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  • Writer's pictureKathy Ozakovic

Interview with Humans of Fuzia - Expanded

Recently, I was invited to share a bit about my journey so far and opinions on the impact women are making in the business world. Below is the interview featured by Humans of Fuzia with a few more thoughts I added here. I am opening up and sharing my personal experiences and subjective views. This is how I see the world.

Dietitian & Wellness Coach Kathy Ozakovic at NuFit Wellness works with individuals and groups to improve small habits that lead to big changes. Underpinned by the latest scientific evidence in nutrition, neuroplasticity, and mindfulness Kathy takes a holistic approach to helping you heal. Having a clinical background means Kathy has been exposed to and understands the difficulties of chronic disease. Her personal experiences of an eating disorder and breast implant illness which brought on many chronic and autoimmune diseases including high cholesterol, liver issues, food intolerances, Raynaud’s disease have moulded her into the empathetic and vastly knowledgeable practitioner she now is. She has been able to reverse and thrive from her challenges with natural medicine and mindset guidance.

What were your initial years of growing up like? Tell us about your life before the venture/ corporate journey?

I had a beautiful childhood. My mother made sure of that by organising play dates and often sacrificing her own needs for the benefit of her 3 children. At the age of 7 my family moved from Sydney, Australia to Split, Croatia where I spent the next 7 years of my life. The move was prompted by my fathers' longing to return to his motherland. I watched my family and each member go through many difficulties during this transition. My parents were scammed very early on and lost all of their hard earned savings. No one knew the battles my parents faced each day better than myself and my two older bothers. I was the golden child and took my role very seriously.

At the age of 14, the family moved back to Sydney, Australia. We were welcomed by and reconnected with old friends, however, you can imagine after 7 years everything was very different. I felt lost and disconnected. My English was not the best and for the first time in a long time I struggled at school. The golden child in me felt like a failure. This brought on anxiety and panic attacks. As my family worked hard to rebuild our life from scratch, I turned inwards during my teenage years developing an Eating Disorder and Body Image Complexities, perhaps out of a cry for help and seeking love that I didn't know how to voice.

My first experience with business was through working for my father who had a successful interior fitout company for many years. Dad was a hard worker and I wanted to lighten the load for him as much as possible. I did what I could in the office and over time took on more and more responsibility. I probably took on more than I could handle. However, I was always very strong in Faith and believed that everything was happening for my greater good and making me stronger.

Every industry that is now a large-scale, top-notch business once started as a small idea in the minds of entrepreneurs. What was that idea or motivation that made you start your business/initiative? What motivated you within to say “YES, go for it!”

My mess is my message, and my struggle is my gift. I believe, rather than keeping that gift to ourselves we are meant to share gifts with the world to help others on their journey. Gifts are not for us to hoard, they are to be given. My 'yes' initially started from a desire to help others who are struggling in a similar way build a bridge between who they are and who they want to be. I thrive from seeing others inspired and moving towards their healthiest self.

I believe that without our physical, mental, spiritual and emotional health we can't give the world our best self. When I am my strongest self I am able to uplift others. I can be of better service to my family, my friends, community, workplace, industry, the collective consciousness. I believe it all starts with self, and over time I learnt we were never meant to do it alone. This is where my vision to build a community that encourages health and wellness through self-care, self-discovery, and showing oneself compassion and forgiveness stems from.

Tell us something about your initiative or current role. What is it about, and what impact are you trying to make?

Being a dietitian and wellness coach, I am privileged to be a passenger on the health and wellness journey of my clients. You may have heard the term 'stuck in a rut'. This is referring to an established habit, usually a boring one that is not serving us well. I guide individuals and groups through education about the 6 pillars to wellness to fill in any knowledge gaps. Through conversation and education, patterns of behaviour are brought to one's attention. This helps them get to know themselves better, become aware of their habit loops, so they can make desired changes that will lead to their best and healthiest self. Health, wellness, happiness, joy, passion, love and gratitude are all infectious. Through coaching I aim to do my part in ensuring health and wellness spreads.

Your journey and your vision are very inspiring, but are there any achievements or accomplishments you would like to mention?

I have had many achievements and accomplishments along the way. I take a few minutes to celebrate my achievements on a weekly basis as I believe no achievement is too small. Showing up for the 'small stuff' adds up to creating the 'big things'. I like to reflect monthly, quarter yearly and half yearly. Reflecting, recalibrating, re-engaging with my goals is (to me) an important practice I have developed through the use of specific journals, calendars and questions prompting me to acknowledge how far I've come and where I want to go.

I fondly think back at my schooling years, my awards, degree, the struggles I overcame to earn these. They have moulded me into the studious and curious individual I am today. This has poured over into my career as I have a hunger for personal and professional development, and a strong commitment to expanding my understanding so that I can help others. I have recently completed my NLP Certification and committed to becoming a Master NLP Practitioner (Neuro-Linguistic Programing – all about how our behaviors are underpinned by emotions and thought patterns).

