Nat: Hi Lizzy!
Lizzy: Hello!!! It’s so good to be here with you!
Nat: Ok, so for everyone playing at home, I have Lizzy Williamson here from Two Minute Moves, a newly published author with a book that’s literally about to hit the shelves. She’s a speaker and a fitness presenter and she’s one of my most amazing business friends that is such a joy to have around and you have one of those smiles that just makes me smile every single time I chat to you. Thank you so much for being here and sharing your story.
Lizzy: Thank you for having me. It’s actually a real honour.
Nat: It’s my pleasure. Now, I really want to delve into your business but also the inspiration, the motivation and the catalyst for how your business came to be. I know that we have similar stories about how we’ve used PND and adversity in our lives to fuel and motivate us to live our best lives. So, I want to chat about the things that sometimes people are too scared to chat about. The taboo things. There’s a lot of taboo and a lot of feelings around PND and I’m really looking forward to hearing your story and finding out about what it was like for you. So I’m going to dive straight into it.
Nat: How did you know that you had PND?
Lizzy: Well I only knew when the doctor told me, because I actually didn’t know what postnatal depression was. In fact, I hadn’t heard of it. This was 8 years ago and I thought that there was something wrong with me, and only me, that I should be able to talk myself out of. All these full-on feelings, the state of mind I was in, this dark cloud I was in. I was so ashamed that I couldn’t get over it myself, because of all that I had. I thought, ‘How dare I feel like this when I have two healthy children, a husband, a family that supported me, a house…’ And this was what would go over and over in my head.
I didn’t stop and think for a moment, ‘Hang on a minute, maybe there is something not quite right here in my mental wellbeing.’ I think I was completely suffocated and in a dark dark cloud of shame and that stopped me from getting any help and therefore knowing much earlier that what I had was PND and that it wasn’t a fault of mine, I wasn’t a terrible mother, I wasn’t a failure because I was feeling this. It wasn’t just me that felt like this…but I didn’t know that.
Nat: What was it that triggered you to go to the doctor? Because sometimes in our minds we think that we might have PND but we’re not 100% sure. So if you didn’t know about PND at that stage, what was your intention for going to the doctor?
Lizzy: Well in my family, how I grew up, you don’t ask for help. You don’t get help. My grandfather was a dairy farmer and he would be out in the field and chop his finger off and just keep going. You know, like totally stoic. It’s a really big deal to even take paracetamol in my family. So for me, it was a big deal to actually ask for help, to admit something was wrong.
I remember being on the floor and I was often in that same position on the floor. You know the old leaning against the wall, looking around at stuff, like I was just incapable of doing anything. There was stuff everywhere, kids screaming and my husband Felix came home and I remember him grabbing my hand and pulling me up to standing and looking me in the eye and saying to me in a very kind way, but also with a bit of desperation, like he didn’t know what to do, ‘You know, you falling apart means that this whole family is falling apart, so can you please go and get some help.’
And there was something about those words… I think sometimes you find it in yourself to go and get help. Sometimes someone else tells you at the exact right time, or someone says something and it just clicks and I thought, ok I’m going to call the doctor. But I tell you I called and I really remember these intense feelings of failure that I had to go and see a doctor because I was not coping in motherhood.
Nat: Where do you think that comes from? Because I know that it’s so common, I felt exactly the same way. I was the shittest mother ever, I was such a failure, how could I not even parent properly? I couldn’t adult properly. But when you think about it, no one said that motherhood was meant to be easy, and I wonder is it because we see everyone else out there and they’re adulting properly and then we feel like we can’t? It sort of blows my mind a little bit that we have so much shame and guilt around having to ask for help.
Lizzy: For me, I feel like it was pretty much all in my own head, rather than me looking around too much. I feel like I had set up these super high expectations because I wanted to be good at it, like I’d managed to be with most of the other things in my life. Motherhood was this next career role and I was going to be really good at it.
I looked at my mum and she always managed to stay so calm, she was amazing, so I thought I was totally failing because I was losing it all the time. I do remember also looking around and thinking, everyone else is coping. Everyone else has got this together. No-one else here in this playgroup is on the absolute brink of tears and if anything goes wrong has to race out the door because they feel so on edge and embarrassed. And it’s the price you pay for not opening up to anyone, because then no-one opens up to anyone and it’s this vicious cycle.
