Coach, entrepreneur, and active mom Lucile Woodward has been using Withings products and helping us to motivate the French community for years. We caught up with her to get her honest opinions about fitness, health, and more.
Withings ambassador and health and fitness coach Lucile Woodward has been helping us to motivate the French community for years. Four years ago, we talked to her about her fitness program. As part of the program, one of her clients, Emira Amami, lost nearly 50 pounds and ran La Parisienne, a 7k road race. In 2019, we caught up with her again, and she explained why diets don’t work, and why we should aim for a flat curve when it comes to weight-loss goals.
To celebrate New Year New You, we’ve asked her to share her tips with the Withings community on the blog. Learn more about Lucile—and find out why you shouldn’t just focus on weight, but body composition too.
How would you describe yourself to those who missed your first interview?
I am a sports coach who is trained in micro-nutrition. I am also a mother of two and I have nearly 400 YouTube videos [note: in French! — ed.] of fitness, yoga, cardio, fitness and nutrition tips to my credit. I am at the head of a huge community of women who want to be fit without giving up their crazy everyday life. In short, I am not a coach of star athletes, but a coach of real people in real life.
When we first asked you about your lifestyle four years ago, you answered: "My lifestyle is simple: I have no typical day!" What is your answer today?
It’s even more true now! With the videos to record, my growing team to manage, sport for me, coaching, events, articles to write, coach training, and my family life with my growing children, there is never a typical day. Sometimes I work weekends, sometimes I am abroad. What is certain is that today, I like what I do even more, by being structured and going very far in my vision of sustainable and healthy living.
You also manage a team of employees. How do you juggle your coaching and entrepreneurial jobs?
We now have 8 full-time employees, and soon we’ll have 9. I admit that nothing would happen without Marion, my partner. This is my biggest challenge in recent months: to manage sports coaching and entrepreneurship, while remaining present as a mom and in very good shape. Nothing is impossible. I am passionate and I always have the same energy. But clearly, it requires serious organization.
Which Withings products are you still using today?
The Steel HR watch is definitely my favorite, without hesitation. I have never spent a day without it since the beginning of our collaboration! I love its elegance and its finesse, and its long battery life is a real luxury: it only needs to be recharged every 3 weeks. In a world where “low battery” is everywhere, it is unique! I swim with it, I sleep with it, I shower with it, I surf with it, I ski with it. I do absolutely everything with this watch on my wrist.
I see progress in the Health Mate app. I find it cool, especially because some of the suggestions I make for the app show up there a few months later.
I also appreciate the Withings Sleep, which helped me to understand and relieve my insomnia in 2018. I slept with it on my wrist to help track my sleep for more than a year.
We appreciate your values and your honesty. So, tell us: Is the scale friend or foe?
Friend! Everyone in our family weighs in once a week max, and we use it to understand what is going on in our bodies. For example, before menstruation starts, we observe water retention, and after a bodybuilding cycle, we see increased muscle mass.
The scale is our first ally of choice for long-term fitness. Not weighing yourself is like acting like an ostrich: putting your head in the sand and then being horrified when you weigh yourself and find that you have gained 5 to 6 kg more in a year. Weigh yourself, yes — but without obsessing.
In your YouTube series, you've coaching two women, Marion and Joana, for two months. Can you tell us more about this project?
This is one of the projects that is closest to my heart: to show, live, how fitness progresses over 5 months in real-life women with busy daily lives. My role is to get them back to sports, to educate them about a long-term balanced diet, without pressure, without disassociating themselves, without changing their rhythm of life at all. It’s an exciting project.
The idea behind this web series is to show the general public that fitness is possible for everyone, no matter where you start. If you have had children, if you have a sporting background or not, if you’re busy at work… there is always the possibility of a healthy and fit life. You just have to adapt and go step by step, and you don’t need a super hardcore or traumatic fitness routine. I advocate a gentle, regular approach and regularity — this is the secret to a sustainable lifestyle.
How does self-confidence play a role in your program?
It’s becoming a larger and larger part of the program. Today, I’ve realize that the third key [to fitness], after sport and food, is psychology — managing and sustaining change. I read a lot on these subjects. In the podcasts integrated into my programs, I try to give food for thought to all the participants.
It is not the easiest subject to talk about, because often they want only sport and menus. But once they open [their minds], they see a whole new light.
In January 2019, you wrote a Withings blog post about weight. Since it's 2020 and time to make resolutions, what message would you like to share?
Know how to take time! I was very upset to see that people found our site in 2019 by searching for “lose 20 kg in 3 months.” It’s impossible! Losing 20 kg in 3 months is the highway to yo-yo diets, dietary errors, poor sports choices, injuries, and ultimately gaining pounds, as well as loss of self-esteem and guilt.
Accepting that fitness takes time is the first stone in the building. Often, you need to integrate food education with sports conditioning, and then there is a progression, stages of stabilization, then metabolic change. It is only by taking the time to understand this that we can manage to stay at a set weight and keep it for life.
If you had to associate one word with each of the words below, it would be…?
- Woman: Power
- Sport: Life
- Music: Energy
- Health: The Holy Grail
- Withings: Care
- Body: Posture
- Motivation: Community
You'll be on Withings social media from Jan. 13 to Feb. 3. Can you give us some clues about what you will talk about?
I will offer you one challenge per week with advice on physical activity, weight, and sleep, because everything is linked. The idea is to support you in the stages of success to motivate you in the long term. Unlocking small objective after small objective is what works in the long term. I hope to see many of you following me! Happy New Year 2020 — let’s stay in great shape!