There's something special about connecting with someone over shared passions, and that's exactly what happened when I recently sat down with fellow wellness enthusiast Lily Baker to chat all things health and fitness. Lily is 25 years old, a full time primary school teacher, and the founder of The Pilates Project, a female focused online destination that centres around the pillars of wellness, community & movement. Through equipping women with the knowledge, confidence and capabilities to take greater control over these domains within their life, she hopes to inspire a commitment to self love, authenticity & education to respect one's body above all else. It was amazing to chat with Lily, we're we dove into conversation about everything from TPP, to self-care, to healthy habits and the benefits of incorporating Pilates into our routines. In this blog, I'll share some of the highlights from our conversation and the valuable lessons I learned from this wellness-centered chat.
How do you juggle teaching Pilates whilst also working as a full-time school teacher?
The juggle is SO real and finding the perfect balance is still something that I am still figuring out. People often ask me this and I feel like I have to preface my response by admitting that I always have been (and probably always will be) a bit of a workaholic. I feel like I thrive when my life feels full and busy (within reason). I love the feeling of being on the go from sunrise to sunset, of ticking off my To-Do list and achieving the goals I set in place for myself.
Pilates is my PASSION, however at this point in my life, it’s also not my main income source. I am a full time Primary-School Teacher in Sydney and I cannot even begin to explain the workload (no it’s not a 9:00am-3:00pm gig) and emotional expenditure the role requires. I currently have four permanent Pilates classes weekly across two incredible studios and at the minute, that is the perfect number for me. When I first began teaching, I seriously overcommitted myself, I was working across four studios and was burning myself out big time. The way I see it, I owe it to all of my employees to be able to give 100% of myself when I am there and I simply couldn’t do that with a higher teaching volume. Four classes a week is the perfect amount that I get my studio fix, can be creative with my class planning, get to squeeze all of my gorgeous clients and genuinely soak up the time doing what I love. So at this point, if my jobs were a cake, school is the cake and Pilates is the icing on top. Maybe at some point this will switch. Who knows!
My top tips for balancing a full-time role with a side-hustle are simple though -
Figure out a WHY! Why do you want a side-hustle or second job on the side? Figure out your why and decide if it’s enough to dedicate a significant portion of your extra time to.
When you are at one job, be 100% present.
As soon as a side hustle is causing you more stress/anxiety than it is goodness, it’s time to re-evaluate.
Don’t be afraid to say no a little more, in both a work and social sense. You should always be your first priority.
What's your favourite FitFeast recipe?
IMPOSSIBLE question Claud! I have so many favourites haha! I feel like along with every other person in Sydney, I was deep on the Twix Bar train for about two years? When I lived in my old share house, we would go through two batches a week. I also got my mum hooked, so much so that whenever I go home now there is always Twix Bars in the freezer (obsessed)! Some of my other high rotation FF dishes are: the Lemon Tart, Green Veggie Curry, Veggie Lasagna (the one with veggies rather than pasta sheets) and Classic Maple Granola.
"The Pilates Project is a female focused online destination that centres around the pillars of wellness, community & movement."
What are your favourite forms of self-care?
Going to sleep early
A night in > a night out.
Moving my body!
Lymphatic Drainage Massages (The Calmm in Bondi is incredible)
Infrared Saunas (particularly coming into Winter)
Eating colourful, nourishing foods
Face masks (I am OBSESSED)
What's your your favourite 'self-indulgent' practices?
I refer to ’self indulgences’ as treats, experiences & habits that bring me joy & make me happy! My ultimate idea of a ’self indulgence’ night is an ocean swim, extremely hot shower, face mask, a homemade burger and ginger beer, a couple of episodes of the Vampire Diaries that I’ve seen millions of time, tea and dessert and then in bed before 10:00pm. A ’self indulgent’ night out? A Spicy Margarita and Fish Taco from Calita in North Bondi, another marg from Raw Bar and then many hours (and margs later) later, ending up at The Imperial in Erskineville for a boogie!
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I honestly don't have a lot of spare time! But when I do, I love to:
Exercise (run, Pilates, dance cardio, strength - anything and everything!!)
Read a book
Bake my favourite treats
Work on the TPP platform
HGW with a podcast on
Clean my apartment lol (I find this so relaxing ahaha)
What's your biggest health tip?
Find a form of movement that you truly enjoy. Life is too short to slog through classes and gym sessions that you don’t enjoy. Moving your body is an incredible privilege and is one that should never be taken for granted. Also -get on the magnesium train because it’s literal life force!