“Let’s face it, none of us are rushing into menopause with our arms wide open but I do believe if we equip ourselves with suitable knowledge & support on how best to manage the process, it doesn’t need to define us.”
Nicki Philips is the founder of the phenomenal niixfit app which offers live and on-demand workouts as well as nutritional advice and the opportunity to be part of a phenomenal community.
We sat down with Nicki to discuss her own journey to health in her 40s, the drive behind her rapidly growing business - and what she has learned along the way.
We hope you enjoy the conversation as much as we did.
First, tell us a little bit about you and the motivation behind niix.
I am a mum of two, step mum & wife. I run a women’s focused health and wellness brand which incorporates a fitness app, niix, offering live and on demand classes, retreats, healthy nutrition & advice, plus I also run a Pilates & fitness studio in East Sussex.
After my first career in media, I retrained as a Pilates instructor and then expanded my learning across other fitness & health disciplines to broaden & support my offering. I specialise in women’s health & fitness, particularly mid-life women; creating workouts, workshops & events to support our every changing body.
How has your own peri/menopause transition influenced your outlook towards work and life?
‘Yes, things change during this period but with good support & advice I believe this is a time women can feel empowered & flourish.’
Supporting women though different life stages (pre & post natal, menopause etc) has been my career and something I have been passionate for years. Having recently entered my own peri-menopause journey and, although symptoms so far have been relatively mild (brain fog, achy joints, dry eyes, itchy ears!), I am always looking at ways in which to support my body better & use my experience to help other women. Whether that be via diet (more protein, green leafy veg etc), changing the way we exercise (more strength training & Pilates) to help build tone, bone density & flexibility …all of which dwindles at this stage of a woman’s life or using supplements (MPowder Peri-Boost is my go) to ensure we are getting what our body needs.
How do you define success - both within the work you do and yourself individually?
Success comes in so many forms.
When it comes to work, seeing niix grow and develop & our clients benefit from what we offer in a positive way, gives me a great sense of pride & achievement. Sharing my passion for health & fitness whilst encouraging & supporting as many women as possible explore their own journey in a positive way, is truly fulfilling.
As an individual, feeling fit, healthy, fulfilled & happy is a great place to be. Making my family proud and sharing special moments & memories with family & friends is not only rewarding but something I get a lot of happiness & satisfaction from.
‘I also get a lot of joy from my children. Bringing them up to be strong, independent, kind, healthy, happy, inquisitive, loving & inspiring individuals. They are perhaps my biggest success.’
Has your definition of success changed over time as an entrepreneur and individual?
When I was younger …and I’m sure like so many…career & financial status was more of a driving factor to my sense of success.
When I decided to leave my first career, I learnt that so much of our ego & self-worth can rightly or wrongly come from what we do rather than why we do it.
Having made a career change, I feel that making a difference to others is now for me, one of my biggest successes.
What correlation, if any, do you see between age and ambition?
I believe ambition and drive comes from within, something that develops from the way we are nurtured & of course nature.
I don’t really believe age helps or hinders ambition but it can increase confidence, understanding and belief in our abilities.
As I’ve aged, I have been able to be focus my ambitions on what I believe in and have a clearer view of my strengths, which I look to harness on as much as possible. Most importantly it’s made me realise it’s never too late….we just have to take the leap. Isn’t it better to try and fail, than to never try at all?
What are your aspirations for your business over the next 24 months?
In 2022 we launched niixRETREATS, offering menopause retreats for women. Our retreats offer a range of fitness activities and informative workshops with nutritionists, psychologists, menopause doctors, fitness and postural specialists to help women navigate through their menopause with knowledge & the correct support.
We are also looking to expand our retreat offering to also include day retreats and continue to offer inspirational & fun workouts on niixAPP. There are lots of additional projects bubbling in the background & soon to be announced.
What do you wish your younger self had known about:
Life: It goes in a flash, grab it in both hands, find what fulfils you and make the most of opportunities that come your way.
Love: Love to the fullest, learn to love yourself & let yourself be loved.
Health: There is nothing more important than your health. Don’t take it for granted and look after body as best you can.
Work: Try to do what you love. Share your knowledge. Enjoy your achievements. Remember there is a life outside of work, so find the balance.
What would be your key advice to women transitioning through menopause today?
Knowledge is absolutely key when it comes to this stage of life. There is now thankfully so much information available; do your research & find the experts you like and believe in. Share your experience with those close to you, girlfriends - we are all going through the same transition, so it really helps to normalise what we are experiencing. Supporting each other can be hugely empowering.
Make sure your health & fitness becomes a priority. The way in which we exercise may need to change as our hormones alter and effects the way our body functions. Strength training is essential for staying strong, improving muscle mass & bone density both of which depletes as oestrogen drops. The more muscle & bone density we have the less likely we are to suffer from osteoporosis. Muscle is also important in helping to burn energy throughout the day and maintaining a healthy weight.
Nutrition is also important. Food is medicine, can control disease, balance our hormones and improve how we look and feel. Food should not just be about weight management but be enjoyable, improve energy levels, gut health and elevate our overall well-being. Aim to reduce processed food, sugar & alcohol and instead increase protein, leafy green vegetables & good fats. I do believe balance so if you go off course for a few weeks it’s not the end of the world.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with the MPowder community about our second spring?
Let’s face it, none of us are rushing into menopause with our arms wide open but I do believe if we equip ourselves with suitable knowledge & support on how best to manage the process, it doesn’t need to define us. Accepting our body is changing and making sure we show kindness & look after ourselves properly, can make a huge difference.
Finally, what have you done to better support yourself in the last 24 months? What have you learned. And what are you carrying with you as the world once again shape shifts?
The pandemic has shown that unfortunately we cannot control everything and need to accept the unpredictability of life. I have found that making sure I appreciate and enjoy the small things, stay in the moment and celebrate larger achievements, can help reduce anxiety from the pressures around us and those out of our control.