EP46: Kicking Goals Through Work & Play With AFLW Player Kate Surman.

We explore the inspiring lifestyle and mindset of an Australian Football League Women’s player, Kate Surman (nicknamed Spud), who is also a physiotherapist. Kate walks us through how she balances the demanding aspects of her life and gives us insights into what it’s like to be a competitive sports team player at AFLW.

In this light-hearted conversation, Kate shows us the possibility of achieving greatness whilst enjoying simple things in life. By having core values, consistency in routines and an optimistic outlook, Kate is kicking her goals and showing up strong for her team as her zesty self, while under high pressure to be in her best shape and performance all year round.

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EP45: How To Transition From Menopause Into Your Desired Life

Angela Counsel is a clinical Naturopath now incorporating all her health knowledge to support women transition through menopause with ease. For over 20 years, Angela has been primarily in the space of women’s health and well-being. She is a mindset coach and also includes naturopathy and kinesiology to treat her clients to gain a deeper understanding of their health issues.
In this episode, Angela shares her personal journey through menopause, showing us that it is possible to go through menopause; lose weight in the process, and come out the other side living the life she desires. Her main focus is on a healthy diet combined with lifestyle changes, which Angela discusses  ‘how’ in detail in this episode.

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EP44: Female Leadership Driven Through Purpose & People

Over 33 years, Graziella Thake, CEO of The Optimisation hub, has worked across multiple industries for 26 multinationals.
Her people-first lifelong attitude has been proven through her experiences, earning her a reputation for a sought-after ground-breaking leader.

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EP43: Unravel Illnesses: Rewire To Recover With Dan Neuffer

A true wellness warrior, Dan Neuffer, shares with us how he overcomes the biggest battle of his life for 7 years, suffering from Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia and Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. A former physicist, a young family man, Dan was once bed bounded to the idea of never getting his life back up again. A smile he couldn’t fake for his kids at one Christmas dinner, gifted him the determination to find a way to recover. 

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EP42: The Fragility of Mental Health & How Embracing Vulnerability Is A Strength

Adam has experienced many highs and lows to arrive at this point where he can now share his experiences with the world to help with their own mental health issues through vulnerability, support, and hard work. This episode is a powerful, open, and emotional conversation that looks into the life of someone suffering from mental illness. Adam shares his ongoing journey to achieve ultimate balance, confidence, and happiness, how he got here, and where plans to go next.

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EP41: Tapping (EFT) To Transform The State Of Wellbeing

Tapping (EFT) To Transform
The State Of Wellbeing

In this episode with Dr Peta Stapleton, we are exploring the Effective Freedom Technique (EFT) to deal with stress, anxiety, weight management concerns, chronic pain and so much more. As an outside-the-box-mind psychologist,  Peta taps into her researches and studies over the decade. She shares with us the improvement she has seen using EFT in her patients.

Initially, Peta’s dream was to become a lawyer. As fate redirected her to find her true passion in psychology, particularly in EFT, her goal remains to find the right solution to help people. Being an expert in EFT, she sees the opportunity of this “fourth wave” therapy becoming more accessible to all. Peta believes wellness is an all-encompassing concept, and with easy tapping techniques which have been shown to leave a long-lasting improvement on our well-being.

To demonstrate the effectiveness of this treatment, Peta guides the Wellness Warriors podcast host, Felicity Cohen through the tapping technique.


Show Notes:

01:39 – What took you through choosing to take the pathway to psychology?

Dr Peta tells the story of how her plan to get into law redirects her into finding her lifelong passion in psychology.

04:11 – What do you think are some of the things that have shaped the change in the perception towards psychologists? 

The wider community starts to have access to psychologists through the Medicare program. It used to be harder for people to access unless they were able to fund themselves or through private health insurance.

06:35 – How has EFT been used effectively with children and in a school setting? 

Being recognised by the local schools, Dr Peta and her team helped implement EFT to help students and teachers manage their stress and food cravings. She explains how EFT is a very effective technique for kids as it’s very easy for them to do. 

10:13 – How you actually entered into the research space with regards to EFT and how did it help grow and evolve the whole movement.

