April 07, 2020

Eat Pray Workout - Life hacks with Amy Darcy

By Denikka Greaves
Eat Pray Workout - Life hacks with Amy Darcy

It's kind of cool when you meet someone who seems like they've really got their sh*t together. That's just what Amy Darcy (Founder of Eat Pray Workout lifestyle blog) is all about. We got to chat with this truely inspiring and magic lady to hear how she does life!

It's an absolute pleasure to meet you! We're so happy to have the chance to chat with you in what seems like your hectic schedule. Tell us - Who are you? And beneath your magnificent titles, what makes you truely you!?

Hello! I’m Amy! I’m the founder and editor of Eat Pray Workout, and Australian health and lifestyle blog. Along with the blog, I’m also a lawyer (though not currently practicing) and I’m studying to become a personal trainer, I’m an army wife and a Mum to two busy kids in beautiful Brisbane, Australia. I started the blog because I’m passionate about empowering women with the skills and knowledge they need to look after their health, wellbeing and fitness.

As a busy, A-type personality and ‘reformed perfectionist’, I understand the pressure many women unnecessarily place on themselves and how this can negatively impact their health. So as a response to this I love to teach women to be confident in who they are and encourage them to take steps that will enhance their future health and wellbeing.

How did you land the blogger gig? Do you feel as though you were always drawn to this area of work or was it something the universe delivered you?

It’s said a person in today’s day and age will go through about 5 career changes in a lifetime. I first heard this statement when I was at uni and my immediate reaction was ‘well, I can tell you now, I won’t be included in that statistic! After slogging my guts out studying for 7 years, I’ll be quite content being a lawyer or working in international politics and I never want to waste those qualifications!’. Well, in my then ‘ideal world’, by now I would have been continuing to work hard in a law firm or in foreign affairs and climbing the corporate ladder. Instead I am included in that statistic, as I did a complete 180-degree turn in my career path.

The decision to put my career as a lawyer on hold was difficult, and partly situational. I had just moved from Brisbane to Canberra (December 2015) and was pregnant with my first child, Finn. This made it tough to get a job in the private sector. You can read more about these difficulties during pregnancy here. Instead of spending my time hunting down work as I became increasingly pregnant I decided to take a break and spend my energy settling into my new life in Canberra and preparing for my new role as a mother.

I’d been writing a blog on the side for about three and a half years, just for fun – I only ever thought my mum would read it! It wasn’t until a few months after Finn was born that I really decided to give full time blogging a crack. The blog had seen some decent growth and the offers were flowing in. It was a job that I could do from home and it allowed my entrepreneurial mind to be challenged and working. It hasn’t been easy, as any mum working from home can testify to, but I genuinely enjoy it and it keeps my mind occupied.

One of the things I really enjoyed about blogging is the way I have been able to learn new skills and develop my knowledge in areas that were previously just hobby interests. My depth of knowledge has grown a lot in the fields of nutrition, wellbeing and physical activity, which I find so interesting!

For all the parents out there leading a crazy life with little ones in tow, what would you say are the 3 most important things they can focus on to help maintain a healthy lifestyle?

Firstly – well done to you! I’m cheering you on and I think you’re fantastic! My top three tips are:

1.     Make sure you prioritise some time for yourself that isn’t work, cleaning or parenting. Schedule that into your diary at the start of the week and commit to it (with support from your partner). You need to look after yourself so you are able to look after others well.

2.     Keep moving! Looking after your body is so important. As a parent, you are an example to your kids and the fitter you are the easier it will be to enjoy playing with your kids. Pick an activity you enjoy and go for it! It might be running, team sports, pilates classes or if you’re like me, a quick 15 minutes of high intensity aerobics in your loungeroom during nap time! I use the Les Mills program which you can find here, or give a full body home workout a go!

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, embrace imperfection. Any steps you take are a positive action towards healthier living. Recognise your efforts and celebrate them! Parenting isn’t easy. You don’t have the same capacity as you did before kids and if you’re a mum, your body definitely isn’t the same as it was before kids! That’s ok. You need to be able to recognise your new life stage and work within that, keeping your expectations realistic.

With the country in lockdown - and some food supplies not always accessible, can you suggest some key dietary factors that will help ensure a nutritious diet that kids will also WANT to eat?

What a crazy time we are living in! For both myself and my kids, I always try to include the three macronutrients in every meal. Macronutrients are nutrients required in large quantities by the body for cellular energy and growth. The three major macronutrients include proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Having a healthy balance of macronutrients is the foundation of any sustainable, healthy diet. If you would like more information on how to balance these you can read about it here.

My kids may not eat everything on their plate, but I always ensure that all the healthy foods are presented to them for them to try. Little by little they will become more familiar with them and more likely to eat them. Slow and steady guys, they won’t be two forever. 

Hot tip: In the half hour before dinner when they are ‘starving’ I will put out some plates of vege sticks. They often snack on this while they watch some TV. I love it as it means I am not worried if they don’t eat their veggies at dinner!

Also, stick to whole foods for snacks. Morning and afternoon tea are opportunities to increase their fruit and vegetable intake – make the most of it!

And exercise..... It's all too common to hear people disregard exercise because of a lack of time or energy. What's your say?

I say it’s the best thing you can do for your physical and mental health. Try your best to get the kids involved, seeing you look after your body is a good example to them too.

As a parent your time is precious and it often feels like it’s running through your fingers. Unless you prioritise and plan your exercise you won’t ever have time, so pull out that diary and schedule it in. Try workouts from home or ones you can do at the park while they play on the equipment. Also make the most of incidental activity in your day. Do squats as you hang the washing, kick a ball with your kids in the backyard, jog those stairs instead of walking them – any opportunity you can take is positive!

Last but not least, hit us with your moto or the kick up the a*se we all sometimes need to help get us motivated?

You won’t ever see change, unless you make change.
You MUST commit.
But be kind to yourself if you fail.
Don’t let fear of failure, or even meeting actual failure along the way, hold you back from moving towards your goal. Everyone’s journey towards change has set backs, it’s what you do after you encounter them that will determine whether or not you will reach your goals. You need to back yourself and know you can do this. Imperfect action is better than no action.
You’ve got this – just get going!

You can get more info and keep up to date with all of Amy's work by following @eatprayworkout on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram.

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