Tell us a bit about yourself and your family?
I live in the beautiful beachy town of Newcastle NSW, I’ve grown up here and absolutely love it. My husband and I moved away to Sydney for his work in 2015 and we lasted less than a year! We missed home too much. My little family consists of my husband Casey, our daughter Harper and our crazy ass dog, Zeus.
What’s life with the beautiful Harper been like so far?
Life with Harps has been amazing. I’m absolutely in love with being a mum and even though its only been such a short amount of time, I couldn’t imagine my life any differently. Life really does take on a new perspective once you’re a parent, and I get so so excited to see all the little changes in her and watch her explore and take in this new world.
Walk us through a typical day.
I’m not sure that we have a typical day just yet, we’re always doing something different. There are a few things that I’ve noticed have become habits though. We start each day with a feed in bed and listen to some music together – usually country, much to my husbands delight (NOT!) If it’s a nice day we’ll try to get out for a walk to the beach, and 9 times out of 10 my mum, sister or a friend will come and it’ll turn into a coffee catch up too. I’ve always got a few bits and bobs with the business to take care of so I try to fit these in when Harps is napping, otherwise I’ll get some work done when my husband gets home from work. We usually finish the day taking Zeus for a walk and now its daylight savings again we’re looking forward to taking our dinners up to the beach!
What is most important for you to teach your daughter?
Self-worth. I truly believe that too many women in todays world struggle with confidence and self-worth. It’s subliminally drilled into them from such a young age that they should look or act a certain way, and its just plain wrong. I want Harper to grow up knowing who she is, that people love her for that and that she loves herself. I believe having a strong sense of self-worth guides you in the right direction through life.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
Hmm… I guess that I’m actually a really sensitive person. Like, I reckon over-sensitive. I’ve been told that I come across confident and that I take everything in my stride but really I go home and will go over things a million times in my head. It’s something I’m continually working on, but I think I’ve definitely gotten better as I’ve gotten older.
How is motherhood treating you?
I absolutely love it. I seriously do; its exactly what I expected but so so much more. I know some days are harder than others, and at 3am sometimes you’re having not so peachy thoughts about this little human (lol we’ve all been there) but each day at least once I find myself lost staring into that little face and completely and utterly bursting with love.
Has your attitude towards your own body image changed much?
It has. I’ll be honest, there was a point in my life where I was striving so hard to be ‘that’ fitness girl with the killer body that others wish they had. I felt I had to look a certain way if I was to be taken seriously running my own fitness business. I was never completely obsessed with training or anything, but there was a time in my life where health, fitness, nutrition and everything in between consumed most of my time. Now things are quite different – having been through pregnancy and labour, I’m absolutely gob-smacked with what the human body is capable of. This body grew a perfect little human, this body withstood a 53 hour labour, this body was still able to function after a pretty nasty forceps delivery – I have a new appreciation for my body and know now that its not all about ‘body image’. Having said that, I have recently started easing back into training again and it feels amazing J
What inspired you to start Luxe health and fitness?
Initially when I got into this business, I was the female trainer at a pretty hardcore fitness facility with an ex-commando. Being new to the industry I followed his lead and training was more about how hard you could push yourself and how comfortable you could be being uncomfortable. After a few years, I realised that this didn’t sit right with me and I wasn’t actually enjoying training any more. I’d developed my own style of training with my clients which fused fitness with fun. It was around this time I also realised that I had absolutely zilch interest in training guys, and was immensely passionate about training women – so I registered my business, went out on my own with the idea of creating a comfortable, fun,
un intimidating environment for women to train. That was about 5 years ago and I’m still so so passionate about continuing to create a community of women who lift each other up, not tear each other down!
How do you juggle motherhood and being a boss lady?
I’m still getting used to it – I do drop the ball every now and then. But I’m so lucky to have two amazing trainers – Manuela & Mikala – to support me. These girls run all the classes and personal training for Luxe at present and are doing such an amazing job! I just take care of the business side of things for now, and its about finding those little gaps in the day to fit in a few minutes here and there. My diary is scribbled with notes of things not to forget to do…Coffee also helps…
My husband is a huge part of how I get to juggle all of this, he helps out so much with all the chores and errands so that makes my life a lot easier and I love him so much for it!
