

  1. There are 3 pillars on your coaching philosophy which are fitness, food and fortitude, how do these three go hand in hand with your programs?

It’s widely accepted now, that exercise (fitness) is one of the most important factors that contribute to a person’s overall health and longevity. The importance of a healthy diet (food) is also recognised.

The relationship between fitness and food can either be supportive or destructive:

  • Eating well supports energy levels and improves physical performance and moving well and being physically active makes us more likely to eat well.

 

On the other hand….

 

  • Being sedentary makes us more likely to eat for reasons other than hunger, and make poorer decisions about the type of foods we select. As a consequence, poor nutrition depletes energy levels, making us less likely to exercise.

 

One of my biggest frustrations with the ‘weight loss’ industry, is that very few Programs integrate both the fitness and the food side of the equation. They typically focus on either one or the other.

Another, and by far the biggest of my frustrations, is that even fewer Programs recognise the importance of mindset (fortitude). That’s the courage to step up, the determination to move forward, the strategies required to remain consistent and gain momentum, and of course, the emotional capacity to break through unhelpful thinking styles that typically lead people to ‘punish’ and self-sabotage’, rather than to accept, forgive and get on with it.

When I work with clients, either face to face or online, 1-to-1 or in groups, I believe it’s critical to support all 3 aspects holistically. You can’t focus on only one of the elements in order to achieve sustainable long-term success.

I’ve learned that personally from my own experience, and this is why I combine my double major in psychology, with my qualifications in personal training and yoga, along with my studies in nutritional medicine to tailor Programs and packages to support the needs of every client.

My Programs support women to refocus their mind, recreate their menus and reform their body…. which creates a solid foundation of health that ultimately allows them to rise into the life they love.

 

  1. What prompted you to launch your business and what has been your inspiration in helping others create a healthier life?

Throughout my entire life, I struggled with weight issues and body image. I’ve done the extreme dieting and exercising roller coaster (several times), and I’ve weighed over 100kg at least 3 times in my life! At my largest, I reached 115 kilos.

When I became a first-time mum at age 38, it made me realise how important my long-term health was going to be, if I wanted to be an actively engaged parent and be there for my son well into his adulthood. It was the wakeup call that prompted me to improve my own fitness and eventually become a qualified personal trainer.

I also wanted to do everything in my power to give my son the healthiest start in life. So as a single mum on a very tight budget, when I was transitioning him onto solid foods, I made everything from scratch and was mindful of making sure that I gave him the best nutrition possible.

Whilst cooking his meals, I was able to consider my own relationship with food and I became even more curious about its medicinal qualities. This consequently led me to my studies in nutritional medicine.

Needless to say, my little boy (now 7), is my inspiration and creating a happy and vibrant life is what prompted me to create my business. I know the issues associated with body image, weight management & health, I understand the competing priorities that women juggle (& which inevitably leads to putting themselves last), and I know the problems (& traps), associated with the current ‘weight loss’ industry. I want to help other women create happy, vibrant lives too!

 

  1. What type of articles should the Kiddi-Community expect from you? 

I’m a straight shooter, simple as that. I prefer to tell it how it is… no mess, no fuss! There’s so much misinformation ‘out there’ & there’s so many ‘diet’ myths and fads, that it’s often so hard to decipher fact from fiction.

The Kiddi-Community can expect the ‘truth’ (both good & bad)…. based on sound scientific knowledge and my own personal journey.

My aim is to give value in the form of practical advice that can be easily ‘digested’ (pun intended), and implemented.

 

  1. If I were a genie and could grant you three wishes, what would they be and why?

Well…. it definitely wouldn’t be a packet of Tim Tams that never ran out!! (The consequences could be diabolical, LOL)!!

Honestly, though, I’d be happy if you could grant just one wish…. a world where every individual had the opportunity, encouragement and support to reach their true and full potential (physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually)… A world where people celebrate the success of others and draw inspiration rather than comparison. Life is an evolution after all, not a competition.