I never liked to drink water. I was obsessed with carbs… bread & butter, pasta, fast food and chocolate and my upper body strength could be described as almost a disability (think Tyrannosaurus Rex but worse!)
I was a curvy vegetarian (with a body shape that required untold hours in dressing rooms to find a dress or shirt that would button up) that never had a flat stomach- abs were things that skinny girls have – and a typical top heavy, crazy out of proportion apple body shape in minature fairy size just didn’t.
Or the skinny, lanky girl who becomes strong with a six pack and find the confident to be a model and again this is inspiring to me but not my story.
I have never been largely overweight, nor lean and skinny. I was never strong, I was never the fastest or most active and sporty, nor was someone who suffers from illnesses or conditions that I had to overcome.
I have tried so many things to ‘find my perfect body’ from detoxes, cleanses, diets, shakes, over exercising and almost starving. And then there was a time I told myself I didn’t care (but I did).
For me, my motivations for want I do and who I am come from others. And herein lies the heart of my challenges. The absence of self knowledge, the absence of self belief and a hollow feeling in my soul.
I always felt like I was never enough. I was not special in anyway. And my confidence came only in those moments where I was recognized when I did achieve something. When I did get a good mark at school or won a game or a medal, only through achieving and being recognized did I feel valuable.
This turned me into an over achiever, an over doer and an over stretcher.
This is the exact cycle that has caused a lot of women to constantly feel overwhelmed, guilty or just a failure. Or the pressure to be an over achiever and the sense of self unworthiness that comes when we stop doing.
HeatherAsh Amara in her book the Warrior Goddess Training says:
“It’s no secret that women today are juggling a lot. We now make up more than half the workforce in most of the Western World and are busier than ever with partners, children, family and friends, often putting the needs of others ahead of our own. And if we feel overwhelmed by it all or fall short of perfection, many of us have learned to be our own worst critic rather than our own best friend.”
As a child I was always into Science Fiction and Superheros. I grew up in a house of Star Trek, Star Wars, Monkey Magic, Dungeons and Dragons and well, my brothers being very into their Kung Fu and using me to practice on!
Couple that with a mother whose very essence screams humanity as a social worker and professional cook and feeding everybody within a 3 mile radius. A father who was always looking for the perfect business idea and spending everyday in front of a computer, and of course I would end up wanting to help people armed with my humanity and a laptop.
When I began my own journey of self discovery and personal development, I realised very quickly that I really wanted to save the world. I secretly hoped that I would become a super hero (I was obsessed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer- even calling my son Josh after Joss Whedon the creator) and wanted to save the world.
What I began to realise more deeply was that I wanted to help people to grow and be better, to be the best they could be and I wanted to inspire people to make good choices for themselves. (all why being a little kick ass doing it!)
And what was even more exciting was I didn’t have to be ‘special’ or unique or have special powers. Making a conscious decision to be better and do better and taking responsibility for my actions. That’s what makes a true super hero.
The power comes from the understanding that you can change and it simply starts with making different choices.
“Be the change you want to see in the world”- Ghandi,
Be the leader, pioneer and role model.
We are taught many things in school. Spelling, algebra, the history of two world wars and like me how to say “where is the train station’ in two languages but we are not really taught about health and nutrition. If like me you studied a little biology then you understand a little of the human body and maybe you did a little Home Ec classes and learned how to bake bread or make soup but we were never taught about the ingredients.
If like me you were lucky enough to have a mum (and grandmum) that were great cooks you knew a little about food. In fact, both my mum and grandmother were professional cooks- one worked in our local hospital and the other in a factory canteen.
Now, I’m not going to make a joke about hospital food as I think it would be disrespectful but it has never been good, right? And there is something deeply wrong and ironic about that. But more on that another day!
When I choose to become a vegetarian at age 13 out of ethical standpoint on animal cruelty and violence, my mum became obsessed with vegetarian food, understanding what I needed to have nutritionally and often cooking three different meals every night (one for her, one for my dad and one for me!)
But isn’t that what motherhood is about. Ensuring your child is well nourished and happy.
When I become pregnant, everything changed for me in terms of my health. You see, 8 years previously both my parents passed away within 12 months of each other due to degenerative diseases which could have been prevented from better lifestyle and nutritional choices.
My mum had always put us kids first, all 7 of us and never looked after herself properly and was a heavy smoker and drinker. Something I think happened as a coping mechanism rather than looking at proper self care and ME time.
From this fear, and a little panic, I knew that I was not only the sole parent to my little baby but I had no mum (or dad) to turn to for advice and support. I had to do everything in my power to ensure I was going to be around for a very long time. And have the energy, resourcefulness and wellbeing to care for him on my own.
Pretty heavy stuff, right?
This is what I believe is the responsibility of being a parent. Making your children no1 priority but understanding you have to look after you FIRST to be there for them as long as you can and be the best version of you when you are there. So I began my journey of health & nutrition.
Knowledge is a powerful thing when used responsibly.
