The one thing that saved me

My book, Two Minute Moves, was published last year and with it came some incredible moments. After a year of a 5am hour of writing every morning, then another year of getting a publisher, working with an editor, and doing photos, then another six months of waiting for the book to launch, I was so ready to have that thing in my hands. And it was a crazy feeling when it arrived - I even filmed myself doing a dance-off with all the pent-up emotions I was feeling.

 

It would be easy for me to only reel off all the wonderful times that followed like the night I launched my book surrounded by family and friends, hosted by the divine Elka Whalan. (A gorgeous and pregnant Stacy Clare is pictured speaking here).

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Or when I discovered my love of live tv thanks to segments on Studio 10 and Today Show.

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Plus kicking some big goals by being featured in some fab mags, podcasts and blogs which you can see/listen to HERE - Pictured here is Collective Hub which has been on my wishlist and vision board for years. Photo by Tanya Lake from Two Minute Moves, the book. 

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But amongst all the amazing moments there were a lot of lows. I put a lot of pressure on myself and set very high expectations of what this book was going to do. Feeling like I wasn't living up to these expectations, I had moments of feeling incredibly dark and wanting to give it all up. My rock-bottom moment was when we had to cancel a bookstore for lack of bookings. Despite knowing this had happened to thousands of authors before me, I had been doubting myself a lot at that time and that was like the straw that broke the camel's back. Feeling like a total failure, I took a bottle of champagne to my local lookout, sat by myself and started talking to myself...

You can go back to the easier road you know. No-one is forcing you to choose this path, to put yourself out there for criticism and failure. Are you sure you want to do this?

As I sat there and breathed between long sips of my champas, it was totally clear to me what the answer was.

YES.

Why? Because the one thing that got me through all those dark times was exercise. Every night without fail I'd make myself do 20 push-ups at my kitchen bench. I'd head out for a walk despite it being the last thing I felt like doing. I kept dancing with my daughters in my kitchen every night. I know there is no way I can keep the power of exercise to myself. So here I am with lots of great things lined up for you in 2018 to keep that precious body of yours moving. 

 

Along with the moves and motivation I've got going on for you over at the @twominutemoves Instagram and Facebook pages, first up for you is a workout to get that often underused muscle - your glutes - firing and lifting from the comfort of your couch.     

With love,
Lizzy
 

ps. YouTube needs me to have 1000 subscribers before I launch my new fun, LIVE show. I'm 316 away so will you help me get there by clicking the Subscribe button while you're on my channel or clicking HERE

 

Thank you!

 

 

 

Collapsed on the couch Moves

Good Morning America got in touch with me about featuring this workout so I thought if it's good enough for an American morning show then it's good enough for you! It's also a perfect workout for this time of year when, if you're anything like me, you get to the end of your day and are sooooooo ready to crash on the couch. Maybe that's something to do with the fact my kids had 8 school or dance concerts in 4 days. 

So go ahead and lean back on the couch while you're binge-watching Netflix or checking your emails. While you're at it, try these three moves to give your core some love. 

I'll be back Feb 1st 2018 to deliver a whole lot of fitness inspiration and motivation to your inbox. Pop in your details to get your exercise and mindset back on track.

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Sharing my story to help heal the shame

Having been on the road promoting my book, I've had the opportunity to have some very intimate conversations with both people I know and people I've only just met. 

There has been both tears, laughs and mindset shifts. I think because I open up and share my story, others feel they are able to open up to me. Which is an incredible honour. 

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I remember the day when I realised I wasn't alone in how I was feeling when I had post-natal depression. I read an article by Jessica Rowe saying she had thoughts about throwing her baby out the window. I couldn't believe someone else had those same thoughts as me and was brave enough to say it. I have had a few people close to me this week open up for the first time about their experience during those first few years of motherhood. It's incredibly healing to be able to share the things that hold so much shame.

It's PNDA Awareness Week this week so my Two Minute Move is all about helping you cope with strong emotions in those moments of need. I find both moves in this workout a very powerful way to move through feelings of frustration, depression, overwhelm. anger, stress and anxiety. Watch it HERE 



I'm also a Community Champion for PANDA (Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia) and would recommend getting in touch with them if you are a parent and aren't coping. There is also Lifeline on 13 11 14. I can't tell you how hard I find it to reach out and ask for help. But if you're like me, it is so vital we work out a way to do it. Sometimes even a text to a really good friend with the words, 'Not coping', like I did very recently, can be a good place to start.