But I’m not quite sure why we have such high expectations of ourselves. I remember reading a lot of parenting books that made me feel even worse. There was no social media then for me, so I remember perhaps seeing something on tv or movies or whatever it was. But I really think when it came down to it, it was what I had set up for myself. To be this perfect mother, this earth mother, who could cope. And the fact that I wasn’t, had a real impact on how I felt about myself.
Nat: You know I really love that and it’s why I want this podcast to be so real. Because using life’s experiences can also be transferred over to business. I feel a lot of businesses fail because they think they’re doing it wrong, or they feel like they’re failing or they’re just having too many shit days in a row and they put these expectations on themselves. But that’s like totally normal in business. There’s so many ups and downs and it’s really just about riding the waves of each. It’s sort of like that in motherhood too. There’s always going to be ups and downs but we don’t just quit and say, ‘Well shit this is too hard.’ So I love how we can use life’s experiences and then twist and skew them into business and use them to power us forward. And that’s why I want this podcast to be so real. To let everyone know what it really is like running a business, so that when they have their days as well, they’ll think ‘this is normal’, not ‘this is not normal’.
Lizzy: Yeah, motherhood turns us into even more remarkable businesswomen.
Nat: What would you say were the triggers for you? Was it sleep deprivation? Was it just these expectations you had? Can you piece together how it unfolded for you?
Lizzy: Yes, so there was some situational stuff. I was living in LA at the time. My husband was having a hard time with work. And it’s a really really tough town when you’re an actor or in that industry, so he was dealing with a lot of stuff. My second baby wasn’t planned. I was breastfeeding and on the mini pill so I was actually 13 weeks pregnant before I realised! So here I was saying, ‘Right I’m going to get myself back into shape.’ I’d started going to this really hard core boot camp class in LA and I was there doing all these full on crunches thinking I’m going to get rid of my stomach and all this stupid stuff, but I was actually pregnant, so not the best timing. I don’t think we were in the most ideal place together in our relationship to have another baby.
And then Ruby, my second daughter, was born accidentally at home. She was actually my second accidental home birth, Stella was my first one. We came home from LA to have her and we were staying at my parent’s place. My father was totally paranoid that we were going to have another accidental home birth. He had the numbers for the helicopters there because the hospital was 40 minutes away. I didn’t make it to the hospital – AGAIN – so I gave birth myself. Felix was there for the last 5 minutes, but two pushes and she was born on my parent’s bathroom floor. She opened her eyes straight away and it was like she never closed them again. You know how you’re supposed to get this amazing 24 hour period initially? Well there was none of that.
I went to the hospital, this was in the middle of the night, and she wasn’t really sleeping and I wasn’t sleeping but I didn’t ask any of the nurses there for any help. I thought I should be able to do it all on my own, it’s my second baby. I didn’t ask them to take her for little bits just so I could get some sleep. Nothing. I just did the whole thing on my own. ‘How are you Lizzy, are you coping?’ ‘Yeah Yeah I’m good.’ So yeah, she didn’t sleep. Before I had her I was actually in a pretty bad head space as well. I felt completely alone in it, just with the situation I was in. I felt alone in my pregnancy and I started before Ruby was born heading into a bit of a downward spiral emotionally. Feeling much much darker than I ever had.
Nat: That’s a really dangerous place to be just before you have a baby isn’t it? Because then a baby comes and it completely blows up your whole world. So if you’re already sliding down and then you’ve got a baby to contend with on top of that…
I remember bizarrely enough, you know you talked about that initial time when they’re supposed to be sleeping? Rory actually hardly woke up for the first 7 days. It freaked me out so much that I took him to the doctor saying I think my baby’s sleeping too much! I wish so much that I had just enjoyed it, because from the minute he actually did wake up, he did not go back to sleep for 2 years!
I just think it’s so bizarre how everything unfolds. But I can see that if you were in a dark place already, and then you have a baby, and especially when it doesn’t go to plan and having all that situational stuff around it. I think sometimes people think to have PND you have to have gone through all these horrific life events, but sometimes it’s just a sequence of things that we didn’t expect that rocks us a bit, and then it manifests from there.
Lizzy: You know the midwife at the hospital when I had my appointment before Ruby was born, and by the way, it was an awesome birth, I was there doing the full fist pump afterwards, it was awesome. I felt great! But the midwife at that appointment, had made me promise that before I went back to LA I’d get some help. Because when I went and saw her I was a bit of a mess, a crying mess, and I told her some of what was going on. But I didn’t get help. And I went back to LA and it was only probably a week later when it started to go really bad in my head. My eldest Stella started crying in her cot when Ruby was asleep, and that’s when the voices started. I’m going to kill myself. I’m going to kill myself.
