This is so exciting! Our next series of posts is written for women, by women. We will be interviewing some incredible women from all walks of life. They will be sharing their wisdom, experiences, and amazing work to inspire us to live our best lives. 

 

Jenny Kavanagh

Jenset Training on Facebook

Jenny on Instagram @Kenny_jaay

Jenny, Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?

About me – I’m Irish but I’ve not lived there for almost a decade. I have lived in the south of France for 2 years and before that I was in London. I have a background in acting, as a children’s behavioral specialist and a maternity nurse, I’m also a personal trainer, and am now the marketing manager for Lamborghini Cannes.

 

What does empowerment mean to you?

It is knowledge, it is responsibility and it is empathy. What I mean by that is if I take responsibility for what I can bring to the table and show up, if I take action on gaining the knowledge to understand something and if I try to see the world from another persons perspective – I am always empowered.

To me, the most empowering thing I have learned is that I have zero control over people or situations – but I do have control of my reaction.

If I take responsibility for myself and have empathy for others, I am showing up with kindness – and that is empowering. 

What challenges have you faced recently?

I guess a lot of change in a short time has been challenging. In 18 months – new job, new home, really living and being in France, learning the language, turning 30, to name a few – I’m never where I thought I would be.

 

How did you overcome them?

I write things down a lot, or I speak to someone I trust. I learned the hard way that it is absolutely no good bottling feelings up, they amplify. But it is great to just air out some thoughts, some feelings, get another take on it, or maybe just hear what your saying out loud.

Anyway, removing the issue from the small confines of my mind has always helped me take a look at what’s happening and find the solution. Like I said, empowerment for me is finding what I have done or not done to create or continue the challenge – so it’s about finding what that is and the solution to go with it.

 

What does self-love mean to you?

Self love is acceptance.

I am learning more and more about what acceptance is. It’s not about settling, but showing up to be the best version of yourself and accepting that even the bits you don’t like are there for a reason. I am exactly where I’m supposed to be today, like I said, I’m never where I “thought I’d be” by now – but in so many ways it’s better!

I found it very very hard to look in the mirror until a few years ago. I mean really look. But I know now that this life thing is an “inside job” it’s about finding peace with me, caring for me, when I do that it makes it easier to be nice to the world.

I have a lot of gratitude for all that I have in my life- I know the most wonderful people. I have been so blessed in being surrounded by people who believe in me and whom I believe in… they came along after some decisions to not accept less anymore but I am so blessed to have that.

 

How do you look after yourself day to day?

I’ve recently rediscovered a fitness regime for myself. When I changed job roles it got tricky for me to continue my training as I thought I needed to focus so much on getting the swing of the new company. But I lost myself completely on what makes me “me”.

I really think the value of exercise on the mind is under rated. For me, it’s fitness and meditation. Some mornings I have got to the gym, felt totally overwhelmed and sat on the floor watching. Being a qualified personal trainer – I could train someone, but for myself, I get self conscious and fearful like everyone and I need to just be there, do a little, and then slowly I get some momentum.

The power of just turning up each day is awesome.

 

What do you do if you go off track?

I try to go easy on myself. My head can be really mean to me… so I have learned that it’s about progress. One small change daily, accumulates into a big change.

It’s about small celebrations and goals. Recently, as I mentioned, I fell off track in a big way, and getting back was not easy. I was eating all of the wrong foods, wasn’t working out, not sleeping, too much coffee… and it was really really uncomfortable for me.

A lot had changed in life in the previous 18 months and I think I just got overwhelmed.

So here’s the thing, the only person that could change it was me, but I had to be in the place where I “had enough” of it the way it was and wanted to do something about it. 

When I made that choice, I made small changes and I celebrated doing them, even if that was with a dance on my own at home. But by bit, I practiced ignoring the mean voice in my head and making proactive choices about food, cooking for myself is not something I enjoy so much – I love food but I am a feeder! I love cooking for family and friends.

But I found a way to do it at weekends. I made portions as I always did (so huge!) and I freeze them. Then each morning I take out a dinner for that evening to defrost. Anything to make very busy days easier!

 

What advice would you give to other women to help them feel more empowered?

The trick for me is preparation. If I have my gym bag ready and my clothes laid out, all I have to do is get dressed and go. That sounds simple but actually the biggest battle is my head telling me all the reasons not to get back to it. So if I remove as many of the other ‘obstacles’ as possible – the only dual that happens is with me and me. And I have prepared, so I’ve already decided to go.

Know that it will be enjoyable soon, and you will feel and even see the changes so much quicker than you think. Just keep doing it.

Get help if you need it and make no apologies for that.

That means anything from talking to a friend to getting a personal trainer to help you get the ball rolling.

Make a goal – I needed this, I set a goal to go back to the UK in September to run 10 miles with ‘army style’ obstacles…(then I get a holiday) but I’m working toward it. Along the way, I take pictures to see my personal achievements and celebrate them.


What’s your favourite dessert?

I love chocolate! So I actually really enjoy a chocolate avocado mousse or I recently made sweet potato brownies (recipe on my Facebook). The best deserts taste good and have nutritional benefits going on.

That being said of course a good chocolate fondant or chocolate anything for me ☺️

 

Thank you very much to Jenny Kavanagh! Remember to subscribe to our mailing list to follow our Empowered Women series!