Originally specialised in the eating disorder space, she found that many traditional techniques weren’t that effective. As she started to see more clients recovering from their eating disorders through EFT and decided to look deeper into it in her researches. She takes EFT into improving many different health issues over the last 15 years.

13:02 – With your current research project on tapping as the chronic pain intervention, what is your findings?

In her most recent research in 2020, Dr Peta found that there’s an absolute reduction in the severity of pain, psychological things like anxiety and depression respond positive as well as the overall quality of life.

17:26 – What have you experienced implementing EFT into the bariatric patient population? 

Through her research and working with bariatric patients over the decade, Dr Peta says she has seen a profound impact on those patients using EFT as part of their treatment. 

18:58 – Why do you call this type of treatment the fourth wave? 

Dr Peta explains that the recent discoveries within the therapy space have shifted into combining a whole range of treatments that involve the semantic and movements to treat patients in different areas.

22:06 – As far as the fourth wave evolution and just continuing its growth, what’s the international landscape look like? And how have you impacted that through your research? 

Dr Peta shares with us the fact that these practices are becoming more and more recognised worldwide. This includes having EFT being accepted as a safe therapy for veterans and PTSD sufferers. 

24:04 – Dr Peta guides us through how quick and effective the treatment is, as experienced first-hand by the host, Felicity Cohen, in this episode.

29:15 – Where would you like to go next with EFT and what areas of research do you feel have been untapped? 

Chronic pain space would be Dr Peta’s main focus for a while as it’s an extremely emerging area currently. She would also love to seek to have EFT approved as a Medicare item so that more would have access to the therapy. 

31:11 – Have you seen EFT patients have a reduction in their medications?

In a previous study, they have seen the impact of tapping on the vagal efficiency in people. They also track many physiological measurements as well as people history of medications and how that shifts over time. 

33:29 –  What does wellness mean to you? 

To Dr Peta, wellness is an all-encompassing state of mind.

EP40: Enter The Portal Into Stillness With Tom Cronin

Enter The Portal Into Stillness with Tom Cronin

Tom dives deep into the meditation practice, sharing the tremendous amount of benefits it has on our being. He sees how meditation not only improve his own life but of those around him. His aim is to help bring people back to stillness and peace through his current work.

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EP39: The Empowerment In Retreating to Improved Health

The Empowerment In
Retreating to Improved Health

Australia’s leading facilitators in wellness and pioneers in the fitness industry, Donna and Marcello Abbate share with us how their self-discovery experiences have led them into helping others achieve their health goals. After so many years within the industry, changing thousands of lives, they have realised that good health is not only about physicality but rather the connection individuals have with themselves. As part of their personal journey, the couple cultivates an all-around holistic health foundation into practice for themselves and deliver that to those around them.

In this episode, we will get an insight into the root of what it means to have a healthy, well-lived life. With the upcoming Wellness Warriors Retreat, Donna and Marcello are excited to inspire, motivate and enhance a new dimension of experience that leverages your well-being journey. They are ready to empower us to come back to our true nature and make a difference in our daily lives after experiencing the retreat together as a community. Donna promises that this will leave you feeling grounded, whole, and inspired. As Marcello mentions, with a clear state of mind, there’s no door that’s closed. 

Are you ready to walk through the door of new possibilities to reach another level of wellness? Join Donna and Marcello at our Wellness Warriors Retreat. The door is open for you: https://www.wellnesswarriorsretreats.com.au/


Show Notes:

1:17 – Felicity: Donna, what was your first exposure to the wellness industry and what took you down that pathway originally?

Donna shares her personal health struggle from a very young age and her determination to cure herself which got her into studying naturopathy.


2:40 – Felicity: What do you believe are the most important learnings from naturopathy for you?

The wide range of what is covered in naturopathy has made her foundation very holistic. For Donna, it was a journey of self-discovery. Going from working as a personal trainer, she moved her interests into yoga to optimise her own physical health. That led her to integrated more offerings for her client in her company, Fit For Life.


4:56 – Felicity: What are some of the benefits that you see from Iyengar yoga?

Donna explains how Iyengar yoga enables her clients to feel safe, comfortable and supported to get the postures right. It is what allows people to let go and be more inflow – to experience yoga fully.


