As a Mum of four (and a Mum of a small business) myself, I'm always looking to connect with awesome, independent, motivated, kickass chicks. Further to that, bonus points are always awarded when that awesome, independent, motivated kickass chick is into health, wellbeing, fitness and (the all important) balance.
I sat down to chat to Amelia Phillips; Mum of four, veteran in the industry and co-founder of 12WBT to talk all things fitness, balance, indulgences, self care and motherhood.
Tell us about you; who are you, who is your family, what’s your background and where have you found yourself today?
I’ve been in the health and fitness game for 22 years, starting out as a trainer, then completing my masters in nutrition, and co-founding the Michelle Bridges 12WBT which we ran for ten years. I’m the host of Healthy Her, a podcast for mums who are ready to regain control of their body, mind and life. I’m also the Mum of four energetic (never stop talking!) kids under 5yo.
What’s your wellness philosophy and core values and how do you find yourself using them in your personal and business life?
If you visit my website www.ameliaphillips.com.au you will see my core values are Health, Love, Purpose.
Health: I see exercise and nutrition as a platform that can supercharge our lives. When we nourish with nutrition and build strength and resilience with exercise, we fill ourselves with energy to get the most out of life.
Love: It sounds so woo woo but I try to always come from a place of love. I choose empathy and kindness and try not to be hard on myself or others. I believe this starts with our internal self talk. How can we be truly kind to others if we aren’t connected with our inner child and our vulnerabilities? Always evolve, act in a sustainable way, and teach our children to do the same.
“Love is a promise. Love is a souvenir. Once given never forgotten, never let it disappear.” — John Lennon
Purpose: I believe a life lived with purpose is a truly fulfilled life. A life where you know your values and use them as your true north. A life where you set priorities around what matters most to you, and you go for them! A life where you nurture your relationships and make a difference in other people’s lives.
“Your purpose in life is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it” ― Buddha
Nutrition philosophy: Simple. Balanced. Beautiful.
Exercise philosophy: Feel the burn. Love the burn!
What has motherhood taught you?
Patience (still working on it!), selflessness (it’s no longer all about you - thank goodness!), and that a lot can still be achieved with no sleep!
What does balance mean to you?
Balance (and those fleeting times we have it) feels freeing, makes us feel light, makes us feel like our hands are firmly in the driver’s seat of not just our life, but our whole family's lives.
How do you strike that balance between running your own business and mothering four children? How important is it to do so?
It’s super important but not always achieved!! When life feels balanced it’s because of; a tightly run calendar, realistic foresight (is 15 min really enough time to get from A to B?), and the discipline to stick to the schedule. Each term I write a detailed family schedule and we (try!) to stick to it.
I refuse to let my work negatively impact parenting, but at the same time I have let go of the guilt of outsourcing. Yes I have a nanny, yes I have a cleaner, yes there are nights when I don’t put my kids to bed (1-2 per week). Hard work and a successful business has given me choices, and I have chosen to create a balance where I feel everyone thrives.
In your opinion, what is the best way to stay mindful and motivated?
Through rituals. Rituals (or habits) create a feeling of flow, where thoughts and activities feel effortless. I hate to bang on about schedules but I truly believe it starts with that well thought out schedule. From there, your rituals of self care (be it exercise, meditation, nature time, friend time) become a part of your life. You no longer need to 'get motivated’ to exercise because you’ve found that perfect time of day to do it (and the more you do it the easier it feels).
When it comes to mindfulness, that only happens when we give ourselves permission to sit in the present, and if we’re always disorganised or over committed, being present is very hard, hence the schedule!
What are your tips for incorporating exercise into a busy life?
Early morning for sure! Of course the best time of the day to train is whenever you can fit it in, but in all my 22 years in this industry, it’s the morning exercisers who are the most consistent. I have many Mum friends who do the 5am class (might sound crazy, but I would choose that over 5pm!).
Favourite cheeky indulgence?
I have something sweet after dinner every night, yes EVERY night! My go-tos are; two squares dark choc (dipped in herbal tea), fruit and yoghurt, rice pudding, hot chocolate or a couple of apricot delights. And I deserve a reward, trust me! Oh and a few cheeky drinks on the weekend… :)
Leave us with some final words of advice...
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel the weight of this immense responsibility of raising healthy, happy, balanced kids. Sometimes the enormity of that role gets to me. What if I get it wrong? What if I screw them up?! But then I realise that they are little sponges that absorb all the energy around them. The absolute best thing I can do for my children is to be the person I dream for them to be (comes back to my values of Health, Love, Purpose). For me, that removes the guilt around acts of self care, helps clarify decisions to be made, and keeps me accountable to striving for the balance, because I am modelling the behaviours I wish for them.