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Mindset Coaching with Justine Switalla


Mindset Coaching with Justine Switalla

Felicity Cohen: Welcome to the Wellness Warriors podcast today. It’s my absolute pleasure to introduce you to Justine Switalla. Justine, welcome, and thank you so much for finding the time to join me today. 

Justine Switalla: Oh, you’re so welcome. Thank you for having me. 

Felicity Cohen: So you are an entrepreneur and a holistic health coach and expert. And you’ve had a career that’s been, that’s taken quite a few twists and turns, amongst, you know, many, some international moves and changes around the globe. 

I love watching people who are entrepreneurs, who move from, who take changes in direction in careers. And I think it’s really interesting to note that we are so fluid now, skills can be transferable and so many people. Careers sometimes up to five different ones in a lifetime. You started your career out as a, as a dental assistant. Do you think that you learned anything from that time in your life that you’ve actually applied to other areas of your career? 

Justine Switalla: Look, I think I realised in that space that I’m not really a nine to fiver. I think, I didn’t like the, the working for the week, like working for the weekends type of thing. So it was that, nine to five, Monday to Friday, and I was sort of living for the weekends and I wasn’t really. You know, jumping out of bed with zest for anything, it was just going to work. And I think, I had to do that to sort of realise that I guess I wanted more for my life and I wanted to embark on, you know, what I’m passionate about and I guess not have to be on someone else’s clock.

Which is ironic because when you work for yourself, you tend to work 10 times harder anyway, but it’s just nice to work on your own terms. It’s nice to work because you want to work and yeah, just doing something that you’re passionate about. 

Felicity Cohen: So moving into holistic health and wellbeing, first of all, you were in a gym environment, you were a bodybuilder. Tell me a little bit about that stage of your life.

Justine Switalla: Yeah, I guess when I moved to Melbourne. So we’re going back to, probably 2005, I decided not to work in the dental surgeries anymore. I got a job at a gym on reception selling memberships at Fitness First, and I guess from there I moved to reception and then I moved to group exercise and then I moved to personal training… so in about one to two years, I, you know, did all the courses and the training that I needed to do to step into that space. Once I started achieving things, I just got that snowball effect and I started, you know, really diving into the Les Mills, , group exercise and became a presenter trainer throughout Australia for that. And then I loved training so much, one of my personal trainers was like, why don’t you jump up on stage and do a sports model comp? And I was like, okay! And so I jumped up on stage. I used to be a dancer growing up, so I’ve always loved I guess that side of things being on stage performing, dressing up, like on the day of the bikini comps was always fun. So I got into that, for about three years and really loved it. It was very different back then to what it is today. Social media wasn’t even a thing. So you weren’t doing it for anyone else other than yourself. You didn’t even know who you were going to be competing against, or it was very different.

And, you know, I think today, and we can dive into this. I know that I want to chat about, you know, social media and how it sort of changed the game for a lot of people in the wellness space, especially in the online space. And, but yeah, I loved it and then I just kept achieving things and loving it.

And I did really well, you know, I dedicated 10 years of my life to stepping outside of my comfort zone and throwing myself into things. I really loved it. I’m really, really grateful. I had that opportunity. 

Felicity Cohen: And so from that time in your life, then after that you became a Mum, and your focus and direction changed, I guess, from that moment onwards from a career perspective to move more into that kind of creating opportunities for women and especially women postpartum, at that stage of your life to regain their health and wellbeing and to focus on movement and healthy lifestyle after childbirth. Yeah. And you’ve created a whole movement that really has a focus centralised around regaining your health and wellbeing post children.

Tell me a little bit about what happened to you during that stage of your life, and did you change your outlook on exercise as a whole after having your first child eight years ago? 

