So small little steps. One step at the time, I think, is the way to move forward. Don’t give yourself, you know, the whole recipe in one go. I’m going to make a change. I’m going to go on a detox and I’m going to exercise every day, and now I’m going because the reality is that’s not going to work. It’s too much, especially if you have kids. But ultimately only you can make yourself do those things. And if people are telling you those things, are you actually listening and considering? Why are they telling you this? Are they seeing that you aren’t really yourself at the moment? That you’re not really happy, you’re stressed out, you’re anxious or even depressed? Personally, not taking care of myself set me up for failure. And it was epic. I pushed and pushed and pushed myself so hard, and I look back now and I think why the only person that suffered was me. I was always trying to prove I was good enough. I had to work earlier, later, longer than anyone else. I had to work out at the gym harder and faster and run longer than anyone else. I also liked to party harder than anyone else as well. And at home I rarely asked for help with parenting or running my kids around.
And all I ended up with was good old case of adrenal fatigue, burnout, and a heart condition. And my personal life also blew up in my face. And it took me to get to a few rock bottom moments before I realized that the key to all of my unhappiness was my own self-love and care, all lack of it. And this episode, even if it just helps one of you to avoid those rock bottom moments, then my job here is done. So let me share my amazing guest for this episode, Susanne Ridolfi. She is a health and wellness coach, author and speaker that helps predominantly professional women re-energize, recharge, and renew their bodies and lives. And she’s walked the burnout walk. She’s put her family first and her career first. She’s over exercised to the point of injuring her back so badly that she couldn’t walk. But after 35 years of helping women in the wellness space, she’s now written a book called My Body and Me, and I think I’ll, I think you’ll absolutely love it. I certainly do. Inside she shares her secrets to living a happy and fulfilled life, managing stress, nutrition advice, and how to create a sustainable vitality and healthy body, mind, and soul amongst many other amazing insights inside this book.
TELL ME A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF AND HOW YOU GOT STARTED DOING WHAT YOU ARE DOING?
“So, my name is Susanne Ridolfi, and I do have an accent. So I am from Sweden and currently living in Australia. So, some people said, you’re so lucky living where you’re living. And I said, well, it’s not that lucky. So all about the choices I’ve made in life. So, I’m, as far as way I can for my family, and that’s not because I don’t like them, I love them, but sometimes it’s also very good to be a bit further away from them. So, I’m enjoying that and I’m very much enjoying. I live on the gold Coast. I live in a place called Burleigh Heads and very close to the water. So I have the closeness to nature, and I believe I’m a nature’s being. So how did I get started? I don’t think my parents gave me a very good start. We lived very close to nature. I grew up in nature together with them and learn to know all about the benefits of having nature and acknowledging what nature has to offer. I then started off, they put me into acrobatics as a very young girl. And from then I went on to becoming a gymnast. So, I spent lots of hours in the gymnasium as a young girl. Then I decided to become a PE teacher. I spent a couple of years in New York as a personal trainer. I think I became a fitness freak, if you like. So I lived on fitness and I lived on all the endorphins that are whizzing around in your body. But you know, an addiction doesn’t matter. What kind of addiction is not good for you. So, I exercised and that’s when my body finalist had stop.
So my lovely body gave me severe back problems to the point where I couldn’t move and the only thing I wanted to do was of course, to move because that’s how I lived my life. So, you know, universe has its way and it shows us the way. So, it guided me to seek acupuncture. And the acupuncture is to gain me treatments. Also was training something called shsu, which is a Japanese form of healing art. And yes, my body got so much better from the treatments I received, but I also started to understand that health was not just about fitness. It takes in so much more. So that’s when I started to learn about the other modalities. I practiced Tai Chi, which was slower movement. I learned to not feed just my physical being, but also feeding the body mind and spirit and realizing that it takes a bit more than just fitness to look after yourself. So that was a starting point for me, really about it.”
WHAT IS THE MESSAGE IN YOUR BOOK THAT YOU WANT TO SHARE WITH EVERYBODY?