Nat: That’s just what I was about to hit you with next. What were your lowest points? PND is so much more than just feeling shit. It literally takes our minds to another place. What did that look like for you?
Lizzy: It’s interesting because when I first heard those words in my head, it was so foreign to anything I’ve ever said to myself. I’m an incredibly positive person, and I heard those words and it wasn’t like it was this big shock. I wasn’t thinking, ‘Oh my god this is terrible, I have to go and tell someone.’ I was just like, ‘Yes, this is it.’ It felt so comforting. Yes, I’m going to kill myself. I’m going to kill myself. I’m going to kill myself. And I didn’t then think how am I going to kill myself? It was more just that yep, that’s my out, everything will be ok, I’m going to kill myself. And so any time the shit hit the fan or anything, that was my comforting mantra. And it took me so long to admit that to anyone. When I went and saw my doctor I didn’t even tell her that.
Nat: I didn’t either. They asked me and I know they hinge everything on that. When they ask, ‘Have you had suicidal thoughts?’ and you answer yes, they will handle you in a completely different way than if you say no. And then the next question they always ask is, ‘Have you put a plan into place?’
Lizzy: I never put a plan into place.
Nat: Mmm neither did I.
Lizzy: But when I look back now I think, woah. The very rare times that now in my head pops up that voice going I’m going to kill myself, it really rocks me and I think, ok, you’ve gotta do something here. But I look back at the amount of my day that I was repeating that and yeah…it really shocks me.
Nat: I think the scariest thing about that is that you said it felt so comforting, you know? It’s really really scary where the mind can take you. So what happened when you got to the doctor? Did they do the Edinburgh Scale of Depression test? Did they recommend medication?
Lizzy: I can’t remember if she did that test with me. I know I’ve done it. I know when I went and saw another doctor because we were living somewhere else, I did that test, but that first appointment feels a bit of a blur. But she gave me a prescription for antidepressants. She said to me, ‘You have got postnatal depression, I’m very sure. Here’s a prescription for antidepressants.’ She also said to me, ‘You know when you get on a plane and they tell you to put your oxygen mask on first? That’s what you have to do.’ And I think that was the last thing she said, and that’s what I remember. I think I was also incredibly rocked by having a prescription in my hand for antidepressants. Even though I knew people who were on them, I didn’t kind of think, ‘No no no you can’t have antidepressants anybody else.’ I didn’t have any judgement about them, but when it was for me, I just couldn’t believe that here I was with someone thinking that I had depression. I’m not someone who has depression! I’m a happy joyous person who’s just got to get over it.
Nat: I feel like that prescription, for me, symbolised failure. I had it literally in my hand, it wasn’t in my mind anymore. The visual representation I had failed as a mother. And the doctor was very well versed in saying, no, you need it, it’s going to help you, and all that type of stuff. I feel like every person who sits in that chair and gets a script given to them all feel exactly the same way. But a couple of months on, once my medication kicked in, I seriously loved it. My whole perspective changed on it. And that’s probably what I would really love anyone to know that’s listening to this and needs to go to the doctor and get that prescription. It is going to feel like you’ve hit rock bottom, but give it a couple of months and assuming it all works out well for you, you’re going to love the shit out of that Zoloft for giving you your life back. Or the Lexapro, whichever one. But I don’t think you took it did you?
Lizzy: No. This is where I get a bit nervous talking about it because everyone is so different. I’m not here saying, ‘I didn’t take it, no one needs to take it.’ That’s not my message or what I say to anyone at all. But no I didn’t take them.
Nat: And you know what? I think this is a really good conversation for us to have, because everyone is different and things work for different people. For me, I loved it. But I then got myself to a point where other things were able to replace it, like exercise, mindfulness and being present, self-care, and I was able to get off it. So if there’s anyone that’s able to bypass medication, more power to them. You obviously clawed your way back out of it without medication. So how did you do that?
Lizzy: It was that oxygen mask trigger. Because when I got home and I just sat on the end of my bed and I had the prescription there on my bedside table and I knew all my family were going to race through the door really soon. That’s when I was, ‘Ok, oxygen mask, what can my oxygen mask be?’ And nothing came to me straight away. But I think I just took that moment and closed my eyes and just took this breath – I’ll never forget that breath, it’s like I breathed out for the first time in so long, and I just saw it, I heard it, I knew. Move, you’ve gotta move. That can be your one little thing. That can be your oxygen mask. You have totally stopped doing anything for yourself. You have put everyone else and everything else before your own wellbeing because isn’t that what you’re supposed to do as a mother? That’s what I thought you were supposed to do as mothers.
