HEALTH COACH AND BLOGGER LAURA ON LOVING YOURSELF AND FINDING A REALISTIC SENSE OF BALANCE
Happy Monday everyone! This brand new week I'm bringing you a brand new interview. This time with health coach, writer and recipe developer Laura Agar Wilson who you may previously have come across on her website and blog, Wholeheartedly Healthy. Laura's personal journey to wellness is an inspiring one. As someone who has experienced a very familiar journey wrestling with dieting, weight loss and extreme exercise, Laura has come to understand what real balance means for her and helps others to achieve that same sense of wellness through the work that she now does. The great news being that it doesn't involve extreme dieting, punishing exercise routines and general levels of total stress and anxiety. Laura has learnt to love herself and wants to help others to do the same. So if you're feeling a little less than bright after a hectic weekend, then give yourself a break and read on for some top tips and inspiration.
Hi Laura! Please could you tell me more about what you do and about your blog Wholeheartedly Healthy?
I’m a health and wellbeing coach so I support women to make sustainable changes to their lifestyle and mindset to help them in creating a healthier and happier life. I also share articles on related topics on my blog, especially recipes and tips around self-care and self-love.
What led you to this kind of work and how did you arrive at where you are now?
I started my blog after I’d lost some weight as a way to keep me motivated to lose more and keep it off. After quite a journey I learned how damaged my relationship with food had become and decided to train as a holistic health coach to help myself and help others. It blended really well with my experience and training in complementary therapies such as CBT and NLP and the knowledge of sociology, psychology and teaching that I’d picked up when doing my MA. As my employed work contract was coming to an end and I was pregnant it made sense to take the leap and make it my full time business.
What is it that you love most about the work you do and what motivates you on a daily basis?
Without a doubt the women I get to work with each day. I feel very lucky to get to inspire and motivate them and remind them how awesome they are! On a more practical level, I also feel very blessed to be able to do something I love so much that is flexible around my needs as a Mum.
What are the biggest challenges that you think people face with food and their health? Can you offer any simple advice to help people make a positive change right away?
I think most people believe it’s something to do with the food they eat, which of course plays a big part, but from my perspective it’s the mindset they have connected to the food that causes more issues like self-sabotage. The best thing people can do is quit any kind of ‘diet’ (the diet mentality can be very damaging in the long term) and add more vegetables, fruit and whole grains into their diets and work on seeing things as a long-term lifestyle shift where the odd dessert is totally encouraged!
Do you have any simple tips for people trying to maintain a healthier lifestyle but struggling to do so whilst balancing work, life and everything else in between?
Try focusing on one thing at a time instead of attempting a total life overhaul. Maybe start by batch cooking some healthy meals at the weekend so you always have a healthy dinner on hand that just needs to be heated up when you get in from work. Then it might be looking at how you can be more active. Remember that it’s being active that’s more important than working out, a lunchtime walk, for example, is a great way to increase activity.
How can we deal with setbacks when trying to improve our wellbeing and lifestyle?
If you can flip your mindset and see that setbacks are just part of a lifelong journey and that you haven’t ‘failed’ in any way. Often people have one small setback and that leads them to going completely off track. If they’d just accepted it as a small slip up and got back into their usual habits it would have made little difference!
What’s the one piece of advice you would go back and give your younger self when it comes to your own health and wellbeing?
Never go on a diet! Looking back I can see how yoyo dieting damaged my metabolism and relationship with food. I would have been better off teaching myself how to cook vegetable based meals from scratch and enjoying treats in moderation!
When it comes to looking after your own work-life balance and wellbeing how do you like to unwind after a busy day and make sure you feel refreshed and refocused for the rest of your week?
I love to play with my son after dinner and do the bath and bedtime routine. I’m currently working hard on staying off social media as much as possible on an evening as I can easily slide back into work mode that way! I like to finish the day with a guided meditation in bed, I sleep really well after them.
What does the future hold for Wholeheartedly Healthy and how can people learn more about you and the work that you do?
I’ll soon be releasing a new digital guide called the Wholehearted Self-Care Guide full of advice and tips on creating a self-care routine. My Mindset Makeover Course will be opening again in May and The Balance Club, my low-cost monthly membership programme will be opening again in April. Check out Wholeheartedly Healthy for more and sign up for my free Ultimate Self-Care Guide here: The Ultimate Self-Care Kit
Thank you to Laura for sharing some much needed Monday motivation to get the new week started. Actionable points that focus on loving yourself not punishing yourself. The kind of wellness that is right up my street! Make sure to check out Laura's blog to keep up to date with her latest news and get regular self-care inspiration and ideas via Twitter and Instagram.
Thanks for reading, enjoy your week and remember not to be too hard on yourself, let the punishing and the pain go and love who you are and what you've got - give yourself a break, you deserve it!