As mums, we often feel our worlds shrink after baby, we are exhausted and hormonal, feel like we have lost our identity and financial independence and our hobbies are a thing of the past.
Rachel Collins is The Mum’s Health Coach and Founder of the #MumsEmbrace Movement. She believes that Motherhood can expand our world and she shows mums how to make that happen.
It is Rachel’s mission to help other Mums break down some of the biggest blockers to living life to the full; low energy levels, low self-esteem and Mum guilt. Get ready Mums – it’s time to embrace everything life has to offer.
Before she had kids, Rachel had a career in the National Health System (NHS) as a Project Manager.
She did a psychology degree fresh out of school but realised that she didn’t want a career in psychology.
Spurred on by the unsatisfactory treatment that her ailing grandfather received, Rachel realised she wanted to be an advocate for people who weren’t being looked after. She didn’t want to work in the existing system – she wanted to drive a change that focussed on health, rather than treatment. She entered a graduate program in the National Health system and worked her way up through management. By the time she left the NHS she was the youngest at her level of management.
Enter motherhood and some pretty big life changes.
During her maternity leave, Rachel got made redundant. This in itself was a bit of a roller coaster – she was now being paid to stay at home with her gorgeous baby.
Then came the period of questioning: who am I without that career that I worked so hard for?
Rachel was struggling with her post pregnancy body, she wanted to lose the baby weight and the post pregnancy belly, but she also knew she needed to nourish herself because she was breastfeeding a baby. She struggled with loss of identity without her career and financial independence. She felt exhausted, useless and isolated.
Turning points come into our lives in the strangest of ways and in Rachel’s case, it was a gift voucher to see an Ayurvedic doctor. At first Rachel was disappointed by the outcome: she was prescribed some herbs and dietary change. Seriously? What good could that do?
As it turns out – a lot! Rachel lost weight and had more energy. She wanted to know more. She wanted to study Ayurvedic, but only one university in the country ran the course so it was out of the question. She couldn’t spend that many hours commuting or do the required travel to India with a small baby.
Then Rachel stumbled on an article that said if we aren’t happy with how we spend our days, we won’t make good food choices. The light bulb moment!
She was bored and lacked energy so she was eating all the wrong food – biscuits, sweets and coffee (the mainstay of all exhausted breastfeeding mums I think!). The person who wrote the article studied at the Institute of Integrated Nutrition (also known as the IIN).
Rachel realised how much she missed having a vocation outside of being a mum, so she researched the IIN and knew straight away that it was for her. She enrolled almost immediately.
Studying gave Rachel something for herself and it changed everything. She was happier within herself and her role as a mother. She become her first student, changed her family’s nutrition and they all felt better for it. In Rachel’s own words, “I made some big changes to the way I designed my life. I took control of what I was eating. Not only is food our fuel and a key source of energy, our food and our mood are intricately connected. Without great nutrition you won’t have the energy or the motivation to embrace life. I worked to change my perspective on motherhood, threw the ‘should’s out the window and said bye-bye to Mum guilt. Changing your thoughts can change your life!”
With her newfound energy and zest for motherhood and life, Rachel felt ready to have another baby. She sat her final exams with the IIN with a newborn baby in the room with her. Not ideal, but Rachel was committed and she was now a qualified nutritionist.
She was also mum to two gorgeous girls under two. Yikes.
Rachel’s established good nutrition and self care habits meant she lost the baby weight quickly, maybe even a little too much so. But she wasn’t doing it for the right reasons. Her motivation was always to enable her to give more to her kids and she was burnt out. She gave too much to everyone else, both emotionally and physically, and not enough to herself.
That was a few years ago. She still eats well and has healthy habits, but she saves some of her energy for a very important cause: herself! She spends time on her hobbies and friends without feeling guilty for taking time out.
Rachel started her business when her bub was just a few weeks old and her elder daughter wasn’t yet two. I’m in awe. She worked from home around her girls and built it up as she was able. It reminds me of the saying: “If not now, then when?”.
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Rachel is particularly passionate about helping mums because she understands the struggle. It’s hard for us busy mothers to put ourselves first. The struggle is real ladies! She learned the lessons the hard way and now she shares them with other mums. Rachel believes good nutrition is the starting point of our transformation and she supports mums to get their balance and sense of self back again.
Now, Rachel’s girls are four and almost three and she runs a successful business. When I asked her how she does it she told me: The most important thing is to remember my own needs. I was burnt out when I wasn’t paying attention to myself. I’ve learned to ask for help. Self care isn’t selfish – it’s incredibly important.
I’m doing Rachel’s free energy challenge at the moment. So far, so good! I’m sticking with the challenges she has given me and they are small changes in my day that make me feel good. If you are a tired mum, it’s a free challenge that you can sign up for on her website.
My busy mum community have told me that fatigue and exhaustion are their biggest triggers for overwhelm and a huge challenge in getting things done. I love that Rachel’s own challenges have led her to helping mums to get their energy back..
You can learn more about Rachel and take her energy challenge on her website.
I’d love to hear from you if connect with Rachel and do the challenge! Leave me a comment on how you go in the energy challenge or if you have also used dietary change to become a more energetic mother.