When you know something, truly know it by experiencing it and experimenting with it, it is very difficult to go against your knowledge- because it becomes a belief. A belief is knowing something right to your core. An unshakeable force. A stance.
When you begin the education process about food, exercise, health & nutrition, you begin to know what you stand for, what you believe.
And when you stand for something you will not fall for anything. You will no longer be naïve to the messages coming from food and diet industries and you will begin to trust yourself.
But a little knowledge is dangerous.
You can’t just read the executive summary. You gotta put a little work into it and you gotta find the right sources of information. Now understand I don’t want you to be a nutritionist or dietician.
Just a knowledgeable and strong woman. True wisdom.
Who is Lisa Barwise
Lisa Barwise is the creator of Warrior Goddess Kettlebell Training, author of the Warrior Goddess Body Book, The 28 Day Warrior Goddess Body Programme and The Wheel of the Year Warrior Goddess Body and the host of the ‘Goddess Got Goals” podcast.
As a qualified Holistic Health Coach, Naturopath, Plant based Diet Specialist, Vegan Nutritionist and Personal Trainer Lisa is on a mission to support the transformation of Strong Women EVERYWHERE as featured in the Belfast Telegraph, Newsletter, Irish News, BAM Mag & GNI Mag.
Small Gym Studio Finalists in the Health & Fitness Awards NI 2019
NI Social Media Awards Fitness Influencer Finalist 2019
We need more strong. Strong Bodies, Strong Minds and Strong Characters.
I love helping women to step into their power and take control, whilst being their true and genuine Amazionian selves. Following a unique and ethical lifestyle formula and kick ass exercise, we can not only get lean but get curvy and strong too.
PLANT BASED DIET SPECIALIST
Passionate about her holistic and ethical approach to living a Plant based Diet, Lisa specializes in offering ample resources on becoming more plant based or serving existing Vegetarians and Vegans women to achieve their Body Shape Change goals with understanding Plant Based Carb Cyclingand without compromising their beliefs and was recently featured in Newsletter for her experience and expertise in the area.
Lisa is a qualified kettlebell instructor, personal trainer and lover of HIIT Tabata style training to help her clients get lean, get strong and get curvy. The kettlebell is a powerhouse of dynamic strength that is the most efficient and effective tool for women.
KICK ASS FAIRY NINJA
Known amongst her clients as a the Fairy Ninja, Lisa is from a family of martial artists, practicing from a young age. She loves kick boxing and incorporating kick ass moves from Kung Fu and Tai Chi into her classes and programmes. She also love Cosplay and representing strong female characters and role models.
She has delivered personal training results to celebrities, athletes and women in their 40s, 50 and 60s through kettlebell training and classes.
Labelled as the “fairy ninja” to her Tribe, she delivers 14 classes a week in her studio based in Belfast, monthly workshops, beginners programmes twice a week and has more than 20,000 followers online or via social media.
HUMAN POTENTIAL COACH
Lisa spent 5 years becoming a certified coach and practitioner of Rational Inquiry™, (a cutting-edge technology that enables the rapid identification and facilitation of the removal of limiting beliefs), she has helped transform individuals into energetic, resourceful, responsible, ethical, and profit-generating players. Through this unique, ongoing training Lisa has gained a full understanding of:
- The mind-body connection, human behavior, and human psychodynamics
- Language, communication, and emotions
- Practical tools for achievement, success, goals, inspiration, and motivation
- Systems theory and organisational development
- Personal and professional ethics
- Goal Setting and Habit formation
As a lifestyle transformation coach, Lisa has developed expertise in areas such as relationships, parenting, habit transformation, motivation, organisational and corporate consulting and potential actualisation.
“As a Wellness Alchemist I see myself as Transformation Coach to my clients. I am the kick ass catalyst in their transformations. My goal is to help ladies around the world transform into their most warrioresque, genuine selves so they can be the best women they can be.
My mission is to provide the nutritional advice and weight loss support to women on a holistic level, taking account of educational, physical and emotional issues to facilitate transformation. Women can then be the true role models to their whole family to prevent growing issues like obesity, disease and illness.”
- Naturopath Diploma, Centre of Excellence
- Master Herbalist, Centre of Excellence
- Plant Based Diet Nutritionist, Centre of Excellence
- Association for Nutrition Diet Specialist
- Mindfulness Diploma from the International Association Neuro Linguistic Programming and Coaching and Centre of Excellence
- Certified ‘Rational Inquiry’ Professional Executive Life Coach
- Certified Dr Sears LEAN Family Health Coach (first in Ireland)
- REPS Endorsed EQF 3 Level 2 Fitness Instructor
- REPS Endorsed EQF 3 Level 2 Kettlebell Instructor
- REPS Endorsed EQF 4 Level 3 Personal Trainer
- First Aid Qualification
Lisa is currently associated with:
Podium for Sport
Pip & Nut
The Protein Works
Pukka (herbs & tea)
Lisa is passionate about health & nutrition for women. Lisa is a single mother to her 11 year-old son, Josh, whom she home schools. She is an advocate of the Unschooling Movement and offers nutritional training and support to her Tribe in Belfast and around the world.