So there was just this little thought in my that said, ‘Ok, try something else first; try that oxygen mask first.’ And for me that thing was movement, exercise, and that came from being a dancer. And that’s what used to give me so much joy and I totally lost those feelings of any kind of real joy. I was able to do a lot of fake joying but not of real ones. So that’s what I’m going to do, and somehow, I just got this little feeling of determination and it was definitely something about that prescription and I was like, Ok, you’re going to sit there for a little bit. Maybe a day, maybe a week, maybe even 2 weeks, and I’m going to see if I can do something else first. I’m going to see what I can do. And that’s when I decided I’m going to do some kind of exercise. At that moment, I didn’t know how I was going to do it because I had zero motivation and I had the kids around me all the time. I didn’t have any spare money, I didn’t have the ability to just walk out the door whenever I wanted to like I always had done when I’d exercised and went and moved my body in some way, but that’s what I decided to do.
Nat: In hindsight as well, I would have to say, because I’ve been off my medication for about 2 years now, the way that I know for sure that I’ve been able to stay off it and maintain it is exercise. I honestly think that exercise is just as powerful, if not even more powerful than medication, for so many different reasons. It was just the exercise didn’t come to me straight away, it was like 3 months after. Whereas you obviously implemented that really quickly and I can definitely see and relate to how powerful that was in helping you resurface to ‘you’ again.
Lizzy: Yeah and what you’re saying is backed up now by so much research, so many studies. Exercise is coming to the forefront of prevention and treatment of depression, along with a whole other pile of things.
Nat: I feel it. I still make myself go running or to the gym 3 or 4 times a week. Sometimes I’ll walk out the door feeling like I’m totally losing my shit and the laptop is going to go flying through the window because I’ve worked myself up into such a state. And I start running and I put my music on and it almost feels like instant relief. It’s like I can breathe again and all those negative feelings and that anxiety just fade away and it’s just the road and my feet running and I seriously come back almost a different person. I can refocus on my day and be so much more productive and I can handle everything. Exercise has been so instrumental for me in growing a successful business and staying sane as a mum as well. That’s why I absolutely love everything that you do, and when your Facebook Lives with you exercising pop up I’m like ‘Yep!’ And I love so much that you talk so openly about this because as you just mentioned, it’s so instrumental in staying sane as a mum and a person.
Lizzy: And the thing is, a lot of us know we should be exercising. A lot of us know that this is probably going to be good for me, but I think that when you’re a mum, at different stages for all of us, we forget to put on our oxygen mask on first. So many women that I talk to think that exercise is not actually possible in their lives at that moment. Whether that’s because of a mental headspace, or time or money or all those things that we tell ourselves, also that thing that we have set up of what exercise has to be. Exercise for me has to be go out and go for a run. I have to go and do my 90 minute Pilates class and when there’s times in our lives that that isn’t possible for various reasons, that’s when so many of us stop. I certainly did. And I think that time in my life made me completely have to shift my mindset of exercise. That it didn’t necessarily have to be all these rules. It didn’t have to be 60 minutes, it didn’t have to be full on intensity, it didn’t have to transform my body, I just had to move in whatever kind of way I could and I had to lose this all-or-nothing approach that I had with it.
Nat: Yeah we think we have to wait for the perfect time, like when we feel like exercising. But the thing I realised is that a lot of the time I don’t feel like it and I never say to myself, ‘Oh I’m going to go for a massive 60 minute run up that steep hill and get really puffed out,’ but if I say to myself, ‘I’m just going to put on my music, take a few steps out the door and see how I feel’, I always feel like running. And that’s why I love what you do so much because I know that sometimes we get so blocked and we have these limiting beliefs about how exercise should be or what we need to do, but you are just like tearing that whole perception down and you’re like, I’m doing this shit in my kitchen and if I can do it so can you! And it only takes two minutes, and I think that’s so powerful to change the psyche around how exercise should be.
