This week, I had the pleasure of sitting down with the inspirational Heidi Fossali, who offers expertise in life coaching, health and fitness, beauty and style in a ‘One-Stop-Shop’ Life Reboot.
First of all, you describe yourself as a Life-Reboot Coach – can you tell us about your particular coaching ethos and style?
I believe that REAL transformation happens on both the inside AND the outside. It’s not just one thing – a healthy diet, an exercise routine, positive mindset or great makeup and style – it’s ALL of it!
I support women with a top-to-toe solution to feel confident, healthy and beautiful on the inside and the outside to move into the next phase of their life. The 8 Secret Steps in my book From Frightened to FABULOUS take you from feelings of self-doubt, dissatisfaction and being uninspired towards self-discovery, vitality and reconnecting with your ‘inner goddess’, who has SO many plans for you!
Have your own life experiences shaped this career path?
Yes definitely. For many years I always focused on my own outer self – fashion, hair, skin and makeup, even fitness has a huge aesthetic appeal. It was always the ‘shiny’ outer appearance; but I also knew that I had a real interest and curiosity in human behaviour and the psychology behind how and why we think, feel and act. This interest triggered my desire to add Life Coach to my résumé.
During my studies to qualify, I unpacked and understood so much about myself, the WHO, the WHAT, the WHY and the HOW – so much self-discovery and all of the things I’d never stopped to think about until I got to the middle of my life. Now I knew my mission. I also knew that helping someone with the way they look on the outside is important, but only if it reflects how they feel about themselves on the inside.
With the knowledge, life-experience, insight and empathy, I felt fully loaded to inspire, motivate and support other women to do the same – to rediscover how brilliant and beautiful they truly are and to have the confidence and courage to design a life they love, one with passion and purpose ... from the inside out!
Your book From Frightened to FABULOUS has been described as ‘realistic and life-changing’ – can you give us a glimpse into what the reader can expect?
Here’s an excerpt from my book : His rage drove him to actions that were unforgivable, so in my mind I had no choice: that’s why I packed up those six boxes, picked up the girls from school and simply walked out on my life as I had known it.
“Courage is not the absence of fear, it’s feeling the fear and doing it anyway!”
I remember how trapped and unhappy I felt in my marriage. I knew I wasn’t going to reach my potential and have the life I wanted for myself and my daughters. I decided I wanted to divorce. After several years of compromising, ignoring and numbing my emotions, I made my decision that I wasn’t going to sacrifice the next 10 years and sit and wait until my daughters left for college, to sit and wait for my ‘happy’.
Four years before that fateful day when I left, we had moved to France and now, after a frantic exit, I was on my own with my two young daughters (aged 10 and 8). I spoke limited French, and had been financially dependent on my husband while raising our daughters. This meant that I left with very little money and nowhere to live. I was 42 and starting from zero.
And so began my journey – one that has given me the clarity, life purpose and mission I have today to inspire and support you to reconnect with the person you might have left behind or the one you’d like to discover or uncover, then move wholeheartedly into your next life-phase with energy, confidence and purpose.
“Your life is a gift and yours to live fully with joy, passion, and conviction, so choose to be happy ... it’s a decision.”
I wrote this book for those of you tiptoeing towards the middle years, those surfing the midlife waves, and for those crazy gals skidding out the other side! I’ve created a solution with the 8 Secret Steps to help you uncover the best, most vibrant version of you, on the inside AND the outside.
Who has been your greatest inspiration?
Without question – my daughters! Nothing inspires me, motivates me and fuels me more than my girls. They have always been my compass and roadmap. They ground and centre me when I feel unsure and keep me focused on my ‘why’ and my mission.
Hardest challenge you’ve had to overcome?
Leaving my marriage. I remember thinking: how can I continue like this? But where would I find the courage to change my life?
I was trapped, and it was not just my future I was thinking about, I had two little girls who loved their Daddy. I knew I wasn’t going to reach my potential or have the life I wanted nor the life I wanted for my children if I stayed in my marriage feeling frustrated and unloved. I would be letting myself down. My story so far was one filled with adventure and discovery; I had pushed the boundaries and experienced so many amazing things. So, I couldn’t sit there stuck like that.
I had no money and was dependent on my husband as a full-time Mum, but sitting with me all the time was an underlying, permanent sense of panic. I didn’t want to just settle. I didn’t want to give up on myself, or let go of my dreams and ambitions and those for my daughters.
Accomplishment you are most proud of?
Proud might be an understatement – I’m beyond proud of my daughters, to see how kind, intelligent, conscious and independent they are as young adults makes my heart sing.
I’m also proud of myself. I raised my daughters on my own, while still ensuring they have a great relationship with their father. I did my very best to give them a secure and loving environment to thrive, to grow, to be curious and to discover who they want to be.
I’m passionate about women supporting women in business – what advice would you give to women considering a midlife change of direction?