“Well, how I say to people, I think people look after the car is much better than they look after their body that they live in. So, you know, the car is an important part in our life. It takes us from point A to page B physically. Now your body that you live in is going to take you from point A to point B and you can’t replace it. Certain parts we can replace, but you can’t sort of go to the car shop or the body shopping, get a new body, it’s going to be due forever. And there is many relationships that you have in your life and most of them come and go. But the relationship you have with your body that’s going to be with you forever, you know, until you decide. And, you know, in my world, I live with the idea that I decide when I’m ready to leave this planet and go somewhere else. So, why did I decide to write the book? I have lots of women coming to me and to the point of exhaustion tiredness and not any time. It’s probably the two major issues that I get when women come to me for my health coaching. And your time is the most equal that we have. We all have the same amount of time. So it’s not about time. It’s about how you prioritize your time and if you want to live, and I think most people do live along and well, happy life and get the most out of your hours here on this planet. If you work prevention, it works so much better than looking after yourself when we end up in the emergency room or like me having severe back problems. So, if we can do a bit of preparation and looking after yourself rather than waiting for that to happen, then we gain so much more. I think most people have been on the plane now and people are traveling again after Covid, but you know, what do they say on the plane that mask drops down from the ceiling? Who are you going to put it on first, whether you’re going to put it on yourself first, but if, because if you take care of you, you are so much better for other people out there as well. Unfortunately, the women that I made, they put the other people before themselves, so they end on the bottom of the list and feel uninspired. They feel unfulfilled. They don’t like the body that they live in and the way it looks feeling and function. So, the reason for me writing the book was the women who asked me, how do you do it? You know what is your secret to living the life you do and having the energy and look the way you do at the age? I’m now 68 years young and that’s how I ask people, how young are you? And they smile. And that’s, you know, a good way to kickstart it. But so that’s the reason why I started to write the book. And I said, well, if I have something to give people, I think that’s sharing my gift. We all have the gift and we can share it and we can be of service to so many others out there. But it was very scary. It was a lot of fear there. So, it took a long time for this book to be born. It was a very long pregnancy. But now it’s finally born. And a lot of that was my fear about how are other people going to look at this? Because I said, not a novel, it is a storybook, but it’s my story. So it’s the story about how the different things that I’ve done in my life to come to the stage where I am. So not knowing how people are going to respond was what helped me back really to publish it. Haven’t said that Now when it’s published, you know, the feedback that I’m getting from people like yourself and so many others is totally amazing. And sometimes a little bit overwhelming. So, I can take that deep breath and say, I did the right thing if this book needs to get out to, to women. I brace the fear all the sweats and the tears around it and said, well, you know, put yourself out there. Take the dare and step and do what you’re meant to do. So that’s how come I decided to write the book. I think it’s, you know, we all heard the story about the boy who’s on the beat and chucking back there, the things into the water and still will save that one. So, if I can save one or two people, that would be brilliant.”
HOW DO WE START PUTTING THAT OGYGEN MASK ON OURSELVES?
“Well, I do think the first thing that you need to do is to decide. And I think, you know, people like yourself come to a stage or awareness is step number one, I think. So become aware of where you’re at and decide basically I need to look after myself. It’s time. And then to sit down and, you know read the book. So the first chapter in the book is actually about honoring yourself. There’s no point of blame yourself for what you’ve done in the past and put yourself down. So, you know, we can’t change that. We can’t change the past. We can look at where we’re at right now and we can look at where would I like to be? What is the optima that I would like to see have, how would I feel when I look myself in the mirror and wake up every morning. So, step one, decide and step two, sit down and, you know, reflect on where you’re at. This is me right now and this is where I want to go. And then I think what a lot of people, a lot of women make the mistake is they wanted to happen straight away, everything in one go. And that’s going to be too much as a therapist as well. If I give you the full recipe, it’s just going to be, that’s too much. I’m not going to do that. It’s too hard. So, in my world, I suggest one little step at the time. What can I do? What daily little healthy habit can I implement into my life? Because small little things over time makes a huge difference. So, if you can implement this a small healthy habit and then work on that one. Because as I said, you wouldn’t, well, I will speak about myself. I don’t get out of the house before I brush my teeth, that just doesn’t work, right? So, what is it that you can connect with brushing your teeth, for example, that you know, and add a little habit into that that will help you and your body to look and feel better. So small little steps, one step at the time, I think is the way to move forward. Don’t give yourself, you know, the whole recipe in one go, I’m going to make it change. I’m going to go you know, detox and I’m going to exercise every day and I’m going to blah, blah, blah. Because the reality is that’s not going to work. It’s too much. Especially if you have kids, you know, my children, my child are out of the house, and you have your business and you have your husband and everybody else you look after. It’s not going to work if you do it that way. That’s my experience.”
WHAT ARE THE HABITS OR THE PRIORITY HABITS THAT YOU WOULD RECOMMEND SOMEBODY STARTING OUT WITH IF THEY ARE LOOKING TO START THEIR SELF-CARE JOURNEY?
“Well, there’s one quote in the book. I said, the way you start your morning, the way you start your day is the way you live your day. And that’s the way you live your life. So, I always suggest creating a little bit of a morning routine and a bit of an evening routine. So if you can do that, because in the end of the day, well, breath and breathing is number one when it comes to survival. But then sleep is an extraordinary important part of our lives. So if you can get your sleep right, that’s awesome. So, I do suggest, I’m very much into gratitude and journaling myself, and I don’t sit down and journal for hours, but I take five minutes in the beginning of the day, and I take five minutes in the end of the day just to play some gratitude and to I will suggest to people go and buy yourself a little special book. Something is special for you, something that looks nice. So I’m very much about, you know, beauty in the world. There’s so much beauty in the world. So, I get the book that, that you are attracted to. Even when it comes to water bottom, I have a water, but this one is black, but it says I’m kind of a big deal. So every time I drink in it, I see that. And I said, yeah, that’s uplifting, I like that. So, a little special journal. And if you spend just a few minutes in the morning to create me time is important. And I know some people have kids, they’re young and they jump on top of you the first thing they do. So where can you have that little me time? That might be when you drop the kids to school, and you sit in the car before you take off and go to the next space. That could be your five minutes to do that just today. I’m grateful for, what is it? 1, 2, 3 things I’m grateful for today because if you practice gratitude, you have so much back and then do the same thing in the evening. And what tends to happen when you come to the end of the day and I know, I did this, you know, I didn’t do that, I didn’t do that, I forgot do that. That was crap. You know, I should have done that better. If you go to bed with that, that’s not going to work very well on your mindset. So if you’d rather go to your gratitude journal and say, of course, these are the things that worked out really well for me today. I’m grateful for these three things. I go back in the evening, three in the morning, and three in the evening will be a very good way to start.”