Personally, I am very proud of my health and wellness journey over the last 14 years. I am now coming up to closing a 7 year cycle of body image complexities which I thought would be resolved with breast implant surgery. However, my health, wellness and spiritual journey have led me to explant (remove) the breast implants which was a rather big surgery. My body has been recovering from the physical trauma of surgery with ease, faster than many. I put this down to practicing what I preach, preparing myself physically and mentally prior to the 8 hour surgical procedure and having the support of my coaches during that time. It was not an easy decision, not an easy procedure and not an easy recovery and yet it can be done with ease and grace by showing oneself compassion and forgiveness.

Would you like to share with our young budding women entrepreneurs the change you would like to see in the world if given an opportunity?

A world where we operate from and show ourselves love and gratitude for the struggles we encounter. A world where we are our own best friend, number 1 and most important client, where we give ourselves what we want our clients/ customers/ family to have. It is not selfish but rather a service to the world to be the best version of yourself so that you are better able to serve others. Put your hearts' desire and soul’s needs first, your vision and your dreams. Fill your bucket up first and protect it from leaks so that you can overflow with love and gratitude towards others.

Women are a growing force in the workplaces worldwide, standing shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts. There are cracks in glass ceilings everywhere, with many women breaking through to carve out a space right at the top of the pyramid. What are your thoughts about women’s leadership today?

We only look back to see how far we have come and women have indeed come a long way! It is something to be acknowledged and celebrated. I also want to highlight that the increasing willingness of our male counterparts celebrating women at the top is significant. I have faith in seeing a shift where it is not about us or them, rather returning to a sense of community and togetherness. Recognising we are only as good as the collective. Together we go further.

We have witnessed and are still seeing the effects of a masculine driven society which encourages more doing, more work, more effort, more rigidity, more structure, more hierarchy, more pressure. With mindsets such as "you sleep when you die", "you rest when you're done", resulting in burnout, chronic disease, pain and disconnect.

In more recent years, I have surrounded myself with women and men embracing vulnerability and authenticity. Reminding me that there is a time for everything. "A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing" (Ecclesiastes 3:4-5, ESV). I trust in a future where we will see a beautiful synergy between the masculine and feminine energies, recognising the value and importance of both as both exist within every one of us, and there is a time for each.

Coming back to my thoughts about women's leadership today, I think it is important to recognise not only the work that women have done to date to create space for themselves in leadership, but to also recognise the men making space and celebrating women in powerful positions. Not only in the corporate world. Women as leaders during motherhood in their family world, women as leaders in their community, women as leaders supporting men. Michele Obama, Megan Markle, Kate Middleton all come to mind as powerful leaders who rose to leadership through supporting their male counterparts, who could have just as easily discouraged them from the spotlight. I believe gratitude and appreciation goes both ways.

What would you want to say to our young women leaders/audience reading this?

Get to know yourself and stay true to yourself. Be brave enough to be your authentic self, understanding that you will grow and change. What was once true for us a few weeks or months ago may not be true anymore. Understand that it is okay, it is part of the journey. You get to define and create the meaning of your life.

My mum used to remind me often that "In life you don't have to do anything, the only thing you will have to do one day is die. Death is inevitable. We will all transition. Everything else is your choice." So, choose your purpose and passion. Choose what lights your heart on fire. Choose what springs you out of bed each morning. Choose the impact you want to leave. Whatever you choose to do and be, "You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there's still going to be somebody who hates peaches” (Dita Von Teese). Let that encourage you to stay true to yourself always, the peach lovers will find you as long as you are not pretending to be an orange!

Remember, there is a time for everything. Like nature, in life you will experience different seasons. Mum also used to say "don't be in such a hurry to grow up, there will be time for everything". The way I understood it was: You will get to experience heartbreak and relationship challenges, you will get to experience loss, you will get to experience love, you will get to experience all the things. Live in the here and now. Give yourself the gift of presence. Focus on the 'season' you are in, there are many to come. Recognise what season you are in: Healing, learning, weeding, planting seeds, nurturing, growing, reaping, leading, writing, speaking, inspiring, supporting, motherhood/parenthood, resting, recharging, recalibrating, reviewing, reinventing, protecting.

Wherever you may be, stop and smell the roses.







Did you enjoy reading this blog? Tag & Share with your friends who would love it too! Sign up for my Free NuFit Wellness Newsletter to stay in the loop. Attend my Wellness Workshops. Promoting consciousness in food choices helping people heal. Dietitian & Wellness Coach, Health Presenter, Gut Health Specialist - Kathy Ozakovic.






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