Using movement to help you cope better

When I hit my lowest point nine years ago I didn’t know I had post-natal depression, I just knew that I wasn’t coping. I didn’t want to get out of bed in the morning or leave the house during the day. I’d count down the hours until night-time and then go to bed dreading the long, sleepless hours ahead.

I was shocked at the emotions I was feeling. I was punching my brick walls with anger as I went up the stairs of our home to settle one of my daughters. Once, in a moment of fury and frustration, I stabbed a knife into a cutting board, snapping the handle off. I’ll never forget my oldest daughter’s look of terror at one of my fits of rage. I could never have imagined my own child fearing me. As I held my baby daughter in the girls’ top-floor bedroom, I would look out the window and think about throwing her out of it.

My strategy was to keep telling myself to get over it. But no matter how much I tried to convince myself that I shouldn’t be feeling this way with all that I had – two healthy children, a home, food to eat, a partner and family I could call on – I couldn’t. I didn’t tell anyone how I was feeling because I was so ashamed. There were so many people far worse off than I was, people who needed help so much more than me. I couldn’t justify asking for help. 

Most people experiencing symptoms of a mental illness don’t seek help from health services. If I had consulted my doctor or called an organisation such as LifelineBeyond BlueBlack Dog Institute or PANDA (Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia), I would have realised sooner that there were better strategies available than silence.

Physical exercise can have a powerful effect on mental health, and it’s widely considered a significant part of treatment for depression, so they may even have suggested that I start moving. 

 

Lizzy_Williamson

 

 

3 Things I learnt from my first online 'haters'

I got my first ‘haters’ online this week. 

It was actually a really great feeling. This not might be the reaction you’d expect but I got a feeling of excitement after some vicious comments started appearing on a Kidspot interview I had done. 

A few years ago when I made the decision as Brene Brown puts it to ‘step inside the arena’ and play bigger. It was at that time that I said to myself, 

‘Are you really ready for this?’ 

Because I had seen what was happening to my friends when they put themselves out there by writing books, going on tv, and had something to say and pushed through any fear to say it. They have been slammed personally and it’s pretty awful to see, especially when there are threats against them and their families.

So I asked myself, was I truly up for criticism, because I do not deal with criticism well at all. Any type of conflict situation, something that is going to result in me having to stand up for myself in the face of someone I perceive as very strong and bully-like, I’m like a little mouse. Even thinking about it my stomach starts to clench and I feel a strong desire to run away.

But when I asked myself the question and dug deep to find the answer, it was a very strong, definite YES. That’s because I want to be in the arena throwing some punches. In order to do that I know I have to be getting kicked around a bit myself. 

So I looked at these online comments, took a very deep breath (well about ten of them) and I thought, Ok. Here we go. 

1. This is a sign I’m getting somewhere. If I wasn’t getting through to people, if my message wasn't getting out there, then I wouldn’t have any ‘haters’. 

2. I need to practise compassion - what is going on in this person’s life for her to write in this way. I could feel the sadness/shame/overwhelm underneath the anger. This was not about me. Is there something I could say to make her feel understood or not alone?

3. If I’m going to be in the ring, taking punches, playing big, I have to get myself in peak condition. I have to be fit, have endurance, be well, to have the energy to be not only in the ring but also back at home with energy left for my family. To have what it takes physically and mentally to rise back up from receiving a knock out punch, I need to have my mental health in order by taking little moments to move, meditate and give back to myself. 

Because the haters going to hate, hate, hate.

I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake…

Read the interview and responses HERE which led to the Daily Mail calling me to do another interview HERE.

MyDeal.com.au - Getting back in to fitness after baby

“Setting up inflexible rules around exercise – a certain amount of time, a certain activity, burning a certain number of calories – can hold us back from taking any action at all. When I started taking little moments in my day to move, I realised that my body didn’t care about all the ‘rules’ I had set up around what exercise had to be, or what it was meant to achieve. All my body wanted was to move, however and whenever it could. It didn’t care if that meant doing nothing more than an invigorating sweep of my house or two minutes of push-ups at my kitchen bench.”

Photo Tanya Lake

Photo Tanya Lake

The book has launched!

Drumroll please.....

Two Minute Moves, the book, launches today! 

