My Own Health Journey….

 

Exercise

I graduated as an aerobics teacher back in the 80’s, when headbands, leotards and  80s music were all the rage. Even though my leotard days are over, I’ve been teaching on and off since then.

I was fortunate to be part of the genesis of boot camps here in Perth, Western Australia.

My initiation into this intense training was a participant, and I reached the elite squad, of which I’m very proud. Particularly as I was an unfit mum of two small children at that time.

Having reached these heights, I was invited to train as a gym instructor and then a group fitness instructor. All under the watchful and supportive eye of the boot camp’s head trainer, an ex SAS soldier. AAGGHH!!!

At the peak of my time as a trainer, I was running circuit training and boot camps for up to 50 participants. I also ran STEP aerobic groups and Hi/Lo aerobic classes- great memories for me and I’m sure for you too.

Last year I decided to upgrade my qualifications, and am now the proud recipient of certificates in Personal training and group exercise training. Whilst there’s a lot about exercise that hasn’t changed, there’s even more that has.

I came to realize, in the weeks following the marathon run, that there was a need for an all-in-one approach to improve physical and psychological health. Something that hadn’t been done in exactly this way before.

With this new experience and information, I am poised and ready to deliver a cutting-edge exercise protocol, as part of the Living Well with Arthritis program.

 

Mindful awareness

I’ve been committed to my own mindfulness practice for over 30 years. I’ve explored the practice of Mindfulness more deeply during the last 10 years, attending mindfulness/meditation retreats and conferences around the world, including the U.K. and France. The most recent was in Boston, U.S.A., where I attended a personal, 6-week silent Mindfulness retreat at the Insight Meditation Society, Forrest Refuge.  

My daily mindfulness practice has deepened over the years, and my moment by moment experiences of life have been enriched. I’ve also had extensive mindfulness teacher training over the last 20 years. I teach mindfulness skills to the clients in my private Clinical Psychology practice, and also run group mindfulness courses.

 

Self-Compassion 

The advent of evidence-based modalities to improve self-compassion, which includes mindfulness and self-kindness as core skills, has been most welcome. I have participated in several training programs including Mindful Self-Compassion (K. Neff & C. Germer) for my own experience of self-compassion.

I’ve also been teaching self-compassion in group settings, as well as with my 1:1 clients in my private practice in Fremantle.

 This mix of my personal exploration of both mindfulness and self-compassion and experience as a therapist teaching mindfulness and self-compassion, places me in a good position to offer the highly effective modalities of mindfulness and self-compassion, as part of the Fit Tone Flex program.

Interestingly, in the early 90’s, I developed a similar program that involved running aerobic and meditation exercises in the same class. It was a great idea, forward-looking, and was being met positively by those in the industry.

Unfortunately, due to family-related issues happening at that time, and a crisis of personal confidence, it didn’t progress past the planning stages.

But, I am grateful that much has happened in the last 25+ years, especially around my relationship with myself. Someone, who has known me for a long time, described this perfectly: 

“You are living, vibrating proof that with a dedication to living a healthy life, good things happen to mind, body and heart.”

I want to pass on what I have learned and support my clients to find the strength, motivation and courage they need to make their own positive changes in their physical and mental health.

And now, with my extensive background as a Clinical Psychologist, Mindfulness Practitioner, Personal Trainer, and Group Exercise Instructor, a nurse and woman, I would like to invite you to become a Fit Healthy Grounded Woman.

“Welcome- I’m so excited to have you join me on this journey.” – Penelope

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” -Helen Keller