Angela is the head of Human Resources Asia-Pacific at the cruise company Carnival Australia, wife to a busy builder, and mum of two 7-year old twins. Angela seems to have it all!
She is also our Leap Member of the Month! We see her coming to Leap a few times a week, her favourite class is Reformer Pilates. Here’s our conversation with Angela about wellbeing, company culture, self-transformation, and what’s in her lunch box.
Our conversation with Angela –
Leap: We’ve seen you undergo an amazing physical transformation over the past year (losing 25kg). What instigated this personal transformation?
Angela: After going through two battles with cancer, the stars aligned for me when Carnival AU initiated a mindset program to help people work through road blocks that have been keeping them back from being the best they can be.
Around the same time, I visited the Leap studio for a corporate Zumba class. I noticed the bowl of hair-ties and pins on the reception desk for those moments when we forget to bring one (we’ve all had one of these). I thought ‘this isn’t just a run-of-the-mill gym, it’s something else altogether.’ After trying a Reformer Pilates class at Leap, I was hooked and have been coming back ever since!
Before the mindset program, my challenge was around the critical things I said to myself. Through the program, I learnt self-compassion, which ultimately led to my commitment to doing all the right things to help with my health and wellbeing, including making a commitment of regular Pilates practice, attending weekly Zumba classes with my teams, and eating healthily.
I’m very happy with the progress I’ve made, and I know there’s no going back.
Leap: Tell us about your typical day.
Angela: I usually spend time with my twin girls before getting in to work at 8. From 8-6pm, it’s pretty much back-to-back meetings. In the middle of which, I will squeeze in a Zumba or Pilates class, and a healthy lunch. On days I can’t make it to a lunch time class, I come to a Pilates class in the late afternoon before heading home for bed-time stories with the girls. I usually catch up on emails during the commercial breaks in the evening.
Leap: How do you motivate yourself to do a Pilates class after a day at the office?
Angela: I tell myself that I get to lay down on my back! And it’s only 45 minutes. Besides it’s right around the corner from my office – it’s not like I have to drive anywhere.
Leap: To all the people who are struggling to make a healthy lifestyle change, who often cite ‘lack of time’ to be the reason of not making a commitment, what would be your advice to them?
Angela: Well, I’d ask them ‘is your wellbeing worth fighting for?’ I’m a firm believer that you can have it all, just not all at the same time.
Leap: What tools have you used to help fit in exercise and wellbeing with your busy work schedule?
Angela: The ability to manage expectations is a key skill to have.
Effective communication is a helpful tool to secure your wellbeing time, particularly when priority conflicts arise. Help the other person understand why you’re prioritising your wellbeing, tell them your story, bring them on the journey, dig a bit deeper into why is it ‘urgent’, offer alternatives, options and solutions.
Not feeling guilty about saying ‘no’ –
Perhaps instead of ‘no’, we say ‘not right now’, and suggest an alternative. You’ll find there’re few things in the day-to-day that has to happen right at that very moment.
Leap: How does Carnival AU help its employees pursue their wellbeing goals?
Angela: Carnival AU places great emphasis on a happy work force, and we go to great effort to create an environment and introduce initiatives that are conducive to a happy work force. We offer our staff a lot of flexibility in working 9 days a fortnight, remote access, personal improvement programs, and most importantly the trust that things will get done. These are great enablers for people to pursue their wellbeing goals.
Leap: What’s for lunch today?
Angela: Chicken salad from Brisket (café downstairs at the Carnival Australia office). I usually bring my lunch. On days that I don’t, I get a chicken salad from Brisket.