Lizzy: Yeah because action precedes motivation. It’s usually not motivation first. And those times I have felt at my lowest, post that time where I was at rock bottom, I know that is my signal to myself that I have to take action. When I totally don’t feel like doing anything at all, I know that’s when I need to do something the most. Like when I feel there’s no way I’m going to move my body, there’s no way I’m going to go and do this thing for my business today, I don’t want to do it, I can’t be bothered. That’s when you’ve gotta go do this or you’re going to start going down in a downward spiral. What’s going to keep you going up, what’s going to keep your wellbeing and business thriving is that action before any kind of motivation.
Nat: And that really just comes down to awareness doesn’t it and being aware of how we’re feeling and aware of things that trigger us so that then we can take action to stop ourselves from falling down even further. And it’s really funny how those triggers come into play. Like Rory, when he was little had a lot of excema and a lot of asthma and a lot of croup and he’s always been my complicated baby, but we’ve had a fairly good run for the last year. But just last week it all flared up again and it really bought those feelings back and those emotions like when he was a baby. But this time at least, thank God he can just tell me how he’s feeling, he’s four and a half, instead of crying like he used to. But instantly I felt myself and I felt those triggers and I said, right I’m going exercising, I’m out the door, I need to go meditate, I need to put my self-care plan back into place to ensure I stay above the line. So I think awareness of how we are feeling and managing that and putting an action plan into place is really instrumental.
Lizzy: Yeah, being aware of that little voice as well is so good. Like when that little voice is saying, no no don’t do anything today, do something tomorrow. And you go, hold on a minute, that’s that little excuses voice, that’s that little self-sabotaging kind of voice that for some reason isn’t wanting me to do the things that are going to make me thrive and fly, because it’s worried about what’s going to happen if I’m really successful. I’ve become so aware of this little voice of mine. I’ve got a few. There’s that awful body demon voice that comes back and haunts me from time to time from my dancing days; then there’s the voice that tells me, oh no don’t do it, you really should be hanging out with your children, you really should be finishing off that deadline that you’re trying to get to… And then that other voice that tells you everything that you’re doing wrong and it’s not good enough. Who are you to think you can write a book?
I’ve become so aware of that voice, and going hold on a minute, you might not actually be speaking the truth. I can’t necessarily take what you’re saying as Gospel. You could be wrong, and no I’m not going to listen to you anymore. I do that with all my inner voices now. I say, ‘No I’m not going to listen, I’m going, sorry. And the fact that we are having this conversation together, my inner voice and I, this is wasting my time.’ If I start having this conversation I know I have to get up and go. If I’m lying in bed in the morning and I’m wanting to get up and exercise in some way and that voice starts up, I’m like, ‘No if we’re starting to have a conversation we’ve got to end it right now and I’ve got to get out of here and go do something for me.’
Nat: There’s a book where I’ve learned about that – Ekhart Toll and The Power of Now. Have you ever read it? It’s amazing and he talks about that and the thing is we all think that voice is us but it’s actually our mind. And in the book, he goes on to say that that voice is actually separate. We are so controlled by that monkey chatter in our mind and then realising that it’s actually separate and it doesn’t have our best interests at heart is the catalyst for being able to live and not go down that spiral. It is usually always fuelled by negative emotions and the sooner we learn how to separate that voice from us and be able to do what you just said, and for me, I think that voice is just being a bit of an asshole to me right now, I’m just not going to listen to you, and take ourselves above it, it completely changes everything. We stop being ruled by our minds and this monkey chatter, and for me I was able to stay a little bit more sane when I realised it which was really instrumental, and he talks about that a lot.
Lizzy: And then you can flip it a bit too and put in the work of okay, what do I want to be saying to myself? So every time I’d look in the mirror and lift up my shirt and go ugggh, look at your body, you’ve let yourself go and you’re hopeless. So you’re going to stop doing that now and every time you look in the mirror you say, my body is a miracle. It’s that work when you hear that voice at certain times. For me, the most recent one every time I open up my laptop to write is that voice going, ‘Come on, you’re not a writer. You’ve never written a book before, this isn’t any good.’ And that’s why when I open it now I say something to myself like, ‘This book is going to be a big success’, or ‘This is a really important message’, and you actually then just try to train your brain more into listening to the positive rather than the negative, but man it takes some work.
Nat: The other thing I realised as well is that it’s always continuing work. Just because we nail that voice once doesn’t mean that it won’t pop up 5 minutes later, so that was a big thing for me, realising that actually it’s a continuous basis. But really that voice fuels fear and overwhelm and confusion and it stops us from doing so many things that we want in life and the biggest thing I say to myself every time I think to myself what if it goes wrong… well what if it goes right and all of the amazing things happen and what if none of the shit things happen? For some reason we are so programmed to think about what if it goes wrong? But I always flip it and ask, what if it can go right?
