WONDERFUL WOMEN WEDNESDAYS: Yvette McManaway


 Photo by  Nicola Inglis

Photo by Nicola Inglis

From our very first meeting where we were sat next to each other at a business awards dinner we attended with our husbands, I knew we'd become great friends. Yvette entertained me all evening with her interesting, insightful and humorous stories, listened intently to whatever I had to say and shared numerous nuggets of nutritional wisdom. That was just over a year ago and what a year it has been!

In the past 12 months we have both been on a similar transformational journey of growth and progress. We have supported, encouraged, advised, listened to and learned from each other and I feel extremely blessed and privileged to have shared such productive, happy hours together. Yvette has championed me at every stage, helping me get a little closer to becoming the woman I'd like to be... This is something she is extremely good at and I am so proud and delighted to be able to announce that her coaching business FeedonLife is now up and running. Yvette is an emotional eating and mindset coach, who helps women gain body and food freedom, supporting them as they break free from dieting and binge eating. 

Dear Yvette, you're like the big sister I always wanted. I wish you every possible success with your new business and I thank you, sincerely, for your support, encouragement, kindness, patience, humour and love... x

Now over to you:

1. What does Lovelyness mean to you? 

I think moments of lovelyness touch the soul. Seeing or experiencing kindness, gentleness, unconditional love. When something takes your breath away or makes you smile, everything stops for a moment and you experience a flash of love and lovelyness.

2. When are you happiest? What brings you joy?

When I am totally present and authentic... I'm just me, being the best version of myself. Usually this means that I'm not thinking of the zillion things I have to or should be doing or saying .... and I'm totally present with my children, or my husband or with whatever I am doing at that moment. I think it's the greatest gift I can give them, and myself. It gives me a great sense of freedom and happiness when I can still my extremely busy mind and enjoy the "now"!

3. What are you most grateful for in your life?

  • My fantastic, steadfast husband who always believes in me and loves me no matter what. 

  • My children who have turned out to be my biggest teachers in my life. 

  • Fantastic friends who I couldn`t be without. And lastly, every struggle, heartache and experience that has helped me to grow as a person and be who I am today.

4. What would you list as your top 3 priorities in life? 

  1. My health.. I`ve struggled with this many times in the past, and gosh, it`s hard to be a great Mum, wife, friend etc without it. 

  2. My precious family.

  3. To be of service... to do my bit to make the world a better place... each day. 

5. Who’s your current role model and why?

One doesn`t spring to mind currently!!

6. Who do you see as being lovely and why? (Famous or not)

My dear friend Judi. To me, she is the epitome of Lovelyness. We've known each other for many years and she has always inspired me. She is one of those rare friends who gives you her undivided attention when you are with her. She really listens, never judges, criticises or tells me what I should or shouldn’t do... she just accepts me for who I am, warts and all. And lastly, she always sees the best in others, including myself! How amazingly lovely is that!!

7. What's your favourite type of food? 

You're asking me to pick just one type of food? Impossible!! I love, love, love food. All types, all sorts and lots of it! However, at the risk of sounding overly virtuous, my daughter did say to me the other day "Mum, you are the only person I know that gets excited over a bowl of veges". Yes, I love, crave and adore them.

8. What are your favourite pastimes?

Hanging out as a family is my absolute favourite. I love being around nature, especially if I'm also walking or biking. I absolutely adore anything to do with gardening. Escaping somewhere with a good book is definitely a big favourite. Singing, dancing terribly, having a good laugh, eating, being with friends, hugging my gorgeous girls... and most importantly, having fun.

9. Do you have a favourite quote?

Many. I'm a big fan of quotes and mantras. My top 2 would have to be:

This reminds me to push through the fear and get out of my comfort zone so I can keep growing as a person. 

And secondly, this isn't really a quote but a mantra that I have developed to help me get 're-centred' and remind myself of who I really am. Depending on the situation it changes. e.g.: 

  • "I am not defined by the state of my house." (This one gets used a lot. Especially when the gorgeous Holly comes around and my house is in its usual mess.) 

  • "I am not defined by my children." (When they are behaving rudely and I'm embarrassed!!) 

  • "I am not defined by my appearance or my weight." (This is a daily reminder for me.)

10. Where’s your favourite place?

Wherever my family is - home. Oh, and also Italy. My second favourite place in the entire world.

11. Which is your favourite season and why?

I don`t think I have a favourite. I actually love and look forward to the changing seasons. I enjoy the difference it brings.

12. Do you have a signature style?

Is being comfortable a style? I know that the older I get the more I want things to be comfy! I no longer want to wear uncomfortably high heels all day.... or have my tummy sucked in overly tight...having said that, vanity is one of my downfalls and I do like to look nice and I love clothes! Probably, I would say my style is classic with a twist.

13. Who was your biggest inspiration growing up and how have they shaped who you are today?

There have been so many! My mum and dad for starters. Both taught me to be compassionate, to "give back to the community" and always be considerate of others.

14. Which qualities do you value most from those closest to you?

Integrity, honesty, generosity, unconditional love, fun.

15. What are your best attributes? What are your worst?

Best - probably that I care about people and believe in compassion and kindness. And I'm good at having fun! 

Worst - I can be feisty and have a quick temper. I can also be quite impatient. Oh and lastly, I can procrastinate about things I don`t want to do!

16. How would you most like your friends to describe you?

Fun, loving, supportive, loyal and always accepting of who they are.

17. If you could pick any place in the world to live, where would it be and why?

That’s a hard one... I loved living in Nelson so I would move back there for the next few years while the girls are growing up. However, I absolutely love Italy and have the romantic notion of living there for a few months or a year. Why? I love everything about the place. The people I find passionate, expressive and warm. The food is amazing, and I love the beauty, history, and language. I guess I just feel very at home there.

18. What are your aspirations for the future?

To live life really well and be the best that I can be.

19. Can you recommend: a lovely book, a lovely movie, a lovely song?

  • Book: I love, love, love books so this is a hard one. However, one book that made an impact on me many years ago, was Nelson Mandela's "Long Walk to Freedom". After reading that, I realised that the most important thing in life is to 'choose your thoughts' or how you look at a situation. He chose to forgive and not be a victim. I found that inspiring.

  • Movie: "Young at Heart" - I saw this movie many years ago with my lovely friend Tania. We sat in the back row of the cinema and sobbed our way through the it. We were so moved to see a group of elderly people finding joy and purpose in coming together as a choir. It was a beautiful movie and reminded me no matter what age someone is, they still desire purpose, love and connection.

  • Song: "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen. It always moves me to tears.

20. Any Lovely Last Words?

Loveliness starts with how we treat ourselves. Be kind and compassionate to yourself, especially with your self talk. Too many of us have harsh inner critics that dominate and stop us from shining brightly... 
Lots of love
Y