Justine Switalla: Yeah, absolutely. I wasn’t quite prepared for motherhood or I don’t think anyone is, and I, like I said, I really dedicated a lot of my life to exercise, training, nutrition, being at the gym. And then when I became a Mum, I couldn’t go very far. I couldn’t do a lot. I couldn’t do the things that I used to do. So I really had to switch my focus and I actually had so many epiphanies throughout my first pregnancy and postpartum that I was super hard on myself previously to being pregnant. And I, you know, under ate, I overtrained, I didn’t do the other things in regards to looking after my health that I do now more so. I was very go, go, go. So it was all about training and nutrition, but the mindset stuff, the holistic approach that I take now is very different to what it was previously to having Leo. So I guess I just had to, you have to manage your time better and you have to really, I guess you learn more about yourself when you become a Mum and what’s important and your priorities change. So yeah, I was able to create my first online program for healthy moms, and back then, online programs weren’t very big either.

So that was quite huge when I first launched that. And a lot of women joined the program and, and it was very, very successful, but then in a short space of time, the online world started to take off and I had to pivot what I was doing if I was going to keep generating the income that I needed to.

Felicity Cohen: So for that fit healthy Mum’s program, what were some of the key pillars and things that you noticed that women were struggling with postpartum? As in terms of getting back to feeling empowered in themselves to cope, to manage and to really move more and feel the best version of themselves as well.

Justine Switalla: Yeah, it’s definitely for me it was the rehab side of things. I didn’t really understand until after I had Leo, you know, what abdominal separation was, what it looked like, how to rehab it and fix it. And the repercussions, if you don’t do the right rehab work, or if you don’t look after yourself during pregnancy and post pregnancy, it can set you up for some injuries. And it can be quite disheartening for women because they’re pounding the pavement, trying to lose their so-called mummy tummy or mummy pouch, but in all, in all seriousness, it’s just a case of doing some pelvic floor exercises and rehabbing their ab separation correctly. So women were really uneducated back then and I just took it upon myself to work with a physio and we put together some exercises and made sure that the program was safe. It’s not about doing jump jacks and burpees and running and doing all the crazy things after you’ve had a baby. It really is about slowing down, nurturing, building the core, the pelvic floor, the core, and, you know, working on your posture, doing things that are going to benefit your body, not hinder your results or, you know, exhaust you because a lot of mums are already exhausted. So why would you go and train for an hour? On limited sleep when you’re already exhausted. So it was really trying to educate around the physio aspect and rehab. And also, I think stress management came into play for me because you never really understand stress until you become a mum, and trying to juggle everything and run a household and do all those things. So teaching women how to manage their stress properly became really paramount with my clients. 

Felicity Cohen: Amazing. So as an online coach, you have so much flexibility now. You could coach and support your clients from anywhere in the world, as long as you have good wifi, of course. How does this flexibility and online approach changed for you how you coach your clients??

Justine Switalla: Look, you know, I’m very lucky in the aspect that, like I said before, I can pivot my business to suit my needs and where I’m at and I went from the fit, healthy mums to running the, the coaching program. So I could just allow, you know, a few hours a week online to do the zoom calls and to do the training and nutrition and customise everything for my clients.

I can literally take my laptop anywhere and work from anywhere. The thing with an online business is you have to show up on social media a lot, and this is where it can get quite tiring is because even though you’re not working full time, you know, a 40 hour week, you have to be on your phone, you have to be showing up and building trust and rapport with your potential clients.

For me, I spent a. Like eight years, just especially in Melbourne, because it’s a little bit different here in New Zealand. Not, not so many people are on social media as much, but it was a huge part of, of growing my business and being online and going into that space. And then when I moved back to New Zealand, I pivoted again and changed to make the program more affordable, more community based live workouts, more fun, less stress, because I felt like women don’t need so much the heaviness of trying to overhaul their mindsets when we’re going through the global pandemic. It was more about creating a community and banding together and just moving our bodies in a respectful way, doing yoga, pilates and you know, just looking after ourselves.