Lizzy: I think that there’s a lot of people listening who would love a book by Tara Mohr called Playing Big, a fantastic book. For anyone who’s kind of feeling like perhaps they’re holding themselves back a bit. As women, how do we get the courage to play big? And she talks a lot about the inner critic and also finding your inner mentor, so a really good book to read.
Nat: So, how did Two Minute Moves start? You’ve chatted about how you pulled yourself out of PND with exercise. What happened then?
Lizzy: Well Two Minute Moves was that first little step of exercise. The next day I put on a show for my kids, and then I went into my kitchen and said right, you’re going to move. I put my hands on my kitchen bench, so that was my ballet bar, back at my happy place at the ballet bar that I hadn’t visited for so long and I started moving. And that involved doing a few Plie which are little leg bends. I put my leg behind me and raised it up and down. Then I started doing a few push ups at the kitchen bench, and a couple of minutes later, Stella screamed out to me needing something, and that was it, that was all the time that I had. But it was this crazy thing that happened in that moment and I felt something and it was hope. It was like this little bubble down deep and here was something that I could do every day for me that really, what could get in the way of that? Time, no. Energy, no. Motivation, no. Having to leave the house, no. Here was my little thing because there was something about even just those few push ups at my kitchen bench, I just felt a little bit of strength and it was a different strength to picking up my kids strength and pushing the stroller strength. It was totally me doing something just for me.
And I think it was those little tiny feelings and the next day I went, do that again, you’ve got to do that again. Next day, do it again, do your 2 minutes again. And I just started doing it every day. And it wasn’t like this 7 day transformational thing. It was months of doing that little thing and some days I would do 10 minutes, some days maybe even 20 minutes, some days 2 minutes, some days 1 minute. But I made a commitment to myself that every single day I was going to do one little thing and as I started doing that, that’s when I went, Ok I need to go and get some more help and that’s when I went to see a counsellor. That’s when I started thinking I need to tell a friend about this. I need to actually be a bit more real here so I started talking to a few friends. I started opening up a bit more to my husband and it was just this little thing that created this huge ripple effect and made this big game changer over this time.
Nat: It just whispers to you doesn’t it. This little tiny speck of hope or strength. It just whispers. It was sort of like that for me although mine wasn’t hope it was sort of like realisation. I’d just had the biggest fight with my husband in the car sitting in 3 lane traffic. I was so angry and so frustrated and we had the biggest fight in the car and I turned around and saw both my kids just sitting there and I thought, ‘Oh my God, what have I just said and done in front of them?’ I actually was getting out of the car as I looked at them, and I jumped out and we were in the middle lane and I didn’t even look so I could have got hit and I was so in a fit of rage and I was walking like a crazy lady up Mona Vale Road for anyone in Sydney, and I thought holy shit, I don’t have any money and I don’t have my phone and I’m forever away from home and what am I going to do? What am I doing? And it all hit me and then my husband thank God went and parked up ahead and I got back in.
And we got back home and I looked out the window and he was pushing Charlotte on the swing and he just looked so upset, so sad. The look on his face, and even Charlotte wasn’t happy and everyone just looked miserable and I realised, nup, this is not going to be the way that my life is going to continue. I’m making my family miserable, I’m miserable and it was just this little thing that whispered to me that enough is enough. And like you I just took that little sliver that popped into my mind and grew it. So I think that that’s a big thing. I think for anyone who is feeling like what we went through, it’s just finding that moment and using it to pivot from…
Lizzy: I love that thing you know, to use it to grow… you grew from that, because I love that kind of visualisation. Every little thing that we do, even though it may feel like nothing and insignificant and really what’s the point, that’s really not going to change anything, but it’s like this little drop of water you give to a plant and then you do another one and another one and slowly that plant or …. My daughters love to talk about filling the bucket, and it does, eventually you’re going to get a full bucket, even from that tiny little drop. But first you have to put one drop in. You have to put the first drop in. I really wanted this big change straight away. I wanted the magic pill, the magic button, but it doesn’t exist or if it does it doesn’t feel like it’s particularly sustainable. Whereas this way, this growing little things every day.. whether that’s for yourself, your mental, physical wellbeing, but also for your business. I feel like I’ve been really able to take that on board, even on those days where I have got so much other stuff going on. You know, maybe kids are sick, something has come up with friends or something. If I can just do that one thing for my business each day, then that’s ok, because I’ve done that one thing, I haven’t stopped. Because it’s the stopping often that leads to more stopping and more stopping and then it’s harder to start back up again. And it all just feels too hard and it’s not worth it and I don’t have the time or the energy and I’m never going to get where I want to get so I may as well do nothing.