It's like my baby has finally been born.
Like any new parent, I think she is so beautiful and can't wait for you to see her! You can check her out HERE.

Here's a message I got from a reader who pre-ordered her copy:

"Your book is THE BEST and most inspiring and most non-overwhelming fitness book I've ever read! No joke, I've made some major little 2 minute changes in the past couple of days and already I am feeling so much better about myself. Have done 6 of the two minute workouts today when normally I would have done zero movement by this point. Just LOVING your book." 


First up I'll be heading to Avalon Surf Club at 10am for the Beachside Bookshop Launch. It's a free, very fun event for the whole family. Come along!

If you don't live in the Northern Beaches I hope to make it your local bookstore too. Check out upcoming events HERE and if you don't see one near you get in touch  and I'll try and make it happen. 

Plus HERE's the replay of my spot on Studio 10 if you missed it. Oh boy, did I have fun doing this. 

What's your Why?

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I was thinking about my WHY last night. Why I do what I do in my work. There were lots of answers. I want to: make a contribution, share what has helped me and what has helped others, live a fulfilled life, help those who are feeling stuck, overwhelmed, depressed. Then when I wrote down...

I want to be an example to my children

...that’s when the tears started and I had that feeling in my body that I knew I had struck a chord.

I want my kids to live a life that they love full of contribution, fulfilment and purpose.

I need to lead by example.

But I can’t do this if my energy is depleted, if I’m feeling completely stressed out, anxious and overwhelmed. Of course I want them to see that the journey is not always a smooth one, that it’s ok to have sadness, grief and anger. I want to show them how possible it is to work through the tough times.

But I want to show them it’s a journey worth taking. Not for the end result but for the road that gets you there.

I want to show them that in order to do what I want to do then I have to take care of myself. Make myself a priority. Have compassion towards myself. I want to show them that on his journey I am also nourishing myself. So that is what they do too. That is the norm.

I want to show them that to do this I need to be fit, I have to have endurance and I need to be strong physically and mentally. 

That to have the energy for my work, my friends and my family, I know I have to, as hard as this is to even write this, let alone believe it, I have to put myself first. But the thought of being at your best to give back to your family is good for banishing guilt. It’s also good for getting you out of bed in the morning. Setting that example is a driving force that gets me exercising, dancing round the house or has me setting my timer on my phone for two minutes to meditate, even when it’s the last thing I feel like doing.

I heard entrepreneur, Charlene Johnson, say when she thinks about the analogy of putting your oxygen mask on first that of course she would. I’ve never gone deeper with this thought other than yes I need to find my own oxygen mask for me. She put the focus on her children, ‘I want my children to survive, I want them to thrive’ she said in an episode of her podcast. ‘Of course I’d put my oxygen mask on first because I want them to live.’ 

What is a little moment you could do each day that’s your oxygen mask? 20 deep breaths, 20 push ups at the kitchen bench every morning, what could yours be? 

What does you making time for you, giving back to you, prioritising you, nourishing you mean for those around you that you care about the most?

For me, when I have given back to myself, I’m much more likely to read my daughters a story at night with more enthusiasm, even if it’s late. I’ll sing them an extra chorus of a song and spend an extra minute rubbing their back at night. When I’ve given back to me I can do this wth love rather than the feeling of ‘get me out of here for a glass of wine’. These are such little things but they add up to such a big difference. 

#EachMomentCounts. 

 

 

 

The little moments

How often do you give back to yourself?

The first time I did a workout at my kitchen bench was when my mindset on doing something for myself changed. Before that moment eight years ago, I thought self-care and exercise was way too hard for me. I had two little girls, was so tired, had post-natal depression so there was no way I was getting myself to that ninety minute boxing class or an hour jog I used to do. That meant I couldn't do anything, right?

If it couldn't be a certain amount of time, if I couldn't leave the house or if it wasn't going to give me certain results (e.g. the perfect body) then there was no point. In this mindset I felt completely stuck.

When I began doing a few moves at my kitchen bench, I realised that taking even a little moment to do something, no matter how small or insignificant it felt at the time, was so worthwhile. That is counted. It gave me a feeling of achievement, a boost in my self-worth for doing something for me, and that was enough to keep me coming back for more. But I know it's not easy.