So again, I guess I love to create in the moment. I’m very much about what I feel women need, what I need. I’m very much in tune, I guess I’m very authentic to myself. So I have to sort of, once I get an idea about something I’m like, yes, this feels good. I’ll create a program around what that feels like, what that looks like, and then put it out to the masses.

So, yeah, so it’s, it’s exciting. And it’s also overwhelming at times. When you’re in limbo, like at the moment, I mean, I only had a baby in December, so I’m on, I’m on maternity leave at the moment, and I sort of struggle in that space a little bit to be just a mum at home. I, I don’t like the term, just a mum either because we are so much more than just that, but it is it’s for me, it’s really having to slow down and look after my son and my baby and look after my other two children and my partner and my house and myself as well. So yeah. So I don’t know what’s next, but yeah, I’m trying not to put too much pressure on myself right now.

Felicity Cohen: He’s absolutely gorgeous by the way, the pictures that you posted on your Instagram are just stunning. What a beautiful little baby. He looks just quite happy and divine. So question for you, you moved back to Christchurch before the pandemic, and that was just a stroke of luck for you.

Christchurch is a city that’s been through so much trauma, you know, having been through earthquakes and then the pandemic. How are you feeling? Living and settling into Christchurch now? 

Justine Switalla: Yeah. You know, I think I got to the point where I wanted my son, Leo, my first son, to be around family. So his Dad’s parents are here. They’re from Christchurch, my family’s here, and I had to make that change in decision at that point in my life. So when I moved back, it was a big adjustment because life’s very different here. It’s very slow, a lot slower. You know, being around people that I haven’t been around for 20 years, and then I formed a new relationship and became a stepmom to a new child.

So I went through a lot of change in a short space of time, and then obviously getting pregnant. So we are very blessed that we had Harley, I’m 42. I always forget my age. I’m like, oh, 41 42. And you know, we, yeah, we were very, very lucky. We thought we’d give it one shot. And, you know, we were very blessed that it happened pretty much straight away.

He’s been the biggest blessing, but yeah, like I say, life’s very different. I’m very much more so focused on a family and Mum life here in Christchurch, more so than gallivanting around like I was in Melbourne doing events and, it’s yeah, life’s a lot slower. It’s a lot different.

 I have days where I miss Melbourne, but I think the state of the world in the last few years, I’m just grateful to be here with family to be honest. 

Felicity Cohen: Lovely. Why do you think we always, we are so much more willing to embrace mindset coaching now versus in previous years, I think it’s a bit of a buzzword. We talk a lot about mindset in psychology, far more than we ever have in the past. 

Justine Switalla: Look, I think it’s just become apparent that, like I said before, training and nutrition and talking about food and exercise can only get you so far. If people don’t have a good concept around their own mental health mindset, their emotional wellbeing, it can be really hard to, to have a, a transformation if you’re not happy within yourself. If you’re not doing the inner work to create, you know, that contentment that most people are striving for and in today’s world, things are really stressful and life is hard and things just keep getting more complicated with who would’ve thought, you know, in 2020, what happened with COVID and the stress that that’s put people under.

So I think people have realised more and more the importance of being able to master your mindset, your thoughts and then getting on top of that sort of makes everything else easier, but it’s not an overnight process. You know, it’s the practices, the daily practices, the things that you do, the habits that you put in place every single day that eventually become, you know, like you don’t even realise that that’s what’s happening and it’s, it’s just a normal feeling to feel good and to feel like you’re moving forward in life.

So, you know, I think it’s going to be a constant battle with women especially being too hard on themselves, taking on too much, this idea of perfectionism, comparing ourselves to other women through social media, and watching the highlight reels, I like to call them and not really understanding that life can get really hard and that, you know, that the perfect body doesn’t mean that their life is perfect and that they’re really happy and it’s just coming to peace with that, and really starting to understand that every everyone’s on their own journey and no one has the perfect body or perfect life. 

Felicity Cohen: What are some of those mindset practices that you put put into place for yourself on a daily basis? 