Nat: Yeah, 100%. And I also feel like sometimes we do fall off the wagon and sometimes the kids are sick and it stops us from being able to work on the business and execute the day that we thought we were going to execute and I feel like for me, something that really helped was that if I felt like I didn’t get what I wanted to do done, if I just forgave myself and said tomorrow is a new day, I’m going to try again tomorrow. And that really helped me get through those days. Everything just felt like it was not going the way it was meant to and instead of getting so stressed out and hung up on it, I just said to myself I forgive myself and tomorrow is a new day.
So such an amazing story Lizzy, it’s so inspiring. Fill me in to where Two Minute Moves is at now.
Lizzy: About two and a half years ago I asked myself, ‘Ok, if I could do anything what would I be doing?’ I was walking along the beach (of course I was walking, I was exercising because that’s when all the answers come to me!) and I thought I want to film my workouts. And I want to be in front of the camera and I want to be sharing this. And two and a half years ago I started doing that.
I started filming it, putting some videos on YouTube, doing some challenges and it just started growing and resonating with people which was really really cool to know that something that had helped me so much could help others too. So that was just like this every day of doing these little two minute moves and putting them out there in the world and then I started to think what am I going to do with this business, where do I want to be? And I knew I wanted to do more presenting on camera. I knew I wanted to do more workouts and I also had discovered a love of speaking, getting up in front of audiences and sharing the story, whether it was in front of audiences live or in front of a camera. So I sat down and went ok, I need a plan. Let’s write a 5-year plan of what’s going to help me to get to where I want to be. And as I was going through this plan it was very clear to me that what I needed in this plan to make some things happen and make the impact that I wanted to make – I needed a book. I needed a book for my business so that I could have some credibility, to open the doors to speaking engagements, to open the doors to a whole lot of things that I saw for other people who had written books, it was happening for them. And also on the other hand, I saw that books reach people as well and there’s something powerful. And the other thing is when you’ve got a book, I can talk about the book and get press and publicity for the book which in turn helps me to spread my message.
So I thought I’ve got to start writing this book! And I told every single person that I knew that I was writing this book so I had full on accountability. I announced it on social media and every morning at 5am I just got up and went out for a run and voice memoed this book for about 45 minutes to an hour, every day for a year, and at the end of that I had the book. I ended up getting a publisher for the book. I thought I was going to self publish it, so that was a big shock to me that I was able to get a publisher. So that’s been my huge huge focus of getting that book out there and next week I’m starting to film my online Two Minute Moves show where I go around to the homes or workplaces of special guests and we do a Two Minute Move together and I ask them to share their little thing, their little step that’s under two minutes or whatever it is that’s their big game changer in their day. So it’s just all about finding out what everyone else’s little thing is.
Nat: I love that and having known you for a little while now I can see how it’s so much about motivating and creating a movement and inspiring. I once heard someone ask whether you were doing it to be rich or famous and those words just felt so crass, for what it is. I feel like I get so much fulfilment out of what I do as well and in terms of wanting to inspire other people and use our stories to help other people, I feel like the book is strategy for you but it’s so much more. It’s really about creating a movement and engaging and it’s really heart centred as opposed to anything else. I saw the pages on your book and I thought oh my god this is like you, it’s so inspirational. I so love everything that you’re doing, I think it’s amazing!
Lizzy: Thank you so much. Well it’s been an amazing process on so many levels writing this book. I really recommend everyone write a book! It’s really bloody tough but I tell you what, it’s been so tough and so full on and so many highs and lows but it’s got me so clear on what my message is because every day I was writing I really had to think about what is it that I really wanted to say to the world. What is my message that is going to help people the most? Once it’s on the page it has to be real and authentic and it’s been an amazing thing for my business on so many levels.
Nat: I can only imagine how hard it is. I’ve had an eBook sitting there for 7 months that I seriously just can’t…it’s 75% finished now, and that’s just an eBook. An actual book I can only imagine! But that’s why you should be so proud of what you’ve achieved because it’s bigger than anything and yes, it’s completely going to uplevel everything for you. I feel like you’re going into a new transition zone and everything is going to change to something even more amazing and all your hard work is paying off. You’re a published author Lizzy!
