In this series, I interview women who boost other women’s confidence. They share their personal stories, top tips, and talk really honestly about what makes them feel great.
Here’s Rachel McGuinness, founder of Zest Lifestyle and her annual #Zestember campaign…
WHAT DO YOU DO, RACHEL?
I inspire, educate and motivate busy people who want to get healthy but don’t have time to work it out for themselves. I help them eat smart, move more, sleep well and chill out.
WHEN AND WHY DID YOU START DOING THIS?
Up until the age of 37, I was unhealthy, I was overweight (I was a serial dieter for 22 years!), unfit, smoked, drank far too much and hated my body. I had a life changing moment in front of a hotel room mirror on a business trip to Barcelona, I didn’t like what I saw. I was 3 years away from being 40, and decided I wanted to get ‘fit and forty’ and not be ‘fat and forty’.
When I got back from my trip, I started to eat healthily instead of diet; I cut right back on my drinking (weekends only); and I stopped smoking, joined a gym and got myself a personal trainer.
Three years later, I decided to make a business out of what I learnt, and work with people who are exactly like I was. In 2004 I left the corporate world behind and trained in fitness, nutrition and stress management.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR WORK?
Helping my clients transform their lives in a simple and positive way to become healthier and more energised. Inspiring people with my talks.
DO YOU NOTICE WOMEN’S CONFIDENCE CHANGE WHEN YOU WORK WITH THEM?
Sometimes it can be a few days and other times a few weeks. When some women start working with me, they don’t realise how an unhealthy lifestyle has impacted on their energy and confidence.
When you’re eating healthy food, moving your body more, sleeping better and taking time to look after number one, you feel more energised, your whole demeanour changes, for me it’s from the inside out.
HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN A CLIENT FEELS MORE CONFIDENT OR FEELS BETTER ABOUT THEIR APPEARANCE?
When they have taken control of what they’re eating, doing a bit of exercise, getting a decent night’s sleep and learning how to control their stress.
What tips would you give other women to help them feel more confident?
You have to look after number one, get help if you don’t know where to start.
WHAT HELPS YOU PERSONALLY TO FEEL MORE CONFIDENT?
I’m very much into ‘walking my talk’ as I am my own advert! I have to look after myself, but I enjoy doing it, I feel like I have a ‘blueprint’ for a healthy lifestyle. I don’t expect my clients to do anything I don’t, so apply the same principles of what I teach my clients to myself.
Seeing an image stylist was a big confidence boost for me, wearing the right colours in the styles that suit my body shape – it has saved me from making costly wardrobe mistakes! But also I feel good knowing I’m wearing colours that flatter my hair and complexion, and something that fits and flatters my figure. In my ‘larger’ days, I used to wear baggy clothes and hide my body, I don’t any more!
I like to keep my makeup simple and natural, and wear a tinted moisturiser most of the time or a light foundation in the winter.
My top tips for eating healthier – cut the carbs, watch your portion sizes and eat healthy fats.