Self-care: How do you rate?

24.10.10 | Posted in Women & Business Women In Business

I had a great chat last week with a terrific businesswoman – her name’s Amy Smith and she’s the CEO of Jenny Craig Australia and New Zealand*. Amy’s a very accomplished executive who’s also a single mother of two girls.

We were talking about the Jenny Craig business and Amy said that the company isn’t really about weight loss, although that is of course the end result. She sees it more as an educational business, helping people to understand how to look after themselves.

When Amy first started with the business she was juggling her career and her daughters and says things had gone a bit off the rails. She said she’d regularly eat the ‘remaining ends of the fish fingers’ from her children’s plates and then slam them down with four glasses of red. Sound familiar?

In pursuit of understanding the business better, she embarked on a Jenny Craig program and re-learnt how to take care of herself. She stopped saying “I don’t have time for breakfast” or “I’m too busy to exercise” and started being kinder to herself.

I think as women we can often fall into the role of victim or martyr, and think that we have to struggle. We think that we’re failing if we can’t do it all, and we feel guilty if we have to reach out for help.

I used to feel guilty when I couldn’t manage my business, my family and my household. I’m a pretty quick learner though and soon just got organised with it all. I rarely go to the supermarket anymore – I just do an online shop each week. I don’t worry about the housework – my cleaner can do that better than me. And I got a nanny that lives in with us to make sure we all eat well and live a much less stressful life.

No point in complaining about how tough things are – it’s best just to get on with it, and build a better life for you and your family. And while you’re at it, take a leaf out of the wonderful Amy Smith’s book and practise being a little kinder to yourself.

* Read the whole interview with Amy Smith about how she revolutionised the Jenny Craig business – resulting in a 30% increase in sales and 30% increase in clients – in the next edition of the Business Chicks mag, Latte. You have to be a Business Chicks member to receive it – – we’d love to have you join us.


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  1. Jane Moye

    As always Emma, your insights are spot on! What is more important than our health and wellbeing, and those of our families?

  2. Stefanie

    Your right on the money about that guilty feeling. I know how strong I’m going to feel once I’ve pushed through. Nearly there….. Thanks Emma. I needed to read that….

  3. Emma

    Stef – you will feel great once you get over feeling guilty! There’s nothing to feel guilty about. I am sure you are doing your best, every single day, and that’s all you can do. Good luck with it and keep us posted on your progress! Emma

  4. Paula Kelso

    Yeh that is a great article, I think more women in business need to get extra help to manage day to day living, I do and it makes my life so much easier and I have more time for the really important things.

  5. Marina

    It’s funny how us women expect to do it all. My aunt often says “if only I had a wife!” how true! someone to take care of the dishes or the dinner or the children for a little while so that we can get all those other things ticked off the ‘to do’ list. Nannies and house keepers are professional wives/angels/sanity savers and we should not feel guilty for employing them :)