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Here is a photo of a moment that was captured by my hubby on the weekend of  my daughters and I lying in sun as I gave them each a massage. I am running on overdrive at the moment with the book launch fast approaching. I've been stressed out with trying to remember to organise dinner for kids that is more than a piece of toast, been racked with guilt of the amount of hours the babysitter is looking after them and feel like I have got to the end of my day and even though o've been working my butt off I'm not exactly sure what I've achieved.

I tend to get things organised on the weekend but I looked over at my daughters as I was cleaning up in the kitchen and decided that now was the moment to take a moment. So out in the sun we went and even though the washing didn't put itself away, the emails started piling up, I had the most beautiful moment with them and for me (they fell asleep!)


I lay there thinking about the power of the moment and what it would look like if you were to find one moment in your day to give back to yourself. Not waited until you could go on a weekend health retreat, the deadline was completed, your kids were older or the house looked like something out of Home Beautiful. You just did one little achievable something that made you feel good. . 

At the end of the week:

What would that look like?
What would that feel like?
What would that do for your self-esteem?
What would that do for your self worth?

What would that do for your family?



 I'll be talking about this in my Facebook Live Session tomorrow if you want to join me at 2pm Tuesday Sydney time. Plus stay tuned in this blog for more on why each moment counts and how to take them.

Join the free Two Minute Movers Facebook Group HERE to be part of the conversation or watch the replay. 


Love Lizzy

 

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Bite-Size 'Pissed Off' Move

I have never experienced anger like I did when I had my second baby. I found myself punching brick walls, throwing packets of pasta to the floor and the shame in having my kids look at me terrified as I screamed the house down. One day I felt so pissed off that I started doing these kicks in my kitchen. It was in that moment that I realized that a much better way to deal with my strong emotions was to move through them. That moment was a game changer. These are still my favourite alternative moves to slamming doors or an entire block of chocolate.

'Making a Cup Of Tea' Moves with my Mum

Tell me I'm going to look and feel like my mum in 28 years and I will be one happy lady. My mum is a Two Minute Mover - 'Wine Bottle Workouts' when she gets her from her evening walk, 'Dips' as she watches the news every night and she seizes so many moments in her day to be active. 

She has been looking after my daughters for a week while I have been in book pre-launch-land. She has so much energy for them and that is one of the biggest things that keeps me inspired to move. I want to be a grandma like her - full of vitality, joy and have a body that doesn't hold me back.

We were about to make a cup of tea when I asked if she'd film a Two Minute Move with me. I'm so glad she said yes as I loved watching this back and I'm so glad I can share these two fast-working moves with you.

 

 

'In Bed' Moves

"Do you Two Minute Move in bed, Lizzy?"

That's the question I was asked by a PT client the other day. My answer? 

Of course I do and so can you! 

Here are two of my favourite moves for you to do when you're in bed reading a book or scrolling through Facebook. Not only is it a great workout for your core but it's also a divine treat for your back, chest and shoulders as you open up and stretch out a tired/cranky/end-of-day body.  

Top Tip: Do up a bookmark with 'Two Minute Moves tummy time' written on it to remind you to do these exercises when you open up your book in bed. 

'SodaStream Bottles' Moves

It's Friday which usually means #WineBottleWorkout time but I'm aware that not everyone has wine stocked in their cupboard (hard to believe but true) so I wanted to demonstrate you can use non-alcoholic bottles to get an awesome arm workout too!  It just so happens I was sent a whizz-bang SodaStream machine which now sits on my kitchen bench as a shiny reminder to do a few moves everyday with my soda bottles (which no longer end up in the bin - super happy about that).  

These four moves are sooooooooo good for your tricep muscles. Your triceps are an often underused part of your arm - the bit that tends to jiggle when you shake your arm. Now there is nothing wrong with a bit of a jiggle, we're not barbie dolls after all, but it feels really nice to switch on this part and have it strong.  

Top Tip: Put a post-it note on your bottles to remind you to do a little lifting before you do a bit of drinking. 

'High Intensity Housework' Moves

This is how you get fit and feeling good.

It's High Intensity Interval Training and my favourite time to do it is when I'm doing the housework. I've just done this workout now as I've been finding it really hard to get going again after a super-relaxing holiday. But if there's anything I've learnt from these Two Minute Moves is that the less I feel like doing something is the time I need to do it the most. 

This Two Minute Move is for when you have a broom in your hand. Instead of feeling annoyed or frustrated with all the mess, you're going to feel energised, motivated and ready to rock the rest of your day. Let's do it.