• debsfitzpatrick


Updated: Mar 22

Becoming a mum is a blessing but it’s also a time where women start putting everyone else’s needs first. Feel Energised is about reconnecting with your body, regaining your inner core strength and confidence and feeling supported on your journey. I'm passionate about helping women create positive change through exercise, nutrition and mindset, so they feel healthy, strong and empowered to be the best, and happiest version of themselves. Here I talked to The Natural Parent Magazine about the inspiration behind Feel Energised and my desire to create an uplifting community of likeminded women that support and motivate one another.

The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?

My passion for women’s health and fitness started back in 2006 when I was working in London. I had a client that was pregnant and wanted to keep training through her pregnancy and it was at that moment I realised there was a gap in my learning. I completed a Bachelor of Physical Education at Otago University, which was amazing, but when it came to pregnancy and postnatal fitness there was a lot I still wanted to learn. I made it my mission to find and go to all the courses and workshops I could in this area!

After having my twins at 39 weeks, my core and pelvic floor was really weak and broken, just lifting the double stroller into the car was a big effort. It was a tough birth and although I was able to avoid a c-section, the healing process took some time. I still remember when they were about 2 weeks old. I was walking to the washing line thinking ‘there’s nothing holding my hips together and my legs feel like tree trunks’.

Looking back now, I wonder where I would be if I did not know the steps to strengthen my inner core, exercises to relieve back aches and pains from breastfeeding and how to realign my body and give a little bit of time back to my recovery.

It is this piece of knowledge that inspires me to keep talking to mums, knowing that there are mums out there needing this information. Too often I hear that they have put up with lower back pain, pelvic floor dysfunction and just not feeling like themselves for too long after having children. Or that they’ve had abdominal separation and been unaware of what they need to do to heal it and what movements to avoid.

The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?

I have talked with a lot of mum groups over the past 10 years. Before having Ollie and Ella in 2012, I would talk to new mums at the Baby & You Parent Centre courses and in more recent years at SPACE groups at local Playcentres. Last year, I decided it was time to start a small group course (max of 5 people) that focused on regaining inner core strength and confidence. I got great feedback, but even coaching in a small group once a week, I realised there was still so much more I would love to share with them.

That is when the Feel Energised App and the Reconnect Your Core program was born. It is a combination of all my years’ experience working as a Personal Trainer specialising in pre and postnatal fitness, correcting posture and postural imbalances, restoring proper function and alignment, and helping clients to create pain-free movement.

The Reconnect Your Core program is a starting point, a step-by-step program designed to help guide mums from ‘a core that has lost its way’ to ‘a core that is reconnected, fired up and ready for action’.

The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?

Creating the Feel Energised App and the Reconnect Your Core program has been the biggest challenge and breakthrough experience. The past 6 months have been really challenging, lots of highs and lows and a lot of learning. I have had this idea in my head for a long time but was unsure how to turn it into a reality, so when the opportunity came up to create the Feel Energised App, I jumped in with two feet and got to work. Having something that people can easily access and being able to support them on their journey is really exciting.

Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?

Family time is super important to me so finding the balance can be hard. Especially when the kids were younger. I’m grateful that I was able to step back from personal training until Ollie and Ella were three and now that Blake is four years old and settled at kindergarten, it has given me the opportunity to put more time towards my business. Time management and organisation is a big part of finding the balance and something I am continually working on and improving!

The drive: What challenges have you overcome?

Self-belief is a big one. There are so many fitness names out there so backing myself and my knowledge and taking the step to put myself out there has been a challenge. Knowing what I want to create and seeing the big picture but then having to break it down into bite size bits to avoid overwhelm is another! There is so much I want to do and create that I have to be careful not to overload and stress myself because there are only so many hours in each day.

The other major challenge in the process has been creating content and linking everything together. Who knew it could take hours to create a small piece of footage! I am faster at it now but that has definitely been a big learning curve.

For better or worse: What are the pros and cons of running your own business?

I love that I can work from home which does give me more flexibility around the kids and family life. I can schedule time off when there are school trips or events. But the coolest thing is I get to work on and create something that I am passionate about, something that can help other mums on their health and fitness journey.

A con of being self-employed and running a small business is that it can go up and down, especially over the past year. The start-up phase can be tough because it means I have to wear all the ‘hats’ so to speak. I’m continually investing into the business and learning about all the behind the scenes stuff that makes it possible – marketing, technology and updates, accounting, customer service, the list goes on! It’s a good thing I love to learn and that I have some wonderful people in my life that support me.

Hopes and dreams: What next?

My dream is to help educate and inspire more mums to reconnect and strengthen their body and create a positive and uplifting community of women that support and motivate each other. Mums need more education and support after birth and I hope that the Reconnect Your Core program, and the support that runs alongside it, can help make a difference. There is no doubt that when issues arise, it affects us not only physically but mentally and emotionally as well.

As a mum, when you are happy, healthy, and confident in your own skin, your kids always benefit. You are more willing and able to play, run, jump, and chase them around the park, laughing and having fun. To me that is one of the most rewarding parts of being a mum.

Article featured on The Natural Parent Magazine website.

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