Lizzy: I feel the same. It’s a really nice time in my business. I was just saying to my husband the other day, I feel like this hustle, this really intense hustle is about to start paying off in a big way and I’ll continue to hustle – I’m such a hustler, but you have to be in business. But it is at this nice point. There’s quite a few times along the way where I could have given up so it’s a nice feeling knowing that I kept at it, I kept going and that exciting times are ahead.
Nat: Can you put it into words, that feeling? That feeling of fulfilment and accomplishment. Can you describe it somehow, what it feels like to have achieved success in your business?
Lizzy: Woah I feel proud. I feel proud but always think of those words, Playing Big. I feel like I am ready, so ready now to play big and to not play small. I think motherhood at the beginning made me think I had to play small and that I couldn’t do those things that I wanted to do. I had to hide that part of myself that wants to be a performer, that wants to be on screen, that wants to be on stage, that wants to be in front of thousands of people. For some reason I thought I couldn’t be like that anymore if I was a mother and it’s through this process I’ve gone, that’s crazy! Of course I can do all those things. Of course I’m capable. I’m course I’m allowed to. Just because I’m a mother doesn’t mean that I can’t go forth and fly.
Nat: Totally. I think you should even more so. I think we need to teach our children how to go after the things they want. And so many times people say to me I feel so guilty because I’m working so much etc. I know I’m working a lot too but I know I’m showing my daughter to go after her dreams. I had a friend say to me once because we were talking about PND and she was talking about self-care and going to the gym, ‘I actually want to show my daughters how to look after themselves, so I need to show them how I look after myself.’ And that was just one of those moments where I went, ‘Wow!’ I’m not serving my children by not going after my dreams. I’m not serving them by not looking after myself. I’m not serving my daughter by not doing what I need to do to function and to feel fulfilment, and when she sees me doing that she’ll know that it’s ok for her to do that as well.
Lizzy: And that along the way it’s ok to feel guilt. I like to think of guilt now as like fear – you feel the fear and do it anyway. I feel like I just have to feel the guilt now and do it anyway. I’m probably never going to get rid of the guilt. It’s lessened because I’ve pushed through it like fear, but it just comes along for the ride and that’s ok.
Nat: And usually the most amazing things happen out of those feelings of uncomfortableness. Look at what’s come out of PND for both of us. It was hugely uncomfortable but we can look at that and play the victim or we can say, ‘Wow that was a really hard time but what did I learn from it? What did it teach me? What opportunities did it present to me while I was in that?’ I think when we start to look the times that are hard in our lives as opportunities to grow and learn, that’s when everything changes.
Lizzy: And one of my favourite quotes is “Play the heroine in your own life, not the victim.”
Nat: I love that! So Lizzy, I had thought this would go for 20 minutes, but what I’m so happy about is that I get to see you this afternoon so we will get to continue on with this conversation but I’m sure it’s probably best to wrap it up now. I’m sure people have things to do, they want to get on with their day, but for anyone who wants to check out Lizzy’s stuff, head over to Two Minute Moves. I’m just so grateful that I was able to have this conversation with you and that you came on and shared your story because I think it’s amazing and totally inspiring, so thank you.
Lizzy: Thank you so much Nat, it’s been amazing having this conversation with you. And if you are listening and you feel like you need to continue this conversation or even start a conversation I would recommend from the bottom of my heart that you go and get some help. Even if that help starts with a friend, even if it starts with sending me a message and telling me what you’re going through and knowing that you’re not alone. I am very happy to continue that conversation.
Nat: Also PANDA for anyone listening was a great support to me. They’re a PND hotline so if you are feeling like you need someone to talk to, of course message Lizzy, she’s the most beautiful person in the whole world, or me if you want to.
Lizzy: I’m a community champion for PANDA and Lifeline is also another place you can call, or the Black Dog Institute or Beyond Blue.
Nat: I think the biggest thing that I can say though is life is so amazing. It has so many amazing, beautiful opportunities in it, and use that as your inspiration to try to climb yourself out of PND because I hated that PND robbed me of my happiness and now that I have my happiness back I’m going to try my hardest not to waste another day being unhappy and not living.
Thank you so much Lizzy, I’m so grateful and I will see you on line!