Inspiring Women to Take Small Steps Towards a Healthier, Happier, Simpler Life: A Q&A with Lisa Corduff

Happy Monday, beauties!

I’m excited to share a new Real Women, Real Balance interview with you today.

Over the past year I’ve become good friends with Lisa Corduff and we often joke that we are long lost soul sisters.  She lives in Australia and is passionate about inspiring modern women to take small steps towards a healthier, happier, simpler life. She has a perfectly imperfect life and is inspiring women all around the world to ditch the impossible standards, be kind to themselves and live life on their terms.

Inspiring Women to Take Small Steps Towards a Healthier, Happier, Simpler Life: A Q&A with Lisa Corduff

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Hi Lisa! Will you start by telling us a little bit about yourself?

For sure! I’ve just turned 38 (and love getting older) and live in Melbourne, Australia with my gorgeous kids and husband. I love cooking, I love simplifying my life, I value meaningful connection with people and my own personal growth.

What inspired you to start your business?

Back when my son was born I was lucky enough to breastfeed him. But when it came time to introduce solids I had no idea what to do. So, I used a stock-standard baby cookbook, but something didn’t feel right. I realized I had no idea what ‘healthy’ was. This was back in 2011. I realized I was part of a generation of women who didn’t grow up watching their parents cook from scratch for every meal – and it seemed so complicated and time-consuming to try!

Until I realized you could (and should) keep food really simple. I decided to share what I was learning about food and my philosophy that for behavior change to stick – it’s so much more effective to take small, sustainable, achievable steps rather than those big huge overalls (they never work!). It struck a chord and the Small Steps community has grown and grown.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I love getting up early, before my kids. That quiet space and time really fills my cup. I either go for a walk or get some work done. Ahhhh the serenity of alone time.

And then it’s breakfast – the kids often have porridge and smoothies and I love listening to my body in the morning and giving it what it needs. Sometimes I’m not hungry – so I don’t force anything down, but I do drink lots of water. I’m a huge fan of eggs – any way.

Then we do the school run and some days I have my daughters with me, some days they are in daycare. If I have them we usually do a morning activity, like gymnastics and get some errands run. And in the afternoon, they might have a friend over and we’ll set up a picnic and their toys.

After my son gets home from school I keep things pretty simple, but I am noticing as the kids grow that lots of activities can creep in, leaving us feeling overwhelmed. No one benefits in this scenario – not the kids or me!

So, we simplify our life as much as possible. We don’t watch ‘screens’ during the week which means the kids are using their imaginations and playing with each other.

A healthy, wholesome dinner sitting around the table and talking about our day is followed by kids’ baths and bedtime routine.

It’s pretty consistent, each day, but I inject my own time and self-care in too. This is a learned practice, for me. Like most mums I just gave myself over to my family for many years and if I wasn’t ‘doing’ the family, I was working and now I know that I also just need space to be Lisa.

I’m curious, what do you do when you’re not working?

I love walking, I love reading books and connecting in real life with people. Organizing coffee catch ups or dinners out with friends ensures I get my ‘fix’ of adults. I’m not drained by company – I love it!

Watching a random Netflix series to detach with is awesome – unless I get addicted! But listening to podcasts or guided meditations is always preferred. How much goodness is out there in podcast land!?

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As you know, The Balanced Life is all about empowering women to approach health & fitness with a balanced mindset. How do you handle the pressure as a woman to look or act a certain way?

So many women enter the Small Steps community feeling down about themselves. They are not feeding their kids well enough, they are not a healthy weight, they are letting everyone down, overwhelm is their norm. It’s heart-breaking that as a generation of women we never give ourselves a freaking BREAK!

Most Small Steppers have tried diets. They’ve tried crazy regimes that suck all their precious time. And they can’t stick with them so they feel like failures.

But I whole-heartedly believe that the way society is currently structured sets us up for failure. How is a woman meant to feel strong, healthy, positive and energized when she is working, raising children, running a household, attending to her parents, cooking, shopping, maintaining friendships, planning vacations, exercising, racing around to ALL the activities – Argh! – I feel tired just WRITING that! Our lives are a constant to-do list. And we’ve forgotten that we have a choice about what we put on that list.

Most Small Steppers don’t even feature on their own to-do list – it’s all about everyone else. Which is crazy. I have ditched society’s expectations and found my way back to what matters to ME. It’s an exciting and liberating path to be on! And I love sharing it with my community.

What does balance mean to you during your current season of life?

Balance is a constant negotiation in my head! My kids and husband are the loves of my life – but I’ve been doing this mother gig long enough to know that if I don’t take care of myself as a priority, then everyone suffers. So, it’s balancing my needs with the needs of the ones I love.

It’s about exercise to feel good. It’s about food to nourish and delight. It’s about strong boundaries that protect my energy so I can use it where it matters most. It’s about not taking health ‘dogmas’ too seriously and instead focusing in on what makes us feel good.

Who/what inspires you to keep living well?

My kids inspire me – they keep me accountable and I want to be the most active and healthy mother for them. But mostly, I feel I owe it to myself. I was given the gift of living this life and I’m going to make the most of it!

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What is your best tip for maintaining a healthy lifestyle in the midst of a busy life?

Make life simpler – redesign how you DO life. I used to be the person who would repeat over and over that I was so busy and overwhelmed. Until I realized I had a choice. I was choosing that. I could choose something different. My tip is to radically simplify so you can focus on the things that really matter to you.

What projects are you currently working on that you’d like us to know about?

There’s always a lot going on in Small Steps land! If people are interested in taking five super small, super easy but hugely impactful steps towards a healthier, happier life then they can join me for five days of fun – Register here!

Thank you, Lisa! It’s an honor to have you here on the blog today. Thank you for the work you are doing to inspire others!

You can keep up with Lisa on her Facebook & Instagram accounts, or check out her website for more ideas and inspiration!

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