7:54 – Felicity: Now Marcello, can you give us a little bit of an insight into your background?

Marcello’s personal experience witnessing his mum’s health deteriorating drove him into the fitness industry. He first thought that it was all physicality factors, but as he looks after more and more clients, he realised that it all comes down to mindset. His interests in martial arts and further knowledge he gained along the way helped him discover Tai Chi and Buddhist philosophy. Not only it accelerates the growth of his coaching business, but it also improves Marcello’s wellbeing and relationships personally.


13:10 – Felicity: I think it’s so beautiful that you were so focused on supporting and helping your mum and that drove you in that direction. How did she end up?

“You meet people where they’re at”, says Marcello. He helped her incorporate healthy habits to make up for the unhealthy ones as much as he could. From his personal journey, he realises it’s about all levels of health, not just physical, mental, but also spiritual health that ties to the meaning we give to our purpose and passions.


16:42 Felicity: What do you think are some of the most powerful stories or journeys of change that you’ve been able to share with some of your clients over the years?

Marcello humbly expresses the most powerful thing he gained working with clients is being welcomed as part of their families. The well-trusted connections he built that has enabled him to witness growth in their lives.

Here Felicity and Marcello discuss the importance of mindful practices that supports your choice towards growth and self-fulfilment through all stages of life.


21:36 Felicity: You’re a very experienced facilitator in health retreat programs. Tell me about sort of the changes that you’ve seen in how people perceive health retreats now.

From her experience as a retreat facilitator, Donna notices that it’s about the reset for people. Most joined the retreat with the goal to feel connected and be a better person.


22:13 Felicity: What do you think is the most significant part of a health retreat for someone who’s never been before? They’re stepping into those doors for the first time. What does that experience look like? And what are some of the most powerful takeaways that that person might experience from that first-time opportunity?

A holistic experience that people will be engulfed in complete wellness. As a naturopath, Donna explains that those who have never experienced a health retreat may not right away understand what all layers of health feel like. It’s something that needs to be experienced personally to comprehend the life-changing effects.


25:21 Felicity: There’s going to be so many amazing things on the Wellness Warriors retreat in the program. Can we start by running through just some of those elements and what that might look like and what people can expect when they come along to our Wellness Warriors retreat?

Donna explains to be coming into nature and having a sense of connection and community, people will be feeling inspired and whole on every level. Marcello also adds that people will gain the empowerment to cultivate and apply a healthy environment for themselves in their home structure through many tips they will gain from the retreat. Their goal isn’t only to provide these benefits for retreat participants but for their kids and the people in their lives who will receive the flow-on effect.


31:35 Felicity: What does wellness mean to you?

Donna: I guess without thinking about it, just in touch with what it means to be your authentic self. And for me, exercise helps me to feel who I am. So then I’m not frazzled in any way. My mind is clear. Yoga helps me to stay grounded and feel capable of anything. The breath makes you feel so relaxed and clear. There are so many pathways into accessing your true nature and your authentic self.

When you’re in touch with that, you feel more joy, you feel more connection, to your partner, to your kids, to everyone. So for me, wellness is leading with the heart and getting back into your body and feeling really comfortable with that.


Marcello: Choice and possibly. To get a good education, you know, your parents always say, get a good education and lots of doors open up for you. Have the perfect state of mind and there’s not one door that’s closed, ever. So choice, then the possibilities for you to enter any door that you want. That’s what wellness means to me.

EP38: A Dive Master’s Journey To Finding Her True Self

A Dive Master's Journey
To Finding Her True Self

Back in 2011, Heidi Stepanoff had Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy procedure, a decision that was not taken lightly for someone who always took a more natural approach to things. Luckily for Heidi, she shared a gym with her General Practitioner who noticed her weight gain and ongoing struggles to lose it. After trying every diet and pill known to man, Heidi finally had the courage to see her doctor and seek advice and with the positive support she received, Heidi went to an information night hosted by WeightLoss Solutions Australia where she learned about the surgical options for weight loss and realised it was just another tool to help achieve her goals.