You have everything you need inside you to live a vibrant and purposeful life. It all comes down to the choices you make. Without identifying what it is you need, want or dream about, it’s hard to get there. Life is full of possibilities, and nothing is impossible – but knowing what you want lets you know where to begin and what to focus on.
No matter what or where your starting point is, take ownership of your strengths, talents and desires and then get excited to embrace the next phase of your life. With clarity comes confidence, and with confidence comes action. Align your passions with what brings you joy, and then decide how to share them with the world – here you’ll find meaning and purpose and your authentic self. You’ll feel brighter and more energised – basically, still you but better!
I believe that ‘beauty has no age’ – do you think the beauty industry is moving forwards with older female representation across all media platforms – or is there still a way to go?
Oh, without question there is still a way to go! Just five percent of the presenters on our screens are women over 50. Age discrimination against women isn’t just on television, it’s in newspapers, on the radio and in film too. Although – with ITV’s upcoming Love Island for mid-lifers – ‘The Romance Retreat’ hosted by Davina McCall, plus ‘Golden Bachelor’ on ABC in the US, Martha Stewart on the cover of Sports Illustrated at the age of 81, and Maye Musk on the cover last year at the age of 74, topics like midlife reinvention, second acts, inclusivity, beauty, sex appeal and finding love in midlife are gaining attention. It’s an un-tapped life-changing, inclusive, important and transformative arena.
Does age still influence fashion and beauty choices – as it has with previous generations – or are midlife women becoming bolder?
It’s an interesting subject and one I discuss with my clients and friends quite regularly. We don’t look like our mothers did when they were our age – the middle years and how we dress and feel is so very different now. Is it because the rules have changed or has our attitude changed? I share clothes with my daughters and they’re in their early twenties. I certainly didn’t wear my Mum’s clothes when I was 24! I believe the boundaries are blurred now due to gender inclusivity, social media and the rumble of a female global uprising! We will not be pushed aside and hidden. We are fully loaded and in our prime. We take care of our health, our bodies are beautiful and we have money to spend so ... bring it on!
What would you say to midlife and beyond women who are feeling less confident as they age?
LADIES – It’s time to put yourself at the top of your to-do list!
Remember that your life belongs to YOU and you don’t need permission. You’re allowed to take ownership of your desires and the journey you’re on.
What I do know for sure is that we all have the same fears. Self-doubt and fear go hand-in-hand and can annihilate your self-confidence. We doubt we are capable and sometimes even doubt that we deserve it. We all have something to contribute, something to share with the world, and we’re all completely different and unique. We are complex and multi-layered and it’s time to peel back who we truly are. Some of those layers will be easy to uncover, others more difficult.
Be aware of your inner power to trigger the desire to uncover the life you love, in whatever form that takes. Feel motivated to find something that you’re passionate about, then just take it one day at a time. You mustn’t forget to focus on your strengths and how much knowledge and valuable experience you possess.
Can you share with us some of your top tips for a healthy lifestyle and wellbeing?
NOURISH YOUR BODY – nourishing your body is all about eating nutritionally dense food every day. Being healthy isn’t just about being disease-free, it’s about living a vibrant and active life doing all of the things you love. Every level of your health is impacted by what you eat – to build muscle healthy bones, gain energy, balance hormones, boost your immune system, fix your gut and improve your heart health. Eat a plant-rich diet, clean protein and more ‘good’ fats and Omega-3 essential fatty acids (avocado, salmon, sardines, mackerel, anchovies, nuts, seeds, olive oil).
UNLOCK YOUR BEST BODY – when it comes to healthy aging, exercise is going to be the closest thing to a miracle drug! Along with a healthy diet, regular exercise can slow age-related health problems, if not prevent them. It’s time to boost your energy, wake up your metabolism and move that ‘me time’ to the top of your to-do list. Make time for some kind of exercise every day.
RADIANT SKIN – your skin is a reflection of what’s going on INSIDE your body. What you eat has a direct impact on the quality and health of your skin. The food you eat builds every cell in your body, so clean, nutrient rich food equals beautiful, radiant skin. Any inflammation inside your body, or imbalance in your gut will be reflected on your skin. Three foods that are good for healthy, radiant skin are:
Avocados – a ‘healthy fat’ that is wonderful for your skin health, keeping it flexible and smooth. They are also a good source of vitamin E, which protects your skin from damage and aging.
Olive Oil – keeps skin moisturised and reduces inflammation. Extra-virgin olive oil is rich in antioxidants to protect the skin – and don’t be afraid of ‘extra’ calories – it is truly the most important unsaturated fat in your diet!
Walnuts & Brazil Nuts – another great source of essential fatty acids that your body doesn't naturally make and needs to be added to your diet. Both are rich in both Omega-3 and 6 and zinc, which help to heal your body and fight bacteria and inflammation.
Top beauty ‘must have’ in your makeup bag?
My favourite, award winning, tinted moisturiser – never go anywhere without it – even the beach as it has SPF 30. A two-in-one lipstick and blush – for touch-ups throughout the day – and a good quality mascara.
And finally, your favourite quote to live by?
“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” - Maria Robinson