Justine Switalla: Yeah. So I think for me, it’s really important to get out into nature and do some grounding and be around water or trees and things like that. Something that I never really used to do a lot now, I love to get out and hit the pavement and just, you know, listening to music, feeling joyful, listening to a podcast, taking time out for myself at night after the kids are in bed. I like to jump into bed and listen to a meditation on how I’m feeling, what thoughts have come up throughout the day for me, what am I processing?

And also just for me, it’s making sure that I’ve got support. So I’ve got people that I work with, you know, like spiritual healers and energy practitioners and things that I believe in that help me on an energetic level to clear the things that are holding me back and being able to talk to people.

I think the biggest thing is making sure that you’ve got that that voice that you are, that you’re not alone and that you can, you know, share your highs and lows and, and get everything out rather than bottling everything up and trying to fix everything yourself. 

Felicity Cohen: Absolutely reaching out to community, and I love that you’re embracing so many different things as part of your own personal holistic health journey. It’s it’s really interesting, you know, that we learn to adapt and try different modalities at different stages of life. It’s whatever works, whether that’s meditation at different times of day or connecting with nature, it’s so important to have all of those elements as part of your wellness regime.

What you think about your clients over the last year or so? What are the main or most common wellness challenges that you think people are facing? 

Justine Switalla: I’m going to take it down to stress and managing their stress well. You know, a lot of issues that women especially that my clients in the past have been dealing with is, you know, not nourishing their body with good nutrition, not drinking enough water and not managing their stress properly which leads to anxiety, depression, you know, it can lead to gut health issues. It can lead to so many issues down the track if they don’t start to manage their stress better. So I think that’s the biggest thing is trying to teach women those practices that I mentioned before.

Being kind to themselves, getting enough sleep, getting enough good nutrition in, getting enough water in, and rest. So, you know, if you are tired, you shouldn’t go and do a workout. You should sit and, you know, be okay with that, read a book, you know, lie down, have a nap. Just instead of like this, go, go, go mentality. I think it’s important that, we, we try and teach women that you’ve gotta feel, what’s what the terminology? You need to feel it to heal it. So it’s like, you’ve got to go through these feelings and honour your body and listen to your body. And it’s really trying to teach women that it’s okay to slow down, it’s okay to say no, it’s okay to, to rest and look after yourself. Because as we know, women do tend to put everyone else in front of their own needs and look after their families and their kids, which is a beautiful trait, but you can get, swamped in those moments and you can become quite overwhelmed and quite stressed out. So it’s a constant juggling act isn’t it really!

Felicity Cohen: There is so much of that in here, that women are the nurturers of the world. And often in so many different professions, you know, I’ve got a team of nurses and doctors here as part of our team, and they’re often the ones who put themselves last. So I really believe that that’s an important message teaching people that it is okay to slow down.

Justine Switalla: Yeah, absolutely. 

Felicity Cohen: Totally relate to that. One of my favourite quotes that’s on your website is “Think like a queen, a queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness”.

Why do you think it’s so important for us to fail, to really feel that sense of greatness? And can you describe a moment in your life where that’s really applied to you?

Justine Switalla: Oh, oh look, I feel like I have failed in so many, not just in business, but in life. I’ve learned so many lessons, the hard way, doing things, that, you know, I spent money on I’ve lost money. I’ve obviously just, I just feel if we have this acceptance around failure and we can turn our failures into this fuel.

So it’s like the fuel inside of you. You can ignite that because you can overcome your failures and then you are stronger and better off. Better off for it. And it’s not taking a chance or not taking a risk on something is you’re selling yourself short. And it really is. You could be missing out on something great. And if it’s not, then you do learn a lot about yourself and you know, you’ve got to be very resilient in today’s world, especially as an entrepreneur, you can have really good months, really good weeks and then you can have really tough weeks, months, and you’ve just gotta ride the wave and, and have that inner fire, like I said before, it’s like, you know, I believe that if you can just keep channeling your fears and use that as fuel, then, you know, you have to keep pushing forward. Women especially, I think today, we do wear many hats and back in our grandmother’s era, they never had to run businesses and they never, they just stayed home and were the homemaker and baked whereas today we are doing so much more which is great, but also we do have to learn where our limits are and making sure that we don’t burn ourselves out. 