Tell us about Luxe Health & Fitness?
In a nutshell, Luxe is about doing something for YOU. Putting your health & fitness as a priority, but not getting bogged down with all the crap that can come along with the health & fitness industry. We don’t believe in dieting, we don’t believe in counting calories, we don’t believe in working out so hard you want to vomit. We don’t give a crap about ‘box gaps’… lol.
We do believe in the power of whole foods, we do believe in balancing your lifestyle (a glass of wine is totally okay in our books). We do believe in training smart, and not only getting results but more importantly, loving yourself throughout the entire process.
We offer a variety of classes which we’ve structured specifically to meet the goals of women. We incorporate mobility work in each of our sessions, to counteract the damage things like sitting does to your body and teaching your body to move more freely. We’re also passionate about education – We want to provide a community for kick ass women to come and train together, banter, have fun and be totally 100% ourselves.
Have there been many challenges so far?
Every business has challenges. I really threw a spanner in the works when I moved away to Sydney, and then came back! Lol, its taken a little while to build the business back up again but we’re getting there! There’s been many challenges along the way, and I’m sure there’ll be many more challenges to
come – but I say, bring it!
How do you feel towards the fitness industry and women’s body perceptions?
I feel like there’s a lot of people out there who are spreading a really positive message in terms of women’s body perception, but then for every one spreading a good message there’s like a hundred who feed women’s insecurities. I just hate when you see things like these ‘magic teas’ which will have you believe you’ll lose 10kg in a month – no, just no. It’s a shame that there’s so much emphasis on how you look, and hardly any emphasis on how your body actually functions and how you feel.
There is a lot of body shaming going on lately especially with new mothers on how they were while pregnant and how quick or slow they move the baby weight, or if they workout or not during pregnancy.
As a PT, how would you get your clients to combat those negative attitudes?
That’s where getting involved in a community of supportive women can have a huge impact! Whether it be joining a group fitness class, or simply surrounding yourself with people who have a positive attitude instead. Social media is a blessing and curse with this stuff, but you ultimately have control over what you expose yourself to. If you know that certain accounts make you feel shitty about yourself, unfollow them! Ain’t nobody got time for that!!
Any tips of how to ease back into exercise after a baby?
Take it easy on yourself! I found that I was constantly having to remind myself of what my body had just been though, and that it was unfair to expect it to be able to do the same things it used to right away. For me personally, I wasn’t able to start exercising for at least 6 weeks following Harpers birth.
So I made an effort to get us out of the house for a walk up to the beach most days after about 2 weeks of solid recovery doing nothing but pelvic floor exercises! (Side note: do NOT neglect your pelvic floor exercises. Doesn’t matter what kind of birth you had, they’ve been under stress throughout your pregnancy and its essential to re-train them).
When I was given the all clear I started a gentle Pilates inspired program from a website called Codyapp. Yep, even as a PT I found that having a quick, structured 30 minute workout that required very little equipment was what I needed to get back into it. But whatever works for you! I would definitely recommend bodyweight exercises or very light weight exercises for a little while – don’t be jumping under that barbell right away. Your va-jay-jay may never forgive you! Now its 10 weeks on and I’m still doing my pilates program, with some extra
programming from myself added in – and it feels GREAT! J
Tips on eating?
I’m not into supplements, pills or potions at all. They freak me out. The best advice I could ever give you is to eat WHOLE FOODS.
Create your meals from scratch – its really not hard once you get used to it. Plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit, and shitloads of water…
Having said that, I do think it’s okay to treat yourself here and there. Like, how boring would maternity leave coffee dates be without that brownie here and there?! But if you’re eating well most of the time, that brownie is not going to matter one little bit. Balance and moderation are the aim of the game.