Twenty years later, Heidi has found her true self. Now living life to the fullest with more energy, being an active mother to her two children and setting a healthy example, a strong working single mum and becoming the successful Dive Master she is today. This episode is an eye-opener into the life of someone who was never living their truth, one that was held back by excess weight. Heidi’s journey is just beginning, she plans to continue writing fiction with the hopes to one day be able to take it to publication.


Show notes:

01:02: Heidi Stepanoff’s life-changing decision for weight loss surgery in 2011

After trying every magic cure possible, Heidi shares the encouraging moment with her GP, opening her to the surgical solution that she needed.


04:22 – Post-bariatric surgery transformation: becoming more authentic and a better mum.

Heidi describes the quick changes in her energy and her quality of life. She shares how every aspect of her life becomes much more meaningful when confidently and actively showing up for herself and her kids.


13:31 – Diving ocean deep into a WeightLoss Warrior’s life passions.

Now a divemaster, Heidi expresses the fulfilment she can now experience connecting with the ocean again. Once self-conscious about how she looked and felt in swimsuits, she now leads others to the dive site in her wetsuit and does not think twice about it.


20:14 – The changing relationship dynamics following her evolution towards her true self.

Heidi shares how her relationships change over time as she starts to live the life that she is being true to herself more. Being confident in her skin allows her to make decisions in her best interests.


24:01 – No downsides for Heidi Stepanoff post weight loss surgery

Besides being more mindful of her habits and adjusting to a healthier lifestyle, Heidi was lucky enough not to have any usual post-surgery concerns.


26:52 – What wellness means to Heidi Stepanoff.

For Heidi, Wellness is very much the feeling of being healthy and active. And the ability to live an active life and feel good and confident, that’s wellness to her.

EP36: Ex NRL Player Chris Walker’s Walk of a Lifetime

Ex NRL Player
Chris Walker's
Walk of a Lifetime

Former NRL rugby league player Chris Walker completed his 2.5million step expedition in July 2021, he walked from Cairns to the Gold Coast to raise money for charity and raised an amazing $200k in total. Chris covered a brutal 1900 kilometres over 71 days to raise awareness for charities: Beyond Blue, RizeUp Australia and the Alcohol and Drug Foundation. Demand for specialist services offered by all three charities has been at record levels over the past 18 months, due to the mental health challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Walker has partnered with the new charity fundraising platform Fund My Challenge, a challenge-based charity app that has been created to revolutionise the giving process.

Get to know the life of this incredible man, from his upbringing as one of four very competitive boys (they are all professional athletes), his journey as an NRL rugby player, what inspired his epic trek and where he plans to go next as continues to give back to the community.

For more inspiration, follow Chris Walker’s journey on Instagram @iamchriswalker


Show Notes:

00:50 – Growing up into a professional rugby family

Along with his three brothers, Chris followed in their family’s footsteps in pursuing professional rugby. Chris reminisces his childhood and how they were brought up, which have built a strong bond for the brothers.

11:07 – Retiring from Rugby to building a family

Since his retirement as a professional rugby player in 2011 to be with his family, Chris found himself advancing through many challenges using what he’d learned.

17:36: – Recipe for success from NRL field to all areas of life

After many years as a professional rugby player, Chris shares the key characteristics he believes will get us far, not only on the field but in all areas of life.

19:15 – Chris Walker’s Fund My Challenge making a real difference

Wanting to give back to Australian communities, Chris started Fund My Challenge, which connects people with charities and causes they are interested in raising funds for. Their goal is to ensure that every dollar raised is distributed effectively to the causes and make a real difference in people’s lives.

24:39 – The Cairns to Brisbane Walking Challenge, 1900km in 71 days

Chris finished his walk from Cairns to Brisbane as part of his Fund My Challenge initiative. He shares incredible stories through his course, the heartfelt moments, inspirations, the work of the team and the challenges he was facing to make to the finish line.

38:16 – The domino effects of kindness and encouragement

Passionately walking through his challenge to help the causes, Chris still felt depleted at times, wanted to give up. However, Chris shares felt uplifted seeing the words of encouragement he received from the community online and offline. Even those beeps from random cars passing by had helped him power through the journey.

48:33 – What wellness means to Chris Walker

Wellness means happiness for Chris. It’s about being infectious with your attitude and being upbeat and happy.