Felicity Cohen: Definitely. Absolutely. You talk a little bit about your history of pain and healing and on every single possible levels of physical, emotional, and spiritual. Is that something you learned as a result of a physical injury? When you, you broke your ankle, how did that take you on that pathway of learning through pain, what healing looks like for you? 

Justine Switalla: You know what it was actually after I had Leo that I started to do some healing work around, my past traumas and triggers and things and I feel like I’ve been on a really big spiritual healing journey since then. So it sort of was a very challenging time, as well as the most amazing time as well. Like I guess it’s scary getting to know who you really are and learning to embrace your flaws, your traumas, your triggers, and accepting them.

When I broke my foot, I was, I never really have been an anxious person, but anxiety started to become a thing for me, which was interesting. I never thought that I would be one to have that negative voice in my head, but I started to get these negative feelings, anxiousness, like really, that pit in your stomach feeling of uncomfortableness, not being able to sleep properly and things like that. And that’s what triggered my decision to move back to New Zealand because I was struggling a little bit with my own mental health and I thought, you know what? I can’t do this alone anymore. I need more support. I need more family around me. And, so you know, like it’s sort of like with every turn and, you know, like the break breaking and having such a bad injury for, you know, six months of the year I was out of action, I couldn’t do a lot. It led me to making the, the decision to move back to New Zealand. And you know, now I’ve got a new child and I’ve got a new relationship and I’ve got a new life for myself. So it’s interesting isn’t it? When something really traumatic happens and you think. What the hell universe. And then in a couple of years time, you sort of wake up and you’re like, wow. You know, everything does really happen for a reason because I probably wouldn’t have made that decision if I didn’t break my foot. So in all seriousness, I think I’m still on this healing journey. I feel like once you start that kind of process and working on yourself and, trying to figure out your thoughts and fears you kind of can’t stop and you just, yeah, it’s, it’s one big, long journey, isn’t it? 

Felicity Cohen: And you know what? We all turn to something in that moment of trauma or crisis or challenge in life for, you’ve also been really open about talking about a moment in your life when alcohol was your crutch.

How did you actually identify that that had become a problem and that you needed to make a change? 

Justine Switalla: Yeah, I think my now partner, Sean he’s very outspoken. And I think really he just made it become quite apparent to me that I was going back into old patterns of like, when I was a 20 year old, it’s almost like I was reliving my youth.

I just moved back to New Zealand. I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin. I felt like I was like here, but not here. So I think I just used to drink to sort of, hurry up and blend in and not have to be heard or be seen almost. It was quite, it was quite a weird time for me. So I just sort of, I know I was standing in my own way and it was a form of self sabotage, but I think I had to go again, go through that. So it was like, The broken foot. And then I had, I don’t know if, if you did read about the implant disaster I had. So I had my implants replaced and then I got an infection in two, I had to get them removed and I still haven’t, you know, I’m, I’m about to have the breast lift next month now but it’s been an ongoing saga. So in, in that year, I’d gone through so much trauma and uncertainty that it led me I guess just wanting to numb the pain. And it was the red wine, I noticed it was becoming a thing that overtook my healing journey. And I just woke up one day and I was like, I can’t do this anymore.

 I gave myself that space and that’s when I fell pregnant. So it’s interesting that it was really hard for about, you know, a couple of weeks, but then I just got, I just felt so good. I felt like I was like floating or, you know, and I was processing my feelings and I would go outside, cry, if something happened to my partner and I had a fight or one of the kids annoyed me, I’d just, I’d go outside and I’d just cry.