I don’t know if this counts as a ‘current’ obsession, or just an all time favourite obsession…but coffee. Coffee dates, exploring new cafes, tasting different flavours, and everything else that goes with coffee. Lol. I’m also a little obsessed with home made chocolate at the moment…
Currently…brownies! There’s this new café that’s opened up 5 mins from our house (dangerous), and they stock these brownies that their mum makes…
Holy. Jesus. They are goooood! Other than food, my guilty pleasure is kicking back with Harps and catching up on The Bachelorette at lunch time haha. We don’t have normal TV plugged in, so we only watch what you can get on Apple TV. Something about watching TV in the day makes me feel guilty, but sneakily guilty. Like shh…don’t tell dad when he gets home that we sat and watched the bachelorette and ate the rest of the chocolate…
Beauty tips you can’t live without?
Coconut oil! It’s he worlds best body moisturiser/eye make up remover/baby bum cream/hair treatment/lip balm – argh! I just love the stuff.
Also, always always always wash your make up off! And invest in good quality skin care. Do your research and make sure its got no nasties in there.
What would you tell your 12 year old self?
Good question! I would tell her not to care so much about what other people think of her. I’d tell her that bullies just transfer their own insecurities onto others. I’d tell her to be herself, be unfiltered, be unique, be crazy, be loud, be quiet, be whatever it is that you want to be. I’d also tell her not to allow other people to manipulate her and to stick to her guns!
What’s the most important objective for you and luxe health and fitness?
The most important objective is to give women a safe, fun and healthy environment to train in. I see health & fitness as so much more than what you look like! The ultimate goal for me is to get girls to love their training for how it makes them FEEL, and have how it makes them LOOK be a nifty side effect.
Health & fitness at Luxe means lifestyle. It means looking forward to training, having fun, challenging yourself, achieving goals and loving yourself throughout the entire journey!
What’s next for the Luxettes?
I’m pretty excited to be getting some mums and bubs classes in the works to kick off next year! Harper will be helping me out with trialing Mama Luxe classes – how cool is that? I get to take my kid to work! Haha. I’ll be putting feelers out there before the end of the year to get a crew of amazing women together and kick off early next year if all goes to plan! For our current beautiful Luxettes, we’ve just taken a chunk of our classes outdoors so these lucky babes get to train on the beautiful beaches and parks in Newcastle from now until the end of summer! Then the BIG plan is to be in a studio space of our own by next Winter! OMG! Soooo exciting!
If you weren’t a pt what would you be?
Oh god…this is a hard one! I dabbled in some Dermal Therapy back a few years and its still pretty interesting for me. I ended up working part time at an amazing little clinic, Laser Effect, in Newcastle. My boss lady (and one of the most awesome people you’ll ever meet) is a total skin nerd and its actually pretty inspiring seeing her help all of these women with their skin concerns. I know that might sound kind of superficial, but some of these women would come in to the clinic in tears, and a few weeks later they’d bound up the stairs with a huge smile on their face and a total change of attitude – that was pretty amazing to see. I guess at the heart of things, I’m pretty crazily passionate about lifting women up and allowing them to see how truly amazing they are. So I reckon I’d be pretty happy working in any kind of role that would allow me to do that!
Share a recipe..
Okay I’ve GOT to share my home made chocolate recipe for you all!
1 Cup Cacao Butter (any health food shop should have)
6 Tablespoons Raw Cacao Powder
2-3 Tablespoons Raw Agave Nectar
Your choice of: shredded coconut, goji berries, raisins, pepitas, sunflower seeds, nuts, chia seeds, puffed rice…or ALL of the above, or any other damn thing you want to add in!
Melt cacao butter in a bowl over simmering water, stir through agave & cacao powder til combined. Taste Test! If its sweet enough for your liking then stir through whatever extras you like and pour into a shallow baking dish lined with baking paper, or if you prefer into a silicon chocolate mould tray. Fridge for about 3-4 hours and then slice or break into chunks.
Now for the most important step……see how long it lasts for
Contact Kat at: email@example.com