Corinne Austin | Personal Training

Corinne’s Essential Eleven – Things i Wish all Women Knew

In my time working with women, and even more recently as I’ve been delving into a much deeper, more holistic view of health, I continue to stumble over the same obstacles and blocks.  I have this desperate need for women to know and understand these things, and I’ll continue to repeat, emphasise and reinforce them as I know them to be so very true in one’s quest for greater wellbeing and vitality.  Health should never be compartmentalised into just one area, theme, or system.  Health is the sum of the whole – and that includes my essential eleven below.


1. Our nervous system controls everything.

If we’re in a constant state of fight-or-flight, this will override all the good healthy things we are doing.  STRESS is more powerful than we believe or are willing to admit – nothing we do can over-ride the devastation that the stress response can place upon our body until we address the stress.  This is our priority.  We tend to fool ourselves about ‘coping’ – we simply survive far more than what we thrive.  No matter what amount of great supplementation, nutrition and body movement we include in our life, not much will change for us if there is chronic stress present.


2. Our LIVER is our best, best friend.

If we find ourselves experiencing breast tenderness, pre-menstrual headaches, bloating, clotty periods, heavy periods, period pain, anger, frustration, irritability and agitation at some point throughout our menstrual cycle, and the presence of these symptoms is a regular and ongoing occurrence, then it is typically your liver yelling for help.  Visiting a Traditional Chinese Medicine practioner, a naturopath, or someone qualified in functional health may be a great step forward.  There can be many substances we naturally stumble across in our day to day lives that load and congest our liver – identifying these, and understanding the pathway to a happier liver can bring a new level of zest to your life.


3. Wine and coffee are NOT our best friend.

No matter how delicious or necessary they may be!  Wine affects our estrogen hormone, and coffee affects our stress hormones.  Unhappy hormones equals unhappy body.  For our body to be at its happiest we must have caffeine-free and wine-free weeks.  No matter how many health benefits they find for the consumption of coffee or wine, coffee WILL upset our nervous system via our adrenal glands, and wine WILL cause chaos amongst our sex hormones.  An unhappy endocrine system equals undesirable side effects.


4. It’s really not only about ‘what goes in versus what goes out’.

Calories in versus calories out is obsolete. If we’re searching for weight loss or weight maintenance, we first need to accomplish a harmony and symphony with our hormones, choose to eat clean, colourful, nutrient-rich foods often, and prioritise time to rest and just be.


5. Veggies are life!

I definitely identify that everyone works best with a personalised way of eating.  Different things work for different bodies.  BUT, veggies are life, full stop.  A vast array of more than five a day in various colours, consistencies, and textures is what a body needs to be happy. EVERY day.  No matter what our food beliefs, veggies are full of nutrients, antioxidants, and fibre that we simply NEED for wellness – and most especially for happy, healthy hormones!  If we do nothing else, eat more veggies.


6. Hormonal contraception is not the answer to your hormonal issues.

Hormones have essential functions within our body.  And our lifestyle choices – and the way our genes are expressed via our lifestyle choices – sometimes make our hormones malfunction.  Using synthetic hormones to try to recalibrate normal essential function isn’t the answer.  This will never fix your symptoms – it will simply mask it and will possibly give you other side effects in the mean time.  It may take some time, but getting to the bottom of your symptoms via natural and lifestyle medicine can and will be life-changing.  (Note: Medical clearance is recommended before seeking alternative options).


7. Digestive problems aren’t necessarily caused by the food itself.

If you’re stressed, your body will be diverting blood and oxygen away from your core and into your extremities. This means there is less power to digest and assimilate your food – therefore interrupting ordinary digestive patterns.  Stress and anxiety can affect health digestion as much as food itself can.  Always be calm before meal times.


8. Restorative exercise/movement may be the answer to most things.

For so long we’ve been taught that hard-core calorie-burning exercise is what we need.  For most people these days, it is actually the opposite. Movement is essential, hard-core is not.  Stressed bodies and minds simply can’t cope with the physical stressor of hard-out sweaty exercise.  Restorative practices like yoga, however, help to reinstate the rest and digest, heal and repair sector of our central nervous systems – and we could all use a few doses of that!


9. Signs and symptoms are messengers from your body, asking you to make change.

There is ALWAYS a why. For us to be at our healthiest and most vital, we must investigate and uncover the why.  A function is often reduced to 50% of it’s capacity before we experience a symptom of it.  Symptoms are important feedback mechanisms from our body, and it’s vital we listen and explore them.



10. The world will not fall apart if we stop.

Yes, we CAN stop. We MUST stop.  It’s essential we fill our own cup to be able to fill others cups to the level that we wish to.  WE are important too.  Deep belly breathing is the only way we can communicate to our bodies that we are not in danger.  By stopping and breathing more often we will be happier, healthier, and more productive individuals.


11. Life is a gift.

I truly believe enough of us don’t quite get the extent of this concept.  One day you will not be walking this planet. Really stop and think about that. And when doing so, consider what you’d really like to commit your time to to make the most of this precious life.


  • Corinne Austin
  • Movement Motivator & Health Coach