 I let myself feel everything rather than just, you know, getting a glass of wine. It’s been a really eye-opening experience I think, and being able to fall pregnant. And then obviously that was great, because pregnancy, I Obviously didn’t drink and you know, having a baby so it’s led me to that. So there you go. Another one of those life moments! 

Felicity Cohen: Well, look, you are, it’s a really inspiring story because what I’m hearing from you is that you are the ultimate at being able to pivot, you know, that’s a word that I feel like we have heard and is so often used, especially over the last couple of years, we’ve all had to pivot somewhere, but you are absolutely the master at pivoting. I think that’s incredible. 

I love the acronym that you use when you talk about “FEM”, female empowerment, movement, mindset, and education. The way you use that terminology. I actually love that it encapsulates so much about what women need, in terms of empowerment, across every single spectrum of life. I really, really like that, about what you’ve created in your world of creating change and empowering women. 

What is some of the things that you’ve learned from a parenting perspective in terms of the challenges, you know, your son, your eldest son is eight. Plus you’ve got a blended family, what are some of the biggest challenges around trying to raise healthy, well adjusted, balanced kids? 

Justine Switalla: You know, and me and my partner have this conversation a lot because, you know, he’s been through his own childhood traumas and I have as well. So we are both triggered by certain things and it’s like, we want to give our children because we’ve come from, he’s come from a broken marriage and so have I, we want to give them that, that foundation so that they’re not having to do the work that we’ve had to do. I think it’s allowing kids to feel and you know having boys especially, I want them to feel safe and that they can talk to me that they can cry, that they can feel emotions, that it’s okay to be themselves.

Just allowing them that space, I guess, to make the mistakes and to hurt themselves and to be there for them when things aren’t going right for them or aren’t going well, or they’re having problems at school and just being understanding. I’m very much an attachment type parent, and having Harley has really brought that out of me again.

I actually, it’s, it’s interesting that you sort of forget what it’s like to have your heart outside of your body when you’ve got a little baby and as they get older, you just, it’s not like you, the love changes, it just different. And then when you have someone so vulnerable and they need you for everything, your heart just opens and it explodes all over again. Doesn’t it. So for me it’s been a really eye opening experience to go through that again. And I think because it’s the second time around, I’m able to be more present and I really feel like it’s different because I was in a bit of a blur with Leo, whereas with Harley, I’m just noticing everything and loving it and I just can’t help but give my kids lots of love. 

Felicity Cohen: Beautiful. Love it. 

What do you wish you knew about wellness 10 years ago? 

Justine Switalla: I think, wow. Yeah. Wellness 10 years ago. I guess it’s again, it’s coming back to those fundamentals that I’ve mentioned before.

It’s not letting yourself fall into the traps of living a very high stress life. Over training, under eating and beating yourself up and having a negative mindset and negative spin on things. So, you know, I guess, yeah, just being able to remind myself that you know of those basic fundamentals and not push myself too hard because I think, 10 years ago I was definitely a lot different and pushing my body to the brink.

Whereas even now with Harley I’ve hardly been exercising since I’ve had him, my mentality is very different to what it was 10 years ago where I’d be beating myself up and really hard on myself. So I guess if I could go back and tell that person that it’s okay to do nothing, it’s okay to rest it’s okay to slow down as long as you are eating well and drinking water and getting out to nature and doing those things then you’re going to be okay, 

Felicity Cohen: More self-compassion and self love and being kinder to yourself and to your body. Fantastic. And a really important lesson as well.

So what are your practical tips to help anyone who might be facing the same challenges that, that you’ve come across throughout your journey?

Justine Switalla: I think not looking too far down the barrel. It’s really easy to become overwhelmed with one’s journey or the processes involved in a transformation, whether it’s a physical one, emotional, you know, to put practices in place and support in place so that you can, take things one day, one week at a time.

It’s a really tough thing for women today. I know from my experience with clients is that they, you know, it’s all too hard and overwhelming. If you think too far, I need to lose, you know, 20, 30 kilos, or I need do to do all of this. I need to have all of this done by XYZ date and pressure, pressure, pressure, you know, it’s like a pressure cooker.

So, so just making sure that those fundamentals, slowing things right down, taking things one day at a time and, putting those support mechanisms in place. 

Felicity Cohen: So you mentioned that you’re on maternity leave. Have you got a vision or a thought around what is Justin’s fat going to be doing when you actually come out the other side of maternity leave? Is there something new that you’re planning?

Justine Switalla: I think what the big picture looks like for me is I’d like to have my own studio and get back into, one to one coaching with women. So we are looking at upgrading our house and my partner’s a builder, luckily, so he can make the garage into a gym!

I also, I think that one to one direct coaching. So I feel like there will be some sort of, it won’t be a big community based program that I’ll put out. It will probably be just working with 10 or so women exclusively and tapping into what they need and working closely with them and doing the zoom calls and things like that, giving them the support and the tools that they need for whatever journey that they’re on.

I’ve been thinking about that lately, but obviously just with Harley at the moment. You know, I’m just quite enjoying, well, I’m not enjoying, I should say I’m loving being home with him, but I’m also preparing mentally for what I could do next. I guess it is exciting! I look forward to whatever it is. I know that I’ll feel it and I’ll just run with it, whatever that feeling is. But I do think it will be more one to one based and eventually I’d love to have my own little set up here in Christchurch. 

Felicity Cohen: Finally, our listeners are all Wellness Warriors, and we know that wellness is worth fighting for once you lose your health, you spend the rest of your life fighting to get it back, whether that’s physical or spiritual health, or mental health.

Something that’s always inspiring to learn about is how others are going on their wellness journey. So my last question today for you, Justine, is can you share with us a time when you were struggling with your wellness and what did you do to fight for it or reclaim 

Justine Switalla: I think I’ve sort of tapped into that already in our conversation. I think for me when I broke my foot, it was a real big turning point for me because I couldn’t use exercise as a way to help my mental health, physical health, everything like that. I had to really pivot. Again, that word, with how I treated my body and I started doing Pilates and I started sitting in my own feelings more.

I really had to figure out what it meant to be mentally strong and not just physically strong because I was right into my power lifting and stuff like that as well. So I was quite strong. And then I, you know, my muscle was just falling off my body before my eyes. And initially I was like, oh my God. But then, you know, I started to actually change the way I saw my body and I started to like the more feminine look and not being so muscular. So I just changed how I saw myself, but it was a process. And I guess, you know, you’ve just got to be able to, if something happens in your life, accept it. There’s the first thing. And then know that there are other alternative methods of looking after yourself. It’s not just how you move your body. It’s how you treat your body. So, yeah. 

Felicity Cohen: And how you see yourself, especially in a situation when you’ve been a bodybuilder and you can see that drastic change in your body, evolving into something newer and different.

One of my favourite doctors who I’ve done a lot of work with here, Dr. Karen Coates, she talks about a study where you stand in front of the mirror for 28 days, and this is actually proven and evidence based. And you say to yourself every single morning, I am beautiful. By that day, four, you’ll start to experience and see that change in yourself.

And over time you notice that others will also start to give you feedback and tell you, oh wow. You look like you’ve just been to a health retreat. It sounds like you’ve been on that kind of a journey as well, perception and what you see in your self changing so much, but acceptance as well.

Justine Thank you so much for joining me on the Wellness Warriors podcast. It’s been an absolute pleasure chatting with you today. 

Justine Switalla: Thank you so much for having me. It’s been awesome to chat. Thank you so much. 

Nutritionist & Dietitian

Meet our team


Chealse Hawk

Nutrion Leader Coach

Isabelle Cole

Nutrion Coach

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Nutrion Leader Coach